Cute crafts, nerdy crafts, frilly crafts, girly crafts, guy-friendly crafts, ALL THE CRAFTS!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Re-size a Circle Skirt

First off, I'm sure there are a million and one ways to do this better than I did it.  I am NOT a seamstress, as will be immediately obvious in case you didn't already know from previous posts.  What little I know is self-taught or from watching other people.  I currently only sew by hand, though I do hope to have a machine in the future!

Either way, I had success with this and it is holding together quite well, so I figured it may be useful.  If I can do this with my very limited sewing skills, then anyone can!  This is a great way to be able to snag those skirts you see that are just a size or two too small as long as you can stand to sacrifice a few inches in the length.

First, you'll need a circle skirt or any other type that flares out immediately from the waist, that flares out wide enough to accommodate you around the widest part of your hips, sine we're using elastic and you want it to go over.  I found this one at a thrift store for a dollar and knew I just had to have it, but it was just baaarely too small.  This must have been made for one tall chick.  I have a 37" inseam and this baby struck me almost at the ankles.  I wanted it mid-calf, so I could definitely sacrifice a bit of length to make it fit!  I love this skirt because usually when you see poodle skirts they are that heavy, godawful, scratch, felt crap.  This is cotton and the applique is some sort of cute, wool-type stuff.

What you'll need to get started are a sewing needle, pins, thread, scissors, and some elastic, cut to fit your waist or hips or wherever you want the skirt to hang from.  To do this, just wrap it around the chosen area at the tightness you feel comfortable with, then cut it to that size, plus maybe 1/2 inch to allow for the fabric gathered around it.

The next step is to cut off the portion of the skirt that is too small.  You may have to hold it up to yourself and stretch at it to see the actual fabric size if it gathers under the elastic like mine does.  If you're not sure, then cut off just the elastic band, then keep trying it on until it goes over your hips with an inch or two to spare to allow for the folding around the elastic and stretching and such.

I eyeballed it and cut about 2 inches below the elastic and mine came out way too big and my first reaction was "oh shit" because I figured I'd fucked the whole project off.  I decided to keep going with it and I'm glad I did. Since the elastic fit and the skirt part was so big, it is all gather-y and swishy.  Keep in mind, also, the more you have to squish the fabric up onto the elastic, the more ruffly and wavy your skirt will be.

Once you've cut that all off, flip it inside-out and thread your needle.  I used white because I didn't have light pink and the way I stitched it, you can't see the stitches from the outside anyway.

Then, take your elastic, put it in a circle, and stitch it together.  I wasn't sure how to do this, so I just stitched it until I was sure it would hold, then I stitched it some more.  When I was happy it was sufficiently reinforced, I stitched it yet more for good measure.  I'm sure there is a much easier way to do this, but this is how I did it.  It worked fine and took me about an hour for the whole skirt, breaks not included.

Next, I rolled the fabric around the elastic twice, then began stitching the roll closed on the inside, being careful not to pierce through the elastic.  I do not own an iron, so the pins turned out to be useless.  I tried pinning it anyway, but due to the way a circle skirt is...well...a circle, I couldn't get everything to gather right with no iron, (not that I'd know how to do it WITH an iron), so I just decided to do the whole fold-hold-sew method and luckily it worked out beautifully.  If it isn't even at the bottom, you can't tell, so for a dollar skirt and a dollar for the elastic...I'm happy.

I kept at it, trying to keep my stitches very tiny on the outside and showing most of my shoddy craftsmanship on the inside, as you can see here.  :)

This, by the way, is what usually happens when I try to sew or do any large craft project that involves the floor, the sofa, and either fabric or paper:

Nope.  not moving.


Still nope.

Every time I'd try to move the fabric to get to another part, she'd put her ears back in irritation and refuse to move, so I'd end up dragging her with it and if she started to slide off the fabric, she would scoot back onto it to make sure she continued to annoy me.  Anyway, continue stitching all the way around.  As you get farther down, you'll have to squish the fabric up and move it up the elastic .  I found it was easier to keep all the fabric squished up as much as possible and just move it around the elastic evenly at the end when I got ready to stitch up the last part.

After sewing for what felt like forever, I reached the ribbon.  It was held on by just a few stitches and some sort of long-dried-up fabric glue, so I just re-stitched it where it was coming up.  On the top where I ran the elastic, I just pulled the end I'd snipped back a little, clipped the stitch you see above to give me room, then did the fold-and-roll continue thing and once I was done, I just looped that little end over the roll, stitched it down on the inside, and didn't even have any excess!

Done!  It now hits mid-calf, which is exactly where I want it, only now it fits!

You can't even see my stitches from the outside, I'm pretty happy with it!

Close-up of the poodle because I love it...



Saturday, June 22, 2013

What's in my Bag?

I haven't done this in quite a while, so here's the newest edition of 'What's in my Bag?"

This is one of the bags I've been carrying the most...Until I very recently got an awesome one I'm currently giving a spin.  This is an old gas mask bag.  We found it at the flea market for like 10 bucks and I love it because not only does it look awesome, but it has some super spiffy pockets inside you'll see later...

A closeup so you can see the army stamp.

And here's what's usually inside.  Maybe easier to list what isn't inside, but here goes...

Top row - notebook for lists or whatever, 2 cases - details later - leatherman (god this thing is handy), flashlight.
Middle - measuring tape (handy for thrift store curtains and whatnot), a mini-container of mineral foundation, calculator (because I'm too lazy to look up the one on the phone), hand sanitizer.
Bottom - wallet, mini-brush, keys, knife.  RIP to that knife, it recently gave up the ghost and had to be replaced!

Here's those little cases.  They are pencil cases, but you can fit a ton of stuff in and they are so handy.  They slip right into the pockets inside the bag, too.

The purple one houses sunblock, a makeup sponge, lash glue, a lighter, bobby pins and hair ties, hand cream, tweezers, super glue, a mini sharpie, Orajel (the Wookie's going through dental work), an eye shadow brush, pen, eye liner, lipstick, and a nail file.  ALL THAT fits in that tiny little box!!  *.*

The orange box houses a few bucks in quarters in case of low tires (or claw machines!  >.< ), a little pill box with some Midol and Aleve, bandaids, a screen wipe for the Android, eye shadow, my jewelry graveyard of stuff that needs to be fixed that I never remember I have with me, mascara, face wash, moisturizer, a BB cream sample, and a gauze pad.  Usually I have a few tampons shoved in there, too.  These pencil cases hold a lot in a very small space and are really a lifesaver.

As you can see, the inside of the bag has 3 pockets where the cases fit perfectly, and the third I keep my measuring tape, flashlight, leatherman, and knife in.  The rest just gets dumped in the middle!

Yeah, I carry a lot of crap, but its better to have it and not need it....




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Small Update

Apparently, Google Friend Connect is going bye-bye.  Thanks to Sian (sorry I don't know how to make the little characters that go over letters!! LOL) for posting, because I'd not have had a clue.  I guess I'm hiding under a rock somewhere.  Either way, you will notice, on all 3 wings of the little blog manor, here, that on the right there has been a link added to follow by Bloglovin if you'd prefer.  You can also follow by email, pinterest, twitter, or facebook, though I never update the last two, so please set things accordingly and BOO at Google for making us all have to change stuff!  :)



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DIY Makeup Brush and Liner Holder

I've been on this endless quest to find the perfect way to find my makeup brushes.  I tried the jam-them-in-a-jar-full-of-beads thing, but didn't like it as my brushes never wanted to stay upright and were constantly knocking against each other and I didn't want to damage the bristles.

I came up with the vintage stamp caddy holder, but I still needed a way to better organize my eyeliners and smaller brushes, so this is what I came up with - granted, I'm now looking for a better idea because this one combined with the stamp caddy took up more space than I'd like it to so now this is in my craft stash to hold paint brushes and such (works beautifully), but I figured someone may find it useful.  It didn't fit MY needs, but it may be perfect for yours, so here goes!

The first thing you'll need is a metal grater.  This is an old one I picked up at a thrift store for a buck and I'd used it for a few years, but it had started to show a few signs of rust, so it was time for it to be reincarnated.

First, you'll need whatever you want to glue to it.  I love the decoden style, so I decided to go with that on the sides.  That means it is time to dig through your craft stash for all those broken jewelry pieces, beads that don't match anything, buttons, etc.  You'll also need a good glue.  My go-to decoden glue has become Loctite.  I adore Loctite.  I could write a freakin' sonnet about this stuff.  It holds everything pretty much forever.  And ever.  Even if it gets wet.

Then, lay out where you want the large pieces to go.  Once you have that figured out, you can start to glue things down.  You're supposed to let the glue sit on each surface for 5 minutes before you stick it together, so I just did it in sections.  Once you get the large things down, you can add some glue to the open spots you want covered, wait 5 minutes, then just press small beads, pearls, or rhinestones into the glue.  I find that with the small beads, it was easier to just press them into the glue rather than glue the bead AND the grater, and they have been hanging on there just fine.

A few shots of the sections of it so you can see how it came out once I was done.  I left some spaces bare intentionally so you could still see the aging metal and parts of the grater holes because I liked the way they looked.  You can click the pictures to get a better look.

 The red flowers are some old clip-on earrings I had lying around.  My ears are pierced, so they never get any love, but are too pretty to just sit in my box unused.

 Once it is dry, (24 hours is best), pop in your pencils and small brushes and you're done!  I used the handle on the side to hold my foundations.  This is a shot of what my makeup tray looked like with the stamp caddy and this in use.  Very cute, but just takes up too much space, so on to a new method!  However, if I had a bathroom with a ton of counter space or a vanity, I'd have stuck with this.  Everything is cute, on display, and easy to get to, so that was a definite plus.  Also, the grater being slanted when you set it on its side makes it great to hold taller and smaller brushes and liners.

What do you think?  What is your favorite way to hold your makeup brushes?



Monday, June 3, 2013

Basic 2-Strand Beaded Bracelet Tutorial

As promised, it is tutorial time!  I'm sure there are probably better ways to do things than I do them, but this is my method, so take what you can from it.  :)

First, figure out what beads you want to use and put them aside.  A good way to do this, is mark out with a string or on a piece of paper how long you want your bracelet to be, then start lining up beads in a pattern and just play around until you have a look you're happy with.  These particular little silver beads have two holes in them, so keep in mind if yours are like that you will need smaller beads on either side to taper it down some or you will see the string if you try to go straight into one strand.

Once you've chosen your beads, it is time to attach the strings.  You can use jewelry wire if you have it handy.  I didn't, so I'm using a very high-test-grade fishing line.  What you want to do is run the fishing line through a crimp bead and the little jump on the bottom of the catch.  If you're smart, you will do both strands at once, but I forgot what I was doing and ended up doing one at a time.

Next, run the string back through the crimp bead so that it forms a loop holding the catch.

Hold the fishing line strands, move the crimp bead up to the jump ring on the catch, and pinch it together with the pliers.

Now, you should have the strands attached to the clasp via the pinched-closed crimp bead.

Next, it is time to start beading!  This one I did two strands all the way down to the end, but you can taper them off like I did a few in the bead haul post.

Keep going until you have the bracelet the length you wanted it....

Once you reach the end, it is very close to the same thing you did the first time.  Run the threads through a bead, then through jump rings.  I used two jump rings for the closure on this one just because I thought it looked better with the chunkier bracelet.

Run the string back through the crimp bead, then, holding the rings, pull the threads tight until the beads all sit nicely and close together enough that there are no visible threads in the body of the bracelet.

Crimp it shut just like normal!  You'll see I forgot to put them both through jump rings, AGAIN!  Damn you, Netflix, and your infernal distracting!

Anyway, trim the ends and you're done!  It is that easy.

I cranked out about 12 of these puppies in 3 or 4 hours watching Netflix, so they go pretty quickly.  It takes me longer to figure out what I want them to look like than it does to actually make them.

A close-up so you can see the pretty iridescence on all the beads and gems.

...ooooo, more sparkle porn!

If you make anything, I'd love to see it!  :)