The Ridiculous Apron

Now that things are back to normal, ish, I can get back to being crafty! Whoo hoo!!

2 Mondays ago was the day I had to pick up my friend from the airport. Her flight didn’t arrive until the ungodly hour of 1pm. Which is an eternity if you are impatient like me. The house was clean, the laundry, dishes, everything done. Spotless. And here is me, nervous as heck, pacing back and forth with nothing to do. I decided to investigate my scraps pile in my sewing room, originally thinking of making something simple, like napkins or something. Anything. I needed to keep my hands busy.

When I went digging, I discovered a forgotten scrap of the most hideous, ridiculous fabric ever. If there is one thing I have a soft spot for, it’s ugly colors combined in insane and nonsensical ways. I feel like I need to adopt them. I have made more hideous pillows out of horrible ombre yarns that I can shake a stick at. And this stuff spoke to me. I bought it and made a skirt out of it. A skirt so ridiculous, that I, yes I, cannot even figure out what to wear it with. Man, it’s ugly. Awesomely ugly. One day, fair skirt. One day, I will rock you.

Right after I finished the skirt originally; I want to say this was in January of this year, the skirt was so insane I didn’t even post a picture of it; my dirty-hippie-NSA-watch-list friend whom I recently helped move came over, saw it and about died. Like, he was really jealous. At first he thought it was an apron, but when he found out it was a skirt, he was still jealous. I had forgotten I had a decent chunk of the fabric left.

Back to that Monday, waiting for the plane, I quickly text my good hippie friend that I had enough to make an apron. There was an explosion of YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU, MA’AM. Perfect! I selected loud yellow thread, got to pressing and got going.

wpid-20140623_123124.jpgmon Dieu

In between the beginning and the end of this apron, wedding happened. Finally, the week after, July 4th, to be exact, I actually had enough time and enthusiasm to do something besides being extremely lazy and grazing through the leftovers. I decided to crochet the ties for the apron. Off to find some ugly yarn! Whoo hoo! Ugly yarn stash!

wpid-20140704_135006.jpgthis matched the thread the best…wait for it…

I crochet a length wide and long enough to service as ties and decided they needed to be dressed up a bit. So I decided with the ol’ reverse single crochet! Works like a champ when you just need a little something to neaten off some ends.

This is how:

wpid-20140704_165833.jpgdeliciously ugly yarn…

You work backwards, left to right.

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Right side facing, insert hook into next stitch.

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Yarn over,

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draw through.

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Yarn over, draw through the two loops and into the next stitch!

wpid-20140704_170038.jpgIt’s kind of weird, until you get the hang of it, but it works great for a simple, small border.

So I whipped that hideous thing out and then sewed it all together:

wpid-20140705_170447.jpgCโ€™est la fin des haricots!

Needless to say, he was tickled pink and very happy with it!

moderate cursing?

A REAL BOOK!

GUESS WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL! GUESS!

wpid-20140225_184728.jpga “real” book. does this idiot read her own blog titles?

I got the Dress Maker’s Technique Bible by Lorna Knight! And it is fabulous!

wpid-20140225_184740.jpgis this the king james version? or new international?

I basically got it for free with points from my credit cards, which can be used on Amazon.com! I am a credit-card-aholic, but not in the way some people are. I use my cards as cash (as in I pay the balance in full every month without exception) that way I get free points! I’ll even friend atm to get points! So after a while I get enough points to go on a little shopping spree. I’ve gotten, oh geeze, about $300 plus dollars worth of books this way. Hardcover. I can splurge. Anyway, back to the book!

wpid-20140225_184804.jpgADMIRE THE EASY TO FOLLOW CONTENTS!

wpid-20140225_184812.jpgTHE EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAMS!

wpid-20140225_184824.jpgTHE OVERLOAD OF PICTURES! HELPFUL PICTURES!

I love it already! I’ve paged through it cover to cover and it is SO MUCH more helpful than certain other books that I have been quarreling with. I already have the Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden, which is also AMAZING. If you crochet, I totally, totally recommend it. If you do something else, see if they have a “bible” version. They are spiral bound and just beyond useful.

wpid-20140225_184859.jpgseriously, i love this book.

wpid-20140225_184923.jpghere’s just a taste, stitch diagrams, written pattern and a key on every page.

I can’t wait to put it to good use! I’ve already seen some fantastic tips that certain other books did not bother to mention and it literally explains every single possible thing. It goes over patterns, fabrics, tools, notions, probably explains how to build a nuclear reactor. I didn’t get to that page yet. Anyway, like I said, I totally recommend both of these books!

Tunic Tantrums

I made a tunic! Whoot!

wpid-20140223_203848.jpgthis is a representation of how annoyed I was by the end of it.

Ok, truth time. I really, really like it. It fits great, it’s adorable, but the pattern and the instructions gave me fits! I did learn a few things, which I am going to share with you guys of course.

wpid-20140223_163313.jpgit did not include a pattern. so i had to cut my own. freestyle!

This set of instructions did not include a pattern, but as it was basically squares and rectangles, I managed all right. I just drew a few lines in the appropriate areas and cut it out. Thankfully, the bust was measured out so I knew, for sure, I was a small. The only sewing tip I ever apparently picked up from my grandmother was MAKE IT TEN SIZES TOO BIG JUST IN CASE. I was able to argue myself out of upping it a size.

wpid-20140223_165425.jpgI need to rename the sewing machine. it’s name is Rachel. No offense to Rachel’s.

The instructions included diagrams, which I found largely unhelpful.

wpid-20140223_170357.jpgyou can tell my skill level by the completely not straight seam.

wpid-20140223_185757.jpg“mom? did the book poop on the rug? is that why you are so mad?”

But I did learn things! Yeah! For one, I learned why there was a paint can opener included in my grandmother’s sewing cabinet.

wpid-20140223_180922.jpgJune Dorothy was way too practical to have put this here for no reason…

wpid-20140223_180844.jpgohhhhhh, that, that just makes too much sense.

wpid-20140223_180907.jpgeasy as pie way to turn things inside right. I knew my instinct to take “anything near the sewing machine” was the best bet.

When I first got the machine, I found a walnut picker thing. I’m sorry, I don’t know exactly what they are called, but I know you use them to pick walnuts out of shells.

wpid-20140223_180939.jpgone of these. ya’ll know it wasn’t there to pick walnuts.

wpid-20140223_180956.jpgBOOM! goes right through the sticker on thread spools.

So that is just fantastic right there. Anyway, more on the Tunic Tantrum…

wpid-20140223_171823.jpgthe back. this is how i really felt.

wpid-20140223_181522.jpgwhy would grandma have a million small weights and a 6″ ruler…oh…oooohhhhhh…

Finally, I stopped taking pictures and got to work. All in all, it took about 5 hours of tantrums, but I finished it! And it looks cute as pie!

wpid-20140223_203848.jpgsorry, angry face. long night.

I would post some close ups on the details, but I really, really did not do that neat of a job. It looks really cute, but if you get up close you can see where I should have hid some stitches there, or sewn a little straighter here. I might go back and fiddle with it, but I AM NOT DETERRED!

wpid-20140224_175035.jpgummm, yeah, I bought two more fabrics for two more tops…

I did forget thread. D’oh!

My First Garment: Pajama Pants

I finished my first garment, a pair of flannel pajama pants!

wpid-ResizedImage951390364098628.jpgyou’re so lucky i am not making a duck face. the black lump is a greyhound. it is always a greyhound.

I made them from a pattern from Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. The pattern is actually for yoga pants, but I figured my first attempt should be something that, um, doesn’t need to be worn outside of the house. The upside, since they are designed to be yoga pants, is my back end looks AMAZING in them. It took my two days because I definitely took my time to get it right and not get frustrated. I didn’t want to rush it.

wpid-20140122_081934.jpgtop of pants (waist?)

wpid-20140122_081949.jpgbottom of pants (hem?)

wpid-20140122_081959.jpgdrawstring. no, i am not posting a picture of my back end! ๐Ÿ˜‰

They turned out really nice, although a little big. I know I am a bit in between sizes right now (knee injury and having to take time off the gym, booooo!!!! from running about 20 miles a week to couch potato! Take care of your knees people!) so I’m somewhere between a small and a medium. Also I am really short, by the way. But again, this is why I made pajama pants, in case they were too big or needed some editing. I plan to make a “real” pair in black and already I have like 20 requests to make them for other people. So, I guess I am going to be making pants for a while!

Dear Athena 2000:

wpid-20140117_094309.jpgmy baby is sick ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

You’re awesome, just the way you are, but you aren’t working properly. I can’t get you to thread a bobbin and I’ve poured and paced over the directions. You seem gummy. You seem like you need at the very least a good cleaning. I promise to take you in to nice people and hopefully get you running properly. If not, I promise to keep you in a safe place until your SPACE AGE TECHNOLOGY can be fixed.

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-01-17-10.57.00.jpg.jpgSPACE AGE TECHNOLOGY MY FRIENDS WITH A ‘BRAIN’ SMALLER THAN A THIMBLE OMGBBQLOLXYZWTFBYOBASAP #CRAYCRAY

Love, BMG

IT LIVES!

Meet my grandmother’s Singer Athena 2000:

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first brought into the house.

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wpid-20140112_194348.jpgall pictures must include a greyhound

She is a beauty, isn’t she? I intended to bring her home with me a long time ago, as my grandmother, June, passed 6 years ago and my brother has been living in her house, but as I have only moved out of my apartment into my home with my fiance for a only a few years, this was the first opportunity to bring her home.

Of course, I discovered the original bill of sale, December 20th, 1976:

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Complete with her immaculate cursive handwriting at the bottom, in case she needed to remember the exact name of the machine.

And, surely, Grandma June kept the manual!:

wpid-20140113_090315.jpgThree cocktails later:

wpid-20140112_194437.jpgagain, there’s a greyhound. also, i’m wearing my ancient aliens shirt. duh.

Finally got brave enough to turn it on. Plug it in, flip the power switch, and…

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it’s got a little light blub. oh, and we found at least 15 extra bulbs. ya know, just in case. i don’t even want to tell you how many sewing needles we found…

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it even does…puppy stitches…so, puppies…

IT LIVES!! IT SEWS!!!!

So this morning I get to clean her up (sans cocktail) and get it somewhat positioned in the room. I can’t wait to take it for it’s first spin, but there’s a lot of noodling around I need to do first. For now, she’s all tidied up at put away:

wpid-20140113_093044.jpgyes…sleep while you can…