Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I've Been Working On

Is actually quite a lot!  I finally got plastic safety eyes in the mail and got the big 20mm ones added to my bear rug, as well as stitching on a faux leather nose (note: this is WAY harder than it sounds).  I still have to make some claws and sew on the liner; pics when it's done, promise.

I also finished up two more microwavable heat packs, this time as a monster head and a snake.

Both are made out of fabric scraps or recycled sweaters from Goodwill.  The funky eyes are made of felt and done crooked on purpose.  The fiance actually had to ask me if I intended it that way *rolls eyes*.

As sort of a funny story, the fiance also bought 12 bars of Irish Spring soap because he had run out, but apparently didn't buy the kind he was used to.  He now has 12 bars of "cleansing scrub" soap with sand and gravel and rusty nails and bits of iron filings in them for that extra exfoliating action.  The first time he washed up he got out of the shower with pink skin and visible lines down his arms!

In steps my friend the internet, and reveals there are "soap scrubbies," wool soap liners that let the suds out but keep the soap in.  He insisted it have a "manly" decoration on it: no flowers or birds, but wouldn't tell me what.  Ok my manly man with extra iron in his soap... you get a big red X.

What a manly, tough guy decoration!

I'll let you know if it works!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Currently Coveting: Summer Dresses!

I spent part of today looking through the store fliers and online merchandise from Kohl's and JCPenney.  Originally the idea was to look for ideas for a new swimsuit for when we go on our honeymoon cruise.  I got distracted by so many incredibly cute dresses; of course I have no idea how many would actually look good on me, but I love the pictures.  My favorite two:

Ok, so the second one is a skirt and not a dress, but oh my!  I feel like I'd look like a million bucks, at least to Nate.  What feels like a million bucks, though, is the $30 price tag.  For someone who usually shops at Goodwill and tries to not buy their full price $5 items, this comes quite steep.  Why don't I know how to read patterns?!  Why don't I have a sewing machine that can handle denim?  Arrrrrgh!

Other cute dresses I saw are below.  Anyone else thing they look like good summer options?

Can you tell I like a particular style?  Apparently I've figured out the one dress shape that looks good on my long torso and small bust!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Because of spring break Nate didn't have to work this morning, which meant we got to go downtown for lunch.  Not wanting to feel like a grungy lab rat, I got dressed up so I could enjoy the day with him.

Sweater: gift (100% cashmere!!). Tank: Kohl's. Skirt: Um..? Purse: thrifted (Goodwill, $1).

I got this skirt years ago and never really wore it because it was pink, and I hated pink.  Funny how times change.  Also, the orange fuzzball couldn't stand the fact that he wasn't the center of attention, so he made himself part of the pictures.

"Pick me up!  I'm supposed to be the center of attention!"

"That's better.  Now keep scratching, and don't let me down until dinner time."
At least I always get an enthusiastic greeting when I come home from work each day :).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

WIP: Bear skin rug

Remember that hideous faux fur coat I got at the thrift store for <$1?  Last night it began its journey towards freedom (and looking a little less hideous.  First I hacked it up and cut out the pieces.

Already attracting the attention of the resident furball, as you can see.  Due to the size of the coat and a couple wrong scissor strokes I had to improvise on the pattern.  I sewed up the head and muzzle and attached them to the body, which was actually much easier to do than expected.

You can kinda see the shape of the head emerging.  I had enough time to make the ears and sew them to the head, which was actually quite annoying.  One is still bigger than the other, but I'm hoping no one notices ;).

Still to go: eyes, nose, claws, tail, stuffing, and backing.  This requires a trip to Jo-Ann's as I don't have the material, but hey, doesn't this look vaguely bear-like?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is this illegal?

Sometimes I feel like looking over my shoulder thinking I'm about to be arrested.  Granted, I don't think I've broken any laws, but it sure feels like it.  What crimes, you ask?  I'm talking robbery.

We've all gotten really good deals at Goodwill and similar thrift stores before.  We all have a couple of items we still hold up and say, "Wow, and I really got this for $X?"  This week, a downtown community donation center was having a big sale where everything you could fit in a bag was $5.  So I plunked down $10 and got:
Left stack: 100% cashmere.  Right stack: cashmere/angora/silk blends and other soft snugglies.

A truly hideous faux fur coat.

The entire left stack of the first picture is 100% cashmere.  The right stack from top to bottom: 2 unidentified but are so soft they feel like cashmere or cashmere/silk blend but it's possible one is just a super soft acrylic; 100% lambswool; brand name angora blend sweater with a strange furry ruffle at the neck; cashmere/angora blend fitted sweatshirt (this is a real every-day fantastic piece!!); brand name extra fine merino/cashmere/angora sweater; zig-zagged silk/cashmere blend with an off-center French-like bow at the neck.

The second picture is of this truly hideous coat they've had on the rack for quite some time.  I can understand why no one wants it: it's scratchy and rather ugly and the lining was coming out and was ripped.  But hey, I don't want to wear it, I want to cut it up!  Thanks to a good Christmas gift, I've got a pattern for a faux bear skin run, which is what this monster is going to become.  Stay tuned for pics of that!

So no one call the cops on me, ok?  But 14 items for $10 seems NUTS.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One Night Wonder

Last night I sat down to sew, and with the inspiration from my growing folder of cute pictures, decided to make a rabbit.  The websites link back to a tutorial, but it basically just says "Cut two rabbit shapes and four ear shapes and sew."  Which I kinda got down.

I had this beautiful variegated blue sweater I picked up in the giant Goodwill haul that I wanted to upcycle so much.  So in one night I sat down and sewed:

a sleepy bunny!  I started with layered buttons, like a lot of crafters online are doing, but I don't have many buttons and I wasn't sure I liked it.  So the other side is a dainty closed eye.

Then of course the fiance fell in love with it and wanted another one, so there became a Second One Night Wonder Sleepy Bunny in purple:

It's sleepy on both sides!  Definitely a good friend for Mr. Munch.

and he's ecstatically happy.  I'm wondering if I should go ahead and make my super soft white angora thifted sweater into a bunny.
Let me emphasize the CORRECT sequence of steps.  Not that I'd make any mistakes over an over again, right?
1. Cut out your pieces.  Phew, that was easy.
2. Sew the ears (and/or extra limbs, etc) right side to right side.  Don't sew them 100% shut.  Turn them inside out and make sure they look good.
3. Line them up with your two body pieces, which should be right side to right side.  Put the long part of the ears INSIDE THE BODY or you will be very disappointed. Same goes with any legs, etc.
4. Sew shut.  Remember that opening to turn it inside out!  And hey, 1" is not enough unless you want to be there for 15min worrying about ripping your cloth.  Leave 2-3", even if it seems wasteful.
5. The rest is semantics.  Stuff and sew and enjoy.  At least it will look like a rabbit!