Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Trunk Show... almost ready!

Making owls.

And zipper pouches.  And so many other things that I don't quite have time to photograph right now!

And figuring out packaging.  I love these craft paper round labels from Avery.  The bags and cool orange burlap twine are from Nashville Wraps.

I'll be a vendor tomorrow at the DIY Trunk Show.  This is by far the biggest fair I've done, and I have no idea if I have enough wares or not, but I suppose I'll find out soon enough.  If you're in the Chicago area, please come by and check it out.  There is a really amazing list of vendors which you can peruse here.   And I'd absolutely love it if you stopped by to say hello to me at Booth 91!

One more quick thing before I get back to work.  Here's a sneak peak at the package I sent off for the Secret Santa swap, hosted by Me and Elna.  More about that next week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Teeny, tiny patchwork

Are you on Threadbias, yet?  I am, and, although I'm not yet using it to it's full potential yet, I did enjoy participating in this Threadbias Pincushion Swap.  The only project requirement was that it use some or all of the colors orange, blue and green.  This is the pincushion I made.

I pieced these little teeny, tiny pieces to make the letters.  Look at the size of this patchwork!  I was really scared when I started (I thought my sewing machine might suck the pieces inside and destroy them!), but it worked out fine.  Paper piecing would have probably been easier, but I was in a rush and didn't want to spend the time drawing up a paper pattern.

Here are the pieced letters, and my notes.  I used linen --oh lovely linen-- for the background.

Here's the finished block, all neat and trimmed.  {Don't look too closely at the "W"!}

I quilted it, sewed on the green print for the back, stuffed it full of fiber fill, then wrapped it up like a burrito to send off to my swap partner.

And look at the awesome ORANGE cathedral window pincushion I received in return.  It's already on my sewing table, getting heavy use.  I kinda like this swap thing!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A few things.

It's already the 5th day of Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holiday series.  If you're unfamiliar with this fantastic collection of DIY sewing (and other) tutorials, please.  Go.  Check.  It.  Out.  It's full of really great gifty type ideas for everyone on your list.  And it runs throughout the month of November.  It's one of my favorite things about November.  Seriously.

Have you heard about the Makerie's Sewing retreat?  It sounds really amazing!  Great teachers, two whole days of sewing and learning, plus hiking, yoga, and yummy healthy food.  I would be there in a heartbeat if I could.

This is not exactly new, but I love this "scrappy X and +" quilt block tutorial from Amy at Badskirt.  And (more new-ish)  these house quilt blocks by Retro Mama and Noodlehead.

Oh, and because I can't post without a picture (plus I just want to show you!), here's that zipper pouch I was working on when I was supposed to be doing other stuff.  Finished.  I call it the "Rainy-Day-Fund Pouch."  Clever, huh?  I'll be making a bunch more for the holiday shows I have coming up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Handmade Halloween

I can't remember ever wearing a store-bought costume as a kid, although I probably did at some point.  And, except for my son's first birthday when I couldn't resist buying him an adorable fuzzy giraffe costume, my kid's have always had (at least partially) handmade costumes, too.  Not that there's anything wrong with a store bought costume.  I've seen some really great commercial costumes, including some today at my kids' school.  It's just that it's really fun to make a costume, whether it involves finding just the right pieces at a thrift store, using spray paint and a hot glue gun, or stitching one up from scratch.  (I'm also cheap, and don't like paying full price!)

This year my son asked to be one of the Gogo Crazy Bones he collects and plays with constantly.  He wanted to be Targy, the one pictured above.  It's pretty specific and obscure -- most people had to ask what he was -- but people loved the costume anyway.  I used plastic tubing and wire to shape the head piece and then attached it to a bicycle helmet with strapping tape.  I covered it in red pleather with white pleather stripes.  I mostly sewed the red pleather (I used some red duct tape, too), but I ended up attaching the white stripes with clear tape.  And the white pleather circle is glued to the red sweatshirt with fabric glue.  The red pleather pants, though, are completely sewn.  Hint:  laying tissue paper over the shiny side of the pleather makes it so much easier to sew!  The mask it pleather over a cardboard form -- this part was very last minute and not as successful as the rest of the costume.  Apparently, it was kind of uncomfortable and made it hard for him to see, so he ended up not wearing it most of the time.

My daughter's costume was easier,  She's wanted to be a werewolf since last Halloween, so I've had time to think about it too.  I used faux fur and stitched up a pair of straight tube arm warmers with thumb holes and leg warmers with an extra flap to rest over her shoes.  I roughly followed the pattern I used last year to sew her bat hat, to make this year's hat/hood.  The tail and neck piece are my own design.  The shirt and jeans were thrifted.

Here's a not-so-scary photo of my sweet werewolf, and the three of us together, out trick-or-treating.  Did I mention that I whipped up a quick Amelia Earhart costume for myself last Halloween?  No?  Well, here it is, recycled and reused again this year.  Handmade felt hat with ear flaps, sunglasses-made-aviator-goggles with a bit 'o felt, and a white scarf made by sewing together strips of a chopped up t-shirt.  The jacket, khaki pants, and tall boots are from my wardrobe.

By the way, I end up spending much of the time before Halloween frantically finishing these costumes that I always start a bit later than I wished.  We're lucky if we get a few decorations up and the pumpkins carved... but at least we've got the costumes!

Hope you had a great Halloween!  Did you make any costumes this year?