Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vintage Fabric Pencil Case

I'm months away from graduating, and the stress is piling high.  So, of course, the logical conclusion is to put aside all the grading and studying that needs to be done and instead work on a sewing project.  It's a pencil case, so it's kind of applicable, right?!  Yeah, I guess not.  I'm okay with it.

This little project also gave me the chance to comb through all of my vintage fabric.  When I say "vintage fabric," I really mean all of the vintage bed sheets that I've scooped up at ridiculously cheap prices from thrift stores around town.  This particular one was a king size pillow case.  I made sure to use a strip from the top so that I can make another pillowcase dress from the rest of it.

I used the tutorial that The Adventures of a Blue Girl put on her blog.  She calls it a purse; I call it a pencil case.  Either way, it was a super easy tutorial to follow.  Because she was working with wool felt, and I was working with cotton, my prep was a little different, but her pattern was super easy to follow.  I lined mine with a plain pink cotton fabric and stuck a fusible interfacing between the floral fabric and the solid pink to make it longer lasting.  It's going to get tossed around my bag for a while, so I wanted to make it extra sturdy.

I was also really excited about this project because it gave me the opportunity to try a new strategy for installing zippers.  I've always been kind of weary of installing zippers because I could never get them to look as pretty as I would like.  Make It & Love It has a fantastic tutorial that I uses tape (tape!) for superb zipper installation.  AND I got the chance to use my new serger that my parents got me for my birthday.  Woo hoo!

Overall, I'm pretty excited about how it came out.  I love little projects.  They take just enough time to work their therapeutic magic and they're so instantly gratifying!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment!

This week, my baby sister came home from school begging to build a volcano in the backyard.  Turns out that they had baking soda & vinegar experiments at school and she felt inspired.  It's been extra rainy here--and we tend to do messier projects on the patio--so volcano building was out of the question.

Today, though, I stumbled upon The Hippie Housewife's Baking Soda & Vinegar Trays and knew that the little ones would love it.  And of course they did!

All I did was fill some pyrex trays with baking soda, separate food-colored vinegar into separate containers, hand out syringes (that I had left over from when my kitty needed some antibiotics), and watch the fun.

It turned out to be a perfect post-dinner, pre-bedtime activity.

They were really into what colors they could make by mixing different colors and the texture of the baking soda after the bubbles had subsided.

An unplanned bonus was that because I used glass trays, they were able to see what the vinegar had done to the baking soda on the bottom of the tray.

You can see that one ended up much soupier than the other, but they both had so much fun.  They've already asked me when they can do it again!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

Things have been crazy busy around here lately.  My family and I moved into a new, bigger house where we all finally have room to breathe.  It's got a pool, so the kids are super happy about that.

I got a teaching position at the university for this year, so I'm officially an English teacher.  It's got great benefits: experience and a nice stipend.

The wedding planning is still chugging along little by little.  It's kind of taken a back seat to the whole school thing, and I'm totally okay with that.  We'll see what the rest of the year holds.

Until next time, I leave you with this wonderful gif my fiance made of my friend Finn and me. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Beautiful Mermaid

I've got a little girl in my life who is positively obsessed with mermaids.  Trust me when I say that the girl eats, sleeps, and breathes mermaids.  When she encountered a little girl at a resort pool with a "real" mermaid tail, the girl went ballistic.  J couldn't talk about anything else for weeks.  With these tails running anywhere between $150 and $2k (depending on quality and materials), I knew that with lots of time, research, and trial-and-error, I could totally whip up a mermaid tail to satiate the girl.  And I was more successful than either of us were hoping for.

It holds up well in pool water for ridiculously extended periods of time (as this little girl has most certainly proven), it has a waterproof hard paddle made for optimal propulsion while swimming, it slides on and off with relative ease, and has glittery accents that make it pretty stinkin' cute (if I do say so myself).

My new mermaid and I spent weeks watching mermaid YouTube videos and scouring the internet to figure out exactly what details she wanted that would make her feel like a real mermaid.  Here's the result:

I haven't had the opportunity to take real photos (i.e. not from my cell phone) of the tail--coming soon!  After hours of very official mer-research, J decided that she wanted a dorsal fin (the little squiggly sparkly one that runs down the back), a ruffle wasteband (with elastic to keep it in place during swimming), and a floofy extra fin on the actual fin paddle part--I don't have a fun name for this one, but it looks SUPER flowy and pretty when she swims.

A matching mer-top is still on the to-do list.  Of course she wants in the the sparkly sequin pattern.  Once I'm done with that, J will have her whole mermaid get-up, and I'll post more photos.

Do you have a little girl in your life with the same mer-obsession?  These will soon make it into my etsy-shop, but until then, email me with price inquiries, sizing, and color options.