Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30DoC: Recycled Items

Friends, I love pillows.  I sleep with two stuffed in a pillowcase - that's how much I love pillows.  They are also fabulous for using scraps that are too small/damaged/ugly for any other project.  I had a fabulous piece of red striped upholstery material and I used the whole thing for a single pillow:

That pillow is stuffed to the brim, and has several projects in it, including the sweater skirt (it began disintegrating...but it makes great stuffing).

Pillow action shot.  This is what I look like after French class on Wednesday nights.  

I am heading back to my super comfy, pillow laden bed.  Have a fabulous night, all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30DoC: Something I've Never Done Before

Friends, I was completely unable to craft for today's challenge, which seems like something I've never done before.  I blame the state of my sewing room:

I promise those boxes are not all sewing supplies (is that a good thing or a bad thing?).  We had to clean out our storage unit before tomorrow, so everything is everywhere.  It's pretty overwhelming.

 Look!  I found my buttons.  They are under the winter coats right there.  Underneath all of that is a bed.  Un - freaking - real.

I cannot even see Rob right now because the boxes in our living room are stacked five high.  It's intense.  It wouldn't be so bad if all the blankets/sheets/clothing that was in storage didn't need to be washed because of the public storage smell. 

So, Friends, please forgive me for not crafting today.  I'm sure my crafty spirit is buried under one of these piles somewhere...

In the meantime, have a fabulous, uncluttered night!

Monday, November 28, 2011

30DoC: Pinterest Finds

Friends, it is hardly a secret that I love Pinterest with a fiery passion.  For this challenge, I selected a pin in my Sewing Inspiration board: See Kate Sew's tutorial on using horizontal pleats to spice up a skirt.

This purple polka dot skirt was sitting in my refashion pile without any love, so I decided to conduct my experiment on it...

Close up of the horizontal pleat.  I love the little decorative touch it adds to the skirt - I may even add another before I wear it again this summer! I'll have to remember this before I hem another skirt - this was definitely easier :)


Friends, have you ever used horizontal pleats on a skirt or shirt?  Do you think you'll add this touch to any pieces in your wardrobe?  Let me know - I'd love to know what you're brainstorming!

PS If you haven't seen Becky's post from today, she made a really fabulous sculpture!

30DoC: Vintage Inspiration

Friends, I apologize - I am totally late posting this, but I blame the post Thanksgiving traffic on the way home from Rob's parents.  I often had to repeat to myself the "Groundhog Day" mantra: Don't drive angry.

Ok, once I settled down and got moving, I finished up the dress I had started before we left.  This was my sister's graduation dress from high school, I think ... but it was passed onto me to refashion.

I loved the sweetheart neckline immediately, and I felt this could be a very sweet sundress a la vintage Sears ads.  And by vintage I mean 1980s...because that totally counts right?  Does that make me vintage?  Oy - don't answer that.

I cut 18" off the bottom, removed the sleeves, took in the sides and made a fabric belt to hold it all together.

I love how it came out, and I'm really excited about wearing it this summer!  Until then, it's getting packed away with all the rest of the summer items under my bed.  Winter has arrived, y'all, and it's going to get real ugly outside soon.


I hope you all had safe travels home from the holiday, and have a fantastic night!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30DoC: For the Kitchen

I made pie.  Kind of.

Susie, Rob's mom, is a great cook so I try and learn a little bit about cooking when we visit.

Susie put me on pie crust decorating duty.  She gave me a cookie cutter and I went nuts.

Susie and I got into a fight and tried to hug each other. 

The pies came out reasonably well.  Look at my lovely crusts!  They were SUPER tasty.  


I had a fabulous time decorating and then eating these wondrous pies.  Do you decorate your crusts if you make pie?

Susie's recipe for pie crust:

1 1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup cold water

The butter and water need to be cold. Cut butter into salt/flour/sugar mixture.  Mix water in - works great with food processor.  You should end up with a ball of dough.  Refrigerate for one hour.  Roll out to desired thickness and lay over pie plate. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge and 30DoC: Something for Yourself and Epic Plaid Pattern Re-Do

Friends, back in September I had a meltdown over these pants

This time, the McCall 3935 pants are epic for a completely different reason: the polyester knit plaid.

There were no insane cutting and crying issues.  The plaid matched up immediately and I didn't have to fight it at all.  These two pairs of pants could not be any more different!

In fact, a huge difference between these two pairs is that this pair did not need ANY fastenings.  Apparently polyester knit is great for sliding on and off.  These are like fabulous retro lounge pants that will never need ironing.  They are perfect for after Thanksgiving meals. I feel nearly invincible.

The only thing I am sad about is that these pants are covered in flour and need to befriend a washing machine before I can wear them again.  Other than that, it's been absolutely delightful running around in them!

Friends, have you ever made a pair of polyester pants?  Show me some links so we can have a polyester love party!  

Have a fantastic night all!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30DoC: Make Something for Someone Else

Happy Thanksgiving All!  I am feeling quite stuffed and happy and am now perusing Etsy for Black Friday deals.  I keep finding things for me, so it looks like I am going to be giving myself a great Christmas. 

Friends, despite my hesitation to work with Burda patterns, I must say that I love the Charlie Grocery Bag pattern.  My friend, Mina, asked for me to make her one for her birthday and picked out her fabric from my stash.  Though her birthday has passed, I finally finished it for this challenge.


I hope you all got to have plenty of pie today, and if you didn't, don't fret - I had plenty for you :)

Have a great night all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30DoC: Look Out Your Window

Friends, when I look out my window, everything sparkles:

 I definitely wanted to make a shirt that reflected this awesome quality of my living space.  I used New Look 6648 and some FABULOUS fabric that had been lingering in my stash for way too long, and bada bing bada boom:

Once I found out this fireplace worked, I parked myself in front of it.  I am currently roasting like a pale puffy marshmallow and loving every minute of it.

This is probably my favorite version of this pattern that I have done.  I did not expect to enjoy the look of the sparkles so much, and I definitely didn't expect it not to itch.  Not itching = fabulous.

Seriously, I ask you: what's Thanksgiving without a little vampirism?

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we have been cooking all day in preparation for tomorrow's feast.  Friends who are celebrating:  Have a fantastic day with your families and friends, and Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of my other friends who do not celebrate, have a fantastic day anyway :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30DoC: Lighting Fail

Friends, I have a huge button stash.  So when I saw this picture on Pinterest....

I went out to one of the Chicago thrift stores and bought a lamp with a large shade for decorating.

Unfortunately, there was a problem...


I have no idea.  Project = fail ... until I find my buttons.  I'll bet they are in with the piles of coats because that is only logical.  Oy. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

30DoC: Unconventional Sweater/Skirt

Friends, I hate being cold.  Seriously.  I have sheets that feel like they have been made out of teddy bears.  I decided to make something that was going to keep me toasty through the winter months.

I took a large sweater, cut off the sleeves and folded some of the excess over to make a waistband.  I threw some tights on underneath for optimal warmth.

Like my snazzy slippers?  Ms. Star and Ms. Moon and they are super warm.  These are also the best slippers to wear when flying across the floor at top speed.

Friends, do you use sweaters as a craft material?  Let me know how you've used them in the past because I definitely have more of these in my stash! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30DoC; Thanksgiving or "I'm Going to Eat a Ton of Turkey" Dress

Friends, I want to thank all of you for all of your kind comments and amazing tips regarding the "Please, Just Make It Stop" Dress.  It made me feel worlds better that maybe I wasn't the only one who absolutely detests tracing patterns.  If I ever do choose to venture down that road again, I will definitely employ some of the tips you have so kindly passed along to me!

For today's challenge, I wanted to make up for yesterday's challenge.  I knew I wanted to continue my stash busting trend, so I grabbed some sheer brown polyester blend and a fabulous ivory polyester blend for the lining to make Butterick 5206:

I figured that by using knit fabrics, I could avoid worrying about my clothes feeling too tight when I assault the meaty juicy goodness that is waiting for me on Thursday.  There is one slight problem, however...

 The parts of my body that stick out slightly press up against the ivory polyester lining..

...making a weird kind of effect and drawing eyes to certain parts that shouldn't be so recognizable.

I looked at the photos and it was very much a reaction of, "WHAT IS THAT."

The fabric is brown with an orange and yellow pattern.  The belt incorporates some scrap orange polyester that was sitting in the stash closet of doom.

I like the dress, truly I do, but I'm worried if it doesn't seem a little... ahem ... scandalous for a Thanksgiving feast with the boyfriend's family.... many of whom are very religious and I have never met.

Friends, would you scrap the polyester dress of wonder?  Or would you say it's okay for a family gathering??  I'd love to know your opinions!  Either way, the dress is super comfy and would pack very well.  Maybe I should track down a cardigan in the meantime...
have a fabulous night, all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30DoC and Sew Weekly Challenge: Use Fabric or the "Please, Just Make It Stop" Dress

Friends, this challenge totally whooped me.  For someone who has never traced a pattern, the BurdaStyle book offers many hurdles.  It seemed to get quite a bit worse when I realized I was tracing the coat pattern and not the dress pattern, and worse still when I pressed too hard with my tracing wheel and sliced the paper pattern up something awful.  It took me an hour to trace two pieces.  I almost cried but then Rob made cookies because he could see I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I knew I wanted to make the dress pattern, and I knew I wanted to make it out of flannel (because it is winter, y'all, and I want something I can wear now).

I eliminated the flounces and the keyhole neckline, created a Peter Pan collar using my vintage Simplicity 5514 (which I got from the New York Meet-Up - yay!), created a bow belt from Tilly's fabulous tutorial, used the pocket pattern from Simplicity 2444, and the sleeve version B from Simplicity 2501.  Oh yes, and I added about two inches to the skirt length. 

This dress took me about eleven hours.

I think I like it, but since it took me so long and was such a headache to make, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to...

(Pauses and looks up to see Rob has turned on Pride and Prejudice.  TOTAL DISTRACTION.)

As I was saying before I was interrupted by details of Mr. Bingley, I don't know if I'll ever be able to wear this dress without thinking of all the frustration that came from making it.

I like the Peter Pan collar.  It was WAY larger but I trimmed it down a bit and quite like the effect.  Rob said it was very "French schoolgirl."

Close up of the flannel and the bow belt.  The bow belt tutorial is a breeze and I made it and the collar out of the same scrap fabric.  I see more of these happening in the future.

I used a weird cotton cloud fabric for the lining.  I never had a project in mind to attach it to, so I decided it would work perfectly for this.

The sleeves might be my favorite part.  I like that they are super "Anne of Green Gables" puffy.

Friends, I cannot honestly say if I will ever use the BurdaStyle book patterns again.  I was so frustrated that the patterns were falling apart the first time I went over them with my tracing wheel, and I don't know if the pattern sheet would last for another dress making adventure.  I enjoyed the book for how it offered up ways to restyle patterns, which inspired me to add so many elements to my version.  I think in that way it offers excellent guidance, but I was sadly disappointed in the actual patterns (and the paper on which they were printed).

Friends, how do you feel about tracing patterns?  Is it enough to drive you away from certain patterns?  Let me know in the comments - I would love some tips on tracing if you have some!

Friday, November 18, 2011

30DoC: Bring Out The Nerd...

Friends, how could I let this challenge pass me by without doing something based on Doctor Who?

In preparing for the wonderousness that is going to be the Tardis Bedroom, I made a pillow:


It will do for now.  Soon there will be many more pillows that are stuffed with fabric scraps.  MANY MORE!!  


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cabin Fever Survival Guide!

Hello, Friends!  I am guest posting today over at the lovely Sarah's Rhinestones and Telephones :)

(She is uber fabulous.  For reals.)

Come on over and read up on some tips for surviving the winter blahs! 

30DoC: Anniversary Gifts...

Friends, I must make another confession:  I do not celebrate anniversaries in the traditional sense.  Seeing as I am still unmarried, I don't follow the traditional anniversary calendar with the Rob.  For our upcoming three year anniversary, I'm going to be running a race dressed as a mermaid.  And then we're going to Hogwarts.  Definitely not traditional.

However, keeping this upcoming anniversary/half marathon in mind, I need something to wear (besides the purple seashell sports bra). So, I'm altering this challenge a bit to be: What I Would Wear On My Totally Nontraditional Anniversary.

I took this nightgown that had fallen into my possession and decided I wanted a flowy tunic thing:

I sliced a foot of fabric off of the bottom, used the Sew Weekly sleeve pattern, and made a fabric belt to cinch in the remaining fabric.  It's sheer, so I'm wearing a tank top underneath, but this will be perfect for the summer months when it's stupidly humid outside.

 Close up of the lace detail.  Rob says it looks a little old fashioned, but that's what I like about it.  

See?  It's so comfortable I could sleep in it or do my "back up the bus" move.  Beep beep beep.

Have a fabulous day all!!