Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finished: Oversized Bow that I have No Idea What to do With

Maybe not noticeable to anyone else, but I hate it.
So after I made my purse, I was a little distraught over the small white line where the thread was somehow exposed. I looked, but couldn't figure out how I managed to get one side right and the other wrong. So even though it's not really noticeable to anyone but me, I thought I would makes something to try and hide it. And what would be better than a bow, am I right?

In my head, I envisioned this cute little delicate bow that I could pin to my purse when I needed it and take off when I didn't. Instead, I got a massive oversized bow that's almost the same size as the purse.

It doesn't look bad pinned on the side, though you lose the pleating details.

The original post had it as a headband bow thing, but I'm not sure I can pull it off.

It certainly doesn't go across the back of the dress like I imagined.

Maybe I could add it as a detail to an outfit? ...Some outfit that maybe I haven't created yet?

Maybe a belt?
Maybe I could add to the back of something?
The boyfriend likes it best on my head. What are your thoughts? I think I like it on my backside the best. Now... I just have to figure out with what!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Finished (Kind of): Buttercup Bag

I've never been into purses. Growing up, I saw them as being difficult, not only because you had to carry them because girls can't carry wallets (or maybe my jeans were too tight?), but there was all the added pressure of making sure it looked good so you could fit in. Not that you could ever truly fit in when you're a teenager, but everyone wants to at least stress out about it and try, right?

Anyway, in college, I was left out because everyone started carrying designer bags. The affordable ones were SO UGLY and the ones I adored, were of course, way out of price range. But because I really wanted one, I ended getting a Coach bag as a gift for Christmas (thanks, ex-boyfriend's mom!). I carried it everywhere. I actually still have it and it held up pretty well. So maybe it is worth the money?

I was planning on a nice photoshoot
in the park, but it's been cold and rainy.
Forgive my appearance.
Anyway, it didn't work ALL the time because it was brown and purple and I needed something black as well! So I used up a gift card and bought a cheap-ish purse on Amazon. It served me well until I finally decided to toss it. I don't mind things falling apart, but this purse just looked so sad. Conveniently, a friend just gave me a Kate Spade purse to replace it.

Which is what I'm currently carrying until it disintegrates. But for some reason, I want to branch out and carry something else. It sucks only have 2 options. I like the bright red color of the Kate Spade bag, but sometimes I don't like carrying such an expensive purse. Or one that's that large.

I saw this purse on Pinterest, and I was immediately intrigued. Perhaps with my newly developed sewing skills I could make a purse? Plus, the pattern was free, so how could I go wrong? (Ha!)

It said it only used a fat quarter. At the time, I wasn't aware that was a proper sewing term, so I bought half a yard. I'd rather be prepared, just in case. Plus, I'm pretty sure I'm going to use all my scraps for SOMETHING. Just have to figure out what.

Anyway, as I was cutting and tracing, I had a revelation.

My fabric was muslin, and I couldn't use it. I was so upset because it's this bright green/blue color and I had visions of running around in the park with it. Regardless, I figured it would be good practice anyway, so I continued to make the bag, just very sloppily. When my matching thread ran out, I just used white. I didn't care that one of the handles' stitching was visible, or that the decoration flap wasn't finished, had holes, and just flapped back and forth. I was pretty proud of my first effort at a handbag.

Even though I sewed the other side of the strap to the seam allowance, somehow this side was wrong. And I couldn't figure out how to fix it! I was going to add a bow or something to hide it, but that didn't work at all.
My sad decorative flap. I thought about fixing it. Or maybe making it a little smaller, with better edges, and perhaps with some buttons, but then I just decided to remove it.
Then I had a friend over for dinner, and she looked perplexed when I explained my actions, and said, "This isn't muslin. Muslin isn't usually a color, anyway." Curses. Another friend confirmed.

So I went back and added some lining. I could have taken it apart and done it properly. But who's going to examine the inside of my purse, but me? So it looks a little nasty. I did try to take some silk and go around the exposed edges at the top, but that didn't really work.

A quick peek inside reveals some nice lining. (Also looks a little dirty, no?)

A closer look reveals my laziness. Sure, I could have taken it apart and added the lining properly when I found out it wasn't muslin, but where's the fun in that?
But generally, from the outside, it looks very cute, and it fit my wallet, book, and keys, so I don't really care.

However, when I carried it for the first time, it had some issues. The handles started to come loose and the zipper looked like it was also ready to jump ship. Luckily, it's an easy fix. I just wonder if there's a way to avoid that in the future?
One handle coming off.

Two handles coming off.
Something strange is happening with the zip. I blame my machine.  More on that later.
All in all, this was a pretty successful first purse, I'd say. Clearly I have some more work to do, but remember, I cut corners on this because I thought I would just throw it away. I can sew better this. I promise!

I REALLY want to get some heavy duty gorgeous fabric and make it into a fancy purse, but that will come in time. As for now, I'm happy to carry it around like this. Seems perfect for summer!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Today was supposed to be a day of relaxing and picnicking and unveiling my latest dress and purse and announcing my next projects. None of that happened.

Waiting for the bf.
I was supposed to finish my dress last night, but I ended up having to work instead. It looks really nice and it's almost done, but somehow my calculations were off and I need to take off about an inch or so where the zipper is. I was going to do it this morning before the picnic, but then my boyfriend got a call to run into town to pick up something and I got a call to run over to my apartment to handle some business.

Try not to be blinded by my pale skin.
My business ended up being pushed so I joined my boyfriend in town. I can't even unveil my purse because it didn't match the dress I ended up wearing! (I know, I have so many real problems.)

In other news, I'm starting to look for other projects, and I think I've decided a full dress, maybe something like this?

I also joined the Pajama Party Sew-Along, but I'm not sure I'm going to finish by the 28th of April. It seems easy enough, and I DEFINITELY need to make a new pair of lounge pants, but I'm not sure I'll have the time. Hopefully!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dinosaur Terrariums for Everyone!

Back in January, I became obsessed with terrariums. I have no idea why. (Though this article certainly helped!) I've always liked plants and flowers, but they all died very shortly after I acquired them. Unless I gave them away, in which case they would come back to life and thrive under a different owner.

And don't think it was my fault! I remembered to water them. I remembered to give them sun. I didn't buy tropical plants that couldn't survive in my environment. I even tried buying cacti, but they would die by hollowing it out and just... blowing over. Seriously. I was very smart about it, but nothing seemed to help except giving them away.

This year, I've decided that I'm going to try again at growing things. I've got a small herb garden growing (that almost died a few days ago, but I managed to revive it!), a bonsai tree, and 2 terrariums. I started with terrariums because they seemed easier, almost non-killable.

I'm here to report that that isn't the case. They can die. I made one terrarium, and it had some issues. One of the two plants in there died. My boyfriend, who is very supportive, told me that any time I uproot a plant, there's a good chance it'll die. So. Not my fault. And the the other one survived anyway!

The plants on the right clearly had some issues with being uprooted. But that's okay. It just looks like a before and after for the dinosaurs. Poor guys.
I was encouraged enough (and had enough left over supplies) to make a second one, and I'm happy to report that it's really thriving.

They're simple enough to make. You'll need supplies: rocks or gravel, moss or charcoal, soil, plant(s), and a container. Optional: figurines!

Most of these things can be found at a flower shop, and the rest can be found at a dollar store. I went into one flower store on my block, and they were selling terrariums for $45+ but NOT the supplies to make them. I checked out the other flower store another block away, and the guy had the perfect plants ($7 total) as well as moss that he gave me for free. I grabbed rocks at Duane Reade, and the containers and figurines at the dollar store. I had soil leftover. I think I spent $14 total for both.

To assemble: Rocks/gravel make up the bottom layer, followed by a thin layer of moss/charcoal. After that, you careful situate your plants and add additional soil if necessary. Then you add your figurines, water slightly, and cover with a lid. And voila! Your very own little ecosystem that you never really have to worry about.

 Unless the sides get a little moist. Then you need to take the lid off so some air can evaporate. If you see signs of distress, like mold or disease, you need to remove it immediately because it can make your whole terrarium sick and cause it to die. And NEVER put it in a window because the sunlight will kill them. Something about the glass and lid and all. Just don't do it. I've left mine on the kitchen table which gets minimal sunlight and they've thrived. I'm so happy with them! And even though one of the plants died in the first one, the second plant is still fine! Woohoo!