Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Minoru Update: It's Finished

Ahh my lazy left eye is showing

I finished my first ever jacket, and it was so easy to make! I can honestly say that I loved this pattern from start to finish. The pattern and instructions included were easy to understand and very clear and if I was ever confused I would just click over to the sew-along posts that Tasia has posted over at Sewaholic. I was surprised at how fast I got this done. I was originally thinking it wouldn't be finished until the end of July, but it only took me two weeks! I am dying to make a couple other variations of this. I definitely want a heavier version for winter, and a snowboarding version if I can find the right fabric. The long length, sleeves, and high collar would make this coat perfect for snowboarding in. Most snowboarding apparel is still geared to guys and even the women's brand's still make 'baggy/boyfriend' style apparel. It will be nice to look like a girl for once when riding!

The pockets are even I swear, I'm just grabbing it weird

The only changes I would make would be to line the hood, and possibly add some outside pockets the next time. I originally was going to put dark blue/black buttons on the pockets but I snapped my button in half so I figured the red just make the pockets pop.
It clearly needs a good ironing to press it out a bit

I like the fit on the jacket a lot too. At first I was worried that it would be too big once completed, but once you add the the elastic to the waistband it comes in quite nicely. However I still have room to wear sweaters or bulkier objects underneath without feeling like a sausage

Unveiling the secret hood in the collar

There is only one thing that I did wrong when sewing. I accidentally sewed the inside collar on the lining on the wrong side so the seam is sadly visible. No one can notice it because it's only visible on the inside around my neck, but it's just one of those things that will drive me crazy forever. At least I know for next time, and will hopefully remember not to do that again. Other than that I was pleased to not have made a lot of mistakes or little things that I would notice even if no one else does. I can't wait to try out some of Tasia's other patterns as well!

Free Finds: Filing Cabinet

Look what I picked up yesterday! Corey and I were walking the dogs when he noticed this filing cabinet and directed my attention to it. I've started to look around for free or cheap patio table, you know the kind with the glass top that usually comes in a set with metal chairs. I really want to do a project like this painted glass tabletop project that was featured on Design*Sponge awhile back. Unfortunately the few I've seen on Craigslist were already sold and the ads outdated.

What I'm most excited about with this filing cabinet is all of it's potential. It's just drab and ordinary, right now, but it can be used for so many things. Right now I'm either thinking of making it into a bedside table for a reading light and a place to set phones, etc. Or in our new place my soon to be roomate Kate and I have been talking about having a craft room, and I think this would be the perfect way to store yarn and other supplies! If I could find another one we could get a piece of wood cut to make a table with the filing cabinets on each end. Even if we just spruce it up with a fresh coat of white paint and get some new handles I'll be happy.

Follow the link to see some cleverly up-cycled filing cabinets

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scrambled Eggs: The Microwave Edition

I've been doing a bunch of sewing posts lately so I wanted to change things up and make sure I was sharing things that all of my readers could use/enjoy. Hopefully if I have time this weekend I'll have another non-sewing related project to share with you guys as well!

So another title you're probably all reading and thinking "gross, scrambled eggs in the microwave." Do not doubt me on this, at least try these once before you write me off entirely. They have never once come out dry, rubbery, burnt, or ruined in anyway. I've been making these microwave scrambled eggs since high school, so that is a couple of years of tried and true egg making. I want to say that I originally read about this way of cooking eggs in The Chicago Tribune, and to this day I'm glad I did. These only take a couple of minutes to make, and are great for the mornings you want a substantial breakfast but may be running short on time or just don't want to get out the frying pan and have to deal with all of the clean up. Food purists are probably cringing right now, but these are so good and quick it's worth dealing with other people's disgust. Click the link to get the step by step.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Golden Lemon Cheese Pie

 Don't be alarmed by the title, the only cheese in this pie is cream cheese, and it's delicious. Here in Colorado there are no pie places that I've found as of yet. Back home we have Baker's Square and their pies are delicious. My two favorites are the french silk and the lemon supreme, which I didn't really like as a kid but it has definitely grown on me since then. My mom told me a story about how my dad, my grandparents, and herself were all planning going to go on a diet in the new year. That New Year's Eve they got a lemon supreme pie from Baker's Square, split it into four humongous pieces and ate them as last gluttonous farewell before their diets started the next day. That's how good this pie is.

Is your mouth salivating yet? - Baker's Square Lemon Supreme Pie

Anyways, my grandma sent me a recipe that she said was similar to the Baker's Square Lemon Supreme Pie. Corey and I are going to a cookout at a friends tomorrow and so I decided to try out the Golden Lemon Cheese Pie recipe and bring that. From the licks of the filling I tasted while making this pie I think it's going to be very similar to the Baker's Square version. Follow the page break to get the recipe!

Monday, May 13, 2013

How To: Recycle Jeans or Capris into shorts


So I had a pair of jeans that had a hole in the crotch area which I had already previously hacked up to make my dogs jean jacket vests in addition to a pair of capri pants that I decided to use to make some shorts. I've had the capri's since I was in undergrad and they were a boxy fit to begin with on the bottom of the leg and I finally realized they'd serve me better as shorts. I always feel like I have a hard time finding shorts that I like, they're either too short or too tight in the waist/butt but then too loose in the legs or vice versa. That all being said I figured I couldn't go wrong using jeans that I already knew fit me well in the waist. Make sure to click the link to read the full how to.

My Minoru Jacket - Fabric Update

I made it over to JoAnn's this weekend and finally picked up the fabric and other materials I need to make my Minoru Jacket ( see the first blog post here ). I wanted a bright jacket suitable for spring or fall, the majority of my jackets are either black or navy blue or some other dark color. I usually pick dark material because I have the unlucky habit of spilling things on myself or just getting things dirty somehow. Sadly I will probably never be able to own a white coat because of the latter reasons. Hopefully I am adult enough to keep this coat relatively clean, and so I got this "dandelion" yellow cotton twill fabric for the outside. For my inner lining I was originally thinking of a navy blue, but I saw this awesome minty green "celadon" lining fabric that I thought would make an interesting chic color combo. For some reason it looks like a sky blue in this picture but it is actually more green. I got my zipper, elastic, thread, and interfacing while I was there as well.

The pattern calls for a yard of interfacing, but I picked up about 6 yards at .99 cents. I use the interfacing to trace out the pattern sizes I will need instead of cutting them out of the pattern and then cutting my fabric around them. The interfacing is see through so it's easy to lay the pattern underneath and trace on top. While it does take more time and is essentially an extra step I do it so that I don't damage the original pattern pieces. Plus if I ever sew a coat for someone who's a different size than me I still have all of the size lines to follow on the original.

 I threw all of my fabric into the wash yesterday so that way it won't shrink in the wash when I do wash it the first time after it's fully constructed. I'll probably start tracing out all of my pieces tonight and if I feel motivated I'll cut them out of my fabric as well. It's finals week for me, but luckily I only have one final. It is open note which is sort of a pain because we have a lot of notes and not a lot of time during the final to flip through them so I'll be busy preparing for that. Other than that it's maybe  summer now here in CO, it's 88 today! I have a couple of pairs of old jeans/capris that I want to turn into shorts especially now that the warmer weather is here so check in later during the week for some tutorials.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simple Sundress or Beach Wrap

      Coco seemed to think Corey was giving treats and she kept hopping around

I love summer sundresses. They're light so you never get hot and usually made of stretchy material so you never feel uncomfortable. I don't know why anyone bothers with pants or shorts, I for one will be trying to get away with wearing the dress above as many days as I can. If you're ever on Pinterest you've probably seen this gorgeous Victoria Secret Beach Wrap :

It retails for $49.99 but you can find some knock-offs for $29.99 if you sleuth around the internet long enough. Or you can do what I did and make one for $7.99! I had a leftover yard of that rayon/spandex purple fabric from one of the maxi skirts I made. I was originally just planning on this being a bathing suit cover up but it's really sturdy and can function as a sundress as well. You'll only need a yard of 60" fabric more if your fabric isn't that wide or if you make a longer dress version. I have all my steps listed after the link.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Making a Poster (Part 2)

I know you all were probably thinking I forgot about my original Making a Poster post, but I didn't. I had a craft fail moment and then just decided to wait and use pictures for my posters instead. I was under the impression that I could make my own Holi-like powders, similar to those used in the Design*Sponge Holi Inspired Poster Tutorial, by mixing cornstarch with food coloring dye. This didn't work, the dye just turned the bits of cornstarch it touched into a blob. I really didn't want to buy Holi-Powder just to make a poster or two and so I played around with spray paint and regular paint on some white pieces of printer paper too, but wasn't really liking how that looked either.

These would've made the ugliest posters ever. You cannot make art out of everything

I finally just decided to look through pictures of places or things that I had taken and turn them into posters. What better way to remember favorite moments than by having a poster of that moment hanging on your wall! I used a picture from my collection and two awesome shots by my equally awesome friend Kenzie        (Check out her Flickr and Instagram while you're at it!) of Coco and Neva. I followed the 'guidelines' from the Design*Sponge tutorial that's linked above as far as dimensions go and used Irfanview instead of Photoshop.

I love the way the light is reflecting off of Coco's ears in the second picture!

All that's left is for these to be printed at Kinko's on some matte paper and framed - just in time for me to use my 60% off framing coupon at JoAnn's! I liked this project because it was extremely simple and I didn't feel pressed for time, I was able to just open my pictures and edit them. Technology has allowed for us all to carry a camera with us every where we go, and many of my friends and myself included are constantly snapping pictures. You post them and sometimes forget about them, and this way you get to see them when you walk into a room. I'll be sure to post the finished posters once they're hung. Feel free to send me posters you guys make as well and I can do a roundup post of all of your creations.

Friday, May 3, 2013

How To: Felt Coffee Cozy


My mom requested my help in making another coffee cozy, this time using felt, similar to one she had seen in a Better Homes & Gardens video. I changed the way I made mine slightly and added buttons as a cute finishing/detail effect. Not to mention I found this awesome felt for 25 cents! I was actually really surprised by the different varieties of felts my JoAnn's fabric store had. I didn't realize patterned and textured felt existed, who knew? When I saw this textured red piece I really liked the color, and the way that the texture draws your eye. This is a simple project that won't take very much time and is great for beginners and above, all in all it took me about 30 minutes to complete. I've posted the step by step breakdown after the link!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Wishlist: Travel on A Budget

Exactly a month from tomorrow I'll be hopping on a plane with my sister and flying to Italy to spend a week traipsing around Rome, Tuscany, and Venice! I am so excited, I try not to think about it too often so that I don't get distracted. My sister has done an amazing job of planning our itineraries for our days in the different cities, I just wanted to go exploring but she said for our first visit we at least had to see the famous sites. Agreed. My job is to figure out our driving directions, which I have penciled in to do on my calendar this weekend. In addition to making copies of my passport, and all of our travel arrangement documents I also wanted to get a few new things for the trip. However I don't want to blow the whole 'wants' part of my monthly budget (yes, I have a budget) on clothes and other miscellaneous goods. Especially when I'm planning on spending money on food, gelato, and souvenirs to bring back stateside. So my wishlist for this month contains items that are $30.00 or less, and it's not very long because I actually plan on buying most of these items. I mainly wanted things that were light weight and would be comfortable to wear and travel in seeing as how we will be walking a lot. This was harder than I expected, but I still managed to find things I liked, and I hope you all will as well!

Click the link to see things I picked out

Just in Time for Spring and Summer: Maxi Skirts

I've had a busy past couple of days, this past week in fact, and right when I was ready to post this last night I realized I had left my laptop charger at work. It's the end of the semester and so I have a ton of projects and finals I'm getting ready to prepare for. I did make it over to JoAnn's on Sunday and used up some of my 50 and 40% off coupons!  I didn't find any fabric that I loved for my Minoru Jacket, which is okay because my pattern still hasn't arrived yet, but I picked up some jersey knit and this other stretchy fabric that I used to make some maxi skirts. I have enough of the stretchy fabric left over that I'm going to make a beach/cover wrap dress with!

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