November 30, 2006

a bag and an in-progress recon

I finished the bag on Sunday, and I never want to use this pattern again. For some reason, this one ended up being totally confusing, and I could NOT figure out how to keep the seams from being exposed in the more open part. I ended up just hand-sewing some extra fabric over it to compensate.

It's really hard to see it from the picture, but it has this criss-cross look to it at the top of the bag. I'll probably take a better picture later, when I can have better lighting for the job.






This is what I'm currently working on-- this is the skirt as it was originally, a slinky knit Goodwill find. I just don't like the way it clings to my hips. I'm turning it into a shirt, which so far looks like this:
It looks a little odd, I'm sure, in the front. That's because right now it's pinned together inside out on the dummy. It's going to be pretty much a mock wrap look. I'm trying to figure out what to do about sleeves, since I'd really prefer not to leave such a slinky knit sleeveless-- the armholes will be sagging in no time. I have a piece left from the upper back of the skirt, but once I take the seam in the middle out, it's going to be way too tight around my arms. The other option is, I've got one bias-cut triangle from the part of the wrap section that I've trimmed so far, and I'll have another once I cut the inner part of that off. So I might be able to do a kind of flutter sleeve with it. I'm currently leaning towards the latter just for comfort.

Got another swap to do! This time, a photography one. I have some ideas so far, so hopefully things will come together quickly.

I've also pretty much abandoned the etsy idea for now, mainly because it looks like I'm getting another part time job that will require me to get up very, very early, and therefore cut into evening craft time. So maybe it would be better for my mental health to keep the hobby for my own personal enjoyment right now.

November 22, 2006

Two new necklaces







I made this set last night, with the intent of adding it to my Etsy (though I think I need better lighting for the picture first.) The crystals are very neutral colored, though it's difficult to tell in this picture, and I made the length adjustable.
















I spent several hours today on this one--I got inspired while picking up some wire I needed yesterday. This one is going to be for my mom, either for her upcoming birthday or for Christmas. I haven't quite decided yet. I know it's only six legs instead of eight, but it still makes me think of the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden".

November 20, 2006

Moving on...

Well, now that the skirt's done, I'm moving on to my next project, which is a bag from this gorgeous Laurel Burch fabric. I'm using view C of Vogue 8274 (the blue striped one). Normally I like to design my own bags, but I just really liked the look of this one as is and the pattern was on sale. Besides, the colors of this one are much better suited for fall/winter than my beloved Warhol Bag (about halfway down the post), and I figured it would be a good project to do before trying any test versions of bags for my Etsy since it would probably have some nice designer detail ideas for installing the zippers and such that might help me make them look a little more professional.

The fabric was already cut out as of last week. So far, I've managed to get a couple pieces of interfacing basted on--it would have been more, but there was a bit of a mix-up. Turns out the woman who was cutting my fabric at Joann's on Saturday gave me sew-in stabilizer instead of the sew-in interfacing it called for, and silly me, I thought it was a new type of interfacing. My mom ended up catching the mistake and let me use some of her heavier-duty interfacing, but then I still had to cut out the interfacing pieces a second time, then undo the one piece I'd already basted. I was having a bit of machine trouble with it anyway, since the bobbin tension somehow ended up getting messed up. I'm not sure if it was me hitting something when I cleaned it out, or because my brother's girlfriend was using my machine earlier...

The peasant skirt from hell!!

It's finally done, though almost everything that could have possibly gone wrong with this skirt did.


Here's my story of how this skirt came together, which turned out to be the sewing equivilent of a Lemony Snickett tale:


  • I'd originally gotten this fabric with the intent of making the skirt from McCall's 5005, because I liked the non-elastic yoke and so far my success at trying to draft those myself has been nonexistent. I also bought the brown trim, which you can see the close-up picture of on this post. Joann's didn't have the yardage it called for on the pattern, so I'd have to special-order it. Upon recieving it, I brought it home...and promptly lost it. I still have yet to find it. Only slightly daunted, I proceeded to go back after a few weeks of fruitless searching and ordered more trim. This time, I managed to get it home (and onto the skirt) without losing it.

Then I took the pattern out to cut out and discovered the fabric wasn't wide enough for any pieces but the yoke. So, wanting to match the stripes, I figured out new lengths for the tier pieces and cut it to fit the more narrow fabric (mental note to self: Never again attempt to figure out numbers while watching Lost.) and cut out the yoke as originally called for. Silly me, I didn't realize that since the gauzy fabric stretches a bit, the yoke ended up waaaaay too big. (And, of course, I didn't think to check that until I'd already hand-sewn on the top row of trim. Doh!!) So then I took out the zipper, took the fourth piece of the bottom tier that I'd decided not to add into the bottom layer after all, resigned myself to an elastic waist and sewed that in, then finished sewing on the rest of the trim. Then I made the elastic casing, found out I didn't have enough of the right width of elastic for it, went to Joann's again (I needed to go anyway because I needed some zippers and interfacing) and got that, proceeded to make a far-messier-than-intended casing that I'm very glad no one can see from the inside because it looks awful, and finished it up last night. So now I can finally move on to something else. Like trying to figure out what to do with the yard or two (or eight or nine, if I ever find the rest of it) ot the trim I have left, since I ended up making my own pattern entirely instead of using theirs.

Also, I took the plunge... I opened an etsy shop. I'm still trying to get things set up so there's nothing in there yet, but hopefully soon...

November 13, 2006

Earrings! (and a half-finished skirt)



I've been on a bit of an earring kick lately. I paired off a bunch of beads last Thursday in between lessons, and have spent a little time assembling. The top four pairs (the brown and blue ones) were made on Friday, and I did the two green ones tonight. And yes, the ones in the bottom left-hand corner are supposed to be the same color, but I can't seem to get a good picture where all the colors are accurate in my current lighting (or lack thereof.)




And this is the skirt that's been holding up my sewing, now with trim completely on. It was such a pain to sew, but isn't it pretty?

November 8, 2006

low-key craftiniess

Things have been a bit slow for craftiness over the past few days-- I'm hand-sewing trim onto my skirt and it's holding me up. I've been kind of sick all week--nothing bad, just this weird cold/stomach bug thing. Today was definitely the worst. So I sat around a lot. Spent a couple hours tonight sewing trim, and a good chunk of time last night and today taking staples out of fabric—yes, you read that right. Someone gave my mom a huuuuge stack of fabric samples recently, and she decided to share the wealth since a lot of them had just enough stretch to make them bad for quilts and good for me. But they all had labels stapled in the corners, so I had to take them all out. There’s a couple nice pieces that have matching rectangles, so I’ve got a bag design sketched out to try with them. I just need to figure out how to stabilize the bottom.

November 4, 2006

getting caught up

I'm so far behind on my scrapbook it's not even funny. It's grad school's fault, since that's when I got behind. I still have a bunch of stuff from there I need to get in an album. But since I had a mostly-at-home Saturday for a change, I did a bunch tonight. Got six pages done (well, 12 technically since they're all two-page spreads) which for me is really good because it seems I'm always having to be artsy about it and then they take longer. My one throwback to my art-major days, as short as they were. But I guess as long as I have fun with it, that's the whole point, right?

I might try to get some pics of the pages in here. But not tonight. This cold's knocking me out.

November 2, 2006

Skirt progress and jewelry!

I was fortunate in that I had one piece of fabric left for the skirt, the one I didn't add to the bottom tier. So I took out the zipper and waistband tonight and sewed that on in it's place. I'll have to decide where to make the elastic casing now, because the ungathered tier is now way too long.



I also remade the earring my cat broke tonight, and made two more pairs:

Leftover stash beads. I love the star ones.

Part of me is contemplating looking into getting one of those Etsy shops and trying to sell some stuff on there. After all, I have plenty of supplies to use up. The rest of me wonders, does the online craft world really need another Etsy shop that would be likely selling mostly bags and earrings? :P

November 1, 2006

A minor setback (at least I hope so)

The good news is, I made some really good progress at getting the trim handsewn onto my current skirt project during Lost tonight. The bad news is, after the show was over I tried on the skirt, and due to the crinkly gauze it's rather big on me. If I hike the skirt up to where on my hips I wanted it to sit, the trim sits oddly, but if I move it so the trim sits well it's halfway down my backside. The trim is adding a lot to the skirt as far as tying the varying colored stripes together, so I don't want to remove it. I think if I can find a brown or something to match and just make a new waistband, that will help. But then there's the zipper factor. Maybe I should just try to find a knit and then take the zipper out, because right now, I can pull the skirt off without undoing the zipper anyway. Not good.



And because I can, here's my Halloween pumpkin of the year:

The horse design is based off one of the Rohan banners from Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know I'm a geek. :P