I have been thinking a long time about sewing a dress or outfit but it took me a long time to pull the trigger. It sounded intimidating–I have sewn a little bit but not really any clothes. Patterns and fabric seemed expensive and difficult to try out if I wasn’t sure it would turn out.
But then I saw Corinne’s tunic on the Purl Bee. It looked just simple enough that maybe I could do it. And it looked so cute on their Facebook page. (And it only needs 2 yards of fabric!)
So I picked up a few yards of a light gray cotton from JoAnn’s and got to sewing! I don’t have instructions because the Purl Bee already has all that covered. It took a few hours, and ripping out a few seams, but I think it was a great, simple dress for a beginning project.
And the best part is, now I’m ready to sew a lot more!
Remember that rack I bought for my jewelry? I also got one for my thread.
I saw this idea on Sublime Stitching and thought it was really great. So one day as part of my tiny projects, I got some embroidery floss and sewing thread on my rack. But it still needed some work. I used some spray paint primer and painted it white to blend in more with my wall.
I have this wonderful big picture frame (you may remember it from my old jewelry rack) that fits around this rack as if they were made for each other. I hung the rack using two 3m hooks, and the frame just leans against the wall. It’s pretty heavy so I haven’t hung it up, but I think it fits pretty perfectly like this.
I’d still like to do some more things to this space, but this is a big improvement. I’ll probably add more to the wall and I need to do something about those cords. Plus maybe a rug? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
I bought my supplies myself, but the links are affiliate.
I’ve been thinking and planning and pinning all kinds of things for my new apartment. I take a lot of pride in making my home a lovely place to be and even though I’m not moved in yet, I wanted to do something to get started. (I know, I know, I’ll have to move it. But these hot pads are small.)
So I went to the fabric store and picked out fabric for potholders. It’s a small enough project I thought I could get it done in the pre-moving chaos and pack it up and take it with me. I don’t know for sure what colors I’ll want to use or what things I’ll need–so I just picked out fabric I liked. If it doesn’t match, that will be ok. They were fun and turned out pretty cute.
I used the Purl Bee’s pattern for liberty hot pads. I started by cutting out all of my materials: the fabric, batting, and a grosgrain ribbon for the edge. I wanted a bright yellow border and they had that color in ribbon, even though the pattern called for cotton twill tape, so that’s what I went with. It seems to have worked just fine, but I haven’t washed them yet. I used the teal pattern for one side and the gray chevron for the other, with the yellow border to tie them together.
And then I just followed their directions. This was the first time I had quilted anything, and I think it would be a lot easier and probably neater if I had the correct tools (like a rotary ruler and a cutting pad and some curved safety pins). I winged it, and they came out fine, but I don’t think they came out great. But that’s ok because it was good practice! And they definitely keep my hands from getting burned while I take things out of the oven (I tried it! Several times!), so they are good enough for me.
This year has been a wonderfully crafty year. I’ve tried new things and made some I am really proud of. Out of a lot of crafty posts, here are my top 10 favorites.
Screen printed cards. This was a really fun project. I used my at-home screen printing kit to make some fun, punctuation inspired note cards. I definitely want to do more screen printing in 2014.
Mischief managed embroidery. I have loved starting embroidery this year. I am so happy to have made them and have them hanging up on my wall. I definitely plan to keep embroidering next year. One of my favorites is one of my first, “mischief managed.”
And of course, Lying Cat embroidery is another favorite. I totally enjoyed reading Saga this year and Lying Cat is a star. Plus, sharing this with the illustrator Fiona Staples over Twitter was super cool.
Walter White embroidery. Breaking Bad was another story I spent a lot of time with this year. My friends and I would obsessively email after every episode, and I just loved it. This tiny tribute to Walter White is a perfect memorial for me.
Cross-stitch pillow. I have loved having handmade items in my home. It’s so personal and fun, and I like that my house has original things you can’t find anywhere else. This pillow turned out great, if I do say so myself.
Comic book sweatshirt. I have gotten into comic books this year, and it’s seeping out of my reading and onto my clothing. This sweatshirt was so fun to make and it’s super cute to wear when I need a superhero boost.
Wedding project life. This was the year of project life for me. It’s helped me document wonderful moments like the wedding of my best friend. I love looking at the pages!
Embroidered hand towels. And my wedding gift was another one of my favorite crafts. Such a nice way to give someone something personal. Especially if that someone likes to be in the kitchen.
Ugly sweater ornaments. There’s still time to make these before Christmas! Grab some felt and my template and you’re just about good to go. They are so cute on my tree!
And of course the baby blanket. I’m still working on this one, but I bet it will be one of my favorite projects for a very long time. I can’t wait to wrap up my baby niece in it when it’s done!
I have really enjoyed sewing pillow cases for the pillows on my couch. I like picking out the fabric, and I like that they are personal to me. Plus, sewing smallish pillow cases is a generally quick project with a large payoff. This particular pillow project, though, I’ve been sitting on since I saw this photo on Apartment Therapy’s instagram.
I love these designs. And I love that they use cross stitching, which I’ve been exploring lately with my embroidery. But this cross stitching is on a large, fun scale. It took me a while to figure out how I could do something similar on my own, but over the weekend I finally got it together.
I started by using some felt I had on hand. It was important to me to use felt because you don’t need to finish the edges for felt, so any holes you create in the felt won’t fray. I knew I wanted it for a 12×12 inch pillow, so I cut my fabric 13×13 inches to allow for a half-inch seam allowance. once had my square, I used a fabric pencil to draw half-inch grid lines. And then I started hole punching.
Figuring out how to create (mostly) evenly spaced holes, and how to cut out many, many tiny circles was the biggest challenge. But would you believe my little hand held hole punch cut through felt? It did. To cut each hole, I folded the fabric along each grid line so that my hole punch could reach the marks where the lines crossed. And then I got to punching. This part took a while, but I think it’s definitely worth it. Once I had my hole-punched canvas, I started stitching, using some extra yarn I had on hand and a large yarn needle that I normally use to sew in the dangling ends of my knitting.
I decided on “hi.” It’s welcoming, casual, and fun. (And also very easy to map out for cross stitching.) After that, I measured and cut fabric for the back of the black felt and the back of the pillow. Once I sewed it all together–leaving a hole to stick your pillow in–I was done!
I am really excited to see what else I could do with this idea. There’s unlimited colors and words or patterns I could play with, and it’s just too cute.
I feel like I come late to the game to a lot of things. I just discovered Sandman–only 15 years after the first one came out. I am furiously trying to catch up on the Good Wife, which just started season 5. Last year I got really into Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and the first one came out five years before I was born. I guess I can’t help being late for that one.
But I am into the comic books series Saga. And Saga is coming out right now. (To be fair, I did only read it after the first two volumes were complete.) Issue 15 came out on Oct. 30, and that issue is the inspiration for this embroidery of Izabel.
I like so many of the characters in Saga. Alana is a badass. The Will and Lying Cat really love each other. And Izabel is so nice and fun. Izabel may be dead, but she’s still a great babysitter to Alana and Marko’s daughter Hazel. She seems like a spunky teenager who cares for the family she is now working with. I really like Izabel’s fresh voice and positive attitude. Marko’s mom, on the other hand, may never warm up to her.
Saga has kept me on my toes and in love with the characters and stories. The next one comes out Nov. 27. I’ve been reading on my iPad, but if you can, swing by your local comic books store to check out Saga and see what else looks good!
I am working on a project to sew some of my favorite quotes and images from books. You can see the other pieces of my embroidery project here:
(I bought this comic book on my own and am not being paid to write about it. I just like it!)
It’s no secret that comic books are my new favorite thing. But I fell in love with some comic-book-inspired Philip Lim sweaters last year, before I read my first one. They are cheeky and cool–and just fun, right?
Unfortunately the real deal was over my budget. Philip Lim did come out with a Target collaboration recently, but it was sold out at my Target.
So I made my own.
I started with a beautiful gray crew neck from the boys section at Target.
Then I designed my own version of ka-pow on InDesign. I printed my stencil and used it to cut out felt, which I then arranged and sewed onto my sweatshirt. I like using felt for a lot of projects because it’s sturdy and pretty–but most of all because the edges are finished and that saves a few steps for me.
I used top stitching to secure the letters. I could have hand sewn it and made it a lot more perfect, but I wanted the speed that came with my sewing machine. I’m considering my imperfect lettering as part of the comic book charm.
This whole project took me one afternoon–I felt like a crafty superhero.
I spent a while looking for some cute hand towels for a wedding present for my friend Jewels who loves to cook. And then I remembered that I like embroidering things.
So I got some white hand towels and got to embroidering. I made three in different colors, so they can mix and match with their kitchen. Hopefully the new Mr. and Mrs. Panian can use these when they are eating dinner together! Congratulations, you two. I hope you share many wonderful meals.
Today’s the day. The beginning of the end. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a TV show. It actually reminds me of when Harry Potter was coming out. The midnight parties, the internet message boards (remember those?), the guessing and wondering and talking in circles about how it would end. I love this kind of thing.
So in the spirit of my embroidery project, I made a tiny tribute to Walter White as Heisenberg. I thought about embroidering “I am the one who knocks,” and I still might. But his features are so perfect and distinct for an abstract image like this that I couldn’t pass it up. And I certainly would never say Heisenberg is cute but…
Continue reading “breaking bad (embroidery no. 13)”
Valar morghulis. All men must die.
This theme and these words come up over and over again in the Song of Ice and Fire books, the series that includes Game of Thrones and its sequels. As those who watch the show and read the books know, in George R. R. Martin’s world, a lot of men must die.
Continue reading “valar morghulis (embroidery no. 11)”