Crafty Monday: a t-shirt skirt

Craft

6.29.2009.skirtI made this skirt yesterday out of some of my husband’s old skateboarding t-shirts. I’ve made this skirt before with a different set of t-shirts, in black, and I wear it all the time. It’s the most comfortable piece of clothing I own, I swear. So I thought I needed another one. This is a pattern from the book, Generation T (an, ok, when I just did my search I noticed that there is a new Generation T book out. I am so getting it!). It was dead easy to make. I screwed up the first time around (on this one) I accidentally made the waist too big, but it was easy to rip out and cut the top parts of the skirt smaller. I am thinking that with both of my skirts I will put in a drawstring.

Raf and I laughed about the X-Small graphic on the side of the skirt. I told him I could wear the graphic in the back and then be all ironic. If you get what I mean. ahem.

A Sewing Bender

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bath matI went on a sewing bender this weekend. I stumbled upon all of these great sewing blogs this past week and couldn’t wait for the weekend to get started on some projects! The first project was a bathmat. I found the pattern at the Sew Liberated blog. I thought it was so cute and decided that I had to have one for myself! So I dug through my small fabric stash and found a pack of charms that my MIL gave me a couple of years ago. These turned out to be perfect for this. I cut each charm into fours and they were the perfect size: 2.5 squared. After sewing them together I found an old terrycloth town and used that as the backing. I really wanted to do the cute footprint thing but decided that was too much for my newbie sewing skillz. So I just sewed across three times, evenly spaced to “quilt” the mat. I love how it turned out! And it didn’t completely make me crazy, as certain sew projects do.

project bagThe next thing I worked on was this little project bag. You can find the pattern here and, I believe, it is published for free by All People Quilt. It’s the perfect little bag for a small knitting project, like socks. You can see the inside of the bag here as well as my current sock project inside of its new home. This was a little bit more frustrating for me. It went along fine until I got to the very end. I couldn’t finish the handles with the sewing machine so I handstitched the raw ends closed. It doesn’t look great but oh well. It will serve it’s purpose. It’s a great little pattern. There are pockets on the inside to stash stuff you might need like little scissors or measuring tape. You could probably get away with not using quilting batting. If I make this again I will use fusable interfacing to give it structure. I’m not sure I like how “puffy” it is.

So anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend. I hope you all had a good one, as well!

Hip Tie Blouse

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Hip Tie BlouseI made this last weekend and I’m very happy with the way it turned out! This is Amy Butler fabric (bought at the Bobbins Nest) and the Pattern is Betsy Ross. I have fallen in love with Betsy Ross patterns. I am dying to make their Wide Leg Pants. But first I must master the task of Zipper Installation, something I am very afraid of. For good reason. I have massacred zippers before. Not a pretty scene.

The blouse! About the blouse! It took about 4 hours for me to make, that includes cutting out the pattern. So it’s a very quick project, especially for someone who knows what they are doing. I learned how to do gathers with this pattern, which was fun! I am a little confused about whether or not I should take out the thread that I used for gathering. They are still there and are visible. They don’t look bad, and since the thread I used is very close to the color of my fabric, you can’t see it unless you look really closely. But still. So if anyone out there knows please enlighten me. The pattern didn’t say what to do with thoseĀ  threads.

Again, I loved the pattern. It comes in a nice black envelope that you can store it in for later use. I love that the pattern pieces are printed on a nice, substantial white paper, not tissue paper. I also love that the instructions are published in a little booklet and are very explicit with drawings and everything. Very Newbie friendly.

All in all, I would say this was a good sewing experience! yay!

Life in 2 inch strips

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Quilt SquaresSo last Saturday I woke up and as I laid there in bed I thought about (as I often do) crafting. Usually I think about my current project but not this time. This time I was thinking about a certain kit that had in my closet. A quilt kit that had been sitting in there for almost year and a half. My vintage cowgirls were calling to me.

Then I thought about my sewing machine and how it has been sitting, collecting dust, for 3 months. It made me feel bad. It was high time I started on that quilt.

I think the thing that was keeping me from working on it was just sheer intimidation at the process. I have looked at the pattern book over and over again, yet I just felt totally overwhelmed by the whole thing. On Saturday I just decided to “just do it” as the cliche goes.

As I read through the directions and started working on it I decided to break the process down into do-able chunks. And the pattern kind of works out that way so it was very easy to do. The first step was to cut a each fat quarter into 5 two-inch strips. And it was really as easy as that. Cut a whole bunch of 2-inch strips and then sew them together. Then cut them again into 5 inch squares, which you then put back together into a pattern.

As I was doing this I thought about how awesome this is as a metaphor for accomplishing goals. The ones that seem big and overwhelming, like changing careers, or planning a wedding, or moving to another state, etc. Things are much less overwhelming when you break them down into smaller parts. Figure out what little things you need to do to get to that big thing and then just do them.

Live life in 2-inch strips.

I’ll be starting my new career as a motivational speaker in the near future (kidding!).

This past weekend (well, the one day of it) I was obsessed with sewing projects of a different kind. This has a bit of a back story.

For our Summer Reading Program each year I buy the t-shirt that goes with the theme of each year’s program. Our theme this year was “Catch the Reading Bug” and this is the shirt that was offered this year. I ended up with a large which looked ridiculously big on me and I hated wearing it all summer. I felt like a complete dork in it. So a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would cut it shorter so that I wouldn’t have to, at the very least, tuck it in (which I HATE doing with t-shirts). oops. I ended up cutting it too short, making it look even dorkier.

I had seen the book Generation T so I thought I would check it out and try some hacks on my “Reading Bug” shirt. Here is my creation, before and after:
hacked t-shirt. before and after
This turned out way too tight and not suitable for work. But it was actually kind of cute! So I went to work on some other t-shirts. I made a hoodie and a really cute sleeveless t with ruched sides. I don’t have pictures of those but I will get some taken and show you. It was lots of fun. And now I’m kind of obsessed. I’m actually thinking that this would make a great teen program at the library…

Crafty Monday: Amy Butler Swing Bag

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Amy Butler Swing Bag

Hi! I made this on Saturday! My first sewn bag. I bought the fabric down in Santa Clara at the Bobbins Nest Studio. Both the fabric and the pattern is Amy Butler. And the bag is reversible.

I especially like the print on the left and would like to make a wrap dress out of it.

I am thinking that Saturdays are going to be my sewing days. Well, the Saturdays I have off, which is every other Saturday. Up next for sewing projects will be a cute wrap skirt. Looking forward to making it!

Also, I finished knitting a shawl that I’ve been working on forever. I need to get a picture taken and then I will post it.