Monday, February 27, 2012

Handmade headbands

Since I have always had straight hair and I have also always had trouble doing any complicated hair-styling maneuvers, I love having bangs.  But I'm the worst about getting haircuts regularly, so I seem to spend a lot of time either pushing them out of my eyes, or awkwardly clipping them back so that I look a little like an unkempt girl-version of Donald Trump.  So lately, headbands have been a staple for me.  My favorites are the elastic ones, rather than the stiff ones (man do those pinch behind the ears!) so I used some more of my trim scraps today to make two simple elastic headbands.  Here is how they turned out:

The white one is made of some store-bought trim (you may recognize it from this post!) I just hand-sewed some elastic between the two ends and that was it!  For the grey headband, I used some store-bought double-fold bias tape that was left over from another project.  I made a simple little bow-tie, and I also sewed this one by hand. 

These were so simple (I'm a sucker for instant gratification) I may just make some more later in the week!  They were the perfect project to do while plopped in front of the television, watching the post-Oscar talk show gossip this morning (I'm also a sucker for morning talk shows.)  This week I'll be finishing up a long run of shows I played in State College, and this weekend I'll be traveling to New York for my last two auditions of the year!  I'm thrilled that things are wrapping up, and I can't wait for my schedule to slow down a bit so that I can get back to some bigger projects next week.       

Happy Monday, everybody!  Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oh, the places I've been!

Hello, friends!  I bet you thought I'd forgotten all about you all, but the truth is...I have.  Just kidding!  I have (quite unfortunately) been spending the last few weeks making audition trips all over the place.  Here is a brief recap of where I've been:

In case you don't know me (and aren't aware of the fact that I am not a very patient traveler) it's been a difficult couple of weeks.  I've spent way too much time in my car, way too little time sleeping in my own bed, and even less time than that doing things other than driving around and playing the cello.  On the upside, I got to see some great friends that I haven't seen in ages, and I'm in the home stretch of my audition tour, so I'll be done in just a couple of weeks, hooray!

I've been pretty behind with my projects.  I'm so behind that I still haven't finished a certain someone's Valentine's Day present (although the end is almost in sight!)  But I've got some plans brewing for projects now that I'm past the bulk of my auditions, so I'll keep you all posted!  I just wanted to pop in and say "Hello, do you remember me?"  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A cuter cardigan

So I think nature knew I needed a break today and gave me one by way of a snow day.  While we didn't get much accumulation, it was enough to give me some much needed practice time, a little inspiration to update a cozy (but seriously lacking) sweater, and a chance to hang with Oliver.  Since Oliver was just desperate to catch up on some reality tv, we did some of that too.  In terms of reality tv, the day was enlightening.  In terms of my sweater endeavor, I started with this: 

And ended with this: 

All I did was hem the sleeves, take in the sides, and add a couple of colorful details.  I used some scraps of folky chevron-printed fabric for the elbow patches, sewed some orange polka-dotted trim on the front, and re-covered the original buttons in a light blue cotton (because orange and blue is one of the world's best color combos.)  Here are the added details: 

I'd call this sweater a success,  and I'm steadily working through my "needs improvement" pile of clothes (which had gotten a little out of hand.)  I'll have a good chance to try out my new sweater over the next few days, since I'm off to Rochester tomorrow and then I'll be back to Cleveland on Friday (and those are such cold cities!)  Since I'll be gone for another few days, I'll catch up with you all after the weekend...thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Have lunch, will travel

Hello, friends!  I am back from my trip safely, but inundated with out-of-town rehearsals; cars were made to be driven, right?  I'm thrilled to have the work, but not so thrilled that I missed the Bachelor last!  Thank goodness for TiVo.  I know posts have been a little spotty lately, but in addition to my travels, I've been working on some top-secret projects that I won't be able to share until later in the month (stay tuned!)  So I'm back today with another early project of mine to share.  A couple of summers ago when I was on my first serious sewing kick, Sean had just started an internship down in Florida.  So one of my first real projects (that made it to completion) was a lunch bag for him to take to his new job.

In an effort to be practical, I lined the insides of everything with a clear, plastic fabric.  It was difficult to sew with (that stuff sure is sticky!) but I wanted the bags to be spill-proof, and I think the lining did the trick!  To avoid needing so many plastic baggies to pack lunches, I made some smaller baggies (also lined with plastic) to complete the set.

I made the baggies from some leftover fabric scraps.  They both have Velcro closures; one is sandwich-sized, and the other is just a little pouch for snacks.  I've made many, many lunch sacks since this one (most of them following Martha Stewart's instructions in this book) but I'm still pretty happy with this fully-lined set of my own design.  I lucked out with the striped, heavyweight fabric for the sack, and I just love the clouds on the cotton.  Every project needs a dash of fun (and Sean works at Disney World, for crying out loud!  Any workplace that has "costumes" instead of "uniforms" calls for something more exciting than your average, run-of-the-mill lunch set.)

If I were making this bag now, I would have done some things differently (like lining up the stripes on the sack, adding a closure to the sack, hiding the seams better on the pouches, etc.) but I love that these look handmade.  I also love looking back on old projects and seeing that I've improved!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I'm up to.  I hope you all had wonderful weekends, and I wish you a happy Tuesday!   

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tote bag throwback

Things have been a little crazy lately.  I've been traveling a ton, playing a ton, and posting lots of cool things to share with you all.

...that last one might not be completely truthful.  I wish it was!  I'll try to snap some pictures to share on my next couple of trips, which are quickly approaching.  But in the midst of audition season, I have been spending much more time behind this instrument:

and much less time behind this instrument:

Therefore, I decided to share another project that I completed some time ago.  Since I have had embroidery on the brain lately (more projects to come later this month...) I wanted to share one of my favorite past embroidery projects.  I'm a steadfast supporter of reusable grocery bags, so I bought this plain canvas tote and made it a little more fruity.

The patterns for the fruit as well as the text came from this delightful book by Jenny Hart.  The border was a last minute addition...because fruits like to be organized, right?  This was one of my most practical and enjoyable projects.  I'm thinking this bag might need a veggie-themed pal!

I'm off to Cleveland tomorrow for Audition #4, so I'll catch up with y'all when I return!  Have a great weekend!  (...I think there is a football game or something?)