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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Easy Faux Fur Footstool


I really want to make furniture, but I have no woodworking skills (yet - it’s on my list to learn!). So when I saw a tutorial for making a faux fur footstool, I thought it would be the perfect beginner project. It uses pre-made table legs and a pre-cut wood round, so it was super easy to make. Plus, I mean, a furry footstool? Of course I was gonna be all over that.

It only took a couple hours of actual work, plus a day for drying time because I chose to spray paint the legs gold first. It was really simple to do, and I love how it turned out!



There’s a million tutorials out there about how to make a stool like this, so I’m not going to go into much detail about how I made it, but for reference, these are the materials and sizes I used:

  • 1 - 15” precut wood round
  • 4 angled top plates
  • 4 - 12” tapered table legs
  • 2” thick foam chairpad (cut to size)
  • ¾ yard faux fur fabric
  • staple gun




The wood I used was soft enough that I didn’t need to drill pilot holes for the top plates. After attaching all 4, I screwed in the table legs, stuck the foam pad on top, and then covered the whole thing with the faux fur. First time using a staple gun, and I didn’t even lose my eyesight or anything.



I had enough fabric leftover to make this big fluffy pillow too. Both items are going upstairs in our living room/sitting area, along with the wooden loveseat the pillow is sitting on. I’m in the process of reupholstering it now - more on that to come!





Monday, October 3, 2016

Sewing Room Organization: Filing Cabinet Renovation

Oh boy it's been a while. But let's just jump back in with the first crafty thing I've done in a while. I recently moved, and while the rest of the house is (mostly) unpacked, there's so much stuff that needs to find a place in my sewing room, I don't even know where to start. It's actually kind of scary to look in there right now... So the first thing I wanted to do when I moved was to pretty up an old filing cabinet I had so I could start putting stuff away in it.


I decided to use chalkboard paint so I could write to dos and other notes to myself on it. The filing cabinet came free on the curb, but it was pretty clean so I just needed to wipe it down a bit and remove a few sticky labels. I took the hardware off and painted it gold. Well, except for the little tab you push to open the drawer. Could not for the life of me figure out how to take that one off, so I painted it black to blend in. I used a cheap metallic acrylic paint for the other pieces but if I could do it again, I would use spray paint, or at least a better quality paint. It look about 10 layers to get an opaque coverage with the stuff I used.


I primed the cabinet first, and then used two layers of chalkboard paint. I didn't pay attention to the type of paint roller I bought, and the one I ended up with was not meant for the smooth surface of the filing cabinet. The nap was too long so it left a weird bumpy/splotchy texture. I used a regular paint brush for the second layer, which was much better, and luckily covered up the uneven first layer completely. You can see the difference here - mid-second layer:


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Crafty Recap

Hello again, internet! It's been a busy few months - I graduated, started a new job, and moved to a new city at the start of the year. But I did find time in between to do some crafty things! Here's a few of the things I have made recently.


I love these little sculpey dishes! They were really fun and pretty easy to make. I used this awesome tutorial from A Beautiful Mess. I gave a few out as Christmas presents, and made some extra for myself. They are great for catching bobby pins and jewelry that inevitably get scattered around the house.


You are supposed to use liquid gilding to make the edges gold, but I couldn't find it anywhere so I used nail polish instead, which worked great! So if your city also has a terrible craft selection, two coats of nail polish should do the trick.


And to go in the dishes, I had to make some jewelry out of sculpey too. And by some, I mean a ton. This was also a super easy and fun project. I followed this tutorial from Pitter and Glink.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blue Skater Dress McCalls 6754


It seems that once again, I've taken an unexpected break from sewing. Or at least from posting. I've worked on a few things in the past few months, but I guess nothing I've decided to share. But I'm back today with a pattern I've written about many times, the McCalls 6754 skater dress. I wasn't going to even write about it because I've made it so many times already, but I like this one, so I wanted to share it!

I used my pattern that I had previously traced and adjusted. This pattern runs pretty big - I know that I originally cut a size small, and made minor adjustments from there. Even though I used the same pattern as all the other versions, this fabric was less stretchy, so needed a slightly bigger size. Of course, I had already cut out all the pieces based on the original pattern, so I had to fit as I went. I ended up using only 1/4" seam allowances on the side and sleeve seams, as well as on the waist seam.



I actually lost the instructions a long time ago, so I don't remember how it says to use the elastic on the waist seam. Might be sewn directly on there, or maybe a casing? I serged clear elastic onto the waist seam, like I usually do. I think it holds up better and looks more professional than a casing. Also, I like finishing the neckline on this pattern with a binding, so I did that again.


The only other thing I did differently for this version is added the sleeves. Because this version of the dress doesn't have a sleeve option, I always just use a random sleeve pattern and hope that it fits. This time, I used the sleeve from Gertie's Sweetheart Shirt, found in one of her books. I didn't have enough fabric for three quarter length sleeves, which is what I originally envisioned, so I decided on half sleeves.


When I'm in the fabric store, I always seem to be drawn to blue or black fabrics. Consequently, I most often sew and wear blue or black clothes. I'm trying to expand my color choices, but when I saw two bundles of this fabric in the remnant bin, I couldn't resist. The fabric is a ponte knit in a blue/black leopard print. Oh yeah, I'm also drawn to animal prints in the fabric store. This fabric has it all.


Also I've sewn this pattern however many times, but this time was the first that I noticed an error on the pattern envelope. The drawing for this version has darts on the back bodice pieces, which are not supposed to be there. I thought I had been making the dress wrong the whole time! But I double checked with the description and pattern pieces, and the darts are definitely not supposed to be there.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Polka Dot Chambray Button Down


I've finally managed to finish another sewing project - a lovely polka dot button down shirt. I only recently picked up the pattern - I used Butterick 5526 - even though it's been out for ages. It has quickly become my favorite button down shirt pattern, and I can see why it is so popular online.


 This is actually the second time I've sewn this pattern, but the first one had a few fitting issues, even though I thought I took care of them all when I made adjustments to the muslin. But I think I have since fixed all the fit problems, and I quite like this shirt. I cut a size 12, but made quite a few adjustments to make it fit better. I chose view D, but with the long sleeves. The material is a lightweight dark blue chambray with polka dots. It frays and stretches easily, so it wasn't my favorite fabric to work with, but I managed to get it to cooperate.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Maritime Shorts, Revisited


After my success revisiting the Simplicity 1803 pattern last week, I decided to look again at another pattern I have already made - Grainline Maritime shorts. The fit out of the envelope was actually pretty good, and I wear my leopard pair often, but I wanted to see if I could get an even better fit.



After doing a little research online, I decided that I should adjust the crotch curve shape to get a better fit for me. I started with a straight size 8, and then made the adjustments. Here's my adjusted pattern pieces, on top of the standard pattern. The red outlines my adjusted pattern, and the purple outlines the original. I made a quick muslin of the two front and two back pieces, and the fit was good enough for me to try the pattern with my real fabric.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Back to Sewing with a Blue Simplicity 1803


It's been a while since I've posted anything, or even sewed anything... I have had almost no time to sew during the last few months! This summer, I was finishing up my last class and final project for my graduate degree (I'm done, as of last week!). Plus, with my sister's beautiful wedding in June, I had too much other stuff going on that I didn't want to spend my time sewing. But now I that I've got a little more free time, I decided to sew up a new dress.



It was good to get back into my sewing room! I wanted to revisit the Simplicity 1803 pattern. I have made it a few times before, but I realized that it could be a much better fit for me. When I first sewed this pattern, even though I definitely should have, I never did an FBA. I can zip the dress up as is, but it definitely feels tight over my bust. I thought it looked good at the time I made it, but after wearing it, I realized how much better it could be. So I wanted to look at the pattern again and do an FBA to get a better fit. I traced a size 12, then made the adjustments. I made a quick muslin of the bodice - already so much better!