Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's been handled

{Mouse needs a better look}
This bag is about 10 months in the making. The handles and fabric were part of the haul from Roger's Flea Market last August. I matched the fabrics and handles then pinned out a rough design last October. It promptly got "cleaned up" and put in a box, put on a shelf and forgotten about with two or three of its friends.
{Camera 1}
I discovered it again while looking through my WIPs box. Over the past couple days it was sewn together, ripped apart and resewn. Standard for this visual/tactile learner.
{Camera 2}
This one is mine, but I think I will utilize the other handles I have and make more of these bags for my Etsy shop. Maybe even a tutorial. We'll see if I can remember to take photos during the next construction. And I think I will make the handle casings a little bigger. And maybe a constrasting fabric. Or some fancy trim. And maybe not sew down the pleats. And maybe a little taper in on the opening to finish off the hexagon shape. Hmmm.
{All the crap I lug around}
It is large enough to hold my cell phone, keys (on a little leash ala Anne), wallet, notepad, two pens, two Sharpies (actually Shoupies, but I digress), cash (now gone), chap stick and multitude of change in the bottom. All that without looking bulky when closed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

do. Good Stitches ~ August

This block started very differently. I had planned to use this tutorial from the Purl Bee blog, but I couldn't make it fit into the correct size requested in the bee. I did the math wrong.

I ended up just playing with the triangles and squares until I got something I liked. In order to get to the correct 12" x 12" size I added a thin border of red and a thicker border of aqua.

Find out more about this online charity bee on the flickr page. I believe Rachel is still looking for members for spin off circles. =]

Monday, August 16, 2010

FO: Frock Camisole

{Frock Camisole aka Flowy racer back tank}
The other day I finished my Frock in Violet. This is the first garment I have ever knitted and I think it turned out pretty dang good! Racer back tops aren't usually that flattering on me, but I went for it anyway and I am glad I did.
I used nearly 3 whole skeins of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Violet for the medium size. One of the skeins is actually one of my first yarn purchases from when I first learned to knit a few years ago. I knew I liked the color, but never knew what to make with it.
{The back}
I only made two alterations to the pattern. I used 12 stitches for the straps instead of 8. Then I only made them 10" long instead of the 11-3/4" as in the instructions. I needed shorter straps to pull up the armholes. They hung too low and showed my undergarment. Eek!
Next time I would only cast off 4 stitches for the armhole and use them in the straps. I had to use some of the neckline stitches for the straps and I think it would look a little better with a wider neckline.

My Ravelry link, if you're interested. =]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

50 cents + Flea Market = Happiness

{Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book}
{Inside all it's 1960s glory}

This little gem cost me 50 cents and I have already gotten return on my investment. I must have spent an hour flipping through this book smiling at the sketches, giggling at the swimsuits and marveling at how far sewing has come and how much it has stayed the same.

{Convenient sizing charts}

The sizing carts measurements may be the same, but we all know the size number has changed. This is still really useful, of course for vintage patterns, but also for sizing items I make for my nieces who live far, far away.
{She is so happy with her striped skirt}

The sketches throughout the book kill me. The ladies all have different looks. They are demur, classy and sophisticated. Project Runway would judge them as: She looks fun and like the kind of girl that everybody wants to know.
{Oh, no!}

{Ahh, that's it}
In the cutting section the authors discuss how to layout pattern pieces to get check, plaids and stripes to line up at the seams. These cute ladies show wrong and right examples. I love the wrong girl's expression. =O

{The only brunette!}
I didn't realize it until I saw this little girl, but she is the only brunette in all 360 pages!
{Wardrobe planning ideas}
I am also loving the sportswear section. The garments considered sportswear are hilarious to me. A shift dress is sportswear. Women's and men's trousers are sportswear. Pleated skirts and halter tops are sportswear. Halter tops! I still giggle at that.
{Swim suit construction}
I do have plans on making a swim suit for myself, but I promise, it won't have a zipper. =]
Do you have a good vintage sewing guide book?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Frock by Friday ~ Anda

{Frock by Friday ~ Summer Edition}
About a week ago I decided to join this month's Frock by Friday at Grosgrain. The pattern is available from BurdaStyle for $3.50. The pattern is so simple, but it is nice to just cut and sew.
{Anda dress}
The pattern is really great. I had to take 1-1/2" off each side because, even with the tie, it looked like I cut arm holes in a potato sack. Not the pattern's fault, I just needed it thinner. I also had to cut off about 6" at the hem, which is not a usual thing for me. I am the same height at the pattern specs, but if I had just hemmed the bottom it would have hit about 2" below my knees. Not flattering for me, and not how the other photos showed the length. The only other alteration I made was to put the tie casing on the inside of the dress. No way was I going to be able to line up the pattern with the casing on the outside like the pattern instructed. I added a 1/4" button hole in the middle of the front piece for the ties to exit.
{Little better view of the fabric}
The fabric was in a bag I bought at a thrift store. (They just put random cuts of yardage in a plastic bag, slap on a price tag and staple it closed. Guaranteed to have some "scary" pieces, but most of the time it is worth the $2-3.) Back to the fabric--no information on the selvage, but I think it is a double knit in polyster. I know, sounds gross, but it is comfortable. It has a tiny pattern of square tiles in black, red, yellow, brown and light blue.
I do recommend the pattern. So, so fast and so, so cute. If I made it again (and I think I will) I would use either a satiny fabric with a big design or a plain old solid knit. And elastic around the waist, not tie. =]

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Thrift Store Save

What a nice, little logo. The first time I was this logo was at a St. Vincent's de Paul in PA when Dirty and I were visiting family. The price tag read $2. WHAT?!? $2 for an awesome *PURPLE* suitcase! I had to have it.

{Bad color in the photo, but still shows off how nice it is}
I slid it out from between the other suitcases, set down my 50 cent throwback Nikes and $1 kick-butt boots and went to open the latches to check out the inside, but...

{Was this all I was to see of the purple suitcase of loveliness?}
...the latches wouldn't turn. Locked up tight. Neither of the other American Tourister suitcases at the store had keys. What was a girl to do?
We took it to the counter to see if maybe, *maybe* they had extra keys. Nope. But the super nice ladies at the checkout counter said I could have the suitcase--no charge. WAHOO! I figured, worse case I could either try to buy keys on eBay or take it to a locksmith.
Amazingly, at a Goodwill here in town I found another American Tourister (bigger and gray, but still very nice) that had 2 keys. Not 1, but 2. Fingers crossed,I bought it for $4 in the hopes the keys would open my beautiful, purple suitcase.
Well, I couldn't get the key to fit. Dirty's dad tried, his girlfriend tried and still no luck. I gave into the fact we got another nice suitcase for $4. Not a bad deal. Then my Dirty tried...and OPENED the purple suitcase of loveliness!
{Pretty and pink}
The interior is gorgeous and pink without any weird smells. It looks like it was barely used, but had 6 or 8 straight pins in it, which I found odd.
{Zippered side pocket and elastic back pocket}
Now I just need somewhere to go! =]