May 27, 2013

Getting Smarter with a Smartcover for my ipad

This week I worked on coming up with a way to create a better mousetrap ipad cover and I think I have achieved it. My old cover was getting grungy and the corners of the blue polywhatever stuff was coming unglued...SO I ripped it all apart. The blue looks even worse because I experimented with gluing fabric to it which was not very well done.

This time I decided to completely "upholster" the thing.
I used a sample fabric I had on hand and added The Graphics Fairy steam punk images. The fabric almost has a paper bag quality which adds to the masculinity of it, don't you think?  
 Wouldn't this make a great gift for Dad or a graduate? If you think so, step over to my Etsy shop where I am offering this at a bargain price.
 I knew I could do better and I did! I scored some brand new  ipad smartcovers at a great price and I snatched up as many as I could. The first taught me better ways to manage the fabrics and the hardware and here is the result. 

These covers are great but the choice of colors is not and Apple isn't in to offering any alternatives.

The "before" cover is bright green which is the color I chose over the bright blue experimental one. Because it is new, I did not have to dismantle it and got a much better result. Doing the visible seams and pinking the edges was a major improvement that allows the cover to lie flatter.  In case you are wondering, the smartcover works exactly the same way as uncovered. The ipad turns off and on and you open and close the cover and the magnatic hinge attaches exactly as in the original.

Lindbergh arrives in Paris...if the Spirit of St. Louis had been a biplane!
This one too, will be offered on my Etsy shop with more to follow as I complete them. I plan many different styles and colors.  What would be your choice?

May 20, 2013

Button, Button

Thimbles are "my thing". But with just a little encouragement I could be tempted to go overboard and start accumulating buttons. Not that I don't have a lot of buttons now. Here is my grandmother's-then-mother's button box.


 It used to be loaded with mostly old individual button that appeared to be cut from clothing before it was discarded. Not many were outstanding or interesting. Now I have thrown in an assortment of newer buttons on cards which are much more easily browsed instead of sifting to see how many like ones are in the mix.
More than the buttons, I love the metal round can itself. The basket-weavy looking surface is embossed into the metal and it has acquired many dings, dents and worn spots over the years. For so long, I had really ignored the picture and if someone had asked me what it was I wouldn't have been able to think of anything but the colors. Now I look at it with a more appreciation.

A few years ago my twenty-something daughter sifted through and pulled out most of the loose brightly colored buttons and proceeded to make herself a belt. She laboriously sewed each onto a heavy woven belting. It is a bit tricky to get it through belt loops on her jeans but not nearly so hard as the won she bought made with BOTTLE CAPS!
Recently an organization I joined had a program on The History of Buttons.

I think I was the only member who was waiting anxiously to see and hear this program as attendence was a little sparse. But those who did come ended up a won over when they got to see and handle some really unique and beautiful buttons. Button Down Designs  (click on the link to visit) owner had scads of historical examples made from bison horn to Bakelite. AND she makes bracelets of buttons that are really beautiful and unique and fun. 

I chose from this display

My daughter models my choice
All this button talk was the inspiration for a new handmade item in a totally different style for me. 
I had purchase several yards of a really nice upholstery weight linen a while back. A friend mentioned something called Zakka style which uses linen and I combined that with some GRAPHICS FAIRY button images and this is the result.
Visit my ETSY shop at to see more about it.

May 12, 2013

Mother's Influence and My Blog View

Mother's Day is today and I have been saving up until today to write about my mother. I have mentioned in previous posts that she is the source of my thimble collection and much of my enthusiasm for sewing. I have her sewing machine as a constant reminder of her devotion to me and her craft.
Brag Monday Viewers
Click here to see latest item created on this
 As my brother once stated  to a young friend, "My Mom can do anything".
My friends envied my clothes because she could replicate anything from the pages of Seventeen magazine. This picture of me with Mom and Dad is taken before my brother's wedding in 1964. Why we thought the driveway was an appropriate setting eludes me. Mom made my bridesmaid's dress and her dress. Dad had to go store bought.

Mom also made the bridal gown which must be a rare thing for a mother-in-law to be to create the bride's gown. I don't know if we kept it out of view of my brother. Two of the attendants can be seen in the background. We had brocade dresses in fall colors. My sister-in-laws dress had a lot of beautiful details that I do not have pictures of.

When I married in 1967 my self-designed dress was much simpler.
I can show you the details because I still have the dress although it was not well-preserved. The beautiful silk linen fabric has deteriorated to a crispy tan and the simple train is missing and I am a bit fuzzy on this but I think I am wearing the same veil and crown as my sister-in-law.


Here it is today. It doesn't fit this mannequin any better than it fits me!

The neckline is trimmed with tatting from a handkerchief made by a great aunt. Nice that it turned the same color as the fabric. I asked for all the pin-tucks. I always liked that detail which is repeated on the skirt. Mom covered every little button. I can't believe I EVER got into this.
Mom made dresses for numerous other bridesmaids and  even a wedding gown for a friend. She could also slip cover and upholster furniture and made draperies. She was completely self-taught until she took up smocking.  She did sign up for instructions on the process but turning the work into clothing was a breeze for her.

 This is my daughter who was a late in life child who came along when her brothers were in high school. Mom could really show her skills with a grand-daughter. All of the following dresses were made for her.

Here is my grand-daughter (child of eldest son) wearing one of her aunt's special dresses. She just turned two a month ago and it fit perfectly. I am saving them in case of a "direct descendant" from my daughter!
Computer to left of the tape dispenser. My serger sits on my drawing/cutting table.
 My Blog View
In response to my blogging British friend at Wolves In London I am posting a picture of the view from my sewing/blogging room. I like to refer to this messy space as the shop. I do not have a view of a gigantic cactus as "Wolves" had, but a mundane suburban view of the neighbor's house with all of it's vehicles. It is minus the net encased trampoline so far this year. It has a nice north light and lots of chances to see dog-walkers and kids on scooters and bikes. In place of a cactus I have a low-growing Japanese maple that I love to gaze at when it is in leaf. The curtains are gauzy so even if I want to have a bit of privacy, I can spy through them.

May 5, 2013

Amish Country Fabric Quest

Typical view of Amish farms
Living on the edge of Amish County in Ohio, I am not especially fascinated with it, but when it comes to fabrics on sale, I'm there. My sewing friend Susan suggested the excursion to the sale and since I got to ride while she drove it was even better. The day was absolutely gorgeous allowing from some nice photos as well.
When have you ever seen dandelions look so good?

Here is the final destination
Here is the reason
It had been a busy two days before we arrived

Cleverly displayed button sold by the scoop. These ladies were scrounging for certain colors. This is one of the fabrics to come home with me which will probably end up as an apron.

I also got some great toweling that I was quickly made up this morning using Graphics Fairy coffee pot images.

Check them out on my Etsy shop - click here
The Bargain Basement was also an extra 30% off
Just had to include this essence of spring in Ohio
This was taken from the car and severely cropped to take out a pole but if you have never been to Ohio Amish Country this is very typical. The baskets have become ubiqitous since they have been restricted from selling baked goods on the roadside. That's what I think, anyway.