Tuesday, April 29, 2014

KCCO: A Work in Progress

About a year ago I bought these sweet shoes from a store which specialized in Indian imports. 
They were really cute, but the construction was lacking and I wore through them in a couple of months.

The seam was exposed on the bottom of the shoe, and the abrasion from walking around outside just wore right through the stitching. Also, I don't think the leather was sturdy enough for a sole either.
So, I cut away the remaining stitching and was left with three pieces of shoe.
About 4 years ago I bought this stamped leather at SR Harris, a local fabric super warehouse, intending to make a pair of shoes someday. So, using the pieces of old shoe as a template, I cut out the pieces needed for a new pair of shiny red shoes.
Before I did anything irreversible, I thought I should practice my leather working skills (which are none). So, I grabbed my trusty wallet which just fits a couple of dollars, my drivers license and (just barely) my phone, and cut out a new one from the leather.
I tried to nail in sewing holes but that was a total disaster, so I ran over to the leather shop (Stormcloud Trading Co., they also have lots and lots of beads, it's a great shop) and picked up a hole punch and some waxed linen for the seams.
It's not perfect, but it does look like a pouch, which was my goal. 
I refined my system for measuring out the holes and attacked the leather.
Here is my right shoe, still in progress. I have to cut out a couple of layers for the sole. I have some stiff leather, and also some soling material which I have used before to great effect.

There's still a lot of work to do, but I am liking them so far.
What's on your creative plate today?
Joining Nicole over at KCCO.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Dresses in Action

Hunting eggs at the Grandparents' house.

Time for some basking in the amazing weather.
Did I mention that it snowed on Wednesday?
Spring in MN is cray cray.

Make it Work: Easter Edition

So, I am a huge fan of Project Runway and I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Under the Gunn (though I thought Nick was kind of a pain) and I always giggle at the designers who are sewing their models into the garments as they're running to the runway.
I also like to procrastinate.
I cut this dress out for The Youngest yesterday before I went to work. Then I read to the kids for about an hour and half.
This left me with about 5 hours after work to put it together, and I think it might be the nicest dress I have made for a child of mine. The only short-cut I took is that I didn't line the bodice, but it's flannel and I think it'll be nice and cozy anyway.
The skirt turned out really long, probably because this pattern was a discontinued pattern, and they can have problems...
So, I tucked up the length to make a layered look.
Also, the topstitching on the waist was a little uneven, so I popped a bow over it, and now it's twice as cute!
In my other Make it Work Moment, The Elder asked yesterday if she could have a dress too. So, at midnight, I cut out the pieces for this jumper.
She had to be at church this morning at 8:15, and I was sewing the buttons on at 8:04.
Also, I cut the bodice wrong, and after I had interfaced it and sewn it together I realized that fun fact.
So, I trimmed the front to match the back, and it worked out o.k.
I had the fabric for both of these dresses in my stash, and I was so happy to get them sewn up.
Hoppy, Happy Easter to you all, and I will see you soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny for the first time in a while.
I have been in a bit of a funk, knitting-wise, lately.
Which is unfortunate, since it's my job...
It feels like I can't get anything finished, and like I can't knit anything fast enough.
This week I was somewhat cured of that.
Size 17 needles will do that for one.
I cast on for this scarf on Sunday, and finished it up just now.
It's from Men's Knits, and has the inspiring name "Cable Scarf."
The Yarn is Cascade Eco Wool, doubled, and it's left over from another project for this customer.
I hope this means I have got my mojo back, because I have 2 sweaters, a hat and other miscellaneous things for customers, as well as things for my family.
I'd like to get an Easter dress or two squeezed out before they're needed on Sunday.
Have you ever lost your mojo? How did you get your groove back?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crafting On

This past weekend I taught my favorite sewing class - Fun Stuff with Felt.
I have a certain number of things that I bring to every class to show as inspiration: treasure bags, a crown, a needle book and barrettes, but every season I like to spice things up with some seasonal items.
The Purl Bee is the best place I have found for great tutorials and patterns, and this year they had a completely adorable Lamb Finger Puppet.
The Youngest likes it, she keeps going around saying "Lamby! Lamby!"

As I was cruising through the considerable number of felty projects I was reminded that I had been wanting to make one of Mimi Kirchner's dolls. About 5 years ago Mimi graciously offered a free pattern for one of her dolls on The Purl Bee.
 So I sat down and cut out most of the pieces that I need for the doll. This project will be a labor of love, there is a lot of little stitching to do, but I think that if I take it one piece at a time it should be finished by Christmas.
 What's on your creative to-do list today?
Joining Nicole for KCCO

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Two Years Old

This tiny, wee babe got her official two-year-old credentials today.

As a special present to The Youngest the weather has made a complete change and it's spectacular outside. We spent the whole birthday party (just us and the grandparents) at the playground.

The Elder and I decorated the cake, I couldn't quite get the consistency right on the pink frosting, but it tasted delicious!
The pink frosting is flavored with strawberry sauce made from frozen berries from last summer's harvest.
The green was just food coloring, though after it was finished I remembered an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown suggested making buttercream frosting from avocados. It was just about the same color as above, and it would have been perfect since the avocado is still almost the only food that The Youngest will reliably eat that's not french fries...
I hope you are having a delightful day out there in internetland.
We sure are.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Cozy Corner

The resident 10-year-old has been asking for some time to have her own room, and last week we did the deed (sort of).
This small house of ours has two bedrooms upstairs and one down. We have all been living on the upper floor since we moved in and the downstairs room has fluctuated between an office and a craft space.
The Elder has moved downstairs (a big move for her and for me) and for now is sharing with the desk and computer.
It was a pretty seamless transition, though The Younger has been a little lonely.
More on that later...

Along with removing the computer and desk, the remaining chore is some decorating.
The walls are pretty bare, and the bed was awfully plain.
Though, for the cost of about $12.00 I was able to rectify the bed problem this evening.
Since it was the base of a bunk bed, there were posts on each corner that were begging to receive supports.
So I bought four 10-foot 1/2" PVC pipes, and hardware for corners, and constructed this canopy in about 15 minutes.
She's thrilled, and the room is looking a little more like a bedroom than an office.
Add a couple of yards of curtain fabric that I found at IKEA about 5 years ago, and you have a pretty princess bed. And, it'll double as a chuppah someday, should the need arise.
More updates to come on our game of whole house Tetris.