Thursday, October 27, 2011

No more crafting until you finish your...crafts?

WWMy craft room basically looks like a tornado blew through...Projects tossed on every visible surface, scraps strewn about...its a disaster! Because of this, I am grounding more starting new projects, no more trips to the fabric store to oodle new fabrics, no more conjuring up new ideas, until THESE projects are done and I can safely maneuver around my sewing table again. Here are my goals for the weekend:

1) Finish the fall table runner

I didn't get to finish it in time for entry into last month's Celebrate Color (see last post), so it's going to have to be entered next month instead, but I would still like to get it done SOON so I can actually put it out and enjoy it this year.  I've made alot of progress since the last time I showed a picture of it; everything is all pieced, squared off and I ironed on some lining to give it a little structure, all that's left is to bind and top stitch.

2) Finish that darn wreath.

Yes, it is still perched in front of my fire place, which admittedly I do enjoy, but it's supposed to go on the door! I need to find a way to stabilize it (I used pipe insulation as the core, and the flowers are weighing it down when I try to hang it, so it turns out kind of oblong...) I have a few thoughts, it's just a matter of DOING IT!

3) Finish this purse

Ok, so I haven't mentioned this one yet. I started it probably around a month ago and then got so excited about fall projects that I put it aside. But its so cute! And all needs to be done is sew the lining and outer bag together and top stitch. Should be done in a snap.

4) Complete up to at least week 3 of the Advent Calendar

I'm pretty far behind in this (in fact, I'm not even posting a picture of it because it hasn't changed since the last one I took) so I'm not expecting to totally finish, but I'd like to make a litle progress on this.

I think these are pretty reasonable goals for the next few days...right?? As motivation, I've laid out this little number here:

This is part of the super fun fall decor project I mentioned before and I'm so excited to start.  Hopefully, not being able to start it 'til I'm finished with my other stuff will be motivation enough to get it all done. And if that doesn't get me goin, there's a sale at the local fabric shop that I always find GREAT stuff at, which, due to my aforementioned rules, I cannot go to if I don't get this stuff done...if that's not motivation, I don't know what is!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Costume Ordeal

So I had hoped to be blogging my progress on my Advent Calender, or maybe my Fall Table Runner for entry into Celebrate Color, but unfortunately I am STILL trying to finish a costume I had agreed to make a friend of mine a few weeks back, and man has this been an ordeal.  You see, my friend is doing an "All-Saints-Day" festival for the kids at her church.  She is dressing up like a nun, and her husband is going to dress up as St. Francis.  Her husband is about 6'3", and they could not find a costume to fit a man so tall, so she asked me how easy it would to sew up a simple tunic for him. I thought "Oh heck, shouldn't be hard at all! Nothin to it, sure I'll do it for you!" Well...having never sewed a garment before, and not having any sort of pattern, I should have thought this through a little more. But, oh well, no time to second guess this, I had to get started! We found a picture on line of the idea she had for it...

Yeah, so he's not supposed to look as creepy as this guy, but it gives the general idea of what we were going for.  My first step was to figure out how much fabric I would need...In some kind of crazy math, I came to the conclusion that I'd need about 6 yards.  After I had drawn up a lovely plan (ok, so it was a stick figure with a rectangle around it...) I ventured off to Jo-Anns for some cheapo brown cotton fabric and took it home to get started.  I cut out the part to be the robe itself with a hole for the head, and thought "Heck, this is going to be a cinch!"

 that's a whole lotta fabric....

I proceeded to measure out the shoulders and cut a spot for the arms, then I hemmed up the bottoms and sides, and thought now all I had to do was throw on some sleeves and a hood, bada bing, bada boom, we'll have ourselves a tunic!  I was quickly on my way to victory! I guess I got too confident too quickly, because this is where things started to go downhill...Did I mention that I was only going off of rough measurements, and wasn't able to actually put this on the person to make sure everything fit? I had my hubby try it on to give me an idea, but he's not near 6'3", so I was left to estimate...ALOT. 

On to the sleeves...I guesstimated a length, did my best to figure out how big the sleeve hole was to get the width, and cut myself a rectangle. Then, I cut it to curve with the arm hole, sewed it up so it was a tube, and proceeded to try to attach this thing...Needless to say, this was a disaster. Enter seam ripper. Maybe I needed to sew it on BEFORE I sew it into a tube...Nope, disaster #2...good thing I still had my seem ripper handy.  I started trying to think of a better way to do this, and finally decided I needed to maybe "google" how to attach a sleeve.  Yep, should have done it before sewing up the sides of the garment so it can lay flat to attach it. Alright, easy enough, nothin my good ole friend the seem ripper couldn't help me fix! So, garment apart, laying flat, I pinned and attached the sleeve. Success!!  Finally think I got it figured out, until I measured the length...dang, I had turned the rectangle the wrong way before I cut the curve, and wouldn't you know the sleeve is too short now...I attempted sleeve number two with the correct dimensions, and it was much better, so I felt confident to (ONE MORE TIME) rip the seams and redo the first sleeve.

Why hello there, BFF's...

Well by this time, I was running out of fabric, so it was off to Jo-Anns to get some more. 2 more yards should do it for one more sleeve and the hood.  I get home, cut out my rectangle for the other sleeve, and go to pin it on when I realized I had gotten the WRONG FABRIC!! Uuugggh you've got to be kidding me! Back to the store... (20 minutes away, mind you...) Grabbed myself 1 more yard of the RIGHT fabric (I figured I could use the other stuff for the hood thing, the color matched it was just a slightly different material).  I finally did get the second one attached, and I pinned up the sides to finish it off and turns out, the hems on the bottom don't match up! Duh...should have waited to hem the bottom... (hello again, seem ripper). Anyway, I finally got the sides all stitched up, evened out the bottom and hemmed it back up. PHEW! I don't really know what went wrong, but the armpit area wound up looking pretty wonky, but at this point...I was willing to let the slide so long as it fits him right.   

I packed it all up and brought it to my friend at work today so she can take it home to her hubby to make sure it fits, I made it extra long *just in case* so I'm expecting to have her bring it back so I can hem it up to final length. I'm still waiting to hear how it went...Tonight I made the hood, and surprisingly, that went together with no problems at all


God willing, this will all look good once its on and finished off with the rope belt. I hope to have a picture of him in it if all goes well.  One thing is for sure after this project, I now know that you can improv on some things, but garments (that other people are relying on you to make...) are not one of them! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crafty Holidays

Well, I'm not quite finished with my fall decor (remember that table runner and other super-fun sewing project I mentioned last week?), but I have gotten a jump start on my Christmas projects as well.  I *really* wanted to make an Advent calendar this year, so when I saw that one of the *No Excuses* Holiday Sew Alongs over at Sew, Mama, Sew! was a cute Advent calendar, I jumped right in! We are in week two, and I am making some progress...

Week 1--Fabric selection and cutting
Calendar 2

Calendar 3

Week 2--Fusing and top stitching
Calendar week 2

If you pay close attention, you'll notice that some of my fabrics keep changing as I progress, but that's how I roll. I tend to start off a project thinking of making it one way, and wind up making many changes in the process and it turns out totally different! But that's okay, keeps things interesting I suppose! Check back soon as I share my progress with this fun little sew-along, and to see my finished fall projects! Happy crafting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall is in the air...

Fall is perhaps my favorite time of year.  I love the flavors (pumpkin spice latte, anyone?), the colors, the holidays and, of course, the weather (life just feels so much more relaxing when windows are opened!).  I also love fall DECORATING.  Decorating for holidays is tough when you don't have a lot of money to spend.  To be able to get any substantial amount of decorations can cost a pretty penny, so I've been slowly building my collection, picking up 2 or 3 pieces a year.  This year, though, I am proud to say that I am crafting quite a few of my decorations, and able to do so much more because of that! Here are a few things I've put together so far...

Fall Flowers
Fall Flowers...Filled a mason jar with acorns, filled with silk flowers and tied some ribbon around it.  Since I already had the jar and ribbons, and the acorns were from the front yard, I only had to buy the flowers, which were 50% off at the craft store so only cost a total of $6.

.Cinnamon broom
Cinnamon broom!! Nothing really exciting about this...I just love the smell of them. I did wrap it with some ribbon just to give it some color though

Fall Wreath
Fall wreath, this is not quite complete (hence why it is perched in front of the fireplace rather than on the front door...) But I hope to make a tutorial for how I made this once its done.  All in all, it only cost around $10 to make so I am quite pleased with this one!
Table runner start
Lastly, this is what I am working on now. This is giong to turn into a fall table runner which I will reveal when its complete.

So far, I'm very excited about the way my fall decor is coming along!  I've also got another sewing project planned to start next that I think will be so fun! Come back soon to see how they turn out, and (hopefully) for a tutorial on how to make the wreath.

Happy Fall, everyone! :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Well Hello, Blogging World!

Welcome to my new blog! Here I will share stories about my sewing, crafting and all around DIY-ing. But before I begin, here are a few things you should know about me, and keep in mind as you read:
  1. I have a dry, sarcastic way about me, and I enjoy bad puns (thanks Dad)
  2. I am awkward
  3. Sometimes, due to the above, I say stupid things. Please forgive me.
  4. I am new to the crafting world, and this blog is my way of sharing with others how I came to embrace my crafty side! I hope to inspire some that may be like me and resistant to the DIY world, and maybe share a few tips as I find what works for me and what doesn't. Even if you don't need inspiration, I hope my stories are at least entertaining!
  5. With that said, I in no way tout myself to be an expert. I am learning as I go, and pick up knowledge here and there trough books and other blogs (and ok, I'll admit it...Pinterest, which I am newly obsessed with) with a few ideas of my own here and there. 
  6. I don't really know how to use this blogger thing, so please..if you have tips, help a sister out!
With that said, I'm excited to start sharing my projects. Thanks for following along!