Sunday, October 17, 2010

Broomstick Lace

I bought a huge bag of sewing/crochet/macrame/cross-stitch books at a local book fair a few weeks ago, and, since most of the books were published in the 70's, I came across a bunch of patterns utilizing a "Broomstick Lace" crochet technique. The skill is also called Jiffy Lace, and it requires a monster knitting needle ( I used size 50) and a crochet hook. After watching some video tutorials (the picture instructions that I have are AWFUL), I gave it a go:

Pretty cool, but an awful lot of work for something that looks the same as a standard shell crochet pattern. Plus, apparently people in the 70's had ENORMOUS heads. I had to add some ties so that it wouldn't fall off. Of course, I could have measured using a gauge pattern, but then I would be one of those weird crochet automatons.

Ooh, I also crocheted some socks last week, but I haven't taken any pics yet. They were super fast, but it seems that those poor 70's people suffered with tiny feet that couldn't possibly have supported their gigantic heads. Had to personalize the pattern, as usual. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beetle Bailey and a Bum Bag

This weekend has been super-productive for me! In addition to a quickie up-cycled jersey skirt (that I didn't take a photo of), I sewed up a new sun hat for The Bear:
And a Bum Bag for myself:
This bag has a split zippered pocket on the outside and a small open pocket within. I tested out a new stabilizer on the straps, and squared off the bottom. I stuffed it chock-full-o stuff for a boat trip yesterday, and it held up like a champ!
Now that I got some personal sewing projects out of my system, I can go back to making stuff for other people! I bought a sweet t-shirt at the thrift store the other day that I am DYING to make into a bag, and I still have another dress I want to put together for Princess Peanut. Plus, I really need to restock my Artfire shop and get some things together for potential craft fairs this fall. Busy busy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Princess Peanut's Debut!

After much procrastinating and a big move, I am finally working on the little girl dresses that got me started on this sewing obsession 3 years ago.

Meet Princess Peanut (of the Georgia Peanut's) displaying her newest custom made frock:
I have been carefully choosing fabrics that I thought would complement her fair skin and curly, auburn baby locks, and I think that these soft pinks and greens are perfect:
The dress is the product of a new pattern that I have been dying to try, and with the exception of the non-existent closure instructions, it was a quick and easy sew. Although, I don't know where they find the amazonian kids that they use for hem length models! I was so happy to have Princess Peanut in the flesh to measure, otherwise this dress would have been several inches too long. As it was, I tossed the pattern hem instructions and did my own thing (as usual).
And, of course, I had to add my own signature whimsy with the smiley face button on the back. Because toddler clothes should never be too serious. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Old Concert Tee Shirt to New Tank Top

I am finally back in business! After finishing a few projects that moved with me from IL, I was inspired to pump out a fun, quick tank for myself.

While unpacking, I unearthed some old concert t-shirts that had gotten lost in the process of becoming a grown-up. Obviously I felt sad for the once favorite shirts and decided to put them in my sewing room so that I could infuse some new life into them at some point. This is what caught my fancy today:
I found a tank pattern that I had forgotten I owned, and since these concert tees are men's XL, I knew they would size down really well.
The pattern encourages a tighter fit, but this tee is 15 years old (and had been very well loved prior to storage) so I decided against straining the remaining stretch in the jersey, and left it loose.
I am really excited to wear my old concert tee in a new way! The others may become bags or pillows, or who knows what, but this one was begging to be worn again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble..

We are finally transplanted in Georgia, and after a month of cleaning, painting, flooring, and unpacking, I have a working sewing room!
Of course, I needed a nook for The Bear!
My little sanctuary from the southern heat and humidity. I hope to spend the majority of the summer sewing away. I have missed my machines and fabric. Plus, I desperately need a new bag. So, let the sewing begin!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The last bag I'll make in Chicago...

A couple of months ago my husband's aunt asked about the messenger bags that I make, and so I naturally offered to put one together for her. You have to know that she's a little eccentric, so this task was pretty exciting. I had the perfect shirt in mind for her, but the coordinating fabric had me a little stumped.
I wanted to do something unique and, fortunately, I stumbled across this Drunkards Path quilt pattern that I thought would be perfect! But, once I started putting it together I realized that it was a little too busy, so I broke it up with some t-shirt strips.
Once the outside was settled I knew I needed lots of pockets on the inside. I actually use one of these bags as my everyday purse, and I know the need for storage. So, I designed 3 fun little pockets for the interior:

Open pocket.

Zippered pocket:

Chapstick & pen pocket:

And then I came across an idea that solved my adjustable strap issues. BUTTONS!! Of course!! I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. It seems so obvious!
So, it took me almost 2 months to make this bag, but I feel like it is a real work of art. I hope my husband's aunt likes it because I really did put a lot of thought in to it.

And now, on to the Big Move! We are fleeing the Chicagoland area this May and transporting our accumulated junk and northern attitudes to Georgia. My sewing area is mostly packed up and ready to be transplanted to a BIGGER and BETTER space! So, expect GRANDIOSE experiments in sewing this summer because I plan to hide from the heat as thoroughly as I can. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fingerless Gloves...

Here in Chicago, you wouldn't know that we are in the tail end of winter. With wind chill temps consistently in the 20's, it seems that Spring may end up "sleeping in" this year. So, I thought I would take advantage of the lazy days of Winter by attempting a new crochet project.

I found a free pattern for fingerless gloves at Hobby Lobby today, and I didn't bother to even peek at the instructions before I got out my yarn and hook. What a crazy mess this pattern was!!! Reverse Single Crochet?? Front Post Half Double Crochet? WTH?!?! But, I toughed it out, and shocked myself by ending up with something functional:

Friday, January 29, 2010

This is me procrastinating...

I have been chock-full of ideas these past few weeks, but severely lacking in staying power and motivation. Both of my nieces have birthdays coming up, and I have been busy putting together some outfits for them. The problem is that I have not been keen on actually FINISHING the outfits...

Case in point, Princess Peanut's simple wrap dress. This top is waiting on a button, I have almost finished the bloomers, and I have only gotten done with the cutting stage of the coordinating sun hat. I'm pretty sure that the girl will have outgrown this outfit before I have a chance to give it to her:
Also on the finishing pile is this super sweet pillowcase-turned-jumper for the Pretty Pretty Princess. (Am I the only one that thinks those sheep are completely awesome??) This dress could have been done weeks ago, but is still waiting on buttons (and buttonholes-eek!) at the top of the straps:
So, what have I been doing about all this unfinished business? I have been making thousands of yards of bias tape and experimenting with itty-bitty fabric yo-yos that I am using to cover buttons. Oh, and I finished some fairly uninspired projects; like this fleece jumper that I don't love as much as I thought I would:
And some lounge pants that I could sew in my sleep:
I have a brain full of exciting new refashions that I want to try out, but the unfinished projects are WEIGHING ME DOWN!! I really just need to chain myself to the sewing table this weekend and get my business done.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have been working my little fingers to the bone lately, but since the Pretty Pretty Princess hasn't been around to model for me, I am going to share a quickie project I did for the Bear.

A trip to the thrift store the other day yielded some excellent treasures. For example, I found this rockin' long sleeve T-shirt that says "Hooters" down the sleeve. My initial reaction? Those must become pants for the Bear!! So, I snipped the sleeves off:
Once the sleeves were separated from the shirt I just stuck one sleeve inside the other (right sides facing), used a pair of lounging pants to trace a "crotch curve," cut, and stitched. And, Presto Chango!
The coolest pair of jersey pants a 6 year old could ever hope to own!!
I love not having to hem, and I am grateful to own a serger for the inside seam. These bottoms took about 20 minutes to construct and they only cost me $0.88!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Butterfly Bifocal Bag

I promised my mother-in-law this bifocals accessory a few months ago, and I finally got around to sewing it up. I used some animal print for the exterior, skull-print flannel for the inside, and recycled denim for the butterfly wings. Check out my awesome applique and bead-stringing accomplishments!
I think we all know that I suck at jewelry, so the necklace portion is pretty plain, but I made up for that with my totally sweet applique and embellishments. Now my MIL can feel rockstar-ish, yet feminine while toting her eyeglasses around her neck. I almost wish that I wore glasses so that I could sport one of these bad boys! :)