update on Mrs. Bale

May 3, 2014 at 9:17 am | Posted in projects, sewing | 2 Comments
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After an extensive search of the Ravelry pattern database, I found two scarf patterns that I like and that I think are similar to the lace of Mrs. Bale’s sweater. So I am making one of each!

Mrs. Bale #1 is from this pattern (with a few modifications): http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/best-friend-scarf. I am using some bright golden yellow linen thread that I got for Christmas.

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Mrs. Bale #2 is from this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/manchester-scarf. I am knitting it with a collection of wool scraps that I had been saving to dye, but S saw them together and said she liked the colors, so I said I would make her a big fat scarf for next winter.


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The second pattern is shaping up to be a little more similar to the inspiring sweater, but I am happy with both of them and I can’t wait to see them when they’re all finished and blocked.

Also here are some gratuitous pictures of two zipper pouches I made recently. The lawnmower one I made for my dad’s birthday and the triangular one is completely pointless. I just wanted to use that fabric and zipper, but I didn’t plan ahead before I started sewing it, so it turned out rather imperfect. And also, what do you put into a triangular pouch?

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some sewing

March 25, 2014 at 1:01 am | Posted in sewing | Leave a comment
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In our current housing situation, my sewing machine unfortunately doesn’t have a permanent home except inside its own storage case. When we have our own house, maybe I can have a sewing room? But for now I have to make do with dragging it out of the closet when I want to sew. So I haven’t been doing much sewing lately.

That’s ok, really. This blog post wasn’t meant to be just a bunch of complaining. If I’m not doing one kind of craft project, that just means that I’m doing a different craft instead, and I’m happy either way.

But what I meant to say was that some of the sewing I did last night was very delayed. These were actually supposed to be a christmas present for S:

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It’s a flaxseed-lavender eye pillow with two removable covers made from cotton/silk blend fabric in this lovely jellyfish print: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1274734

I picked out the jellyfish fabric with this project in mind because they’re both peaceful and also a little surreal and dream-like. Also I think some of these are called moon jellies.

So, this was a bit late for a christmas present, but she really liked them! I actually made two other flax pillows last night, too, but I didn’t take pictures of the other two. One was a cotton knit with a scattered petal print, the other was a fabric that’s been in my stash for a while with a blue and brown pattern and a very nice drapey-silky feel to the fabric.

S likes to sleep with an eye pillow every night, so I make these semi-regularly. They tend to get lost under the bed or lose their scent over time or get discolored from being used a lot. I am trying something new with the removable pillowcases, but it seemed like a good idea to be able to take the covers off and wash them.

And then I also made a pillowcase for a throw pillow!

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The case that came with this pillow was just terrible. It looked great in the store when we bought it, of course, but then it deteriorated and has been looking very bad for quite a while. It was really really satisfying to throw it away and make a new cover! I picked the pink plaid simply for the practical reason that it has built-in lines so it was easy to measure and cut it without having much space to spread out the fabric. The center panel is this fabric from my spoonflower collection: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1770882, which I used as sort of a cheater-quilt block, sewing down all the lines around the squares. Then I added a freeform ruffled border with some pretty flowers to tie it all together. I think it turned out rather cute and I am so very glad to have this pillow looking respectable again.

I still have a big chunk of the plaid left. Maybe I will make a matching cover for our other throw pillow.


June 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Posted in sewing | 1 Comment
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S just got a brand new iphone! It didn’t have anywhere to live, so we dug out one of my many zipper pouch creations from the drawer. This one is padded, so there is a little extra protection, plus the fabric is some from spoonflower that I designed using S’s flower drawings. Perfect! It makes me glad to see it in use and not just sitting in a drawer.


a snail

May 10, 2013 at 2:07 am | Posted in sewing | Leave a comment
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I had some leftover goat and giraffe fabric from making zipper pouches for christmas presents. So I made a snail.

He is visiting the potted plants. Maybe he will go in the mail and visit baby Lewis next.

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Then I felt like sewing some more. I have been trying to make myself go to bed earlier, but I am rarely successful. Sometimes when I am sewing, I get sort of lost within all the fabric and ideas and I lose track of time. It’s so satisfying to make something and have it turn out well, and I just want to do that over and over again. Plus there was still a little bit of giraffe fabric.

So I made another zipper pouch.

And then I had this light purple zipper that I wanted to use. So I found a scrap of blue and purple patchwork fabric that I somehow acquired leftover from someone else’s project. And I got very excited because I decided to make it into a pouch with a bright orange tie-dye lining. Because I think orange and purple are quite lovely together. The orange is a happy surprise when you open the pouch!

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I am in love with the purple-orange and it is one of my very favorite pouches that I’ve made so far.

So then I took pictures of everything. It is 3am, and I am writing this blog post. I could have waited and uploaded the pictures later. But I didn’t.

Extreme close-ups because why not?

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Maybe I will manage to go to bed earlier tomorrow?



April 9, 2013 at 12:23 am | Posted in gifts, sewing | Leave a comment
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Here is the rather silly hat I made that I wrote about in the last post.  It has lots of colors!  It is fun and crazy!  The fabric I used was all leftover pieces from the two zipper pouches that I made for my sister while she was visiting me, so I wanted to give it to her even though I knew she would probably never wear it.  Sort of a joke gift, I guess.  But it was great to have those fabric scraps because it gave me something to practice the hat pattern with without feeling too perfectionistic about it.

My family was all together for Easter weekend, so I had the opportunity to take pictures of my sis wearing the hat.

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You can see she is giggling because she has a silly bright-colored hat on her head.

She actually does wear hats a lot, and owns quite a few of them because she is really sensitive to sunlight and needs to keep covered up when she goes outside.  But she prefers hats that are just one color instead of several colors with polka dots and flowers and more polka dots.

So I will probably make her a more sensible one eventually.  I also need to find something to stiffen the brim a little next time.

Three dimensions!

March 27, 2013 at 12:42 am | Posted in sewing | 2 Comments
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I have had a very successful sewing day today.  With my current work schedule, I only have one day a week where I don’t have to go in to either of my jobs.  Working two jobs is tiring, and I don’t have as much energy for being crafty as I would like to.  But today was my day off and I had both time and energy, a rare combination.  One of my coworkers recently brought in a bag full of sewing patterns that she was getting rid of, and I had taken a couple of them home.  One of those was a pattern for some cloth hats.  It has actually been quite a while since I followed an actual sewing pattern that comes in an envelope with the brown crinkly tissue paper and everything.  So I sat down and gave it a go!  It was a complicated three-dimensional object and I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was totally fine.  It actually turned out hat-shaped!  I don’t want to post a picture of the hat because I don’t want my sister to see it until I give it to her, so here are some pictures of other three-dimensional sewing instead.  More zipper pouches, because I am now addicted to making them, but I’ve been trying different shapes.  The yellow one is a box, and the blue/green one is a triangle.  They’re sitting on top of the pattern pieces I made to create those shapes.

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There was a blog post I found that helped me figure out how to make this type of three-dimensional pouches, but now I can’t find it again.  Argh!  I will definitely post the link if I can track it down.  In the meantime, here are some other links to a variety of pouches that inspired me.  I want to try some of the quilted ones next.

recent sewing

February 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Posted in sewing | Leave a comment
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A napkin with knit-pattern fabric, posed with yummy apple butter that K gave us for Christmas.

A sailboat zipper pouch that I made to exactly fit a book.  I was worried that I mis-measured, but it fits like a glove!

A yummy lavender eye pillow in spoonflower’s lovely silk/cotton blend printed with flowers that S drew.


Spoonflower.  I am addicted.  And I am especially really happy with how the flower fabric turned out.  It was a lot of work to cut out flowers from S’s doodles and scan them all and then edit the files for a satisfactory finished arrangement.  But it was totally worth it!  Look how awesome!  And I think it’s quite lovely that S was willing to let me take scissors to some of her marker art so that this fabric could become a collaboration between the two of us.  I gave the eye pillow to her, of course.

If you’re ordering yourself something from spoonflower, that silk blend fabric is really nice to touch and has a glow-y sheen to it.  It’s a little sheer, so I backed it with a plain white cotton to make the pillow sturdier, but the texture is absolutely perfect for an eye pillow.  The purple knit is one of my designs, too, printed on basic cotton.  The sailboat fabric was a thrift shop treasure find.

Now I am working on a design with some spirals that S drew, trying to learn about pattern repeats in fabric design.  It’s challenging!  We shall see where I get to.  I’m not ready to order a sample yet.  Also, I cut up one of my marker drawings and have been playing with that in a pattern that I’m calling “caterpillars.”  So.  More to come…

Here are the links for the two fabrics pictured above: http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/1698219 and http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/1366626


new years (ish) resolution: write in blog more often

January 12, 2013 at 4:18 am | Posted in projects, sewing | Leave a comment
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Here’s something I just made with some of my spoonflower fabric! I got this sweatshirt at Goodwill a few days ago.  It’s big and warm and comfy, but it had a stain right in the middle of it.  So, I made a little quilted octagon patch thingy and sewed it on!  The bright pink of this fabric is a great contrast with the black sweatshirt.

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I have been sewing a lot lately.  Mostly little lined zipper pouches.  I’ll post some pictures of those soon.

Something a little more cheerful

April 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Posted in sewing | Leave a comment
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I posted a sad message earlier today, and I would like to add this little story to the blog to show that today wasn’t all sad.

So, I recently signed up for an Ugly Fabric Swap on the regretsy forums.  There are frequently fun swaps going on in the forums.  I don’t feel like I can afford to join all of them, but I couldn’t resist this one.  I sent my recipient some choice selections from my fabric collection, including some earthworm-patterned fabric and some ribbon with rather ugly panda bears.  And here’s what I got from the person who drew my name:


Then today, when I realized that I had been staring at the computer screen alllll day and getting worked up and depressed about the etsy fiasco, I decided that it would be an excellent idea to do something creative to distract myself.  So I made the ugly fabric into a skirt!  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, because I am not sure I’ll actually wear it, but it was fun to sit down at the sewing machine and make something.

Look, you can see my belly button and my stretch marks as I model it!  Also my beloved inherited sewing machine in the background.

And here is a shot of it hanging up because I was finding it difficult to take a picture of the entire thing while wearing it and balancing the camera on a book on the shelf on the other side of the room and setting the timer for 10 seconds.  In this picture you get the bonus of two kitties, plus a half-dead plant.  Poor plant, maybe it will revive when we move all of our houseplants outside for the warmer months.

Take a survey about the skirt!

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