Saturday, September 25, 2010

Zombies+Stitching= So Freaking Awesome!!!

I love zombies. I do. I think of them often and have a library full of books on the subject. I have a zombie plan for both my home and work. I encourage you all to plan accordingly for the zombie apocalypse. When I whine about exercising, I remind myself that cardio health will separate the survivors from the blue plate specials come Z-Day. This is half public service announcement, half crafting post. :)

Today I found something super awesome. It combines my love of sewing and my obsession with zombies. Are you ready? Check it out!

How freaking cool is this!? I literally gasped out loud as I snatched it off the shelf. I may have bounced a little bit as I read over the different projects. :) Look how cool these are!

There are 12 patterns and enough supplies to do the first three projects in the book. The only thing missing is a hoop, but I already had one. My blouse has taken a back seat for the moment as I work on one of the patterns. I had planned on doing a few steps a day so that I'd have it finished in a week, but somehow (Season Premeire week of all my favorite shows) I got off track. So I'll try and get it all done tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a great weekend! :)

I'll end this post with my favorite zombie haiku:

You are so lucky
That I don't remember
How to use door knobs


Photo credits:

Monday, September 20, 2010

DIY Pattern Weights

Hello Bloggy Friends! Today for show and tell I have a little project I just completed. Nothing as super cool as my last skirt, but pretty useful for lots of people. Pattern weights! Not just any pattern weights though. Shiny gold pattern weights!!!

You can buy pattern weights. These are made by Dritz.

They are, however, ugly. I didn't want to pay for ugly. My inner Drag Queen compels me to surround myself with things that are shiny, sparkly, glittery, or animal print. So I decided to take things into my own (glitter tipped) hands. :)

The recipe:

One box of washers.
One can of spray paint. I picked gold.

Some newspapers.

Instructions: Spray, let dry, flip over, and repeat. Repeat all steps until desired brilliance.

The end result: The total cost is a little over 8.00 dollars. I still have tons of paint left though, so really, I'd say it costs less than 5 dollars. The Dritz ones sell from 8.00 to 10.00 dollars (for four) depending where you buy. I have 15 for about 5.00 dollars.

Note: I know this is not totally original and lots of sewists use washers to cut their patterns with. However, they are pretty and I wanted to share. :)

Also: I received my Sencha and Crepe patterns from Colette patterns today. I'm supposed to work on McCall's 5977 this week, but now I'm feeling the urge to bust out my new Sencha. Tough decisions!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh Em Gee Guys! (Warning! Picture Overload)

I've finished my Emma Pillsbury inspired skirt! I'm pretty much pleased as punch right now. This is a pretty big achievement for me. Most of you don't know, but I have a terrible condition. Sewing ADD. My overactive mind bounces from idea to idea and leaves a wake of lonely UFOs (unfinished objects) behind. So the fact that I was able to come up with the plan, draft the pattern, obtain fabric, prep, cut, sew, rip out, sew, rip out, press, and hem (whew!) in a smidge over two weeks is pretty good for me. And I managed not to start another project too! I know some sewists can turn out a new skirt in a few afternoon hours, (one day so will I!), but for now, I'll be happy with two weeks. For the record, I have one UFO that was started over a year ago. Sad, I know.

Here are a few shots before I start nitpicking.

I'm not a fan of posting my face on the internet sans makeup, which is why my head as been omitted. On to the details. First, the good.

I'm super happy that I took the time to use bias tape on the inside seams. I love how finished it looks. Keep in mind, this is a 10 gore skirt. That's a lot of bias tape, but totally worth it, in my opinion. However, the next time I will probably use french seams.

The not so good.

This is the zipper that caused so so much angst last weekend. However, with some deep breathing and some super focus, I fixed the zipper stop. I sewed and ripped this out four times during the process of this skirt. I'm happy with how straight the sides are, but not so happy that the top is uneven. Also, it peeks out. I may look into an invisible zipper foot.

The other thing I need to work on is hemming with such a full skirt. When I added the bias tape I only brought it down as far as where the hem would be. It ended up being a tad shorter than I'd like. Next time if I use bias tape, I'll bring it all the way down the the bottom so I won't end up stuck at the end. That way, I'll be able to trim away the excess fabric so I don't have this. I could have trimmed it so this didn't happen, but it would've taken off another inch. That would've made it too short for work. I'll take a slightly pinched inside hem. It doesn't show on the outside. Lesson learned.

This weirdness happened after I had to take almost four inches out of the waist. WTF? I don't even know. It may have been a combination of a slight stretch in the fabric, sewing with a smaller seam allowance that on the pattern, or my math. Ah, and you can see the zipper is slightly cockeyed. I think that is why it peeks out at the top. Another lesson learned.

I am happy. Weirdness and flaws included. I learned a few things and have a cute new skirt to wear. I've already planned a few outfits. :)

Oh! I have left over fabric so I'll be making a headband, hair bows and some fabric flowers for a pin. Don't worry, I won't wear them all at the same time. lol Okey dokey. I'll talk to you guys later. Aloha! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

New from Colette Patterns!

Many people are familiar with indie pattern company Colette Patterns. She has fabulously feminine patterns with a lovely vintage twist. The fact that they all have culinary themed names appeals to the foodie in me. I subscribe to their Facebook, and was delighted to find a notice for a new pattern.

This is the lovely Crepe pattern. It is a very cute wrap dress that I know I will be able to wear at work. I love a lot of her patterns, but knowing I can't wear them except for the weekend (I play with kids all day, sometimes in the mulch) has kept me from ordering more. I know I will utilized this pattern. It also helps that there are no closures to fiddle with. Yay. Unlike the Sencha I just ordered, which has a million and five buttons.

I know I'm a little slow on this particular bandwagon, but seeing all the fabulous versions of the Sencha all over the internet helped me finally commit to buying it. Remember, I've never paid more than 3.99 for a pattern (yay for sales) so you know this is true love. I already have about five different fabrics I want to make the Sencha out of. :)

I just put in the order, so hopefully I'll have these by Friday and can spend some of the weekend on them. I figure having these "beginner" patterns will help if things don't go so well with Lady Grey (which I still haven't found fabric for).

Also, I am a ninja and I taught that zipper who is boss. My Emma Pillsbury inspired polka dot just needs to be hemmed now. I should have that to show you all soon. :) Aloha all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ooooo...shiny nails!

Today's nails are brought to you by, "I'm still too annoyed/depressed to work on my skirt." I realized today that there is a substantial lack of glitz and glitter in my blog. I didn't want my bio or banner to lie, so here you go. I am a fan of pretty much all the colors of the rainbow, but lime green holds a special place in my heart. I've perfected (in my opinion) the technique for creating the half moon french tip at home. I like to practice with bright colors when I can get away from the quintessential white. So green it is for the next couple days. I also learned today it is surprisingly hard to take pictures of my hands without them looking strange. My fingers are kind of lumpy looking. Hmmm?

I'm not totally ignoring my skirt. It is serving as the background for today's picture. :) After thinking (brooding) for a while yesterday I realized a couple things.

1) My fabric didn't stretch, and my math wasn't wrong. Surprise surprise, I was assuming I'd drafted something incorrectly. Nope, my math skills are intact. When I drafted the pattern piece I gave the top part a half inch seam allowance for attaching the waistband. When I sewed it yesterday, I decided to just do a bias strip waist, no waistband at all. I forgot to remove the extra half inch on each of the 10 pieces. Duh. This is good, yet annoying to know. I'm feel less stupid now that I know I didn't measure/drafting incorrectly. But I'm also kinda peeved to have to unpick the bias binding, the four darts, and the stupid zipper. Oh well, lesson learned. And I fully expect this skirt to cooperate when I go to resew it tomorrow.

2) I will stop imposing stupid deadlines on myself. I only end up getting stressed and screwing stuff up. Besides, the wise K-Line said it right, people are too worried about their own outfits on the first day of school to bother to check out mine. Plus, I teach 3-6 year olds. They will not appreciate my ruler straight stitches or my beautifully finished inside seams. But you guys will! :) So, I am going to relax, and stop turning my bedroom into a mini sweat shop. I will calmly and serenely finish this skirt with a smile on my face. Can you feel the positive energy flowing from your computer monitors? lol

3) Look what came in today!

I am excited! I'm also kind of nervous, and I don't know what fabric to use. I'm feeling some lime green right now, but I don't want to limit how often I can wear it. I also don't just want a black coat/jacket. I know a bajillion people are doing this sew along. Fabric ideas?

I will leave you with this in closing tonight: A positive saying to go along with my new positive outlook. :)

May your stitches be always straight, and your bobbin thread never tangle. Sew forth and prosper!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I am going to cry...

Today was going pretty well. I sewed on a million inches of bias strips to finish my inside seams. I'm OCD like that. I even took the fact that the waist stretched (or my math was wrong) in stride. Easy, just added a few darts and "Presto!" all fixed. Then, at the last minute, as I was trying it on to double check the length before I started hemming, I broke the zipper. The zipper that I had to insert twice because the first time wasn't perfect enough. See, I trimmed the zipper and forgot to sew new stops. So when I zipped it up, off came the zipper head. Dumb, dumb, dumb! It was the last white zipper. I have pink, purple, lime, and teal zippers, but no white. And at this point I'm so disheartened I don't even want to leave to make a run to the store. :sigh: Perhaps it will be my second day of school outfit, but right now I can't seem to make myself devote any more time to it. All right, rant/whine over. I hope everyone else is having a stress free sewing day. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm such a dork...

...but I had to take a moment to share this with you all. A while ago someone who knows of my fondness (obsession) with leopard print gave me some leopard print duct tape. I was completely tickled, but didn't really have a use for it. Until now! I saw the idea a week or so ago on another blog that I can't remember the name of. She used blue painters tape to protect and reinforce the edges of her cardboard cutting mat. You know, the one almost everyone has? So today as I was organizing my sewing space, I finally got around to doing my board. Ta-da!!!

It will fit in nicely with my leopard print ironing board. :) I'll have my polka dot Emma Pillsbury skirt to show you all tomorrow. Promise. It's my first day of school outfit so I have to finish tomorrow.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! Aloha!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Apparently, I'm crazy...

...Because I just finished ordering the Lady Grey pattern from Colette Patterns. That's right, peeps, I too, will be (attempting) participating in the Lady Grey sew-along that super cool sewing blogger Gertie is hosting. I'm pretty nervous to say the least. I have a few concerns.

1) I've never payed more than 3.99 for a pattern (Thank you Joann pattern sales), so twenty bucks for a pattern that might be too difficult for me is a little daunting.

2) As my husband lovingly puts it, I'm a "noob" (newbie, you all ya'll non geeky gamers). I have doubts that I can even complete this coat. However, Sarai did an interview with Gertie where she explained that the Advanced label on the pattern refers more to the abundance of pieces and the length of time it takes to sew it all, rather than the difficulty of sewing it. This makes me feel a little better. However, I've never done any tailoring. This makes me more nervous.

3) 5 plus yards of coat appropriate fabric is probably going to be expensive. I like to justify my fabric purchases by saying, "Oh, this is 15 dollars of fabric to make a skirt that would probably cost 90 bucks in the stores. I'm saving money!" I know coats are expensive, but I've never paid more than 70 bucks for one, so the idea of paying about that much for fabric that might not even get turned into a coat...madness! For now, I just won't think about that part. :)

However, I am not a logical creature all of the time, and even with those 3 pretty solid arguments against participating, I am indeed going to try. Madness, I say. 100 plus people are also in this crazy boat with me, so I figure what is the worst that can happen? :)

P.S. Polka Dot skirt of Fantastic-ness is near completion. :) :) :) It is coming together much better than the stupid Leopard Print Skirt of DOOM! Which I still have not completed. We've broken up for now.

ALSO: Joann's has 1.99 McCalls and 3.99 Vogues this Labor Day weekend. Woot!
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