Friday, December 21, 2012

Zipper Pouch Sewing Swap

Awhile back, I participated in a sewing swap that was put on by Heather of The Sewing Loft. We could make any kind of purse, pouch, or bag as long as it had a zipper. I used the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial from Anna of Noodlehead. It was so easy to make and there are three different sizes to choose from. I have made a couple other zipper pouches using this same tutorial. My partner's favorite color is red, so I decided to use that color in her bag.

I made the small size, which is about 9 x 6 inches tall when finished. It is very roomy too.
My partner made me this adorable coin purse! I love the colors and it is the perfect size. Now I won't lose all my coins in my purse!

 Here's the inside - the lining is very pretty.  
I had so much fun participating in this swap! It is just as fun making something for someone as it is receiving something especially if it is a surprise package coming in the mail!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nicholas Day Surprise

Today, is the feast of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in the third century. He was a very kind and wealthy man, giving much of what he had to the poor and needy. He is the real Santa Claus.

As one story goes, there was a man who had three daughters. In order to get married, they had to have money - a dowry. The man was very poor and did not have any money, so it seemed as though his daughters would be sold into slavery. However, one night a they found a bag of gold by their fireplace. The next night, a second bag of gold was found and then a third. The three daughters had their dowries and would not be sold into slavery. Nicholas was the one who had given the gold to the man and his daughters. That is how the tradition of putting your shoes out on the eve of St. Nicholas Day came about.

Over my Thanksgiving break, I made three zippered pouches for my roommates. I wanted it to be a Christmas gift for them because they are such wonderful roommates! We leave for break before Christmas, so I decided to surprise them with their gifts for St. Nicholas Day. I wrapped their gifts up in pretty paper and decorative gift bags.

Here they are, all packaged up!
Once they leave for school, I will put them in their rooms, and they will have a surprise waiting for them when they get home later today!

Roommate #1 will get this lovely Girlfriend Zipper Pouch. It is just the right size and it even has pockets inside! If you want to make one, you can find the tutorial at Blue Susan Makes. It was super easy and fun too! I love the ruffle detail on the front.

Roommate #2 will get this awesome pencil pouch! It is perfect for her since she wants to be a teacher. The numbers are perfect too, because she loves math! It is super easy to follow and you can find the tutorial at Gwenny Penny. I will be making several more of these!
Roommate #3 is from South Korea, and she loves anything I sew. She has watched me sew and wants me to teach her! I decided to make her this open wide zipper pouch from Noodlehead. The fun thing about this tutorial is you can choose from 3 different sizes to make. I was going to make a medium but I made a mistake when cutting, so I had to make a small. This is another great tutorial that I will be using again!
 My crafty and thoughtful sister wanted to make something for all of my roommates too. She made these felt Christmas tree ornaments. Aren't they so cute? She did a great job!
I know my roommates will love their surprises! Have you been sewing any Christmas gifts lately?
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a recipe swap hosted by Ashley, of Chevron Stitches. I was really excited for this swap because I'm always looking for new recipes and I love cooking/baking. I was paired up with Holly from NY (check out her blog here!). She sent me a recipe for Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf, which I was really excited about because meat loaf is one of my favorite things! It's so yummy. However, I have never made it myself. I have only eaten it when my mom makes it for dinner, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to try something new in the kitchen!

The recipe was very easy to make and easy to follow. I just followed everything it said. I did leave out Soy Sauce, however, because I didn't have any. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of plain vinegar, because that's all I had on hand.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet N Sour Meat Loaf

2 cups water
5 TBS brown sugar
5 TBS Vinegar
2 TBS Cornstarch
2 TBS Corn Syrup
2 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TSP Salt

Meat Loaf:
2 eggs
2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs ground beef

In a saucepan combine the first seven ingredients: bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the first six meat loaf ingredients: add 2/3 of the reserved sauce and mix well. Add ground beef and mix well. Pat into two greased loaf pans. Pour the remaining sauce over the loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

The meat loaf was so delicious!! My roommates came home as it was cooking in the oven and they said it smelled so good! They both tried it and really liked it too.
Thanks for the recipe Holly! I will definetely be making this again. It was so delicious and easy to make!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Giveaway Day is Here! {Closed}

This giveaway is now closed! Thank you to everyone who participated! I was amazed at all the response I got and I enjoyed reading every comment.
Congratulations to Leigh and Carol, the two giveaway winners! I have sent you both an email.

Today is Giveaway Day at the Sew Mama Sew blog. I am so excited to be participating this year, as this is also my very first blog giveaway! For my giveaway, I have two rice bags for two lucky winners. Rice bags are great for keeping warm, or for aches and pains. You can warm them up in the microwave to use as heating pads, or you can freeze them for ice packs. I like using them at night to warm my bed up so my feet don't get cold. They are functional and pretty!

The big one is 10 by 7 inches and the small one is 6 by 6 inches.

This is the other side of the small rice bag.

You can see the size difference here.


-Giveaway open to US residents only.  
-Giveaway open until Friday, December 7th at 7 p.m. CST.  
-I will choose two winners - one will win the big rice bag, the other will win the small one.
-Winners will be selected randomly and announced here on Sunday, December 9th.
-To enter, simply leave a comment answering this question: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
-Also, make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.
Don't forget to check out all the other awesome giveaways at Sew Mama Sew today!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew

Giveaway Day will soon be here! It is a biannual event at the Sew Mama Sew blog where bloggers and shops can link up their giveaways. I have entered giveaways in the past for giveaway day. This year, I have decided to participate in giveaway day by hosting a giveaway!

Giveaway Day will be December 3rd, so make sure you come back here for my giveaway and that you check out all the other great giveaways. There is more information here too.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Friday Finds and Some Thrifting

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did! I spent it at home with my family, worked a couple of days and didn't even open my textbooks. These next couple of weeks before finals will be spent studying hard though and then I get a month long break! Yay!

On Black Friday, I went shopping with my mom and sisters but we waited until late morning. We went to Joann Fabrics, Kohl's and Target.

At Joanns I found some fleece, zippers, and interfacing. There was a great deal on interfacing, so I bought five yards. The fleece was on sale for a really good price too (somewhere around $4/yd). I bought some zebra print and solid blue fleece to make a gift for a friend.

The next stop was Kohl's. I was looking for some fashion boots that would look nice with skirts and would also be comfortable. I found some that were the last pair in my size!

Target didn't have a lot of deals, but I did find some mustard colored tights and fleece-lined leggings. The fleece leggings are so warm to wear in the cold weather under my skirts! I also found a frying pan because none of my roommates have one big enough to cook anything in and we cook fairly often.
When I was home over the Thanksgiving break, I went to check out a new thrift store that has just opened in our town. They have clothes, games, shoes, some toys and games, and some antiques. The antique stuff is priced higher but the clothes are very reasonable. I found two things for myself and one thing for my sister.
Isn't this a beautiful sweater? I bought it for my 9 year old sister and it fits her perfectly. It was only $5.
I found this sweater for myself. It was $2.

This jacket was only $5 and it is a forever 21 brand. The hem on one sleeve is undone, but that's something I can easily fix.
Did you go Black Friday shopping? I'd love to hear what kind of deals you found!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend shared this on facebook and I'm sharing it here because it made me smile. :)

I have been blessed in so many ways this past year and I have so much to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for my loving, supportive parents and my amazing siblings. I’m grateful to have this week off of school to spend time with them. I am thankful for my faith.

I’m thankful for the ability to run and walk and for plenty of food each day. I am also thankful for sewing and fabric, of course; my friends, my wonderful roommates, my job, my education and the beautiful weather.

I am thankful for all of YOU - my blog readers! Thank you for reading my blog. I am so grateful for the friends I have made in the blogosphere and to be able to share my sewing adventures with you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving spending it with your family and eating good food.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello Sugar Bee Craft Readers! I’m Elizabeth, from The College Seamstress and I'm super excited to be guest posting here! I am a college sophomore and I just got accepted to the Nursing Program at my school! I brought my sewing machine with me to college, so I could sew in my free time. I started blogging to share my sewing projects and life as a college student.
Here I am with my two beautiful sisters!!
After making my fleece hat and scarf I thought I needed mittens too. Then a friend gave me a sweater that was too small and I got the idea for this tutorial…Sweater Fleece Mittens. I used a sweater for the outside, lined with warm fleece, so your hands stay nice and toasty warm in cold winter weather!

Let's get started! You will need:
  • a sweater
  • scrap piece of felt (big enough to trace around your hand)
  • paper to make your pattern piece
  • sewing machine
  • thread, scissors, pins
Step 1: Trace around your hand to make your pattern piece. Your fingers should be close together, with your thumb pointing out. Draw a mitten shape around your traced hand. Make sure to leave lots of room (mine is a little small in the thumb). You can always make it smaller if needed.

1-1.5 inches around and 3 inches down your wrist is a good guideline.

Cut out your pattern.

Step 2: Turn your sweater inside out and pin your mitten pattern on. Cut it out.
Flip your pattern piece over so it is face down and cut another mitten. This gives you a right and left mitten.
Step 3: Repeat all cutting with fleece.
After cutting  sweater and fleece, you should have 8 mitten halves; 4 from the sweater and 4 from the fleece.
Step 4: Pin each sweater mitten right sides together. Sew all the way around using a 1/2” seam allowance, making sure to leave the wrist edges open.
Repeat with each fleece mitten.

You should now have two sweater mittens and two fleece mittens. Try them on for fit and adjust if needed.
Step 5: Turn sweater (outer) mittens right side out. Shove the sweater (outer) mittens inside each fleece (lining) mitten, making sure thumbs are on the same side.
The fleece mittens should stay wrong side out, so the fleece and sweater mittens are right sides together.  
The right side out sweater mitten goes inside the wrong side out fleece mitten so they are right sides together.
Match side seams and pin the bottom edges. Sew, using a 1/2”seam allowance, leaving a 2 inch opening.

Step 6: Reach through your opening and turn the mittens right side out.
Stuff the fleece mitten into the sweater mitten, making sure the thumbs are matched. The easiest way to do this is by using your hand, and putting the mitten on.
Fold the raw edges of your opening inside and sew all the way around using a ¼” seam allowance. This will give the wrist edge a nice finished edge and close up your opening.
Repeat with the other mitten and try them on!

Enjoy your new mittens! My sweater was big enough to make both me and my sister a pair. And once I had everything cut, it only took about 20 minutes. So what are you waiting for? Go make a pair or two!
Hope to see you at The College Seamstress, where you can here about my sewing adventures as a college student. I would love to hear if you try making sweater fleece mittens! Thanks for having me, Mandy!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Polka Dots and Denim

Hello everyone! A couple weeks ago, I was shopping at Joann Fabrics when I came across this:

White polka dots on denim! As soon as I saw it, I was already imagining a cute denim skirt that would be perfect for fall/winter weather! I knew the perfect pattern to use. I had to have it! It was a fashion denim, so it was more expensive than plain denim, but it was 40% off, so  I didn't feel too guilty buying it.

After buying the fabric, it sat for awhile because I had no time to sew. Then, a couple weeks ago there were no classes! I could use that day to sew my skirt!

I used the Route 66 skirt pattern from the Long ladies at marie-madeline studio. This was my third time using the pattern, and I love it. The instructions are very easy to follow and everything is written in a way that is easy to understand. I think it is a good pattern for seamstresses of all skill levels.

Since I was making this in my apartment at school, I cut it out in the living room, because there was more space there than in my bedroom.

This was before cutting anything out. There are only two pattern pieces. The gore piece and the facing piece. The skirt is made up of twelve gores and it comes in sizes 2-18.
This is what my fabric looked like after I cut everything out. I thought it looked funny, so I took a picture! The pattern requires 2 3/4 yards for the mid-calf skirt I made.
The skirt only took me 6 hours to make! I started in the morning, and I only stopped for lunch. When I start something, I have a hard time stopping in the middle.
Here's my finished skirt!
The skirt has an invisible zipper:
I still need a lot of practice with invisible zippers, but I'm getting better. Without this tutorial, I would be lost! Kay Whitt does a wonderful job showing you how to put in an invisible zipper with a regular zipper foot.
I love everything about my new skirt. It is the perfect length and the gores make it nice and full at the bottom but narrow at the waist, providing a flattering fit.
Didn't my sister do a great job with these photos? We had a lot of fun taking these pictures at the park!
This will be the perfect skirt for the fall and winter! It can be worn as a casual everyday skirt or you can dress it up for more formal events. It is a very comfortable skirt and I know it will get lots of wear!
Have you ever made a Route 66 skirt? Or a denim skirt?