Friday, September 28, 2012

Garden veggies

A litle slow with the pop culture and a new dress

I have to say I'm usually 6 to 18 months behind on all things pop culture.  Recently I've learned about the Dog Shaming website.  There are a disproportionate amount of hounds (lots of beagles and dachshunds) that are causing havoc.  The other recent thing is the band Fun.  They are some weird mix of musicals, Queen, Arcade Fire and some things my therapist has said to me.  So---perfect for a day of sewing. 

In between reading Dog Shaming and listening to Fun., I made a dress out of this vintage 70's old lady fabric (it even smelled like old ladies!):

 Wow that is horribly blurry!  Sorry about that.  Here is the finished product before work.  I wore a sweater because the sleeve finishings were not my finest.

This is the second time I've made that dress--it's getting easier every time.  Instead of gathering, at the shoulders and back I've just been smocking it because I'm more comfortable with that technique.  Sometimes I feel like my sewing skill is on par with a 3 year old child.  I can do straight lines pretty well though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

American Sewing Guild Fabric Sale Haul

This weekend, my friend Megan and I ventured to Concord for the American Sewing Guild's East Bay Chapter fabric sale.  Everything was $1 or less a yard.  We found all kinds of apparel and quilting fabric.  I walked away with about 50 yards of fabric for $38.00!  Quite a haul!  Here is the stash before I laundered it:

I just finished making this dress with one of the blue/green wool blends.  Definitely not the finest crafting of my life, but the next one will be better. 

I have to say, I've never been one for following patterns for two reasons:  1)  I'm totally impatient; 2)  I feel judged enough with everything I do all day that is work related and I don't want to feel like I suck at something else that is supposed to bring me stress relief.  I've gotten more frustrated with my lack of skills lately though.  It took me a few weeks before I attempted this dress pattern.  I started with baby slings which are basically sewing two pieces of identical fabric together (even I can do that).  There is so much I don't know--even getting familiar with seam allowances, darts, matching lines, gathering, and even cutting the pattern without ripping it!  There is also a key on the patterns that tells you how to lay your fabric and pieces of pattern.  And, the stupidest thing of all--I didn't know there were two different lengths of fabric:  45" and 60"!  I would come home from the fabric store with 3 yards of 45" fabric and then realize I really needed three yards of 60" which is really like needing twice as much.

But I'm learning, and it's been a nice way to feel accomplishment that isn't work related, even if my stuff never sees the light of day except when trying it on in the mirror.  So get out there and sew!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blinds and Drapes and Windows OH MY

When we moved to our home we had absolutely no window coverings.  And only one of our windows (the bedroom) had a screen.  That screen tends to go flying out of the window when it's windy--we've had some challenges.

Our bedroom also has vaulted ceilings which are beautiful, but also included tiny square windows at the top.  We were blinded for months at 7am by the sun streaming in right on our faces.  And if it wasn't in our faces, it bounced from the mirror beside us into our faces.  One day I couldn't take it anymore and just had to make window coverings.  I used two cheap tension rods and some cheap white linen I had had for years.  The entire project cost about $5 and took about an hour and a half.  Here are the before and after photos:

I did eventually put blinds up on the lower right side.  Home Depot was out of the size I needed for a few months.  That is also the window that blows the screen out.  Yay home ownership!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Garden Overhaul: Part II

So this actually happened in July and the garden looks different now...but this is the gist of it.  So in June this happened to our yard.  And this was the transformation after:

That is one happy beagle in the new yard!  Since this time, I have bought (and assembled) a wonderful push mower.  I have to say I adore cutting the grass.  We had a sprinkler system put it which is working out nicely.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing Ralph and my nephew chase each other around this greenery!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting crafty again!

I know I know.  It's been awhile.  I've been busy with work and just generally lazy.  I've been crafting a ton though and have all kinds of fun tutorials to share.  I'm also thinking of hosting a crafting class.  I would really like to transition my career full time to something I heart doing, so instead of complaining about it to my husbando and besties, I am ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING!  Shocking I know.

This weekend was filled with making fascinators and other hair accessories.  I also made a few baby slings for my sister in law and burp cloths.  And I made a whole new beautiful wall of fabric art for my office.  It has made such a difference--everything feels brighter.

Here is what I submitted to the Mill Valley Holiday Craft Fair this year...let's hope I get in!  Since making these, I've really perfected my fascinators--I will do a tutorial.  They are quick and very satisfying and make great gifts.

I also entered with some bags that I love sewing and using:

Here's what my office wall looks like now: