Monday, December 31, 2007

Secret Christmas Projects Revealed: Cinderella Topsy Turvy Doll

The next Secret Christmas Project: Cindrella!

This Cinderella Topsy Turvy Doll is 100% of my own design/improvisation. I gave it to my niece for Christmas :o)

My sisters and I had one that we all played with and that doll which is long gone was the inspiration for this one. I think by the time I was playing with her, she was a bit worn, but I loved her so much. That doll was blonde, kind of 70's, and made of fabric. On one side, Cinderella is in Rags, you flip the doll over and expose the hidden "Glam" cinderella. Two Dolls in One.

This site has interesting information on the history of these dolls... and here is one you can buy through FAO Schwartz.

For my version, I made her with brown hair since my niece has brown hair. I think every little girl likes to have a doll that looks a little bit like them.

I was planning on changing too things to the design - redo the tiara on the glam side (it currently looks like a sweat band a la Olivia Newton John) and I was going to add a broom to the Cinderella in Rags side.

But, I was crunched for time and wanted to give it to her as soon as I could... so without further ado...

Cindy's Daytime Look:

The Very Odd Two-Fer Shot...

Glam Cindy!

Thanks for looking!

Secret Christmas Projects Revealed: Dragon Toddler Jacket!

Well... now that my secret projects were given as Christmas Gifts, I can reveal them on here!
I was excited about both of these projects and it really was hard to not post about them...

First up: Dragon Toddler Sweater for my Nephew

Ages ago, I made a Dragon Baby Sweater. The orginal pattern was from the amazing Marnie MacLean... but it was in knit and crochet. When I made my version of the Dragon Baby Sweater, I used a hoodie from a book that I had.

For this updated version, I used this pattern from Caron for a hooded baby jacket .

Per usual, I didn't follow the pattern exactly. The changes I made were to not crochet in the back loop only and also to not skip those stitches... I wanted it to be totally solid so I could sew on the "spots". I also edged it with a picot edge... and then added spots and a crocheted tie. For the original, I did ears like the ones on Marnie's pattern.. but for this one, I went with "Shrek-style" ears. The spine on the back of the jacket is an improvised wave/shell stitch. I used Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage and did the accents in Dark Country Blue.

I was so worried that it wouldn't fit... but luckily it was the perfect size and my nephew was able to wear it during Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Sneak Peeks

This is a very special sneak peek at some of my Christmas Projects this year. I will post full pictures after the gifts have been given...

Sneak Peek : Skirts

5 wrap skirts one for each sister and one for my sister-in-law. They get to decide who gets what. Full pic of each skirt after they are given - for now a glimpse of each fabric with the trim. Secret Gift #1:

Whatever could it be?

Secret Gift #2:

I hope everyone has a great time celebrating the holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sew Happy :o)

My current Crochet Projects are TOP SECRET works in progress for the holidays... so I figured I'd post on a new crafty obsession of mine!

I started taking some sewing classes at Craftorama on South Congress- this super-friendly, hip, fun shop.

My interest in sewing began when I made handbags a few years ago for Christmas. I wanted to line the bags, but had no idea how. I attempted to whip stitch them by hand, but the result was messy and the construction was shoddy.

Sewing machines seemed ridiculously intimidating to me not to mention prohibitively expensive.
But, recently, when I made my crocheted dress, I realized how great it would be to sew a dress that had crocheted embellishments or was lined. In addition, I've become interested in making more crocheted bags which I would love to line. And I also thought that understanding sewing patterns would help me with designing more crocheted clothing items.

So, I signed up for a beginning sewing class at Craftorama.

It was shockingly easy and a lot of fun. It was almost bizarre to me how fast I could make something. I frequently tease knitters whose projects take longer than my crocheted ones... but this machine sewing thing really beats all. I love it!

I made an adorable little tote bag in cowboy print.

Isn't it fun?

Here is the back and the detail on the button and pocket.

I just love it. It's a bit small to be at all practical, but it was a great first project and it really got me excited to try more stuff. Of course, later that week, by some fluke, our holiday bonuses paid out early. I went to "just look" at the Austin Sew and Vac store around the corner from my apartment. They were in the process of packing up the store because they were moving 2 miles down the road that very week. The owners were there with their daughter and her toddler son. Her son was playing with quilt squares on the floor. Even though the store was somewhat chaotic, they were very helpful.

I was able to get a Janome 625 at a HUGE discount. It was used as a floor model at the Maker Faire in Austin and so was "out of the box". Originally, I had been planning on getting the cheaper, base model... but the 625 is one that I can grow into... not to mention with the discount, they were very close in cost.

The Sew and Vac store offers a free session on getting to know your sewing machines and are experts at fixing them. In their new space, they are going to offer lots of sewing classes and will have tons of fabrics.

I was still a little bit intimidated, though, so I decided to take another class at Craftorama to get more comfy with the machine.

I took a wrap skirt class and check this out!

I totally want to make a ton of them. I think it'll be great practice at sewing straighter lines... and not only that, but the skirt is super cute and one size fits most!

whoop! whoop!