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Monday, 31 May 2010

More Tube Card Holders - My first sale!

Last week someone at work admired my tube card holder and asked me if I could make him some. He actually paid me for it!! He did want a custom-made with embroidery and I feel like I totally undercharged him, but I'm so pleased that someone actually ordered them! So these are the three I made for him (one for him, one for his girlfriend, and one for his friend). Oh yes, Ajani is the name of his son, he wanted it embroidered on it.


Today I handed them over and he loved them :) As this all happened at my very stressful job, he didnt look pleased at all but when he came over during lunch he said he really liked them *feels better*. The girl who the green holder was for, went on and on about how she was going to use it as a needle book. Now of course that is not a bad plan, but as the inside of this holder has fusible interfacing, it might not be the best idea... Oh well, at least she liked it! :)

Yay my first sale!

Steampunk Outfit - Bustle Done

My next dress for the Elf Fantasy Fair in Arcen will be Steampunk based (read: very Victorian upper class Steampunk based). And in order to avoid more stress like last time with the Mombi dress, I really have to get started. And so I am, very slowly and tiny bit by tiny bit but things are coming together.

Today, I made the bustle pillow. Most bustle skirts are made with complicated wire contraptions which will not survive air transport so a bustle pillow is really my only option. I got my idea from this picture which I found somewhere online a long time ago:


No, the photo above is NOT my creation. I would like it to wherever I found it but it's so long ago that I really have no idea...

My other reference was my neck pillow (sadly no picture but it's blue fleece so am sure you can imagine it LOL) that I was playing around with one day. No, I have no idea what I was thinking either at the time but the thought of making a bustle pillow that resembled the neck pillow came to mind. So, using the above photo and my neck pillow as a reference, this is what I came up with today:


Not bad huh? It's made out the a bedsheet that was leftover from a Leia dress I had to make once for a friend's daughter and white lining. The bedsheet is on the inside of this as it is sturdy and will (hopefully) prevent it from opening up too soon. I had all these materials still lying around, so still on the frugality radar here. The ribbon I got about 18 months ago for only £1 and were intended for this outfit anyway so we're good there. The roses were purchased on ebay years back where I got an A4 sized envelope stuffed with these ribbon roses for about £7! Total bargain! And the best frugal bit is the stuffing. Nope, no fiberfill for me here... for the last few months, I've been saving all the cutoffs of everything I've been making and putting them aside. With the Mombi dress, that bag was full in no time! And there you go: free stuffing with fabrics I would have otherwise thrown away :)


Ok, so much on the frugal issue. The bf asked (and rightly so), why add all the ribbons, bows, and roses if it's a bustle pillow and the dress will be going OVER the bustle? Well, my theory is that this would have technically been underwear (albeit not made with those materials) and just like we do today, surely underwear in those days would have been decorated a little? Plus it looks so cute now! Yes, I'm very pleased with it :)

To show it off, here is one last photo of it on the doll (I was wearing comfy clothes and covered in threads so I had to post this on the doll):


It is not as blue as the bottom photo shows, thats just the lighting. So bustle done, now for the rest of the skirt...

Argh, the picture makes the ruffles look crooked... I tried so hard to get them straight... try not to pay attention to that please!

'Stitch London' Craft Pouch

As I think I've mentioned before, I am registered to the Meetup website. One of the groups I have recently started attending is the knitting group. A long time agi in a galazy far away I knew how to knit. Slowly, the people in the group are kind of enough to help me remember how to do this and I'm even planning a sweater soon. As soon as I find a pattern with only one stitch and suitable for beginners... But anyway, Stitch London (a different group and not at all part of Meetup) has a funny project on their website which was forwarded to me by one of the people in the Knitting Group. They have designed a Craft Pouch which is perfect for transporting knitting! And, made out of the right fabric, can be super cute to boot :)

Check out the official link here. You need to click on 'Download Pattern Here' as I cant link to the pattern directly for some reason. The bag is so cute! On our fabric shopping trip last week I bought a piece of (I think) which was perfect for this bag, and as it was only 50p I was allowed in all frugality. I also found some heavy burlap-like cotton which I have used as lining, so that the needles wont poke through so easily. The only difference between my bag and the pattern is that I just used one large piece instead of4 seperate ones. Upon discussing this in the Sewing Group when we first saw this pattern, we all agreed that would be so much easier and fabric saving. I even have about a quarter left of my 50p-bit.

This is the end result of my bag, complete with over-sized ribbon to create the bow and embellished with one of my slowly-becoming-signature yoyo flowers:



Yes ok, maybe 4 photos was a little much but I couldnt choose which one showed the bag the best... LOL... At least now you see this cute bag from all angles. And dont you just love the print? For some reason I was really drawn to it. :)

So anyway, check out the link and make your own very handy knitting transport pouch!

Scrappy Clutch by 'From an Igloo'

It took a lot longer than expected but I made two scrappy clutches today as found on From an Igloo's great tutorial here. I thought it was really cute and a great way to use some of the fabrics I still have lying around. I didnt exactly use scraps as such, more fabrics that I've been dying to use for a while and now had the perfect excuse :)

My reason for making this was that I have a pink (!) plastic bag for my sewing for at work and on the go and I really dont like this bag. Enter cute button fabric that I bought a long long time ago :) So what do you think?


I lined it with purple polycotton which I had leftover, and it also has a purple zip. I didnt use the fleece like she said but simply because I didnt have any, so it's only cotton. I also made a little felt bag for my scissors out of cat felt I had lying around and had never dared to use.


Yes I had to tweak the colours in the photos a bit to show the design better as the flash took most of it. I also made a small bag for spare thread, also from the same cat felt.



So this is it, the whole pack for my on-the-go sewing :) The needle book, scissors, and thread, all in my handy new clutch bag. Yes I am pleased :)


Oh yes, I also made one for my mother's birthday which is soon but as she reads this sometimes, I cant show you just yet... So psssttt! ;)



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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Tin Can Desk Organiser

OMG, as I was surfing through Miranda's blog, I found another very cool blog, namely Me Making Do and Remodelholics, both written by the same person.

After surfing HER blog(s) as well, I came across this fantastic tutorial for an extremely frugal desk organiser made out TIN CANS! It looks sooo cute! I must have one! I think I will make the bf eat tinned food for a few days ;)

Check it out:
http://www.remodelaholic.com/2010/05/i-can-craft-organizer-repurpose-guest.html

Isnt it the coolest??

Hand/Arm Warmers Tutorial (sortof)

I made these a good while ago, but I felt like I had to share these as I wear these pretty much every day. At the moment the weather is ok really outside but in my office they have decided to turn up the airconditioning so much that everyone wears summer clothes outside and scarves and coats INSIDE. Yes, typical... But because these dont cover your fingers, they are perfect to type with :) So yes, these arm warmers are being used to the max :) I found the pattern on the Burda website and it was created by one of the members. She called them 'Yoshimi Armwarmers'. Unfortunately I dont have her tutorial at hand (you need to be a member to see it and I'm not sure how many of you are, but feel free to check out the original instructions here), but it's a very basic pattern and I will try to explain it. First of all, print out this pdf file containing the pattern:

Yoshimi Armwarmers

Then add the following steps:
  • Cut out the pattern
  • Trace both parts of the pattern on FOLDED fabric (this will only give you one seam for each piece). Do this twice as you need two pieces of each. NOTE: This pattern is for jersey, add about 1cm on each side if you are using fleece or any other non-stretch fabric.
  • Fold the thumb piece and stitch together as shown in the pattern.
  • If you are using a fray-fabric, hem the top of the thumb bit. If you are using fleece you dont have to.
  • Fold the arm bit and sew together as shown in the pattern
  • Now for the tricky bit, adding the thumb piece to the arm piece. There is a way of doing this that makes it very comfortable but I havent figured out how yet to be honest... It has to do with the angle of the thumb piece. I would suggest you try it out for yourself as I normally just sew it in and after wearing the arm warmer for a bit they kind of tend to mould to my arms anyway. So pin the thumb piece onto the arm piece and stitch together. This can be tricky as this piece is tiny.
  • To finish, hem both the top and the bottom of the arm warmer and you're all done :)
I made two so far, one pair in dark green fleece (ignore the fingers pls, I just came out of bed when I took this and had to work on the contrast to show the colour of the fleece properly).


The other pair is Halloween themed and has a black and orange candy cane pattern on it. My favourite so far :)


I'm planning on making some for my sister in blue so when I do, I will post a proper tutorial... I hope this one wasnt too bad...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Steampunk Outfit in the Planning

One more thing before I log of to get some much needed rest (well, depending on how well I can get to sleep after my Dr. Pepper rush of this evening).

For EFF Arcen, I am going as a Steampunk Couple together with the bf. As he is not the biggest fan of dressing up, this is a good middle ground and I dont have to sew too many time-consuming and complicated things. And so I've been looking around for a few months and getting some ideas. Fabrics are here already, also gathered over the years as I wanted to make this dress for various parties which I have already missed. So frugal = good and still in progress :)

The only things that are done so far are actually purchased items. One of the charity shops near my house has a big sale every few months where they offer everything for £4 one week, £3 the next, and so on until everything is £1. Of course the good things are gone by then but you never know what you can find :) A few months back, I happened to spot the £1 week and went in. I found two blouses perfect for my steampunk costume! One is a size 12, has a high collar (good for wearing a tie with):


The other is a little tight, has golden hightlights and a deeper neckline.


Am not sure which one to choose, so I fixed them both. For the bigger one I took in the sleeves a bit as the whole thing is rather large which might work if I'd put a corset over it... the smaller one had a tear in it which I also fixed so both are really ready to go. I think I'll test it after I made the skirt. But not bad for only £1 each!

Also, my wig arrived on Friday!! After months and months of searching, I found the perfect one :) For some reason I really wanted ringlets and there is no way that that would ever stay in my hair, so I checked everywhere. Ok, perfect would be this one in auburn or brownish but this is close enough.


I got it on ebay for £10. Yes I know, not entirely frugal, but I dont have a trip to Berlin planned to my favourite party shop so this had to do. The wig is actually a little longer in the back than shown here, but I figured I can always pin it up somehow or something. I'll make it work somehow :)

Amd so, the Steampunk Outfit has officially begun... Now I just have to finish my orders of tube card holders and then I'm off :)

Randomly found: the BEST picture of the EFF

Before I forget, you're not going to believe this... When I was at the Elf Fantasy Fair, several people took my photo (which was great for my ego of course! LOL), and I managed to find most of them. Dont get my wrong, some of the ones I found are really good, but as I was surfing the photo competition for EFF last night (it actually isnt a competition anymore now but I'm a little confused as to why), I came across this photo.


At first, I just flicked past it, and then something triggered my brain (yes that happens) and then I realised: THATS ME!!! I usually wear glasses and dont have black hair and this has been shopped to the max so naturally I didnt recognise me straight away. But I LOOOOVE it :) So I just had to share.

All credit goes to Flip van der Meer who has taken the photo according to the page I got it from.

*huge happy smile*

Archery in Hyde Park

OMG, on Sunday the weather was soooo hot here in London... The bf went to the archery field to practise and as they were having their annual 'have-a-go' day, I got to try it as well. Check me out:


Wearing my very cool new bandana of course :) It was so warm I really needed something on my head... It was actually a lot of fun and I am seriously considering taking it up. But then, with all the costumes, the meetups, work, etc, etc, will I have the time? Also, bows dont exactly come cheap, if the one I want (kind of a LOTR one covered in red suede, very cool).

So I retreated to the shade after a while... and look: more yoyo hair accessories!


The bf really didnt like them, but I think they looked rather cute actually. And they certainly matched the bandana :) Yes, it was a lovely weekend!


Yoyo Creations

Hi all,

Been so busy this weekend that havent even had time to blog!! As you may remember, I linked to a tutorial for making yoyos a while back. Well, after many afternoons at work making these during my lunch hour, I had enough to make something with all the yoyos I made...


Yes, I made all of these... and more but by the time I thought of taking a picture I had already made a few...

So for the Sewing Meet, I wanted to wear as much crafted stuff as possible. I wore my Burda Easy Fashion top (made from a fabric remnant I paid only 50p for!) and I also made this very cute hair accessory in the very last second :)


And here a few more:


I'm not sure about the red ones yet, but time will tell. The one with the star might become a present of some sort as I think I really am a little old for that one! LOL

But all in all I'm quite pleased with the result, and my scrap bag is a little emptier :)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Knitted Badge for Meetup Group

At my Sewing Meetup Group, the organiser came up with this great idea on how to recognise each other when we're in a large place and we dont have anything obvious on the table showing that we belong to the group. As no one can make it every month (or are unable to attend for about 4 months straight due to impossible-dress-projects) it can be tricky spotting the group, especially if the few people who showed up before are also unable to make it. So anyway, to make a long story short, we decided to make badges. The colours had to be black and red for the Meetup Logo, and the badge also had to have scissors on it as they are a tool you always need for sewing and crafting. As I was in charge of today's meetup, I finished mine today so I would be easily recognisable :)

First, I must give credit to Betty and her un-ending patience (well, maybe I just havent reached her limit yet LOL) as she taught me how to purl stitch at the Knitting Meet on Friday. Check it out, my first ever flat knitted bit!


As I had finally done this, the plan was to use this in my Meetup Badge. Mostly because it would be good for both the sewing and the knitting groups. So I added scissors (made with leftover felt and silver fabrics) and a thread-thingy (cant think of the English word right now) and I finished it with blanket stitch in black wool. I'm very pleased with it and just had to share.


In case you're interested. the Meetup website is a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Especially great when moving to a new city like I did so many years ago. It is also worldwide so a lot of cities are covered. I didnt register for a year or so and then just found all these great meetups. And the good thing is, if you dont like it, just dont go back! Registration is free and most of the groups are also so go check it out!

The Best Apple-Cinnamon Muffins ever!

Have you ever heard of Graze.com? It's this relatively new UK thing where you can have fruit and nuts delivered to your desk and it's really great! I've been getting some delivered for a few weeks now and have set my settings so that I only get the stuff I really like. Fortunately for me, not all my colleagues do this and so they usually get stuff they dont really like. Like OLIVES. I looove olives! So they give them to me *happy me*. As my Graze Box only contains stuff I like, I'm not that good in the sharing department, and so I decided to make some muffins to share instead. I love apple-cinnamon muffins and was looking for a good recipe. And I found it!! Check it out here, well the original at least. I made some small adjustments, so see the recipe below for the (according to me improved) recipe:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups apples - peeled, cored and finely diced

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine apple juice, oil, and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.) Stir in chopped apples.
  3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.

Dont they look yummy? Ok I forgot to take proper pictures or even do a tutorial, so what you see here is the muffins ready to go to work with me LOL

On a side note, if you want a FREE Graze box, just register to their website and enter this code: GRFN7K5. Your first box is free, the second one half price, and you only pay £2.99 for your third and following boxes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Easy and Cute Felt Needle Book

My last project of the day was a felt needle book. This was actually the project I couldnt stop thinking about for the whole week what with the yoyo-making at work and all, I always tend to put my needles in the thread and that's really annoying...

I came across Little Birdie Secrets Blog which has lots of fun and easy projects. She had the best tutorial on the cutest little needle book that can be found here.

As per her instructions, I started by cutting out the pieces of fabric and got to work. I actually wanted to make one with a cat print as I still had that and havent found use for it yet. But as that involved going to the store far far away and buying black felt, I opted for other colours that I still had: Burgundy with cream and lavender. Not a bad combination I think.


After a few tries (yes, the thread wasnt cooperating), this was the result. Not bad in comparison to the original :)


The inside is made with two layers of felt to be able to carry even more needles ;) I opted for having on needle per 'page' so that I could have the thread in them still. Extremely handy!


Thank you Litte Birdie Secrets for this great tutorial!


Cupcake Finger Pincushion Tutorial

Hello again :)

While surfing during lunch at work, I came across this fantastic tutorial for a pincushion for on your finger! I was planning on making one for on my wrist, but this was just too cute to pass up :) The original tutorial comes from the blog Shannon Makes Stuff and can be found here.

As my way of making this varies a little from her instructions, I will quickly show you how I made it. First I made two holes in a bottle cap with a heated nail (that way the nail with just melt through the plastic, much safer for me as I am very clumsy with a hammer!) This will be your cupcake base.


Then I added elastic by looping it through the holes.


I then glued some felt onto the bottom to make it sit comfy on my finger. I made a slit so the elastic could still come through.


I cut a circle out of brown felt for the cakey bit of the cupcake (chocolate of course!), stuffed it with the infamous blue foam of the bf's Warhammer supplies, and gathered the felt around it.


I then glued this onto the inside of the bottle cap.


So far, it should look like this:


I then cut out a random shape out of pink felt to make the icing. Yes, this is going to be a miniature version of the large cupcake I made a few weeks back.


I sewed this by hand onto the cupcake. I didnt glue this as the pins wont be able to go through the glue.


I then cut out a small red circle, stuffed it with yet more blue foam and gather the felt around this to create the cherry.


I then sewed the cherry onto the cupcake and taadaa: a cupcake finger pincushion :)


I actually made two as one is for my friend who has just kindly sent me photos of the London Zombie Walk last year in which I participated. She sews a lot as well and doesnt read my blog so she wont know yet until the mail arrives later on this week.


Check out Shannon's blog for more extremely cool projects :)

Happy sewing!

A Busy Weekend - Hair Stuff

It has been a while, but I'm back now :) I havent really done anything this whol week as work was extremely stressful and I dont think it is going to ease up anytime soon. So all my crafting had to wait until the weekend. No, I havent started the Steampunk dress yet but I did make a few things that I've been thinking about for quite some time now.

My first project of this weekend was feather headbands. Yes, you see them everywhere now but they're always so expensive! I bought one last autumn and paid £12 for it, and now it is seriously damaged as I dont have anywhere decent to put it (yes besides on my head!). When I was in New York, I saw the feather bases as M&J Trimmings, and decided to buy two of them to make some myself. So I bought some headbands at the market here for only 50p and got to work. I glued the feather bit onto the headband and finished it off on the inside with felt. Most vendors dont do the felt bit and I think this is where mine got damaged. So technically this should hold better. And to top it off, with the exchange rate and all the total price of one feathery headband was now only £4!!

So what do you think of them?


A number of years ago, I bought some amazing cottons via a shop on Ebay called Tabber's Temptations. She has these fantastic cotton fabrics that I just couldnt find here anywhere. One of the fabrics I bought was this gorgeous nightblue with suns and moons and starts. I didnt buy enough to make actual clothing out of it and so it kind of just lay in the cupboard for a good while. But today I finally used it to make a bandana. Yes, a bandana is like super easy (just cut to size and hem) but I just never took the time to measure my old bandanas LOL. And with summer coming up, I need one that I actually want to wear :) Plus it was a great excuse to use my shiney and new rotary cutter that I bought around New Year's and never used...

This is the bandana:


I made some more stuff, so more posts and tutorials will follow!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

EFF 2010 - Getting Ready Video

Hi all,

Check out my friend Denise's video of us getting ready for day 2 of the EFF. You can even see me glueing my dress back together LOL


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Cookie Cutter Bag

After a weekend of visiting friends who were extemely sweet and made Raclette which I loooved, I had a few things to finish that I promised people. And so I finished a tube card holder for the bf (in black of course) and one for a girl at work (in green with golden stripes), and I also finally made the bag for my cookie cutters.

Over the last few months my cookie cutter collection has increased a bit so the container that held them has just gotten way too small. So now at least they're all together which is the good thing. The bad thing is that they all fit but there isnt much room for any more! Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So check out the photos here. The big was made ONLY with items that I already had, so very very frugal of me :)

This photo is sadly a little blurry but it does show the fabric the best. I still had this fabric from Christmas a few years back when I wanted to make decorations and simply didnt have the time. Originally I had planned to use plain cotton and decorate the bag by hand, but this was cute and saved much time. The fabric does have cookies on it after all!


The ribbon was given to me via someone from freecycle and the glass beads were part of a project many years ago.


The lining is cotton also and is part of a pile of leftovers from a quilted pillow case I once made for my sister. The pillow case fell apart in the laundry, shows my quilting skills...


And taadaa! All the cookie cutters are in the bag :) The coolest ones are in the bottom of course, but as you can see I have a few Halloween ones ;)

Now to finish a cat for a colleague's new baby... tutorial and pics will follow soon!



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