Sunday, August 18, 2013


So... I discovered an excellent way to De-Stash... APRONS!!

Quilters, Seamstresses, Scrapbookers, and Crafters of any kind will immediately understand what I'm talking about here. But for those of you not Crafting Crazy, a brief explanation. First off, THE STASH...

THE STASH, not to be confused with The 'Stache (of the facial hair variety), is something all Craftpersons who've been practicing their hobby for any length of time possess, and are simultaneously proud and slightly ashamed of. Because it starts like this... You're in a craft store (fabric, scrapbooking, whatever caters to your craft). Likely you've gone there with a specific project in mind. But Oh! look at all the pretty, pretty supplies. (In my case... fabric... ribbons, knick-knacks and other things are also distracting, but fabric, oh, the fabric!) And you could definitely use that for something, another project at a later date (a half dozen of which have already planted seeds in your mind as soon as you laid eyes upon this item), so what harm is there in purchasing it now and saving you the time of making another trip later when you think of the perfect project for that item? So you pick it up and put it in your cart. And oh! look, that's on sale. It might not be on sale when you think of something you need it for. Or worse, what if it sells out because it's already in the bargain area and on sale. So you need that, too. Multiply by a near weekly trip to your favourite craft store, for months, and then years. Add in leftovers from projects, gifts from friends, discards from the theatre where your room mate works, remnant bolts sitting in the free pile at thrift stores (because you will never refuse potentially useful craft items, especially fabric if you sew). And soon, soon your apartment has a set of shelves just for fabric which is filled beyond capacity, and there's neat (and not so neat) little piles on the floor, and half a dozen plastic tubs and boxes stacked in another corner, and fabric hiding in baskets, boxes, a unit of plastic bin-drawers, covering and hiding under the sewing table (which is twice the size of your kitchen table because you know what's important), crowding out your clothing in the wardrobe closet (Thankfully, I'm not there yet... too many steampunk costumes crammed in there)... It's Alive! The Stash.

DE-STASHING, is the process in which one decreases, sort of like pruning or trimming, their Stash. Some generous crafters, who apparently have not succumbed to the hold of The Stash that compels them to continually feed it until it can take over their home (and then, possibly The World! Muhahaha!), De-Stash by giving or trading items to other craftspersons. If my friends need a supply and I have something that will work, I am more than happy to sacrifice to the cause, but giving willy-nilly somehow is not something my apparently selfish self can do. In addition, I have the problem of someone who primarily sews clothing. Clothing requires a certain, usually significant amount of fabric, vs., for example, quilting. My mother's Stash has remained at a quite manageable level through the years, because when a fabric tickles her fancy, she can be satisfied with a fraction of a yard to use in quilting (being as quilts are made up of many small pieces). When a fabric tickles my fancy, I have to anticipate making a dress, skirt, blouse, jacket, or pants. The average sleeveless dress with take about 3 yards. A blouse, 2.5 to 3 yards. A skirt 2 or 3 yards... etc.  And when I have leftovers in fractions of yards, they tend to sit for quite a while...

SOLUTION! My friend/room mate, having just taken a month off for a vacation, returned home with fears of imminent poverty and went on a wallet making frenzy. I suggested we look into craft fairs (fall is the season for them), and it's looking like we might get a table at one or two. So I tried to think of something I could make that might actually sell at a craft fair, because I primarily sew clothing for a subculture, and while Steampunk has become more and more mainstream, I'm still thinking there's not going to be that many about. Also, displaying full costume clothing pieces is problematic in such a venue. I have a display form and a dress form, but will there even be space for them? Anyway, aprons! I thought! Depending on the type, they use far less fabric than clothes and are (relatively) quick to make. You would not believe the fabric I rediscovered when I went through and pulled all my quilter's cottons. And when the pieces left are too small for aprons, I shall make bags of progressively smaller and smaller sizes. (Reduce is the first 'R' in completing the triangle  after all.)

FAIL! This past week, we went to Jo-Ann fabrics... I may have come home with more fabric than I've used up making aprons the last couple weeks...


And now for some Aprons...

Made from the Scrap from Shirt for my Dad and Blue Batik fabric from Jellyfish Wrap Pants

Scrap from This Dress and purple from IDK? Also, ric-rac from random dollar store purchase (when was I ever going to need that? Who knows, but it was only $1 for $10 yards... done! And that's how The Stash gets out of control.)

Ghost fabric was a present from a friend and Orange fabric leftover from Halloween Dress. Finished with bias tape and scalloped machine embroidery stitches in orange.

Pink and Black Plaid that I fancied (and was on sale) and leftover Skeleton print from my Halloween Dress Finished with bias tape and scalloped machine embroidery sitches in pink.
The whole apron is a pocket! Love this style...

Okay, totally bought this fabric just to make this apron... This is what they look like when worn
This style looks better on someone with legs ;-) Leftover fabric from my fav Hawaiian Dress. Same style as my Robot Apron

Nintendo Messenger Bag

This was a (rather late... yes, apparently I am that crafter) high school graduation present for my little cousin. I figure the best way to make friends in college would be to advertise some nerdiness. Or does that only attract the kind of friend I think is awesome? Oh well, hope she likes geeks...

McCalls M6410 in fabrics from, you guessed it, Spoonflower...
 (It took some creative cutting and piecing, but I managed to squeeze it out of a yard of each fabric... booyeah!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Shirt for Mr. Know-It-All

My dad is one one of those people who likes to tell stories and BS others. If you've got a question, he's got an answer (factual or complete hogwash...? Well, that's up to you to determine. But if he's laughing and shaking his head at your gullibility, that might be a clue). He also quite enjoys Rocky & Bullwinkle, which I believe still airs on certain local (or maybe it was the Canadian) stations early in the morning. He watched it when he was little. I watched it when I was little as well (and admittedly still do sometimes on netflix... good ol' netflix.) One of their little sketches is, of course, Bullwinkle Moose providing all the answers to questions you'd never asked in the persona of the 'scholarly' Mr. Know It All.

At any rate, found this fabric online and figured it would make the perfect birthday present.

Pattern: Simplicity 3852 is a super easy pattern that features men's, boy's and a babies' romper all in the same Hawaiian shirt sort of style (back yoke, pleats, collar, short sleeves, button down).

Thank you, Mr. Know It All, for providing me with all the answers to life's questions, or at least showing me how to make it up when I don't have a clue.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tangled/Rapunzel (Disney Princess) Apron

'Cascading locks of hair'
 Because I'm not the only nerd around, my friend decided to have a Disney Princess themed party, specifically a Tangled one. (I think she just wanted to release sky/flying lanterns.)

Anyway, I decided to make her an apron inspired by Rapunzel's dress, so that if she felt like it, she could be a 'princess' on her birthday.

It's hard to pin down the exact colours, considering almost every reference image I found was slightly different. But I was favouring the more purple/lavender colorings than the really pink ones, and these were the fabrics that best fit out of what I could find at Hobby Lobby (the only store with fabric besides Walmart that I am able to hit on my daily commute to work by bus). I opted for a purple flower calico for the center front panel since I guess Rapunzel's dress has texture there. The bodice does, as well, apparently, but I wanted to keep it simple since I was trimming it out with the ribbon and lace.

This apron is an altered version B of Simplicity's "Vintage '48 & '52 Pattern', 3544. I had to piece the front pieces so that the top part of the apron looked like it was a separate bodice. The trim is obviously different than in the original pattern. I left off the 'sailor' collar and added little pieces meant to emulate the sleeves of Rapunzel's dress (striping them with pink ribbon). The back and ties I did out of yellow broadcloth and then painted to look like hair. I also added scalloped 'embroidery' stitches (one of two that my basic Kennmore machine does) along the bottom and inside panel edges to mimic the designs on Rapunzel's dress.