Tag Archives: DIY

Sewing star??

I know it’s been a while since I posted any of my projects, but I assure you I have been sewing and there are quite a few projects that need uploading.

However I am also working on some video projects to upload, and while I was doing so, I came across this lovely opportunity to star in a 10 minute spot on US television!

Soooo…I’m entering the Burdastyle Talent Search!

Here is my submission, and also a sneak peek into the kind of videos I will be posting soon!

I do realise this video focuses more on me, but it is an audition after all.

If you want to make your own Charlie Bag you can find the free downloadable pattern here and if you’re not a member of burdastyle.com, you really should be!
I find it to be a great resource for not only patterns but techniques and ideas from other members as well. And no, I’m not just saying that because I want to win the contest. Really.

Thanks for watching!

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Sew simple

It may not be apparent from my previous posts, but I absolutely ADORE all things vintage. This IS apparent however, from my taste in both men and clothing. HA!

I often want to buy vintage items but find that they are often too big and not always in the best condition – depending on where you buy from.

So, in keeping with my see-it-and-make-it-myself philosophy, I saw a vintage skirt that I just adored and decided to copy it to my size and modify it slightly to my style.

This is my inspiration..

From Sew What

Its a vintage wool number with a zipper in the back and pockets I think. I loved it instantly but it was both not my size and a bit too expensive for my liking. I decided to make one for myself. I chose to make it in red twill, having wanted to make a red skirt for a while. I was in a bit of a hurry for some reason so I used a side zipper and skipped the pockets. I think I might replace the zipper with an invisible one soon. Maybe.

From Sew What

I cut out two rectangles to a suitable size, usually guestimated by how wide I want the circumference to be at the bottom. I then edged all sides with a zig zag stitch, since I don’t have a serger, and hemmed the bottom of both pieces.

I then randomly picked one of the pieces to be the front and went about duplicating the pleat.

From Sew What

I basically did a large box pleat, the “box” facing in and folded in as much as was needed to reduce the waistline to the right size, plus seam allowances. I pinned everything in place and moved on to the back.

From Sew What

At this point I was still distrustful of machine basting, so I hand tacked and gathered the back piece and again, gathered enough to reduce the waistline down to the right size, plus seam allowances.

Next I hand tacked both front and back pieces together and inserted the zipper.

From Sew What

After hand tacking and making sure I was satisfied, I finalised everything with proper machine stitching.

I then moved on to the waist band. Having learned my lesson from my first skirt, I kept the zipper closed and stitched the waist band around the tube of the skirt to get the right curvature.

From Sew What

I hand tacked, first on the inside, folded over the band and then tacked the outside. I tried it on to make sure it was proper and then finalised with machine stitching. Yes I hand tack or baste a lot. I prefer it to pinning…for now.

At this point it was pretty much done. I trimmed down the waist band and added a few hand sewn snap buttons on the side to keep it down.

All I needed now was the bow.

Since I’m stubborn and unreasonable, I did not go back to look at my original inspiration and roughly measured out a rectangle, folded it in half, stitched it up and made a bow. It turned out to be bigger than the original skirt’s bow and sagged somewhat on the sides. I decided to just go with it and instead of permanently attaching it, I added a brooch pin and made it detachable, in case I suddenly decide bows are dumb. I have been known to suddenly decide that, among other things, jean shorts, dungarees, harem pants and camo mini skirts are dumb. Which really, they are once you’re out of college and not working as a talent wrangler on Canadian Idol. So I’m never sure enough to commit to permanently attaching things.

Once I pinned on the bow I was done and I’m actually quite pleased with how whimsical and over the top it looks with the over sized bow. I’m going to wear it with a polka dot top and exposed seam black stockings. 😀

TADAAA!

From Sew What

SEW MUCH sneakiness!

Once again…I have been sewing on the sly. Its been a busy busy season and with craft shows and hiding presents that I was making for and from the very person I LIVE with, I had no way of actually documenting the entire process of everything I made without being found out. With due apologies I present to you, my latest creations…

In a hurry to make things for an upcoming craft show, I tried smaller, faster pieces. After some trial and error, I put together 2 wallets/card holders in designs I’d want to have for myself…

From Sew What

They’re both felt, covering stiffer felt, lined with cotton broadcloth and have magnetic snap closures.

I found a gem of an end piece at my favourite fabric store – an end piece being just that; the end of a roll of fabric – and knew just what to do with it when I chanced upon it. So I did something only kind of similar to my original plan.

From Sew What

This mail man satchel is made from a lovely tweedy mixed wool and fully lined in a gorgeous purple satin with a flower accent and button to match. It has a boxed bottom and a pocket on the inside for cell phones, gloss and what not.

In another rush to make a few items for a craft show, I came upon this gorgeous fabric in the upholstery section and decided to grab it for a quick and easy tote.

From Sew What

I let the fabric do the work in this one and simply embroidered an outline around some of the print – like I said – I WAS IN A RUSH! I will be going back for more of this fabric and be putting it to some good use on cushion covers.

In the same rush to make a few more items for another craft show, I put together some felt flower brooches using different techniques I made up on the spot.

From Sew What

I bought an assortment of glass beads and threaded a few in the centre for a little sparkle.

In the same vein I also did a few hair bands, but used toile and satin instead…

From Sew What

Another rush job was a small zipper pouch – perfect for small change or a camera.

From Sew What

I chose to do a ‘kairi’ or paisley pattern, cut out free hand. I just really liked the way it felt and they turned out quite well.

Along with suddenly participating in craft shows, a friend placed a custom order for 3 of my original pink ballerina stockings for her daughter and nieces – my first order! I personalised them for her with each of their initials and the resultant squealing assured me it was much appreciated.

From Sew What

The flowers on this one are copies of my original prototype, however the other two stockings had different flowers – variations on the same theme though.

And last but certainly not the least, my final creation for this year – my trump card of Christmas gifts for the manly man…

From Sew What

Yes, he is a plush robot.

All my aces went down the tube at the last minute and I desperately wanted to have something big and special for the manly man, among various little gifts, as I do every year. I had a vague idea bouncing around in my head about a plush robot or some such thing, but had put it aside for a long while.
Before I go any further though, I need to acknowledge my good friend Jess for turning me on to geekcrafts.com from where I took the inspiration and basic framework for this robot.

That being said, and my guilt at being not so original partially subdued, I have to say, I tried to up the stakes and take it to the next level. The original was made of felt. I just happened to have some very sexy silver vinyl/rexine in my fabric bin and used it for the perfect metallic finish.

Here is a closer look at his face, leg and arm…

From Sew What

I wanted his head to swivel and after a quick chat with mommy dearest, chose to have his head magnetically snap on with a purse snap. So now, it comes clean off to hilarious effect!
His teeth are hand embroidered onto white felt and eyes are buttons covered in black fabric. I added a few personal touches in there that I’ll leave out of this post for fear of a mush outbreak.

He was received with slight confusion at first – he thought I bought him at one of my many craft fairs. When I mumbled “I made him” the squeals and misty eyes followed. SUPER WIN!

For the last week of this year, I have packed away the sewing machine – eating around it on the dining table just didn’t seem to yell ‘holiday cheer’ to everyone like I’d hoped.

Rest assured – the three of you that read this – it will be back in less than 48 hours from now. I have many MANY projects lined up and not nearly enough friends to give them away to.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and may whatever it is you believe in bless you and shower you with sugar and molten-but-not-boiling chocolate! HUZZAH!

For inquiries and custom orders please contact me on weewomanworks@gmail.com.

Sew sneaky…

I have a confession…

I have been sewing…on the sly!

When I began writing about my sewing adventures I wanted to document everything I made, even if it didn’t always turn out right. However, recent events or EVENT rather, forced me to plow through 6-7 items without time to breathe or photograph!

Said event is the 2nd Annual Holiday PopUp Art Shop at Kensington Market, 165 Augusta Avenue, Toronto. I was fortunate enough to find out about it through my friend Sam Dizon and even more fortunate to have my work accepted to be displayed and sold there.

If you are in the area, please come down and join us for the opening party on December 10th 2009. The even runs through till the 31st.

These are the items I will have up for grabs, all 100% hand made by yours truly.

Christmas Stockings:

From Sew What

Bags/totes/purses:

From Sew What

I will have a step by step Christmas stocking post soon, as I make 3 more baby pink ones for a friend.

Stay hemmed in and watch out for my Etsy store launch, coming soon!

For custom orders and inquiries, please contact me at weewomanworks@gmail.com