Wednesday, March 24, 2010

sew there

First, thank you so much for your happy cheers on isn't it romantic. Your warm wishes and encouragement mean the world to me. I'd never received so many comments on a post* and if I didn't enjoy writing so much, I would probably leave that post there for weeks!

My sewing struggles have been documented here and there. I shouldn't complain because I haven't really put much time into learning or taking lessons. I do admire those who sew.

I am borrowing this book from the library and every project looks amazing but somehow complicated ... to me.

100 decorating ideas under $100, Winter 2006

While swooning over Christina Strutt's projects, my mind jumped to the photo above (from a saved magazine) because it never fails to make me sigh and ponder: If only I could really sew.

The caption begins: Slipcover designer Carrie Raphael used her daughter's old sheets for the dining room's chair covers.

I imagine Carrie Raphael just whipping beautifully faded floral sheets off of her daughter's bed and transforming them, very Sound-of-Music-Maria-like into these perfectly pleated, soft coverings.

"Bring it on!"

I love fabric but at this point, I'm mostly thumbs and have come to realize that ...

Yep. At this point, scissors, glue and tape are my sewing machine.

So while I have yet to conquer sewing a valance, I can back my bookcase with paper to add pretty florals to a room.


or adhere paper to transform jars ...

even cover matchboxes.

I haven't given up on my Janome though.

I just bought these tea towels on sale (!) to turn into something for my bedroom.

Maybe a pillow, maybe a valance. An affordable way to bring some Cabbages and Roses into my home. Maybe no-sew? We'll see!

My computer mouse keeps freezing-up. Please hang in there, little iMac! There's blogging to do!


*except a giveaway post


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Hi sweetie! Thanks for your kind words left for me today. Please don't give up on sewing! Just remember these words: I am the master - I control YOU, not YOU control me. Just repeat this mantra as you sit down to Miss Janome. But if angry, just poke your pin cushion three million times to take out the frustration. Care to come over for a sewing day? Just pack up yer machine and head on out to California. What fun would that be? Then you can autography my RH magazine I just bought today - in YOUR honor! *insert a curtsy here*

Keep up the faith and never give up. YOU CAN DO IT!

love ya,

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

oh....i meant


i am such a dork.



Theresa said...

I believe you can do anything and everything... even sew:) Love the beautiful jars, what did you do to the lids? All so gorgeous. Can't wait to see what you do with the tea towels... too pretty! Have a blessed evening, Elyse! Hugs from Georgia!

{oc cottage} said...

I feel your pain, Elsie! Marty Stew, I am NOT! White glue...flour and water...just NO thread, please!

m ^..^

Melinda said...


There is this really cool stuff called--Therm O Web Heat n Bond.
It is iron on adhesive iron on tape. You could use this stuff to make a casing for your valance and then you don't have to sew but making a casing for a valance is easy too.

Try the hem tape and see what you think.


One Cheap B*tch said...

Those little boxes are just dreamy! I am hopping over to your Etsy shop!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love all of the beautiful Spring fabrics and I have been sewing up a storm lately! Enjoy your night...and congrats again! ♥♥♥

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Paper can truly be like fabric...just use glue instead of thread...but even then you can sew paper on the machine too! Looks like you are having fun!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

I believe that the day will come in the very near future, that you will be comfortable with sewing!!! And your sewing machine will be running day and night! Then you can make a trip to CA and we can meet at Becky's house for a sew feast!

For the moment you have done some sweet tinkered treasures using printed paper out of your favorite fabrics! I have many of your treasures to prove it!


Unknown said...

Hello there,
I've been a little busy and have only been catching up on some of my blogs this afternoon. I absolutely love that store's just gawgeous!! I must, no "I will" make more time to visit here more regularly as you share so many lovely ideas, inspirations and more.

Hearts Turned said...

Such beautiful stuff, Elyse! I can't believe you not being able to sew--I'm pretty convinced you can do anything! I, however, can do more than sew "straight" lines...and not very well, either!

Oh, well...I can dream...and also admire those who do it so beautifully!

Hope you're having a wonderful night!

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

I love your papers, Elyse! ♥

Unknown said...

Elyse, I am just like you! I cannot sew but I love fabrics!!! I also love sheets!! I am always looking at the beautiful patterns of them and trying to think of what else I can use them for. I have one on my kitchen table and my chairback! Only my chair has it though. The boys would not like that, lol!
I adore what you did with the paper!! It looks amazing! I cant wait to see what you create next!
Big Hugs,

Anonymous said...

My sister could sew anything - perfectly. Suits, coats, silk blouses, slipcovers - all of it gorgeous.
Like you, Elyse, I'm a paper-girl.
So I play a little mind-game with myself and PRETEND fabric and boards are JUST LIKE PAPER - I just have to use slightly different tools. :)
When it comes to sewing, my saving grace is my little Singer Featherweight sewing machine - it makes perfect stitches. I LOVE your Cabbages&Roses teatowels! Just think "paper" and give sewing a try - YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Rose Garden Romantic said...

I hope to learn to sew, but I'm not optimistic. Haha! I tried as a teenager but I wasn't patient enough back then. I may just fall back on paper and glue like you! I love the papers you used on your bookcase! Where do you find such lovely papers?

Sandi said...

I have that book Elyse and I love it! I have good intentions to make things that are featured in it, but haven't yet. lol
All the goodies you make are awesome!!!

Anonymous said... can do anything you put your mind to! everything you do and make is so deliciously pretty!....even your little tinkered matchboxes are so very precious!

love your organization...the jars with the pretty nice!!!

keep up the great work! and I'm glad you're posting new stuff, cause it's bliss to pop in and visit you!

ciao bella

Brenda Pruitt said...

I've pretty much traded fabric in for paper myself. Easier on the arthritis! Wanted to congratulate you on getting into Romantic Homes. There you were when I opened my new copy via subscription. You deserve it!

VA Boutique said...

Oh I'm like you too, I wish I could sew. It all just seems so complicated. Ok so straight lines I can do but all this fancy stuff just terrifies me. I have a sewing machine which mainly gets used for curtains & alternations to trouser with being only 5ft 1" but I wish I could make chair covers, bags, skirts etc. When I see other people's creations I think oh why can't I do that!

Dumpster Decorators said...

My sewing would probably be better if I didn't try to get the patterns.

Lori said...

i was wondering you admire those who sew...LOL...just kidding...i admire them too, a mother and MIL are absolutely wonderful would think by some magical osmosis or something that at least a small fraction of that talent would have rubbed off on me...but nope...i can do very basic sewing...but i am totally hopeless with a pattern...

Lori said...

i forgot to say: LOVE what you do with your papers...and those fabrics are soooooo gorgeous!!!

Kim said...

I dabble in sewing, but I'm like you...paper is what I play with!!! I just love creating with paper & have since I was a little girl. I love all of your paper creations.

Lisa said...

Oh I so hear you!! I keep thinking I want to get a machine and sew!! I just don't know if I will be able to! I too like paper and glue. They are my friends!! hehe Love your bookcase and your jars!
Hugs, Lisa

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

I have that book too! I am loving your fabrics, swoooon! The jars look great, did you eat all that jelly? My favorite is the blueberry.

myletterstoemily said...

this is such an enchanting place
that i can't wait to return for
many visits.

thank you!

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Don't give up on sewing even though you are sooo creative with paper, scissors and glue! Congrats on the RHM blog mention!

Free Pretty Things For You said...

i wish i could sew tooo! im horrible at it :(
paper is my fabric also!
love ya!

Cottage Flair said...

Your paper projects are always so beautiful. Love the bookcase backing. Leave the sewing until you really want to spend the time (and patience). It's not too hard once you learn. I've been sewing since I was 9 (a sewing machine was my favorite Christmas gift that year) but I never learned how to do slipcovers. Someday!!

Roberta said...

I could never do what you do w/ your tiny snippets and treasures Elyse but as far as sewing a simple CAN do it! What's even easier than that? Folding a pretty tea towel over and sewing a tunnel for the rod! Start w/ something super simple to gain your confidence and you'll be off and 'running'. I love the pic of the purple sheer! I may need to do that for my new french lavender painted bedroom! xo

Beedeebabee said...

Hi Elyse! I love all your creations and this blog too! Your bookcase looks sooo pretty!...what a great idea to cover the back in a sweet patchwork of papers!...Thank you so much for your sweet visit and comment! I'm so glad I found your blog! Have a great weekend! xo Paulette

Sherry from Alabama said...

You just keep on practicing with your sewing, Elyse. Everything you make will teach you new skills. Sewing is a great stress-release for me. (At least, most of the time.)

Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

LaurieStar said...

I love your little paper-covered jars! Adorable! And I wish I could sew better than I do too. I think I do pretty well, but when I see a pattern, it scares me off for some reason. Someday maybe, when my kids aren't little!.....

Mercedes Spencer @ Liberty Biberty said...

Love what you do with paper! But you do have THE prettiest papers!
The jars look awesome!

Bethany said...

you're so funny! You are the paper queen, stand proud!

Unknown said...

Hi there! well, you know what? Thread is my fabric! Wait...thread makes does that make thread fabric? No..I'm SEW confused!

Okay anyway why don't you just come on over and celebrate my 2nd blogoversary with me anyway? Okay? It would make me verrrrry happy! You are my bloggy friend! Did you know that? Everytime I look at my "Treasured Blogger" button I think of you and I smile! It makes me feel wuvved! It's sweet!
~TattingChic ♥