Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ring around the Roses

I have a handful of unfinished projects in my pile of fabric. More are back at home, many more. I brought two with me. Both I was able to finish over my spring break! This here is the first unfinished project I dealt with.

This bag has been finished, save for the handles since the summer of 2005. Yes, it’s taken me six years to finish this sucker. Should it have? NO! I’m not sure why I put something so simple as making handles off for so long, but I did. I even used up some scrap fabric I’ve had.

I don’t think finishing this up took more than an hour, if that. It was one of my goals on Sunday after making the scrubbers to complete this piece. I’m currently looking for an excuse to use it, but biking to classes certainly puts a damper on carrying something like this.

When I do another bag like this, I’m going to do a few things differently. Such as how I finished the top seams. I initially folded both sides over and sewed them together back in 2005. That made sewing the outer fabric and the lining together a bit difficult around the seams. Now I realize I should have just sewed the sides together, then hemmed the top. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Attack of the Orange Puffs

On Sunday I headed to Jo Ann Fabrics to purchase some fabric. Now, don’t be giving me that look! I only bought half a yard of fabric! And I SWEAR I’m not going to be wearing the items any time soon!!!

I made more dish scrubbers. The one my roommate and I were using had seen its better days and there was only one more left. I was forced to buy more fabric so I could make these suckers before I forgot about them.

I’d love to say I was good and only bought the bright orange fabric, alas, I wasn’t. There were a few more items purchased: buttons and batting. See, no new fabric! I was tempted though, so tempted. I need the buttons to finish up another two projects and I’ve got a project in mind for the batting as well.

My roommate had only one request for the color of netting I bought, no white, it would show the dirt. So bright orange I went with! I’m sadly excited to be using these to wash dishes. My roommate turned one of the small scrubbers into a hair accessory. Apparently, these suckers have a duel purpose!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scraps to Squares

I swear I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth again! My parents were in town visiting and then I went on a sewing marathon. I was a bit preoccupied to write.

After my parents headed back home I whipped out a pile of fabric I had that was too small for me to make a garment out of, yet too large for me to bear to part with. These scraps are all from a garment or project I’ve had over the years since I started sewing. I really do have a problem getting rid of fabric....

Above is the pile I started out with, I weeded out some of the teal and heart fabric as they could possibly be turned into something besides quilt squares.

After eight hours of cutting fabric, I reduced the pile significantly. And yes, you read that right, eight hours of cutting fabric into 2 inch by 2 inch squares. Don’t worry, I still have my sanity (what little I posses) and all seve- I mean ten of my fingers... I unfortunately don’t have my cutting boards down in Savannah with me, so I had to cut all of the fabric with scissors. It would have been so much easier to do this with my rotary cutter.

This is then what I ended up with! Many, many 2 by 2 inch squares! I've been working on sewing blocks together, but those are slow going and I'm still trying to work my way through other fabric I have from my stash.

Also, classes started today. My first one was at 8 in the morning, half an hour away by bike, in a building I’d never been in before. Finding my class was an adventure filled with near death experiences and bird poo. I’ll see what excitement tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rocking Blue

Ages ago, before I moved down to Georgia I spotted this lovely blue fabric on clearance at the local JoAnn Fabric's. Not wasting any time to even think about what I would be making this into, I snatched it right up. I then quickly decided I was going to make a skirt out of it.

I believe it took me at least four months to transform the blue fabric into this:
For a fabric that caught my eye so quickly I sure took a long time to get it in use. I didn't use a pattern for it. I just cut a waistband, applied interfacing (although not enough), gathered, basted, and sewed. The fabric came with the white detailing at the bottom. I'm not patient enough to that amount of detail quite yet. Maybe after I find someone to write my grad school essay, but until them I will remain lazy in the amazing detailing department.

Oh, please pardon the slight mess behind me. Since I'm going through all the fabric I have with me trying to figure out what to sew I've made a bit of a mess. I'm also going through a bit of yarn as well, making an even bigger mess.

I love this skirt! I did not wear skirts often before last year. I'm not sure what my aversion to them was. Oh, wait, probably the Catholic school uniforms I had to wear for 12 years. I had forgotten about that...
Traumatic schooling aside, I really like this skirt and I've actually worn it. Georgia weather permitted this a few weeks ago. I realized I had to take in the waistband because the skirt rests in an area where I have some curves. That small flaw was quickly fixed and I cannot wait to wear this skirt again!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blooming Flowers

Day one of stash busting has led to a pair of bloomers. I've had this fabric for a while and had been wondering what exactly to do with it. I originally purchased two and a half yards for a dress. The dress left about 3/4 a yard left over, which amounted to this.

The pattern I found was at Colette Patterns, the Madeline Mini Bloomers, a free pattern download. As a poor graduate student I'm all about getting things on the cheap, free is just frosting on the cake! I can print for free at the grad school labs, so I have taken advantage of that. Most of the patterns I have found this year have been printed out thanks to the grad school printers.

This pattern was easy to use and the instructions were very clear. Yes, I actually followed the instructions, this time. I normally just glance over the instructions once, deem them useless and go to town. I used the pattern for the waist band, as I'd never done anything with double elastic as this one calls for.
I still have a little bit of fabric left over from this, not enough to make another garment. I'll probably just use what's left for another quilt. Expect to see another pair (or two) of these showing up as I work through what fabric I do have. Or maybe not, I did run out of elastic when I did the waist band. I might have to make a trip to the fabric store... That could lead to trouble.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saint Paddy's Day and Fabric

After spending the most of the day outside for Saint Patrick’s day, I can officially say I experienced the celebration in Savannah. I even have an awesome souvenir from it! Sunburn! At least it’s not too bad this time....

I headed downtown with my roommate and we were able to catch half of the parade, which we were hopping to miss. It was interesting. there was a large military presence, not surprising as there is an Army base in Savannah. It took a minute to figure out why all of the servicemen had multiple lipstick prints on their cheeks. When the parade paused women would run out to kiss the servicemen! I’d never seen that anywhere before. But had I known, I would have joined in!

After enjoying the great outdoors for the day I evaluated my situation for sewing. I have a lot of fabric I’ve accumulated over the past year and half that I need to make into something. I don’t think this is even all of it! I probably have a few more yards back in my home state.

Since I have the next few days free I’m thinking of putting a large dent into this pile of fabric. Unfortunately I have a few patterns in mind for some of these fabrics and they are back in Ohio. Over the next few days I should be turning out a few articles of clothing and possibly a few crocheted items.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Paper, Finals, and Breaks OH MY!

I have been sitting at my computer all weekend working on two different papers and a presentation. I’m surprised my eyes haven’t melted out of my head. It’s not like I sat idle for two days because I wanted to or procrastinated these 10 and 12 page papers all quarter. Oh no. It’s finals week.

Last week on top of my 3 classes and expected reading in my one class, I had a final on Wednesday and then a presentation on Friday. Not to mention Friday I had my class four 4 hours. Yes 4 hours, you read it right. I normally don’t have classes on Friday, but the prof was sick one day, then moved our last clas

s that would have been Monday to Friday. Since no one at SCAD every has Friday classes it’s the opportune day to have a make up class... Yeah right. I’d rather be sleeping.

So, it’s not like I could have worked on my other papers if I wanted to. Nor did I have any choice in getting out of this long class. I chose to present on the last possible day, knowing that if I would have went on Monday someone would have died. Most likely an intimate object, but still, it wouldn’t have been pleasant.

My one paper is on the Becket Miracle windows in Canterbury Cathedral. Fun stuff. And it’s also what my presentation is on. I think after class tomorrow (which will be 5 hours because we’ll be watching a movie with the undergrad section) I will be set to go on churches for a very long time.

My other paper is on Tube stations in London. I’m on England overload.

The other paper and presentation was on Girl Scout and Boy Scout camp architecture. That was most challenging paper of the quarter to do. And I figured out how I should have laid my paper out Thursday night at about 11:30. I could have started sobbing right there. It’s not like I could have simply rearranged my paper and handed the bitch in. Oh no. I handed my paper in three days day before, not thinking that I should milk the deadline for all it was worth. I wanted my paper over and done with. Ugh, I should have held out until the last moment. Or told my teacher that my evil twin turned in my paper when it still needed more work. I don’t think my teacher would have bought that though... I really tried to nail down the organization of that paper too!

Lesson learned: do power point presentation AFTER the paper is FINISHED. It forces me to actually analyze my organization and make it work properly.

That’s pretty much been my quarter in a nutshell. England’s transportation system and an old church and camping. Yeah... Such an exciting quarter. Today at 1pm my spring break started. I have my sewing machine set up, my music on, and am attempting to find ways to use up the scrap fabric I have. For the next week an a half I'll be sewing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Walking in the Rain

I have been utterly swamped these last few weeks with an abundance of homework. If I wasn’t reading for one class, it was one of my other two, or working on one of my three papers or presentations. Then two weeks ago there was a conference at my college for Architectural History, which took up the whole weekend. The quarter is slowly drawing to a close (two more weeks!) and I still have two papers and presentations to get done. Then I’m setting up my sewing machine! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Last weekend I had a language exam, for if you get a degree in Architectural History you must be able to read a language, besides English. It was my second time translating an article from German to English, an hour and half is not enough time for me to get through anything substantial. But I think it went better than my first try, highly doubt I passed.

I rode my bike to this test and while I was almost to the building something happened with my chain resulting in me peddling and going nowhere. That was a bit of an inconvenience, but I figured I’d just realign things when I was done with my test and it would be dandy. Half way through the lovely exam it started raining. If that wasn’t a sign of impending doom I don’t know what else could be. Perhaps the assignment I then got back and was informed I had to redo.

Paper packed away and ignoring the drizzle I started to look at my bike. Or rather I unlocked it. Metal hit the ground. Really not a good sign. I looked down to find this on the ground:

And this is where it went. See where the chain lies? That's where the broken metal piece is supposed to go. Without that the other gears shift back and form making it unstable and unable to be useful.

That is somewhat important in order for me to get anywhere. I attempted to see if I could change the chain to a different gear on the cassette (the back part of the gear-thingy by the tire), no such luck. Which meant I had to walk my bike home. Two miles. In the rain. With a jacket that had no hood and I was without an umbrella. Needless to say I looked like a drowned rat when I got back to my apartment.

Good news though, after spending all weekend attempting to figure out how to fix my bike I found the original receipt for it. By some small miracle I was within the 90 day return policy and didn’t have class Monday morning. So what did I do? Returned the bike, with broken part and bought a new one so I didn’t have to beg for a ride home from my evening class.

I think that was enough excitement to last for the rest of the quarter. And enough bike drama to last me until I graduate and no longer need to use a bike.