Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catch Up!

Yeah, well, it turns out I'm not a prolific writer. Fortunately I'm a bit more prolific in the sewing arena. I was clearing pictures off my camera's card and realize maybe I HAVE completed some projects. So, I'm just going to post a lot of pics from the last year and a few comments. Then, I promise (read: have good intentions) to post more frequently.

I did these quite a while ago for a cousin's son who got married. They were going to be moving a lot so it needed to be small. I used a Kroger bag as a pattern for some re-usable grocery bags that fold into their attached pocket. Super easy on the serger once you puzzle through order of operations.

This was a fun little project. Cut an old t-shirt or yardage into 1-2" crossgrain strips. Pull on the strips until they curl. I taped them to the cutting board and did a 5-piece braid. I think I remember starting with pieces about 40" long and needed a finished braid somewhere between 20" and 25". Makes a nice wide headband if you start with strips 1-1/2 to 2" wide.
 One of the instruments my budding Music Therapist came home from Ghana with is a talking drum. She needed something to carry/protect it. I used cordura for the outside of the bag. Lined it with bright green flannel. Inserted a piece of foam at the bottom to protect the drum head. Then trimmed in some Ghanaian fabric she'd brought back - I used it to cover the webbing too. Does the trick.

 Her prof was wanting a device to hold a remote for Powerpoint presentations. This is a prototype, we couldn't figure out how to attach it to the guitar. There's a loop you can't see, but what do we use to attach to the guitar? It needs to be near the strumming hand. I'd love suggestions.

 See the theme yet? A lot of my sewing that I take pictures of is Music Therapy related lately. I had completed the guitar strap (top) a while ago. It's made of fabrics used for projects through the years, so there are a lot of memories on that strap. The middle strap is for her mandolin. It's a mix of fabrics brought home from Ghana. And the last is the shortest - it's for the ukelele. All fabrics purchased in Hawaii or for a Hawaii trip.

This was really fun. We purchased the cheapest straps from, I de-constructed them, shortened when needed (and melted the raw edges), stripped together a bunch of fabrics on a piece of muslin, attached the strip to the strapping and re-constructed the straps. She put the hardware on the instruments that needed it and she's got dedicated straps to 3 instruments now.

I've done some sewing for others besides family too. I wanted to do a memory pillow for a friend. I got the picture off the t-shirt I'd worn on a walk to raise funds and honor all those who've donated organs to save the life of another. Check out Donate Life if you want to support the organization! And sign up when you renew your license! I also put his name from the t-shirt on the back of the pillow. I happened to have the perfect multi-color heart fabric. Spent some time creating the tucked trim with my ruffler foot and was really pleased how well it turned out. That thing looks like a dinosaur but it's sure slick once you get it going right. The right tool is worth every dime.  

I can't locate the pics of the christening gowns. But I did have this one ring-bearer pillow. I cut up a dear friend's wedding dress (gulp!) that was also her mother's wedding dress. I made 2 christening gowns, blankets, pillows and hankies from it. She particularly wanted me to use the lace and buttons from the dress. It was quite the challenge but a most excellent adventure in heirloom style sewing. Martha Pullen eat your heart out.

I entered a contest where you received 4 or 5 items that must be incorporated into the project. I received the zipper and 3 or 4 odd specialty threads. I had an inspired idea (courtesy a funny cartoon sent by my middle child) for an anxiety doll. But reading the fine print, I found I'd give up all rights to the idea. Not particularly inclined to do so, I whipped this up instead, cutting up the zipper into parts, making tassels from a weird thread. Of course it didn't win, but it was an amusing little exercise that stretched my view and use of supplies.

THIS (below) is the item I dreamed up when I received the contest supplies, but was unwilling to send off releasing all rights. I gave it to my favorite, anxious girl. My first doll-making attempt, it took at least 3 prototypes if I remember correctly. The "cape of escape" can be worn to hide from the world. Anxiety Annie sports spiral eyes, fuzzy eyebrows and her hair is strips of purple knit pulled until it spiraled on itself.  While she is "able to leap to the worst conclusions in a single bound", she is still dearly loved with a hidden heart under her t-shirt. By the way, anxious people sometimes make mistakes, see if you can find the one I made - that I saw AFTER I finished! Sigh.

Poor Anubis joined the family this winter and came to our house for Christmas with only a sweatshirt. Skinny thing was freezing when it hit the 20s (who knew that was going to be the WARM part of this winter??). I pulled out fleece scraps and fashioned a warm coat. And since the scraps were scarlet and grey(hound), I HAD to put a Block "O" on it!
This is just a stocking stuffer for the boy. To organize and hold power cords. Different sizes, different colors to keep them straight. Used some of the 50 yards of 3" black elastic I'd purchased for all the yoga pants I made for Christmas gifts. Prototypes, if they work well, I'll make some for all of us. 

This is my last big item I finished lately. Just in time for it to go back to college for her big senior recital in February. We scavenged the lower half from an old prom dress. We both still loved the fabric. I tried for the top part to be like another dress she likes a lot. It was a struggle but it will work well enough. The sparkly gold trim will look decent on stage and when it's pressed and she's fully dressed she'll look fabulous. She was just quickly modeling for a picture, moments before she went back to school. Had to add a strip at the bottom of the black at the last minute because she wanted to wear tall heels, which made the skirt too short! One of the reasons I like sewing is problem-solving and engineering, but whew, I only had itsy-bitsy scraps left! I'd say next time I'll plan better, but I know I won't. Happily it received the official OK from her vocal coach. I don't know what we would have done if it wasn't approved!

Well if you're read this far, you must really like sewing. Or you're morbidly curious what I do in my Frankenstein sewing room. I'll try to do shorter posts from now on. AND I'll try to figure out how to post with a little more creativity. But for now, this will have to do.  

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