Sew Fussy

Keeping up with the Fussy/s

Christmas Crafting?

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This post is a supplement to my previous book report. I now have pictures and a plan, hooray!

I made a promise to stay off the computer all Thanksgiving day, which leaves me some time to try a bit o’ Christmas crafting. I think the book I’m most excited to experiment with is The Cute Book, because the projects are so tiny and… well, CUTE… and best of all, I have a huge stash of dyed organic velour and organic wool scraps in a rainbow of colors. I have easily found a use for scraps that are 3″ or larger in the past, but I never knew what to do with the smaller pieces that are abundant around here. This is the perfect project book for me! Just a little note, of course the animals can be made as large as you like, but actual size of the projects in the book is very mini.

the cute book 2

Isn’t the index (above) adorable? I mean it, I’m obsessed with the layout of this book. I think it’s wonderful and witty, and the text is cute as well. Each project covers two pages, and each project layout is a different color from the others.


the cute book 3

I’ve never made any sort of critter, whether hand-sewn or by machine, stuffed or flat, embellished or plain. I will be interested to see how this works out for me. Ha ha! I’m going to see if Anya can do some hand sewing as well. I think she can do it because she loves to”make” and she’s pretty meticulous for a 5 year old. Yeah, I’m bragging on her. Better than ragging on her. Pfft, hush Christy, you’re being weird.

From Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilting Gifts, I fell in love with this quilt but there’s no way I will even attempt to make it. Not that you shouldn’t, it’s just that I am not a quilter and I am far too scatterbrained and disorganized. I’d never get such a beautiful color wheel laid out, let alone sewn nicely. Isn’t it striking? I think so.

last minute patchwork + quilted gifts

I do plan to try making the bird ornaments (which can be seen on the cover of the book if you click on the title above), and this sweet stuffed elephant. “Peanut, the wee elephant” is what the project is called, and it was designed for the book by Hillary Lang of Wee Wonderfuls.

last minute patchwork + quilted gifts

The finished size is about 7″ by 9″ and I think Zella would love one of these for Christmas. I’m partial to this project because when I was a little girl I dreamed of being an elephant. You know, as a career. My mom tricked me into believing that if I pulled on my nose and ears every night before bed, it was possible. What a gullible little kid I was. Thanks for deceiving me, Mom!

Finally, two little projects from Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching. These ornaments are cute and simple, and will be a good introduction to hand embroidery (another first for me). If I mess up I’m not wasting much in the way of materials or energy.

aimee ray doodle stitching

Another little critter to try out…

aimee ray doodle stitching

In other Christmas-related news, we bought a live tree this evening! We went to Lowe’s and let Anya pick it out, I honestly think she picked the nicest one in the lot. It’s gorgeous. Even more exciting, it’s our first live Christmas tree! If I had known you could get such a lovely (and extremely aromatic) tree for under $30 I would have started this tradition a long time ago.

Encouraged by one of the photographs above, I tried to talk Bill into getting a pink tree but it was hopeless. I’m lucky he didn’t throw me out just for suggesting it, I could tell he was seriously considering it. I think pink would have gone well with our black, white, gray, and silver house though. Totally. I guess pink trees are trendy this season… check out the latest cover of Blueprint magazine for another example. Previously, I think it was upside down Christmas trees, which I don’t quite get. I mean, this one is $600 and sadly, all sold out already. Really?

My last little tidbit before I go to sleep. I coveted these Ahna Holder wool-felt stockings last year, and swore to make some cool felt sockings for my family before Christmas rolled around this year. It would probably make more sense to just *buy* some, huh? I would never go for such an easy solution.

ahna holder stockings



Written by sewfussy

November 21, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Books, Crafty fun, Sewing


with 8 comments


Here I am! I took a little break from posting because of some rough days but it’s all good, and Super Troopers is on Comedy Central right now so I’m happy. Meow don’t go thinking I’ve just been sitting back, eating candy (um, I have), and watching TV, because I’m actually not slacking – I’ve got so many projects going on right now it’s crazy.

My new blog and website are nearly finished, and soon I’ll be able to show off all of the beautiful artwork that Marjorie made for me, as well as the design skills of the ladies at Aeolidia (Shoshanna has been creating the blog/website). I’m super excited, but it’s been a TON of work and I’m terrible at making design decisions. I’m always second-guessing myself. I also have a new shopping cart in the works but I think it may be a while longer before that one is ready to unveil. Seriously though, I’ve been working on the site makeovers since at least January 2007. Almost a year! I think it will have been worth the wait.

And look what else I managed to do last week, I sent out samples! I was extremely professional about it, too – you know you love my stickers and my fabulous penmanship. Ahh yeah.

Fussybutt Diaper Samples

I sent packages to three different manufacturers and I’m praying one of them will be able to help me with a new line of diapers. Aside from being incredibly burnt out from sewing all of my Fussybutt diapers without any assistance for the last 4 years, I don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done (I know, who does?).
I had to overcome severe phone anxiety to make this happen, so it better pan out. I don’t want to get too excited yet, since I’ve sent samples out four times already and had no luck at all.

I’ve got a huge batch of cloth pads on the cutting table, including a new overnight pad and a new length regular absorbency pad. Snap-free pad preview below. I need to buy new serger blades because, as you might notice from the picture, the ones on my Baby Lock are not cutting well anymore. Anybody know where I can order them online?

fussybutt pads

Once again I’ve been spending a lot of time pondering names. I am still brainstorming regarding the cloth pads – and suggestions are welcome – but I think I’m satisfied with the name of the new diaper line although I’m not telling just yet! I want to make a distinction between the diapers that are handmade and the ones that are produced by a sewing contractor, so they will belong to different brands. Just what I need, more things to keep track of and obsess about!

In non-work related news, my family and I finally found our way to the Houston Midtown Farmers Market this past Saturday morning. It’s hosted at T’afia on Travis St. and there were some great vendors there. Along with lots of yummy foodstuffs I bought some soaps from my friend Lisa at Fetosoap. She had such a nice booth setup, I wish I had brought a camera with me so that I could have taken pictures.


My next post will probably be about Christmas projects, because I need to motivate myself. I took some photos of a few projects in the books I posted about last week and I’ll post them. Can you stand the excitement?

Written by sewfussy

November 19, 2007 at 12:14 am

Posted in General Dorkiness

Yoshiko Jinzenji, Quilter

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I have never been extremely interested in traditional quilts, but Yoshiko Jinzenji’s work is so different than what I envision when I hear the term “quilt,” and she’s definitely an artist worth checking out!

You can see some of Yoshiko Jinzenji’s beautiful quilts on her website, and there are also a couple of books of her work available. I have “Quilt Artistry” (text in English) and some of the projects inside are amazing… I wish I had some photographs of the inside pages, but I don’t. I’m a tease. Maybe I’ll take some later, though.
And even though it is not written in English I would also like to get the other book, “Simple Quilts.” There are a bunch of projects in there that I would like to make, and it should be similar to the other Japanese pattern books I have in that there is enough information to create the projects without text. I should be able to figure it out, right?

I am also really digging her fabric line (available here at ReproDepot) but my problem is, I can’t decide which of them I love the most. You should really check out the full-size files since you can’t see much in the thumbnails…





For some reason, browsing through her collective fabric line makes me think of Alexander Calder’s work.



Isn’t this little elephant marvelous? I was not familiar with Calder’s non-mobile sculptures but I think I’m more intrigued by them than the types of work pictured above.


Written by sewfussy

November 14, 2007 at 1:11 am

Trashy Television

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jay mccarroll project runway

All right y’all, who’s ready for Project Runway S4 to get rolling? I’m so looking forward to Wednesday night because I totally love this show and it’s been way too long since the last season aired. I’ve been whetting my appetite reading the entertaining posts on Project Rungay but I need MORE!

By the way, did you know you can buy a Jay McCarroll bag at Fred Flare? I am semi-obsessed with Jay, and I love his work. The way he embellishes his designs, the patchwork, the color mixes, the funky accessories, everything! I don’t care if his winning Project Runway collection was “matchy-matchy,” I thought it rocked. Down to the painted headphones.

jay mccarroll project runway

 jay mccarroll project runway

jay mccarroll project runway

Speaking of reality shows, I just spent half the night watching trash… I’m addicted, I can’t help it. Monday night is my must-view lineup (but PR4 Wednesday nights are going to knock Mondays out of the park starting this week) because there’s The Bachelor – really, yes, I’ve been watching this season – and I Love New York 2, which I’m surprisingly NOT embarrassed to admit I enjoy. Who wouldn’t love watching Tiffany, a.k.a. “New York,” talk trash, abuse her potential suitors, and laugh like an Australian Stock Horse? And what’s up with those pendulous breasts? Those suckers weren’t around for Season 1.
My take on all the VH1 “reality shows” is that they’re pretty fake, but they’re still highly entertaining.

I used to do all of my sewing during the night so I never had time for television, but since Anya started going to school we’re all in bed early so that we can get up at freaking 6:30AM. Just because I’m in bed doesn’t mean I sleep, though. Even my trusty Benadryl isn’t working these days… insomnia is so annoying.


Written by sewfussy

November 13, 2007 at 1:29 am

Posted in General Dorkiness


with 3 comments

I’ve been sick and bedridden all weekend so here is a superfluous post…

I always end up with these random pictures of our house on my hard drive so I thought I’d share a few here. I know, you can’t actually see much of the overall house, but it’s the best I’ve got right now!
I’m all proud because my husband designed and built it, and I really love living in it.  For that reason alone, it’s unfortunate that we may not be living in Houston for much longer. (Otherwise, I’m rejoicing over a possible move out of here!)

house 1


house 2


Written by sewfussy

November 11, 2007 at 10:53 pm

Posted in General Dorkiness

College Sketchbook

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Proof that I really do need the Fashion Drawing book I just bought (but haven’t had time to look at… damn you NaBloPoMo for being so needy).  It’s not that I think these are terrible, but they’re the only ones I can find that I am not completely embarrassed of.   I sketched pretty much daily through five years of college, so it’s not like I didn’t get enough practice.



 I do much better with the appropriate tools (a parallel bar, compass, templates, and lovely, lovely lead holders).



Written by sewfussy

November 9, 2007 at 11:51 pm

Posted in General Dorkiness

Book Report

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I should never wait until it’s this late to write my posts. By the time I get around to it I’m fighting to keep my eyes open while my computer rests on my lap in bed, and I type the most random stuff. This kindergarten-induced 9PM bedtime is killing me, and it’s a far cry from this time last year when I was happily working past 3 or 4AM most nights. I really miss working my night shift.
What does any of this have to do with books? Absolutely nothing. But when I’m this tired I have not so much control over what I write. Can you tell I like to ramble? Ah-yup.

I have this huge pile of crafty books next to my bed that I’m dying to read. The problem is, when I read in bed I get very tired… I need to develop a solution, because I really need some everyday motivation and holiday inspiration.

The Cute Book is put together so nicely, I love the layout of the pages ( if you click on the title you can see a small photo of an inside page) . And as the title states, everything in the book is so darn *cute!* Lots of little creatures to make. My girls loved looking through this colorful Cute Book.

cute book

I got D.I.Y. Kids for ideas of things to do with my little artist Anya. She’s already taken some of the ideas she got from looking through the book (without me) and made them into her own little projects. She used a roll of blue tape she took from her dad’s office and did “paintings” on paper, and made some nice drawings inspired by the book.

D.I.Y. Kids

Now obviously, I have some experience with machine embroidery but I’ve never tried hand embroidery before. I’ve either been too lazy, or too intimidated – take your pick. But I love Aimee Ray’s book and am looking forward to trying some of the projects in here. Her illustrations are just my style, her color choices are fabulous, and I just really like looking at the pictures of the projects.
Cool side note – I’m working with Aeolidia right now on a website for the various Fussy brands (or rather, Aeolidia is working with me, yay) and Aimee Ray is one of the artists available for hire through Aeolidia. Such sweet images – check out her website.

Doodle Stitching

Final book for the night (sooo tired) is Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson, the owner of Purl. I have only been able to glance through the book, but already I love it. Seriously. I will totally make the projects featured in the book, and I hope to get a chance to make some as Christmas gifts. That means I’ll have to sleep a lot less though…

last minute patchwork gifts

I lied, I’m still typing. Just want to add that I always have Kathleen’s book (Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, available for purchase through her website or nearby, it’s been surprisingly helpful in so many ways. I can’t recommend this book enough.
I also just got a book called Fashion Artist that got great reviews on, because I want to try and learn to sketch figures. I did a lot of sketching in college but most of the sketches were of buildings, straight lines, and orthogonal forms. And even then, I wasn’t very good. I’ll have to scan images from my sketchbooks sometime so everyone can make fun of me.

Written by sewfussy

November 8, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Books, Crafty fun