Thursday, November 26, 2015

Its turkey time in the city

Well almost turkey.  It's what you get when you cross a pineapple with a turkey.  Ah, purkey, LOL.  Actually, its Larry the Las Vegas show turkey.  He shows up every year around this time and is such a gas.  His sister works with the rockets.  You outta see her sequins.
Here's his close-up.  If your going to do turkey glam you might as well do it in style and bust out the sequins, right.  Its not every day that a pineapple and turkey pull off the unthinkable and convince everyone they are a turkey.
Here's the turkey fixins.  You got your felt cut out to resemble turkey parts.  Your embroidery floss or thick thread, some stuffing and some wiggly eyes that you glue on.  My mom made the original version years ago and I copied it and here are some of the offspring in the works. They are fun to make.
I've also been knitting hats.  I found this cool yarn that is ombre dyed by Alex at  The yarn is wool and soooo soft.  As you knit from the bottom up it gives this dip dyed effect that is awsome.  You can buy the yarn and then get the pattern free from Alex's ravelry download off his page on ravelry.  The needles are size 10 double points.
Mom says, What ya doin out there?  I said, washin and hangin dog food bags.  Mom says, YOU GOT MORE DOG FOOD BAGS!!!  I say, YASSSSSSS!  LOL, :  ).  It was such a beautiful day today for Thanksgiving.  Lately the weather has been rainy and COLD, brrrr.  So when today turned out to be so nice I decided I better take advantage of it and get a bunch of these bags washed and dried. So that when the weather turns cold again at least I'll have a batch I can work on.  This is my least favorite part of the dog food bag creation process.  You got to turn them inside out first, Then I wipe them down with those disinfecting wipes - spray them with some window cleaner and then brush them on both sides and hose them off.  Then hang-em to dry.  If you don't do that and clean them up, they have dog food crumbs and this oily substance that is not very nice smelling to me but I'm sure dogs LOVE it.  So there will be more dog food bag creations to share in the future.
Here's hoping you had a beautiful thankful day.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stitch Happy : )

Here is a photo of some sashiko that I have been doing.  Thanks Kyle of for the inspiration!  I have been following her lovely work on some sashiko projects on her blog and decided to give it a try  :  ).  I got the supplies from who sells sashiko supplies and kits as well as other craft supplies on Etsy.  I was able to get everything I needed from the Snuggly Monkey site  :  ).  If anyone has got a favorite source for supplies I'd love to hear about it.  The kit is a dragon fly pattern that is stamped on the fabric and as you can tell I decided to use a blue thread.  The kits info was all printed in Japanese and since I couldn't read it I relied on good old Youtube for some helpful info.  One of the things I learned browsing on youtube is how to prepare your thread prior to stitching so that you can use it without getting it all tangled up.  You take the thread out of the package and open it up which is basically like cotton embroidery thread so it is like on big skein of thread.  You cut open the loop/skein at one end and then gently braid the skein all the way down.  You can see the blue braided thread hanging in the picture.  So all you have to do is gently tug on one thread at the top loop (top of the braid) as you need it and pull it out of the braid.  This to me as a cosmetologist is already a winner  :  ).  So I think I'll be braiding all my embroidery threads like this in the future.  I couldn't resist the yellow and orange threads when I ordered the kit so those will be used on a future project.  Also, I got a thimble as you can see tacked up with a pic of how you wear it on your hand.  I didn't find that I needed it for doing the sashiko stitching but I'm sure it will come in handy at some point.  It's a clever thimble.
On the subject of stitching - I'm a big fan of embroidery and just plain stitching.  In the past I had taken Rebecca Ringquists embroidery classes on and when she came out with a book I was excited and had to get it.  I really like the book.  In the background is one of the samplers Rebecca has on her Etsy sight for sale.  The sampler uses all the stitches she teaches you in her Creativebug class.  Also, in her book she suggests using various types of textiles for your embroidery, such as old embroidery pieces, vintage napkins etc.  I like this idea so I've been gathering a few things I've found in the thrift to use for later projects.  Here you see two napkins and a hot pink pillow case to be used in later projects.
Here is a close up of the sampler using all the various stitches.
Here's a close up of the little flower embroidery I did that was inspired by the flowers in this years garden.  Its about 2 by 3 inches in size.  It's worked on a piece of felt.
 Here's what I've been doing to keep inspiration and design ideas at hand near my sewing machine.  I keep a photo album book by my desk.  The type where you can slide photos into the plastic pockets/sleeves.  Also, for when my bulletin board gets full of inspiration and needs to be organized from time to time I have somewhere to keep the bits of info etc.  You can even keep small pattern pieces in the sleeves for when you need them.
Here's a photo of behind the scenes at craftspacecontinuum  :  ) or should I say a HOT MESS.  There is a method to the madness, LOL.  Yes, I noticed the cobweb up in the corner after the photo had been taken and it will be attended to - soon  :  ).  This is how I like to store my patterns and muslin fitting stuff while working on it.  It's got to be parked somewhere and putting things into envelopes is so not me.  I'm more apt to work on things if they are organized yet handy for the reach when need be.  Me being a mood sewer/crafter and sometimes my energy level peters out sooner than I thought it would so storing things like this is a great help.  If I get a back ache, migraine or life calls me in a different direction I can just lay what I'm working on over the hanger, use a clothes pin if necessary to secure and there it hangs till next time.  There's been drawing, cutting, tweeking going on, soon to  be shared.
In closing - Just for fun  :  ).  I was going thru my project bag to gather the embroidery projects for this blog entry and look what I found.  A petrified/fossilized orange at the bottom of the bag, YIKES! The thing is as hard as a rock.  I know this thing has been in there since last march because that is when I packed the bag for when I went out of town at that time.  I think if it were a banana I'd have smelt it by now.  I always wanted to be an archaeologist.
Till next time,
TTFN  :  )

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dog Food Bags

This is a print that I got from an artist named Kelsey Pike .  She even made the paper herself.  I love it! In honor of the, use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without motto, I'm going to post about how to make the dog food bags.  The yellow one is the bag I took with me to  New York for MPB Day.
 Here are two of the bags made from different sized dog food bags.  They are very sturdy and made from a 36 pound and 40 pound sized dog food bag.  I figured if these can hold 36 to 40 pounds of dog food then they can hold anything I could think of putting in them.  They are great for laundry.  I like keeping my knitting yarn in them.
Here's is a picture of the supplies I used in making these bags.  I forgot to include the wooden clothes pins which come in really handy for holding down the hem at the top, holding on the handles while stitching and while stitching the seam at the bottom of the bag.  So if you have clothes pins it will be like an extra pair of hands.  Also, when sewing the bag at your sewing machine make sure you have plenty of room for manipulating the bag as you sew.  The bag has little give and is stiff to work with so you will need room for moving it around while your sewing. It's kind of like feeding your sewing machine a piece of cardboard.  So keep that cup of coffee some where else out of the way unless you want to be cleaning up a mess.
A pair of scissors that are utility or old sewing scissors would be best because you don't want to ruin your fabric scissors.  The clorox disinfecting wipes are great for cleaning the bag before you work with it.  Dog food has an oily residue that is left on the bag so I recommend cleaning it and hanging it on a clothes line and airing it for a couple of days to get rid of the dog food smell.  The needles are singer, universal denim needles size 100/16.  The threads I used are Gutermann 100 % polyester M782 110 yards per spool and Coats Outdoor 100 % polyester 200 yards per spool.  The Coats thread is nice since it comes in several fun colours.  It would be advisable to practice on a scrap of the dog food bag material with the thread your using.  My machine had trouble making a straight stitch without me helping the dog food bag thru the machine.  I found for my machine that with the Gutermann thread in the bobbin and the Coats thread in the top and a large zig zag stitch it was much easier to work with and to achieve a workable stitch.  You can see how the zig zag stitching looks in the picture.  It was a workable sturdy stitch but it did get a bit wonky at times.  So practice to see what its like to work with this (specialty fabric) and what settings for your stitch and which thread works the best for your machine.  Also, its important to have a new needle since this is tough material and you want to have all the punch power you can get outta that needle.  When sewing around the hem at the top of the bag where the handles are attatched I stopped and used the hand crank of the machine to carefully sew over where they are attatched (there is a lot of bulk in these areas so slower is better) so as not to break the needle and that did great.
Basically your just making a simple bag but your just using a dog food bag to make it.  There are loads of tutorials and info out there for making a basic bag.  So here's basic info on how I made one using the dog food bag and hope it helps.  If you want to share any info or advice please do or a pic or your bag too  :  )

I thought it would be easier to write out the info rather than take a bunch of pictures.   What are you craft-cycling lately?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

MPB Day was a BLAST!!! : )

Male Pattern Boldness Day 2015 was soooo much fun.  This is the second time I attended. I've been reading Peters blog for a couple years now and its great how he has helped to foster a community of like minded sewers.  Its easy to get overwhelmed with every thing and not get the photos you want or thought you got.  So I am posting a picture of Peter (creator of and host of MPB Day) and I from last year.  Don't worry neither of us has aged a bit.
Peter is in the red and white polka dot shirt.  Thanks Peter for hosting and making MPB Day such a wonderful time.  Also, thanks for telling me about Advanced Style and Iris Apfel.  I had never heard of this and looked it up when I got home.  Can't wait to check out the movie/documentary.  That is sooo cool what Ari Seth Cohen is doing by taking these ladies pictures and some gents too.

Here are some pictures of the event and items I purchased:

I got to NY a day early and walked around and made some fabric purchases, Ooooops.  Here you have, from left to right, some wild faux fur, a stretchy jersey type fabric that is reversable, a really cool cotton Egyptian print material from a vendor at a street sale, and some very light weight fabric with flower print all over it from the same vendor.  I've got a few ideas for these things so keep your eyes peeled.
Here are the actual MPB Day purchases.  Blue mesh fabric from Mood and got the Mood Rewards card - so ready for next year already  : ).  The vest pattern is from the pattern swap at Panera.  The silver attitude glasses, hair bob pins, and peace sign hair holder are from the Chelsea flea Market - love that place.  That little silver screw looking thing is a screw with a big easy to hold end on it that Marty gave me.  It's for making it easier to grab while changing your sewing needles on your sewing machine.  Thanks Marty!
Who's that in a fabric shopping mood at Mood?  It's Enrique in his me made shirt and tie.  Looks Great Enrique!
Hey Marty!  That's not a manakin it's Lisa.  Marty couldn't resist the urge to drape and Lisa was sweet to model.
I was excited to meet and talk with Kyle.  The creativity behind  HOW COOL IS THAT!  she had the bag she made from her blog and was wearing a luscious jersey dress she me made.  Also, she has inspired me to try out some sashiko by seeing how she has done some on her blog.  That's sash-ko when you say it - drop that i, tee hee. Thanks for the inspiration Kyle.  So look for some sashiko in a future project.
We 3 sewers of Bryant Park are pooped but you wouldn't know it by the looks on our faces - somebody show me more fabric will ya!  Tracey on the left (in modernist leaf print - forgot to ask her what fabric that was), Lisa (in rose print she purchase during last MPD) in the middle and me.  Arn't they glam in their me mades.  Love it ladies!
I also met Lynn from she had on this jean/denim top she made that was to die for as well as her skirt and top.  It makes me want to make something too.  In fact everyone I talked with got me inspired and learned so much just by talking with everyone.  I just wish I had been better at taking pictures and writing down blog info.  I'll be better next time.
Look who found a free box at Parsons.  Tracey, Tomasa and Anne.  :  )
The lighting in the FIT museum exhibit just made us look so gooooood.  The Global Fashion Capitals exhibit was really nice it had some designers work from all over the world.
Just for fun I took a picture of this chevron pattern woven fabric at Mood Fabrics when we were there.  I loved the texture, colour and pattern of this.  Then the next day after Lisa and I had finished walking the High Line.  We were walking down the street and look what I saw, this -
Some body or some bodies had used old plastic bags and woven them into the chain link fence to create a chevron pattern.  I was like, this must be a sign.  Maybe there is chevron in my future project.  I'm inspired and amazed at the things people create out of what seems to be nothing sometimes.
Here's to creativity and a fabulous sewing community of fun people.  Thanks Peter for bringing it all together.  Looking forward till next time  :  )

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sew Happy : )

Isn't it delicious.  I mean have you ever.  I just absolutely adore finding new places to wear my threads.  Oh that Marilyn.  Shes just gotta be adorned/adored and what better way to do it than with a custom made thread holder/slash sewing catch all in honor of that Golden Diva.  It's made out of a left over plastic flower pot that was then MOD PODGED with magazine pages.  Did you know they also make sparkle MOD PODGE.  I didn't know it at the time because if I did I surely would have used it for this.  Then for the thread spool holders I used what are called Pin-On Hooks that you can purchase from the upholstery section of the sewing center.  They are these wire hooks (some how I just don't think that Joan Crawford would approve) that are for hanging curtains but i flipped em around and hooked them on the edge of the flower pot to hold the threads.  I did have to bend them a bit to adjust them so the thread would fit better.
the hook on the left is how they come in the package.  Using pliers I adjusted the shape a bit to allow for the spool of thread to sit on it.  I saw these being used hold spools of thread in an old sewing pattern for sewing accessories that was available on Etsy and thought, Hmmmm, that's interesting.  For so long I had been wanting to make a spool holder and had looked on line for differnt ways to do it.  Usually it involved a drill or a hammer and nails.  I just wasn't wanting to get all that complicated with it all nor did I want to spend too much money on it.  I was perfectly content on leaving the spools of thread right where they were in baskets and drawers until I saw this idea with the hooks.  The Pin-On Hooks cost all of $2.49 before taxes and other than having to purchase the Mod Podge it was all very inexpensive.  I've got another project using these hooks to show later.
So until then.  SEW HAPPY  -  HAPPY MONDAY  -  whats on your make list?

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's here, It's here! : )

The Male 3/4 Torso Dress Form Mannequin Display with hanging loop finally arrived, WOOT!  This was purchased on Amazon from Mannequin Maven for 39.99 with added shipping.  I think it came out to be about $53.00 dollars with shipping.  Here he is posed with the vintage lady mannequin that I used to keep in my shop.  I've been wanting to get a male torso/mannequin for a while now and have been shopping around.  Years ago I made a body double where you used gummed packaging tape as papier mache and covered yourself like a mummy (with the help of a friend) in the appropriate areas stand there till it dried, ARGH.  Then cut it off, slipped out of it, added more tape to strengthen it, and then coved it with fabric for an inexpensive alternative to a clothing form.  Well it worked for awhile but was never very sturdy and had a tendency to collapse on itself.
  Not wanting to spend a fortune on one of these I've been looking around and finally decided on this mannequin that was available on Amazon.  It took awhile to find one with the measurements I wanted since I wanted one that was close to my size but smaller.  I wanted it smaller since I can always pad it up to my size in the areas that need it.  Eventually I'll get around to making a cover for it so I can pin into it.  Ha, I will have to admit that I wish I had abs like that, LOL.  Maybe it will inspire me to - GET WITH IT - in the exercise department.  All in all, I'm really pleased with it and it will come in handy for photo shoots and with sewing garments.  It's cool that it has the partial legs because you can use it for shorts/pants.  It also has this sturdy wire hoop at the top if you want to hang it.  Its a very sturdy plastic.
So there you have it the beginnings of the sewing studio.  I've got a clothing rack on the back porch so that may be where all the photo shoots will take place.  There's nothing like early morning and evening lighting for pictures  :  )

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sweet Summer its here! : )

Summer has finally gotten here and, HOW SWEET IT IS, as Jackie Gleeson used to say.  Here is a pic of the top I've been working on.  It just doesn't feel good to crop your own head off of a picture but having a bad hair day (bed head) and bad lighting made it necessary, HA.  Getting pics of oneself isn't the easiest thing to do so I ordered a body double that is close to my body measurements for future photo shoots.  Also, pairing this top with camo shorts probably isn't that sylish, but hey it was a get the pic while ya can moment.
 So now that its sewn up, I really like how it came out.  It still needs some tweeking. As far as tweeking I'd make the waist hem a little longer with slits at each side and the collar about a half an inch less tall.  The collar is about 1 1/2 inches tall and has a bit of a wave to it so top stitching may help that but I thought it would be easier to make it shorter than bigger at the time.   Basically I'm happy with the pattern itself.  It fits well and this basic pattern can be used as a base pattern for other garments.  My goal is to use this as the base and then make other garments from it as I progress along on my sewing journey.  This basic pattern was made using the book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes pattern making simplified by Cal Patch and by following her pattern making class on .  The book is geared towards women but you can make a simple basic pattern and then man it up for the fellas or yourself.  Cal Patch also has a class for sewing your own leggings. Not that I want leggings.  But I've since been trying to get back into my yoga/fitness routine and thought I could make some of my own yoga clothes.  The legging pattern could be addapted to making the yoga pants I've seen people wearing in class.  Hence this big bundle of sturdy knit fabric I found at the thrift will be the basis for experimenting with yoga wear.
The colour of this fabric isn't really thrilling me but its a sturdy cotton type of double knit.  It would be perfect for yoga pants.  It's a purl type knit on one side and a chevron pattern that I think is called houndstooth on the other.
Here are some red roses from the garden showing their happy faces and a new plant from the nursery.  Not sure what it is but its a trailer and has these little yellow flowers on it.  Planning on using it in one of those little gardens that looks like you can camp out in it.  How does your garden grow?  Happy Summer  :  )