Tag Archives: Jenny Ryan

Class Sewing Project 1

Something new for me, I’m teaching a machine sewing class at my girls’ school. I have 10 students ranging between 8-12. Three boys and 7 girls. I have never taught anyone but friends and family, so this is a challenge. Just what I needed!

Last week was our first class. We spent a lot of the class (the class is 1 hour long) talking about sewing machine safety and learning about the machines. We are using 4 Brother sewing machines (which I quickly had to learn how to use!) and one Singer Inspiration that my lovely friend Cory left with me when she moved. My machine is in the shop, since after last week it decided to only sew backwards. Crazy!

All the kids got the chance to wind a bobbin and thread the machine. I than let them practice on some sewing worksheets that I got here. And the last few minutes of class were spent trying some of the cool embroidery stitches that come with the Brother machines. Very fun!

Today we are going to try our first project. A bookmark!



Wait a minute, no. A bracelet!


Hmm… not exactly. A pin cushion!


Nope that’s not quite right either. Oh! I remember! It’s ALL THREE!


I got this from Jenny Ryan’s Sew Darn Cute book. I’ve actually made one of these before for my friend, Yancey. I thought this would be a great project because it’s pretty easy and so, so very useful. And you can really get creative with it.


With this project we’ll learn…

measuring and cutting

how to use interfacing

how to sew on trims and velcro

the importance of ironing in a sewing project

practice sewing straight lines


…and hopefully we’ll have a lot of fun! I’m really excited to see what the kid’s come up with. For those of you thinking, “How are those kids going to make all that in one hour?”, I’m planning on splitting the bracelet/bookmark project into one class and the pin cushion into the next.

What new challenges are you pushing yourself to do? Wish me luck!

My Nifty Gifties Project Complete and My 100th Post Giveaway!!

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I finally finished my facebook I will make you something challenge. I made this bracelet/pincushion for my friend Yancey. I got the how-to out of Jenny Ryan‘s Sew Darn Cute book. I call this the silver lining bracelet. It seemed appropriate as we are headed into Portland’s rainy season. Plus, she’s my crafty buddy. Yay!

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Sew Darn Cute Review

Check out craftevolution for my short, but sweet Sew Darn Cute book review. Strawberry is looking good!

This months book for craftevolution’s book club is Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan. How it Works Every 4-6 weeks we “discuss” a craft book as follows: * Make one project out of the book that is due for the next book club meet-up * Explain why you chose that project * Discuss the clarity of the instructions, the layout of the book, the illustrations, other projects in the book, and whether you liked the book or not * Suggest one book for the next book club You can submit your discussion either as a comment the day of the book club meet-up or by email (mycraftevolution(at)gmail(dot)com). If you have pictures of your projects that you would like to share, email them to me or submit them to the Crafty Daisies Book Club Flickr group

Who’s your Strawberry?



I finally finished Strawberry! With a little help from Jenny Ryan, who was kind enough to walk me through some of her instructions, I was able to complete the Square Bear from her book Sew Darn Cute today. PZ just loves him and, according to her, the feeling is mutual.

Shucks, they’re only shirts.

Thought I’d show off a little. 🙂 These are some things I’ve been working on lately. Q’s shirt is the first one I’ve made. I didn’t use a pattern or tutorial. I’m calling it the Floral Frankenstein because of all the piecing together I had to do. ha!



This jumper I cut out for PZ awhile ago, but just recently put together and finished. I haven’t put buttons on both sides of the straps yet, but it’s not keeping her from wearing it.



This is the square bear from Jenny Ryan‘s Sew Darn Cute book. I should finish it either tonight or tomorrow. PZ has already named him Strawberry.


In no way perfect, but…”

Every time I go to show someone one of my finished sewing projects, these are the words I say, “It’s in no way perfect, but…”. Part of me is sad that I feel I have to somehow justify my work like this. The other part of me thinks it is hilarious that even though I KNOW the piece isn’t perfect, I still can’t wait to show it off! I’m so excited to have created something, I can’t help but love it flaws and all. So, keeping that it mind…pzinsmock

I made this smock using Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing book

I made this smock using Amy Karol‘s Bend the Rules Sewing Book. I was originally thinking it would work for Q to go with the bloomers I made from Heather RossWeekend Book, but it was WAY too big. Fits PZ quite nicely though, and since she is pretty much convinced that everything I make should go to her this worked out.



Speaking of Q, she has decided that spoon feeding is no longer an option. She must feed herself. So, until it is warm enough for her to go shirtless at the dinner table I figured we’re going to need a lot more bibs in the house. I copied the shape from Jenny Ryan‘s Sew Darn Cute book, but where she calls for adding an iron-on vinyl to the fabric I chose to just leave the cotton plain. I’ve found that the vinyl bibs work better for older kids, whereas when they are still young enough to make BIG messes it is best to be able to throw it in the wash. Just my preference.



Must MAKE Monday

So I got the opportunity to see Handmade Nation, Faythe Lavine‘s documentary on the Handmade movement, this evening at the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft. I sat from the first chords of “Hands On” during the opening credits all the way until the closing reel with a smile on my face, relishing the thought of seeing this film again.

As a nod to the movement, and in hopes of sharing just a shred of that feeling with you, I present Must MAKE Monday. Since my goal is to make all handmade gifts this year, and I don’t want any of those recipients to have the surprise ruined, all these Must Makes will be things I want to make for myself or my girls and not gift projects that I have planned.

how-to make a picnic blanket

how-to make a picnic blanket

I have always wanted a beautiful picnic blanket. This Sew, Mama, Sew tutorial by Erin from house on hill road is well written Continue reading