reusable mask pattern

Had a vir­tu­al hang­out with my fam­i­ly fol­low­ing the pub­lic health announce­ment rec­om­mend­ing the wear­ing of home­made face masks when in sit­u­a­tions where prop­er dis­tanc­ing can’t be eas­i­ly followed. 

My mom said, why don’t you keep your­self busy and make some masks?

When we moved last spring I donat­ed all of my fab­ric stash to the art ther­a­py school for their pup­petry course, because I was try­ing to min­i­mize the amount of things we had to move. I kept, how­ev­er, a piece of fab­ric that was gift­ed to me along with some tobac­co from a woman who was part of an expres­sive arts group that I co-facil­i­tat­ed 7 or 8 years ago. Over the years I nev­er found a project that was worth using this gift. I also had anoth­er piece of vin­tage flo­ral cot­ton that I bought from Etsy and was sav­ing for mak­ing a dress (that I would nev­er wear any­way). So, mirac­u­lous­ly, I had fab­ric to work with.

Mike found this video tuto­r­i­al, which is by far the best one I’ve seen. It’s straight­for­ward, easy, and has fil­ter pocket.

The liv­ing room/corner now a mask-mak­ing station.

So I’ve been mak­ing them for friends and fam­i­ly, espe­cial­ly those who are still work­ing in essen­tial ser­vice roles. The gift that keeps on giv­ing. Final­ly a project worth using the fab­ric for.

It’s a good pat­tern that works well, form-fit­ting to the face.

I did­n’t use elas­tics for the ears because I don’t have enough of it, and I was read­ing that elas­tics irri­tate the ears any­way. So I cro­cheted the ties.

Run­ning out of fab­ric soon, ordered some from a local yarn store, eweknit. If you’re in the Toron­to area and want to buy fab­rics, please con­sid­er sup­port­ing them — they’re offer­ing 20% off till end of April and free ship­ping over $75.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, the CDC also has how-to’s for no-sew ver­sions using a t‑shirt or a ban­dan­na and some hair elastics. 

If you do sew and want to sup­port front­line work­ers in Ontario, masks can be donat­ed to the Michael Gar­ron Hos­pi­tal, Tril­li­um Health Part­ners, this Face­book group that coor­di­nates mask orders and dis­tri­b­u­tion, Sew for TO, and The Sewing Army. (There may be oth­ers, these are the ones I know of.) 

Hope you’re stay­ing well as you’re read­ing this, and please wear a mask if you must go out so as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble can stay well too.

 

 

holiday crafting

I was wait­ing until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re vis­it­ing because of the grown-up cardi­gan, thanks so much for drop­ping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for check­ing out the pattern!

So, hol­i­day craft­ing! This bon­sai is a cus­tom order. I’ve nev­er made any­thing like this so it was all an exper­i­ment. I nev­er real­ly do prepara­to­ry sketch­es (or check gauge, or make swatch­es) but I actu­al­ly drew a pic­ture of how I want­ed the branch­es to twist this way and that. It did­n’t turn out look­ing like the pic­ture at all after I insert­ed the sculpt­ing wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out look­ing like a bon­sai any­way :D

bonsai 1

And we even had a bon­sai pot hid­den away in our clos­et, wait­ing for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bon­sai that did­n’t live :( appar­ent­ly few peo­ple can keep a bon­sai alive for long — hence the need for a bon­sai that nev­er dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bon­sai looked a bit lone­ly. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was cro­cheted with embroi­dery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a cro­chet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… any­way, I digress).

bonsai 2

He’s kind of like a can­dy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a can­dy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

wee gnome

And then Mike request­ed a tiny yeti pin for his co-work­er who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tini­est yeti!

tiniest yeti

Does­n’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sin­cere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pic­tures for scale.

And I made these for Mike — they’re soot spir­it hand warm­ers :D

soot warmers

I decid­ed to make hand warm­ers for Mike because his hands get real­ly cold in the win­ter, to the point where he has dif­fi­cul­ties typ­ing when he first gets into work in the morn­ing. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 sec­onds before he heads out to sub­way to work in the morn­ing and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tuto­ri­als on the web show­ing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flan­nel on hand I thought it would make real­ly great soot spir­its! They appear in My Neigh­bour Totoro and Spir­it­ed Away. Here’s a love­ly video mon­tage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat ear­rings and necklace!

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cat 3

I bought them from a local Etsy sell­er, Yum Yum Objects. The shop own­er is super friend­ly, and the pack­age was wrapped in book pages and pat­tern tis­sue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beau­ti­ful translu­cent grey that have an iri­des­cent qual­i­ty to it in the light. And so of course I have to imme­di­ate­ly make myself a neck­lace (and a pair of ear­rings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wear­ing it for the past few days. So excited.

cat
I also knit­ted and cro­cheted an assort­ment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bath­mat for var­i­ous fam­i­ly mem­bers, but did­n’t take pic­tures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet men­tioned because it will come with a pat­tern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a won­der­ful week everyone!

 

going away outfit

So, when we were plan­ning our wed­ding 7 years ago I learned of this term, “going away out­fit”. It’s sup­posed to be the out­fit that the bride changes into when the cou­ple leaves the recep­tion to go on their hon­ey­moon (at least that’s what I heard).

I nev­er had any dress change dur­ing my wed­ding, let alone a going away out­fit. But sum­mer trips are also great oppor­tu­ni­ties to make new clothes! Last year I made a new shirt for our trip to Chicago.

And so this year I thought I’d make a new shirt too. Brings new mean­ing to the idea of a “going away out­fit”. The new shirt is made from a thrift­ed shirt from Black Mar­ket. There was this whole lot of them and they looked brand new. Over­stock that’s been sit­ting in some base­ment for years, I guess? They all fea­tured exag­ger­at­ed pointy col­lar. I think it’s a love­ly shirt, the pointy col­lar is quirky, my friend bought the same shirt and she looks super fab­u­lous in it. It just… did­n’t look like some­thing I would wear. But I LOVE the print.

So I removed the col­lar, cut the sleeves short, took in the sides a bit, and hemmed the neck and sleeve edges. Bet­ter, isn’t it?

black market

I’m even able to pre­serve the pock­et! And I love its length. Here’s a clos­er look at the love­ly print.

black market 2

But next time I’ve real­ly got to mea­sure. I cut away too much fab­ric around the sleeves and it almost did­n’t fit, had to reduce the seam allowance to 1/4″ (>_<) I’ve real­ly got to mea­sure from now on…

These shirts were 5 bucks each! Maybe I should get a cou­ple more with dif­fer­ent prints…

SO! Where are we going, you ask? Que­bec! Haven’t been there since my fam­i­ly took a bus tour there when I was a kid. Can’t wait to see it again with new eyes. Will be post­ing pic­tures when we’re back, of course!

Wish­ing you a fab­u­lous week with fun and inspir­ing adven­tures, wher­ev­er you are :)

 

trip to the capital city

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Two weeks ago we went to Ottawa for my cous­in’s wed­ding. It was a rather short trip but we got to vis­it the Rideau Canal before head­ing home. The fall colours were love­ly. And I found an owl! :D

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The wed­ding was held at this cas­tle-like hotel. It was one of the most glam­orous wed­dings I’ve ever been invit­ed to, and so very hap­py to see my cousin mar­ry­ing her true love! :D

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So through­out the sum­mer I worked on adding a sash to this dress so it looks a bit more for­mal for the occasion…

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… and I clipped this fab­ric flower I made on the back. I also bought this vin­tage porce­lain rose ear­ring and neck­lace set from a very friend­ly shop own­er on Etsy. I thought it matched my dress well :) 

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The hotel was right next door to Par­lia­ment Hill. A lev­i­tat­ing pho­to is in order.

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Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good weekend! 

 

weekend quick sew

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I inher­it­ed a bit of pale yel­low eye­let fab­ric from my mom, but it was­n’t quite enough to make a whole square top, so I made a sort of colour block top :D

The sleeves were stick­ing out too much off my shoul­ders so I sewed some elas­tic on it.

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Have a great week everyone!

what to do with a too-wide collar

I have a t‑shirt that has gone through a cou­ple of refash­ions, and to refash­ion it again I had to cut more off the col­lar, result­ing in a neck­line that was way too wide (it was a shirt that was big on me to start with). It was prac­ti­cal­ly falling off my shoul­ders and I could­n’t wear it :(

It was still a per­fect­ly good shirt so I was deter­mined to make it wearable. 

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And after some exper­i­men­ta­tion, it trans­formed into a tank top :D total­ly wearable!

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I should also men­tion that I gave it a bit of galaxy treat­ment before the refash­ion. (There are many galaxy shirt tuto­ri­als in the blo­gos­phere, but if you’re inter­est­ed in what I did, it was sort of a com­bi­na­tion of this and this.)

I thought I’d share the refash­ion process here, in case you, too, have a shirt with a too-wide col­lar, or if you have a t‑shirt that is ask­ing to be trans­formed into a tank top :D

In the lat­ter case, you can start by cut­ting around the col­lar of a t‑shirt to make a wider neck­line. On my shirt I have about 1.5 inch­es left between the neck­line and the shoul­der seam. You can cut the cuffs off the sleeves as well.

And now the t‑shirt is ready for trans­for­ma­tion! :D

1. First, I put on the t‑shirt. I then flip one sleeve up and inside out, so that the edge of the sleeve meets the top of my shoul­der. Fold the sleeve inside out all the way around, includ­ing under the arm. I had to kept pulling and adjust­ing here and there to make sure that the front of the shirt is not sagging. Repeat with the oth­er sleeve. 

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2. Pin the sleeve to the shirt in the front and under­arm, as fol­lows… (the shirt is still on me at this point… my phone cam­era just did a weird thing with the white bal­ance which made my skin look all washed out)

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3. Very care­ful­ly (to avoid being pricked by the pins) take off the shirt, and pin the sleeves on the back.

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4. And now very care­ful­ly put the shirt back on again. Take the out­er edge of the now fold­ed sleeve and fold it in half, up to the shoul­der and all the way around. 

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5. Then tuck any excess mate­r­i­al under, like so…

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6. Pin the new­ly formed shoul­der strap through all the lay­ers. Repeat steps 4–6 with the oth­er sleeve.

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7. Very care­ful­ly take off the shirt, and re-pin around the arm­holes to secure the folds made in step 4. 

 

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Here you can adjust the folds to make them more neat, then pin them down. Try to place the pins so that they look sym­met­ri­cal on the shirt. I placed the pins in the under­arms, top of shoul­ders, mid-front, and mid-back.

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8. Final­ly, with dou­bled thread, sew through all lay­ers for two inch­es or so where the pins are placed. I hid my stitch­es by sewing along old serged seams where pos­si­ble. I used black thread to match the shirt so you can’t see my stitch­es, but I drew a zigzag line to show you what I mean…

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Ta-da! A new shirt! :D

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Per­fect for soak­ing up the last bit of glo­ri­ous sum­mer before fall arrives :D

May your week­end be filled with awesomeness!

 

out of the flame…

… grows a peony!

out of the flame

There are lots and lots of tuto­ri­als for these fab­ric flow­ers and I’ve long been fas­ci­nat­ed by them, but I was just a bit intim­i­dat­ed by the fact that it involves using an open flame. Recent­ly I’ve been work­ing on sewing a belt to this dress (you will see the result lat­er in the fall :D) but acci­den­tal­ly cut the fab­ric too short (this hap­pens ALL the time with my sewing. When will I ever learn to mea­sure prop­er­ly?) so I need­ed a large-ish fab­ric flower to hide the gap between the ends of the belt. So! I final­ly con­jured up the courage to make this.

I fol­lowed this peony tuto­r­i­al on Crea­ture Com­forts. I must say, the small flame of a tea light is hot­ter than I thought. I was hold­ing the fab­ric sev­er­al inch­es above the flame and it still curled up rather quick­ly. The fab­ric also caught on fire a few times :S Just a real­ly small flame, which I quick­ly blew out.

This is the first round of curl­ing before the petals were cut. I took a pho­to of it because I thought it looked like the cap of a jel­ly fish :D

jellyfish

And this is the fin­ished peony! :D

peony

The petals aren’t cut exact­ly the way the tuto­r­i­al instruct­ed, main­ly because I for­got how they were cut and did­n’t both­er to look it up again… but I think it looks alright! I sewed pearly beads in the centre.

This was a lot of fun! I think I will make more of these with oth­er kinds of fab­ric! The chif­fon I used was the same mate­r­i­al I used for the dress and it’s real­ly light, so maybe that’s why it caught on fire so easily…? 

As for how it will look on the dress… it will be posi­tioned on the cen­tre back of the waist because of the belt, and the first com­ment that Mike made was, “would­n’t it look like a rab­bit’s tail?“ 

:S

I haven’t tried it on. It is indeed a pret­ty fluffy flower. We will see…

Hope you’re hav­ing a good week! :D

 

new top!

I made this tank top and brought it on our trip to Chica­go. It was per­fect for the heat wave that hit us (day­time temp of 40°C+!!) dur­ing the trip.

new top 1

I bought this fab­ric from a craft show last year. Prob­a­bly a good mate­r­i­al to make dress shirts or blous­es, but I don’t have pat­terns to make those. I just traced a tank top that I had, and after all the seams were sewn I hemmed all the raw edges by rolling them in a cou­ple of times and sewing them in place. After the top was made I thought adding a pock­et would make it look more inter­est­ing with the diag­o­nal stripes. 

Pret­ty rudi­men­ta­ry. I did­n’t even mea­sure, which result­ed in the top being too nar­row when it was first made, so I resort­ed to adding a strip of fab­ric on each side under the arm. You can kind of see it in this picture…

new top 2

… which made the arm­holes a bit too big, but I don’t mind it too much. Oh yes, and I make a diag­o­nal hem­line where the back is longer than the front. It was kind of an exper­i­ment. I keep see­ing dress­es and skirts with that kind of hem­line and was won­der­ing if I just have to cut the fab­ric diag­o­nal­ly to achieve the “high-low” effect. 

And we took the pho­tos while walk­ing through Grant Park :D

Next time I make a tank top I can prob­a­bly trace this one, except make the arm­holes small­er. Mea­sur­ing before cut­ting would prob­a­bly be a good idea too :P

Hope every­one’s hav­ing a good week!

 

pocketed, lined, with waistband, whoa!

I love to sew. But I don’t real­ly use pat­terns, and I bare­ly measure.

Most of what I sew are sim­ple square tops and shape­less dress­es (actu­al­ly, they do have shapes, they are rec­tan­gles and, if I’m feel­ing adven­tur­ous, trapezoids).

Then one day, I sud­den­ly thought that it would be a good idea to have a gath­ered skirt. It would be use­ful for semi-for­mal events and such. I took a trip to the local thrift store but could­n’t find any­thing that I liked. Then I went home, and saw this tuto­r­i­al.

It was the per­fect gath­ered skirt! A skirt I think I can make… 

And here it is! A skirt! With a waist! :D

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It’s the per­fect tuto­r­i­al part­ly because it does­n’t have a zip­per. I don’t know how to install a zip­per. I avoid tuto­ri­als with zip­pers. It looks nice and flat and dressy on the front, and has an elas­tic on the back :D

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I bought this sweet laven­der fab­ric a long time ago and nev­er knew what to do with it. It’s now put to good use!

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I used less fab­ric than what is used in the tuto­r­i­al. Instead of 45″ across for each of the front and back pieces, I used 37″ and it’s quite pouffy. I also sewed on a skirt lin­ing that has the same cir­cum­fer­ence as the waistband.

Pock­ets! :D

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And as you might have noticed — a new hair­do! For the sum­mer :D

It was fun to make, and not too dif­fi­cult (except I messed up the part about sewing on the elas­tic and end­ed up spend­ing near­ly an hour try­ing to get an elas­tic into the waist­band with­out a safe­ty pin or any­thing to guide it). I think I might make anoth­er one with the vin­tage bed sheet I bought last sum­mer :D

Have a sweet rest of the week!

 

summer sewing begins :D

Sum­mer sewing begins with a ban­dana dress :D

bandana dress 3

 

It actu­al­ly start­ed as a ban­dana top last sum­mer, made with two ban­danas, each cut in half, then sewed togeth­er in the mid­dle-front, mid­dle-back, and side seams, leav­ing space for arm­holes and a v‑neck.

But it did­n’t look right when I tried it on. It was pouf­ing out in all sorts of strange places. I got dis­cour­aged and left it in the clos­et for the entire fall and win­ter. Then recent­ly I thought maybe if I extend it into a dress it might drape more nice­ly. So I went back to Hon­est Ed’s where I found the ban­danas, and was able to find two more in the exact same colour and pat­tern! Almost could­n’t believe it.

I sewed the two ban­danas into a tube to make a skirt, then sewed them to the top at waist line.

This is the back of it…

bandana dress 1

It clear­ly need­ed some waist shap­ing, so I used the same trick as I did with this top, with but­tons and but­ton loops. I real­ly like the blue but­tons on the brown/white/orange pat­tern :D

bandana dress 2

 

(Please excuse the out of focus pho­tos :S)

Can’t wait for the weath­er to be warm enough to wear it out­side :D

 

Hap­py May!