Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Skirting the issue

I've been in the mood for a new skirt. I don't wear them that often, but I'm not exactly happy with what's in my closet, so that might be a factor, ya think? Anyway...I felt a circle skirt was in order.

I did some measurements and geometry (who'd have though THAT would come in useful...) and bought 3 1/2 yards of pretty fabric, and started cutting.

The new serger was put to use, and made me very happy, aside from a small mishap with getting extra material caught up with my seam. ooops. Nothing some picking out won't fix...

I ran out of bias tape 33 inches before I reached the end of my hem, so I had to improvise myself some more tape, but it actually turned out pretty good.

I even got to use my new twin needle, which makes me oddly giddy.

PS, Zippers are still a pain in the ass.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Strap Perfect, Shmap Perfect - Make it yourself!

So surely everyone's seen the ads for the Strap Perfect.

I've had my eye on them for a while, but I never feel like spending $10 for a bunch of plastic doohickeys.

So, what's a gal that wants the desired effect but doesn't wish to spend the cash need to do?
Make her own!

You'll need a strip of fabric or elastic, and two snaps.

The strip will need to be approximately 4 inches (10cm) long. That works for me, if you have a broader back/shoulders, it may need to be a little longer. I used elastic, but I believe that some heavy duty material might work. A strip of canvas, for instance might be a possibility. I may be testing this at some point. If you get to it before me, please leave a comment and share how it works. If this does work, you can make multiple colors, etc. Mine was an experiment, hence the white elastic and black snaps. :)

On to the instructions:
Sew one half of both snaps in the middle of the strip, side by side.

Now, take your other snap halves and sew one on each end of the strip (on the same side).
This is important, because if it's on the opposite side, then you'll have to have a lot of twists to make it snap together, causing odd lumps on your back under your shirt...

Finish any edges as needed (I used fray check on my elastic ends), and test it out!

(there will be no pics of me in underwear here. Mr Pillow will just have to be my model.)

One side goes under your strap...

Fold it over and snap.

Repeat on other side.

I will warn you, the actual performance of the device may vary. I've tried it on two bras so far, and it works GREAT on one and pretty good on another.

Let me know if you try it, and how it works!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ok NOW it's really done.

Remember a while back when I made the Pseudo Kimono?
Even though I made the small, it still turned out kind of huge.
I asked for advice months ago on Ravelry, and this weekend I finally had the chance to deal with it - meaning, I finally pulled it out of the closet and stuck it in the washer.

(Gasp! Handmades in the washer! The horroorrrrrrrrr!!!! *swoon*)

It went in a pillowcase, in a small load in warm water (not hot).
It did NOT go in the dryer. (Hey, I'm adventurous, not stupid).

I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm pleasantly relieved. It shrank, but just the right amount. The body now fits, and the sleeves are now pleasantly long instead of ridiculously long. I have slightly longer arms than normal people and I'm used to wrist cuffs being halfway up my forearms, so pleasantly long is GREAT. It's WONDERFUL.

It felted a little, but you can still see the stitch pattern, which is what I was hoping for. It is a little fuzzy, but now I can actually wear it, so I'll deal.

Will I do this for EVERYTHING that happens to end up too big?

Did it work this time? yes.

Good enough for me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The front is done:

That took almost all of one skein of Simply Soft Eco, H hook.

Don't let anyone tell you that openwork is not warm. While it may not be as warm as a solid stitch pattern, it's still pretty toasty on my lap...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tunic...or not to nic?

I've wanted to make this shirt for a long time.
No, really.
I sketched it out a LONG time ago. It's been long enough that when I went to look for the sketch to scan it, I can't find it.

I've never really made many clothes, so I just kind of let it fester.

While I was on the frustrating Joann's trip the other day, I did my usual pass by the remnant bin, and found this polyester knit. It was the color that hit me first (If you haven't realized it, I kind of like that dark shade of teal).

So I nabbed it, because remnants were half off. When I got home, I realized how much of it I had and what kind of shape it was already taking and holy crap, that's my shirt!!

So I made it.

I even used the new serger for the side seams, but I had to pull out the regular machine for the edges of the neck and sleeves.

It's very long (hip length, but that's ok. I hate short shirts. We'll see after a few wearings what kind of annoying it is and whether I need to cut off a bit at the bottom.

This making clothing thing might have something to it after all...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Warning: I did a lot of stuff this past week/weekend. To avoid post whoring, I'm breaking them up into a few days...

On to business...
("To business!")

My mom loved the cowl I made her in January. She requested another one, with the tweak being that she didn't want it as tall. She also provided the yarn, so I made her another S.S.V.Stitch, and then since I had most of the yarn left over, I decided to make a bonus. She was talking about how she liked it to drape like a crochet necklace, so I thought, why not just make her a crochet necklace? So I did.

(What the necklace looks like on - sort of....gah! dirty mirror!!!!)

I sent them home with my sister on Saturday, and when I called Mom for Mummy's Day, she said she likes them both. Mission accomplished!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Today I stopped by the Joann for a few things for the new machine.

I got some spools of thread, and I looked for extra needles because we all know that when I don't have them, I break them.

I didn't really see the part number on any of the packages in the machine supplies, so wandered over to the machine section. The lady asked if she could help and I told her I bought a used serger and was looking for extra needles. I said it was a Kenmore, and she said they probably didn't have any, but did I have a number and I gave her the post-it I'd written it on.

I told her that I that bought a used one to get started, since I wasn't sure how much I'd even use it. She's like "oh you shouldn't have done that! for the price you paid for that one, you should have bought a new singer..."
"for 75 bucks?"
"Well, $175, and then when you got practiced, you could have traded up to a big girl machine."

I kid you not, that's what she said.

I realize that it's her job to sell the machines.
But I really hate it when people criticize things I didn't ask them to.
Especially things that are already DONE.

She finally found some needles that matched the number, and as I had a choice of #11 and #14, she asked what I material I was using.
I told her cotton, she asked how many layers I said two.
She had this kind of pinched look on her face the whole time.

No, I'm not doing horribly complicated things that involve multiple layers and special fabrics. No, i'm probably not putting my machine up to its full potential. But I'm just starting! I bought it yesterday! I gotta get used to the thing first.

Sometimes a beginning is just a beginning. I gotta get started somehow, you know? That kind of stuff does not help.

I am not good with people.
Maybe I'm just taking all this the wrong way, but it was annoying.
I bought the needles, but next time I'll just go online and not have to deal with it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who's that?

Meet my new little buddy!

I found it on Craigslist the other day. I'd been back and forth about whether I wanted one, because new ones are hideously expensive, and I'm not sure how much I'll use it. So the search for a used one began, and lo and behold, results!
It does work - I did a quick test on it, and it sewed the rag up quite nicely.

Now I just need to download a manual, buy some matching thread, and find some scrap fabric to practice!

I'm debating on naming it. I haven't named my normal sewing machine (which is odd, because I name everything). But this one is just screaming to be named Serge Tankian. (poke poke get it? Get it? har har har...)


So here's the progress on the Aqua Aloha:

I'm about halfway done with the front. Pretty simple pattern, once you get the hang of it.