Monday, October 26, 2009

vampire bats and evil woopie cushions

Auntie Caroline was responsible for Halloween this year. My first time!

My oldest nephew wanted to reuse the costume I purchased for my dad last year. My dad, my now 57 year old father, laughingly wore the Woopie Cushion costume I bought for him last year. All the people at the Fall Fest at the community center in teen-einsy town, TX loved it. My nephew decided that he didn't want to be just a Woopie Cushion, but an evil one.

So we took the store bought costume and added cut outs of bats and jack-o-lanterns and tombstones.

All you get are action shots of this one because he's 8. One of the jack-o-lanterns has what he called "hippie teeth." He meant "hillbilly" which made for a fun conversation.

The younger nephew went for Vampire Bat.

A hooded sweatshirt, some cheap satin and fuzzy material, some bias tape, dowels and Peltex. Voila! Vampire bats have very big ears.

The 6 year old is only slightly more compliant about having his photo taken.

Except when there are Hulk hands.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ikea bag

So I bought this awesome fabric at IKEA on the trip to buy organizational supplies for the sewing area. Yeah, you go to buy things to organize your fabric stash and you buy things to increase the stash itself. I know it's a common tale.

Anyway, I had a couple of yards of this amazing fabric and wasn't sure what to do with it. One day, browsing through some other websites, it hit me. A giant bag!

I was inspired by some Amy Butler patterns for giant tote bags, namely the Betty Shopper. But I've heard about Amy Butler patterns and was a little afraid. That, and I read some reviews that had issues with the fact that such a giant bag had such a small opening. I decided that I would take some of the things I loved about that bag and find another shape.

I browsed through patterns from the Big 4 and came upon one of Vogue's that I liked. I blew the pattern up, changed the height to width proportions a bit, added in some piping and some grommets, and voila!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an unveiling

So I've been undertaking a bunch of projects around the apartment lately, sprucing up the place, making it look nicer and function better. It's some sort of metaphor for the rest of my life. Or something like that.

I finished the 7 year old upholstery project, I've done some minor organization, I've made a commitment to keeping things cleaner. I've done a lot of purging.

One big project that I've been wanting to tackle for awhile was making my sewing area less of a mess.

This was the before. You can see my issues. Those blue bins are great--tough and stackable and they were free. But, they were big and cumbersome and not terribly attractive. I was bad about putting things away and even purging, because it was such a hassle to get into them. Trust me that not even having them on a shelf helped. I tried that for awhile.

I've also been expanding my fabric collection a lot lately and was tapped out of space--hence the cardboard boxes and bags stuffed with stuff.

Living in a small apartment really made all this worse too, it's not like I have a separate sewing room. This is right in front of my front door. It's my living/dining/crafting/reading room, with a view into the kitchen.

So it became a big thing for me to undertake a project to not only organize the stuff more efficiently, but also make it more attractive.

I got Heather roped into helping me and we spent several hours on the project one day--assessing the situation, spending a bunch of money at IKEA and then assembling and organizing. My dad came over this weekend and helped me hang some wall shelves and get the whole thing finished.

I'm totally in love with the result.

Look at the big expanse of empty flat surfaces!

Ignore the messy kitchen in the background--I've got to work on keeping those counters cleared. My apartment is, well, not minimally decorated. It's busy. It's cozy and charming and I like it. But it gets overwhelming sometimes and this re-do helped immensely to calm down this little corner of my world.

Plus, it's nice and functional. The red drawer unit holds smaller cross-stitch and embroidery supplies and smaller sewing supplies and notions. The orange bins hold the larger cuts of fabric. So far, I've been good about putting everything back where it goes too. Who knew? Judging by the saucepan on the bar, I've still got to practice. I don't know why that got put there. I'm better with my sewing equipment, I promise.

The smaller white bins on the wall hold ribbons and other notions. The medium bins hold smaller cuts of fabrics and the big white bins on top of the bookcase hold bigger cross-stitch supplies and some fabrics dedicated to a couple of specific quilting projects.

I haven't had a chance to sit down and sew since the shelves got finished, though I hope to finish up my giant piped tote bag this evening. There's a teaser for you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Note to self:

Find/Devise pattern for top like this

Great 1920s style. I think I have the perfect vintage silk now that I think about it. Hmm.

This reminds me that I keep meaning to try some pattern, any pattern, from Decades of Style.

Too many ideas, too little time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

work in progress

The bodice of my polka-dot shirt dress. The fabric, as predicted, is a pain in the butt. It's very slippery and it doesn't care that it's supposed to have a grain. There are lots of imperfections in the construction. But, it's also very forgiving, and I'll be the only one that knows what those are! I love how it's turning out!