Monday, May 26, 2014

Glass Etching

For Mother's Day this year I decided to try a little glass etching. I have been wanting to try glass etching since I bought my silhouette (seriously, it was like 5 years ago) and my mother in law loves anything with a monogram on it. As I was doing my project, I thought maybe you would like to see how I did it, so I took a couple pictures of my process. (FYI this is NOT a sponsored post, I'm just sharing my experience with Silhouette, Hobby Lobby, and Armour Etch)
I went to Hobby Lobby and the glass containers were 50% off! just for me! The large jar was originally $6 and the small jar was $2, so I only paid $3 and $1 AWESOME. I bought the little jar to use as a test run, and I highly recommend doing that.
While I was at Hobby Lobby, I also picked up the glass etching cream. Let me tell you, it is expensive stuff. This teeny tiny bottle was $9, luckily I had a 40% off coupon. This "Armour Etch" brand is all hobby lobby offered. After using it, I'm not super impressed. I am sooooo tempted to go to Michaels and try the Martha Stewart brand etching cream to see if it's any better.  If I try it, I'll let you know.
To get started, I opened the silhouette software and chose a little artisan border and added an H in "CAC Lasko" font.  Now here's my little trick: Most fancy fonts are very thin and not very useful for projects like this, so I  use the OFFSET tool. Just select the text box, click on the offset button (on the top toolbar), set the offset distance to about .04 inches and click "apply"
You can see here I have the original H pulled off to the side, and the "offset" H on the screen. Much better right?
Next, I re-sized and aligned the H until it looked how I wanted it to. Then I grouped the two together (right click>group).
Now that they are grouped, the H and the border will move together as one, and you can easily re-size them to the actual size you would like to cut. I wanted the length to be 2 1/2" wide.
 I used a small scrap of leftover vinyl from my stash, and cut my shape.
Now, normally you would keep the cut H and toss the negative space, but for glass etching you want the opposite.
 I used transfer paper to apply the vinyl. (Before you do though, be sure to CLEAN your jar well)
Honestly, I just eyeballed it, but you could totally get out a ruler to make everything perfectly straight and centered.
In hindsight, I probably should have left a little more room at the top and side. It turned out just fine, but it would have been nice to have a little more buffer.
Next up, it was time to apply the glass etching cream. The instructions direct you to stir the cream really well, so I used a popsicle stick to stir the cream around. Then I used a cheap-o watercolor brush to apply the etching cream. Seriously, you want to PILE that stuff on there. Be generous!

The instructions on the little bottle did not say anything about how long to leave the cream on, so I consulted google, and found someone recommend 15 minutes. So I did my test jar first to see if that was enough time. The bird on my test jar looked great, so I repeated it on the H jar.
When the 15 minutes were up, I rinsed off the cream and my project was done! Woohoo!
All I had to do was fill it up with little fun treats and give it to my mother in law. I would have made one for my mom too, but I was worried about shipping it :(  I kept the little bird test jar for myself and filled it with buttons and stuck it in my sewing room.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby Boy Shoes

Jacob is a walking boy now, so I sewed him some little baby shoes.
Oh my gosh I forgot how much I love sewing baby shoes. They are one of my favorite things to sew.
I used the Little Man Shoe Pattern from Petitboo Etsy shop. It's a good pattern, definitely worth $4.50 (though you guys know I have no problem dropping money on sewing patterns!)
I know someone's going to ask, are baby shoes hard to sew? The answer is yes and no. There are no tricky techniques, but baby shoes are small and that makes them a little complicated to sew well, but the effort is sooo worth it! They get worn everyday, and have you seen how expensive baby shoes at the store are????

Shoes hardly take any fabric at all so they cost very little to make. Bonus, they make awesome baby shower presents.
As you can see the black and white pair are a little big (I made the 12-18 months size) so I made another pair (the green/black pair) a size smaller. Once you've sewn the pattern once they whip up real quick.

Both these shoes were made from a 50% wool 50% polyester blend from Awesome blend if you ask me. 100% wool is a little scratchy and can't be washed but through in a little synthetic fiber in there and it's nice and soft and you can throw them in the wash (I tested it, because I wasn't sure).

Both pairs of shoes are listed in my etsy shop Zuzzy Design so that's why they are watermarked as Zuzzy Design not Crafting Zuzzy, you know, in case you were confused or something

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Geranium Dress Pattern Hack

The meant-to-be Easter Dress:
I say meant-to-be, because the dress was going to be Christine's Easter dress, but I didn't realize when I was packing for our last minute trip that I was going to be in Utah for Easter. So I only packed a dress for the funeral. Which, as you can imagine, was not very Easter-y. Luckily Christine has an awesome Grandma who took her shopping and bought her a purple sparkly Easter dress. Can you guess what dress she would rather wear? yup, purple sparkles. How can I compete with that? 

It's one of my favorite dresses I've ever made and I have yet to convince Christine to wear this one to church. 
So let's talk about how this dress came about, it started with the fabric. Sometimes I buy fabric because it's so pretty I must have it, even if I have no idea what I'll make from it. I ordered this beautiful Nani Iro Kokka Fuccra double gauze fabric for that reason. I had no plan of what to make from it, but I was ordering some other fabric from an Etsy shop and since I was already paying for shipping I might as well add this into my cart right? I only got 1/2 yard, because it's a little pricey. You know what? When it comes to fabric, I have never ever regretted buying too much yardage. I should have bit the bullet and bought a full yard. Oh well. When the fabric came I was a little surprised to learn that double gauze is crazy lightweight and thin. It's so soft and has a beautiful drape, not at all what I was expecting, but still completely wonderful.

I imaged making an Ice Cream Dress, but I didn't have the yardage for that. So I decided to take the Geranium pattern and edit it a little bit. First I wanted to add an invisible zipper, because I would much rather sew a zipper than buttons. To do this, I cut 1/2" off the side of the back piece to eliminate the button overlap.

Next, I wanted the curved front bodice like the ice cream dress. So I drew a curve on the Geranium bodice and I cut it off there. I used that piece for the bodice. I took the same amount off the back, but kept the back flat.

Then I used the bottom part I had cut off the bodice and added it to the skirt pattern piece. To account for the gathering I just "slashed and spread" and distributed it along the skirt piece.
Then I just followed the rest of the pattern instructions.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Rita Skinnies

Seriously? am I still blogging about what I sewed for KCW Winter? That was in February, and it's uh...May.
These skinny jeans have been in the clothing rotation constantly since I sewed them 3 months ago. They are a big hit.
For these pants I used the Lovely Rita Skinnies Pattern by Shwin Designs. I bought the pattern years ago when it is was one of the first blogger PDF patterns on the market. I totally should have sewn these up earlier. I will definitely be making more of these next Fall. I have no idea whether or not to recommend them to you or not because the pattern has been updated. The version I have is not very professional and the tutorial instructions were a little confusing, but I think I only paid $3 for it. I have no idea if the new and improved version is worth $9.
For the fabric, I cut up a pair of jeggings that I had bought myself last summer. I was in the awkward "post baby I can't fit into any of my old clothes and I don't want to spend any money on real clothes because I know in just a few months I will be back down to my normal size" stage so I bought four pairs of $8 jeggings from Walmart. I'm sure I looked pretty awesome in them.
Okay now I need to go mow the yard, because everyone just saw that I have 2 foot tall weeds in my backyard.

Friday, May 2, 2014

One more peasant top

Before I share my orange dress, I figured I better put up some pictures of the top and pants from Winter KCW. Did anyone remember this top that I mentioned I would take pics of but never did? Just me? Well that's ok. I like to have a portfolio, if you will, of all my sewing projects so here it is.
My favorite peasant top, I think I've sewn this pattern about 10 times now. Love it!
The fabric is from JoAnn's. Every time I'm in a city with a Joann's I always pop in and buy a little fabric.
Christine loves her shirt and wears it all the time. It's light and airy and will transition so well from spring into hot hot summer.