Condo Blues: sewing




Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Monday, November 8, 2021

How to Machine Embroider a Canvas Tote Bag

Normally when I machine embroider something, I embroider the design on uncut fabric, layout and cut the pattern piece on the embroidered fabric, and sew it into the final project for perfect placement.

Which is what I planned on doing when I popped down to the fabric store for supplies to make personalized tote bags as a thank you gift for two friends who did huge favors for me, even though I was short on time to both sew and embroider the bags from scratch.

Luckily when I zipped through the Circuit section of the store on my way to the fabric I saw this exact lined blank canvas tote bag for sale.

The bag is super cute and has a nice big area to machine embroider a name. Best of all I didn’t have to decide on fabric (which always takes me forever because I must look at every bolt available in the store every single time) or a pattern, and would save time in the construction department. Not to mention, the ready made blank fabric tote bag probably cost less than buying all of the materials to make the exact same thing.

The only thing that made me pause is thinking, how to I embroider a store bought tote bag without taking it apart? 

 

handmade gift idea how to embroider a tote bag
Save this handmade gift idea tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

Easy! You float the tote bag  fabric on top of the hooped embroidery stabilizer instead of trying and failing to smash it all in between the hoops.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

How to Make a Gnome Costume

I am playing a gnome at a renaissance festival. It’s a fun project because I’m a  second generation Danish American and nisse (what the Danish call gnomes. Some countries also call them tomte) are something we celebrate all year round but especially at Christmas when we thank the nisser (plural for nisse) for protecting the family and helping farms prosper with a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top on Christmas Eve (similar to American kids leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.) 

That’s why some non Scandinavians call them Christmas Gnomes when in reality, there is no such thing as a Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. gnome. Gnomes are just gnomes all year round (similar to Irish leprechauns. They are dress and act the same year round too.)

 

Nissa the Gnome Ohio Reniassance Festival 2021
Everyone say hi to Nissa Tomtesdottir the Gnome!

Traditionally gnomes look like a little man (with or without beard) or woman wearing a red hat, a red, blue, or gray Scandinavian peasant tunic/bodice and skirt, and is the about the size of an 8 to 10 year old child. This is what I am using as the start of my women’s gnome costume while making it in a 16th century silhouette with Scandinavian elements (more difficult than it sounds because the Danish national costume is different by region and based on clothing from the 17th to 19th centuries.) 

I have the added challenge of designing a mythical creature described as looking like a small human (at least I have that part down!) like she belongs with a group of Shakespearean fairies who have very elaborate makeup which doesn’t work for a gnome.  I’m required to have rosy red cheeks (which I’d rather not do at all but I’d rather that than being required to airbrush all of my exposed skin a different color) and wear my hair in braids (I bought these cute rose metal hair hooks to hide my modern hair ties.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


Ohio Renaissance Festival Fairies and Gnome

 Family entertainment from the Fae Family! Sprout, the Seed Fairy (left,) Fawn the Fairy of Fluffy Animals (center,) and me as Nissa the Gnome (right.) Photo courtesy of Steven Kohus

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Wearing Wood Dutch Shoes Part 2 and Friday Favorites 598

One of the first questions I get when I'm wearing my Dutch clogs (called klompin. You can guess why) is are they a comfortable shoe to wear? I've had my shoes for awhile, broke them in during outdoor show rehearsals, and the opening weekend (12 hour days) of the festival I am performing in.

My answer is :

  • Yes, once you get used to walking in them (toe first instead of heel toe,) and  as long as you are wearing very thick socks/leather klompin socks (if you want to wear a slightly thinner knit sock) and
  • No, because I bought the wrong size. My first pair was a smidge too small and gave me blisters, they felt like they were heavy as rocks at the end of the day because my feet hurt so much. 

Fortunately, I found an unworn pair of wood shoes in my size on eBay and was able to get them much more quickly than ordering a new pair from the Netherlands. The correct size pair looks giant compared the original shoes I bought, take a look.

I am not wearing my thick wool socks in the photo so you can see that a correctly sized Dutch wood shoe is supposed to have a much larger gap between the shoe and your foot than when you size and buy leather shoes.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Labor Day Weekend and Friday Favorites 597

We're celebrating Labor Day this weekend in the US which we traditionally consider the end of summer.  Our agenda is full of BBQs, gatherings, and lot of head scratches for Lacey.

DIY dog treats
If you could fill this empty treat jar with some yummy homemade treats, that would be good too.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Machine Embroidered Shirt Cuffs and Friday Favorites 596

One of the funny things about being a historical entertainer is creating three layers of clothing and still be considered unseemly (by historical standards) even though you are not showing any skin because you are still in your underwear.

But one of the fun things about creating historical clothing is the chance to really go to town with the embellishments! For example, I just finished the machine embroidery on the collar and cuffs of my 16th century Danish chemise. The next step is to cut out the pattern (this Easy Noblemans/Noblewoman's Shirt Sewing Pattern by Alter Years
) with a few modifications to make it in the Scandinavian style and sew it together. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

diy redwork embroidery shirt cuff

Sunday, August 22, 2021

How to Make a Fairy Ivy Leaf Parasol

I’m performing a fae (a fairy. Well, actually, I’m a gnome) character at an outdoor renaissance festival. True to a gnome’s (and my own) Scandinavian roots, I’m fair skinned and burn easily in the sun. I’m also not fond of standing out in the rain without an umbrella either. 

In the past, I carried a waterproof bamboo parasol but that is not really going to work for the over the top Shakespearean fairy esthetic I need to create. Can we talk about how difficult it is to design a mythical creature described as looking like a human the size of an 8 year old boy and  looks like she belongs with a group of fairies who look like natural elements like this this acorn green man wall decoration (you can buy it here)? (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Elizabethan fairies look less human and more like trees, flowers, animals with a humanish face. The more human-looking Tinkerbell type of fairy we are more used to came about during the Victorian era.

 

I figure the best way to do that is make a waterproof canvas bamboo parasol in the shape an ivy leaf.

 

diy fairy ivy leaf parasol
Save this costume prop idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


How to Make a Waterproof Bamboo Parasol

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Greatest Waterproofing Spray Can Hack of All Time

I made a new canvas cover for an outdoor umbrella. Naturally I wanted to waterproof the canvas. If I can keep the sun from fading the color, that would be nice too.

The most eco friendly way to waterproof fabric is to coat it in melted beeswax. It's a messy process and  I'm afraid the wax coating will melt in the high heat days of summer we like to describe as Hell's Front Porch.

A fabric waterproofing spray is the easiest and least messy way to go. Since I am doing this project outside while wearing a dust mask, I used this exact Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield Spray because it repels water and UV ray resistant. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) Although truthfully, I wasn't looking forward to the finger cramps and pain and uneven coating result of using a traditional aerosol spray can - until I hacked it!

When I noticed the button on the can of Scotchguard looked like it was the same size the large button on a can of spray paint, I had a flash of inspiration and hoped it would work. I made my aerosol spray can pain free by grabbing this exact wide button spray paint trigger, excuse me comfort grip from the garage and attached it to the Scotchguard can. It fit! 

 

how to spray scotchguard waterproofing spray evenly
Save this spray can hack to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How to Machine Embroider Leather and Pleather for Beginners

My new Bernette sewing machine says it can sew everything from light chiffon fabric to leather. I need a new belt bag/pouch and figure this is a good project to get my feet wet  and lean how to sew leather.

Since everything worth doing is worth over doing (and I bought a cute machine embroidery file from Urban Threads) I am going to machine embroider the leather before I cut and sew it into a purse!

 

How to machine embroider leather for beginners
Save these tips, tricks, and sewing hacks to your Pinterest Boards for later! Share Them with your friends!

I admit, I had concerns about sewing and embroidering leather. If you sew a mistake and remove the stitches the holes left behind in the leather hide will not  close like fabric will. But with practice, patience, and a few sewing hacks, you can embroider leather and the results will look fabulous!

7 Tips and Hacks for Sewing Leather, Suede, and Vegan Leather on a Home Sewing Machine

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party 591

Let's get this party started! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

 


Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Best Ever Quick and Easy Sewing Pattern Storage and Organization Idea

I store my sewing patterns in a recycled shoebox because it is the width of a sewing pattern envelope.

Also, with a husband who is a long distance runner, I can get a replacement shoe box when I need it on the regular.

It worked for awhile - until it didn’t.

As I’ve done more costuming work, my pattern envelopes are  in all shapes and sizes. On more than one occasion I plopped the whole pattern into a gallon size zipper baggie because the pattern pieces won’t fold to fit back into its envelope. I try to store my sewing patterns by category but they quickly return to their natural disorganized state – a pile busting out of its shoe box(es.)

how to store and organize craft and sewing patterns
Please excuse the carpet that needs vacuuming. That’s what prompted me to move the pile and find a better solution.

This is not working. I need to find a better way to store and organize my sewing patterns that fits in a small, limited craft room space.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

10 Zero Waste Craft Projects that also Save Money

I recently read an article claiming that zero waste living doesn’t have to be expensive.

That immediately said to an interviewed college student who said that they couldn’t afford a $20 zero waste made from adopted unicorn tears deodorant that the student just needs to change their attitude because they are buying better and more expensive stuff. Because the superior feeling of spending more money on low waste deodorant outweighs the reality of then not having enough money for school books or tuition, I guess?

The author also said that no one who wants to go low waste (which is a more accurate description than the search engine friendly term zero waste) does it to save money.  It really burns my cookies that when confronted with the reality of price, a zero waste expert ignores it and tells you to buy it anyway. That's how zero and low waste living gets the (wrong) perception that its only for the privileged!

10 ways to make zero waste save money

Save these ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

My family is practically debt free because we don’t waste things. As I started switching from disposables to reusables the amount of trash we make plummeted and extra dollars accumulated in the bank. For example it cost zero dollars to stop using plastic zipper baggies and plastic wrap for sandwiches and leftovers and start using the containers with lids (many repurposed) I already had. I had no idea how much money we wasted on that stuff until we didn’t need to buy it anymore - and you could see a serious dent in how much landfill trash it kept out of our bin.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to Sew a Retro 1940's Polka Dot Top

I bought all of the materials to make a cute vintage short sleeve blouse to add a little diversity to my normal t shirt and polo shirt summer wardrobe. I let the project fall to the bottom of my To Sew list as the  costuming I'm most confident in making took priority because I very rarely, almost never make day to day clothing from scratch. Mending and tailoring I can do with my eyes closed but I'm almost ashamed to admit that until I got a computerized sewing machine two years ago I have never sewed anything with my nemesis - buttonholes - in my life.

I figured it is about time I sew a little bit outside of my comfort zone and make this cute summer blouse.

how to sew a vintage pinup style short sleeve blouse
Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

DIY Harlequin Jester Costume and Friday Favorites Week 575

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

As a professional jester in the Before Times, I consider April 1st to be My Day.  I don't play tricks or jokes on people, I just walk around extra happy and foolish. See?

how to make a harlequin jester costume
This costume is my first and probably last quilting project because it took four months to build!

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Easy Embroidered Coaster and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 564

It seems like I am always cleaning little drips of soap or water that collect under and around the soap dispenser. 

I whipped up a couple of quick cloth coasters to catch the soap dispenser drips so I can swap them out when I need to toss the dirty one into the wash. I also took the opportunity to try out the embroidery features on my new sewing machine.


how to make a quilted cloth coaster
Save this idea to your Pinterst boards for later! Share it with your friends!



The construction is very simple. After embroidering my design on the top piece of fabric, I traced a round object onto the top, middle terry cloth layer, and bottom fabrics and cut them out. Next, I made a top, middle layer, and bottom fabric sandwich and sewed it together with bias tape. 

I showed you my project, now you show me yours!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Quick and Easy DIY Sleep Mask Gift Idea and Friday Favorites Linky Party 553

The time change is this weekend. No matter how well I think I close my bedroom curtains, the early morning sunlight shoots through the curtains like a laser bean and directly into my eyes waking me up hours before my alarm is set to go off.  I fight back by wearing a cute handmade sleep mask at night to thwart Mother Nature's attempts at shortening a good night's sleep.

I make sleep masks out of super soft flannel which is nice on the eyes. I've also made sleep masks from scrap cotton fabric that are comfortable to wear during the summer because they aren't hot like the unbreathable silky masks sold in stores. Sometimes I embellish them with embroidery. Most often I leave them plain to show off the fabric. 

how to make flannel sleep mask gift idea

If you are looking for quick and easy handmade holiday gift ideas, follow my simple how to make a sleep mask tutorial here and make them for yourself or someone you love!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Monday, October 19, 2020

How to Make Comfortable Padded Headphone Covers

I found a set of headphones with a microphone I forgot I had in that random box of cords you’re supposed to have when you hit 30. The foam ear covers where deteriorated but the microphone windscreen was fine. What good luck I thought! I don’t have to by a new pair! I used them for my next Zoom meeting. 

Of which, the last half an hour was the longest of my life because the bare headphones hurt my ears. OW!

 

how to make replacement headphone covers
Save this post to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


I  went into my craft studio, gathered materials, popped on an audiobook (I use Audible. You can Try Audible and Get Two FREE Audiobooks here,) and started to play. In the end I had new cute and comfortable ear covers for my headphones. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

 

Let’ do this!

How to Make Replacement Headphone Covers

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

How to Sew a Skeleton Skirt with POCKETS

I plunked a bolt of skeleton print fabric on the store’s cutting table.

 

Fabric cutting lady: what are you making?


Me: A skirt


Fabric cutting lady: Oh! Are you getting ready for Halloween early?


Me: No. Just making something fun to wear for every day.


Fabric cutting lady: (Gives me a blank stare because she doesn’t know what to do with this information and says nothing. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten this response from her about one of my weirdo projects.)

 

That doesn’t matter because I made a cute, twirly dirndl skirt that has pockets!
 

how to make an A line skirt with pockets

Save this sewing idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

And you know what?

 You can make one too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

How to Make a Halloween Mini Tote Bag

I bought a Halloween themed color your own mini tote bag kit (similar to the color your own tote bag kits here) thinking it might be a cute to hold allergy free Teal Pumpkin project treats during Trick or Treat. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for you convenience.) 

I wasn’t too jazzed with the colors or quality of the three markers that came in the kit which is what I expected since it came from a dollar store. No big deal. I planned on coloring it with craft paint and adding a few easy embroidered accents and outlines for fun.

 

how to embroider a Halloween candy bag
Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

How to Make Button Hair Ties

My hair is growing out and is now long enough to put up into a proper ponytail as long as I use these exact Goody no slip hair elastics because for the first time in my life I haven't had to use a ton of clips, barrettes, bobby pins, and a gallon of hairspray to hold flyaways when I put my hair up. It's a miracle! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I've tried other hair ties that claim to be for sports or no slip and they often slip out of my hair or slip enough that I have fly aways mid day. The same goes for the thin hair ties that look like this that I used as a teen. Bleah. I think they are better put to use around my thread spools and bobbins in sewing room to keep them from unwinding.

So while the no slip Goody hair elastics work fantastic, they are super thick and don't look as cute or subtle. Yeah I could hide the pony hair tie with a ribbon or barrette but it’s been so long that I’ve had hair long enough to use them, I really don’t have any. Besides, I’d like the option of wearing something a little more sleek when I have to be a grown up.

 Let's make a hair elastic cover up with buttons!

how to make pony tail holders from buttons

Pin this post to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Most of the buttons in this tutorial are vintage buttons from my Grandmother’s button box. I also made a button pony tail holder from a large flat button to see if it would work. It did! 

You will need:

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1950’s Wrap Sundress

A good long while ago, I fell in love with the 1950’s vintage wrap sundress sewing pattern Simplicity 8085 (you can read about it in detail here.) I bought a super cute cotton cherry print fabric with the intent to make a dress for myself. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convince.)

 Two years later I still  had a sweet vintage sewing  pattern reprint and super cute cotton cherry print fabric  in its shopping bag in my sewing room.  *sigh*

I need a dress for a wedding reception (hopefully? maybe? We’ll see how group events play out when the time comes) later this summer for a wedding my husband and I attended on Zoom. That’s all the incentive I need to finally sew my 1950’s wrap sundress. I made a few tweaks to the pattern because as my husband observed long ago, I always hack a sewing pattern in one way or another. 

how to sew a 1950's wrap sundress

Save this fun retro dress to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


How to Sew a 1950’s Inspired Wrap Sundress