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21  Hidden Jewelry Box in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: April 10, 2010 07:38:46 AM
Sometime around the new year I was sorting through all my jewelry and realized I had a metric ton of necklaces.  Some nice, some "bargain", but most of them languishing somewhere forgotten and unseen.  I don't know about you but I tend to wear the same pair of earrings and one of three necklaces most days.

Anyway, I saw this: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/01/diy-project-hidden-jewelry-box.html on Design Sponge and during the big February snows while the federal government was closed (weeeee!) I was able to make it down to my in-laws to build my own hidden jewelry box.  The Design Sponge link has a nice how-to that the FIL and I totally didn't use.  FIL is a very good woodworker so we just went by feel with scrap wood from his shop.  I bought all the little fittings at the hardware store on the way down.

This is the front:

I got the tree panel from Target on clearance.  Interestingly, when my father-in-law and I went to assemble it, it was no where near plumb.

Here's it cracked open:

You can see the little latch that holds in shut (this is crucial due to the non-plumbness of the panel).  The necklaces are all held up with little brass cup hooks I screwed into the top piece of wood.

Here's the whole interior:

We put the hinges on the inside so they're not as noticeable when closed.  Most of the box is scrap maple and I stained the side pieces so they complemented the front (nothing really matches, just looks nice together).  I was going to paper the back like they did in the example, but I decided a busy background could make it harder to see the jewelry and besides, what's prettier than a nice piece of wood (even if it is sheet)?  The whole thing just screws into the wall through the back panel with four screws.

I love it.  It's been fantastic and I've been wearing way more of my jewelry, plus it really goes with our room.

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22  Take Manhattan pattern from Twinkle Sews in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: January 30, 2010 11:17:10 AM
Just before Christmas I bought myself the Twinkle Sews book because I loved the patterns in it.  Most of them I wouldn't do exactly as she did and I'm not a fan of the model styling, but they're still very modern and cool.  Anyway, last night and today I finished Take Manhattan.  I used a nice weight purple wool that was on sale.  I got the end of the bolt which made me have to some creative cutting to get all the pieces.  I didn't line mine.

Here's what it looks like in the book made of linen.

Things I learned:

The wool drapes much thicker than the linen.  It still hangs, but not as softly as the linen in the picture.  It's very warm and I like it, but I might make a linen one for spring.  Cotton would probably not be a good choice for this pattern.  Sweatshirt material would probably work fine but be different.  There's another pattern that's for sweatshirt material that I want to try out.

Twinkle Sews is not for beginners.  The patterns are fine (once you print them out, arrange them, tape them together, then cut out the pieces), but the instructions are very brief.  It helps to already have a basic idea of how garments are assembled because the book won't help you that much.

Geez, the darts that were called for were unfortunate.  I ended up just taking them out all together.  I should have taken a picture of just how unfortunate they were.

I made every seam a french seam.  It's nice and finished, but I think that contributes to the sleeves sticking out a bit. 

They only have every other size (0, 4, 8, 12, 16) and each size is its own pattern to print out which makes fitting weird.  I'm usually about a six, printed out an eight to be safe, but probably should have done the four.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it and it looks good over a long sleeved t-shirt.  I think I'm going to go put it on and go play in the snow.
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23  Who wouldn't be inspired by Eartha Kitt? in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: January 08, 2010 05:17:36 PM
Ages ago I was watching an old movie with my FIL about a guy who had to choose between coming a preacher like his father or being a blues musician.  The preacher side came complete with a very nice woman who wanted to marry him.  The music side came with Eartha Kitt singing in smoky bars filmed in shadowy black and white.  Eartha Kitt smolders through the movie.  Anyway, in the movie, one of the women was wearing a skirt with these cool pleats at the back instead of a slit.  I filed it away in my memory.

Last week I started making a simple pencil skirt out of some IKEA fabric.  The plan was to use this cool cotton with birds on it as a removable overskirt.  Anyway, I cut it too small and it didn't go around (forgot about that whole thing about store vs pattern sizes, don't talk to other people while cutting out patterns, kids).  Anyway, I decided to salvage it by adding a panel in the back and doing the pleats.  And dropping the overskirt.

I'm pretty happy with it.  The fabric is a bit stiff so the darts lay funny, but it's a bit difficult to notice because of the stripes.  Also, I'd probably make the pleats go further up so they start a bit closer to my butt (for emphasis)(when you don't have a butt, emphasis is important).
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24  All my clothing in CHALLENGE 35 ENTRIES by marieC on: February 01, 2009 12:12:05 PM
Some time in early January I stepped into a shop that was having an incredible sale and bought a good number of good things for less than $50.  When I got home I realized that I didn't have many open hangers and start doing a closet purge.  I have a problem with losing things in my closet.  Clothes slide down in between things and I don't see them, so I pulled everything out and I decided that I was going to take a picture of EVERYTHING in my closet.  Looking at all the pictures on my computer was overwhelming.  I have great clothes; I just need to remember what they are and be more creative about pairing things up.

So I decided that my resolution should be that I am going to utilize my ENTIRE wardrobe this year.  I don't need to buy anything new, I can work with what I have.

Which leads us after my very long intro into what I actually did about all this.  First, I printed out all my pictures wallet-sized, nine to a page.  Then I laminated the front with some of that press on laminate stuff and stuck a small square magnet on the back.

T-shirts I did multiples to one photograph.  I did all solid t's in one pic, long sleeve in another, etc.

Then I stuck them all to the back of my metal bedroom door, right next to my closet.

They're somewhat organized into groups of sweaters, tops, work trousers, etc.  I use the middle area to kind of work out some things in my head and think about layering summer tops and long sleeve t's and things.  So far it's worked out really, really well.  I feel like I'm on one of those tv shows where they teach you to shop your closet and everyone cries and hugs at the end.  Well, without the crying and hugging.

So no more clothes shopping for me for a while.  Of course that doesn't mean I can't keep making clothes.  I can't stifle my creativity, right?
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25  two "practice" dresses of moderate success in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: January 04, 2009 06:28:56 PM
Over Christmas my mom and I were watching What Not to Wear and I suddenly decided I wanted a mini-dress in black-watch tartan.  I found the fabric online at Gorgeous Fabrics but didn't want to go cutting up nice Pendelton wool without knowing what's going to happen.  So I made a practice dress of on sale fabric using Simplicity 3507 (PR pattern).  I buy patterns in bulk when they go on sale for $.99.  Here's how it turned out:

Now, I wore it out to dinner on NYE and learned the first thing to note: IT IS NOT A-LINE.  I kind of noticed this cutting it out but didn't think about it.  When I put it on I realized it was close around the legs (and baggy in the middle) but thought it looked cute.  I decided I needed a slip to keep the dress from sticking to the tights and when I lifted my left leg to step into the slip I ripped the sh*t out of the side seams below the teal piping.  Wore it out anyway, it wasn't that noticeable.  Anyway, the future dress may look a bit more like this with more leg room (I'm just holding it in with my hands):

It's going to require a zipper.  Maybe a whole new pattern.  And some solid black pumps.  Smiley  Hopefully still patent though.

Second practice dress is for my cousin's wedding.  I showed my mom and boyfriend McCalls 5655 and they both thought it looked like a maternity dress.  I thought it would look nice in one of those duponi (sp) silks but thought I'd mock it up with a sheet first.  Well, it's a bit of a babydoll dress.

The socks and shoes are just what I was wearing under my jeans before I pulled this on.  It's too summery for right now, but I think a heavier material like the silk would hang a bit heavier and dull the pregnancy look.  I like this one anyway and will rock it this summer for sure.  I'm not sold that I will use the pattern for this wedding though.  I'm going to have to think a bit more and dig through my pattern library.
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26  two quick tops in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: January 04, 2009 06:14:13 PM
I made these a few months ago and hadn't posted them.  I've gotten a good bit of wear out of them which makes me happy.

Autumn top: Simplicity 3504 (PR pattern)

Flower tunic: From Sew U by Wendy

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27  stash busting aprons in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: December 29, 2008 10:33:24 AM
My mom asked me to make her an apron for Christmas and while I was at the store I grabbed some black and red candy cane fabric for myself. 

I had so much fun making this one (I don't have pictures of my mom's unfortunately) that it started a bit of a trend.  I have left over fabric from a number of quilts that doesn't really lend itself well to clothing and has just been taking up space.  First was the cowboy quilt (a wedding present):

It's split in the front because that was the only way I could get the horses facing up.  There are two pockets with flaps.  Next came the sewing apron.  My boyfriend calls it the frankenstein apron due all the different fabrics.  It's made from a load of random little bits I had around.  It's been super handy so far. 

Finally, last night I made this from the left over squares of another quilt (another wedding present). 

I was at the fabric store and saw some really cute Valentine fabric but managed to not buy any.  Aprons shall only be made from scraps from now on to help cull the stash (the stash must be reduced, I'm running out of space).  I've been wearing them anytime I'm in the kitchen and have helped keep me a bit cleaner (I am not clean in the kitchen).
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28  Winter/fall coat with asymmetrical collar in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: October 15, 2008 06:39:30 PM
Sometime this summer I picked up McCalls 5525 with the plan to make a new coat for this winter.  I live in Virginia so I only need a heavy coat a few times a year and have for years worn a khaki trenchcoat my mom bought me in college.  Poor thing is just done and needed to be replaced.

I bought the fabric at IKEA since I wanted something a little different and IKEA's fabrics are a bit heavier since they're for housewares.  The color is black and white with light blue buttons and the lining is kind of aqua.  It has pockets in the front kind of like a pea coat does.  The pattern was great and easy to follow.  I'd really recommend it.  I LOVE the jacket.

The front:

Side.  You can just see the pocket open a bit:


Open front with interior button:

I went back and forth about it, but did put in the 1/2" shoulder pads the pattern called for.  I did it because my nice wool coat has them and it seems fine.  Right now I'm happy with them; they add structure without too much bulk.  I'll see how I feel about them in the long run.
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29  Dubious project saved! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: October 01, 2008 07:50:03 PM
I thought I'd try to be clever and make a tshirt with a pleated front a la something I saw in a catalog.  It didn't turn out (though I think I know what to do next time) and I had this shirt in a pretty color but with an odd front left.  The neck's a bit wide and the seams a bit strange and I got lazy about thread color matching in a few places.  Bum.

So I decided to channel my inner Jay McCarroll (Project Runway is crack! and Project Rungay is run by enablers!) and add some crafty circles of like colors.  In the end it added the something that the shirt needed.

Sorry about the dressform pictures.  I much prefer to see people's work on them, but geez, I'm all ready in my pajamas and just couldn't really be bothered.
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30  Learning about how to sew knits (Built by Wendy style) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by marieC on: September 15, 2008 04:13:32 PM
A while back I picked up the Built By Wendy Sew U: Home Stretch book.  I love it.  It has great explanations and patterns in the back.  But regardless of how good the instructions are, there's still a learning curve.

Behold the tank of figuring out stuff:

It's just a white tank, but I learned if you're going to bind with the same material you need to pull the binding taut as you feed it in to the machine.  Plus, STEAM EVERY SEAM!  Also, the BBW sizes run large.  This was a small and was a big too wide across the shoulders.  I ended up making XS and still taking them in.  I know this is probably for ease, but there are plenty of women smaller than me who would be put out by this.

Next up, altering the basic crew neck pattern to make it a tie neck.

I sewed the binding on around most of the neck, turned it back and sewed it down, and then sewed the tie on across it.  Of note: don't scoop the back of the shirt any just cause you scooped the front.  The back doesn't quite sit right.
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