She believed she could. So she did.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vintage Gym Locker Storage Bins

Rescued from a school during a gym renovation. Forgot they were up in the attic. Added them to the studio.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peace Out!

Remember the Cosby Show episode where Denise convinced Theo that she could make the same expensive yellow satin designer shirt he saw in a store window with the same pinache for mere pennies and in no time at all? That episode reminds me of this purse.

I will affectionately call it the Wendy Bag; although, I hold no affection for it at all. When I look at it, all I see is that mustard-yellow-jacked-up-one-sleeve-longer-than-the-other shirt that Theo wore on his date.

I was inspired by this adorable bag that Wendy's co-worker carries. Eighteen dollars at Trader's Village.

I just love all of the stitching and embroidery. The cute colors. The cool peace signs and the hip distressed look of it all. Like Denise from the Cosby Show, I took one look, snapped my fingers and thought what a breeze. I can make that “No Problem!” Ha!
I used a pattern from Sew-Fisto-Cats. That should have been my first sign of trouble. The irony of the name adds to the disaster of the Wendy bag.  
As with most things, I began with high hopes. I'm satisfied with the applique on the front and the ruffles of knit on the side. It's when I got to step 26 or something "putting the outside bag in the inside bag and flip" that things got wonky. I won't even horrify you with the details of the way-too-short-to-be-cool-at-all-strap. And originally, I think I bought the fabric for some curtains and it probably should have stayed that way. :-) Nonetheless, creativity is a process. We are always in the process of becoming whatever it is we are going to be and that certainly fits this bag.

I think Denise gave up designing and sewing and became a missionary to Africa. Hmmm... food for thought....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Modern Clutch

My favorite clutch so far.
It has a pocket on the inside and a secret message.
It's made from yummy pieces of Moda Chrysalis layer cake which came with 42 cuts of 10x10 fabric. De--lish!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"The Smart Ones Just Figure It Out Anyway"

The costume design and construction teacher at my school remarked to me that she usually doesn't get to zippers in her classes because the novice sewists "aren't there yet," and "the smart ones just figure it out anyway." So proud to announce that after a gazillion rocky zipper installations and WAY too many hours of seam ripping, I can sew a zipper. Much to my chagrin, it doesn't take making false promises to a higher power of being good, giving up sugar, doing sit-ups, winning the lottery, or anything remotely like that. Just like the teacher said. It just takes a little common sense.... Hmmmm. Voila! Zippering! I am the mighty zipper warrior - or something like that. Maybe I've just caught on to whatever one else can do easily, with their eyes closed. Here's some lessons that I learned.
1. My zipper was too short, so I covered the ends with fabric. I learned this from Flossie Teacakes: From in Between the Stitches. She has a great tutorial on her blog. Basically, you just cut fabric 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Fold it in half and then fold in the ends to the press line. Then stitch that on the end of your zipper. It's tons easier if you get a zipper that's longer than what you need because then you just attach it and cut off the excess. However, the covered zipper does look nice in the end.
2. Make your zipper sandwich. First pretty fabric side up. Zipper upside down with the head on the left. Then the lining fabric pretty side down. Right sides of both fabrics are touching with the zipper in between.
3. Here's the magic part... before creating the zipper sandwich, unzip the zipper about 1/2 way down. Put a pin in your zipper sandwich vertically denoting where the zipper head is. Then pin the rest of the sandwich horizontally while carefully feeling for the zipper teeth and getting as close to those teeth as you can. The picture shows the horizontal pins and the vertical pin reminding me where the zipper head is.
4. Now for the moment of truth... start swewing down the zipper to the vertical pin that marks the zipper head. Stop sewing when you get to that pin. Take your zipper sandwich out of the machine. Zip the zipper all the way up. Begin at your original sewing line and continue to the end. Voila! I love it! A perfectly installed zipper with just the right amount of space between the fabric and the coils.
5. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the zipper. Hum "We Are the Champions!" to yourself as you continue because you can rock a zipper! Exciting!
This picture shows the zipper sandwich. The khaki fabric is pretty side up. The zipper is upside down and open half way down. The lining is pretty side down.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Burlap Covered Bulletin Board

I love the look and texture of burlap. There's just something simple and chic about it. It whispers that fall is in the air with visions of scrappy scarecrow suits to sacks full of feed at the farmer's market. Today I covered a regular old bulletin board that I got for $9.99 at TJ Max with a beautiful creamy burlap. I just covered the edges with tape and then used spray adhesive on the cork to adhere the fabric. 
Using just a plain crochet chain stitch, I created a ribbon for around the edges. Took about 15 minutes to complete and looks super cute.  
Now I need to display something on it...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Handmade Gifts

What's the quote? Idle hands make for the devil's workshop? Or something like that. Anyway, it's been a busy week of handmade gifts. Donna Dee's birthday, Nonna's birthday, Jessica's birthday, and something for my Momma any day of the week. She is my dearie. Of course, there's something for Wendy too.
Secret messages are appliqued on the inside of these.
"You Are My Sunshine"