The Table of Love

It all started with a pile of wood and a picture:
Photo Credit

“Honey, you can do this. Right?” <-- famous last words in this house. I am very lucky to have such a handy guy around.

Most of these picture have already been posted on Instagram, but I thought I'd make a post of the table's progress from a pile of construction lumber to a bonafide piece of heirloom furniture.

He had a little help with the heavy lifting.

And here is a dining room, “before” picture:
Still an awesome table. I have loved every second of it being in our dining room for the last 15 years! It’s going to live in the playroom from now on. The kids were out growing their little tables in there. It was given to us from family friends of The Hubby’s family. It’s an original 1950’s table. The chairs were recovered when it was passed on to us. And are still in excellent condition. Once we get replacement chairs, they will join this table in the playroom.

Progress from wood pile to structure:

I decided to give the man a break and help with parts I could. This is the first time I’ve ever used stain. I’m not sure if I am a fan yet. I do however, like the end result, so the effort was worth it.
It gets better with the second coat

We added some personal touches:
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And the man helped with the staining when the last of the table was sanded smooth as a baby’s butt.
Then he waxed it with in an inch of it’s life. It was an important step considering this is going to be our every day table and is about to see many years of abuse.
Coming in just over budget with a $135 total (not including the new belt sander we had to buy, or the can of paint for the wall because I got a bug up my booty and decided the new table needed new walls to match). Certainly much less than the Anthropologie table. Or even the Pier One table I saw locally for $900.

Aaaaand….Drumroll Please:

The best part about this picture is the craftiness that went in to each component.
The Man built the table (obviously), and the side table and the cat food table. He also built the two shelves above the side table.
My oldest daughter painted the one picture. The photograph is a photo I took in college of a local business and landmark of many years until the building was torn down a few years ago. I also sewed the curtains and *just* finished painting that wall today. I am so proud of the creativity in this room. I am looking forward to posting even more “finished” pictures very soon.

In the mean time, I ask you, is a room ever really “finished” being decorated?

JellyBean – 2002 to 2015

The week before Easter, 2003. We went to PetSmart in Butler Plaza, on a Saturday, to buy cat food. Nine year old Kayleigh in tow. We walked up the center aisle toward the cat section. All the adoption agencies were there showing off their pets in need of homes.

Like a scene from a movie, the noise from the busy store was suddenly muted. Kayleigh looked up and across the aisle there was one puppy who had noticed her. They regarded each other for a second and then Kayleigh was at the pen where the puppy was housed. Puppy licks and tail wagging ensued. There was no denying the immediate attraction. The lady from the agency (Puppy Hill Farm), offered to let Kayleigh walk the puppy around the store. She did, but there was no need, that dog was already hers. She had a pink and black nose when she was little, and the most genuine smile.

A week later, our little Easter bunny puppy joined our family and found her furever home. It’s been nothing but warm laps (even when she grew too big) and tail wagging ever since.
That nine year old girl never once complained about the responsibility of a puppy. No matter what she was doing, she would stop to let her out, or feed and water her. I have never met a more loved or better cared for pet than JellyBean. During Puppy college, they would practice their homework every day. JellyBean learned how to sit and stay and “wait”.

I remember lifting that puppy up to the top bunk so she could sleep with Kayleigh. I remember she got too big to do that and then Kayleigh moved to the bottom bunk. I remember the trench she made in the backyard at our old house when it was doggie zoomies time. Man, how that dog could run, and fast. I remember teenager Kayleigh out with friends and a worried JellyBean sitting, starting at the door waiting patiently for her girl to return. And she always did.

I remember her “dance” for a treats, and later when her backside got too old to hop on two legs, she would “speak” for bacons or popcorns.

JellyBean is at peace, and no longer hurting. She went quickly and we were with her for her last breath. She gave us so much of her heart, it just gave out. JellyBean you will always be in our hearts. You have truly touched so many lives.



PJ’s to Party in!

My sewing studio time did not turn out as I had planned for today. Sometimes though, that is not a bad thing. I began my day with a list of business-y things I needed to finish. Nothing with urgent deadlines (that was last week, oi vey!) so I knew I had a little time to goof off a bit. I ended up with adorable matching pj’s for littlest K and myself!

I started my day by making a prezzie for a friend. I can’t share it with you, since I haven’t given it to her yet. Then I decided to make myself a pair of jammie bottoms. I found some cute fabric I at JoAnn’s yesterday while getting the stuff for the other thing I mentioned.

I was invited to a grown-up pajama party this coming Saturday. I had hosted my own pajama party this past weekend so all my friend’s have seen my other jammie bottoms. Adult pajama parties are all the rage these days. What’s not to love? Show up in pj’s, eat junk food, make fun of silly 80’s movies, and drink cute wine. No pressure to put on make up, or wear uncomfortable clothes. And the best part….you are already ready for bed when you get home (or when everyone leaves, if it’s your house).

I had a great time at my party last weekend:
My bestie and I enjoying girly champagne!

I even allowed the hubby to stay for the party, and let him invite a friend!
I made these pajamas for him a million years ago when we were just married.

So back to today’s sewing project. Mommy and daughter pj’s.
Littlest K came into my studio as I was sewing my pants and saw this fabric. She instantly thought I was making something for her and got so excited. I hated to tell her that they were in fact for me. I lucked out in that I had just enough fabric to squeeze out a pair of shorts for her with the ends of what I had cut mine from. We won’t talk about the fact that the fabric I bought for the adult pajama party I’m going to looks like it should have been for a six year old’s pajamas.

I prefer my pajama pants to be more of a cropped length. I wanted to add a little pizzazz to them so I made cuffs from a coordinating fabric. I would have loved to add something sparkly, but thought that I’d actually want to sleep in these pants too, so opted for just that cuff.

You can barely see it in this picture, but I added little bows to the cuffs of Little K’s pants. That was all her idea, people. As she was trying them on for fit, she said, “Wouldn’t they be so cute with bows at the cuffs?” Who am I to argue? This girl is a fashionista! I wanted to add them to my pants as well, but the ribbon I had did not match the t-shirt I already had to match the fabric. C’est la vie.

And finally, the piece de resistance, I appliqued the little foxes to a plain t-shirt that little K already had. She and I are both ready for Spirit week at school in a few weeks. Of course it the meantime, I’ll be reliving my glory days at a pajama party at my friend’s house next weekend.

And now back to my regularly scheduled sewing. I’m working on an exciting custom project for a friend of mine. I’m just a few hours away from completion. I put pictures up on my business facebook page, but I will blog about it here when I’m all done.

Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial

I’ve decided to share my secrets with you guys. Actually, I’m sure there are other tutes on the web that are similar to this one, but I’m trying to branch out a bit.

I’ve decided to write up a tutorial for my Drawstring Project Bag. This is a great bag, fully lined with a little interior pocket. I’ve been making these bags for years to hold knitting or crochet projects, as gift bags, as toy bags for kids stuff, and I’ve even used them to hold electronics chargers and cords, etc. in my suitcase. The finished bag measures 12 inches wide by 10 inches tall. It has a flat square bottom measuring 5.5 inches.

And the best part: they are super easy to make. And quick (after you’ve made a few hundred).

First gather your supplies:
Fabric and supplies:
Main fabric: 13 inches wide by 14 inches tall (cut two)
Coordinating: 13 inches wide by 14 inches tall (cut two)
Pocket (Main fabric): 5.5 tall by 12 inches wide (cut one)
Handle (coordinating fabric): 2.25 inches by 13 inches (cut two)
Drawstring Casing (coordinating fabric): 1.25 inches by 12
Silky cord: 28 inches (cut two)
Interfacing: 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches (Cut two)
All the other usual stuff: Sewing machine, iron, thread, scissors, ruler, pins. If you happen to have bias tape makers and a cord threader thingy….great, but you can use the safety pin method as well.

Construct the parts of the bag:
Once you have all your pieces cut, start at the ironing board with the casing (2) and handle (2) pieces. Fold the long edges (wrong sides together) about 1/4 inch. Or use a bias tape maker for 1 inch and 2 inch.

Next you are going to sew the two handle pieces together (wrong sides together) using a narrow top stitch along each long edge (that was previously folded over and ironed). Set aside for later.

On the short end of each of the casing pieces, fold it under about 1/4 inch and top stitch.
IMG_3989 Repeat for all four short sides of the casing pieces. Then re-iron them so all raw edges are either sewn or ironed under.

Inside pocket:
With the 5.5 X 12 piece, fold it in half right sides together, wrong side out, matching short ends. Sew along the three raw edges using a 3/8 seam allowance, leaving a 1.5-2 inch opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press seams, folding opening under even. You will close this opening when you sew it on to the bag lining.
Now you have a finished handle, pocket and casings ready to be sewn on to the bag panels.

Preparing the bag:
Pin one casing piece 1.5 inches from top of the 13 inch side of the main fabric. Centered.
Topstitch very close to each long edge, leaving the short ends open, making a place to slide the drawstring. Repeat for second side.

On one of the main panels, you will attach the handle. Fold the handle in half, matching raw edges. Pin it to one side of the main fabric piece, one inch under the casing you just sewed. Baste in place.
Next, pin the second main fabric piece to this piece, right sides together. Sew along both sides (14 inch sides) and bottom (13 inch side, opposite the casings you just made) with a 3/8 seam allowance, leaving the top open. Be careful not to sew the ends of the casing closed.
Set aside.

Now you will work with the lining pieces. Pin the pocket to one lining panel (right side up), two inches from top (on the 13 inch side), centered. Make sure your open spot from turning the pocket is on a side or bottom so it will be sewn shut when you attach the pocket to the bag.
Topstitch close to pocket edge along sides and bottom, leaving the top open to make the pocket.
Pin second lining piece on top, right sides together, sew along sides and bottom with a 3/8 seam allowance.

Now you have an inner and an outer bag.

Boxing the Corners:
You will want to box the corners in order for the bag bottom to be flat.
First take the lining piece still inside out and match the side seams together:

Next, flatten the corners down, forming a sort of diamond shape with bottom of the bag. Matching the bottom seam with the side seam.
Draw a line 6 inches from the point of each corner:
and pin for sewing. You will sew on the line you drew.
Repeat for the second corner, then again for both sides of the outer/main fabric
Sew all four corners on the line you drew. Move to the ironing board. Fold the corners on the seam you just made, toward the center and press flat with the iron.
For both sides:
Then imagine a square with in that space, this is where you will center one piece of interfacing. Iron interfacing according to directions:

Repeat all this for the main/outer fabric.


Complete the bag:
Turn the lining piece right side out and place inside the main fabric piece matching side seams. Right sides together. Pin raw edges together.
Sew around the top edge of the bag with a 3/8 inch seam allowance, leaving a 1.5/2 inch opening for turning. Turn right side out through the opening. Tuck lining inside to form the bag.
Press the seam flat, tucking the opening inside. Pin the opening closed for sewing.
Topstitch along the whole edge, closing the turning hole in the process.

Attach the drawstring:
Use whatever method you have available to thread the drawstring through the casing you made. I love my little “magic wand” tool (Dritz Drawstring threader). Thread one piece of silky cord through one side casing, then continue to the next. Tie the ends together.
Thread the other silky cord through the casing, beginning on the opposite side this time. You will be able to grasp both knots and pull to close the bag.
Ta Da!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions with this tutorial. I’d love to know if you make your own bag. I want to see pictures!