Mastering the zipper

I've always found the idea of putting in zippers daunting. I was worried about the idea of sewing over the teeth and wasn't really sure how the zipper foot was going to function. I didn't want to break my lovely machine!

After putting it off for so long, I finally bit the bullet and gave it a shot while I was at quilt camp. In January. (I put off writing this post about as long as I put off trying to sew something with a zipper!) Having a built-in group of other people learning how to do zippers and others already knowing how definitely helped me give it a go.

Anyway. At camp in January, there were quite a few projects with zippers, including some really cute box bags. I've seen some really cute ones online and have even seen knitters willing to trade really nice yarn for homemade project bags. And of course the idea of making a few bucks or trading for supplies always sounds like a good idea to me!

And you know what? It wasn't really that awful! I was really careful to read each step of the directions and not jump too far ahead. The biggest issue I had was trying to get my sewing machine to sew evenly over some of the really thick seams. I'm not really sure how to remedy that. I've tried sewing slower and faster and starting the seam right at the thick parts. I still had trouble though. For the next one I make, I may try my old workhorse of a machine, just to see if that does better.

Here's my first one. I love this fabric to death, but for projects like this, it's probably better to use a non-directional print.

(I probably should have taken the picture from the other side, where the letters are right side up. Whoops.)

And a look at the inside. It's fully lined with a pretty orange fabric. This size is great for smallish projects. It has plenty of room for this pair of socks I am working on. (It's even my own dye job!)

I want to make a ton of these. They are so handy and turned out super cute!


Caped crusader

Can you believe I already finished my forget-me-not cape? It took less than a week from start to finish, and that included learning how to crochet (at least some of the stitches) and having to rip out part of it to start over. I love the speed of crochet.

And here's the finished object:

I love it so, so, so much. Like I'm starting to plan outfits around it, rather than the other way around. Although I also do that some days with socks, too, so that's probably not that telling. :)

Here's a look at it on me, complete with a spotty bathroom mirror. I definitely need to unearth my Windex.

I'm already thinking of my next crochet project, but I seriously want to make another of these. I think one with a black foundation and then alternating black and white ruffles would be adorable. And one in my favorite color fuchsia would be pretty too. Or like a robin's egg/Tiffany blue.

Oh, and after my crying jag during Planet Earth, I had another crying episode last night. During TOY STORY 2. Good heavens, I sure hope it's hormones or something rather than me just becoming more and more sappy.


Because I need another hobby ...

I spent part of this weekend teaching myself to crochet, mostly because I wanted to make this little cape, called forget-me-not. Because I just wear capes soo often. But it has ruffles, so I couldn't resist.

I had sort of taught myself some crochet stitches a few months ago, but I never started a project. I mostly forgot what little I had learned before, but this project has been pretty easy to start and make progress on with very little teeth gnashing.

I didn't really have any problems making the foundation for the ruffles, but when it came time to add those, I was having trouble figuring out where exactly they were supposed to go. I had an entire row put on before I started questioning whether I had been adding them to the correct side or not. Ugh! So I ripped out all the ruffles and flipped the thing over and started again. I still don't know if I'm putting them in the correct spot. I was hoping to at least get that row finished before I went to bed tonight. I am so excited to get this project finished!

The forget-me-not has been quite a fun project so far (other than the backtracking), since it is so simple and quick. It's been relaxing because it's easy to keep track of the pattern and it's really a treat to not have to stop to check the pattern every few stitches. Now I want to add ruffles to everything!

While working on this tonight I watched two discs of Planet Earth, which I've been getting through Netflix. It's fascinating stuff and gorgeous imagery, but I should know better than to watch nature documentaries. I always end up crying when an animal gets hurt or dies. I know, I know, the whole circle of life thing, yada yada, but I still get upset.

Oh, and I also just finished the book "The Hunger Games" over the weekend. It was so, so good! It is so not like anything I would normally read, but I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Now I am so excited about reading book 2 soon.


Inspiration from weird places part 1

Lately I've been trying to be a bit more creative in my crafting endeavors, especially trying to find patterns around me that would make cool quilts.

Here's one:

I really like the way the back of this chair looks woven. It would be a cool pattern for a quilt or even a quilting design.

And for the explanation for the plastic chair in my bathtub ... my apartment is small and I don't really have room for this chair that my mom uses when she visits. I always use the tub/shower attached to my bedroom, so this one only gets used when I have company, hence the perfect storage location for my fine furniture.