Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Refashion Pledge

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pant Cuffs Galore!

Max has grown taller than last year, but not any heavier, so it's difficult to find pants that fit. Since he has plenty of room in his pants from last season, I decided to simply add some additional length with cuffs. It's a super easy process and a great way to use up scraps! If the bottoms of the pant legs are a little worn, I simply take a strip material that is twice the size of the cuff I want, fold it in half and press. I press the tops over 1/4 of an inch and then pin the cuff around the bottom of the pant, encasing the pant leg in it.
If the pant leg is in good shape, I simply fold the cuff in half, pink the edges, and pin it around the inside of the pant leg (not encasing the bottom of the leg).

For either method, I sew around the edge of the cuff, fold a clean edge where the fabric meets, and sew a seam. Turn the pants right side out, fold up cuff and press. Bingo! Instant length, and a little style to boot!

I actually got started on my Sketchbook Project this weekend. I mostly prepped pages, but I have a concept I'm working with, finally, and hopefully more completed pages this week. I'll post my progress on Wednesday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shoe Lust

I have sneakers, but I haven't bought a new pair of real tennis shoes in years. My favorite pair ever was a retro red style from North Face, and I still have them, even though they have paint splatters and the heel is splitting off. I found a great red pair on Endless, on sale no less, yet when they came today, they ran about a size too small. Shoot. So I found a few more on Zappos

Aren't those Dr. Seuss Chuck Taylor's amazing? They have several different styles, but I loved the sketched look.  However, right now I need a walking shoe. I ordered three pair (hopefully one will fit). Can you guess which ones?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It Has Arrived

My sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project arrived this week. It's a good size - small, but not too small, enough pages for evolution without being overwhelming.

The theme I chose was "I'm Sorry I Forgot You," and the possibilities for this theme are still drifting in and out of my conscious thoughts as I go about my day. I'm also pondering whether to stay with one medium throughout the whole piece, or to experiment. I want it to be cohesive without becoming boring. So, have you decided to join the project yet? The deadline to sign up is October 31. If so, what theme did you choose?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Scrap Bag Tutorial

Does this look familiar? Do you have a scrap bag/box/closet that is overflowing? I certainly do, so I have made a conscious effort lately to use my scraps after a project is completed (for headbands, bookmarks, dog collars), but that still didn't make a dent in my established collection of bits. What to do? Make scrap fabric panels! These panels can be made into practically anything. Here I'll show you how to make a simple bag, but they also make great place mats, table runners, drawstring sacks, and sewing machine covers. The possibilities are endless! Let's begin.
Iron your pieces before sewing. Yes, you could skip this step, but your finished piece will look better if you don't.
Grab two pieces and sew them together. It doesn't matter if they are different lengths or even different shapes; just make a seam.

Throw another piece on there and seam. As you can see in the picture above, they don't need to match up perfectly, just seam
and trim after.
 Don't worry about odd spaces such as this.
Simply patch over it by pinning a piece over the hole and topstitching.
Create two panels and press seams flat.
Trim both scrap fabric pieces and two lining pieces to desired size. My bag was approximately 10 x 12 inches. Place right sides together and seam three sides on both lining bag and outside fabric, leaving the top open.
Sandwhich the liner inside the outer bag, right sides together. I tucked a loop of elastic inside, since I'll be hanging my bag in the laundry room.
Sew around the top, leaving space for turning.
 Turn right side out and press.
You can slip stitch the opening closed, or simply top stitch around the top of the bag. Voila! What am I using this little beauty for, you ask? Well, it's actually the waste bag in my laundry room. I used to hang a recycled plastic bag, but it was so ugly. Now I have a beautiful little place to stash all that dryer lint!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Cake Actually Fell!

At nine Wednesday night I finally begin making cupcakes so Max could bring one to school tomorrow (another student is bringing cupcakes for his birthday). I realized an hour before that I was out of gluten free cake mix, but I found a recipe in a GF cookbook and thought I'd be okay. I should add that this was a cookbook I never use, full of starchy recipes, and the one bread recipe I tried from there was not impressive. So, why did I think I could make a decent cupcake from this book? Good question. I have no idea...
and this was the result. Yah. I have been baking for many, many years, gluten free baking for a year now, and I've never had a cake fall. Until now. So at 10:00 at night, I'm at Safeway hoping they have a gluten free Betty Crocker mix. Thank you, Betty.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the Hamster Wheel

The beginning of the school year always makes me feel like that teddy bear hamster running as fast as those little legs can, around and around and around to nowhere. I have not settled into a pleasant rhythm of the day yet, but I know it will come in a few weeks. It's just hard managing until then, sometimes. Today Madeline hoodwinked me into a two and a half hour walk (the girl is a born cross-country runner, I tell you! Obviously that does not come from my side of the asthma inhaler), on a fairly suburban portion of our Marsh Creek Trail. We still practiced identifying trees and birds, but it was a lizard that ran across the sidewalk off of the trail that really captured her fancy. She tried to literally capture it, but with no luck (but much luck for the lizard, I do believe).
A new design came off of the Yudu this weekend, created especially for Aunt Dian (wink).

(Her shirt was much bigger than this one, by the way.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Busy, busy busy

Well, I have been making a small dent in my stash over the last few days, still on the Great De-Stash Challenge. This dress of Madeline's got the scrap applique re-do a little while ago.
One finished pair of baby pants, hooray! I have 5 more cut out and ready for the machine. I also have three pairs of shorts fresh from the cut table, and two Halloween dresses in the planning stage. Yes, I bought new fabrics for the dresses because I didn't have enough black and white in my stash, and the dresses have to be matching. The ruffle, at least, is from the fabric closet!

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
I am very excited about yet another commitment I've dropped on myself - The Sketchbook Project.  Each participant signs up for one of their given themes, pays a $25 fee, and is sent a Moleskine sketchbook to fill by January.  The books will be touring the country and eventually come to their final resting place at the Brooklyn Museum. I chose the theme "sorry I forgot you." I felt it gave me plenty of leeway in how to interpret it. The books will make a stop in San Francisco, which will be cool to see mine, and hey, it makes me keep a regular date with my sketchbook. I need the deadlines right now. If it doesn't have a deadline, it doesn't get done. (which is why I'm getting so much sewing done - gifts have deadlines!)

If you draw, or work in mixed media (the book has to stay pretty slim, however), then you should really give a thought to participating. Like the 1000 journals project, it gives everyone an opportunity to share their art, and I love that. It also gives you a kick in the pants, and I love that, too.

School is in full swing now, both at work and at home, and I'm still working on refining my "me time" schedule. Posts may be publishing at odd times for a little while, as I work out the glitches. But today I was able to take my sweet girl out to lunch while everyone else was in school, and it was lovely. The days are certainly full, but the stress level, and the sanity, is so much better!