January 21, 2014

Obligatory Update Post


You may have noticed the obvious lack of post in the last week. After a week of intense blogging, i found I had nothing left to show you. I spend the week working and finding a new place to stay, so nothing that would be of any interest to you. At least, i don't think.

However, I am now on a GISHWHES team! very, very excited to be a part of that this year.

I do want to make more projects, but I really have not had the money, time, or tools to do so. i have no sewing machine where I'm living right now, and I need to start saving my money once more, sadly enough. I'm not made of money.

The scarf from last week is the warmest thing I've ever worn. I love it. I really recommend the project, it will be sure to make you feel like the warmest person on earth.

I also have a tumblr, yay!

Come say hi!

Have a nice week,

January 12, 2014

DIY Projects

Hello everyone!

I've recently taken a week to myself to do... well, anything I set my heart on. I've bookmarked so many projects over the past few months and really wanted to make a few, so... I did. And it was awesome.

The Cosmic skirt (read the tutorial for the fabric here and the skirt here) I made this week was jus the beginning of my projects. It was a whole lot of fun, and the bleaching was fun and fantastic. I'm wearing it with a shirt from Gap and some lovely TARDIS stockings I got for christmas. 

 I got inspired to make this one after seeing the lovely Anthropologie cardigan that was waaaaaaay out of my price range. After a bit of scouring the internet, I found a tutorial and decided to go for it.

Now, the tutorial at Honey and Fitz recommends a running stitch, but I found that it bunches up too much. A back stitch is very effective and easy to work with. 

Plus, it just looks cool. I found a lovely earth necklace at a thrift shop and they go lovely together.

Now this HAS to be my favorite tutorial of them all. I have been raving about it all week. It took me only 15 minutes to do, start to finish, and has NO SEAM! It's so easy and looks fabulous!
So big shout out to Dana over at MADE because it is fantastic. I want to make more! 

This galaxy jean project turned out... well, different than expected. The jeans simply did NOT want to dye. Then the fabric pain did not want to stick. And yes, there are stars all over this baby, but they don't want to show. However, I think it gives a nice muter look, so it's not crazy overwhelming if I wear it out. I followed the tutorial here

And finally, my ten foot long fourth doctor's scarf. It's so warm and cozy! I made a pattern here, check it out and give it a try! Perfect for beginners and pros.

And there you have it! I hope you try out some of these projects, because they are awesome to make. I had so much fun, and now I have a very cool wardrobe!

Have a fantastic day!

January 11, 2014

DIY Cosmic Skirt

I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I was having technical difficulties with my computer.

Actually, I had technical difficulties with a lot of stuff during this project. Gah, It's been tough. I didn't prime the fabric paint right so a lot of it disappeared, leaving only the white, and too much of that to say the least. It's since been fixed, but I'm not as happy with the final project as I first was.

But to the tutorial!

This tutorial isn't exactly... mine. Before I start, I need to announce that it's actually a mix of two different ones I found online: the circle skirt (from MADE) and the yard skirt (from anothercraftyday). My grandmother calls this one a broom skirt, and she leaned the pattern when she was a teenager in 4H, which I think is cool.

Both require no pattern and minimal sewing. The skirt takes about half an hour to make.

I started off wanting to follow the circle skirt pattern, but ended up with too little fabric (some metric conversions gone awry) so I found the yard skirt online and followed that one until I got to a found when I could return to the circle skirt pattern. I liked the waistband of the circle skirt, but it seems combining the two patterns was very difficult due to that little part. But here goes.

What you need:

- A yard long piece of fabric which you have painted like so.
- A piece of 2 inch wide elastic (black)

Take your fabric and fold it in half along what would have been the fold on the beam in the shop. You're going to cut down this fold so as to have two pieces of fabric, each 36 x 22.

This will be about 90cm x 55cm for Europeans: however, since you are buying this in Europe, It'll actually be 1m x 50cm for a meter wide beam or 1m x 75cm.

In any case, it will look like this.

Sew the two shorter ends together, so as to have a tube. Stitch up the sides, right side together, then flip it right side out so as to see what the size is. Have a friend help pin it around your waist so you can see if you have too much fabric (in which case, you need to re-stitch the sides until you have a smaller amount) and figure out the length of the hem.

Hemming is fuuuuuuuun.

Next comes the waist.  Start by finishing off the top edge with a zig-zag stitch.

You are going to have to run a piece of thread all around that waist to help gather all that fabric. Try to keep it even. I recommend using white, as it is easy to see, so will be easy to pull out one you are done with it. Make sure you placed a pin every quarter of fabric BEFORE you started gathering - this will help even out the pleats and line up with the elastic later.

Next, measure your waist. Cut the elastic EXACTLY to that length. Stitching it will take a tiny bit of length off, enough for the elastic to be tight when you wear it. This is good,  because it's both flattering and comfortable.

Finish off the ends and stitch it together to create a loop.

Mark off each quarter with a pin and match it up with the skirt. Now you're ready to sew! 

Stretch the elastic as you go around, and don't be afraid of the pleats. This was the toughest part and takes some practice.

Once you're done, cut the loose ends, pull out the white thread, and voila! Le tour est joué!

I'm sorry about the poor quality of the photo, I was alone without a tripod and no light. But anyway, this is the final result on me:

It's very comfortable, and, as anothercraftyday says in her tutorial, holds the flare position very well. 

I hope you liked this tutorial! Check out the other ones on my blog, as well as those that inspired me, as I can assure you they are ten times better than mine.

A bientôt!

January 6, 2014

The Fourth Doctor's Scarf

As a whovian and a knitter, this project had a LOT of appeal to me. That and the fact that I am currently living in DC, where arctic winds have just arrived. I need a warm scarf. So better than make my own?

As with all my projects, I did a lot of research beforehand. I used this pattern at first, then went my own way when I lost the print out.

Here is my pattern:

And it gives something that looks like this:
Sonic screwdriver for scale

I used my absolute favorite yarn, Katia's 'Peru', which is a Alpaca/Wool blend, and fantastic to work with. Using size 6 mm needles (US size 10) and a garter stitch, casting on 40 stitches,  the scarf finished a little over ten feet long, and boy, this baby is HEAVY. Which is no problem in my book. 

The pattern above lists a count for the ridges, as they are the knitter;s best friend for counting rows - so if you want to knit this in stockinette, just double the numbers I gave you and you should be fine.

I bought one skeen of yarn for each colour, and knit until I ran out. All the leftover tidbits I used as tassels - I have nothing left.

Now, as for the exact wool I used, here they are:
Cream: 7
Caramel Brown: 32
Red: 16
Blue: 18
Prune: 25
Green: 14
Yellow: 21

And there you have it! Have fun!

January 5, 2014

DIY Galaxy Fabric

Hello, Hello all of you!

So I said I was working on a project, right? Well, here you have it! I'm working on a galaxy print skirt, and decided to do it all from scratch to save money. The entire project cost less than 20 bucks, and that's counting all painting supplies - I but you could do it cheeper if you've already got those on hand.

This tutorial will come in two parts - the first, to describe how to make the print, and the second to make the skirt. I'll post that one on tuesday.

Now, I took a lot of inspiration from other people online. I did my research! Anyway, they deserve some credit, and they are worth checking out! Beatrice Rooker; letsgetthrifty; thesunwashigh... Some recommend using spray bottles of fabric paint, and I would think that they would look pretty cool.

So I'm no going to call it galaxy fabric (except for the title on this page, so that you could find this page in a  search engine). I'm going to call it cosmic fabric, seeing as how I'm not exactly painting the Virgo supercluster here. It's more... nebulous. But cosmic fabric has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

I'm working with a square foot of fabric, (well, more like 36" x 44")  which I bought at Joanne's for 6 bucks on clearance. It's a poly-cotton blend.

  • Black fabric of choice
  • Bleach
  • Colored fabric paints of your choice (I also used acrylics)
  • White and Black fabric paint
  • A form of sparkle paint - glitter glue can work
  • Gold and/or Silver paint
  • Paint Pens (I like Posca)
  • Paint brushes of various sizes
  • Sponges with different sized holes
  • Old toothbrush

Depending on the kind of black fabric you got, the bleach will make different colored splotches. A dark dark blue makes pink, in some cases. Take this into account when purchasing your fabric. You may want to make a few testers.

Lay out your fabric on a flat surface. Put your bleach in a spray bottle, and dilute it a little with water so it's less harsh on the fabric. You want to spray a lot on some areas, so that it pools, and less in others, so it looks like a star field. 

I used salt, a silk painting technique, in the pools of bleach to create intricate supernova designs. Put rock salt in a pile, then spray with bleach, and wait. The result is fantastic.

Cool, right?

Wait until the bleach is dry to the touch before washing it out. You don't want to damage your fabric, so it all has to go. I recommend waiting ten to fifteen minutes after spraying to make sure the process is complete. Run your fabric under cold water until it comes out clear.

Wash and dry (you can use a washing machine, no problem with that) to prepare for painting.

Decide where you want the center of your nebulas to be and start sponging on white. Play around with your materials to see the different ways you can apply the color, so you're ready for the next ones. 

I liked using a large holes sponge around the large bleach spots, and a thick round brush for the small ones. Lightly bounce the brush up and down on the fabric and watch the cosmic clusters appear.

Surround the white with the colours of your choice. You can blend them by mixing different shades of your initial color and dabbing the lighter ones around the center, but using the vibrant colors straight from the bottle work just as well.

Add some gold with the driest song you have - go ahead, try it! - around the clusters. 

Sponge on some black (I may have overdone it, but that's for you to decide) around the clusters. Make sure to overlap slightly with the color, it creates depth. Don't cover up ALL the bleach spots, it removed from  the overall effect.

After the black has sufficiently dried, take a sponge and add the sparkle paint around and inside the clusters. I used a "confetti" mix that worked very well, as it's not too ostentatious.

Now grab some gold, white, and sparkle paint, and use a toothbrush to one at a time spackle them on the fabric. I found acrylics to be very runny, so make sure you're got a hand under there to catch large blobs dropping off your finger. if you do get blobs, use the end of a paintbrush to pull the cardinal points, so that you have a glittering star.

Vary the sizes and density of your spackled stars. This will add a lot of depth.

Using metallic pens and paint pens, start dotting everything, everywhere. Vary the concentration to get a full effect. Make sure to apply light pressure for tiny stars, and to draw out some large ones as well. Don't be afraid to add some shimmering stars, classic stars, or even constellations.

I bought Office Max brand markers, which were half the price of sharpies, and had more variety. You can draw other cosmic things on your fabric (TARDIS, anyone?) just as you want - it's yours, after all.

Follow the instructions on your paint for drying. I kept my fabric flat for four hours, and steamed it under an iron to set the colors. Allow 72 hours before washing.

After my 72 hours are up, I'll start working on the skirt. I'm very excited to see if this works!
And yes, I am making a skirt with one square yard of fabric. Come check it out on Tuesday (or wednesday, not sure when I'll post the tutorial yet).

Have fun with your cosmic fabric! Tell me what worked for you and what didn't. Any ideas, techniques? Let me know in the comments below!

January 2, 2014


And so, with that, the new year is upon us.

For the past few weeks, my posts have been mainly photos. I have been just so busy with everything, going between countries, trying to find a new place in DC that i could actually afford, spending time with the family. My exhaustion is palpable.

I will be working on a few projects soon, which I will be sure to post; Making some skirts and a bit of thrift shop upcycling being just a few of my plans. Having just finished my NanoWrimo Novel (hit the target in november, slowly editing and working it since), I may even begin writing something new. Some short stories, perhaps.

I'm going to go back to knitting, which enjoying the new season of Sherlock. I wish you ll well in this new year.

Bonne Année,