Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Life Gives You Ugly Fabric...

Make an awesome necklace out of it!

I knew that I wanted to do this project the instant I saw it pop up on my blog roll, courtesy of Melissa at I Still Love You. How cool! A necklace made out of old t-shirts!


So, initially, I thought I would swing by Goodwill to pick up some old t-shirts. I'm a purger by nature and I don't have a backlog of old shirts to cut up.

But then it hit me. I had this hideous yard-and-a-half-of-an-ordering-disaster begging to be used.


{I don't know why I ordered it. Truly. I think I must have blacked out during an online shopping spree.}

I'm so pleased how it turned out. I actually wore it to church this morning!

What a great example of up-cycling {overlooking the fact that this was actually made from new fabric **shudder**}! It definitely gave new life to something drab.




Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Wasn't Eaten by Zombies

I've been MIA, but not because of the movie premiere.

{Which, by the way, was really good! The back of my head gave an amazing performance.}

There has been illness, major changes at work, house errands. I've been so busy!

First order of business... the scarf that I promised last week goes to {by random drawing}... Miss Dixie of Dixie DIY! Congrats! I'm sorry it took me so long to make the announcement.

I've been thinking a lot about friendship over the past few months. It's something we take for granted too often. And the older we get, the harder it is to make new friends and to honor commitments to each other. It is too easy to cancel plans or duck out of girls' night - for good reasons - life is insanely busy!

But we need our friends, don't we? They are a constant source of inspiration, support, and renewal. You feel it in your spirit when you've missed out on that one-on-one time together.

Having said that, the Lord has richly blessed me with some pretty amazing friends.

Allow me to introduce you to Kimberly.


Wait here she is...


Dang it... that's her super adorable little boy again... getting his first little kiss from beautiful little Miss Stella. Does it get any cuter!!


Ah, here she is. Completely gorgeous, right? I would shave my head if I could grow red hair like hers!

Kimberly and I are fairly new friends. I often wonder where she's been all my life!

But let me confess... we're bad influences on each other. We get together and the creativity starts flowing and, before we know it, our wish/do lists have grown 300%! Bad, bad, bad... And now that we've both discovered Pinterest, good laaawwwd!

But, seriously, Kimberly is sheer genius. She comes up with the most amazing creative solutions.

I mentioned wanting to make tee-pees for the boys, but I couldn't find the fabric that I wanted to use. It seemed like everything was sooo expensive - considering I needed 8-10 yards per tee-pee! I also wanted the fabric to be heavy enough that the boys could paint their own designs on it. Can you picture how great that would be?

My dear Kimberly put a lot of thought into it and came up with a fabulous idea.

Are you ready for this?

CANVAS DROPCLOTHS!!!!!!!!!!!

So perfect. So accessible. So affordable!!! I picked up a 9' x 12' dropcloth (approximately 8 full yards of fabric) for $20!


So, guess what I'm starting this weekend??

{I should mention a mountain of other ideas have now formed around these dropcloths. Watch out, Home Depot! I'm coming to clean you out!}

Who do you draw creative inspiration from? I hope you have a Kimberly.

I challenge you this week to handwrite a personal note to a friend you haven't connected with in a while. Not only will you COMPLETELY make their day, you will receive a huge emotional boost, too.

So... Go. Write. Be happy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Weekend with the Zombies

In December of last year, I had the unique experience of serving as an extra in a zombie-flick, called "Followed." It's not your stereo-typical zombie movie. These zombies aren't crazy flesh-eaters. They are actually victims of social injustice.

Take a moment to read the short story here. It's only 7 pages long, but it has a loud message. It will give you chills!

So... I get to see the film tonight and I'm really excited! It's playing in a local movie theater. The stars of the movie will be there for a Q & A session afterwards. It has already started the festival circuit and is quickly gaining momentum and positive attention from critics.

Here's the movie trailer:


And here's one of the first scenes:


Here I am with my zombie follower...


And in the political rally...



Can't wait to tell you all about the movie! {Minus spoilers, of course!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Progress Can Happen!

I finished my wreath!! I didn't start with any clear concept - just a skein of yarn that I loved.

Here's the result.


I wrapped styrofoam balls with yarn to create the balloons and used fabric scraps for the polka dots and tiny pennants.


Will you be proud when I tell you that I cut the letters with my Silhouette? Yep! I overcame my fear of the machine and had great success with this attempt.


Did you read yesterday's post? I'd love to know how you manage your project list. I'm sure it's just as long as mine! Share your advice with us. On Wednesday, I'll pick someone at random from the comments to receive a ruffled scarf {helping me tick one more thing of my list!}.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Avalanche!

I feel like I'm snowed under - by my own doing.

Look at what I bought this week.


Big sale. Big inspiration.

And here's a mountain of fabric that I ordered because it was such a steal. Scarf anyone? No, really. I'd like to make one for you.


And then there's the wreath that I have waiting on me in the corner. I bought this cheery yarn for it this week, as well as, the fabric and accompanying pattern here.


Then there's the matter of all of these new books that I've acquired over the past few months. I haven't even cracked the spine on most of them!


I'm still too scared to use my new Silhouette. I just don't know what to do with it now that I have one! I attempted to cut some fabric with it earlier in the week.

{"Attempted" being the key word.}

Disaster. So... I'll just keep staring at the machine until someone gives me marching orders. Anyone?

I occasionally do this - allow myself to get ahead of, well, myself. Then, I don't know where to begin.

I did manage to wrap my wreath form today and I'm excited to share my concept with you tomorrow. I think it will be a fun project!

I plan to finish the wreath and I'd like to work through some of the scarf fabric this week.

How do you manage all of the projects on your list? Share your best advice with me, please! On Wednesday, I'll select someone at random from your comments to receive a ruffled scarf.

Here's to a week of productivity and inspiration!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

What a lovely day!!

Before I share my completed dress, let me share a few peeks at my Mother's Day gifts.

Dylan's card...


And necklaces...


And... **squeal**


So, it's a good thing that I finished up my dress because I have a busy, creative week ahead!

I'm so pleased with how this dress turned out. I will actually wear it in public!

Here's my finished product {vogue pattern # 1174, cynthia steffe, designer}.



I used a stretch cotton sateen fabric, which I think is perfect for a summery cocktail dress. Polished, but breathable.

Here are a few tools that made the construction of this dress even nicer.


Clear thread, a blind hem foot, and a roll hem foot.

I love blind hems. They give garments such a professional feel. When I can, I try to use clear thread for them to make the seam that much more invisible. I used to be scared of the blind hem foot! I'm not sure why. It is an easy tool to use once you understand the technique.


I didn't even know I owned a roll hem foot until I started investigating them after reading a book on professional sewing techniques. Imagine my delight when I found one hidden away in a secret compartment of one of my sewing machines.


Roll hem foots are great! They do all of the hard work for you. Just feed in your fabric and it will roll, tuck, and sew your narrow hems closed. Fantastic for finishing dress lining.

Are you ready for the nightmare part of the story? I'd tried this dress on a number of times to adjust the fit. Everything was as "right" as I was going to get it.

As I was getting dressed to take these photos, the lining got stuck in the zipper. So stuck, it was not going anywhere. Fifteen minutes of tugging and pulling, 3 sets of hands pinching and stretching, and 2 pairs of pliers later, we resorted to scissors and had to cut away the lining to save the dress. God bless my mother.

It hurts to think about it.

**sigh**

But DIY disasters happen! You get over it and move on, right?


What's on your creative agenda for the week?

Do you have any suggestions for my inaugural project on the Silhouette SD? Now that I have one, I don't know where to begin!

Thank you for all of your comments each week. You have no idea how much they encourage me and push me to keep experimenting on the creative frontier.

Have a happy week! I'm going to have a giveaway next weekend so be sure to swing back by!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello, Sunshine!

It's that time of year. Time to pull out the shorts and sundresses and say "Hello! Whoa! Get some sun on those legs!"

Unfortunately, I don't tan. But, I've come to accept it and now embrace summer fashion, overlooking passers-by who have to pull out their sunglasses to avoid the glare.

I've been following two very talented ladies, who regularly blog about their adventures in fashion sewing: Sophia Sews and Dixie DIY. These girls are so precious and trendy and ambitious.

They inspired me to pull out my fabric stash and tackle a new dress! So, I've been up to my shoulders this week in pattern paper, pins, and fabulous fabric.

Here's what I'm making. Vogue pattern #1174.


Here's my work in progress.


I think it's going to be lovely! But I will tell you that, for me, sewing with a Vogue pattern is a bit like cooking from a Martha Stewart recipe. Martha is infamous for ingredients that leave me asking, "Where do I even find that in the grocery store?" Likewise, one of the major fabrics required for this dress was "hair canvas." I'm sorry... what was that? The sales associate at Hancock couldn't even tell me what hair canvas is. In my research, I've discovered that it is a special type of interfacing. I decided just to purchase regular sew-in interfacing to substitute.

All of this sewing and spring wardrobing has made me nostalgic about projects past. Here are a few of the dresses that I've sewn. {Warning. Blinding white ahead.}

{amy butler pattern :: dupioni silk}


{cotton lawn}

{seersucker}

{amy butler pattern :: madras & seersucker}

The last one is my favorite dress! 

I plan to finish the Vogue dress this week so I'll post pics next weekend.

Do you know of any other pattern sewers that blog? If you do, please comment with their web address. I'd love to follow them!
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