Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crafting Japanese

I have a huge fondness for Japanese Craft Books. I have collected a few, and have actually used them to make several items, all sewn.
I stumbled upon some crochet books - written of course- in Japanese. Just for one little second lets ignore the fact that I'm a fairly inexperienced crocheter, not to mention I cannot read a word of Japanese, not one word.

How could I resist? The cute factor is just to great.



So... I'm boldly forging ahead. The crochet patterns are all on schematic charts. Because this method is international, there are several sites online that offer information on how to follow this method of crochet. The information that I found even suggested that the system was invented by the Japanese in the 1960's. For many years it was referred to as the JIS (Japanese International Symbol) system.
The premise being, that if there is only one set of symbols - internationally recognized- language would not matter, as you would only need to know the symbols to "read" the pattern.
Now, I just need to know a few key phrases to get my needle size and yarn type/weight.

I purchased this pattern book here. You can also find this seller here. I have shopped this store before - numerous times - and have always been happy with the transactions.
The book is called 18 projects of Making Room Hats
Publisher Nihon Vogue Sha Nov.'06
I am unable at this time to find an isbn #

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fat Bottomed Bag

I found this vintage enamel pin and put it on my crochet bag. It occurred to me that I've never posted the fat bottomed bag finished. The project was from some time back.

I added my own lining, the pattern doesn't call for one. I just flattened the bag (before I added the band that gathers it all up) as much as I could. This became my lining pattern. I gathered the lining onto a velvet ribbon to hide the edge, and hand sewed it into place.

Some of the paint has chipped off, but I think it makes the pin even more charming.
I love the bag, but my kids say it looks like an old grandma bag. I'm off to run errands, rockin' the old grandma look.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Daryl,

In downtown Ridgeway there is a thrift store. Mom and I were passing by on our way to Grand Junction. I had her stop, just for a minute.

We went our separate ways, mom over to the kitchen stuff, me elbow deep in the fabric bin. This particular bin had several shelves, and there was already someone looking things over. Of course I'm hoping she hasn't already found the vintage fabric. I finally come up for air and notice my surroundings, checking out my competition for the vintage fabric, and it's none other than Daryl Hannah. yeah.

Trying my best to appear nonchalant and unaffected - only knocking a couple of things over on the way - I make my way back to mom in the kitchen section. So the following is the story as I remember it. Mom, feel free to add anything (or defend yourself) , I'm happy to edit.

"Mom, Daryl Hannah is in the store. She's over in the fabric section shopping." Mom very unruffled and matter of fact, hands me a random piece of handwork (see photo) that she's already found lying somewhere in the store and says, "Take this over and have her sign it." Now, I'm not going to bore you with the details/dialog of the argument that ensued. Suffice it to say that she won, she always does. Dragging my feet I go back over to ask Daryl for her autograph, something I would never have imagined doing, not in a million years.

"Excuse me Daryl, do you see that women over there in the kitchen section? That's my mother. She's a quilter. She sent me over with this fabric, hoping that you would autograph it for her. She plans on making a quilt around it. You know, with the dog image in the center the other blocks radiating out from that, blah, blah, blahbiddy, blah." Oh the agony. I'm sure she was wondering, will this never end. Then she signed it, she really signed it. I'm sure that it had something to do with shutting me up.

Back to mom in the kitchen section. She witnessed the entire interaction. She then hands me another piece of fabric. She is quite sure that once I've had time to think about it, I'm going to want an autograph of my own. "Don't even think about it, you can't have mine," she says. "Mom, why didn't you have me take them both over in the first place?" Now she's laughing, "I didn't think it was Daryl Hannah. I've been over here just crackin' up, thinking that you were asking a complete stranger for Daryl Hannahs autograph."

So you might be thinking that this is the punchline. Nope, not even close.

I went back over and asked for another autograph!!

Thank you Daryl Hannah, you're very gracious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swirls Cap

I found this newsboy cap pattern - offered by Sophia Kessinger on ravelry. It was just screamin' to be made up. What a fun project. I now own two of these. The wool is vintage, and is a denim color with a cool under tone of brown.

The flower accessory is also offered in the pattern. I'm not wild about it on the cap. I'll probably put a pin on the back and wear it on a jacket. Not at the same time.
The fabric that I used as my backdrop in this photo is the lining for the handbag I'm working on.

you are totally messing with my sewing mojo.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I found myself in dire need of a petticoat. I knew I did not want to make one. I tried to order said undergarment from anthropologie. I was even willing to use a "get out of jail free" card from my wardrobe refashion challenge. When I checked online the yellow crinoline that I wanted was back-ordered. So this (not so) little project came about not out of desire, but necessity. About halfway I actually thought of an easier way to do this. Now I have to make another to test that idea. Just for the record this one was put together with a double row of basting thread gathering method. Yuck. I have so many rows because I wanted large volume. This would be overkill for everyday wear. I think for day-wear you could get by with two rows of ruffles.

The little mini me belongs to my daughter. When she saw mine she really wanted one. The design is much simpler. I found a vintage peignoir and cut off the bottom and gathered it onto a slip I found at the thrift. I just used the lace at the bottom as the hem. Petticoats are made from the bottom up. voila.
Madi is wearing hers as a skirt. In fact I had to rip it off her body to take this photo. She has had it on for two days straight. I would call that a wardrobe refashion success.

fyi: The crinoline at anthropologie seems a little short. I think the best length is one or two inches shorter than your skirt. The yellow crinoline is only 19" in length. I do really like the color.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kreativ Blogger award

Tina at glamspoon tagged me with this honor (you little minx), and while I shy away from these tags as a rule, I am going to suck it up and play along. It's just the pressure you understand. Generally the way they work is - you reveal things about yourself that you are assuming someone will find remotely interesting. Now, I actually enjoy reading these little tags, they are like tiny little glimpses of you. So here goes, be gentle.

Seven random things you may or may not want to know about me:

1. I love corny musicals. I know, I'm sorry, I didn't say this was going to be pretty. Grease 2 is still one of my secret all time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it I recommend donning a disguise and rushing right out to you local movie rental (preferably on a weekend when your family is not at home, or trust me you'll never hear the end of it) and picking this movie up. In my defense, in high school I was in Jazz Singers. I would liken this to glee. Although none of my classmates were near as funny. Good times. Good times.
2. Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of my favorite books as a child.
3. I make up (bad) rap songs and threaten to sing them in front of my children' s friends as a way to control their behavior. It works.
4. I drink waaay to much coffee.
5. I've been married more than once. gasp. Got it right this time.
6. I took tags off of brand name clothing when I was in high school, and added them to garments that I had created. I had a pair of knock off Levis that I copied (down to the pockets) and added a tag from a pair that didn't fit that I found at the thrift. Please don't tell.
7. I am currently into crochet that looks as if it came from my granny. Pillows, throws, the cute little banner thingys that I keep seeing everywhere.

The second part of this tag is to nominate seven blogs that I admire and challenge them to play along. As I am not sure who has done this one, and I can't narrow my favorites down to just seven, I'll respectfully pass on the second portion of the challenge. Do feel free to play along if you're inclined. There, I just tagged you.
I'm off to pick up my purple crayon, I never was very good at coloring within the lines.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello Ilene....

The answer of course - is so that I can wear my new crinoline under. What was the question? Oh; has it really been so long since my last post? Quick check, oops. If you had any thoughts about it at all, I'm sure you wondered if I've taken a hiatus.

I actually envisioned a photo shoot in the leaves, with the cottonwoods turning colors and radiant in the background. We had a snow storm and the leaves are brown and on the ground now.

I am a little uncertain about the neckline. The line drawing does not fully show the extent of the scoop on the bodice. Very scoopy. Seriously scoopy. Undergarments are going to be an issue here. The bodice is completely lined and I suppose you could just skip it (undergarments that is) if you were inclined. I am more inclined to manage with a supporting cast, if you get my drift. So.. not to sure what to do about that. No, I did not make a muslin first, you silly.

A little close-up of the fabric.

I ended up making my own crinoline. That however; is a whole other post.

disclaimer: I know that scoopy isn't a word it showed up on my spell check.
second disclaimer: I am a huge fan of making a muslin first, before you cut into your 1950's vintage fabric.