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?


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.

Dipping my foot into Steampunk

And when I say, “Dipping my foot,” I, of course, mean jumping in at full speed a la the Polar Bear Plunge.  I know I mentioned a skirt in my last post, but I’m not ready for the world to see the skirt yet.  I do, however, have one of my steampunk shirts to share with y’all (yes, “one,” as in, I couldn’t decide on just one look, so I’m making at least two).

I started with much of my inspiration from this video from Threadbanger (at least, the lady-clothes section at the end).  If you haven’t heard of Threadbanger, and you’re of a crafty nature, then you’d better get with it.  So many great tutorials to drool over.  Not one to intentionally make my rear end look any bigger than it already is, I’ve decided to forgo the bustle, and stick with the shirt and hat from the video.  The hat will come later.  I make no promises as to the date, because I don’t have much time these days.

After a trip to Value Village, I had my shirt ready to mod.  I watched this video on shirring, and consulted a few blogs, and I was on my way.  The end result was thus:

I am a terrible model and a pain in the ass to work with...

Not too shabby… The majority will be covered with a corset that I will be making with Larue‘s help over the next two days.  The torso of the shirt isn’t terribly important, and neither is the fact that it’s a little sheer.  Let’s look at the details, shall we?

Three layers of shirring on the collar (can it be called a collar that low? Let’s go with head hole), as I was getting awfully close to the next button, and two layers of shirring on the sleeve.  My cutting was a whole lot of guessing and a little bit slap-dash, no measuring whatsoever.  But I’m pleased with the results.  The only thing I can’t tell if I’m pleased with is the collar…  It’s a little Playboy Bunny for me…

See what I mean?  I feel like I should be getting Heff a cigar….

The black thread was the result, honest to god, of not wanting to rethread my serger.   In my defense, it wouldn’t have just been one rethreading since I’ll need the black again to finish my skirt.  I like the black and think it might look intentional, though I probably shouldn’t have used it on the “head hole.”  It was a complete afterthought.  I had originally hemmed it, and my serger blade doesn’t care for thick layers, so there are a few sections that are not very well serged.  I also would recommend any serging or hemming pre-shirring.  Live and learn.

But, really, it’s a costume.  If people are going to snark on my bad serging, then they are petty losers who can’t find it in them to be nice about anything.  And they know who they are.  I’m in this to have fun, spend time with my awesome sauce friends, and have something new to sew.  I’m not in it to be perfect, so perfection can bite me.

ETA: After I took it off, I noticed that serging the “head hole” cut some of the top row of shirring.  Looks like I’ll be fixing that later, so they whole first row doesn’t come undone.

November 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . crafting life. 3 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…..


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

A kitchen full of undergarments

Got your attention?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been in charge of sewing up bloomers for the Wench Posse to wear under their garb for renaissance festivals.  The Chick (the woman behind the link lurking behind “Posse”) was glorious enough to cut them out (hate cutting, prefer sewing).  I assembled 8 completely, 2 almost entirely, and two halfway.  The “two halfway” are mine, and therefore was in no hurry.  I tell ya, it’s almost effortless to sew 12 bloomers when you only need to cut 2 of them.

Various bloomers for the "wee beasties"

Various bloomers for the "wee beasties"

Cupcakes, turtles, a monkeys.  The turtles were cursed.  Yes, the picture was taken in my kitchen…. It’s the only room in my house with light, let alone natural light.

Monkeys again and Georgie

Monkeys again and Georgie

Georgie is going all Mardi Gras for the Day of Wrong at Bristol this year, hence the beads.

Georgie and Princess A

Georgie and Princess A

Georgie’s second bloomers are peppers that say Hot Stuff.  Because she is.  Princess A has the cutest, cutest bloomer fabric EVER.  See?

ZOMG! Adorable ("cheerful") dragons and cute little kid pirates.

ZOMG! Adorable ("cheerful") dragons and cute little kid pirates.

I would like to take this moment to apologize for the craptacular pictures.  I knew I wanted pictures of the bloomers.  But I lost my camera.  I scoured and scoured and scoured, but could not find.  Then finally, yesterday morning, just before I was heading to work with a bag full of unphotographed bloomers to be delivered later, I noticed my camera sitting at the bottom of my soft-sided cooler.  And then I very clearly remembered myself saying, “This is a stupid place to put my camera.  It’s going to fall in, and I’m not going to be able to find it.”  And yet I left it there.  That’s how I roll.  So I had five minutes to get photographic evidence of my bloomer work.  Otherwise I probably would have put them on my dress form.  I promise my bloomers, once finished, will be photographed on the dress form.

Princess A and Larue

Princess A and Larue

Like half of Princess A’s bloomers, Larue is pirated out this year.  You’ve got the Jolly Roger, the Calico Jack flag, as well as various and sundry pirate paraphernalia and phrases.

Larue and The Chick

Larue and The Chick

Larue’s other pirates are what is known in the fabric world as “tossed,” and because of this, I kept freaking out that the pirates were upside-down.  Then I’d remind myself that I didn’t do the cutting (thanks Chick!!), so even if the pieces were upside-down, it wasn’t my fault.  Because I have a history of not paying attention and cutting… oh… a lovely tropical scene with palm trees and huts….. upside-down.  The pirates are, however, just haphazard, and the pieces were cut perfectly.  The Chick was so excited about her “winter bloomers” that she immediately put them on to show them off.

In her extreme gratitude for making all these bloomers, Larue immediately put me back to work at the sewing machine assembling a farthingale and some bum rolls.  Again.  It’s amazing how much more I love sewing when someone else does the cutting.  Can I hire someone to cut who works for.. I don’t know.. falafels?

July 30, 2009. Tags: , , , . crafting life. 1 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.


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.


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.

Making my house a home

I should have been sewing prototype bags.  I will get that done, but I’ve been craving curtains in my own home.  My windows have been completely naked save for a blanket over the bedroom window and a towel over the bathroom window since we moved in.  So… since the end of November.

The only picture that worked out.  Damn you sun!

The only picture that worked out. Damn you sun!

Ew, ignore that stain on the chair.  I really, really, really need to clean the chair, as evidenced by the part that started cleaning itself when I leaned against it with wet hair.

I made two sets of curtains for the living room using a suiting in a color I call “cherry cola.”  That picture doesn’t do the color justice.  It’s much darker and richer.  The suiting has a slubbed texture with darker shades of the red running throughout.  I really didn’t want a print because the couch that will eventually be in front of that window is rather busy.  I didn’t want a solid because a solid was too boring.  When I saw that fabric come off the truck, I knew it was the fabric for my windows.

I may decide to line them someday, just so they don’t fade, but they are purely decorative.  I’m not concerned about blocking out light, and the blinds give us privacy.  They are floor-to-ceiling, which was slightly unintentional.  I didn’t feel like measuring, so I just bought the whole bolt (which ended up being 8 yards, 11 inches).  I then split the bolt in thirds, cut two of those thirds in half and the final third in quarters.  Added the narrower pieces to the wider pieces, hemmed up the four edges, and poof!  Curtains.

I would like to reiterate that other than food and dishes, the best presents I’ve ever been given were power tools.  Then directly after that, the knowledge and confidence to use power tools.  No woman should ever have to rely on a man to, por ejemplo, put up curtains or build her craft/ironing table.  Or put together her Aneboda.  She can, however, allow a man the privilege of building something for her, but she shouldn’t rely.

Now I’m off to Target to buy a vaccuum.  Oh yeah, haven’t had one of those either.  Whoops!

April 13, 2009. Tags: , , , . crafting life, handmade, pictures. 1 comment.

*sigh* My day in cuss words

Dear Roman Shades from Hell:

Why did you need to make my life so miserable?  You were supposed to be easy.  I was just supposed to line you and be done with you.  Why did I need to take three evenings of my life ripping stitches out of you?  Why did your cords need to break, causing me to have to buy 30 yards more of cording?

Alas, poor Jill, I knew her well.

Alas, poor Jill, I knew her well.

Why?  Why did you have to kill my machine.  Oh, sure, I know you’re thinking that there was nothing about you that could have killed my machine, but you are cursed.  Cursed Roman Shades.  Your bad juju killed my machine.  The poison that surrounded your very being caused me to use the old Janome.

Bad Janome picture... all I got, kids

Bad Janome picture... all I got, kids

Frankly, you did make me appreciate the Husq.  I wouldn’t say my Janome was crappy.  I loved that thing.  It made me the sewer I am.  But it’s loud and it doesn’t have all the perks that come with the Husq.  It makes me think I need to bring my Janome in for tuning, but I evidentally need to bring another machine into the hospital (I haven’t mentioned it, but my serger is in the shop).

There is absolutely no reason that I can see that a sewing machine would just stop running midstitch.  There’s power getting to the machine.  The lights are on, and everyone is home except the pedal.  The pedal refuses to talk to the machine.  I didn’t move anything, I didn’t touch anything, I didn’t change anything.  It just.  Stopped.  Working.

And I feel that I only have you, Roman Shades, to blame.

April 6, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . crafting life. 4 comments.

Next Page »