Posts filed under DIY & Crafts

Harness Sketch & Leather

Remember the Armor Jacket? I made a muslin for it in April but have not yet started on the actual garment (already have the fabric though!). Remember I also wanted to make a harness to go with it? Well, I really want to make a harness regardless, because lately I feel like wearing one over other stuff too, and I want to make it very multifunctional. I want to make different size bags/purses/pouches that I can attach with hooks and carabiners to the harness, so I have my hands free (I've been using my bike a lot recently so that's why this harness thing has become a priority again :)). Plus I think they're cool. There.

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This is my sketch for the first one I want to try. A very simple, reversible harness with three metal rings to attach stuff to. 

A quick note about my sketch, I found Anto's blog Stardustsoul a few days ago (she sews and illustrates beautifully!) and clicked my way through the pages and felt so inspired! She illustrated a Paper Doll that is so stylish and modern! (click here to see it and download it for free!) I though "I wish I could draw like that, I'd make illustrations of all my clothes to come up with new outfits." And then yesterday I though, wait, why shouldn't I try that? After all, I'm going to have to get over the "I'm not that good at fashion drawings" soon, if I want to go into clothing design. So I sat down for a couple of hours and made a croquis, or I guess a sort of accurate paper doll of myself, and I'm so glad I did. I did a lot of looking in the mirror and photographing my hands with my iphone to make it as accurate as possible, and even though it's nowhere near as pretty as Anto's illustrations, I can see an improvement for myself. So to practice drawing clothing, I'm going to try to sketch a garment I own a day to fit that sketch of my body - it's such a small thing to do every day, and I have the clothes right in front of me, so I'm hoping that will motivate me to practice more.

Anyways, below are some of the types of leather I ordered (I plan on making more than one :)), all from the etsy shop "All Leather Supplies" .

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Posted on July 25, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts, Sewing.

Catmania

He's here!!! Be prepared for unneccessary amounts of cat pictures, snuck into posts that have nothing to do with cats just BECAUSE. He is of course adorable and already had a long nap with me yesterday afternoon, shortly after he got here!

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As for his name, I've decided to name him Minkleton, Minkle for short (sound familiar?). I'm still debating his first name :)

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To try to make this post a little more interesting for you readers, here's a round up of (cat-related) DIY's and products from around the web:

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1 is from a pair and a spare, and I think this would make a really cool cat basket! Most cat baskets have those kitshy paw prints and are well, not very chic :) So I really want to try to make a basket like that!

2 is a Lampshade you can buy from the etsy shop mostlikelyShop and assemble at home.

3 is technically a dog house, but it could totally be adapted to be a cat house. I really like the homemade modern blog, they have really cool projects, go check it out! I really wish I had some power tools and a garage to do stuff like this...

4 is another idea for a cat bed, made from a vintage suitcase (I see them in almost every thrift store!)

5 is a guest post from Kate of Scathingly Brilliant (who has adorable cats herself!) for the kittenhood blog (love her blog as well, check them both out!)

6 is an image I found online and traced to Hiroko Kubota via google image search. The embroidery is so detailed and beautiful! Maybe some of you remember the piece I embroidered for my art school application? Next time I feel like embroidering, I'll have to try something like this!

Posted on July 21, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts, personal, Minkleton.

DIY Hamper

I have an awkwardly cute sofa, but unfortunately it's almost always covered in piles of clothes (clean and once-worn) that spill down onto the floor (the dirty ones), so you can't really tell it's there. Well, I've decided this needs to end! I decided this many years ago really, but I've finally come up with a solution: a hamper (aren't I a genius?).

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I roughly followed this tutorial from ikat bag, changing the dimensions to get a taller hamper. I like that it can fold up to be carried to the washing machine or stored somewhere. I thought it would make a good beginner project for me, since I want to develop my woodworking skillz. I built the frame in about 1.5 hours on the floor of the lounge in my moms ballet school, so of course it's not perfect (it doesn't stand perfectly even) - but I mean, it's a hamper. And it feels so good to make something so useful!

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I used gold-toned hardware and a stain for the wood (Canadian Hemlock the guy at the store informed me! :)) to make the hamper fit in with the rest of my furniture. I loooved using the wood stain! It's so much fun! It's like you're massaging the color into the wood, and it makes it look so much more like "furniture" than "something I built with some wood and a couple of screws on the floor of a ballet school". I want to use wood stain on everything now! My wooden clothes hangers, wine crates, all the cheap looking, light colored wood furniture that seems to be everywhere... (so dramatic!). No but seriously, I feel like it gives a lot of character to whatever you make out of inexpensive wood, because compared to painting it you can still see the "texture" of the wood. I chose a dark, reddish stain ("Palisander", according to wikipedia that's rosewood in English).

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For the hamper bag I used a pillow cover I got at a thrift store years ago, it was the perfect size (60cm wide) to make a 30x30cm square bag (I sewed 30 cm seams down two "triangles" at the base of the pillow), and the color fits in with the color scheme for my room :) All I need to do now is attach snaps to the flaps of the laundry bag (to make it removable), I didn't have any gold-toned snaps (poppers/pushers whatever you call them :)) on hand. I might make a more exciting bag once I move in, depending on how "busy" the room feels (a fun print? Ikat?).

I'd really recommend this project! It was inexpensive (I payed a little more for the gold-toned hardware) and not too hard. The hardest part was drilling the holes into the dowels, because they're so thin and you have to try to drill straight into it!

Can't wait to make more stuff for the new apartment!

Posted on June 2, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts.

Felt Animals

For a DIY project I'm working on, I wanted to make a decorative bird from felt, similar to the ones below.

  #1  .  #2  .  #3  .  #4  - check out these sources, #3 for example has a huge amount of great patterns for different species!

#1 . #2 . #3 . #4 - check out these sources, #3 for example has a huge amount of great patterns for different species!

I bought small rectangles of felt to work with, drew a pattern freehand (but I made sure the seams matched up in length) cut it out and stitched the pieces of felt together by hand using a blanket stitch.

 I could scan and upload the pattern, let me know if you're interested.

I could scan and upload the pattern, let me know if you're interested.

It's actually the first time I used a blanket stitch but I love it! And I really like how it lookes on my birdie. As you may have noticed, my bird is without beak! And eyes! I'm not sure what color I want to make the beak, and I'm considering needle felting the beak and eyes. I've never felted anything before, but while looking for bird inspiration I found really beautiful, needle felted birds!

I'm not quite sure what I would use these for (decoration I guess? As gifts? Do you think I could get away with putting one on a hat or in my hair?) but they are just beautiful! It's probably the child in me. I loved stuffed animals, I had so many in my bed, I barely had room in it myself. I was definitely an animal girl, I never really got the point of barbies (they're not soft! They're not cute!? Her hair keeps getting in the way! Where am I supposed to hold her?!).

Do any of you have needle felting experience? Any tipps or advice for a beginner? What are the essential tools apart from the needle and that foam-mat-thingy? How long will I have to practice until I can make awesome stuff? (I'm impatient, can you tell?)

I'm also working on a humanoid kitty toy. As a child I disliked stuffed animals with clothes on (why is that donkey wearing a t-shirt? What's going on here?) but now I can appreciate their cuteness.

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Posted on April 1, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts.

DIY - Round, gathered Pillow

I don't remember where I first got the Idea for this kind of pillow (I think it was an image from Dita Von Teese's "Home Tour" ), but I wanted to make one of those round pillows with folds spreading out from a button at the center of the circle.

 I think it was the round pillow in this picture, although I wanted folds at the middle.

I think it was the round pillow in this picture, although I wanted folds at the middle.

In my dream world I would have made it from blue-ish grey raw silk, but I used a grey taffeta that was cheaper and works just as well (especially since I'd want to test the pillow "pattern" before using beautiful and expensive fabric!). I figured out a one-pattern-piece-formula using some basic circle calculations to figure out the length and width of the piece of fabric. But before we get into the details, here's the finished pillow:

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It's definitely not as perfect or glamourous as Dita's pillow, but I quite like it! I had some trouble finding a large enough button to cover in fabric (for the middle), so I just cut out circles of fabric, gathered them around the edge and filled them with stuffing. I like the side with three little balls better, I think it would look even better with 5 smaller ones. The side with only one ball looks a little clownish to me, but it's ok, I'll just keep it turned around :) What I like about this alternative to buttons, is that the pillow stays very soft throughout! 

The next pillow I make will be something with a fun pattern on it, to replace that furry thing you can see in the pictures. That thing is so old and cheap, and also not very attractive... 

But on to the instructions! If you want to sew a one-piece-pillow like i did, with a seam from center to center (you could also use two pattern pieces and a seam around the circumference, which would allow you to add a strip of fabric around the edge to make the pillow less poufy and more angular at the edge), here are the calculations for the width and length of the piece of fabric you’ll need:

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I think the instructions are pretty clear (I made the illustrations because the process sounds more complicated than it is when it's only described). I used my machine to stitch the shorter sides together, but the gathering is actually easier by hand with a doubled thread (waxed for extra strength) I think, you can make pretty large running stitches since there's so much to gather.

I think this is a good project for beginners, or when you just feel like sewing something cute and easy. Maybe you could even use up some scrap fabric (the piece that you end up with because you bought a little more than you needed for that dress pattern, just to be sure ;))? My pillow is a little bit boring (I want it to be versatile), but you could make it interesting by using a contrasting button, a fun pattern or a bright color! Or make it weird by sewing a tassle in the middle instead of a button!