Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

The Mid-Winter Stretch

January 10th, 2012

Ah, winter. Long chilly days without nearly enough sunshine. For me and most crafting it’s also a quiet kind of hybernation. Now don’t get me wrong, my needles and thread have not been neglected. No, lately I’ve just find myself doing more practical projects that don’t really merit sharing in detail. I’ve made some basic longsleeve tshirts for layering, sewn numerous coat buttons back on and secured loose linings (Apparently I’m quite hard on my coats), made some scarves, and spent plenty of time mending and darning (don’t laugh… I get plenty of teasing for my darning already!) I turned one long slip into two shorter slips (and wondered if people still wear slips at all since a good slip seems so hard to find. Sewists, women in general, tell me: Do you prefer your clothing to be lined, or do you rely on a silky additional layer?), and I finally got around to stitching up a new purse (it’s a bit plain looking, but quite practical.)

I’ve also started another attempt at the 365 challenge.  I’ll be attempting to take a photo every day and photoblog it before midnight for 365 days, ending 12/12/2012. (just realized now that it’s a leap year, making it the 366 challenge!)

I’m posting those pictures at so feel free to take a look at random things I see from day to day if you’re so inclined.

But I’m keeping my head up.  Before I know it it will be sunny and time to make spring stuff!

Last Week for The B&W Quilt

May 16th, 2011

My sewing table is covered in squares! I finished hand quilting the last square for my black and white quilt last night at craft night, so today I begin the process of putting the last half of the quilt together.  Spurred on by the encouragement of the lovely ladies and gentlemen at the spot, I’m motivated to get this done this week. This has been by far the longest time I’ve ever spent on a single project.  By this time next week I can finally avoid all those eyerolls and “Finish it already!”s, and just snuggle up under this baby.

fresh needle? check!

plenty of thread? check!

hot iron, hot coffee and a nice big playlist of music? Check!

This WILL be the last week I work on this! (What’s that? my copy of L.A. Noire I’ve had been waiting for since last September is finally being released? available tonight at midnight? Quilt first, play later!)

Me-Made-March Week 4

March 31st, 2011


It’s the final Post for my first ever Me-Made-March!  I’m posting late this week because it has just been hectic for me and I’ve been spend any and all moments when I could be blogging working on this black and white quilt tutorial.  I don’t know why, but it is just being such a difficult tutorial to put together.  I’ve retaken photos dozens of times, trying to make the process as clear as possible.  My words aren’t coming out very smoothly either.  I’ve spent a couple hours writing at it, but it’s still not done.  Anyway, I suppose I’ll set that aside and finish out my outfits for the end of the month!

March 22nd

I was told this outfit was a bit “super hero”, but I felt a little like caution tape.  The bright yellow dress is one I made last summer that unfortunatly isn’t too flattering around the waist.  I threw it on with this new hoodie I made, though, and was really happy to have that bright burst of yellow. It was sad to have a dress in such a vibrant color and a knit that feels amazing and not be able to wear it much because it distorted in the wash.  I wish I had thought to just cover up the bad part with a hoodie sooner, bright yellow is just the thing to fight rainy grey Portland winters!

me made:

yellow dress, grey hoodie, grey longsleeve (also worn march 15th)

This is a long post, so the rest of the outfits after the jump:

» Read more: Me-Made-March Week 4

Me Made March Week 2

March 14th, 2011


March 8th

I’m not really crazy about this outfit, but it was comfortable. I didn’t really have anywhere to go out to today, so it was just thrown together and worn around the house all day.  The dress is made from a comfortable sweatshirt fleece I reclaimed from a ginormous maxi length skirt.  Adding straps and darts took it from a horribly unflattering skirt to a cute little tunic.  I added the hat and boots to protect me from the rain when I ran to the store.

Me made:

sweatshirt fleece dress, knit skirt and reconstructed longsleeve

purchased: tights, hat

March 9th

another day of a just thrown together outfit.  This sweater skirt is a favorite cozy day choice though.  It’s made from mostly wool sweaters I bought by the pound at the bins thrifting.  It’s just rough and warm and comforting that I’ve worn regularly for about a year.

Me made:

longsleeve knit top, reconstructed skirt from sweaters

March 10th

I love this sweater.  I picked it up as a used, very large men’s sweater and resized it to fit and changed the neckline with some knit ribbing.  It’s a super soft and cozy cashmere in a lovely earthy green (that perfectly matches these socks!), doesn’t leave fuzz on anything, stretches and is the perfect weight to layer.  it started out like this:

Yes, the bottom of the armhole actually fell below my bust! I think it’s quite a bit more flattering now.  The resizing only took about an hour from the first photo to before photo to the after.  There’s something so satisfying for me to sew something up quickly in the morning to wear that day.  The idea of not just putting together and outfit in the morning, but actually putting together your clothes in the morning is exactly the kind of perk that keeps me sewing.

(you can click the images for a bigger version if you like)

I just cut off the sleeves and original collar, reshaped the the body part of the sweater, reshaped the sleeves, and put it all back together with the addition of a 1.25″ strip of green ribbing for the neckline.  You can always trace a well fitting garment of a similar stretch and weight of fabric to get your new pieces, use a pattern, or draft up your own patter from measurements, but I’ve done this same resizing so many times it’s almost automatic, and with a good knit sometimes it just needs to be close.

Me made: Sweater,  knit skirt. and leggings

Purchased: socks

March 12th

I had a dress I loved in a nice pale blue and brown floral print but it was sadly destroyed at a festival last summer when a stranger spilled a glass of beer down the front of me.  I washed the dress but could never get that awful stain out,so I took it apart and used the pieces to recreate it in this black and pale yellow cotton print. It looks so sweet with my cream petticoat, I think.  The cropped sweater shrug is my cashmere one mentioned but not seen on March 2nd.  This shrug gets a lot of wear because it’s just perfect for letting me wear my spring and summer dresses all year round.

Me made: Dress, petticoat, cropped sweater

purchased: leggings

March 13th

Yeah, I spent the a lazy Sunday at home in my pajamas, but at least they’re me made pajamas! The pants are awesome, a super fine baby weight denim with a very thin pink and white vertical stripe.  I made them elastic in the back and drawstring just across the front for what I consider to be the best of both worlds when it comes to comfort and securely keeping pajama pants on. They’ve got nice big pockets at the sides.  The sweater is a white, thin sweater knit, and the design was self drafted.

me made: Tank tops, sweater and Super super wide wide leg pajama pants.

March 14th

It was just another manic monday.  I didn’t manage to get a photo snapped during the day.  I hardly managed to even get dressed, but rest assured that it was a handmade outfit, just not interesting enough to recreate for posting.

So I finished another week of Me Made March and I’m happy to note that I haven’t had to repeat any outfits yet!  It’s actually a bit of a surprise to realize just how much of my wardrobe is handmade, but I think I’m getting close to running out.  I have completed a pair of pants to add to the mix, and a new sweatshirt that I can’t wait to wear.  The next thing I want to sew is a dress from some delightful bright royal blue knit I’ve had sitting in my “just cut into me already!” pile for a couple of weeks.

Origami Bags from Mairuru’s tutorial

March 9th, 2010

I saw this lovely tutotial over on Mairuru’s blog here:
I had to give it a try the day I saw it. The tutorial was easy to follow, took no time at all, and the final product is adorable! I made this sweet little pouch for my favorite nine year old to hold her little mp3 player. The long ribbon lets her hand the player around her neck keeping the player easy to reach while enjoying her music.

The little pockets on the sides are so cute and clever. I was delighted to find that they were being put to good use when I borrowed the bag back to snap some pics and found tiny flowers she had gathered all dried and precious safely tucked away. Adorable!

Action shot! She loves the little bag so much, and that makes me happy.
I used 8 inch squares to make this bag. the final size is about 4″x4.5″.

I remembered this little pouch last weekend when I was having a minor bag emergency. I needed just a little backpack to tote along a few items on our trip to opening weekend of Saturday market. I had less than an hour to whip something up, and I liked this so much more than just grabbing one of my totes.
I simply altered the design by using larger squares of fabric (33 inches) and folded down the triangle flaps and making the drawstring channel before sewing the sides. I ran the straps through the channels and stitched the ends to the bottom corners when I sewed up the sides.
The final size for this bag was about 13″ x 15″.

It was just what I needed!

Be sure to check out this blog if you’re not already following her. I love seeing the adorable and beautiful little things she sews. Like the tutorial she shared for her little Sarubobo dolls

(This is one I made)

Feeling like Spring

February 25th, 2010

I finally took my camera out with me yesterday. I’ve been meaning to snap some pictures of the lovely blooming trees in my neighborhood. These bright trees are easily my favorite part of spring and I look forward to it every year. I’m thinking it might be time to take a walk through the Japanese garden again soon!  I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from my day, and I hope you’re taking the time to enjoy the scenery where you are.

Dave’s Killer Bread on TV, and something I made!

January 8th, 2010

Drew Carney (from PDX channel 8 local news) was out visiting the “Breadquarters” for Dave’s Killer Bread early this morning. I’m a huge fan of Dave and his bread. It’s the best bread in Portland. Healthy and organic, local to Portland, and unbelievably sinfully delicious! But don’t take my word for it, you might think I’m biased having a handful of friends and family proudly working for the company. Take a look at Dave’s facebook and you can see what everyone else is saying. Honestly, once you’ve had this bread, you’ll never look at bread the same way again.

Anyway, when I heard that the bakery would be on the news this morning I borrowed a television from my mom and set my alarm for 5am. It was fun to see the segments throughout the news showing different parts of the bakery, and a few familiar faces (Hi Zac!), but what got me personally quite excited was right at the end. Dave and Drew were talking and standing by a table covered in the different kinds of killer bread, including one of my favorites, Good Seed:

And right on top was Good Seed, a stuffed version of the lovable logo I made as a gift for Dave from our little group.

Yes, I felt silly taking a photo of a television, but I was really excited!

I had made a set of Good Seed for myself last summer and had them sitting out as an xmas fireplace decoration this last December:

A friend of mine mentioned that Dave would love them. It thought it was a great idea, and something personal I could do to show my appreciation for Dave. He’s an inspirational person, and the opportunities this company has given to people I care a lot about has changed our lives so much. I started right away on a second set of good seed to give.

They’re a simple stuffie, made from fleece. I embroidered the faces and ended up doing a lot of hand sewing on these guys. They were just one of those projects that I totally underestimated how long it would take (and completely forgot how much time I spent on the first set). Something I thought I could knock out in just a couple of hours ended up taking close to ten hours over the course of a week! Turning those tiny limbs right side out and getting them smoothly stuffed, and then getting everything stitched together was rough. Totally worth it, though. Their sweet smiling faces just brighten the day, I think, and I was just so proud to see that Dave liked them enough to include them in their interview this morning. Thanks!

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2010

I’ve been keeping up with ton of great craft blogs lately, and I’ve noticed a quite a few new posts sharing crafty goals for the new year. I love the idea, so I thought I’d share some of my own.
We’ll see how I do!

1. Finish my black and white quilt
I’ve been working on this one for a couple of months now. I’m about a third of the way through it now, and I can’t wait to have it done. I’ve been hand quilting the blocks, which is a first for me!

2. Post new tutorials online
I love sharing project how-to’s as much as I enjoy reading them. I’ll give myself the goal of ten new tutorials for 2010.

3. Get my supplies better organized.
I’m looking at you, giant basket of buttons! And yes, even the as-of-yet unpacked boxes marked “misc.” tucked away in the attic.

4. Continue with Social Crafting
I have so enjoyed going to local meetups, crafternoons, and craft and cocktails around town this last year, so I’m going to pledge to keep my attendance up and make sure I get to at least one event a month. (I’ll look forward to seeing you all!)

5. Participate in some Craft swaps on Craftster
I’d like to complete 5 swaps this year, so I’ll keep my eye on the swap board for all the newest swaps!

I might just check out swap-bot, too.

6. Fill my closet with more handmade fashion essentials
Ideally, I’d love a wardrobe of all handmade items, but for the year I’m going to aim for a minimum of five of each of these items:

  • Sweatshirts/Hoodies
  • Long sleeve tees
  • Tees and tanks
  • Dresses
  • Fitted jackets / vests
  • Coats/capes / wraps
  • Skirts
  • Undies
  • Accessories (hats, scarves, legwarmers, etc.)

7. 100 crafted things
Maybe 100 is too many, but I’m aiming high and counting the little projects, too. I guess that should lead me into another goal to keep track of this one:

8. Keep a record of completed projects
Being prolific in my crafty endeavors and having a horrible memory means that I can never remember what I’ve been doing with my precious time. I’ll start a simple list to keep by my desk, and a folder on my computer to record a photo if I’m feeling ambitious.

9. Master a commercial sewing pattern
I don’t know why this is such a hard one for me! I can’t think of many things I’ve made (that I was happy with) from a store bought pattern. Is it impatience? Inability to adjust properly to my measurements? overcoming my need to “make a few changes”. I don’t know, but I’m going to find a pattern I like, sit down with it and follow the directions beginning to end, and make something good.

10. Set more crafty goals throughout the year
having a tangible list, or a written reminder is a great way to motivated. Have you heard of 43 things? It’s a simple website that allows you to list 43 things you want to do. List whatever you want! Short term goals, like “Kiss in the rain ” (completed by 6320 people) or go big and “become a millionaire” (1,675 people want to do this). You can list your goals, check out what other people want to do, comment or make entries about goals, and even give and receive “cheers” to support good goals. You can read all about how people have completed their goals, and share your own tips and advice on the goals you’ve completed. Check out the Zeitgeist list for recent activity, or swing by my list and give me a cheer. Let me know if you start your own list so I can come and cheer for you, too!

Farewell, Paul

June 19th, 2009

Last October I captured some photos of this large caterpillar building it’s cocoon on out back porch.  I photoblogged the image on my Aminus3 page .  I started calling him paul after looking online at photos of moths and guessed he’d be a polyphemus because of his big green body.  Since then we’ve waited patiently for our little friend Paul to make an appearance.  It was a kind of running joke that he was a great roomate.  Never made a mess, was really quiet, that sort of thing.  It’d been so long we were starting to wonder if we’d ever see him (and if he did come out if we’d be lucky enough to see him before he flew off.)

Today we spotted him all big and mothy, having emergerd from his cocoon. check him out!



Each of his wings were about 3 inches long, giving him a pretty impressive 6 inch wingspan.


He hung around for a couple of hours and then disappeared, but won’t be forgotten.  Farewell, Paul!

yummy argyle

March 29th, 2009

Just wanted to pop up a quick post and share these delicious argyle limb cozies.