A Day in the Life of Me and Mine

Wife. Mom. Ambitious Crafter and Cook.

Newest iPad Sleeve October 18, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 4:27 pm


Check out the newest iPad sleeve in my Etsy shop!  Great idea for a Christmas gift!



Tag-Along Blanket July 30, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing — cmcoker1 @ 7:39 pm

When I was a little girl, I used to have a blankie that I carried EVERYWHERE I went.  It wasn’t a very small blanket, but I would drag it behind me upstairs and downstairs in my nightgown.  My Gram told me that she always knew I would one day trip on that blanket, fall down the stairs, and die…morbid, Gram.

But how much safer would my childhood have been if I had a blanket that was more my size.  And how much better would that blanket have been if it was personalized with a big “C” on it?  Well, never fear, my good readers.  Your children and your children’s children will have a fulfilled and safe childhood.

Here’s a sneak peek at my “Tag-Along Blanket.”  Check out my Etsy shop to learn more!



My New Adventure July 25, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing — cmcoker1 @ 11:50 am

A few months ago, I got the idea of opening an Etsy shop.  I am in no way an expert seamstress or crafter, but I really love creating things.  Big Mister is the most amazing man in the world, and he has been extremely supportive.  He even went to the store with me and helped me pick out fabric and other supplies.  I tinkered around a little while and came up with a really cute case for my Kindle.  I made several before I was completely happy with the design, but I loved them enough to sell them on Etsy!

Big Mister was convinced that we had just hit a gold mine, so he encouraged me to open the shop with only a few items.  I do appreciate his complete confidence in me, but I was a tad more realistic.  I wasn’t completely set on only making tablet cases, and I didn’t want to list anything that I wasn’t completely in love with.  But, alas, I opened the shop with 5 items:)

I have been trying to allow the creative juices to flow for the past few weeks.  My artsy fartsy sister has some awesome ideas, and I am hoping that she will join me soon.

The name of my shop is CandyApple.  My Gram has called me that since I was born, and it seemed to be a fitting name for my shop.  I am excited to add some baby/kid items soon, and I would also like to create cases for other tablets: Nook, iPad, etc.  Here is a little look at a few of my finished cases.

But the coolest part of this whole thing is that I just made my first sale!! I sold this cute striped Kindle case yesterday to a girl from China:)  I was super pumped, and I feel that I have been given a new surge of creativity… and a little confidence.

Here is a peak at a personalized blanket idea I am working on.  I made this one for the Little Mister.  It matches his nursery and is the perfect size for him to drag around and cuddle with.

So if you are interested in taking a look at my shop, here is the link: CandyApple . I only have a few postings because I am waiting to completely launch the shop when I have all of my items ready.  So come back frequently and check it out!

Feel free to email me at cmcoker1@gmail.com if you are interested in something you see on my blog today!  I welcome any requests!



Cloth Napkins July 20, 2012

Filed under: Sewing,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 11:33 am

What did I make today??  A cloth napkin.  This is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just setting the table for a family dinner, a cloth napkin can easily jazz up your table setting.  One of my friends just recently got married, and she put a personal touch on her reception by using a variety of vintage print cloth napkins.  I LOVED the look.

When I was at Marshall’s the other day, I priced a pack of 4 cloth dinner napkins between $4.99 and $7.99.  This really isn’t a terrible price for a cute napkin, but I figured I could get the same look for much cheaper on my own.

I went to my local fabric store and looked through their remnant collection.  This project doesn’t require much yardage per napkin, so you can afford to buy smaller cuts.  Most fabric stores discount their remnants to around $2/yd.  This is a good way to get a higher quality fabric without breaking the bank or angering your spouse.

So, for around $5, I was able to buy enough fabric to make 8-10 napkins and still have some fabric left over.  Not too shabby.

After a quick Google search, I found that cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes.  What I did find, is that most are perfectly square.  So I chose a 16×16 size.  Taking my seam allowance into account, I cut my fabric 17″x17″.

I trimmed the loose threads and ironed the fabric.  I then started turning the edges of the fabric 1/4″ and pressing flat.

I turned the edge over one more time to leave a smooth edge, pressing it again.  These 2 steps use up 1/2″ on each side, the reason why I cut my fabric 1″ longer than what I wanted my finished product.

A smooth edge is especially necessary in this project, since the back of the napkin will be easily visible.

I then went around a popped a few pins into the seam, especially the corners.  This is not necessary, but it does help ensure that none of your raw edge slips out while sewing.

Use a thread that coordinates with your fabric or completely blends in.  I used a hot pink.  Simply sew a straight seam all the way around the napkin to tack down your edges, back stitching at beginning and end to lock your thread.  (I sewed on the back of the napkin because my raw edges always find a way to peak out and totally annoy me. )

This literally takes about 90 seconds.  Super quick!  Yes, my seams look like I sewed in the car…I have a tendency to do everything a little too fast.  Please take your time, unlike me:)

All done!  Now all you have to do is set your table!

I look forward to showing you the real reason behind this project:)  Go make some napkins this weekend and spice up your dinner table!



A New Life for an Old Dress July 14, 2012

Filed under: Repurpose,Sewing — cmcoker1 @ 11:23 am

I bought this dress at TJ Maxx to wear to my rehearsal dinner.

I’ve only been married for 2 years, so this isn’t actually an old dress, per se.   But one of the plastic adjusters on the strap had broken, and the strap kept falling off my shoulder.  There’s also the fact that within 5 months of wearing said dress, I found out I was preggers.  So I wasn’t able to wear this dress much past that point.  And this new Mom bod I am now rocking is no longer able to properly fit in this dress.

I had recently read an awesome tutorial from MADE, where Dana teaches how to make a circle skirt. I have already made 2 of these skirts, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the way my hips looked with all that fabric.  As I was looking at this dress and trying to figure out if I’d ever be able to fit into it again, I realized that the lightweight fabric would be perfect for a circle skirt.  (You DEFINITELY need lightweight fabric when you are making a circle skirt!! Unless you love the “Big as a Whale” look.)

Once again, I did not take step-by-step pictures of this process, but I’ll try to explain what I did.

I wanted to use as much of the previous “bones” of the dress as I could, so I cut the bodice off the top right above the front waist band and back elastic.  This way I would have an already finished edge to work with.  In a perfect world, my skirt would now be finished.  But I am 5’4″, so my new skirt now hit right below my calves.  Not a good length when you’re trying to elongate yourself.

I slipped on the skirt and placed the waist band to the point where I would like to wear the finished skirt.  I then stood in front of a mirror and placed a pin where I wanted the bottom hem of the skirt to lie, in this case, right above my knee.  I then cut the top fabric about a half inch below the pin.  This way I would have room for ironing the raw edge and a seam allowance for the finished edge.

With the raw edge now glaring at me, I got to ironing.  I turned the hem about 1/4″ and pressed.  Then repeated with another 1/4″ so that a clean edge was visible.  I pinned the hem every few inches to make sure the raw edge didn’t peak through and simply sewed a straight stitch along the bottom.

Side Note: This dress was lined, which is awesome, because I hate slips.  Even more awesome, the lining was a good 3 inches shorter than the dress, so I was able to leave the lining’s original hem intact.  I did have to roll it up once and sew when all was said and done.  But at least I didn’t have to iron a raw edge and a finished edge.

I slipped on my new skirt to find that it was actually the right length!  And the lining wasn’t peaking through!  That’s a huge accomplishment in my house:)

I still wasn’t completely satisfied with the waist, and it took everything within me not to just wear a shirt that covered the waistband.  But somewhere off in the distance, I heard Tim Gunn tell me to “make it work!”

I used a 2″ piece of black elastic that I had left from one of the circle skirts.  I simply measured my waist with the elastic at a comfortable looseness (You’ll want to kill yourself if you tighten it at all.).  I added 1″ to the measurement (which I’ll keep to myself) to allow for seams and finishing and such.  Using Dana’s tutorial, I simply placed right sides of the elastic together and took a straight stitch through both layers, using about 1/4″ seam allowance.  I think I may have done 2 stitches to make sure it was tight.  Turn the elastic back to the right side and sew down the loose ends, back stitching, as always, to lock your thread. (Dana gives perfect instructions, with pictures, on her tutorial.)

Now all I had to do was attach the elastic to the skirt.  I found the center of the back and pinned the seam of the elastic, covering about 1/2″ of the skirt.  Then I found the center of the front and pinned.  Then the sides, and so on, until I had pinned in about 8 spots.

Sewing the elastic on is not hard, but you do have to be careful.  I started at the back center where there was already the seam from the elastic.  The important thing to remember is to pull the elastic taut the whole time you’re sewing.  This is the only way you will be able to pull the skirt over your hips!!  I just pulled the elastic in the front of the machine and held the elastic at the back of the machine to guide the fabric through.

After zipping around the whole skirt, I was finished!! And, once again, I had done it correctly! Take a look at the finished product!  I’ve already worn it twice:)


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