Welcome to my Crafty Blog!

an overjoyed sam at the statue of a giant thimble and buttons in toronto

I'm Samantha (Sam), a mechanical engineer, seamstress, crafter, & entrepreneur. Enjoy perusing photos of my sewing and craft-related adventures. I hope my blog brings inspiration and happiness to your day!

Tutorials & Free Projects

Tiny Thread Spool Pushpins Tutorial X-Stitch Throw Pillow Tutorial
Starburst Wrapper Bracelet Tutorial Vintage Hassock Reupholstery DIY
Safety Eye Installation Tutorial for Plush a guide to sewing in your dorm room
Sewing Basket Essentials for Beginners a gift guide for the seamstress who has everything

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Handmade Wool Alpaca Plush Tiny Handmade Plush Cactus
Annual Ladies' Board Rummage Sale orange sewing machine from germany
Marietta Big Chicken custom plush tiny narwhal graduation gift

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bridesmaid t-shirts: gold, anchors, adorable

bridesmaid t-shirts - iron-on jersey numbers

This must be Katie Week here at Fluffyland… I can’t help it, wedding crafting is so fun! I wanted to share the shirts I made for Katie and her bridesmaids. The seven of us spent a long weekend in South Carolina last month for her bachelorette party, and, of course, what’s a bachelorette party without kitschy matching t-shirts?

Of course, I try to keep things low on the kitsch-spectrum – well, most of the time – so my goal was to make these t-shirts as classy, and as wearable, as possible. I think I succeeded!

bridesmaid t-shirts - iron-on jersey numbers

It was February, so we decided on long sleeve shirts. I picked up black v-necks from Target because they’re always cheap, comfy, and they actually fit.

I used my Silhouette cutter (i have the Silhouette Portrait) and their heat transfer material in white and metallic gold. Again: classy.

The backs of the t-shirts feature our last names and a number, jersey style. How’d we pick numbers, you ask? Eliza found the great idea of using the number of years we’ve known the bride. I’m happy to say I tied for the longest on this one… besides Katie’s mom, of course, who was lucky enough to sport the number 24!

bridesmaid t-shirts - iron-on anchor

The front tied into our South Carolina island/beach theme with an anchor and the wedding date.

split anchor design with wedding date - silhouette iron-on

The names and numbers were simple: I just used the font Jersey M54 and picked a good size. For the anchor, I bought the design from the Silhouette online store (design #59132, “rope sailor & anchor”), then sliced it in half and added the wedding date in Bebas font. For Katie’s anchor on the white shirt, I layered a gold anchor outline with a white anchor on top, and that really helped set hers apart.

Don’t forget to turn your design into a mirror image before you cut it! The heat transfer material cuts sticky-side UP.

bridesmaid t-shirt - anchor iron-on

Once everything was cut, it was time to iron. Iron-ons aren’t my favorite, since each shirt has to be set up carefully and separately, but lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks in the sewing room and this makes a huge difference in the amount of patience I have for tedious tasks. In this case, after a few chapters of Bossypants and a few snack breaks, I had everything ironed.

Crucial ironing tips for Silhouette heat transfer:
– Make sure to use rulers and templates so everything is straight. I used my clear grid ruler for the back of the shirts, and I used a piece of tissue paper with the V-neck notch marked to make sure every anchor was in the same location on the front.
– Use a thin cotton cloth between your iron and the iron-on material.
– Make sure to iron each location for 1-2 minutes, and don’t slide the iron back and forth. Pick up the iron and set it down each time you need to move it.
– Make sure to pre-shrink your t-shirts before adding the iron-ons. Once your shirt is finished, make sure to always wash it on cold/cold and hang to dry.

bridesmaid t-shirts - iron-on names

On the morning of our Charleston excursion, I rolled up the shirts name-side out to present them to the girls. By that point, the shirts’ existence wasn’t a surprise for anyone but Katie, but nobody had seen the finished product. Katie was especially excited, but I think everyone was pleased to have a matchy t-shirt that was actually wearable. We had so much fun roaming around Charleston and bragging about Katie to everyone we met!

snapshots of goings-on

meyer lemon tree and yellow lamp

I love saving pictures of places I’ve lived, especially unedited, lived-in pictures: I love being able to transport myself back to that moment. For my future nostalgia, and your present enjoyment, here are some still-lifes of my apartment on Wednesday afternoon, when it was slightly cluttered and filled with the bright kind of cloudy light.

My lemon tree is thriving, continuing to produce new buds and blooms even as the oldest flowers are dropping petals to the floor. Petals on the floor are great news: petals on the floor mean more lemons. Aunt Jeanie requested a full-height picture of her, so here she is: currently 23″ tall from the crown of the soil to the tip of her tallest leaf.

My least attractive piece of decor is my millionth attempt at growing an avocado plant from a pit. Someday I’ll get one to sprout.

Also featured in this photo: a bin full of tulle, an abandoned foot-long scarf, and the beginnings of a small jungle of parsley (unfortunately the parsley can’t yet peek over the container).

coffee table plants, button rug

My coffee table is prime plant real estate due to its proximity to the window. Orange star flowers, two containers of freshly-planted cilantro, and a tiny jade plant cutting (a thoughtful gift from a thoughtful coworker) grace my space.

Also featured in this photo: a spare comb from veil-making, a delightful olive-lid pyrex, and my March Madness bracket with its corresponding marking tools. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot more red–pen-crossouts than highlighter-highlights. I like to think it’s keeping the table balanced: if my plants thrive, it’s fine if my bracket perishes.

sewing room bookshelf

The tiny bookcase has evolved until it is now both more and less organized than during the original sewing room tour. Lots of stacked bins make everything easily accessible, and I’m especially fond of my Pyrex full of camera lenses and accessories.

Also featured in this photo: a tiny painting made Saturday, when I had the urge to swish paint around (i don’t love the outcome, but it was so fun to do); tiny orange-and-white twine-like trim that’s begging to accent a great project; the only photobooth strip of Brad and me: a true gem.

wiwo wednesday: white and lacy

garter sewing DIY

My best friend Katie’s wedding is coming up soon… as in, one month from now soon. Katie, don’t faint when you read this!

I can’t imagine a friend of mine getting married without my having the opportunity to contribute my crafty skillset; I’m so, so glad I get to be a part of The Big Day. I’ve been stitching up all sorts of white lacy things. Everything came together very quickly… wedding sewing has proven itself to be pretty simple, and going DIY on a few key items can save a ton of money! I’ll be posting a tutorial or two after the wedding, so stay tuned.

veil sewing DIY

One month to go, K&J: you’re almost there!

Marie started wiwo wednesday: What I’m Working On. I try and join her as often as I can to give you a peek into my creative process and my works-in-progress. See all my wiwo wednesday posts here.

travel tuesday: the land of st. patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As a proud member of the ghastly pale genetically Irish, I’ll be sporting my green for sure. And, since it’s Travel Tuesday, I’m sharing the obvious: a few photos of our family trip to Ireland in 2011. I posted an Ireland photo recap of days 1, 2, and 3 of the trip… but the blog never made it past day 3. This is what Travel Tuesday is all about, friends. It is with great pleasure that I bring you Day 6, July 19, 2011: Dingle Bay.

sheep at the coast in dingle, ireland

Dingle was the archetype of Irish landscape: lush, green cliffs dropping off into a brilliant blue sea. And the cliffs were consistently dotted with sheep.

sheep at the coast in dingle, ireland

So many sheep!

papa and andy on a cliff at dingle bay

We spent time climbing the craggy cliffs, some of us ascending higher than others (and making Mama very nervous). The colors and textures throughout the landscape were just phenomenal. The clouds rolled in and out throughout the day, lending my pictures depth and a perfect contrast to all the green.

dingle bay

andy skipping rocks at dingle bay, ireland

Eventually we descended to the small, beachy bay. We skipped rocks, and even waded in until the chilly water grazed our kneecaps. No matter what the season, if I’m at a beach, I force my feet to touch the water. It marks me: it means I was really there.

handmade raspberry sweatshirt

I wore a raglan-sleeved raspberry sweatshirt I had made specially for the trip. Pullovers are the perfect layer for traveling, because they don’t lead to competing hoods. We were the luckiest, though, for our Ireland trip had only one rainy day – not many hoods to worry about.

craggy cliffs at dingle, ireland

sheep climbing the rocks in dingle

shamrock on the sidewalk - dingle, ireland

First thing that morning, I saw a shamrock on the sidewalk – one of only a few that I witnessed on the trip. May your day today be filled with Irish blessings, and don’t forget your green!

Travel Tuesday is a semi-weekly feature that allows me to recap the many trips I’ve failed to formally document. I’ll be sharing photos and fuzzy (but fond) memories from recent and not-so-recent adventures.

a birthday pouch for Claire

birthday pouch for claire: paris apartments

My favorite Claire’s birthday was Monday: the big quarter-century. I wanted to celebrate her newfound love of travel: we spent a few days exploring Switzerland together in October, and that was her first transatlantic journey. Now, she’s hooked on traveling (i’m taking the credit for that one), and she’s planning to visit France this fall.

I bought this colorful house print cotton in Germany, so it will always convey a European feel to me. I stitched up a little pouch with a metal zipper, and a leather keyring tab to keep it classy. It’s impossible to have too many little pouches, especially on adventures. Keeping track of receipts, ticket stubs, all those coins, currywurst forks that you can’t bear to throw away… I clearly require a pile of zipper pouches at all times.

birthday pouch for claire: paris apartments

Happy Birthday Claire! So glad I could celebrate with you. And have a wonderful weekend, dear readers!