Handmade Holiday: Pillowcases

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When this time of year comes around, I’m always at a loss about whether or not I should make something for gifts for family and friends. I have really good intentions and well, you know what they say about that. This year, I happened upon an idea – pillowcases and thought I should share. I was doing some housecleaning and upkeep one weekend and noticed that the mister and I could use a new set of pillowcases. Instead of purchasing some from the store, I thought it would be easy enough to take some of my stash and make a set. It was easy, in fact and it was so easy that as I was cranking them out in the space of 30 minutes or so, I instantly thought these would make great gifts. The key feature for me being that these are very doable in a reasonably short timeframe and yet, they still add a nice handmade touch to your gift giving. Never thought my 7th grade home-ec project would turn into a gift giving idea – but I’m hooked now! Not to mention, I have to admit, sometimes it feels really really great to crank out an easy project and you can go a little crazy personalizing them for each family member or whom ever you are planning to give them to.

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Here’s what I did. I took an old pillowcase that I liked and measured the dimensions. Mine measured 38″ x 30″. I opted to add a 4″ contrast hem, so the dimensions I cut for the body of the pillowcase were 39″ x 27″ which included seam allowances of 1/2″. The contrasting hem was cut to 9″ x 39″ which also included seam allowances. I cut these so that only one of the long edges of the pillowcase had a seam – it was just easier.

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From here, all you have to do is sew up the bottom edge and side seam and seam finish them off. If you’ve don’t have a serger, a french seam would be very easy to do.

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For the contrast hem, I stitched the short ends together first and folded the long edges wrong sides together. Stitch to the raw edge of the pillowcase with right sides together, finish the seam and voila! Done!

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I added a triple stitch to the top to hold the contrast hem seam in place. You could do some fun stitches that you never use or keep it simple. I opted for a quilting cotton I had in my stash, which is an easy natural, fun and colorful choice. Seriously, these are so easy and look how exciting they are – something you definitely aren’t going to pick up at a department store!

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Additionally, these are easy enough to change up a little too and who said you only had to use quilting cotton? I made this gorgeous set for my mom from some silk jacquard with a silk satin contrast hem and then for my darling little nieces, I went wild with prints, added a ruffle edge and some contrasting trim. All the fabrics were from stash and the ones for my nieces were scrap fabric! The design elements are all up to you and how personal/economical/time consuming you want to make them.

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The more I think about it, the more I would love to receive a gift like this. So personal and functional – both things that I love! So if you’re in the hustle and bustle and are wondering what in the world you’re going to do for gifts this year, consider pillowcases! Enjoy friends!

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Here’s to 2014!

New-Year

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying a day off – I know I am – and that you have time to do a little reflecting and a little looking forward. I suppose not too much of this though because if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years its that I take myself much to seriously and well, there’s an art to being able to let things go and let things happen the way they are going to happen to a certain extent. Anyhow, or anyway, here’s to the good and bad from 2013 and a cheer for the good and bad yet to come. Hip Hip Hooray!

All my best for you and yours,Sunni

the Naughty List

Sigh… I really hope you all had a wonderful holiday season (with just a little bit more around the corner, it being New Year’s and all)! I must have been super naughty this year as I received a pretty severe cold, cough and flu for Christmas. I contracted the flu virus from hell and was knocked flat in bed for, wait for it…..6 whole days! 6 whole days including Christmas! It was AWFUL! I’ve still got the after shocks going on – a little congestion, a little cough and a little fatigue. All in all though, I’m feeling so much better. Thank goodness! I had meant to put up a slew of holiday posts this year, but you know what they say about best laid plans. Oh well!

The mister and I were able to get out on Christmas day for a very very short walk. I was still feeling pretty crummy, but I managed to take a few snapshots in my cloudy half doped up on flu meds stupor. Those results are what you see here. A small bit of Christmas cheer, which is what I needed I think. Sickness aside, I wanted to chime in with a few New Year’s Sewing Resolutions! Yay!

I have had an amazing 2012! So many new and exciting opportunities came my way and I would be seriously rotten if I didn’t say that I wasn’t so happy to have participated in so many events and such. I was able to spread my wings a little and start teaching sewing locally, something that I truly love! The shop has really been hopping (we closed up for a bit, but the shop is now back up and running!). I also think I stretched myself with a few projects and even though I didn’t get as much sewing in as I wanted to this past year, that’s going to change this year.

visit my pinterest board for image links

Speaking of change I wanted to forecast my own small sewing resolutions for 2013. I don’t like to overload my plate with too many resolutions that I know I’ll end up overwhelming myself with and not doing, but instead just like to make one or two that I feel I can handle. With that in mind, I’ve determined that this year will be the year of the pant! Or trousers, if you like. I have but two pairs of pants and I feel that I always find myself wanting to reach for a pair of pants on a daily basis. Don’t fret, I could never put aside my love for dresses and skirts, but I feel its time for pants to make a serious come back in my life. I plan to conquer several different styles and fits that I can turn to again and again when I need them.  Also tops! I’ll be tackling that basic button-up shirt this year for sure in addition to filling in my top (less) wardrobe.

visit my pinterest board for image links

In addition, its also going to be a stash busting year. I’m overflowing with fabric and I feel its adding to a general sense of feeling constantly overwhelmed. I am determined to stash bust and get through a substantial portion of my stash this year. I find I am one of those people who generally have something very specific in mind when it comes to what I want to make next and funny enough, the fabric I want never seems to be in my stash. So I think if I do some stash busting and limit myself to how much fabric I can really have and store, I’ll be better able to make sound fabric purchasing decisions – only when I need to.

What are some of your 2013 sewing resolutions? Have you thought about something you are chomping at the bit to make? Ready to fill a gap in your wardrobe?

I truly do hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Have a very Happy New Year too – please be safe! Happy, Happy New Year! Let’s ring in 2013!

gratitude

As the year is starting to wind down and we’re right upon Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I just have to spill my guts a little bit. I usually don’t do holiday posts, but I’ve been feeling compelled to say somethings and what better time than the holiday season? 2012 has been a very big year for me. I can’t believe how marvelously my shop is doing – all thanks to you, my wonderful readers and partners in sewing crimes! You have no idea how much it means to me that you read my blog and purchase items from my shop (and yes, I’m tearing up just a little bit thinking about it too). Thank you so much! My life is so enriched by the community I feel here and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that and wish you all a very happy holiday season ahead with much joy and hope and love! You are all true kindred spirits and I can only hope that I get to meet each and every one of you one day.

This brings me to gratitude point #2 which is to say, that I owe so much to my man. I don’t talk about him enough, but Shawn (my husband) is my right hand man. If it weren’t for him I would not be able to have done any of the things I’ve done in the past few years. He’s worked a full-time crummy job for a really long time and he’s done it not only to keep us afloat but, to give me a little push in the direction of my dreams. He truly believes in me and he puts up with my antics and craziness and still, he even loves me. This year, we both decided that he should go back to school, which he started this fall. Yet, he still works his crummy job part-time whilst cramming in school full-time. He’s had a pretty rough go this first semester back, but all in all, he’s done some pretty incredible stuff all the while helping keep me, my small business and my spirits afloat. He totally deserves a coat! A huge chunk of gratitude and my heart go out to him this year – gosh I love him so! Gush, gush!

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (if indeed, you celebrate and if not, a very Merry Holiday season ahead)! Health, happiness and the opportunity to be surrounded by those you love be yours!

xoxo,
Sunni

a Very Merry to You!

My dear sewing friends, I wish you a very Merry Holiday at this time of year. I’ve been enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation and prepping for a beautiful new year to come. I was reading in my Romancing the Ordinary book the other night and was prompted to think of 5 of my happiest holiday memories. I thought it only apropos to share and though they may not mean much to you, it might prompt you to pipe in with one of your happiest holiday memories. I love hearing and reading things like this, so here goes.

One of my fondest Christmas memories is sucker making. When I was very young, and we were rather poor, my mum would make homemade sucker bouquets (with the exceptional help of me and my sis, of course) and take them around to friends in the neighborhood. It’s such a vivid and delightful memory, mostly I think, because of the way suckers smell and they smell delicious. Candy making is always fun at the holidays, but suckers hold a very special place for me.

Something I’m going to miss dearly, but can still hear as clear as the “polar express bell” is the sound of my grandmother’s yuletide storytelling. Every year, she would buy a new children’s Christmas story and read it to us, along with the traditional bible story on Christmas Eve. She was truly the best storyteller!

Do you have a special Christmas/holiday video that your mother taped from those old CBS specials? We do. Oh dear, its to die for! It was originally on VHS, but has recently been transferred over to DVD. It contains 4 movies specially video taped from 1987: Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas & Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This movie is complete with all of the 1987 Christmas commercials from that year. It’s truly outrageous!

When I used to live at home, before getting married and such, my sister and I used to sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve. We would wake up around midnight and open our gifts to each other and then arise far too early, wake up my parents and brother and sit around opening gifts and making merry.

Last, but not least, one of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions is my grandparents’ Christmas Day Breakfast. It’s such a good and hearty breakfast, replete with waffles, homemade syrup, baked eggs, sausage, ham, orange juice and much much more. What’s more, I guess, is that as I grew older, it became much more cherished to know my grandparents do it all on their own. This is no small task as my family is enormous with something like 75+ members with more on the way every year, but there’s always enough food for everyone.

Well, there you go. A little of my heart this holiday season, to you! I would love to hear some of your favorite holiday traditions, be they Christmas or related holidays. I do so hope that you have a wonderful season of cheer! I’ll be back soon, I suppose, with more sewing/domesticity goodness and sweetness for the coming year. A very merry to you!

xoxo,
Sunni

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving today, here in the U.S. One of my favorite holidays! In the past, I’ve tried not to post things of a seriously personal nature here on the blog, but having just lost a very much loved one in my life has changed the way I feel about people and how I interact with them too. I think its OK that I think you as readers are wonderful, that you give me insight and that I’m particularly thankful for your encouragement and support during this year. It’s been a tough one for me – officially beginning my new business and everything, and believe me, there have been many “everythings” – but its been a great year too, to see the difference I’m making, no matter how small and making new friends and meeting several of the people I admire on the webs in real person. Thank you for taking this journey with me and giving me great ideas and keeping it tuned here for things I’m up to. I’m thrilled beyond belief to feel so much love! For those of you living here in the U.S. a very Happy Thanksgiving to you! For those of you in foreign lands, my heart is full today as my thanks for your generosity overwhelms me! Here’s to thinking of you and being thankful at the this time of year! Enjoy!

xoxo,
Sunni

Pineview Reservoir Photo Diary

There were so many photos that we took over the weekend at Pineview and I just wanted to share a few with you. The setting was pretty stellar and you get to have a peak at Mr. S playing in sand – something I had no idea he loved quite so much!

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

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Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir

Thanks friends! Tomorrow, I promise, I’ll have the inside shots of the romper done and posted.

xoxo,
Sunni