28 May 2017

Swap Journal

It's been a long time since I've posted something/anything. Partially it's because the muse had left me, partially because I've been making, but not finishing anything, partially because I just don't like all that photo editing. And this post and all the pictures to follow reminded me just how much I don't like it. But, it had to be done.
I joined a couple of junk journal groups of Facebook and after lots of YouTube video watching and playing with paper, I finally took a big breath and signed up for my first swap. Not a completed journal, but a "flowish" journal. These are based on Flow Magazine/Book - something for paper lovers, meant to be taken apart and reused in a handmade journal.
The swap is for a "baby" journal which refers to the size (4.5 - 5" square) and I opted to have an international partner which meant only 15 sheets and even that is a lot in such a small journal. I agonized over the cover, but had a lot of fun with the inside, going through my embarrassingly large stash of papers all over the house.
Apologies in advance for the many, many photos. Most of the women in my group do videos, but that's something I haven't learned (yet), not sure I will. 
So, here is what I came up with:

I used a vintage fabric for the outside of the cover and while I originally wanted to quilt it in a rather contemporary style, the fabric let me know otherwise. So, I appliqued a bit of lace to it and used some sari ribbon for the tie. This cover is loose, so it can be used for something else, not really part of the requirements for the swap.
This is the real cover, a file folder cut down to size, a bit of lace to hold the pages in - they are meant to be removable - and a lot of seam binding - coffee dyed - to hold the folder closed.

The inside pages - scrap booking paper.
More scrap booking paper, this one cut up into small sizes.
From left to right: scrap booking paper, guest checks (I have a mild obsession with office forms) and some folded up gift wrap.
Gift wrap on left, some digital images printed on vellum.
Again from left to right: more digital images on Vellum and a menu from my favorite Indian restaurant.
An envelope folded in half (pink) and more office forms.
A folded up page from a very old Sears catalog and a folded up form for a gardener - I think.
On the left a page from a Chinese language learning book and more images on Vellum.

A page, folded up, from a Chinese children's book.
A rather old page of scrap booking paper.
And in the very center - a folded up glassine envelope.
I did not photograph the other half of the journal pages, pretty much the same as the first side. I also cheated a bit when putting all this together. I simply could not bring myself to cut a lot of the pages to size and just folded them to the correct dimensions.

Some of the things I included in the journal are small bags and envelopes (here is a selection) filled with cut outs, ephemera etc. And some mini file folders I made. There's a little bit more, a sheet of handmade paper, coffee dyed doilies etc. that I did not take pictures of. I might, but at this point I am all photographed out and, besides, it's time to get started on dinner and celebrating my wedding anniversary. Many, many years today.

16 November 2016

Zipper tabs

This really is meant more as a reminder for myself than anything else. There are so many tutorials out there and all of them are good in their way.
I was making more bags like the ones in my last post, still trying to reduce the contents of the scrap basket, just playing around, trying different ways of sewing zipper tabs to see what I liked best and happened to have the phone nearby. So, I took pictures of the process.
I cut a piece of fabric 2" x 3.5" and ironed the short ends under 1/4" inch (and later changed my mind about the second end).
Next, I ironed under the long ends, measuring the width against the width of the zipper.
I then slipped the zipper inside those ironed under long ends and sewed across just the short side.

This is where I changed my mind (about the two short ends being ironed down first): I unfolded the short end, folded the long sides in, then folded the short end over.

After that, I folded the whole tab in half, making sure that the end in back was slightly longer than the end in front.

I then sewed all the way around, sewing again over the short end I sewed originally.
 No, it wasn't always perfect, I actually undid one of the tabs, but, if I had paid a little more attention and adjusted things as I was sewing, it might have been just fine.
The picture above is the first tab I worked on, the one I took pictures of as I sewed.
And here is the other one I did. That one actually turned out better.
Hopefully, the next time I sew a bag that requires zipper tabs, I will remember to refer back to this, so much easier than experimenting again and again.

07 November 2016

Bags ............. and more bags

I was sure the (sewing) muse had left me for good, but inspired by a recent post on this blog I dug out fabric, zippers etc. and started sewing again.

I used the following tutorials and came to realize that I like a combination of the two best. So, in future, that's what I will do. There are things I could have done better and that's what I mean with combining the two tutes.
Next was this bag, made from a tutorial on an Italian blog. Google translate and a metric ruler were very helpful here.
The pouch is cute, but very floppy, definitely would have benefited from either interfacing or quilt batting.
The mini version of the  Sew Together Bag was made quite a while ago but never photographed or blogged. There are several more in the pipeline, just as soon as I can work up the enthusiasm for them.

And this was was whipped up yesterday afternoon before dinner. I used this tutorial but changed things a bit.
Quick and easy and fun.
I had hoped I would make a dent in my fabric stash, or, at least, in my scrap bucket, but no such luck. I guess I will have to keep on sewing. Let's hope the muse stays around for a while.

29 September 2016

More Indigo Dyeing

I am a bad blogger. Really, I am. There is lots of stuff going on around here, some of it actually crafty, but do I bother to document it? No, I do not.
But, I finally did something I am quite excited about.  I took another indigo dyeing class, this time in central Oregon. Two days, lots of supplies, fun and so enjoyable.
Carlene Keller from Hawai'i taught the class and set up the dye pots and I wish I had paid a bit more attention to how she did it. But, there are instructions on the web and I should be able to figure it out on my own.
Class was fairly structured so we all did similar projects. The first day was about using thread as a resist and I only ended up with two finished pieces, but on the second day, we really dug in and churned out quite a bit more:
It took me a whole week after we came back to finally wash my pieces of fabric - we did have a bit of a heatwave and several "spare the air" days in a row, so that was my excuse. Plus I had to wash by hand since I have one of those "efficient" washers and I was supposed to use quite a bit of water for washing. I lumped all the cotton pieces together in the above picture and will need to take a few individual pictures to explain how I did the various techniques.
The above is the silk scarf we all did. Quite happy with how it turned out. Actually, I am very happy with how everything turned out. The color is a lot deeper this time around than in the first class I took. I have no idea why that is. Maybe the dye bath was stronger. We still did things basically the same way as in the first class, dip, wait for the color to change, repeat and repeat again. Fun, if a little messy.
Here are my gloves after two classes:
And here are the little indigo plants I planted several weeks ago, bad timing, I think. It's a little late in the season, even here where we have a long growing season:
Today, I am trying ice dyeing and, wouldn't you know, I forgot to take pictures at the beginning? Typical!

20 June 2016

Shibori and indigo

I took a class yesterday, in Oakland, at A Verb for Keeping Warm. Lots of fun, a bit messy, but I have something to show for - unlike the class I took a month ago. And that project is almost finished, the handwork, anyway. But that's for another post, hopefully soon.
Anyway, back to yesterday's class - shibori and indigo dyeing. I keep seeing examples of other people's dyework and just loved it. I've taken a dyeing class before, but it wasn't about natural dyes. So, when I got the email about this class, I signed up immediately. Glad I did. Here is what I managed to do in class:
 My first piece, pretty time consuming and requiring the use of many, many needles. All stitched and gathered along the way. The fabric is beige linen. Took me ages to get all the threads out and even longer to carefully cut out the knots at the end of each row of stitches.
 After that first piece, I wanted something a little easier and just tied little bits of fabric to get sort of dots. I think this one is my favorite. This one started out as plain, white cotton fabric.
 This one was another simple tying process. I just pleated the fabric and tied it at intervals. It worked. Same fabric as above.
I call this one my "quick and dirty" piece. I had extra fabric, there was time, so I tied and dipped. I think this piece was only dipped twice, the others 3 or 4 times.
I ended up with bluish nails and managed to drip a bit of blue water on my feet. Well worth it. I ordered indigo plant seeds today, I'll try growing my own, for a slightly different process. Let's see how that goes.

Baby sewing - again

With a visit to Oregon coming up soon, there's been some serious sewing going on lately: bibs, a cape and another one of the fleece bears my granddaughter seems to be collecting:


My favorite project were the bandana bibs, quick and easy to sew and great to use up fabric left over from sewing little baby pants.
After making a couple of other "superkid" capes recently and realizing that the unlined fleece was not going to stand up to a lot of taking off and putting back on, I lined this one, ladybugs according to the "superkid's" mom's request. The bear goes with the cape. And one of these days I'll make them in matching pairs, so the little brother will get his own. Right now, his sister owns them all and, according to her, she does not share.
Details: bears are a Rebecca Danger pattern.
Cape pattern can be found here, applique here
The bandana bib pattern is here, the other bib is a pattern by Jennifer Casa  that doesn't seem to be available right now.
The little crinkly squares are leftovers from my doll club sewing days, I just winged it on those, leftover flannel and ribbon with crinkly, washable plastic in the center.