Friday, March 30, 2012

Can't Wait Until Monday

I am so excited.
I've barely (3 minutes ago) finished another PDF Print At Home Sewing Pattern to sell.
It's an idea I had last summer, but the season came and went so it's been in the works for a year in different stages.
The pattern is for summer sewing, easy, unique,
and the best part...

We all know there's not enough boy sewing projects out there, so I hope people get as excited about it as I am.  
I'm also going to sell a limited amount of the actual garments for those that don't sew or have time to.  
These will be released next week too (in stages) along with a few giveaways of both sewing patterns and an actual garment or two.  There's also two specific "limited editions" sets of garments I have planned to mix in and release too.
 I'm actually still sewing all of them.

So I can't wait to share my summer boy sewing pattern this Monday!
I'm so tempted to share a sneak peak, but I can't without giving it all away--but I promise it's worth the least I think it is.
This will be the first pattern I'm just introducing new.
My previous three patterns were all derived from just projects I made myself but had enough reader interest/ requests I made the pattern.  
So this one Monday will be totally original since I just love the idea and hope those with boys in their life will too!

I don't think it will actually be too surprising as you probably already know how much I love boys' wear and vintage.
Can't wait until Monday!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SYTYC Review

Here's all my projects from So You Think You're Crafty

The competition ends this Friday, and it looks like I'll most likely be taking 2nd place again, just like Project Run and Play earlier this year.  As much fun as these competitions have been, I'm glad they're over and I'm pretty sure I won't be participating in any more any time soon.  Two back to back was enough!

Looking through the all the projects for SYTYC, I ended up making something from the different areas I enjoy: building basic furniture/ wood, paintings, quilting, decor, sewing kids clothing, and sewing adult clothing.  I was determined to only make things I knew I would use, and it was a great motivator to get a lot of projects from my "to do" list done.

Week 1: Organization

Week 2: Children's Literature

Week 3: Love

Week 4: For You

Week 5: Rainbow

Week 6: Build with Wood

Week 7: Ink

Finale: Peacock

I feel proud of all my projects I made and it's been fun getting to know the other girls the last few weeks. Kim and I both live in the same town, so kind of fun to be in the top two/ finale together!
Pocatello Pride.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Finale: Peacock Dress

This week's theme was a challenge for me from the beginning: 
I couldn't think of anything with the actual bird I loved and would actually use.
So I ended up deciding not to use a a literal interpretation of an actual peacock bird, but instead designed a dress that's thoughtfully been inspired by peacocks in color palate, form, and texture.
The dress is comfortable, perfect for Spring and Summer, and ended up having a 1920's vibe I really love.

The color palate for the dress focuses on the sapphire body feathers of male peacocks, and the chartreuse detailing in the underskirt and metallic belt  pull the green from the peacock tail.
I chose to style my look with gold shoes and jewelry, pulling in a touch of the warmer golds in the tail feathers.

The silhouette of the dress was inspired by the peacock's actual form.
The skirt has a subtle high to low hem, which was a nod at the dragging tail of the birds.  I added the chartreuse underskirt to not only add to the color palate, but it reminded me of the hidden aspect of a peacock tail, where the green flashy feathers are only seen with the tail is raised.  The green underskirt is just a little flash of color at the hem. The underskirt is removable too!
The longer flutter sleeves were a soft feminine shape and design that seemed to move and flow like bird's wings.  
There's a lot of texture in this dress.
The bodice has a cross front design with the gathered, folded details over a simple fitted bodice base.
I added pin-tucks everywhere. Each pin-tuck is a small pleat you sew to add the slight raised texture around the skirt that slightly radiates from the center front and back.
The back of the bodice has a radiating pin-tuck design to mimic the shape of the raised, full peacock tail, but in a subtle way.

The fabric was only $1.00 per yard from a thrift store and $1.50 for the invisible zipper in the side seam, making the whole dress only $5.50!!

It's comfortable, easy to wear, and something you can dress up with heels, or go casual with flats and a cardigan.

It's been fun to participate with all the other talented ladies this season!
With Project Run and Play from December to SYTYC just finishing, I'm glad the crafting competitions have ended and it's been a blast. 
 I have been working on another PDF pattern for summer I'm just inches from releasing and I'm totally excited about.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tutorial: European Thread Sketches


Original post of all three thread sketches here.
This tutorial shows how to make the Eiffel tower wall hanging.

1. Cut canvas  
Depending on the final size of your wall hanging, cut your fabric your set dimensions, allowing an extra 2" on each side for the gallery wrap look.

2. Reinforce Back
I ironed freezer paper on the back to prevent the fabric from stretching, you could also use fusible interfacing or just starch the crap out of it over and over.  Freezer paper was the cheapest, quickest option for me.  You can purchase freezer paper at the grocery store near the tin foil.

3.  Print Images and Trace
I googled the landmarks to find sketch images and printed them out to fill a regular copy piece of paper.  I taped the printed image to my window, and taped the canvas on top.
I used a water soluble fabric pencil in blue to trace the image onto the canvas.

4.Sew Thread Drawing
This video shows me sewing the eiffel tower thread sketch wall hanging.
I use a free motion presser foot which is just a large hole for the needle to go through.
Make sure you put your feed dogs down and decrease your stitch length to 1.0 for a quicker return on the stitch.  I don't plan out the path I sew beforehand, I just wing it and go wherever.  If I need to back track to return to a section, I just sew on lines already made to go anywhere I need to.

I sew at full speed and don't worry about it being perfect.  Up close it's  a sloppy mess, but from a distance it looks recognizable and like an authentic hand sketch.

5. Tea Dye
I wanted to age my white canvas by dying it with tea.
To get the crumpled, uneven dye look, I first got all three wet, crumpled them in a wad, and jammed them in a pitcher.  You need a container where the tea can get down around the fabric, but tight enough to hold the fabric so it can't move freely.
 I poured hot, concentrated, regular cheap tea in the pitcher over the fabric and let it sit around 10 minutes.  Next I poured it out and rinsed the canvases and let them dry.

6. Build Frames

I bought 2 1x2 firring strips for my frames and cut them down to make 14" square frames.  I just braced the wood, then used glue and a finish nail gun to finish it off.

7. Stretch Canvas
I lined up the image to be centered on my frame, then with a cheap hand stapler and shallow 1/4"staples attached the canvas to the frame.
I marked the center of each side on the frame and canvas and first stapled top and bottom centers, then both side centers.  Next I stretched the canvas equally into the corners, then stretched and stapled between all the way around.

You could attach a hanger, but I just balanced the canvas on the wood frame for hanging.
Easy and it only cost me the $2 for the wood!

Cottage Side Table Tutorial

These side tables used the legs and table top from a nesting table, but you could always make those from scratch too.  The tutorial is focused on the green table.
The little yellow table uses the same techniques for the "X"detail, and you can find more tips for the blue herringbone table HERE.


For these tables I used:
 TOOLS: table saw, miter saw, Kreg jig, drill, and finish nail gun
MATERIALS: drawer and box 1/2" thick MDF, 2x2 corners, 1x2 trim


Once you figure out the dimensions of the box, plan out the drawer.  I made my drawer 1/4" smaller in height and width from the opening so it would have room to slide in and out.

To construct the drawer, I used 1/2" MDF.  Each of the four sides was first cut along the bottom to create a dado trench for the drawer bottom to go into.  (You lower your table saw blade to only cut through half the thickness of the board.)  I also added the trench cut across the front of the drawer to give an illusion of two small drawers.
Once cut, I used a finish nail gun to construct the front to the sides.

Once the front and sides are constructed, you can take 1/8" thick board to slide into the trench.
The back of the drawer also has the trench to completely enclose and support the bottom within the walls of the drawer.

I used the 1/2" MDF for the base of the sides, bottom and back of the box. The front had a 1x2 runner along the top.  You can see in the image below, how I used the Kreg Jig to create pocket holes so the back and sides could be screwed perpendicularly into the corner 2x2s. 
This aerial view also shows how the 2x2 creates a 1" drop along the sides and corners, leaving room for the detail "X" finishes on the ends.

Once the box is built, I had created pocket holes along the top so I could screw it into the table top without having holes or nail heads in the already finished surface of the nesting table top.

To attach my little spindled legs, I created a strong base on the bottom of the new storage boxes by drilling large holes about 1" deep with a spade drill bit.  With glue and a tight fit, the new legs are secure and not coming off any time soon.


For the "X" detail on the ends, I first cut the 1x2 top and bottom pieces, leaving the open area for the X.  I used cardstock to draw the two diagonals from corner to corner, and made them 1.5" wide since that is the width of a 1x2.  I cut out the X to use as a template.

Cut out the end angles on the 1x2 hunks.

I cut one of the paper templates in half, removing the portion where the two sides overlap.
Turning it face down, I traced the open area that will need to be removed.

To make the X joint like a linking log, I used the lower table saw blade to only cut through half the thickness of the wood.  Using the angle push stick, I cut the two outside marks, then just cut out the center of the wood, one blade thickness at a time until the space was gone to create a wide dado cut.  

This left two pieces that fit together totally flat in the x shape.  I just glued them on the box sides and secured with the finish nail gun.

These same methods were used to make the small yellow table, but I just left out the 1/2" MDF side and back base.

Anything I build needs wood filler to fill in the cracks and imperfections.
Once dried and sanded, I primed and painted the box with the green latex semi-gloss paint.
Then using 200 grit sand paper, I removed the paint in corners, edges of drawer, and other places that would be naturally worn.
I next put a layer of Minwax Mahagony wood stain on top to stain the raw wood I'd distressed and to slightly discolor the paint.  I use mis-matched socks to wipe off all the wood stain after it's sat for 10 minutes or so, leaving a streaked tinged green, then stained corners and sides.
I sealed it with two layers of satin clear polyurethane.

Monday, March 19, 2012

SYTYC Week 6: European Thread Sketches

Ink was one of the harder themes for me in this competition.  Searching on Pinterest for inspiration only brought up tattoos.  I finally decided to do something with decor, and decided to make pen and ink art, but use free motion sewing rather than actually drawing or sketching.
What seems to be ink, is actually thread.

We have a lot of Italian influence in our house, and initially I thought about having the Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Rialto Bridge in Venice, but switched to have man-made landmarks in three different European countries instead: Big Ben {United Kingdom, London} the Colosseum {Italy, Rome} and the Eiffel Tower {France, Paris}

In our master bedroom we have a bare, large wall, and I thought the trio of interesting canvases would be cool.  Each structure represents countries important to our family.
First, I have a lot of Britisth ancestors on my side so Big Ben in London made the wall.
Italy's Colosseum in Rome is mainly for my husband who lived there for a few years before we got married and where we went on our honeymoon trip.
Our last name is French, my husband's ancestor was a stowaway from Bordeaux to the Americas in the 1670s, so the Eiffel Tower in Paris was important to include.

The process uses free motion sewing to actually sew the sketches of the different European famous structures.  The close up of these sketches looks a little "Tim Burton" but from a distance they look pretty great.

 I wanted to make the stark white canvas look like aged paper, so after sewing I dyed each canvas in tea.

To finish it off, I made my own wood frames, and stretched and stapled my sketches across.

I love the finished look, these remind me of something you'd buy from Ballard Designs or Pottery Barn, but in this case they cost me less than $2.00 for the whole set!


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