A Month of Christmas Holiday Gifts to SEW: Aprons, Bags, Ornaments and More

sewmamasew

thanksew

EDITED TO ADD:

Handmade Holidays 2011

Handmade Holidays 2010

Handmade Holidays 2009

Handmade Holidays 2008

I want to take this opportunity to personally express my gratitude to the lovely divas, Beth, Kristin and Lauren, over at Sew Mama Sew for their month long sewing inspirations!  You girls ROCK!

If you’ve enjoyed their Handmade Holidays, hop over to the Sew Mama Sew Online Store and show your love!

handmadeholidaysrecap

Aprons

Sew Mama Sew – Day 1 – Aprons

Additional Apron Tutorials

Pincushions

Sew Mama Sew – Day 2 – Pincushions and Pins

Additional Pincushion Tutorials

For the Home

Sew Mama Sew – Day 3 – For the Home

Additional Sewing for the Home Tutorials

Lunch Bags

Sew Mama Sew – Day 4 – Lunch Bags

Additional Lunch Bag Tutorials

Tote Bags

Sew Mama Sew – Day 5 – Totes

Additional Tote Tutorials

Blankets for Baby

Sew Mama Sew – Day 6 – Blankets for Baby

Additional Baby Blanket Tutorials

For Your Purse or Pocket

Sew Mama Sew – Day 7 – For Your Purse or Pocket

Additional Purse Tutorials

Whimsy

Sew Mama Sew – Day 8 – Whimsy

Additional Whimsy Tutorials

Fabric Ornaments

Mama Sew – Day 9 – Fabric Ornaments

Additional Ornament Tutorials

Ties and Belts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 10 – Ties and Belts

Additional Ties and Belt Tutorials

Reading and Writing

Sew Mama Sew – Day 11 – Reading and Writing

Additional Reading and Writing Tutorials

For the Table

Sew Mama Sew – Day 12 – For the Table

Additional Tutorials for the Table

Placemats

Sew Mama Sew – Day 13 – Placemats

Additional Placemat Tutorials 

Kids’ Clothes

Sew Mama Sew – Day 14 – Dress the Kids

Additional Kids’ Clothes Tutorials

Booties, Slippers and Socks

Sew Mama Sew – Day 15 – Warm Those Toes

Additional Booties, Slippers and Socks Tutorials

Gifts for the Crafter

Sew Mama Sew – Day 16 – Gifts for the Crafter

Additional Gifts for the Crafter Tutorials

Purses

Sew Mama Sew – Day 17 – Purses

Additional Purse Tutorials

For Baby

Sew Mama Sew – Day 18 – For Baby

Additional Baby Gifts Tutorials

Tech Gifts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 19 – Tech Gifts

More Tech Gift Tutorials

Organization Gifts

Sew Mama Sew – Day 20 – Gifts for Organization

More Organization Gift Tutorials

Pillows

Sew Mama Sew – Day 21 – Pillows

Additional Pillow Tutorials

Fun for Hair

Sew Mama Sew – Day 22 – Fun for Hair

Additional Hair Goodies Tutorials

Soft Toys and Games

Sew Mama Sew – Day 23 – Soft Toys and Games

Additional Toy Tutorials

Sachets

Sew Mama Sew – Day 24 – Sachets and Therapy Pillows

Additional Sachet Tutorials

For the Kitchen

Sew Mama Sew – Day 25 – For the Kitchen

Additional Stitching in the Kitchen Tutorials

Embellishments

Sew Mama Sew – Day 26 – Embellishments

Additional Embellishing Ideas and Tutorials

Gifts for Warmth

Sew Mama Sew – Day 27 – Gifts for Warmth

Additional Gifts for Warmth Tutorials

Drawstring Bags

Sew Mama Sew – Day 28 – Drawstring Bags

Additional Drawstring Bag Tutorials

Fabric Boxes

Sew Mama Sew – Day 29 – Fabric Boxes

Additional Fabric Box Tutorials

othersewingdivas

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Want to see what everyone else did for Handmade Holidays?

Handmade Holiday PHOTOS on Flickr

Lots of gift wrapping inspiration over at Flickr’s Nice Package,  Crafty Packages and Presents photo pools!

There’s even a Gift Tag Pool on Flickr, too!

BLOGMEME

Check out Handcrafters’ Holidays–a new blog meme from Sew Mama Sew!

meme_new

There’s 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Sew Mama Sew Blog in the month of December.

Happy Sewing!

lisasiggie2

Sewing Mojo Continues

THE SEWING MOJO CONTINUES

dianacurtainshem

Trying hard to keep the sewing momentum going!  So far, so good.

Tuesday I spent most of the morning in the sewing room trying to put a dent in the silk curtains.  Pressing up side hems and stitching them down.  Boring.  Yep…but it’s got to be done.  Sewing isn’t always glamorous.  LOL

I still need to I finish the top headers and will have to wait until the curtain rods are hung at the store to determine the exact length needed.  I put the silk curtains in the UFO pile.  They’ll just have to wait for another day the deadline.

rufflebutt

On Wednesday, I decided I needed something fun to sew.  Those silk curtains were sucking the life out of me.  I purchased this cute Baby Ruffle Pants pattern by Bettsy Kingston.  I like that there was an additional additional technique on her website.  However, because I’m a genius, I decided on a completely different construction technique.

elastichem

I first serged the pant leg openings, stitched on the elastic, flipped the pant leg seam in and stitched it down to the wrong side…all the time stretching the elastic while I sewed.  I thought it would be much easier to sew the elastic in the pants legs while flat.  Not easier…just faster.

I then made the ruffle strips (rolled hem edges) and gathered them to fit the pants.  It was then I realized the ruffles were not full enough.  That’s probably because I didn’t bother measuring exactly how long I would need them. Typical Diva disaster.

ruffler

No big deal.  I’ll use the first ruffles to embellish a matching baby top or dress.  So on Thursday,  I made another bunch of ruffles on my sewing machine using my ruffler foot and made them extra long so I’d have plenty of ruffles to fit.

rufflesfinsihed

See…now that’s some ruffles!  I had to admire them all day Friday.

bloomers

Then today, I once again, deviated from the instructions.  Instead of stitching the top ruffle first, I opted to start from the bottom ruffle and work my way up to the top ruffle.  The reason being, both long edges of the ruffles have rolled hems and it’s not necessary to attach right sides together, flip and topstitch.  If I was working with an unfinished edge, I would have followed the instructions.  Well, probably not, because I’m a rebel like that.

I was pleased with the way the ruffled bloomers came out.  Aren’t they stinkin’ cute?  My feeling is one can never overdo ruffles.

brownsequingown

Now onto the next sewing adventure.  I really need to get serious here.  My daughter just handed me her lined sequined prom gown and requested that add a slit up the leg and hem it 4 inches.  That would be good and fine is I knew how to do it.  I am so going to have to wing this.  Anyone have ANY experience working with sequins and linings?  I’m desperate.  Oh and she needs it for Wednesday.  Yep.  That’s a mere 4 days from now.  HELP!!!

SEWING AROUND THE WEB

The Train to Crazy’s Children’s Summer Clothes Tutorial Roundup has tons of great links!  Check it out!

seamallowanceguide

Look at this clever sewing invention…it’s a Seam Allowance Guide for your scissors!

rty-guide

Did you know about the Olfa Rotary Arm Guide for rotary cutting?  I must live under a rock.

With friendship,

Lisa

divawelcomemat

Last Year’s Summer in the City Diva-Q 2009 – Part I

BBQinvite1WEB2009

Invitations by Leeziebee Graphics

Whoops!  I forgot to post about last Summer’s BBQ!  With the year’s BBQ only 3 weeks ago, I guess it’s better late than never!

zebralanterns

Kelli send me a bunch of these awesome zebra paper lanterns

amandaanna

Amanda and Anna

ariannenick

Arianne and Nick

auroraziva 

Princess Aurora and Ziva were decked out in Zebra attire.

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The Candy Cart

candycartcloseup

candycigs

caraericasuejennrenee

Cara, Erika, Sue Monsta, Jenn C and Renee

caramelapples2

Caramel Apple Quick Dipper

cottoncandy

professional cotton candy machine

dianaladymsophia

Diana Bagels, Lady M™ and Diana’s daughter, Sophie.

facepainting

fun

I spy my Josie Girl™ in a zebra and pink tutu dress.

goodies

ziggysharlenesboy 

Ziggy the Magic Man and Sharlene’s son

grilling

Grilling Silver Star’s Filet Mignon kabobs, Fiaco’s Italian sausage, hamburgers and hot dogs.

jennstefan2

Jenn and Stefan who recently relocated nearby from Canada.

zebraballoons

lighted Lumi-Loon helium balloons

trampoline

lexiekierabounce

Lexie and Kiera.

popcorn

bellagiawhitneykiera

Bella, Gia, Whitney and Kiera

blacklerclan

bouncehouse2

I spy Sharlene!

briellecaramel

Brielle enjoying a caramel apple

caramarielle2009 

Cara and Marielle

coliekrista

Nicole and Krista…the prettiest babysitters on Staten Island.  (Krista is now a cheerleader for the NY Jets!!!)

deliajosie

Josie and Delia

dianapopsophia

Diana Bagels, her Dad Tony and daughter, Sophia.

erikasuzy

Erika and Hot Fix Suzy

gang

hannafacepaint

Hanna gets her face painted

heidibrielledon

Heidi Ho, Brielle and Don all with their custom Diva Q 2009 t-shirts

inlaws

jacqeileenbbq

Jacq Attack™ and Eileen the Bean™

jacqsteak

Jacq Attack™ 

jameskayla

James, Alex and Kayla

jennsboys

Boys will be boys

stella

Stella and Kayla

steve

BIL Steve and my cousin Jen’s son

Part II After Dark coming up next…

stay tuned!

With friendship,

Lisa 

ALL IS WELL IN DIVA LAND

ALL IS WELL IIN DIVA LAND…YES!

SORRY I HAVEN’T UPDATED IN AGES…

MY DESKTOP PC HAS SOME NASTY VIRUSES.  MY COMPUTER GUY FIXED IT, BUT PUT TOO MANY SECURITY FEATURES ON IT AND NOW I CAN’T GO TO ANY WEBSITES ON IT.  THEN MY SON DROPPED MY BEAUTIFUL APPLE POWER BOOK.  AND TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, HE SPILLED SODA ON THE KEYBOARD (HENCE THE REASON THIS POST IS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS…UGH).

I’M DOING GOOD.  FINALLY HIRED SOMEONE TO REPLACE ME AT MR. DIVA’S OFFICE.  AFTER ANOTHER MONTH, I WILL BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO MY DIVA LIFE…YEAH!

MARIELLE IS DOING FANTASTIC!  SHE PASSED HER ROAD TEST TWO WEEKS AGO AND HAS BEEN DRIVING EVER SINCE!  GO MARIELLE!

BEEN BUSY PLANNING FOR THE BIG DIVA BBQ!  IF YOU’RE IN THE AREA (STATEN ISLAND, NYC), COME ON BY…SATURDAY, AUGUST 7TH, 3PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT.

STAY TUNED!

WITH FRIENDSHIP,

LISA

James Bond 007 Birthday Party

Sometimes I get ahead of myself.  Case in point…Earlier last month, I threw my son his Birthday party even though he won’t turn 8-years-old until December 18th.

My reasoning was simple.  Last year, only 6 kids showed up for his party, because most were either away for the holidays or had prior commitments.  Jumping the gun this year paid off—22 of Joseph’s friends showed up for his James Bond 007 Birthday Party at The Children’s Workshop (aka Secret Service Headquarters…LOL).

top-secret-envelope

I made cool James Bond party invitations instructing the attendees to RSVP or their message would self-destruct.  I enclosed the invitations in brown kraft manila envelopes addressed to each “Agent” and stamped “TOP SECRET” in red ink.

id

Since I have a laminating machine, I made personalized secret agent ID badges for each kid.

dynamite

Then I needed to come up with some Bond games.  So I made some faux dynamite using paint rollers covered in tissue paper.  I spray painted them red, then added black electrical tape, gold metal bolts, some colored wires and even a timer.

bondparty11

And let me tell you, it’s so much more fun to play Pass the Dynamite than a boring Hot Potato.  The kids thought it was a BLAST!

bomb

Since I was feeling criminal, I also made a faux bomb.  Using a Styrofoam sphere and a 2-liter bottle cap, I spray painted them with black chalkboard paint (don’t use regular spray paint as it will disintegrate the Styrofoam…lesson learned).  Glued the bottle cap and a skein of red yarn to the sphere…and there you have Defuse the Bomb.  I cut the length of the yarn to about 50 feet and had the kids literally tangle themselves up with it.  The one who got the end of the “fuse” (aka yarn) won a prize.

bondparty14 

I was tempted to leave the kids tied up in the fuse (aka yarn), but their parents were present (not that a few parents didn’t suggest I do so).

bondparty15

The kids drank fruit punch out of Martini glasses!  And no, I didn’t spike the punch.

casinotable

You can’t have a James Bond party without a little illegal gambling.  So, of course, the kids played a little roulette!

bondparty13 

Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, I opted for Get the Bull’s Eye on the Body.  I printed a free target at Target Printer and brought it to my local printer to enlarge on blueprint paper.  Originally, I had planned to use a plastic dart gun, but the darts wouldn’t stick to the target paper.  So we ended up using stickers with the kids’ names on them.

loot

No Bond party would be complete without loot bags.  I found so many cool things–cell phone flashlights, poker chip playing cards, whoopee cushions, glow necklaces, ID badges, million dollar chocolates, money notepads, play money, regular playing cards, flashlight pens, spy sunglasses, disappearing ink, light-up dice bounce balls, bomb bags, sequined bow ties, and mini Magic 8 balls!

bondparty18

Several parents told me their kids said it was the best birthday party they had ever been to (which, of course, made me BEAM!)

And like my Socialite Sister™ said,Only you could make underage gambling and explosives fun!”

 Mission Accomplished!

lisasiggie2

The Secret Recipe to the Best Italian Gravy (Tomato Sauce)

Tomatosauce-main_Full

First let me say, I’m an Irish gal married to an Italian guy.  My mother never taught me how to make tomato sauce, so I’ve had to learn from different strangers and friends over the years.

There are a million ways to make Italian Tomato Sauce.  I’ve tried so many different recipes.  Things changed when I tasted my friend, Diana’s (Diana Bagels) sauce.  It was by far the best one I’ve ever had and think you will agree.  I’ve changed the recipe slightly to make it my own.

Now, before we get started, let’s talk about ingredients.  If you want great sauce, you need to use top-quality ingredients.  Everything needs to be fresh.  Let’s face it, canned chopped garlic isn’t the same as fresh garlic. Same goes for basil.

tuttorusso

Don’t be using Hunt’s or another cheap tomato puree.  Go for the good stuff.  If your local supermarket doesn’t have Tuttorusso, order it online, or substitute Progresso or another quality brand.

amore2

Now I realize Amore™ Italian Tomato Paste costs about $2.99 a tube. However, you only need 1/2 a tube and can refrigerate the other half.  Figure a regular can of tomato paste costs $1.29, but you can’t save the other half and end up throwing it in the trash.  Plus, the Amore is easily squeezed out of the tube.  No more tiny cans!

locatelli2

Another important ingredient is your grated cheese.  Here in NYC, we only use Locatelli™ Pecorino Romano Cheese.  We don’t even call it Romano cheese.  We just ask for Locatelli as if it’s the ONLY Romano cheese…LOL!  If you can’t find it locally, order it online.  It’s worth it!

sausage

And finally, let’s discuss meat.  This sauce is delicious because of the high-quality meats that are cooked for hours in the sauce.  It’s what gives it such a great taste.  Don’t settle for supermarket pre-cut meats.  Instead, go to a real butcher and splurge.

braccoile

If you want, you can make your own braciole or get it already prepared from your local butcher.

Now let’s get started…

Ingredients

* Meatball recipe is HERE.

In a 8 quart stock pot, add enough Olive Oil to lightly coat bottom of pan.

Add fresh Garlic and Onion.  Heat over a high flame until soft.

STIR.

Add a splash or two of Red Wine.  Lower flame on stove to medium.

STIR.

Add Tomato Puree.  Rinse 1 Puree can with a 1/2 can of Water to remove excess Puree from can.  Poor into next Puree can and so on until the 6th can is full.  Now add remaining Puree/Water mixture to stock pot.  By doing this you get all the tomato puree and waste none.

STIR.

Add Grated Cheese.

STIR.

Add Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano and Tomato Paste.

STIR.

Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a low to medium flame.

STIR.

Add lots of Fried Meat including meatballs, Italian sweet and hot sausage, braciole and steak.

STIR.

Do not cover.

Cook for at least 3 hours stirring every 20 minutes to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the stock pot.  Depending on how thick you want your tomato sauce, you can cook it for up to 5 hours.

Now that  you’ve made fantastic tomato sauce, why not make some Eggplant Parmigiana?  The recipe is HERE!

Enjoy!

lisasiggie

Happy New Year

Just popping in with a quick update…
Marielle is doing well. Her kidney function is perfect. However, we are struggling with the side effects of her medications.

My older sister has been here taking shifts at Marielle’s bedside. It is simply exhausting as she needs us 24 hours a day.

Today she was able to sit in a chair twice! I’m so proud of her. We’re hoping it gets easier as the days go by.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support and prayers.

Wishing everyone a blessed New Year!

With friendship,
Lisa

Sew Interrupted

Guess what?  My daugther is back in the hospital in Philadelphia since Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning.  She continues to have trouble with high blood pressure.  Now she’s having lots of pain in her kidneys, so they’re giving her pain medication to make it bearable.

In spite of this, I continue to move ahead with my Downtown Joey launch.  My pattern maker is adding a modication for me and I’ve just received word that I was approved show at the upcoming ENK Children’s Show.  Been in touch with my friend, Rita, at Earnshaw’s Children’s magazine and she’s putting together an ad package for me.  Photos are due by September 15 to make the printing deadline…looks like I might have to use last year’s pictures as my salesman’s samples probably won’t be ready by them.

Tried unsuccessfully today to order twill tape and extra cotton knit fabric…guess I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

In the morning, I plan to order the items I need for the upcoming tradeshow such as backdrops, accessories, etc.

Sorry, no pictures with this post.  I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.  Thanks for your continued prayers and support!

With friendship,

Lisa

Wordless Wednesday Once Again

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tshirt4

(t-shirt I painted back in the 70s…like 30 years ago!  Inspired by Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home.”)

Hope on over to Wordless Wednesday!

lisasiggie2

Fashion Design and Sewing Worksheet

fashion6

(sketch by my 14-year-old daughter, Marielle)

Thought I’d share my current worksheet I use to streamline my design and sewing production of my boys’ clothing line.

Clothing Design and Sewing Sheet

I always attach a sketch or photo AND fabric swatches to each worksheet.  It makes the process so much easier.  This worksheet gets utilized for both custom orders and assembly-line sewing.

Once I start “real” production (manufacturing) for the wholesale market this coming year, this worksheet will change as there will be things which will have to be done differently.

Enjoy!

With friendship,

Lisa

divatiara

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