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While on the loooooooong drive south for the winter I started knitting the above scarf. I wanted something thick and chunky that I could wrap around like a cowl or the infinity scarves that seem to be everywhere right now. I had a skein and a half of a pretty, cream colored fiber and got down to business.

I just used a really simple pattern from Ravelry.com called the Weekend Scarf and knit along to Harry Potter audiobooks (Now the husband wants me to knit him some scarves in the house colors : ).

Ignore the tail that hasn't been woven in.

I really like the color and warmth of the scarf, but it’s super scratchy. I wasn’t sure what the fiber was because it was a gift from a friend, but guessing by the itchiness it’s wool. At least it’s warm!

I’ve actually been very productive in 2012 so far. Not that you would know it from my lack of blogging *cough*. I’ve decided to focus on getting the miscellaneous or already begun projects done. This has included a bunch of mending, hemming a skirt, and working on a t-shirt revamp (photos later).

Sewing Swag

Santa/my family was generous this Christmas and I got a lot of sweet sewing stuff! This year I want to learn how to fit patterns so I can start making dresses that actually fit me, so  I got a couple of fun books to help!

I had heard that The Perfect Fit was a great book for fixing all kinds of fitting problems. It’s got tons of photos of common issues and how to fix them like swaybacks, necklines, bust adjustments, etc… It’s a little hard to ignore the ridiculously dated photos, but they don’t affect the actual techniques.

I also received The Party Dress based off the rave reviews I’d seen online (didn’t have a chance to check it out in person as B&N didn’t carry it). It seems like the kind of book that would be best enjoyed with a friend, as the technique it uses for drafting the dress patterns requires multiple hands. I think some of the content will come in handy down the line, but for now it’s just fun reading. Guess I’ll have to give up my hermitage and make some sewing friends huh?

In the family nursery with husband and cat.

For Christmas and New Years the hubs and I went down to Southern California where all our family is. It was a great vacation filled with family, board games, beer drinking, and beach outings!

San Clemente, CA

As for other goals of 2012, I’ve decreed that it shall be year of the corgi!

Seams & Canadians

I’ve been working on sewing a circle skirt (Could I fail at something more basic?). I spent something like two hours meticulously measuring and sewing in my lapped side zipper and then attaching the waistband. I had measured everything for my hips, and it fit perfectly up until I put the waistband on. I was so proud of how I’d eased it in so there were no puckers. Then when I tried it on it didn’t even fit around my wast measurements! No idea how that happened. So now I have to meticulously rip out all my seams. : (

But then I came across the weird Handmade Ryan Gosling phenomenon that seem to be sweeping the internet, and I’m happy again.

The one below is my favorite, from Happy Zombie.

I think I have the strength to rip out some seams now.

Today I’ve got an easy project that only requires three ingredients: a tin of any shape or size, some mod podge, and some eye-catching scrapbook paper.

I happen to have a number of cocoa tins hanging around at home and at work, that I use as pen and clipy containers. Bored with looking at the branding day in and day out, I broke out my mod podge and got to work crafting something girly and fun to brighten up my work space. If I have to spend eight hours a day in one place I may as well make it mine!

First you’ll want to wrap the paper around the tin to see how much you need to trim off.  Make sure to leave about a 1/2″-1″ at the top to wrap over the top edge. With this size tin a regular sheet of 12×12 scrapbook paper won’t fit all the way around, and will leave a strip of tin peeking through. I like to simply cut around the design on the excess paper I trimmed off, and then paste this over the space, thereby creating a focal piece for the front of the container.

Cut out your paper and glue it down by painting on the mod podge and holding the paper in place. It should set fairly quickly. At the top where the sides come together, cut a slit down the corners so the paper can be folded easily over the lip. Glue this down as well. Cut out your extra strip or design and attach and then apply a coat or two of the mod podge to help protect it from grime and water.

Now you should have a perfectly tailored tin to hold whatever items you need!

I love all things banners! This one is the first I’ve ever actually made, despite all my plans for all sorts of holiday/birthday buntings.

I stumbled across this tutorial at Ginger & George for a cute Halloween Ghostie Garland and gave it my own artistic spin.

Aren’t they cutie-pies?

All you need is some white cardstock and any colored pencils, crayons, or markers you have hanging around. I used two sheets of cardstock with six ghosts on each sheet, and colored pencils.

There is a three-way tie for my heart between Shakespeare Ghost, Drunk Ghost, and Sheriff Ghost.

Check out the template at the Ginger & George site or just wing it! I liked freehanding the ghosts so they are all slightly different shaped (aka I can’t draw non-crooked shapes).

Darn commercial patterns and their ridiculous amounts of ease!!! If I wanted to wear a sack all I’d need is a rectangle of fabric and straight side seams. There is nothing less fun than spending the time to fit a pattern with tissue and then sewing the real thing and learning that despite your best efforts it still is huge (and apparently you need to work on your tissue fitting skills). I decided to go ahead and do as the internet says and go down a size, which worked, almost magically.

McCall's M5972

I have been trying to make a muslin of the bodice from this pattern, so I could pair it with a feminine circle skirt. I got it, and a number of others, during a $1 pattern sale at JoAnn’s. I have been on a fifties dresses kick lately and would probably give up a quarter of my soul for a closet full of full-skirted, high-waisted, brightly colored dresses.

Sigh.

Well, by going down a size I was able to get the boobs to finally fit, the armscythe seems fine though I wouldn’t mind a little more room, but the front neckline still wants to gape. If I push it flat  it looks great and the shoulders look fitted, but once I start moving it pouches out again. I will have to do some more research. I really want to take a class on fitting patterns/tailoring and get some hands on help with what the heck I’m doing wrong. Right now I feel like I should just stick with sewing skirts and miscellaneous home decor and quilting projects.

Ho hum.

Last weekend I went on a bit of a thrift store clothing binge.

I have a sorely out-dated wardrobe, I am too cheap to buy new, and I also want to practice my sewing skills and learn how to alter clothing to fit me better. Quite seriously, I have clothing in my closet from eighth grade (albeit only one or two items, but I have more from freshman-senior year of high school).

Anyways. Here’s this giant yet girly shirt I bought.

I’ve been really digging the salmon and coral colors, and I thought the ruffley sleeves and braided neck details were cute. The bodice hit right on, except that it was about three sizes too wide.

I needed to take it in about two inches on each side.

I took the seams out down to the bodice ties and pulled them out so I wouldn’t accidentally sew them into my new seam. I wanted to make sure those stayed functional. Then I measure and sewed along the seam keeping the curve of the shirt the same.

Then I flipped it inside out, made sure the fit was right, and then I cut new slits for the drawstrings and pulled them through to the right side.

And that’s it! Super easy and now perfectly fitted!

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