A Little Winter Craftiness

Today is snow day #9 in the past month (with school already canceled tomorrow as well). The limited days of work are still stretching my faith in uncomfortable ways (but we were able to pay rent yesterday, have bus passes to get to school and work, and should be able to pay utilities in a couple days — God is providing).

But that said, I’ve been using some of my ample free time to do some sewing and other crafty sort of stuff. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been working on:

1) Flower Necklace

I actually made this on New Years Eve (before all the snow days hit), but was finally able to take pictures of it just recently. I’d seen all sorts of fabric flower necklaces online for a while and had been wanting to try making one. A New Year’s Eve dinner seemed like a good excuse to try, so I pulled out my stash of freecycle fabric, which includes several different colors of sheer, silky materials that work really well for this type of stuff. I loosely followed this tutorial from Jolie, making smaller circles and only two layers for each flower. After I cut and melted all the petals, I sewed them to a piece of thicker red fabric (also from the freecycle stash), adding the beads as I sewed. I sewed three metal loops on the back for the chain (which I found on the ground walking to work one day – ha!) to go through, but it still needed more stiffness for it to lay right so I added a line of wire along the top to help it hold it’s shape. I ended up making a hair flower to match, too, but don’t have a picture of that.

2) Recycled Mittens

This has been another project I planned to do for a while, mainly for practical reasons: I consistently lose at least one mitten a winter, sometimes more. This winter I’ve been wearing one brown glove and one rainbow glove, because I’d already lost the matching mates to both in previous winters and my entire pair of mittens last winter. I knew that when really cold weather hit I’d need something warmer than the thin knit gloves. One of the girls from the Boiler Room makes these lovely, creative mittens out of old sweaters and when I saw them, I thought I’d try to make a pair, too. I did some research and found this simple pattern and instructions online. My first attempt (made with a hand-me-down sweater that I’d never worn) didn’t fit right, though, and was shedding black lint everywhere. So I set it aside, meaning to alter the pattern and try again.

When the snow hit and we planned our sledding outing, I decided that now was the time to try again. This time I cut apart a fleece sweatshirt that I’d worn for awhile but that never fit right. I lengthened the finger area to give some more room this time and left a bigger seam allowance.

For the lining I used….the sleeves from my work shirts! (I’d cut off the long sleeves of two of my shirts this summer when I first got my sewing machine, because there was no way I was going to wear long sleeves in the heat of a Missouri July). It’s not as soft as the fleece that the pattern suggested, but it’s kept me pretty warm so far.

All the pieces cut out and ready to sew together:

And here they are finished! I’ve since embroidered a flower on each one, too, and plan to add some leaves eventually. Maybe tomorrow with another snow day….

3) Nursery Curtains

A long-time friend of mine (who happens to live near Kansas City now, too) is expecting her first baby this spring and e-mailed me a couple weeks ago to see if If she could hire me to make curtains for the nursery. Her request definitely blessed us (wasn’t I just praying for provision?) and I was excited to sew something for someone else.

She brought over the fabric last weekend and I spent about four days working on the curtains, a little bit each day. Because I was sewing for someone else, I took the time to measure, iron, and pin (details that I sometimes bypass out of laziness, to be honest).

I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, though, and how (relatively) easy they were. It almost makes me want to make curtains for our house now (you know, like I’ve been planning to since before I made my 101 in 1001 list….)

I also sewed some curtain ties to go with them, basically simple tubes of fabric, ironed flat, with brown ribbon (left from our wedding) instead of plastic rings on the ends.

(P.S. Now that I have a camera again, you may be seeing more sewing and food posts again, because really, talking about food and projects is a lot more fun when you can include pictures :-D)

Wardrobe Refashion

I came this site today.¬† It challenges people to pledge to not buy any new clothes for 2, 4, or 6 months and instead buy used or make or alter their own clothes, blogging about the process. I’m a big fan of thrift store shopping anyway, but I love seeing the creative things people do with what they find. It makes me wish I had a sewing machine….