Archive for ‘sewing’

June 27, 2011

Don’t Be Cruel

Once again, I am 0-???. I’m starting to lose count but I’m not winning. Friday evening, MadMaloney and I were discussing our next creative projects and one thing we both agreed upon was that it would be nice to have new potholders. Brilliant! It’s a square, it’s useful and that’s about it. I have tons of scraps sitting around and I could make at least 3-4 on Saturday afternoon. So I did some research and found a bunch of free potholder tutorials online. All I would need to buy? Some bias tape for the edging and some heat-resistant batting. I already had some really cool Elvis fabric that I purchased in Graceland.

Saturday morning I set out for Hobby Lobby feeling rejuvenated from previous failures and confident that today would be the day I begin to pull myself out of this sewing slump, this losing streak that I spend sleepless nights analyzing mistakes upon mistakes. And I was going to do it with potholders no less. As I stood waiting for my Insul-Brite heat resistant batting to be cut, the salesgirl asked me what I intended to make. I felt like a kid sharing my most precious secret, “I’m making potholders”. “Oh, what a great idea. And so simple”, she said. “I may buy some of this today and make some too”. The difference between me and the salesgirl? Hers probably came out okay.

Well, I measured and cut out squares really neatly with my rotary cutter and even decided to try out some quilting techniques with the layers and layers of fabric. Easy peasy! My sewing machine and I are finally becoming friendly. I wish I could say that these came out okay but they are a disaster and for once (okay not for once), but I don’t really know what happened. All I know is they are messy as sin! The pictures are forgiving, but the amount of mess and loopy threads hanging out all over the place is amazing. See for yourself:

Look at the details of mess!

What are these loops everywhere?

This bias tape is not easy to play with.

I can’t even sew a straight square. And I’m so bummed about this, that I’m taking a little break from crafting for awhile. It’s not too expensive of a hobby, but I don’t see any progress. MadMaloney seems to think I don’t like to follow directions and maybe there is a little truth to that, but I really do want to succeed at this. I just need a little time to reflect and regroup. That being said, I did just receive a vintage pattern set of Barbie clothes 🙂

June 20, 2011

It’s My Pajama Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not trying to fail, I just get confused sometimes. Today’s project is another fine example why this blog exists. I didn’t just fail at my first attempt at a wearable EASY pair of pajama pants, I lost control, hit rock bottom, flopped, missed the boat and the pajama party I was hoping to have wearing my new drawstring pants!

It all started because I got too excited with the success of my reversible bag. I figured I had the hang of this sewing thing and I want to keep pushing myself a little further with each new project. I found a great FREE pattern on the Simplicity website for drawstring pajama pants. I had flashbacks of the sewing class I took back in the summer of 1986 when I attempted to sew a similar pair of pants. I failed those with flying colors, but I was also 8! I’ve learned to follow directions since then and there’s no way I could fail again. I set out to my local Hancock fabrics with seersucker in mind and this is what I found:

It’s a bit more madras print then seersucker, but I thought it was cute and summery, plus anything will be an upgrade from MadMaloney’s flannel plaid pants that I’ve swiped. I also realized once I washed the fabric that it has quite a bit of stretch to it. That should have been my first sign to run, but I have been determined for the last few weeks to make these pants. Now for the pattern. The beauty of this pattern was that it was free, the ugly of this pattern was that I had to print out 25 pages from my printer and then piece the thing together, but I guess that’s what I get for being a cheapskate.

So I taped and I taped and pulled it apart and put it back together  and then I taped some more. And then I had a cocktail and I think that made the process a lot more enjoyable.

And yes, I couldn’t find regular scotch tape but I think the blue painters tape worked just fine. What do you expect? I’m a mess! I decided I had done enough for one evening so I put it to bed so I could be fresh and sober when I started cutting the pattern. In retrospect, sober is irrelevant when it comes to me and sewing crafting.

I spent all of Friday evening spread out across my bedroom floor cutting out the pattern. MadMaloney was out for the evening meeting with a client on a new skull ring. His jewelry skills are insane. I am coming to the realization that there may not be enough room for two talented folks in our household, but he wasn’t home so I figured I was queen of that throne for the evening! Honestly, the cutting went pretty well, even if I disregarded the fact that those notches they tell you to cut out should really line up.

Everything is sort of nicely cut, and then came the buttonhole. Figuring out how to attach the buttonhole foot wasn’t as painful as I thought but trying to sew the hole was a nightmare. I think I may have spent 2-3 hours practicing on scrap fabrics until I finally threw in the madras fabric and decided “MY PANTS ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE A DRAWSTRING” I am only sleeping in them, I don’t care! On to the sewing. I can sew a straight line. Whoo hoo, I’m home free. And then this happened:

I sewed the crotch right up to the waistline and learned that if you don’t line up the notches then you might be exposing yourself. Once again, F for failure, F for flop, F for EFF THIS! I am feeling a little defeated today but after some unsuccessful reflection on what went wrong, I’ve decided maybe a shirt would be easier!

I’ll leave you with this. It’s My Party and I’ll cry if I want to, you would cry too if it happened to you. Who needs pajama pants anyway?

June 6, 2011

A Woman Is A Woman (with a new bag!)

So it pains me to tell you that my latest sewing adventure definitely gets a passing grade. Sewing enthusiasts may think otherwise but then I’ll send them over to Burdastyle if they are interested in properly executed projects.

Saturday morning I set out to start my first real sewing project: the super cute reversible hobo bag from verypurpleperson, called the Charlie Bag. I decided to visit my local Hancock Fabrics to survey the goods. I love watching Project Runway and I thought it would be fun if I only gave myself 30 minutes to find my two fabric choices. That is so hard when you have no idea what you are looking for. I stared at the wall of cotton fabrics for a half hour before I even touched anything. I pulled out at least 10 different combinations before I finally decided on a red Hawaiian pattern and a flowery yellow pattern. It’s fair at best. The fabric cost a total of $12 so I figured when I mess up, it wouldn’t have cost me too much.

I printed out the pattern and instructions and got to work. One of my favorite French New Wave films, Une Femme est Une Femme (A Woman Is a Woman), played in the background as I began cutting the fabric.


I think I cut for what seemed like hours but alas I had all the pieces ready to be sewn. I had never sewn darts before and I sure am glad I took the time to find a video tutorial because darts meant something different to me than it does in the sewing world. Had I not, this project would have been sent straight to the mother of all fail blogs, Craft Fail. Needless to say, the darts were a small victory. I got through the sewing portion pretty easily but when I had completely finished sewing up the straps, I realized that I had sewn them wrong. Maybe it doesn’t look too bad but the seam is running down the middle. You’ll also notice that the straps are all different thicknesses but I never said I was perfect!

I did take the time to rip out the seams and resew the straps correctly and VOILA! I got a bag:


Yes it’s so cute! Yes it has plenty of problems. I had no idea how to hide the fraying fabric edges but I don’t care. Some people are perfectionists, I am not one of those people. I like to see, “the hand of the artist”, in my work and it shows all over! I”ll be walking in Memphis, walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale!

June 5, 2011

Crafting Sneak Peek Revealed!

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June 3, 2011

Crafting Sneak Peek

Working on a little something special

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May 26, 2011

She’s Got Legs!

Sewing is still fairly new territory for me. Like a week. I just purchased a machine and I am a firm believer that you can skip the basics and just dive in and figure it out as you go along. HAHAHAHA While my machine was in transit from amazon to my doorstep, I surfed the web looking for the perfect first project. I came across this lovely site called One Red Robin, from artist Jhoanna Monte. Oh her stuff is lovely, dolls and personalized fabrics, beautiful photography of her work, pretty much the antithesis of what this site is. Well she had a free starter doll pattern called the Ruby Doll, that sounded right up my alley. The front page of instructions said, “…a simple pattern and versatile little doll”. Jhoanna also has a flickr page to showcase all the dolls from crafters everywhere and I got a little excited thinking I was going to add to her photo collection.

It started off a success, I carefully cut everything out, was figuring out the machine and spending some time with MadMaloney while he worked on his latest skull ring. Rarely do I ever stay up past ten o’clock on a weeknight and here it is almost midnight on a Thursday evening. I’m determined not to go to sleep until she’s complete. I put everything together and begin to sew her up. Not until I am about 75% done do I realize she’s right side out! I forgot to face her right sides together! I have a seam ripper in hand but I just couldn’t. So here she is, right sides together and no legs. Wait, no legs!?

Why doesn’t she have legs? Well, keep reading!

Always one to learn from my mistakes, I attempted her again the next night. I can’t possibly make the same mistake twice! I carefully cut everything out again and left it on the dining room table, while MM and I went to our favorite local haunt for a Victoria beer. I come home to my doll parts only to find a missing leg and a cat not feeling so well. That was four days ago and I still haven’t seen the leg. I refused to cut out anymore legs, especially since I had cut them out 8 times already and originally started off with two left feet. So I decided to pull the legs off the first doll and donate them to the second one.

Okay, just a little bump in the road but I’m back on track. Everything is going swimmingly. I paid extra attention to lining up the doll right sides together and sewed her up! I’m super impressed with myself and I’m pulling her back around and BAM! I sewed her arms and legs inside her body. Tears of anger began to swell. Not only do I have a second failed doll. I  have now wasted two sleepless nights trying to put this simple and versatile doll together. If versatile means she can stuff her extremities inside her body then I win!

I wish I could laugh but it’s still too soon.

I apologize to Jhoanna and think I will leave her site alone for now until I improve a little.

May 25, 2011

Projects in the Works

So here’s what I’m brewing up over the next few weeks:

Don’t want to disappoint, but this will probably come out okay.

It’s never too early to get started on winter hats.

Heading to Graceland in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to finish before then.

And for the expected fail, a weekend sewing project, courtesy of

sewingrepublic.com