Tag Archives: sewing

the value added features of an ADD mind

I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with ways to better organise and live with the itty bitty space which is my studio.  At the moment it’s a complete disaster zone and I have to confess that it’s a complete write-off and I’ve been working from the kitchen as a result (+ because the air conditioner is still up there which makes the room unbearably cold).  I literally spend almost 4 hours/week reorganising this space which I don’t think anyone can argue is completely the anathema of efficiency.

I thought the answer to my woes was to save up for a nice, shiney, chrome baker’s rack on which to neatly organise my fabric stash and books.  As I work with fabric above and beyond everything else and I really need to have a direct view of all of the goodies available to me I feel that would be a great storage solution.  That’s still an option, however I need something fast and it occurred to me today to simply shop from home (for free!) and switch up my storage system.

Here is the at-a-glance option I currently have, storing patterns, notions, magazines, beads, yarns, dremel stuff, trims and ribbons:

Since that picture was taken I’ve pared down a lot of my yarn stash and it now fits nicely into about 3 different containers.  In the following picture you can see my current fabric stash storage: the beautiful hope chest my dad built for me years ago in the state it’s normally (and currently) in:

I know, it’s a complete disaster.  I have no shame.  But see what I mean?  It drives me in-freakin’-sane.

Tomorrow I go up there and begin the transformation.  If you don’t hear from me by Saturday, send the troops.



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ruffles are the new black

Ruffles have been inner than in for a few seasons now and I have to say I quite like that and they’re no likely to go away any time soon.  Although I do argue that ruffles can go horribly, horribly wrong, I love that they’re being applied to just about everything for a fresher, softer, more romantic look.  Everything in moderation, right?

Here are some favourite ruffly things, via etsy.  Click the pics to go to the store:

Alright, nevermind the thing I said about moderation.  This profusion of ruffles melts my heart:

…as does this one:

…and this one too:

Are you wearing ruffles?  What’s your favourite ruffly thing?

Discuss.  I’m going to go put ruffles on stuff.  Possibly even the dog.


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I’ve been a busy bunny

But I’ve got a moment or two to update and show you lot what I’ve been making.

I know my partner has received this so I can post pics of my goofy son modeling the flying monkey inspired hoody I made her for the All Things Oz Swap over at Craftster.

I just used a basic hoody pattern and drew new pieces to applique on as the elements of the flying monkey costume from The Wizard of Oz.

It’s a little large on him so some of the details are missing, but you get the idea.

And of course it has wings!

I had so many ideas for this swap I didn’t know where to begin.  As always, I never suffer a lack of inspiration, just the time in which to see it all to fruition.  This was a lot of fun to make and a real learning experience.  I’d never worked with polar fleece before let alone tried to applique anything to it.  I’m glad I went with the three step zig zag for that part to maintain the stretchiness.  Of course every seam is serged and topstitched which made the project a little time-intensive but that sucker is not falling apart any time soon.  Now everyone in the house wants one.

I had a table at the arts week street fest at the weekend which was a rather fun experience.  I made some good money and it’s nice to know that people like my stuff.  I made a bunch of lounge pants out of re-purposed sheets with cute appliques for the fest.  There are two pair I want to steal from my stash but I’m being good and staying away from it for the moment.

There are more and I’ll be getting them into my etsy shop as soon as I can get better pics of them.

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mindless busy work

Why wouldn’t a girl want to spend the entirety of a gorgeous, sunny Wednesday afternoon putting lightly gathered pin tucks into fiddly satin fabric while waiting anxiously for a prognostic phone call from a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon?  Nevermind that I could have been out helping to paint a mural with a mum-to-be for the room of her babe-to-be and interacting with actual adults.  Nevermind that I’ve only just learned that said pediatric orthopaedic surgeon is not in the office until Friday (yet lead me to believe there was a sense of urgency on this score and would be calling me today.)  Nevermind that I spent $30 to have copies of the xrays couriered to him after spending 3 and a half hours waiting at the hospital to get them done because the poor sprog requiring the surgeon was due to go on a camp trip with her class and Columbian pen pal and that was sort of, kind of hinging on the current state of the bolt in her hip.  Nevermind all of that, I have pin tucks.  Pretty sure they’re the only thing keeping me from going bat-shit crazy right now.

p.s. I sent the sprog to camp anyway…with her stepmum to keep her in line.

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a lowly lemon + a zipper foot + bloody brilliance

I’ve made a couple of fun discoveries over the last couple of days. One I’m completely sold on and the other…well…possibly not so much.

The first is this baby:

It’s a rolling invisible zipper foot by H.A. Kidd (or Unique depending on which area you’re in) and it’s my new BFF. Anyone who knows anything about my sewing habits knows that I abhore installing zippers and absolutely despise replacing zippers which is why, when asked, I give a quote of 123 bajillion dollars to do such a chore. Well this puppy changes everything (and reduces zipper replacement prices to 118 bajillion dollars) as it nicely makes those lovely invisible zipper folds and it will make an invisible out of a visible and has universal attachments for just about every type of presser foot shank for an entire $3.79 CDN. The only bother is that I actually have to unscrew the foot snap from the shank on my machine in order to use it, but that certainly beats ripping out seams any day. Thank you, thank you lovely fellow Fabricland customer for introducing this to me!

So the other thing is two-fold; firstly there is Victory Art Supplies – a new art supply store on Rubidge Street, downtown (yay!) A proper art supply store, you know the kind where you can smell the oil paints before you make it through the door? Yeah, that kind. My favourite. So I went in a picked up a set of watercolour paints and some paper. My first set of watercolours ever. They’re intimidating. I mucked about with them for a bit on the front porch saturday, just playing with mixing and colours and brushes. I managed to produce a lowly little lemon before I had to call it quits for fear of sunstroke and after lighting the newspaper which was on the ground beside me on fire (we won’t talk about that.)

It’s not finished yet, obviously (I fully intend to put it on a plate with a little lowly fish or something) but wanted to post as evidence, really, that I just don’t ‘get’ watercolours…yet…hopefully that qualifier applies. I’ve always stuck to the kinds of paints which have me making rough outlines and filling them in, see? It’s difficult to make the mental renegotiation of positive and negative space as one has to with watercolours (because using white paint is cheating.) So you can see here that I layer colour in like I would with acrylics or oils. Ugh. So frustrating but I will push on.

Beyond that I spent a good chunk of time frollicking in the fields of eye candy that is the Director’s Label series and being reminded that Jonathan Glazer‘s treatment of Rabbit in Your Headlights is likely my favourite music video ever.

You should go watch it.

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today I win at motherhood

So one of the wonderful things which happens when ones children near pubescence is that said children inevitably develop social lives independent from the play dates, sports & gatherings parents arrange for them and inevitably forget to include parents in the itinerary for such events and so get invited to birthday parties which they conveniently forget to tell parents about, make said parent broke after paying for all of the social expenses and lands the parent(s) mere hours away from committing the ultimate in social faux-pas; sending one’s child to a birthday party without a gift. Today was one such day, I was surprised to find out through a phone call from a panicky mum looking for RSVPs. Luckily I’m a crafty mum and was able to save the day, or at least my sanity, if you don’t mind my saying so. A trip to the local liquidators for a $10 yoga mat, a rifling through the fabric/trims stash and an hour of drafting/cutting/sewing time later; behold the magnificent yoga mat & carrier!

And the only reason I get to be all smug about it is because my daughter, upon seeing the gift I’d made for her friend exclaimed ‘Ugh! I was hoping it was for me!’ and hasn’t taken it off since.

Yay! I win!

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