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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving + Vintage Sewing Videos

I was trying to think of a way to tie these two things together, but was coming up empty. Like, something about nostalgia and family gatherings and good old times?

Anyway, I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I love this holiday and this year is kinda fun for us because my husband and I are cooking tons of food even though it's just us and the kids.

Separately, I've been collecting old sewing-related videos-- commercials for machines and instructional videos and the like, and am now sharing them on my YouTube channel. You can see them in the playlist above, which will automatically update everytime I add a video!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How I mend jeans (Waste Not Weekly #10)


My jeans mending skillz have come a long way since I fixed the knee in this pair of jeans...which ended up ripping again soon after I fixed them.

Hold up-- I just realized the jeans I used in this week's video is that pair of jeans. Totally unplanned.

You see, when the knee in those jeans gave out yet after fixing it twice, I decided to just cut the jeans into shorts. But then my new shorts decided to get a hole in the butt (er, butt hole?) anway. Does the Gap outlet sell poor quality jeans, or what?

But this time around, I was ready. Since that knee ripped two years ago, I've fixed numerous holes and have devised what I think is the best way for fixing jeans. If you'd like to know the method, you can watch my How to Repair Jeans video.

Otherwise, I'll just tell you that I fixed FIVE pairs of jeans last week, putting a serious dent in my Waste Not Weekly pile, and getting some serious jeanage back into rotation. They weren't all small holes, either! There was a lot of chub-rub damage to be fixed, which of course tends to cover a sizeable area of denim real estate.

The bad news is I still have four of my husband's jeans to repair. I'll guess you'll be seeing those in a future Waste Not Weekly, but probs not anytime soon! Mending is on hold while I tend to some holiday projects!
Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kermit the Frog quilt (Waste Not Weekly #9)

You may remember I made a quilt for my first son's 1st birthday, so I couldn't not make my second son one too...even though neither of them will remember said first birthdays!

The difference is that this quilt was made almost entirely from stash materials, so it counts as a Waste Not Weekly project. I only had to buy a little bit of  navy and green leaf-print fleece, maybe a yard and a half or so, to cover the entire back.

Everything else I already had; Kermit quilting cotton from the thrift store, a jelly roll by a brand called Stripz purchased on clearance from WalMart, and Kermit fleece bought when this stuff was out of stock.

This Muppet quilt ended up long and narrow, just like my string-bean shaped baby-- kind of in-between toddler and twin sized.

I still hate how much static electricity fleece generates, but I'm starting to warm to it because I find it so darn easy to work with.

The top is just a random, er, "design" I came up with (I just sewed strips and slashed here and there until it resembled a rectangle). There is no batting, but I decided this will be my last quilt that I do that.

For the quilting I did double random lines, my first time trying random line quilting. Also my first time using spray basting and I am a total convert! In fact, I'm thinking of going back and re-doing my two other most recent quilts to eliminate puckering...more stuff for my "Waste Not Weekly" to do list!
 
Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

DIY Catwoman Mask


Happy late Halloween!

I love sharing my random Halloween creations with you, even though it's usually after Halloween.

This year for the first time ever, my kids ended up with totally storebought costumes, which I had mixed feelings about. I prefer DIYing at least part of their costumes (cheaper, more sentimental, can use it more than once, no one else will have it, etc), but at least Halloween costumes today are cooler than the plastic tunic-and-mask combos from when I was a kid.

My three-year-old orchestrated everyone's costumes this year. He chose Spider-man for himself, Incredible Hulk for his baby bro, Catwoman for me, and Ironman for my husband. It was the first time in years that I got to dress up, and even though I didn't get to make my kid's costumes, I did do somewhat of a DIY Catwoman costume for myself.


Catwoman is a very easy Halloween costume, and there is a lot of inspiration to choose from-- 60s TV show Catwoman, 90s Tim Burton Catwoman, comic book Catwoman, Halle Berry or Anne Hathaway Catwomen. I was leaning toward the 60s one but really, I just threw a bunch of stuff together.

I'd planned on making black leggings but ended up wearing black skinny jeans, black boots, a black long-sleeved tee, and a storebought cat-eye shaped mask that I found at Spirit. The DIY Catwoman Ears were the only thing I ended up making...
  • I used black felt from Jo-Ann and bought enough I could experiment with it.
  • This is my inspiration and this is the tutorial I vaguely followed for the hat part, minus all the steaming and felting.
  • I cut three pieces for the hat part; a long strip and two vaguely half-circle shaped pieces, which I cut freehand.
  • Stitch together using this tutorial.
  • To get that widow's peak look, I just put my hat on and drew the outline I wanted, or the shape of the hat I wanted, with fabric pencil.
  • I trimmed along the outline (while the hat was folded in half so that it ended up symmetrical).
  • Since I had just cut away some of the stitching, I sewed a seam around the hat, about 1/8" of an inch from the edge, to keep it from coming apart.
  • For the ears, which did end up looking more Batman than Catwoman, I cut out four triangles, sewed them right-sides together down the top two sides, and turned them.
  • I stitched the ears to the hat along the third side of the triangle that previously had no stitching, but I did have to do a small bar tack at the base of each ear on the opposite side of the sewing to get them to stand up.
There you have it! A vaguely DIY Catwoman hat which actually looks more Batwoman because of the ears, but I think it gets the point across! Now we're in full-on holiday mode around here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

City Gym Shorts + mending boys pants (Waste Not Weekly #8)

 
I've completed the other two pairs of City Gym Shorts I cut out. Remember when you're looking at these pictures, they're pajama shorts (a.k.a. stash fabric-eaters) and I don't intend to wear these jazzy little numbers outside.
These count toward Waste Not Weekly because the fabric, thread, and bias tape came from the stash. I did purchase some elastic, though.

I'll be writing up and vlogging a proper review of Purl Bee's City Gym Shorts pattern sometime this week.
I also got some mending done! My mending pile is out of control at this point, and the only reason I tackled the kid's stuff first (as opposed to the numerous pairs of my own jeans) is because I didn't want them to outgrow these clothes before I fixed them!
Is that not the wonkiest truck that ever wonked? Better than that hole it's covering though. For these two applique patches I just freehand cut the shapes out of a t-shirt last seen here (using up more of the #WasteNotWeekly pile). Then I used a basting glue stick (didn't want to waste any precious Steam-a-Seam for a proper applique, ha!) to stick the patches on and zig-zagged around the edges with my ballpoint needle. (A pair of my husband's jeans also got patched this week, not pictured.)

I realize my Waste Not Weekly posts are pretty boring, but it's actually helping tackle this monster of a refashion/repair/stash fabric pile...so thanks for baring with me!

Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Friday, August 29, 2014

DIY French Memo Board tutorial (Waste Not Weekly #7)

For some reason I felt especially accomplished with this week's Waste Not Weekly post. I think it's because I wasn't just stashbusting and using up spare craft supplies, I was also fulfilling a need we had.
For as long as we've lived here, I was planning on putting a bulletin board over the bookshelf in our boys bedroom to hold mementos like postcards, ticket stubs, and birthday cards. After consulting with Google on searches like "boys bulletin board", I figured one of those ribbon bulletin boards, or "French Memo Boards" as I learned they're called, was just the ticket.
I especially loved that I got to use a super-fun comic book themed Star Wars fabric-- getting it out of the stash, and on display on the wall. I also harvested a stretched canvas from an unused felt board (pro-tip: just ignore those little tutorials out there that tell you to use flannel as the base for your felt-boards. USE FELT.)

I did have to buy a couple of things: ribbon and buttons. Both were on sale but unfortunately now I have to use up the rest of those. Everything else came from the stash.
Yay to getting projects ticked off the list! Yay to using up stuff that's otherwise just sitting in a drawer! (See what I mean about this week's sense of accomplishment?)

Have you made one of these ribbon bulletin boards before? They're actually super easy and can be done in an afternoon-- which, of course, added to the I'm gettin' stuff DONE feeling. I made a How to Make a French Memo Board tutorial video if you'd like to try one:
Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basic sewing machine maintenance

When's the last time you cleaned and oiled your machine? Or took it in to have serviced?

If the answer is "never", then now's the time to do it! I made a sewing tutorial video if you've never done it before... and if you have done it before, hopefully this post will serve as a little reminder to do it right now!

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