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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Doll Slippers

 Alexi joined our family this summer. I think my mom and I are more excited about playing wih her than Lucia.
Last we I discovered that our resident rat (that's a story for another day) had found my pile of old sweaters so it was time to use them up. This blue was from a sweater that someone had felted at some point. Today I whipped up two pairs of these slippers. I used a patter similar tho this one, but doll sized. Blacket stitiched around the outside.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Tree

Christmas time and we don't have a lot of room for a tree. Plus - I don't love the idea of either a synthetic tree full of chemicals or a natural tree which I will have to clean up after. So - I spent some time on Pinterest (who doesn't?) and found some great trees that were concentric circles of plywood cut up - but that would require time and a jigsaw. So... I did this.

It is made from circles of grape vine - pulled of my mothers shed. If you have never tried to make a rustic basket you don't know how easy it is. Literally, just cut off the vines and twist into a circle, tucking them into themselves, like when you make a daisy chain. As the wood tries it will get stiff and "permanent". I made a bunch of rings, each one a little bit smaller and then attached them with ribbon. Strung up the lights and hung the ornaments! (I bought some very cheap ornament hooks to make it easier).

Two things I love about it (besides that it is pretty) is that it hangs from the tree so cleaning up underneath is easy and that it will fold up into a jumbo pizza box to store for next year.

My favorite ornament... Santa in drag. 😂

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lunch Bag

As I said in my last post - I'm back to work next week after a year of maternity leave. So... I am squeezing in my last sewing projects before life takes over and I don't have as much time. Today I followed this tutorial over at Pink Penguin to make myself a new lunch bag.
I wanted something big enough to fit my pyrex dishes (I'm trying to get plastic away from my food as much as possible. Besides the obvious possibility of chemical leaching I find that the food just tastes better) but that was soft and would fold up when not full of food. I made a zipper pocket in the front big enough for my silverware. I knew I wanted something insulated as well and I thought I would have to go out and buy a cheap soft cooler to cut up but many of the tutorials recommended using regular old batting. I didn't have any so I added a layer of polar fleece between the outside layer and lining. Time will tell if this is enough to do anything. Another thing I liked about this pattern was the gathered cover for the inside. This means that when I have lots of lunch (or lunch and dinner for the long meeting days) my food can spill out without actually spilling out.
The tutorial was easy to follow and the finished product looks really professional. I realized after picking out the fabric that I had already used this fabric to make some reusable snack bags (did you know you can just throw these in the dishwasher?) so now I have a whole set.

I love sewing bags (so satisfying and fast as they are usually just a series of rectangles) and this was a good excuse to exercise my habit. I may not be ready to go back to work but I will be ready for lunch time!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pillowcases and biastape

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would get a craft table at the local music festival, not with any hopes of making money selling craft, but to promote my classes at Sew For My Baby. So I need a product. I made a nice list of simple kids clothing items that could be easily mass produced with recycled material and went to work. After a couple of afternoons I had two hats and several pillowcase dresses.
The problem was that halfway through my fourth pillowcase dress I remembered how much I hate production sewing. That is one reason I liked sewing for the theater so much, we almost never made the same thing twice. What was I to do??? Well. Only two days after this - I got a call from my principal telling me that my job was coming up and if I wanted it back, sooner than planned. Eight weeks of work and then off for 9 for the summer and we decided it was a good idea. So - no more production sewing. I am hoping to continue to teach classes however - but now without the pressure of having to promote them too much.

One great thing that came out of this process is that I finally got motivated to try out this tutorial and made some bias tape. I'm in love. I will never buy bias tape again. It's actually really fast to make, with most of the time invested in drawing lines and cutting which can be done in front of the TV.

 The bad thing... now I have a stash of recycle cloth that I bought to make kids clothing that currently doesn't have a purpose.. and I was so proud of myself that I knew where it was all going. That's OK - most of it fit into my cloth storage bins - and my kids will just have to benefit from hand made clothing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thrifted Fabric

The Salvation Army was having a sale on linens - so I went looking for fabric. Pickings were good and this is what I came home with.
With 25% discount and one 'get one free' certificate that I have been holding on to forever the grand total (including the blue check in the background) came to 35.00. Not bad for that much fabric. What I am most proud of is that I have a plan for all of it, so hopefully it won't just sit around too long. One of the advantages/disadvantages of having your sewing room be a closet is that you have to be pretty judicious about what you keep around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sewing for Boys

I got a copy of Sewing for Boys in mail last week and it her hasn't left my side board yet. I love to look at the pictures. This book has been burning up the sewing blogs and I was curious. As a Pattern Drafter (capitols because this was once my profession :) I usually make my own patterns - but why invent the wheel right? (Plus it was on sale). I'm anxious to make lots of the projects but the first one 'out of the gate' was the "gone fishing" hat. Here it is, made out of a pair of jeans that conveniently just ripped out the bum.

I couldn't convince Diego to wear it for too long but there isn't much sun yet. I think it is cute! The pattern was easy to follow and you can see that the authors have gone out of their way to make all the projects stylish but as simple as possible. I love the seams on the outside! I haven't washed it yet - I am imagining that the jean will fray some. Next up - a reversible spring jacket for Lucia.

This post is linked to:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Spot of Color" tank top

I started with two old, stained t-shirts.
 I tried one on and marked where I wanted the new arm and neck holes. Then cut the two the same.
I opened the shoulders and, with right sides together, sewed the 'facing' to the outside around arm holes, and neck. Leaving about 3/8 of an inch at the top unsewn. (We are sewing the shoulder at the end so that they can be turned inside out. You do not sew the bottoms at this time either. 
Once everything is turned back right side out you can sew the shoulders - only the outside layer. The inside facing is slip-stitched. 
The bottom of the tank can be sewn separately (this will fall most naturally) or folded over the top-stitiched. I wanted the look of a full lining so I sewed the two layers to each other. This requires some fancy folding that is hard to explain - and there will be a small opening that will have to be slip stitched at the end. Before you sew you will end up with something like this: 
The idea for the cut-outs I got from another blog post a long time ago and I went back to see if I could find it. If anyone has seen a similar tutorial please let me know and I will link. The process: I drew myself some guidelines and sewed through both layers. 
I then cut through the top layer and added some more 'top' stitches - alternating opening and closing my new 'windows'. 
Here is the finished product. I think I may sew up the shoulders. I was going for a low arm-hole on purpose but after trying it on - it just looks like poor cutting. I do like the layered look - and it definitely does not look like two stained t-shirts anymore.