Sewing Pt. 2 [longest post ever]


Due to some recent catalogs that came in the mail– namely MiniBoden and Tea— I got really fired up and inspired.

It`s so weird– I literally HATE sewing, but for me, it`s a means to an end. The creative part– is what gets me hitting it. I am very visual and to be inspired in any way in life I have to look (and look and look). I don`t use patterns- I just go with the feeling I get from something. And that`s pure BLISS.

So yes, to answer the question: I love/hate sewing.

Elle loves to use my camera to take pictures. I was going to junk this picture (above) then I saw that it`s really a picture of my sewing area– so I kept it for here.

My sewing room isn`t air conditioned, andΒ  in the summer and it would take a gun to my head to get me to sit in there and feel motivated/inspired right now. I abhor heat.

So one day I got the bright idea (GEN-I-US)Β  to bring it all down and sit at my kitchen table.

Side note: the AC on that floor blows right onto the kitchen table.

It`s been sitting there waiting to serve my every sewing needs for 2 weeks now and I`m loving it!

Slapped a few pillows together for the play room.

I just have to share this– because of how hefty pillow prices are these days. Plus, since pillows are ornamental only, it`s hard to ever call buying them a real “need”.

Ok, so buy 2 table napkins. And sew them together and fill with batting. The napkins are already the same size and they are already hemmed… so easy a 5th grader could do it.

I have found the coolest napkins are at World Market- pictured here.

I bought a pack of 6 plain white napkins from them for $10 (for the backs of the pillows.) The fun part, is picking out the colorful fun fronts of the pillows. WM`s napkins are $2.99 each.

You have to buy the batting– but with a Joann`s %40 off coupon you can buy that stuff very reasonably.

So you`re looking at making a pillow for around $6.

Here are the ones I have made using this “method”– if you can call it that.

Since people sneak eating in the playroom a lot– not impressed– I have to wash these on occasion. I don`t stuff them very full when I make them– so I just toss the whole pillow into the wash on delicate cycle. They usually washΒ  up great.

When we had our family garage sale this year, Joy had this gorgeous, size 2 skirt leftover that she said she was sending to Goodwill. Out of the goodness of my heart, I saved it thinking “one day” I would “try” to do something cool with it.

You are going to think I am lying–

But from that little size 2 skirt, came 3 littler (if possible) skirts, and 1 little, matching, purse-satchel for Elle to carry her church toys to church in.

To explain: the original (size 2) skirt was very narrow at the top, but with a very full flounce at the bottom, once I cut the top off, there was fabric EVERYWHERE.

I think every piece of that skirt got used, there was only a tiny little square left. πŸ™‚

Satchel inspiration came from these Hobo Sack pictures: here at MADE.

This is a Walmart tee embellished with ruffles made from leftover fabric from a shirt I hemmed once.

Inspiration for these ruffles came from this pretty Jersey Dress, here.

Had to have them model since they were dressed to go away.

Laila and her very full skirt-y.

Not sure why I kept/took this picture.

Hands and feet only a mother would notice? I think.

Two baby blankets I made for friends. These were SO much fun to make.

I love making blankets- especially summery ones like this. These both got comfort knotted and trimmed in satin.

I have spoken of my “dreams” before- things I dream of doing one day. One in the forefront right now, is designing and selling kid`s clothes. I love making outfits and dressing kids. When my brothers and sisters were little, I often dressed them all and sewed for all my sisters and mom for years. When we went on family vacation`s I often packed their clothes according to outfits because I loved it so much. And begged to comb my sisters.

Odd little girl.

Maybe opening at Etsy shop is for me in the future? I can dream can`t I?

And by the way- what are your dreams? I feel weird sometimes having them so intensely, because I feel like I should be happy just being a mom.

I have friends that say it both ways. Some are perfectly content as is. Some dream constantly. I think both are great. I admire both outlooks for different reasons. Do you ever feel this way? Sometimes I feel like my life hasn`t come to it`s full fruition. I feel restless in a good way, I hope/think.

So what do you personally think about it all? I`d love to hear input from you in the comments on this.

Not sure if that is a longing that will be realized here or in heaven. One thing I get excited about is: that God willΒ  give us pretty sweet jobs in heaven andΒ  that are the “perfect fit” for each one of us. Exciting!

Ever have a stain on a shirt you love?

Hide it with a strategically placed flower!

This is from Joann Fabric`s. How cool is that?

You just sew it right onto the neckline of a tee or dress. Can`t wait to find the perfect thing to embellish with it. I`m thinking at was around $5– but I used a half off coupon… NOT BAD.

The green flower above it is from the same rack.

This was a shot of one of Elle`s homemade skirts with my favorite garage sale tee. Thanks, Erika.

Felt doesn`t fray– so it makes great fun “fronts” for tees that have cheesy stuff on the front that you can sew on and cover whatever it was you weren`t crazy about.

Inspiration came from these pics. I want to try the bird one yet too. It looks awesome.

Newborn pjs– a baby gift for Sydney.

Inspiration came from these Knee Pad Pants pictures at MADE.

I use to collect old, er, vintage bed sheets to make blankets out of. I was looking for something a little different to do with bed sheets, and the girls needed pajamas…

My mom also brought these back for me from my grandma Wenger`s family sale. So the special meaning is cool, too.

I have to say they turned out cuter than I thought the (ugly? cute?) fabric was at first. I didn`t get pictures of all the fabrics I used but here are shots of the one.

Most every night we make popcorn, per Elle.

My favorite part of making stuff like this is the EMBELLISHMENTS! Especially if the ribbon is Found from my scrap box or vintage.

The waist line.

Since I believe in being redundant– and had a million yards of fabric yet on those bed sheets– they also got matching SKIRTS.

Green trim was from GOODWILL. πŸ™‚

I have to get a shot of the details.

A lot of the inspiration for this skirt is from The Market Skirt also from MADE.

But, most of the drooling was over this handmade girl`s clothes post by Mandy Lynne– if I can ever learn to sew this creatively… wow.

I will continue to look at this post of hers many times and just.. yeah.

Laila`s was a little different. I went with yellow for her. I have since made more skirts with this look. I kinda love it. πŸ™‚

This is from our little family vacation. Proof they actually wear them.

Headbands are fun easy to make. This one got a bit huge. Whenever I can FIND my scissors! I want to cut it down smaller.

I really wanted this gray scarf and didn`t want to pay the $49 price tag.

This one is cut and re-made from a new tee for me that I didn`t really like.

(photo from Made.)

I still have a few projects I want to try. One is this Can Can shirt (above) from MADE. I got a couple yards of this cool brown fabric from a garage sale for .10.

Yes, that is ten cents. And I would love to do my own variation of it. Maybe add a little satin trim…

We`ll see. Maybe one day I`ll have picture of it to post. (If it`s not a complete failure.)

What happens when I sew? What does my house look like?

I usually sew a little every couple days– but yes. This is what my house looks like when I work on stuff.

Playroom fun for all.

Sometimes the baby falls asleep eating spaghetti.

The girl`s entertain themselves more.

I am THRILLED with Target and their current fun educational $1 section!!

Elle needs my help doing these usually–Β  but she is thrilled to do “school”.

Elle does more pretending on her own. This is a “watering can”– she came up with that all by herself.

I dearly love my funny, witty Elle!

They adoringly greet daddy when he gets home…

It is fun though because Elle can now work a needle and thread through a scrap piece of fabric and she loves to cut, OH, SHE LOVES TO CUT. I like when I feel like we are making a “happy mess” together.

G says when he gets home he doesn`t care if the house is a mess– if we are happy and creative and wallowing in it.

But if it`s a stressful, “I`ve been neglecting the girls mess” then he finds it very stressful and unhappy.

I agree.

I used to be a real neat freak so letting my house “go” is a real adjustment– I`ll be honest with you.

Okay, well, there are a few of my little do-dabbles. I (sigh) can`t believe this post is finally done.

Two other ventures I am on right now is reading the Bible all the way through. I am using the NCV translation and I am utterly captivated. The Bible is so interesting. I like the NCV because it is translated in today`s terms and also not “watered down”. I read a summery of what all they did to make it as closely translated as possible and it was amazing.

Yes, I think amazing is appropriate here.

The other thing is I sunk my feet into lately is the Couponing World.

Yes, I buy the Sunday Paper for the P & G flyer, price match at Walmart, own a CVS card, have Extra Bucks in my purse, love matching sales against coupons….

Seriously though, this is a big deal for me. I have for YEARS been too intimidated to start–then I did– and now I am all the way hooked.

Just starting slow– and learning as you go– are the only tips I have on all that.

Anyone has any tips on all this– I would SO welcome them.

I am still quite the novice couponer.

Too long so I`ll stop now, Jenny πŸ™‚

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  1. Gloria says:

    Okay….so now I’m feeling like a compete failure! well, not TOTALLY.

    Love the p.j.s and everything else, for that matter. Very unique. I have to be honest, it just starts to make my head spin! I actually do enjoy being somewhat creative, or at least I used to. Lately, I think the life is just sucked out of me.

    • Jenny says:

      oh gloria, i know the life sucked outta feeling too. i think this kind of stuff is what i do to stay calm. πŸ™‚ and honestly, every person has a certain stronger creative outlet, i think. you always have awesome clothes on and that certainly isn““`t my gift! (jealous!) :):)

  2. rosann says:

    love the skirts and pjs also quick get started on your kids clothes before chloe is to old to wear them ,you have great talent

  3. Rachal says:

    How do you do the waistlines on the little girls’ skirts. I have such a problem coming up with a good idea for this.

  4. jennie z says:

    wow. the sewing that you did is awesome! I am jealous. teach me to be like you!! I love your taste in clothes and decorating. I think I might try making pillows out of napkins – cool idea!

    I have been wanting to read the bible all the way thro – maybe if i get the NCV translation it would be easier….

    I’ll have to go find the $1 school books at target for Kenzie πŸ™‚ she’d love it.

  5. Kristen Lehman says:

    Jenny, ur creativity blows my mind!

  6. Oh, this looks like so much FUN!!! just love love love all the little projects. i think the pajamas are my fav. Something about the fabrc and cute littl legs in them is just darling. I think you SHOULD open an etsy shop! You have all kinds of ideas! I can identify about having so many dreams… I’m trying really hard to enjoy right now, and I think I am, but there are so many ideas I have and so many things I’d like to try to do… One day, maybe. πŸ™‚ For now, dreaming is part of the fun!

  7. Aimee says:

    I can so identify with this post, although your sewing abilities clearly are SO MUCH BETTER than mine! Your outfits are just so adorable – makes me want to break out the sewing machine.

    I just started couponing too! And I agree – it’s addicting! πŸ™‚

  8. Dawn says:

    those pjs slay me. darling! and let me just say thank you again for today!

  9. Kristy says:

    love all the stuff….. i have a great idea. I love the sewing part, but for the life of me i can’t picture stuff made out of other stuff (it has to do with living by rules…… you get a pattern, buy new material, make something πŸ™‚ )
    SO….. you find the vintage bargains and tell me the ideas and i will sew them for you!:) πŸ™‚

  10. Joy says:

    i am proud to say your my sister but you also make me look bad! your so talanted. πŸ™‚ love everything.

  11. Melissa says:

    LOVE the sewing!! Will you do some for me when I have little girls? And I can totally feel you on the dreaming! I fear that if I pursue those dreams now though, I will miss my children’s childhood, and I would HATE to regret that! So I just dream and enjoy my boys for now!

  12. julana says:

    oh my word!! the pjs … no words!! the pjs were awesome the skirts… aweeeesome! love it all a ton! start a store i’ll come buy. never buy me a gift again… only make them.:) love your stuff wow!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful, beautiful.

  14. Julia Miller says:

    That was me above.

  15. Jo Martin says:

    way cute stuff. love those pj’s and skirts. the fabric is so pretty. Wishing I was creating instead of moving.

  16. Rachel says:

    i just LOVE this post! i think you could have stolen any or all of these things from my life…it’s almost starting to creep me out! πŸ˜‰ jk!

    i’m super glad to see that someone else is making strides in the ‘letting things go’ area of life. i’m the joke of my family with my ‘weekly cleaning’ rituals, and they all know that i like things super clean and tidy…but i seriously am!! making progress in this area and living more and cleaning less. stop in today, and you’ll see what i mean!!

    i think you should just move in here and we could start a business together…party planning/sewing/home decor/creating childrens clothing….all things i love and dabble in. and etsy? it’s a great idea, but i think someone needs to come up with something new, because there are just way to many vendors and the market is flooded. my etsy shoppe has not done well for me, but maybe it’s just my bad luck? don’t know, but i have a friend who feels the same way; it’s time for something new and competitive for etsy…

    you ask if others dream?? well, that is an interesting question. :O) i dream a LOT. but you know, a few years ago, i was afraid to dream. afraid that it would not matter, that it was dumb, that people would think me crazy. and those things may all still be the case, but….i Have to dream. it is part of who i am.

    and i think it’s part of who you are, and i LoVE that about you!!!

    miss you…

  17. Cindy Fox says:

    what a fun post jenny!!!

  18. Cindy Fox says:

    great… not sure what happened, but as i was in the middle of typing, suddenly it posted part of my comment already…
    ok, as I was saying, i loved the post! your creativity blows me away. your sewing projects, no patterns, def a talent/gift!!! and i LOVE seeing you use your gifts and enjoying it to the fullest!!! i love the pillows – awesome idea. the pjs, darling! ah, so fun. yes, dreams… i’m always dreaming and sometimes i think that is what helps keep me ‘alive’ even if those dreams don’t always become a reality.
    can’t wait to see what you come up w/ next!! =)

    • Jenny says:

      i love how you said this, cindy:
      “i’m always dreaming and sometimes i think that is what helps keep me β€˜alive’ even if those dreams don’t always become a reality.”
      you described it perfectly!
      miss being with you!

  19. Shannon says:

    I am so impressed by the sheer amount of things you got done! It looks like so much fun – I really liked the pajama pants, love that print. I’m so excited for tomorrow cause I’m going to sew all day since Rich is gone. Working on some skirts for Stasia for school. I’m also getting into sewing knits and making some tops for myself – probably won’t get that far tomorrow.

  20. Kendra says:

    i LOVE your sewing projects. i have a bunch of sewing projects in my head that i want to do so bad but am having trouble finding the time…..someday;) i jumped over to miniboden and tea and requested catalogs thanks to you. i love your style of dressing your girls. i feel like i’m stuck in a rut with mine…children’s place and carters. and, i’m so ready for something different/more creative. thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Julie says:

    Not sure how I found your blog-but you are so inspiring! (I *think* we live in the same area). I’ve never commented before, but had to with this post. I love your blog-hearing your thoughts and seeing the things you create. You have a true gift! I would LOVE to be able to sew-thanks for the pillow idea, I may have to try it!

    I love couponing-I tell the hubby all the time that it’s like an adrenaline rush to get things “cheap”, I also like telling him all the money I saved him. haha. (He usually rolls his eyes). πŸ™‚

    Thanks again for your blog…I think God is using your talents and creativity through this blog. BTW: I would so shop at your etsy store!

  22. Aug says:

    Sometimes you kind of make my head spin. You and I are SO different, but yet I love you and you inspire me!

    I thought those pj’s for the girls were ADORABLE.

    And kudos to you on the couponing. I am a couponing drop-out. Very sad, yes.

    I have never heard of the NCV version of the Bible. Now I am interested to see what it is like?

  23. Erika says:

    hey there friend!!! tonight i looked at your blog for the first time in…well… all summer, i guess. anyhow, i am once again amazed at your creative skills. please send some of that talent my way, or even just come show me how to thread a bobbin this winter. that would help for starters. k – have a great week, miss ya!!!:)

  24. Wow you just kept going – so many great projects. Adorable skirts – I want to make a skirt now for my little one πŸ˜‰

  25. marcia says:

    beautiful… God has blessed you such creative ideas…love the skirts. i love to dream too!

  26. Ruth says:

    i LOVE the skirts & pjs you made for the girls! the outfits that you put together for your girls are so creative…(i tend to be matchy,matchy)blah…thats slowly starting to change.i used to sew all the time but w/4 kids theres not alot of spare time to be sitting @ the sewing machine:) but you’ve inspired me haul it out of the closet & create some cute dresses/skirts etc. for my daughter:) btw…LOVE the idea of hiding a spot/stain w/ an embellishment!

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