Sunday, April 1, 2012

My green thumb...hopefully!

It was my goal this year to grow something I can eat, simple task right? I HOPE! I bought some seeds at ACE...cilantro, rosemary, basil and tomatoes...They are the cutest little things, I have NOO idea if I am doing this right...but so far so good!
To start the seedlings, I used an egg crate...
 Packed in a bajillion little bitties and covered them with dirt, watered them each day and....drull roll please!
 They are popping up!!!!
Such cute little things...now the hard part though....WHAT do I do when they are too big for the egg crate!

Framed Chalk Boards

The roommates and I have been slowly decorating our humble abode. I found two frames in a garbage can (classy) a few weeks ago. We decided to paint chalk board behind them to add a message board in our kitchen and a score board by our dart board. 

 Anyone need a drink?!

2 Piece Dress

Ever have that problem where you LOVE the dress but hate how it fits? Straps too long/short, neckline too long/short ect ect. Well there is this tank top at Heartbreakers in Uptown that fits me perrrrrrfectly. SO! I decided to attach a skirt to it and make it into a dress! 
 I made the base of the dress a "bubble" dress, I folded over the fabric so each side has the fabric face up. The size should be from the bottom of your bra to the length you want it (right above the knee). Wrap the fabric about 1.5 times around your waist and cut there (I am not really into precise measuring...have you noticed?!)
 This is kind of hard to see but I wanted to show how I stretch the elastic. I measure increments in each piece (the elastic band and the fabric). Measure 1/4. 1/2 and 3/4 (or more if needed). This will help know how much to stretch the elastic when you stitch (zig zag style!)
 Here is how each side should look

 I cut the skirt into two to make it easier to stretch the elastic, here are the two pieces finished
 Put on the tank top you bought to attach to the skirt. cut it a few inches below your bra line
 Visualize the dress....
 Pin the tank to the skirt and stitch, long stitches to allow the dress to expand.

Here is the flip side. Next you will sew a band to tie across the seam. Mine was 3 inches and I wrapped it twice around my waist...Still need pictures of it on! Stay tuned!

Simple Dress

After completing the skirt I decided to venture onto a dress. I wanted to try a tank-connected-to-a-skirt dress and bought all of the material, but then got stitch shy. I drew up the dress, thought about the connections in my head but still was scared....so to delay the making of that, I decided to make a VERY simple dress to get going on my full-dress-making goal.
 I chose a printed fabric (gutsy!) and cut the pieces. You will need 3 pieces (if you can count and see 4 in this image...that goes to show, sometimes things don't happen how you think they will!) The large piece should be the length of your shoulders plus 6" (this will be the back of the dress). The length should be from your shoulders until right above your knees. Then you will need 2 front pieces, this will be the same length as your back, cut it into 10" strips. You will also need an elastic band (mine was 1/4") to make the dress not look like a fat suit
 You will sew it inside out lay the large piece front side up and the two strips on top, make sure the corners touch, there will be a gap in the middle. Stitch the left and right side of the dress, it should be even on the bottom, and stop the stitch about 10" before you hit the top- this is where your arms will go through. Then you will stitch the shoulders in, start at the top corner and stitch in- making sure the gap between the two strips is large enough for your neck!

Still with me...?!
 Measure the elastic band just below your bra line, cut off about 2 inches so its snug and not too loose. Pull the elastic tight and do a zig-zag stitch over it so it'll expand.
Here is the final product! I wore it out the other night for my little sisters 21st birthday, I put on a belt over the elastic to hide the zig-zag stitch

Maxi Dress

For my first try at a skirt, I wanted to go as basic as I could. I went with a Maxi dress design with a simple elastic waist. I bought 2 yards of jersey fabric and went to town.
 Materials you will need: about 1.5 yards of jersey fabric, an elastic band (I chose a 1in. band) and matching thread. Measure the length from your hip to the floor. Cut the fabric that measurement by 1.5 yards
 Cut the elastic band the length of your waist, at the location you'd like the dress to sit. I cut mine 2 inches shorter to keep it from falling down.
 Fold over the fabric and lay the ban on top, you will be sliding the band through the hole you stitch, so make sure you are giving yourself enough room.
 Stitch across the whole skirt and thread the elastic through securing it on each side.
 Fold the dress inside out to stitch the two ends together
 Fold inside out and you have your dress!
Final product! My next goal is to do one with a folded over waist...anyone have success at this?!

Yoga Bag

I have started to go to Corepower yoga a bit more regularly. I had an elastic band over my bag but my mat always seemed to fall out of it on my walk over. I like to bike to yoga when it is nice out which makes is harder to carry my mat. Using some left over fabric I stitched together a bag which also had room for a water bottle and a towel leaving me hands free to ride my bike!
 Here are the materials needed for the project. Thick fabric, matching thread, and the yoga mat/water bottle/towel to help with measuring
 I made the bag about 1-2 inches thicker than the mat to help fit my yogi-toes towel and incase I slacked on the rolling! I also hope to get a thicker lululemon mat soon...feel free to buy one for me :)
 I cut the fabric for the tubing and loosely wrapped it around the mat. I then folded a piece of fabric in half and pinned it over the water bottle to ensure it would fit.
 Here are all the cut pieces, you will also need a long strip about 3 inches thick and a yard or so long to wrap across your body in order to carry it on your back.
Here is the final product! I sewed a loop at the top to pull a draw string through to tie the towel and mat in. Let me know if you have any questions! It was quite easy, if I did it again I would choose a mesh fabric to allow the mat to breath a bit more :)

More Sewing Practice

I wanted to work up to make my own dresses/skirts. Before that, I knew I needed more time behind the needle to get all of the kinks out. I needed a sunglasses case and a yoga bag to store my mat in: game on.

I first tackled the sunglasses case. I had bought some vinyl that was on sale at the fabric store, I spent a bit of time testing out the different stitching designs I could do on my machine and loved out the zig-zag looked against the gray vinyl. I used a simple envelope design that I hope to make into a large clutch someday...here is how it turned out!




Meet Elna

Everyone, I would like to introduce to you, Elna. I got her as a present for my birthday last October, but was immediately side tracked with school/work/holidays and finally got to put the pedal to the metal this past month. I haven't used a sewing machine since I made my father a TV cover for his garage, so I wanted to start small and work my way up. I found this great tutorial on how to make a bow clutch and tried it out for size.
First I made this red one, I used a light weight interface and made it a bit taller than the tutorial suggests. Although it is a bit flimsy, if the clutch is filled it will keep it's shape. 

 This was my second shot at the bow clutch, I used a VERY thick interface here, making it very difficult to tuck it right side out at the end and feels a bit too stiff.
 I then tried for my own design , turned out different than I envisioned in my head, but still works the same!

A few suggestions when trying this yourself:
1: Get a good interfacing to ensure the clutch will keep it's shape. Lightweight is too thin, but hard as cardboard is too thick. A good Heavy interfacing is perfect. It hardens when you iron it to the fabric
2. Try to match the zipper with the top fabric, especially if you a new at this and kinda shaky with the thread lines, it helps to hide the imperfections
3. Choose a heavy fabric, jersey/silk will be too flimsy
4. BE PATIENT...and have a seam ripper on hand :)