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Pintuck Apron

21 Dec

For Jamie’s birthday nearly two years ago (yes – still drowning in a sea of backlogged posts), I made this fun little pintuck piece since she’d told me she was in the market for an apron.  I found the tutorial on Wholly Kao, and wholeheartedly accepted the challenge.  And boy, was it a challenge!

I don’t think I’ve made something this difficult since those baby booties a few years ago.

Here’s the tutorial as adapted from Wholly Kao, but having the diagrams she drew in her tutorial will really help you:

ITEMS:

  • 1 yard fabric for the apron
  • 1/2 yard coordinating muslin (for the waist strap and ruffles)

INSTRUCTIONS:

MAKE THE TOP:

  1. Measure the distance between your armpits to get the width of the chest. Take this width and subtract 4. This new number will be how wide your top part is at its widest point. Measure from your chest to your waist to get the height.
  2. Take your patterned fabric and measure out a piece that is slightly larger than the width and height dimensions you just measured. Fold the fabric in half width-wise.
  3. Using a Sharpie, draw your top shape onto the folded fabric. This shape should look like a heart with a flat bottom. The widest point of this ‘heart’ is your (chest width minus 4 inches) measurement. Cut along your Sharpie line. You’ve now got your top piece! You can measure it against yourself to make sure it’s not too wide. If it is, trim it accordingly.

    “Heart” chest piece

MAKE THE BOTTOM:

  1. Measure out a piece of fabric for the bottom part that is 36-inches wide. The height for this can be as tall as you want. For instance, if you want the apron to hit mid-thigh, measure the distance from your waist to your thigh and use this number as the height. Spread the fabric out and cut out the corners so that they’re rounded. (see diagram)
  2. Now it’s time to make the pleats along the waist. Take the fabric at the top of the wide side and fold it accordian style and pin it in place. Do this only in the middle, leaving 6-inches on either side of the folds. Next, sew the folds in place, 1/4-inch in from the edge (see red dotted line in diagram).

    Tuck and Pin

    Tuck and Pin

  3. Pin the top and bottom part together on the wrong side. Sew the two pieces together on the wrong side, 1/4-inch from the edge.

    Coming Together

    Coming Together

MAKE THE WAIST STRAP:

  1. Cut a strip of muslin fabric (I chose a coordinating periwinkle shade) that is 5-inches tall and as wide as your bolt of fabric. Sew the ends of two of these straps together on the wrong side, making one really really long strap that is 50-inches long (This piece will tie around your waist, so you want to cut the length to fit you).
  2. Fold the strap in half, making a 2.5-inch tall piece. Pin the ends together, then iron the fold flat.
  3. Sew around the edges of the strap (red dotted line in diagram), 1/4-inch from the edge. Be sure to leave an opening on one side, so you can flip this piece inside-out.
  4. Flip the fabric so that the raw edges are now on the inside. Then sew the open edge shut (red dotted line in diagram).
  5. Now take the apron fabric and cut two strips that are 3-inches tall. Sew these together to make one long strip 50-inches long.
  6. Fold each edge in 1/4-inch and pin in place. Iron flat. Center this strip on top of the white strip and pin.

MAKE THE NECK STRAP:

  1. Cut a strip of apron fabric that is 2-inches tall for the neck strap. (The length of this depends on you: if you want a strap that is easy on and off, you can always put a buttonhole/button in the middle of this neck strap.)
  2. Fold the strip in half, making a 1-inch tall piece. Pin the edges together, then iron flat. Sew along the edges, making sure to leave an opening on one side. Once you’re done sewing, flip the fabric inside out.

MAKE THE RUFFLES*:

*If you want, you can just buy pre-made ruffles by the yard at the fabric store instead. If you do that, skip to “Assembling the Pieces Together”.

  1. Take the muslin fabric and cut it into strips that are 2-inches tall. Sew three of these together, making one really really long strap. Fold the strap in half.
  2. Make small pleats all along the fabric, pinning them in place as you go.

    Pleat, Pin, Repeat

    Pleat, Pin, Repeat

  3. Sew the ruffles in place, using the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

    Remove Pins as you Sew

    Remove Pins as you Sew

ASSEMBLING THE PIECES TOGETHER:

  1. Take the sewn edge of the ruffles and line them up with the raw edges of the front side of the apron, so the ruffles lie on top of the patterned part of the fabric. Pin the ruffles around the apron this way, then flip the ruffles out so that they look like this (diagram).

    Apron Hem - Finished

    Apron Hem – Finished

  2. Sew the edges together on the wrong side of the fabric. Then iron the front of the apron, where the fabric and ruffles meet.
  3. Pin the neck strap in place behind the ruffles.
  4. Now it’s time to sew everything together! Sew all along the apron, 1/4-inch in, making sure you sew the edges of the ruffle, as well as the straps in place.

    Neck Strap

    Neck Strap

  5. Last step: attaching the waist strap. Center the waist strap between the top and bottom pieces of the apron, and pin it in place. Sew along the edges of the inner fabric on the strap (red dotted lines on diagram), making sure you’re attaching the apron to the strap in the process.

    Waist Band - Finished

    Waist Band – Finished

Here’s the finished product:

Pintuck Apron - Finished

Pintuck Apron – Finished

And here is the birthday girl!

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

While the apron turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself) in the front, it was just a hot mess behind it.  Lots of thread everywhere from places I went over and fixed, and I had a lot of thread-breakage issues for some reason with this project. I thought the tutorial was great with getting me to the end product, but there wasn’t a lot of thought put into covering up the unsightly back of the apron fabric.

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Lace Earrings (For Sale)

13 Nov

For the entirety of the time I’ve been crafting or baking, I’ve listened to familiar sounds to help me focus.  At first, I would defer to having one of the Star Wars episodes playing on DVD.  I can’t tell you what it is – it’s just comforting to have it on as background noise.  As I got older and perhaps more considerate of the lesser affections my various roommates had for the trilogy (and even less for the prequels), I switched to music.  Adele’s 19 as of the last couple months has been my album choice lately, but even more so when I was making these earrings.  Perhaps a few of the tracks turned into my own personal anthems to an extent, but listening to her just made me wanna pump out some earrings!  Her voice is so soulful and, more importantly, calming – especially when I’m trying to avoid creative disasters.  What gets your creative juices flowing?  Send me suggestions!

Anyway, I really dig the look of lace earrings, and not only NEEDED to own a pair (oh yes, they will be mine) but I wanted to make them myself.  Having never dabbled in jewelry-making before, I bought a big surplus of supplies to make them a few weeks ago thinking it would take me a few tries to get it right.

Piles of Pretty Lace to Play With

I’d like to think the first pair didn’t turn out so bad after all, so  I ended up making a whole fleet of them with the extra materials I got!

Snapshot of the Different Lace Earring Styles

I was going to debut these little guys via this blog post, but Andrew trumped my big reveal (along with my photography skills) by posting the below on Facebook… along with another awful candid.  But that’s water under the bridge. #notbitter

"Snowflake" Earrings

I’ve also been toying with the idea of starting an Etsy account to sell some of my handmade things for a couple of years now, but never really knew what item(s) would make the most sense or have a high enough demand.  I unfortunately don’t have enough piercings (nor ears) to wear all of these earrings I made, so I thought these might be a good fit to start off my Etsy.

"Leaf" Earrings with Blue Ribbon - $8

However, when I looked into what people are selling handmade lace earrings for and the craftsmanship of their work, I got really intimidated.  Then, I figured, “What the hell, I’ll just be the Costco Kirkland brand of lace earrings and undercut my name-brand competitors”.

"Crochet" Earrings with Sunglow Ribbon - $8

With the exception of the “Snowflake” and “Floral” style, each pair of earrings is made using surgical steel hooks.  I have that type of metal in my knee, and haven’t had problems so those that have earring sensitivity probably won’t have problems with it in their ears.

"Floral" Earrings - $7

Bottom line is:  I’m selling affordable lace earrings!  If you’re interested in looking FABULOUS with these little guys, inquire within!

"Crochet" Earrings with Aqua Ribbon - $8

Pricing is included in the title for each pair of earrings.  I made duplicates of some of them, and can make more upon request.  If the demand is there for these, then I’ll make some more and start the Etsy account.  🙂

(Not) Simple (Enough) A-Line Skirt

6 Nov

One of my Sho-Yu teammates and long time friends (Flo) asked me to make a mouseketeer skirt for her Halloween costume a couple of weeks ago.  I complied with the disclaimer that I’ve never made a skirt before so I couldn’t guarantee how much it would look like one.  Afraid of biting off more than I could chew, I simplified the pleated skirt to an A-line style using slightly stretchy material to give me some extra room for error.  She sent me her measurements and I followed a tutorial, but somehow the first pass at the skirt came out lopsided.  I like to say it’s that asymmetrical style to make myself feel better.  Apparently, the simple A-line skirt how-to I chose ended up being not simple enough after all.

Luckily, Flo and I made plans to meet-up for her to try it on so I could make adjustments in time for the big day.  As you can see, the skirt still wasn’t perfect but it was salvaged.  Thanks for being my guinea pig, Flo!

Mousketeer Halloween Costume - Front

I have plans to actually try making a pleated skirt some day out of the cherry blossom fabric I bought a couple weeks ago.  Stay tuned!

Infinity Scarf (Tutorial)

13 Oct

Found some new treasures while fabric shopping all over Santa Monica with my coworker last weekend – check it out!

The Fruits of a Successful Fabric Shopping Venture!

I was having major commitment issues on what to make with the cherry blossom branch fabric on the top, but it was so pretty I couldn’t resist buying it.  The striped material was the perfect color and weight for an infinity scarf, and I just loved the vintage-y look of the navy blue floral fabric.  I’m aiming to make my first dress out of it.  EEK!

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I made the infinity scarf:

1) Cut a yard of fabric in half and sew the narrow ends together.  You should end up with one piece of fabric two yards in length, if you like a longer infinity scarf like I do.

2) Fold the material in half length-wise with right sides facing each other (wrong sides facing outward), and pin the edges together.  Sew the edges together the entire length of the scarf, giving yourself a 1/2″ seam allowance and removing the pins as you sew.  You’ll basically be making one long tube.

Making a Giant Fabric Tube

3) Pin your short seam (the open ends of the scarf) closed.  Sew this seam making sure to leave a 3″ opening to pull the  scarf through.  Clip your corners so that you can have nice clean points for your scarf.

4) Gently pull the scarf through. Once right side out, simply hand stitch your opening closed using an invisible stitch. Viola!

Infinity Scarf (and beyond!)

Basketball Tournament T-Shirt Design

21 Aug

I’ve been testing out the graphic design “skills”!

For KJ’s QC, I put together a surprise birthday basketball tournament and designed a t-shirt as the party favor for anyone that played. If there are only three things he loves on this planet, they are basketball, his phone, and that shade of green. With the help of his mom and sister, I’m proud to present the finished product!

Tournament Shirt (Charcoal Gray)

Of course, there were black shirts for the champions of the tournament.  Kevin hit the game-winning 3-pointer to get his team the ‘ship.

The Janky Five - Winners of the KJ QC Shootout

I also had a “limited edition” version printed on purple.

Special KJ Shirt (Purple)

HUGE thanks to the best promotional item vendor in the world, Clean Fun Promotional Marketing, who did a fantastic job printing (as always), as well as making my hack-job of a mock-up look amazing!!

Happy birthday, Kevin!  This post is all you!

Birthday Boy!

Thank you to all of our friends and family that came to support and play!

Pre-Surprise

Click on the thumbnails for close-ups!

 

UPDATE:  I forgot to add this awesome rage comic Daniel made before the tournament.  It’s so great!

Daniel's Decision-Maker