Monday, March 30, 2009

I'd call it the Shawly

We've all seen the infomercial - and even though it's the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen you know you secretly want one - and it comes with a free booklight! Yep, it's the Snuggy - the blanket with sleeves!

But why settle for this cheap fleece version when you can whip out one of these?

So much more stylish and practical really. I mean you couldn't wear the Snuggy to the supermarket but you could wear this. Though I might suggest you wear something underneath it besides just the wonderbra that this gal is sporting.

This is another one of the patterns in my knitting pattern desk calendar. It's a shawl (or a wrap) with sleeves. And while you can't deny that the yarn is lovely, I just wonder how many people could pull off a garment such as this? We don't all have freakishly long and flat torsos like this woman. I mean is it just me or does it look like the length between this womans chin and her hips is comparable to the length of a tennis court? Maybe it's an optical illusion caused by that incredibly low cut pair of pants. What do you think the length is on that zipper - about 3/4 of an inch?

I just can't imagine a normal person wearing this item with any outfit and not looking like she wrapped an afghan around her shoulders and cut out holes to put her arms through. But perhaps I'm being unfair. Perhaps the garment itself is more stylish than I give it credit for. I think I'm really just thrown off by this woman's freakishly long torso. Plus at first glance I swore it was Shania Twain, and I was thinking "good for her to be doing something, I haven't seen her in ages" and then I realized it wasn't her. You know you see a brunette and exposed midriff and well you just assume Shania.

What do you think? Is it stylish and cool or should it be sold with a free booklight?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vote Early - Vote Often!

I'm so excited! One of my items (The Dieter's Friend Snack Clips) has been selected for the April Fools Pranks & Gags item poll on the Storque!

What does that mean? It means that if my item gets enough votes it will be featured in the Gift Guide and on the Etsy blog!

Considering the multitude of wonderful items on Etsy I consider it a great honor to even have my product noticed.

So if you've got a spare moment please click on the link below and cast your vote! Of course you don't have to vote for my item - I mean it would be the nice thing to do, but you know, no pressure or anything.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Felt Shopping Bag Tutorial

My kids love their play kitchen. It's stocked full of play food, appliances, a cash register and even a shopping cart. The only thing they were missing were some shopping bags. At first I was set on making some that looked like brown paper bags, but I didn't have any brown felt on hand. Then I got to thinking that the days of paper sacks (and hopefully plastic bags) were numbered so it made more sense to pattern them after today's re-usable fabric shopping bags.

Their construction is incredibly simple. I've thrown together a tutorial in case you want to make some of your own.


Felt, sewing machine and general sewing supplies, Printable fabric sheets (optional)

Step 1 - Cut the felt

I cut three rectangles at 7" by 11", two 11" squares and four 11" by 2" strips for the handles.

I found some grocery related clipart online and printed them onto printable fabric sheets. These are available at most craft stores. I used the sew-on ones but they also come in iron-on as well which might make their application a little quicker.

Step 2 - Sew the bag together

Seam the square and 2 rectangle pieces together at the sides. Then pin to the bottom rectangle and sew.

Fold the top down approximately and inch and a half and sew.

Step 3 - Handles

Place two handle strips together and seam on both sides.

Pin the handles to the top of the bag. I measured in 2 inches from the side seams so that their location was consistent on both sides.

Sew on.

Step 4 - Finishing

Turn the bag right side out.

The bag will be pretty floppy at this point (like the photo on the left) so in order to give it some strength and allow it to stand open better fold the seams together and sew a small seam on the outside of the bag.
Add your fabric transfer image if you desire, or you could also easily do a quick applique or simply leave the bag as-is.
This little bag is very sturdy and will last for many years of play and is strong enough to be used at the real grocery store as well!

Alternative method:

After I made my first bag I wondered how I could speed up the process so I decided to make one a little bit quicker by foregoing some of the steps. I cut and seamed the bag just like steps 1 and 2. However, I didn't bother turning down the top and seaming it nor did I double the layers of felt for the handles.

I left the bag "inside out" with exposed seams and quickly sewed the handles on the outside and it was done. It doesn't look quite as finished and fancy as my other one but it certainly does the trick and is really reminiscent of those re-usable store brand grocery bags.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Good, The Unkempt and The Freakish

For Christmas I got a daily knitting pattern calendar. I keep it on my desk at work as a reminder that I need my job in order to afford yarn.

Now so far it's been great. The patterns are simple, mostly useful items and I've saved quite a few of the patterns for future projects, like this lovely hat and scarf pattern. Plus having this male model staring back at me made January 12 a little more tolerable.

Hello. If I thought he'd magically materialize if I knitted that scarf and hat my co workers would have heard nothing but the clicking of needles from my cubicle!

Anyway, on Monday this pattern popped up and I thought it was slightly odd. I mean who really wants to knit a sweater for a 6 inch doll, and what's up with this poor doll's hair?

AND THEN . . . I flipped the calendar over on Tuesday to see this:

I seriously had to turn the calendar around! This little doll was freaking me out. I couldn't quite pinpoint the source of the freakout factor. Was it the fact that someone had skinned a hedgehog to make his hair? His deathly pale skin and black lifeless eyes? The fact that he was wearing lipstick? And then I figured it out - it was the variegated knit pants. I hate variegated yarn!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Craft show purchases

My mom and I attended a local craft sale this past weekend and I came home with 3 treasures that I wanted to share with you. The first is a fabulous ceramic bunny planter. I was thrilled to find Chris Farr's booth at the show as I'm a big fan of her work and have several of her pieces. Her work is whimsical and durable and I can't wait to find the perfect plant to put in this little guy's cabbage!

Another whimsical find were these fabulous fireflies made by artist Don Hutchings. Mom and I have been fans of his work for a few years and we were definitely smitten with his new creations this year.

I couldn't resist this little guy made from an antique Christmas bulb.

And this wide mouthed Bell jar bug is perfect for my flower bed.

The pole is even removable and one of his little wings can be converted into a hook in case I want to hang him somewhere.