Thursday, March 31, 2011

N.C.M #28 - #31 - The Final Posts for the Month!

Ok, so here we are at the last 4 items for National Craft Month!

#28 - Firefox's Green Lantern Cape!

For last Halloween, I was so busy making costumes for myself and 3 friends, I needed to take a break and do something that was fun. We had just brought home our kitty a couple months before and he loved sitting with me and watching me sew, I wanted to make something for him. Yes, I made him a Halloween costume. One of my friends had designed a Green Lantern costume and wanted me to make it for him and I had a bunch of scraps left over. The light bulb clicked on.

Looking at these photos makes me want to cry! He was so tiny and now at 8 months he's HUGE. Anyway, back to the cape. He didn't like it at first (as evident in the first picture), but later on I believe he began to like it. I suspect it kept him warm. I added the strap along his belly because it kept sliding around his neck. It was a nice, easy, quick project.

# 29 - Blue Shirt

You're going to stop believing me when I say I hate Simplicity patterns because of how often I use them. ;) But it was cheap (.99 cents!) and I really liked the pattern. Simplicity 3673 sat in my pattern drawer for over a year because I began to wonder if it would really look good on my figure or not. Finally, I decided I had to use it and created this amazing green dress that I love! (I promise to post pics of it soon). I liked it so much, that I decided I wanted to make it into a shirt.

I ran into a few issues with sizing, but less then I expected. The fabric is a really nice lightweight linen that I was given. It's not lined because I wanted to be able to wear it during the summer as well. I wore it this past Sunday to church and felt soooooo pretty in it! Which brings me to....

#30 - Pearl Earrings

I had made these earrings a while ago because I liked them but I didn't really have anything to wear them with. That is, until I made the blue shirt! 

Simple and feminine, these earrings are so me. It was my first piece of jewelry using copper and I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but I found that I do. I've used it a few other times and it's growing on me,

#31 - My First Purse

I wanted to post this even though it's older because I'm so proud of it. I wanted a purse with pockets. Lots and lots and lots of pockets so I could keep things nice and organized (and somehow, even with all those pockets, I failed). And I wanted it brown. Simple enough, right? Nope! I couldn't find anything I liked anywhere! So I patched some pictures together and severely butchered  pattern and came up with this.

This was the first purse that I ever made. It's made from 1 yard brown fabric, an old pair of hubby's pants (lining) and another $2 purse I got from the Salvation Army (all the zippers, clasps etc). I love this bag. It came out really well for my first attempt. (I had one lady ask me about it and she could not believe it was my first purse!) I used it non stop for over a year and it held up very, very well. The only reason I switched was because of my Doctor Who carry bag. 

So that's it! 31 projects in a month, both old and new. This was definitely a challenge for me because I didn't want to post just old things, but new as well. It helped me stretch my imagination, and taught me how to stretch my budget too! I can't promise that I would do it again, seeing how there were some days where I really didn't want to write, but we'll see. ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

N.C.M #25, #26, and #27 - Babylon 5 and Superman Doll Recons!

It all started with my Weeping Angel Christmas Tree Topper. Reconstructing a Barbie doll into something waaaay cooler was so much fun, I thought about reconning other dolls into my favorite characters. Truthfully, I was afraid that people would scoff at me "playing with dolls" but I found that there's a whole community out there that does this! And what I found out is that I like using several different techniques on one project (sewing, using clay, painting, etc). I haven't done many so some of my techniques are still... rough, lol... but I really enjoy what I've done so far!

Delenn from Babylon 5

I'm going to post my latest one, and favorite one, first. :-D I love the show Babylon 5. If you haven't watched it, look it up! Fantastic sci-fi show. And my favorite character is Delenn, a Minbari who transforms into a Minbari-Human hybrid, which is how I made her.

She was really fun and challenging to make! I drafted the pattern for her clothing myself. The fabric was given to me, and I actually plan on using it to make a Delenn costume! I just needed a tiny bit and thought the sacrifice worth it. ;) The gold and silver trim were ribbons that I glued/sewed on. Fray Check was my best friend for this project. It would have been so time consuming to hem everything, especially when a majority of the edges were going to have trim on them anyways. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

N.C.M. #21 - #24 - Jewelry Sets

My latest kick is making jewelry. It's fun, it's easy and something I can do quickly (most times).

The first set is my favorite. The green glass beads I got from Hobby Lobby and the bronze beads from Walmart. I can't tell if they're butterflies or flowers, but they're pretty! I like this set because it's alittle more dress down because of the bronze colors.

The next set is one based on Doctor Who. The keys and blue beads are for the Tardis and the wing is for the Weeping Angels. I wish I could have a few more elements to put into this piece, to make it a little more Doctor Who-y, but perhaps less is better. I will have to change the chain because parts are tarnished. :(

The next two sets are ones I just whipped up when I was bored. They're made from glass beads I got from Joanns on sale and the clear beads came from A.C. Moore.

Monday, March 28, 2011

N.C.M #18 - #20 - Doll Clothes, Wedding Stuff and Scrapbook Page

#18 - Doll Clothes

One of my favorite dolls as a child was a handmade cloth doll my Mama bought me. She was so pretty and cuddly and I just loved her! But then I grew up, moved out and forgot all about her. When Mama passed away, I found her again. And looking at her on my shelf, I decided that I needed to make her some new clothes! (Her name is Felicia!)

The first set was from Disney's Beauty and Beast because it's my all time favorite movie!

Belle's Blue Dress

Belle's Library Dress

Belle's Christmas Dress

For her fourth dress, I chose to make Christine's pink gown from The Phantom of the Opera. I'm beyond thrilled with how this one turned out!

 I drafted the patterns for them myself. Each dress was made from scraps I had laying around so the only things I had to buy were the roses. My favorite one is Christine's because of how lovely the train turned out and she's usually wearing it. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

N.C.M #16 and #17 - Ruffly Teal Shirt and Dressform

#16 - Ruffly Teal Shirt

I really love They have some of the cutest clothing I've seen in a long time. But unfortunately for me, they don't sell their stuff in plus sizes. :( Which was heartbreaking for me when I found this amazing ruffly teal dress. But then I remembered that I bought some material on clearance that was almost identical in color! I didn't have enough to make a dress, but I did have enough to make a shirt. This was probably a good thing for me because I don't wear dresses too often.

My Version

The Original

Instead of chiffon, I used a jersey knit fabric. For the bodice, I used Butterick pattern 5454 and made the pattern for the ruffles and the bottom myself. I did put the bow on it, but I liked it better tied in the back instead of the front.

I'm actually rather pleased with how this turned out. I normally wear things where the seam is directly under my bust or without a seam, so this style was a bit weird for me. But I had several positive responses on Craftster so I may have to re-evaluate my stance on that. And my husband things I look sexy in it too. Seriously folks, the hubby stole the laptop and wrote that. Now I just have to wait for the 5 inches of snow to melt so I can wear it.

#17 - Dressform

This is something that my dear friend Hilary helped me make. Well, technically, she made it. When I started making my own clothes it was becoming slightly difficult because I was constantly trying things on to get the right fit. I wanted to buy a dressform, but at $200+ it was slightly out of my price range. That's when I found a tutorial on how to make my own dressform using duct tape! The result...

It was rather simple. Hilary just wrapped me in several layers of duct tape then cut it down the spine and I taped it back up. It took her about two and a half hours to wrap me and another two hours for me to stuff it with newspaper. Unfortunately the duct tape method is not the best to use because when stuffing, it pushes the proportions off. So certain areas I can use to help fit (shoulders and bust) but others are actually bigger then I am (waist and stomach). After I lose some weight, I want to try another method using packing tape, where it will actually be solid with much more accurate proportions. You can see the tutorial I want to use here and you can bet I'll let you know if it works or not. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

N.C.M #13, #14, and #15 - Household Goodies

I've never really focused on making things for my house before, but lately I feel this need to create things for the house and fix it up a bit. Not huge projects, but things to make it feel more like home.

#13 - Candle Holders

I love candles. The smells, the light, the calming effect they have. And dear hubby bought me some candles for Valentine's day last year that I never used. So I broke them out only to find that I don't have a lot of candle holders. So I broke out the computer and did some searching and found an idea for using old non-functioning CDs! But I didn't want plain flat ones, I wanted to have them curved like a bowl. After some more searching I found that you can put them in the oven to make them pliable. And this is the result.

I'm really happy with how they turned out! I didn't expect the rainbow effect, but it's so pretty! To make these, it's really simple. You need a pair of heat resistant gloves, CDs or DVDs that don't work and an oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and put a CD in for 2-3 minutes. Test to see when the CD is pliable. Once it is, quickly and wearing your gloves bend up the edges. It starts to harden very quickly, so you want to be quick about it. I did them one at a time because of this. That's it. ***Disclaimer: You do this at your own risk! I am not responsible for anything that may happen!*** It does start to smell, so if possible have your windows open. I probably won't make anymore until it's warm enough to open windows to let it vent. :)

#14 - Coasters

I'm a huge tea drinker and unfortunately I've started to notice some rings on the table. Oops. Coasters are in order! My kitchen colors are light pink, cream, and green (because those are the colors of the dishes I have from my beloved Mama). I looked through my fabric scraps and found some that would match the colors and theme very nicely.

Umm... Yeah, that coaster really is square, it's just the angle of the picture that makes it look weird. ;) I like that they're reversible so they can be plain green when used with the dishes or pretty when alone. There's a layer of felt in the middle, so they're thin but effective.

#15 - Tea Wreath

As I said above, I'm a tea junkie and drink several cups a day. And it's a pain the neck to dig through the cupboard trying to find the boxes. I had seen this and thought it a clever way to make the bags more accessible. And let me tell you, it's amazing.

It's wonderful because I can grab a tea bag easily and only need to refill it about once a week. It took only an hour to make. To make this you need:

- a 12x12 piece of cardboard
- 20-24 clothespins
- glue 
- glue gun or superglue
- some scrapbooking paper

I glued a piece of paper to the 12x12 cardboard then traced a dinner plate to get the circle. I measured to create the smaller circle and cut it out. Then using a scrap piece of paper I cut strips of paper and glued them to the clothespins. I chose pink and cream since it's my kitchen colors. Then I used a glue gun to glue the clothes pins to the circle. Poke a hole in the top and slip a ribbon through. That's it! Really simple, but worth it for us tea addicts. :-D

I think my house is on it's way to feeling like home.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

N.C.M #11 and #12 - Faux Stained Glass

I was browsing through some crafting websites when I stumbled upon a tutorial for faux stained glass. I was so surprised how well this looked and how cheap it was to make! I also remembered a dear friend of mine did this with some of her students when she was teaching and had one she did hanging in her bathroom and decided I needed to try it out.

I was originally going to do three of them from Doctor Who to hang next to each other on the wall, but decided instead to do three from my three favorite sci-fi series. I haven't decided on two yet, but knew I wanted one of them to be a Dalek. When I told the hubby what I was planning he asked me to make one for him of the Umbrella Corporation logo ("Resident Evil") for his Man Cave.

I drew each of the designs by hand then followed the tutorial and I love how it came out!

The Dalek measures 8x10 and the Umbrella Corp logo measures 4x4 (without the frames).

The cost breakdown of this project:

8x10 frame - $1 (Dollar Tree)
4x4 frame - $1 (Dollar Tree)
Clear Elmer's Glue - $1.77
White Elmer's Glue - On hand
Paints - On Hand
Total - $3.77 

Proof that crafting does not need to break the bank!

Friday, March 18, 2011

N.C.M #9 and #10 - Legend of the Seeker Costumes!

Last year we tried to drag... *ahem*... asked two of our friends to come to a Renaissance Festival with us in the fall. They were interested and it gave them an excuse to have costumes made from one of their favorite T.Vshows: Richard and Kahlan from "Legend of the Seeker."

I was really excited to do this because it was the first time where I was making something look straight out of TV show. I'd made costumes based on TV or movies, but nothing trying to look just like it.

For the dress, I used two bedsheets. They were light, but sturdy, and they didn't cost an arm and a leg for my friend. I altered Simplicity's 4940 pattern for the basic shape of the dress. Because the front of the dress is ope and laces up, I cut the front piece down the middle and changed the neckline to look like Kahlan's.

I also changed the sleeves to make them much thinner. The hood was the most difficult part of this costume. I tried to make my on pattern and failed miserably. I ended up taking the hood of another pattern and altering it. It... kinda... worked. I'm still not completely happy with that part, but I can deal because she liked it. For the black underclothes, the costume has a black skirt and a leather corset. We decided to forgo the corset because no one would see it and she just wore a black cami. The skirt I made from a black bedsheet. 

Richard's costume was the most challenging of the two, not because it was complicated, but because of the amount of detail. 

Luckily, we found a shirt almost identical to Richard's. Just a few minor modifications and it was all set. For the vest I used a basic vest pattern with a material that looked similar to leather. For the  front I cut a small strip to go around the front and collar. I added the patches on the shoulder then added the trim, which look like small X's criss crossing. I ended up cutting out strips and gluing them together with hot glue. It was time consuming, but worth it! Down both sides of the front I laced leather cording. 

The pants were made out of duck cloth, for the raw look of the fabric and the sturdiness of it. We ended up deciding the simplest thing was to put elastic in the waist and add the detailing to the front just  for show. Yeah, they're non functional. The greeves I used a Simplicity pattern and used the same material as the vest.

I guess that's enough talking. Onto the picture!

(Faces blocked for their privacy, lol)

Unfortunately, we didn't end up going to the Ren Fest, but they were pretty happy with their costumes. They'll look amazing at the Ren Fests we drag them to this year! :-D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

N.C.M #7 and #8 - Renaissance Costumes

Two of my favorite projects are the costumes I made for the hubby and me for last year's Renaissance Festival. It was our second time going and we had to have costumes because it really adds to the whole experience. 

I broke my general rule about not using Simplicity patterns for two reasons; 1) they were on sale for $1 each and 2) I liked them the best of all the ones I looked at. Especially mine.

I chose the hubby's because I thought I could use it for several different costumes, including a Dark Elf. 

I was very, very fortunate because I was given almost all the fabric I used for free. This includes the exact same green fabric I was originally looking at for my dress! 

Unfortunately, because I broke my general rule and used Simplicity I had some issues with my dress, mainly with sizing and getting the pieces to fit properly. A few hours, and several choice words later, it finally worked! I also made the hubby's doublet shorter because I didn't have enough of the fabric for the longer length.

The buttons on hubby's doublet are gold plated (and I found them in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby!). The trim on the sleeves and the bottom were hand sewn. All the trim and ribbon on my dress were hand sewn, including the flowers and the vines.

I love, love, love how my dress came out. I have a few Renaissance patterns and thought I had the new pattern picked out, but I love this one so much I think I might wear it again this year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

N.C.M #5 and #6 - Doctor Who Apron and Tardis Pillowcase

After much hassle (mainly with shipping) the Doctor Who swap on Craftster is over! Whew! My partner received her package and was pleased with it. I was happy with how two of the items came out and decided they should be a part of my 31 crafts.

The Doctor Who Apron.

One of the items on her wist was a Doctor Who apron and I knew right away I had to make her one. The pattern is my own and I chose duck cloth as the material because it's washable and durable. What was challenging was deciding what to put on the apron. I toyed between a David Tennant stencil or a Tardis or a Dalek, but decided on wording.

What's with the double hearts? Well because Timelords have two hearts, naturally. ;) And because David Tennant was her favorite Doctor, adding his catchphrase on the bottom seemed like a good idea. The lettering was hand stenciled in the Doctor Who font. I drew out the letters on paper (tedious, I know, but that happens when you don't have a printer), cut it out, traced it then painted in fabric paint. I didn't have any white binding, so I made the binding out of a white sheet.

The Tardis Pillowcase

Another item on her wist was a Tardis pillow. I decided to make a pillowcase instead because that way it's washable.

I made the pillowcase out of the same white bedsheet as I did the binding (way cheaper then buying pillowcases!) For the Tardis I wanted a layered look, so I cut out all the pieces and layered them on, starting with the back and working my way up to the doors. Unfortunately, my choice of fabric wasn't the best for this and I ended up outlining everything with black fabric paint. The "Oo-Ee-Oo"? If you're not familiar with it, look up the theme song. ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

N.C. M #3 - Green Necklace Set & #4 - Mama and Papa Scrapbook Page

Double Day!

One thing you're going to learn really fast about me is I love pearls and anything pearl looking. And my favorite color is green. So when I happened upon these green glass beads at Hobby Lobby I knew I had to have them. They were one of the first pieces of jewelry that I made in years. The beads are 8mm in size.

And the second thing for today is one of my favorite scrapbook pages. It's of my grandparents who were married for 54 years before being called to Heaven. The paper and stickers were all from Michaels, I believe. I chose roses for the theme because they were Mama's favorite flowers.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

N.C.M #2 - Bookcovers

I know I posted pics of some of these before, but I didn't really tell much about them, so this doesn't count as a repost. ;)

I love books. I love them, I love them, I love them, I love them. Libraries and books stores are some of my favorite places to go. And many times you can find me with a book in my purse/bag. Unfortunately, this means that those books get small bends on the corners or scratches on the cover or other minor damage. Then I saw some book covers in a store and thought "I can make that!" So I did! I wanted something that was adjustable to fit the different widths of books I own. I found the basic shape while browsing online and came up with this pattern.

I love Batman and when I found this print, I couldn't resist! The front flap is adjustable so it fit spines from 3/4 to 1 3/4 inch. And it had it's own bookmark. I've been using this for about a month now and it works great at keeping my books safe! (Really, it does. All those bends are pre-bookcover.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

N.C.M #1 - Iron Man Outfits!

This is an older thing I did, and some of you have probably already seen them, but I more then believe this is post worthy. :)

I'm addicted to Iron Man. I saw the first Iron Man movie 5 times in the theater and pre-ordered a copy of the DVD (it remains the only thing I've ever pre-ordered.) And when I heard that the second Iron Man movie was coming out, I freaked out with joy. And, being typical Cynthia, I decided I had to make something to wear to Iron Man 2... two weeks before it was coming out. I told my hubby and we decided I should make him something. And when some friends of ours wanted to come, I of course had to make something for them as well.

I wanted something fun, but something we could wear again, so costumes were out of the idea (I would never attempt to make an Iron Man costume in two weeks... probably.). So I went searching for Iron Man printed fabric. Guess how much I found. Ziltch. Zip. Nada. Nothing. So then a thought occurred. Bedsheets! Don't laugh! Bedsheets are a great way to make cheap clothing! I bought an Iron Man set at Target and began the work.

My Dress.

I wanted a dress and I wanted something that was kinda retro-y. It's a halter top, under the bust style. I found a tutorial for what the creator called a Dragon Dress on Craftster. I used the tutorial for the bodice, but made my own pattern for the rest of the dress. I thought that it would be kinda fun to have a small train in the back, but I don't think it was such a good idea now and I'll probably end up changing that.

Hubby's Shirt

Hubby and I decided to make him a button down shirt, and I won't lie, I was dreading it. I had never made a button down shirt before. I used McCalls #2447 and was thrilled with the whole process! The pattern was very easy to understand and use and it felt like I blew through it. Hubby loved the shirt and still wears it a year later. 

Lynn's Shirt

Lynn wanted an easy breezy shirt and we couldn't find one she liked, so I designed it for her. This was a bit of a challenge because it was the release day of the movie and I was still sewing. I kinda fudged my way through it, but she loved it and she still wears it as well. :)

I also made a bandanna for Lynn's husband, but alas, I could not find a picture of it. I was especially proud of these because they turned out so well in such a short amount of time. And for those of you who are frugal like me, all four projects together cost only $22.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

National Craft Month is here!

March is Nation Craft Month and trust me, I haven't been ignoring it. :) I've been working on several projects over the past few weeks. Actually, it's probably too many projects because I've been scatter brained lately. 

I was orginally going to make this Recon Month and show several clothing reconstructions and tips, but I think it would be more appropriate if I shared several different types of crafting goodness. And I know that I'm 10 days behind, but for this month I'm going to post 31 different crafty/sewing things I've done (And I'll try not to have any repeats!)

Tip: This week is coupon commotion at JoAnn Fabrics, so if you can get your hands on coupons, it's well worth it. True, there are items that are always on sale, so it might not be buy worthy at the moment. But this is a good time to stock up on the smaller things that aren't always on sale such as thread, bias tape, scissors, snaps, buttons, hooks, zippers, etc. Also, these coupons are good at Michaels because they accept competitor coupons. I was in desperate need for new scissors and seam ripper and bought a $10 sewing kit for $5. And it's decent quality!