Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New line of lingerie

No, I did not murder someone in my bathtub; I started to dye the new line of lingerie for Valentine's Day. I dye it in a five gallon bucket and rinse it out in my tub. I'm so excited about this new dye, iDye; the colors are so vibrant! And the great part about this line? It's going to come in ALL sizes! Small to very large pieces will be available mid-late January with a fun Valentine's theme. This line will be small, maybe 10-20 pieces. 

The line will only be three colors, pink, purple and red. Want a custom piece? Contact me with your size and I'll be happy to make something JUST for you, or your lady. I can't wait to get sewing!

Hope you are all having a great week!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DIY Cat Suitcase Bed, revisited

I think George and Molly need an upgrade to a bigger bed.

My sister's cats, above, got the other half of the suitcase bed I made when I made one for my girls. They love to share but barely fit. It's a one cat kind of bed, but that means nothing to George.

For my full DIY tutorial on how to make your own cat bed, click here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Zeus - DIY Great Dane Bed

Zeus is a big dog. Very big. While he isn't a full blooded Great Dane (he's part lab), he is still quite hard to shop for in the bed department. Zeus is my boyfriend's dog, and spends quite a bit of time at my house. Poor boy isn't allowed on the furniture or bed (although I break this rule frequently) and I haven't found a store bought bed big enough for him. Most do beds look like pillows compared to Zeus.

While thrifting the other day, I found a toddler's mattress for only $4! I had the best idea, "that'd make a great Zeus bed!" This was my Christmas present to Zeus. A bed at for him at house.

For a similar project you will need:

  • 1 toddler bed, new or used. I only got this used one because it was plastic and in great condition. I spent $4.
  • two long zippers, mine were both 22".
  • an old comforter
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • sewing machine

Start by measuring the bed. Sides and width. Double this measurement and add two of three inches for seam allowance. This will be the width of your case. Now measure the length of the bed and add the height of the bed plus two inches for seam allowance. This will be the long side of your case. Cut your comforter to the measured size. 

Now to attach the zippers. You are basically making a giant pillowcase. Starting at the edge of the fabric Sew the first zipper to the long edge of the comforter. When you reach the end of your zipper, sew the next one on, with the tops of the zippers meeting. Sew the second zipper. You will have about 15 inches left, this will just be sewn to the other side of the comforter. 

Sew the zippers to the other long side of the fabric, making sure they match when zipped. Sew the rest of the long side together at the bottom of the second zipper to the end of the fabric. You will now have one long tube, with both ends open. These opening will be sewn closed next. 

With the zipper exactly in the middle, sew the ends closed. Make sure the zippers aren't completely zipper up when you get to this step or you will have a hard time flipping your case right side out. 

Now to box the corners of your case. The depth of my mattress was 6". Fold the corners into an exact point, with the bottom seam in the middle. At 6 1/2", sew from each edge. This will give the case the perfect depth and fit the mattress like a glove.

And now you are done. Getting the case on the mattress can be a little difficult since it's such a snug fitting case. Start with the end the doesn't have the zipper. Lay it on the floor, zipper side up, and slide the mattress into the case. Bending the top corners of the mattress slightly, bring the case over the other end of the mattress. Zip up and you're done! 

Optional extras: add handles to the sides of your case for easy moving throughout your house. Also, you can use your excess comforter fabric to make a cute dog pillow, using every scrap piece for the case AND stuffing. This could be a zero waste profect! I'm making Zeus' matching pillow later today with the scraps.

Big dumb Zeus loves his new bed. If only he could learn how to always lay on it. Big dogs can be quite destructive to furniture, I've learned this since Matt and I have been dating. So be kind and make sure they have their own bed to lay on. Zeus loves his bed so much! Merry Christmas buddy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

With a little help from Stella...

My favorite part about wrapping presents during the holiday season... the help I get from my cats. 

Stella loves to chew on the scrap pieces of paper and attack ribbon. So sweet.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DIY Tacky Holiday Sweaters WITH CATS!
And a dog.

It's that time of year again -- tacky sweater time! Instead of rifling through thrift store rack in a hunt for the best vintage sweaters, Matt and I decided to make our sweaters this year. We made the best sweaters ever! Each of our sweaters had our animals in Santa hats, complete with jingle bells. And nothing makes the holidays more enjoyable than couples crafting activities!

The idea came to us when we were playing Scrabble on my coffee table on Monday night. It was like a giant light bulb when it came to us and I don't even remember which one of us spoke and said it first, but it was one of those mutual throughts and "ohmigosh" moments. I decided to put my cats, Clementine and Stella on my sweater, and Matt put his dog, Zeus, and cat, Mike, on his. 

To create a similar sweater with your animals on it, you will need:
  • Photo transfer paper, we used Avery Inkjet Light Fabric Transfer Paper.
  • White fabric, we used scrap banquet napkins
  • 1 large Santa hat, I bought mine at Salvation Army for $1
  • Red sweaters, I got mine at Salvation Army for $3.49 and Matt's for $1 at a locally owned thrift store.
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Jingle bells
  • Matching thread
  • Fray Check (optional)

Start with high resolution photos of your animals. I found it best to use photos where the animals face took up most of the photo. In photoshop, I used the "lasso" tool to take just the face from the photo, copy, and paste into a blank letter document in photoshop. This step is very important: FLIP THE IMAGE HORIZONTALLY! Because you are ironing on the transfer, it will be mirror image of what you print on the fabric. Had I not done this with Stella's face, she wouldn't look like herself.

Preview (also very important, because the paper is expensive and you don't want to make mistakes). Now print. Cut out the face from the paper and place face down on fabric. Follow the instructions that come with the paper. Be sure you DO NOT use steam. Allow fabric to cool completely and remove paper. What you peel off will resemble parchment paper.

Your animals face will be on the fabric! Cut out from the fabric, using fray check on the edges if desired. I left a tiny white edge to make their faces appear more bold against the sweaters. 

Position the faces where desired on the sweater and pin in a few places. Sew the faces to the sweater. This can be tricky for a novice seamstress, as the sweater will want to stretch and move and the transfer will not. The feed dogs (the metal grooves that feed your fabric through the machine) will push the sweater and the transfer will stick a little if not careful. Take your time with this step. You can release the tension on the presser foot. This knob should be at the very top of your machine, in line with the shaft and needle. This allows you to move the sweater with a little more ease.

Matt shows Zeus, Zeus.

Matt helped with the next step. Take your human sized Santa hat and cut out triangle for the hats. Fold over the long edges and sew. Matt was a quick learner on my sewing machine. I left him alone and he did so well. I was thoroughly impressed. My boyfriend has talent!

After sewing the raw edges of the hat, attach the white furry trim along the short side of the triangle. 

Position the hats on the sweater as desired and hand sew. I used clear nylon thread but I do not recommend it because it is SO hard to see and is very frustrating when sewing by hand. I switched to red and white thread by the time I got to hand sewing on my sweater.

Using a hot glue gun, glue the pompoms of the hat to the tips of the triangle. Place a piece of cardboard behind the part you are glueing or you will glue the back of the sweater to the front. Adorn with jingle bells, bows, trim, maybe even puff paint with animal names of a nice greeting. And you're done. Time to party!

With our friends at the "tacky sweater" party.

Matt and I. We looked so awesome together. I would be in conversation with a friend, then look down or at Matt's sweater and bust out laughing. It was so comical to me. And they were a huge hit amongst our friends. Not to mention the noise we made walking around. Jingling everywhere we went!

Love this picture of the two of use, or is it of the six of us.

Hope you all enjoyed my tutorial of these DIY holiday sweaters! They turned out so amazing I can't wait to wear mine again this week! If only I can convince Matt to wear his again... we'll see.

Matt and I are relaxing on our Sunday evening with a pot roast in the Crock Pot and the much anticipated Patriots/Broncos game on the big screen. Look at me, knowing NFL teams, Matt's rubbing off on me. Happy holidays! I'm finally getting in the Christmas spirit. I even bought Egg Nog today! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the winner is...

Watch the video to see if you won a piece of lingerie from my shop! 

Thanks to those that participated. There will be another one next month!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My sewing space

Now that my show and the chaos of planning and presenting my new line has slowed down, I finally have the chance to get a little more settled in my new home. I moved a few months ago, the peak of my sewing for the line, and I never set up my sewing room how I wanted. Time to move things around! Yay!

The large one bedroom apartment I moved into from my two bedroom is so much better than my previous residence. I'm having the best time rearranging. When I first moved in, I made the small 12' x 12' bedroom the craft/sewing room and office. Having sewn in there for a few months, I felt too confined and need a change before I start a new line.

I can never keep my home the same for too long, and if things don't flow properly if affects my work, and HAS to be fixed. Is anyone else crazy like that? I hope I'm not the only one. Sometimes I think I'm too compulsive for my own good.  So I switched my bedroom and sewing room, beginning yesterday.

The home I live in is broken into apartments and was built in 1891. It's SO BEAUTIFUL! Definitely my favorite apartment, and I've lived in many. More pictures when I'm done organizing, I need to find my SD card I misplaced last weekend. For now it's just my handy iPhone for a camera.

Hope you are all having a great week! And don't forget to visit my Facebook page for the giveaway!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homesick at Christmas

It's finally hitting me how sad it is to NOT be returning to Michigan to see my family this Christmas. This will make three years of not being home with family during the winter holidays. It's hard living in a place where one doesn't have family, and I manage pretty well most of the year, but it's starting to bring me down. 

Had I gone home with Rachael this year, it would be the first Christmas in at least 8 years that all four of my parents kids would be together for the holiday. Makes me tear up a little when I think about Christmas at home. But I'm trying to be happy and not think about it. I'm planning a trip in January. AH! I can't wait to see snow! It's always easier to make a January trip, all holiday pressure subsides and I can enjoy the company of my loved ones.

I thought I'd share some fun family photos with you all. A nice blast from the past of me and my three siblings, Sarah, the oldest, Mark, my older brother, and Rachael, my younger sister. Feel free to laugh at the funny fashions and matching of my sister and I. 

Weren't we the cutest bunch ever?!
(Mark, me, Sarah, and Rachael)

Father's day photo shoot. Mom must have let us dress ourselves.

Wishing Smokey was my friend. And my mom looking super cool.

With our puppy in 1991, the one I'm holding.

And now time for cleaning day again. I'm considering a massive rearrangement of my apartment. Must have coffee and then we'll see. 

Have a great rest of the week everyone, and don't forget about my giveaway! It ends Friday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Missed It:

Take a look at Sally's first fashion show for her line Sally Ann. A very tasteful and boldly stylish women's lingerie line. See the latest on Sally Ann and take a look at a few pieces on her online store. Your body and/or your boyfriend will thank you.

-Armard Andrews

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lingerie giveaway!

Time for a giveaway!

Become a fan of my Facebook fan page, and get 5 of your friends to
also become a fan. Have them post on it's wall "YOUR NAME sent me!" 
Your 5 friends MUST post on the wall to be counted.

The randomly selected winner will pick a piece of lingerie from my Etsy shop.

Giveaway ends Friday, December 16th.
Winner announced Saturday, December 17th.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hands On Fashion Show - What I Wore:: 12.03.11

It came down to the day before my fashion show until I decided what I was going to wear. I'm always last minute at choosing what I'm going to wear to things like this, but it always turns out amazing when I bring in a little sewing and transforming a vintage piece.

I figured it would be quite hypocritical if I wore a store-bought dress to my fashion show of recycled fashion, and I really hate shopping retails stores. I'm actually getting ready for another year of absolutely NO retail shopping. I can't wait. 

So I found this cobalt blue dress in the back of the closet in my sewing room. It survived the yard sale and Goodwill donation of most of my hoarded clothing I knew I'd never wear, and something about it made me fish it out and give it another look. Before and after, above. In my living room. And with models Jessica and Sydney in the green room at Sky City drinking some champagne before the show.

The BEST part about this dress was the back. I removed the shoulder pads prior to taking the before pictures. The back saw no changes at all, besides tacking the bow to the dress in two spots to keep it in place. I love that my tattoos peek out just a little. No one knows about the giant back piece I have beneath my bra line, and you can see just a bit of it, hehe. The other tattoo on my right shoulder blade it a Japanese flower my dear friend, Sara, drew the summer after my freshman year of college, my second tattoo I ever got. I'm up to five now.

The front, before. Minus the original shoulder pads. It was SO long! I loved the batwing short sleeves. I got out my chalk hem marker and made a mark a few inches above my knees, all the way around. Shortening a dress like this is very easy, as long as you have a chalk hem marker! The dress was shortened about 15". You can't just measure 15" up from the hem all the way around. You have to measure the same distance from the floor all the way around to account for curves in the body. You can find a chalk hem marker at any fabric store for around $20. See another blog post of mine here for pictures of how to use a chalk hem marker.

A few photos to tease you, from my photographer, David. Please be patient as he edits about 150 photos from the fashion show last weekend. He was nice enough to rush a few. With my sister, Rachael, at the merchandise table, selling my lingerie. The actual Hands On line wasn't for sale at the show, but went on sale at midnight on Etsy.

With my handsome boyfriend, Matt. I love this picture of us. I didn't get in many pictures that night, since I was running around like crazy. I'm so thankful David was there to capture this one.

I hope you are all having an excellent week! I'm still in recovery mode, no voice, low energy, getting over a terrible, terrible cold. I'm taking a week off from sewing and reorganizing my sewing room. I'm thinking about painting, we'll see!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hands On Lingerie Fashion Show - Spotted Photos

AH! It finally came and went. My first fashion show of repurposed lingerie was this past weekend and ohmigoodness. It went SO WELL! I am so happy and proud of myself. Hard work really does pay off. I I'm still in recovery mode, and really sick from the last week of running myself into the ground. I'm hoping I don't have strep throat, I can't stop coughing. But here are some photos from the Augusta Chronicle's Spotted. Click the link for more photos!

Models Valerie, Alecia, and Sandie.

Chastity in Red Passion.

The lovely Jessica in Hold Me Now.

Grace in Lady Love.

Virginia in Grey Gardens.

Virginia again, in Come Here Woman (Rachael named this one).

Kaitlyn in Hold Me Close.

More professional photos and video coming soon, I'm waiting on editing. The whole collection can be seen here, in my Etsy shop.

Time to hit the couch with Chloraseptic spray, cough drops, and hot tea. I wish my body reflected how my brain felt. Which is amazing. I am so grateful for this past weekend. More on that later. I feel like death.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One more day!

How exciting! I was in the local newspaper today for my lingerie fashion show tomorrow at Sky City. I am always so flattered when I read press about my work. Read the article here

Photos by Sara Caldwell.