Friday, July 30, 2010

Yeah, I know it's another dress

Ok, so here's another Sienna dress.  This is 50% upcycled knits and made with my new toy, I mean serger.  The bottom is just finished with a 4-thread overlock stitch.  I need to learn how to do a rolled hem on a serger.  Perhaps that's a project for tomorrow.  Any tips?

Can't wait for the little one to wear it to our neighborhood brunch tomorrow.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A New Toy (for Me)!

I recently got a serger.  (Yay!)  A Brother 1034D to be exact.

 I've never had a serger and never before used one.  Needless to say, I was a little nervous (but obviously, very excited) to use one.  It sat in the box for about a week while I read the manual over and over again.  Then I got a book (The Complete Serger Handbook) and read through that.  After a few more days of waiting, I dove in.

I started with something simple.  Washcloths.  I picked up some inexpensive terry cloth at JoAnn's (something fun for the kids).  I couldn't believe how fast it was.  It was amazing!  I was instantly hooked.  Then two of my threads broke, so I had to rethread it.  (It came threaded from the factory).  After about 5 minutes of meticulous reading and working, it was re-threaded.  Definitely not as bad as people say. 

I was off again!  This time I tried my hand at a little doll skirt (pattern from Lil Blue Boo - Twirl Skirt) made from knits.  It was so fast to sew.  SO.  FAST.  or should I say SEW FAST?  Ugh.. Bad joke, I know.  But I'm just so excited.  While making the skirt I didn't even notice I put the waist band on the wrong way so the seam is on the outside.  Oops.  Oh well.

Take two.

This is my daughter's favorite dolly from Corolle - she goes in the tub and floats.  She's only 12 inches tall and her stuffing is all wonky now (from lots of love).  Making clothes for this doll is always a challenge.  So tiny.  It was so simple with this pattern and the serger.

And, of course, my cute little one gets one too. 

Remember the moose shirt.  It's my favorite of these.

 OK, here's a version for me. . . . . . . Wait a second, now I match the dolls too. 

Can you believe it took me only 20 minutes to sew these four skirts?  Wow!  Sergers are fast!

I'm off to do more sewing! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From Drawing to Fabric

My son is a little artist.  He loves to draw and paint and build sculpture out of everyday objects.  I like to try to incorporate some of his work with things that I do and make.  I picked up this fun kit from Dharma Trading Co. a couple of months back and I finally got a chance to use it.  I wanted to take one of my son's drawings and put in on some fabric in a fun - different way.  This looked like the perfect way.

OK, the next part is a bit nerdy, but I couldn't help it.  I'm a chemist.

The kit comes with 20 pieces of fabric (roughly 8.5" by 8.5" in size) pre-treated with potassium ferricyanide (K3[Fe(CN)6]) and an iron (also referred to as ferric) salt, ferric (III) ammonium citrate.  When exposed to ultraviolet (or UV) light (like sunlight), the iron [Fe(III)] reduces (gains an electron) to Fe(II).  The Fe(II) then reacts with the ferricyanide to form ferric ferrocyanide which is a blue dye known as Prussian blue.

So if you put something between the fabric and light source (a leaf, a puzzle piece, whatever) the portion of the fabric that is covered does not react so you're left with a white image on a dark blue piece of fabric.

OK, are you still reading?? 

Having never used something like this before, I did a few tests with stuff from the yard and from the kids toys.  (I got a little carried away - it was so much fun.)

A fern.

Pussy Willows.

Rubber frogs.

Puzzle pieces.

So now onto the artwork.

I took my son's original drawing and made a photocopy of it to shrink it since the original was larger than the fabric size.  Using a transparency and a dark, permanent marker I copied the image to the transparency.  (You can also put your image directly onto the transparency using a copier or printer.) Sorry the image in the photos isn't consistent.

Then you place a piece of cardboard down, with the fabric on top.  Next place the transparency and finally a piece of non-UV filtering glass.  (Do this inside - out of direct light, then take it outside.)  Leave it outside for 10 minutes in the sun.  And this is what it will look like.

Take it back inside and rinse it with water until the water runs clear.

Lay it flat to dry.

Now, what to do with the fabric?????

I'm linking this post to . . . . .



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Books, Books, Books

I just got these great new books (well, new to me)!  Some of them have been around for a while.  Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing (which let me tell you, I don't know how many times I've checked this out of the library - or how much late fees I've paid on it because I wanted to keep it until I finished something in there) is an amazing book.  I want to make everything in there.  Now I have my own copy ..... finally!

Also included in my new book additions is Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, Ireland in Watercolor and two serger books!  I just got my serger, now I need to read about it since I've never used one!  Any advice on how to use one???  I'm a bit nervous, but super excited! 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hooded Zippered Sweatshirt

I know it's July and hot out!  I haven't gone nuts.  But I did finally dig out this project and finish it.  I didn't like how the zipper turned out the first time and so it got stuck under my pile until I could get another zipper (the right color) to replace it with.  The sweatshirt is made from sweatshirt fleece (so very warm and soft inside).  The pattern is McCall's M5252, View E.  I left off the iPod pocket since I was making this for my husband and he probably wouldn't use it. 

It will be perfect in the fall when it starts to get cold.

Friday, July 23, 2010

For my husband

I loved this picture when I first saw it.  It's of my husband, his brothers and their father when he was younger.  I wanted to do something special with it.  I used gel medium and affixed the image to it (see how to do it here).  After removing the paper, I sanded it to age it a bit more and simply varnished it.  I did not add any stains like I did here.  The photo had been so beautifully aged naturally in the photo album it didn't need any more adjustments.  I love it!  Now . . . . . where to hang it??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ice Cream Social

Have you joined the ice cream dress social?

It's hosted by One Flew Over and Badskirt.  I've never sewn an Oliver + S pattern and what a great excuse!  My little girl lives in dresses.  The ice cream dress is too cute.  Check out the great photos in the Flickr group with all of the great contributors. 

Can't wait to get started.  Will you be there??

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ric Rac Headbands in 5 minutes or less!

 There have been so many posts about headbands lately that I couldn't help but join in the fun.  I wanted some thing super simple and quick, but cute.  I decided to make some really quick head bands using ric rac.  There are so many different sizes (1/2", 3/8" and 1/4" baby)  and colors of ric rac.  There's even jumbo ric rac and velvet ric rac from Riley Blake (you can find some here).

Here's what you'll need:

Ric Rac, various sizes
Elastic, 3/8" wide
Fray Check

The different sizes: (These fit snugly, so if you want a it a bit looser, add an inch of elastic.)

Adult: 18" ric rac, 4" elastic
Toddler: 15" ric rac, 3" elastic
Bitty Baby (American Girl): 10" ric rac, 2" elastic

Cut your ric rac for the size you're making.  (You can use more than one strand of ric rac.  Two or three strands sewn together at the elastic make great headbands too!)  Cut your elastic.

Using a sewing machine, sew the ric rac to the elastic, securing it in place.  Put a little fray check on the ends of the elastic and ric rac so it doesn't fray.  And you're done!  So simple.  So classic.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Old Art

So here's a little something I've been working on for quite a while.  I had this beautiful photo of my kids at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts sitting on a bench admiring some paintings. 

I took the photo and transferred the image to a canvas using gel medium (see this great tutorial, for instructions on doing this step.)  I had some trouble getting all of the paper off.  I had to do it a few times.  I ended up rubbing off some of the image, and then wasn't pleased with the result so I started over again, and again, and again until I finally got something I liked. 

To age the image, I sanded it a bit (by hand) and stained it with a watered down rust color acrylic and then rubbed almost all of it off.  (See here for some info how to do that step.)  Lastly, I sprayed it with a clear, matte varnish to protect it. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Designing a Personalized Soccer Shirt

I don't know if it was just because my son is taking soccer this summer or because of the World Cup, but soccer has been on my mind.  Soccer shirts to be more precise.

I had a great idea for making your own personal soccer jersey.  I thought I'd share with you how I designed mine, so you could do one of your own.

I started with a plain t-shirt (Target and Old Navy each have ones for about $5).  I used freezer paper for making personal stencils.  If you've never used freezer paper for stenciling, here's a great tutorial to check out.

Let's start with the front.

On the front right side (when facing the shirt) I put our family crest.  I just googled my family name + "family crest image".  And voila!  My family crest.

Most family crests that I've seen are just two colors.  I did the yellow (the lighter color) first.  Once dry I covered those yellow images with freezer paper and then painted the blue (or darker color).  I would recommend doing the lighter color first, then darker.  It's hard to cover that dark paint with light paint.  Then once I removed the final freezer paper, I did a little bit of touch up with just a narrow brush.

On the back, I placed a number and our last name in CAPS.  Again I used freezer paper to add this and just printed out the letters and number on my computer in a very large font.  I choose the number 5 since my son just turned 5!

If you'd like, you can add vertical strips on the sides of the shirt (over the seams) on the body and arms.  I had intended to do this, but my son got hold of the jersey and loved it like it was and wanted no strips.

Let me know what you think!



You're making me blush!

 I recently was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Sarah of Stepping Thru Crazy 

and before I could properly thank Sarah, I was awarded it again by Laci of The Blackberry Vine.

Wow!  Thanks guys!  You're making me blush!  (Take some time to check out their blogs if you've never stopped by!)

So it appears that before I officially accept this award, I have some duties to fulfill.  

* Thank the person who gave it to you (done)
* Share seven things about yourself
* Pass on the award to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and think are fantastic

Ok, seven things about me. . . . . . 

1.  I always have at least 6 projects going at once (who doesn't???).
2.  I hate doing the dishes, but I love to cook and bake - which makes for an interesting love/hate relationship.
3.  The rate at which my project list grows will never allow me to finish it.
4.  I have a Ph.D. in Chemsitry.  My area of expertise is in calculating partition functions for small atom systems using Feynman path integrals.
5.  I don't like having dirty laundry around, but I have been known to have a few (or possibly several) baskets of unfolded, clean laundry about the house.
6.  I am currently attempting to potty train my 2-year-old by bribing her with M&Ms.
7.  I am madly in love with my husband.  He is the love of my life, my prince charming!

So, being fairly new to the blogging world I haven't been exposed to that many blogs yet.  But here's my list (sorry there's only ten) of those who I am passing on the award to (in no particular order) ......

1. Cute as a Fox
2. The Cottage Home
3. From An Igloo
4. Sew Chatty
5. Noodlehead
6. The Sometimes Crafter
7. Helping Little Hands
8. Toads Treasures
9. UK lass in US
10. Just Another Day in Paradise

Congratulations to all!  I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful work which inspires us all.


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