Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Jasons Got A Brand New Bag

June 18, 2010

Recently my friend, and talented Graphic Designer, Jason enlisted my help stitching together a pattern he had come up with for a laptop back. He’s pretty creative and while he doesn’t sew that much, this was the fifth evolution of the laptop bag he’s created since headed off to college.

He’s just graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology by the way and is leaving New York for his new job and exciting new life in San Francisco. Yay for Jason!

Every time he constructs the bag he incorporates lessons learned from his last creation. I think this fifth round bag will last him a while. To see the history of bag designs check out his blog here.

Jasons Got a Brand New Bag

Jasons Got a Brand New Bag

The bag has two front pockets with a handy little flap over it to keep things from falling out. Inside there are two compartments for laptop and books. On the side there is a pocket for pens. One major change to this bag was running the loops and D-rings for the strap through the interior of the bottom of the bag. That adds a lot of support and I think he’ll be able to stuff this bag and not worry about weight.

I made a minor change in the pattern to give him some sharp clean corners and sturdy pockets, but for someone that doesn’t sew he came to me with a very well thought out plan.

Jason is also a talented screen printer and plans to embellish the bag with an original design. I’ll let you all know when he does.

Good luck in San Francisco Jason! And thanks for including me in on the project!

Cold Shoulder

March 2, 2010

We just had another nasty snow storm in Upstate New York but I can’t help feeling that spring is on its way. I love the spring season because I love to mix and match summer wardrobe with warmer layers. Little jackets, capes, caplets, boleros and shrugs are so fun to mix and match with outfits. Here are a few to get you warmed up for spring!

Silk Mohair Blue Dream Shrug by Modestambition

Silk Mohair Blue Dream Shrug by Modestambition

ModestAmbition chose beautiful colors for this springy bolero. It looks so pretty and feminine and I’d love to see it with a flowy cream dress! ModestAmbition designs all of her patterns herself and has some really beautiful work. Check out her Etsy Store!

Blacka and White Stripped Bolero by Ananya

Black and White Stripped Bolero by Ananya

I just love this stripped bolero by Ananaya. I can see this with a bright, full skirted dress. It’s looks to be really well constructed and I like the care she put into the stripes. She has a lot of other really beautiful designs in her Etsy store…especially dresses! Ananaya is also willing to make custom apparel, so check her out.

Bustled Bolero by Toccata

Bustled Bolero by Toccata

This lush full Bolero is beautifully gathered by Toccata. It looks like whipped dark chocolate…yum! I think this could be classy or edgy…either way I love it! Check out Toccata’s other beautiful fashion designs in her Etsy Store.

Routine Shawl by KColine

Routine Shawl by KColine

So Glitzy! This would be so fun for a night out…especially when you don’t want to wear a jacket. KColine is located in Brooklyn, NY  and all designs are original. She has a lot of really cool, edgy designs in her Etsy shop.

Beat this Deal

January 18, 2010

I’ve gotten very much over the past few weeks into sewing clothes. It’s not something I have ever really done before but in the weeks since new years I have sewn two skirts, two dresses and a pair of pants. I’m currently in the middle of making aprons for my mom and I. I will be posting those soon!

I am a firm believer that if you hand make your clothes it should cost less than buying them ready made. Unfortunately this is not usually the case! I find that patterns are quite expensive and once you add in the price of fabric and notions you’re well over retail clothing stores. The best bet is to never…ever…ever ever…pay full price for a pattern. If you’re lucky you get a great deal on beautiful fabric as well and then you have not only something you’re proud to say you made yourself but also you’ve saved money by DIY economics.

I have scoured the internet for free patterns and for some reason I find a lot of of them are in languages other than English. As much as I am getting a hold of making clothes, I still think the wording of an English pattern is even somewhat difficult to translate. I won’t be attempting to Babel fish a pattern anytime soon.

For those of you into fashion design and sewing, I have to say one of my favorite new blogs is the Selfish Seamstress. Not only is she a talented seamstress and a bit of a fashion designer herself, She is a very clever writer and a joy to read. I have downloaded all of her patterns and have already made her “Coffee Date Dress” twice. She has generously offered her pattern for download at BurdaStyle as well as on her download’s page on her blog.

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

BurdaStyle is kind enough to offer a few patterns for free on their website which I have downloaded now just in case they decide to take them away from us cheap sewers.

Free patterns are hard to come by, and many require adjustments to your size or a translator. All of which add a fair bit of work to an already involved undertaking.

Which is why I am pointing out the INCREDIBLE discovery I had when I happened into JoAnn Fabrics today. All simplicity patterns were only 99 cents! I picked up around 20 patterns which should keep me happy for a good long while and significantly beef up my wardrobe.

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Simplicity has a lot of my favorite patterns and at a discount from $16 to $0.99 this really can’t be beat. This Cynthia Rowley dress and jacket will be one of my first to sew for sure. If you have tomorrow’s holiday off, I suggest you go shopping!

Simplicity also features the Project Runway Pattern Collection. These patterns are especially great because they allow you to mix and match trims, hems, tops and bottoms to make a lot of really beautiful outfits from just one pattern kit.

And so, now that I have pitched JoAnn for their obviously wonderful sale. I’ll get back to sewing so I have something to show all of you.

If you have any thoughts on great ways to make sewing fashions a more affordable treat please share!

And for those of you that really like free things, Check this out!

The Learning Process

January 12, 2010

2nd try on the 1st try

My brother Aaron gave me a gift certificate to the craft store for Christmas and I spent it on fabric and patterns. I really want to take the time to learn all about following a pattern and making clothes.

This skirt is one of my first goes and while I do like it…there are a few lessons from it!

My zippers need some help.

My hem is too obvious. There has to be a better way!

The leather bit was not a part of the pattern and it was a bit ambitious for me to make things up before I had the hang of things. This is actually the second try on that. The first leather band was a bit tight so I managed to make a second with the scraps. Leather…as I should have guessed…is also not all that easy to sew with. This one fits better, and I am happy with the buttons but tearing the band off and replacing it with a slightly larger one somewhat messed up my pleats in the front. They’re not unbearable but they’re not as sharp and neat as I would like.

All and all, I have to say for a first try it’s not bad. Its wearable and I do like the look of it. There is another skirt I’ll post soon and hopefully I can really get into making clothes! I think my next project will be an off white or cream button down to go with this 🙂

Don’t forget! Win a Prize Here!

Recipe Book

January 6, 2010

My mom and I both love love love to cook and spend an awful lot of time watching food network when we’re together. Since I’ve been away in Australia cooking makes me feel close to her and I’ve been very much into digging out new recipes and concocting some of my own to pass along to her.

Mom’s handmade Christmas gift this year was a recipe book! This fabric I absolutely loved and had intended to use as curtains in my kitchen but that idea was VETOED. Instead I used it to make this gift for mom.
Recipe Book

I used batting and binding board for the covers and stitched button holes to accommodate the green binder clips I found in the craft booking section of the craft store. The pages are recipe book fill pages from craft stores and will take regular recipe cards.

I made my own recipe cards with photographs I took of the fabric and manipulated in Adobe Illustrator. The pocket in the front of the book will hold the blanks for her.

Recipe Book

I stitched a felt tea pot to the front of the book and monogrammed it. I also hand stitched all the way around the edge of the book which not only looked nicer but also made it easier to work around the thick binding board I used.

Recipe Book

Before Christmas day I wrote down all of my favorite new food adventures from the past year and filled about the first 10 cards for her. It’ll be a work in progress!

Keepsake Contest!

January 5, 2010

I am taking a break from my post-christmas-present-posts to solicit your help on a project that has stumped me.

It has been nearly a year since my Grandpa died. He was a really wonderful person and greatly missed by all of us. My aunt salvaged some of his clothing to make a beautiful quilt for my grandmother. It’s a beautiful piece that has a lot of meaning and comfort for her.

When my aunt came to visit at Thanksgiving she brought some of my grandpa’s old shirts and thought I could make something out of them. I’ve been thinking on it long and hard and can’t decide what keepsake to sew out of these shirts!

Help me Help youThey are both cotton, button down, short sleeve shirts size XL.

So here’s the deal! Post your keepsake sewing ideas involving one or both of my grandpa’s shirts in the comments of this post. I’ll give it about two weeks before making a selection!

The winning idea-supplier will get to select any item from the Megnificent Made Etsy store as their prize!

That includes camera wristlets…

Camera wristlet by Megnificent Made

Pink Floral Camera Wristlet by Megnificent Made

Custom Coloring Books…

Vespa In Paris Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Vespa In Paris Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Or writing and drawing fabric notebooks!

Sketches in Blue Fabric Book by Megnificent Made

Sketches in Blue Fabric Book by Megnificent Made

So start exercising your creative brains and send some keepsake ideas this way! Any questions feel free to ask. I’ll give about two weeks (more if necessary) to see some posting!

Note: Subscribe to my RSS feed on the right to help you follow my blog and find out the winner!

Sail Boat Pillow

January 3, 2010

This gift was for my dad who is an avid sailor. He just purchased a new boat that is in storage until spring and the real gift will be curtains for his new boat but until I can get at it to take measurements I wanted to give him something to open on Christmas day.
Sail Boat Pillow

Before I wrapped it I loosely stitched a ribbon at the top of the sails that said I O U SAILBOAT CURTAINS that can easily pull right off.

Sail Boat Pillow

I used a bunch of fat quarter scraps to pull it all together and didn’t really bother with a pattern (I probably should have drawn something up). Sometimes I wing things I shouldnt! But all in all its a nice little pillow he can put on his boat this summer! The real challenge will be the boat curtains 🙂

Buttercup Purses

January 2, 2010

Here is another post-Christmas-post! For my brother’s girlfriends I made purses. These lovely little bags were created with a free pattern from Made by Rae. This bag, called the butter cup bag, has a little pocket inside and a magnetic closure. It was pretty easy to make and I really love the result!

Buttercup PurseThis lovely pink and grey purse was for Ashley. My brother told me she loves pink and I found out later the grey matches an outfit she has 🙂

Buttercup Purse

Buttercup PurseJen has mentioned a few times how much she loves black and white accented with red! The inside has a very subtle red stripe and I really loved the hounds tooth for a winter purse.

Buttercup Purse

The butter cup pattern was really easy and It taught me how to install those great little magnetic snaps as well as creating nice neat pleats. I recommend you download and give it a try! It only takes a quarter lining and a quarter fabric.

Fishing Pole Bags!

December 29, 2009

As promised…post Christmas gift posts! I wish I could have posted this before christmas because it’s so hard to find crafty gift ideas for guys. Both of my brothers are into fishing so I decided to make these fishing pole bags for them.

Fishing Pole BageThe whole idea was to make some thing that will carry their fishing poles as well as all of their tackle. I made it from ripstop and kind of fashioned it after the bags that carry folding chairs.

Fishing Pole BageThere are two pockets at the top that fit either their tools or the plastic organizers I included.

The pocket for the fishing poles stops about a half-foot from the bottom of the bag and synchs shut. This pocket can accomodate either full length poles or poles that come apart.

The bottom portion of the bag zips shut and has round stacking/interlocking Tupperware to hold their worms and bait.

Fishing Pole Bage

Here is a sketch I made before I got to cutting and sewing.

The pole extends from inside the bag but holds steady because the weight of it, the handle and reel, sit at the bottom of the bag. The boys really loved this gift and have promised to give some feedback after they stuff their goods into it so I can get to making them for my etsy store before the fishing season gets going!

There are more christmas gift posts to come. The whole family is flat on the couches with a stomach bug thats being passed around so you can bet I’ll be quite attentive to the blog for the next few days!

Please feel free to share with me any great christmas crafts you gave or received with megnificent made!

Felt Strawberry Short Cake

December 15, 2009

Felt Christmas

As promised! A photo of the completed strawberry short-cake! A few weeks ago I posted a HOW-TO for this adorable felt play food which you can find here. You can find a tutorial on the strawberries here. I try to make lots of How-To posts so check out that whole section of the blog if you’re feeling crafty.

Felt Christmas

It took me a while to get this posted because I’ve been working so hard on all my christmas goodies. This tea party for my nieces (more of which can be seen here) has been my big project since October and I’ve poured a lot of time and love into. I absolutely cannot wait until Christmas to see the reveal.

I spent yesterday evening constructing a table for their party which is a really simple and fun project I will post more about soon. It is made of cardboard but is very very structurally sound. I’ve made cardboard furniture before and absolutely love the concept of recycled furniture that can be so creative and unique visually. I’ll be sure to post more about that soon.

Felt Christmas

I took all of these photos before the table was completed but I really love how all of the elements of their tea party together are such beautiful bright colors. It’s just so pretty to look at. I can’t help but leave it all assembled until Christmas.

Since these photos I have painted a purple lace doily on the table with their initials as well as painted the legs of the table pale yellow with faint wood grain. The scallops of the table has purple trim now too. I didn’t make them chairs for their table because, as you can see in earlier posts about the project, I had made them special embroidered and fringed pillows to sit on.

Felt Christmas

Felt Christmas The latest addition to the table are these adorable felt fruits from a pattern by UmeCraft on Etsy. The apple velcros together and slices apart. The Orange comes apart into 6 slices, and the banana peels!

Felt ChristmasTheir dessert selection is not limited to Strawberry Shortcake! These girls can also pick from four different cupcakes! This one here is their lemon merengue with orange peel and a lemon wedge. I made special cupcake wrappers with their names on them in three bright fun colors too. In my final tea party post I will show more in detail on the cupcakes.

If you’d like to see more photos of what I’ve been up to with this project, please visit the tea party post to see more about the table ware, and my flickr site to see food more in detail.

I can promise you two more posts on this subject…if you don’t mind! One on cardboard furniture with this table as the feature, and one on the final project after christmas. It’ll be a part of my slew of holiday gift ideas for 2010!