Thursday, April 24, 2014

NYPD Upcyled Uniform Bag

I have to admit, I love how this tote turned out!  I was not sure what I was going to do with the uniform. My customer originally asked about a duffel bag. Due to time constraints, we decided to make a tote bag. Given the materials, this was a good decision. But it was also difficult since the shirt is so lightweight and the pants are heavy. 

 I used a fleece interfacing on the shirt. Then, I added the pants and the patch.

I had some NYC canvas fabric that I added to the sides and the undersides of the handles for a bit of color and whimsy.  I think it was a perfect fit!

I kept the belt intact for the "back" side of the tote.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pam's Hodge Podge Blanket

Pam's extra wide Hodge Podge Blanket. The finished size on this was 74" x 82". I felt a lot of mom guilt after making this blanket! Pam was so diligent in saving her daughter's shirts over the years! I don't think I am as sentimental. I do have a box of items in the attic - mostly clothes that I made for the kids.  I also feel guilty for not having my kids participate in so many sports.  OK, there, I said it. What is a mom, if not feeling guilty about all the things she did wrong as a parent?  :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Memory Pillows from T Shirts and a Letter Jacket

I have to say, I'm "Crazy For" these pillows! My customer sent me quite a few T Shirts and was interested in a pillow case. We had quite a few discussions before we honed in on making square pillows. These are going to be a gift for a theater director.

I love the colors and I love that they are from musicals (there may be some plays - I have not seen all of these!)  I think they will make a fantastic gift.

Thank goodness for graph paper. That is my  main tool when planning the layouts.

I have several listings on my Etsy shop for various pillow cases, but it's always best to just talk to me first about your ideas.

Another customer asked me if I could create a pillow out of this varsity jacket.

The jacket had been damaged in a fire. The leather was brittle, it was missing snaps and the wool was discolored.

I found a lovely home dec fabric that I used as a border accent.

I removed the row of snaps and some of the patches. I then sewed the two sides together and reattached the patches on the front and back.

Despite the discoloration, it is my hope that the pillow preserves memories for the person to whom it belongs.

Monday, April 14, 2014

T Shirt Memory Blanket for a Baby Shower Gift

My wonderful niece is at the wedding and baby stage of life. She has been a loyal customer to me - giving T Shirt blankets to her friends as baby shower gifts!  (She is also a new Etsy seller, Just Chalk About It!)

It's hard to coordinate colors for T Shirt blankets because the shirts are usually a variety of colors. It's even harder for blankets for babies. I always ask if there's a color scheme for the nursery and start there. For this blanket, mom was in from England, so it was a last-minute scramble to get the shirts.

Her colors were gray, yellow and blue, so I selected this gray dot fabric. I think it has a nice, modern feel. I added a chevron fabric at the intersections which brings in a little bit of blue. And I used a pale minky dot on the back.

I really like the end result! I hope it brings together wonderful memories of the past while coming in handy as a useful blanket to throw on the floor, in the stroller or to keep cozy while feeding the baby.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughts on Life - Silver Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary a few days ago. Gosh, we were young, even though we were 26 and 27 at the time. My girlfriend commented on Facebook that it's hard to imagine a bride today being covered up as much as I was back in the day! The picture doesn't do it justice, but I had a beaded bodice and the dress was silk. It's now packed away under my bed. A metaphor?

How about our DIY "Just Married" sign? I still laugh at it! You might remember our "love story." We cut this picture out of a magazine, plopped our photos on it, and then sketched and painted sails on it!

I have been preparing an essay for Sarah's wonderful series Coming Home. Between that and the anniversary, I have been looking back on photos. Annie dragged out our heavy wedding album. (She presented us with an amazing drawing of the top photo.) The photos are all in good condition, but the thick, vinyl album has deteriorated. It's all sticky. So I wrapped it in Saran wrap. Is that a metaphor for our marriage? Sticky, messy, but filled with wonderful, happy memories.

And then, before I knew it, I was going through old photo albums. Life seems like a dance between births, baptisms, birthday parties, concerts, recitals, and graduations. I stumbled upon this photo and love the sheer joy and innocence it captures. Why does it feel like I've traveled a long way since then?

Going through those photos I also realized how much I have sewn through the years. I might have to make a post about that some day. I made a lot of clothes for the kids and a few for myself. My husband has been - and still is - very supportive of my need to create...even to the point of wearing matching shirts that I made for him and my son!

A 25th anniversary is a big deal. Our family likes to have big parties, but it just wasn't something anyone could pull off. Particularly since it was bookended by two trips. Last weekend my husband spent the weekend with my daughter for "Dad's Weekend." This upcoming weekend, we are going to my son's college for his senior recital. There will be no party, no trip to Hawaii...but perhaps a nice dinner out some day. In our first 15 years of marriage, we only spent one night away from the kids. Since then, I think we've managed two more nights visiting my son in college. It's just not in the financial or time budget at this point in our lives. That doesn't mean we don't make our marriage a priority. We do. Our marriage is a framework for our life. Thank goodness, because this week I've needed it!

Even though my husband once told me "never give him anything else to hang on the wall"....that's exactly what I did. I made a wall hanging using the lyrics to the song of our wedding "first dance." I'll share a DIY on that as soon as he hangs it up on the wall!  It was really a sneaky way to start adding a little something to our bedroom. I also bought fabrics to make a new duvet.  What we really need is a new mattress. But who wants to shop for that?

I'm grateful to my spouse for sharing the journey of life. We certainly need each other to raise our kids - particularly through these teen years. With the demands on us as parents, it's easy to forget that we are also a couple. But we'll take the moments we can, because 25 years goes by in the blink of an eye!


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