Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 7 COMMENTS

Last year, someone at Lark Books saw the pillowcase pinafores in my Etsy shop. (I’ve haven’t made them in a while, they were really cute but not big sellers.) Anyhoodle, they asked me to submit the pattern for a book about using pillowcases to make various things. I sent the pattern I had drafted along with two of my favorites (please note that I didn’t actually embroider them, I bought them that way, all full of vintage cuteness) and dudes, check out the book cover.

Those are them! The book is called “Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase”. They sent me a copy, which I received on Friday, and I couldn’t believe it. SO excited! I had no idea it was going to be on the cover. I was happy dancin’ all over the place. It was just the boost I needed. Things have been kind of stressful, the economy is hitting home and I’m getting that crazy look that means I’m wondering which of the cats we’d eat first, if it came to that. (Yes, I’m given to mild hysterics when it comes to finances. Chi-Chi, I’m looking at you, butterball.)

Mmmmm, tasty!

I had noticed a surge in sales in the shop a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out that’s when the book was released. They put the shop address in my designer profile paragraph and people have been coming by, it’s been so great!

This book is really beautiful and there are some great ideas and patterns. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in there. I have a major vintage fabric fetish and that includes linens and pillowcases. The photography is really gorgeous and they really do justice to all the colorful embroidered pillowcases featured in the book. Honest and true, if I didn’t have a pattern in it and had just seen it in a store, I’d totally buy it. If you’re looking for some fun ways to use old pillowcases or just regular fabric, check it out!

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 9 COMMENTS

I’ll be doing an embroidery even for the opening of the new Madewell store on Newbury Street in Boston on Thursday, 2/19 (today)! The address is 329 Newbury St. I’ll be there from 6 to 8pm, embroidering jeans for customers. Usually people stick to names or initials, but I can write whatever you want in 8 characters or under. I even started doing little flowers, bees and ladybugs. I try to accomodate, so pop by and see me! Be warned, they specialize in the skinny jeans. They’re great-looking and have lots of really fun, bright colors, but they’re – y’know – skinny. However, they also have great lightweight jersey scarves, really cute tops, sweaters and skirts. My favorite dress is from there, actually.

In other goings-on, I recently got some amazing fabric designed by Project Runway winner, Jay McCarroll. I love this stuff. Between the colors, the crazy creatures and the fact that they’re easy to mix-n-match, it’s like he made them just for me! Thank you, Jay! Let me know if I can make you a beer can outfit or something in return for your kindness.

And look at these little pink ants wandering around on some logs. And wee shroomies. Awwww . . .

I couldn’t wait to start playing with it and came up with my first batch of little snap wallets. They’re the perfect size for credit cards, business cards, or even knitting notions. I’m working on some iPhone sized ones. Since I don’t have an iPhone, I need to make one out of foam core first. I know, it’s sad.

Here are a few of the wallets. I’m really happy with them. They’re available in‚ the Bags and Pouches section of‚ Etsy shop. If you see some fabrics that you’d like to mix and match in my shop, let me know and I’ll whip up a custom one for you!

And here are some I made using some cute vintage fabric.

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 6 COMMENTS

Today I’m going to share a bit of my fabric stash. It’s like my coming out party! I recently got a few new pieces that I can’t wait to play with!

Can you stand it? Mice-A-Roni fabric! I mentioned briefly in the last post, it’s from the 70s and based on those Wacky Packages I love so well. I think this will end up as zippered pouches.

The pink fabric with chocolate apples may end up being iPhone cozies. I need to work out a pattern, but what could be a cuter cozy?

The big-headed kitten flannel is super soft, though I’m not really sure what it’s going to become. I’m a little hesitant to make a baby blanket out of it with all the crazy new CPSIA laws coming around the bend. It’s causing a lot of kerfuffle among crafters and small businesses that make handmade kids’ toys and clothes. New requirements for testing materials are really cost-prohibitive and could put a lot of people out of business. Hopefully an equitable resolution will be found that can keep kids safe and allow small businesses to carry on.

And here are more big-headed creatures. I don’t know what it is about the big heads. Honestly, if there were live creature with noggins of this magnitude, they’d probably be pretty frightening. And they would most assuredly be falling down all over the place. That little bluebird would never make it off the gound.

The pink polka-dotted fabric is pantsuit polyester all the way. I need to figure out a way to use it so it can best fulfill its kitsch potential. Kitschtential?

I also got this amazing piece of vintage Waverly Glosheen fabric called “Forest Friends”. Waverly Glosheen is one of my favorite vintage fabrics. The colors are always vibrant, the images are bright and fun, and the fabric itself if a joy to sew with. It’s a thick, rich cotton that takes stitches like a dream. They always look straight and perfect.

This image shows about 2 feet of the pattern that probably takes up about a yard. I only have a little over a yard, so it’s not going to be cut. This one is bound for a frame so I can hang it and enjoy it all the time.

Here are some details closer up. You can click the photos for a larger version. This piece is one of three “prize” bits of fabric I have. I’ll show you the other two sometime soon!

And check out this vintage ribbon trim. I’m going to make plain, solid zippered pouches with a strip of this ribbon along the bottom. Simple and cute, kind of outside of my somewhat chaotic norm. I think the lining will be red with white polka dots.

And last but not least – zippers! I always get the mystery assorted packs from Zipperstop because I can’t commit to specific colors. Something always ends up matching something, so it always works out. I love the candy-like quality of all the colors together.

Apparently I’m not the only one who finds them irresistible. These were only out for maybe 20 seconds before Dot took a liking to the green ones.

She’s nothing if not reliable. Oh, Dot. It’s a good thing you’re adorable.

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 9 COMMENTS

I’ve been a whirling dervish of craftiness lately. It’s Bazaar Bizarre season once again and this year, I’m splitting a table with Miss Splityarn! I couldn’t be more delighted to be in such good company. She’s really going to class up my act, I think. Make me look good, y’know? Last year, my table was a little . . . over the top? I covered the table with a crazy piece of bright red “kittens knocking over Christmas ornaments” fabric, a bright blue metallic tree, and had all manner of random wares to sell. Keychains, baby dresses, photo albums. And probably a bunch of stuff I’ve totally forgotten about. (The keychains are staying.)

But this year, I’ve edited a lot out and am pretty happy with the results. I just love making things. I can’t help it. And I can’t stop. The last thing I labored lovingly over were these fabric-covered magnets. I’m still testing the hold of the adhesive magnet backings. They’re hanging on a magnetic board and once in a while I pull them on and off and slide them around to test the stickability. So far, so good!

These are my new favorites! The backings are clay poker chips from the 1940s or 50s (maybe earlier). They’re actually breakable if you drop them from high enough. Ask me how I know. And the images are from a bunch of insane romance comics from the 50s and 60s.

Yes. I cut them up. All of the magnets, buttons and keychains I make using vintage images actually use the vintage images. I try my best to use damaged books and magazines and trust me when I tell you that society is actually better off without these particular comic books. They make the Lifetime Channel look like The Ayn Rand/Gloria Steinem Memorial Theater Company. The men are strong and often heartless cads. The women go between gazing lovingly at them, weeping about them, and snarling at one another for stealing them away. Occasionally they smile at the thought of one of them before he did her wrong because she was being inattentive. Yeah. But darn if they don’t make amazing magnets!

And here is the packaging I came up with for this year. Last year, none of my products looked very cohesive or put together, but I think these really make it look like a “line” rather than a bunch of odds and ends. These are some of my favorites. The illustrated food is from an old cookbook and amazingly, the doll bits came from a variety of sources. The tweetheart bird fabric is from a vintage remnant.

I dug deep into my fabric stash and pulled out some of my favorite vintage pieces to make pouches and wristlets. As it turns out, I have a lot of prancing deer fabric. I only used two styles, so there will be more to come once the Bazaar is over. I’ll tell you about my new online shop further on down in this post.

This little project bag is also making me very happy. It’s made from an unfinished 1940s quilt top. I think that whoever started it would be happy to know it’s going to be used and loved by (hopefully) a number of people. All of them are a little different and they’re all lined with vintage fabric, as well.

And finally, something I’ve designed and redesigned countless times is finally ready for it’s closeup. I call them Wallflower Pendants. They’re made from vintage Bakelite poker chips and mid-century wallpaper samples. The bails and clasps are sterling silver. I looove the clasp, no pinchy thing, just an elegant, curvy hook.

I’ve been wearing mine a lot. Here’s what they look like on. Do you know how hard it is to look casual when taking a picture of yourself? But I eventually managed. Sort of. My head looks rather giant, eh?

So hopefully my paranoid fear that no one will buy a single thing will not come true. Someone is going to have to want those cupie doll pins, at least . . .

And finally, I have been slowly weaning myself off Etsy and started my own little shop on Big Cartel. I have a number of reasons for leaving Etsy and I’m excited to start anew. You can find it here, if you’d care to. I just added something extra special a few minutes ago, too. Ok, scratch that, I’m back at Etsy and dumped my Big Cartel shop. Heh. Bags made by my mom! Hers are the ones with her name, Stella, in the title. She’s my crafty inspiration, I spent my entire childhood watching her make all kinds of amazing things and at the moment, she and I are both on a big sewing kick. Here are a couple of my favorites. I think these would be great holiday gifts. How about something from my mom to yours?