Sunday, August 29, 2010

One must be well equipped before...

I promised myself I would try cooking a little more. However, this led me to believe that one cannot cook without the proper attire. So I got stitchy and made myself an apron!

My inspiration:

This apron specifically; however, I find that I love most aprons from Anthropologie.

Cake! (As well as the prospect of making other foods.) This cake was made by ele Cake Company. I think it is adorable.Get Ready, this is a long one!I started with upholstery fabrics. They are thicker, and make a good apron, although cotton works fine too, you just might want to line the apron.

Tip from Lottie: Save old shopping bags to make patterns from. Tip two: Don't bother buying a pattern for an apron. Periodically try on the apron pattern to make sure it is the right length and size.

Lottie Tip 3: Good scissors are your best friend. Take good care of them and only cut fabric with your good scissors. These are my Gingher scissors that were given to me as a gift from Lottie. Seriously, no Fiskars could hold a candle to these. Side note: Lottie is my mother who is seamstress extraordinaire. Any sewing skillz I have come from her. She will make many appearances in my sewing posts.

Make strips to make your sash from. This particular sash has an inset panel. I was getting crazy, but in reality, this did not take me all that long.

Sew the entire sash together except in the middle, this is a good place to leave open to turn it right side out since you will be stitching it down shortly.

Any top-stitching that was done, I used my specialty stitches to make it nicer. It is always good to do a test, as specialty stitches are extra hard to get out.

Do not underestimate the power of the Iron on this project. It is excessively important. You will need to iron these sashes multiple times throughout.

Rule to live by: Ruffles make you fancy. This apron is just screaming to be fancy. So cut more strips to make ruffles from. I did not make them the "Fancy Way" on the machine. I did them by hand because the upholstery fabric was rather hard to gather that way.

Pin the ruffles. Adjust so they are as even as possible. Then stitch down to the main part of the apron.

Add pocket. Again, shopping bags make great patterns! If you are lining the apron, make sure you add the pocket before you add the back lining. I was fortunate enough to be able to match the print on this one with the pocket. One great thing about an apron is that you can get creative with multiple patterns and shapes. It is also great for someone without a whole lot of sewing experience.

You should be ironing this after each step.

I like bows. I like bows almost as much as I like ruffles.

Add Sash. Make sure it is centered with the front of your apron. Once complete, iron again and finish off inner edges with either a surger or edging of some type.

Voila! The finished apron. Again, my sewing skillz are not superior right now, but from start to finish, with a few bumps along the way, this took me three hours max. I think it turned out better than one I could have bought!

Time to get cookin'!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Corporate Circus

On Friday afternoon, I decided it was time for an office makeover. I have been thinking about it for a while, but just never taken the time to do something. Lots of ideas came to mind, but they were all expensive or involved pictures. I wanted something different.

So what started as painting one wall a solid color, evolved in to two walls, then two walls with stripes, then finally, I came to the conclusion that it needed to be harlequin diamonds.

I quickly determined that the room should be purple. As if there were any other choice. I am very committed to purple. There is a purple for everyone.

So just for reference, this is what I started with. Oh look, there is Harry making an appearance!

Ugh, so dull.

At least the walls were white and did not need much priming or cleaning off!

Mom and I set out for Lowe's on Saturday morning and as much as you think that colors like "Sonic Plum" or "Rollick" would be a good idea, you may want to listen to your mother and go with the less intense, "Grapolicious".

So I ended up with "Imperial Lilac" and "Grapolicious". I seriously considered "Sassy Lilac", but then I decided I should stop picking colors because of their names. These are all Valspar colors by the way. I bought a gallon of each, not really sure how much of both I would use.

And so it begins! I painted the lighter of the purple all over the walls. I would also like to take a moment and talk about Tape. I love me some Scotch, but really, the blue painters tape is kind of worthless. It is terrible and it bleeds unless you go over it with a seam roller. Like most people I do not have a tiny steam roller, so I opted to try the new FrogTape. This stuff is amazing! While not completely perfect, it was pretty close. Well worth the money when doing projects that require really sharp, clean edges. Just don't let your mom's dog chew on it... It kind of ruins the "paint block" technology...

Once the base coat was on, I began drawing off the diamonds. A good rule when doing these, is to make the diamond twice as high as it is wide. Mine are two feet tall and one foot wide. I highly recommend making a paper pattern as well because you will need this to get into the corners and around doors. You will also need a level, pencil, and a yard stick or two foot ruler.

WARNING: This is very time consuming and requires lots of patience. Which apparently I had in truckloads this weekend. As I drew them off, I marked the ones I would be painting with a "P" because it is kind of trippy if you don't.

After I drew off the entire wall I taped every other diamond off with my FrogTape.

Then I gave each diamond two coats of paint.

I then let them dry and to conserve tape, reused the other side of the tape to make the most of it for the other unpainted diamonds.

I had some motherly assistance with this just because I wanted to finish this wall so I could work on Monday.

Finally we pulled the tape off, touched up the edges where they needed it, and Voila! Harlequin wall!

I am absolutely thrilled with the result!

Next up: Circus Decor!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hey Crafty Kids!

And everyone else... Just kidding, but seriously, all are welcome here!

I have recently been dubbed a crafty bitch and so I figured I should share my craftiness with the world. I will be sharing adventures in sewing, painting, decorating, and even the dreaded cooking! I hope you enjoy!

Now go get down with your crafty self!