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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stash Busting for the Holidays

Christmas is getting dangerously closer every day, well maybe “dangerously” is too strong a word.  Anyway, I haven’t done much crafting yet so it’s time to get into high gear.  I decided to try something slightly different this years.  I won’t have a list, at least not one I can post here.  It lists only those I’m crafting for so it would probably ruin the surprise this year.  So instead I will post this…

craft stash overload

…my craft stash.  Well actually a small portion of my stash, probably about a 4th of it all.  This pile is made up of leftover fabric from recent and not so recent projects, bits of lace and other trims, flowers, buttons, Christmas stuff I got for free, stuff from my recent thrift store haul (see Bagging it on Black Friday), fleece scraps from several years ago, t-shirts I wanted to alter, and several items I got on a whim that I haven’t touched since.  I decided to challenge myself.  For this Christmas, these are the only supplies I will allow myself to use with the exception of stuff like thread, my glue gun, sewing machine, etc.  So just these and basic supplies on hand.  I will not spend any money either.  Who needs more supplies when I have plenty already.  So far I have several ideas for Christmas ornaments planned because it just isn’t Christmas without handmade ornaments.  Plus I do plan on making a new dress.  Look forward to it. :)

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Bagging It on Black Friday

Thanksgiving and come and gone, so has another “holiday”.  Black Friday, the craziest shopping day of the year.  Now here’s something totally shocking.  For the first time ever, I actually bothered to go shopping on this day of all days.  I always dreaded the thought of it, I heard too many horror stories.  But I found a sale that I couldn’t pass up.

Epic Thrift shopping bag

The Stuff It sale at Epic Thrift store.  You basically get a paper shopping bag from the store, cram a bunch of stuff in it, and as long as it isn’t ripped and the handles still touch, etc. you get the whole thing for one price.  What was that price?

Epic thrift receipt

Twenty dollars. Here’s the receipt as proof, I only paid $20 plus sales tax for that bulging bag.  I got a ton of stuff for it, would have cost about $110 normally.  Plus it was so much fun stuffing the bag which was the main reason I went in the first.

lots of clothes

Most of what I got was clothing, it’s easy stuff in especially if you roll it very tightly as opposed to folding it up. 
What I got by the numbers:
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 6 tank tops
  • 3 skirts
  • 2 cardigan sweaters
  • 1 knit dress
  • 1 pretty vest
  • 1 shrug
  • 1 belt
For a total of 20 new(ish) items to add to my wardrobe.  Now for some of my favorite pieces.

lacy white skirt

My sister actually picked out this skirt for me.  It is tiered with lace at each tier and some pretty lace at the hem too.  Of course it is lined, thank goodness.  The best part is the fullness.  I could probably fit a petticoat under it for added poofiness, or just leave it as is for casual days.

Hello Kitty Ninja t-shirt

When I saw this Hello Kitty t-shirt I lunged at it.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have an almost unhealthy love for just about anything Sanrio.
lacy blue tank

This tank top was just calling out to me.  It’s basically a plain ribbed tank, but the trimming makes so much difference.  Rows of lace and velvety ribbon down the front with ribbon laced up, plus the wide lace at the hem is surprisingly fitting.  I figure that I can used this tank for inspiration as well as for wearing.  

I think it’s important for those who sew clothing to spend time in stores and occasionally make purchases as a way to gleam ideas for designing and embellishing their creations. 

lacey shrug

This shrug was just perfect.  It’s so pretty and it will look wonderful with all the tank tops I bought as well as many of my sleeveless dresses.  

Some may think it strange that I bought so many warm weather items since it’s December now.  I believe in planning ahead for things, like seasonal clothing.  If I can save a bundle buying spring clothes in winter, then I am a happier person indeed.  Plus, I live in Arizona, so much spring/summer clothing can still be worn in colder weather especially when layered appropriately.  Fashion-wise I actually love the look of layers, so there’s another bonus for me.  :)

Alice manga

Now in addition to clothes I got this graphic novel.  It’s Alice in the Country of Hearts.  It is actually very amusing, but I won’t spoil it for you with too many details.

crafty supplies

And of course I got a few craft supplies.  A couple of bags with ribbons and random trims and two types of fabric.  The floral one is so pretty and I think I’ll save it for spring.  I think it will be perfect for my next Easter dress.  But knowing me, I might make a dress with it sooner than that.  As for the red plaid, I plan on using it right away.  It will be perfect for a new dress for Christmas and maybe for some extra holiday crafts.  

Speaking of holidays crafts, I have to start cracking at them right away.  I have some interesting ideas for this year that I will talk about later.  Look forward to it. :)
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Sewing for Baby

As I mentioned before, I have friends who are expecting their first child this month, so I made a boat load of things for their baby shower which I haven’t shown yet. :)

But first here’s something else I haven’t shown here much. My notebook sketches.

baby crafts sketch

Before I do a lot of my sewing, I like to sketch out ideas in notebooks.  This one page is dedicated to all the baby things I wanted to make.  Some of the things I didn’t actually make, this time anyway.  Let’s save something for later.

diaper bag sketch

First up is the diaper bag.  I designed it based on a tote bag I saw someone using at work.  Large and roomy with lots of pockets on the inside and a useful little one on the outside. The twist?

elephant turtle fabric close up

This is the fabric I picked out for it.  I found it at Wal-Mart, have I mentioned before how glad I am that they brought fabric back to their stores?  I just couldn’t resist the little turtles and elephants, plus it works for boy and girl babies.

diaper bag

Here’s the finished bag.  The straps go most of the way down the sides of the bag for security, plus it makes the pocket look good.

diaper bag interior

Here’s the inside.  There are six pockets all ready to shove stuff in and carry.  That’s exactly what I did.  I crammed it with all the other stuff I made plus some essentials I bought on sale.

baby blanket sketch

Now the blankets.  Here’s the baby blanket…

receiving blanket sketch

…and receiving blankets.  The receiving blankets were just a single square cut from a knit fabric and hemmed. The baby blanket involved a layer of sweat shirt fabric sewn with the softer side facing outward.  I used this tutorial as a guide.

dalmation fabric close up

Here’s the fabric I used.  I got it at SAS. Dalmatians and fire trucks, perfect for a new little boy. :)

baby blanket plus

Here are the finished blankets.  In addition to blankets, I made some birth cloths and wash cloths.  The wash cloths are made like the receiving blankets but smaller and using plain white knit fabric.  The burp cloths are made like the blanket only smaller and rectangle shaped.

baby teddy sketch

Now the best part, the teddy bear.  Because every kid needs a stuffed best friend.

baby teddy

Here’s the finished bear.  All ready for hugs

baby teddy pattern

I made the patterns from scratch using newspaper.  It was easier than expected, I must be getting better at making patterns.

teddy fabric close up

Here’s the fabric I used.  It’s fake fur from SAS.  It’s a perfect off-white and super soft.  I have plenty of leftovers so be prepared for more teddies in the future.

baby teddy pieces cut

Some in progress photos just for fun.

baby teddy progress 11

baby teddy progress 1

Sewn and turned partially right side out.  The legs were a pain to sew.

baby jacket sketch

And now the jacket.  Sad thing about it, I seem to have lost the finished photo.  I have search all over my computer and it seems to have totally disappeared.  It looked totally adorable and almost exactly like my sketch except I put a turtle applique and an elephant applique on the front.  Obviously I cut the appliques from the bag fabric.

jacket patterns

Here’s the patterns I made, they are based on a dress pattern but were perfect for a jacket. 

sweat fabric close up

And of course this the fabric I used, I used it for the blanket as well.  I got it a Goodwill.  It’s always nice to find good fabric at thrift stores.  I have plenty of it leftover so I will probably make another one soon.  Look forward to it.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween = Tulle

Since last year’s Halloween costume was shall we say “easy”, I went all out with this one.  It took me a few weeks to design it and a almost a week to cut and sew it.  Now try to guess what I’ll be.

tulle close up

Here’s a hint.  These are the fabrics I used in addition to a blue cotton for lining (not pictured).  The right one is a pretty tulle with sparkly stars all over.  The left one is a pale blue tulle with a slight shimmery look to it.  I bought them both at SAS. 

fairy costume dress

If you guessed Elsa from Frozen, sorry you’re wrong.  Close though, I was slightly inspired by the look.  I’m actually going to be a fairy this year.  Here’s the completed dress in all it glory.  Now for some close ups.

bodice ruffle close up

Here’s the edge of the neckline.  I added a section of gathered blue tulle straight across to both make it pretty and to insure the dress wasn’t too low cut.  I want to be a cute fairy not a sexy one.

sleeve close up

I had originally planned are puffed sleeves with ribbon on the cuff, but that didn’t quite work.  They were too stuffy looking, plus they made it hard to lift my arms up.  I went for something more fluttery, works well for fairies.

waist ribbon close up

I hand stitched the ribbon at the waist.  It ties in a lovely bow in back with extra long tails.  I guess I just like having something to tie on dresses, regular or costume ones.

skirt layers close up

The skirt I am especially proud of, three floaty layers of fabric (almost) flawlessly gathered and stitched to the bodice.  I considered adding extra ribbons or ruffles, but I thought the stars and stuff were enough embellishment.

costume accessories

Now the accessories, of course.  At the top is a head band and ribbon choker necklace, the bottom is a pair of fingerless gloves.  I made the gloves out of blue tulle, man I used a lot of it for this project!  They come up to my elbows and down to my middle fingers.  The choker is just a piece of ribbon with a snap.  Just an easy and effective accessory.  The head band was a little more complicated.

sparkly head band

I wrapped a plain headband with strips of both tulles and then glued on this little butterflies.  Aren’t they pretty?  I got them at SAS on a whim.  They have little iridescent jewels on the center.  I thought they would be perfect for this because of their wings.

fairy wings

Speaking of wings, here are the ones I’m using.  I got them from Joann Fabrics and Crafts at their Columbus Day Sale.  They are normally about $25 but I got them for $10 instead.  I guess it’s a little strange to have pink wings with a blue dress, but that’s just how I roll.

wig packaging

In addition to wings, I also bought a wig just not at the same place.  I got this one at Party City.  A white wig of course goes great with all the sparkles and blue, but that’s not what I wanted so…

wig tinted with koolade

…I did this.  I dyed it using Kool-Aid, well actually I guess I tinted it.  I used a pack of Cherry flavor and another Pink Lemonade flavored.  Just mix it in with conditioner, apply, then let sit over night before rinsing off.  I think it came out well.

fairy costume

Here’s everything all together.  I decided to wear white flats and pink knee socks because again that’s how I roll (see My Favorite Things: Knee Socks).  I can’t wait to wear it tomorrow.  I plan to pretty much wear it all day. It will be so much fun.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yay! Birthday Time!

That’s right.  Today is my birthday.  Age-wise it wasn’t exactly one I was looking forward to, but a birthday is still something to celebrate no matter what the number.

Technically I already celebrated it last Saturday with my closest friends, the hazards of a week day birthday.  We ate pizza and hung out which is always fun no matter what day it is.  I received several goodies this year, gifts from friends and from myself (it makes the whole aging thing easier).

cute dice bags

First is these dice bags.  I have been dragged into the wonderful fanciful world of Dungeons and Dragons by my friends, so these will really come in handy.  They were apparently bought from a vendor at a craft fair, love the MLP print one.  Of course a new dice bag isn’t complete without…

cute dice

…Dice.  I got to pick them out myself.  SmileI think the colors go nicely with the bags, although that probably isn’t the most important part but it’s still fun.

sanrio shopping bag

Moving on, there was only one thing I really wanted to do for my birthday.  A trip to the Sanrio store. It was fantastic, one little bitty store packed with so much cuteness.  Even the plastic shopping bags were cute!

chococat laptop sleeve

As a gift for myself, I got this Chococat laptop sleeve for my new computer.  Did I mention I got a new computer?  I’ll give more details on that later.  Anyway I needed a case for it and this one was on sale and too cute to resist.

chococat laptop sleeve back

Back view.

sanrio grab bag

My friends got me a grab bag.  This was one of the reasons I wanted to go in the first place.  I can’t resist grab bags.  It’s always fun to see what surprises await, and you get them at a fraction of their normal retail price.  Plus, if you don’t like the contents than you can give them as gifts or even sell them.  It’s a gift the keeps on giving. 

So what was in this bag?

sanrio grab bag contents

On the right is a set of Keropi stickers with a “sticker book” and the left is a Hello Kitty bobble head and a stretchy bracelet with a thankfully removable Hello Kitty charm.  I say thankfully because I really don’t like the bracelet part.  I don’t care what anyone else says, orange and pink do not go together.  Beyond that, I think I faired very well with this pack.

june birth stone earrings

And one last gift was these birthstone earrings from another store at the mall.  I know my birthday isn’t in June, but I got to pick them out and I just prefer the June stones the October ones. The color is more me. 

So overall it was a good birthday and now there’s more to look forward too.  Halloween! In just 2 more days.  Just wait until you see the costume I made.  Look forward to it.

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