Monday, April 12, 2021

DIY Pressing Ham


I'm still here . . . I'm just a delinquent blogger who has been very busy with life and LOTS of sewing for a precious, new grandson!  I'm also in the process of evaluating my sewing/craft room and re-organizing.  In my efforts to organize, I've realized there are some basic sewing tools that I've lost, worn out or just plain never used that I now need to add to my arsenal and one of those things is pressing hams. These can be a bit pricey so I've decided to start making my own.  After a little research, I discovered that the long, narrow ham (for pressing small things like, oh, well, baby sleeves among other things) can be made quite easily.

This gal's video on YouTube was super helpful and most of what I did was taken right from her instructions with a few modifications of my own.

Following her instructions I found this heavy cardboard roll.  This actually came from a roll of vintage interfacing, back in the day when these tubes were . . .

THIS THICK!  I thought about cutting it to a shorter length but I would have had to take out my circular saw and I was lazy so I kept it long.

I had some fusible batting so I cut that to fit my measured piece of fabric (flannel) and fused it to the flannel.  Then I hemmed each side with my sewing machine to make nice, straight edges.

Before stitching the edges though, be sure that they will MEET in the center and not OVERLAP.  You want a nice, flat seam with no extra thickness here.  I chose to use a heavy, button thread and I recommend using that instead of regular thread.  The reason for this is that you are pulling quite tightly with these stitches and I think if you're using regular thread, it's going to break easier.

After hand stitching (follow her directions on this), you should have a nice, enclosed tube. It's a bit tedious sewing it this way but really makes it look nice and clean.

Finally, take the circles you cut out and start stitching them on the ends.  

I'll be making more of these in various sizes for various purposes.  And here's a little peek at what's been keeping me so busy . . .

I'd love to share pictures of the cute little baby who's wearing these but his mom and dad have decided to not put his images on the internet and I have to agree with them on their decision so suffice it to say, he's ADORABLE and we are thoroughly enjoying being grandparents!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Color Street Real Polish Nail Strips


I've always loved pretty nails!  Even now that my hands have strangely become 'my mother's hands' . . . I still love trying new polish and treating myself to the occasional manicure.  A few months ago I was introduced to something that's well, kind of amazing in the nail world . . . nail polish STRIPS.  There may be other brands out there but I was introduced to Color Street.

I love that the strips are real nail polish so you just use polish remover to take them off.  In each package, you get enough strips to do a minimum of one manicure.  When my nails are this length, I can get TWO manicures from one package!

Besides the fact that you put these on in about 15 minutes and you're ready to go with a dry manicure, I love how they last!!  Here they are above on the first day . . .

the fifth day . . .

and on day 8 . . . after day 10, I changed them just because I wanted something new!  They could have stayed on at least another 3-4 days!

You can get all kinds of fun, seasonal strips as well as solid colors and other designs . . . 

I'm having a Facebook Nail Party going on right now so just click on this link and you'll be able to join in on the fun and possibly win some free nail strips and other prizes.  Join us this Friday at 7 p.m. central time for some live demos!  Even if you can't join us on Friday, you can still order nail strips here.

You can also visit the Facebook page for my 'nail stylist' Regina for more information or check out the YouTube videos available for Color Street.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Downloadable Sewing Patterns, Part 2

 On a recent post I talked about my discovery of pdf or downloadable sewing patterns.  You can read about several companies and their patterns in that post.  I've continued to look at other pdf patterns and came across Puperita sewing patterns on Etsy.  Annalisa Puperita has created not only a lot of really cute patterns but in my opinion, they are the closest thing to a paper/printed pattern that I've seen.

I was looking for a boy's romper pattern that was not fully lines and found this one, Starry Baby Harem Romper.  For my outfit I chose to just keep it plain since the print was enough on this.  But I love that just the top/bodice is lined.

I'm finding lots of cute "boy" prints and fabrics online.  We can't shop 'in store' now anyway but even pre-pandemic I was not finding a lot of cute prints so I've loved shopping at places like and  This pirate knit was from

Here are the things I particularly like about Puperita patterns:
  • Like others, they are multi-size patterns and you can print out just the size you want
  • They give lots of information you need on measurements of the sizes, types of fabrics to use, notions you need etc. just like traditional print patterns
  • The one BIG difference that sold me on their patterns is that they actually have a LAYOUT showing you how to lay out the pattern pieces.  All others I've used have left you to figure this out on your own which is fine if you've been sewing awhile but if you are new to sewing, you'd be totally lost without this.
For that third reason alone, I would recommend these patterns if you are a novice sewer.  But even if you are experiences, you will LOVE these patterns.

The romper was an easy, quick and fun sew and I decided to whip up a long-sleeved t-shirt (Brindille & Twig Ringer Tee FREE!) to go with it.

I've been sewing a lot and now that mask requests have dropped I am back to sewing baby clothes and even a few things for myself.  I'm even rediscovering appliqueing which I haven't done since MY kids were little!

Whipped up this fun, little crab shirt and "bummie" shorts for summer.  (Brindille & Twig Ringer T and free bummie short pattern)

While I was not compensated for this 'review' I know that if you try Puperita patterns, you'll probably never go back to traditional paper patterns.  And you can't beat the price, 7-9.00 for a pattern with sizes from newborn - toddler sizes in most cases!  

How about you?  What is filling your days right now?

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Downloadable Sewing Patterns

I love to sew.  I've been sewing since I was 9 years old.  Like everything, sewing has gone through many changes and I don't even try to keep up with most of them.  BUT, one thing that was new to ME was patterns that you can download and print yourself.  I've been doing a lot of sewing for my grandson-to-be and while searching for cute boy patterns, I came across a site called Peek-a-Boo Patterns . . . and my mind was blown haha!  

Here's the way it works:  You purchase the pattern (most are only 6-10.00 compared to 15-20.00 in a store), you print the pattern pieces and instructions, you assemble/tape the pieces together and you're ready to sew.  Is it worth the extra work of printing and taping . . . 100% YES!!

What is the biggest, most wonderful advantage?  Most companies now are offering multiple size patterns.  When you open it using Acrobat Reader (free download), there are 'layers'.  Click on that and voila . . . all the sizes are there.  Simply unclick the other sizes you don't want to print and you're printing only the size you want to make now.  Kids grow right?  Come back in 3 months and print the next size and make it!

Just like regular patterns, the patterns often come with multiple styles (short sleeve, long sleeve, with feet, without feet etc.).

This little sleep sack was a breeze to make - going to make more of these!  Most of these patterns are designed for knits which I used to be afraid of working with but seriously, it's not a big deal and I don't even have a serger.  I just use a knit stitch on my regular machine.

Brindille & Twig is another company I just tried.  This romper comes as pants or shorts.  The t-shirt is their pattern as well.  Again, these are multi-size so I can make more of these as baby grows.

This is another Brindille & Twig pattern - cute little cardigan!  There are also patterns for adults at both sites but these two are mainly geared to infants and kids.  I am TOTALLY hooked on a site called Style Arc.  They have patterns for us grown ladies and oh my, they are so beautiful!  I will definitely be trying those as well.  With the adult patterns, typically you get one size although at Style Arc, you can pay a little extra and get one size up and one size down in addition to the size you purchase.  They also offer print patterns that you would receive in the mail.

Many of these sites offer some free patterns so you can try them out and get a feel for how it works.

Like many others, my employer has us working from home.  I'm very fortunate to work for one of the campuses of our church and they have been wonderful.  There's not a lot of work so I'm finding that I have more time to fill and sewing is keeping me busy.

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring but I am so grateful I serve a God who is UNCHANGING.  Find peace in these words, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) and these words from Psalm 59, But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God are my fortress, my loving God.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Baby Blankets & Burp Cloths


We are expecting our first grandchild!  A precious, little baby boy in May!  And we are SO excited!  I used to sew for my three kids all the time and now I'm getting to sew for a little one again and let me tell you, it is SO much fun!  Aside from buntings, I've been working on blanket and burp cloth sets.  I did some research and found that the kidney shaped cloths are preferred so that's the shape I went with.  There are lots of tutorials but I found that this one from Mabey She Made It to have the most helpful suggestions as well as a pattern to download.  I chose to use flannel for the cloths and blankets.  Be sure to wash and dry your fabric to pre-shrink.

I enlarged the pattern a bit to make a larger "kidney shape" but these are SO simple!  Just cut out two pieces, pin right sides together and stitch leaving an opening to turn.  Before turning though, I zig-zagged the edges and clipped the curves.  After it was pressed, I stitched 1/8" from the entire edge.  (I'll give you the amounts of fabric I used at the end of this post.)

For the blankets, I used two coordinating flannels.  I first cut the front of the blanket to the size I wanted.  Mine was 38" Wide by 43" Long.  Next, cut the back (which will also be the binding) 3" LARGER in BOTH length and width from the front piece.  So my back piece was 44" Wide by 49" Long.

Begin creating the back/binding (See photos above).  The first photo is just showing you how I trimmed the pieces to size.  Next, fold the edges in 1.5" all the way around and press.  Then, fold in again 1.5" all the way around and press.

To create mitered corners:  Unfold so you just have the first 1.5" fold open.  Using a ruler, mark down each side from the corner 3" and mark.  Draw a line from mark to mark as seen in second photo.  Now fold bringing lines together and stitch on the line.  Trim seam.  NOW, if this makes NO sense to you ignore all of my instructions and just watch this video . . . I'M a visual learner so this was super helpful!

Once your corners are all mitered and your binding is neatly pressed, you're ready to insert the front panel of your blanket.

Lay the front panel under the binding edges.

Start at the top edge and work side to side, smoothing and pinning the panel into the binding.  You want to take your time on this part, making sure the panel is even and flat. 

BASTE the panel first.  This way, if you get to the bottom edge and the panel is not fitted in properly or flat, you can just remove the basting and re-position the panel.  Another tip, don't baste all along . . . it will take you FOREVER to remove even the large basting stitches.  Instead, baste 5 or 6 stitches, lift your presser foot and pull forward 4-5 inches, baste a few more stitches, pull forward, etc. which is what you see above.

After basting, press carefully, making sure there are no bumps and the panel is flat.  Then you can stitch close to the inner edge of the binding and remove your basting.

These are so fun and easy to make and tied with some extra fabric, make such a cute baby gift!  The blankets and burp cloths are double thickness so super soft!

One final touch, each blanket is stitched with my "Love" Grandma Z design

Here are the amounts of fabric I used to make 3-4 burp cloths and one blanket:

Fabric A (Blanket Front and fronts of two burp cloths): 2 yards

Fabric B (Blanket Back/Binding and fronts of two burp cloths): 2.5 yards

Fabric C (Backs of one to two burp cloths):  2/3 yard