thing-a-day five: When you wish upon a bracelet

Loving this little sky-blue felt bracelet!  It’s simply a doubled-over piece of felt that’s been blanket stitched around the edge.  I then added the pretty star button and a few extra buttons I had around.  Finally, I used the lettering feature on my Singer to stitch the words "when you wish upon…" through it!  Fun!

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thing-a-day four: finished!

And here’s the finished project… a Regency dress!

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I had the fabric in my collection, though only about a yard of each, which wasn’t going to be quite enough for a skirt.  I was able to work through the long underskirt by making the hidden part underneath the blue overskirt from another fabric.  I’m loving the accents of the front bow, pink sleeve cuffs, and the rose pearl buttons on the back!

thing-a-day three: two-day dress turning into three

Oops!  I was so worn out after a day of professional development at school I couldn’t sew past 9:30… I didn’t have it in me to set sleeves after 9, alas!  I’ll finish it up tomorrow.  I just need the sleeves and skirt set, and buttons and holes added to the back.

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See, I even got one sleeve pinned in place.  See you tomorrow!

thing-a-day two: day one of two dress

Just a sneak peek today… I’ll finish up tomorrow!  I would have finished today, but some of my fabric is still in the dryer!  Oops!

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Also I’m excited once again about my sewing machine with fancy vine stitches!  Perfect for this project!

A Perfect Paper!

Okay, a break from wedding stuff!  Ha!  Mostly.  I came across a delightful post from Dollar Store Crafts today in my reader, featuring these amazing and gorgeous dresses.

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The best part?  They’re made of PAPER.  Can you believe it?  I didn’t even realize until I read on further.  I really felt drawn to these after looking at… here it comes… wedding dresses this weekend!

Tomorrow begins thing-a-day, in which I hope to create something new every day of the month!  What an exciting challenge!  My theme will be wearables, buuuut, I might have to stick a few wedding things in here and there.  I’ll be back tomorrow with my first “thing” and since tomorrow is a snow day here in frosty Colorado, maybe it’ll be something BIG!  See you then!

A Forest of DiY

I have about a million DiY ideas for the wedding (ARE YOU SICK OF THIS BANTER YET?  NO?  I DIDN’T THINK SO), so I’m going to take a minute to record them!

image1. Faux mercury glass votives with letter-stamped copper tags (just like my wordspell tags).  This brings in the grey and brown in our color scheme (okay, copper is NOT chocolate, but it’s the closest of the metals).  Best thing about this?  Decorations that double as wedding favors.  Needed?  Votives, mirror spray paint, copper sheeting, glue, and an ampersand stamp.  Expected total?  $50.  I can get about 72 of the votives with candles included for $40.  Spray paint will be about $10, copper I have (or can get cheap), glue and/or epoxy I have, and I have several sizes of ampersand metal stamps (and if I didn’t, sets can be purchased for as little as $10 at places like Harbor Frieght, including numbers!).  I think this is a delightfully classy item to give to friends and family in memory of the event, especially with the handmade touch of the tags.  So this is what it should look like in theory… Photoshop, ahoy!

image2. Centerpieces of dark chocolate bamboo in paper-wrapped ‘vases.’  Remember these bamboo reeds from the wall feature project?  I have TONS of them left.  I really wanted the pretty bunches of branches in vases as a decoration, but manzanita or other branches can be expensive to buy (and for some reason, the park behind our house is always mysteriously clean of any laying around…), and why waste those great bamboo reeds?  They are so perfect, and so FREE.  I also still have the dark brown paint left that we used on the box, and that serves perfectly for our chocolate.  The best part? The vases will not actually be vases, but sections of PVC pipe.  For pennies each, wrapped in old book paper and glazed with our robin’s egg blue color, they’ll be a feature that’ll cost us nearly nothing. Similar to the photo, it’d be a lovely, economical way to decorate our dinner tables.  I hope to add some decorative large letters to the head table – a B, &, and N, of course.

3. Antique book ring holder.  Since Nick and I are voracious readers (we got each other e-readers for birthday and holidays this year) I suggested we go the route of having a book instead of the traditional pillow for the ring bearer.  I sought out Ebay as a good source for vintage and antique books with that pretty, aged look and prayed for the right color… and I think I may have found it (bidding is in process, so I won’t link to it!)! We also went the direction of choosing specifically a Jules Verne book, since we both love sci-fi and fantasy and those make up the bulk of our reading habits.  Loads of blogs have instructions to DiY this project, and hopefully a small splurge of $15-20 won’t be stretching the budget too out of whack.

image4. Super simple baby’s breath bouquets.  This is the SIMPLEST bouquet I’ve ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s simple to create, can be done ahead of time – even with fresh baby’s breath – looks gorgeous, and will be really inexpensive.  This photo from the Sweetest Occasion really illustrates how beautiful, elegant, and timeless this look is.  I’d like to add just a few navy flowers of some kind to my bouquet (probably silk, as navy flowers do not exist in nature, according to the internet!), as navy is the color that Nick chose.

That’s just a short list… I think a lot more things will come up in time, but I also want to keep things simple.  I plan on making my own jewelry, as it’s such an important part of my own life, for one thing.  DiY for me isn’t just about saving money, after all, it’s about expressing who I am and doing what I love: creating.

What are your favorite wedding DiYs?

It’s true… love, that is!

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I expect to be perusing a lot of books and blogs like this one over the next year… that’s right!  Nick and I are engaged, and planning on a wedding in late spring of 2012.  Given my penchant for all things handmade, cobbled, frugal, and DiY, you can bet this is going to be a big time craft love fest!  I’m delighted about that aspect of personalizing our wedding, and looking forward to the event planning portion, as well.

Look for lots more wedding and reception planning in the future!

Oh, and what are your best recommendations for resources?

Thing-a-Day 2011

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Thing-a-day is a yearly creative sprint where participants commit to create one new thing a day, every day of February and post it on the collective blog.

Sign up now to get inspired and fight the mid-winter blues!  Registration opens Jan 21st and ends at Midnight on the 1st.

I hope to complete this challenge this year!  It may not be a big thing every day, but it’ll be a thing!  Hope to see you creating there, too!

My secondhand quick fixes

I tend to buy a lot of secondhand clothes.  Why not!  They’re reasonably priced, they’re recycled and thus saved from the trash, and they’re often still wonderfully wearing items.  Even so, sometimes a piece or two has a small flaw.  Maybe just a tiny hole or a missing button, but they’re still perfectly workable pieces.  Even I cause the damage sometimes, pulling out the staples that the ARC uses to attach their tags.  Here are the simple steps I take to repair and make great secondhand clothes wearable again.image

Lots of times I find tiny holes in knits, or I don’t want to sew a stitch in a really obvious place.  For this application, I like to make my own patches.  Using a bit of matching (or close to matching) fabric and a little fusible webbing like Wonder Under, I create a tiny iron on patch.  This iron on patch goes not on the outside, but on the INSIDE, where it won’t be seen.  But it will keep your garment together a little longer.

Sometimes collars and sleeves are coming loose as well, and this is a good place for regular stitching.  I also make use of my serger, especially the rolled hem setting.  That way any hem is a minimal width but still has a significant structure.  No serger?  Try a blanket edge stitch with smaller spaces in between.

What are your most useful everyday repairs?

Anytime freebie craft: fabric cards

Finding myself with a little extra time over the break, but no money, I decide to take the path less traveled this year regarding our holiday cards to friends and family.  I pulled out my collection of scraps, ribbons, baubles, and Wonder Under, and proceeded to make a collection of hand crafted Christmas Cards!

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The fabric set for my sister’s family.

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Starting on Nick’s family’s card.

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Wonder Under-ing a base fabric.

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Fabric and decorative supplies.

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Several finished cards.

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The inside of one card.

This is a very individual endeavor!  Feel free to use any resource or technique you like best; I focused mostly on the fancy stitches on my new sewing machine and strengthening fabric with Wonder Under.  I used several techniques for messages.  In some cards I simply used double sided tape to secure a paper message.  In others, I sewed in a pocket or corner catches.  Any of these options make these cards totally reusable!

Everyone seemed to love their unique gifts!  What were some of your successful holiday projects?