Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leather Wallet from PANTS! Recyling and Upcycling

The Short Story:


The Long Story: So, I bought these leather pants...
"These" leather pants
I've always wanted to start a blog post with the phrase: "So, I bought these leather pants"

Unfortunately, (or, fortunately) the pants were not for me to wear. The pants were for me to deconstruct and reconstruct. I was thrift store shopping with the husband on a rare afternoon where we were kid free and I came across them. They were $20 but the leather was in really good condition and obviously very high quality (not that I am a leather connoisseur... I wonder, are there such people? Are there "Leather connoisseurs"? If so, please raise your hand.)

I purchased the pants and planned to turn part of them into a purse, part into a new kindle cover, and part into a wallet. Since I am the #1 good-time fan girl of immediate gratification, I chose to do the wallet first.

Scraps used to make wallet.
I found some scraps to coordinate, vintage buttons, small zipper and here is what I came up with:

Starting Dimensions: 8.5" x 6" (open)
Final Dimensions: 7.5" x 5" (open)

Things I learned about leather:
1. You really, really, really need a non-stick foot to sew leather. I did this wallet without one and it super-sucked. I won't attempt any more leather projects without it. The issue is that the sewing machine foot pulls against the leather which makes it stretch as you sew. The leather stretches but the cloth material does not. This makes the cloth bunch/sag when the leather returns to its previous shape. I'll post an update perspective on sewing with leather when I get a chance to use the Teflon foot I ordered from Viking.

2. It is great for inlaid zippers. Since the edge of the leather doesn't fray, adding the zipper was a piece o' cake.

3. Use double sided tape instead of pins: it will stick to the leather and create just enough adhesion to keep the project together. It's not like you're going to wash your finished object in the washing machine so... who cares about washibility of the double sided tape. 

Final thoughts: I love the wallet. It fits my phone, cards, and some change. Very happy with it. Looking forward to making more, this time with the Teflon foot.

If you've ever worked with leather I'd love to hear your tips/ tricks/ thoughts.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yarn Indecision

So, I've started a knitalong of the Staghorn Tunic with the fantastic looptange. After a great deal of deliberation I finally decided to use stash of Queensland Aran for the tunic. The yarn is a little uneven and now I am having second thoughts...

I love the pattern, I love the yarn, I just don't know if I love the yarn for this pattern...

Most of the projects completed thus far for the tunic use grey. Should I start over with grey/different yarn or should I continue with the green?


Monday, October 1, 2012

Kind of a random post: Doodling and Halloween

I've become rather fond of doodling. Some interesting doodle facts:
1. A group of geniuses got together and decided to charge people in order to teach them how to doodle.
2. One form of this is called Zentangle. I feel like Zentangle must have actually been created by people who- in 7th grade- were really impressive at doodling but not much else.
3. Zendangle aside, there is a theory that doodling is really good for the brain, aiding with relaxation and memory (see Andrade, Jackie (January 2010). "What does doodling do?". Applied Cognitive Psychology ).

Lately I've been doodling Halloween faces-

I don't know why but most of the faces are missing noses. I'm just not that great at noses. My plan is to make the face stamps first then doodle/carve some interchangeable bodies (torso, arms, legs). Maybe I'll finish before Halloween and use them for cards this year! ... a much more likely scenario, however, is that I spend the next 5 months carving them instead of making Christmas Cards and rediscover the stamps next year 2 days before Halloween. ;-)