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Saturday, January 23, 2016

... And It Even F'in Zips!

This one. I'm super excited about this one!

So I've been putting off crafts for a hot minute. Not really for any reason other than after some sort of hiatus from crafting I'm always worried that I'll get back into it ending with a massive fail and I'll be shamed out of crafting for another hiatus. So naturally, I got wine involved and all fears quickly dissolved.

To Pinterest I went. I felt like sewing, so I thought this one was the perfect one to do. Can't be too hard to follow step-by-step video directions, right? (Spoiler alert: that was a true statement.)

First thing I did was get all my crap together.
Yeah - turns out I wasn't joking about the wine. I never joke about wine.

You'll notice I bought a fat quarter for this project. I used less than one piece of fabric for this, so when the lady in the video says this is a "scrap" project, she is not kidding. I actually bought a piece of fabric that I was in love with, and then decided I wanted it to be two toned so went out and bought the fat quarter for "accent pieces". My mistake here was that I didn't do it in the same run, so when I got home and put it all together...
Yeah, none of them matched my chosen fabric. So two fabrics from the fat quarter it was. Good thing I only bought one zipper. That was dark blue.

First thing I did was cut out all the strips and ironed them flat. You read that right: I ironed. To be super clear, I drunk ironed them. It's like serious ironing, but with less precision.

So I took the big piece and ironed on the fusible liner. The lady in the video says to use "fusible fleece". Turns out, I suck at finding fusible fleece, so I bought the first thing that I saw that was iron-on and called it a day. I'm really good at shopping, guys.
So I laid the big piece down, and the thinner thick strip on top of it. Then the thinnest strip on top of that and sewed it all down, per her instructions.
Then I squared it all up (this took a while - how do you get a straight line when literally all four sides are crooked?!), ironed everything flat, top-stitched like there was no tomorrow, and then cut the strip into two equal parts.
Next came the most stressful part of the ordeal: cutting the zipper. I had a ton of fabric; zippers I had one of. Luckily, I nailed it.
The way that this lady has you put zippers in is genius. I totally didn't even need my zipper foot! And, turns out, I couldn't figure out how to move my needle over either, but it worked out fine with the needle right in the middle.
I did mess up quite a few times. My top-stitching is not exactly on fleek. It's actually very crooked, despite my best efforts. I also ended up top stitching the zipper down twice because I didn't quite catch the edge of the zipper fabric the first time around. Or the second.

Once it was all stitched up, I flipped it inside out and VOILA. A bag.


I see a lot of these in my future. Although it didn't take me 20 minutes as in the video, it was legitimately quick and easy in the grand scheme of things.

Seriously though... I can't believe it actually zips.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This Post Was Supposed to be Tuesday Thursday - Christmas Stocking

This was one of the most frustrating pins to date, guys. Of course, this post would come after a Throwback Thursday that I posted to prove to you that yes, I do mess-up sometimes. Here's the thing though - this one was pure user-error. Nothing with the pin was wrong - instructions were great, easy to understand and legitimately was as easy as the lady said it was going to be.

This is how you know it is frustrating: I have a whole 3 pictures. A before... and two afters. Are you excited yet?
Fantastic choice in colors, Colette. Incredibly photo-friendly... #photofail

So no, the snowflake stocking is not mine. What is mine is the blue velvet underneath it. Now, as one big chunk of fabric it wasn't very stretchy. However, when you pin that stupid stocking to the stupid velvet fabric and stupidly cut it out - it turns into water. You heard me. Water. This stuff suddenly was super stretchy, fell apart when you cut it, and left behind all sorts of velvet fluff. It was quite ridiculous.

So I followed the directions to the T and ended up sewing the toe completely off. Yup - I essentially had a sack. I truly did think about stopping there and just saying it was a Santa Sack (see what I did there?) but I couldn't. I planned on making a stocking, a stocking I will make. Eventually.

After I ripped out the seam of that one (ultimately creating a ton more velvet fluff all over my machine - awesome) I sewed it all back up and managed to get it in a stocking/sock-like fashion.

I also made the hang thing about a foot longer than necessary, but a little bit of snipping with scissors and a whole lot of "I don't freaking care anymore" fixed that situation reallll quick.

In the end, I had a stocking that wasn't so bad. I was almost proud of myself.
Until I hung it up.
And it immediately returned to looking like a misshapen sack. I should have stopped while I was ahead on that one, I suppose.

Until next time... get hungry, because I'm pretty sure my next few posts are going to be surrounding myself with Christmas-cookie Pinterest things.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday Thrifty Sew (see what I did there?)

Well hey there friends :) If you weren't aware before, I used to have a blog that focused on (mostly) refashioning using my limited sewing skills. So far on this blog (cross your fingers here) I haven't had any major fails. So before I have you guys thinking I'm actually good at this crafting stuff, let me throw a little Christmas Throwback Thursday out there of a major fail that happened right before Christmas. When my blog was still new. And skills still mediocre.

To switch it up a bit... my comments to my own writing are in bold.

I'll warn you now - this is not pretty, and I'm not happy about it. I'm sure I'll re-visit this project at some point, (Note to self: stop lying to yourself and actually revisit it) but here's where it was left. This one was inspired by Pinterest, the site I'm extremely obsessed with and totally okay with that fact; (see? this blog idea was essentially born in 2012) it gives me a lot of good ideas. Recently, I had pinned an outfit that I liked and it had a boatneck sweater that was gorgeous. So when I saw this sweater, much like the one that I pinned, I had to snatch it up for $3.99. (Note to self: start shopping at Salvation Army again.)
Voila! It wasn't perfection yet, but I swore I could get it there. (Spoiler: I was wrong. Very, very wrong.) And yes, I realized that I did the "hand on the hip" thing again that I swore I wouldn't do. So... here you go.
This angle is worse. Thank God I went back to "hand on hip" pose immediately. So yes - no hand on hip happens, it's just not my favorite way to "pose". The plan: a) cut off turtleneck in boatneck-esque fashion (for those keeping tabs, this is literally where I went wrong on this one.) b) sew up the hem c) be done for the next 4 days of Christmas vacation and wear my sweet new comfy sweater for the drive between the parents houses.

So task A commenced:

Done. So far so good.  (This is a lie. As I've learned since, you don't cut the neck THAT much on a stretchy sweater.) So then I pinned it all around and sewed the seam to complete task B. This is where things got shady.(Too late, Colette. Too late) First of all, the sweater was puffy and didn't want to fit under the footer very well, so I may or may not have (read as: definitely did) freestyled a lot over the manufacturer's seams where it certainly wouldn't go under the footer when it was down. One would think this was the issue but alas, it was not (although it could have been. Who knows - I'm new at this.) So I finished the hem and put the sweater back on. And it rolled like no tomorrow, making a HUGE gap in between the sweater and my skin. (Gee - could this be because you cut off a shit ton of sweater at the top?) So I decided to do a second hem to make it a bit more stable. It didn't help.
When I walked out like this, my husbands first reaction was "it doesn't look bad. What's wrong with it?" (So supportively wrong.) And then I put my arms down and the whole thing fell down to my elbows. Problem found. So, I turned the whole thing inside out and pinched the top seams together. Knowing that this certainly would have been too thick for my sewing machine to handle, I hand sewed the seams together so it wasn't falling off my shoulder. To my absolute horror, this is what I saw when I put it right side out and put it on:
It looks like a shoulder pad in there, (or an arm boob. Is arm boob a thing? It is. It's pictured above.) but it most certainly is not. That is the result of my hand sewing at 11pm. I don't even know how this happened. The worst part wasn't even this nub(my husband called it a shoulder nipple) (SEE?) - it was the fact that I tried to cut off the excess fabric creating the nub, and ended up with a huge hole in the shoulder. This is where I threw in the towel for the night and decided that I would attempt to fix it after the holidays. For now - no cute and comfy travel sweater.

So there it is - Throwback Thursday completed.

And yes, this was a sweater that I planned on traveling in. In a car. With only my husband. 

The idea of this boatneck sweater still attracts me, thought, so I will revisit this idea at some point to see if my smart ass comments hold any water either. Plan to see this in the next few months.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sewing Sunday - Oh Christmas Tree!

This one is technically a YouTube video, but it was on Pinterest. Social media at its finest hour, really.

As you know, I am into the Christmas spirit. So far, I have all of my decorations out (except for a Christmas tree) and as I looked around, I knew that I needed more. To Pinterest I went! I found tons of stuff that I can't wait to try, but this one really stood out to me (mainly because I cleaned my craft room and needed to find stuff to do with the crap I didn't want to part with.)

After 3-4 more hours of Pinteresting (as you do), I got my items together and hunkered down for an hour project. Silly me - I should have known better.
This fabric was one that I bought from 3 huge bins full of fabric on Craigslist for $20. That was about 3 years ago, and the bins still sit in my craft room today pretty much untouched. When I cleaned today, I went through and found lots of flannel and plaid fabric - my favorite! When I completed kicking myself in the butt for not finding these jewels 3 years ago, I used the chalk roller to draw out a triangle - I did mine about 10" on each side.
Since I needed these to match up pretty well, I cut two at a time and pinned the centers so they didn't shift when I cut them. Then, I used them as a pattern for the next two and so on. All together, you need six triangles, paired up for three triangles, a la below.
You'll notice the two pins at the bottom of each triangle. I put these here so I remembered to leave a hole at the bottom instead of getting sew-happy all around.

Here's what you should do that I didn't: sew them with right sides together. Luckily, even though my tree is completely inside out, it doesn't look so bad because my fabric looked pretty much the same between back and front. I can't promise you'll be that lucky (although kudos, if you are.) Also, make sure to backstitch so you don't rip everything out when you turn your triangle inside out. (Did you hear that? That was experience, folks.

Once all sewn up, trim the two side seam allowances and trim the corners so they turn inside out flat, then turn your triangles inside out and push out all the corners with a pencil. Or a pen - I'm not picky. Once you have them all inside out, lay them on top of each other and sew a straight line from the bottom (cutting your hole into two holes) all the way to the top of the tree.
Here's the part that I thought would take 10 minutes, tops. This thought is a lie.
Stuff that tree for the next hour. You're welcome.

When stuffing, I started by stuffing the top point of all six triangles, and then filled the rest one at a time. Make sure you really stuff the fill into the tip. I'd say use your pen(cil) for this as well, but it turns out that there is a magical pusher inside the bag. Mind = blown. (Proof that I have not used this stuff near as much as one would expect when one owns 4 bags of Poly-fill) #poorchoices

Once all stuffed up, sew up the holes by hand and voila! You have yourself a tree. The lady in the video puts hers in a tiny terra cotta pot. Although this doesn't look near as cool, I see the appeal to put it into something because it's not what people call "sturdy" or "straight" on its own. But hey, when do you ever get a Christmas tree perfectly straight? We've all had the "it's leaning to the left! Now its leaning to the right! Just leave it alone - it's good enough!" conversation.

All in all, it's a cozy-looking, homemade Christmas tree that livens up a space in my house that didn't have nearly as much Christmas decor as I wanted. It's a pin win, I'd say.
Here's the breakdown (keep in mind, I didn't actually have to buy anything, but I'm going with the assumption that you don't have anything)
Flannel fabric: $7.64/yard at Joann Fabrics (on sale now)
General purpose thread: $2.79
Needles: $3.50
Poly Fill: $3.99
Total: $17.92
Let's be honest though, if you are a crafter and looking at sewing projects, chances are you will have scrap fabric, needles and a sewing machine that makes this one anywhere from free to a couple bucks for the fill.

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wino Wednesday - Easiest One Yet

Ever have one of those nights when you are sipping some wine and just want a super quick, simple craft to complete? No? Just me?

Well. Tonight was one of those nights for me. And I had the perfect pin! There's something about the pure simplicity of the second picture on the website that really tugged at my crafting heart strings. Plus, the tree looks difficult.

First, I got my supplies.

Not shown is the obligatory glass of wine full of... you know... wine. Get you some!

Next - I just went at it with the pen. It's truly that simple. Also, the pens I got worked so well! They dried fast, but were pretty precise and ran smooth over the glass. The trick to them is that how you use them and on what is completely trial and error. The single pens don't have any instructions on it except for how to get the paint flowing, so I just kind of guessed at it, as per usual. I did cheat a little - the store had a pack of 8 that had a few more words of instruction ("Great on glass!") so I went for it.

A couple five minutes later, I had my cute little glasses
Obviously, they are probably hand-wash only with a no-scrub rule, but I do see these being rather festive for Christmas.

You heard me - Christmas. It's almost close enough to being acceptable to bring out my crazy.

Seriously though - just picture it: a hand painted wine glass with some fancy chocolates in it wrapped in cellophane with a bright bow? It's almost like I'm writing your to do list for hostess gifts for you!

Here's the breakdown for this super simple one:
- 2 Painters pens (one gold, one silver) - $1.29 each at Walmart. Really, any paint pen would work.
- Wine Glass - $.96 at Walmart. *Side note: all of the glasses were this same price, so pint glasses, stemmed glasses, etc. will all be the same price. Get crazy and shit*
Total: $3.54 per glass (assuming you use only two colors)

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Enjoy your friends and family (and get some crazy deals on shopping, if that's your thing.)