Trades day…NAILED IT!

The Trades Day was a huge success for me. I sold tons of baby shoes bibs and tutus!

This was my first ever trades day or flea market of any kind. I really had a good time talking to everyone, making money and people-watching.

I hate to admit it, but people-watching is a bit of a sport of mine. I can be easily entertained in just about any situation as long as there are people to watch. I am sad to say it, but I think I enjoyed the people-watching as much as the selling.

Among the people I watched, was a man with a lemur. Really. A man with a lemur on a leash in a diaper. Who does that?  That guy, that’s who!

I will be setting up for another trades day soon! It was really worth the effort!

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Posted in Baby, baby booties, baby Clothes, baby shoes, baby slippers, bibs, Crafts, DIY, Fabric, Gifts, Sewing, shoes, Tooksberry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Overcrowded with booties….

No. Not that kind!

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This kind!

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I have what seems like millions of baby shoes in my house. 

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Half are for my Etsy shop and half are for our local monthly trades day tomorrow.  I hope to make lots of sales! Wish me luck!

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Open for business!

It seems that I have been away for quite a while….

I found myself knee  elbow deep in that little thing called life! on top of everything that is day-to-day, I have been trying to start an Etsy shop.  I was taking a few minutes of every day to do it, and it was just not enough. I decided to pause everything else I had going to devote myself to the shop!  I think it has all paid off!

So after sewing 100 pair of shoes, Tooksberry is finally open for business! Please check it out! I am quite proud!

Posted in Baby, baby, baby booties, baby shoes, baby slippers, Crafts, DIY, Etsy, Fabric, Gifts, Sewing, shoes, Tooksberry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A BIG THANK YOU!

I am just a regular home sewist. I have never taken any classes or had a sewing teacher of any kind in my adult life. My grandmother taught me sewing basics.  She taught me enough to make Barbie clothes, doll clothes, easy skirts, pillows… just simple things.  She taught me how to use the machine with a straight stitch and some zig zag. Nothing fancy. However, I am forever grateful to her. It was such a priceless gift for her to give to me.

In the 7th grade, I took Home-Ec with Mrs. Fisher. One semester was cooking, one was sewing and housekeeping. I was ahead of everyone else throughout the sewing portion of the class because I had already learned everything she would teach. She taught sewing machine basics and a little bit of mending, like adding a buttons and things like that. We made a square pillow, alphabet pillows and an apron. Not anything very challenging to me. Needless to say, I aced the sewing.

After 7th grade Home-Ec, I didn’t do much sewing. I can really only remember making some simple curtains for a couple of tiny windows, a few Halloween costumes….and of course pillows.

Fast forward some years, and I am pregnant with my first-born. A daughter! I was half broke and knew we couldn’t afford the fancy crib bedding I wanted for her. I figured I had enough sewing skills to sew what I wanted for cheap, and I did. I bought some flat sheets and started sewing. It was ALL pink. Bumpers, dust ruffle, the whole nine…pink, and nice! I was even impressed!

I continued to sew little things for her and then for my son who came 3 years later. I continued to refashion and mend things to make them last longer. Pants became shorts, onesies became t-shirts, worn knees got cute patches, long sleeves became short. You know, that sort of thing. And of course costumes and dress-up clothes! I shopped yard sales and flea markets for crazy old prom dresses and other fabulous pieces to turn into fun stuff for my kids to play in. I taught myself button holes and zippers and many other things along the way. I was beginning to sew lots of things from patterns. So, I guess you could say that the patterns were really my teachers! I began to do pretty good by this time, though I made quite a few disasters!

Here are a few things I have done over the years.

Along the way I made a few dresses, button ups for the little man, specialty maternity dresses, drill team and cheerleading uniforms, numerous prom dresses and brides maid dresses and I’ve sewn on millions of beads. There has also been lots of bedding…and pillows, too. I’ve even done 3 simple quilts.

Now, I sew nearly everything for my Little One. Other than PJ’s and some pants, it is all made by me. If I can sew it, I do.

Because it is National Sewing Month, I’d like to say THANK YOU.

First, to that time zapper, Pinterest, where I found some creative inspiration to sew again…And most importantly, to the entire sewing community I found through Pinterest.

I feel a little intimidated, impressed, wowed, envious, amazed (and a whole bunch of other words I can’t think of now) of so many of you sewing blogists out there! I see the clothes you make for yourselves…wow…The techniques and tricks you do. I feel a little simple compared to what some of you can do! I am still amazed when I learn that there is a real technical term for something I’ve been doing all along! Like French seams… been sewing them for years… just learned recently they have a name! Who knew?

I have learned lots of new things and fine-tuned many of my old techniques. All of this new knowledge is credited to everyone who puts tutorials out there!

As much sewing as I have done, I am so happy that I can sit down at
this computer and learn something new, or re-learn something old.  Thank you to the sewing blog community for posting about everything, including the diasters! 

I still really hope to learn to crochet or knit some day… maybe I’ll be able to learn online! 🙂

Posted in baby Clothes, cheer/dance uniforms, costumes, prom dresses, repurposing, Sewing, Tooksberry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick cutie bib tutorial

Here is a tutorial for a super quick, super cute, almost free bib!

With one yard of fabric and one old receiving blanket, you should be able to get 4 bibs! My yard of fabric cost $2.50 and I got 4 bibs out of it! The 4 bibs took less than an hour to complete.

What you need:

Paper cut to 12.5 x 11 inches
                  -OR-
2 sheets printer paper (8×11 inches)
Tape
Fabric (pre-washed)
Old receiving blanket
Velcro
Old bib

If you do not have paper large enough to cut a solid piece, use two sheets of regular printer paper as I have.
Place one sheet of paper long side to the top (11 inch width.) Then align the other sheet until the side edge becomes 12.5 inches.

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Tape the two sheets together.

Your paper should measure 11 inches by 12.5 inches.

Measure and mark the center of the top edge of your paper. Make about a 1 1/2″ line.

Lay the old bib over your paper. Be sure that the bib is open and flat.

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Align the top edge of the bib with the top of the paper and center it.

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Trace the neck opening.

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Cut the neck opening away.

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It should look like this when it is flat.

Gather your fabric and blanket. You will need to cut 2 of the fabric and 1 of the blanket lining.

I recycle old receiving blankets for projects like this that need a little bit of a thicker lining. I’ve used the blankets for lining in many projects at home. FREE IS ALWAYS GOOD!

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*Make sure that you are using prewashed fabric. Using unwashed fabric with prewashed blanket lining could result in an unusable bib. The fabric could shrink and leave the already laundered blanket lining in a lumpy mess!

I like to cut all three of my pieces together, but you can do it either way.

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Cut out your pieces.

Cut out the neck opening.

You should have 3 layers.

This will slide around a bit so be sure to pin it good!

Get ready to stitch it up!

Set your machine to a medium width, short length zig-zag stitch.

Sew completely around the entire bib, including the neck opening. Leave about 1/4 inch edge.

Don’t worry about the rough edge!

Trim the entire bib as close as you can to the stitching without cutting into your thread.  I used pinking shears, but you could also use regular scissors too. After washing, this will leave a cute, soft edge.

Cut 2 inches of velcro-type fastener. Sew it to the bib.

Remember to sew the pieces on opposite sides, otherwise the bib will not close!

This is my 7 month old. As you can see, this is a large bib! It covers part of her lap too!

Posted in Baby, baby Clothes, Crafts, DIY, Fabric, recycling, repurposing, Sewing, Sewing Patterns, Tooksberry, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covered button safety for babies

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I have to say, there is something special about a covered button on an outfit. Especially when it’s in a contrasting fabric.

A few weeks back, I made a peasant dress for Little One.  I gave it a gathered high waistline and wanted to embellish it with some contrasting covered buttons. I went through the normal steps to make the buttons and attached them. I ALWAYS give any buttons and embellishments a few good tugs on any baby things. I am extra cautious on making sure they can’t pull them off and choke. As I was giving the tug test, two of the buttons came apart. I thought, no way I am using ANY covered buttons on baby clothes again!!! I found some sturdy plastic ones and finished the dress.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to today. I made LO a peasant romper this morning. I thought, what a shame, this would be so cute with covered buttons.  I brainstormed for a while and came up with a solution to make them safe.

I thought I’d give a complete tutorial on the whole process! Here goes!

Get your covered button kit and a small scrap of fabric.

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Place the fabric on top of the open side of the rubber holder, then put the button front on top, with smooth side down.

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Put the pusher that came with your kit inside the button front,  open side down. Don’t use your finger. These edges are sharp! I learned that the hard way!…duh
Press down on the pusher with your thumb until the button top is completely in the form.

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Check that your fabric is even all the way around.  I needs to be out about the same amount all the way around so you can trim it straight. If it is too short in one spot, there will not be enough to tuck inside the button. If it isn’t quite right,  pull everything out and start over until your fabric is even.

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Trim the excess fabric away. I usually leave about 1/3 inch.

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Tuck the fabric in the holder. Make sure it is even and neat.

If it isn’t smooth and even, it could be lumpy on the outside of your finished button.

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Now it’s time to baby proof!!!!

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Get your hot glue gun ready! I figured hot glue would be perfect here! Unlike other glues, hot glue does not require air to set. You can be sure it will harden and keep things together.

Apply a bit of glue in center of the button front.

WORK FAST HERE! You must complete this next step quickly! If the glue hardens too soon, the button will never snap together.

Put the button back and the pusher on the top of the holder and press it all together. 

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Pop the button out and give it a good tug! That baby is not coming apart! Yay!

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Another new outfit!

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Posted in Baby, baby Clothes, baby proofing, covered buttons, DIY, fabric, glue gun, Sewing, Tooksberry, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making pillows on the cheap

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Pillows are expensive to buy. They can be expensive to make too. Fabric, pillow forms, stuffing, embellishments, it adds up quick.  This would be a completely different post if I only ever wanted just one pillow, but I only ever want 4 or 5.  I figured out how to make them for a whole lot less.
We are always buying new bed pillows. I used to throw them out, now I save them all. Bed pillows, accent pillows… all of them. I save them to use for the stuffing in my new pillows. By re-using the stuffing I cut my pillow making cost down low! Now I can afford to change out my accent pillows whenever I want!

This is great for the dogs bed too!

I wash and dry them before starting!

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I just make up a few new pillows,

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and cut open a few old ones,

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and start stuffing!

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If you open one and it is compacted tight from being washed, just pull it in little puffs.

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It will fluff right up! Stuff away!

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New pillows for the cost of fabric only!

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And some older pillows that needed more stuffing!
I like it when I can reuse something, but I like saving money more!

Posted in Crafts, decorating, DIY, Fabric, fabric, recycling, repurposing, Sewing, sewing, throw pillows, Tooksberry, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Sad Couch” pillow makeover

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The couch in our den has been in need of a face-lift for a long time. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love to lounge on it, but hate to look at it! We bought this couch 3 years ago at a consignment shop. It was in immaculate condition. Someone actually custom ordered this sofa at some point. The invoice and swatches were still attached under the cushions. The shape and the fabric are nice, but it had terrible southwest style pillows for the back cushions. Yuck. I could see past that. I knew this was a great snuggling couch. It is really deep and can accommodate several people. The problem with it? It just looked sad. Sad Couch has terrible pillows.  They make Sad Couch look… well, sad….like someone just didn’t care and  gave it the worst fabric ever!!!!  Well, I was going to take it home and give it a re-do.

With this sofa being in our family room and having bought all new furniture for the living room, this project got pushed to the side. After all, guests did not HAVE to see Sad Couch, they could sit on pretty new furniture in the living room! I am ashamed to say that it has taken 3 years to get it done. That’s not tooooo long, right? What about using fabric for this project that I bought to use for drapes that never got made….. 5 houses ago? Yes, that is 5 entire houses ago!

Since the ugly pillows were still in great shape, I just wanted to do what I call envelope covers. I’m sure there is probably a technical term for them, but I don’t know it! I have made many of these over the years. They are great for seasonal or holiday pillows. These are a budget friendly way to get a new look, and they can be done in just a few minutes.
Anyway,  here goes!

Measure the width and height of your pillow. Make sure that you loosely place your tape over the pillow. You must account for the pillow fatness in your measuring, otherwise it will never fit.

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Take notice of the original fabric….. Imagine 6 of these huge cushions all together! Not so pretty!

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Do the math…ugh
Width measurement × 2 + 2= fabric width

Height measurement × 2 + 6 = fabric length

Measure and cut your fabric.

You should have long pieces of fabric just a little wider than the pillow itself.

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Hem the short ends of your fabric.  Be sure to go from edge to edge.
Iron hems flat.

With right sides together,  fold one side over 6 inches. Then fold the other side until you get an overall measurement of your pillow height + 1.5 inches.

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Make sure at this point that your short flap is inside and the long flap is outside.

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Pin along the unfinished sides.

Sew both sides from end to end making sure to back-stitch. I usually sew pillow seams twice to strengthen them. My family is pretty rough on the throw pillows!

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Turn the cover inside out. Iron.

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See how it makes a nice little envelope for your pillow?!?

Insert your pillows! That’s it.

The second part of this project involved digging out these old pillows I already had. When I bought these, they didn’t have enough stuffing in them. They were just kind of flat.  I used stuffing I already had.  I opened them up and filled them full! 

It only took me 3 years and 2 hours to re-do the couch…. not bad huh?!? I’m gonna have to do better than that with future deadlines! 

Though it is not perfect, and it never got fabric picked out exclusively for it, I think it has lost its status as sad couch! Yay!!!!
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Posted in Crafts, decorating, DIY, fabric, recycling, repurposing, Sewing, throw pillows, Tooksberry, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Instant spiced tea

This recipe has fond memories for me. My grandmother always made this. I can remember drinking this with her throughout my childhood.  She called it friendship tea. I’m not sure if it was the actual name for this recipe or that she called it  friendship tea because she gave it to many people as gifts. I have her handwritten recipe packed away…somewhere… for safe keeping. I would share it, but I can’t remember the exact amounts for it. I gave the items used so maybe you could make it work!

This tea is one of the things that can bring back some of the past if only for just a few minutes.

Grandmas original recipe calls for all of the full sugar varieties, however mine does not. My recipe is for a sugar-free version.  It is lightly sweetened only by the artificial sweetener from the orange drink mix.

Start with a 3 ounce jar of instant Lipton unsweetened tea. Pour all of it into a container or large ziplock bag. (original recipe calls for Lipton sweetened lemon instant tea)

Add two packets Great Value orange early rise drink mix. These are the big packets used to make a pitcher of drink and not the single serve packets for bottles of water. (this brand tastes more like the original Tang breakfast drink mix used for the sugar version)

add 1/3 packet Kool-Aid lemonade. Pink Lemonade or regular yellow will work. (original recipe got the lemon flavor from the lemon flavored tea)

Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or other spice.

Shake to mix.

Add two to three teaspoons to a mug of hot water, stir and enjoy! My kids like to add a Splenda packet or sugar for added sweetness!

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Fabric buying quirks….

I did it! I went fabric shopping today! I ADORE fabric stores. I spend hours…yes that’s multiple hours every time. Fabric shopping for me can be an all day affair. Sometimes I go to all three stores in the same day….happiness!!! I live 45 miles from the stores, so you can bet that I will take my time when I get there, after all, there is no running right back because you forgot something!

I get a little crazy at the cutting table. There is something I don’t understand. I see people getting a quarter or a third of a yard cut. I look at them and think…wow,  you must REALLY be good at sewing! Sewing envy? Maybe. Probably!

I don’t trust myself that much! I am so afraid of making a mistake I always get more than I need, and I never get less than a yard of anything….ever!  I know it will be used for something at some point… and it saves me the long trip if I flub up the project.

When I get to the table, I always have all of my bolts in order as to how much I want from each one. I totally get frustrated when the line is held up by someone who decided to wait to plan their projects at the cutting table! I experienced that this trip. UGH… I don’t know if it is more the frustration of the person holding up the line or my excitement to take my fabrics home to get started! Is there anyone else out there who has any fabric store quirks or am I the only crazy one out there?

Posted in Crafts, Fabric, sewing, Tooksberry | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments