Blog Everyday

Day 30: The Challenge comes to an end.

Today is the last day of the blog everyday in June challenge! I made it…kind of. I think this was a great experience for me and gave me a chance to really open up about my crafting, and show off some past projects. Most of the participants in this challenge were card makers, so it was really cool to see a craft that I am not involved in.

Today's topic is What does crafting mean to you?

To me, crafting is a release. It is a sense of freedom that I have to remind myself is ok to enjoy. I've been meeting quite a few people who major in engineering or work in corporate and sometimes crafting makes me feel like I am not doing enough with my life, or it isn't as important as those that I meet. But after talking to them, and hearing how they don't really care for their job or that they aren't very happy with what they do, it makes me ecstatic to know that I am in a field that I love. I sew because it is my passion. No one has ever made me do it, or forced me to learn, I pushed myself to sew. When I make bags I have to stop and remind myself that I am actually working. It is just so crazy how a passion can be a career. And I love it.

So while I don't think I will be posting EVERY DAY for a while, this was such a great opportunity and I would definitely consider doing another monthly challenge! (I'm actually looking into another challenge now)

And a special shout out to Kairen at Karoove for hosting this challenge, go check out her awesome cards and her fantastic talent with color! 

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Blog Everyday

Day 28 & 29

Another catch up post. I was actually hoping to blog yesterday but I went to visit my grandma in rehab and was too tired to post. So! Day 28 and 29. So close to the end!!!

Day 28: Three wishes.

1. I agree with Kairen's wish from Karoove: I wish there was a great craft store nearby. There is the cutest fabric store in Montclair but too far for me to get to on a regular basis. It has always been a dream of mine to start a craft store, so maybe one day.

2. I wish my student loan bills would be paid off, as this is the biggest stress in my life right now. I've been working very hard to get them down, but I feel like the amount isn't going anywhere. I don't wish for a million dollars or anything like that because I really do want to work for my money and what I have, I just wish I felt like I was making a dent.

3. I wish to take my parents on vacation. This is something they don't know, and luckily they don't read this, but I hope to one day take my parents to eat at Hell's Kitchen when they are filming. My parent's love food and cooking, and really love the show, so I think that would be one of the coolest things I could do for them.

These aren't simple wishes, and not things that can be changed over night, but with time and hard work, they can be accomplished.

Day 29: If you could start your crafting life over, what would you do differently?

If I could start over, I would defiantly dedicate more time to learning. I took my free time in high school for granted and only sewed when I was really in the mood. Now I wish I focused on sewing a lot more because I feel like I would be much further in my technique and experience. Again, I feel like this goes along the lines of, "everything happens for a reason" so I'm at this point in my learning experience for a reason.

Blog Everyday · sewing

Day 27: My three best projects

My three best projects. These are some of my favorite projects, but they are also some of the ones that had many hours put into them.

My iPad Pillow for Drew:

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A costume from school. Drafted the pattern from a vintage pattern sheet. This was the most difficult fabric I have ever sewn.

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The last is my prom dress. It is no where near my best project, but I love it and consider it my greatest accomplishment (being the first garment I ever completed).

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Blog Everyday · sewing

Day 26: Crafting a Wardrobe for Work

Craft something with a Spring theme. That is today's topic and while I didn't think this skirt I finished yesterday would fit any topic, I think it has a pretty Spring look to it. But here's the back story.

Last Friday, I received a call from New York. It was a call to tell me I was officially hired to work for Anthropologie in Hoboken! I went on the interview last thursday, and I wasn't really sure how it went but it went well enough! When I first started applying to jobs, I applied to everything but retail because I didn't want to feel like I was going backwards. But after months of disappointment, retail seemed like the only option. I went on the interview and asked about being a part of the visual team in the store. The manager said they hire from within so the only option is to work my way up. I'm really excited about this job because I truly love the store, I love the location (I CAN WALK TO WORK) and I'm excited to *hopefully* be involved with store displays, at least helping to set up or create.I don't think retail is anyone's dream job, but I think this is a fantastic opportunity and it will allow me to continue working on my own business.

So now with that all said and done, I have training tomorrow morning and was told to dress "Anthro Appropriate". While I think most of my wardrobe can be Anthro inspired, I wanted to make something, just cause I can. I knew I wanted a skirt with multiple fabrics, and detail. I started with a pattern from the book "Sew Serendipity" (highly recommended) and pulled out a few coordinating fabrics. This is the result.

 

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Now that you have seen the skirt, I need your opinion: Does this look too "homemade"?

 

I've already decided I will not wear it for training because I don't think it is Anthro enough. I also personally think it looks too "kitchy." I'm not happy with it. Well, I'm happy with the construction and the detail, but I'm not happy with how the fabrics look together. I also don't think this is the best skirt for my figure. So while I don't really care for it, I did want other opinions because I'm still undecided. It will probably end up in my box of crafting failures but I still wanted to share it.

 

Thanks for looking and PLEASE let me know what you think!

Blog Everyday · sewing

Day 25: So you want to start sewing.

So this topic is supposed to be about advice to someone who wants to get into crafting, but I wanted to focus on getting into sewing, since that's my specialty area and it is also a topic I hope to talk about a lot to people in the future.

Sewing is the greatest passion in my life. It is the one thing that makes me happier than anything else. I can sew for what seems like a few hours, and a whole day has gone by. My mind goes to a happy place and my worries cease for just a little bit.

If you are interested in learning how to sew, there are a few tips I have.

If you don't have a machine, purchase a second hand one (craigslist, ebay, etc) something with basic features. If you find you enjoy it, and once you get comfortable, and are ready for something with better features, invest, but do your research!!

I was lucky enough to learn on my Mom's Janome. She never used it and lost the manuel. So after learning how to thread the machine and do a straight stitch, my mom found the manuel online so I was able to learn the rest of the features. I love my machine and do not plan to get a new one anytime soon but if I am to buy a new one, I would go with Janome again.

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When learning to sew, I would start by using cotton. It doesn't stretch as much as other fabrics, and is very easy to sew. Stores like JoAnn's have fantastic sales so you can buy fabrics pretty cheap. I recommend getting a bunch of fat quarters to practice on.

Use patterns. It is so much fun to look through the pattern books and pick out a cute dress or skirt and think about all the possibilities you can make of it. I recommend an easy pattern to start with (most pattern companies have "easy" options) because it will teach you techniques and how to put together a garment (or handbag, etc). I had a very hard time following patterns when I first started out because I didn't know the terms and thought I was clever enough to make the pattern up as I went along, thinking that the end result would look as it should (wrong).

Invest in a sewing dictionary. Or find an excellent online resource to turn to. There are times when I do not have internet connection and need to look something up. My go-to guide is The Dressmakers Technique Bible. I love it and often turn to it for help.

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The last piece of advice I'll give now is this. Don't get discouraged. For some, sewing comes naturally. Others need to really work at it (like me). I get discouraged when I see beginners cranking out these amazing designs and wonder how they do it. But I remember that it takes time and I need to put in the work to get the results. I've only been sewing for 6 years, and I can't believe how far I have come in that time. I can't wait to see where my sewing is in another 6 years. I might look back on the projects I've done now and say "How did I actually wear that?!?" But I will always be proud of what I make. Because it was made with my hands, from my heart.

Blog Everyday

Day 24: My crafting wish list

At the moment, on the top of my wish list is lead for my fabric marking pencil. I ran out of pink lead today, which is such a great color on most of the fabrics I use. Of course fabrics and buttons are always on my list but I really want to start buying more "apparel" fabrics. I buy so much cotton because I can use it to make bags but the past few months I've been trying many different clothing patterns and have a need for different fabrics.

I would also love a pair of pinking shears. The only scissors that I need in my collection.

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Other items include: a hot glue gun, my own stencil cutter, and to get my serger tuned up.

What's on your wish list?

Blog Everyday · inspiration

Day 23: Struggles

I've had a lot of struggles the past few months, some I've blogged about before and others I haven't really talked about. I think a large struggle I am facing is being "good enough". I try my best to sew with straight seams, purchase quality fabric and really show my passion in my work. It is difficult to remember that others have been doing this longer, that they know techniques that I do not. There is a quote that I have been connecting with lately:

Dont compare

(on pinterest)

This is a simple reminder to be inspired by others stories, not discouraged that things are not happening fast or I'm not as good a seamstress as others.  This is my journey, my path. It may take longer than others, but this is where I am supposed to be.