August 31, 2012

On Finishing a Non-Crochet Project.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:10 am

I absolutely love crocheting for my Etsy shop. I love creating patterns, adding new product lines, and I especially love the new teddy bears I’ve been making. But sometimes, it’s particularly gratifying to complete something for yourself, something you know you’re not going to sell or give to a family member, something that is just going to be yours.

A little while ago, I had written about a “finished” dress I found in my closet–finished but for the fact that it was many sizes too big (how does that happen?) and the whole bodice would have to be taken out and redone. (Click here to read about it.) Well, I did it this weekend–mumbled and grumbled my way through the excruciating process of undoing all those stitches I had previously done and refitting, repinning, resewing, trying the dress on so many times I grew sick of it…and I had an epiphany. Sewing is the opposite of yarn art. In crocheting or knitting, it’s the creating that takes all the time–all those loops and yarn-overs and knits and purls and everything–millions and millions of painstaking knots. In sewing, however (at least with a machine), the sewing part is so fast–a couple ZIPS under that needle and you have a seam. But taking it out once you’ve made a mistake, without injuring the fabric, is both tedious and time-consuming. I mentioned as much to my fiance, and he just commented on my lack of patience.

At any rate, I successfully made it. I hemmed it all by myself. (Which is a feat for me, because I usually beg my mother to pin it while I’m in it to make sure it’s all even. But since she’s a couple states away, that would have been quite difficult.) I added some cute buttons. And here it is:

It’s not perfect, but I am proud of it. And now I have sworn off sewing for the next six months.


August 14, 2012

On Modcloth and Sewing Imposters.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 3:25 pm

Modcloth has rapidly become my weakness.

First, if you don’t know what Modcloth is, and you are a female who loves unique and classic dresses, DON’T GO THERE. Unless you intend to fall in love with something amazing and expensive, and you have extra money on your hands for said purchase.

Luckily, I have not yet fallen prey to my whims, as I have rent and student loans and a fiance who will fully support my purchasing, but then unknowingly make me feel guilty because he never buys anything for himself. Ever. He’s without exorbitant needs.

So, until my etsy shop picks up a bit, and I can have some spare change, the dresses elude me.

However, I have found a wonderful blog,, that shows you how to make the Modcloth dresses: what pattern to use, suggestions on material, etc. Armed with this knowledge, I started to create the “Pull Up a Cherry Dress” around Easter.

Well, here’s the thing about me and sewing: it’s my most challenging of the “homemaking” arts. (Crocheting I do in my sleep; give me a pattern to knit and I can; needlepoint is fine, but boring.)

Zippers are so hard! The material never lines up quite right. Cutting the material from the pattern takes so long. I run out of thread. I drop pins on the floor, and two weeks later they end up in my feet. My sewing machine goes crazy (read: I mess it up).

If I can, amazingly, get past all the mental knowledge of all these previous struggles and hype my confidence up to the point where “I’m ready to do it, right now”…I still have to wash, dry, and iron the material! That’s four hours to psych myself out!

Well, I managed to finish the dress. I put it on, and it was two sizes too big. So big that I can’t just tuck it with some quick darts on either side; I have to go into each bodice seam in both the material and the lining and take it in.

It’s been sitting in my closet in a ball for three months. I actually had forgotten it was there until I was cleaning up in there to make room for more stuff.

Maybe I’ll finish it now. It would feel so rewarding, indeed, if I could get it to fit me.

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