DIY Yarn Cabinet

A little after the Christmas holidays, I began crocheting skull caps for various charities affiliated with my employer as well as local hospitals. I also crochet baby clothes and blankets. Lately, my yarn stash has become ridiculous, therefore I’m at a point that I had to catalog my yarn in an iOS app to know exactly what I currently own. This ensures that when I am in a yarn shop, I am not unnecessarily buying yarn that I already own. Once I reached 103 skeins and hanks I felt that its best to buy a shelf.  The problem is, I was against investing in a Sauder shelf because they are compressed wood and I found Raymour & Flanagan too pricey if it’s just a yarn shelf.

Then I thought, “Wait a minute! I can do this!

Using a little ingenuity and an Xmas gift card from my daughter, I decided to make my own shelf to store my yarn and the flat screen in my sewing room.  I take pride in this because I did this without anyone’s support.

Here’s what I did:

First I picked up 8 wooden crates. Initially I wanted the heavy-duty $28 crates but yarn isn’t heavy so I opted for the $10 crates instead.  In reality the $28 crates would have defeated the purpose in saving money.  (If you use this idea for a desk or table that will hold lamps, books, a laptop, please invest in the $24-28 crates)

Even though I knew that my yarn would not weight much, I was unsure if the crates would provide stability,  so I decided to go to Home Depot and buy wood to support the back and base (I used birch – no specific reason other than color was close to the crates). .

Then next day, I felt that it would look really cool if I painted the crates white and stained the top and made the base.  To support my little flatscreen, I had the base cut 3″ deeper to ensure that it does not tip over.  Here’s where the fun began:

After work, and any time that I wasn’t watching Netflix, I began sanding. This was necessary to ensure that the wood does not snag the yarn.

I read that stain applies better if you apply wood conditioner so after sanding, I applied a coat of wood conditioner and allowed 30-45 minutes for it to absorb.  As I began toying around with the assembly of the crates, I got the idea to add feet. Ugh!  Here I go back to Lowes on Memorial Day weekend.  When I arrived, I honestly did not know how I was going to affix them or Lowe’s selection. I was overwhelmed and stared at various legs and bums for 30-45 minutes. I selected on a 4″ to raise the shelf off of the ground.  Because my shelf is going to be roughly 70″ wide, I felt support in the middle would be best, so I invested in 8.

Just look at the rich color! I was so pleased in this stain choice.i knew this would definitely pop once I painted the crates white.

The first really looked good. So I gave it a few days to completely dry, did a light sanding and added a second coat.  I then waited a few days to ensure that there were no sticky areas before assembling.

This is the outcome.

On Father’s Day 2018, I had the privilege of finally getting around to emptying some of the bags and boxes of yarn.  I wiped down the shelf, brought it upstairs to my sewing room, stocked it, and stood back to stare at my work and smiled.

I would have made my late mother proud!

Women’s Bomber Jacket (Simplicity 8222)

This fully lined jacket was truly a labor of love. Made using Simplicity 8222, I actually did not have fabric in mind but fell in love with the fabric that I used for the lining and had to have it. That led me to a quest for fabric that complemented it for the jacket.

It features side pockets, rib knit cuffs and waistband with a faux buttoned belt embellishment on the back

I hope that my niece Nasariyah likes it

Belted Tunic & Leggings – Simplicity (MimiG) 1019

When MimiG discussed the release of Simplicity pattern 1019, I knew that I wanted to sew this.  Like a Prince fan camped outside of the local Ticketmaster box office, I was READY on the release date.  I fell in love with the style and wanted an opportunity to successfully sew a Simplicity pattern in a day, especially something that I could wear to work or a night out with my girlfriends.  The belt, the buttoned shoulders and the slits on the side….SMH.  I had to have it!

Fabric:  navy and off-white medium weight double-knit (perfect for winter weather)

Modifications:  None.  I wanted to make this precisely as written.

Would I make it again?:  Most definitely! I knew when I purchased the pattern that I wanted two sets.  One long, pictured here in navy and white knit and one all off-white with a shorter pullover which I plan to sew this weekend.  In the winter, I love off-white knits.  The only difference, the next go round is make the leggings a size 8.  I am a normally a size 4/6 and cut my leggings in a size 6.  They fit perfectly unlike any leggings that I have purchased.  I washed them after sewing and they did not shrink in length or around the hips but I would like to know that I can pig out and not have to worry about the waist after a hearty meal.

Difficulty:  Zero difficulty.  This pattern was very easy to follow and took three hours from cutting to hemming.

DSC_0493   DSC_0488DSC_0495




TMNT Cargo Shorts – Burda Easy 9641

Pattern makers are sleeping on adolescent boys and it can be frustrating trying to make them something that suitable.  Using TMNT theme fabric, I made my grandsons cargo shorts with side pockets and front pockets for the summer.   Yes, they are loud but the 8 year old is going to say “This is cool grandma!”

Considering they were simple to make, now I need to purchase more fabric  for the boys!

Pee Wee Fashion – Butterick B4161

Yesterday after breakfast, the spirit hit me.   It was as if my sewing machines were luring me into my sewing room murmuring “Mother, walk towards to (sewing) light”.   I entered the room with every intention of sewing my neighbors daughter a shorts set but this (to me) defines her.  I pushed the other fabric aside and made this instead.  I’m glad that I did.  The end result: total cuteness!  Just like everything that I sew, I washed it in Tide, dried it with Fabric softener sheets and will deliver it this week.

Amelia Neiman!   I’m delivering another dress for you princess!!

Modifications: Something about Amelia strikes me as fairy princess, eyelets and cute buttons.  I didn’t want to overdo it because polka dots should not be tampered with.  I simply added an eyelet lace trim on the hem.

Would I make it again?: Most definitely.  Anything that I can whip up in 60-90 minutes is a no brainier.  It’s simple and doesn’t require a zipper for those who fear the job of sewing zippers.  It requires one button for the back closure.

Difficulty:  None. I just overthink things no matter how simple it is. As much as I prefer my bodice to have interface and or lining, this vexed me.

If you can recall in a previous post, I have always sewn by eye and patterns are a new challenge to me.  Sewing the facing wasn’t the issue. Closin the front and back facing made me suck my teeth repeatedly.  I like a facing  that is tacked down; not one that constantly sticks out at the nape of your neck or arm holes.  It boggled my brain for a minute.   Once I realized that I was functioning decaffeinated, I had a cup, returned to what I was doing, I wrapped it up quickly and laughed at my impatience.

What do you think?  Yay or nay?


Pee Wee Fashion – Simplicity (New Look) 6360

Two weeks ago my husband and I were at one of our favorite restaurants in Easton, PA and a couple entered with their adolescent daughter who had on the cutest dress with godets (the triangular pieces of fabric to add flair to a skirt or dress) that caught my eye.

Throughout dinner I kept staring at this dress and smiled because something about the dress reminded me of Amelia, my neighbor Janine’s daughter.  Right then and there, I was inspired to sew!   You see, sewing is a feeling.  When inspiration hits you, you can’t hear, think or process anything else but how to manipulate fabric and guide it through the feed dogs. I had the perfect gingham at home and knew that I wanted to make this for Amelia.

The next day, I found @SewSimplicity New Look 6360 that is very similar to the little girls dress in the restaurant.  What you see here is the end result.

I finished the interfacing, washed the finished garmet on gentle (cold water) pressed it and just delivered it.  Gosh I hope that it fits!

Fabric: Gingham

Notions: one zipper, one hook and eye closure and lightweight interfacing for the arm and neck.
Difficulty: Easy

Modifications:   I hate hemming but I don’t mind hand sewing  other items (go figure) so I took the lazy route. Using my serger, I finished the raw edge .25″ because gingham frays and rolled the bottom once using a straight stitch.  For a 7/8 girls, this called for a 16″ invisible zipper for the back.  I could not find one so I used a 20″ and cut the end after stay-stitching.


My First Attempt at a Jumpsuit – Vogue V9116 

This morning, I sat down and attempted my first jumpsuit with a soft Handcock ITA knit fabric. Here are the results of Vogue V9116. I absolutely love this jumper! The pattern was easy to follow and can be accomplished under an hour if you pay attention to the instructions on lining the bodice and attaching the bodice to the pants.  The pants flow nicely and it are a comfortable fit.

Modifications: I added 2″ to the leg length to allow me to wear this with heels and removed several inches of elastic from the upper back because I have a narrow torso.

Would I make it again?  Heck yeah!!  If I wasn’t typing, I would be in my sewing room now.  I love the free flowing comfort in this.  I immediately tried it on for the photo and cannot wait to accessorize and wear it to a function.