Monday, December 14, 2009

I swear I've been doing stuff!

Cold weather is crochet weather for me. My sewing area sits, sadly neglected, while I lounge on the couch watching old Farscape episodes and looping yarn over a hook. This year I have been very productive churning out hats and scarves. Some are gifts for specific people, but most of what I have made will be thrown in to a grab bag box for my extended family to pick through at Christmas. I found this awesome new scarf pattern, and I have gone a little nuts with it:
And then I uncovered a hat pattern buried at the bottom of my yarn bin and I decided to give that a go too! It's very basic, so I have been fooling with it a little and ended up making a cute cloche-style beanie:
Most of the scarves and hats are being constructed from half-used skeins and loose scraps. The pattern that I'm using is very fast, and I can crank one out in about 2 hours. I may actually run out of yarn by the end of winter!! I will probably have a scarf/hat giveaway in January to get rid of whatever my family doesn't take, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Recycled Sweater Mittens - GIVEAWAY!!

So I found this super easy recycled sweater mitten video tutorial here, but I super hated every second of making these. The original design involves the cuff from the donor sweater being folded over and tacked down with a button, but this seemed "unfinished" to me, so I changed it. I used the fleece to make a cuff that is attached to both the inner and outer fabrics. These gloves are ridiculously warm, but I guess that only matters if your fingers enjoying feeling like they are in a russian banya.

A few things I learned from this project:
1. Cutting and sewing felted wool leaves a fine, wool-y dust all over my sewing area
2. My sewing machine gets grumpy when clogged with wool-y dust
3. Hand sewing is for suckers
4. My fingers are claustrophobic and they don't like being sardine-packed in to mittens.

These mittens are lined with heavy fleece, and the outer fabric is felted wool recycled from an ugly thrift store sweater. They seem to fit women's hands the best. I had planned to embellish these with some ribbon or buttons or something, but you know how I get when a project annoys me. So, as usual, I AM GIVING THEM AWAY!! If anyone is interested in owning these, just leave a comment here or on my Facebook post. I will pick a winner (if anyone even responds) on Monday, December 14th. Also, I can throw in the templates if you want them. Just let me know.

Disclaimer - This is my first (and only) attempt at this pattern, so they are not perfect. But, they are finished and warm.

Monday, November 23, 2009

27 Million Hours Later..

....the custom wizard robe is finally finished. I hate that it took me so long, and I hate that it photographs so poorly. I am so glad to get this thing out of my house. It has become the bane of my existence the past several weeks. Grarg.
Now I can finish up my crochet projects without guilt. Yay. Plus, I will be in Michigan for the holiday which means Sewing Mecca here I come!!! I hope everyone has a nice holiday, and expect a scarf/hat giveaway sometime in December!! :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Handmade Halloween

I love handmade Halloween costumes. I am extremely biased and am notorious for giving extra candy to the kids who are unique or original. For the past 2 years my son has chosen store costumes for Halloween, and it broke my heart. But, I allow him the freedom to make his own choice for this holiday, and I don't argue about it (much). So, when he saw a picture on a pattern envelope at the store a few months ago and insisted he must have an outfit like it, I was THRILLED! Obviously, I tailored the pattern to our unique specifications, thereby creating HELL BAT - HERO OF THE NIGHT!
I made everything he is wearing with the exception of the gloves. I wish I had thought ahead and crafted the wings to be detachable since they are made from felt and not really machine washable. The fleece bodysuit and hood kept my midget warm and toasty on a frigid Halloween night, although the mask only made it a few houses before being removed. I may reuse the hood pattern for some winter hats. It's super cozy, and even fits me!! The hood would have been more snug if I had used a fleece lining, but I opted for the cotton flame contrast instead.
Needless to say, he was the only Hell Bat on the block and NOBODY suspected it was handmade! *pulls muscle patting self on back*
I am really proud of my bear for having an amazing imagination and for trusting his mom to make his vision come true. :)

I hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rockin' the Ribbon Hat

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I have been working on perfecting my hat-making skills for the past week or so. I plan to have a winter hat giveaway pretty soon, but I need to finish some Halloween projects before I can focus my full attention on creating contest prizes.

In the meantime, here is a Breast Cancer Ribbon hat that I made for my mom. It is being modeled by my son, who is proving that real men can rock pink hats. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boring T-shirt to Totally Awesome Hat???

I have SO MANY projects to finish right now that I ended up doing what I always do when I'm feeling pressured. I rebel by purposely ignoring my projects and starting something new. Thus, I grabbed a fleece hat pattern that I have and said "Fleece?? Phooey to that!!"

These hats are made from a totally boring blue T-shirt and some scrap flannel I picked up in the remnant bin for, like, $1.
The bill of the hat can be flipped up or down, but it isn't really possible to see with it down. But, it looks way cuter that way, so I say "Phooey!" to unobstructed views. Oh, and the pattern doesn't include a cute button closure, but I threw one on there because I am awesome like that.
I think this orange one almost looks a little rugby-esque and I love it:
My kid was all, "MOM! It's HOT in the sun!! When can I take it off??" And I was all, "Just smile and stop yer whinin' or I'll make you wear it ALL DAY!!" (I didn't really say it like that, but I'm reading a novel set in 1940's Mississippi right now and I'm thinking in southern speak.)
The loop for the button is actually a piece of the tee. Pretty brilliant, right??? ;)
I think I might make some girl hats next with little t-shirt scrap pom pons on top. That's, of course, if I don't get back to the projects already started. Hmmph.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fan Giveaway!! 3 Winners!!

So this time around I've smartened up and decided to offer 3 prizes for this contest!! Woohoo!

Prize #1 is a "More Cowbell" Messenger Bag made from a recycled T-Shirt and a couple of dress shirts. The bag measures appx. 12" wide and appx. 13" high.
It has 2 pockets on the outside (one on either side of the bag) appropriate for a cell phone, MP3 player, or a bunch of pens. And, there are 2 pockets inside - 1 zippered pocket (shown below) and the original dress shirt pocket with no closure.
But, the most exciting part is the fully adjustable strap!! It can adjust from appx. 26" to appx. 47"!! The strap width is around an inch or so, which makes it less bulky when you wear it across your chest ( I was thinking of all of my ample-breasted sisters out there).
Prize #2 is a handbag that I threw together from some scrap fabric. It measures appx. 9.5" square and has some pleating-ish-ness on both the front and the back:
I included a button and loop for some closure since I did not use any interfacing on this bag. Basically, it is fully cloth and completely machine washable!!
Of course, I included an inner pocket since no one leaves the house without their cell phone!
And, Prize #3 is an oldie but a goodie! It is the very first recycled T messenger bag that I made. The "Beach Bum" bag!! For pictures, click this link. This bag measures about 12.5" x 13" and it has no pockets (cut me some slack, it was my FIRST one!!) The strap ties at the top and measures 31.5"
How exciting to be able to have 3 winners this time!!
Here are the rules:
Between Oct. 5th and Oct. 16th "fan" me on Facebook (there is a link to the right of this post) and leave a comment in my Contest Discussion or on my wall letting me know that you want to participate. That's it!! So easy!!
Also, you can gain additional entries by referring new fans to my page. See the discussion board for more info on that.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon...

My girlfriend is constantly giving me grief about how I don't own a makeup bag. The simple explanation is that I don't really wear anything more than eyeliner. Thus, I have NEVER carried a make-up pouch in my purse. I honestly didn't even know that ANYONE did until I was in my 20's. So, I didn't really have much of a need for a little beauty tote before now.

I am going to my in-laws today, and I just needed a small bag for my travel-sized toiletries. I do own a much larger toiletry tote, but it's already filled with the family's crap (from our summer roadtrip), and I don't need all that junk. Normally I would just use a ziploc baggie, but sandwich size is too small, and the freezer bags I have are too big. What was a girl to do??? Make my own, of course!!!
I used some scrap flannel for the lining so that it will quickly absorb small leaks, and I put in a rockin' orange zipper at the top. The bottom has squared corners so that I could stand it up on the sink edge (something not easily done with my other toiletry case). It is cute and small and indicative of who I am! Perfect!
Look at how well my stuff fits in there! (Notice there is no make-up, just some bodywash, shampoo, a brush, and some lotion hiding in the back.) This was my first attempt at this type of project, and I am really proud that I did such a nice job on it. Plus, it's ALL FOR ME!! I needed to do something for myself since I have been working on a bear of a halloween costume for a friend of mine. After a week of fighting with metallic satin, I was very happy to have a project that I could get done in 20 minutes. Yay me!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Goddesses come in all forms...

This will probably be my last tote for awhile since I have an awesome messenger-bag-in-the-making awaiting my attention. Plus, I have a custom order from my 6 year old for a "Hell Bat" Halloween costume.
This tote used a "Garage Sale Goddess" t-shirt that I bought for $0.44 at my favorite thrift store, some leftover asian fabric, and a nylon strap that I stole off of one of my husband's duffel bags (shhh!):
I experimented with patchwork on this bag since red can be a really abrasive color without anything to break it up. I'm happy with how it turned out, and I am shocked that there is no puckering at the seams! But, I ran out of the asian fabric for the liner, so I had to add some extra jersey to the bottom:
It turned out pretty cool, though. I should probably keep this for myself since I am a total garage sale freak, but I think I'll list it in Artfire and see how it goes.
Also, with the cooler weather approaching, I am going to be testing out new techniques for photographing my stuff indoors. What do you think of the checkered material? Too much? I thought it worked well as a backdrop to the red. Am I totally delusional, or what?
Oh, and I'm thinking of creating a tutorial for these recycled t-shirt totes since they are super easy. Does anyone want to see that, or do you think there are enough tutorials floating around for totes?
Feedback, people! I need feedback! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

We have a WINNER!

A few things I learned from this giveaway:
1. I really wish I had made enough bags for everyone.
2. There are alot of amazing, supportive people in the world.
3. I am card-fanning-disabled.

I thought about doing a random number generator, but it just seemed so impersonal. So, I decided to dig out some playing cards and do it my own way!

(My husband is the designated card-fan-holder due to my apparent lack of finger coordination which resulted in a nasty hand cramp that I am nursing right now.)
My son volunteered to pick a card since he is unbiased and I often cheat at card games. :)
And, thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who participated in this contest! I will be holding another giveaway in a couple of weeks, so please keep following. I plan to have more prizes next time. I promise!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

GIVEAWAY!! Recycled T-Shirt Tote

I have FINALLY finished the tote that I started before Zee German arrived!! It is made out of an "Ergo Proxy" T-shirt that was extra-super small, as well as some kick-ass cotton fabric I picked up at Hobby Lobby. How cute is this character?
Although the cotton fabric is fabulous, the bag still whined for some added pizazz, so I utilized some yarn that I had almost forgotten that I owned:
Now, there are no closures on this tote, but I did transform the t-shirt sleeve into an inner pocket! Obviously I used interfacing and lining on the pocket, since jersey fabric is so droopy on its own:
Also, the bottom is squared off for better stand-ability:
I love this bag. I thought about keeping it for myself, but I decided, instead, to celebrate a recent sale in my Artfire shop by GIVING IT AWAY!!! And, since this contest is all about my adoration of people who support handmade, ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOLLOW MY BLOG!!
Just leave a comment between now and Sept. 17th letting me know that you follow and that you want the bag. (I don't want to send it to someone who has no use for it.) I will announce the winner on September 18th.
Goodluck and thanks for following my (mostly) crafty blather!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Call of the Ribbon

I threw together another tote/shoulder bag yesterday in an effort to minimize my "project" pile. (These T-shirts are reproducing, I swear!!) I had a really hard time picking out a lining fabric to coordinate with the shirt because I desperately wanted to highlight the blue/green in the screenprint. So, I had to run to Hobby Lobby for some fabric and look at what else I found:
You're probably wondering what I was thinking with the ribbon. Well, here's what I thought when I saw it - "HOLY CRAP! PINK AND BLACK ZEBRA PRINTED FAUX FUR RIBBON!?!? Most. Awesome. Thing. Ever."
I am not generally a supporter of animal print fashion accessories, but this ribbon spoke directly to me in soft, sensual tones telling me that my tote would be nothing without it. Thank goodness I listened to the ribbon!
Aaaaah......isn't it fabulous??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cool Weather Crochet

I was on the phone with a friend of mine the other day, and I mentioned that I was in the midst of a crochet project, and she says, "I always know that cool weather is on it's way when you start to crochet." It's true. Fall is my crochet season. But, this project can easily be worn with a tank on an Indian Summer day!

Is it a shawl? Is it a poncho? I'm calling it a Shawcho. Notice the pleating on the front? As usual, I completely ignored the pattern instructions and used a thinner yarn. So, I had to add some pleats in the front to decrease the size of the neck. I think it adds something interesting, th0ugh.
I'n not a huge fan of fringe, but I thought a little more length would be flattering with this design.
I think it's pretty cool, but I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Should I keep it? Sell it? Give it away? *shrugs* I'm just psyched that I finally used up that yarn that I bought for the failed beach bag project.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Parting is such sucky sorrow...

It has been 5 ridiculously short weeks since Zee German came back to us, and I am shocked (as usual) by how much we have done. Besides travel and shopping, Zee German has been a busy little sewing bee during this visit, and I am shamelessly proud of her determination and imagination. After a rocky introduction to my sewing machine, she dove right in and grabbed hold of the "Even if it's not perfect, it's complete" motto. I wish I had just a portion of my girl's energy when it comes to sewing. Check out some of the things she created in her short time here.

This is a small purse she made to coordinate with a jumper dress we made together (not pictured):
She also flew solo on these 2 recycled t-shirt tote bags:

And a couple of fantastic recycled t-shirt/dress shirt/weird mumu dress I got from a relative skirts that she whipped up. All I did was the serging and elastic casing on these bad boys:
Aren't they fantastic??? Tonight I am trying to finish up a laptop case she made by attaching a zipper, and then the sewing machine is getting a break over the holiday weekend. I think my machine will appreciate this time to regain it's strength and grieve the loss of Zee German. I know that my machine and I aren't the only ones that will miss our girl desperately:

We love you, M.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Idle Hands...

Even the jewelry-making-disabled, like myself, can assemble a simple bracelet. And, since my sewing machine has been busy with Zee German, I rummaged through my sadly neglected bead collection to whip up a bracelet for my mom. (Mom, if you're reading this and I haven't given you the bracelet yet, then stop right here!!)

I found the owl charm during an impromptu trip to Hobby Lobby, and it screamed "MOM" to me. So, I picked it up along with $27 worth of other completely unnecessary things.
I really do think my mom will like the bracelet, and it beats grating zucchini and baking loaf after loaf of quick breads (which are not as quick as the name implies). Although, now that my craftiness has been satisified for the weekend I'm back to the kitchen.... :(