#swapaddict · Announcements · Giveaway · Projects

I Wrote a Book!

This is a kind of a big deal, I am even dusting off this old blog to announce that I wrote a book. It’s called #swapaddict and I am really proud of it. When I started doing craft swaps I searched Google and Pinterest and was not able to find much information to help me learn more about swapping, so I wrote one myself! After a couple years and several dozen swaps, I hope someone will find my experiences valuable. I have gotten so much from this online swapping community, I wanted to contribute too. This was a major undertaking and a lot more work than I expected, but it’s done and out in the world and I am doing a giveaway to celebrate!

#swapaddict: A Guide to Online Craft Swaps By Jen Wood

The book includes chapters on swap basics, etiquette, hosting a swap and several links to templates to help you stay organized. It is available now for $2.99 from Amazon and Kobo, Google Play, iBooks and Barnes and Noble.

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Get it on Google Play

Continue reading “I Wrote a Book!”

Projects

Wizard World Philly: My Weekend with David Duchovny

My Weekend

I know this is primarily a crafty blog, but indulge me while I GEEK OUT for a bit. I just got back from an incredible girls’  weekend in Philadelphia, spent eating amazing food and hanging out with David Duchovny. If you read my post about my X-Files Quilt, you know I am a huge fan, so when I got an email announcing David Duchovny and two other X-Files Cast Members (Mitch Pileggi and William B Davis.) would be at Wizard World in Philadelphia, I jokingly emailed my friend Amanda and suggested we should go. Before I knew it, our little wouldn’t-that-be-awesome pipe dream became a reality with plane tickets, hotel reservations and VIP passes to the Comic Con. (Never mind that right after that we found out they will also be in Chicago…)

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Like any crafty geek, I set to work making a few things for the trip. I made an entire outfit, a miniature version of my quilt (using just the I Want to Believe block.) and a bag.

First, the outfit. I didn’t go full cosplay, but did a more inspired-by ensemble. I used the UFO fabric that was the backing of my quilt to make a skirt. I used the EYMM Capsule skirt pattern, which I have now made 3 more since then, it’s a great little skirt. For the top, I brainstormed but eventually came up with a baseball jersey as a nod to the X-Files episode The Unnatural. The episode happens to be a favorite of mine and is a fun little story about baseball and how all the greatest players were actually aliens. It ends with a touching little moment with Mulder and Scully playing baseball, including a Mulder monologue that I think perfectly encapsulates the dynamics of the series. It is also the first episode that David Duchovny wrote and directed. 

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The team in The Unnatural is the Roswell Grays, so I used that as my base. Because I already chose the skirt fabric, I went with black and white, rather than the navy and gray in the show. I also added some other details to make it a little more X-Files-y. 

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I found these “X” buttons on Etsy and they are a perfect little detail I just love. 

And I couldn’t decide what I should do with the back, whether to put a number or not, and if I should use the numbers that appear on the main player’s jersey, or the one that is on Mulder’s. Somehow through a little stroke of inspiration I landed on a baseballified derivative of the show’s iconic line “Trust No One.”

The lettering for the front and back were done with my Silhouette Cameo, I traced an image I found of the show jersey to get the lettering right in the front. The back is an X-Files font. They are all cut from black fabric and hand-appliqued with zigzag stitching. Time consuming and a definite labor of love!

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I designed and ordered fabric from Spoonflower.com just to make a bag. I used my favorite cross-body bag pattern, the 2 Zip Hipster from Dog Under My Desk but enlarged it 150% so it’s large enough for my DSLR. 

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My next project was a smaller version of the quilt so I could take it and have it autographed. I wasn’t willing to deal with carrying a full sized quilt on an airplane and around Comic Con, so I used the fandominstitches.com pattern for the I Want to Believe poster than hung in Mulder’s office all these years.

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I used the leftover spoon flower fabric to back it.

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 Then the fun really began. We flew to Philly on Friday morning, super early, got there by lunch time and checked in for our VIP passes. We explored the city, ate a bunch of great food and walked about 10 miles that day.

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Saturday was the real fun, though! Started out the morning running into a Storm Trooper who I took a photo with since I know my kiddos would love it. 

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Mid-morning we had an autograph session. We met a few cool people in line and chatted. We are lucky the lady behind us snapped these photos when it was my turn to get my autograph. I think at first he was hesitant to sign the quilt, though I assured him I made it just for this purpose. 

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Then he glanced up and noticed my shirt. He commented on it and then leaned over and signed it too. Which was totally unexpected and awesome. 

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Later in the afternoon we had a photo op, which only lasts about a minute but he commented again on my shirt. Day made.

Jen and David Duchovny

We rounded out the day in the front row of the X-Files panel discussion. Here’s a pretty good rundown of the discussion.

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On Sunday we had one last X-Files fix, we had a group photo with Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi and William B Davis, who were all so kind and gracious. 

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And now this little guy is hanging on my mini-quilt wall, to be coveted forever.

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Projects

This Jacket it a Big Deal in the Resistance

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This Jacket is a BIG DEAL in the Resistance: Finn’s Jacket from Star Wars Force Awakens made by Jen at Just-Joshin.com

This is my post for Craftingcon.com for Star Wars month. I made my son this jacket he obsessively requested since he made his first inquiry about 3 minutes after the Force Awakens ended when we saw it in December. He adores Finn (Who Doesn’t?) and has been fashioning his own “Finn outfit” by folding in a collar of a flannel shirt and dressing all in black underneath.  Points for Creativity.  He really does love his new jacket, this is just his “serious Finn face.” He’s been running around the house yelling, “I’m in charge, Phasma! I’m in Charge!”

For more photos and the whole rundown on the project, visit Craftingcon.com

I’m Jen, a life-long nerd, crafter and sometimes-blogger at just-joshin.com where I share my quilting and sewing hobbies. I participated in Craftin Con Avengers and Ghibli. I love fandom and geeky inspired sewing, especially for my kids.

My family is Star Wars obsessed, so it’s no surprise that we saw The Force Awakens opening weekend, and then again a couple more times that month. As we walked to the car after the first showing, my son requested that I make Finn’s jacket. He’s asked about a thousand times since December, “Is my Finn jacket done yet?” But the honest truth about my craftiness, if I don’t have a hard deadline, it probably won’t get done. So when Crafting Con Star Wars month showed up in my feed, I knew I could finally get Finn’s jacket made for my son. Only five months after his first of thousands of requests.

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Finn is such a great character, he’s funny and charming and loyal. It’s no wonder my son adores him. (Plus, John Boyega is so adorably likable and a huge Star Wars nerd like us. If you haven’t watched the Force Awakens extra features, you should, it’s great. My favorite thing was watching John Boyega geek out about seeing the Millennium Falcon the first time on set, like a kid in a candy store.)

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I used the Ollie Bomber Jacket pattern from Sew a Little Seam as my starting point, though I admit to straying from the pattern almost entirely. I bumped the size up to 10, even though my kiddo is in about a 6-7, since the pattern is designed for fabric with stretch, which mine didn’t have, and because I don’t want to make this again in 6 months when he has another growth spurt! I sort of winged it on the construction so it doesn’t follow the pattern at all. I skipped the collar entirely and replaced the ribbed cuffs and waistband with plain cuffs.

I found faux gold leather on fabric.com that was pretty close to the color/texture of Finn’s jacket in the movie. I am usually a pretty straight-forward cotton woven and jersey knit girl, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this sewed up pretty well with a leather needle in my machine. I couldn’t find a good red accent online so I went to my local fabric store and found some home-dec microsuede. It was a little too fuzzy and not really worn/weathered like it needed to be for this project. (And believe me, my son had very specific criteria for how this jacket should look.)  I ended up trying something a little crazy but it worked. I spread regular old Elmer’s school glue onto the microsuede in a thin layer, and then ironed it to dry and set the glue. I used a teflon sheet over the glue and it worked perfectly. I didn’t anticipate ever washing this jacket so I am not that worried about the glue washing away, though I suspect it would wash right out.

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Most of the work was in the details. It was very important to my son that it not zip or button and didn’t have a collar. The shoulder and sleeve trim was the most intensive, essentially I cut long strips of the leather and created pleats manually while feeding it through the machine, first one edge then the other. Then I made some narrow piping and attached it to the edges so it could be easily turned under and top stitched.

The final little detail was in the buckles. They are just plastic belt buckles from the fabric store but they look similar enough to the original they passed the test of my 6-year-old’s discerning eye for detail.

Needless to say he was ecstatic he finally got his Finn jacket. He wants to wear it to school and to bed and every day forever. When we dropped by Jakku (why does everyone want to go there!?!?) for an after-school photo shoot-slash-battle with a Storm Trooper, he requested I also take photos at Maz’s place, inside the Millennium Falcon (I assume I will have to build it, I’ll add that to my to-do list…) with BB-8, Kylo Ren’s ship and of course Starkiller Base. It’s a Star Wars themed Give a Mouse a Cookie thing here.

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(I didn’t make the Storm Trooper costume, as modeled by my other son, and yes, I know it’s the wrong-era trooper, but we do what we can here on planet earth to keep the peace in the brotherhood.)

Projects

Geekified Tooth Fairy Pillows

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My twin boys are six years old and one has his first wiggly tooth. The dentist said it would be out really soon if he played with it. (Thankfully he is completely freaked out by it and won’t touch it so that bought me some time to actually made them tooth fairy pillows.) I asked them what they wanted, and one said Star Wars (Of course.) and the other said Godzilla.

I used my embroidery machine software to play around a little to create these. I can’t take credit for the idea of R2-DTooth, I saw it in a Silhouette Cameo group on Facebook.  I had a really cute R2-D2 design and I removed the body outline to keep just the top and the front controls. I embroidered onto white cotton fabric. I did a Google Image search for a tooth shape outline and cut around the appliqué in the shape of the tooth, added a backing and a hanging ribbon and stitched it right-sides together. I added a little fiber fill to make it pillow-like.

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On the back I just used Star Wars fabric, and a tiny scrap I had of this black space fabric. (Which was triangular so I optimized the pocket using the shape of the scrap, and did not notice until I took this photo that it looks like a tooth wearing space-themed underwear… I swear.)

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My other son has been really into Godzilla and monsters and dinosaurs, so I used a Valentine Dinosaur design (he was holding a heart.) and edited the file to add a tooth I had in a different file. Of course it had to be ALL BLUE.

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This monster fabric I have had forever, I bought it on a whim years ago because I thought it was so cute but I never found anything to use it, until now. How perfect it is for this project! The tooth pocket on this is also a little scrap, also blue, of course.

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My kids love their Tooth Fairy Pillows, and we are actually prepared for the first-tooth-lost milestone. (Well, the pillows are ready, this mom sort of dreads the whole thing because I gag at the thought of teeth falling out of their tiny little heads and OMG my babies are growing up!) But R2-DTooth and Godzilla are ready for that little sprite when the time comes!

52 Quilts 2016 · Projects · Quilts

52 Quilts

52 Quilts in 2016
52 Quilts in 2016

It’s already January 2nd, so I am not off to a great start for any year-long project launch, but I am going to do it anyway! I started a baby quilt a couple of days ago for a friend’s new baby boy and as I was digging though my cache of fabric I though, gee, I could really make a lot of fun quilts from some of these. What if I made a quilt a week this year? Once I had the idea it just kept festering until I knew I had to at least try.

I sat down to brainstorm what I thought I could make just from what I have on hand or what I had already planned. I quickly came up with more than 20 projects just from my fabric stash.  My fabric stash is a little different from a lot of quilters. Until last year, I had been making primarily kids’ clothes and doing custom embroidery. I have a ton of character fabrics, kids’ fabrics, novelty and bright colors. (Which is actually what I love in fabrics, bright colors and fun designs.) I don’t have a ton of high-end designer fabrics, though I think I have enough fun stuff on hand to make at least a dozen baby and kid-size quilts.  I do have some quilt-shop caliber fabrics I can make a couple lap quilts and I am also signed up for about ten craft and mini-quilt swaps so far this year. I know I  can easily come up with 52 quilt projects. I already have some works in progress for Mini quilt swaps, and have been planning a twin-sized bed quilt for my nephew.

For the purposes of this initiative I am defining a quilt as anything larger than 12″x12″ so I plan to count any of the mini quilts I make for swaps. I plan to make some quilts for friends, new baby gifts and hope to donate at least 20. If I finish it this year, I am counting it, even if I started it last year or many years ago. I hope that I can complete at least half of the quilts with fabric I already have on hand.

There will be some weeks when I don’t finish one, I am sure. I’ll keep a running tally on this blog. (Which I will try to be better about updating, too.) I don’t have a lot of time to sew, Sunday is the only day when my husband and I are both off so I can lock myself away without fear the kids will tear down the house, but that’s also the day we do family activities. I have summer mostly off work, so hopefully I will have more time to create, but less money to spend on supplies I might need.

I know I will need batting and backing for most of the quilts, I have a lot of cuts that are 1/4″ to 1 yard, but not much that I have enough to back a quilt. Hopefully I can find a bulk deal on batting and stock up. I figure I can work out the details along the way.

Let the quilting begin!

Featured · Holidays · Projects · Tutorials

Easy Snowman Tote: 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge

Snowman-Tote

Way back when it was still warm out and the sun didn’t set at 4:30, I was invited to participate in Sew McCool’s 12-Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. I had big plans to finally finish the advent calendar I have been “going to make this year” for the past three Christmas seasons. This post is not about the advent calendar I made. Yet again, I didn’t get it made. Instead I did a cute craft with my kids. This was crazy easy, relatively inexpensive and turned out adorable. These would be so cute as teacher gifts, grandparents or even to use as gift bags.

For this project you will need:

  • Plain White tote bag. (I bought a blank one at a craft store but you can find about a bajillion tutorials on Pinterest if you would like to make your own.)
  • Scrap of Orange Felt or Fleece
  • Random Assortment of Black Buttons
  • Some sort of super strong adhesive. (or a sewing machine or needle and thread if you’d rather stitch the face on.)
  • Two Scraps of holiday fabric, cut about 2 inches x the width of the bag. Fleece would work well, I used woven cotton and pinking shears on the edges.
  • Small helpers (Optional.)

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I am not a kids-crafting blogger. Or a kids-crafting expert. Or even a regular kids-crafting participant. I tend to lock myself away for my crafting and sewing projects, it is my time away from my kids. Lately, though, they have been begging to help, keep picking out fabric they want made into various things, and are becoming more curious about my sewing projects. This project is definitely one that requires close supervision due to the glue. You could use a regular child-safe glue stick and then stitch the items where the kids placed them, but I just let them arrange things then made them sit back and did the gluing myself. If your kids are older they might be OK but I definitely advise adult supervision with this project.

The first step was arranging the face. I let them try different arrangements, and they actually worked together to decide where the buttons should go and what direction the nose should point. There was some discussion that the snowman should have a mad face, but I convinced them that he should be happy.

 

Once they had the buttons and nose placed, I glued them down. The adhesive I bought said industrial strength, and should hold well without additional stitching, but if I were going to make several of these I might just stitch the buttons and nose on. The “scarf” was the last part and we just glued the ends of each side of the bag. Once it was dry I tied it in a knot in the middle.

 

And that’s it. Simple and cute. My total cost was under $6, and that included the glue, which you could easily do several bags with one tube. The kids loved making the face and asked if they could make another one.

 

Thank you to Deanna at SewMcCool for inviting me to participate and definitely check out all the other projects in the challenge.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Featured · Holidays · Projects · Sew Alongs

Modkid Dapper and Riley Sew-along for the Holidays

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Recently, I was able to team up with Whimsical Fabric to put together these samples for the December Sew-a-long. The patterns called for a brother/sister set so I borrowed a friend’s twins. Another gracious friend took these photos when my own kiddo got sick and we had to cancel our photoshoot last minute. It takes a village, as they say.

This Brother/Sister set is comprised of two Modkid patterns: The Dapper and Riley. Both patterns are available individually or as part of a kit for the Sew-along though Whimsical Fabric. The Sew-Along starts December 1 and includes prizes for participants, so hurry and order before the Thanksgiving break! Use the code MODKIDLOVE when checking out to receive a discount.  The code is good through Sunday, November 30th.

And now for some twin cuteness!

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The Riley Dress was easy to follow and is very cute. The front panel is perfect for showcasing a favorite fabric. The bow allows for some cinching in the pattern so it can be worn for a while, even for growing kids. The dress pattern is size 2T to 10. It can use from 1-3 fabrics for the front/back/sides and has optional hems or ruffles for the bottom and sleeves. The pattern also has short and long sleeve options. I did a hemmed sleeve but added a ruffle to the bottom.

 

 

And the Dapper. OMG I love this. As a boy mom and someone who makes mainly boy clothes I am over the moon about this. (I have already made multiple sets of these!) The suspenders and bowtie are to-die-for cute and all adjustable so they fit nearly anyone. The pattern includes instructions for kids or adults, so everyone can have bow ties and suspenders! The hardware is available from Whimsical Fabric too. I can definitely see lots of these in my future for holidays and birthdays! I mean, seriously, look at how adorable these are!

 

I was invited to participate in sewing up samples for the Whimsical Fabric Sew-Along and received the pattern and fabric at a discount, but I was not compensated for this post. Thoughts and opinions are my own.