Sunday, April 29, 2012

Epic Fail Upcycling Project - Pet Mat

Working with upcycled fabrics, that used to have a former life as something else is one of my favorite ways to sew. The challenge with this, of course, is that it doesn't always work out too well. A lot of the time, I sort of make up the "pattern" as I go along. One of the first "fabrics" I upcycled was a vintage rain coat that had seen better days. It was stained, but it was also this great striped fabric. I made a tote bag with it, and it was the first project I ever blogged about. Kind of like this...
Since then, I've made a bunch of projects using old slickers. I made a fabulous art smock for my daughter, and I made a great lunch bag for myself. With those under my belt, I had this idea to make our cat a "placemat". She's a super sloppy eater, and there's always water and food on the floor when she's done. I have one I bought at Ikea, but I wanted a cool one that I had made. I cut out what would be an applique of her footprints and got to work. And that's where my troubles began. For some reason this jacket had a funky finish on it. When I was trying to sew layers together they literally wouldn't go under the foot...they just STUCK to the plate. The zigzag just would not zig. Or zag. Not. good. Three broken needles and MUCH cursing later, this is as far as I got, and I gave up.
I may try again if I can find another coat without that sticky coating on it. I usually find them at Goodwill for around $5. If I decide to try again, I'll be sure to let you know. What I did manager to do was get half of my rails made for my "Off the Rail" quilt. It's a Jaybird Quilts pattern, and I am using an Anna Griffin "Carmen" fat quarter bundle I got at Sample Spree in Houston the year before last. I had been saving it for something special, and I'm glad I dug into it. It really looks great so far and it's super preppy with all the pink and green.
Last but not least, I ran my second 5k today. It was on flat ground this time. THANK GOD. It was only 3.1 miles (a real 5k) instead of 3.25 miles. And I have to say, I felt like I rocked it. My pace was 10:56, the best pace I've ever ran for the full 5k. And I have this awesome husband who comes to cheer me on and take pictures of me.
That's me to the left in the grey, just about to go over the line in under 34 minutes. Not bad for someone who thought they could never run.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Sewing Using Vintage Fabric

Happy Earth Day everyone! One of my favorite ways to be eco-conscious is to use something that's already around or re-use it. I love finding vintage fabrics at yard sales or Goodwill. This fabric came from an amazing estate sale I went to last year where I scored TONS of vintage fabric on the super cheap. My grandmother just re-did her kitchen, so I decided to make her some potholders from some of that fabric. Boy do I love me some orange!
I used the pattern from One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Haskins. It's the first project I've done out of this book, and I was pleased that the directions were good, and the writing complete and straightforward. I'm looking forward to making more from this book!
What are you doing for Earth Day?? Remember, Love Your Mother!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Upcycled Denim Sandbags - Photography Weights

These were an experiment. My husband is a photographer, and he uses those big light stands to maneuver the light around and make beautifully lit pictures. Unfortunately, the stands that these lights go on are very top heavy, and really need weights to keep them steady.

He asked if I could make him some sandbag weights that would go over the legs of the stands, and this is what we came up with (as a prototype). They are the legs from an old pair of jeans, sewn closed with a seam in the middle and two ziploc bags of sand in either side. I also put on a tiny strip for a handle so he could pick them up more easily.

They're not pretty yet, but they work great! The first one was a tiny bit too long and they touch the ground. So I made the second one shorter and the handle strap wider and I think we have a Yahtzee. We made them for the cost of a bag of play sand, $2-3, the legs from a pair of jeans that would have gone to Goodwill, and 4 ziploc bags ($0.25). Pretty good if I do say so myself.

The next set will have "neat" handles, and will have a zipper at either end. That way if we need or want to take out the sand, we can.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Napkins in my Etsy Shop

I finally got around to making a few more napkins for my Etsy shop. They work so well, they are absorbent, and they wash really well.

I have so many beautiful tablecloths in my stash that have seen better days. I really should sit down and make a whole bunch.