Archive for the ‘handmade’ Category

Handmade: Letterpress Business Cards + Motivators

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I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s summer Alt Summit, and boy did it sneak up on me! I barely had the chance to recover from January’s conference.

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I wanted to do something completely different for this session’s business cards, but I ended up doing everything last-minute. And by last-minute, literally making business cards the night before the conference.

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The cards have the same general vibe as they did previously, with a little motivator and acrylic stand, but I approached the printing and calligraphy differently.

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Instead of doing one kind of motivator (“You are awesomesauce”), I decided to switch things up and write out different adjectives. The monoline style is quite different from last time, too. I used watercolor paper and a sumi ink to create moody washes on the backs of all the papers to create a moody texture. Then lettered with white ink overtop. The texture of the black wash gives the card more depth, in my opinion.

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The printing was a little different as I was using a watercolor paper and not a thick letterpress paper. There’s still a deboss from the printing process, but it’s not as stark. I went with the watercolor so that the lettering on the back would be easier to create. Last time I had a heck of a time lettering on that soft letterpress paper.

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I also had a problem with the ink in the letterpress printing bleeding, making the hairlines a tad garbled. Above, you can see different experimentations on printing. The top right is using regular letterpress ink, you can’t tell a whole lot from the image, but it’s feathering a little bit on the paper. Then I tried various blind-deboss printing techniques, then applying ink afterward. That didn’t work quite like I had envisioned. Then the top left is when I discovered inking up my letterpress plates with a stamp pad. The stamp pad from Silhouette’s stamp kit is quite tacky and worked perfectly for inking up the plates. The printing was more crisp and the clean-up was a million times easier with the water-soluble ink. Major win! I’ll be using this method for printing with the L-Letterpress in the future.

Sewing: Chiffon Top

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Friday’s Alt Summit ensemble took on a different look as well. The skirt I started to make totally bombed. Instead of freaking out at the last minute, I simply adjusted my expectations. Chris was so proud! I grabbed my floor-length chiffon skirt and kept on going.

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The floor length skirt paired with the light pink fabric I had planned for the top top ended up looking horrible under natural and artificial light. They were just the wrong pinks that they just vibrated against each other. More expectations adjusted. I wasn’t about to go out and buy more fabric to match, so I looked to my stash to see what I could work with.

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Et voila. I didn’t add any leather details on the shoulders as planned. In fact, I don’t know why I didn’t! I think I was in such a rush to finish something that I just forgot that plan altogether. I modified my basic tee pattern to include very drapey sleeves.

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I think the overall vision worked great.

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It’s not necessarily my “style”, but it was exactly the piece I needed to bring the whole ensemble (live floral crown included) together. It also worked perfectly with the vision I had of our Secret Garden Party.

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Now I can’t quite tell if I still like the top or not. I LOVE the print, but I’m not entirely sure the colorway is flattering on me. Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough contrast between my skin tone and the fabric so I look semi-amorphous while wearing it. It’s also sheer, which means I have to wear layers underneath. I don’t like wearing layers if I don’t have to.

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I need to give this top a chance. But I may end up just giving it to someone who will wear it more than I will.

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I LOVE the fit, though. The flutter sleeves are so fun to wear. I have plans to sew more tops like this in the future. Maybe a dress like this would be fun in the summer months? I can’t think about summer now. We just got about 3 inches of sloshy snow. And I think it’s going to keep coming. Must. Make. More. Winter. Clothes!

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Outfit details:

 

 

Sewing: Alt Summit Emerald Outfit

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Thursday night’s look came together almost exactly how I envisioned.

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The only difference is that I opted for cobalt beaded detailing instead of gold chain detailing around the shoulders. The beading took more time than sewing on metal chain. I started laying out my idea in chain, but it started looking cheap.

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The green and blue combo is the new pink and orange. I love these colors together. istillloveyou-sewing-style-beaded-wiggle-dress-2

The outfit was a bit understated, but the beading made it something special. The bodycon silhouette is classic, too.

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Sewing up this piece was easy. I sewed a fitted version of the Renfrew tee and connected it with my wiggle skirt block. No zippers. No buttons. Easy peasy. The beading, however took the longest. Thankfully that could all be done while vegging out to Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Chris. It’s our new favorite show. Go forth and watch it if you haven’t already!

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Beading around the neckline was hardest. I had to use two needles and thread. One for stringing beads, the other for attaching the thread between the beads to the neckline. The neckline is barely big enough to fit over my head, but I still have to be careful when pulling it on and taking it off to avoid busting threads. I’ve broken threads twice already. It’s a 20 minute set-back whenever I break threads. UGH! Still, so worth it, though.

Utah photographer

Image by Justin Hackworth

The night of the emerald party, I paired my dress with a bold metal lace statement necklace from Tai Pan. That along with doing my hair in a low chignon made the dress shine.

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Outfit Details:

 

 

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Sewing: Leather Handmade Tote

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I had hoped to make more of my Christmas gifts this year, but alas, it was only one (besides teacher’s gifts). I made a leather purse for my brother-in-law’s new girl. We all just adore her, so maybe I got a little excited about making something a little extra special for her.

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My friend Susan gave me this rad embossed suede a couple months ago. It’s just a killer color and texture, it was begging to become a purse.

It’s something like a 3 ounce leather, so I couldn’t get too fancy with it with my sewing machine so I made a simple box-bottom tote out of it. My machine didn’t like the leather a whole lot, but it submitted to my will in the end.

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The inside is partially lined with leather, so I didn’t want to sew the straps on to the actual leather (3 layers of leather would have made my machine go out for a pack of bubble gum and never come back). So I punched a hole and affixed brass rivet thingies instead. The rivets took considerable amount of work  as a two-person job. Thankfully I had Chris at the ready to help me make the rivets happen.

Despite the possible headache of the rivets, they’re nice and snug on the leather, so I’m hopeful that they will stand the test of time.

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The inside snaps together with a brass magnetic button. It was kinda evil genius of me to line the top part of the purse with leather since this provides a considerable amount of stabilization for the closure.

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I made two pockets in the interior. They were hard to photograph, but you get the idea. The first pocket is an open pocket that’s flush with where the suede and lining fabric meet.

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The second pocket is my favorite: a zippered pocket for secret surprises. It zips all the way across the tote with pink leather details (not pictured) on either end.

The interior fabric is Jay McCarroll’s Los Angeles City Center. Gifted to me by the lovely Kristin. It’s even more rad in person.

Having finished this first leather tote, I’m stoked to make another! It was a little intimidating, but not as hard as I originally thought!

Sewing: Sporty Maxi Dress with Leather Details

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I didn’t initially plan on making this dress. It happened as I went along. I was hoping to use a knee-length version of this pattern for my ikat fabric.

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Before cutting up the precious yardage, I wanted to test out my vision. I’m glad I did! I love how this dress turned out with the fabric I used, but I don’t think it would’ve made a good fit for my Mood yardage. I’m still trying to figure out my plans for that fabric.

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I used a basic t-shirt block, and cut just above the bust line for an overlapped v-neck with leather piping at the seam. It turned out to be a really nice subtle detail, but if I were to do it again (and I just might), I think I’d create a slight curve to the line so it hits at a more natural spot at my under-arms.

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The fabric itself is a soft knit with silver bumpy dots on it. The texture is really neat, actually. The thin knit is quite stable and opaque as well. I’ve mentioned my need for long sleeves this winter, but I decided that I’d much rather layer sweaters with this dress than tights. I love how it looks with this chunky knit sweater.

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It’s been a really warm fall this year, so it’s been fun to be able to wear long skirts and dresses while out and about.

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Outfit details:

  • earrings: etsy
  • necklace: H&M, Cambria Cove
  • dress: handmade
  • scarf: hand-me-down
  • sweater: c/o SheInside (here)
  • shoes: Forever 21

Check out above for similar grey maxi dresses.

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