Sunday, January 8, 2012

Magnetic Cookie Sheet Calendar!

I wanted to make a calendar this year, rather than buy one, and I wanted it to be reusable. So I came across an awesome DIY for a magnetic calendar using a cookie sheet! And Then She Made... Magnetic Cookie Sheet Calendar!

This was a pretty time consuming project. I spent 2 days working on it, hunched over my coffee table for hours at a time. I wish I had spaced it out a bit more, because towards the end I was pretty over it. I'm really proud of how it came out though!

Picking out which scrap book paper, and numbers/letters and little add-ons was the first obstacle I encountered. It was really hard to choose! I picked up an awesome kitchen themed sheet in bold colors and based the rest of my design off that.

attempting to get the placement JUST right..
the little felt fruits just make me smile

And the back serves as a storage place for the extra months, holiday pieces and spare blank spaces!

This calendar doesn't allow you to make notes of dates to remember and whatnot, and my work hours change from day to day so I really need to be able to write them down and keep track. To solve this, I made a dry erase board out of a picture frame and spare scrap book paper from the project so they would match!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm in love with a skirt.

First, let me say, I have just done 7 posts in a row over the stuff I've done the past 4 months. I don't want to do that ever again. New Year's resolution, update this thing when I make something! Okay, now that THAT'S out of the way, let's start 2012 with the stuff I've made in 2012 (or on the eve of 2012..)!

I bought this pattern awhile back on possibly the same $1 pattern day as I bought the last post's pattern. (I know I went nuts that day and bought 20+ patterns.) I came across it again and decided now was the time to make it. I chose a really pretty red fabric and decided that would be my New Year's Eve getup. I whipped it up New Year's Eve and wore it that night and promptly decided I would make more of them.
Only bummer about this skirt, is the fabric is a lint magnet!
So, this skirt is simple to make, no crazy techniques or anything. It took me about.. 4 or 5 hours I'd say, including cutting time. I left out the ties that are supposed to be on the top that knot in the front, I just liked the way it looked without them. I made a size 6 which I was a little nervous about, but it fit perfectly. Reviews I had read online mentioned that it was very short, but I found the length perfect.
(navy and white polka dot cotton skirt)

I made another one, that I put the zipper in today, and I've been sitting here at my kitchen table wearing it while I'm marathon posting. It's cute and comfy and I can't wait to make more!
That teal fabric has been kicking around for awhile, and I haven't had any idea what to do with it until now! It has the same future as that goreous mustard yellow with white flowers fabric. I think 4 of one kind of skirt should be enough...

A Gift for Nana

I knew I wanted to make Nana a gift, and I had been thinking of making her a bag. I had picked up Simplicity 2169 way back on some $1 pattern day at JoAnn's (where I had gone a little nuts and grabbed anything I even remotely thought I would use). I had originally picked this pattern for myself for the ruffle bag, but flipping through my patterns View C (top right) struck me as something Nana (a fan of Vera Bradley) would like.
I didn't really have any idea what kind of fabric to buy to make it, so I went into JoAnn's without a plan (which is typically NOT a good idea). I came across a really pretty blue and I immediately envisioned the blue kitchen my grandparents had when I was a kid, so I went with that. I LOVE the way this bag turned out. It was by far my favorite gift to give, and I'm pretty sure Nana was a big fan as well.

Quick Crafts

I had recently discovered a really adorable blog (A Beautiful Mess ), and came across an awesome little project. Thread Spool Corks! I figured these would be great accompanying gifts to the clutches I had whipped up, plus, I wanted one. So I got everything I needed at Michaels and these took me all of 15 minutes to complete.
The real joy was seeing how happy and excited I had made my friends. So rewarding.

Quick Clutches

Driven by a desire for some quick projects that I could complete in an hour or so, and the need to replace a pocket sized bag I used to have that would hold my phone, cash and chap stick, I came across Keyka Lou's downloadable Pocket Clutch pattern. And thank goodness I did. These things are GREAT. Super, super cute. Really easy to make. These also made wonderful Christmas presents for the lovely ladies I know.
I quickly whipped one up for myself and my mother in law.
Merry Christmas ladies!
These things are fantastic. I was finally able to make use of the adorable fabrics JoAnn's sells as large squares too!
This lady has a lot of cute patterns, and you can pay for them with paypal and they are immediately sent through email to be printed and used. Pretty freaking convenient if you ask me.

Let's Make a Top!

Switching it up from dress construction, I made a cute top the night before Thanksgiving to wear for Thanksgiving!
I used Simplicty 2154, a pattern I love, and will use again.

So, I altered this a bit, for times sake. The top is supposed to have 2 dart seams on the front and back, and to have a zipper on the side. Like I said, I started this the night before (to kill time while I made up my mind whether or not to go out, I chose not to..) and I wanted to wear it the next day. So, I cut out the darts and zipper, and made it so I could pull it over my head. I made a size 6 and it was perfect. Without the darts it certainly gave the top a different look than intended, but I still liked it. My only quarrel with this blouse is that it is short. Like, real short. I was attempting to do the same with this piece as I did with the black dress and have all finished seams. I was able to do that all over except for the bottom hem because I simply couldn't afford to lose any more length! So, it has a rather sloppy finish. I am a fan of this top though, next time I'll make it in white, add length and keep the darts and zipper finish. (I'll also use a fabric thats more drapey, the bow on this one is a bit stiff)

Little Black Dress (of mourning..)

I wanted to create a little black dress. I found myself using a lot of busy patterned fabric and I wanted to go with a solid for something different. I had been wanting to use the New Look 6723 pattern for quite sometime and this seemed like the time to try it. With this project I also wanted to take my time and make sure the fit was perfect and to really challenge myself I wanted to attempt all finished seams-no raw edges on this project!

Since this project was done.. months ago (whoops), I can't really recall how long it took me, but I know it was a relaxed, multiple day thing. I was really impressed with myself for not rushing (about halfway through most projects I find myself in a hurry to get it done because I'm so excited to see the end product!) and sticking to my challenge of closing all seams. It was worth it. (Even if it was a pain in the ass at certain parts...)

I used a french seam pretty much all over, and for the inner sleeves I slip stitched-which I LOATHE, but it looks fantastic.
french seams, and enclosed hem finished with barely visible adorable bow stitches

inner sleeve, slip stitching

I love this dress and I love the pattern however, I feel it looks like a funeral dress. In black, its just.. blah. I tried to give it something special by finishing off the edges with a cute bow stitch but it just blends into the fabric.. So. I learned a lot from the dress and I will certainly use this pattern again, just on something brighter or printed. And for future reference, when using a cute stitch, use a contrasting or metallic thread!