Bright Rust

About a month ago, I was getting ready for church. Normally, I'm a skirt and shirt kind of gal, but this day, I was in the mood for a dress. I opened the closet and realized. . . I have no dresses. Unless you count a traditional Chinese dress and my wedding dress (neither of which fit). I don't know how that happened. And I also don't know how I didn't know that I had no dresses.

Anyway, I bought a pattern and fabric and it turned out to be my first big project on my new machine. It is a stretch knit and the thread that matches perfectly was named "Bright Rust". I got to try out the "stretch stitch" on my machine; it looks like a lightning bolt and is totally awesome!

Simplicity 2369

I loved the whole experience of sewing it, and I'm in love with the new machine (I think she needs a name). This was supposed to be my Easter dress, but then Pretty was sick, so we didn't go to church. I only got to wear it for these pictures; but, hey, that was on Easter day so it counts.

Pretty's pleated masterpiece is almost completed and you will die, it turned out so cute!! I know I was supposed to have it done for Easter, but when Pretty was sick the day before, I knew it wasn't important to finish it that night. . . so I procrastinated again. It will be done today, I pinky swear!


a desperate plea.

Alright. I knew that my shop and the Silly Monster Pattern weren't going to take off right away, but my giveaway over at Sew.Craft.Create has 1 entry. . .

There are supposed to be 2 winners, but there is only 1 comment. Pathetic.

Save my pride... please enter the giveaway. Or is the monster really that sad?


death to pleating!

Once upon a time, I saw a super cute pleated dress for a baby. I thought to myself, "I could do that," then came home to try it. 

What was I thinking?

This took me an hour or so to complete...

That's right, 4 inches of pleating. . . 1 hour. This dress was supposed to be for Pretty's 1st birthday pictures (which still have not been scheduled). Instead, I am finishing it for Easter.

In the interest of full disclosure, it got easier after the first 4 inches because I figured out how to do it better. I also let go of having perfect pleats... Wish me luck!!


Easy-Peasy Pincushion (a mini tutorial)

For my sister's birthday, I decided to make her a bunch of new pincushions. (Ok, so the plan wasn't for this many. . .) I started by making her a wrist pincushion from this tutorial. This was the project that I was so frustrated with my machine and turned out to be the final one on my old Brother. Because of time and grumpiness, I didn't get to take a picture of it.

So the first project sewn on my new machine was the flower pincushion by Anna Maria Horner. Even printing out the pattern and seeing how big the pieces were didn't prepare me for the size of this pincushion. It's big, really pretty, but big. Knowing that Audrey would want smaller, I decided to make some more like mine. But what am I going to do with a big pincushion? So she still gets it.

 When I bought my little silver tins from the thrift store, I only got the two I needed and left the other 5. I still kick myself for that. I love my pincushions! So to make my sister's I went back and searched in vain for little silver containers. In the end, I found some good options and brought them home.

To make this easy pincushion, just cut about a 6 in diameter circle (I used a cereal bowl for a template). Sew a gather stitch around the edge, gather and stuff. I put a bit of sawdust in first so the pins will go through it. I don't know how true it is, but I grew up being taught that because of the natural oil in wood, it would keep your pins smoother and in better condition longer.

yup, I really do label stuff like that...

Anyway, sawdust first, then fiberfill until it's firm. Lastly, pull the thread tight and tie the ends together so it won't separate.

Then just use hot glue on the inside of your cute container (I love the little flowers on this one!) and shove the cushion in. I go around the edge of the cushion, moving it aside and adding more glue so it's very secure.

And that's it! Easy-peasy pincushion! And so cute, too!

So, 4 pincushions and a pack of new pearly pins makes for a good gift. And for too many pincushions. I hope you find use for them all, Aud.


My New Toy

First, did you guys know that I guest posted over at Sew.Craft.Create? Head on over to enter the giveaway of a Silly Monster or Silly Monster Pattern!


Remember a few months back, when I complained about my sewing machine's tension not working? Well, lucky for me, my husband did. And when the tension went out for the third time (that he heard about it) last week, Jake decided it was time for a new machine. Plus, my birthday is at the end of the month, so it was a good excuse.

I don't know about you guys, but when it comes to spending a lot of money in one shot, I get a bit anxious. . . and I usually chicken out (which is going to make buying a house an absolute nightmare for me). I shopped around and ended up with this new beauty.

Even after testing it at the store and loving it, I ended up walking around the store aimlessly for a while, on the phone with my husband. He had to convince me to buy it. And then, when I got home, I wouldn't open the box for an hour or so. Don't get me wrong, I was SUPER EXCITED about it, I was just so afraid of it not being what I wanted and the trouble of having to take it back or something. . . am I crazy?

How appropriate is it that I ended up buying a machine from Singer's "Confidence" line?

I've only sewn a few small things on it, but plan to try it out on a new dress for me today and tomorrow. I also plan to spend some time just trying all these stitches! (Is 89 a dog? It is. . . it's a dog.)

With the limited amount I've used it, I already know that I love the automatic threader (my finger's on that below), and that there is a thread cutter on the machine. I can't wait to get to know this machine and sew lots of great things on it! Wish me luck!


Taking a Risk.

For some time now I have hoped to be as awesome as some of my favorite craft blogs and create and sell my own patterns. While I'm still working on my skills at making clothing patterns, I have discovered that I have a talent for making toy patterns. I know that it's unbecoming to compliment ones self, but I also know that it is a great thing to have confidence. And isn't that what this blog is all about? Giving confidence to try new things, at the risk of failure?

So, I've done it. Decided to take the plunge and start my own shop! Introducing:

I struggled with the name. I didn't like the long sound of "Craft with Confidence Shop". So after ruling out "The Smiling Shrub" (based on translations of the last name), and Jake's suggestion of "The Bookworm" (wa?), Jake asked me what "Vivian" meant. "Vivian" means "lively". Done and done.

It's not much to look at right now, with there only being one item for sell... but that brings me to my second announcement. Introducing:

I have made a PDF pattern. At the beginning of the day, I didn't know how to create a PDF file. After downloading several programs, bugging my BIL about it, and getting a bit frustrated, I finally figured out I could do it directly from my Word program. DOH!

I have to say, it's pretty awesome. Tons of pictures, same detailed step by step you are used to from my tutorials, easy to follow. Plus, I decided that I would include a Limited Production Licence with the pattern. You can make and sell up to 10 with the purchase of the pattern. If you want to sell more, we need to talk and do another agreement (and I need to figure out what to do. . . because I still have no idea what I'm doing here!!)

Eventually I will make sock items to sell, and more patterns. Slowly, slowly.

There you go. I'm diving in, just hoping and praying that I don't fail. I would love any feedback you might have on my shop, like what items you would like to see or . . . I don't know anything you have to say!


(woah, that totally makes me think of Mad Eye in Harry Potter, "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" and yes, I am a nerd)


Sweet Little Girl Hat

This is the little baby girl hat I made in case the newest arrival of my sister turned out to boost our tiny number of females in the family from 5 to 6. Instead we are slipping farther behind (now outnumbered 10-5), but darn! that boy is adorable!! Anyway.  This is my first time writing up a crochet pattern, so if something doesn't make sense, please let me know.

Items Needed:
2 coordinating sport weight yarns - mine are pink (A) and white (B)
Size I crochet hook
yarn needle

Holding both yarns together, ch. 4, sl st in first st to make a loop.

Rnd 1:  ch 2 (counts as first hdc), 7 hdc in center of loop, sl st in top of ch 2 (8)
Rnd 2:  ch 2, hdc in same st, 2 hdc in each st, sl st in top of ch 2 (16)
Rnd 3:  ch 2, hdc in same st, * hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from *to*, sl st in top of ch 2 (24)
Rnd 4:  ch 2, hdc in same st, * hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from *to* until last 2 st, hdc in next 2 st, sl st in top ch 2 (32)
Rnd 5:  ch 2, hdc in same st, * hdc in next 3 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from *to* until last 3 st, hdc in next 3 st, sl st in top of ch 2. (40)
Rnd 6-8: ch 2, hdc in each st around, sl st in top of ch 2. (40)
Rnd 9-12: ch 2, hdc in back loop only in each st around, sl st in top of ch 2. (40)
Rnd 13: ch 2, hdc in both loops in each st around, sl st in top of ch 2. Fasten off.

Shell edge
Using A, fasten on any hdc, ch1, sc in same hdc, *sk next st, 5 dc in next st, sk next st, sc in next st* repeat from *to* 10 times, sl st in first sc. Fasten off. 

Use yarn needle to weave in ends.

Flower Petals:
With A, ch 5, sl st in first ch to make a loop.

Rnd 1: ch 1, 10 sc in loop, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 2: ch 1, sc in same st,  * 5 dc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat from *to* 5 times, sl st in first sc, fasten off leaving a sewing length.

Use sewing length to fasten petals onto the hat between Rnds 9-12.

Flower Center:
With B, ch 13.

Row 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch across. Fasten off leaving a sewing length.

Roll the row into a spiral, using yarn needle and sewing length, fasten through the bottom until secure. Use remaining sewing length to fasten in the center of the petals. Weave in remaining ends.