nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘black’

the twilight scoody

Whenever I finish sewing something I show it to my husband.  Much like a child says to their parent “listen to this! watch me!”, he feigns interest at this point… I think it’s to encourage me to show him *only* the finished product, not the 59372 steps in between.  He calls it “inspection”, and my work is usually “approved”… sort of a quality control I guess 😉

I can tell when he really likes something that I’ve been working on because his eyes get really wide and he usually says something like “WOW”… if he doesn’t care for it he makes a face, then pretends that he didn’t make the face, then asks me pointed questions to guide me to the “right way”.

When I showed him this new scoody, his eyes got really wide.  Then he told me to flip it around (they’re all reversible) and said I looked like a vampire.  It’s totally a vampire scoody!

He thinks that the black side out looks more vampire-ish, but I think the black side in is cozier.  I do have to tell you that this black rose swirl fabric was the WORST to cut.  I’ve cut and sewn shag minky and it wasn’t as bad as this stuff.  It looks like black muppet exploded all over the kitchen and the static is keeping all of it attached to every surface.  But it’s pretty snuggly…

christmas ninja part 4: bags to put things in

I started to realize that if I outlined every single thing that I made this xmas, I would be here until Easter, so I’m grouping widely, just let me know if you want me to slow down and show you something in more detail.

Exhibit 1: the tablet case.

Robot print on the outside, circuit board print on the inside, this beauty was intended for my dad’s tablet.  No velcro or clasps to scratch it up, there are magnets sewn into the inner faces.

In my defense, it fit my iPad with loads of room to spare in both dimensions.  Fluffy quilting make it soft padding for crashing into things, like dogs (my parents have 3 enormous siberian huskies).   How was I to know that his tablet is like 3 times thicker and an about 25% longer than an iPad?


By repositioning the magnet onto a little flap, I extended the reach of this baby by several inches. It can be closed either with the flap on the inside OR the outside of the body.

My cousin invited my family to her place for dinner… she said not to bring anything, but I wanted to bring something nice for her.  Enter flavored Schnapps… and pretty bag to put it in!

and looky inside!

And lastly, a bag all for me!  This is based on that cute little earbuds case… just bigger. Can you believe I got this stuff on super-duper clearance?  So cool.

It’s seriously neon green!

christmas ninja part 3: the scoody

When ninjas find something that they like, they do it a lot. Inspired by the Scoodie I drafted something that looked more like a hood from a snowsuit.

The process is easy: Make inner, make outer, sew right sides together matching seams as closely as possible, turn and top stitch!  Those orange ‘W’ looking things were my attempt at a visual break… the scarf pieces are quite long. After I cut the left and right hood pieces out, I used the rest of the width for the scarf parts.

The great thing is that they’re reversible – if you don’t feel like cute owls today, you can turn the pylon orange side out – also good if you’re lost in a blizzard.

It’s also upside-downable – if the scarf ends are pointing down you have more face-room, for chinooks, but if the scarf ends are pointing forwards you have more face coverage, for sub-arctic days.

So here are some fine specimens, thank you to Tigger for modeling.

the christmas ninja part 1: the swap

This is the first of what is likely to be many ninja-ed gifts this year. We had a christmas party at work with an optional under-10-dollar gift exchange. I’m not really sure how much these cost to make, but if you count the fact that I charge out my time at a min of 50$ an hour, I think they’re worth about 200-300$ 😀  To be honest, I first decided to make them round because I wanted to use bias taping and have not yet mastered the art of corners. :S

I’m not sure why my phone camera is being so difficult… I might have to start using a real camera…

Do you recognize the fabric? When I bought fabric for the Christmas swap I think I bought a 1/2m of each so that I’d have some extra for christmas-y type things, that this is definitely one of those things.

These babies are insulated with insulbright and  triple-duty. First they have the obvious use being a place on which to set a hot pot. Second, they have nice little pockets so when you want to grab a pot, the tops and bottoms of your fingers are covered. Guess who always burns themselves by touching the outside of the stove?

Third, they can store a covered dish either for transport or just for keeping warm. In three different sizes, you could use one for each purpose!

the “death-grip on summer sundress”

I don’t know what summer looks like where you are, but we’ve had the best summer here that we’ve seen in SEVERAL years. While it’s entirely possible to get snow any month of the year here, “summer” is usually a term reserved exclusively for July and August. Out of those 60 days, there’s usually a thunderstorm every afternoon/evening, and we get less than a week of +30C (86F). The last few years it’s been hard to find nice weather in the summer, but this year Mother Nature seems to be coming out of her funk and I’ve taken full advantage by making a sundress.

This is my first time shirring a top and I just LOVED it! My husband just kept saying over and over, “it fits you so well!”

It’s definitely a “maxi dress”, it pretty much goes to the ground. I hemmed absolutely NOTHING on it, and the bottom is rolling up slightly to cover the raw edge anyways. It’s a light knit, it feels like a t-shirt, with tiny little hot pink stars. I like just cutting giant squares, so each piece uses the entire width of the fabric. The top is a 12 inch piece, the bottom is 2 3 foot pieces, and the straps are many many 1-1/2 inch pieces.

For each strap I used 6 strips. First I took 2 strips, looped them around a table leg, and started twisting. After doing that with three pairs, I braided them together and tied a knot at the end. After it was all secure, I cut the other ends off of the table leg and knotted them. I sewed both ends to the dress and then after it was secure, chopped off the knot on the back (who wants a knot in their back?).

While I was attaching the second strap, I looped it around the first strap. Not only does it make it pretty and more interesting than boring old straps, it keeps them from falling down! (I know, genius huh?)

the giant sun hat

A few weeks ago I was on some heavy medication for a busted tailbone (just ask me how much fun THAT is) and I was off work because I couldn’t sit on it.  We don’t get a whole lot of nice warm weather here in Calgary and the the entire weekend ended up being up around 30C (about 85F… hey, stop laughing, that’s as nice as it every gets here!) so I went outside… for about 8 hours.  In my medicated haze I decided that the baseball cap that I was wearing would cover my face.  I used SPF 70 2 or 3 times that day on my arms and they only burned slightly. The hat covered my forehead in a semi-circle down to my eyes so it’s bright white, and I very badly burned the rest of my face.  When I came back to work, people asked me if it was a chemical burn.  It ended up peeling about 3 times, 4 in some places.  One day my husband came home and I was crying and when he asked me why I told him that my face just hurt so much.

So to avoid EVAR burning like that again (and because I had the pattern already and it was just so cute!) I tried my hand at Amy Butler’s “Blue Sky Hats”. We had a corporate sports day coming up, and even though I couldn’t run around with a broken tail, I was a scorekeeper so I’d be sitting outside in the sun all day long.

First, when I sat down to look at the fabric suggestions I was very surprised. The pattern says that you can use quilt weight OR home dec weight cotton. The brim is the same print top and bottom, but you can line the hat in something else. The hat is then reinforced with heavy interfacing or canvas. If you use in both cases the cap part of the hat uses 1 layer of interfacing, but with quilt weight cotton the brim uses 3(!!!) layers of interfacing!

I used some of Patty Young’s Flora & Fauna, the black one with the polka dots and the bright pink flowers, and I had enough to line it in the same thing. There are essentially 2 pattern pieces – the brim piece and the cap piece. The brim piece is the entire brim, the cap piece is 1/6th of the cap. In the end I ended up cutting from the quilt weight 12 cap pieces and 2 brim pieces, and from the canvas 6 cap pieces and 3 brim pieces. It just seemed like a whole lot of fabric for a single hat!.

The instructions for the most part were very concise but clear, except that the quilt-weight version seemed to be an after-thought to the pattern instructions. There is a step that indicates that if you’re using home dec fabric, baste the single interfacing layer to the exterior brim, but if you’re using quilt weight attach interfacing to the exterior and interior layers… and this is the last time it’s mentioned. stay-stitching is used on the brim, and then you cut notches in the curved seam, but it’s not clear what’s going on with this basted line. I found myself having to read the instructions out-loud to myself somewhere in the middle to figure out which pieces were supposed to go where in what order.

In the end, it’s a really sturdy, REALLY well built hat. There is a whole lot of fabric involved, but it doesn’t seem bulky or overdone. I’m trying to figure out the SPF factor of 5 layers of fabric, but my face was very safe all day long. The brim ended up stiff enough that it stands up on its own, but soft enough that you can, for instance, lay down on the ground on your front to score-keep for a game of ultimate frisbee with a broken tail and not have the brim jab into your back. It could easy be folded up to take with you to the beach, but isn’t too floppy to be able to see out from under.

the mushroom hat (aka, the Strawberry Shortcake hat)


generations of Strawberry Shortcake. source:

Okay, I’m not talking about the first one (though I dearly love her from my childhood!) or the second one, but that third one on the far right… that’s what this hat reminds me of.

I was looking for cool hat ideas – I’ve been really into hats lately – and I’m still learning about the mechanics of how a hat goes together when I noticed that none of my pattern books have any hats! They all have the same “pyjama pants, cosmetics bag, jewelry roll”, but the only hat pattern I seem to have is the one that I tried out already that didn’t work out so well. So I started Googling and I came up with this link and got straight to work!

The outer cap and outer and inner bands are made from a Japanese fabric that I picked up at modes4u a while back and was scared to cut into for the longest time. The brim is 4 layers of black canvas with 2 layers of light fusible interfacing (I don’t have any heavy interfacing at home… oops!). For the lining I decided to use this gorgeous satin fabric that I had leftover from a skirt that I made (I’ll post it at a later date). After creating the pattern (watch out, it’s in metric! 4cm is about 1/2 inch.) I skimmed the instructions and closed the laptop and faked it from there, so I don’t know if I constructed it in the same way, but it’s my own!

I sewed together the outer and inner cap and then pinned them to each other. Then I constructed, turned, and top-stitched the brim. I attached the outer and inner band to the brim and then attached the band to the cap. The cap is a whole lot bigger than the band, so I pinned in 8 places around the band and tucked the cap every so often.

I love this hat! It’s cute and it fits beautifully! If I were to make it again (and I think I certainly will be!) I would:

  • Make sure that the seam where the top is sewn shut is sideways instead front-to-back. Alternatively, I’d like to try attaching a fabric-covered button there to cover the gap.
  • I’d make the cap part even bigger.  The instructions just say “a curved line”, so I drew a relatively conservative line between the two points, but I want to try bowing it right out!
  • I think the original might have been a lighter cotton to make it floofier. I know that’s not a word, but my mom always told me that if you can use it in a sentence, it’s a word.
  • I should have hemmed the satin – I already knew that if you don’t, it runs like crazy everywhere! I might still cover it with a ribbon…

quatchi, my usual hat model

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