She’s Crafty…Fall Edition

Each season has something to look forward to:

Spring has Spring Cleaning, which I can’t say I’ve ever really looked forward to that.
Winter has Christmas and all the holiday cheer.
Summer has July 4th, cookouts and sun.

Now Fall has something great to look forward to…other than the cooling temperatures, which I’m pretty happy about (and I’ve already started shopping for Fall clothes so when’s the temp going to drop around here already!):

FALL PROJECTS!

Tiffany showed us how to make some really cute pumpkins. These are my versions:

Mini Preppies

Miss Preppy

Plaid and goldish

 

Gold and plaidish

Gold and plaidish

Joined my Miss Brown

Joined my Miss Brown

Reagan's design

Reagan designed this one

Went a little crazy no? I think they’re so cute. I’ve got to find a way to accent the ones outside my front door. I’m thinking bales of hay…but that may get a little too cuntrified juxtaposed with the preppy bows…

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And, I can’t wait to make these magnet boards Julie showed us.

These are Julie's trays, make no mistake

These are from Julie

I’ve asked her probably too many questions about the craft and she’s given me hints and tricks.
I’ve got the:

  • paint
  • sealer
  • paper
  • little clear pebbles to make the magnets

I just need:

  • the cookie sheets (I have to find a dollar store around here)
  • the magnet sheets

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This Fall has energized my creativity. I can’t wait to do more. Oh, one more (I know). I made this Operating Room hat for my cousin:

Reagan models the hat
Reagan models the hat

It kind of makes me want to become an OR nurse…or convince Reagan to become one.

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Craftastic!

Part of this vacation has been feeding my inner craftiness. I love crafts. My craft interests run wide and deep. Starting a business where I get to exercise my skillz for the babies isn’t enough. I’d love to try everything, if at least once. Enter my mother-in-law. She is crafty too and has a lot of the tools I don’t. So we’ve played. And played. And played.

Before:

After:

 This is fused glass using dichroic glass. I’m realizing it looks like the anarchy symbol. Whatever. I like it. AND I put a pendant doodad on the back so I can use it as a pendant or a key chain. I’m all for multipurpose.

 This is the second dichroic fused glass pendant/key chain I made. If your screen is at just the right angle you can see that there’s something happening underneath the glass with the coloring. It’s turning grey…It was so cute before that and I was thinking of giving it away on the ol blog.

 

I couldn’t get a great picture of this one. Granted, I didn’t try very hard. This is a pink glass with iridescent zebra stripes. Also a pendant/key chain. I’m already putting this one to use. You can see that the clear top glass slid when we put it in the kiln. I liked the size so I didn’t want to file it down. And who’s perfect so I wanted to leave it that way.

 This is a pendant I made for Reagan. Rhonda made the glass stone. I wrapped it with wire and added that bead. That’s about as right-brained as I get.

 This is a different type of glass fusing. I used a piece of base glass, sticks of glass and sand-looking glass. The sun center is dichroic glass that I sanded down into a circle. It’s got ridges on it that are hard to see in this picture. There is no top clear glass on top. I’m planning on making this into an ornament either by drilling a hole in it or wrapping it with wire.

 I don’t know what I’m going to do with this. My idea was to create a pendant for Reagan with her initial and then wrap it with wire to put on a necklace. This didn’t turn out like my mind envisioned it so I haven’t messed with it again.

Alright, so diversity in the craft room hasn’t been my strong suit here. However, I have done other things:

 These are two 12″x12″ stepping stones that I’m in the process of making. Nicole, this is where you’ll be proud of me. I picked out the natural stones and glass tiles, placed them in patterns, glued them on, then grouted them. I’m now waiting for the grout to dry before I apply sealant. The glass tiles are amazingly clear now that the grout is in place. Here is where you can tell how my mind works. I’m realizing I’m more right-brained than left-brain. I like lines, symbols, geometry (as much as I don’t like the math) rather than random patterns. Let me reword that. I like random patterns, but my mind doesn’t create them. I have to enjoy them when someone else does it. The only thing I would change is to make the four corner stones on the right a darker color. They kind of blend in with the grout. These will look nice at our house in Alabama.

 

There you have it! My craftastic vacation. And I believe there’s more to come…

Further clothes making adventures

Seamstress Vicki strikes again! No blood and no broken needles. I think that’s a record. These are the first adult pants and top I’ve made.

The pants zip on the left side of the waist. They fit at the waist but are roomy throughout the rest of the length. I can probably take them in. My first alteration job as well…

I’m really pleased with the top. It is cinched or whatever at the waist with a cord. I still have to cut the cord to length. Haven’t figured out what that length should be yet.

All that’s left is the jacket! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about then read this post.

Overall this outfit could have been sewn in one day. Actually just one evening. Continuous interruptions last night and forcing myself to go to bed at a decent hour means that I had to leave the cuffs of the pant legs until tonight. I really am surprised at how quickly it all came together. I’m sure it helped sewing with normal fabric and not paper-thin slinky stuff.

Skirting the Issue

Clever title huh? Thought you were getting another controversial post from me, right?

WRONG!

You’re getting another little crafty post from me. The day after I finished my first dress–actually it was that same night–I decided I need a little more instant gratification and a boost of self-encouragement. So I constructed this:

skirt

In my cleverness I managed to hide my face, but I also managed to show how dirty the mirror is. (Swiffer has not come out with a mirror cleaner yet. Have I sung the praises of Swiffer yet on this blog?)

Back to the skirt. I did this literally in a couple of hours (just think of the possibilities) and I got the pattern for free! 

 newskirt newskirtfabric  Remember!?!?

It was pretty easy to construct. I only had to use four pattern pieces. Compare that to the 87 pieces for the dress (exaggeration). Back to the skirt. It’s got a waistband and a zipper. Zippers are actually easy to install. I didn’t say they were easy to make look good. Maybe that should be an aspiration of mine though. I even got to use the serger on this one.

And I’ve already worn this skirt out of the house. In public. At a meeting with other women. Who dress well. And one woman complimented me on how nicely I was dressed.

NOTES:

  • I think this fabric would actually look better as a pencil skirt, but there’s no going back now.
  • The skirt the lady in the pattern is wearing is closer to her knees. She altered the pattern folks.
  • I don’t care if it looks holiday-ish, I’m wearing this for the next five days of winter we have. I may even dare to wear it into spring.
  • Confidence-in-sewing-adult-clothes level: upgraded from suckiness to potentially decent.

My first attempt at dressmaking…

MY FIRST ATTEMPT

I have made clothes for myself before. Two skirts to be exact. One with an elastic waste and one with a zippered waist. Working with a quarter of the body is actually pretty easy. And skirts are pretty easy to make anyway. A dressmaker I am not…at least not yet. In a recent post I wrote that I was jonesing to make something for myself: “I’m getting really antsy to sew something for myself. And I’m feeling that it needs to be something big, like a dress or skirt or top or something…” to quote myself.

I have gone and done just that. My very first attempt at an adult-sized dress (if you’re going to make fun then go ahead and leave it in a comment, I want to laugh too):

dress01The front

dress02The back.

dress03 (Photo by Reagan) Where did my waist go?

I found this fabric for $1 a yard and a pattern for $3.50. So, overall this dress cost me about $8 to construct. It’s a good thing because this dress stinks. It doesn’t smell bad. It’s crappy. But, as my husband keeps reminding me, it’s my first attempt. I think Project Runway has me thinking I should be able to construct haute couture right from the start.

The fabric is as thin as Bible paper and very slinky. I was worried about it being see through and so I layered two layers of the fabric and then a layer of lining. So my waist is hiding under all that fabric. It’s so thick around the middle. Doesn’t help that God didn’t proportion me like a Barbie doll (my proportions are more like Ken’s). The dress is a little big too.

I was really proud of myself with the sleeves. I’ve never made sleeves before, even on kid clothes. However, I see in the photo above that they’re not even. Oh well, I’ve always got a kid on my hip, so no one will notice. The hem actually turned out pretty even. I did spend a long time on that, comparatively. But with that kid on my hip it won’t look even. This is also the first time I’ve ever done darts. There were six total on this dress. I’ll just tell you now, and maybe you already know this: trying to make darts in slinky fabric is, well, let’s just say it’s difficult.

I really liked the fabric when it was rolled up on the bolt. Not too sure about it now. It does hide sewing imperfections. Small imperfections. The big ones stand out even more–I didn’t even try to match up the pattern when piecing the dress together. One of the pieces is even upside down (you don’t have to look that hard to see it).

So, even though it stinks, it’s my stinky dress that I made and I’m going to wear it. If I only wear it once I got my money’s worth out of it.

ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS

I am not done with the home-sewn look though. I’m moving on to bigger and better things (let’s hope, right). Here’s what’s next:

1)This skirt

newskirt 

newskirtfabricin this fabric (it’s plaid with velvet flowers)

2) This outfit

newoutfit

The top will be

newoutfittopfabric

and the pants will be

newoutfitpantsfabric it’s a white twill

3) This jacket

newjacket The sleeves will have a straight cuff, not ruffled. The yoke will be the low neck (like in the inset) and will have a collar. The length will be longer than in the picture. It will be in this fabric

newjacketfabricIt’s a shiny goldy-silvery concoction.

Total investment in these four new pieces: $19 (great use of a Christmas gift card and sales.)

Ambitious? I’d say so. But who got anywhere by sitting still? I’m learning that I have to be willing to try–and mess up along the way. That’s the only way to get better. Since nobody’s all that good when they first begin. Right?