Category Archives: sewing

not-yo-gramma’s mini skirt.

Based on the ever democratic process of polling my friends on the internets, I threw together this little H&M-inspired mini skirt last week. I’ll be posting a tutorial on this INCREDIBLY simple throw-it-together-in-two-episodes-of-Ancient-Aliens-or-less piece sometime in the next couple of days.

I haven’t blogged about it yet because I’m trying desperately to have a life that doesn’t involve sitting at a computer all day. Which means that, in addition to the skirt, I have made a metric shit ton of other things in the last couple of weeks and just haven’t tossed them up on here yet. I’m actually finishing Christmas presents already while knitting at my desk at work. Yeah, I totally just blew the surprise, but whatever.

I’m back in the vinyl bag business in a big way. Here’s some recent stuff:

This one was a special project for Sloppy Jodes.

 

Look at that dramatic lighting!

I can’t post a couple of the things I’ve done just yet because they’re for birthday gifts or are waiting on the final touches. I’ll get them up here soon though. Well, I make no promises really. I’m bringing my motorcycle to the city this weekend, so I might never be indoors again. Four wheels is just two too many. LIIIIIVE TO RIIIIIIIIIIIDE!

In addition to not computing outside of the office, I’ve been doing the “tourist in my own city” thing for the last couple of days. I took an absolutely incredible walking tour of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, following Lawrence A. Glasco and Christopher Rawson’s book August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in his Life and Plays. If you’re from Pittsburgh or intend to visit sometime and care about important things, you should find a copy (try the Carnegie Library Branch in the Hill District, where you can see the stool from Eddie’s Restaurant where August used to hang out) and take the tour. Here’s a great shot from the top of the Hill, with the remains of a funicular (the Penn Avenue Incline) that was removed during a period of not-so-subtle racism.

The incline, removed in 1953, ran to 17th and Penn Ave in the Strip District. Shortly after it’s removal, construction began on the Civic Arena, drawing a distinct line between the Hill and downtown Pittsburgh, further alienating this neighborhood from the rest of the city.

Other miscellany: TORI SPELLING IS STARTING A CRAFTING REALITY SHOW. yesssssssss. How do I get on this?! She’s faboo!

 

 

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Filed under crafts, generally awesome, off week, pittsburgh, sewing

decisions.

So I’m at a crossroads. In honor of summer weather, I wanna use this granny-ass looking fabric to make something cute for my bottom. I have almost 2 yards of it.

Image

Shall it be the Not-Yo-Gramma’s mini skirt?

Image

H&M get-up

Or the Bingo Bag Shorts?

Image

Forever 21 Paperbag shorts

Unfortunately, when it comes to questions like this, Socrates is no help. He only cares about making it impossible to sit at a desk.

That is 18 pounds of pure apathy right there.

Speak up!

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Filed under inspiration, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage looks

pants inaction.

Holy hiatus, batman.

I think I’m officially back from blog sabbatical. I’ve got some stuff complete that I haven’t written about yet, some stuff almost complete that I can wrap up soon and a positive spring outlook. Or something. I dunno. I’m going to try to get back on schedule, one project a week plus miscellaneous posts when I have the time, ambition or just a damn good story to tell.

This week I made pants. I made these pants, specifically: McCalls Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch M6405. I’ve been meaning to make these pants for months. In fact, I meant for them to be winter pants. I wanted to make a mock-up first to test out the fit, since I haven’t made pants since middle school and that was a bit of a mess. With that project, there came a point where I decided that the waist band was too confusing, so I just didn’t do it.  This meant that they had a front rise that would make Britney blush and my mom kick my ass if she knew that I wore them to school. They were stretchy grey corduroy and they didn’t hold up terribly well in the wash.

ANYWAY. Pants. They’re seriously tricky to get right. I did not get them right, unfortunately. I got annoyed with the mock up portion of my creation and stopped after I did the fly (as that is seemingly the most complicated aspect of this particular pattern). I should have continued with the fake pants but I thought the pattern would just work. I will never assume this again.

Fake pants with a zipper.

Real pants with a zipper.

After I finished the fly, I sewed up the middle and the sides and put them on. Where these designers get their measurements is beyond me. With the standard (5/8 inch) seam allowance, these pants were about 30+ inches at the waist. I have a 26 inch waist and made the size corresponding to that. I had to figure out how to trim back 4 inches. Even more frustrating was the shape of the legs. They’re supposed to be slim-legged. Not skinny, not wide, slim. These had the absolute least flattering cut I have ever seen. Consider:

This guy and I are in an MC Hammer cover band called Bawl P. and Lil Mallet.

It isn’t much of an exaggeration. I even used a stretch gabardine (as suggested by the pattern), so they were kind of shiny. Also, the gabardine was the most unruly shedding beast, everything I touched during this project was covered in tiny black strings.

I finally pulled out a pair of jeans that fit pretty well and traced them onto the pants. Then I set about trying to take these stupid things in. I got them to a point where they looked pretty sharp, attached the waistband and was happy to be done. Well almost done. I still can’t find the hook and bar fasteners that I bought when I bought the fabric, so they have no top closure, but whatever. That’s what safety pins are for. I was ready to wear them, come hell or high water.

Ignore the messy room. No one else was home to help me stage this photo.

After having them on for 20 minutes or so, I had realized how un-stretchy the fabric was and uncomfortable they were going to be. But I was committed. I had to wear them at least once, right? Here’s how that day at work went:

12 pm: Work is hectic and I’m moving around more than I expected. This will surely shorten the lifespan of these pants.They are shedding everywhere.

12:55 pm: Man, this waistband is high. Good thing it looks awesome. Wait. The safety pin is tearing the gabardine. And you can totally see it. Whatev.

1:35 pm: They’re kind of tight. Took a cool pic sitting at my desk. Glad I brought jeans for when these things split at the seams.

Never mind, this picture’s not that cool. I already put it in the post though, so it’s staying.

2:28 pm: Finally had to go pee. I had forgotten about the safety pin latch on my pants and that’s an annoying thing I hadn’t considered when I came up with this solution. Also annoying: the way these pants shed little black threads constantly.

3:40 pm: Had to pee again. Should quit drinking so much water. Little black threads in my underpants. Am currently eating pizza (three pieces total), will certainly be more uncomfortable soon.

4:20 (ish): Compliments from my friend Daina on my outfit today. Didn’t want to sound like an idiot so I didn’t mention that I made the pants, but still feeling smug. I am cute and wonderful.

6:18 pm: My enemy Nik tells me “those pants are weird” and also asks “what’s with your pants, they’re weird?” I explain that I made them. I was hoping everyone would stroke my ego, but instead we talk about The Vagina Monologues. How hysterical would it be if one of the monologues was just a long burp?

6:57 pm: I don’t know why, but I’m convinced these pants are actually making my arms go numb. I can’t explain it. But seriously, any time I lift my arms above waist level they go numb. Am I pinching a nerve?

7:16 pm: Almost quitting time. Made it all day in these suckers. Sweatpants, here I come. 

Finally, here’s a picture of how tremendously helpful it is to have a cat when working on a sewing project. Notice the completely open room around her and how she’s decided to sit on my pattern pieces instead.

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Filed under for shame, sewing, vintage looks

baby mama drama.

It occurred to me recently that I’m at the age now where my friends are actually choosing to have children. Cute kids with expensive strollers and BabyGap clothes and adorable photos in sepia tone. But, you know, that doesn’t mean everyone has their shit together.

ANYWAY. This week’s craft was supposed to be finished two months ago, on or around the time that my nephew and his ex-girlfriend were having a baby. I’m happy to report that we’ve successfully removed ourselves from that situation as the baby proved not to be my nephew’s after all (thanks, science!).

Still, I had come to terms with the fact that I was probably going to be a great-aunt and thought I would do something cute for my great-nephew, Frankie. I bought a trio of coordinating Onesies with the intention of doing a little dinosaur appliqué on each.  Then, as it got closer to the date, I started dragging my feet. Was I really going to put my heart into this, take all this time and then give it to that trashy family where they wouldn’t actually care about my efforts? A derailing, craft-induced ego trip, I know, but still. I was angry about the frustrations these people were causing my family.

I almost gave the Onesies to Goodwill but I decided they were too cute. I’d find a baby to put them on! I finally got around to putting them together this weekend.

First, I found cute dinosaur images on the internet. I’d give credit but that information is on my home computer and I’m work-blogging. I traced them and made dinosaur stencils to work from. I cut out the images from felt using an Exacto knife and my self-healing mat.

As is the case with all crafty undertakings, there was a set-back during this process. That set-back being that I didn't think to check under my felt for stray dinosaurs or stencils and beheaded both the T. rex stencil and felt cut out while detailing that stegosaurus. Dammit.

I pinned the felt dinosaurs onto the Onesies and used the blanket stitch the whole way around the dinos.

Brain-pin.

And voila!

Look at his little french-knot eye! I've done my first french knots, I'm like a real craft-lady.

A trio!

Now, someone make a baby for me to clothe.

Seriously though, having kids? #WTF. No offense to all the parents out there, many (MANY!) of the parents I know are amazing people.  It’s just that I think this animal-like urge to produce another human clouds judgment so much so that people actually start to act against their own best interests, i.e: Snooki. That woman is genetically a couple strands away from being a cat in heat. She just writhed around and moaned and ruined shit until something impregnated her. If you watch the video from the link below, I’m pretty sure you can hear Snooki in the background yelling “Somebody fuck me or I’m pissing on everything!”

zoo-creatures.jhtml#id=1629734

So yeah.

Next week’s project will be wrapping up a knit project I’ve been working on for the last two weeks, which I will totally finish on the MegaBus on my way to visit Rae in Philadelphia! I need this trip. Hard.

 

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Filed under crafts, generally awesome, sewing

reparo.

The mending charm. What I wouldn’t give for a mending charm. Split your pants? Reparo. Make a weird skirt? Reparo. Get drunk and start a fight with your boyfriend? Reparo.

Anyway, no matter how much I yell at things, nothing seems to get fixed unless I get out the sewing kit. Well, except for Trent. He actually responds to yelling. He listens, tries to calm me and then tunes me out, but c’est la vie, it’s more than the pants would do. We’re good now.

So  I went back and finished fixing up a handful of projects I had laying around the house… A few dropped hems, taking up a pair of pants that were too long, fixing some of Trent’s clothes that had split at the pocket seams. I also tackled fixing the “pleats” on an old project…

Yeah, I dunno.

And here it is good as new:

Proper pleats. Boo-ya.

Up close and personal.

Last weekend, I went to a clothing sale at this chick’s place in my neighborhood. According to the craigslist post, she was a fashion buyer for years and was selling off some of her massive collection of clothing. There was some incredible stuff and some really not so great stuff. Not as many high end items as I had hoped but I got there a bit late, maybe I missed out on some goodies. Still, I spent $20 and ended up with this with these vintage pieces:

Weird thing is, last time JoAnn’s had $.99 patterns, I bought one for a shirt just like these and I haven’t started it yet. Now I guess I don’t have to. Turned out the skirt had a tear and needed to be repaired as well, so I did that the other day and got to rock it at work on Friday. I am obsessed with skirts these days. My new office is way too hot for pants and sweaters most of the time, especially with the comfy temperatures we’ve had (‘cept this weekend, darn it) and I don’t have to carry around keys and a walky-talky and a bunch of other crap all day, so I can wear things that look nice and don’t have pockets!

I also got some great vintage fabric (like 10 yards of it!) from my sister-in-law. I’m pretty sure her basement is a fun house of craft supplies. Every time I go home she’s dug out some other fabulous thing that she picked up here or there for a couple of bucks. It’s incredible.

This scene (and some other people) is replayed around the bottom of the fabric.

As the fabric gets closer to the top, it's just flowers.

It seems like it would lend itself to a great retro styled dress in this style: 

In the Good-News-For-People-Who-Like-Old-News department, Instagram is super fun. Indulge me while I pretend that I know how to take an interesting photo:

My dad actually has worn this hat, in this condition (yes, that's dog bite in in the lower left corner) up until last week. It is also exactly as filthy as it looks.

So I've lost my mind but Trent still loves me. He's great.

That’s it for tonight. This coming week, I’ll cover a couple of old things that I’ve finally completed and probably some gifts for new babies in my life.

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Filed under refinished & reloved, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage looks

blanche deverobe.

Ah, the hand made gift. Kind of tough, right? You put a lot of thought and time into making something for a friend or family member and then you get to the point where you have to give it to them and you think… shit. By far, the worst part is when they open it and recognize that it’s hand made and are trying to search for most tactful way to ask “wtf is this?” when it is very obviously a… well… it’s you know, a squishy kind of thing… you know for your… never mind, I’ll get you something better for the next holiday.

The thing is, lots of people don’t really want handmade gifts. I’ve been making this mistake for years. And you know, it would cost me nearly as much to buy something ready-to-wear or mass-produced as it does to assemble the materials so in a lot of cases, I just go with the store bought thing and don’t over think it. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but I’m finally finding my audience. The people who appreciate a blanket with some shaky stitching or a scarf that isn’t totally symmetrical or a stuffed animal made out of recycled jock straps. People like Colleen.

Ah, Colleen. She’s my former roommate, she’s a little bawdy, she’s been known to climb into boys bunk beds in the middle of the night after downing one too many pitchers of mixed drinks. She’s my own personal Blanche Devereaux.

I’ve been wanting to make a special birthday present for her, something inspired by our favorite costume from Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of The Royal Family. The play (written by George Kaufman and Edna Ferber in 1927) was basically a send up of the infamous Barrymore family of the stage. It wasn’t the best play, but it was certainly entertaining and featured absolutely gorgeous costumes. We talked about drinking tea and bossing people around while wearing silk dressing gowns for months. Here’s a not-so-great photo of the kimono in question:

The DRAMA in this image. He's pointing, she's sneezing, the bell boy is wearing that hat and lookin' fly.

When I was flipping through my copy of Vintage Notions for blog inspiration a while back, I spotted the fabulous “Magic Pattern” instructions for a kimono-style robe reproduced from the original pattern published in 1925! Magic Patterns are awesome because you just buy the recommended amount of fabric, gather your ruler, marking tools and scissors and you’ve got everything you need. Except geometry. You have to remember how to do geometry. This pattern required 3 yards of fabric and used almost the entire piece through creative arrangement. No waste! It was perfect. I happened to find some inexpensive but soft and silky patterned material at JoAnn’s the following week.

It's a little dark, but the background is a silvery-blue.

I could have gone for something a little bolder like Julie Cavedish wears in The Royal Family but I just really liked the kaleidoscope pattern. In retrospect, it would have been awesome to do a contrast collar with a bold blue or red.

I didn’t take any photos of the process apparently. I actually made this robe a few weeks back, as Colleen’s birthday was January 18, but I thought I had documented it better. I was surprised to find today that I didn’t have additional photos on my camera. Bummer. Anyway, here’s the final product.

Peggy needed a little something under the robe, so as not to offend.

If you look closely, it looks crooked. I assure you this is just the result of Peggy's swagger and that it's actually symmetrical. She's got a mean lean.

So when it was all said and done, I tried it on and immediately felt like a different lady. It was part Blanche Devereax, part Barrymore, all fabulous. I totally LOVED this project. It was super quick to complete and  it has a really striking effect, looking elegant while being totally simple to construct. I’ll be making another one for myself so that we can drink tea together in style.

For the locals: I had a handful of friends/acquaintances mention that they’d like to learn how to sew. This is a good pattern to start with, as it is all straight seams and very simple construction. If you’re interested in learning, comment me here or on facebook and we can have a class at my place one night coming up.

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Filed under sewing, vintage looks, vintage pattern

getting felt up for the holidays.

So I’m enjoying one of the last days of my normal schedule and life. I start a whole new job on Monday (It pays more! I get to get an MBA for free! I no longer have to manage a million people!)  and it’s like a real job where I have to show up during the day time. What’s that about?

I woke  up and played Zelda for 3 hours, because I still can. Then I did very productive things, like returning lost keys and buying groceries and windshield wiper blades.

Anyway, now I’m at home, having a very home-y night, waiting to hear back about a home that we made an offer on, just in case it might be our new home soon. 2012 could be bonkers. I’m wearing a home-made cowl and drinking a white russian made with home-made coffee liqueur, both courtesy of my fantastic god parents. I’m going to spend the rest of my night finishing a home-made gift for my best friend, as I won’t get to see him for a couple more weeks and I didn’t have to struggle to get it done before Christmas.

Onto the felt. So, I’ve got this super crafty and fun friend named Kait. I can depend on her to indulge whatever bullshit crafty thing I want to do, so we’re trying to make a monthly-ish crafting night together. We carved pumpkins at Halloween and watched Gnomeo and Juliet. (F’real. Romeo and Juliet with gnomes.) For Christmas, we made our friends Jodi and Stephanie pretend that they liked doing crafts and everyone came to my place for fondue, spiked hot cocoa and to make felt ornaments. For January, we’re thinking about making Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream(catchers).”

I found this waaaayyyyyy cute tutorial and had to do it: Vintage Felt Baubles by Bugs and Fishes. If you think we’re going to make it another calendar year to next Christmas, I suggest starting these suckers now. I mean, if you’re anything like me, that is. I had to finally limit the number of people that were receiving them as gifts because I just couldn’t enough done.

I’m not going to lie. I put way more effort into throwing a fondue and craft party than I did the crafts themselves. When I went to Kait’s for pumpkins, she had gone the whole nine yards… hot apple cider, rich vegetarian chili with all the fixin’s, a platter laid out with various tools for carving the pumpkin. It was way nicer than anything I’d have done. So for my night to host, I had to put in a little extra effort.

First, I asked Kait if she had a fondue pot. Of course she did. 3-4 in fact. I settled on a seafood fondue recipe from this vintage Christmas craft book:

Christmas 1979: Jello, candied fruits and puffy-sleeved night gowns were IN.

I served it was crusty toasted bread and veggies. I totally forgot Kait has a gluten intolerance and panicked about 95% of the way through our feast:

Kait:

Something, something. Gluten.

Me:

Wait!!! THAT’S REAL BREAD!

Kait:

Yeah, I know.

Me:

I’m such an asshole.

Kait:

I didn’t eat it. 

Kait eventually made chocolate fondue, we were all enjoying boxed wine and whipped cream vodka and it was looking like crafting would be limited. At some point, we made the commitment to move from the kitchen to the craft supplies buffet:

Jodi requested a craft buffet. I did my best to oblige.

This is about the point where I realized that I shouldn’t drink and craft. Clear thread is like really, really clear and hard to see when your vision is blurry. Kait had it together and started making crazy cute stuff with no pattern. Kait is to crafting what our friend Hilary is to pretty: too fucking good at it. All in all though, everyone’s stuff came out totally great.

Aren't they cuuuuuuute?

Jodi’s little banana-eating monster was funny and Stephanie made a festive bauble bouquet with gold stitching (which reminded me that straying from a pattern is totally acceptable in the name of aesthetics). Also, did I mention that she had never sewn before? My drunk tutorial went something like this: “Well, you put the thread in the little eye and then… you sew… Like, put it through the fabric. Um… You just sew. I don’t know.”

The night ended pretty much when Jodi (the only one who doesn’t drink!) dumped a box of teeny tiny beads all over my floor and we were in hysterics. When Jodi comes over, we inevitably do something that I’m sure is going to piss Trent off. (See: the ring-in-my-couch incident.)

Besides the felt baubles, I’ve been kind of a felt nut. I made yards and yards of garland to give out as gifts as well. Mostly it’s going out to my two best friends, as we’ll probably all be in new living situations next year by the holidays and we can all have matching decorations! Felt is mad fun. I got the pattern for the garland here: The Purl Bee.

So here are all of my finished baubles, all four of them. I found one more while organizing some craft stuff last night and I’ll probably finish it and keep it for myself since I gave the others away.

Also, here’s my super cute home-made wrapping paper and all of my presents ready for their recipients.

Alright. We’re almost caught up with Christmas crafts now. I’ve got a pile of other projects ready to start this week, so I can finally move past the holiday stuff. Here’s to 2012!

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Filed under craft night!, crafts, sewing, vintage looks

it’s electra. (boogie-woogie-woogie)

Rainy Monday in Pittsburgh. It’s the perfect kind of day to sleep until 1, drink too much coffee, fret about life and do some crafts. I even wore my “craft lady outfit” as Trent described it.

Yes, that is a Pittsburgh Public Theater denim shirt, you're not dreaming.

It’s teetering on a fine line between “Michael’s Craft Store Glam” and “Mad About You Casual”

I like to think it's leaning on the side of 'Mad About You' casual, only because I didn't have a clean turtleneck and time to trim my mullet.

So the vinyl bags are getting a bit out of hand. I always have pending orders for them it seems and, while I love making stuff, they are taking up a lot of time. The awesome thing is once I get paid for some bags sold on consignment, I’ll be well on my way to purchasing a new (probably used) industrial machine.  I’ve actually been approached by another local non-profit about manufacturing the bags for them as well, so it’ll be good to get something more appropriate and give my current machines a chance to relax. An industrial (or at least commercial grade) machine should help me get through them a little more quickly as I won’t be fighting the machine so frequently.

Anyway, this week has actually been about a couple of different crafts but I’ve started on Christmas presents that I can’t talk about on here . You know, as my followers are pretty much just my close friends and family, there’s a good chance that you, dear reader, are getting some crappy thing I spent too much time on and I don’t want to give away the surprise too early! I’ve also started the process of fixing up an old Finesse sewing machine from the 70s, but I can’t do much else until I learn how to fix the tension. The one craft I can tell you about is another vinyl bag in a new style:

Finished Electra envelope clutch

Back of the clutch.

This bag was made on commission for another actress from our recent production of Sophocles’ Electra. Now in addition to the wristlet and tote bags I had been making, I have a pattern (modified from this pattern) for an envelope style clutch that I absolutely adore. Honestly, I was feeling pretty guilty about not giving this actress one of the totes that I made, as they had already been requested and paid for by other folks, so I was thrilled that this turned out so well and I can get it in the mail to her soon.

In addition to all my crafts and projects this week, and events at work almost every day, I got my very first dental crown on Thursday. This does not, as I previously thought, make me in any way royalty, though at the moment I have a temporary crown while my permanent is being crafted in porcelain. Fancy shit. Anyway, I drained my savings for one fake tooth and it currently looks like it has Down syndrome. I hope the fancy permanent one I’m getting in two weeks will be based vaguely on what my tooth actually looked like. In the mean time, this thing kind of hurts. Lame.

With Thanksgiving on Thursday and the release of the new Zelda game (it’ll arrive tomorrow!), I’m probably not going to get any crafts done in the coming week.  It’s a hard choice between crafts and video games, but I know what I must do.

I hope you all (those that I don’t get to see, at least) have a great Thanksgiving. If you don’t, you let me know, we’ll fix it.

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Filed under crafts, sewing, upcycled, vintage looks

success in the clutch.

This week was one of my favorite projects so far in my 10 weeks (holy crap!) of weekly crafting. I think it comes in second to the pattern chop: top post. Turns out, I really like sewing a lot. I should do more of it. Admittedly, I’ve actually been done with this project since Sunday night and haven’t written about it yet. I was totally tuckered out on Sunday, so I went to bed after I finished. Yesterday, however, my good friend Colleen took me on a whirlwind trip to the Fairmont Hotel for…Wait for it…

A goddamn champagne tasting. It was baller. I drank this and this and endured being talked at by the sales guys. Truly a small price to pay for free champagne for two hours in the early evening. The night quickly escalated and the next thing you know, I’m in a bar eating fried raviolis shortly before falling asleep on the couch.

So for this weeks project, I started with a bag of scraps from PPT’s costume and clothing sale last month. I really tried to avoid bringing home more fabric and craft stuff I don’t have a plan for, but I couldn’t stop myself when I found a couple of awesome scraps. Out of this bag, there were two scraps that I really fell in love with: a hunk of thick, yellow corduroy and a long, narrow piece of patterned silk with pinks and golds and yellows. I didn’t know what to do with them just yet, but the juxtaposition of the two was great.

Then I spotted, on the cover of Making Vintage Accessories, this adorable envelope-style clutch. This was perfect. I had, a few days prior, nearly purchased a pattern for an envelope clutch, ultimately deciding that I didn’t want to pay for it. It was there in this book, I just had to enlarge the pages! So anyway, yadda yadda yadda, I made a purse. Here’s photographic evidence:

Do you know how hard it is to enlarge things using a photocopier? I'll tell you. Hard.

 

All the pieces cut out.

Shit. It's very obvious on the screen that the front isn't perfectly symmetrical. I didn't notice this until now. It's too late to fix it but it's going to drive me crazy.

I painstakingly made that little fringey band by carefully cutting it out and pulling a certain number of vertical threads. I'm proud, it's a good touch.

Anyway, that’s my craft for this week. I think next week will be the start of my Christmas crafts, presents or whatnot. I’m trying to get real serious about Christmas this year. The tree, dinners, planned and thoughtful presents that I bought more than a few days before the holiday. You know, the whole nine yards.

Oh, the week after that, I might have to take a “sick week” cause I pre-ordered the new Zelda game for the Wii and it’s bundled with a gold Wiimote and I’m thrilled. Look at this. Listen to its songs. I can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under crafts, sewing, upcycled, vintage looks

knit or treat.

Halloween, a holiday that seemingly closes the window of fall comfort and opens the gaping barn door of winter and it’s never-ending holidays, has never been one of my favorite times of year. Trick-or-treating in my town sucked. My costumes sucked. It snowed (like a lot!) the one year that I really got dressed up and went to a bigger town for trick-or-treating. I gave up on that holiday at a pretty young age.

Then I got to college and was introduced to college Halloween. Slutty costumes? Movie characters that weren’t animated? Doing more than gathering skirts, scarves and bangly jewelry into a new iteration of a gypsy woman/witch? (regular gypsy, dead gypsy, regular witch, dead witch got me through at least 4 years). Then we don’t even trick-or-treat, we just drink? That last part was pretty much the only part that I could get my head around. I didn’t know people liked it so much. Anyway, adult Halloween was a whole different ball game that I still had no idea how to play.  Freshman year I had braces, so everything about my life was weird anyway. I just went to a John Mayer concert with a top hat on or something. Sophomore year, I opted out entirely, indulging in maybe one terrible PSU area haunted house. Junior year, my boyfriend at the time was all about Halloween and having corresponding costumes, so I went all out and made him a Han Solo costume while I went as Princess Leia. Although, I totally forgot about the sexy thing and went as this Leia by accident and not the slave one:

I mean, I made it, I didn't buy this crappy one. But still... I cringe thinking about the awesomeness of a home made slave Leia costume and how I failed.

Then the same ex-boyfriend refused to go as Peter Pan the following year so I could be a sexy Tinkerbell. As I mentioned in my previous post, he ended up going as Tinkerbell and I looked like this:

Seriously, the girl on the left isn't even anything in particular, she's just wearing leopard print. Why didn't I think of that?

I was Peter Pan. Decidedly not sexy. Then I did some terrible old Power Rangers costumes, then I skipped it for a few more years. Then I hit a new low and went as… (it’s only funny if you know the suburbs of Pittsburgh) Upper Saint Clair — I wore a halo and a wrap on top —  and Trent was Lower Burrel(lap) — he wore a regular shirt with burlap wrapped around his legs. After all these terrible experiences, I was finally ready to say I was done half-assing it and give up on Halloween altogether.

Then Trent wanted to have funny costumes this year. I told him to think of them and I would do whatever. Then he didn’t think of anything. I felt like a bad girlfriend, since he’s said how much he loves Halloween and costumes and all that, so I tried to encourage him to think of something. We had a brainstorming session. Nothing. Everything was either a) impossible or b) not very good. After a couple of these discussions, we hit upon the fact that there’s craft shit strewn all over the apartment and thus, a Halloween costume was born.

I would be a sexy ball of yarn and Trent would go as Knit of the Living Dead. 

Pretty good right? I love yarn, Trent loves puns. I’m not going to bore you with all the details. It’s not that great of a project. I’ll just show you the final product:

Trent’s wearing numerous knit pieces refashioned into some kind of knit zombie. He was pretty pumped about the latex stuff for his face and his head wounds oozing yarn. That and his scary-ass knitting needle claws. They made me uncomfortable.

On me, I knit the headband at work one night, it’s pretty sweet and will see further use. The top is just a sweater sewn onto an old bra. The ball-of-yarn skirt is also pretty cool, but we couldn’t get a good shot of it, sorry for the shaking:

So that was pretty much it. We went to a roller skating party called Down and Derby and had some drinks with our friends, but we didn’t skate at all cause Trent’s hands were dangerous.

Anwyay, this year I got into the Halloween spirit full tilt. All in the week leading up to Halloween, I watched Beatlejuice and Hocus Pocus, made our costumes, went to Scarehouse (which was awesome), drank spiked cider and carved this pumpkin in the likeness of my boss, Ted Pappas:

It's not bad, but it's not good either. The stencil is far more accurate.

So that’s all for my Halloween spirit 2011. It was a good year for festivities. This week, I’m getting busy and making some pants. Or maybe getting a jump on Christmas presents. I should pick, like, tonight.

Oh, and one more thing. Thanks to my girl Emily over at Dinner Is Served! I went down a dark Courtney Stodden rabbit hole again today. For Halloween, she and her creepy 50 something husband BOTH WENT AS HER. Only, to make matters worse, SHE WENT AS A “CHILD” VERSION OF HER 17 YEAR OLD SELF, according to her completely bizarre alliterative twitter feed.

Girl knows how to hold a lollypop.

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