Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not-Ugly Car Trash Bag: PASS

I've forgone sewing this week for vacation/Black Market Books promotional tour preparations. I'm counting on this car trash bag from One-Yard Wonders  to help me keep my sanity as we peel wrappers, wad kleenex, and generally make a mess of things over 1,300 miles in a brand-new car. I know. It's unfair to put that big a burden on such a little sewing project.

This little bag was such fun to make and helped me chip away at my stash. I used fabric left over from another One-Yard Wonders project, the Leisure Suit Lapdog. The buckle is from my son's old bike helmet. (Compulsive fastener saving = completely justified!)

My son decided one pocket is for trash and the other's for recycling. This system kept things relatively clean in our car from 1997. My standards are a bit  much higher in the 2012 model. We'll see how this puppy holds up.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Laptop Sleeve (and unintentional coasters): PASS

When life hands you lemons, make some coasters to go with your gin. Preferably Leopold's.

Laptop sleeves aren't rocket science: calculate the size of two rectangles and think about how they fit together. That last part that tripped me up.

Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! shared this impeccably written and illustrated laptop sleeve tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew! She clearly states that the length is the short side of your laptop and the width is the long side. I got this right for the main panel. But I made the flap eight inches too long. (Oh how far I have fallen from receiving that medal in high school from the Society of Women Engineers.)

There was no way I was going to chuck this beautifully topstitched piece of work. Two cuts and some quick serging turned the flap into coasters. If the mishmash of serged and topstiched sides bothers anyone they clearly need more gin.

This isn't my first foray into laptop sleeves. I've gotten great results from this tutorial twice before. Perhaps I rushed it this time? Next time I'll remember to slow down and think like a preschooler. It doesn't take an engineer to match the big and little rectangles. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jammie Pants: PASS

photo of Simplicity 2823 pajama pants

Since I've spent my down time this week nursing a cold and reading Harry Potter aloud, here's a winner from my sewing past: Simplicity 2823 family jammies.

These pants are easy to sew, but are sized for Hagrid. I recommend tissue fitting or embracing the necessary on-the-fly alterations if you're average human height. (I ended up doing both. I'm a terrible tissue fitter.)

Reinforcing the crotch seam with twill tape will add longevity, especially if you go directly from work clothes to jammies every evening. That's right. Don't show up to my house after seven if you expect to see me in real pants.

chillin in my jammy pants cartoon by luemlove at deviantART
I think luemlove at deviantART knows what I'm talking about.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Undaunted Top: FAIL

"undaunted" top fail

My current project is still in the cutting stages due to binge reading beautifully crafted novels set in zombie infested Manhattan and in N. Korea. The protagonists meet their bleak (and I mean bleak) outlooks with action. In their honor, I bring you the "Undaunted" top. An utter failure.

Error 1: Ignoring what works for my body type. Blouson tops make me look like a potato. A bare shoulder is cute, but can't save this shirt.

Error 2: Using a fabric with too much body. I might have pulled this off if I hadn't used a bed sheet. (Let's be honest, I wouldn't have. See Error 1.)

To be fair, Jennifer Casa, the lovely lady below who shared this free pattern, encouraged her readers to "have fun customizing it to fit and flatter your figure." If I were to try this again, I might lengthen the pattern and put the elasticized thread around the waistline. It's more likely I'll pick up another novel and leave this pattern in the past.

Jennifer Casa wearing "undaunted" top. Photo from Sew, Mama, Sew! website.
Undaunted Jennifer Casa from Sew, Mama, Sew!