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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first sewing projects--a couple of aprons. EDITED: Added third apron! on: January 04, 2011 01:03:53 PM
Hi all!  My wonderful husband surprised me with a sewing machine for Christmas (with an adorable sewing table--that man knows my taste!)  So, I've been on a bit of a sewing frenzy.  A week ago I'd never made a stitch, but I'm happy with what I've done so far.  

I'd eventually love to make my own clothes (I have major fitting issues with store-bought clothes--it's very frustrating).  Until I reach that point, I immediately thought of aprons!  I absolutely love aprons and have too many already, but they are a great way to practice.  

I drafted both of these myself.  I find half-aprons much more comfortable than full ones, so that's what I made!

Excuse the derriere

Besides a few pillows and a simple totebag, this is the first thing I sewed.  I didn't plan well and decided to cover up my messy seam with rickrack (which works for me because I love rickrack anyway).

Enjoying it very much!  It's so rewarding to have something come out looking EXACTLY like you wanted--that's one reason I love crafts.

This is the fabric that I used as the band on the above apron.  I have to say I prefer it that way--I don't like it as much as the dominant fabric.  This one definitely has a different shape than the first, which is something I wanted to experiment with.  I also think I over-starched the fabric

Now I'm trying to keep myself away from the fabric store because I really do not need any more aprons!

I'm a novice, so if you have any advice or recommendations (regarding anything!), I'd love to hear it Smiley
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Knitting Needle Roll--one of my very first sewing projects on: January 04, 2011 12:52:02 PM
Hi all!  My wonderful husband surprised me with a sewing machine for Christmas (with an adorable sewing table--that man knows my taste!)

So, I've been on a bit of a sewing frenzy.  A week ago I'd never made a stitch, but I'm happy with what I've done so far.  Yesterday I whipped up this knitting needle roll.  I've been needing one for a while and am so happy I was able to make one myself!  

The needles of course tuck in to the top part to prevent them from falling out!

The fabric before sewing:

Isn't it adorable?  I am not completely in love with the way it ended up in the roll, and I look forward to using the scraps for something else.  All from Joann's.

Detailed shot.  I find keeping my stitches straight to be the most difficult part of sewing, but I practiced quite a bit by following lines I drew on a piece of paper (without thread--just making holes) and have improved quite a bit.

This is the tutorial I used: http://madebyloulabelle.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-make-knitting-needle-roll.html
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Binary Man on: December 21, 2010 08:28:14 AM
I haven't been around in quite a while!  Last year I made my husband an embroidery for our anniversary (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=335740.msg3882954#msg3882954), and this year I did the same.  We moved, and I thought it would be perfect for his home office.  It was definitely a hit!

My husband is a software developer, so this seemed perfect for him.  And he loves it!  I originally thought about painting it but decided embroidery was the way I wanted to go.  Though I ended up kind of regretting that as I hadn't done much embroidery in a while and had forgotten how tedious it could be!  The man is about nine inches tall..

The binary translates as part of one of my favorite quotes from Hamlet: "O, that this too too sallied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew."  Yes, only part of the quote.  I was feeling a bit lazy and translating each letter into binary is miserable!    

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Travel Pillow on: June 03, 2010 01:15:53 PM
I've been working on this pillow for about two weeks now.  Many, many hours a day!  My husband is currently out of town, and I wanted to have this as a surprise when he came back.

We've lived in Italy for the last three years and are moving back home to Texas in just a few weeks.  I wanted to do something to commemorate our time here so decided to embroider some of the sites we've seen (really, just the ones I could draw haha).  I also embroidered all the countries we've visited along the top and bottom.

The Eiffel Tower is in the middle, and here's everything else counter-clockwise: a castle modeled after Neuschwanstein Castle (incomplete--I need to do something else to that one), the Great Pyramids of Giza (with a tiny camel I love!), Venice, Milan Duomo, the Colosseum, and the Dolomites where we live.

I took these before I had added the red around the piping:

The "snow" on the mountain is two strands of light brown and two strands of white.  That way I can see the top from far away but it still looks a bit like snow.

Any suggestions on how to make the Venice and castle ones look better?  They are the only ones I'm not happy with.

I wish my pictures better showed my stitching!

After I finished the front I was not at all satisfied.  I thought it looked kind of cheap and like I had just thrown on a few bad sketches.  I wanted it to show how much work I had actually put into this!  Ideally I could have sewn a pillow myself, using a red patterned fabric as the back, but I don't sew right now and really hate leaving projects unfinished. So I decided to fill up the back with something else!

And now I am actually liking the back more than the front!

Photos from before I had added the inner two:

I'm SO sorry this is so photo heavy!  I'm just very happy with my designs and stitching so far Smiley

Now do you guys think I should do anything else?  I wasn't planning on the "lazy daisy" row being the last, but the flowers ended up bigger than I had anticipated so that I think going further might look strange.  But maybe not!  I am thinking of embroidering some sort of picture on the inside.  Or maybe our last name or the dates of our travels/time here.

And do you think I should add another border to the front?  I would do it pretty close to the piping (where the red border is already) but can't decide on colors or stitches.
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / French Knot Monograms (Plus one more embroidery) on: May 20, 2010 05:34:42 AM

I made these monograms for my husband and myself (Joseph and Alyssa)!  I would love to frame them in something like this (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alyssakai/3963145142) but can't seem to find a similar frame for a reasonable price.  If anyone has any ides, please let me know!  I'd love to put them on/above our bedside tables

I put them in wooden hoops (I haven't cut the excess fabric, just tucked it behind), but since we're moving in a few weeks I didn't want to put new holes in the wall to hang them.  So they're folded again and sitting around waiting for a frame!

Really easy--just a lot of french knots.  I didn't anticipate that they would look like tiny roses but love that!

I made the "c" for an art swap with a friend.  It's mounted on a canvas.


One more embroidery:

The phrase doesn't really make sense, I know!  I made this for my best friend Lauren.  Nearly years ago we were at a neighboring school warming up for a band competition, and "Spring is here, so clean it up!  It's almost the end of the year!" was written on a chalkboard.  We've said this every spring since!  The lettering looked much cuter before I stitched it!

I COMPLETELY ripped this design off of someone!  I had the photo saved on my computer but sadly didn't bookmark the link (I'm sure I found it either here or on Flickr).  Please let me know if you have an idea of where I got this from!

The grass is DMC 94, a variegated green.
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Simple paintings from a non-painter on: May 06, 2010 09:13:46 AM
Disclaimer: I am not artist!  I just had some ideas of things I'd like hanging on my wall and played around a bit.  This is the first I've painted! Smiley  I couldn't draw if my life depended on it, but I'm pretty pleased with what came out of it.

I wanted to do this for months and finally went ahead and bought supplies.  I'm so glad I did!  It doesn't look great in my current apartment (yuck, pale yellow walls), but I'm moving in a few months and am dreaming of this hanging against crisp white walls.

And then this one Err, I'm not so in love with it.  In my defense, it photographed pretty badly.  Here it looks kind of messy and dirty, and the bottom just looks gross!  In person I think it's nice but my husband is out of town now, so I'm waiting for him to come home to give a second opinion

I made these today!  I'm thinking of making another confetti-type square

All are acrylics on white canvas.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Decorating Frames on: April 29, 2010 06:48:00 AM
I'm sure I'm not the first to do this, but I spent all morning playing around with decorating these cheap little frames.  I don't know what I'm going to do with so many (probably give them all to friends!), but I'm still itching to make more.

I just tore strips of a map and arranged them on the frame with rubber cement.  I'd still like to find something to help seal them and would love suggestions since I've never done anything of the sort!

I tried a few different ways--the one in the front has a lot of water, the middle is mainly land, and the back is a good blend of both.

I had to sacrifice one of my (four) copies of Pride and Prejudice, but it's worth it.  I wanted to use something that will make me happy when I read snippets of it on the frame.

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Two Boston Terriers on: March 02, 2010 07:56:51 AM

Clementine and Hogwarts--my friend's adorable dogs.  I'd been wanting to do a Boston embroidery for her for a while and finally just decided to make one specialized for her dogs.  I used crayons like I read about here for the mouths and the silver in the tiaras.

The original photo

My first sketch.  I'm so happy with the way the embroidery came out because my drawing of Hogwarts was AWFUL!  I almost scrapped the project, but he somehow turned out nice once I started stitching.

I'm pleased with the way it came out, but I'm not sure how many more portrait embroideries I'll do--way too much work.  But Genevieve was very happy and surprised when these arrived in the mail, and that makes it worth it!

I also made a little how-to on my blog because I had problems finding a good tutorial myself (http://inthewabe.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/how-to-mount-an-embroidery/), but I hadn't seen Muddlepud's wonderful lacing tutorial here (hers is much better than mine)!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / How to: Hem Jeans by Hand on: February 12, 2010 07:54:01 AM
Since I don't have a sewing machine I've been putting off hemming a pair of my husband's too-long jeans.  Then I decided to just try them by hand, and they look great!  I kept the original seam, and you can hardly see the new one at all.

I haven't seen many step-by-step guides on how to hem jeans by hand.  The idea was pretty daunting to me, so I hope this how-to will help others who have ill-fitting jeans sitting uselessly in their closet.  
Note: I have never sewn anything besides buttons, and this was the first pair I did.  It's an extremely easy method and looks great.

First, try the pants on and measure how much shorter they need to be. Make a cuff half of that length and pin it. For these jeans I wanted to remove 3.5 inches so pinned them at 1.75 inches.

After measuring around each leg, pin the cuff.

Continue sewing in a line all the way around the cuff. Try to keep an equal distance from the seam, but the line does not have to be perfectly straight. You can see the small navy line of my stitches in the photo above.

Next, fold the cuff back down. You can either cut some of the excess material (leave half an inch or so for fraying) or just tuck it up.

Iron your new seam!

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Elinor Neckwarmer on: February 04, 2010 08:05:43 AM

I just finished this beautiful neckwarmer!  I'm going to keep it in mind for gifts--everyone always wants knit goods, but they don't realize how much time, effort, and money they require! This one, however, was very quick and easy knit that didn't take much yarn.
I'd love to knit it in a lighter color since the pattern kind of gets lost in the dark red.  One end slips through the cable of the other to make it stay in place--I love that!

I named it after Elinor Dashwood since I read Sense and Sensibility while I was knitting it.  Original pattern by Grace McEwen: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/twisted-vine-neckwarmer

My Ravelry for more info:  http://www.ravelry.com/projects/tickertape/twisted-vine-neckwarmer
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