Thursday, July 20, 2017

PussyHat Pet Bed



This was a bit of an adventure.

You should know that the first fleece bed I made for my boys ended up being thrown away. I didn't make the fleece cover removeable and, eventually, there was just too much fur on it to make it something I wanted around. To get around that, this one has a pillowcase-style back.

One of the other issues with pet beds is that there aren't exactly a lot of pre-made inserts to stuff them. I mean, no one wants to buy a pet bed to fill a pet bed! So, I had to come up with a way to make it work.

First, I mocked it up with a plain, rectangular pillow as a filler. It looked more like a totoro than a cat. So, I decided to use the same pattern pieces to create a custom-fit fill piece. It was surprisingly very fun and extremely easy. I included instructions in the book for making the fill piece with a zipper. This is great because it's not always easy to judge how much stuffing you need in the bed. If it zips, you can always add or remove more stuffing. Also, frankly, stitching the last little bit closed when you have stuffed something isn't my idea of a great time. I'd much rather just close a zipper!

Speaking of stuffing, I wasn't about to invest in the amount of fiber fill that you would need to fill up this sucker. Also, I'm not sure if fiber fill would feel "solid" enough to the cats for them to use it. They're both a little old and seem unwilling to stand or sit on anything that's very soft or shifty. Instead, I raided my big bucket of sewing scraps and used that as stuffing. Fleece scraps are the loftiest and lightest, but I mix all of my scraps together - fleece, knit fabrics and wovens. I'm really happy with the results I get. Travis loves the bed and basically didn't get off of it for a few days when I first made it.

The ears stay relatively plump and flat because they aren't stuffed with stuffing. Instead, a smaller layer of fleece fills each ear. I have washed this particular bed twice and both times the ears just needed a good shake to look  nice again.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PussyHat Throw Pillow



This is a simple, fleece pillow, filled with a purchased insert. If you have never sewn with fleece, this is a pretty good introduction! I just wish Sabine looked a little more happy about it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Quilted Mug Rug



This little mug rug was too much fun to make! If you're cutting a fabric and you definitely want to place a certain motif in a certain spot, there are a few options that can make that easier. Quilters call it "fussy cutting," but it's a lot less fussy if you have the right tools!

1) Template Plastic
2) Swedish Tracing Paper
3) Just regular old wax paper

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bleeding Heart T-Shirt



The "bleeding heart" shirt was one of the first ideas floated for Crafting the Resistance. I found it really fascinating!

It's a simple reverse applique using knit fabrics, which means that you don't have to get too worked up about finishing edges or turning anything under. Certain stabilizers help make this type of sewing easier, and those tips are in the book. But, I want to point out that I made this using just my trusty Singer 328k. You don't need a special sewing machine to create this project. You do have to be a little careful when trimming away the top layer, but that doesn't have anything to do with your machine.

For the heart fabric, I cut the sleeve off of a thrift store find. Searching for just the right color of red was fun!

I really can't imagine the heart motif on any tee other than plain black, but I don't wear a lot of shirts that aren't just "plain" something. What do you think? If you added the heart to an old band shirt or a shirt from a vacation, would it make the message too muddy and confusing?

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Mobility Ankle Pocket



This is a little, zippered pocket that you wear around your ankle. I was inspired to make it by tales from my friends who grew up in NYC. They all remembered stuffing a little cash into their socks so that they could make it home even if they lost their wallet or got mugged.

Socks aren't quite as secure as I would like, so I designed this little guy. It's probably too small to hold a cell phone with comfort, but you could probably fit your ID and some cash in there without too much trouble. Before you wear one on a long day marching, test it out and make sure it's not going to bind or chafe.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Security Waist Belt



This is a pretty simple project from Crafting the Resistance. I love it, though! I included tips on sewing stretchy fabric to a non-stretchy zipper and how to make sure the end of your zipper tape is as hidden as possible.

For this project, you should measure the intended wearer's waist and make your pattern piece yourself. This automatic customization is a fun feature, unless you don't happen to have your wearer around! If you're making a gift for a family member or friend and you can't measure them, search around online for sizing guides based on clothing brands you like. I've been really happy with Title Nine, in the past, and I've used their guides for this purpose. It is stretchy, so an exact fit isn't completely needed, but it's great to have a starting point.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Persistent Marker Message T-Shirts



This shirt was made possible by a marker-based discovery that BLEW MY MIND. They make fabric markers, now, that you can use to mark fabric permanently. Not just sharpies, but pens actually designed for that purpose.

At the best drag show I ever saw (at Bryant-Lake Bowl), one of the performers ripped apart their top T-shirt to reveal a scrawled message on the white tee underneath: "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like." The crowd went wild. This is a very easy, cheap, DIY way to take any message anywhere.