Monday, October 24, 2011

Interesting Internets for October

Once again it's time for Charlottesville Crafter!
This month, I bring back the Charging Station.

Since I'm linking, here's some other cool stuff I've found this month:

A while back I posted some things to consider when you're deciding to DIY your wedding. I was doing some surfing and found that 100 Layer Cake made a handy PDF flowchart for whether you should DIY or not.

Craftzine always finds the coolest stuff. This time it's knit & crochet jewelry that was then cast into silver

Sewing Daisies finished a blanket that's a Quilt/Afghan hybrid.

I used to make stuff just by draping and pinning and seeing what happened. I wish I had a dress form so I could still do that now. A guest post over at Gertie's is doing a tutorial along those lines.

Wild Olive has a tutorial on how to make a necklace from a vintage spool of thread. Kind of makes me wonder what kind of stuff my mom has left in her stash back home...

Craftzine also highlighted this tutorial for making t-shirts bigger. I was all set to come home and try it on my tiger t-shirt that's too small, and then realized that it got taken to Goodwill in the last bag of stuff. Sometimes I'm too organized and screw myself over. But maybe the next time I go thrifting, I won't pass up something cute just because it's a tiny bit snug and give it a shot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10 Ways to Keep Your T-shirt Alive

The t shirt is a magical thing. It can be a billboard or a treasured item.

But what do you do with them when you're done wearing them? I hate wasting things I've spent good money for, and sometimes it may be the only thing to remind me of something or some place.

You can make tons of things with old T-shirt. Recycling or upcycling, you don't have to just throw them away.

-Make pillows. Huggable or stylish. It just takes a little thread and some stuffing.

-Make a quilt. All those shirts from all those things you did? Every race you ever ran or show you were in? You can keep the memory alive and yourself warm at the same time.

-Carry a tote - sew up the bottom, cut off the top and add some straps!

-It's cut out to be a tank top - it just takes a little modification to get a cute tank out of a baggy tee.

-Or a skirt. Or tube top. Depending on the shirt, you can have a cute beach cover up with a few scissor snips.

-Everybody needs rags- obviously for the shirts you don't care so much about. Keep your bathroom clean without buying paper towels. Bonus - They're washable and reusable, but you can toss them if they're disgusting and not feel bad.

-Baby/kids clothes. This one is a little more time and thought intensive, but how cute would it be to have Junior snuggled up in a onesie made from Dad's old favorite shirt?

-Kitties and doggies like shirts, especially to sleep on. (Why do you think cats like crawling into the laundry basket so much?) Make them a pet bed!

-Make your own undies instead of paying Victoria. I've seen posts where people have done it but haven't tried it myself. But just think, no uncomfortable break-in period before they get soft and comfy!

-If it's truly a memento, frame it. Make it art for your home.

No t-shirt has to die before you finish loving it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trusty Old Friend

I've posted about Serge before, but I don't think I've ever talked about my regular sewing machine.

She's been with me a long time, but doesn't have a name.

I've had this machine since I was a teenager, which means it's at least 13 years old. My aunt gave it to me for Christmas one year. Knowing what I know now, it was one of those "prepare our niece for future home life" gifts which while I appreciated it, but didn't really know what I was going to do with it. It got used sporadically. Every once in a while I'd beg some fabric out of Mom's stash or hit the remnants bin (thrifty habits start early) and try stuff. It was all mostly experimentation with really weird stretchy shiny 70s-esque polyester (which by the way, I will NEVER work with again). While I had an interest in fashion, it never really became a designing tool, as I got busy with band and boys and other things.

It came with me when I moved out, and sewed the curtains for the kitchen in my first place.

As I've gotten older, I've found more projects and my own creativity, and she's become a vital component of the CraftyKix empire.

She's only got two kinds of stitches and three ways to be adjusted, but that hasn't stopped me yet. A little oil now and then and we're happy campers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Out and About

Saturday I had the chance to visit the semi-annual Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, out in Crozet. I've missed the last 3 or 4 and wanted to make sure I went, just to keep up with what's going on in the arts and crafts world.

It was great weather for it - sunny and warm enough I didn't have to walk around in a bulky jacket, and didn't rain.

As usual there were tons of vendors. Lots of photography, woodworking, pottery and jewelry. I saw more quilting than I did the last time I went, and more garments. I'm pretty sure that I didn't miss anything, but I only saw ONE vendor with yarncrafted products!

I was really impressed with the presentation of lots of stuff. People didn't rely on the same old boring draped tables. There were things hanging, displays with shelves and baskets. One booth had the frame of her booth decked out with a crocheted tasseled border around the top and a lighted jewelry display case - classy! Another vendor, instead of using the usual velvet for displaying jewelry, laid her things out on trays of coffee beans! Very inventive.

As I usually do with craft shows, I made a tour of everything, then went back to the booths that intrigued me or had something I wanted. Yes, I did think a few times "I could make that*." I did get a few ideas, but mostly just enjoyed seeing what everyone else made. (Same thing happens when I cruise the crafts competition section at the fair.)

I try to buy things that I know that I won't ever make or that are completely spectacular. This time I bought a new star ornament. It's woodcarving, which is something that I am sure I will never try to do.

All together, it was a pretty good time. I'll have to try and get some company to go with me to the Spring edition!

*At a festival a long time ago, a vendor had a sign that said "sure you could make this....but will you?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sew Spendy or Thrifty?

When I was little, my mom made a lot of my clothes. I think part of it may have been because it was cheaper, but it was probably more due to "hey I'm home all day with this small child and going a little bonkers, I need something to keep my sanity and hey look clothes." I'll have to ask her about that one day. She made me all my Easter dresses and Christmas dresses and the dress I wore to my sisters wedding, and also my sister's wedding dress. She was good. Then she went back to work, and I got to the age where "homemade" was eeewwww and that was kind of the end of that. Life moved on.

While I do own both regular sewing machine and serger, I do not currently make my own clothes. I modify some shirts, I made a wedding dress and a skirt or two, but it's not a regular thing. I would rate myself as an advanced beginner when it comes to clothes sewing. It's something I'd LIKE to get better at, but until 3 or 4 hours is magically added on to my day, it's going to have to wait.

The Simple Dollar has been doing a series on whether buying vs. doing yourself saves money. He just did one asking Does Making Your Clothes Save You Money?

It's an interesting read.

Mom had a huge fabric stash, so we didn't really have to go out and buy lots of fabric, so it probably saved. Buying the material and notions and pattern for my dress was significantly cheaper than spending even $150 on a dress in a store. But everything else so far has probably cost me money.

How has it worked out for you?