Look at me! I made something!

Something that isn’t clothes and is for a business-type venture. I made myself get out from under the covers and make a bag I’ve been dying to make for at least a year. And since it’s been equally as long since I’ve really made something with the mindset of tying to make money, I figured this would be a good way to start.

Double layers of wool/nylon blend felt with seams exposed.  In red and grey.  The applique is cotton prints.  There’s a magnet snap to keep your stuff from spilling out.

This is the prototype bag that I will either keep for myself or give to a loved-one.  There are some imperfections that I’m not comfortable having on an item I’m selling.  Namely I have to work out sewing the bottom on.  I’m terrible with boxes.  Suggestions?

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February 1, 2010. Tags: , , , . handmade, pictures. 3 comments.

Hitting the slopes

I don’t ski, but if I did, I’d be ready!  Sat down today and whipped up a pair of snow pants.

I decided to make these because I love to ice skate and I love to go sledding.  They are warm, warm, warm!  The outer layer is waterproof windbreaker type fabric.  The lining is sweatshirt fabric.  In between those is a layer of Thermolam.  I’m prepared!  And look how great they look with my dirty winter coat:

I used a trusted PJ pant pattern and basically made two pairs of pants: one was the windbreaker/thermolam, the other was the sweatpants.  Stuck the sweatpants inside the windpants, wrong sides together and serged around all openings.  Folded edges over and added elastic.

I actually need to open up the waistband again at some point and shorten the elastic.  I’m not sure where on my body I measured, but it apparently wasn’t my waist.  I also left the cuffs open on the legs in case I wanted to add elastic later.  Not sure that will happen since the elastic was a bitch kitty to get in the waist.  All those layers made it slow going…

I had thought about making these pants reversible.  Once I decided to put the thermolam inside, however, I decided that I would probably never wear them with the sweatpant side out.  Which is a shame, because it’s pretty darn cute!

Let’s just hope that if I fall while skating, I’m the only one seeing stars…..

January 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , . handmade, pictures. 6 comments.

Sharing the Awesome!

I’ve got quite a few blogs on my RSS feed, and I’ll be honest, I’ve grown tired of some of them. What an awesome thing, then, to have something pop out at me and make me excited about blogs again.

Foooor Instance…..

Magazine Bow from How About Orange

If you click on that picture up there, you’ll be taken to How About Orange‘s instructions for Magazine Bows.  I’m honestly not sure how I missed them the first time around, but the topic came up again today when she posted pictures of bows someone else had made with her instructions.

I haven’t made any yet, and–unless I’m super lucky and don’t forget–I may never get around to them, but I would sure love to have these on the presents I have to wrap in the future.  They might even detract from the fact that I do a really crappy job when it comes to wrapping presents.

January 12, 2010. Tags: , , , . blogging, handmade. Leave a comment.

As promised

So, I made a costume, and it is fab, although a little restrictive…

The shirt is a too-small, very see-through button-up top found at Value Village (when I tried it on, I said “Well, if I’m wearing a corset anyway……).  The corset is Simplicity 2966.  The skirt is from the amazing learningtofly whose blog is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs of all time.  The hat is from Humble Bumble B‘s tutorial on Threadbangers.  Jewelry is original.

The costume can be worn with this fab leather jacket, also found at Value Village…

My “purse” for the costume is an old Brownie camera that The Hippy found, probably at his place of employment.  He wasn’t too thrilled with me using it, since he didn’t remember me saying “I’m using a Brownie as part of my costume.”

It can also be worn with a short brown coat… ALSO… from a thrift store.

The short coat shows off the skirt better, though this picture doesn’t have the brown coat…

I have finally–I think–come up with my Steampunk persona.  She’s a writer, bumbling, obsessed with grammar, quirky tastes.  She is, perhaps, a slightly more successful version of myself.  In the future I plan to tweak my costume to reflect this.

The nice thing about this costume is that, sans corset, I can wear most of it for everyday life.  For example, going to a Christmas concert:

Mirror shot because I didn't feel like doing the tripod thing.

Instead of the corset/button-up, I wore a sweater.  Instead of plain black cabled tights, I wore Christmas tights in homage of the brave men we were going to see:

This video is from last year’s Tonic Sol Fa Christmas concert.  Most years Greg–the first dancing man–dances alone in tights.  Last year they had the audience choose between three pairs of tights: red stripes, green stripes, blue starry night type.  Then Greg came out wearing tights with one green-stripe leg and one red-stripe leg and explained that it had been a tie.  I probably need not explain more, since that is in the video.

With luck, I will do a post later on my jewelry with close-ups.

December 27, 2009. Tags: , , , . costumes, handmade. 1 comment.

Stuff I didn’t make…

…Thankfully.

I was pointed to a website today that features quilts that were judged to be the worst quilts in existence.  And it’s hilarious.  Take this, for example:

Titled: Keltic Sunrise

Here’s the text from the website:

Made of polyester double-knit, satin, brocade, corduroy, lace curtains, burlap, old diapers and four different kinds of fake fur, this masterpiece made most of the judges woozy.

Tied together visually with hand crocheted orange and yellow yarn as binding and with humongous 4-ply quilt stitches (and plenty of knots) throughout, this quilt is a tactile nightmare.

Yes, you read that right.  Fur.  I love it.

I slept with this amazing velvet quilt growing up that I hear was made from old theatre curtains.  The craftsmanship on that quilt was actually pretty good (though what would I know?  I made a quilt that probably could have won awards on this site), but I think the fact that it was once curtains would make many quilters cringe.  However, for me it was perfect, because the weight of the quilt (and it was hefty) translated into warmth for my little body.

I don’t quilt, but I do like to visit that world once in awhile.


December 7, 2009. Tags: , , , . crafting life, handmade. 2 comments.

Apparently I make costumes

My dear friend Larue commented on facebook the other day, as I was working on a skirt (which I’ll feature very soon, promise), that when I first joined forces with the Wench Posse I said I’d wear the Mary Queen of Scots she’d planned for Project Tudor (didn’t end up happening, which is totally cool, because I have my awesome Elizabethan) but past that I don’t know how much costuming I’d really do.

Ah, good times.

Fast forward to Mid-September when I saw this pattern at work:

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I practically found myself in a puddle on the floor.  Holy stinking monkey that Bo Peep costume is ADORABLE!

Then a couple weeks later, Rocketdog was asking Rocketpuppy what she should be for halloween.  Since Rocketpuppy doesn’t really talk, I piped up that there were cute costumes at work.  “To buy or to make?” was the reply. “Well, there is this adorable Bo Peep pattern that I love,” I said.  “Rocketpuppy just got this stuffed sheep, and I actually though Bo Peep would be a good costume,” she said.  So it was decided.

Another couple of weeks past, and Rocketpuppy would need the costume by week’s end (a full week before Halloween, for another event).  I texted Rocketdog to see what she wanted to do about the fabric.  “I was thinking light pink or blue.  I trust your judgment,” was the reply I got.  I had been thinking light blue, so light blue it was.

I had about a day and a half to work.  The costume came together really quickly, with the only difficulty being the sleeves.  As I mentioned on facebook:

Dear babies of the world: You are constantly disregarding the needs of others; however, your freakishly small baby-sized arms and pain-in-the-ass-to-sew sleeves are the last straw. It’s an adult-sized world; I highly suggest you start conforming.

Despite that, I had a blast making this costume, so now I get to show it off, even if it’s almost a week after Halloween.

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ZOMG!!!!Eleventy-one!!!PONIES!!!!!

I’ll give you all a minute to recover.  I know she’s stinking cute and that the costume is awesome sauce.  Deep breaths.

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Check out those bloomers!

Hard to believe, but there’s about ten yards of trim on that baby.  Thankfully I had a coupon!  Trim is always, ALWAYS, the most expensive part of any sewing project.  Fabric goes on sale all the time.  Trim never goes on sale.  BUT, it’s the trim that takes the design from just another dress to an awesome little Bo Peep costume.

I honestly think Bo Peep was more fun than anything I’ve ever sewn.  I don’t know if anything can live up to it.

November 5, 2009. Tags: , , . crafting life, handmade, pictures. 4 comments.

When the Wench Posse’s Demands Are Met….

…Creativity beyond your imagination will occur.

I used to go to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival quite often as a kid.  I preferred it to the Minnesota State Fair (blaspheme!!!!) for many years, though I can’t figure out why.  I seem to remember being given the choice between the two for at least one year (probably around the time my dad was laid off), and I chose the Ren Fest.  I would go around in awe at the sights, the sounds… the clothes.

I would walk past the shops with the clothes hanging out and think, “There’s no way I’ll ever be able to afford one of those dresses.”  I assumed the only way one could get one of those dresses was to buy them at those shops.  Boy was I wrong…

Let’s fast forward to a few months ago, when I started chit-chatting more with Larue about her Six Wives Project.  It wasn’t long before I was sucked into her Wench Posse and embraced by a truly amazing group of people who make it hard to be bummed out.  Ever.  Overwhelmed, yes, but not bummed out.  I have mentioned bits and pieces of my work on the Six Wives project, namely the bloomers, and to thank me for my help, Larue bestowed upon me the most glorious of flocked fabrics and the wisdom I needed to make myself one of “those dresses.”

After many hours of sewing, swearing, crying, making myself sick, and finally SUCCESSFULLY sewing…..

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I felt pretty, oh so pretty.  But I was not the only pretty one there.  The prettiness abounded as our party kicked some major royal ass.  Behold:

Henry VIII, six wives, a daughter, and the 9-day queen.

Henry VIII, six wives, a daughter, and the 9-day queen.

Amazing costumes, amazing people, and an amazing time.  I feel quite blessed to be where I am in my life right now.  To top it all off, we went back for more the following day.  The Chick lent me her Scottish garb, and a few of us went off for a more relaxed day of adventure.

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All costumes handmade and totally awesome.  Got myself a ring just like this.  I can die happy now.  But, you know, I of course plan on living so I can do it all again next year… Only on a bigger scale…..

October 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . crafting life, handmade. 3 comments.

A finished project? DK?

And it’s for ME!  Granted, I’m still making Renaissance underwear (this time slightly more historically accurate), but I managed to squeeze in a little something for myself.

Okay, I’ll be honest.  I started this project more than a year ago.  I “finished” it once before, but my body dysmorphia resulted in a very large and ill-fitting dress.  I took it in today.  Finally.  Although, I took it in so well that it only fits on models with movable shoulders.  Which means we get to suffer through a picture of me instead of a picture of my dressform.

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Perhaps the only one suffering is me.  Not only do I detest the way I look (body dysmorphia, among other things), but I’m incredibly awkward in general.  The awkwardness doubles in front of a camera.  Especially on self timer.  I had to take a dozen pictures before I could find one I’m happy with.

I first saw a dress like this in a fancy pants store in Toronto.  A store in which I could never afford anything on the racks.  I’m pretty sure a good chunk, if not all, of the clothing was vintage.  Once I got home, I found a pattern for the exact same dress.  A short while later, I found the perfect fabric for it.  Sew sew sew… Fat.

Now that it’s altered, I rather enjoy the dress.  The sleeves might be a little too huge and may be coming in, but other than that, I dig it.  So glad I got it to fit right at the end of summer.  And when I have no where to wear it.  But I have it, and that’s all that matters.

August 24, 2009. Tags: , , , , . crafting life, handmade, pictures. 2 comments.

A feeling of accomplishment

I locked myself in the basement today to get some work done, cool off, and get away from my yelling neighbors.  After a short SNAFU with a bobbin, I was rolling along and getting stuff done.

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I started off my afternoon applying patches to this leather vest for my dad.  Want a closer look?

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Any question what my dad did in his past life? ha.  The last patch is a leather patch my dad engraved with his laser.  He’s making and selling engraved goods on eBay and Etsy.  I’m pretty sure everyone in the world needs a decal for their car window.  I know my truck is 100% cooler with the Danger Kitty in the back.  Of course, if I do something douchy on the road, I’m a lot harder to forget about….  I digress.

I also managed to finish up my bloomers and get somewhat decent pictures of them so you don’t have to see bloomers hanging from my oven.

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The pears and quilting cotton and the laterns are flannel.  And note to self: DK, you have a tripod.  Use it.

DK out.

August 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . handmade. Leave a comment.

Long time no see

There’s been an absense in posting, I know.  I just haven’t had much of a chance to craft these days, but I hope to remedy that soon.  I did, however, get a chance to whip up some valances (which are, incidentally, pronounced val-ances not vuh-lances or vay-lances) for our kitchen.  I didn’t think The Hippy would like them at all, but he spoke positively when he returned home.

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I’m actually not a huge fan of valances, and really wanted to put real curtains on this window.  I debated back and forth, then while I was discussing these valances with an awesome regular to my store I realized this window needed a valance.  You see, the kitchen is literally the only room in our house that gets a decent amount of natural light.  The Hippy has this aversion to allowing anyone to see into our windows.  I knew if I wanted to experience natural light, I HAD to have valances.  If I had full curtains, he would have them closed all the time.  The decision was made for me.

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This window was getting a valance no matter what.  It’s right above the sink, so curtains were out.

I made the valances thusly:

Fabric was 54″ wide.  I measured the window and divided that in three.  I doubled the 1/3 measurement and added 8″ for no other reason than 8″ seemed like more than enough for my top ruffle and seam.  Then I ironed the selvedges in so I had nice smooth edges.  Right sides together, I sewed the tube the long way–selvedges on the ends.  Turned right side out; ironed the seams.  I marked the two short edges 3.5″ and 5″ from the top so I could leave a gap, then sewed the edges closed around the gaps.  Then at the 3.5″ mark, I sewed all the way across the valance so it wouldn’t sag on the rod.  The end.  It’s easy.  Go make some valances.

But really, curtains are even easier.  And they look better.  So make those instead.

I now have sheers to make.  We’ll see how that goes.

July 7, 2009. Tags: , . crafting life, handmade. 2 comments.

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