Botanical Embroidery Pillow

botanical embroidery on pillow

I’ll admit that I am often caught up in the excitement of new projects at the expense of finished or nearly finished work. So while not actually making any type of new year’s resolution (not my type of thing) I have been making a conscious effort to finish off projects which are nearly complete but stored on a shelf, waiting to be made into something or otherwise employed.

side view embroidered pillow

My first successfully finished item of this year is this pillow made from a piece of botanical embroidery I posted last November.

piece a pillow

Quite honestly, I did not love sewing this piece. I was in over my head with trying to set the embroidered linen into the surrounding fabric. Not a quilter, I had to work hard to make the angles and corners work out. (If I had included myself in this photo, you would see the crazed look that was in my eye at that point.)

side view of embroidered pillow

I can thank this extremely thorough tutorial on making welting for the relative ease with which I accomplished that part of the project. (I always knew to make welting on the bias, but now I know why!)

Overall, the experience confirmed the troubled relationship I have with my sewing machine, but I am thilled to have it finished, off the shelf and sitting primly on a chair.

embroidered galium on pillow

DIY pirate shirts tutorial

DIY pirate shirt tutorial

We’re really into costumes at my house. I have two sons who love dressing up, with pirate costumes being among the most popular. For Christmas, they received a beautiful set of sea captain coat, knee breeches, boots, from H and M Unicef/All for Children.

While these clothes were a hit, the problem of what to wear beneath the coat became a nagging question in the mind of my seven year old. White button down? Wrong. Plain T shirt? Wrong. Striped shirt? Wrong. Like I said, we’re really into costumes. So, we sewed pirate-ish muslin shirts to go with these jaunty sea captain clothes.

I’ve already described my mixed feelings about this project, and since it was a little out of my comfort zone, I’ve just added it to the New to Me Linky at Celtic Thistle Stitches. Click over there to see all kinds of geat projects. If you want to hear more of  the details of how I sewed these shirts, please, read on! I’ll tell you what I did and what I learned.

Before starting I did a little google searching, and found this pirate shirt “unpattern” tutorial on Wee Folk Art to be helpful for thinking the project through, though I did some things differently, notably the cuffs and neckline.

Now, the details in slide show format. Please note that by clicking on the bottom center of a slide you can pause, go forward, or go backwards in the instructions.

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Keeping busy with Saccachewbaccachew


My ten year old, mentioned in the preceeding post, has been keeping me busy. In addition to the usual duties of motherhood, I have been helping him make a birthday present for his best friend.

To explain the present, I have to back up and say that the two boys have recently formed a rock band, with my son on drums, his friend on guitar and another friend also on guitar. As 5th graders, their practice sessions can get silly and at some point they invented an imaginary band mascot, a supposed relative of Star Wars’ Chewbacca the wookie called Saccachewbaccchew, whose appearance in the original movie was left on the cutting room floor. Mention this white wookie to the bunch and hilarity ensues.

So, as a surprise for his friend, my son asked me to help him make a stuffed animal version of Saccachewbaccachew. He drew a picture and traced the face with a sharpie onto a scrap of old sheet. We cut the body shape of out white faux fur, sewed the face on, sewed the body together, stuffed it, and sewed it closed. Of couse, I helped with a lot of the sewing. My son wrote out a tag for him. We both felt a bit mischevious and fully satisfied.

On Saturday, my son gave his friend the present, and yesterday, Saccachewbaccachew made his first appearance at band practice, sitting stiffly in a chair. This morning, I received a text from his friend’s mother, saying, “taking good care of the band mascot!” and including this photo. That little guy looks happy wherever he is. Good choice for a mascot.