Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from Napoleon BONEaparte!

T-Rex would like to wish all of you a happy Halloween!
 He looks very regal. I totally screwed up on the hat and it looks like a floppy beret, but it's not like he'll wear it for more than 2 minutes anyways. I had to remove the cravat and the hat to get him to act even slightly happy.

 Luckily, he is dumb enough that removing the hat and tie and then shouting "SQUIRREL" got him happy again. Here is the dictator of the yard hunting for squirrels.

 I like how his tail pokes out from between the coat-tails. Win!
Have a fun night everyone and eat a ton of candy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Men's Vogue 8720- Trenchcoat

Well, I am glad to be finished with this finally! Coats take along time to make and this took me about two weeks to finish. Andrew is happy with his coat, so happy birthday!
 We had some piercingly bright sun today, and I just finished sewing on the buttons, so it was time to wear it to the park for a dog walk. I followed the instructions to a T and only added length in the sleeves and hem. I also underlined the brown cotton in plaid flannel for warmth. I did the topstitching, but not the flat-felled seams. Instead I bound them off with bias binding.
 Plaid interior.
 The back looks very nice and exactly like a trench coat should.

 The buttons match fairly closely and blend in.
 Running with T-Rex in the park...
It's not a very hard pattern, but it takes some time to do all 50-some steps that go with it. It's a nice coat and Andrew is happy, so I'm happy.

fin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin fun!

We finally carved the pumpkins last night; it only took us almost a month! 

Shockingly, my 45 lb pumpkin was full of goop. Ha ha. The seeds were giant and it was very thick. It would have been good for making pies, I bet.
 Andrew carved his with a T-Rex face and traced it out in pen and everything. I, on the other hand, just hacked away at mine to make a scary face.
 I like to think of mine as having "freaky shark teeth." Go google shark teeth if that's confusing.
I do need candles to make them glow. Finally pictures of Andrew's coat tomorrow. I just need to sew on the buttons tonight after work and it's FINISHED!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Curtains 21-28: A sun room finale

Yay to having the house feel complete. Now all the windows that need curtains are done! Finishing up the front porch also made the living room look nicer. It's really cloudy today, but you can see that the sheer curtains let in a lot of light. 
 Each panel was 2 dollars at the estate sale, plus two packs of curtain pins for the green ones: total cost- $18. What a steal, since each sheer panel at Kmart was 7.99 and they looked cheap.
 Andrew re-potted the giant ginger plant into two pots, since it will die outside in the winter. Sometimes we eat breakfast out here on the weekends, which is really nice.
We have now rigged up a lamp with fluorescent bulbs for the lemon tree. It is so pitiful. It has grown a lot more healthy looking leaves since we bought the lamp last month. It should be warm enough near the radiator for the winter, hopefully. I need to re-pot it in new soil and drill more drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Then, it should be fine. Can you tell I have been reading up on lemon trees?

Ok, off to sew. I work the next six days straight, which is going to be exhausting and I'm going to miss Halloween. So sad! I want to be able to cram in some sewing too- wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curtains 19-20: we learn what "pinch-pleated" means

Apparently, pinch pleated drapes already have pleats at the top, right? Right. But did you know they have to be hung using curtain pins (99 cents a bag) or curtain rod clips (8.99 a bag)? Obviously, I did not and had to go to Kmart to buy some today. Guess which kind I bought? Ha, the cheap one.
 Now, the second window gets no drapes because it looks out onto a brick wall. The covered window looks directly into my neighbors' bedroom. Oh la la. So now we all get some privacy. Thanks curtains!
I am also super pleased with how the bath mat looks in the bathroom. It's not the exact same shade of green, but it was brand new and cost $1. Can't argue with results!!

Last curtains tomorrow and the house is complete! It only took about four months, ha ha ha ha!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Estate Sale Loot!

First, proof that the wild neighborhood bunnies exist! It was just sitting under the bush, twitching its nose. 
 I had to go to Franklin Park to pick up a package from the UPS station for Andrew, so I thought I would go to an estate sale in Schaumburg on the way back. There weren't a lot of choices this weekend. If you live to the southwest of Chicago, there was one with sewing stuff and patterns in Joliet on estatesale.net... loot for others...

I did not buy this monstrosity, but I did take a picture! There were also elaborate pink velvet drapes to match the bedspread! Every room had a suite of furniture that was similar, but slightly different. They were all really over-wrought blonde wood things. Ick.
 I did buy this lime green bathmat and five kitchen utensils. Another metal spatula, a potato masher, a butter creamer, a meat tenderizer and a hard-boiled egg slicer. Well, that's what I call them- you can chime in if they have real names...rug- $1, utensils 50 c each
 Apparently this lady had worked at Lord and Taylor and had accumulated a lot of stuff still in the packages. There were a ton of bed ruffles, pillow cases, sheets, etc. I hooked myself up with curtains! So now the small bedroom and sun porch will be covered and I don't have to do any more boring curtain sewing!! Yay!
 All of the beige ones have one big curtain in them ($2 each) and the flowered ones ($4) are two to a pack.
I also got Andrew some brand new flannel pajamas, which were way cheaper than the fabric would even cost! (only $5!)

So that was fun, but not the traffic getting home at 3:30 on a Friday. I got on the I-90 like an idiot and then had to sit there for nearly 30 min, just to get off at the next exit. Derp!

No more estate sales this weekend, I need to finish Andrew's coat!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Next, next up: A dress for ME

Well, in case you can't tell from that title, I am bored with making Andrew's coat and am dreaming of future projects for me. He is too giant, it's like flopping around a huge blanket trying to do top-stitching. Also, the welt pockets are looking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
less than stellar. But I have no more fabric, so whatever. Hopefully it will not be terribly noticeable.
I am going to remake this pattern, Simplicity 3914, which I made about two years ago. I love it, with the contrasting stripes. It is perfect for the striped silk I got at that estate sale awhile ago. 

Soon... soon.... I would say I am just past half-way on Andrew's coat. Hopefully I will finish it by Friday. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Next up: Happy birthday Andrew trenchcoat

Men's patterns have a really limited selection. Props to Vogue and Burda for even having a men's section in the catalogue. I bought this online for 3.88 on sale, I'm sure because the guy on the front is SO CREEPY! 
 I mean really, I bet those are fake pants that end just above his knees and he's just waiting for the chance to flash some little old ladies in the park. LOL
I'm making it out of brown cotton sateen and underlining it with green and brown plaid fabric (yeah Plaiditudes!). It is meant to be unlined, so I am going to bind the seams with brown binding. Andrew chose the fabric, but I paid for it. Aren't I generous, hee hee. It took five yards of fashion fabric and four and one quarter of the underlining and I used every bit cutting it out.

Vogue calls this "average" or moins facile in French. Andrew and I were discussing the phrasing, which is "less easy" but then we couldn't think of a better word that would be as clear. Moyen is medium, but that could mean a size... Point being, I would call this "advanced." Essentially steps 1-7 are like "hey do a diagonal welt pocket on each side with top stitching, ok?" And I said, "ok, but a year ago I would have quit right there, so I don't think this is average by most people's standards.." Vogue replied "stfu."

Enough, I have to go wait some tables...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An overly large green purse

I did make this purse very quickly. It has no closures, just a flap. It's a little too over sized. I would make it smaller if I made it again, both for the sides and the straps.

Here is my dog-model ignoring me. Andrew was out of town on Monday and I had to work a double, so TT was boarded at a doggy day care. Crate free, very clean, lots of dogs to play with but he still spent Tuesday pouting and ignoring me to express his displeasure. 
 I had to make siren noises to get him to even look at me. Such a brat!
 I added two pockets inside, as I try to keep my phone separate from all my junk so it doen't get scratched.
So this is kind of meh, but I want to do some more practice purses and then make some out of leather. I refuse to pay 100 + dollars for a leather purse. I have no interest in purses, I just want a brown one and a black one to hold my stuff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Next up: Making a Purse

I really like this style of purse, which Lucky Magazine calls saddlebags. I have some green cotton twill and some brown plaid cotton to line it. I think it will be pretty easy to whip together.

What do you think should go inside of it to make it kind of stiff? I'm trying to think of something around the house, so I don't have to spend any money. 
I thought this leaf was funny because its shadow looks like lips! 

I should be able to make this soon, I hope!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More Estate Sale Loot of Awesomeness!

Mama Violet asked where I find these estate sales yesterday. I find them on craigslist mostly. Here in Chicago I see many are cross-listed at estatesale.net too. We did go to one today by "Caring Transitions" which absolutely sucked big time. I would recommend avoiding all of their sales. Not only did they have you take a ticket and wait outside for an outrageous amount of time, but the prices were WAY too high and the guy was completely unwilling to negotiate! Avoid them!

We went to one by Barbara's Absolut Estate Sales that was good and one from yesterday was A to Z sales. They both had good prices and were nice. So those are ones you could google. Most companies have websites and list their upcoming sales.

Anyways it was fun. Andrew started to get cranky by the end, poor Andrew. He is very nice to come with me at all!

At the second estate sale In Round Lake, since we were already way far north, I got some good stuff, all for six dollars!
 That is 15 national geographic, mostly from the late 60s, two metal spatulas for Andrew, three ruffled curtains for the small bedroom and two crocheted pillbox hats. Love!

At the shitty Caring Transitions sale, I bought some metal zippers and some bias tape and three cute packs of trim. This was 7 dollars, because they are overpriced.

 The first sale was the best. We drove all the way up to Antioch, which is practically in Wisconsin. Google maps said it would take an hour but it was really more like 35 minutes. I mean who actually drives 55 on the freeway?

All of these patterns were 2 dollars, which is about 11 cents each. Yay!
Vintage Halloween patterns, just to have! I like the weird penguin one!
 I don't have children, obviously, but I'm hoarding for the future. Does that make it not hoarding? (Please say yes!)

 I kind of like the double zipper pants. Hmm.
 Even the "girls" patterns will fit, I mean I fit a 32 on a good day! I really like the Butterick blouse- very elegant!
 In addition to the patterns, I also got this awesome full lined wool coat with rabbit fur trim! Sweet! Half price made it ten bucks! The old ladies having the sale were really excited that someone fit into it and I was going to buy it.
 I really love it, although it absolutely reeks of B.O. for some reason. However, I inspected it closely and whoever made it had this in mind. The collar and cuffs are tacked on sturdily, but can removed for cleaning.
 I was going to do a "hey it has pockets!" picture, but there are old kleenexes in the pocket. Ew!
Well, I hope you are a little bit jealous.

Two questions for you:
1. Should I dry clean the coat or wash it in wool detergent? I'm not even sure if drycleaning will kill the BO! I also hate the chemicals. Thoughts?

2. What do you think about buying vintage fur? I think the animals were murdered during a time when no one had any qualms about it, but throwing it away seems hateful. I mean an animal did die for it, so shouldn't if have some purpose? Do share!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Estate Sale Loot!

I went to three estate sales today. The first and third sucked, but the second one was great. It's funny because I only went to that one because I was already near Skokie. 
They had really cute vintage baby clothes, which I admired but did not buy. I am not (yet) a sewing hoarder. 
 There were other outfits too, but by that point my hands were full. Oh, and people were around. I like to take pictures in secret of stuff I don't want to buy. Hee hee.
 I bought another muffin pan for 1.50, two sets of knitting needles and two metal zips for 25 cents each, a scarf and two pairs of mittens, 6 kitchen towels with food things on them and a ceramic eggplant dish. Total cost: 15 dollars.
I found three more awesome sounding sales that start tomorrow, one is nearby, but the other two are far away in different directions. I will have to choose- but, but but- they both have sewing stuff and patterns! Ahhh! A real Sophie's choice kind of situation!

Cross your fingers I make the right choice!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Long in the making: McCalls 5591

I bought this pattern over a year ago and the fabric as well. Usually, because I am so small, I can lay out the pieces differently and save a lot of fabric, so I bought less than it said to. This of course came back to get me when I cut them out and didn't have enough fabric to do the waistband facings. Derp!
I had leftover beige lining after finishing my wool pants, so I pulled this out of the drawer and set to it. It was very fast and easy, as it was already cut out! (fabric and pattern)
 I also had a burgundy zipper so I didn't even have to go to the store! I like it- it is flattering and also perfect fall colors.
 I am a big fan of pleats lately, so I like this style. I hemmed it on the machine but did the zipper by hand and the whole thing took maybe an hour or two.
Yay to quick and easy projects!!