Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Dying and More Buying

I finished my sweater!

I did end up dying it again using light blue dye, rather than aquamarine (and a totally different brand), because that was all they had in stock where I went.  I'm glad I did because it really darkened up the blue and gave it a rich color.  It feels much less Grandma now.  I think it will look cute over bright tank tops in the summer time.  

Here is the evolution of my thrift store find.

Original sweater - $3.00
Wash - $2.00 
(which ultimately ended up costing all the additional $$ below since I washed it with a red dress!  Duh!)

First dye with RIT Aquamarine fabric dye - $3.50
Wash to clean out the dye - $2.00

Second dye with Tulip brand liquid dye in Light Blue - $3.50
Wash - $2.00

I did away with the button all together.

In the end this sweater ended up costing me $16.  $10 if you don't count the washes :).  All in all I think it was worth it.  Plus, I learned some things about dying and washing whites with reds ;).

Downtown L.A. at the Garment District was fun, as always.  I went down for zippers and interfacing.  I purposely brought cash, so I couldn't go crazy and start buying up all the fabric I see.  I am trying really hard to work through what I have, but it appears that I have a problem.  I think I might be a fabric hoarder.  I can't help myself when I get near unique, wholesale fabric.  Especially, if an idea hits me when I am looking at it ... it's over.  I must have it.  I have absolutely no more room for fabric.  I finally got it all organized and neat.  Anymore will surely knock my whole system off balance.  Even the hemp remnants I got the other day I was kicking myself over.  Seriously ... I have tons of fabric.  I don't NEED more.  The little hoarder inside my head says, "It's hemp, you have no hemp.  It's organic cotton, you have none of that! When will you be here again.  Just get a little .... just a tiny bit, we can make it fit!"  Walking through block after block of shops overflowing with fabric kicks the little fabric hoarder in my brain into hyperdrive.  This time it was the lycra.  I've been toying with the idea of making a bathing suit.  I've also been stalking a few beach cover ups on pinterest.  There are a LOT of fabric shops in the Garment District that sell lycra, spandex, and two way stretch type fabrics.  The colors are bright, bold, and alluring.  My will power is only so strong and with my current neon obsession I had to go in to touch and feel, ooooh and aaaaah.   The little fabric hoarder combined with the creative lunatic inside of head kicked the crap out of all reason and I came home the proud owner of this funky lycra stretch fabric.  I love the rasta tie dye.  If I'm honest, I don't feel the least bit guilty.  Besides, it was only $6/yd.  Plus, the fact that I didn't come home with the cool Buddha playing acoustic guitar fabric that was only $4/yd shows that I am growing and trying (and kicking myself for not picking up at least a yard! *sigh*).

Here is my new fabric!  I haven't worked with this type of fabric yet, so it should be interesting.

It screamed at me when I saw it.  It said, "I would be a kick ass beach cover up!  Make me!  Love me!  BUY ME!"

 (I try very hard not to respond to the fabric out loud.)

Now I just have to decide on a style.  I am probably going to wing this without a pattern, so it needs to be simple.  Here are some cover ups I like that I found browsing around the web for inspiration.  I think the ones on the left are more do-able for me.  I will probably pick one of those styles.

 I think my favorite is the top left.  The pancho style is so cute.  Having it as a long shirt is kinda cute/sexy.  Plus if I want to go anywhere after the beach I can throw on a pair of shorts with it and make it less scandalous.  I live in a beach town, so it is pretty normal to see people running around in shorts and a bathing suit top.  The fact that I could wear this with shorts is a big selling point for me.

  I love the bottom left, too, because of the length of both the sleeves and the bottom.  I like that it is a dress and wears by itself.  I love the off the shoulder cut.  I think I am more partial to this style because of that cut.  I also like that it doesn't have a hood.  This would probably be a little easier for me to do without a pattern because of the hood.  I suppose I could lose the hood on the first design, but I don't know how well that will wear.  

Or maybe I can take what I love from both and make a hybrid design?

What do you think?

Short?  Long?
Pancho shirt? Dress?
Off the shoulder?  V-neck?
Hood?  No hood?
Short sleeve?  3/4 sleeve?

Decisions, decisions.  

Luckily I have time!  And a million bags to sew before I can even think about starting this .....

........ maybe.  It's possible it will take me that long to make a decision, but knowing me ... once the vision is in my head it's hard to keep me away from the scissors! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rainy Weekend = Productive Weekend

I got a lot done over the weekend.  The rain was a nice motivator.  I had a lot on my list and I got most of it done.

I did a little dying ....

I ended up going with the aquamarine.  I like it, but I think I am going to try to dye it again with light blue and see if I can't make it a tad darker.  I keep going back and forth with it, but I don't think it would hurt it to run it through another tub of dye.  I had a couple issues in the front with the dye being too concentrated and I rubbed it off with antibacterial hand soap, which amazingly worked, but too well.  I can see a little bit of fading in the dye where I did that and it's bugging me.  Back in the dye bucket it goes .. stay tuned!

I also did some tying-

I made these two different styles of friendship bracelets and felt like a 6th grader all over again.  I must have had a lot of free time on my hands back in the day because these things take for-EVER!!!  I spent most of Saturday watching I Love Lucy reruns and making the heart bracelet.  Its super cute, though!  I intend to cover my ankles in these bad boys this summer and re-live my youth.  I found the tutorial for the heart bracelet here ... Thank you Pinterest!

I finished this dress -

Another maxi style dress.  The blue tank top had a big stain right in the center.  I had the matching fabric, so I went for it and I'm glad I did.  I love it!  I posted about the other maxi dress I made in the past here .  You can find a link for the tutorial I used in that post.  Very easy dress to make and a great way to re-use old tank tops.  I live in these ribbed tank tops, so I see many more of these dresses in my future.

I took some pictures of my plaid collection and got them listed on Etsy!  If you see one you like, just click on the link and it will take you directly to the Etsy listing to purchase.  

Wool Plaid "School Girl" Messenger bag.  This is an original design by Sticky Genius.

Wool Plaid "School Girl" Messenger Bag with Zipper Top
This is a new style I'm working with that I designed myself.

I had a little fabric left to make this cute matching coin purse.

Here is a new product I am offering ... not an original design, but I think it is a cool idea and a great way to use up scraps.  I think I will be making a lot of these to go to D'Boutique, the shop I sell my products in here in Manhattan Beach.
You can Buy Me Here!
I will be making more of these, some lined, some not, but the lined ones will cost a little more.  I just like to offer some not as fancy ones for those who are financially challenged.  They work just the same.  These are nice and cheap!

I also cut up the grey wool suiting and pink floral fabric.  I am making the same two messenger bag styles you see above, as well as, the diaper bag that I showed you all the pattern for in my previous post.  I have a little left for wristlets, coin purses, and the ear bud case, too, so I am sure you will see some of those as well.

I went fabric shopping for my custom order and got all that picked out.  I just need to run down to the garment district this week and get some zippers and more interfacing.  I was able to find the dress pattern I was looking for for my new dream dress (which I posted about previously) and (of course) I found another pattern I HAD to have.  Both were on sale for $4.  SCORE!  Here is the new pattern I picked up:

I'm glad I picked this up because it might be perfect for the fabric I bought today.  A friend of mine, who makes awesome bags for MMA - called Datsusara - (click on the link to check out his site and gear), and I went down to the Hemp Traders warehouse today to check out the fabrics in person.   He uses hemp fabrics for all his gear and I love hemp fabric.  It is one of those textiles that you really have to see and touch in person to know what you are getting.  What a fun experience and a great little business run by people who love what they do.  I highly recommend buying from this company if you are looking into hemp or organic cotton textiles.  They offer several varieties and colors of hemp and organic cotton fabric, webbing, cording, twine, rope, braided cord, yarn, fiber, seed, or oil.  They ship everywhere and do wholesale.  I got sucked into their scrap pile and bought a few different types of fabrics from there, so I could work with the different blends and see what I like.  I use hemp fabric now for my fabric art pieces, but I have yet to make a bag from it.  The fabric is very expensive, so that is the main reason that hasn't happened.  I would ultimately like to find a type of hemp blend fabric that I fall in love with and can use to mass produce, but so far I haven't mastered the art of cloning or gotten my money tree to grow.  In the meantime, I'm going to have fun playing with my scraps!  Here is a sampling of what I got below:

This blue fabric below is the fabric I fell in love with and couldn't leave without a yard - especially when he said is was on close out!  It is a hemp, cotton, lycra jersey blend in sky blue.  So soft and comfy.  I think the pattern I shared above would compliment the fabric well.  We will see!  But this is MINE ALL MINE!!! hahahahahahaha

I totally got sucked into the dyed hemp twine.  Along with my new obsession of making friendship bracelets and anklets for the summer, I use hemp twine to wrap all my orders with and I thought it would be a nice touch to add my Sticky Genius colors to the mix.  He forgot to ring these up and even though I asked him to after the initial sale, he insisted I take them for free.

I officially LOVE Hemp Traders!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Time to Dye

Can I tell you how excited I am that it is FRIDAY!?!?!  The kids will be off at their Dad's this weekend and it's supposed to rain through Monday.  I plan to lock myself up in my apartment and just be crafty and crazy.  I have more projects in mind than I can ever even begin in the short time I have, but I am going to try and do a little bit of everything.

I finally finished my Plaid Collection.  I plan to try to take some pictures of the bags this weekend and get them ready to post and list on Etsy.  I hope I can get enough light through my bedroom window with all the clouds and rain.  I will give you all an exclusive sneak peak!

I ended up falling in love with the wool plaid and used a lot of it to make myself a maxi dress and a mini skirt.  :)  I was nice enough to save some for my customers.  I made my classic messenger bag, a new messenger bag design, a little coin purse, and my new product - head phone ear bud holder with a key ring attachment.  I also picked out two new fabrics to work with for my next collection of bags.  I will share the fabrics I picked and what I have envisioned for them.

Here they are:  Grey wool suiting and pink floral cotton.

I have a bunch of this grey wool suiting with pink pin stripes.  I originally bought this to make an Easter dress for my daughter last year.  I love how it came out.  Too bad she hasn't worn it since ... the curse of the tomboy. 
 I had to purchase the wool suiting on line and it was on sale, so I bought quite a bit of yardage.  I don't have as much of the pink floral fabric, so there will only be so many that have that print as a lining.  I haven't dug through my stash to see what other pinks I have to match.  I have a lot of patterns that I haven't used yet and my goal, along with depleting my fabric supply, is to try to use every pattern I have in the process.  I think the wool suiting and pink floral would make a super cute diaper bag.  I, personally, always hated carrying around traditional diaper bags.  In fact, that is exactly what got me started making my messenger bags!  Just because I am a mom, doesn't mean I have to look like one all the time.  Here is the pattern I plan on using:

I think it will have a nice grown up, professional woman look to it with the grey suiting on the outside and the pink floral pop on the inside.  I might even add a few pink accents on the front.  Who knows!  I just hope to get the fabric, interfacing, and fleece cut this weekend, so I can work on fusing it and assembling it throughout the week.

And because I am selfish and greedy with my fabric and sewing skills, I have to use some of that suiting for myself.  I grow very attached to the fabric I buy and it's hard for me to let it all go.  Especially my vintage fabric.  No one gets any of that ;).  (MINE ALL MINE ~ HAHAHAHA~maniacal laughter!).  I am hoping to learn to make shorts this summer.  I am not too great at pants yet, so I am sure shorts will be equally as challenging, but the pattern says "Easy", so here's to hoping!  I think the wool suiting would make a super cute pair of shorts.  I think I will try the bottom pair first.  Nice and simple - I hope.

I'm headed Joann Fabrics this weekend to pick up some novelty fabric for a custom order I received.  I don't take many of those on anymore, but this is for a very special and loyal customer and friend, so I am happy to do it.  It's been awhile since I've been to Joann Fabrics and I am actually looking forward to it, although I hope I don't buy any fabric other than what I go in for.  It's always so tempting.  Plus I just bought three new dress patterns, so I will have to pull myself away from all the broadcloth and linen.  Although, after my trip to Mood Designer Fabrics, I think my days of shopping at Joann for dress fabrics are numbered.  I do plan on looking for one more dress pattern (as if I need it, right?!).   I am in love with this dress I found on Modcloth ...

It is so summery and fun.  I think it would look a little cuter with a similar beachy/sailboat fabric, rather than the Japanese kites.  I love the style and the cute piping they used on the bust.  The straps are perfect, because lets face it ... after two kids, I need a bra!    I saw this picture below from a scene of Pan Am on another blog.  The girls dress on the right looks like the same pattern.  It is super cute in floral, novelty, and I bet in plain, too.  I am going to dig around and see if I can't find a pattern to match, so I can make my own.

This one from Simplicity looks pretty close.  The only differences I can see are the top of the bust and the center stash.  I think a few minor tweaks to the pattern and it will work.  If not, it will do as is.  Sorry the photo is blurry, but I couldn't drag anything other than the thumbnail onto the desktop, but here is the link:  

As I mentioned, I bought three new patterns from Vogue.  I have never used a Vogue pattern before, so I am excited to try it out.  They had a sale recently on their Vintage Vogue patterns and I had to snag these adorable dress patterns up while they were only $4 each.  Here is what I got ...

The top two are Vintage Vogue and the one below is Easy Vogue.  I don't know when I will get around to making these, but I had to grab the patterns while they were so cheap.  

And if that isn't enough ... I also need to pick up some Rit Dye.  I went thrift store shopping the other day and I found a couple cute things.  I got this nice sweater like red dress with long sleeves.  Perfect for the cold weather.  

I need to find a cute black elastic belt for that (and some of my other dresses) while at the mall.  I also got super cute long skirt that will look great with a tank top in the summer.  So many colors to choose from to match with.

I got this thermal shirt  on the left (which I may dye also???)

and a beautiful knit sweater jacket (not sure what to call it).

****And side note ... If you look under the white knit sweater you will see that I finally got an adjustable dress form!!!  I've been wanting one forever, but they cost too much.  I am now a size smaller than my old one (on the left), so I really needed one.  This weekend the apartment complex next door was having a garage sale and the dress form instantly caught my eye.  Only $5 and ten feet from my door ... SCORE!!!****

Anyway, I love this knit sweater.  It is simple and fits perfect.  Great for the spring and summer.  I need to move the button around a bit because it didn't line up or work well, but otherwise it was in great condition ........ until I bought it.  

White and I do not get along.  Apparently, I don't even need to wear it to ruin it.  Now I know better than what I am about to tell you, but times are tough and money is tight and I spend most of my "fortune" at the laundry mat.  I have already been to the dang laundry mat three times this week.  Once for regular wash, another time because there was an accident in one of the kids beds (I shall name no names), and then this morning the dog barfed all over my bed.  Can you say EXPENSIVE?!  It costs $2.00 for a regular washer and $3.75 for the big front loader ones.  The dryer is 8 minutes for a quarter and most of my stuff needs 40 minutes spread out over a few dryers.  Long story short .... after already spending $20 at the thrift store (is it just L.A. or are thrift stores getting way to pricey these days?) and at least $50 on laundry this week, I threw all of my new finds into one $2.00 washer and put it on cold, the whole while praying (and checking constantly) that the red dress would not bleed onto the white knit sweater.  I was hopeful that the red dress had been washed enough times that it wouldn't bleed.  I pretty much mix all my colors and whites at this point to save money and I never have any issues with my regular day to day clothes.  Unfortunately, I think it bled out a little bit onto the sweater.  It's hard to see, but I see it ... do you?

I kept trying to convince myself that I was crazy, but it is even more clear in this picture that I am not completely insane (yet) and it does appear to be red.  Either way, I think it's best I just dye it a different color, because I already know it won't make it much farther without me adding an array of colorful stains all over it.  Now I just have to decide on what color to dye it.  Any suggestions?  Here is the Rit Dye Color Chart:

I already own a nice black jacket.  I have a tan knit sweater and a grey knit sweater, in a similar style as this white one.  I am leaning toward the aquamarine, because it is my favorite color.  I was also considering navy because I have been wanting a navy knit sweater, but then I recently bought a navy jacket (from the boys section at Target ... lol.  I loved my son's so much I bought one a size up from his!). Aside from aquamarine (and navy) I was considering yellow, or kelly green, or maybe even evening blue .... or sunshine orange, but I'm not sure how much wear that would get.  Red is an option, too, but the last time I dyed, I used red and I think I'd like to try something different.  Red is always so disappointing to me because it always ends up looking more pink than true red.  

So what do you all think?  What color should I dye my sweater?


Friday, March 2, 2012

One For Me and One For Her

Apparently that trip to Mood Fabrics really did get me in the mood!  I already finished my shirt for the reggae show tomorrow night!  I am totally proud of myself over this shirt.  I created the pattern myself using a shirt I own that is a similar style to the shirt I was inspired by and from there I drafted my own pattern and it came together so nicely.  I love when a plan comes together perfectly!

Here is my inspiration:

Here is my shirt!  

I'm officially ready to dance my cares away!

Bring it Pato!

While I was inspired and feeling pretty awesome from my accomplishment, I decided to tackle another t-shirt project that I have waiting on my sewing table.  My daughter is turning 5 next week and she wants to have a Ghostbuster Party.  Which is so awesome, but it is requiring me to be very creative because there isn't a lot of Ghostbusters paraphernalia out in the world at this time.  She fell in love with this Stay Puff Marsh Mellow Man Shirt:

Which is rad!  And it was on sale for $10!  But ... they only had a mens size medium.  :(  I bought it anyway in hopes of finding a way to make it work.  Unfortunately, it was WAAAAY bigger than I expected.  You can see how big it is on her ....

God bless Pinterest!  I found a cool idea that I thought could work for the shirt on this cute blog called The Sewing Dork.  If you click on the blog name it will take you to the tutorial for this shirt.  She did the brown shirt below for her daughter from an adult size shirt.  Her idea looked perfect for my project.

I cannot believe it, but it worked!!!!  And even better than that, she LOVES it!!!!  Aubrey is very picky about the clothes she wears.  I have a closet full of beautiful dresses I made her that she refuses to wear.  When I tried this shirt on, she refused to take it off and is wearing it right now.
:0)  :0)  :0)
Nothing makes me happier than a happy kid of mine!

Happy Mom, Happy Little Girl!

Happy Weekend Everyone!