Archive | crafty things that are not sewing RSS feed for this section

Completed: Reupholstered Chairs

8 Aug

Soooo this is a little different from what I usually offer up here for my Mood Sewing Network posts – we are gonna talk about home decor fabric today! ::evil laugh:: No wait, come back, I promise it’s not all bad!

Forreal, though, I’ve known about Mood Fabric’s home fabric offerings since, well, the beginning of my Mood-time. And while I’ve never been one to futz much with home decor sewing (I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t we rather all sew clothes for ourselves?), I did have some chairs that needed to be recovered. Like, two years ago. When I bought them.

So, in celebration of Mood Fabric’s new home decor storefront opening (which I’m really excited to visit when I’m in NYC next week! Eep! Next week!), I bring you my chairs that are badly in need of a facelift.

Reupholstered Chairs - before

Lookit that bad boy!

Reupholstered Chairs - before

No, that’s not even the worst – look at THIS! Can you believe I sat on that rank-ass looking thing for over 2 years? Yeah. I blame it on not being able to commit to the perfect fabric. Either that, or laziness. Probably both.

So, finding a good home decor fabric is hard, y’all. The ~free spirited artist~ in me wants something with bright colors and textures and maybe peacocks… but the tiny adult in me knows I should pick something more subdued that will continue to work with my ever-changing decor. I think I found a nice middle ground, though, with this chartreuse geometric cut velvet fabric. Even though it’s chartreuse, it’s pretty mild by home-decor standards (the color doesn’t necessarily “match” my curtains, but it goes well enough), and the geometric design gives it a bit of fun texture and visual interest without assaulting your senses. I like it!

Soo, that brings us to the next step – the upholstering.

Well, first off, let me just say this – it’s really easy, at least with a simple chair like this. Those of you who are diehard professional re-upholsterers, please avert your eyes. I’m sure I’m doing everything wrong here, oh well!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART ONE: THE DESTRUCTION
First, we have to remove the chair pad from the chair frame. It should unscrew from the bottom. Take everything apart and stash the screws somewhere safe so you don’t lose them (I should note that I didn’t lose a screw from this chair – it only had 3 to begin with! Someone else’s problem!) (and DUH I only put 3 screws back in the chair. Like I have time to find a 4th screw lololol)

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Flip the pad over so you can see the staples, and start yanking them out. If you have a staple remover, that would be helpful. If not, you can use a flat head screw driver. Ideally, you want to remove all the staples – not just the ones holding the fabric down. Or you can just be sloppy and rip off the fabric, but seriously, dude, removing staples is kind of fun.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Once you’ve completely dissembled your chair seat, you should have something like this. Wooden chair seat pad thing, fabric cover, and padding.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART 2: LAYING THE FOUNDATION
Using your fabric cover as a guide, cut out squares of the new upholstery fabric to size. If you don’t have the old fabric to use, then measure for a 4″ overlap on all sides (so my 16″ pads needed 20″ square covers). Padding can be cut to the same size as the chair seat. I initially cut off the selvedge of my fabric because I thought it looked nicest that way, but when I started ripping the rest of the seats I realized that the original upholsterer left the selvedges on. So my remaining 3 chairs have fabric selvedge, which helps with fraying.

While I did decide to add some new padding to my chairs, I did not completely replace the padding that was there. Upon inspection, it seemed to be in pretty good shape (apart from the whole falling-out-of-the-chair aspect, anyway), so I just added a layer to the top for some extra squish and called it a day. If you are completely replacing your padding, you may want to cut multiple layers.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART 3: THE REBIRTH
Now we get to staple! Stack your padding and fabric with the wooden seat base centered at the bottom. Starting in the middle of one side, staple the fabric to the seat. Now move to the side opposite where you just stapled, pull the fabric taunt, and staple in the center. Continue working around the base of the chair, opposite sides at a time, until all 4 sides are stapled down securely. I found it was easier to do one set of sides at a time (as opposed to working all the way around at once).

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
To miter the corners, fold as shown and staple as you go.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Your finished seat should look like this. Woohoo!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Now screw it back on the chair frame and sit in that chair like the boss you are!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

THAT IS DAMN SEXY

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

AMIRITE OR AMIRITE?

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

For serious, though, I’m a little embarrassed at how stupidly easy this whole ordeal was. From disassembling, to cutting, to stapling, to screwing, heck – even sweeping the floor – this all took about an hour. That’s it! For four chairs!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

I want to say I should have done it sooner, but damn – I don’t think I would have picked as good a fabric. Sometimes it does pay to wait! Also, this was a fairly inexpensive project – I only needed a yard and a half of fabric (again, my chair seats are 16″ square and I had 4 of ‘em). My fabric was $45 a yard, which is stupid pricey, but the batting was only $8 a yard. All together, the cost of the fabric was less than $80 – I already had the staple gun, but it’s a cheap one that cost less than $10. You could obviously make this a much cheaper project with less luxe fabric or not buying batting, but considering I paid $100 for the table & chairs (plus a matching buffet in the living room – told ya our flea market was wonderful. Oh! My old lady dining room curtains are from there, too!), I don’t think that’s a very bad deal at all! Again, for full disclosure – I received credit for this fabric in exchange for my monthly contribution to the Mood Sewing Network. I got to pick the fabric and project on my own, though :)

What about y’all? Anyone have experience with upholstery or other home decor sewing – or is that something you’d prefer to leave to someone else to do? I made someone lined curtains once (for the 12ft ceilings in his swanky loft), and UGHHH NEVER AGAIN.

About these ads

Me-Made-May ’14 – My Pledge

18 Apr

MMM14logolarge

Hey everyone! Have you heard that Me Made May is open for 2014 and currently accepting pledges? Woohoo!! I admit, MMM is one of my favorite parts about keeping a blog – while taking daily photos can be a huge pain at times, it’s a wonderful exercise to keep myself on my toes as far as actually using and wearing my handmade wardrobe. Although the majority of what I wear is handmade anyway, I like this opportunity to find new ways to wear outfits and bring out old pieces that I may have otherwise forgotten about.

ha!

I’ve been thinking about my pledge for the past couple of weeks. Although I tend to wear mostly handmade (I rarely, rarely buy new clothes – they are usually thrifted, and even then, I’ve been slowing that game down dramatically – and try to make everything that enters my wardrobe), my supply is dwindling thanks to my ever-changing body. After swapping out my summer clothes and trying on everything, it’s pretty apparent that I’ve got a lot of wardrobe gaps that need to be filled asap. So, with that being said, I am modifying my pledge to suit my current closet statistics and try to keep things realistic.

‘I, Lauren of LLADYBIRD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2014, with no 100% outfit repeats.’

Last year, my pledge was no outfit repeats whatsoever. Y’all, that was hard. I quickly learned throughout the month that there are lots and lots of pieces in my wardrobe that simply don’t get worn anymore for whatever reason – either I don’t like the style on me, I don’t care for the fabric, or the fit is off (this is the main offender – the fit was good when I made it, but my body has changed and now I’ve got some glaring fit issues in many of my older garments). As a result, nearly every single one of those pieces ended up in the donation pile. I love the freedom of having an empty-ish closet that is no longer holding stuff I don’t wear hostage – but it also makes things a liiiiitle difficult when you’re trying to plan an entire month of only wearing handmade! Especially when you can’t dupe an outfit. So for 2014, I’m allowing myself partial outfit dupes – as in, I can wear the same dress during the month, but it must be accessorized/shoed/jacket’d differently. Hence the no 100% repeats. I think this is still enough of a challenge for me to really stretch myself, as well as find some wardrobe gaps to fill while I’m at it. I’m excited!

I call this look ~2nd Grade Teacher Chic~ ✏️

If you’d like to participate in Me Made May, you can view all the info here on Zo’s blog. If you just want to watch from the sidelines, I’ll be posting my daily outfits in the Flickr pool, as well as on my own Instagram. As with prior years, there will be a weekly round-up post every Friday in May. Expect to see lots of mirror-shots like the one above :P

As a side note, I recently got a new phone that includes a panoramic camera (say what!) (yeah, y’all, I’m behind on the times). As I’ve been working on updating my sewing room – to remove clutter, reorganize what I’m keeping, and include an actual desk so I stop camping out at the dining room table – I jumped at the opportunity to take some giant, poorly lit shots. What do you think?

Sewing Room

Sewing Room

My sewing room is totally my happy space ♥

DIY with Zazzle

6 Dec

Have y’all ever heard of Zazzle? It’s an online marketplace where you can create custom, well, anything, and have it printed and shipped directly to you, on demand. Not only that, but you can also upload your designs to sell and have other people buy them! Pretty neat, and pretty perfect if you love creating designs but hate going through with actually getting the design printed on anything. Ooh La Leggings Zazzle contacted me a couple of months ago to see if I wanted to try out some of their products for a review. Did I! The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted – seriously, the options are endless. You can make tshirts (with like 50+ styles and colors to choose from), business cards, coffee mugs, key chains, buttons, stretched canvases for your wall, phone cases, greeting cards, custom wrapping paper… the list goes on and on and on and on and on! And everything can be customized. Ooh La Leggings I spent about 2 weeks trying to sort through the products, and in the end I decided to go with a pre-designed raglan tshirt – the Crafty Tee! Isn’t it cute? I love the design and the fact that I could get it printed on a raglan. You can also change the colors of the raglan, but I love the simple black and white. Ooh La Leggings My only beef with this top is the sizing – the suggested sizing says I need to go up from my normal size, since it runs small. So I ordered a medium, and it was just too big :( Should have trusted my gut and went with the small, oh well! Fortunately, I have a serger and I can make shit, so one quick swipe through my machine and the fit is perfect. No bagginess! Ooh La Leggings Ooh La Leggings Keeping things relevant with the ol’ blog, I also made my leggings. I used the Ooh La Leggings pattern (my flavorite), and this amazing solid red rayon ponte from Mood. You can’t see too well in the pictures, but it has a lovely sheen to it and it’s very soft. I love these ponte leggings because they are SO comfortable, and they almost pass as pants! Especially if you tuck them into boots, ha. Zazzle Loot I still had some extra credit burning a hole in my account, so I decided to also order some tiny business cards and a custom mug. Aren’t they cool! Zazzle Loot Zazzle Loot You probably saw this mug on my Instagram, because it’s hilarious. My sewing motto (other than “I’ve made a huge mistake” haha) is “That’s steam out” (because, seriously, IT WILL STEAM OUT). I say it all the time! So naturally, I needed a mug that said it. I couldn’t think of an appropriate, non-licensed picture to include, so I just went with one that I know doesn’t have any copyrights attached to it – my tattoo! Ha! “Designing” the mug was really easy – I just uploaded my picture, centered it where I wanted it on the mug, and then added text and played around with fonts until it looked right. There are multiple views of the mug, so you can do a 360 to make sure everything is placed correctly. If I could change anything about the whole process, I would include some pre-set, standard placements to choose when you’re centering your picture and text. There is a center vertically and center horizontally, which helps a lot, but most of my mugs have the design centered when the mug is turned to the side – so it looks nice while you’re holding it. I’ve learned that choosing placement is hard when you don’t have the physical mug to look at, and as a result, my stuff isn’t quite centered. And it’s also on the wrong side (I’d say oops, but it faces me when I’m holding it sooo that’s actually kind of a good thing, maybe). Honestly, I could send this back and get it fixed (it’s Zazzle’s policy to refund or replace if you’re not satisfied with how your design turned out), but I dunno, I guess I’m lazy. This works good enough for me! I’m also happy with the quality – it’s a nice, solid porcelain (makes a fun ‘ting!’ when you hit it with your spoon, aha) and the image is very sharp with saturated colors. Zazzle Loot The last product I chose were these skinny business cards for my blog! Nothing fancy, just my name, email and blog address (plus that little pincushion because, d’awww). I forever have people asking me for my blog link when they find out I have one, and I’m forever searching for paper to write it down on. Now I can just hand them a card! And they’re so tiny and cute. I also love the package they came in – it keeps the cards safe from the dangerous land that is the inside of my purse, but it’s easy to pull a card out by sliding your thumb across the top. Ooh La Leggings Overall, I’m very happy with my Zazzle experience – everything went to print and then shipped quickly, and the ordering process was smooth and simple. I would love to create a custom printed tshirt and then work some refashioning magic on it – how fun would that be?! Plus, I think I need more coffee mugs – like this one. And ooh, check out the cool sewing tshirts – one, two, and holy shit this is hilarious. Thanks, Zazzle, for letting me test and review a tiny offering of your massive array of products! Guys, just as a head’s up – this post contains affiliate links. Meaning, if you click the link and then buy the product, I get a teeny kick-back. Just in case some of y’all hate me or something, and don’t want to contribute monetarily. No worries! Anyone else get a hankerin’ for some DIY with someone else doing the work? Have you ever ordered from Zazzle before? I think I’m in love!

edit sorry the tshirt link was bad, y’all! I updated it and hopefully it’s fixed now :) Also, I just noticed that everything on the site is 20% off – and tshirts are 50% off! Sale runs today only, so go shop your little hearts out :)

Completed: From A to Z Cardigan

2 Dec

I feel like the knitting of this cardigan took forever, but it was really only about 2.5 months. Crazy!

IMG_5547

This particular project is a little special to me because I started it right when I put in my final notice at my old job, then I got a huuuge chunk of it done while I was in Chicago, and now it’s been my saving sanity since.

IMG_5580

The main reason why I haven’t knitted it up as quickly as the others is just TIME. I never feel like I have enough anymore! I guess every adult feels that way, though, huh? :) Once I realized I was not getting back those 1 hour lunch breaks (and let’s be real – working from home means NO LUNCH BREAKS EVER, EAT WHILE YOU WORK !!!! haha), I just let myself manage what I could manage. Which usually meant a full 15 minutes of knitting, at the tail end of my lunch. This equates to about 10 sleeve rounds (oh, don’t look at me like that, there were 30-50 stitches per round. very small!).

IMG_5545

Once I hit that, I finished fairly quickly! Yay for me taking my own advice :)

IMG_5540

Anyway, pattern talk time! This is From A to Z by Andi Satterlund. A little different from what I usually knit – the construction is bottom up, with knitted-in pockets and a few bits of intarsia for contrast, plus that monogram at the front (it’s duplicate stitch, not intarsia. FYI!). I used Valley Yarns Northamton worsted weight yarn for the main color, and the contrast is leftover bits from my Central Park Hoodie.

IMG_5542

The pockets on this cardigan are SO COOL. They are knit with the body – meaning they aren’t seamed on separately. It was hard for me to wrap my head around first (honestly, I had to email Andi and ask her for help, and she was very prompt in her response!), but once I got going it was pretty easy. The top stripes are intarsia – my first intarsia, ever, and while it’s not terrible, it could use some improvement. I still have problems with holes where the colors join (which you can’t see because, duh, I sewed those shits right up), but it’s a start!

IMG_5549

Part of the reason why this took so long was because it was sooooo repetitive. Stockinette can really take forever, especially at the bottom where it’s the widest! Once I got to separating the tops and then adding the sleeves, I finished this up fairly quickly. In comparison, anyway.

IMG_5553

(I was really horrified when I saw this pantyline picture, until I later realized that those lines are caused by the ruffles in my undies. JUST SO WE ARE ALL CLEAR)

IMG_5572
IMG_5573

I plan to wear it closed, but it looks good open, too!

IMG_5565

I made the XS and had no pattern alterations. This is what I love about Andi’s patterns – they fit me perfectly as-written! Can’t argue with that :D

IMG_5566

I LOVE the monogram. As with my intarsia, my duplicate stitch could reeeeally use some work as it’s definitely a Monet. It doesn’t look so great up close! But from far away it’s not so bad.

IMG_5583

Ugh, sorry for all the pictures. I’m just really proud of how this cardigan turned out!

IMG_5568

Like the varsity sweater of my ~dreamz

IMG_5527

IMG_5530

IMG_5531

Told ya that dupe stitch was lacking. OOPS haha!

IMG_5528

IMG_5529

IMG_5532

Here’s the back of the pocket, in case you were curious about the construction. I created the pocket by making kfbl stitches and pulling the new stitches to a holder, then knitting the pocket lining separately, then picking up each stitch along the side as I knit the bottom of the cardigan. I hope that makes sense! It’s pretty genius, in my opinion, glad I had a chance to try it out!

IMG_5554

I’ve plumb run out of things to say, so I reckon that’s it! Ravelry notes are here. Next knit project – Owls! I have some lovely grey yarn for that and I’ve already started swatching :)

Oh, and just in case you were curious – my shirt says “I Listen To Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet” (because it’s hilarious, that’s why) and I made my hairbows myself:)

One last thing – the giveaway winner! Let’s see who the random number generator picked today….

winner
winnername

Congratulations PoldaPop! Keep an eye on your mail, you’ve got a Sugar Plum headed your way!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Review: 110 Creations: A Sewists Notebook

29 Nov

Hi everyone! Hope y’all had a good Thanksgiving (or Thursday, if you live in non-Thanksgiving land. So sorry for your loss). Mine was most excellent as I managed to eat a giant meal TWICE in once day. Before I settle into a food coma, though, let’s talk about this cute little book that I recently received!

110 Creations Book

110 Creations: A Sewists Notebook is literally, exactly what the title describes. It’s a spiral bound notebook specifically designed for us sewists – with places for notes, line drawings, etc – and there’s room for, well, 110 creations! Wanna have a look with me?

When Beth originally emailed me asking if I’d like to review a copy of the book, I’d barely finished reading her email before I had started my own reply with something along the lines of “OMGOMG OMG PLS YES GAHHHHH!!!” See, this type of book is exactly what I’ve been looking for, notebook-wise, for a few months now. Somewhere to write all my plans, notes, and LINE DRAWINGS. Sticking that shit on the wall is good and fine, but carrying it around is like a little whipped topping on the sweet cherry pie of organized sewing.

I know, I just told y’all I got this book for free, and I totally did. However, this review is totally honest, even though I am absolutely gushing. I’m not afraid to rip something apart if I think it sucks and is a waste of money. Fortunately for everyone, this shit rules.

110 Creations Book
110 Creations Book

When Beth sent me the book, she filled out the first few pages based on my F/W 2013 sewing plans. I love that she even wrote my name in the beginning, it’s like a real library addition now :) Of course, a few things have changed since I wrote up that post – like, I chose a new pattern for my coat, I used a different fabric for the Lola dress and the Zinnia skirt, but those can easily be changed out in the book. I mean, what’s a notebook without a bunch of scribbles and edits and doodles, am I right? :)

110 Creations Book
110 Creations Book

Here you can see a blank page, and a “sample” page of how to go about filling out all the blanks. There are spaces to write all the info you need – from Project Title (if you’re more creative than I am and give you projects names that contain more than just the color+pattern, ha!), to pattern/fabric/notions, to planning notes, alterations, finishes, hems, and even a place to write notes for next time. Not to mention, there’s a little croquis so you can even draw out the garment and attach a swatch of fabric for more organization. How many times have you planned a project, but forget to execute some vital part while you were actually making it up? I always leave off something – a special hem finish, some type of decorative accent, an alteration, something. With everything clearly laid out in one place, you can easily keep track of everything that’s going in and out of your project space.

110 Creations Book

Oh, there are also a few blank pages in the back, croquis-less, so you can plan menswear, children’s clothing, bags, etc.

110 Creations Book

There’s ALSO a Pattern Catalogue, so you can keep track of what you already own (if you’re a hot mess like me with hundreds of patterns and no real system for avoiding duplicates… oops)…

110 Creations Book

… a wish list…

110 Creations Book

… and even a place to keep track of when you last changed the needle in your sewing machine!

Seriously! She has thought of EVERYTHING!

110 Creations Book

I’ve had a lot of fun writing out my project plans in this book! Here you can see my coat plans, all in one place! I love all the little spaces to write notes – it’s like filling out the most fun survey ever (surely you guys agree with me that filling out surveys is stupid fun, ha). I can also see myself tweaking this to include plans for knitwear as well. Mostly because I looove planning. Ugh, it’s just so good.

The only thing I would change about this book is to make the croquis a little lighter, so the lines of the garment show better when they’re drawn on. If the croquis was sketched in grey, instead of black, it would be perfect.

If you want to see more of this book, you can read more about it here. Also, if you’re staring down that croquis and thinking, “Yep, my body does not look ANYTHING like that!”, just know that Beth also offers books with customized figure drawings.

110 Creations Book

So here’s the fun part – Beth is offering a 10% discount on this book, as well as free shipping! The offer is good through Monday 12/2. This would be an excellent holiday gift for any crafter on your list – I totally would ask for a copy if I didn’t already have one (or maybe I’ll just end up with two. Why not!).

You can buy your copy here for $13.49 (marked down from $14.99, and again, free shipping!). There is also an ADORABLE smaller size (6″x9″ ee!), although it’s not 10% off since it’s a pretty new release.

So what do you think? Are you the type A who salivates at the thought of having ALL THE PLANS, ALL IN THE SAME PLACE? Is this book just appealing so hard to you right now?

One last thing before I peace out for the weekend – I noticed that a LOT of places are running some pretty epic Black Friday specials right now, so if you’ve got your Shopping Hat on and are looking for a few discounts to sweeten the deal, check these out -
Papercut Patterns is running 15% off ALL patterns (through Monday 12/2)
Mood Fabrics has 20% off all fabrics through end of today (through Friday 11/29)
A Fashionable Stitch has 25% off the entire shop, use the code THANKS2013 (through Saturday 11/30)
Grainline Studio is offering 20% off the entire shop, use the code GIVETHANKS20 (through Monday 12/2)
Colette Patterns has 20% off the entire pattern shop (through Friday 11/29)
Victory Patterns is 30% off all paper and PDF patterns, use the code happyanny (through Friday 11/29)
Disparate Disciplines has a fun Black Friday sale – get a free $5 gift certificate for every $10+ gift certificate you buy (through Friday 11/29; after that it’s $5 for every $20+ gift certificate you buy through Monday 12/2). She just released a new Mitten pattern that is SUPER adorable – and 15% off, to boot!
Sleuth Patterns is 30% off your entire order, use the code BLKFRIDAY (through Saturday 12/7)
Christinie Haynes is 20% everything in the shop (plus she is donating 10% of every sale to the LA Regional Food Bank! Awh yeah!), use the code thanksgiving (through Monday 12/2)
She’ll Make You Flip has 20% off your entire order, use the code LLADYBIRD20 (through 12/31) (Ok, this isn’t a Black Friday deal – just a sponsor deal! – but I thought I would mention it anyway$)

Wow, that list got way longer than I meant it to! Happy shopping, I guess, ha! Let me know if I missed any good sales – I know there’s a lot out there today!

Completed: The Peacock Eyes Cardigan

23 Sep

Who else out there has a sewing or knitting kindred spirit? You know, someone who is pretty much always on the same wavelength as you when it comes to projects, whose blog or Ravelry queue is prime for lurkin’ because it means you’re totally about to find your new favorite pattern without actually discovering it yourself? For me, that’s Jo. Seriously, her Ravelry favorites are one of my favorite things to look at on the internet because I love basically everything that she loves (also, when I opened that link to embed it in this post, I discovered ANOTHER cardigan pattern that I need. Dammit, Jo!). It seems like every time we chat about what we’re working on, it’s something creepy similar. I love having a knitting twin!!

Jo's Francis sweater
Red Cashmerino Cowl

See? I spied her Francis, Revisited sweater and SHAMELESSLY ripped it off as soon as I got my hands on the yarn. No hate.
Wish I could have ripped off her amazing hair, too, but I guess life doesn’t work that way :P

So we decided for our next projects, we’d embrace that twinsy-ness and try to channel each other’s wavelength… the wavelength being bright green, obviously, since we had both been independently thinking about buying yarn in this color. We weren’t planning on finishing at the same time (one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t really rush knitting!), but somehow it worked itself out anyway. So here’s mine – in brilliant kelly green, my new favorite color of right this second.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

This is the Peacock Eyes pattern. Lots of my favorites rolled up in this one – top-down, once piece, fingering weight, pretty lacework. Hell yeah!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I bought the yarn for this sweater back in August, when I knew I would be having surgery and lots of couch-time as a result. I decided to treat myself to something special, and, whooo boy, this stuff is special all right. The brand is Vice and it’s a blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. It feels just as amazing as is sounds, and the color is incredible (don’t let my shitty pictures fool you – it’s bright Kelly green, y’all).

Peack Eyes Cardigan

It was also really really expensive – like $70 for 2 skeins. Ok, I guess that’s not *that* expensive, but it’s the most I’ve paid for sweater yarn to date! Totally worth it, though. I enjoyed knitting every single stitch of this cardigan. It was like angels on my fingertips or some shit.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

If you clicked over to the pattern link, you’ll see that my cardigan is much more cropped than the original pattern, as well as having shorter sleeves. I had to change a couple things up to get my yarn to work with the pattern as I didn’t buy enough – two skeins meant I was about 100-150 yards short of the suggested amount, and I didn’t want to buy a third skein soooo I improvised! I’m not a huge fan of long cardigans, anyway, so this worked out – although in retrospect, I may have cropped it too much. Oops. I’ll still wear it, though :)

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I really love this style of cardigan. I think the lace peacock eyes are so pretty!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

It looks good unbuttoned, too – which I’ve already tested this theory, wearing it last week before I sewed the buttons on. Ha! It just looked toooo good with my outfit, is the thing.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

Since the cardi is pretty shrunken with a good amount of negative ease, the button bands really don’t like laying completely flat – see in the picture? I hand sewed seam binding to the undersides so at least the actual button holes aren’t trying to pull open (ugh, I just hate the way that looks, sorry), but there is still a little bit of pulling. I am happy with the way it fits, though.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I feel like I should point out the new piece of jewelry in my septum – well, I guess it’s not really new, it’s been there for over a month. It’s just a retainer; I got it so it could be removed during surgery, but I kind of like it so I haven’t changed back to the silver horseshoe. My mom hates it. She says it looks like I have a staple in my nose, haha. What do you think?

Peack Eyes Cardigan

One other thing, I wore this dress because 1. It looks awesome with the green; and 2. I wanted to show y’all that I did fit my puckery bust darts. Of course, you can’t see them at all so obviously this is a moot point, but, you know. Just so you know.

Peack Eyes Cardigan

One more back shot, because I can!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I do have one question for the knitter pros – see how my button band does not align with my bottom ribbing? No matter what I do (and I’m extra careful to pick up the stitch at the VERY edge of the ribbing when I start the band), I can’t get it to make a straight line. Any tips on how to fix that?

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I didn’t have any green petersham ribbon to sew to the button band like I normally do, so I used rayon seam binding. It does not exactly match – it’s teal, the sweater is green – but it complements. I sewed my button holes on as usual (and stuck a piece of silk organza underneath because my machine wanted to eat that rayon) and then stitched it on the sweater by hand. It’s not as solid or pretty as the petersham would be, but it works!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

Peack Eyes Cardigan

The buttons are vintage, a gift from my sister-in-law. They are a perfect match for the yarn color!

Peack Eyes Cardigan

This is a shitty picture, but it shows the true yarn color. Told ya – kelly green ;)

Peack Eyes Cardigan

I guess that’s it! Full Ravelry notes are here. Now hop over to Jo’s blog and check out her green goddness… she went with the same brilliant green, but with different pattern (omg amazing)(yes it’s already in my queue).

Who’s your crafty Kindred Spirit?

EDIT Almost forgot to mention this! I’m taking a quick, last-minute trip to Chicago this weekend and would love to meet up with some sewing friends for fabric shopping and eats! I sent out an inquiry on Twitter and we’re cooking up some plans right now, but if you did not see the tweet and would like to join – just send me an email! We are looking at either Saturday or Sunday (the 28th & 29th).

An Amazing Review

24 Jul

Have you heard about The Amazings?

Silver Clay 2

I know what you’re thinking. “Laurennnn, why are you telling us about this – there are SO MANY online video classes, this market is oversaturated and we are tired of hearing about it blah blah blah.”

Well, take a look at their Mission Statement:
The Amazings was born out of a single, simple idea.
Society has always learned from its elders. but somewhere along the way we have lost that connection between generations — which means losing rich, valuable, and rare skills.
We’re on a mission to fix this and we need your help.

Felt Furry 1

If that doesn’t immediately appeal to you, I don’t know what does! Granted, I’m not trying to badmouth other forms of online video learning – I love ‘em all, I’d buy ‘em all if I could justify the cost and time – but there’s something to be said about learning from someone who’s been honing their craft for years and years. It’s like learning from your granny, except it’s actually probably someone else’s granny ;)

Felt Furry 2

Even better, up to 20% of every enrollment goes directly to the elders teaching the classes. Since most of them are retired, you can imagine how much this benefits them.

Big Needle 3

The Amazings has been around for over a year, teaching classes in London (lord, I wish I lived in London – some of those look AWESOME!), but they’ve recently branched out into the online world with videos to teach certain skills. There are currently 10 classes available, with more being added regularly. I was contacted and asked if I wanted to try out a class to review – how could I say no??
(also, I have no idea what is going on with the above photo but HOLY SHIT that lady is the coolest, I want to hang out with her!!)

Natural Beauty Products 3

I chose to learn making natural beauty products. True story: I’m a bit of a documentary freak (if I’m going to sit and watch TV, I want to feel like I’m learning something in the meantime, yeah?), and I’ve watched enough about the evils of chemicals in our food and beauty products that I’m basically terrified to buy things from the grocery store now! Making the food switch has been easy – food gets consumed quickly in my home, so you gotta buy more to… uh, stay alive – but the changing out my beauty products has been a long and somewhat expensive process. My budget doesn’t allow me to buy a bunch of new stuff at whim (especially if the new is gonna cost more up front!), so I’m slowly using my old products and replacing them with more natural options.

Natural Beauty Products 4

After watching this video, I checked my cabinets and realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make my own body scrub. YES! I’m not going to show you a picture because mine is in an old salsa jar aaaand it’s pretty white trash looking, ha, but the inside looks just like this press photo! I used lavender from my garden, and peppermint essential oil, and it smells fabulous! It’s very moisturizing – which is important to me, as my skin tends to be very dry. I can’t wait to try some of the other products once I get my hands on the supplies.

Watching the class was less like watching a “class” and more like watching a small one-on-one teaching session that just happened to be videoed. It was very personal and intimate – both women were chatty, swapping stories, and it was obviously unscripted. I like that! It’s filmed in a way so that the “student” is basically a placeholder for you – asking questions you might ask and such – but of course, the elders are available for you to contact directly if you have questions. Another thing I really liked about this class was that there is a separate document with recipes, as well as a crib sheet for different types of herbs and essential oils and how they interact with your body. I’m a total n00b when it comes to skincare, so this information is super helpful!

Silver Clay 1

I’ve also been lurking on this class for making a pendant using silver clay, but it’ll have to wait for me to get my finances in order before I can really try it out. That stuff is NOT cheap! But it’s SO COOL, and Debbie makes the process look so easy. I’m not much of a butterfly person, but I am imagining so many other possibilities!

Silver Clay 3

Seriously. Those were all made with CLAY.

Upcycle 2

There are also classes on upcycling a man’s shirt, retro hair styles, needle felting, and quilting, amongst other things.

Loom Knit 4

The classes run between $12-$28 and are viewable on most devices (I say most because I did have some trouble getting the video to work on my Kindle Fire, but I have been assured that they are working on fixing that), anytime, anywhere, forever.

So… who’s interested in signing up for that silver clay class with me, and crafting some legit awesome jewelry? ;) Are you are terrified as chemicals as I am? What was the best thing you learned from an elder – relative or not? Let’s discuss!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,141 other followers