Canning Season

It's been a great year to have a garden (at least in Ohio) and seems even with all the heat, we still got plenty of rain to make everything grow and produce like crazy! Right now I'm busy canning tomatoes and salsa every weekend. Thank goodness my husband helps me--he's in it for the salsa! 

Awhile back I did some house cleaning on my Free Pattern page because I want to update the older patterns and reformat everything for a cohesive look. Slowly but surely, I'm bringing back some of the patterns. 

With all this canning and kitchen work, it was time to dust off my Upcylce Apron pattern (formerly called Apron from Sundress) and put that pattern back up for free downloading. 

As summer is winding down, now's a great time of year to pick up a second-hand sundress at your local thrift store, or maybe you have one hiding in the back of your closet!

Selection of sundress at Goodwill

Selection of sundress at Goodwill

I selected this plain but feminine linen sundress.

Download my free Upcycle Apron pattern and in no time, you'll have a fun apron for covering up while cooking or other messy endeavors like painting or gardening.

When we were canning this weekend, I found a 1979 canning jar lid in the canning supplies given to me by my Mom. She was a big canner in the day and our family garden was a quarter the size of a football field. The date on the lid was exactly 37 years ago on Sunday and it gave me an idea to take some flat lay photos of canning lids and the handed down canning ephemera. I really got a kick out of doing these photos and emailed them to my Mom who also really enjoyed seeing this stuff immortalized in a photo collage. 

I hope you're able to enjoy the bounties of summer as well. If you're not much of a green thumb then hopefully there's a farmer's market near you to take in the these glorious last days of summer. 

Holiday Cheer

Friends and family gatherings are a big part of the holidays. Bringing a bottle of spirits to the festivities is a perfect way to thank your host and hostess. Why not show-off your crafty cleverness with a bottle gift wrap made by upcycling garments. It only takes a few minutes to whip up a bottle cover. Have fun adding embellishments to compliment a theme or add that extra touch to a gift basket with a custom-made wine bottle cover.


Wine Bottle Sleeve

Finished size approximately 12"H x 5"W

You will need:

  • Women's shirts of desired fabrics size small to medium
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Ruler
  • Embellishment suggestions: raffia, bottle stopper, (1) 2" x 19" strip of cotton batting (for scarf), jingle bells, curling ribbon

Step 1 Slip shirtsleeve over bottle and lay on its side on a flat surface. Determine how high sleeve cuff will extend to top of bottle. Hold cuff in place at bottle neck and pinch sleeve to center of bottle base with other hand. Remove sleeve from bottle while holding pinched base. 

Step 2 Lay pinched sleeve against a ruler and measure from end of cuff to pinched-off part of sleeve. Add 1/2" to this measurement. 

Step 3 Press sleeve flat. Cut section of sleeve from cuff to determined length. 

Step 4 On raw edge, press 1/4" under to the wrong side of sleeve. Knot end of a double length of thread. Hand baste a running stitch 1/8" from edge, hiding knot inside sleeve. Pull thread to gather. The edge will be pulled to the center. Flatten the gathered closure and secure thread with a double knot on inside of sleeve. 

Step 5 Slip bottle into sleeve and tie embellishments around bottle neck to complete.

A Week of Sewing

To help you get in the gift making spirit, I will be posting a sewing project everyday during the first week of December. All week there will be either new projects or re-postings of some of my favorite holiday sewing ideas. With many of you new to my site, this is a great way to introduce you to my Free Patterns page. 

Pets love Christmas too and if you're like me, they're a big part of your family and you love to keep them comfortable and happy. Here's a great sewing project that's perfect for our four-legged friends and also recycles a cast-off button-up shirt. 

I made this jacket for my son's dog. Sebastian is a small poodle so I picked up a 2T plaid shirt at my local Goodwill. My free pattern, Pet Jacket includes instructions for how to measure your dog (or cat) to be able to size up or down from my sample project. Construction is the same for any size jacket. 

The little guy looks pretty dapper in his plaid jacket with collar. He was the perfect model too and got lots of smiles from the people walking by!