Thursday, December 30, 2010

Embellished Fingerless Gloves- Tutorial!!!!!!

I make a lot of fingerless gloves for my Etsy store, and I've gotten some excellent feedback about them.  I use them at the computer, or while texting or driving. *not at the same time, of course.. ;P*  They do come in handy!  One of the pairs that I hear alot about are embellished with ribbon, like these:

I pleated the ribbon on these..
We'll be making some like this...

So, I've put together a tutorial, from start to finish!  Go find an old sweater that mysteriously shrank.  (Because our waistlines don't grow, our clothing just gets smaller every time we wash it.)  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

So, what you'll need:

1.  One old sweater, with long sleeves.  I like Merino or Cashmere for mine, as these are the softest.  For more warmth for outdoor wear, go with lambswool.  Or just choose whatever you've got.  We'll not be felting these (though you could), and hemming them to avoid any pesky unraveling.

2.  About 17" of ribbon.  Any old ribbon will do.  I like the fancy-pancy ribbon.  But grosgrain or any lacy trim would be cute too!

3.  Your sewing stuff.  Scissors/rotary cutter, sewing machine, thread.

4.  Two buttons.  These are optional, but recommended, as the hem at the forearm tends to be a bit too baggy to stay up in an unfelted set of fingerless gloves. 

Step 1: Cut off the sleeves at the underarm.  Pull the sleeve out so it is straight, and you don't get a triangle shape at the top.  Put the rest of the sweater aside for future upcycling into things like dread bands, cowls, or scarves...

Step 2:  Roll the top of the arm portion down twice to hide the raw edges.  Pin.

 Step 3:  Using the arm of your sewing machine, sew around the top of the arm- I used a zigzag stitch this time.

Step 4:  Cut two strips of ribbon of 8.5".  Add fray check to the edges of the ribbon.

Step 5:  Pin the strips of ribbon to each glove, beginning at the wrist and folding the edges under, making sure to keep it straight.

Step 6: I hand sew my ribbon down.  I still can't seem to figure out how to shove that sleeve into the feed dogs of the sewing machine, and keep it perfectly straight.

Step 7: I usually add buttons at the forearm by making a pleat pointing to the outside of the arm, securing it with the button.

Step 8: Put on, and type away.  Hands stay warm and fashionable!

Please send me a link if you make some of these!  I'd love to see how everyone else uses their creative half of their brain!


ETA: Please, make these for gifts, not for sale.  That's just plain rude. :P

Vintage Finds!

So, I went shopping yesterday..  Not something I should be doing; I should be putting a tutorial together.. Ok, will do this today.  But in the meantime, I found a bunch of cool stuff! 

I took my seedlings, and we found a cigar box with Odin's name on it!
So cool.  Odin totally freaked!

I found some wooden spools to make this advent calendar, albeit a little late for this year...

And buttons, lots of buttons.  Look at all these vintage buttons!!!  Did I mention I like buttons?

And finally, what I consider my find of the day.  I got this vintage lace for $3!!  OMG, I almost peed my pants.

Gorgeous lace..  Love it!
Ok, I'm off to work on that tutorial for fingerless gloves with ribbon embellishments.  Wish me luck.  I'll see ya'll tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Working with Cashmere...and a purse fail.

Good news and bad news.  Let's get the bad news over first.  My orange purse that I dreamed would be perfection, luscious, amazing, superfantabulous, extraordinary? 

None of those adjectives seem to fit the bill.  I'd go with....blech.  The beaded embellishment of my vision looked ridiculous on it.  The construction was mediocre to say the best of it.  I blame the super thick wool, the lack of handbag construction experience, my cruddy old cheap sewing machine.  Whatever.  Here is the vision....  A long rectangular bag with a half moon flap, lined with vintage linen, and embellished with the most beautiful beaded dangly thing I thrifted..  this thing:

The dangly thing-y doesn't really go with the shotty craftmanship of the bag.  I don't know if there is any saving of this orange monstrosity...  give me a fricken' idea already.  I'm fresh out. 
Pointy edges, too short of a flap.  Blah.

Extra thick felted sweater + older cheap machine = crappy construction detail.  Blah.

But on an up note...

The cashmere creativity train has pulled into the station.  With two of the lovliest color of cashmere I have found to date, I made four things:

Cashmere Cowl with coordinating thrifted cotten lining

Cashmere Fingerless gloves in progress...

Cashmere Scarf of gorgeousness...

You want to touch it, don't you...
And this, the crowning achievement of an old Daniel Bishop Cashmere Sweater.  Possibly the thickest I've ever seen...  Cabled and ribbed?  This scarf is 6X thicker than any cashmere object I've ever touched.  And like a cloud.  Soft as butter...  I don't know if I can sell it, other than it is not really my color...

OMG!! 72" of luxury right there.
And one more pair of cashmere fingerless gloves, in a classic combo of linen color and tiny cables....

So, as artists, whether we are knitters, sewers, upcyclers, whatever... We take the good with the bad, right?  And sometimes the bad is very, very bad.  But the good can be very, very soft. 

Off to work!  I have a pile of cashmere and wool that needs work.

And- everyone give a shout out to Rex; he found me some lovely pieces that could become my very first design involving wool suiting... Any ideas?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hobbling around trying to take a good picture..

So, I posted some new items in my store...  Mostly stuff I've been working on for the last couple of hectic weeks.  I've only made accessories lately, but I've got plans to make an orange blanket, and possibly a green one too this week that I have off.

Here is the latest photo shoot.  You should have seen me hobbling around on my stitched up foot through the snow trying to get a good pose for the pics.  Can you see the pain on my face?  Laugh all you want.  My husband was.  No sympathy over here at the biology household.

There were a couple of major categories- Scarves/Caplet-y things.

Upcycled Capelet with lace and wool ruffle.

The Hug Scarf- Red Upcycled Wool
Hot Pink Jersey Lined Scarflette with vintage buttons.

And Fingerless Gloves:

Italian Merino Cabled Fingerless gloves

Mongolian Cashmere Fingerless
Dusty Rose Italian Merino Fingerless with Ribbon Embellishment

There is more over here in my shop, I plan on putting together a tutorial for the ribbon embellished fingerless gloves later this week.  I also have some plans on making a ruffled mitten, which is possibly a bit more practical than a fingerless glove in some climates...

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Sunday Six

So, here I sit, with my 11 stitches, with nothing much to do the day after Christmas...

I'm enjoying the blogosphere... Join me for some sewing, knitting, and crafting inspiration that I've discovered myself looking at everyday with my coffee.  I'm looking today for ideas on what to spend my Jo-Ann's Fabric and Barnes and Noble Gift Cards on.

1.   I wanted to give a shout out to my beautiful and crafty cousin Dawn, who has started her very own craft blog- A Few Good Yarns. She is a knitter/crocheter, and has a great eye for classy and fun designs.  I can't wait until she posts about her crocheted baby hats with interchangeable flowers.  Stop over there sometime, and give her a holler.  She's good people. (Except for the cooking of Lima Beans, which I can never agree with.  If there is an maligned green food that deserves its reputation, this one is it.)
2.  My go-to place for tutorials for one of a kind items and excellent photography of her seedlings...A Lemon Squeezy Home. This is one of her outstanding tutorials that I've been meaning to make for weeks now...

3.  Over at ISLY (I Still Love You), I found wonderful upcycled lovlieness, and even bought commercial rights from her to make her braided jersey necklaces for my Etsy store.  (I know, I know- where are the necklaces, then?... I've been a bit obsessed with wool upcycling right now.)

She has recently made cashmere mittens.  Such a lovely shade of orange!

4.  Over at Wardrobe Refashion, you'll find a group of contributors who'd pledged not to buy any new clothes, only refashion what they had or what they had purchased at thrift stores.  Some creative ideas over there, although the site is closed to further contributors now.  I hope they change their minds!

5.  For those of you who've been living under a rock, or are not knitters- Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka "The Yarn Harlot" is one of the best knitting/crafting bloggers; no wait- best blogger out there.  Read what she has to say.  She is freakin' hilarious.  Go, laugh.

6.  And, last but never least- I am Momma, Hear me Roar.  She does everything from embellishing old shoes to give them new life, to designing clothing.  I love her designs, most recently her upcycled T-shirt hat for toddlers has made it onto the to-do list.  My seedlings would look so adorable in these. 

So, go waste some time.  Surf the interweb/net/blag/ whatever.  Drop me a line to let me know what I'm missing.  Drop me a line to let me know what you'd like to see next week.  Just drop me a line.  Even a :) will work.  :p

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas Poem- Rewritten

I'm not sure you can top this.  I had my first day of break yesterday, and the goal was to clean the house, including the two squirt's room.  Here is how my Christmas story began....

Twas the first day of Christmas break-

Everything was quiet, and all through the house,
not a creature was whining, not even my youngest mouse.

The stockings were hung on the wall with command adhesive hooks,
and for my future downtime, I had picked several books.

The children were watching some silly cartoon,
visions of all the toys from the commercials landing under the tree soon.

And momma in her ponytail, cleaning the kitchen
was humming Christmas tunes and thinking of stitchen'.

When from under the cabinet overhang, something bit into my heel
A food processor blade slicing me; pure stainless steel!

I dropped to floor with a shout and a scream,
To see that my foot now had a seam.

A four inch long seam, at least half an inch deep,
Made her so mad, she wished that she'd stayed asleep.

Off to the ER, in her manual transmission,
foot wrapped up tight in an army bandage, pain blurred her vision.

11 stitches and a tetanus shot later, she's tucked in her chair
Wishing that fate instead had decided to cut her hair.

There it is folks.  I cut my foot wide open yesterday on a misplaced food processor blade and had to drive myself to the ER, to get 11 stitches and a tetanus shot.  I'm now hobbling around on Christmas eve, trying to get all that last minute business done.  (I'd show you the picture, but it is too gross.) Wish me luck!

Do you have any Christmas injury stories to share?  I'd love to hear that I'm not the only one.  *pout*

Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from biologyrose- aka FrankenFoot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Creative mind at work...

So I'm not posting much today, due to the fact that inspiration has hit me hard.  (I'm not complaining) I'll get a photoshoot in soon of my new creations.. :)

In the meantime, check out my Etsy Treasuries that I've put together in three colors:

So Gorgeous, I can barely stand it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sick Kids, Scarves, and a Sale!

So the kiddos are both down for the count with a cold, filled with cough medicine and chicken noodle soup.  What to do?  I mean, I had to take the day off in order to take care of them... 

First up:  I have three of these scarves ordered from people at work.  As soon as I told them my idea for my Etsy shop, they wouldn't even wait for them to be put up.  Just bring them in, they say...

Here is number one of three- I played with the construction, and came up with this "deconstructed" look, leaving my raw edges of felted wool recycled from my red collection of sweaters.  That is the lovely thing about felted wool.  No fraying.

So I'm in love with The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I had to make something Katniss inspired.  Had to.  I found the applique pattern online here.  Meghan is screen printing everything she owned with it.  So jealous I don't have screen printing capacity here at home. 

Introducing... drumroll please....  The Girl on Fire Scarf!!!!!!!!!!

80" of Girl on Fire with mockingjay applique.

Closeup of the construction/applique work.
The next thing I had to do was package up a sale from my shop.  This is seriously one of my favorite things to do.  I just imagine them opening and getting a little bump of joy in their throats.  I always try to include a little something extra.  This time I put together a felted flower pin from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book.  It's not like I didn't have a living room full of red felt, for crying out loud.

So, now onto scarves # 2 and 3.  I'll be busy until dinner. 

What are you up to today?  Is anyone out there?  Leave me a comment... I'd love to know who is reading..