Saturday, May 30, 2009

Purse in a Day

Okay, so you can make it in a day if you are like me and become completely consumed by your sewing projects. I have been begging for sun, and when it finally comes out what do I do? Stay inside all day sewing. At least the door and windows were open. And I did go outside when a random parade went by (I think people in Newmarket are confused, Memorial Day was last weekend people!)  Here's another picture of the purse. I got the pattern and directions (which I loosely followed) at this website So thanks to Rae for letting people use her really cool pattern for free (my most favorite word!)
Lastly, here is a picture of a man playing the bagpipes in the parade today. He did an excellent job. I love bagpipe music. In case I haven't told anyone, I would like someone to play the bagpipes at my funeral. (I just wanted to have that documented in case something catastrophic occurs before I make time to create a proper will.)
Now I am off to read on the balcony. What am I reading you ask? A textbook EEEEWWWW!
Lauren :) 

Friday, May 29, 2009

I made a Headband

The other day I found this tutorial online for a 10 minute head band. I don't think it even took me 10 
minutes. But that might be due to the fact that I made it out of the first piece of fabric my hand touched, 
or the fact that I didn't read the directions, just the lengths and widths of the fabric.
Anyways, I think it turned out extra awesome and I have been wearing it everyday since it was finished. The best part is that it
has a hair elastic in the back, so you don't even need to buy/use elastic. And probably anyone who needs a headband has a hair
elastic at their disposal. It's wicked easy and wicked cool. I even wore it to Yoga class yesterday.
Oh also I finished the purse for Lorelei. It's also wicked awesome if I may say so myself. Some modification I made are 
that I did in fact add a zipper to the inside. I also added one of my "Made by Lauren" tags that I 
slaved away on yesterday. And lastly I used a lot more interfacing, and in some places I used left over strips of quilt fabric
(no this does not mean I am done with the quilt!)
I think this picture has a lot of awesome-ness in it. A zipper, a reinforced magnetic clip, and a "Made by Lauren" tag!?!?!?! 
I hope Lorelei likes it! Charlie was even impressed by my work and that takes a lot.
Okay, enough tooting my own horn. Back to working on the quilt and anxiously awaiting the daywhen I will see sunshine again.
Have a great night!

How to Make Your own Twill Tape Labels.

I recently spend about five hours making my own labels for my homemade products. I found 2 tutorials online here and here. Now, these tutorials were helpful, yet I still spend a long time figuring it all out. The most confusing part was figuring out how to print a mirror image of what you want the tags to look like. SO I have decided to give my own tutorial on how to make the tags, and hopefully save people time (that is, in case more than 4 people ever start reading my blog). 
* Hard surface like a wooden cutting board (the Transfer paper info advised me not to use an ironing board) And I put a pillow case folded a few times over the cutting board. 
Step One: The first step is to figure out what you want your labels to look like/say. Then you can fill the page with your logos. I decided to add a tiny picture of thread and a sewing needle. * Make sure the logos are spread far enough apart, on the sides and also below. 
Step Two (The Hard Part): None of the tutorials I found told me how to flip the images, and thus I had to figure it out on my own, I think I did it a round about way but here's how I did it with my Apple and HP printer. 1. With the page filled with your label logos go to "Print", 2. Then click "Preview" this will create a Preview document of the page you'll be printing. 3. With the preview click "Save As" and be sure to click "Format" and save it as a "JPG" (now, I have no idea what that means but it worked) also at this step, Save it with a higher pixel count than is listed, I did 350p. 4. Once it is saved you can "Select All"  go to "Tools" and then select "Flip Horizontal" 5. Pat your self on the back, you did it. 
Step Three: Now you can print out the logos on your transfer paper. Make sure to read the directions and print on the correct side. 

Step Four: Cut the logs out in strips. This is where I realized that I should have left more room in between the logos and had to cut them apart instead of just ironing the strips. 
Step Five: (READ YOUR SPECIFIC TRANSFER DIRECTIONS) With the transfer paper I bought it said not to use an ironing board, but a wooden cutting board covered with a pillow case (make sure to iron the wrinkles out before starting) The directions also said to empty any water out of the iron and adjust it to a setting with no steam. Now you can lay the logo strips onto your twill tape. 
Step Six: Iron for 15-20 seconds. Wait a few seconds before peeling the paper back, or else it might not be cooled down enough and could look bad. Try hold your excitement at bay for an extra 10 seconds before peeling back and reveling your finished product. 
Step Seven: Cut the tags (use good scissors, or else!)
Step Eight: Sew the labels into all of your homemade goods. 
Here is a picture or my first use of the tags. It's the inside of the purse I made for Lorelei. 
I hope this helps other computer illiterate crafters out there. 
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Handmade Belt

Here are two pictures of a ribbon belt I made last night. I made two, one for me (the lopsided one) and one for Lorelei (the 2nd try and therefore better one seen below). 
My one mistake was putting the flower too much in the middle of the dark pink ribbon, so the belts might have to be worn kind of funny, when my original intention was for the flower to be worn on the side ....this made sense in my head but is hard to explain. Anyways I think they are pretty. Maybe I will experiment with more ribbon colors, or maybe I will save my money.....
I spent the last few days in Maine cleaning my mom's house (getting paid the big bucks). On my way home to NH I stopped at my new favorite fabric store, Mardens! I bought 4 new fabrics for less than $10. The first two, yellow and redish ones are for an apron. Lorelei made me one for my birthday and I wear it quite often, especially considering my hatred for cooking.  So I want to make one just to wear around, plus I was reading this week that aprons are making a comeback, I hope to lead the revolution in the Seacoast area. The third one I think I will use to make a lunch sack. Once I get around to fusing plastic like I have been talking about for the last 3 weeks I think I will line the inside with fused plastic, which will mean I can wash the inside with a sponge. And the last fabric is for me to make a purse for Lorelei, her birthday is coming soon and I want to make another purse like my Hobo bag, but do a better job. I hope I learn from my mistakes and make this purse GREAT! Now that I know I can sew in a zipper I might even put a zipper on the inside.We shall see..... 
 Lastly, here is a picture of the finished dress. I don't think this picture really does it justice, and I also don't think my hair is really that brown, but I could very well be delusional. 

Off to sew some more squares for my quilt, 22 done, 13 more to go. 
Enjoy the heat!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring Hike

Today was such a nice day we went on a hike/walk around Adam's Point. The first thing I saw, well, heard was a snake. I managed to get this picture because the snake moved out of our path and then froze. 
After the snake incident I let Charlie lead the rest of the way. 
Here's one of the many views of Great Bay. It was very low tide when we were there. There is a boat launch here too( hint hint*** can bring Jenny anytime, I would love to explore the bay by boat). 
This post doesn't have anything to do with crafts but I wanted to share the pictures.
I finished my dress last night, so it is ready to wear to Garrett's graduation on Friday. 
I'm off to go running in the nice weather and then maybe read on the porch if the music isn't too loud from next door!
Enjoy the day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Third Time's the Charm

Well....sewing the invisible zipper into my dress took me three times, for each side, to get it right. But here is a picture of the final product. I even got the waistbands to match at the zipper, and the zipper is nearly invisible inalmost every spot. And I also did it all by myself, with only spiritual support from my mum (thanks mumma!)

Oh and here is a picture of the lace pinned in to the front to make it less revealing/appropriate to wear in public. 

Here is the mothers day card I made for my mom on the rainy day. I liked the way it turned out so much that I made one like it for my friend Kirsten, but her birthday has not yet come so I will wait until afterwards to post, although she sort of rejects modern technology and would probably never see the pictures anyways. Mum said she really liked the card, I don't know if she meant the inside or the outside though. 
This is another card I made for Charlie. He just ran a 21 mile race on the Wapac trail that goes from NH into MA. I liked the card because it was like a trail. Although Charles criticized me because I put a river/lake in the wrong spot. My talents are wasted on him, that's for sure. 

 Lastly, here is a picture of the budding herbs we planted and are growing on our tiny porch. Luckily, our neighbors blasting bad music from the early 90's hasn't stunted the herbs growth (yet). 
Off to hand sew the hem of my dress. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Projects

Here are some projects I have either been working on or finished and wanted to show. This is a purse I made. I got the fabric at Marden's, my new favorite fabric store. The fabric is very cheap, a yard of this brown cost $2. I also like Marden's because if you ask for a yard they give you 1 1/4 yard. I am not sure why, but I don't complain. I got this pattern online at this awesome website. But, as usual, I modified it because I thought it was too big, so I made it smaller. I liked this site because I was able to print the pattern for free :) 

This is a cross stitch I am making for my mom. I bought it about a year ago to make for her. Whenever I tell her about other projects I have made she says "How about my cross stitch?" and makes me feel guilty. So I have been making an effort to work on it lately. It also works out because Charlie is a netfix member so he get movies and watches them, and they are boring or not funny, so I can pretend to pay attention, but actually cross stitch to my hearts content. It is going to be 3 mason jars filled with flowers. I have one jar (almost) done. 

This is a stuffed elephant I just finished. It is for my friend Shannon, who is having a baby girl in July. I really like it. Elephants are my favorite animal, and purple is my favorite color, so it might be hard for me to give this as a present, but I will. I have made 4 of these stuffed animals, 2 elephants, a bear, and a rabbit, all for baby gifts. I am going to take a break from making these though. Because Lorelei has informed me for the last 5 years that she is going to have 5 kids and NEEDS me to make one of these for each child. So I am taking a break until Lorelei starts having babies, which hopefully is not too soon. I also want to make something for my other friends who are having a baby boy in August. Boys are tricker, I'll have to think about it. 

And here is a card that I made for Charlie for Valentine's Day that I wanted to show off. It is a pop up card. I made it out of newspaper pages. The "I love you" looks kind of like a ransom note. I wanted to make it "boyish". 
Here's the outside. 

It is a rainy day and I don't have class until 5 so I am off to make a mother's day card.
Have a good day! 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

So I Started a Blog...

I have recently been spending a lot of time looking at crafting websites and blogs by crafty people. And I have been very inspired by them. So I thought to myself, I am crafty too, why not make a blog and potentially inspire people; or perhaps just show my work to family and friends; or lastly, write a blog that only I read. Which ever happens I won't mind. 

My most recent works include birthday cards for my good friends Allie and Cait. I was fortunate enough to deliver Allie's card in person, but Cait's had to be mailed far, far away, to Washington (I miss you Cait). The one on the left is Allie's, she's girly. And the one on the right is Cait's, she's less girly and likes nature stuff. I hope they liked them. 

I also forced myself to finish the scrapbook I made of Charlie and I's cross country adventure. My favorite page is the one of Sedona Arizona. I figured out how to cut images out of a picture and make them raised, sort of like in a shadow box, but in a scrapbook. You can't really tell, but Charlie, and the Cactus are raised. 

As a reward for finishing the scrapbook I have allowed myself to start making another quilt. This one is for me, and thus is has my favorite colors' purple, blue, and green. I have almost half of the squares done. I am hoping to finish the squares and have it together before I begin doing clinic in July. That way all I will have left to do is hand stitch; which is time consuming but can be done in free time and does not require a sewing machine on my desk, where I should keep my computer and do school work. I should also mention that Lorelei inspired me to start another quilt. For some reason I feel the need to try to keep up with her, as far as quilt making goes. The quilt I am making is only a lap quilt, not a twin sized quilt like the last one. Here is a picture of on of my favorite squares so far. 

Lastly, I have almost finished a dress. Mum bought me the fabric on Redtag sale, and the pattern was 99 cents! It is eyelet, and I love, love, love eyelet as some people know. I am proud of myself because I actually used a pattern, which I hate doing. I did however, modify the pattern and in doing so used my new seam ripper a great deal due to all of the mistakes I made. I just need someone to fit it to me so I can begin the process of sewing in the zipper....eek! I hope it is done in time to wear to Garrett, my brothers, college graduation. (at this point I will add a small blurb about how proud I am of Garrett for graduating! Yeah Garrett I'm so proud!!!!) 

I think in closing I should explain the name I picked for my blog. This is a quote from one of the blogs I was reading: "Homesewn is not a dirty word. This blog is for all of you with coffee tables that double as cutting tables, sewing machines that are held together with electrical tape, and an irrepressible desire to be creative in your own, unique space and on your own terms."  I think that this quote describes me and my love of sewing and being crafty. It also describes one of my most prized possessions; my 1920's Singer sewing machine that was given to me by my great grandmother. It was the sewing machine she used in her dress shop in the Five and Dime store she and my great grandfather owned. She used it to fit dresses for her customers. The pedals and plugs have been fixed using electrical tape by my great grandfather; and as some people know he wasn't exactly the best electrician. So that is why I named my blog as I did. I hope people read it and are inspired. I will post more pictures of things I make, as I make them. 

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