Swap Loot! (part 2)

All my pictures blurred. Boo! But this is what I got in return from the fabulous teapotdnky:

Reepicheep! Which is really funny, since I had already decided I’d have to make my own. It was hard for me to send. So this was perfect (and I like her poly clay sword better than my sticker-covered cardboard one anyway.)

A travel pouch (with pocket that you can’t see very well), that holds this potion vial inside (makes me think of Lucy’s cordial bottle).

A Narnian map, which also fits very nicely inside the pocket when rolled up. I’m trying to figure out what kind of paper this is, because it feels very cloth-like!

And finally, Lucy Pevensie reading the Magician’s book in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as done in polymer clay. The pictures really don’t do this one justice– the details are exquisite.
And a more frontal view of Lucy (and Reepicheep) and the book she’s reading. Just ignore the plushy Faramir that’s keeping them company in the background.
So I was very pleased with how this one turned out, though I’m thinking perhaps I went a bit overboard in my own crafting. Typical for me. Good learning experience though, and I would definitely do it again.
In other news, I don’t know if I’m going to have any time at all to craft this week. Between work, trying to get my horribly messy room cleaned, extra reasons to practice my flute, and going away this weekend, there’s just no time left. 😦

Swap Loot! (part 1)

My partner got my package, and I got hers today, so I can finally post pics of what I’ve been making!

Her favorite of the Narnia books was Voyage of the Dawn Treader so I based everything off of that. Here’s what I made:

This was the first project I finished, a little zippered pouch with the Narnian flag design on it.

She said her favorite color was grey, and so I made this little messenger-style bag. The embroidery is supposed to be Eustace as a dragon (it’s hard to see, but he’s got an armband stuck around his front leg). Grey suedecloth (which I found on sale) and lined in a silky lighter grey (which I found in the remnant bin! Yay!)

And then I had a good deal of leftover fabric from that, so I made her a matching wallet:

The text on the bottom is from her favorite quote: “There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it.” But I crossed out “boy” and wrote in “dragon” just because I could.


Boy, he was hard for me to send. I absolutely loved how he turned out. Mostly grey fleece that I found (again) in the remnant bin. The tail’s a pipecleaner that I covered in more leftover suedecloth from the dragon bag. I had to hand-sew everything due to size, but I was pleased with the results.

And next to the DVD case for scale.

A Dufflepud bookmark. The picture is made from little pieces collaged from magazine pages.

And finally, my last-minute project from last weekend. She’d mentioned that she’d gotten some painted shoes in a recent swap and enjoyed them, so I managed to score these for $3 at K-mart and painted them with the tons of cheap craft acrylics I have. The Dawn Treader is the left shoe, and a sea serpent is on the right.

I’ll post pics of what I got in return once I take them.

Edit: (12:11 AM)
No pictures yet. But I did start sewing together my jacket. Here’s all I’ve got so far. You can’t see the pocket flaps on the front pieces very well.

A perilous undertaking

The swap stuff is done, and sent out as of yesterday. So now all I have to do is sit back and wait to see what I get in return!

I’ve come to the conclusion that before I can do anything else, I reeeeally need to clean up my sewing area. (And possibly my room, since it’s scrapbook/jewelry making central and right now I have no room to spread out.) I spent some time clearing off most of the sewing table yesterday, and I got some storage bins today to get my more recent fabric acqusitions that are to be made promptly into fall wardrobe out of the way. The difficult thing is going to be tackling the area between my sewing table and the wall, which is currently piled high with large leftover pieces from other projects, bags of patterns (which no longer fit in the storage boxes I have) and other miscellaney. I might have to actually throw away fabric. A horrible thought! But then, several of those larger pieces are things like fleece I was given, which I have no immediate idea what to do with, or other random things. I just hate throwing away larger pieces, because you never know when you can find something to do with it. For instance, I used some for the recent craft swap. But something has to be done, because I keep losing things to go with my projects, and I have no room to maneuver in there because of the piles. Augh!

Edit: (5:30 PM) So far, I’ve managed to get the large cuts of fabric that I (mostly) have plans for what I’m going to do with them in a storage box, along with patterns and notions, in the order I’m going to do them in. So here’s the dreaded to-do list:

  1. Black corduroy military-style jacket
  2. Brown and teal ethnic-print skirt (before I lose the trim again and have to buy it a third time)
  3. Teal knit shirt that just happens to match the aforementioned skirt
  4. Gauzy metallic-pinstriped tunic
  5. Gold embroidered silky dress and matching shrug-coverup thing (which I realized today that, unless I want vertical stripes of embroidery, I need to rethink my pattern, or come up with my own)
  6. Blue stripey pants
  7. Tan brocade coat
  8. Flannel pajamas
  9. White sleeveless tunic (inspired by Anthropologie again, and by the time I actually make it I won’t be able to wear it until next summer because I ran out of time this summer, but I already have the stuff, so oh well.)
  10. Paisley sundress (which, again, I intended to make this summer and ran out of time.)

I think that’s everything…

So except for the last three, everything is more or less straight up from a commercial pattern. I have been attempting to reduce my dependence on patterns lately, but all of these patterns look like they’ll be good as is, so I’ll just churn out the much-needed fall wardrobe things first and then play around a bit more.

Edit #2: (11:30 PM) Managed to get the rest of the fabric pile consolidated down into one bin, mostly. Still need to figure out what to do with all the scattered patterns. And, because I could, I cut out the outer part of the jacket. I’m really glad I was able to find the wale-less corduroy, since that had been exactly what I’d envisioned when I first picked up the pattern, and it just feels lush and yummy. (And easier to wash than velvet, which is great when you work with kids.)

Almost done…

Just two tiny finishing details, and my Narnia swap stuff is done! On a bit of a whim, I made two small projects, one last night and one tonight. Hopefully she’ll like them.

I have to admit, it’ll be really nice to be able to make stuff for myself and without a deadline again, since I’ve been doing basically the opposite for the last month or so.

Also, C tried her finished dress on last night for the first time. It fit well, but I discovered that the hem on the outer dress is rather uneven in parts. I hope it’s not too terribly noticable, because fixing it means the entire dress would end up too short for a Renaissance look. She didn’t seem to care, but still. Grr.

swap stuff

It’ll be nice when I can actually say what I’m doing on here! But I finished one of my larger projects, almost– I do have to come up with a closure still. And I made most of a small one, minus a few finishing details. So all in all, a productive night.

And on a slightly random note, loved Laura’s dress on Project Runway tonight. Which is odd… normally her style is a bit too plain for me, and I’m generally not a lace girl. But that was very nice.

Mission accomplished!

As of this evening, the Renaissance Faire dress is officially done! This is the best I can do for pics at the moment– it wasn’t made to fit me, so it doesn’t quite hang right on the dummy. But here it is… I hope she likes it.

Also worked a bit more on the craft swap stuff. Didn’t get a whole lot done since I had to leave. I think I’ll have a lot of time tomorrow night to work on stuff though.


Had a rather productive day. A couple years ago, my mom got two side tables for the basement, which she wanted me to mosaic. The tiles have been glued down for awhile, but I finally got the grouting in today. This is only my second attempt at mosaicing anything, but this one turned out much better. (The first was using beach glass, so it was hard to get them to sit easily, though I still like the way it looks.)

Anyway, pictures…

I also got some work done on the Renaissance dress I’m making for C–I got the bodice lining sewn in and the sleeve points sewn together last night. Today I got it hemmed, and started pinning the trim on the sleeves. So all I have to do is get the trim sewn on, do the eyelets for both it and the underdress, put in the lacing and it’s done! Which is great, since I still have some rather significant work to do on my Narnia swap stuff.

A summer retrospective, part 2

This post is for some of the more recent projects that I didn’t get pictures of until last night. One of these days I’m just going to have to break down and get my own digital camera.

Anyway, this first one is a pair of pajamas from some piratey knit fabric I found on the clearance rack at Joann’s. The skull applique was hand-stitched on the front, and the design was taken directly from the fabric (thus the reason the pirate skull looks oddly happy and friendly). I do have a rather significant amount of this fabric left, so I’m trying to decide what to do with it. Maybe a hoodie… I’m not sure.

This is another pair of pajama shorts– I decided this summer that I was tired of juniors’ sized pajamas that were all far shorter than I feel comfortable walking around the house in, so this was my attempt to fix that. This fabric seriously reminds me of Pepperland. I need a Yellow Submarine shirt to go with.

I get cold insanely easily, and given my propensity to make strappy sleeveless things, a cover-up or two was in order. This is from a textured cotton-type fabric and Simplicity 4334. It was a very easy pattern to make and I really like the fit of the shrug, so I could definitely see myself using it again. Though maybe lengthening the sleeves to a 3/4 would be nice.

I did end up having to not follow the directions exactly, because it would have left the seams for setting in the sleeves exposed in the lining and I didn’t want that. So I had to hand-stitch the lining closed for both of those seams. I also understitched the lining in order to get a cleaner seam.

And I do have a lot of this fabric left over too, but this time there’s an actual reason and not just my bad estimation skills. I just don’t think I’ll get that one done in time that I can actually wear it before it gets cold. 😦

I’d gotten this fabric to make capris last summer (I’ll admit it– I like paisley) but didn’t get around to it until this summer. Typical. Honestly, I haven’t actually worn these yet. For one thing, I can’t seem to find the ribbon I’d gotten to use as the drawstring, though I have a vague idea of where it is (just no time to look because I’m on a sewing deadline.) The other thing is, I’m seriously wondering if it looks too upholstery-ish.

And finally….

Let me tell you the story of this bedspread. It took me somewhere around ten years to finish. Literally. I started it back when I was in high school, cutting the squares from a bunch of my family’s worn-out jeans (you can tell that most of them were from the early ’90s just by the wash!) and starting to sew them together. Until I got bored with sewing squares.

And then I went to college and got sidetracked by everything that goes with it (though I still found plenty of time to sew things that weren’t squares).

One year after finishing my masters’, it’s done and on my bed. Currently serving as a bedspread in order to protect the quilts my mom made me, since my computer is right next to my bed and as a result, I end up eating a lot of meals sitting on my bed while working on things. You have no idea what a relief it is to finally be done with this silly thing!

In other news, I did manage to get one sleeve almost sewn together for C’s Renaissance Faire costume tonight. These sleeves are crazy. And I’m still trying to figure out just how exactly I’m going to get the points to meet, since I didn’t realize when buying the economy trim-by-the-spool that there was actually a reason the pattern called for a specific type of (far more expensive) trim and that was to help finish the seams. So I’m essentially sewing it like the alternate view, but not using the frog closures so it’ll look more like the first.

Also, I’m SO happy that Vincent finally got kicked off of Project Runway. I really think he should have been gone on that first challenge.

A summer retrospective, part 1

Since the season’s unofficially over now, thought I’d unofficially start this blog with some of my favorite completed summer projects.

Favorite accessory (not sewn!)

I’ve been making jewelry almost as long as I’ve been sewing, and got really into it during college because it was a lot quicker than most sewing projects so it was great for a small crafty break. But I’m trying to branch out from just stringing. This necklace is seed beads and abalone shell chips, and was inspired by this necklace on Craftster.

Favorite Reconstruction

My day job (well, one of them, since multiple jobs tend to come with my line of work) is teaching flute, and sometimes I get rather random gifts from students. This T-shirt was one of them. I liked the design, but not the size. I’m rather proud of the neckline on this one– I just took the sleeves off and reversed them, so the hems make up the straight part near the front shoulders and the V in the back. And I’m a sucker for corset lacing.

Favorite project that should have been finished last year:

My original plan was to wear this skirt for my masters’ degree graduation, since no one can see what you’re wearing under the robes anyway. But, since drafting my own patterns is a skill I’m still developing, I screwed it up badly and ended up having to order more and didn’t get back to it until this summer. I ended up having to use a pattern for the yoke, and adding the white to the bottom to lengthen it a bit. It’s hard to see, but there’s pocket flaps right under the yoke and trimmed in white piping. And this awesome fabric is from Reprodepot.

Favorite accessory (sewn):

Inspired by Andy Warhol, and because sunflowers are my favorite. I was fortunate to find a foam stamp that was almost exactly what I’d envisioned for the sunflower graphic, and even though I had to go over all of them with a second coat of brushed-on paint, it made it much more uniform. The front is painted canvas, and the rest of the bag is just black cotton. My own pattern.

Favorite article of clothing from a pattern:

This one was all about the fabric. Hard to see, but it’s a metallic tropical print (island huts and palm trees and surfer girls in hula skirts and such.) The pattern was McCall’s 4659. It had been awhile since I’d used a non-modified pattern, so this one was quick to put together and a nice break.

Favorite article of clothing from no pattern:

This is actually the inspiration. It’s the Aegean Tank from Anthropologie. My version is below.

My version was made from some jersey I got on sale at Fabric.com awhile back but hadn’t been sure what to do with it. I dont’ think I would have been able to do this one, if not for the dummy (formerly a store mannequin) that my wonderful co-crafty friend N picked up for free for me! This was the first time I’d ever attempted pattern draping–most of this was literally constructed by pinning the fabric on the dummy and cutting it into approximate pattern shapes, though I did draw things out a little more carefully for the shoulder straps. If I were to do it again, I think I’d make the slant for the front overlap at a sharper angle so it would be easier to hide the end under the waist tie, but overall I was quite proud of myself for this one!

And finally (for now):
Favorite article of clothing for this summer that I didn’t actually make this summer:

I made it back in the winter when I got snowed in for an afternoon. The pattern was from a wrap skirt I already had, with a few modifications to try to prevent it flapping completely open when I walk. So even though it was from several months ago, the fabric’s too pretty not to show off. I did end up making a tutorial for this one for Craftster, so I may post it up at some point.