Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer PJs FTW

Next in my 'quest to finally blog the things I made months ago' comes this PJ set:

The robe is McCall's 6659 and was made quite some time ago with 5 yards of estate sale fabric. It was intended to be a muslin, but I ended up really liking the fit and print, although was never in love with the color. (Here's a picture of me looking silly to show what it originally looked like.)

When the Sleepwear Sewalong was announced over on the Facebook group, I figured it would be the perfect push to a) dye the robe a more suitable color, and b) make a matching tank top and shorts, since the robe didn't come close to using up the 5 yards I started with. 

The shorts are another pair of Purl Soho City Gym Shorts, but I unfortunately don't remember the name of the tank top pattern I used. (I know that it was a free PDF, but the pattern pieces aren't marked with the brand.)

You may notice that the dyed color and the original color aren't all that different...You can blame RIT dye and synthetic fabric for that. I bought a big bottle of blue RIT dye for this, envisioning a luxurious blue PJ set. Well, when I actually dyed everything, it turned out..purple. Which wasn't bad, I was just confused. Doesn't yellow + blue = green? Unfortunately, the nice purple color washed out and I was left with this slightly less-yellow set, but...still not too shabby, right?

Now I can feel semi-put-together when I'm lounging around the house! Hopefully I'll have one last robe to share with you in the next few days so I can complete my 6 sleepwear items! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Getting Crafty

Hello! So, you know how last time I was here, I told you about all of those unblogged sewing projects I needed to share? Well...that's not going to happen today. Instead I have a crafty home dec project to show you!

When I first saw the tutorial for this project, it was an immediate queue-jumper! When I was little, I loved collecting gemstones. Any time my family went on a trip, I'd pick up one or two, and display them proudly when I got home. As I got older, they stopped being put on display, and eventually I decided that, since I didn't have a use for them, I should get rid of them during one of our many garage sales. 

Lucky for me, my mom didn't let that happen! She saved them, and when I asked about them (having forgotten I ever planned to get rid of them in the first place), she knew right where they were. Talk about serendipity!

Apparently gemstones in home decor are having a moment right now, because around the same time I saw the tutorial, I also saw this display at Hobby Lobby. The frames were too big for my purposes, and I didn't really want to pay $15 a pop, so I (again) decided that I could make my own!

Finding the right frames, and finding any agate slices (that didn't have exorbitant shipping costs) was harder than I thought it would be, but in the end, I think it came together really nicely! My necklaces are no longer a tangled mess, and I'm more likely to wear a wider variety than I was before, since they're all out there in the open. Have you gotten caught up in the gemstone revival?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Just under the wire

Hello! As usual, I've been gone a while. I've got about 12 unblogged makes to post, but I've been really bad about getting pictures. Rather than catching you up on all of those, however, I'm posting my very latest make, hot off the presses. The July theme over at The Monthly Stitch is "spots and stripes," so I forced myself to finish this one today so I could blog about it there. 

The bodice is my tried and true Simplicity 4070, without the fitting issues under the bust that plagued my last one. The skirt is my go-to circle skirt. (Note to self: I maybe need to take a break from circle skirts, especially with shifty fabrics. It took forever to even out this hem, and then even longer to sew it. Ugh.)

Complaints aside, I really like the way this dress moves and think I'll really enjoy wearing it. I should probably shorten the straps just a bit, though, but...that seems unlikely at this point. 

I got the fabric at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. It's my new go-to store since Hancock Fabrics closed. Their quality is okay, but their prices definitely can't be beat! This was a splurge at $4/yard!

Looking at these pictures now...I'm really loving the fit of this one! To be totally honest, I've been having some body image issues lately. While I didn't really like my face in any of the other pictures I took, I do like how this looks on my body! That's one of the joys of sewing your own clothes, huh?

I think this is a first for me - on-theme for the Monthly Stitch, and on-theme for the Stashbusting Sewalong! What have you been making lately? Anything you finished just under the wire?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Lucky 100

Wow, I can't believe it's my 100th post here! Thanks for joining me for this momentous occasion. :-)

I'm not sure if you've heard, but this is Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. Given that June really snuck up on me, and I'm away for a business trip for a week, and after that I have friends in town (and and and), I wasn't planning to participate, but the stars really aligned to bring this project together.

First, I was cleaning out my closet. I found an unblogged skirt that I threw together last year, intended to be a maxi wrap skirt. However, I cut it a bit too short and could never get it to sit correctly, but last week I finally got around to pulling it out for a quick fix. Then, I saw a couple pairs of Purl Soho City Gym Shorts pop up on my sewing Facebook groups. The more I saw them, the more I liked them, and since I was waiting for a circle skirt to hang, I figured I could throw them together pretty quickly with the fabric left over from that skirt.  

Then I saw that the latest Seasonal Sew Wardrobe (SSW) contest was sleepwear, with a goal of making 6 sleepwear patterns in 3 months. And then I really got to thinking...hey, I could enter the shorts into the TMS contest as a new-to-me pattern company, and throwing in another new-to-me company might really bump up my chances of winning, and also get me a quick 2/6 items for the SSW!

All of this madness occurred to me around 9 pm on Friday, and I was putting the finishing touches on the shorts at 11:15 am Sunday, right before I was due to leave for my business trip (which provided a nice white bed as a background, another bit of serendipity!). 

Even if it weren't for the SSW, I think more PJs would be in my future...and certainly more City Gym Shorts! (Out shopping today, I saw some shorts that looked like they were made from the exact same pattern - for once I'm on-trend!) What about you - have you gotten the PJ bug yet? This set is so cute and comfy, I'm glad I finally made a matching one like I wanted.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A before-and-after 3 years in the making

I love auctions. Like, really love them, which is why I'm so sad that I haven't been to one in probably 2 years. The timing just hasn't worked out with my work schedule, but when I was in grad school, I could go much more frequently. (There's an auction house about 5 minutes away from where my parents live and they sometimes have some really great deals.)

During that time (3+ years ago), I stumbled across this desk. I didn't pay too much attention to it until after the bidding started. "$2...$ I have $3? Anyone? $3? Going once..." - I had to snap it up for that much. It had good bones and I figured I could redo it to use as a sewing table. 

My  mom thought I was crazy, but I knew what I was doing. I faithfully brought it with me to grad school, then to my first apartment back in Chicago, then to my house...And all the while, it sat there sadly as a an ugly reminder of my failure to compete my to-do list. 

Despite the delay, I was making plans, slowly. I initially thought that something like this would be cool, but didn't have a projector to be able to accomplish that. I knew I wanted something travel-themed to fit in with the rest of my decor, but wasn't quite sure what kind of blue to use yet. At one point, Ace Hardware had a really great deal on quarts of paint (only $1 each, limit 10!), so I stocked up on probably 8 shades of blue. Finally, one day I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect:


I "discovered" this pin nearly a year ago, and yet, it still sat, and sat, and sat. Finally, this spring, I stumbled across this map craft paper at JoAnn:

It was decided. The first warm weekend after I found that paper, I was outside getting everything ready. I used a new sander my parents had bought me and some primer I had on hand...and then promptly ran out. I decided to do the rest without primer, and you know what? It worked out just fine - that paint has really good coverage!

Once I had the base coat done, it was time for the next step - the decoupage. I was nervous about this, because I pretty much always manage to screw it up, and this time was no exception.

That happened after I tried to even up some of the rough edges before it was done drying. Luckily, I fixed it up, and I have to say, I'm pretty darn happy with the results! 

Those knobs don't match completely, but I still think they're a great touch. So happy I stumbled upon them in the Hobby Lobby clearance section!

So glad that I finally got this done! What's the longest you've waited to check a DIY project off your to-do list?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hello hello!

(Not the Adele song.) So...I was gone from the blog for a while. Obviously. But I've still been making things! Albeit a bit more slowly...

First up, a matching cowl and ear warmers:
 (This is really just a sneaky excuse to show you my Iceland pictures, hehe. This one's at Kerid Crater Lake.)

This cowl was originally supposed to be a shrug along these lines, but...that didn't work out so well. It was so ill-fitting that I don't have any pictures. (I'm still confused about how a seamed-up rectangle could fit so poorly, but...) I un-seamed it and re-seamed into this big, cozy blanket cowl. The thing is huge, but it certainly kept me warm in the cold and wind!

(At Gullfoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. I stood there and stared for quite a while, feeling it rumble under my feet.)

I'm glad I made the earwarmers, but I wish I'd made them a bit wider. They had a tendency to fall down and/or not quite cover everything they should have. 

I also started making a matching hat before I left. I didn't get it finished before leaving, but faithfully packed it in my suitcase, thinking I'd have some time to finish it on the plane, or at the airport, or at night during the trip. I seriously overestimated my energy level (hiking + driving every day was incredibly exhausting). 

This cable-tastic hat was actually pretty easy...I think I finished it a week or two after Iceland, once my jet lag subsided. (I was mostly just tired of seeing it sit on my coffee table...)

When oh when will I learn that last-minute vacation projects never work out all that well? Have you fallen victim to the vacation trap? How did yours turn out?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Home Sweet Home

When I first saw Satsuma Street's patterns, I was in love. The only problem? I hadn't been to any of the cities she'd created. So I waited, patiently (or not so patiently) for her to create any of my favorite cities. And then, one magical day, I discovered not one, but two!

I already had all of the supplies I needed on-hand, because when I was younger, my mom used to cross stitch. She seemed to enjoy it, but there weren't really any modern designs out there that attracted me. Until this one. 

This project was certainly a labor of love (with a long, less love-filled pause between start and finish). Cross stitch takes TIME, guys. Lots of and lots of time. Thankfully, I think it was worth it. This design now graces the wall in my sewing room, and I've got my next project all lined up. 

On an unrelated note, I'm starting to sell of some of my crafting supplies on Instagram. Follow @forwhoitsfor_sale to see all of the goodies. First up: 40s and 50s sewing patterns!