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I sewed a thing! It’s wonderful.

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(Please do excuse the mess in the background.)

It’s a circle skirt I made from some fabric I got in a swap this past summer. It’s breezy and light and not at all appropriate for February, even though I wore it yesterday anyway with a long sleeved t-shirt and long socks (as you can see). It would have been nice with tall boots, but I wore purple mary jane style wedges instead.It’s also super swingy, it being a circle skirt.

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I expect to get a lot of wear out of it when the weather warms up. I also intend to make a lot more cause I love wearing this type of skirt (though I’ll have to get some more fabric). The waistband is a little messed up (it’s a little large) cause I cut it a little big and my elastic wasn’t as stretchy as I’d have liked. The hemming took like an hour (partly cause I pressed it first), and I was very pleased when it was finished.

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In knitting news, I am still working on those knee socks, but they are flying along. I’m on the eighth stripe of the 16 that make up the leg (and each one gets smaller around). I hope to do some more sewing soon (I want to get to the fabric store to get some tulle cause I want to make a crinoline), but for now, I do enjoy knitting.

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I made a thing! Out of fabric! And it’s not a shark!

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It’s a new purse!

See, here’s the thing about purses. I love messenger bag-style purses. I love the flap for securing my belongings while easily allowing me to get in and out. I love the cross body strap so it stays in place and doesn’t fall off my shoulder. I love that it is wider than it is tall so I can find stuff relatively easily. I love messenger bags.

The purse I was using before this one is also a messenger style bag. It’s the one I got from the Rainbow Swap on Craftster after I was flaked on and had to have an angel. I adore that bag and I’ve used it for a couple of years–it’s sturdy and I love the side pockets. The problem with that bag is A, it’s just a tick too small and B, it’s a really casual bag so it doesn’t really work for occasions where I have to put on a pretty dress.

I have SCOURED thrift stores and regular stores and online, and it is absolutely impossible to find the exact purse I want as I see in my head. In my mind, it’s about 10″x12″6″, adjustable crossbody strap, flap closure, side pockets and inner pockets, and made of red leather.

That bag does not exist. It doesn’t exist for $20, it doesn’t exist for $200. It does not exist (not that I would pay $200, but still). Enter solution: I make my own damn bag.

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I love this one, but it’s still not exactly what I want. This is more formal, but still not right. Still, it was good practice and should I happen upon some cheap red leather (probably in the form of a thrift store skirt or jacket), I’ll be able to make the one I really want.

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For now though, this one is super cute and I love it. The outside fabric is an interesting gold/silver (depending on the light) brocade, which I picked up at a thrift store for about $2 for around 3 yards (hell yeah). The lining is two different brown cotton canvases, which I got at the thrift store for about $.50 each (around half a yard of each). I didn’t have enough of either fabric, but they go together well enough that I used both.

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I constructed the bag similarly to how I made tote bags, which means that it’s totally reversible and there are no exposed seams anywhere. The whole thing is top stitched (oh how I love top stitching), including the strap, which is a thing I don’t normally do but love how it looks here.

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So basically, I’m totally in love with my new bag. Now back to shark mittens.

Okay, so technically it’s late on Tuesday morning. Shhh.

Anyway, what I picked up at the Holiday Fair I went to on Saturday. Some yarn and some fabric and also a skirt (which I don’t have pictures of). Unplanned Peacock was there, and I splurged (really, since it was more expensive than I’ve ever spent on one skein of yarn) on some sock yarn in the delightfully phoenix-y color solar:

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I also picked up a lovely skein of sport weight alpaca for five bucks (I KNOW):

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And two silk bells weighing about 38g total, even though I’ve never spun silk before:

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And finally, at one of the tables selling fabric, there were two bins of free scraps of fabric. Some of them were really large pieces (like a yard), and I scored a couple:

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The brocade will probably be a corset (with several muslins). Not sure about the other ones though.

I received a couple more swap things this week! First, from leighi123:

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Two pretty zipper bags and some very pretty cotton fabric that will most likely become a skirt or summery dress. She also sent a sheet of shrink plastic, some pretty sparkly thread, and some chocolate (which I gave to my brother as I’m not a fan of dark chocolate). Yay! The bags are lovely and large and while I’m not really sure what I’ll put in them yet, I’m sure I’ll think of something. The thread will probably be used to ply handspun, maybe.

I also received from bkrenning4

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I like it a lot. It fits and it’s pretty and will be perfect for wearing over less-than-presentable pj’s. So win!

Recently in the mail I also got some yarn for some swaps, but more on that later. : )

Wednesday afternoon, I claimed ThatsWhatSheSaid in the Ongoing Wish Swap for a dpn/crochet hook case. Wednesday evening I sewed most of said case, and Friday morning (today) I sewed on buttons and packaged up that sucker for sending. Yes, I’m FAST. Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

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It’s a variation on the dpn roll I’ve made several times. I used thicker fabric (it’s almost like a canvas) and a layer of quilt batting so it would fold into a book-style (which is how she wanted it) instead of rolling up.

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I LOVE how this came out, and I’m considering making another for myself. I would make it a little taller next time to compensate for the thicker fabric (I seem to have underestimated my seam allowance just a little). I also absolutely love the fabric. It’s part of the bunch I got at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago (it’s like a half a yard of cotton canvas-ish fabric for under a dollar–75 cents, I think).

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I also sent ThatsWhatSheSaid some buttons from my stash too, but I didn’t take a picture of those.

I’m still working on the socks too. I finished one sock and am about a centimeter away from the heel turn on the second. I’m expecting a total of three packages sometime in the next couple of weeks: Two OWS packages and the Yarnie vs. Sewer swap.

So, yesterday I had to run some errands around Fredericksburg (return some library books, buy a frying pan, locate part of my sister’s birthday present), and I swung by a thrift store I had not previously been to. Not only did I locate what I needed for my sister (a small photo album I’m going to turn into a ticket album–more on that later), but I also scored big in the craft department:

First, I found this lovely tan shrug from The Limited I’m going to frog.

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Oh, why did I pick up this lovely little shrug?

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That’s right– wool, angora, and CASHMERE. This is totally going to become a cozy cowl (and other things). Oh, and how much did I pay for this beauty?

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BAM! A dollar, sucka!

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I also picked up this mostly-felted argyle sweater (made of Shetland wool, as the tag says) that was also a dollar. I’m going to felt it further and turn it into a bag that I’ll either keep or sell. We’ll see how it turns out. : )

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I also picked up ALL THIS FABRIC for under ten dollars. I KNOW. There’s a couple of fair sized pieces of canvas (I’d estimate about a quarter of a yard), some quarter-yard pieces of cotton fabric, and several yards of thin stretch knit that will probably become a dress at some point. There’s ALSO about a yard of the blue canvas-ish stuff, about a yard of veggie/garden fabric, and a couple yards of a pretty green sheerish fabric that will become a floaty summer skirt. And something else, cause there’s a fair amount. The best buy, in my opinion, was the two-ish yards of brown brocade-ish fabric. Not sure what I’ll do with that, but there’s enough for something substantial.

Yes. All of that for under ten bucks. I’m THRILLED. : )

So I had a couple of hours earlier this week that weren’t taken up by class or making up for a month of lost time with my friends and boyfriend. Instead of doing homework like I probably should have been doing, I spent some quality time with Leah, the Brother sewing machine I got for my birthday in December.

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I have a minor obsession with zipper clutch-type bags, so that is what I made. First was a bag I had cut out the for months ago but had not assembled:

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The fabric is cheapo fabric from Walmart that was originally a skirt I was going to make for myself (I had the panals cut out for literally six years). I decided that even if I were to make the skirt, it wouldn’t fit. So… I cut apart the panels and used them for other things. The lining is the same retired bedsheet that I use to line pretty much everything.

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I also wanted to do a more decorative bag, so I pulled out a cotton fat quarter and my trusty lining sheet as well as some ribbon and buttons and got this:

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I love the ribbon detail. I sewed it on first with the decorative stitch and managed to sew it on HELLA CROOKED. So I trimmed to try and even it out, but you can still see there’s a definite slant. Still pretty though.

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I’m amazed how even the top and bottom straight stitches are. I also love the buttons, which I sewed on using the button foot of the machine (a feature that I LOVE):

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Super cute. The first blue bag currently houses my sewing machine notions (spare feet and needles, pins, etc). The other is prettier, so I may end up using it for a clutch purse of some sort. In any case, I will definitely be making more of these, though I think I might have to get some more zippers.

Come up on blog: That sock. (I finally got more yarn and started the damn thing). Also, I’m in for another round of the Ongoing Wish Swap, so that’s happening. Also, progress on Girl Friday. I finished the back and fronts and will begin the sleeves once the sock and the OWS thing is done. Whoo.

So I claimed sunspotted for a Calorimetry, some hair things, and some scrapbook paper.

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Pattern: the ubiquitous Calorimetry
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool, Coffee
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm metal straights
Mods: CO 88, fewer short rows, closed up some of the holes.

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Here are the hair pins I made:

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They’re glued and sewn onto bobby pins and they were kind of a bitch to make, but they’re cute, I think. I had a hard time getting the bobby pins to stay in the glue straight. It was a learning experience, at least.

There were also a couple sheets of scrapbook paper, but you don’t need to see those.

Coming soon: A couple more swap things. Some knitting. And the dino mittens pattern!

Almost everywhere I go on campus, I need to have, at the very least, my ID card, phone, and keys. If I don’t want to bring my whole purse, it’s sometimes difficult to juggle everything (while not breaking my ID card or my Blackberry). I kept my ID and keys in a little wallet I got from my freshman orientation. It worked for all of last year, but this is what it looks like now:

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Yeah. The plastic is coming off, and I don’t want to risk my ID falling out and getting lost. Of course, being a crafter, I had to come up with some sort of fix to this. “Ah ha!” thought I. “I have fabric and a sewing machine! I shall sew myself a new card wallet!” And that is exactly what I did:

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It was a bit fiddly to put together, but I think it came out well. The pocket is some cheapo mystery blend from Walmart and the outside is from a cotton fat quarter, also from Walmart. The lining is the same old sheet I use to line everything I sew (basically). This not only holds my ID and my keys, but also my phone! Which means if I lose the pouch, I’m totally fucked, but regardless, it’s great to have everything together. : )

In case you’re wondering about knitting: I am doing it. I started a vest, which I’ll show you all in a bit. I’ve also been working on another surprise. : ) Stay tuned!

To avoid the above problem, I made this cute little project bag!

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Cute, huh? Just basic Walmart mystery fabric and a shoe lace (well, the lining is from a bed sheet), but I love how it came out! It’s small, so it’ll fit in my purse, but it’s large enough to fit a good size project. Maybe not a whole sweater, but it’ll at least hold my Featherweight-in-progress, which looks like this:

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It’s going to take forever, but I think it’ll be super cute. Unfortunately, it’s not the weather for light cardigans, so this will probably be an ongoing project. In the mean time, I’ve started a pair of knee-high wool socks out of worsted weight to wear in my rain boots (regular size socks always fall off my heels and my toes get cold). I’ve also been working on a surprise for you all, to be revealed in a couple of days (probably). Stay tuned!