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Lemon aid 

When life gives me lemons…. I remind myself how much I love lemonade, seriously it’s an addiction. Know what else I love 

Put it this way, when life gives me scraps, I make bows.

  
When we were visiting Mr. Smith’s Aunt she kindly gave me a ton of amazing (adorable, wonderful, darling, “OMG I need this in my life!”) scrap material 

One stipulation… I had to make bow ties for her new yorkie… 

  
Oh what a hassle that would be (can I just inform anyone unfamiliar with tinybows that statement was dripping with sarcasm) 

I got started right away

  
Just use the same template found on this blog post for my felt hair bows and cut two pieces of the bow loop part of the template. 

  
Cut them at the same time with right sides facing towards one another and take into account seam allowance

   
Sew the two pieces together (still with outsides facing towards one another)

  
Then turn the piece right side out and flatten your seams. If needed (or wanted) you can iron it to get the seams to cooperate, I didn’t because the bows tend to be a little fluffier if you don’t flatten the seams with an iron.

  
Then cut a small rectangle of fabric about 1 inch by 2 inches and sew the long sides together with right sides facing together and again turn right side out

As a tip I had to use a pencil or sometimes a crochet hook to turn the pieces.

  
Then sew the two ends of the bow loop together.

  
Sew the center piece to the side of the back seam of the bow loop.

(Optional if you plan on attaching it to a collar) Sew a small strip of elastic on top of the  center piece

  
Wrap the center piece around the bow loop and sew it on the same seam as it started

  
Here comes the hard part, you have to stretch the elastic and sew it to the remaining centerpiece so that it rouches the fabric and allows the elastic to stretch

  
Trim any excess fabric and elastic and sew the end to the opposite side of the back of the bow 

  
You can of course adjust the size of the pattern based on how big you want the bow for your fur baby but the elastic allows it to easily stretch over the latch of a collar.

  

  

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The Mouse

I thought I would take a minute to try to explain something I know I’m terrible at explaining. We will see how well this goes? 

I had to take up some straps today. It’s the bane of my fashion existence, apparently I have a short torso or something?

At any rate it’s an easy job, just put on the dress and pin up the straps at either the front or back seam (possibly both if they are super long) 

This was only an inch so the front got it, luckily due to having a tie in the back the bust was adjustable or it might have been a bit big too.

  
So once you have your straps pinned you just start sewing, nothing fancy or new. This dress had a seam along the front I could hide the new seam in. 

  
Then I took that excess material created when tucking up the strap and started to sew it down. This is where things get a bit odd. It’s a simple whip stitch running through only the underpinning of the dress so it doesn’t show on the outside of the garment… Yup I’m terrible at explaining things…

  
At any rate it makes that flap and the rest of the dress lay flat, without cutting away the excess and risking fraying. It also means that flap of fabric won’t catch on anything, particularly in the wash. 

  
(I never said my sewing was pretty, but it’s effective)

Soooo I took a dress that was originally priced $70, worth maybe $40, I paid about $25, and made it fit like it’s …. Well I still wouldn’t pay $70 for it… 

  
All done the dress lies nice and flat and you can never tell they were taken up … So technically I lied a bit like my cross stitching it’s pretty from the front but the back is a mess. 

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There Will Be Bows

Adulting is hard was the alternate title for this.

However, the last couple of weeks has proved to me that despite all attempts to avoid the dreaded adulthood, it has caught up with me. Not only did I somehow get engaged I also managed to land a (nope) two new jobs, I’ve revisited my graphic design days and rediscovered how much I love publisher, I’ve somehow managed to save up a good chunk of a down payment on a house and … Stop… It can’t all be good all at once. Enter the bathroom sink of doom.

So I wash my face every morning and every night, as one should. The other night I was washing my face as usual but when I was done I heard this steady drip drip… the pipes are fine almost like new. However the basin of my sink looks like this.

(and yes that is teal paint stuck to the basin of my very old sink)

Upon further investigation it turns out the drain and tiny fractures in the basin are in fact the culprit. Soooooooooo. Of course it’s not a standard size, and of course I can’t find anything suitable, and of course the cabinet is actually nice but has a kick plate to the floor without tiling under it so if it’s removed I then have to retile (and the tile is actually kind of nice too). Looks like despite all efforts I might have a big project on my hands.

I’ll just ignore that for now and make bows. Bows always make life better.

First I’ll need some felt and hair clips.

And a template, you can find it at this website. I actually used a different one but now that I’ve found this PDF one I’m super excited to use it.

Or you can click on FeltBow  … assuming I have this technology thing figured out

Then just cut the felt from the template

Sew the ends of the large pieces together.

Then sew the back to the circle through the narrow center to create the bow shape. Then just wind the tiny strip of felt around the center of the bow to cinch it and sew it tight.

(That’s not blurry at all… Sorry)

You can then secure it to a hair tie or adorn a wreath what every you would like.

Aaaaaahhhh….. yes life is back to blissful again.

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The Adventures of Fox & Robot

You know how I did a cross stitch of a little robot a while back. It was the first time I had done cross stitch in a long time. Well I inadvertently created a monster.

Ok so this isn’t actually a monster it’s just the back of my cross stitch,

As you can see I’m not very good at keeping things tidy yet.

What could I possibly do next that wasn’t all granny-ish?

Hearts are not going to cut it.

Cute modern woodland creatures though. That is completely up my alley.

Next step is finding a home for my little creations. The fox was easy.

The robot’s home was a bit boring though.

Nothing washi tape can’t fix.

Seriously if duct tape doesn’t fix it, washi tape will at least make it look good.

When I got to a corner I just used an exact-o knife to cut where the miter is and pull off the scrap.

You could be overly OCD about it and make the stripes line up perfectly, but I can’t be bothered. As long as they are all going the same way my brain seems to be happy.

Then tah-dah! A frame befitting the countenance of a Robot of such grandeur.

My boyfriend has claimed them both for his desk at work. I’ve demanded weekly updates on their amazing adventures in the tech world.

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A Long Story

2014 was a rather interesting and amazing year for me. I would do a retrospective of my best blog posts but, since I only just started this adventure last year it would be rather boring for the few people that follow this blog. However feel free to browse through the archives where you will find some interesting gems like the chairs I recovered and painted.

Being the person I am I couldn’t let the pile of fabric that the reupholstering process created go to waste. Especially considering I knew the wonderful individuals that owned the chairs before me and lived with those amazing fabrics in their homes. Those chairs have a long story and I thought it would be nice to tell that story with the fabric that was left over. I may now be the owner of the chairs but I thought it would be nice for them to have a conversation piece to remember the table that so many dinners and friendsgivings were held at.

So with the holidays coming up I decided to embark on a project that… well let’s just say it might have been a bit too ambitious for my not-so-honed skills.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am lucky enough to have a family that has taught me how to sew (albeit rudimentarily) and I also have a friend that has taught me how to dye and fix fabric. So when I washed the old fabric and came out with the most magical colored water I couldn’t resist tinting the other fabric to fit into the color scheme. I simply let the fabrics that I wanted to dye soak in the colored water along with a generous amount of salt to act as a fixative. I then took the fabric out, rubbed some more salt on the fabric, then rinsed them and voila pale teal fabric.

I didn’t stop to consider the fabric wouldn’t be the only thing that would be dyed.

Now it was just a matter of what to do with the newly dyed fabric. I thought I would be overly ambitious and tackle applique. Keeping in mind that I have no idea how to do applique or embroidery.

The first step was to round up some supplies. Fusible webbing, an embroidery hoop, and embroidery floss in colors that would go with the fabrics. I choose a light and dark teal as well as a light and dark brown to tie everything together. Next I had to choose a design to work with. I figured I would go with a tried and true (as well as relatively simple) leaf motif.

I then just traced out leaf figures on my fusible web then roughly cut them out to place the sticky side down on the various fabrics (including the new one that I used) and cut out the final shape. Once all my leaves were cut I chose the leaves I wanted to use and arranged them on my backing fabric. I then just followed the directions of the fusible web to iron them onto the backing fabric.

All of that is the easy part. Next was the tedious part of embroidering around the leaves. Like I said, I have no idea how to applique or embroider so I didn’t do anything fancy here. I simply did a back stitch all the way around the perimeter of the leaves in a contrasting color to secure them. Then I just put a few ornamental veins in the leaves.

Just as in my last project I completely failed to get pictures of the finished project because I’m a terrible blogger. Luckily I have very obliging friends so they let me take pictures once they opened their presents so you have pictures of wrinkled finished products. And yes I gave my friends back their own fabric for Christmas. Strange, but an enjoyable project. I also gave them extra leaves and blocks of fabric in case they want to do their own block and turn it into a pillow, though one had the brilliant idea of an apron, which I love. I think my own might just become that.