Monday, January 30, 2012

Sister Christmas Pillow!

For Christmas in my familia (first of all, there are a ton of us, so) each "kid" or couple is assigned another kid or couple to give a present to. It rotates each year. This year I had my single sister Carlyn. So I got to spoil her with the WHOLE $40 budget ;) I wanted to do something more special than a gift card so I decided to make something she could use, and enjoy, and would be one of a kind and made by her lil sis. I asked her for inspiration and got a lot of questions answered about her taste, and ultimately decided upon a pillowcase for her. Here are my original ideas:
The geometric concept turned into making letters for her name. The ones that aren't colored in are supposed to be the letter "c" for "C"arlyn of course. "W"s for Wutkee. Perfect!
Oh man, I'm so glad I didn't pick the design on the top right! I have to admit that this project ended up to be a bit of a headache. Matching seams... not the easiest! And I didn't even succeed totally, but I'm pretty satisfied.

Here she is as a little (mis-measured) sapling:
This is the fabric for the back. Yes, I know it makes for a busy busy pillowcase, but at least you can't see both sides at the same time. Unless that's your super power or something.

Here is the pillowcase finished! I didn't really think out every aspect the best, so the end of it is just a little double folded hem instead of how a pillowcase is traditionally finished, with a really wide hem.
And here we are together, with a pillow inside so you can see it in "action" :)

I mailed the it to Carlyn, along with a gift card to Nordstrom, a little pack of Hello Kitty tissues, and some awesome stationary from a shop on
I think she likes it.

OG Idea and Scarf # 2

I had this big idea once upon a time. It was this:

I came up with the design because I'd bought a cute infinity scarf with stripes of silver sequins along the entire length, but the problem was when it was twisted and hanging from my neck- at least 50% of what someone would see is the ugly back side with a bunch of clear plastic thread. So that design I made there was the solution. The idea: no matter how much it twisted, what you see will be intentional and attractive. And depending on the fabric combination, it could make it wacky, pretty, or subtle.


The closest thing that design has begotten to date is this, which you might remember:

(Pardon the ugly Bon Jovi-esque hair.)
You might notice the flatter grey sheen on the opposite side of the more metallic gold. I only ended up using one fabric, but still employing my idea. I haven't found 2 compatible fabrics that I like enough together, to really execute this thing.


With this beautiful fabric I bought, I ended up with a new design. This is just one looooooong scarf (two ends, not a circle/infinity scarf)- I tie a little knot at the end, twist it once, and VOILA!

Don't forget to give me credit when you make one of your own ;)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Apron for Sister!

Christmas was coming up, and my sister Jenalyn gave me a strange (but welcome) proposition. She wanted me to fill her stocking for her shopping-challenged husband who "didn't know what to get her" and she'd pay me back. Well I've been wanting/meaning to make her an apron for ages- so I went for it! I had an idea of the aesthetic she was going for, but then my other sister helped me stalk her Pinterest and I knew that RUFFLES was the answer. So for the low low price of supplies only- Jenalyn got a custom-made ruffled apron!

I designed and made this!

I like the little details like this- contrasting neck strap thing just 'cuz.

Even though there was really no other way to do it- people I showed this too were delighted by the fact that the cute main fabric was hiding under the ruffles. It keeps it cute in case Jenalyn is jumping around while baking ;)

Ruffles in high def.

Double-sided ties make for a fun bow!

Jenalyn in the finished product!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Big, Billowy, Reversible Scarf!

Recently I bought a cute infinity scarf (a giant circle you twist and wrap instead of a scarf with two ends) with sequin stripes on it. It's adorable, but there's a problem. There's always at least a medium portion of the "wrong" side showing to the world! Not cool. So I decided to make some reversible scarves so each side looks... cool.

Here's my first one! It was way easy because I found some fantastic fabric that was beautiful on either side, so I didn't have to do 2 layers! It is soft silvery grey on one side, and a more shimmery gold on the other. It goes with everything! I did some mock flat-fell seams that I was so proud of myself for, so that no ugly seams are poking out. I made it wider than my inspiration-scarf so it would be more billowy. It worked! Here's a picture of me modeling it- if you see it big you'll see the 2 different colors better.

This one is me checking out some boots I was trying on while I'm shopping, but gives you another peek of how the scarf lays.
Future scarves will feature bolder patterns and color combinations. Wee! I'm excited!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apron for Bestie!

I made this for my main-girl, Ashley! (Yeah, we have the same name, I didn't get confused.) Her birthday was in July and I decided last second I needed to make her something extra special. She's a queen in the kitchen and an apron was right up her alley, at least in my opinion. It was a tough choice picking the colors and all, but I think it looks fun AND chic. I really like this design and how it turned out! Well except for some minor flaws like the gaping neck :/ Oh well, I'll be more careful about that on the next one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Project

I made this for my Robocop-obsessed boyfriend!! :)
I spent at least 12 hours working on it on Christmas Eve Eve. (I don't know quite why it took me so long. I think it's because I planned and designed as I went along)
He loves it and thinks it's hilarious. He laughs every time he looks at it :) Perfect. Even better than I hoped.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dream Man illustration

I made this for a temporary art gallery that a friend of mine put together. The title is "Dream Man." I could have done anything, but I wanted to take this opportunity to do a painting, and in the end I decided to go through with this concept I came up with. I don't feel like explaining it right now, but if you want me to- I will later.

At the gallery, they hung side by side like this.

I really wanted to use metallic paint- so I did! Silver on his border, and gold on both of theirs.

A close up of the texture and drawing and painting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oh The Things We Do For Our Mothers

I whipped this up- the apron of course- last night for my mom, and surprised her with it today.
Happy Mother's Day!

She really likes berry colors and so on a budget, this METALLIC fabric was the best buy! Thank goodness she approves of the silly youthfulness of it :)
Cute lady. Good mom. Nay. Great mom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Introducing... Mi Amor.

I thought this would be an appropriate place to show tonight's sketch. This is my baby... my Baby Lock sewing machine!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Been Achin' for this Apron

I've been wanting to make an apron for a while now. It was time for a custom Ashley design to keep me clean in the kitchen! And also, I've never made one before.

Well I bought the fabric a couple weeks ago and have been extra antsy to make it since. I basically copied the pattern of an apron I bought a few years ago (this gem, from Spain-which is a big reason why I needed a new one- because as amazing as it is, it's not really suitable for company!) and adjusted measurements to make the bottom portion a frilly skirt.

So, below, this is what it looked like all cut out and ready for me to work my magic. I pressed roughly 200 inches of that orange fabric lengthwise, 3 ways, in order to do the borders and ties the way I wanted. And also, the pockets were an afterthought, but it worked out nicely.

All done! I don't know how, but it took me an hour and 15 minutes just to add the last 2 main straps. In part it was due to a malfunctioning sewing machine. But anyway, this is the grand total minus patternmaking and cutting time...
Tah dah!! Here she is! Well... She being the apron, not me. Because, as you see, I've cut off my head. So I'm not exactly here ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Skirt!

Ever since I made my last skirt/pattern, I've been wanting to use it upside down to make a classic A-line skirt. So I did! I had to make the pattern a little shorter because I didn't buy enough fabric. (I'm always doing stupid things like that. I mis-calculate because I get too excited about the end product!)

All done! Flat and wrinkly on my floor. That's cotton for you.
reg. wear style
tucked in

I wanted to show you my seams. You're supposed to do a "seam finish" on all your seams so you don't have to little flaps of fabric on every edge of your outfit, fraying and thus your clothes eventually disintegrating off of your body.
THIS ^ is a "french seam", which is known as an "enclosed seam"- which is what I did for this skirt. It's classy, and really quite easy! Here are some other ways to do it:

This is what you'll see on most mass-produced, store bought clothes. A surged seam. (And incidentally this is NOT a skirt I made.)

These are some pajama pants I made in my first sewing class at BYU-Idaho. My teacher told us after we were well under way that we had to do seam finishes. So this is called an overcast stitch. Or something. It's just a zig-zag stitch over the raw edge to keep it from fraying.

Another technique we were taught was simply to "pink" the edges! (Which you do simply by cutting the fabric with pinking shears- which are scissors with a zig-zag!) You can really only do that on a fabric that doesn't fray much. This skirt is one of the first things I made after college and it's actually held up quite well through the washer and dryer with me only doing this seam finish. And I was really just being lazy, not knowledgable in this case. Seam finishes can be a drag, which is why it's nice to do the French seam- because you do it at the very beginning instead of at the end when you're just ready to be done with the thing.
There are other ways to do seam finishes but these are the only ones I have really done myself. Not that I did the serged hem, because I don't have a serger.

The end!
Til next time...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Experiment: A Journey: A Crazy Skirt.

I don't know when I got the idea in my head to make this skirt, but all I know is that I designed and made a sketch of it the other day- and the next day I was making it.

So first things first, I had to make a pattern.
I used the "slash-and-spread" technique I learned in patternmaking class. I didn't bother making an accurate "block" with all the right measurements because I knew this was just going to have an elastic waistband and not be formfitting. So I just decided the width I wanted the bottom opening to be, how much gathering/puffiness I wanted at the top, and how long I wanted the skirt to be. So I slashed up my block and added onto the green paper seam allowances, hem, and extra on the top for a seam and folding it over to make casing for the elastic.

Ok so this isn't much of a journey because there are no pictures of this mid-construction but oh well! After a total of about 6 hours labor- from measuring and slicing up paper to stitching up hems- here's the finished product:
Not flattering!
Booty amplifier!!

Haha, no really, I'm proud of myself. It didn't turn out like the drawing, but I'll get into that in a moment. I'm proud of myself because I took an idea from start to finish, and employed my patternmaking education finally! Also, I had fun making it. I can get so INTO sewing!
So after staying up til close to dawn finishing this thing, I HAD to wear it to church. And it made me laugh every time I saw it in the mirror. Haha :) At least it's good for that. Also good for the up-and-down look from the girls passing by and no accompanying compliments! hahaha.

Ok, so the "problems":
1) I don't have the body of the girl in the sketch!! I don't have a small waist- my body just goes straight down to my hips. That's the main reason why I didn't pull this off as well as I thought I might.
2) It ended up more round on the sides than I intended. If I had to do it again I would make my pattern more concave on the side seams and maybe that would have helped it.
3) It's bulbous all around. It's just. not. flattering. despite my semi-thin frame.

1) Next time I'll wear a necklace that takes the eye up and away from the waist.
2) Or a cute wide belt! I tried one on and it looked pretty darn cute.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Reversible Purse For MEEE!!!

I finally made myself something. I needed a new purse!

I was more excited about this before I assembled it. I was certain these wild non-matching prints were going to look awesome together. In the end, I'm just "ok" with it. After sewing together one of the sides I realized I like the colors better in the order you see here in the first picture- so the sides are different. Also, on the reverse with the "seaweed" side, I didn't buy enough fabric to make a matching pocket so there's clash there too! But the other side is plain with no pocket.

This is what it looks like flat- basically. There's a slight curve on the bottom.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Little Thing I Do...

I don't even know what to call these things, but I make 'em! The parents of the birthday child tell me what they want, they usually provide the wood and the paints, we decide on what I'll draw etc, I do it, and make the dads cut out the holes for the heads :) Come on! I don't have power tools!

This picture above cracks me up. I made this one for my nephew Liam most recently. The little portrait of him didn't turn out too well but with time, patience and MONEY it could have turned out better ;)
This was for my nephew Noah last April. I think it came out pretty cool! My materials were a little different for this one, and I spent more time on it.
(This one also cracks me up.)