Sunday, January 26, 2014

Placemats for the Furry Monsters

I imagine many new home owners go through this, but I'm a bit concerned about money lately. There's so much new responsibility now, and I'm looking for ways to cut back a bit. Fabric purchases are one place I can scale back (especially if I am going to stick to my stash diet). Paper towels are another.

It's not as random as it sounds.  Every mealtime, I place paper towels down so that my herd of cats don't mess up the floor. That adds up after a while. Instead of doing that, I decided that I should sew placemats for them.  They are reusable, environmentally friendly and much prettier than paper towels!

To make these, I used two layers of fabric from my stash. The back is upholstery fabric and the front is quilting cotton, also stash supplied.  (The blue and cream floral fabric was originally purchased for this project, and the purple was a fat quarter from Joann's that I can't even remember why I purchased.)

I cut 13" x 11" rectangles, a breeze now with my new cutting board! These were sewed right sides together with 0.5" seam allowance, leaving a small opening to turn them right side out. Then, I stitched around the perimeter and quilted the front.

This was the best shot of the backing upholstery fabric and my quilting stitches. This isn't my favorite one, or the best example, but at least it gives you an idea of how these were made. I've never really done this before and it was fun to try out different designs. My only minor regret is that the stitches aren't always that visible. Next batch I'll have to use a contrasting thread.

My final placemats measure 12" x 10" and are perfect for keeping the little monsters' messes under control.

Placemat in action, graciously modeled by Kiko.

I ended up with six for now, but plan to make a lot more. I'd like to have a large supply and be able to swap them out easily whenever they get dirty, but not have to rush to clean them before the next meal. I'd even like to sew some larger, fancier ones for the house's human inhabitants.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A New Beginning

It may be a bit late to say this, but I'm very happy to see 2013 go. It was a year where the negatives outnumbered the positives, and I'm looking forward to a new beginning this year. I don't plan to do a project roundup, I just want to keep moving forward and start creating new things again.

There have been a number of changes here at Chez Makizy, the biggest being that we have inherited a house. I've also become the owner of a "few" more cats. I'm sure they'll be making appearances on the blog from time to time.

This is Teddy, also know as Bear and yes, he is judging you.

I'm also ready to sew again. I have a house to decorate and organize and clothes to make. To help me on my merry sewing journey, my wonderful husband purchased cutting mat and rotary cutter for me for Christmas. How did I ever live without one of these?  LOVE IT!!!!

I'm also joining the Stash Diet party!


Seriously, what a great idea!  If you're not familiar with this, head on over to Today's Agenda for details.  I've decided not to be hard on myself and set a fixed goal.  Come on, a girl needs some retail therapy every now and then.  Instead I will be realistic and will pledge to do my absolute best to only sew from my stash. I will try to only purchase fabric if necessary to complete an existing project, or if it's needed for a gift.  Let's see how long it lasts!

Finally, I wouldn't really call this a New Year's resolution, but I'm going to try to not let photos hold me back from blogging. I love blogs with great photography, and do my best to try to do the same on mine. The problem is that I currently don't have ideal conditions to photograph projects and I've let that hold me back from posting. Well, this blog is supposed to be fun and my creative outlet, so there will be a lot more cell phone photos this year :-)

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Little Time Off

Makizy Sews will be on a hiatus for a while. I usually try not to dig too deep into personal, non-sewing related topics, but this is unavoidable.  My mom passed away suddenly just before Christmas, and keeping up with blog posting has been at the very bottom of my list these days.

I hope to return some time in January. Sewing has always been my creative, (mostly) stress-releasing activity. To me it also represents a return to normalcy. After our move back in August, I didn't feel settled in and "normal" until I was able to set up my machine and start sewing again.  I really hope to get back to doing what I love soon and also feel joy in sharing my projects. I'll be quietly lurking the sewing blogosphere, admiring everyone's creations.

Until then, hope you all have a good new year and I for one am hoping that 2014 brings much better things.

Friday, November 15, 2013

All About the Journey

As a wise man once wrote, "The point of the journey, is not to arrive".1 Well, I keep trying to remember that because it feels like I've been on a number of sewing-related journeys lately but still haven't arrived at my destination. I have three projects going at once now, which is something I've been trying not to do. But, I'm just trying to enjoy the sewing process and stop focusing too much on the completed garment.

Since I don't have much in the way of finished projects to show, I thought I'd post a few teasers of the current WIPs.

1 If you guessed this was a lyric from the song "Prime Mover" by Rush, you win a prize! Actually, if you guess Rush for any song lyric I quote, you'd stand a 50-50 chance of being right :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kimono Tee Time (Part II)

I've been meaning to post this project for a while now. Funny thing... I had the bright idea to make my friends matching Avocado hoodies for their upcoming wedding. Mind you, this was about a week and a half before the wedding. Brilliant, I know. I printed patterns and purchased fabric but wasn't able to start until last Monday. The wedding was on Friday. I managed to bust out both hoodies in 4 days!  Damn that was crazy, but so happy I finished in time. Of course I don't have pictures, but maybe I'll be able to take some soon.

So, it's because of that small little side project that I haven't had a chance to write up a proper post until now for part two of my kimono top binge, the Burda Kimono Top:

Before my official "I'm expanding my horizons and making something that's not a Renfrew" experiment [link], this was probably the only other top pattern that I've made in the past year or so.

Pattern:  Burda 7866

Fabric:  If you guess Vogue Fabric remnant room, you'd be correct! This is a very pretty, soft wine-colored knit. It's dressier than the t-shirt fabrics I normally pick up.

Size and Modifications:  I cut a straight size 10. I've had this pattern cut out for a few years now, and I probably should go up a size, at least in the hips.  Some day...  I also left out the belt because I would just lose it anyway.

I promised my photographer extraordinaire, my husband, that I would include this action shot (even though I look like I'm missing an arm):

And the back:

It's really a simple, versatile pattern. Not too many bells and whistles, but a nice basic top that I know will end up in heavy rotation.