July 27, 2011

Gathered Clutch

If you want a nifty little project to practice your zipper installation skills, hop on over to Noodlehead and try out her fabulous gathered clutch tutorial.

I used some of the nylon from Rowan's raincoat for the lining.  Perfect for transforming the clutch into a travel make-up bag!  If a compact or eyeshadow were to flip their lids, the inside can easily be wiped clean.

Yes, I'm aware there is a spider on my blog.  This lovely little spider spun a web over my fruit bowl and was doing a marvelous job of catching and consuming 90% of the fruit flies in my kitchen.  Now, he/she is gone and things are getting out of hand.  Please come back, little friend!!  I don't want to have to set out unattractive fruit fly traps!

July 25, 2011

Family Heirloom Revival

I could spend all day in an antique store and be happy as a clam.  In fact, a few times I've come close!  Antique, craft and fabric stores are my Bermuda Triangle.

The vintage sewing machine pictured above lives in my Grandma's house.  To say she loves antiques is an understatement.  Let's just put it this way - her rotary phone looks out of place.  However, by no means is her house cluttered with her vintage possessions.  Most of them are in use; which brings me to today's blog topic - the re-purposed family heirloom.

A little over a year ago, I acquired a stash of aprons that were sewn and worn by Rowan's Great Grandma Ardiel (AKA Rowan's Dad's Mom's Mom).  I kept one, passed some around to other family members and...hastily took one apart.  Of course, that's the one I used for my project, so unfortunately, I don't have a before picture.  I wish the 'March 2010 Me' had a little more forethought and a little less pregnancy-brain.

I can't imagine how long it took Ardiel to embroider the names of her family onto that apron.  'March 2010 Me' knew that no one would be brave enough to don such an apron for fear of staining it.  It definitely deserved a revamp.  I used the spring tote tutorial from Homemade By Jill to transform the apron into a functional shopping bag.  The little pocket on the apron was removed and sewn to the bag lining.

Add a little Rowan...

...and it's a birthday gift for my mother-in-law!  Rowan's Grandma Avis is moving to Abu Dhabi (after spending the previous year in Kuwait) at the beginning of August to begin a two year teaching contract. We will miss her very much!

July 18, 2011

Handmade Summer Hat

It's it hot and humid where you are?  Holy heck.  My hair is doing 'fantastic' things today.  The only way I'm getting through this day is by constantly sitting in front of a fan.  Yeah....fan, not A/C unit.  Because I'm just THAT into antiques and the 'old school' lifestyle.  In reality, I'm just cheap and not really bothered by the fact that for a few days out of the year it's unbearably hot.

Perhaps later Rowan and I will find an excuse to go to an air conditioned store.  Like Bulk Barn!  I'm in the process of planning R-man's 1st birthday party, so I want to scope out their shaped baking pan selection.  You can rent them for $2 per day.  Fan-freaking-tabulous if you ask me!

Regardless of how hot it is, Rowan doesn't leave home without his new hat.

I created my own pattern from another hat that I purchased, I think it turned out pretty well.  I found the mini buckle at Fabricland.  So much easier than ties!

I would love to do a tutorial, but I have to tweak the pattern a little bit.  Stay tuned!

Last but not least - I really want to do a giveaway!  Visit A Handmade Tale's Facebook page and 'Like' it if you haven't already.
100 'Likes' = FREE STUFF! 

July 8, 2011

MADE Beach Robe

This is the greatest summer project EVER!

The pattern can be purchased from Dana at MADE.  I was really pleased with the way it sewed up; my only complaint is the type of towel I chose.  I liked the stripes, it reminded me of retro men's pajamas, but...

...it has a very high pile and frays like a #@&*^$!!  Even with diligent zigzag stitches over every single raw edge.  Bugger!  Regardless, it only took me 2.5 hours, so I will be making another one with a different type of towel.  It's such a great idea to keep little ones cozy while drying off.

Strawberry season is pretty much over.  Yesterday I panicked and picked 19 L of berries.  Yeah...not the best idea. 

 I turned 9 L of it into jam, gave a few litres away, and I guess I'll freeze the rest.  Haha!! Silly me.


July 5, 2011

Dyed Feathers

Recently, a fellow blogger asked me to make her a fascinator: eggplant coloured flower, teal feathers.  Awesome pairing!  Eggplant satin - no problem.  Teal feathers?  Uhhhhh.....

I wasn't sure where to find such a thing without making a trip to Toronto.  There are feathers available at craft stores but they just weren't the right colours. 

Well, I figured that all the feathers for boas and crafts are dyed somehow, so I did some online research.  The first site I found talked about acid dyes.  That just seemed....scary.   Especially with a 10.5 month old in the house who somehow gets into E V E R Y T H I N G. 

I've used Rit fabric dyes before, (their colour remover is most excellent for keeping whites white) so I went on their website and found a tutorial on how to dye feathers.  Huzzah!

I used white and Guinea feathers that I bought from Michael's.  The Guinea feathers were kind of a waste of time, they didnt' seem to absorb much colour no matter how long they were left in.

Rinsed feathers drying.

They looked so great with the flower, but I wanted a few with more contrast, so I did some later with a lighter teal.

It was hard to let this fascinator go!  I'm so glad that I ventured into dying feathers, it's going to save me a LOT of money!

From what I understand, acid dyes will give a more intense colour.  Maybe one day I will fiddle around with that.  For now, I'm happy with the all-purpose dyes.