Welcome to 1200stitches!
Stitch by stitch I love to create...and this blog tells the tales of my sewing adventures! With links to 1200stitches.etsy.com, you can buy handmade goodies for the home, yourself or the little ones in your life, and at boodybabiesbedding.etsy.com, you can create the nursery or toddler room of your dreams!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Easy Peasy Christmas Gifts for Teachers and Support Staff

It's that time of year again....you know, that time of year to scramble together a massive list of who to give to and what to give. And, if you're anything like me, it always creeps up on you. Every year I have grand plans to have all of my shopping done early, to make wonderful handcrafted gifts or to put together super cute projects for the kids to make. And yet somehow it just doesn't happen. This year is no exception. However, I have a handy backup go-to gift for my kiddo's teachers, coaches, bus driver, etc. Hand sanitizer!!! Bath and Body Works always has their PocketBacs on sale near the holidays. They are usually 5 for $5 and you can mix and match. Last year, I purchased PocketBacs and small gift bags (under $1 at Walmart), a package of Lindt's truffles and a package of Ghiradelli chocolate squares. I placed a couple chocolates and a PocketBac in the bag and had the kids make small gift tags to add a personal touch. If you really want to splurge, you can purchase the travel size lotions to complement the sanitizer. A fun way to make it personal is to purchase plain paper sacks (check these out at Michaels.com) and let the kids decorate them...color a picture, add stickers...express their love for those who care for them when they are away from you. If you have a larger budget, another of my favorite gifts to give is a travel coffee mug with a gift card inside...we did this for my son's preschool teachers (there were two). I purchased inexpensive travel mugs at Walmart and then gave each a $10 gift card to Dunkin Donuts. I then had him draw pictures which we made into handcrafted bookmarks. (I was a little more on top of things that year.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Photo A Day Challenge

December is off to an interesting start...the plague (aka flu...the upper respiratory flu) hit our house gracing me with a sick kiddo. As mom, I don't get sick...or so it would seem. My grand plans for December have taken an early hit in conjunction with my energy level as a casualty of this flu. However, I think I have found inspiration to help keep me on track. Over at TheIdeaRoom, they have been doing a monthly Photo A Day challenge. I stumbled across this in my antihistamine fog the other night. December's list of inspiration looks like a lot of fun, so I am giving it a go. Everyday for the month of the December I will attempt to post a photo from the list. Today's photo inspiration was "red and white"...follow me on Instagram or Facebook for the rest of the month to see what I come up with.

#theidearoom Photo A Day Challenge

A photo posted by Jamie (@1200stitches) on

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I am SOOO Midwest...

I am sooo midwest.... This image feels like home to me...my kids groan during road trips until we get to "more interesting" areas...a.k.a. anywhere without cornfields...but the rows of corn and waves of beans bring me such a sense of home and comfort. Don't get me wrong, I love rolling hills and trees and water and even the mountains (though admittedly I haven't spent any significant time in any of our great mountain ranges). But eventually I long for the open land where I can see the sun set, unobstructed, over solid ground and watch the rain roll in. I will never be described as urban chic, though I am not country or western either. And I tend to take great offense to the depiction of the "stereotypical" midwesterner with wannabe last season hair, shabby chic, overstuffed taste and queen of the casserole menus. Midwestern transcends those things...those were midwestern decades ago. Today's midwestern, my midwestern, is eclectic modern...it's tattered now, not shabby which seems a little more chic. Though a true midwesterner still can't qualify as chic by most urban coastal standards. My home is a mix of old an new, of industrial and antique...never modern. I don't have a defined style because I just can't feel at home in one set of parameters. I have ideas for what my "someday" house might be, though no specific timeframe for achieving "someday". Though I know that "someday" will definitely be mostly rural...an afternoon at a suburban mall sends me screaming down the highway towards open spaces.
Fall is what makes me feel truly midwestern...the changing seasons are a large part of what defines the Midwest. It's the change in color of the corn fields and bean plants, it's apples and pumpkins and fall festivals that create a sense that sometimes the world is right. And while I long to see all of this great nation and other places around the globe, it is the rural midwest that I will always call me home.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewing Lessons

Last Christmas, my niece asked for a sewing machine! I was very excited because my daughter has yet to express an interest in learning to sew (although, as my husband points out she has a mom who sews so she doesn't need to sew). I gave her a couple of patterns and money towards a machine...she pooled the rest of her Christmas money and purchased a basic Singer.

So this summer (before the dreaded back to school rush) we spent an afternoon sewing. She had been playing around with the machine at home and getting to know it, but had yet to sit down with anyone who really spent time showing her the parts and completing a full project. Being self-taught, I feel the easiest way to learn how to sew is to just do it...dig into a project and learn as you go. There is so much to sewing that you can't learn it all ahead of time.
After raiding my stash and finding a print that worked, we opened up her pattern and got to it.  We started with simple pajama pants....Actually, we started with a lesson on threading the machine (she had done it a few times, but practice makes perfect!). After getting the threading and machine setup out of the way, I put her to the task of reading through the pattern instructions...completely! I then turned her loose with the scissors. She cut out her pieces (even making the adjustments for length) and we began pinning.  It took a little bit of work with the seam ripper to completely grasp the importance of guiding a straight stitch, but in the end she got it.  The leg openings were hemmed requiring the use of a seam ruler and iron.  She created the casing at the waist and threaded the elastic through, stitching the ends together and completing the project.  The smile of accomplishment on her face was priceless!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Make A Wish

For about 9 years, I have been volunteering as a wish granter for the Make A Wish Foundation.  This has been such a rewarding experience.  Today, I was able to marry the craft skills I have been building with my volunteer work and I am so happy with the results!  I experienced such pure, simple joy personalizing this beach bag and sun hat.  I can't wait to see this little girl's face when we deliver her wish at the end of the month!

This was such a simple project.  I used my Cricut to weld three circles together to make the ears and then cut paper templates for the ears and the initials.  I then traced that onto my Pellon WonderUnder and fused that to my fabrics.  I used Peltex for the base to give the personalization plenty of structure;  then layered my fabrics and used a heat transfer glitter T-shirt vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to create the initial.  I cut a length of polka dot fabric for the band of the hat, gathering at quarter intervals and stitching the gathers.  Then I hand stitched the initial patch to the front.  I used a machine zigzag stitch to attach the initial patch to the beach bag.

Monday, May 19, 2014

So Summer!

Just a little peek at some of the great items to find on Etsy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Spring has sprung...FINALLY!!!!  Although at 91º it seems more like summer...but after record breaking snowfall this past winter, who's complaining?  With spring comes softball/t-ball season and an end to any free time I may have been considering.  My sewing has been sporadic at best, non-existent at worst.  I am hoping to try a new dress pattern for my little girl and find a bag pattern for myself...reviews should follow, though they may come with fall.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Here Comes The Sun

Finding warm inspiration today with this sunny treasury....

Click the here to link to the Etsy treasury and check out some of these amazing artists!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Drawstring Bag Tutorial

Tutorial Time!  I just created a super cute drawstring bag for my little-big girl from the extra fabric had laying around.  This is a very simple project so I thought I would share.....

Skill Level:  Easy

  • Sewing Machine 
  • Scissors 
  • Rotary Cutter(optional) 
  • Iron 
  • Pins
  • 2 Fat Quarters (20"x18") for Exterior of Bag
  • 2 Fat Quarters (20"x18") for Lining/Interior of Bag
  • 8 Yards of Ribbon or String or Thick Cording
  • 2 Grommets
  • Thread


Step 1. -  Cutting

Cut your exterior fabric to 16" wide by 18" high/long and do the same for your interior fabric.  So you will have 4 pieces of fabric that are 16"x18"
Next, from the scraps you have left, cut two pieces of fabric that are 16" across by 4" high; these will be the casing for the drawstrings.  I used the lining fabric which gave a nice contrast at the top of the bag.

Step 2. -  Create the Casing

Press 3/4" in on each end of your casing pieces and stitch with a 5/8" seam allowance. Then fold them in half lengthwise and press;  edge stitch along the fold.  Set aside.

Step 3. -  Sew The Sides

With exterior fabric right sides together, sew along the SIDES ONLY; repeat with the lining fabric. Press seams open.

Step 4. -  Attach the Casing

Turn your lining right sides out and insert into the exterior of your bags; right sides should be together and be sure to line up the side seams.  Insert one casing piece into the front of the bag between the exterior fabric and the lining fabric; pin.  Repeat with the other casing piece. Stitch all the way around with 5/8" seam allowance.  Turn the exterior of the bag right sides out and gently tug on the casing pieces to fold the fabric; press the seam and then top stitch along the seam.

Step 5. -  Sew the Bottom

Now, turn the back inside out so that the lining is out and the exterior fabric is in. Lay flat and fold up 1" and then fold again, press and stitch.

Step 6. -  Insert the Grommets

Using a pen or marking pencil, trace the inside of a grommet ring making sure to place it in away from the side and bottom seams of the bag. Cut out the circle (or if you're using smallish grommets as I did, make a cut for the bottom grommet to push through). Using either grommet pliers or the grommet anvil, attach the grommets.

Step 7. -  String it Up!

Now you will need to cut your string piece in half creating two approx. 48" pieces (you can go longer or shorter depending on the size of the person who will be using the bag).  Attach a safety pin to one end of your string/ribbon and insert it into the right end of the back casing; feed the string out through the left side of the back casing.  Now insert the string into the left end of the front casing and feed it through to the right of the front casing.  You should now have both ends of your string on the right of the bag.  Next, you will need to do the same thing with your other piece of string, but starting on the left side of the bag (so feeding through from the left back casing opening out and around through the front right casing opening and back so your two string tails of the second piece of string are hanging out the left side).
Next, feed both ends of the right string through the right grommet.  You can now make a knot big enough so that it doesn't slip back through the grommet.  I took it a step further and created bows to add a little flair to my bag.  Repeat with the left side strings.
Now you can pull both sides together to cinch it up and it is all set to go!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

almost-Tween Room Tweak...

My almost 10 year old decided her room needed a little tweaking so we picked out some fabric and I ran some valance ideas past her and came up with this....
I am soooo thrilled with how they turned out!  (and so is she...I think).  We replaced her frilly pink ruffle valances with a scalloped aqua zebra valance that is trimmed out with green sequins and a green gathered rod pocket.  I purchased commercially available curtain panels because, let's face it, fabric is not cheap!  I used Illustrator to create a bracket/scallop and then printed it to scale to create my template for the bottom of the valance.  I lined them with basic drapery lining fabric, created a gathered rod pocket and then stitched the sequin trim over the seam to hide my little imperfections.  We also removed her closet doors which opened up the room, but seemed a little unfinished.  So, we created a valance and hung curtain panels along the edges to hide the door frame creating a boutique feel.  All in all, a few quick little changes that opened the room and gave her a more "grown-up" space.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Goodbye Old Friend...Hello New Love!

     Alas, my Canon Powershot has been retired. It started to give me an error; my research (though minimal) has lead me to believe it is the lens. While I was extremely excited to receive the error because it gave me an excuse to enter the world of DSLR cameras, I am one of those ridiculous people who assigns sentimental value to inanimate objects...although, it's not so much the object itself as it is the moment(s) in my life that it represents.
     I fought dearly against purchasing a digital camera...what did I need that for? Film printed so much better than digital (at the time, way back when). But a chance accident (my beloved film camera had disappeared form the diaper bag) left me in need of a camera. So I began researching, and researching, and researching a little more and decided the Canon Powershot S2 IS would be a good fit. It had features that appealed to me, it looked nice and it just felt right in my hands. It has captured so many moments in my life (and more importantly the lives of my children), that though I am excited to start a new journey, I am somewhat saddened to let it go.
      So I am saying goodbye old friend and welcoming my new love...the Canon Rebel EOS T3i. This camera didn't exactly get glowing reviews...it is a Canon and so the image quality could not be argued against, the burst mode feature left reviewers wanting more. However, it fit in my price range and I think it will be a great entry level DSLR for me. Again, it looks and feels good in my hands; although professional photographer, I am not...I don't even know if I would qualify as a novice. I have a very basic understanding of the fundamentals of digital photography (though they tend to elude me when I'm actually "in the field" shooting). With this new purchase, hopefully will come a better understanding and an increased skill (as well as increased motivation to learn more).
     These are few of the images that my old friend the Powershot captured....

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fabric, Flowers and Buttons Oh My

Yet again, I am turning to my fellow Etsy sellers for inspiration...searching the supply section for rich texture, bright color and pure creative muse. Some nasty little flu bug invaded my poor children over the past two weeks and I am now woefully behind in my shop goals. This week I plan to create scalloped valances for my daughter's room...giving her a bit of a room makeover. In that vein, I will also need to create some surf themed vinyl for my son's room...got to keep things fair and even. In the coming weeks, I hope to share some of these things visually...my old, faithful Canon Powershot has died and I replaced it with an entry-level Canon DSLR. I am very excited to explore the possibilities with my new camera! In the mean time, I have shared another treasury shot at the top of this post...hopefully, sharing along with it, some crafty inspiration.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finding Inspiration

With winter blues settling in, I'm struggling to find motivation and inspiration. So, today I created an Etsy treasury; it's been a while. I used to belong to a team on which I collaborated in publishing the blog. Among other articles, we featured treasuries created by team members of team members. The treasury I created today features other Etsy sellers…suplly sellers. I am loving the Lily Bird Studio Dress! And the handbags are already being built in my mind. My next tresury will surely have to feature a more focused collection…possibly a pattern along with all the supplies I will use to make it. For today, I hope you can find a little inspiration and possibly support some of my fellow sellers. And I hope I can find motivation to begin a new project tomorrow.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cricut Crafting

This afternoon I got crafty with the birthday present I received last fall…I finally got a Cricut die cutting machine!  I had been wanting one for ages and just couldn't justify spending the money when my main bread and butter craft is sewing (althought I can use it for cutting appliqués), so my husband removed that burden and bought it for me.  So, when I was asked to donate an item for a fundraising raffle I decided to dress it up;  I created a thank you card with my information for the winner.  I am thrilled with how it turned out…I plan to make some of these to include as thank you notes with my orders.
While I have enjoyed my forray into the papercrafting world via the Cricut, it does pose some limitations for me;  I am exploring the Cameo Silhouette to see if it can allow me a little more flexibility and creativity…it's very difficult spending all that dough on a Cricut cartridge when I typically only want one graphic (that I probably could have created myself using Illustrator).  I'm specfically trying to find out if I can actually use any font I have and create any graphic to be imported.  If that is the case, there may soon be a Cricut available for purchase.  I would love to read any comments regarding reader experiences with both machines!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

Starting the year out right! My first project this year was warm, fuzzy lounge pants for the kiddos…my oldest has some really long legs and all of her fuzzy pants (after about the first wash) end up looking like waders. So, I decided my little ones needed super comfy (and long) pj pants. These pants go together super quick…I used these two patterns: Simiplicity's Free Pattern for Easy PJ Pants and Taylor's Pajama Pants With that done, the work must begin…on this week's agenda is organizing and taking inventory of my craft room and then organizing my computer's desktop…I am woefully behind on archiving files.