Posts filed under ‘Crafts’

Worst blogger in the world…

That’s me. Sorry it has been so long since my last post (Christmas!), but as always, I’ve been busy with sewing and regular life. I’ve completed a couple of new projects, and have a dozen or so on the “To Do” list. I finished a brand new dress to wear for the holidays from Simplicity 3535 “Project Runway” pattern. The pattern was fairly easy to follow, considering all of the possible alterations/changes one could do to it. The photo makes it look slightly “Little Home on the Prarie”, but I assure you, it is a very modern, chic dress.


I’ve also recently finished a reconstruction…remember this dress?

Vintage Blue Roses Fabric

This dress was made years ago, and incidentally was never finished. It is made from some delicious vintage fabric that I could not possibly give up, so I used a new McCall’s pattern to make this stylish top:


The collar is made in chartreuse green silk duipioni that matches the green leaves in the fabric perfectly. As you can tell from the quality of these photos, I still need a digital camera. Any suggestions?

As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I have finally cleaned and organized my sewing room. I bought an inexpensive bookcase and organized my fabric stash like this:


That’s just yards of fabric that I washed, ironed and measured, and then rolled on to a piece of cardboard and secured with quilting pins. Very simple, and it keeps my fabrics organized and accessible. I also keep track of my inventory by pinning a small piece of paper to the front of each mini-bolt with the amount of fabric as well as the fiber content.


I keep my patterns in little plastic shoe boxes that I purchased at Target for $1.99. I also keep larger patterns or “patterns in progress” (those patterns that I have already cut, but have not yet assembled) in large zip-lock bags so that the contents are easily seen. I also made custom tins for notions, needles, and thread. Having a clean and tidy area to work is the best thing for creativity. This new system is very inspiring, I must say.

I will post again soon, as I have several new projects in the works, a new knitted sweater (so close to being done!), new links and a new tutorial in the works for you!


January 24, 2008 at 9:30 pm 7 comments

‘Tis the season…

for new coats!

Sorry I’ve been gone so long. School and work take up loads of time. I have been working on a few new projects, and now that the weather is dipping into the low 50’s, it’s time for a proper winter coat!

I started with a light holiday jacket, from this pattern:


The finished product (sans the buttons and some light finishing):


Front view


Side view


Back view

The Pattern: Simplicity has just put out a new line of sewing patterns that are “inspired” by Project Runway, where they have a basic style that you can customize with ribbons, different lengths, cuffs, fabrics, etc. to make it your own style. At first glance, the pattern is a bit complicated to understand, but after a few moments of reading (always read your patterns completely through before beginning your project!), it was  a cinch. Cost of pattern: $1.99

The fabric: I used a wool blend that has grays, blacks, and shiny gold running through the plaid. It was 50% off, so the outer fabric was $7.00. I used a shiny butter yellow charmeuse for the lining (polyester) $3.00.

Notions: Thread and buttons (vintage) from my stash.

Total cost of holiday jacket: $11.99

The pictures make it look very homely, when in fact it is very flattering and adorable!

Here is the pattern I am using for my next coat:


I am doing this in butter “suede”, with no applique and covered buttons. Post to follow soon!

I learned a nice little tip while beginning the above coat. I just bought a brand new iron and like a fool, I accidently ironed the wrong side of some fusible interfacing!! A quick search on-line led to this great tip:

1.) Lay out a brown paper back flat on the floor or ironing board.
2.) Cover with several tablespoons of table salt.
3.) With your iron on its highest setting, iron the salt in a circular motion.
4.) Continue to do so until all of the burned interfacing has been removed.
5.) Let iron cool and wipe with soft rag.

It got rid of the melted interfacing in seconds! My iron is back to new.

November 28, 2007 at 6:42 pm 3 comments

Other People Make Stuff, too….

I have been sewing, knitting, and crafting for years, however, there is one art form that I have yet to learn – jewelry making. For some reason, I just have not found the time to learn this craft, nor do I have a desperate desire to do so, mainly because of all the talented jewelry makers that are out there. I prefer to support handmade artisans, if I am able, and here is one artist that has grabbed my attention with her store on etsy, Heatherly Designs. Her pieces are exquisite, some with a very vintage feel, and others more modern. And the prices are incrediably reasonable. Here are some picks of mine (I hope to purchase these after this post!):


So lovely! And they’re only $12!


I am already envisioning wearing these everyday of the week….(can you tell I like green?)


This necklace at only $23, would be lovely for the Fall when paired with a chocolate brown tweed wool jumper…

If you know of any other deserving jewelry artists, please let me know. I am always looking for handmade jewelry to accesorize my handmade wardrobe.

October 19, 2007 at 3:10 pm 4 comments

Wardrobe Refashion


I’ve gone and done it. I’ve joined the Wardrobe Refashion Blog (it starts tomorrow) and I’ve committed to 6 months of not purchasing any new clothes and instead, making them myself. This is going to be good for me, since as of late I have become a shopaholic. (Having a clothes-horse of boyfriend does not help.) Here is my pledge:

 “I, Erica, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed, Erica.”

In addition to that pledge, I am making a personal pledge NOT to buy any additional patterns, yarn, fabric or other craft supplies UNLESS it is absolutely necessary to the completion of a project. I have so many unused patterns, fabrics and notions that I have not used and it is my goal through this to use all of what I currently have on hand. In addition to this, I intend to clean and reorganize my craft space and to sell or trade any fabric and notions that I cannot find a use for. Whew! That’s quite a committment. Wish me luck.

September 30, 2007 at 10:35 pm 1 comment

A solution for my knitting…

If you’re anything like me, you constantly have WIP and skeins of yarn hanging around the house getting in the way of everything.  Plus having two adorable kittens who love to eat yarn does not help matters. My solution was simple: I found a small basket that closed like a briefcase from Thrift Town for $3.00.  I decided that it needed to be lined to keep from all my lace-weight yarns from snagging on the edges of the basket. Here is how I went about it…


I measured the insides, top and bottom to determine what size my lining was to be.


I then added approximately 1/2″ to allow for the pressing under of each side ( you could also serge the edges if you were so inclined). Then I cut my pieces of cute fabric for the lining to the measurements.


Press under 1/4″ on each side of fabric, like so….


Then stitch with a contrasting or complimentary thread color along each side on your machine and press seams with warm iron. knitbasket3.jpg

I then layed each piece in their respective sides and stitched a few anchoring stitches through the weaves in the basket:


I added a pocket to the top to keep all my little knitting notions in, which is completely optional of course…


Et, voila! It took me less than 30 minutes to complete and fits 3 or 4 projects at a time, fully protected from my kittens.

Oh, did you notice my new Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles? I got them about a month ago and they are seriously my new favorite thing. 10 pairs of circular knitting needles with various lengths of cords and extenders. For around $50 this is the best deal ever! Treat yourself and get yourself a set.

September 26, 2007 at 7:14 pm 2 comments


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