Tag Archives: non-geeky

Tutorial: The most awesome rainbow tiered skirt *ever*

30 Jun

A few days ago I was lurking around the internet, bored senseless, and not a single crafty project that sounded remotely interesting, then I stumbled across perhaps the most lovely skirt I’ve ever seen and I knew I had to have it. And so, I made one for myself!

Obligatory spin shot!

 

The San Diego LGBT Pride parade is coming up in about a month and I’m planning on marching in it. I just had to have this skirt in time for the parade! So that night I decided I was going to do it. I spent about 3 hours planning everything out and went to the store the very next day to get my supplies.

Turns out my 3 hours of planning was totally wasted! My initial measurements included over 1400 inches worth of fabric for the bottom tier! I also had wanted to copy the patchwork design of the original but I am not a patient lady. Thankfully the lady at the sewing counter suggested I just use strips of a single fabric (the poor lady probably thought I was going insane, I was sitting on the ground talking to myself and angrily scratching out numbers while looking at a million different quilting packs). Ok, so first simplification complete–this project seems more manageable now!

At this point I still planned on having about 1400″ of fabric for my final tier. I picked out my favorite fabric and calculated the costs. Over $60, ouch! Ok, so being a broke crafter I needed to bring that down a LOT. So instead of each tier being 1.5x the tier above it I figured I’d do 1.25x the tier above it. This brought my 1400″ final tier down to a “measly” 370–way more manageable. It also brought my costs down closer to $25, about what I’d pay in a store for a significantly-less-awesome skirt, which was easy to justify (especially after my initial estimate of costs, eesh!).

After congratulating myself on being both frugal and maintaining the inherent awesomeness of this project I spent the next 15 minutes or so having the sewing counter lady cut my fabric into chunks as small as 1/4 of a yard. All in all I spent over an HOUR just picking out fabric and figuring out exactly how much I needed. What’s worst is that I nearly forgot to grab extra thread on my way out! But I remembered before hitting the check-out lane and all was well. So, let’s give this thing a look, shall we?

Just after completion–I didn’t take it off all night!

Very tired, but so proud!

Outside in the sun

I tried to get progress shots of this but being so big and bulky it was pretty difficult, so this tutorial will mostly be words. if you need clarification just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to clear things up.

First, get your measurements. All the fabric I got came in 44″ lengths and I decided the easiest way to get my measurements was to do strips and just sew them into one longer strip, the seams mostly get hidden in the ruffles and even if the seams show…who cares? Cheaper is WAY worth it for this. The second measurement is how much of a yard I bought of the fabric.

  • Waist – 40″
  • Tier 1 (pink) – 50″ (1/4 yard)
  • Tier 2 (red) – 62.5″ (1.25x tier 1) (1/4 yard)
  • Tier 3 (orange) – 78″ (at this point I started to round the numbers) (1/4 yard)
  • Tier 4 (yellow) – 97″ (3/8 yard)
  • Tier 5 (light green) – 122″ (3/8 yard)
  • Tier 6 (dark green) – 152.5″ (1/2 yard)
  • Tier 7 (light blue) – 190.75″ (5/8 yard)
  • Tier 8 (dark blue) – 238.5″ (3/4 yard)
  • Tier 9 (light purple) – 298″ (7/8 yard)
  • Tier 10 (dark purple) – 372.5″ (1 and 1/8 yard)

To get my strips to the length I needed I cut everything into 4.5″x44″ strips, then measured my final length for that tier and evenly divided that amongst the strips. For example, tier 4 was 97″, I cut 3 strips and trimmed them to approximately 32.5″ each, then sewed them together to create the final 97″ strip.

Everything cut into strips and sewn to their final sizes

I decided to do the easiest step next: hemming the bottom tier. I did a simple fold, I didn’t even fold it under itself, though I may go back to hem it properly.

After that came the hardest part: figuring out how to ruffle 370″ of fabric @.@ I did it wrong TWICE before finally giving up and freehanding half of it. I used a basting stitch but pulled it far too tight. Despite the frustration I’m glad I started on the longest strip: every strip after it was easier and easier than the one before! By the time I got to the final strip I was breezing through them.

Ruffles, ruffles, everywhere!

After the disaster with the longest tier I (ok…my honey) devised a new way to “ruffle”: pleating! I divided each strip into smaller sections and pleated as I went. I started by folding my previous strip (let’s say dark green) and my current strip (light green) and pinning the very far sides together to keep them from coming apart. Next, fold everything in half and pin the middle of the light green to the middle of the dark green; I found the best way to do this was just hold the two sides together as high as you can and have a friend pin the bottom of the droops together. Continue this way to find the middles until you’ve pinned everything into more manageable lengths. I suggest using safety pins, by the way, because there’s a lot of movement involved in this process. Hopefully the following picture makes at least a little bit of sense!

Weird picture but the best I could take to show the pinning

When I was finally done sewing all of my strips together I added a strip of elastic for the waistband. I used the same pinning method but instead of pleating the fabric I pulled the elastic taut and allowed the fabric to scrunch itself up. Finally, I sewed the loooong seam up the back and the skirt was complete! It’s officially my favorite piece from my wardrobe :-)

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Attempting to learn crochet…

11 Apr

I recently inherited a wide array of crochet hooks. Now, I’ve been wanting to learn to crochet for quite a while but never wanted to invest the, er, $3 or so to get a hook and it seemed completely over my head, so this was the perfect time for me to try my hand at crochet.

And guys? I’ve discovered something amazing. Crochet is magic! No, really, I watched a video and at a certain point the person just stopped making sense but they still ended up with a finished product!!

Ok, maybe it’s not quite magic, maybe I’m still just oblivious as to how this could possibly work. I guess I’ll just have to wait until I see my mom next so she can teach me what in the heck to do.

See? I tried! This is where I got lost.

Tea for two, and two for tea…

31 Oct

Mmm, tea! So warm and soothing, delicious at any time of the day. With sugar, lemon, honey, milk, and so many varieties to choose from there are nearly endless combinations to choose from. It’s tea, obviously, that inspired this adorable charm bracelet.

Check it out on my etsy shop here! Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll treat myself to a cup of tea… :-)

Halloween!

25 Oct

It’s nearly Halloween! Halloween is possibly my favorite holiday. An excuse to dress up and wear funky makeup and outfits and watch scary movies all night long while eating candy? Yes please! And of course, getting to wear Halloween-themed jewelry is a huge plus.

I, of course, prefer to make my own Halloween jewelry. Like these two pairs of earrings I’ve made recently, both of which are up for sale on my etsy shop!

Available here

Available here

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Jack and Sally Cross Stitch Set

12 Oct

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all-time favorite movies. I could watch it every day for a week and still be happily singing along with it.

I’ve already posted about my first Jack stitching (and hand-painted frame!) here. Someday soon I’ll get around to stitching up a matching Sally for my Jack, especially after completing this commission. The red background turned out so wonderful, I wish I’d done the background for my Jack in red, too! 80 hours of stitching has never felt so satisfying :-)

You can buy Jack and Sally patterns so you can stitch them up yourself, too! And I’m always available for customized commissions!

Simple Armwarmer Tutorial

12 Sep

It’s getting close to autumn, that strange season (for me, at least) where I can go from comfortable to cold in a matter of minutes. My solution? ARMWARMERS! They fit so easily in my purse and can be slipped on for comfort. I also have a bad habit of wearing through the bottoms of my socks so this is an excellent way to get more use out of a pair of socks! These can be made in about 10 to 15 minutes so they’re a great project. Before we begin, let’s see the finished project!

Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • A pair of socks (knee-high for full forearm armwarmers, shorter socks for wristwarmers)

First, gather your supplies and lay your socks out. Figure out where it's best to cut off the foot portion.

Evenly trim the feet off of the socks.

Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch, remove the storage compartment/extension table and slide the sock onto the remaining part of the sewing machine. Slowly zig-zag around the edge of the sock, then repeat with the other sock. I zig-zag'd around the edge twice using two different lengths of zig-zags to ensure it wouldn't unravel. Note: the wider your zig-zag stitch, the more pronounced the ruffle will be.

Ta-da! You're ready to wear your new armwarmers!

You can also add a thumb hole by cutting a very small hole in the heel, testing to make sure your thumb fits through, then zig-zag stitching very slowly around the thumb hole as well.

Homemade Frappuccinos

8 Aug

I am obsessed with frappuccinos. I love them. Ever since I found my favorite frappuccino (grande coffee frapp with hazelnut syrup, please!) I’ve been so in love with them. And ever since I found a recipe online I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with the original recipe and making it even better. The original recipe only showed how to make coffee frappuccinos without any flavoring but I prefer my coffee to be flavored, thank you very much.

And so, without further ado or unnecessarily long and drawn-out verbiage, here is the recipe.

Coffee Frappuccino

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 1 Venti or 2 Tall Starbucks equivalents)

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, chilled overnight (strong or regular strength, either works)
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • Fat free is what I use but you can use any kind
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquid coffee creamer
    • My favorites are Coffee Mate Vanilla Nut, Toffee Nut, or my absolute favorite for frappuccinos: Hazelnut
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cool Whip Extra Creamy Whipped Cream made with real cream
    • This is one of my secret ingredients! Make sure you get the stuff with real cream! This really helps keep it all together, check the ingredients to make sure there’s xanthan gum in there too because it will help keep it from separating and gives it a richness that is lacking if you leave this out
    • Measure this by putting all the other liquid ingredients in a measuring cup, if you’re following this recipe it should be 1 3/4 cups’ worth of liquid, and then spooning a bit into the measuring cup and pushing it down to displace the liquid until it shows 2 cups total
    • If you don’t have cool whip, using an extra tbsp of sugar and an extra 1/4 tsp of guar gum will achieve a similar effect
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum
    • This is optional but extremely nice to have. The guar gum slightly thickens the frapp so it has a nicer “mouth feel”
  • Blender or Magic Bullet individual blender
    • If you use a Magic Bullet you’ll need to split everything in half and make it in two batches. It’ll still turn out delicious and you can share with a friend! (Or have seconds for yourself!)
Directions
These are perhaps the simplest directions for any recipe I’ve ever made: Stick everything in your blender. Mix until the ice is in tiny chunks. Top with more whipped cream if you like. And enjoy! Just look at how pretty it turns out :-)
Doesn't this just look beautiful? And it tastes even better than it looks!