Thursday, November 29, 2012

Much needed repairs!

It's been pretty chilly around here lately. Not super cold, but enough that you do want a jacket. However, my jacket looks like this:
No lining! I have a lovely winter coat my parents bought me for my 18th birthday, which is well made and has served me well. But last winter, the lining started to tear out along every single seam. The pockets tore, and stuff fell out. So I tore out all the lining. In typical Sophie fashion, I then didn't put a new lining in. I did cut out new pattern pieces, and I did sew some of them together, but then when May came around and I moved out of the dorm, my winter coat was put in a bag and forgotten.
See how crumpled the lining is? At least I was able to find it! I've been working on putting it into the coat since Wednesday, in small chunks when I have time.

At the moment, I have the lining all sewn together, and one pocket is all the way in and the other is halfway in. I am hoping to finish this up tomorrow, and then devote the weekend to two pursuits: writing final papers and going to G Street Fabrics for the DC sewing blogger meetup!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baby hat!

Readers, I must confess, I have not been sewing. I have been writing papers like there's no tomorrow. I have written one, have one mostly complete, and have two or three more to go. Then I have five finals, and then the semester will be over. Then maybe I will have more time to sew.

In the mean time, though, I did complete a little knitting project. One thing I love about knitting is how portable it is. I can knit without looking, and it's much easier to whip out a knitting project and knit a few rows while waiting in line (or at the doctor's, where I spent two entire hours on Monday!). I can hardly knit at all because of my joint problems, but occasionally I do still knit things.

Here is one of them!
 Nope, it's nothing fancy, just a little baby hat. It's made in a 2x2 rib so it will be nice and stretchy, but the fuzziness of the yarn means the pattern is totally lost. That's ok.
This picture, although blurry, gives a better idea of the color. It's black with many little specks of color all through it--nice and vibrant!

I spent hundreds of hours knitting these baby hats in high school, so now I can knit them without a pattern in a short amount of time. This one took two hours to knit, and many half an hour to weave in the ends. The weaving would have taken 10 minutes with a yarn needle, but I did it at school in between classes with a pencil!

This little hat will be given to my aunt who works in the mother/baby wing of a hospital to be given to some baby there. Apparently they are always on the lookout for hats that aren't pastel colors!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

M's birthday present

Here is a picture of M's completed birthday present:
 What is it? It's a running bracelet! It has her name, birthdate, and an emergency contact phone number embroidered on it. It velcros, so it's pretty adjustable. I made it out of leftover fabric from my Very Hungry Caterpillar skirt.
 As you can see, the embroidery doesn't show up very well against the bright pattern. As much as I love this fabric, I think it wasn't the best choice to embroider on to.
 Next time, I would also sew on the velcro at an earlier step of construction, so it doesn't show through the bracelet.

I think this was pretty successful, though, and it will hopefully keep M a little safer when she's out being a daredevil. Haha. (I did make sure to tell her this is not a license to be unsafe!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Well, you know,

One out of two isn't bad. Except I didn't even do the one over the weekend. I did it last night. *sigh* I have all this sewing mojo, but I have to constantly tamp it down to write papers!I have five or six papers left and then I will be done for the semester. Not counting my final exams, of course!

I do have pictures of my completed project, but here's the thing...this is a present, and I don't know if M reads my blog. So I will have to hold off on the pictures for a little while.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sewing To-Do List

I have two sewing goals for this weekend.

1. Finish M's birthday present for her 18th birthday which was, er, on the 12th.
2. Put the lining into my winter coat.

We shall see how much of this I accomplish. I also have several miles to run, several things to mail, and a show to see. (#crazypants at CUA--I hear it's pretty good!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hair clips for Aisha!

I made two hair clips and we are selling them to raise money for Aisha.

Here's one:
 And here's the other:
The orange one is made out of a zipper and can be worn zipped or unzipped. The rainbow one is Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric edged with bias tape. Both start at a bid of $2.

Both of these hair clips would make great stocking stuffers for some little girl in your life!

How does this work? Go click on the link of the clip (or clips!) you would like to buy. Comment on the post with your bid. If you win, you pay the money directly to Aisha, email me or Teresa the donation receipt, and I send you the clip. It really is that easy. (Here are the official rules if you like, as well as the main page of the auction.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The problem with this time of year... that I am sewing presents, so I can't post about them! No, really I actually do have another project, but I am lacking photographs of it. It's pretty fun, though!

The other problem is that as the semester winds down, the workload winds up. I have four weeks of school and seven papers left. And five exams. So work is pretty intense at the moment. In a few weeks things should be calmer, and then I can start with real Germany wardrobe planning.

In the meantime, since photoless posts are boring, I leave you with this rose.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Pattern!

I won a pattern in an online giveaway! Hooray! I rarely win these things, so I am super pleased. I am now the owner of the Minoru pattern Trumbelina was giving away.

Now, what fabric to use to make it? Hm.....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shopping with a plan!

No, not for Germany. That would be wayy too fast a turnaround. The comments have been super helpful--keep them coming! This is a post about craft store shopping. I will admit, I have issues with going to craft stores. I usually come back with a bunch of remnants that I don't need, but that only cost me one or two dollars. It's not so much the waste of money that bothers me, because my financial situation isn't that dire. It's the unneeded clutter and the mental energy that I spend on buying, storing, and using stuff I never needed and didn't even want until I saw it. So, on Saturday, when I went to JoAnn Fabrics to take advantage of their 25% off coupon, this is what I wrote on my list:
Yep, that's right, NO FABRIC. None at all. I have plenty of fabric, and I don't need to buy any more until I have sewed up some of what I do have. I am on a quest to simplify, organize, and declutter!

I did not even look at any fabric. I walked right past the remnant bin without even glancing at it, even though it was overflowing. I bought the necessities I needed, which were pins, thread, needles, and the like, and got out of there. The only thing I bought that wasn't on my list when I walked in was a curved ruler, because I hadn't thought to buy it that trip. But I did have a plan to buy one in the near future, so I decided that I should buy it while it was 25% off, especially given how far away the craft store is from my house.

I spent more than I intended to (about $55), but that's because I underestimated the cost of glue sticks for the glue gun and good quality pins. Oh well. I shouldn't need to go back to a craft store for several months.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wardrobe design

I'm not entirely sure who reads this blog. Probably about 50% of my hits come from family or friends. But for those who don't know me in real life, I'm going to be spending the Spring semester abroad, in Germany. BUT! I'll be going on the German semester, which means I'll be gone from February to July. And, due to the fact that I am flying on a cheap student ticket, I get to check one bag.

This means I need a very focused wardrobe. It also needs to be very varied, because this is the Freiburg temperature map:
(Image source:

In other words, I need to be prepared to dress for temperatures in between 29 and 78, with the possibility of it getting cooler or warmer. Yikes. I don't like extreme temperatures, and both of those ranges sound unpleasant to wimpy me!

So, here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

1. Skirts are more versatile than pants, because they can be worn with tights in cold weather and without in warm weather.
2. Skirts and tops are more versatile than dresses, because with two dresses you have two outfits and with two shirts and two skirts you have four outfits.
3. I should have at least one pair of shoes that I can do *lots* of walking in.
4. I should have a pair of warm boots, which I can do *lots* of walking in. So I guess really I need two pairs of shoes I can walk in, since I won't be wearing winter boots in the summer.
5. I probably need at least a week's worth of outfits, but do I need more? If I do laundry every Saturday, I could theoretically repeat the same clothes every week for six months. Theoretically. That would be pretty boring!
6. I should probably limit my clothes in terms of colors, so pick one neutral color to be my neutral colors for the semester. Then I won't have to bring as many shoes, for example.

Has anyone else done anything like this? Does anyone have any advice? I don't want to be too spartan, but I also am starting to worry about packing, and if I decide to sew a bunch of things I want to know sooner rather than later!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween apron!

In the costume shop, we had a Halloween apron contest. We had to pick a Halloween movie, and then design and sew an apron based on it. The contest was a Project Runway type contest. We had to pick a main fabric, a crazy fabric, a trim, and a plastic bag. Then halfway through our two hours, we were handed a random strange fabric and told we had to incorporate it.

I was at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of design, because I have never seen a Halloween movie. Ever. But luckily, one of the kids in my three person team had a really good eye for design. I am really pleased with how our apron turned out. Here is the only picture I have of it:
We took our inspiration from the character Sally, who is apparently some sort of stitched together zombie or something. We also made the neckline imitate the hill that is apparently important.

The purple was our main fabric, and the green and blue were our crazy fabrics (we were allowed to use two; we asked). The trim is the orange neck strap, and the plastic bag was made into that brown bow that laces through the eyelets.

That bunny fabric gave us issues. It was our random fabric that they added halfway through, and it did not fit with our aesthetic AT ALL. So we just decided to own it. It doesn't show up in the picture, but we Xed out its eyes.

We won first place in the competition! I was thrilled.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Detour to fundraising

So, it's November 2nd, which means that the Reece's Rainbow fundraiser has started. My twin sister is fundraising for a child who goes by the name of Aisha. (Her real name is masked for privacy reasons.) The goal is to raise $1000 between now and the end of the year.

I am going to be sewing some things to sell to raise more money for her, but in the mean time, would you consider making a small donation? Even $5 would help Teresa reach her goal!

You can find various ways to donate, which range from buying things like fun noodles to making a simple donation of cold hard cash, at Teresa's blog. (If you donate $35, you get a Christmas tree ornament!)

I promise I won't bother you with more straight-out begging for money. But I do plan to post pictures of the things I sew, and those might come with a reminder of why I'm making them. ;)