Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Wishlist Fulfilled

I have this list of things I would LOVE to own – mostly crafting tools, fabric and clothes. This week, I knocked two wonderful things off my list.

The first is the Darice Mini Crafting Iron in pink… I first saw it on Pink Penguin and I’ve been dying to get my hands on one since then.

I was shocked at how inexpensive they were – most were about $10 – so I just went ahead and picked one up for myself. I love how tiny it is! It gets extremely hot very quickly. It is so easy to transport – bundled up, the wire is about the same size as the iron itself.

I used it to press the seams when I was making this little clutch to carry around my phone, camera and ID on Spring Day at my university.

I can’t wait to use this iron for some real quilting projects – it’s going to be really handy to press small specific seams. I think I’ll also use it whenever I mend a pair of pants or jeans next to press on the patch because it’s so much easier to maneuver this tiny iron!

The other item I acquired this week is one I've had my eye on for a while – Joelle Hoverson’s Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.

I've seen it referenced a lot in blogs and websites when looking for project ideas, so I finally decided I needed my own copy to help me plan for my sewing classes this summer. I picked up an old library copy for cheap off Amazon, and I love it. It’s full of so many gorgeous patterns and gift ideas, and reading through it gave me serious crafting fever. I can’t wait to be done with exams and home so I can start working on all of these ideas.

I’d better get back to studying for finals, but I highly recommend both the iron and the book! I can’t wait to really put them to good use this summer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thinking about the summer means not thinking about finals

This summer, I'll be participating in a festival at my high school called the International Festival. One of the ladies I used to work with through student council has been extremely kind and has set me up with a booth so I can sell my creations.

I'm not exactly sure what all I'm going to make yet, but I do know I’m going to make some skirts. I was inspired by this Twirly Skirt pattern from House on Hill Road. She uses child sizes for her kids, but I’m going to make them in women’s sizes, and increase the width of the bands on the top and the bottom.

I decided to look at Ikea fabrics for some inspiration, and I’ve come up with a few different ideas. My favorite is the black satin/beige silk pattern, for a bit of a dressier skirt. I keep imagining it as a high-waisted skirt paired with a cute black turtleneck or a tank top… I’ll be making one for myself before I start making them to sell!

I want my wall to look like this

Thinking about dorm decorations for next year, Alison told me about wall decals...
Kelly's idea was to put a crossword up on the common room wall with all of our names.


After much urging by my crafty friends, I’ve started a blog.

I’m intending to use my little corner of the web to share ideas, post patterns, and document projects, but there’s no doubt I’ll get distracted – be warned!

I’ve always been interested in sewing, but lately it’s becoming a more and more important part of my life. My mom taught me how to sew when I was little on her 1981 Singer, and I’ve been in love ever since. Most of my projects were time-wasters on idle rainy days; trying to find a use for this old t-shirt, or piecing together a skirt from an old pair of blue jeans, or trying to fit scraps of fabric together to make a cute purse. None of these projects ever really resulted in anything useful, but they were a way for me to get to know the sewing machine better, and learn how to work with fabric and thread.

I’m just now finishing up my freshman year of college. In December, my Grandma got me my own sewing machine as a Christmas present. She let me pick out the perfect kind, and (relying heavily on my mom’s advice) I am now the proud owner of a Singer Esteem II. I prefer sewing machines on the simple side for the kind of sewing I do, and the Esteem II is almost the same model as my mom’s (albeit a bit newer and modern-looking). I’m in love with it – just ask my roommate how much time I spend avoiding coursework in front of it. I’ve been productive too, however, using it to do alterations and fix-ups for people on campus as a way of making extra money.

This summer, I’m going back to Switzerland to stay with my family. I’m a college student with a very low budget, so I’ve been on a quest for a well-paying, interesting summer job. Most of the normal summer jobs aren’t available because of Swiss employment laws (I’ll be 20 and I’m not a Swiss citizen, so it’s very difficult to get a work permit). I wanted flexible hours and time off when the usual flurry of friends and family hop the pond to visit for a week or so. I wanted to be interested in my work, so I’d be sure I could really commit. I wanted something interesting and impressive to put on my resume for when I graduate from university. I talked to my mom about all these things, and she had the best idea: give summer sewing classes.

So this is my new, big-girl sewing project, and I’m not just going to cast it aside at the end of the rainy day. I’ve put a lot of effort into imagining, researching, planning, and now publicizing – wish me luck. During the next month, I’ll be posting project ideas and updates on the specifics of my sewing course. Please comment or email me if you want information about the course.