If at first you don’t succeed

The last sewing project I did was the case for my earbuds, and its epic failure left me frustrated. I kept thinking about where I went wrong, and how I could fix it. I didn’t have another zipper to make the exact case again, so I pulled out my composition book and designed a new one. I recently got a bag of snaps, and a snap tool for an upcoming project for a friend, and wanted to try it out first. I sketched out a small envelope style case that would have a snap closure, and really liked the idea. So, I grabbed some fabric and got to work, determined to make up for my lack of success last time. Try, Try again right?

 

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I opted to make a pattern of sorts instead of just measuring out things with a ruler. My big oops here, was again, Somehow I forgot to double check my measurements before I cut the fabric, and where I had initially wanted the fabric to be 6″ by 4″, I drew something by eye, and got excited when the size looked right. It was’t until I had already cut everything that I realized it looked small for some reason. Now, like I had said before, ” do it right, don’t take a shortcut”. I didn’t want to waste the fabric I had just cut, and I figured that if it was going to be too small I would need to cut more fabric anyway, I should sew this one and make sure that my fabrication was correct. So, I went to town.

 

I initially sewed the front and back together using the “right sides together, then turn and hand sew shut” method. But once I tried to put the two pieces together, I realized that there would be no way to have a finished edge this way. So I ripped out 3 of the sides, making note of the ones side that would need to remain finished. I then sewed them together again, added the detail to the edge, and applied the snap.

 

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I don’t think I can properly iterate how totally thrilled I am with how this project came out. Not only did it end up being the perfect fit for my headphones, but its the first thing that I have made that looks pretty polished. I think its really cute, and cant wait to make another one like this for my business cards.

 

My biggest tips that I attribute to my success here?

 

  1. The “pattern”  – This made sure that the pieces I cut out were identical.
  2. Ironing my seams – I’m always so afraid I’m going to burn my fingers doing this, but I ironed all my seams open on this one, and I can really see where that helped to give it the polised feel.
  3. Patience – I really took my time. It was pretty much all straight seams, but I went nice and slow.

 

 

Also, my sewing buddy, Kora. She helped bunches too.

 

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Thanks for stopping by! Check back again soon!

 

A

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Pinterest Fail Number 1

So, sometimes great things come out of the lovely Pinterest. Other times, we get some not so great things. I am completely addicted to the site, and have boards upon boards filled with grand images for inspiration and future projects. So far, I have had fairly good luck with my results. That was until this little pouch came around.

 

I have been going back to this project for some time now, and with my new treadmill routine, I had the need for a nice pair of earbuds. So I though this was the perfect opportunity to make this particular little project happen.  I poured over the “instructions” if you could call them that. ( it was just a series of images…) and told myself that it wouldn’t be that difficult. I had some coordinating scrap fabric lying around, and just took a zipper out of a skirt, so its not like the project would cost anything out of pocket. I threw my caution to the wind, and dove right in.

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Here’s what I used! Some scrap interfacing and fabric and an old zipper. I started by tracing a circle form the ribbon to make sure they were uniform. I then cut out said circles., and cut one set of circles in half. I used what was left of the bottom fabric and cut a small tab out and sewed it together.20160318_130100

 

I used the safety pin trick of this one to turn it right side out again. It gave me a little trouble, but nothing a little finagling wouldn’t fix. I folded it in half, and sewed it together again, and tada! One completed tab.

 

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So, now for the body. The pictures made it look like you just layered them on top of each other, ( right sides together) put it on the zipper, and sewed. So I did just that.

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This is where I should have taken my first queue that something was amiss. The fabric and the interfacing didn’t line up right. I was excited with how things were coming a long, and  more nervous that this was the first time I had sewn anything with a zipper to pay it much mind. So, I sewed one side, the flipped it and did the same to the other. In hindsight, I don’t think I should have sewn the blue fabric, which would be the inside on at this point. It left a big bunch of fabric on the inside, that wasn’t exactly pretty. I think sewing the blue on separately may have hidden that part. Anyway. It didn’t look half bad  from this point. I placed the little tab, making sure the zipper pull was inside where I was going to be sewing.

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Again, I should have been paying attention to how the fabric wasn’t lining up, but I didn’t. So, at this point I put the back pieces together, ( right sides together!) and sewed the whole thing shut. Well… Tried to. This is where things went south FAST. The fabric slid a little and I ended up missing an entire portion of the fabric. Instead of taking out what I had just sewn, I just sewed a new line to get what I missed. Well,  as you can now see, its not so much a circle anymore, but more of an oval. I was OK with this ( or so I thought) and proceeded to cut off all the excess stuff.

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I then spent the next twenty minutes trying to turn the thing right-side out. The zipper could not be pressed downward, and I learned at that point, that there are such things as “locking zippers’. TIL.

I FINALLY managed to use a tool to pull the zipper down enough for me to get my fingers inside to turn it. My gut hit the floor. It was SO SMALL!  I figured that the earbuds were small, and compact, It would be fiiiiiiiiiine…. right?

 

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Nope. They didn’t fit. Not even a little bit. Sure i might be able to smash them all together and get it zipped, but that was the fast track to ruining the new earbuds i just got. So, I hung my head for a minute and tried to figure out where I went wrong. It then dawned on me, that I had never measured the headphones at all. So, here’s what went wrong.

 

  1. Measure the thing you want to put in the pouch.
  2. Measure the fabric
  3. account for seam allowance
  4. Remeasure everything
  5. Measure once more just in case
  6. if it doesn’t line up the first time, the sewing machine isn’t going to magically fix your mistake.
  7. Slippery fabric can require a different foot
  8. Don’t take the shortcut, take out your mistake, and redo it.

But in the end, I was happy with what I had done. Sure its to small for anything but a coin purse for a small child at this point. but I’, confident that when I make it again, I will have a much better product at the end. All of these things are lessons learned, and being a total sewing novice, these are all things I will have to experience to learn from.

 

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So, I’ll chalk this one up as a Pinterest Fail. I’m sure there will be many many more in the future. But there will also be some pretty awesome wins to come out of that stack as well.  Let me know about any Pinterest Fail you have encountered, or one of your best lessons learned from a project below! I’d love to hear!

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Unfinished Business

Over the past week, My husband and I got to celebrate our one year anniversary! It was wonderful. I got all dressed up and we went out to a spectacular dinner. Its so weird how it feel likes we have been together for a lifetime, yet its feels like we just got married yesterday. I’m so fortunate to be able to share this life with him.

 

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I have also had a pile of unfinished business in my office, that I have moved around several times , telling myself that I would get to it “next” week. well “next” week has been going on for almost 4 months now. I figured that it was high time I did something about it before the pile got any larger.  So, first on the list was a character painting I was supposed to be working on for an online craft exchange. I had had the outline drawn and inked for a week or so, but was dreading trying to put color to it. I figured that this was a good of a place as any to start. So, I got out all the different paints I had, and made some copies of the sketch, put on some great music, and got to work. The first one I did was in watercolors. I’m still a total noob with watercolors, and I tent to try to make them solid like an acrylic. The end result was on the right in the image below. It was OK, but not really what I was looking for. I didn’t like him sitting on a stark white background, so I tried the watercolors again, trying to keep them true to their medium on a background. That one is the one on the left.

 

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I let these sit out for a day or two, telling myself that done was better than perfect. I was going to cut the one on the right out, and place it on the left. I still had a few copies of the picture left, and decided to give it one more go. I had some acrylic paints out and thought that the contrast of the watercolor background and the solidity of the acrylic might be a cool look. So, I sat down early one morning, fully intent to paint for an hour or so. Well, 6 hours later, I look up from a finished picture and marvel at where the day went. But that led me to this, and I will say, for a total novice, I’m pretty happy with the result!

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Next up on my unfinished pile was a cross stitch that I had given my husband for his birthday. I totally underestimated how long it would take me to do, so I had to give him a work in progress… back in November. So it was WAY past due that I knock this one out. As it would happen, I do my best stitching while on the couch and a good show on Netflix. Well… we had some catching up to do on shows, since Season 4 of House of Cards, and Season 2 of Daredevil have been out of Netflix. So it was time for a bingeflix marathon! It was great. Its totally lazy, but I love just sitting on the couch with my husband, surrounded by sleeping pets, with a fun project in hand. Both shows were excellent too.  They both just came out, and I already cant wait for the next installments!

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So here it is! Finished and framed! My husband works in the technology field, and had established quite the Lord Vader persona at work, which his staff  fully embraces. So this little guy will go with him to work. I made the pattern myself, and am really happy with the end result.

 

I also made some time for a fun sewing project! It was a Pinterest find, and was very easy to make. Although the end result was… well… I’ll explain in the next post.

 

Till then!

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It all started with the rocks…

I have always been a collector of things .  I remember being very little and collecting rocks from everywhere we went. In fact, there was a family trip to the Grand Canyon, and I must have only been 4 or 5. But I remember pick up so many rocks I filled my pockets, then my cousins pockets. So much so that we couldn’t walk without our pants falling to our ankles. My mother was worried about why we were falling so far behind, until she saw all the rocks. She laughed and laughed, but ultimately made us empty or pockets. Its odd to think that out of all the majesty the Grand Canyon had to offer, all I can remember are those silly rocks in my pockets.

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Nowadays I can identify that I have a tendency to collect  a dangerously large amount of things. I like to have them out and to look at them. I attach memories to them and they make me smile. I cant seem to limit myself to just one genre either. I have a bunch of retro video games and systems, Star Wars T-shirts,  books and comics, Vintage jewelry, and art nouveau sterling serving dishes to name a few. As of recently though, I have been rather obsessed with action figures. With the relaunch of Sailor Moon last year, the amount of new merchandise has shot through the roof. A very dear friend of mine bought me the Bandai Tamashii Nations Sailor Moon S.H. Figurearts Action Figure. She was highly detailed, and was fully poseable with different hands and faces. I thought this was the bees knees. I promptly ordered a few more, and my dive into action figures was complete. Since Sailor Moon is so near and dear to my heart, I will usually lean towards those first, but I have also since gotten a Card Captor Sakura Figurearts, and was just as happy. I also have a love for Asuna from Sword Art Online. I think she had a really awesome character design, and liked her character as a whole, so I have a few figures of her as well.

 

 

 

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This is one of the shelves in my office. I absolutely adore the Kallax/Expedit shelves from Ikea. We may or may not own at least three of them. As you can see, its really busy. This bad boy houses a few of the things that I have carried with me since I was young, and doubt I will ever get rid of, and some newer additions as well. It is a royal pain to clean and dust, but I would much rather deal with that then to just keep everything in a box somewhere. Some of my favorite things on here are my Yuna figure, the Gold Zelda cartridge, the moogle mug, and the lightsaber hilt that my father and I built together. If you have any questions about anything, or want to see more, let me know!

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This weekend is going to be a busy one for us. We are meeting a friend and her family for lunch, then delving into some long overdue home repair projects. I also started a new sewing project that I cant wait to share the details about!

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That, and there will always be some time for some Pokemon!

One last thought, Did you know Pandora has a station dedicated to video game music? I stumbled on it today, and must say it shows some amazing promise. With a little tweaking for likes and dislikes here and there it makes the absolute PERFECT background music if you don’t want to be distracted.  Check it out!

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Reorginizing

This last week has been filled with reorganizing. Reorganizing priorities, reorganizing my office, and reorganizing my newly acquired and ever growing  stash of fabric!

As I mentioned in the last post, I have been really trying to focus on becoming more active through the Couch to 5K program. This has been week 2, and its been going really well! I have just been repeating the week 1 Day 1 workout to really get more comfortable with the new activity level, but as of Thursday, I moved to Day 2 with no difficulty. I am so proud of my progress, no matter how small. I’m starting to feel better, and although I’m completely exhausted after my workouts, its a happy fulfilled exhausted.

I’m working on a sewing project for a friend, and needed to go visit  the fabric store to look for some Terry cloth ( which doesn’t currently exist in any color besides pastels) and I always have to go check the remnant bin. At my store, everything in the remnant bin is 50% off. For me, this is great. Most things are under a yard, and I can get some really great deals on more expensive fabric, that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford. For now, I will primarily stick to anything cotton, and man oh man did I find a ton of really beautiful stuff! My Mother always told me to prewash my fabric, and iron it before i put it away, and that has always stuck with me. I don’t mind ironing so much, but dealing with the flyaway threads can be a pain. So without further ado, here she is! My ever growing stash!

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I really get inspired by fun prints. I try to grab coordinating solids when I can, but the prints are really where I have the most fun. I got really lucky this last run and was able to grab most of this form one trip.

 

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This green one is one of my new favorites. I love the color and the little feathers! There were 2 yards left, but at $4 a yard, it was on the top end of my fabric budget, especially if I wanted to get all the others I had picked out. I opted to only get a single yard, and really wish I would have just bought what was left. That’s the only bad thing about shopping the clearance stuff. Often times, if you don’t buy it now, it wont be there when you go back for it.

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These three I thought went together really well! I have them set together in hopes Iucan find one more patterned fabric that would go well with it. I think I wan tto turn this into a quilt.

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This was everything after it was ironed and color sorted. I’m still not sure if I want to separate it all just by color, or by prints in one pile, and solids in another. How do you separate your fabrics? I would love suggestions!

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Last but not least, was my nerdy find of the month.

 

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I knew they had lots of licensed character prints, but i had NO idea they made Zelda fabric!!! When I saw that little Triforce peaking out from the remnant bin, I’m pretty sure I audibly squealed. Then the fabric on the left was just being cut, and I was bale to snag it too. I think they go well together. I’m not sure what I will do with them, but something awesome will come from it, I’m sure!

My wonderful husband is thrilled that I have taken such a love of sewing. He is so supportive in everything I do, and likes to help when he can. He found this great stand to organize my thread on. It sits on the corner of my sewing table, and is a happy little reminder of fun projects to come.

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Now that its March, I got to wrap up my first month of Lara Casey’s Powersheets, and start the next month’s for March. It was such a propelling experience sitting down and evaluating my goals and priorities. I have made real, measurable progress in the things I set out to do. Which for me is fantastic! Normally I will dive into something for a week or so, then let it fall by the wayside for months.  The Powersheets have been the key to my success, I’m sure of it. I really look forward to continuing with them , and watching myself grow.

 

Do you have a goal that you want to accomplish for March? How do you plan to work towards it? Comment below!

 

As always, thanks for stopping by! I’m thinking I might share some of the fun things I like to collect for the next update. We’ll see! Till next time!

 

A

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