Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

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!

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New Coloring Books!

March 31, 2010
Lions and Tigers Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Lions and Tigers Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

I’ve sewn up a few new custom coloring book designs for the Megnificent Made store! In addition to this new animal print book, you can find whales, apples and pears in fun spring and summer colors.

Megnificent Made takes your photographs and turns them into coloring books. Then, they get packaged in these cute fabric folders that hold a set of crayons! They’re great for travel, keeping kids busy, and make great keepsakes.

Speaking of great keepsakes, now is the time of year many people are looking for unique ones. It’s Graduation time! Everyone loves a little coloring, no matter what age. Why not put together some memories for your graduate’s big day? It’s a unique twist on a scrapbook or photo board. Let friends add their mark on your memories at your graduation party!

The Fabric Florist

March 24, 2010

I recently got word from Australia that my last indoor potted plant died. It was a beautiful bunch of curly grass and it apparently went brown slowly over the last few weeks. Before that was a cactus that went squishy and a bonsai tree stuck in perpetual Autumn.

I love the life potted plants bring to a room but I can’t seem to keep them alive. There are some silk flowers out there that are reasonably believable although well out of my price range for a touch of life here and there in the apartment.

Here is another solution from Jane Joss, the Fabric Florist!

Sweet Potted Fabric Plants by Jane Joss

Sweet Potted Fabric Plants by Jane Joss

These beautiful little plants come in these little pots, or longer springs of leaves in vases. I love that she uses bright colorful fabrics in her leaves. They would be fun to switch out to match the seasons. What a great alternative for plant killers like me! Check out her fabric florals in her Etsy store.

How To (Paper Garland)

March 9, 2010

This is a really easy party decoration that you can pull off with what you have at home. You can use plain paper you have around the house, print out some beautiful patterns, or buy some sparkly patterned paper from the craft store.

Depending on how you would like the finished product to look, glue two pieces of paper together so you have pattern on both sides. Use a festive hole punch to pop out large shapes or just cut circles, squares, diamonds…whatever you like! I was hoping to find a shamrock but instead I found this 1.5 inch flower. Close enough!

St. Pats Day Decorations

While you’re at it, cut out a few sheets of extra punches to use as confetti!

Pull some extra thread out of your machine so you have enough left over thread to tie up your garland. Stack two flowers together and sew down the center. Back stitch at either end of the flower.

Lift the foot and pull the flower out the back of the machine a bit so you leave a space before you add the next pair of flowers. Continue this until your garland is long enough.

St. Pats Day Decorations

Clip the garland from the machine. Take one of the flower pairs and fold each flower in half away from the other. It will make an “X” shape if you look at it from the end.

St. Pats Day Decorations

Fold all of your flowers in half…and you’re done! I made six strands to hang from the chandelier in the dining room.

St. Pats Day Decorations

Up next I’ll show you some fun cellophane lamp covers in green, green party poofs, and potted paper shamrocks with green M&M’s.

Liza Rietz

February 27, 2010

This morning I stumbled on a designer from Portland, Oregon. She has been creating custom clothing since 2001 and has sold her designs to high-end boutiques in major cities across the US and even has her own shop in Portland. You can find her designs at her web page, lizarietz.com, or stop by her Etsy Store!

Her designs are unique and beautifully structured, and completely wearable! I really like that her clothing is made with clean natural fabrics, and the pow comes from unique silhouettes and structures and folds that are very unique and very well done.

Ruffle Dress by Lizarietz

Ruffle Dress by Lizarietz

Kimono Sleeve Jumpsuit by Lizarietz

Kimono Sleeve Jumpsuit by Lizarietz

Wool Cloche Light Gray by Lizarietz

Wool Cloche Light Gray by Lizarietz

Enjoy!

Lovely Local

February 22, 2010

As I may have mentioned before I am living in Rochester, NY right now. It may not be the New York New York everyone in the rest of the world thinks of, but there is a whole lot of creativity in this city.

One example is my friend Kate, of KateMDot. I first heard of Kate’s lovely creations when she helped myself and our friend Teale with a creatively destructive project called “Trash the Dress.” Kate was very kind to make us a faux wedding dress to trash in the name of the art movement. The results were wonderful and I really appreciate her help with our fun day out.

Soaking it in

She was recently responsible for a repurposed fashion our friend wore for her wedding reception this year too.

you ought to give me wedding rings

Kate is on the right wearing a creation of her own, while the bride is on the left wearing her beautiful reception party dress!

I recently ran into Kate at the craft store picking out fabric for some new pieces in her etsy store and I thought I’d stop in and see what she’s been up to! Kate has been very busy with lots of new additions to her shop. Below are a few of my favorites.

Velvet Chocolate Truffle Dress by KateMDot

Velvet Chocolate Truffle Dress by KateMDot

Beaded Vintage Black Mesh Dress by KateMDot

Beaded Vintage Black Mesh Dress by KateMDot

Slit Cord Jumper by KateMDot

Slit Cord Jumper by KateMDot

Kate’s dresses, pants and tops are all made from recycled fashions. She does a beautiful job making them and makes a pretty good model too! Head over to Kate’s shop and check out more of her one of a kind, hand-made clothes!

A New Direction!

February 15, 2010

Something I have wanted to try for ages is needle felting! I’ve been very distracted by learning to construct clothing, design work, and work at a local PR firm. Recently I was inspired by a purse my mom brought home from the Anthropologie sale rack. It was a beautiful sack style purse with leather handles and was decorated with burnt red needle felted wool on black.

I loved the bag but I definitely wanted to try making it for myself! Below is my first attempt (and success!) and needle felting, purse design, and sewing with leather. It was a really fun project!

Felted Leather Purse

The bag is a heavy wool felt in dark slate grey with all different colored wool yarns. Pinks, yellows, browns, blacks, purples, blues and greens. I also used bundles of wool to add some variation in thickness. It took me two days to felt the fabric and from there I cut the shape. I really wanted something asymmetrical and something that would show off the leather strap. On one side is a kind of slumped rounded satchel and the other is a corner where the leather follows the edge into the corner.

This is my first time carelessly cutting into fabric with just a general idea of what I wanted the finished project to look like. I allowed space for seams, darts and zippers and was pretty happy with what my mental guestimations resulted in.

The inside is lined with a beautiful brown silk and has every pocket I could ever want. Gum sized, pen sized, phone sized, iPod sized and one zippered pocket.

The top has a really nice heavy-duty gold metal zipper. I wanted all of my materials to contrast a bit so with my soft fluffy crafty purse I wanted a hard industrial looking zipper and a super textured geometric leather.

This was my first experience making a leather strap. I read a lot online about buying a teflon plate and foot for the machine to keep the leather moving through the machine smoothly but I am not about to invest in new machine parts. Instead I put tissue paper on either side of the leather I was stitching, and used clamps instead of needles to avoid extra holes. The tissue paper worked great but afterwards is a bit of a challenge to remove. A damp (not wet!) tooth-brush was able to soften the paper and scrub it lightly out of the stitches.

All in all I’m quite happy with this. I’d like to know how people feel about it. I have gotten a positive response on my purse but I am thinking of making some smaller clutch style bags with my felted fabric and leather to sell in the Megnificent Made store. I’ll have to wrap my head around designing this week!

Leopard Love

January 21, 2010

Leopard Sparkle Camera Wristlet by Megnificent Made

Leopard Sparkle Camera Wristlet by Megnificent Made

Coming over the next few weeks in stages are some new camera wristlets for sale at Megnificent Made. First up is this saucy little leopard print bag. The bag is a beautiful brown leopard print with gold satin lining and a brown sequined strap from the Project Runway Notions line. There are two of these little bags available so get on over to Megnificent Made and check them out!

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!

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!