Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We're Doomed!!

I would like to start this post with a "shout out" to the disgruntled Hobby Lobby employee that cut this fabric like TOTAL CRAP. Thank you, lady, for screwing up my measurements.
Sorry for the grumpiness, but sewing with satin-type fabric is not my favorite to begin with, and then I unfold it to find that almost 10 inches of this piece is unusable for the project that I bought it for. Glarg!

Okay. Rant over.

Several weeks ago, my son asked me for a Dr. Doom hooded cloak. I am always amused and delighted by his requests. In addition to the piles of everyday clothing that I have made him over the past 11 years, I have also constructed a lightsaber sheath, a "Hellbat" costume, a Mad Hatter's hat, and a Dr. Who costume, among other things. I love that he has such an amazing imagination.

So, I was on the hunt for a hooded cloak tutorial, and I found several that involved printing PDF patterns.  Um...pass. I'm not wasting 20 pages of paper and ink, plus hours of piecing and taping, on a "pretend play" garment. Eventually, I found a very simple and straightforward YouTube video - HERE.  And, WOW, so easy! I changed the measurements to fit a child, and I rounded the hood to make it more Dr. Doom-y. It's still big on him, but that is because the boy grows another inch every time I look away and I want this to last a little while.

I know that it's not much, but this was a satisfying project for me. My kid is THRILLED, and I am feeling like Super Mom today. :) It just doesn't get better than this.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stuff it up your...neck pillow.

I have finally gotten around to mass-producing those neck pillows that I talked about in January. My industrial-sized box of fiber-fil has been patiently waiting underneath a mound of unfinished projects, and today was the day to liberate the stuffing. I am deliriously happy to cross these off of my "to-do" list!
The pattern that I drafted previously turned out great for my son, but it was not sufficient for adult comfort. So, I pulled a template off the internet - HERE - and cranked out some travel pillows for the rest of the family (and then some..). As before, I did a flannel side and a cotton/jersey side. I was relieved to be able to use some of my t-shirt stash, and to get rid of more of that pesky flannel that seems to be reproducing on my shelf.
By the way, I am TERRIBLE at stuffing things. I don't know what is wrong with my technique, but it produces lots 'o lumps in my pillows. Plus, I hate it. So, that could be part of the issue...

Have you noticed my travel theme of the last few weeks? Totally unintentional. I think it has something to do with the promise of spring making me antsy to get out of the house.  That, and the fact that I am taking a trip to visit family this month. It is going to be great having these pillows in the car for the 18 hour drive!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Barrel Bike Bag

I don't know if I mentioned it, but a couple of months ago I went through a sewing-book-buying-frenzy on Ebay.  One of the books that I snagged was this One Yard Wonders that I got for a steal because the included patterns were missing.

My main reason for buying books like these is to get inspired by the projects that they picture, and there were quite a few that tickled my fancy in here - including the Bicycle Duffle Bag (duffel?duffle?).
It's true that I already have a basket on my bike, but sometimes I don't need that much cargo space. I mean, it's great when I ride up to the store for milk, but when I am just pleasure-riding it seems like overkill to have my wallet and keys sitting in there. So, I thought this would be a useful little bag to put together.
Everything seemed straightforward when I started, but as the project came together I felt that there were some errors in the measurements.  I wont get into specifics, but I definitely suspect that the designer did not have the instructions independently tested before they were published.
Ultimately, I worked out the instructional kinks and am pretty happy with the result. The velcro straps that attach it to my bike are awesome, and the bag is the perfect size for the small items that I need when I'm biking to the park with my son. Maybe I'll throw one of these together for him too...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"T" Tote Upcycle

Man, have I been lay-zee lately!! No post last week? Shame on me. I've been so good at keeping to my blogging and sewing goals this year, but I just wasn't feeling the sew-jo last week, you know? But, I dragged myself away from my Gilmore Girls 7 season marathon, and I whipped up an easy tote yesterday.

The t-shirt that I used for this project was bought off the clearance rack some time last year. It was one of those "fits like a second skin" type garments, and it is made of such a lightweight jersey that it highlighted everything short of my spleen when I wore it. No thank you.  So, I tossed it in the "upcycle" pile and there it has sat for many a moon.

I finally rescued this shirt because I desperately, desperately need some produce totes now that farmer's market season is peeking around the corner. (All of the "reusables" that I have been using for the past few years were pretty well destroyed by a mini-flood in the cabinet under my kitchen sink. *sigh*)

I played kind of "fast and loose" with this whole thing. I just chopped off the top of the tee, left the side seams, used the cut tee as the template for the lining, boxed the hem, and threw some straps on. 20 minutes, tops.

Instant gratification is the way to go when I'm not feeling inspired. This project provided a necessary jolt to my mojo, and I am excited about getting back in to my sewing room. Well, between episodes of Gilmore Girls.....I only have 2 seasons to go!! ;)