Sunday, November 25, 2012

Armadillo Tote is Up!!!

Some projects come faster than others, and this bag came at my like a cannonball: hey! I know what I want this to be! I want to take the handle from that, the roll-up pocket from that, put the pocket where it's useful while the bag is in use, long handles that can go over my shoulder for easy carrying, give it a bottom that loads evenly....ah, I'm good at this thing some times.

Well, the ideas come fast, but the execution has to fit in with the other endless projects that require attention (mending mending, please make this for me mom, ad infinitum).

The pattern was a breeze to put together, and the instructions came together after making one up and photographing every step (saves that "did I forget something" dilemma) . The trouble was: camera took a bath in coffee and needed to spend a little drying out time. Esh.

But I got it all together today, and now it's up on Craftsy and all is good. Doing that happy dance and planning on cranking out a few for holiday gifts. At less than an hour front to back, it's a good one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ripping and rolling for Make and Mend 2012

 I love this shirt. Too long, too much pattern buried under the waistband, and the collar is a disaster
Cut apart and laid out again

Quarter inch of seam allowance to start. Ish.
 I removed the front, undid most of the sleeves, lost what little seam allowance it had, and shoved the front up.

I stole the back excess hem to make a strip to cover and reinforce the back neck seam. There was a scant quarter inch seam allowance to begin with, so keeping it to size is a challenge. But I will win!

Delivered, 70 dresses, 40 hemmed and repaired

Seven bags, ten apiece.

The hemming is done, the dresses have been taken to the client. Let's open a cold one (a caffeinated sugared up one for me) and review the mayhem.

These babies were like evil drunks, who come and wreck the party. A standard example:

Skirt goes one way, then another
 I had to hang them up on a curtain rod over the grid board to get a good gander at them.

Yes, that hem is just that wavy

After pulling the hem, I redid the two skirts. The taffeta one was well behaved and I could just measure it on the table, but the chiffon overlayer had a mind of it's own. Since the skirt was cut with a wide bias on the sides, it needed to be marked while hung up (see previous post) and then wrassled on the ironing board.

All pinned out on the ironing board

 To get the hem to lie straight required  a lot of restraining it, a lot of ironing and a fair amount of profanity.
And now they're done. Just in time for holiday gift sewing.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hemming Naughty Chiffon

the wobbly bits get dewobbled with bigger feet (sugru to the rescue)
Hemming continues at ErnieK labs. I've had to shut the windows a few times, to keep the profanity stream from flowing down to the small children below. I gave the iron a wider stance with added Sugru feet so it would stop toppling over and adding to the general mayhem.
Dresses hanging and ready for second hem.
 The dresses have two skirts: a well behaved taffeta light grey underskirt, and a very naughty chiffon overskirt that droops and drags and throws pins out like a ... a naughty chiffon.

The taffeta is hemmed on the table, takes about five minutes.

The chiffon has to be hung up and marked. There goes an hour or more.

 I pin it to the underskirt, and use coil-less safety pins that I stab into the chiffon, eyeball for level (yes, I have a gridded cutting board on edge to assist in estimating a level), and then close when I'm satisfied. And my satisfaction level decreases as the day wears on.
No, they weren't level enough. Did I mention the skirts bias on the side seams, drooping EVEN MORE? Naughty chiffon, naughty!

I know, pining the layers together is not a great idea, but that naughty chiffon has a habit of dancing away from me otherwise.

My new love: coil-less safety pins.

Back on the ironing board.

Yes, I am ironing over pins

I use glassheaded pins, the longest ones I can find (1.25") and have a heavy felt wool pad under that cotton June Tailor cover. It's accurate enough, but that grid hasn't been square in years. The wool prevents a heavy steam from boiling the fabric on the table.
Because I'm hemming for tiny girls on generic length skirts, sometimes I have to turn the hems a couple times, making pleats in the middle layers. Yes, I will iron right next to my fingers. Yes, I cannot use a touch screen; I have 'dead finger' from too much shop time. I can snag chiffon with my fingertips.  Which just adds to the fun!

To repin, I have to do it on the flat (picking up the edge distorts it) so I slide one of those flexible cutting boards. I do pull it out to iron.
It did occur to me that I could use one of those Slipat baking liners and I could iron over it, but then there's that boiling fabric matter. Eh, I have enough sewing room notions and tools as it is.

So it continues. 20 done. 15 more to go. I think: I am quite sure that whatever I thought my per piece labor was, I have quite blown it into shards.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Make and Mend and Mend and Mend 2012

from left: shorts need new elastic, hat needs felting, bags need making, the pink and green in the middle are two tshirts that will become one pink and green floral cutout.  and that striking stripe is a vintage dress in needs of upkeep: new zip, rebuilt waistline, holes to mend. Missing is the new shirt pattern I'm working on, a cardigan made of doilies that just needs one more something, as well as the Assassins' Creed linen hoodie that is waiting for a spare minute. There's loads more on the pile on the right. And did I mention the green taffeta party dress?

I have the usual basket of 'needs done'

choir dresses skulk in the closet, waiting their turn

As well as the ongoing sewing job. Hemming and mending choir dresses, a job I picked up by reconnecting with an old friend from a job long ago.

Thankfully, the sewer who made them left long stitches in the hems.
7 stitches to the inch

Since most of sewing is ripping stitches out, this does make the job easier.

starfish and fishy skeletons in applique - how could I resist?
When I get over the hump of the choir dresses, this shirt beckons. Check out the poorly cut collar!

no amount of ironing will make a straight grain follow that much curve

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Girr Hat

In case there was any question of me sitting around and doing nothing, I have been working at a job that uses that slinky mail sorter. Which means if I promised someone something, it hasn't gotten done. So this afternoon, got to this project, after many promises The link to the pattern is floating around, modeled on the Adventure Time hat. A quick piece of work, with maximum fun result. Only problem is: it's too damn hot to wear it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mail sorter kluge

When I'm not making stuff at home, I am data mining. And sometimes data needs sorting. Pretty much it's a paint stick and a plastic 'slinky' I drilled holes and tied it with floral wire (first thing to hand) One double hole to anchor the middle. Yes, the annoying toy has been subdued. Yes, they can have it back when this season of work is done. Maybe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alterations and hem rolling

If you have ever wondered why a Hermes scarf costs what it does, this is the video to explain that for you. I am working on altering a bias cut prom dress, and found this vid fascinating. And a little daunting - I'm working on a bias, the pulling will distort the hem. Which led me to this Worth a look.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Handy Shopper is Free!

Here in Seattle, we are going to lose our plastic bags. Now I am good for the ones for the grocery store, but as I was leaving the drug store, I realized that I would have moments when I needed a bag for that stuff. The little stuff. Prescriptions. So an hour later, I have the Handy Shopper.
You gather it to the corner with the elastic.
You keep going.
You pull the elastic over.
I am so smart! Must go have a tasty treat! Which I could put in the bag.... No. In me.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pop Ups and Online Stuff

Searching around on popular interwebs engines, and found this most excellent list of online resources for .... STUFF! That and putting stuff up on Craftsy. And making pop up cards for Mother's Day. Ah, that Sabuda! I had the great good fortune to meet the woman whose hands are probably in the project photos. I am sorry I have forgotten her name, but we will call her The Ghost Folder.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hanging Trash Bag Pattern Up!

This has been in the hopper for awhile, and it's finally done and up on Craftsy. I would particularly like to thank my sister, whose car is the clean model for this one.

What a clean car!
What a wonderful sister!

Got it down to a half yard of something dripproof (that is, something that can hold some wet trash for awhile. And made it up in something that my sister wouldn't mind riding around with.

And did I mention how clean that car is? Whoo hoo!