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So the other day I did a bunch of sewing. Like, a LOT of sewing. I think I mentioned a while ago that I was working on a t-shirt quilt with all the shirts I got at UMW. I set up my sewing machine and got to work. First I sewed the strips of squares into a finished top:

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Then I sewed the backing on, which is a sheet I got from the thrift. It was a challenge, considering the sheet was waaaaaaay bigger than the top (I used a King and a Full or Queen would have been more than sufficient):

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Finally, I top-stitched around the outside and in the ditch of all the squares (for which I had to refill my bobbin three times). And of course, hassled my brother into holding it for the picture:

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It’s a little wonky and a little puckery (sewing knits onto wovens is… difficult), but OH I love it. I made a t-shirt quilt a couple of years ago but didn’t bother to actually quilt it and it makes a huge difference. LOVE. I didn’t bother to include batting (didn’t have any), so it’s a pretty light blanket (basically two sheets), but I love it and it is great. : )

Incidentally, I just yesterday ran into a tut on a blog (I forget where exactly) about quilting without binding. Apparently some people were like, “This is a cool new thing!” and I’m like, “…I don’t like to sew binding.” So yeah. I guess I’m right on trend with my miles of top stitching. : )

I currently have a whole series of works-in-progress going, of various and sundry crafts. It’s summer and I’m unemployed, which means if I only stick to one stockinette-based project at a time, I’ll lose my damn mind.

Anyway, yeah. There’s the Box 96 pullover I’ve been working on:

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Finished the back and am working up the front.

There’s the aforementioned Ivy sockettes:

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A somewhat-secret project, which is a new design, which will hopefully be somewhat seasonally appropriate when it gets released:

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And some sewing projects. I believe I hinted about this project a couple of months ago:

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I took all the shirts (mostly free) I got from my years at UMW, cut squares from the graphics, and am in the process of sewing them into a t-shirt quilt. They’re sewn in columns currently, so I have to sew the columns together, but I picked up a large sheet at the thrift yesterday for a backing, so at this point it’s just a lot of sewing. I haven’t decided if I want to do an edge binding (probably not because JESUS that would take forever), but I’ll definitely be quilting and top stitching. Loooooots of top stitching.

Finally, there’s one last sewing project in the works:

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That there is a stack of delightfully soft felted cashmere squares cut from various thrifted sweaters. I need about one more sweater’s worth of squares and then I have to sew it all together. Not sure how I’m going to do that yet (overlap and zigzag stitch maybe?), but I know when it’s done, it’ll be ohhhhhhhh so soft and warm.

So that’s what’s in the works. I’ll probably finish the new design first but I might hold off on showing it off until the pattern’s done. What say you, readers? Do you prefer to see the FOs as I knit them and then the pattern updates or save everything for the pattern update?

So last night between marathoning SG1 and flexing my fingers from intense knitting, I whipped up a quick skirt.

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It started life as a large, light-weight men’s button-down. I chopped off the bottom under the sleeves, hemmed, gathered, and sewed in some elastic.

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The whole thing probably took me about an hour and I only had to sew the elastic in once. AND it’s small enough to fit around my waist and stretchy enough to fit around my hips (though it looks funny down that far). It also looks super cute as a tube top with a ribbon or something tied under the bust. Which I can do because for once, the outside top where the elastic is sewn in actually looks kind of neat instead of horribly messy and terrible.

Pretty sure I got the shirt at a thrift store for under a dollar and I used about a third a pack of elastic which was like $1.50. So hell yeah, diy, $1.50 skirt!

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m somewhat obsessed with poofy skirts. The 50’s silhouette is my favorite of the fashion decades, so I try to wear clothes that give me that pretty much as often as I can. I’ve made one circle skirt with many more planned, but to really give them poof, you need a crinoline. Which I finally made!

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I had an old skirt that had a couple of holes along the upper seam lines but the bottom was fine. It’s a little ratty cause the skirt is made out of the thinnest, cheapest material ever, but it’s very full and poofy. Perfect for lifting up my skirts!

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This dress usually lies much flatter without the underskirt.

I’m planning to make at least one more with some tulle I’ve had forever (when I get around to it). In the meantime, I’ll be wearing this one as often as possible, though I think I’ll have to handwash it as it’s quite delicate.

I’m pretty pleased with how this came out, even if I did have to sew the elastic in twice and then overlap it a few times to get it to actually fit. Fun fact: You can usually get away with a lot less elastic than you think you need. Especially this elastic, which I picked up at Joann’s, which is very stretchy.

No pictures of the elastic though cause my stitching is very haphazard and messy. So let’s just pretend it’s neat and pretty. : ) I’ll nearly always be wearing the skirt under other things anyway. To make up for that, here’s a kitty (my cat, whose name is Little Bit):

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She’s skittish and aloof, but she’s cute. : )

PS: Happy Independence Day if you’re in the US! (And happy Monday/Pride Week/belated Canada Day for everyone else.)

So my partner recieved my Whedon swap package the other day, and I have to say, I am EXTREMELY pleased with what I made. It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper swap cause I’ve been busy, but this swap was just the thing to flex my themed-crafting muscles. Plus I’m totally obsessed with the Whedonverse, so this was perfect!

In addition to the Willow doll I made that I showed you last week, I made two other things, both involving the same craft (plus another one). The first thing I made after Willow was a cross stitch:

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! Plus dinosaurs (which I just sort of made up as I went). I used a font generator (I used the Amsterdam font) for the quote pattern, and I have to say, I love the look of this font in cross stitch.

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I did some coloring in of the dinos with pastels as I did not want to fill them in with cross stitch (that would take FOREVER) and I didn’t want them to just be white. I think it came out pretty well.

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The last thing I made, which took me til Tuesday to figure out and til Wednesday night to finish making (and the swap deadline was Thursday) was a zipper pouch:

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With a cross stitched Kaylee from Shindig! I used this pattern for Kaylee and did the same pastel shading for her face cause I didn’t have white girl flesh-colored thread. Though I did pick some up at Michael’s the other day.

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The lining is just some polyester muslin-type stuff I pulled out of a thrift store curtain.

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I super love how this came out, cause guys? THIS IS LIKE QUILTING. I notoriously lack the patience for quilting because you need like, straight lines and corners and constant pressing. Who has time for that? I’d rather just crochet an afghan. But I managed to piece the front of this pouch together without too much trouble (and I did press everything often). I also actually used my zipper foot to install the zipper which made it approximately a billion times easier to do.

Still working on the giant man socks. I’m almost halfway up the leg. The end is in sight!

So if you read the post about the last purse I sewed, you’ll know I have A Thing for leather messenger bags. Which is to say I love them and my idea leather messenger bag is the unicorn of purses and does not actual exist in the world (much less for a price I’d be willing to pay).

Being the crafty sort, this of course means I have to make it myself. While my ideal purse is soft, supple red leather lined with a funky cotton print and an adjustable strap, the one I finished making yesterday is closer than I’ve gotten yet:

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I’m pretty pleased with this one. It’s very sturdy and sits up on its down (as opposed to the last one which just sort of… squished). The pink leather is from a swap claim and I got it with a bunch of other fabric samples. The lining is blue canvas, which I got at a thrift store. Which means the total cost for this purse was like… a dollar. Actually, it’s a little more because I broke like, three sewing machine needles in the process (at a couple of points, I had to sew over three or four layers of thick leather and Leah, my sewing machine (pronounced LEE-uh, like the girl’s name) was Not Having Any of That).

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I actually managed to plan ahead in some places, so there are pockets on the sides:

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It’s top stitched mostly all around, including the strap (which, despite the messy stitching on the blue side is actually really awesome), which I think looks really good cause I have a desperate love for top stitching.

There is one place where it is not top stitched though.

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I tried for like an hour and a half to sew the strap into this side. The thread kept breaking and I broke a couple of needles and the layers of fabric were too thick… it was a nightmare. And then I gave up and glued that sucker in there.

I used a really strong fabric glue called Fabri-Tack, which is machine washable (not that I would machine wash a leather bag but still) and will basically glue anything to anything forever. I mostly use it for felt because it doesn’t get absorbed like most glues do with felt, but it’s also amazingly strong. I’ve been yanking on the strap where it’s glued into the bag side and it isn’t budging. I suspect I’ll have to re-glue it eventually, but for now, I’ve thrown all my stuff in the bag and it seems to be holding up pretty well.

So: yay, new bag! I am also still working on the gigantic man socks (up to the heel turn!) and I should have some swap stuff soon. I finished and sent my Whedon package (and the one to me has been sent), plus I signed up for another round of Ongoing Wish Swap and made a claim. So yay! Swap!

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.

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.

My partner received the thread catcher I sent her, so today I can show it off!

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It’s a pretty simple design–little pouch, connected to a bean bag with plastic pellets in it to weigh it to the table. Lovely.

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I whipped up the main thread catcher in no time at all, but I had a hell of a time deciding how to decorate it. I’m very pleased with what I settled on though. Buttons and lace. ❤ I love how the buttons are all different.

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Yay.

So I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo for the month of November. NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, is a challenge to post on your blog every day for the month of November. So I’m going to try. I might have to do a couple of silly memes, and there might not always be pictures, but I’m going to try. Because why the hell not?

In other news, I have a swap thing to share today. I did a personal swap with craftsunderground/Maria for a sewing accessory. I received the pin cushion she made for me today:

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I think it’s super cool. : ) She asked me to pick from several themes, and I picked chess or champagne (clearly she went with the former). I love that it’s sort of heavy so it won’t fall over and there’s plenty of room for pins. Yay!

I finished the thing I made for her, but I haven’t sent it yet, so I’ll post about that after she receives. I also finished the Brambles hat I mentioned the other day. It’s currently blocking, but I should have pictures of that tomorrow.