Sunday, December 23, 2012

I finally got my handmade Christmas gifts finished today! And I remembered to get pictures of the good bits, even if they are weird night-time shots, haha. I think at this point, poorly lit shots just have to be accepted as the norm around here, as night is the only time I remember to take pictures, and really, this time of year it's dark all the time anyway. And I live in a basement. (every time I start a sentence with "and", I remember my 12th grade English teacher saying that you can only get away with doing that if you're Margaret Atwood. And then I do it anyway :)).

Archie is wondering why Headless Sarah is in the middle of the room
I made this apron for my man's sister, who I adore, shares (if not surpasses) my love of tacky things, and who's favourite colour is green. It took me ages to find a fabric awful and wonderful enough, but when I saw this one, it was the clear winner! I helped a friend make this pattern up for herself ages ago, and liked the weight of hers after we added a backing fabric to the main body, so this one is lined with...

not lime zest green, more the colour of limeade from concentrate, haha

Lime green eyelet! I didn't know anyone made such a thing, and given the large bold of it on the clearance wall, nobody but myself wanted anything to do with it, but at 4$/m I couldn't resist. Ok, lets be honest, I probably would have paid full price for it; but not having to meant that I got a whole bunch, and have grand plans to make the rest into Tasia's new Hollyburn skirt pattern, in view B, with hot pink buttons on the waist tabs (rubs hands together schemishly).

I would also like to make this apron pattern up for myself before returning it to my friend, but so far the right fabric hasn't jumped out of my stash. A serious sewing closet tidy is in store after the holidays though, perhaps something will be unearthed.

so much photo manipulation to get close to irl colour...
And for my man's mom (who I also love to bits. Seriously, I have the coolest in-laws), a chain mail bracelet and earring set just like the one I made for myself, only in a lovely violet anodized Niobium. May I just say, chain mail is a bitch to photograph in low light, so the picture is messed about with something fierce, but that is basically the colour it looks in reality. Also, only leaving myself two days to make the bracelet was not the best planning, and my still-weak-even-18-months-after-having-tendonitis wrist is pretty sore, but I will call it a learning-what-not-to-do experience.

I wanted to do the bracelet in full persian weave, instead of byzantine like the earrings, but upon trying it out, I discovered that the aspect ratio of these rings just can't do it. Or possibly I just couldn't figure out the confusing instructions, but trying something new when the end result is a gift probably isn't the best idea anyway. You win this round, persian 6-in-1.

These are being added into holiday patterned tins, filled with home-canned apple sauce, cranberry jam, mason jar cookie mixes, and various odds and ends. I would try to get pictures of those too, but my camera batteries are charging, and I haven't wrapped anything yet. Tomorrow, festive baking and a very non-traditional holiday dinner with my mom, a present wrapping extravaganza, and the Garfield christmas special with my man and a fuzzy blanket. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Though I would pop in to show off my first set of chainmail jewellery :).

Byzantine weave bracelet and earrings

made from 20 g 2.77mm ID bright aluminum

Not the best pictures, but you get the idea, haha. Besides, any clearer and you would be able to tell that I'm very much still learning how to close the rings smoothly! Actually, you can see how much I improved by the end of the bracelet compared to the start, so I'm feeling pretty pleased. I got the prettiest violet anodised Niobium rings to make a similar set for my boyfriend's mom for xmas, I hope she likes them!

Normally I'm a big christmas grinch, how silly to be forced by social convention to celebrate a religious holiday I don't believe in bah humbug and all that, but this year it seems kind of fun. Maybe I'm just falling into my man's habit of every-other-year holiday spirit :). I've tracked down festive movies from my childhood, everyone is getting handmade gifts, and I'm quite looking forward to christmas baking with my mom. I'll try to remember to get pictures of everything!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I've made loads of stuff in the last while, but haven't managed to get pictures of most of it yet. Here is what I whipped off in the last couple of days though, a selection of tops using Zoe's free camisole pattern:

can you tell I like pink and black?

There's pink with black/white polka dot elastic, pink/black check with black elastic and (lots of) bows, blue/black check with black elastic and slightly fewer bows, and black lace w/ black lace straps.

excuse the crappy night time pics on my bedspread

I just got two bags of bows in the post a few days ago, and apparently they are going to be on everything now. Zoe's pattern is perfect, and I can see that I might very well end up with more of this top than is entirely necessary, especially since it takes about half an hour to make! The only thing I would change about it is the size chart: instead of being in bust size, it's in dress size, so I had to do a little research (ie. googled it) to see how that translated. Although if you actually buy clothing, this probably isn't an issue! I ended up using a size 12, and it fits like a glove. The only change I made was chopping 4 or 5 inches off the bottom, since I like shorter tops. I'll try to get some action shots of these when I photograph all my other new makes, but until then, enjoy a preview of my entirely me-made halloween costume :)

with co-workers cropped out for discretion

Saturday, July 28, 2012

dresses, a skirt, and blatantly ripped off ideas

I finally cracked open one of my fourties era patterns, and made some dresses out of what was supposed to be a night dress. I'm so scandalous, haha.

black cotton lawn (and newly strawberry hair)

ties in the back, don't mind the wrinkles

It was originally floor length, but I hacked a bunch of the skirt off to make a better sun dress. other than that this is exactly how it came out of the envelope. Loose fitted garments are so much easier to make!

dopey look and a big gate

it was rather windy, haha

While I had been planning the black version of this dress for months, the pink one was completely spur of the moment. I saw the fabric in my local craft store and had to make it up right away. Originally I thought of it as a trial run for that pattern before cutting into my real, well thought out black version, which of course resulted in me wearing this one about three times as often. Why are the unintentional projects always the ones that end up most loved? At least in my closet :).

standing in the bush/shade to photograph pale fabric

hello bush, such a nice day to run around in the yard, isn't it?

In fact, I liked the pink rose dress so much that I had to go back and get the same fabric in the green colourway. And a larger rose print in blue! The blue needs to be some sort of, as yet undecided on, outrageous shirt, but even before I got out of the store, I knew the green was going to be this tiered skirt. Yay for comfy elastic waists, and garments made entirely of rectangles! It was so simple that the Japanese pattern book I got the pattern from didn't even have pattern pieces for it, just the dimensions of the rectangles and how many of each. It has a little self fabric bow at the waist to indicate which is the front, but I didn't get a picture of it.

On my sewing table (dining room table, really) right now is a black batiste Violet, and an asymmetrical lolita skirt that will probably be shelved for a while, as the fabric is too warm to wear right now anyway. Also, I just discovered the delightful Cindy at Cation Designs, and her wonderful idea to use sheets (especially kids superhero sheets) to make dresses. Needless to say, I now have a selection of retro geek sheets in the mail, and can't wait to make them into the cutest dresses! The only catch being that I refuse to wear nerdy paraphernalia unless I can have an intelligent conversation about it, so now my love of sewing has combined rather unexpectedly with my love of comics, as I must at least start reading about each superhero before the dresses get made. What a tragedy ;).

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I was inspired by all the pictures around the internet of people's Renfrews, so I got a copy of the pattern, got a bunch of jersey, and got over my inherent fear of knits!

My  first try had my usual adjustments (lengthen above the waist, swayback), and it was great for figuring out what settings my machine needed for knits and getting confidence with construction. However, there was way way too much ease for my liking in the size 10 the envelope said I should be using. Enter another round of tracing and altering and generally fiddling with the pattern, and I have this:

This time it is a size 6, 1" added above the waist, 6" (!)  hacked off the bottom (I like my shirts to end near the waist, apparently), 1 1/2" swayback adjustment, and a shortened waist band to account for the new seamline width.

I used the leftover pink bamboo rayon from the first (semi-failed) version for the waist and sleeve bands, as it was conveniently an exact colour match (at least I'm consistent in my colour lust, haha).

It didn't occur to make a pattern matching attempt until it was already all cut out, der. Maybe I'll remember when I'm working with the blue/black version of this fabric that's in my stash.

So there you go, knits aren't half as tricky as I had feared, and I have a new pattern obsession. This one got whipped off yesterday in between going to buy more hair dye and lazzing about with my man, and I've already finished another one in purple!

Doesn't exactly match my hair, haha, but similar!

I plan on trying out all of the neckline options, and possibly patterning some new ones if I get gutsy, but the sleeves will probably stay short; I always seem to overheat wearing long sleeves, and am actually contemplating how I might make this sleeveless.

Anyway, there's already a pretty blue version with the scoop neck option, sitting cut out and ready to go on my table, but that may have to wait until after some gaming. Wouldn't want to be TOO productive :P.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

velvet and satin

I was feeling a definite lack of knee length black skirts, so I used the black duchess satin originally bought to make some fourties style trousers and made myself a cute little skirt. And of course it needed a ruffle. And a bustle. And now I wear it every other day because who doesn't love a ruffly bustled satin skirt for day wear, haha.

For christmas my mom took me fabric shopping, and I've been feeling gothish lately, so everything I bought ended up being red or black. Being a sucker for velvet, I pounced on a bright red piece when I realized it was both stretchy and machine washable. When my boss called this morning to say it was a snow day and not to come in, some sewing was inevitable, so I finished off a nice red top. It's even fairly warm, so I actually have a vaguely season appropriate piece of clothing now!

Both pattern I made myself, although I did reuse the neckline and armsyths from my red plaid dress. The skirt is six panels, with an extra three slightly shorter over the top in the back. the overskirt has ribbon sewn into channels in the center seams and pulled up to create the bustled effect.

The gathering on the front of the shirt was actually a last minute addition, after trying it on and deciding the neckline could be more awesome. Now it makes me thing of disney princesses for some reason, hahaha.

I will probably do another swayback adjustment on the top pattern before I use it again, there is still a little bit of fabric gathering there, although not enough to bother me on this piece. I think the pattern would be cute with lace sleeves, don't you?