Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the last post of 2009! It's been a year of change for and our new home on Typepad. To summarize 2009: I've been working on migrating projects and information from my old sewing websites to here with the goal of having everything in one place in an organized fashion for you to use. The life of has come to an end and that site is not being updated any longer. is still alive and will continue to be updated when new, edited, or other information dictates. It will continue to be a pet project of mine and serves as a compendium of sewing and fabric terms. proper will redirect here in time. Right now, this destination is highlighted on the site.

Looking toward 2010, I have a few goals. One of them is to continue to highlight projects and how to information. That may be enveloped in projects that I myself have done or that friends who wish to donate ideas have created. Boutique clothing is coming. I did not meet a deadline for a Christmas dress for a local young lady, so she will be getting a winter one. I will continue to document how to do this or that embellishment in the event that you wish to try your luck. I will be working on inventory for a craft show toward the end of 2010, and that will provide me with the opportunity to show you how to use your stash in a variety of ways. The focus will continue to be sewing frugally and sewing because it meets a need for you, both inside and out. Another goal is to encourage everyone to teach someone something related to fabric arts, be it sewing, learning to replace a button, enjoying a no-sew fleece scarf, or embroidery. It's an art we cannot allow to die.

My wish for you is that you have a healthy new year. As with all works in progress, this site will continue to improve. I also consider myself a work in progress, and I will continue to improve too (I hope!).
Thank you for visiting and sticking with me over the years. Here's to many, many more. - Donna

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And so it's just about Christmas

My daughter has a friend who asked me to help her make a jellyfish costume for Halloween. Well, that never worked out and she made it herself. Recently, my daughter asked me to make a cat Christmas stocking for the friend and I said, hmmm, wonder if I can work in a jellyfish! And guess what, I can and I did. I used striped cat fabric, silver rick-rack, fluffy white terry for the cuff, and some silver sequin fabric and silver rick-rack to make the jellyfish. She posted a picture on her Facebook and I stole it to show you here. And with this stocking picture, I say Merry Christmas to everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One more stocking and then a break

It's about time to set sewing aside for holiday stuff. The Christmas tree needs decoration, the cookies need to be made, the house needs to be readied for guests. I did make one more stocking, though. How about a Hokie stocking?


Just a little something for our Virginia Tech friends. I did try something new with this - I purchased some fluffy terry from and found out that it sewed very nicely. I have quite a bit, so will use it for cuffs from here forward, at least till it's gone. This stocking is two sided, so the user has a choice of which way the toe points. That's the age-old question with Christmas stockings, isn't it? This stocking is not quilted, so it's very simple to make. Cut, making sure your fabric is going in the right direction (this had a one way print), stitch cuff on the top, sew the two pieces with right sides together using double seams, clip curves, turn, bind raw edge. There you have it.

I'll begin on Valentine's Day items after Christmas. By next year, I should be two seasons ahead instead of right on time. That makes for better shows and selling! Whew.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ties for stockings take 2

Ah, Christmas stockings. Can you ever make enough? I finished three more which I made out of neckties. Wow, that stuff is hard to sew. The harvested fabrics were silky and on the bias. Two-punch - stretchy and slippery! They turned out mighty nice, though! As mentioned below, I spent an evening taking the ties apart and learning about them. I pressed them and used the strip quilting technique that I've mentioned before. I covered the seam lines with gold rick-rack, the cuffs were made of a fluffy terry fabric, and the backs were created with simple Christmas fabric.

On a side note, I put out a "wanted" on my local Freecycle group for Christmas fabrics and score! Another Freecycler had a bag of Christmas fabrics she had been sitting on and realized she'd never use. Interestingly, several of them matched fabrics I've had for years, so they're not all modern prints. They are also the smaller prints that I tend to gravitate towards. What a great find.

I'll post pictures of the stockings made of ties at a later date. Right now, I have several Virginia Tech Christmas stockings to sew! Like I said, can you ever make enough? I'm putting them up on Etsy as I finish them. It's more about the making than the selling, though.

Update - here are some pictures of the three I finished.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ties for stockings

I've been sewing a lot lately out of my stash. I'm trying to use what I have rather than purchase more, and am having some success with that. Over the past few years, I've been collecting silk ties with an eye towards making Christmas stockings, girls' skirts, or other things I'm inspired to stitch together.

Last night, I sat down with my seam ripper, a sharp pair of shears, a small trash bag, and my box of ties. I dissected all of them that had red or green in them and set them aside. I learned quite a bit about tie construction by taking them apart. Funny how that works.

There will be more to the story as I continue to sew, but for today, that's it. I have to work till 5 and have an errand to run after that, then dinner to make, and then work a little more. I am not sure I'll have much sewing time between now and then!

Now, would someone tell me where my box of Christmas and other holiday fabrics is?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Stockings for Teachers/School Bus Drivers

I made a few Christmas stockings this week. I used the same principles that I always use - strip quilting onto a backing with batting and then using a cotton back for the stocking. These three have a school/teacher/bus driver theme. I had purchased some school fabric at a yard sale for a quarter and it was basically border fabric that I used to harvest the apples, chalkboard, and other school items in the stockings. They were fun to make. I used some silver rick-rack; red, white, and green rick-rack; ribbons; and made bias bindings for the top of the cuff. It's time to get these made and ready to give, sell, or use!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Junk jeans!


I spent an hour today gathering a huge stack of old denim (legs, pockets, etc., that had already been dissected). While I was on vacation, I had an idea for a denim skirt involving 6" strips. I ordered a 6" x 24" ruler and it was home by the time I got here (believe it or not, it was less expensive to buy the same ruler on line than in a store, including shipping!). I dusted off my cutting pad and dug out my table from behind a bookcase, and finally found my rotary cutter. It's been a while!
Then for the next hour, I cut 6" and 4" strips of denim, and sorting pockets for weighing and selling later. The 6" strips are what I was interested in for myself. Although I only did cutting today, it felt good to be doing something that involved fabric. Everyone I know brings me their old jeans, so it felt doubly good to be cutting denim with purpose. The next step in the skirt is to make strips and put the strips together to make the fabric from which the skirt will be cut.
As for those pockets and 4" strips, I think I'm going to make packages with each of those and my 2" strips and put them on eBay. I'll save enough 2" strips to make Christmas stockings, but I think I'm done with those.
So what fabric recycling are you into these days?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A sachet you can make - giftie project!

We've posted another project from our days gone by on the web. This one is how to make a simple sachet. I used lacy fabrics over a solid fabric. I also used a leftover lace ruffle. These are filled with potpourri. You could use scented cotton or spices or leave them stuffed with scent-less fluff!

Above are the two from the tutorial, heart shaped, but the instructions are able to be adapted to whatever shape you like. I used to own (now defunct) and this is one of the projects I created way back then. Okay, it really wasn't all that long ago, but here it is - Sachet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smurf smock done!

I made this smock using a Smurfs sheet and a retro (late 60s/early 70s) pattern which I adapted.I think it turned out pretty cute!

I bought nothing, so the frugality aspect is covered. I used my creative juices when it came to trims and trim placement, and that was a very satisfying sewing experience. It took several days because I simply didn't have time to sit and sew. There were also a lot of pieces and the yoke, sleeves, and cuffs required gathering/ease to attach. The collar needs to be dampened and ironed one more time, but it looks pretty good.
I added a flowery trim down the sleeve and also across the shoulder seams. There is rick-rack in the collar seam and across the yoke in the front and back.
The buttons match the blue of the Smurfs (I need to move one of them just a hair to make them match up perfectly, though).
Overall, I'm pleased with it. I like the price! I haven't made a full garment item in a while, so it was actually quite fun. It made me want to go back to making clothing more often, even if it's doll clothes! Wait, maybe it's time to make something for me.
Now to find my Halloween fabrics and get started on those!

Friday, August 7, 2009

That derned serger!

I have a 3-thread Bernina serger (about 25 years old) that I adore. I replaced it once with a 4-thread Bernina, but chose to have the 3-thread tuned up and put back into service. When I did that, they lost my needle threader. If you know anything about your serger, you know you need that needle threader! I ordered another one that is a bit different hoping I'd never have to use it. I'm a firm believer in threading your serger by tying the new thread onto the remainder of the old thread and snaking it through. So, a week or so ago, a thread broke. AAAAAA. It was the looper thread that is hardest to get to and gives old sergers a bad name.
I had to thread it from scratch. I probably have done that twice in the last 25ish years! I tried to open the cloth guard and couldn't do it. I tried to thread the derned thing without opening the cover and couldn't do it. I went to consult the manual. I couldn't find it. It's been in my bookshelf for who knows how long, but it's not there now. Oh no. That would be too simple. I went online and ordered a photocopy of the manual. It came today and well, there it was, a clip that needed to be pulled back to open the cloth guard. Eureka!
It took 15 minutes more, but I got it done. I was almost ready to face the ridicule at the Bernina shop by taking it in to be threaded. But now, I sincerely rock. My serger is back in action - I faced the looper and won. Take that Bernina machine thingie!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sewing tonight!

I tend to work too much and sew too little. I have left my evening free for sewing. I will even move a small television into the sewing room/office and have the table ready for it. I have a child's blouse/smock cut out of Smurf fabric and am embellishing the sleeves with some retro trim and will use vintage buttons for the front. I have yet to cut out the pockets as I want to match the print of the fabric, so it will take some planning and fussy cutting. I also want to add a lining to the yoke, so will cut that out and incorporate it. I don't like leaving itchy seams on a kid's shirt. It feels good to be working on a garment. I have a lot of the Smurf fabric left, so I'll figure something out! I'm still using threads I have on hand and keep my serger threaded with off white thread; it seems to go with just about anything. Frugal sewing ... that's me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stop me before I make more potholders!

Surprise! I made more potholders. This time, they're very Smurfy. Eeeep! I again used recycled denim and this time did machine appliques of musical Smurfs backed with a Smurf mushroom house. The binding is bias tape made from the Smurf fabric too. These were essentially free since I had all the parts already. Truly frugal. And cute too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Potholder crazy!

This is the potholder project which you can use, but what about me? I'm almost done with a set of Smurfs potholders. They're adorable too! Same method - Wonder Under, cut out the designs, fuse, satin stitch, use a batting sandwich that it heat resistant, and sew, sew, sew. I suspect I'm going to be hopeless with the small projects. I picked up a pattern for little girls with a smock type top that I adore. That's next after the Smurfs are done.

Walmart woe!

Shock, horrors! The WalMart a few miles from me has fabric no more. I was in the store last night picking up a cordless phone and walked over to the fabric department to pick up some black cotton blend for Halloween bags. The shelves which one sported quilting fabrics, interfacing, novelty prints, and cottons were filled with colorful pillows. The table that held the flat fold remnants was gone. The rows of fabric bolts were filled with bedspreads and a variety of home decorative items. My fabric! It is gone. The pattern stand, threads, and zippers were still there, but the thread rows are, excuse the pun, thread bare. I suspect they'll disappear soon too.
I now have a Hancock Fabric Store and the online world for purchasing fabric. Time to visit yard sales, thrift stores, and all those other fun alternate sources of fabric, but dang! No more 24-hour shopping for notions, threads, and whims of amusement.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Acorn Potholders - Easy to make! Frugal too.

Here's a short tutorial for potholders made with recycled denim and some vintage 70s fabrics I have. I need to add a photo of the completed two that I made, but you get the idea just with this example.
Stop by again for other tutorials as we either get old ones posted or create new ones for you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3 or so

Yep, still here. :)
Today was spent working on some pot holders which are made of recycled denim and vintage 70s fabrics. I machine appliqued an acorn with leaves and twig on the front and made the backs out of the vintage fabrics. I just finished the bias binding using the two fabrics that I used for the acorn and leaves. The unfortnate thing is that I ran out of the green thread that I am using to applique the leaves. Thankfully, it's a Coats and Clark thread and is still made, so I can run out tomorrow and pick up a new spool. I'll take pictures and post them later and eventually will get a tutorial up for making potholders in general. My only direct cost, though, will be the thread. I already had everything else on hand. Not bad.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sponge Bob Squarepants Bib *

This is a bib that I've made a few times with minor variation, and I've had good luck selling them. People love Spongebob, not to mention Patrick! I drew the pattern and used recycled denim for the base. I have oodles of Velcro, so that seemed a nice, easy way to do the closure. I didn't want to do a button for a baby item.
You can use any fabric you like. You can put the crumb pocket on or not. Use store bought bias tape or make your own. Consider themes - Halloween, Christmas, other holidays. Enlarge your pattern and use it for toddlers.
It's all about having some fun with what you have on hand or what you want to buy. And who doesn't love Sponge Bob?
Click here to be taken to our project page. The link will open in a new window.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Denim Strip Quilt - Recycling Denim/Junk Jeans

You can use up untold number of denim scraps from recycled jeans, jackets, skirts, and who knows what else, making a strip project like this. Cut denim into 2" strips and save those in a bag until you have time to make a quilt or a jacket. There is a tutorial here for the quilt. The jacket itself is simply one that we made adding strip quilting to a sweatshirt.
The photos below are of the denim jacket in progress and one of a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt I made for my nephew's baby. Although this is not strip quilted, it is a great way to use up denim. It's a cute little baby quilt and made to be used and abused.
Recycling denim is one of my favorite things to do. If you have a tutorial to share, lemme know. You can't have too many ways to creatively reuse junk jeans!



I use recycled denim a lot in projects you'll see on here. It's one of my favorite things to repurpose. My ideas are available as are many more on the web and in magazines and books. The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Decorated dish/hand towels

This is a project that I did several years ago when I ran (sadly, the site is no longer with us). I used new dish towels, added colorful fish, and created hand towels for my downstairs washroom. I've used this process in a variety of projects and you can too. Great for a gift or just a pick-me-up for a boring towel rack.
Click on the link above for instructions on how to make your own machine zig-zag appliqued dish towels!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

About this thing

A lifelong person who sews (I can't stand the term "sewer"), I'm amazed at all there is to know and learn. Anything I or  you can do to pass along the art of sewing to another person or generation is just plain frosty goodness, in my opinion.
I find fun projects on the web often and sort of collect them. I thought it would be fun to share with you the projects I either have made myself or found on the web.
The tutorials that I have created will open in a new page on a site of mine. Tutorials that I've gathered from around the web will open in their original site so that their author/creator gets full credit for their work. If you're going to make items to sell, please check with the original author/creator to get their permission.
If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me know.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Etsy listings for today

I finally got my stuff photographed and listed on Etsy:
bibblacktrimThis bib has black trim, but I also listed them with flame fabric trim and white fabric trim.
bibmcdonaldsThis one has a pocket for catching crumbs. McDonald's fabric and denim, backed with light flannel.
nascarfront1The one potholder I listed is denim and M&Ms NASCAR fabric.
sscakebib1Vintage cutter quilt embellished with vintage Strawberry Shortcake fabric applique and backed with a soft flannel, bound with another Strawberry Shortcake fabric.
hallowfrontHalloween fabric fashioned into a Grandmother's Flower Garden doll quilt or wall hanging. Backed with Halloween fabric and hand sewn binding of the same fabric. The machine quilting is done in a wavy design with black thread.
sscakefrontVintage Strawberry Shortcake quilt squares put together in a 9-patch fashion, embellished with blue satin ribon, backed with blue fabric with strawberry designs and hand sewn binding with the same fabric. The machine quilting is done in a diagonal fashion.
Whew. I've been collecting stuff for a while. It feels good to get it up and now to wait for stuff to sell :)

Etsy listings for today

I finally got my stuff photographed and listed on Etsy:
bibblacktrimThis bib has black trim, but I also listed them with flame fabric trim and white fabric trim.
bibmcdonaldsThis one has a pocket for catching crumbs. McDonald's fabric and denim, backed with light flannel.
nascarfront1The one potholder I listed is denim and M&Ms NASCAR fabric.
sscakebib1Vintage cutter quilt embellished with vintage Strawberry Shortcake fabric applique and backed with a soft flannel, bound with another Strawberry Shortcake fabric.
hallowfrontHalloween fabric fashioned into a Grandmother's Flower Garden doll quilt or wall hanging. Backed with Halloween fabric and hand sewn binding of the same fabric. The machine quilting is done in a wavy design with black thread.
sscakefrontVintage Strawberry Shortcake quilt squares put together in a 9-patch fashion, embellished with blue satin ribon, backed with blue fabric with strawberry designs and hand sewn binding with the same fabric. The machine quilting is done in a diagonal fashion.
Whew. I've been collecting stuff for a while. It feels good to get it up and now to wait for stuff to sell :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And yeti, I still like to sew

Argh. Have you ever taken on a sewing project that you wish you had never started? Of course you have. I just finished mine. It was the ultimate, uber, pinnacle of bad ideas and yet I did it, beginning, middle, and end.

I got a request from a friend at our local community theater - "Can you make a yeti?" "Sure," I say, "no problem." We talked about it and I decided that yarn on a sweatsuit was the way to go.

I met the actor and asked him to get a gray sweatsuit that fit him a little large. I picked up some white yarn, someone donated some offwhite yarn, I bought a pair of white gloves with black speckles for the hands, ordered a white ski mask with eyes and mouth cutout, and finished off the basics with slipper socks.

And thus it began. I started with winding the yarn around a 2" ruler and cutting it to length. After about eleventy seven hours of that, I started disecting skeins of yarn at various lengths. The winding didn't work too well with time constraints. My husband was the one who thought there had to be an easier way. He was right.

I started with the hands, adding yarn bit by bit from the cuff to the fingers and anywhere my sewing machine would reach on the top side of the gloves. I took those in for approval and the director and actor thought they were great.
I cut off the elastic at the bottom of the sweat pants and began sewing yarn threads to the pants, one row at a time, from cuff to crotch and then from waist to crotch. Sounds easy, right? Well, it didn't work that way. I had to cut the pants at the knee and do them in two pieces. I couldn't scrunch everything up in the sewing machine. I did the legs and then the crotch to waist, and then stitched the legs back on and voila - The pants were done and full and fluffy and looked pretty good and guess what? The show was opening in three days.

Next came the top. I started at the bottom sewing yarn to the shirt and worked my way to the armpits, then realized I needed to cut the sleeves like I did the pants legs. Then I realized that a yeti needs a belly. I took a large piece of muslin, drew on a chest and six-pack, and then stitched that to the shirt, satin stitching the outline of the chest and six pack. After another day or so, I got the body of the shirt done and decided to attach the ski mask to the top of it. I made a black nose out of cotton and added that triangle to the face mask. I decided it needed hair, so I sketched out a face shape and added thin yarn hair to the rest of it, including a small bit coming up to the mouth and covering the neck. I attached the head (ski mask) and filled in the blank spots with more yarn.

At this point, I had yarn all over the floor, the dog, in my shoes, all over me, and everywhere you could imagine, including in my car, but I wasn't done yet!

Dress rehearsal was Tuesday night. I had the suit at the theater, but wasn't happy with the top, so asked the director to bring it home for me. (She lives near me.) Yesterday, I filled in blank spots with more yarn and took it back to her.

I sewed for days on end, sometimes 6 hours at a time. I used three large skeins of white yarn and 3 skeins of off-white yarn and about 10 bobbins. I sewed and sewed, and then I sewed some more. The play is On the Verge. I found some costuming ideas on line here -  That is not our production and I will get pictures of my pitiful yeti soon and post them, but you can kind of see why I thought yarn would work. The yeti in that performance looks kind of yarnish.

(Update, 10/2017 - I never did get any photos of the yeti. I have, though, worked with the actor since then and it's something neither of us will ever forget.)

My suggestion to anyone considering a yeti - think fur, think boas, think anything but yarn cut in short lengths and stitched on by machine. It took a lot longer than I thought it would and as are a lot of sewing projects, it was a huge lesson in what not to do. I laughingly said to the director, "You'll never ask me to costume a show again!" to which she replied, "That way, you don't have to say no."

I am SO glad that I'm done with the critter. The audience thus far has said that it looks good for the less than 2 minutes it is on stage.

Will I ever sew again!???

Monday, March 16, 2009


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Friday, January 30, 2009

IMPORTANT!!! CPSIA One Year Stay Announced


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public AffairsWashington, DC 20207

January 30, 2009
Release #09-115
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.
Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.
The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:

  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.

  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and

  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.
Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Please visit the CPSC Web site at for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.
Statements on this vote by Acting Chairman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas H. Moore are in portable document format (PDF).


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at

Friday, January 9, 2009

Top How-To Sewing Tutorials

TheLongThread shows a great list of tutorials for sewing projects that you and I can do. Check them out! The more the merrier, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update on Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

According to this article, cottons are going to be exempt. The question now remains, what about buttons, zippers, trims, Velcro, thread, etc.
"Panel Exempts Some Products From U.S. Lead Rules (Update1)
By Mark Drajem
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to exempt electronic goods and products with lead embedded inside from new rules banning the metal in toys.
The two-member commission, reacting to complaints from manufacturers, also agreed to exempt natural products such as gems and cotton from mandatory testing for lead. The proposal, given initial approval today, will be open for public comment for a month and may be altered.
Companies had urged the safety commission to pass more far- reaching exemptions and to put them in place immediately, before the ban on lead in toys takes effect Feb. 10.
“The deadline is coming up very, very quickly,” said Sheila Millar, a lawyer representing the Fashion Jewelry Trade Association. Companies “want clarity and they need it quickly,” she said.
Still, companies shouldn’t expect a crackdown, said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the commission.
“There’s a need for compliance, but it’s fair to say that the toy police will not be descending on all of America on Feb. 11,” Vallese said.
First Overhaul
Congress passed the first overhaul of consumer protection laws in almost two decades last year in response to a spate of recalls the year before of Chinese-made toys containing lead. While previous regulations included limits on lead, the law toughened the standard and expanded its reach to all products aimed at children 12 and under.
That expansion has ensnared makers of products such as bicycles and books that never thought of themselves as toymakers, said Ed Krenik, a lobbyist at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington.
The law also forces all makers of children’s products to get independent tests of their toys to prove they don’t contain lead.
Lobbyists representing makers of products such as books, handheld computers, bedding and shoes banded together to petition the commission to exempt them from the new lead standards. They say the independent commission should also remove glass, bolts, mattress padding and other components of products that present no risks to children.
The proposed exemptions considered today are “incomplete and provide no process for adding additional materials which are known to science to not contain lead,” a coalition of handmade- toy sellers wrote to the CPSC on Jan. 3.
The CPSC exempted wool, cotton, silk, gemstones and pearls in its proposal today.
The panel also faces pressure from consumer groups to keep the standards tight. The only lead in toys the commission ruled was “inaccessible” was that which children couldn’t touch, a standard Millar argued is too tight.
“The agency is aware that this one-size-fits-all law doesn’t necessarily fit all sectors,” Vallese said. “But the laws are set and Congress was very explicit.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at
Last Updated: January 6, 2009 19:14 EST

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More important information about CPSIA

Etsy has a great article which you must read about this "safety" act. It affects you on a personal level if you sell anything that you have crafted for people or appealing to people under the age of 12. Click on the link above to see the story intact with hyperlinks to other information on the web:

Many members of the Etsy community have been involved in spreading the word about the impact the CPSIA might have on handmade and vintage toy and children's apparel businesses. Here at Etsy, we wrote an Open Letter about the CPSIA and invited Patricia Bittner, the Small Business Ombudsman at the Office of International Programs and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, to talk with our community in the Virtual Labs. Patricia passed on our requests to the proper people, but as of yet, not one has accepted our offer of a webchat. However, Patricia noted that the office has been getting many, many communications from small businesspeople on the topic.
The Washington Post reported  on the issue in Lyndsey Layton and Annys Shin's article, Toymakers Assail Costs of New Law: How Consumer Protections Will Be Implemented Is Onerous, Manufacturers Say. "While toy giants such as Hasbro and Mattel began changing their materials even before the law was passed, some owners of medium and small businesses say they do not have the time -- or the money -- to comply with the tough new provisions."
The Richmond Times reported small businesses' concerns about a lack of clarity regarding the enforcement of the law. The article, New Law May Hurt Crafters At Home, conveyed the crafting community's desire for exemptions. The newspaper noted that, according to Julie Vallese, spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "There are exceptions to the testing rule for crafters making only one unique copy of each item."  Vallese also told reporter Sean Mussenden that "Small toymakers have inundated the commission with questions and complaints about the new standards."
Cecilia, of the and, is helping crafters and artisans get their voices heard. She is very active on the Alliance's Facebook Group (join the group here). We wanted to share some updates and deadlines via Cecilia:

Midnight, this Wednesday, December 31, 2008 is the deadline for the first round of voting on the site. If you haven't voted, please do, and pass the word on. Let's remain in the number one spot! Here's the link.
This coming Monday, January 5, is the deadline for comments to the CPSC. The CPSC has asked for comments regarding component testing and natural materials exemptions! This is our chance to speak directly to the CPSC and push them to include these important additions in the CPSIA/provide your personal feedback on anything that hasn't been touched on. Here is the link to the CPSC forms.

The blogosphere has been spreading calls for amending the CPSIA. Here are just a few posts:
BlogHer - The CPSIA puts handmade toys and kids clothes in danger of extinction. Like, soon.
Crafting in a Green World - Geppetto in Peril
The Twitter feed of Kathleen Fasanella at Fashion Incubator has all the latest news - and the Handmade Consortium will be updating a new blog section on the CPSIA topic. Click here for a whole lot more links.
Many Etsians have been sharing information via this thread in the forums.
Read our Open Letter about the CPSIA.
We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and productive New Year. Keep up the momentum!