Friday, January 15, 2010

Sewing-y bits

Weekend before last, I had some alone time while The Man was out of town, and I spent it sewing and shopping.

I made a reusable shopping bag out of some cool tiger fabric I plucked out of the remnant bin:

I used the Singlet Bag Tutorial from Craftster. I'm not especially pleased with the bottom of the bag, but I'm not entirely sure I did that part right, either. I could have used some extra clarification on that step.

And some pouches:

Two of these will probably end up in the Etsy shop. I've already claimed the black one for my essential bits that usually float around in the TKD bag.

I actually had more things planned, like a couple of tote bags, but sometimes I get craft boredom. After cutting and stitching for a long stretch of time, the last thing I want to do is craft some more, so I have the fabrics rolled up with their matches and they will be sewn at some point in the future. Or I'll pull them out and go "wha? I don't want to make THAT anymore, that's supposed to be THIS" and make something different.

As for the shopping, At our SPCA's thrift store, I found one of the handheld Singer QuickSew (or whatever they're called) machines for 4 bucks. I haven't tried it on anything but scraps yet. It may have promise, as long as I don't expect great things out of it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Handmade Holidays part deux

We made a trip up north this past weekend and I was able to give the last few presents to their intendeds, so I give you....

Golly's Broomsticks (from the CLF First Ever Book) for younger stepdaughter:

and a kitty hat for the older stepdaughter:

The hat itself is actually another Rheatheylia Cabled Hat, and I freeformed some ears to attach.

I finished the Phannie hat for me:

This was pre-blocking. It actually stretched out quite nicely when blocked.
I think I should have made it out of something warmer than acrylic, but I do like how it looks. And seeing as it's hard to take a picture of the back of one's head, you don't get to see it on me. Sorry.

I actually do not have anything on the hook right now! GASP! Yes, I know. I just haven't found a pattern that I want to devote time to at the moment. Nor have I thought of anything that is begging for me to figure out. This made for awkward "What do I do with my hands" moments this weekend when I was sitting with family, but I dealt. Besides, next week I head back to school, and until I know how much time I'll have between homework, it's best I not start something that I end up really liking and not have the time to work on it, which is a major drag.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Remnants: the secret to spending less on fabric. Maybe.

When I buy fabric, I rarely ever buy it cut from the bolt.

There are some exemptions I can think of (the black floral for my circle skirt, the pink brocade for the robe, the sheer amount of yardage needed for any window dressing), but most of my projects are small.

I pity anyone who steals my fabric stash box, because they're only going to find maybe one cut of fabric that's more than a yard long.

For these small amounts I usually do a lot of surfing through the remnant bins.

Don't scoff. It's not other people's castoffs - it's fun. You never know what you might find. I've worked with some interesting fabrics that I might not have tried otherwise. Sometimes you find a print fabric that makes you happy, sometimes you can just pick up some basic colors for lining stuff.

Remant rummaging is economical. The past few months when I've gone into the Joann's, the remnants bin has been 50-75% off the already remnanted price. I got a good yard of pretty fleece for no more than $4. If you're crafting to sell, it's simple math: cheaper supplies mean more profit.

Of course, if you buy a billion things out of the remnants bin, that's still going to cost you some cash, but you won't be paying full price.

As for right now, I'm putting my rummaging on hold while I try and cut down the existing stash (also going for yarn). Oh, I'll still look and grab some absolute rare must-have if I see it, but I really have to make what I've got fit back into that box!

Don't neglect the remnants. For small things, it's your go-to for cool fabric on the cheap.