Friday, January 31, 2014

An Apron for Ally

Ally is a wonderful blogger, stylish and fun, but also very thoughtful and kind. (You should check out her blog. It will lift your spirits with every post you read.) She's left many supportive and intelligent comments on my blog (and many others), proving how good a friend and compassionate a person she is. I thought the perfect way to thank Ally for being the Ally we all know and love was to make her an apron! She loves cooking, bright colors and expressing her femininity... I think she's rocking this apron to its full potential!

And because that's just the sort of considerate person she is, she sent me a couple wonderful mugs in thanks, which much enhance my unfashionably drab work day. (And provide me with ample amounts of tea and hot chocolate...yum!)
My Bulky Winter Work Fashion Statement
(Can you tell I'm wearing a fleece jacket over a full-smock apron, over a cotton-wool jersey hoodie over a t-shirt? And, yes, that mess is what my hair looks like on a daily basis.)

I wasn't thoughtful enough to take a photo of the beautiful mugs, but this one that lives in the embroidery room now is the chic-est thing in the room, including, and especially, me. Maybe I'll remember to get a photo of them both next week for you all to admire.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Simple Hogwarts Double-Layered Fleece Scarves (With Tutorial)

Okay. Meant to post this last week, but I have several excuses, if you would deign to hear them...

1. It seemed rude to post this without including Hufflepuff. (Because they do try, after all).

2. We've been reorganizing the apartment. You wouldn't believe how much stuff two girls who love books and movies, and who both sew/craft (this is admittedly the worst clutter culprit) can accumulate in four years. Okay, we also may have toy dinosaurs, matchbox cars, stuffed animals and action figures, because we're those kind of 'growed-ups'. My room mate also has musical skills, so there's a guitar and keyboard abouts. And various paintings we did in high school and/or college. Anyway, have to say it's looking a lot less messy/cluttery with nouveau storage/shelving.

3. I thought I'd put in a little tutorial with this one, since I had to include the 'special' house anyway... because I grew up in the PC 90s and 'we all get recognized for our participation!' (Okay. Untrue. Failure was still failure in the 1990s. You would just receive a sincere 'nice try' instead of complete beratement for being inept.)

4. This isn't an excuse as much as complete honesty. I'm lazy.
Photos and collage done before I decided Hufflepuff needed to be included after all. But they get to shine in the tutorial.
Previously on Just Another Crafting Blog... Hogwarts Houses Scarves Set

There was a ton of fleece leftover, and I perhaps had gone a little crazy with the rotary cutter, for I had multiple stacks of fleece rectangles for scarves... sitting in a box... for over a year...  (except apparently I got tired and only cut out what I needed for Hufflepuff for the presents I was actually making).

It was a lot of work finishing the seams with a zig-zag stitch (to look neat/clean), so I decided to try a double-layer method for an easier way to achieve a clean look. I think it turned out rather well, so that's how I decided to do up the rest of the left overs...
-Rotary Cutters & Mat OR Scissors
-Sewing Machine OR hand-sewing paraphernalia 

1. CUT out pieces as follows: (either with rotary cutter, ruler and mat OR scissors)
               -20 rectangles measuring 6x4 inches of COLOR ONE 
                            (Hufflepuff = Yellow, Gryffindor = Gold, Ravenclaw = Pewter, Slytherin = Silver)
               -18 rectangles measuring 6x4 inches of COLOR TWO 
                             (Hufflepuff =Black, Gryffindor = Red, Ravenclaw = Royal, Slytherin = Green)
               -4 squares measuring 6x6 inches of COLOR TWO

2. Using scant* 1/4 inch seams, SEW pieces for one side/length together, alternating colors, so that you have used 10 Color One (Yellow in the example) and 9 Color Two (Black in the example). Sew the larger/square pieces on the ends (Black in this case). REPEAT for the other side/length.

*SCANT in sewing terms means that you're erring on the inside, so that your stitching line would be on the inside of 1/4 inch. The seam allowance (fabric on the inside of the stitching line) will be less than 1/4 inch in this case... more like 3/16 inch.

Make sure seams are all on the same (wrong) side

3. Place the two sides/lengths with Right Sides together, and SEW long sides with scant 1/4 inch seams. 

4. TURN scarf right side out (so all the seam allowances are inside).

PRESS (carefully, on low setting, fleece is essentially plastic and will melt.)

5. CUT fringe on both ends, through both layers of fleece, about 2 inches deep.

6. Attend Quidditch match and declare your house pride!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dreaming of Summer and Coveting Patterns...

Some from the Simplicity Early Spring 2014 collection (that I will have to pick up when they're on sale for a $1 at Jo-Ann's) Some 1950s reprints! WOO!

Simplicity 1460
Simplicity 1459

Still loving the Retro Smock Tops... 

 Really digging these front button 70s style ones!

...And the 40s/50s Style ones!

Something like this paired with Leggings!

I was loving these 40s smock dresses so much, that I bought this pattern off etsy.
(I especially like the diamond oriented pockets.)



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ROARRReady for School! (Dinosaur Backpack)

I was actually quite productive a couple weekends ago, but sadly neglected to take photographic proof of said productivity. Luckily one of the projects was a Christmas gift for my room mate, so it was available for a photo shoot. My room mate said that my dress form looked like it was 'ready for school.'

I gave one of the backpack variations from McCall's 4610 a try. It's not a large backpack, and the straps are not adjustable, but it is cute (not too challenging a pattern with a clean finished product -no visible seams inside or out). The fabric was a spoonflower print by Dennis the Badger on canvas. Because I opted for a canvas fabric, I forwent (wow, that really is the proper conjugation of 'forgo') with the 'sew-in hair canvas' interfacing, and just used regular medium fusible pellon, and then used the fusible fleece for the second interfacing (that adheres to the lining) as prescribed. 

Stegosaurus is her favourite, so it appears twice on the front! Lined with green stripe cotton.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back to Blogging... maybe?

Okay. So... About 7 lbs of toffee, 100 rum balls, a triple batch of sugar cookies, a batch of gingerbread, two internet-free vacations, a Christmas at the Birch Tree Lodge in Wilmington, NY (check it out, cute motel run by an awesome couple -okay, maybe biased, since they're family), a small ice storm, Christmas in the North Country, New Years movie marathon until the wee hours of the morning (which all parties seem to have agreed we might be getting too old for), and I'm back... sort of. Not much projectness to share, since I didn't do a lot of crafting for Christmas, and honestly, a couple of the presents I opted to craft, are still not finished... my bad.

I did manage to make this bag for my cousin for Christmas. It's a little funky, but she seemed to like it. I personally fell in love with the elephant corduroy (there's still some in my stash).

Simplicity 1495, downloadable version, in corduroy and polka dot cotton
Well, hopefully it won't be so long before the next post...