Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Growing and Changing

Hey folks!

If you've stuck with me this far, thank you.  I appreciate it.  When I started this blog a couple years back, I was in a vastly different place in my life than I am now.  It's been a hell of a ride, and I'm grateful to all who've supported me through it.

That being said, this identity no longer fits me.  I've grown, I've changed, I've gotten better.  I've got a new world view, new goals, and a new mindset now.  So, I've decided to stop blogging here and move operations to a new blog at Mrs. S Designs.  If you've been following me here, I hope you'll follow me over to my new digs. 


Friday, April 19, 2013

A bit of shameless self-promotion

Money's been a bit tight since our elderly golden retriever, Sage, got sick, so I've been tinkering with a few things up in my sewing lair, and I've decided to try my hand at making a few accessories for sale.  I'm planning to start small with a few local craft fairs and etsy, and see what happens.

The best dog ever, with the best kid ever.  Not that I'm biased or anything...

First up, I made this phone cozy using my Android as a pattern:

It has two pockets, one for your smartphone, one with a velcro closure for reciepts, change, credit cards, etc.  The outside closes with a button from my awesome vintage button collection.  I have so many neat single buttons that don't deserve to linger at the bottom of a tin.

For my second item, I decided to buy a pattern from an indie artist.  Check out Artsy Crafty Babe's awesome pattern selection.  I used her "Phoebe" bag pattern on these, and I'll be using her "Ruby" pattern as well.  I have a stash of cool vintage fabrics, and some funky t-shirts I picked up just because I liked the design. 
Bags based on an original design by Rebeka Lambert, www.rebekalambert.com
The one on the left is a cool t-shirt I thrifted.  The chevron one turned out so cute I may have to keep it.  I'm also working on a messenger bag design of my own.  Pattern drafting is challenging, but rewarding.  It's great to see an image in your head become a tangible item.

It's my hope to get a few of these things up on etsy soon.  Feedback is welcome.  Tell me what you like, don't like, etc.  What features would you like to see in a bag?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Finished March muslin and April's stashbusting project

Here's my wearable muslin.  Apologies for the crappy cell phone picture:

I'm pretty happy with it.  This is the first time I have ever attempted major pattern alterations.  I lost the back facing, looked for it, gave up, and finished the neck and armholes with bias tape.  My zipper insertion seriously needs work.

April's challenge theme is color.  The plan right now is to use this crazy knit paisley with this 1972 pattern from my recent antique mall score.  My serger is broken at the moment, but my modern singer has a triple stretch stitch that works well for medium to heavy weight knits.  If the test stitches look like crap, I'll shelve the project until I get my serger back and do something else.


<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6725787/?claim=9eaxg7nrdve">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I'm not sure what that did, but I'm using bloglovin to keep up with all my favorite blogs, since google reader is going away.  The switch was pretty painless.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Muslin Madness and Epic finds!

So March's stashbusting challenge was something for the changing season, which was kind of a joke because in my corner of the world, winter just WOULD NOT GO AWAY!!  aaAARGH.  I've been dreaming of lovely spring days while looking out a window at snow.  But nothing lasts forever, even if it seems that way.

For my birthday I received the lovely book "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing" from my mom.  Thanks, Mom!  Her portrait blouse looked like a good beginner project, so I've been working on one.  I want a nice, go-to blouse to replace my ratty t-shirts with.  I'm hoping this will be a good wardrobe foundation piece, so I'm trying my damndest to get the fit as good as possible.  That means multiple muslins!  Muslin madness!!

I'm not sure what this yellow fabric is, some sort of polyester?  The important thing is that it was FREE!!  There's almost an entire bolt, and it's 60" wide.  Perfect for muslins, because I really don't give a crap if I mess it up!
If life gives you lemon polyester, take it.  Free shit is cool.

I did one muslin with the pattern as written.  There was not enough room for my boobage, so I did my first full bust adjustment using the method described in the book.  This one was better, but I still wasn't happy with it.  Since I'm an apple shape with big boobs, I wasn't feeling the waist darts.  That, and I wasn't sure I had re-drawn the front ones properly after the FBA. 

So for my latest muslin, which I'm hoping will be a wearable one, I omitted the waist darts entirely.  The fabric is a double knit polyester from an estate sale with a slight stretch.  I have a soft spot for 70's double knit polyester.  Something about the texture and color just speaks to me, even if they don't breathe/are itchy/most everyone else doesn't like them.  My first vintage dresses were A-line double knit numbers with huge collars.

The reason I'm a bit behind in posting March's project is that I went out of town with my son for spring break.  He had a great time with his Memaw, and I had a great time rummaging around in some antique malls.  I found a truly epic cache of vintage sewing patterns!  Even better, most of them were 40" bust or larger!

I'm planning to use one of these for my April project.  It will be my first time working with a vintage pattern.

Happy sewing!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Estate Sale awesomeness

Yesterday, I hit another estate sale.  I'm rapidly becoming an estate sale junkie.  The spoils:

Two tins full of old buttons and buckles.
Some were still on their original cards.  Check out these vintage graphics!

One tin of snaps, and hook-eye sets. 
 Not pictured-a special press cloth designed to protect velvets during ironing, still in its original package.

I'm already looking forward to the next sale.  Happy hunting!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February's Stashbusting Project: McCall's 6364

Hey all!  I've been stashbusting along, and have a new blouse(and a blouse fail).

Have you ever bought a piece of fabric, put it in your stash, forgotten about it, pulled it out months later and wondered, WTF was I thinking when I bought this???  Well, I tried to make a blouse out of several yards of shiny navy blue polyester that I must have been drunk when I bought.  Or high.  Or sleep deprived/off my meds/something...

Well, slippery fabric is not my friend.  That, and I totally FUBAR'ed the button placket.  Total wadder.

I refused to be discouraged, and decided to take a few steps back, sewing-difficulty wise.  Enter McCall's 6364
It's not as bad as the cover art makes it look.

I've been on the fence about this pattern since I bought it at one of those 10 for $10 sales.  The envelope art does it no favors, but I thought it might be a good warm weather top made up in a lighter fabric.  It works.

Unbelted, I swim in it.  But belted and worn over a pair of leggings or skinny jeans, I like it.  I'm not sure what kind of fabric it is.  I found it at the Punk Rock Flea Market for a couple bucks.  There was just enough to make this top.  Some kind of cotton blend, maybe?

I also made a little bag out of some oddball scraps.  I call it the Hipster Bag.

I used a pattern from "The Book of Bags".  Sizewise, it reminds me of the cute little bags I used to wear everywhere before I became a mom and needed to haul tons of my kid's shit with me.  The owl is a lucky estate sale find.  The branch is a no-sew applique I made with some iron-on stabilizer stuff.  If I had a chance to do this over, I'd lower the design and do that part first before constructing the bag.  Oh well.

I'm looking forward to March's Stashbusting Challenge.  I have some awesome stuff planned this spring and summer, and I want a kickass wardrobe to go with it.  Can't decide if I want to start with a top, shorts, or a bag.  Either way, I'll be glad to log some time at my machiine.  Happy Stashbusting!

Friday, February 22, 2013

This 'n that

Happy friday to all out in the intarwebz!

On the sewing front, I'm still stashbustin' along.  I spent most of last weekend working on a blouse only to royally FUBAR the button placket.  I'm annoyed, but I wasn't in love with the fabric and even fail projects give me practice sewing.  I also tackled my mending pile, which made my husband quite happy.  I think he despaired of ever seeing those shirts again.

I heard one of my brothers is setting off for Seattle this summer, so the smartass in me wants to sew him a couple flannel shirts.

In crafty news, I dug a craftFAIL out of the basement, and I'm working on making it over.  Back in our old neighborhood, the closest thing I had to friends were the family who ran the little six pack shop down the street.  Is that sad or what?  Anyway, they would give me random swag.  I've got tons of pint glasses, a couple t-shirts, and a soft sided cooler.  The cooler is very handy, only it's covered in the Budweiser logo.  I don't want to knock anyone who likes Bud, but I'm not big on logos in general.  I'm also kind of a beer snob.  So I attempted to decoupage a bunch of craft beer labels on to the outside of the cooler.  Sadly, it didn't work.  I forgot to take into account the fact that they'd need to bend with the cooler.

I still would like to dress up the cooler, so I'm going to try strips of fabric this time, glued down with a fabric glue that claims to be flexible when dry.  Hopefully it will work this time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A little sewing humor

"Mommy, why is the bunny angry?"

I guess she does look a little annoyed.  Maybe she doesn't care for fiberfill?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January stash busting project.

Here it is!

I finished the blanket just in time.  High loft batting is a major pain in the ass to machine quilt, but it was free, so I'll stop complaining.  Plus, it's out of my stash now!  Woohoo!

The binding is actually blanket binding, since that's what was in my stash.  Hopefully it will hold up.  I suppose I could have made up some binding strips, but I barely got this project done on time to begin with.  The kid was ambivalent, but then again, he has a huge lego set occupying his attention at the moment.  Not sure what I'll tackle next.  I have a craftster swap project on my table to complete, then I'm back to stashbusting for the forseeable future.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My stash spot

Okay...here's my stash:
Damn you, Jomar!  Why must you have such great sales?

There's some scraps under the ginormous cat.

A few things are becoming clear to me.  One, I need to stay the hell away from Jomar until this is manageable.  Two, I need plastic bins with lids unless I want everything pretreated with fur.

I'm making good progress on the kiddo's quilt.  It's made from scraps of his outgrown clothes and some fabrics he liked from the stash.  I'm aiming to make this a zero-spend project (all stash, nothing else bought).
Only issue, my batting is all pieces I've freecycled or got from estate sales.  I have some solvy left over from a previous project that I'm going to try to bond it all together with when I do the quilt sandwich step. 

So far, so good!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stashbusting sew along!

The other day I was in my sewing room pondering the mess it had become.  In just over a year of getting back to sewing, I have amassed a stash that is threatening to take over my workspace.  So when I read about the Stashbusting Sew Along, I knew I had to sign up. 

My stash is ridiculous.  I've been to one too many Jomar fabric freakout sales, and I live a short bus ride away from Gaffney (awesome) fabrics.  I've got stuff still in it's bags!  Pics will be forthcoming once I locate the camera, provided my son hasn't chucked it in the pet water dish (again). 

I'm hoping to kill two birds with one stone here, because I had another dumbass "closet full of clothes and nothing to wear" moment last night when preparing to go out. I'm tired of reaching for a t-shirt because I have no nice blouses.  There are so many gaping holes in my wardrobe it isn't funny.  If I can fill my clothes gaps and stash bust at the same time, that would be excellent.

I'm shooting for one project a month.  I think I can pull that off.  I'd rather set the bar low and surprise myself, then set a sky-high goal and kick myself for not meeting it.

First up:  a mini t-shirt quilt for my son.  I'm about halfway through the piecing.  His birthday is the 26th of this month, so that's my deadline.  I'd better get sewing!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Beauty products detox update

So I've been reading the labels on my grooming products and doing some research into what's in the stuff I slather on my hair and skin.  I've decided that for my peace of mind to make a personal "big 3" list of things to avoid:  Phthalates, Parabens, and Sulfates.

Why did I choose these three?  Out of all the reading I've done, these things stand out as being the most questionable to me.  Parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue, and may mimic estrogens in the body.   Phthalates have been found to mess with the endocrine system.  Sulfates in shampoos and personal care products can irritate the skin and eyes. Plus it gets absorbed into the skin easily.

I've been phasing out my old products and trying out new ones.  It's been a bit of a mixed bag.  I did find a few decent shampoo and conditioner options that were easy to find and not terribly expensive, although they all cost more than the "whatever's 2 for 5 or 2 for 7" I had been using.

So far I've tried:
Walgreens Ology Shampoo and Conditioner:  Pros:  Nice smell, occasionally went on sale.  Cons:  I can't seem to get my local Walgreens to stock enough.  Either they have all shampoo, or all conditioner, but never both.  Really irritating!!  Although to be fair, I think my local walgreens is one of the crappier ones.  When I found it, I paid 6.99 each

Aveeno Pure Renewal:  Pros:  Nice fragrance, Made my hair look nice and shiny.  Very easy to find-I have had no trouble tracking it down.  Cons:  When not on sale or I don't have a coupon, it's a bit on the pricy side.  It set me back 7.99 at my local Rite Aid.

Kiss My Face Big Body conditioner in Lavender:  Pros:  It seems to be a little cheaper than the other options I've tried, my hair did look nice and full after using it.  Cons:  Seems to be a little harder to find-seems to turn up more in fancier grocery/drug stores.  I don't really care for the fragrance, but I have yet to try the other varieties.  Paid 4.99 at Wegmans.

Next up, what's in my foundation?  And what will I do about it?