The Snatchel Project

In response to the U.S. government’s weird obsession and interference with women’s healthcare here lately, I’ve decided to join the Snatchel Project – a group of women (and men) who have decided to knit/crochet/craft their male legislators a “lady part”, because maybe “if they have their own, they can leave ours alone!”

Here is my contribution to the cause: red and purple uteri, lovingly knit for my male Senators and Representative. I mailed them out this afternoon.

I realize this is a gimmick and they will probably be thrown away, but sometimes gimmicks are needed to get the attention of those that need their attention grabbed – in this case, legislators who would like to take our country (and women’s rights) back to the Dark Ages. And anyway, it was fun and added a much needed sense of humor to this serious issue.

You can find out more about the Snatchel Project here.

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Recycled Sweater Purse

sweater purseI did finish my sweater purse. Actually, I finished it a couple of weeks ago and am finally getting around to posting it. It is not my best sewing example, but I still like how it turned out. I used two sweaters – one red and one gray. And the lining was some cherry fabric by Michael Miller that I had leftover from an apron I made last year. Both of the sweaters I used were wool, so I felted them in the washer and dryer. Felting the sweaters helps add some texture and strength to the wool. It is easy to do – just wash them in hot water and dry in the dryer. Repeat this process until you can no longer detect the weave in your sweater.

I’ve been using my purse daily since I finished it and it is holding up nicely. I’ve also gotten a lot of complements on it, even if it’s not my best sewing example. I do like the purse though. It is big and roomy, so I can carry all the stuff I need to take with me when I go out – even a textbook fits inside for the days when I need to study in my spare time. The only thing I am not happy with are the handles. I didn’t have anything else on-hand at the time, so I used what I had. I might change them out in the near future for circle handles. I think circles might be easier to carry. The shape that is on there now keeps getting tangled and they just don’t function properly.

I kind of just made this purse up as I went along. And I didn’t write a tutorial because there are hundreds of them on the Web already. I did however, compile a list of some of the best ones I found for you to browse for inspiration.

Janome – Recycled Sweater Purse

Recycled Sweater Coin Purse by Maize Hutton

How to Make a Felted Tote from a Recycled Sweater

Girl’s Spring Mini-Tote

And you can download a free pattern at YouCanMakeThis.com. And while you are over there, be sure to check my ePatterns – on how to make clothing from recycled ties and denim.

Have fun and happy upcycling!

Indygo Junction Aprons

Before the holidays, I ordered several apron patterns from Indygo Junction.  I used the patterns to make Christmas gifts and of course, I had to make a few for myself.

First I made the Bon Appetit pattern.  It was very easy to use and resulted in a very flattering apron.  My only complaint is that the ruffle was too long and had to be cut after sewing it to the apron.  It was a little confusing to understand the instructions. and I’m not sure the reasoning behind the excess in the pattern, but I just made the ruffle a few inches shorter after the first apron. Several of these went out as gifts and were very well recieved.

Bon Appetit Apron

Bon Appetit Apron made with Cherry Fabric by Robert Kaufmann and Just Dreamy by My Mind's Eye Fabric by Riley Blake

Orange Bon Appetit Apron

Bon Appetit Apron made with Orange fabric by Kaufmann I believe and denim.

I also made the Afternoon Tea apron, and this one went together very easily.  My only suggestion is to try on the apron and adjust the placement of the back as needed before you sew it all together.  I had to take off several inches so it fit properly. I didn’t use this one for gifts since they needed to be fitted and I wasn’t sure of everyone’s size. But, I made one for myself and this is one of my favorite aprons.

Afternoon Tea Apron

Afternoon Tea Apron made with Cherry Fabric by Robert Kaufmann and Just Dreamy by My Mind's Eye Fabric by Riley Blake

Finally, I made my grandmother the Mock Smock.  She loves smocks.  In fact, I’ve rarely seen her without one on, so I thought she would like a nice one made with designer fabric.  The Mock Smock pattern was a little different then the ones she normally wears with the square shape to everything, but I liked the variation as it was pictured. However, I am not a fan of the Mock Smock pattern.  I found the squareness of the arms and neckline very hard to work with.   And the instructions provided were not much help.

My first smock was a disaster. First I tried using the cut pattern pieces for the neck and armholes, but I couldn’t get the corners sharp and pretty. Then I took that off and tried rounding all the corners and using bias trim, but that didn’t turn out too well either. And for some reason, the neckline didn’t match up.

Mock Smock

Mock Smock Disaster

So, I went back and made a few adjustments to the pattern.  I rounded the sleeves and neckline. 

Mock Smock Neckline

I also rounded the pockets and added a pleat to them.  And I finished the pockets, arm holes and neckline with coordinating bias trim. 

Mock Smock Pockets

I think this one turned out much better!  And Gram loves her new smock.  But she says it will be her special occasion smock, as it is much too pretty to wear everyday.

Mock Smock

Mock Smock made with Birds of Paradise fabric by Free Spirit.

Eco-friendly Gift Wrapping

eco-friendly gift wrapping

Every year I try to find ways to wrap the gifts that are somewhat eco-friendly.  This year we made our own bows from old magazine pages.  Thanks to Folding Trees for the tip on how to make these.

eco-friendly gift wrapping

You can find the full tutorial from How About Orange.  The bows are ridiculously easy to make.   I can confidently say that I will never buy bows again!

eco-friendly gift wrapping

And the kids decided to decorate some old newspapers for the wrapping paper we used on the smaller gifts.

eco-friendly gift wrapping

We are still wrapping the larger gifts with traditional paper.  But we are using recycled paper.  And if you buy it the day after Christmas, you can buy it for a lot less.  You just need a place to store it until next Christmas.  If you have a gift wrapping idea you’d like to share, feel free to post it in the comments.