Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This is what I worked on this afternoon.

I lowered the neckline in the front and raised it in the back. Narrowed the bottom hem a little and ended up taking in too much so I had to vent the sides to accommodate my big mama hips (and I don't really have any idea how to vent). Gathered around the torso only in the back, so as not to suffocate my lovelies. Waxed hair and applied face paint.

Keep in mind that I'm relying on a 5 year old as my photographer. Thus, the self portrait bathroom pics.

So, I'm planning to wear it to work tonight. If it's bad, tell me now. If I look like one of those people on "What Not to Wear" who hasn't purchased new clothes in 12 years and just wears what they find in the trash or can get for less than a quarter, tell me. I'm going out in public like this so really, you have a social responsibility. I'm not sensitive at all about criticism on something like this so bring it on.

ETA: So, I wore the shirt to work last night and my teenaged coworkers did not make fun of me so that's a good sign, right? I was brave and asked them what they thought and after initially disliking the gathering in the back, one of them said,"Well, I guess it does hide your love handles well so it's good." Gee, thanks.
As much as I like the look of this fabric, it's a sateen or something else that isn't 100% cotton and it wrinkles too easily. I think the whole thing would work better with a softer cotton that hangs better.
Last thought. I'm really used to doing rectangles or a-line shapes for kids clothing. Kids don't have curves. I'm definitely a more hour glass shape and for some reason, it didn't occur to me to make my pattern that way. I can't take it in too much at the waist because it still needs to fit over my girls but I think I might add that little revision next time. Thanks for all of the feedback!


I drew up a pattern and whipped up this underwhelming grey number in about an hour this morning. I know the grey is totally blah, but I went in with really low expectations and didn't want to use my good fabric.

So, what do you think? Too pregnancy-esque? I like feminine detail in clothing but is the shirring around the collar too much? Do I look like a 30 year old in a little girl's shirt (or a 36 year old if you ask my new coworker-yeah really, she thought I was 36 or even older!)? Should I do my hair and makeup before future pics so I don't scare you?

I'm kind of conflicted about it. I like the style and think it's comfortable. It would look really cute in some of Amy Butler's bold Daisy Chain prints or even in some of Sandi Henderson's florals. My main concerns are the shirring around the neck looking too young and the pregnancy issue (but isn't this the style right now? I don't know, maybe I'm getting too old to know what the style is). I feel like it looks good head-on but not great from the side (good posture would definitely help the issue).

I was thinking about adding a little applique to the hem of this one to spice it up. Bella came in and said, "Hey Mommy, that looks nice (in a surprised tone). You should add some kind of picture to it like flowers or a princess crown or something." Not really the applique I had in mind but totally adorable that we were on the same page.

On a side note, let me tell you it's crazy how much I look like my mom in these pics. I'm going to see if I can find an old picture of her and post it later today for comparison. She'll love that, right? Oooo, and even better if my dad is in it.

Pattern Recommendations?

I'm in the mood to make something for myself. Jona has some great stuff in her store right now along with some great deals. Anyway, I'm looking for some pattern recommendations for tops. Something easy-ish without a lot of facings. Any recommendations?

I think I'm going to work on my own pattern this morning for a little peasant top for me which is totally a recipe for disaster. We'll see if I'm brave enough to take pics of my handy work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Steals and Deals

Periwinkle Deer Bag, $22

Green Amy Butler Wristlet, $10

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I made this beautiful thing

The dress and the kid.

Do you ever have one of those moments when you look at your sweet baby and remember that you actually made her? When I was taking pics of Tatey in this dress this morning, I was thinking about what a pretty little girl she is and then stopped to think about the fact that she's half me. So, next time I look in the mirror, instead of focusing on my double chin and the perfectly round ball on the end of my nose, I'll remember that I created a beautiful child (so did Crafty Papa, but right now, I'm focusing on the fact that she's half me...even though she mostly looks like him).

You can't have the sweet girl but you can have the beautiful dress. It's listed in my shop as size 18 months-3T, depending on what kind of fit you like. So, be sure to read the measurements and see if it might work for the beautiful girl you made.

Oh, and let me know what you think of the style. I really love shirring and think it's a little more grown up looking than the peasant dress. I've been getting requests for bigger size dresses and hopefully this listing answers some of those requests.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Faux Shopping

I've decided to take up the fun hobby of faux shopping. I go to my current favorite website, add things to my cart, get all excited about my new outfits, and then never purchase them because like everyone else in America right now, we don't have the extra money.

My current web obsession is Lands End. Weird, huh? I bought a bathing suit (great clearance deal-only $30 with free shipping!) from them a few weeks ago even though all of my friends thought it was crazy to buy a suit without trying on 50 "no's" first. It fits perfectly. Actually, I bought two and they both were great but I returned one (for free, I might add) because I couldn't afford both. The fabric and craftsmanship are so much nicer than anything in the stores and everything is locked and loaded where it should be.

Since I was so happy with my bathing suit, I decided to devote hours to faux shopping on the Lands End website. I've picked out lots of tshirts, cute gaucho knit pants, a fold over modal skirt, slip on casual shoes, and chino shorts.

Once I finished loading my cart, I very seriously said to Steve, "I wish I could just somehow come across $250." And he very seriously replied, "Me too." We have lots of conversations like this. Just the other day I said, "I think we should start seriously considering winning the lottery." And he said, "I think that's a great idea."

This afternoon, I sent him the following instant message at work...

me: we got our state refund! $370.
Steve: Yay!
me: I'm dying to ask for $100, give you $100 and then put the remaining $170 toward ceiling fans. But I won't. I'll just tell you that I want to ask:)

He didn't respond.

ETA: This is the bathing suit I got. Definitely recommend it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Keeping up with my average

Remember the days when I listed a bag every day? Well, those days are definitely gone. I'm averaging about 20 hours a week at Carters now and while it's still a hard adjustment being away from my family most of the weekend, I'm earning about enough to pay for our monthly groceries and half of our utilities. And in this crappy economy, that's exactly what this family needs.

So, my new store listing average is about one bag a week and I'm learning to accept that. I had the weekend off to go out of town but cut things short and came home last night (I stayed home without my husband-just like a big girl!). That left me lots of time today to get caught up on cleaning, laying around and doing nothing, faux shopping (more on that tomorrow) and SEWING!

I wasn't really sure where I was going with the design when I started this bag and truthfully, I wasn't totally sold on the results at first either. But as I've been sitting here listing and blogging, the bag is right next to me (I swear, it's like the buttons are staring at me in a creepy way) and it's totally grown on me.

I love the combination of red, cream, and brown and I think the damask is very classic but the finished bag has a bit of a modern touch. And it's the perfect size, if you ask me. I've been attempting to carry a small zippered bag for the last few months and it's totally not working out. I found two forks and a spoon in there last week so apparently, I need a bigger bag for dishes and such too.

Happy Birthday Shanna!

Today is my good friend, Shanna's birthday! Happy Birthday my sweet, southern friend! She is a major bag-aholic so I usually make her a bag for her birthday. But I decided to do something different this year and make her jewelry. I figured fun jewelry is one of those things a mama likes but doesn't always have the budget to buy for herself.

So, here's what I made for Shanna...

I LOVE it! I so wanted to keep if for myself but it's better to give than to receive, blah, blah, blah. And anyway, I'm working on a little something for myself already.

A few months ago, my friend Lena and I did a gig at an art gallery. There was a lady selling beautiful vintage jewelry necklaces. For hundreds of dollars. As I was contemplating selling an internal organ to raise the money to buy one, Lena told me I could totally make that myself. And, she pointed out that I could use my grandma's costume jewelry as the center piece of the necklace. So, I've picked out my earring to alter and purchased the necessary beads. Now all I need is to light a fire under Crafty Papa so he'll solder my jump rings onto the earring back. Hopefully, I'll have a finished product to share with you in the next week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I think I've mentioned before that Matea isn't exactly my biggest fan. She likes to hang out in the craft room, attempt to sever a finger tip with my sharp sewing machine needle, and is a lint rolling fool. But she doesn't wear anything I make for her.

So, I decided to confiscate all of my items created for her with tender loving care and hope that some other little girl out there will appreciate them.

First is a size 18 or 24 month lot with 4 items. $15 for remaining lot
-Red and cream feedsack print apron top, buttons in the back
-Alexander Henry jungle peasant dress SOLD
-Brick red floral peasant top
-Elmo two piece set with button apron top (pants are actually a size 2t but run small)

Next is a two piece owl twirl set, size 2t-3t. $15 SOLD

All items have been worn only once and are from my smoke and pet free home. Email me at craftymamacreations@gmail.com if you're interested in anything.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wait, is that a new bag?

Why, yes. Yes it is. It's been forever since I've made a bag. Well, weeks. But it feels like forever. I don't really have a good excuse except that lack of sales is unmotivating. Demotivating? Antimotivating? I don't think any of those are real words. Anyway, you should buy it and un-unmotivate me. Or de-demotivate me.

Wait, and that's not all. I also listed two more zippered wristlets. I guess blue is this week's theme, huh? I'm thinking red, cream, and brown for the next bag. Stay tuned.

ETA: So, immediately after I posted, one of the wristlets sold. But trust me, it had blue in it. Now the blue one and the green one you see in that link above sort of just makes the "blue theme" statement confusing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Texas Sarah

I don't even know if you live in Texas. But I call your sister "Texas Kristi" (not to her face, and I've only seen her actual face once so it's not even really an issue) so you'll be "Texas Sarah". Anyway, some skirt patterns for you. I haven't tried any of these yet but they're on my list of things to do when business is slow and I need a project for myself. Hmmmm, seems like now is that time:)


Reason #7 Why I Don't Deserve a Nice Machine

My mom was nice enough to upgrade me from the Saturn of sewing machines to the Cadillac sometime last year. It was supposed to be an early birthday and Christmas gift but I distinctly remember getting gifts for both of those events last year so bonus for me I guess. Thanks mom!

Anyway, we've already been over some of the reasons why I shouldn't have a Cadillac. Had never sewn a button hole, thought Coats & Clark was good thread, no idea a machine could so on a button. Now I present a new reason.

We were going to Morro Bay last Saturday which is about 40 minutes away and happens to be where my machine dealer/servicer is located. I had been having some issues with the thread breaking, bobbin getting all wacky, fabric bunching, etc. In short, I decided the timing was slightly off. So, I take my machine in, share all of this with Rob, the service guy. He says he'll take a quick look at it. Here's my inner dialogue.

Rob: Before you leave it here, I'm going to take a quick look to make sure it isn't something as easy as the bobbin being in wrong or wound incorrectly or something like that.

Me: (Dude, I'm not an idiot. I think I know how to put in a bobbin)

Rob: Oh look, the bobbin is in backward. That might be causing your problem.

Me: (Crap, how did I put it in backward? I must have been distracted. Crap.)

Rob: So, here's how you put it in. See the six? Always clockwise. See, it's going clockwise.

Me: (*%$#! That's not how I've been doing it. Wait, I've been putting it in wrong this whole time?! No, I had to have been doing it right at first and then somehow changed. Crap! I am an idiot. Do I tell him now or let him keep going? He'll know, I should just tell him.)

Rob: See, I'm testing it now with the bobbin in correctly and it's sewing perfectly.

Me: Yeeeeeaaaaaaah, I'm pretty sure it was the bobbin. I think I can just take my machine and go now. But first, lets talk about what I'm probably doing wrong with my serger.

So, all in all, not a great feeling. Even as I admitted my mistake in the shop, I was still questioning whether I could have been getting it wrong for months. I was convinced that when I got home and played with it, I would realize that I just looked at it incorrectly in the shop and I really have been doing it right, just differently. Not so much.

Wednesday Steals and Deals

I'm thinking I might make this a new thing. Every Wednesday, drop one or two items to a fantabulous price. Maybe I'm just in a good mood today. Anyway....

This hostess apron dropped from $24 to $15 (hey, mother's day isn't too far away, or teacher appreciation week, or an Easter gathering you're going to and you were looking for a hostess gift)

And this roomy, boxy bag dropped from $38 to $25. Twenty-five! Viente cinco! (that's the only other language I kind of know)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009



Do people really use these? Anyone? Anyone?

ETA: So, I just made one and listed it. I couldn't quite understand the appeal but then when I was wearing it for a picture, I think I "got" it. It's just simple and streamlined. I think I made mine a tad bigger than most (that's what I get for jumping in without researching) but I have a big mama wallet and wanted it to be at least large enough for that.