Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Car Caddy

I finished up a Car Caddy via Homemade By Jill.  The little boy that I made it for loved it and was excited for his cars to have a street to drive down.  It was cute to see him actually play house with the it, using the parking spots as a place to take a nap.  His dad liked it too. It was a nice portable way to carry a few cars on trips.

I used some denim from a pair of shorts that I gave up on making.  The applique fabric was some leftover of something from over 10 years ago (which of course I forgot to take a picture of).  It was actually already cut into quilting squares, but since I don't quilt, it's a good supply of scraps.  I bought the felt, paint, piping and webbing at JoAnn's.  I love it when I get 30% off my total purchase, you really can't beat their coupons and convenience. They're everywhere!

The pattern was simple, but if I were to make it again, I would make the road a little wider. If I had more time, I would thrown his name on there, and maybe a building and a tree or two.  But simple is better (less time, more blank slate for imagination) and this project was relatively quick and successful!

Black Wiggle Skirt

I guess this thing isn't entirely a wiggle skirt, but its close enough.  I used the pattern from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  I must say, this is the first book I've bought that contained patterns and sewing techniques and it's great.  Plus, it's great to be able to look up in Gertie's blog for more explanations and pictures of things that weren't able to make it into the book. Like the boning on this waistband. It's the exact same skirt that she created in the book, which was perfect for me since that's what I was creating as well. I needed a simple black pencil skirt that I could wear to work as the other two I own are way too tight and short for that environment.

This material was a beast to cut and sew with due to its constant fraying.  The selvage mentions something about worsted polyester (no idea what that means), but its a material that I bought in Jamaica a couple years back and am just now getting to it.  I tried catching the side seams of the skirt material in bias tape, but the dang thing pulled completely off at the points when I got near the edge and just kept pulling.  I ended up pinking those seams and it seems to be holding up well enough, but I'm interested to see what's going to happen after I run it through the wash.

Material Selvage
Failed attempt to encase the seams

I went all out and boned and lined the thing and after a few headaches, it tuned out pretty good. After realizing that machine stitching wouldn't catch the whole waistband front, I hand stitched the lining into the waistband. It was surprisingly therapeutic. I also hand stitched the lining to the zipper, which involved hand acrobatics, but it looks neat and professional.  Here's a pic of the nice wide waistband.

I decided to forego the button and buttonhole. Partly because I was excited to wear it the next day and it was already past midnight, and partly because the fabric is a bit bulky and I didn't have a lot of space on the over flap due to a miscalculation so I used two hook and eye closures to keep the flap in place.

I think I'll do a nifty button and elastic loop in the future just to personalize it a little more.  And I added a ribbon to the lining to personalize it as well.  

And to finish the post off, here's a pic of me wearing the skirt!  I'm excited to play with the pattern again, I'll make the waistband a tad smaller next time, and I'm thinking about hemming this one a little above my knees, but all in all, it was a great first try!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


This is the blog where I will be documenting my craftiness, my green thumb and all around smartness.  My goal this year is to create more, to be a producer instead of a consumer so this will be one aspect of that.  I have a few sewing creations that I've completed over the past year or two so I'll catch you up on those later, just so you can see where I'm coming from.  But this year I will aim to create at least ONE thing per month, whether it be knitting, sewing, crafting, etc...

But what inspired me to come here (even though the actual blog was created almost a year ago, this is my first post), was a Dutch website that creates African Print cloth.  Let me start off by saying this, I support people looking at markets and deciding how to make their niche, however, I do wish that we could get a stronger presence of African companies selling African Print cloth.  I made a trip into NYC a month or so ago to buy cloth and although the store was bursting at the seams with cloth being sold by Indians,  the majority of the stuff there was manufactured by the Dutch.  This is a big market both inside and outside of the African Continent, and it'd be nice if someone on the continent could tap into that a lot better than what I see today.

That being said, I was directed to a website today that made me drool. It was love at first site.  One, because of the beautiful cloth.  Two, because of the great ways that they're using it and how they're inspiring me to use it.  Vlisco is the website and my goodness, they're expensive.  But I guess I shouldn't be surprised, "The Vlisco strategy is aimed at enabling well-to-do African women to experience the brand in all her facets..." I figure I'll buy some of this "ankara" fabric after I've gone through my stash and feel that my skillz are up to the expensive challenge.  Plus, I'll want to have a specific event in mind in which to wear the beautiful creation to.

So that's it for now.  I will continue to expand my crafty knowledge and I'll bring you all along for the ride.  Pics and such soon come!