Thursday, August 6, 2015

Following Hopeful Threads - The best way for you!

There are a variety of ways to keep up with what is going on around here, and with me in general. Here's a list of the different options, with a brief idea of what to expect from each, so you can decide which is best for you!

My current favorite sharing outlet is Instagram! It's quick, easy to use and fun to be able to interact with folks in the here and now. It also allows me a chance to share some closer, kind of "behind-the-scenes" looks at what's going on in our lives. You can find me on Instagram @hopefulthreads and my destash account, @hopefulthreads_destash.

Facebook is still one of my post popular outlets, but with their constant changes and audience limitations, I fear I'm not reaching but a fraction of you. If you have liked the Hopeful Threads facebook page, but sure you have clicked the "following" option in the header of my page, this should help me to show up in your feed more often. I share a variety of inspiration and encouragement posts here and have links to my other social outlets on my facebook page as well. I'll also occasional link you to tutorials, sales and giveaways I run across. You can find me on Facebook HERE.

Twitter tends to be a faster pace than I can keep up with most days! lol! ;) However, I do tweet my blog post links there, as well as, different sewing inspiration and giveaways. From time to time, I will also tweet things I find personally relevant. While twitter may be a bit more scattered thoughts style for me, it's still a great way to make sure you are in the loop of what sewing outreach I am currently participating in. You can find me on Twitter @hopefulthreads

I still enjoying scrolling through, and saving lots of tutorial and inspiration links on Pinterest. I use Pinterest regularly when sewing! It's such a great way to easily organize my interests and be able to access it whether waiting in the doctor's office or shopping for that specific pattern I forgot at home. :) I have a LOAD of sewing related pin boards and you can choose to follow all or only the ones that are of particular interest to you. You can find me on Pinterest HERE.

While I'm not as consistent as I once was, I still enjoying blogging from time to time. I will share updates and tutorials here. You can choose to follow my blog through Bloglovin' or by email through Feedburner by entering your email address in the necessary box on the top of the sidebar on the right. 

There you have it! Keep up with all the creative and crazy fun around here the ways that are best for you! And THANKS for being a follower! Interacting with you all makes this journey so much more fun!

Monday, August 3, 2015

I Made Shoes!!!

Have you ever made shoes??? I hadn't, but was so excited to give it a try! My friends at Dritz Sewing offered to send me one of their awesome new Espadrilles kits to try out and share my thoughts with you, and I'm thrilled to get to do so!

Aside from sewing baby booties, this was my first attempt at creating an actual wearable shoe. The packaging suggested planning 2 hours to complete the project, and I'd say that is reasonable. I finished in a bit over that, but I was sewing at a very casual pace while playing about the internet as well. :)
The instructions provided with the kit include step by step directions and illustrations that made the whole process very easy. The Espadrilles collection also includes a variety of notions designed specifically to assist in "shoemaking made easy".  While it isn't necessary that you purchase all the extra notions to create your own pair of Espadrilles, I'll share some of the ones that I thought made the process easier.
These glass head pins are one of the extra notions that I loved! They are a much sturdier pin which made pinning the fabric to the shoe sole easier and the strength of the pins kept them from bending.

Dritz Point Turners are one of my favorite sewing notions of all time, and it was a perfect tool for turning and smoothing the fabric before attaching to the jute sole. 
These handy Needle Pullers were GREAT for the blanket stitch process along the outer edge of the shoes. They provide a grip on the needle that makes pulling in through the thick jute and fabric easier. Prevents sore fingers too!

These shoes are so comfortable to wear! I was really pleasantly surprised at just how comfortable the jute was. And, there is a vast variety of sizes and color options to choose from.
Take a look at the selection on the Dritz website HERE. I'm kind of drooling over a bunch of them right now! All the kids have requested a pair of their own, so who knows, there may be a bit more Espadrilles sewing in my future!

 And one of my favorite things.....the bobbin tread! Isn't that great!?!?!?!

Pleased with the results and proud to say I have now made shoes!!! Too cool!
What about you? Have you made shoes? What did you think?

**Materials provided by Dritz in exchange for honest feedback. All opinions are my own.**

Friday, July 31, 2015

#SewToShare - Personal Progress: July 2015

It has been one seriously BUSY month around our home! Summer activities, camp, VBS, a complete room makeover (or TWO!), regular day to day duties like the MOUNTAIN of laundry generated by our household of 8, and even, yes, even a bit of sewing! 

We started off the month painting and redecorating our boys' room. They decided to go with a super hero theme and it turned out SUPER! I had so much fun with this and even painted a city scene mural on a whim that I had been inspired by on an Instagram page I follow. I still have some valances and pillowcases to sew for them, but all in all, an accomplishment we were all pleased with.

In the midst of that, I learned that my girls needed extra PJ bottoms for camp. Yea, you know, those last minute requests that have you sewing like the Grinch on the night before Christmas! I did manage to finish a big stack of flannel PJ pants just in time for them to leave for camp. They have NO TROUBLE whatsoever finding fabrics they love, so it was a fun mix to get to stitch up!

On a whim....which just seems to happen to me sometimes...I decided I was tired of vacuuming my stairs and so ripped the carpet off. This led to a sanding and painting episode that by most patient and wonderful husband had to endure. :) I had seen THIS TUTORIAL at Tamara Kate's blog that inspired me. I'm hoping to decide on a fabric to finish off my now freshly painted stairs soon!

If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow me @hopefulthreads I've been sharing a bunch of great pictures!

While they were gone, we helped decorate our church for a super fun jungle themed VBS the first week, followed by the fun filled VBS the next week! The rest of the time, we took on a SURPRISE makeover of our big girls' room, and while a lot of work, it was SO FUN and turned out perfect! They were totally surprised and are still talking about just how much they love it! It feels good when you really nail a vision for someone when they've shared different ideas of what they like. You can see all the pictures I shared on THIS POST.

I've also been working on clearing out my sewing space and getting things much more organized. This initiated a DESTASH, so please check that out if you haven't yet! Even if you aren't on Instagram, if you see something you are interested in, just email me. I will gladly consider reasonable offers as well, especially for multiple item purchases! ;) @hopefulthreads_destash

Part of the clean up in here meant making another awesome FLUFF Project delivery! My husband dropped off another 86 stuffed friends, bringing our current total delivered to date to 1,275!!! That just makes me smile every time I think about it! The staff and Magistrates of Juvenile Court had high praise and encouraging stories to share about the way the children are reacting to our gifts. I can't tell you how much this means to me and my family! Thank you for continuing to trust us with this very special mission of HOPE!
Left to Right: Frankie Holt, Knox County Clerk
Magistrate Kay Kaserman (who has shared some very touching first-hand stories regarding the reaction of the sweet children receiving the gifts!)
Magistrate Michael Fortune (who always cracks me up by immediately beginning to fill his personal courtroom box!)
Magistrate Irene Joseph
Lt. Jim Dunn, Knox Co. Sheriff's Dept.

I've also made a bit more progress on the MEGA stack of tote bags I'm working on for the foster closet. I picked up some more fusible fleece yesterday for these, so I'm hoping to have them on the finished list next month!

And that original goals list....well, not too bad...

Cook more, especially with my children.
Sew curtains for my youngest daughter's room. (FINALLY!!!)
Fresh paint for several rooms in our home. In Progress....and more added!
New skirts for my girls.
Sew "Busy Bags" & Totes for the foster closet. In Progress, A BUNCH!!!
Read some chapter books aloud to my kiddos.
Gifts for our local Animal Shelter.
Participate in library events.
Sort my patterns. ALL of them! 
Visit the zoo.
Help my youngest daughter, now 5, sew her first "something".
Create a pattern/tutorial for a special medical comfort item.
Sew some adult sized bibs for my grandfather.
Make new oven mitts, potholders and such for our kitchen.
Go on a picnic.
And, take a few naps! ;) Never Enough!
Update my 10 year old's scrapbook.
Rip the carpet from my stairs, sand and paint them.
Sew a new ironing board cover.
Take on the giant mending pile. (we'll keep this right here at the bottom!)

My list still has quite a bit of it not marked off....and I continue to find more to add to it....but, I'm still thrilled with all that's been accomplished! Heading into August ready for more!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Personalized Placemat Pillows Tutorial

 This is so easy it's almost embarrassing! LOL! 
Certainly one of the quickest and easiest pillows I've ever sewn!

I started with textured, black placemats I had found on clearance. 
 Drew out the initials I wanted to fit the front and used iron on adhesive to attach to placemat for my applique stitching. I used a funky gold thread for the machine didn't like it much, but it turned out so pretty and was a nice added touch with the other gold accents in the room. 

 Once my initials were appliqued in place, I sewed the two placemats together, wrong sides together. I left a small opening, about 2 inches, to stuff the pillow. 

 Stuffed. Stitched. Fluffed and added to the pile!
A fast, easy and fun project to add personalization to any space!

For more creative Placemat sewing, check out my Petite Placemat Tote Tutorial HERE!


Sunday, July 26, 2015


I've started a new DESTASH account on Instagram where I will list various items from my stash as I sort and organize. Be sure and check it out!

If you aren't on Instagram and see something that you'd like, you can EMAIL ME and I'll be glad to pull it for you if still available. :) Just send me the PayPal email address you'd like me to invoice for total. And please, share with all your sewing/quilting friends that might be interested as well! 
Thanks so much!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Room Makeover Success!!!

Anyone else out there doing their best to keep up with the whirlwind pace of summer??? We are having a great time, but whew! It's been BUSY!

And if there weren't already enough on the calendar, my husband and I decided to take on a surprise room makeover for our oldest daughters while they were at camp. I'm happy to report it all turned our even better than we had hoped and was a TOTAL surprise to our girls! Worth all those long nights, full days and drives across town to find the perfect items to pull it all together.

My older girls share a room, so it's important that they have individual spaces to work, but also a nice shared space to enjoy together. I think this room has a great balance of both!

Here's a look inside...

I used remnants from some of the pillows I made for the love-seat to create these memory boards by simply pulling the fabric taught around a canvas and stapling.

The girls had fallen in love with this golden arrow print at Hobby Lobby before they had left for their trip, so I headed back over there to get enough to make these simple curtains. I also made the sash ties from an accent fabric. The tutorial I used for my guide while sewing these curtains can be found here. 

We painted one wall black to be an accent wall. I was a bit nervous about this at first, but absolutely love how it turned out! I made all the pillows except for the small one in front I purchased at the local bookstore we frequent. I wanted the pillow covers to be removable so they can be easily washed and case my girlies change their mind on colors anytime soon. ;) The tutorial I used for my guide for sewing the pillow covers can be found here.  I'll also be sharing a super easy and fast sewing tutorial for some special applique pillows I made for their beds keep watch next week for that!

Now, I rarely buy packaged, pre-cut fabrics, but when I found this perfect burlap print on clearance for $4 I knew I had to see if I could make it work for recovering their desk chairs. With a pretty good amount of hot glue and the muscle of my hub's staple gun, they turned out just as I had hoped! Not a bad deal for these tired old, worn out chairs to turn into such a fresh and fun addition!

A few old records from the thrift store for 50 cents a piece....a hand-me-down mirror from their Grammie....some cute little accent pieces found at various places, and we were super excited to have them come home to this extra special surprise! Their reaction was PRICELESS!!!

Hope your summer has been going great and you've had lots of fun sewing and creating as well! 
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