haven’t done this in awhile

One of my post-wedding goals that I had in mind was to try to carve out some more time for crafting. So I spent some time this past week playing around with the 30-minutes-a-day sewing thing. I managed to do so 3 out of 5 weeknights. I couldn’t sew yesterday because I spent this past week teaching the flute/oboe section at a middle school band camp held at my alma mater, and last night was the concert. I also didn’t make it to sewing Wednesday night because my best friend and I went to a performance for a Shakespeare festival that’s held here every summer.

So yes, I’ve been sewing. I’ve also been knitting. But aside from a gauge swatch, what I’m working on in both realms right now are gift projects, which means I can’t show anything yet. Suffice to say, I’m pleased with the progress so far, particularly with the sewing, since I did get a few hours of that in today.

The other craft time I’ve been attempting to work in is for my long-neglected scrapbooking. I’m keeping my target time a little easier on this one, and aiming for just 15 minutes, because it’s better than nothing. But that means I do actually have things to show for that, which I haven’t in a long time.

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First of all, I finished this layout, which is from a backpacking trip that I took back in 2008. (Told you I’m behind.) This one was actually really easy to finish, because the only thing I had to add to it was the writing strips up in the left-hand corner. The rest of it had been done for some time.

(I’m pretty proud of that tag–it was recycled from some jeans I bought a few years ago, with just a little lettering added.)

IMG_0694I’m also playing around with a new-to-me scrapbooking idea. It seems these pocket-type pages are really popular right now, and I wanted a way where I could quickly throw things together to scrapbook newlywed life. Not to say that I won’t do regular layout pages again, I am definitely planning on doing some for the honeymoon pics, and possibly some of the non-professional wedding pics that our friends and family took and put on Facebook. But I think this system just might work really well for me for events that aren’t quite so picture-heavy! The cards are a great size for Instagram photos, and I like that I can decorate the cards a bit if I want to make them a little more interesting, like the card with the flower, or just slap a couple of photos and some writing on them and say I’m done. Plus, even though I did get an actual kit, I can (and am) mix in homemade cards cut from my own hoard of paper–that’s where two of the cards here came from. This page isn’t 100% done yet, I have to do some playing around with it to fit in some larger photos and see what I can do with those pockets. But it’s coming along well, I think. I mostly see these albums done online where each layout is just one week, but I don’t want to force myself into that box. So I’m just going to write down and throw in pics of whatever everyday stuff I want, and see how I do with keeping up with this thing. (And hopefully still catch up on some older layouts, too!)

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an inside peek

IMG_0513I FINALLY finished those curtains! I had a nice chunk of free time yesterday afternoon, so I managed to drag my way through the rest of the lining sewing. They’re just giant tab-topped rectangles, really nothing that exciting to write about. And it’s really not my best sewing job, to be honest. I kind of put myself in a corner on these–the problem is that I’d bought the fabric ages ago, when we first decided what colors to paint the bedroom, but there weren’t any curtain rods at the time. So when we finally bought them and Doug got them hung up, he had to put them higher than either one of us had expected. Which meant that I barely had enough yardage to do all four panels. These have the absolute smallest hem I could do on home dec-weight fabric, and I do think they’d hang better with a deeper hem, but it was either that or buy more fabric. Fortunately, no one will be looking too closely at these except for me. (I’d say and him, but he’s a guy, you know?) I couldn’t get a good shot of the whole room, but it looks the same on the other window.

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And I’m not having to do this anymore, which is how I was attempting to block the light enough that I could sleep. (It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. But the room was still pretty dark when my alarm went off today. It was wonderful.)

IMG_0511The one slightly creative thing I did with these was to make the blackout lining detachable. This was mostly so I could wash them when the dogs inevitably shed all over them, and partially because blackout lining is expensive and this ups the chances that I can reuse it at some point. Of course, this effectively meant that I had to make eight curtain panels instead of four, which is not very exciting at all. I’m going to be quite glad to move on to a different project, even if I can’t quite get back to selfish sewing yet!

So, curtains. Yeah. On a more interesting note, want to see my new sewing/craft room? Okay!

Disclaimer: The majority of the good organizing ideas in here are courtesy of my husband, who thinks that organizing is fun. Which makes me a never-ending challenge for him!

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Here’s a basic overview of the room, in all of its turquoise cheeriness! (I was working on the Hummingbird top when I took these pics, obviously.) I’m pretty excited about that cutting table under the window. It’s actually a fold-down kitchen table from IKEA, with a couple of risers on the legs to make it the perfect height for me to cut on while standing. It has storage drawers on either side of the middle column, the one side is permanently set up for cutting, and the other side can be folded down to make the table bigger or smaller, whichever I need at the moment.  I measured it out, and it should be a good length when entirely opened for anything up to pants-length pieces. That window may get a curtain sometime–I was gifted some fabric to make sewing room accessories for Christmas by my mom, who knows my taste well. But I may not bother for this house, since we’re hoping to move to something a little bigger before any kids come along, and use that fabric to make ironing accessories instead!

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The opposite side of the room. That little table is for scrapbooking and the occasional jewelry-making. I’ve already done more stuff with the scrapbooking than I’ve done in a long time on it–it’s great to be able to leave supplies out!  Again, IKEA table, but this was constructed from things in the as-is section and was therefore very cheap. The shelves above have mostly paper on the lower shelf, and the boxes on the upper shelf are where my patterns live. The bookcase has all of my craft books and magazines, including my Burdas and KnitScenes. Donna hangs out here, too, though she hasn’t seen much use since I got into this room yet. I still need to get this area a little cleaned up and organized, but it’s shaping up nicely.

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Here’s a better view of the fabric storage! I’m proud to say that this idea was actually mine–just a cube shelf from Target (because it was way cheaper and a better size cube than the IKEA ones.) The fabrics are folded around comic book boards and held with binder clips, with pieces of unwanted scrapbook cardstock between the clips and fabrics to help protect the latter. The blue boxes hold some of my yarn collection. (The basket in front is mostly flute music, and will not stay there, once I get the rest of that and a filing cabinet moved down here from my parents’ house.) I have threads sitting on there too, though I need to work a bit on my serger threads, because the boxes I bought on sale specifically for that purpose at Joann’s don’t quite fit the cones. Grr. Anyway, these shelves are pretty jam-packed, so stashbusting is definitely in order!

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I have real sewing furniture! Which was kindly gifted by my mom along with my trusty old Bernina, since this table specifically fits that machine. I’ve since added a mug that randomly cracked to hold my small, commonly used tools like my thread snips and seam ripper. The white board is magnetic (IKEA again) and I’m using it to hold pattern instructions. My serger sits on the smaller table. It also needs a better cover at some point. (My mom made the colorful one on my sewing machine.)

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My colorful closet! The original plan was to put that little scrapbook table in here, and use it as a scrapbooking nook of sorts, which is why I wanted it painted nicely. That ended up not being the best use of the space, so it’s basically a storage closet instead. The rest of my yarn is in one of those bags, the bins hold things like fabric scraps that are too big to throw out/clothes to fix or refashion/musliny things, and then some lesser-used craft supplies are in here too. I also need to do some scrapbusting–I’d really love to reduce the number of bins in here!

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These two are a pretty common fixture in here, too, whenever I’m in here. The lighter one in particular likes to sit basically on top of my feet. So if I ever come back here to talk about a needle going through my finger, you know why…

As for things like the ironing board, that lives in the small linen closet across the hall when it’s not in use, so it doesn’t take up space or block everything in my closet.

So there you have it! I’m excited to see what comes out of this space!

so much to sew, so little time

First off, I want to thank everyone who voted/retweeted about the Craftsy wedding craft contest! I don’t know the results yet, tbh–I’ve been stalking their blog and Twitter at every opportunity and haven’t seen anything about it. Last I checked yesterday, I was tied with a cake, but definitely one of the higher-hearted projects. I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll keep you posted.

It’s been quiet here, and that’s because I’ve been sewing curtains. Very basic, tab-topped rectangles. And they’re taking forever. I did get a nice chunk of sewing time in last Friday, enough to finish the outside of the curtains, but haven’t been able to touch the machine since. I’m complicating things for myself, as usual, by making the curtains with a detachable lining. Blackout curtains are a necessity for me to be able to sleep (I haven’t been able to sleep past 5:30 or so since I got back from the honeymoon, which is tragic when you’re not a morning person!), and with two golden retrievers in the house, washing curtains is probably also a necessity! So I’m making the lining attach to the top with velcro. Which basically means I’m sewing 8 curtains. I do have other curtains to make for a few other rooms in the house, but since they’re not absolutely crucial to my mental state, I’ve decided those will wait until the winter, when I’m not at my one part-time job and therefore have more sewing time. (Confession: I’m writing this from said part-time job, because I literally have nothing else to do right now.)

Despite that, I have a rather extensive list of things that I need/want to sew during the remainder of the summer and into the early fall, once my curtains are done! I sat down the other night to make a list with what notions I still need, since I’m now further away from even Joann’s, and last-minute trips to get that one thing I forgot are a little more difficult to coordinate. So here’s what I’ll be having going on:

  • Thurlow shorts! I’m planning on using the leftover yard-ish of denim from my jeans, and basically making them as a wearable muslin. Gotta make sure the hips fit and all. Plus then I can save myself some time by doing regular jeans-style pockets, rather than wrestling with welt pockets in a medium-weight denim.
  • Wedding-related stuff! Not for mine this time, obviously…I agreed to hem a bridesmaid dress for my bestie/former maid of honor for a second wedding that she’s in, and am also going to be doing a few alterations on a second friend’s wedding dress. I’m in this particular wedding myself, so I’m considering it part of my bridesmaidly duties. Aside from that, I’m also making her a little something for a gift, and it looks like I’ll be helping to sew some table runners for the shower, which is at the end of August. We’ll see if said gift ends up being for the shower (ideally, if I finish in time), or the wedding.
  • I’m also really hoping I get that Reglisse dress done in time for said shower, because it would be so cute, but that may be pushing it. Either way, I would like to get it done before it gets too cold.
  • Thurlow trousers! Assuming the shorts work out. I’ll be going assembly-line for these (5 pairs total, I think), because I literally need to replace basically every pair of pants I use for teaching, except for my black ones. They’re all too short and look stupid when I wear my boots, and are also getting rather worn for a few pairs in particular. So this is a necessity. My fall/winter wardrobe needs work, anyway.
  • Darling Ranges dress. In the rayon, not that paisley stuff I originally bought for it. I still need to figure out what to do with that. (Still pondering an autumn Cambie. Which may not happen this year.)
  • I also have fabric pulled for two long-sleeved Renfrew tops, and since I can use black serger thread for them both, I think these will also be assembly-line style. 
All in all, once this is done, I should have 10 pieces out of my stash. Woohoo!
Aside from that, I’m plotting for the Doctor Who sewalong this fall, and already have the fabric/pattern/design alterations figured out for one of my projects! I have 3 in mind, and fabric for two of them already in my stash. I just need to figure out a pattern for the second, and find the right fabric for the third. 
It’s amazing how much sewing I can get figured out in my head, during all of this mental down time. If only I had time to make that a reality!

shameless pluggery

Or, in which my sewing, for once, has excellent timing!

I happened upon a little blurb in Craftsy’s Twitter feed yesterday, stating that they’re having a contest for wedding-related crafts. And, as you all know, I have a wedding dress! The project with the most hearts wins a free Craftsy class. So if you wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to hop on over here and vote for my dress, I’d greatly appreciate it! My user name there is sunnyb64, and voting is only open until this Sunday, the 14th.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the class I’m eyeing is the recently added “Adjust The Bust”. Considering that I have never been able to successfully do an FBA, despite multiple attempts/reading multiple books and blog posts, and this very project took me 4 muslins to figure out due to this very issue, I think I need it!)

The post you’ve all been waiting for!

I mean, I’m assuming you do want to see that little dress project that took up nearly a year’s worth of planning and postings on here, right?

So, at last: the One Dress to Rule Them All. And other handmade wedding goodness. (These aren’t the professional pics, so I may come back and edit this post to add some of those later. But these are featuring the shots that I was able to get from my family and friends. I’m also making these larger than usual.)

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Full-length dress shot! This is me with my friend/honorary bridesmaid Nicole. I wasn’t able to have her as part of the wedding party, but she did the artwork for my invitations and programs, and also did my hair!

6512_10151653159422980_1480637199_nAnother full-length shot, this time from the first dance. You can see the border sunflowers a little better on this one, I think.

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Ceremony shot- not the best expression on my face, but it’s a good closer view of the bodice. And Doug’s tie. And my bouquet!

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This was as we were all leaving the church–and a great shot of the back!
1044856_576995665679164_1044450457_nMe and two of my bridesmaids/long-time best friends, Cassie and Julie. The headbands turned out ok after all!
1014281_576995975679133_1477030337_nProof that the TARDIS/R2-D2 shoes made an appearance! We all changed into them after we were done with the outdoor bridal party pictures.
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And I’m just including this shot because I think it’s fun, even though I look like I’m posing for one of those old Sure deodorant commercials! The DJ had Doug and I do this game where we each had to sit back to back while holding one of our shoes and one of the other’s shoes, and raise the shoe for the person we were answering for. I’m pretty sure this one was “which person has the crazier friends.” (I love my crazy friends!)

So there you have it–I hope the post was worth the wait!

(In case you’re newer to reading this blog, a few quick project notes: The bodice and waistband are based on Sewaholic’s Cambie dress. I modified it to make the upper back and sleeve caps sheer, and changed the darts to princess seams for fitting reasons. The skirt is from Simplicity 2442, modified to lower the waist. I also used a lengthened version of the Sewing Cake Pavlova skirt for the tulle underlayer. And if you want to see all of the construction posts and notes and multiple muslin attempts, you can click here.)