Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lonsdale Dress in Polka Dots

 A couple of months ago I made a muslin for the Lonsdale dress (see post here). It fit me perfectly and was wonderful to sew. I couldn't wait to finally make it in this Amy Butler Lotus Full Moon in tangerine fabric. I underlined the whole dress and used alternate seam finishing techniques because my serger was in storage when I made this. I call it my "Magnum P.I." dress because I watched copious amounts of that show while working on this project.  
 I really like the narrow waistband, pockets, fuller skirt and longer length. I don't generally go for full skirts or below the knee stuff but I really like it on this dress.
 I have two issues though which are not pattern related. The underlining makes it difficult to tie a nice clean bow that hangs well and the underlining makes the skirt look wrinkled because the two layers cling together. I've read of other people having this issue but it's not a significant enough problem to deter me from wearing the dress.
I've been meaning to get some pictures up for the last few weeks so this morning I went out and tried to get some decent shots BUT I had some technical difficulties so these were the best I could get with the patience I had available.
I already have the fabric for a 4th of July version of this pattern which I'll be making soon. The next one won't be underlined and I have my serger back so everything should go faster!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Feed Bag Bag

This is my second go at a feed bag bag...how is that for grammatically awkward? This time I took it in at the sides and hacked quite a bit off the bottom. The size is more manageable, but I still want to tweak it. The lining is some awesome fabric I found in Lancaster. It reminds me of a whimsical version of American Gothic. I have had it for a while and it isn't exactly fabric you can use for any old project, but it works perfectly with a feed bag!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Horse Clock

My kids seem to be obsessed with clocks as of late. Obsessed, but not quite enough to cough up the cold, hard cash for one of their own. Why is it that Mom and Dad's money is so much easier to spend? But I digress. I ended up having clock workings left from my oldest's science project (a potato clock). I also happened to have this horse plaque thingy that I bought in Lancaster. And then it hit me! Together they could make a clock! I drilled a hole in the middle and installed the clock fixings. Easy peasy! Now the boys have a clock for their room and I used up a few odds and ends in the process.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scissors Necklace

As I mentioned yesterday, I accidently found a bead store near my house. I've wanted something with a scissors charm for a while but like the Armadillo necklace I knew I could make one myself. I found everything I needed at the bead store and in less than 10 minutes had a new piece of jewelry to compliment my sewing addiction. I took jewelry/beading classes when I was younger and am feeling the urge to start making more complex designs again. Why not add another hobby to my list!?!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Crafting Trifecta

 This morning I went out to deal with some final moving details which turned into a frustrating boondoggle. As I was grumpily driving home I accidentally found another Hobby Lobby that was nestled between Hancock Fabric and a bead store....I naturally deviated from my GPS directions despite the incessant voice repeating "recalculating" and took a peak inside.

As expected, each store was glorious.

I have to deal with the moving details again tomorrow so I'll be seeing these stores soon :) This time I'll go prepared with yardage requirements and notions lists!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Armadillo Love Necklace

 I love armadillos....I mean I REALLY love armadillos. I have ornaments, magnets, pictures, drain stoppers, stuffed animals (the plush kind) and t-shirts adorned with them. One day I was perusing Etsy and came across a chain necklace with two armadillos and a heart bead in between them. I didn't feel like spending $30 + shipping from Europe to get it so I did some research and found a vendor that had armadillo beads. I already had the findings, faux-amber bead and leather cording so I went ahead and ordered the dillos. All said and done the finished necklace took less than 5 minutes and cost about $3.    
 This is the easiest necklace I've ever made...It only takes 3 beads, 2 jump rings, a lobster clasp and I used box crimping rings that hold onto the cording ends securely. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Upcycle: Pants to Tote Bag

Also in the bag from my neighbor were a few pairs of jeans. I cut the seams up the leg to flatten out the pieces and cut the bag. The applique was cut from some fabric I bought at Obi's a while back and have been waiting for an excuse to use. The polka dot lining is also from Obi's. I sewed this up and gave it to the neighbor who gave me all the clothes. I think she was surprised that it was made from her pants! :)

Patty the Stickhorse

My son had a stick horse named Patty. She went everywhere with him. He loved her very much. So much, in fact, that she came apart at the seams. She was no longer structurally sound. A while back I convinced him to put her out to pasture and get a new stick horse. Incidentally, the new stick horse was 'not as fast' as Patty, and kept bucking him off. They have since learned to work together quite nicely. But still, Patty had been around for so long and my son didn't want to part with her. Since a stick horse doesn't really fit nicely into a memory box, I surgically removed the stick and mounted it on a painted plaque taxidermy-style. Now Patty can reside over the boys' room in style! 

T-Shirt to Shopping Bag

This shirt came in a bag of clothes from my neighbor and I knew I had to do something with it because...Jerry Garcia meets Energizer Bunny? It is just begging to be made into something funny. I have seen where people cut the sleeves off and sew the bottom shut to make a shopping bag. It seems all fine and dandy, but I don't think that would hold up too well. I decided to add a little bias tape around the edges to hopefully make it more sturdy. 

Upcycled Tank Top

My neighbor brought me a big bag of womens clothes last week that were all in great shape. To make this tank top I traced off one of my girl's store-bought tank tops and cut the pieces out of one of the shirts. It was quick to sew up and after a few modifications, I think I can come up with a good pattern to work with. I have several other shirts out of the stack that will make great tank tops for my daughter. The picture below is a good example of what I usually get when I ask her to stand still for a picture!

More Coasters

Here is another set of Kids' Artwork coasters, this time for Mom. These really couldn't be more simple: mod-podge the artwork to a tile, glue felt on the back and voila! Instant coasters. Makes me wish we actually used coasters. 


My son has been asking for a kite. I finally made him one and it turned out to be very easy. I finished the edges with bias tape and sewed little folded fabric pockets at the corners for the dowel sticks. We didn't get it to fly very high, but that was mainly because the poor kid's delinquent mother couldn't remember how to fly a kite. I feel like a doofus, but I am going to have to google this and get it figured out.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Knit Pouch

Here is a little pouch I knit for Mom. I can't really say much about the construction of it because I really winged it. The flap is knit with eyelash yarn combined with the regular acrylic/alpaca yarn I used. The button is a pewter button from Norway, via my Aunt Phyllis. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lotion Bars

I have seen several recipes for lotion bars on Pinterest. I ended up using 4 ounces of coconut oil, 4 ounces of shea butter, and 4.5 ounces of beeswax pellets. I also added several drops of lavender essential oil. All the ingredients are melted together and poured into molds (which in my case were various repurposed containers). They were super easy to make and it seems to work well. You rub it in your hands and the warmth of your hands melts it into your skin.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Another Carpet Bag By Mom

Mom has been cranking out these carpet bags like nobody's business. She made this one for a friend, and calligraphed the lining with a Bible verse for each letter of her friend's name. It turned out great!

Chandelier Makeover!

Once upon a time, we bought a house. The house was 79% orange. Not the nice warm trendy orange you see these days. More like a hideous orange/gold/70's looking orange. Orange shag carpet, orange drapes and even 'harvest gold' appliances. There was also a flashy brass chandelier hanging in the dining room. Part of me cringed. I mean, it was a little over the top considering we live in a 1200 square foot house built with economy in mind. And with the orange everywhere, it looked downright gaudy. Yet at the same time, the chandelier was fascinating. I decided that after removing all orange vestiges, it would be awesome and it was. It was the kind of chandelier that people pay good money for at a vintage shop. But try convincing my husband of that. For the last 5 years he has despised the fixture and threatened its demise. Every now and then I would mention the possibility of painting it white, but the thought of removing every single crystal and cleaning all the little swirls and curls was enough to deter me. Recently I decided to just do it, and see how it turned out. I scrubbed it up as best I could and sprayed it with a zillion coats of some 'Heirloom White' spray paint that is supposed to stick to anything. The fake candlesticks on it were so old and brittle that the crumbled at the slightest touch. My husband made new ones out of PVC and I covered the with light yellow scrapbook paper. I am thrilled with how it turned out and even my husband thinks it looks nice. Woo!!

P.S. Who takes an entire paragraph to write about a stinkin' chandelier?! Me apparently. And if you haven't had enough intrigue for one day, check out the picture below. As I was taking it, I realized that behind my nice sparkly chandelier I have an old 'Lay or Bust Poultry Feed' sign and a 'Hippies Use Side Door' sign hanging up. Classy!

The Tunic of Mass Frustration

So...the tunic. I see cute renditions of them around the web and I had big dreams for making one of my own. The problem is that they don't have a whole lot of shape. Translation: they can end up looking like a tent. I used a very basic tunic pattern to start, and then went from there. I made several tweaks to it and redrafted the facing pieces into one piece and made it an exterior facing. The sleeves were also a funky length, which I shortened and added the contrasting band. The white is this really pretty eyelet I got on fabric.com and the navy blue is from a bed sheet (!) When I completed the top, it fit well in the shoulders but it hung like a tent. I ended up adding diamond darts in the back and that helped, but the front is still a little poofy. I am debating adding darts in front, but then I would have to add a side zipper, and as it is the fabric wrinkles fast I don't know if its really worth it. I think I might make it again in a fabric that has a nice drape and it would be more successful. Thoughts, questions, concerns? Should I wear it or is it destined for the scrap pile??

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chicken Apron!!

Rach made this apron for me for my birthday. I LOVE it!!! The fabric is fun (and sturdy) and the pattern is awesome. There are little tucks all along the front, and piping on the waistband and pockets. I pretty much want to wear it just because. She also made me a matching pot holder which I will show you soon. Thanks, Rach!!