Mermaid hair today…gone tomorrow

I decided to take some pictures of the girl before she got her hair cut off and donated it.  It had gotten pretty long, and she really doesn’t do anything with it at all…or let me do anything with it.

I have had this saying and mermaid cut out for some time, so I figured I should use it before she gets her hair cut off on Friday.

This is the Mermaid, and I just used a font in the Silhouette Studio.

It is hard to see the font since it is a silver reflective font.  Oh well.  It’s DONE, and that is what is important.

Shirt is self-drafted, and out of a great jersey with lycra.  It is very comfy.  The leggings are the Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns, with a low loft stretch velour.  It is hard to capture how shiny they are with the camera.

I can’t wait to be able to get pictures  again once it warms up.  I am having the hardest time getting my color right.

Well, now I will have to make her something else to wear to show off her new haircut!

Feeling elvish

Nothing like a long-awaited fabric delivery to de-rail your sewing plans! I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings (even read that massive tome…and The Hobbit, too), so when a pre-order came up for different LOTR fabrics I pounced on it.

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After waiting the required several months for the order to close and then get delivered it finally arrived last weekend.  It had been a long few days away from the family, in setting up and putting on the charity benefit for Deb, so it was a fun sight to be greeted by that box when I got back home.  Into the washer the fabric went!

Of course, I didn’t have the right color coordinates, so I had to make a stop at the fabric store.  I hadn’t been there since before Christmas, so OF COURSE I bought way more than I intended.  I am all ready for sewing up some LOTR, and some summer stuff now.

I started easy with the fabric, and made a Bram Raglan from Wardrobe by Me for my son.  Seriously, this was the main reason I pulled the trigger on this fabric.  Fits him perfectly.

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I just wish these fabric designers would make extra fabric that matches the panel.  I hate having to find matching fabric.  I used a solid chocolate colored cotton-lycra for the back, and a jersey/lycra for the arms.

Onward to what I wanted to make for me!

This was the initial drawing for it:

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I’m using my Sneha hack for this, with the front overlay.  Yes, again.

The front fat-half panel ended up at about 33″, so it shrunk 3″ in the wash. 🙁  This meant I wasn’t able to cut it out at the length I wanted, so I ended up doing a high-low hemline.  I kept the hem to a minimum, too.

The back was an overlay that I matched to the front overlay on the side seams.  I wanted it to have some extra volume in it, almost like a short cape, so I pulled it out from the fold line about 6″ and went down to mid-back for the curve.  I decided I wanted a downward curve after the initial draft I drew.

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The hood is a shortened version of the hood pattern I shared here.  I just took about 6″ off the bottom, and added a band to the edge that was a little bit narrower than the opening. I also lined the hood with the rib knit, since it was white on the backside of the green fabric.

Ribbing tends to stretch a bit more than most, so I wish I would have decreased the length on ALL the bands I used.  .

The hood is a little tight on the neck, so if I make another one, I will increase the width of the hood and scoop out the neckband a bit more.  So if you make your own version, take note.

I was indecisive about the arms.  Initially, I was thinking of adding the faux lacing on the arms like I did for my daughter’s dress.  I was having issues putting eyelets into the knit, since my eyelet setter was broke and the kittens ran off with the parts. >:(

I decided to add pieces that looked like the Elvish leaves vambraces.

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Just in knit.  I didn’t want them to overlap the whole way, since it would add a lot of bulk.  I just overlapped the seams and called it good.  I hand-stitched them on, so it had a more authentic look.

Here are the pattern pieces if you want to use them.  There is about a 1″ overlap.

I used the Ninja leggings pattern from 5 out of 4 Patterns for the leggings.  I cut up the pattern, and added seam allowances when I cut the pieces.  I serged and top stitched one piece wrong, so they are a little wonky.  Oh well.  I fixed it well enough, and they are a bit patchwork so it is hard to tell.

Retail will be up on Wednesday this week, I believe.  Site: Moonbeam Textiles


I couldn’t resist, and had to a Shire composite (New Zealand).

Background came from Trey Ratcliff.  He had this on his Flickr account under Creative Commons usage (non-commercial).  He does some impressive photography.

Twig and Tale Tour: An easy upcycle

I was invited to participate in the Twig and Tale Tour for upcycling, and of course, I said yes.  Then I remembered I had tweens, and not cute little people that didn’t voice their opinion.  I love their Wild Things add-ons.  Talk about adorable!  I so wish I could have done that with this tour, but alas…tweens.

So…onward to a very simple upcycle.  Yes, I made a cape with a blanket.  Too hard, right??

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You do kind of need a blanket in order to upcycle this garment.  I had a specific garment in mind, though.

the assassins blade

My daughter is obsessed with these books.  They are young adult geared books.  If your girl likes strong female leads with adventure and butt kicking…she may like these, as well.  My daughter wants me to make cosplay outfits of several of the book covers.

I used the Traveler’s Cape (disclosure: given to me for free for the tour) as the base for this garment. I should have lowered it a bit, but I was at the limit for the width on this blanket.

The cloak was the easy part.  The embellishments…not so much.  I drew out a sort of copy of the design (I didn’t really like their design), and then cut it out from upcycled suede pants.  I have been upcycling that pair for few years, so not much left at this point.

Next was hand-stitching it on.  The cape took about an hour to make, if that.  The leather took several hours to hand-sew onto the cape.  Glutton for punishment, I am.

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The cloak fasteners were purchased from Pacific Trimmings online.

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I get quite a lot of my hardware there, since they have so much variety. Many times I purchase with no plan in mind.  This is why I have this box here, which is not all of the hardware I have:

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Creating Magic

So, photos.  I love doing composite photography, however, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to do so.  I took this photo on my white backdrop, erased out the background, and made a new one with brushes.

Brush credit:

Clothes: Cape from Twig and Tale.  Shirt and leggings are self-drafted.

Decorative blades: From our collection.  We have several.

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Different pose with more natural skin tone…

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To follow along with the upcycling blog tour at Twig and Tale:

Blog tour overview at Twig and Tale

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link up:

Day one: Sew Shelly SewHandmade BoyNap time CreationsBoevenbende
Day two: Stylin StacyThe CraftingfiendGaafmachineWhile she was sleeping
Day three: Huisje Boompje BoefjesLife in our busy householdThe Crazy TailorSew Sophie Lynn
Day four: Crafty like a RoxThe Wolf and the Tree NZ Green Buttons Vera Luna Paisley Roots

Summer wardrobe capsule plan…sittin’ at the ball fields

Summertime around these parts consists of many hours watching ball games – both softball and baseball.

This means I sit in the hot sun sweating and getting odd tan lines for hours at a time. I wanted to make a mix and match wardrobe capsule that would keep me cool, look awesome and be easy to change up the pieces.

This also matches some other pieces already in my wardrobe, so it should work well.

Here are two sodoku capsules that I made up. This is all subject to change on my frivolous whims.

summer soduko 1

summer soduko 2

I am going to make a pattern for a skort (’cause wind…) with a straight-front, flounce back with pockets on the legs underneath. Something like this:

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We’ll see if it actually turns out that way. Whims…I tell ya.

The tops are going to be tank tops to try to minimize the farmers tan. Not that there is anything wrong with a farmer’s tan…had them aplenty growing up.

These are my tank top inspirations. I like the thought of putting stretch lace in there, so I think I will use that idea to try to keep cool.

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Lots of fun things going on with those tops. The only issue, is the bra issue. I have yet to find a comfortable strapless bra, so I am thinking of making some fun straps with some existing bras.

Fabrics are next. I bought a few different types of athletic mesh in black and gray, some gray Nike sport fabric, and then I have some different cotton/lycra and poly/lycra knits. I also have some lace and should be getting a sample stretch mesh fabric soon that will fit in nicely.

The sodoku would not be complete without some accessories, amiright?? I have a lot of silver jewelry that I can pull out for these outfits, since I am a jewelry hoarder.

This is just the silver stuff…

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I need new black sandals, since I threw away my pair that I have worn the last 5 years or so. The soles were breaking down. I bought these two new pairs of sandals. I might need one more black pair, more of a walking sandal, but I will see how these fit when I get them from Zulily. I also got a new pair of shades.

What glorious purse do I carry?

I thought you would never ask! It is this Zip-top Utility Tote by 31 Bags. Could I make this? Yes. Do I want to when this is only $35? No, no I do not. If you want one I can hook you up with my friend that is a consultant.

zip top organizing utility

This has 7 side pockets, yo. It fits all my crap that I bring with me, which includes this non-exhaustive list:

  • water bottle
  • purse stuff (phone, wallet, etc.)
  • kleenex (allergy season)
  • first aid kit (yes, I am that Mom)
  • Sunglasses for large and small people
  • Sunscreen
  • Visor
  • Bug spray
  • Camera and several lenses
  • Snacks
  • Art supplies and/or sewing to keep me busy
  • Hand warmers, and I can throw my blanket on top for early in the season

It is heavy, but holds all my crap.


I am going to be joining in on a contest on the Wardrobe Capsule Facebook group, but I really will be sewing it whenever I get the time. That gets more rare as the summer gets closer, so I need to work on it as soon as I can. Tryouts are next month!


Oh, just in case you are a fellow sports parent sewist person…RP Custom Fabric will be having a sport prints pre-order round on cotton-lycra in March. She will have all FOUR of my kids’ sports. I’m gonna be so poor.

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Just call me Morticia

No, I am not feeling depressed.  Yes, I like to wear black.  I try not to wear all black, since that might beg the question of “whose funeral”.  To which, the obvious reply would be, “I haven’t decided yet.” 😉

This top is my Sneha tunic hack. I described how I drafted and changed the pattern here.

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I made it long enough to cover my bum.  The fabric is a drapey black mystery knit.  It feels like it has a lot of poly in this one, and I think it is likely a ponte.  The patterned black is definitely a ponte.  Love how these two looked together.  The arms are a little tighter than I like, especially since ponte doesn’t have as much give as a regular knit.  That will be something to tweak for next time.

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If I were a bit more risque, I could wear this tunic as a dress, too.   I think I am a bit long in the tooth to be wearing such a short dress, though!

I have colored my hair a bit darker here, too.  I am totally a box dye kit girl.  This is Natural Insticts Egyptian Plum.  I do the wash out color, so we will see how long this lasts.  I need 3 boxes of color, and could probably use one more for better coverage.  It would cost me a small fortune to dye my hair at a salon, and I have never had a bad experience in doing it myself.  My natural color is close to my son’s hair.  I started out life as a blond, which was helped by being outside a lot in my youth.  Once I got older and wasn’t outdoors as much, my hair turned more of a light brown.  Blah!  I, of course, didn’t start out subtle the first time I dyed my hair.  I chose red, and have kept it pretty consistently some version of red for awhile.  This is the darkest I have gone, though.

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Outfit details (in case you care):

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Blue on Black

Purse #2 is DONE!

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Procrastination is a life skill that I am well acquainted with, so of course, I waited until the last minute to get this done.  I wanted to make sure it turned out nice, though, and I think I succeeded.

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The leathers are both lambskin.  The royal blue is an embossed leather, so it has a design pressed into it.  The black is super soft.  So soft that I had to make sure I put some more industrious interfacing in the purse, so it didn’t collapse.  I added a foam interior so it would have some bulk to it.  The handle has webbing inside it, so it won’t stretch out.

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I tried to pretty it up with some hardware choices on the rivets and gunmetal rings and snaps.

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The interior is just a bottom-weight royal blue fabric.  I didn’t have anything fancy in my fabric stash.  The pocket is a sample I printed of one of my fabric designs, though.

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A thoroughly one of a kind purse!  Hope it sells for a good price.

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Do or do not, there is no try…

Yoda is wise.

“You are so good at that!  I can’t do that!”

I hear this from my daughter from time to time, and different versions from adult women around me when I am working on some project or other.  I have a hard time sitting idle, so I usually bring something to work on when I am at my children’s sports.

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My bag consists of a drawing pad, various pens and sharpies, sometimes a loom knitting project, and maybe some hand-sewing.  I brought spur straps to hand sew to one volleyball tournament.

I tend to try many new types of mediums, and never does it enter my mind that I can’t do something.  This is not ego, but industry.  I know that if I try hard enough, and long enough, at something…I will figure out how to do it.  I have faith in my abilities that I can do something.  It’s not rocket science.  All it takes is effort.  Sometimes grand effort, but in the end I will learn how to do it.

I mean, damn, I learned how to make chainmail.

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I can learn to paint, I know this, but I also know I may never be a Michelangelo or Botticelli.  I don’t need to be, though.  I enjoy what I make, and that is enough for me.

I have known some gifted artists, and while I may be temporarily jealous of their incredible abilities, I also know they did not naturally learn their skill from just being born.  They honed their abilities, which were augmented by some natural sight that comes through in their artwork.

The point of this, is that when my daughter tells me she “can’t” do something, I tell her that it takes work and effort to be good at anything.  If she wants to learn it enough, and puts in the time, she will also be good at it.

It’s not about “CAN’T”, rather “WILL” or “WILL NOT”.

If you really want to do something, DO IT!  What is the point of saying “CAN’T”, when you CAN if you WILL.

Start by believing in yourself, and your abilities.  Have faith that whatever you want to do in your life, or be as a person, you can achieve.  It just takes effort…and that first step.  You may stumble from time to time, but that is just part of the process call learning.  You will learn what not to do next time, and be able to take that next step forward.  Eventually you will reach that place where you are content with your achievements, and if not…take the next fork in the road and go down a new path.

Life is a journey, so enjoy it by doing things that give you joy.  The other alternative is to stay rooted in place, and you, my dears, are not a tree.

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Goals for February

Since January flew by in a blink of an eye, I am going to write down what I plan on making for this month.

#1 – Purse #2 for the charity auction.  It is cut out and in process. DONE

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#2 – Possibly a new hip purse for when I am working at the charity auction.  I have a feeling this won’t get completed, but maybe I will have time… Not done – this one will have to wait

#3 – I want to do a Pinterest project a month, so two projects if I can.  I am thinking about these two as possibilities:

cardigan Not sure on the color of the cardigan yet, though.  This will also fit into the Self Love Sewing for February.

#4 – I have signed up to make an upcycled item for a blog tour.  I know what I want to make, so I just need to get it done!  DONE

#5 – I want to make a pair of red ponte leggings with a black leather tuxedo strip down the side. DONE

#6 – To match the leggings above I want to make a black top like this one, only with long sleeves, maybe a different hem line.  It will be longer, since this isn’t quite long enough to cover the bum: DONE20160227-DSC_0076#7 – Charity – I want to get through some fabrics I probably won’t use.  I have a stack of fleece pieces that would make great hats, scarves or cowls.  I could also make some baby sleep sacks.  Sewing for charity and reducing the stash of unused fabric would be a real win.  After the fleece is gone, I am going to start on making skirts or dresses for girls on the Pine Ridge Reservation with the woven fabrics I have.

So…that is the plan so far for this month.  Lofty goals, but hopefully I can reach them!

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Go Pack, Go!

Here is the first bag for the benefit auction in a few weeks.  This is my bag pattern that I have been using to make most of my purses.  I should maybe make a tutorial or something on it, huh?

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This one is made of the following:

  • Green pigskin leather
  • Gold lambskin leather
  • Green Bay Packers licensed woven
  • 2 zippers
  • Fusible Fleece to lining, iron on interfacing for pockets, and Peltex on base
  • Gold hardware – ring, swivel snaps, rivets and feet

I purchased the leather and interfacings locally, but I think I got most of the hardware from Pacific Trimmings.

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I also made a tassel that I attached to the zipper, but it is just clipped on so whomever wins the auction can use it elsewhere.

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Now onto the next bag!

Denim Blues

I had hoped to make this outfit over the holidays, but I never quite got to it.  I did a lot of reading, and very little else.

So now I’m paying for that lack of industry.  I have two purses to get done in the next two weeks, so of course, I made myself something new to wear.

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Logic.

I did make a start on one of the purses, and cut out interfacing for both of them, so I can say that it is in process.


Comfort seems to be the key in my sewing lately.  I have been using, and altering, some patterns I drafted this summer to create some different looks for them.  Ponte is my fabric of choice.  It is a thicker knit, and feels nice.

There are many different types of ponte fabric, with different weights and lycra contents.  This one is a medium weight, and it feels like a heavier knit with a bit of drape in it.  My skirt in this post was a heavier weight, with not much drape.

The draped top is a long sleeved version of this top.  I made one in black first, for the funeral last weekend, and the shoulder was too far over.  I had to take an inch off the shoulder and size down the sleeve.  I like how this one turned out, though.

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Next is my 4-gore skirt.  It has 4 pieces to get this hem shape.  One for the front, one for the back, and one for the sides.  I think the back could come up a bit, but I like it overall.  Maybe a bit more fullness on the bottom, though.  Always something to tweak!

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The fabric is a ponte, so it doesn’t have as much stretch as a knit.  It has a nice drape, though.

Now that I have a nice comfy outfit to work…I guess I should work on those handbags!

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Oh yeah.  I started a Facebook page for my blog in case you are a Facebooker and want to learn about stuff from there.

 

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