Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I was shopping this past weekend and I found the perfect fabric for my jackets at Hancock. It is cotton velvet and it is sturdy enough but not too stiff. I also found V8460 at JoAnn's and picked up two more jacket patterns. Yes, I am a bit obsessed.
The one I am cutting out is McCall 5478. I have plaid wool fabric from my uncle that I am using. It is very cool.

I also started a Christmas gift but that person may read this and I don't want to give anything away.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hey everyone! I have been working on the NaNoWriMo, see my other blog, Wordful Googie, for details. But now that is over with, I am back to the crafting.

I am working on a skirt using the red fabric I bought in Chicago and Vogue 2811. I also started knitting argyle slippers from Weekend Knitting, Melanie Falick's excellent book. The slippers were designed by Denyse Specktor and the yarn is Paternayan Persian Wool. They will be beautiful if they turn out. I don't have a lot of experience in intarsia, so we will see.

I was watching DVDs of Arrested Development and the Lindsay character had the coolest short-sleeve jacket on and I just knew I had to make one. Hancock had a sale on Butterick last week, so I picked up two jacket patterns: 4900 and 5107. The long-sleeve jacket I want to make out of a dusty pink velvet, which I saw on another Arrested Development character, Sally Sitwell (you just have to watch). I think that I am going to buy the fabrics online. I found a couple of really good sites with fabric at 60 inches, which I can't seem to find in Toledo.

Christmas is coming and I wanted to make people's gifts. I still may have time, although I am not going to run myself ragged. There is a couple of embroidery projects and some quick felted slipper patterns I want to try. I am obsessed a bit with slippers. I have three pair; it always seems I am losing them.

I do have one other obsession I wanted to share: on the cover of Vogue Patterns last month, there was the coolest bag and unfortunately, the month passed before I could find out what the pattern was. I tracked it down and it is Vogue 8406 and along with the Butterick sale, Hancock also had Vogue patterns on sale last week. Alas, they didn't have it. Fortunately, JoAnn has Vogue patterns on sale so I will be able to get it. There are three JoAnn's in town, so I have a better chance of finding it. There is only one Hancock in town. I have a really great brown suede from which to make it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

As promised, here are the photos of some projects I have been working on. This first is a really great skirt I made out of a cotton patchwork flannel. I used Vogue 2811 and it turned out really well.

I mentioned in a previous post that I went to Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. It is a fantastic place! I bought this toile-like washable suede fabric. It was a toile weekend. I stayed at my brother and his wife's house and my sister-in-law just re-upholstered their furniture in a red and white toile. It was very pretty! Here is the fabric and a close-up shot.




I also bought a gray washable suede that I will use with that same pattern. Believe me, the photo does not do it justice. It's beautiful.



I have been cutting out a lot of patterns to work on in an assembly-line fashion. Here are some pants I cut out:



I have also been doing other things. I started needlepoint. Here is a towel I have been working on:

It's a teapot and he's yawning!

I am also working on an environmental friendly crocheted grocery bag:



Finally, here is the Singer knitting machine my mom is letting me borrow. It is very cool:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hey everybody! I know that you have heard this before, but I am definitely going to post more. I am safely ensconced in my studio and have been working up a storm. Sewing mostly. I did bring my writing books down so they are closer to the place I am working, but I am fitting everything in.

News: I have had to push back the debut of my VirtualGoogie collection at etsy.com until spring. I am just not organized enough to get it together. I have some really great ideas for totes and some jewelry that came to me in a dream, if you can believe it, and I will be working up some sample pieces in the next couple of weeks. I have to make sure I still have my etsy account.

I went to Chicago last week and have the saw the promised land. While there, I visited, not one, but two Vogue Fabrics! One is in Chicago on Roosevelt and the other is in Evanston, a hop, skip, and a jump north on Lake Shore Drive. There was so much at such cheap prices that going to JoAnn's and Hancock's just feels like a letdown now. It is probably a good thing that I don't live nearby because I would be broke.

Up tomorrow - photos of a couple of finished projects. I have been cutting out several patterns to be sewn in a sort of assembly line manner. I will have photos of those, too!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hello everyone-
It has been three months since I last posted on my blog and I have to say that finally, today, my new studio is finished! I didn't take photos of the before space, but let's just say it was a dark and dank place. The first two are after the transformation, the rest are after it was finished along with a gratuitous puppy post. I am pretty excited by the possibilities. Now I have no excuse not to post and create!

Speaking of which, I started my Halloween costume for this year. I am going as a wood nymph and am using Simplicity #3632. JoAnn's just had a $.99 sale a couple of weeks back. The photo is at the end. I am making the shorter costume in the top right hand corner.









Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hi everyone-
I haven't posted in a while but here I am. I made an apron:





















I also made a skirt:


I haven't been working on my tote bags because I don't have enough room to do it. Work on my room is continuing and I am hoping that I am in by the end of June. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hey everyone!
I have neglected writing, but I haven't stopped the crafting! I recently finished a really great apron. It looks like an apron you would buy from Williams-Sonoma. I think that I am going to make some for Christmas gifts. I also have been working on my jacket. This is after I threw it away in a fit of frustration after not being able to understand the directions. I rescued it and have been working on it and am almost finished. I will post a photo soon.

I have been working on my tote bags. I have kind of hit a snag and have been unable to find suitable and interesting fabric. I think the first batch will be made out of this faded denim that my mom gave me. I will embellish the bags with needle felting; no two bags will be alike!

On that note, I can't wait until my studio is finished. The drywall is up and needs to be sanded and painted. I am hoping it will be done by the end of the month. Of course I will post a photo when it is finished.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hi Everyone-
I have been pretty busy with all things non-craft related, although I did work on my jacket the other evening. I have been avoiding this jacket for weeks because I don't understand the directions. Sure, I can read through them, and sure I can attempt to do what they say, but my problem is bigger than that. I have a problem with spatial relationships. I can't see how something will be put together by a diagram. For example, the jacket I am working on has an under collar and an over collar. The undercollar is attached to the shoulders of the jacket. The over collar is attached to the lapels. Then the whole over collar/lapel piece is attached to the under collar/shoulder piece. I am assuming that the edges are sewn together and then after it is sewed, the whole thing is turned so the collars and lapels are right side out. But who can write that so it makes sense to someone like me? It took me months of reading and re-reading the directions to even make sense of it.

The good news in this mess is that once I make something, I know how to do it and future attempts won't be as traumatic.

That's how I think it goes.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I went to a book sale today and found the entire Art of Sewing series for a $1 each! I can't believe how much these used book stores charge for these books. I bought them all. I also found the Bishop method for $.50. I have seen it at a local used bok store for $40! Insane! But now I have the entire set and the Bishop method. I am feeling pretty happy! And they are in excellent condition. The art of sewing series has really great covers. One is covered in corduroy, another in fake snakeskin. They are really great. Now I just have to find a place to put them. It's always something, isn't it?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hi everyone-
I am now on myspace.com at www.myspace.com/virtualgoogie. I think that you have to be a member of myspace to look at profiles.

Anyway, I have been working on some sewing projects as I mentioned earlier. I am in the middle of sewing an unlined jacket. I am almost finished. I must be slow, because I am having trouble with the directions like I did with that last tote I made. Speaking of that tote, I looked up some book reviews from whence it came and other people had trouble with her unclear directions, so it wasn't just me. This jacket is something else. I have never made one before, so it is a bit complicated. Of course once I make it and make mistakes, I will know how to do it. I will post a photo as soon as I get one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I have been sewing today, working on my prototypes. Here is a fun fabric:











Here is an up close look:















Here is another one that was incredibly difficult although it looks exactly like the others. I made it from directions and I hate it when they aren't clear!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I just received my copy of The Total Tote Bag Book by Joyce Aiken and Jean Ray Laury. This is a really great resource that talks about construction for all types of bags and some design ideas, although they are from the 70s! Nothing that can't be updated, of course!

I was thinking about what I like in a bag and the most important feature for me is a long strap. For my prototype, I made the straps 28 inches long. I have a purse from H&M that I like, except for the short strap. It is always falling off my shoulder because of the coats I wear. So, a long strap is a must.

Another feature I like is different compartments. If a bag is on big space, it is a bit difficult to find things. Of course a one-compartment bag is great for toting items such as groceries home from the store or towels to the beach.

What do you like in a bag? Tell me!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I think that I have a hit a good wave, right before it has begun to crest. In the latest issue of Vogue magazine, there is a section called "Sustainable Style," and one of the articles is about doing away with plastic and paper shopping bags, and instead, using tote bags. There are a couple of beautiful and expensive bags pictured, such as $960 Herm├ęs bag that zips into a wallet-sized pouch for impromptu shopping sprees; a $275 hand-painted shopping bag from Dosa; and a really cool white bag that is cut to look like a paper bag from maison martin margiela that is yours when you buy something from their boutique. Fantastico!

I have decided that I am going to make three different style of bags. Of the three styles, I will make five different styles of two of the bags, and three different style of the other, then 20 each. Since I read the above-mentioned article, I think one of the three totes will be a traditional tote bag with a gusseted bottom. I don't think that I will have them ready by May 15, so my new deadline date is May 30.

Speaking of Vogue, there is a new column titled, "Tabitha Takes On ...", written by Tabitha Simmons about making runway style your own. It is really interesting. I could actually see myself wearing the clothes she writes about. In fact, I have one of the outfits in my closet. Now if I could just go somewhere besides the grocery and fabric stores!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A couple of posts ago I was talking about my new obsession, which is now my old obsession, ever since I decided to sell my stuff on etsy. The obsession in question was the perfect summer dress. I am usually alone in my obsession (except for the Prada/Duro dress last year), but not this time. I have been seeing this dress everywhere. I opened up an e-mail from J.Crew and here it was:





























I opened my Anthropologie catalog and there they were:














It's madness! I bought a pattern from Vogue 8182 that I will be sewing. I don't have a photo of the pattern front but it is on the Vogue pattern website.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hey everyone!
I have been pretty busy. I have a lot of things going on. In my last post I announced that I was opening my own etsy.com shop and I have been working on what I am going to sell. I am going to start out with tote bags. Here is a prototype:


Yes, the fabric looks familiar. I recently made a skirt out the same material. I made the pattern myself and am pretty happy with it. I am also going to make a box-type of tote, simliar to my Prada bag. I am hoping that my shop will be open by May 15. I will let everyone know.

In other news, I am going to be moving to a bigger space. A studio as it were. Right now I am in a spare bedroom and am tripping over everything. The new area is big and open. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I have some really exciting news, that is separate from the teaser in my last post. I am setting up a shop on etsy.com and will be selling homemade items on it! I am working on getting an inventory together and will let everyone know when the big debut is. I will also be advertising my blog more by putting the links into forum postings and the like. Right now my blog is mainly for family and friends, but I am going to branch out. I will have to start writing witty and interesting blog posts and blogging more often.

I am also going to join some webrings so all of you readers will be able to search more links on related topics.

So, stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just a quick note to let you all know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have been very busy, having cut out several patterns. I will post photos soon and fill you in on my new obsession. And this time, I'm ahead of the curve!

... stay tuned ...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Well, February is almost over and I haven't finished any projects. I have taken advantage of the pattern sales at JoAnn's and Hancock's and stocked up. Enough to keep me busy through the spring. As promised, here is a photo of my new sewing machine.



Isn't it pretty? I just love it. Hopefully I will get motivated to use it soon!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hey everyone-
Well, I did get a new machine and it is a Janome, but it is a Kenmore #19233 from Sears. It was cheaper than the Janome from Sewing Express and I got a hard case with it! Here are the specs:

-215 stitch functions/167 built-in stitches, including monograms
-5 styles of computerized auto-size buttonholes
-Backlit LCD with sensor-touch keypad
-3 one-touch function buttons (needle up/down, auto lock stitch, reverse stitch)
-Design your own stitch feature - create combinations of up to 50 patterns
-Jam-proof magnetic horizontal bobbin system
-7 pc. feed dog system to effortlessly feed fabric of any thickness
-More than 45 quilting stitches, including blanket stitches
-Mega-wide stitch width (7mm)
-15 needle positions

I love it! I will have to take a photo of it because I am unable to save the photo of it from the Sears website.

Currently, I am working on sewing the pants. I took apart those jeans (I can't remember if I mentioned it or not) and am re-sewing them. I also bought an upgrade kit for my knitting machine and am working on a knitted hoodie. I have high hopes for it! And I am crocheting some dishcloths out of Sugar and Cream cotton. There was a sale at JoAnn's.

I went to JoAnn's on Saturday and Vogue patterns were still on sale for $3.99, so I bought those two patterns that appeared a couple of posts back. I also bought a skirt pattern from the same designers that designed the pants I am currently taking apart. Simplicity will be 5/$5 this upcoming weekend, so I am getting my list together. I bought the new issue of Adorn and there is the cutest dress in there from Simplicity #6644, so I am going to add that to my list.

O.K. Happy crafting everyone!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hey everyone! I am pretty excited. I am buying a new sewing machine on Tuesday. It is a Janome DC3050 and I am getting it from Sewing Express in Toledo. They were very nice there. My Simplicity Classic is starting to jam up on me. I am currently working on a shirt for my husband and I keep having to rip out seams because the bobbin threads are jamming.

The DC 3050 is computerized and has 50 built-in stitches, automatic button hole capability, built-in needle threader, and speed control. It's pretty nice and got some great reviews at http://sewing.patternreview.com/. Speaking of that website, it is a really great resource for everything sewing and has an enthusiastic posting community.

Another sewing-related project I am working on is altering the jeans that I made a couple of weeks ago. I had to take the whole thing apart because they were too big and I liked the denim too much to throw the whole thing away. I have two other pants patterns to cut out in my search for the perfect pair of pants and am waiting on a couple of fitting books I bought from Amazon. The weather here has turned wintry and it is a perfect opportunity to stay home and sew.

I am also going to be moving my sewing room from its current location in the spare bedroom to the attic, which is finished and is the length of the house. Up there, I will be able to spread out, leaving my cutting table up at all times and even being able to set up my knitting machine and leaving it up. My mom has a Singer knitting machine that she said I could play around with, so I am looking forward to the new space. Also, my cats like to help me sew and there is more room for them to lay not on my sewing. It seems every time I want to use the sewing machine, the cat is sleeping on the sewing machine chair and I don't want to move her.

Well, have a great week and I will post a photo of my new machine after Tuesday. Happy crafting and posting!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I went out and bought the latest Vogue pattern magazine and there are some really great patterns in there.

This is a dress from Anna Sui.
This is a really nice shirt dress that is made out of eyelet. The shirtdress seems to be my new obsession.


One other thing I wantd to mention was that if you are looking for knitting and crochet patterns, then definitely check out the links to the left. Like, for example, this really great bag from the Drops link. It looks like it would knit up pretty quick. I think I may try it before the winter is over.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Here are more projects.





Here is a knit dress from Vogue pattern 8181. It has an empire waist. I have similar green material and will be making another one.








Below is the infamous Prada knock-off. I would like to add a beads to the neckline. The pattern is Simplicity 4072 and it is called a "Duro" dress and the style is from the '70s. I really like it and have material to make a similar dress in Butterick's 4849.



























And here is a skirt that I made from a Burda pattern. Those are horses and the material is suede-like. It is a bit large. I may add belt loops to it.





I was poking around on the site and it is easy to comment. Just click on the comment link and a dialogue box will open up. There is an option to post anonymously. Happy posting!



As promised, here are some photos of the projects I recently completed.

This is the one-skein scarf from the Happy Hooker book. I made it in Patons Classic Merino in Winter White.









This is the kitty hat from the Stitch and Bitch book. I made it in 1814 Wool from Mission Falls. It looks like a kitty head!













Here is a neck warmer I made from the Lion brand website.

Hi Everyone-
Hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! I have been a crafting fool lately. I have finished the blue hat, the winter white scarf, a neck warmer, my knock-off Prada dress, my knit dress, a pair of jeans, and my Burda skirt. I will post photos tomorrow.

In one of my last posts, I was talking about how distasteful I found buying a side of leather and cutting it up for my Prada bag. My mom had a really great idea: Go to thrift stores and buy leather coats, belts, and purses to cut up and use. What a fantastic way to recycle! I haven't actually went yet, but there is a Goodwill and a Salvation Army near my house that I will visit soon.

My next adventure is to fit a pair of jeans and a jacket. I have a book on it and have been avoiding it because it seems hard to me. That is why I have been on a sewing tear; I have been avoiding doing that. I have one more shirt to make for my husband, and then I will move on to the fitting. I will, of course, keep you posted.

A couple people have told me that they are unable to post responses to my blog. I will investigate it and get back to you. I thought that I had enabled Anonymous posting, but Blogger has been updated and maybe it doesn't work? I will find out.

'Til tomorrow then.