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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Rainbow Patchwork Apron on: August 19, 2010 11:49:51 PM
It took me a surprisingly long time to make a connection between my annoyance with getting flour all over my clothes when I bake and utilizing my sewing skills to make an apron. All I needed was your basic utilitarian apron, but there were so many cute options that I couldn't help going a little nuts.

This apron is made with the Bloomin' Apron pattern from Paisley Pincushion. The design is adorable and the pattern pieces themselves worked very well, but some parts of the directions were completely incomprehensible -- I ended up getting my mother to explain to me how to make a waistband and just doing what she said instead of trying to wrestle with the instructions.  I also obviously decided to do away with the flower parts, though I do think they're really cute and I'm tempted to make another apron that includes them.

I started by choosing all the fabrics out of my mother's stash and cutting squares (I've forgotten exactly what size they are...6 inches maybe?).  I then laid them out in a vaguely apronish shape and sewed them all together.  Then I attached that layer of patchworked fabric to an old sheet by just doing stitchin the ditch quilting, so I effectively made a lining so there weren't raw seams everywhere.  Then I just laid the pattern pieces out on that and cut away. After getting it together, the top part didn't fit right, so I made some darts at the bust. They look at a little awkward, but it's a vast improvement on how it looked before, so I'll just have to live with them.

I love the back, even though I'm slightly appalled at how big my butt looks in this picture. The pattern says that you make buttonholes in the ends of the crossed straps and then button them to the inside of the waistband, but I thought that was needlessly fiddly when it was perfectly easy to just sew the straps to the waistband and pull them over your head to put it on. But I added the red buttons anyway, just for decoration, because I thought they were adorable on the gingham straps.

2  COOKING / Dessert / My Mom's Rainbow Birthday Cake on: June 11, 2010 10:14:21 PM
I promised my mom a birthday cake and she loves bright colors, so I took this as my opportunity to make a rainbow cake!  It looks awesome, but wow was it time consuming to make all those layers.  Sorry the photos are a little wonk; my camera has some issues taking pictures indoors at night so the cake kind of looks like an alien in the flash photos, but they give a better view of the inside colors.

Nice white cake with festive sprinkles, right?

Surprise!  Rainbow insides! 

I managed to conceal the fact I was making a rainbow cake and my mom was totally surprised when she cut into it. Smiley
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Blackwork Pincushion on: January 24, 2010 09:59:43 AM

This is a pincushion I made as a thank you to my aunt for giving me a HUGE bag of embroidery floss.  I seriously have at least one skein of every DMC color now. Smiley  It's from a pattern called Tulips by SEBA Designs and the background is from this page.  I'm not sure if it counts as a biscornu, per se, because the back is velveteen, not embroidered, and there's no button in the middle.  But it's a biscornu-ish thing. Smiley  It was originally going to have a button, but I decided I liked the center of the design too much to cover it up. This was my first time doing blackwork and I really liked it.  I would love to make a Renaissance dress with blackwork embroidery, but I think that's a more ambitious goal than I'm ready for at the moment.

P.S. Sorry I don't have a photo of the stitching head-on.  The ones I took came out blurry and it has now been sent to my aunt in California.  I'll see if I can get her to take a photo.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / 70's caftan to sun dress recon on: June 29, 2009 09:26:59 PM
I finally finished this dress today, in time for it to be in the upper 80's here later this week.  It's really bright and summery, and I'm excited to wear it. 

I started with this caftan type dress I found in vintage store.  The embroidery was so cool I had to have it, but it was (a) slightly too small for me and (b) not a very flattering shape.  This is what it looked like before:

I removed the sleeves and used the fabric from them to add some panels to the sides so it fit.  Then I totally reshaped the top and added the orange binding and braided straps.  Lastly, I cut it a bit shorter and added the orange around the bottom to match the bodice.  It ended up being a lot more work than I originally thought, but I like the result, even if it's a little wonky in a few places. 

Oh yeah, I also took out the zipper in the back and put in grommets and lacing instead:

The lacing isn't quite working, but I'm not really sure what to do about it.  I originally intended to add a green sash as well, but I was sort of tired of working on it and I'm not sure the dress needs it.  I still have the embroidered cuffs from the sleeves, which would make cool trim for a bag or something.

Thanks for looking!  I totally appreciate any comments or critiques.
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