Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Post Of Substance - Measuring Tapes

Measuring tapes - we all need 'em, and they are never easy to store!  I have probably about a half-dozen of them swimming around my sewing room, and I only actively use one, sometimes two.  (the others are for guests using my sewing room, extra-long tapes, etc.)
So I had this problem with tape measure storage!  Hanging them anywhere is no good, I knock them off hooks and whatnot like it's going out of style, and throwing them into bins and drawers is a recipe for disaster.......here is what my drawer used to look like before the *BRAINFLASH*:

About a year ago, I came up with an easy way to keep these buggers contained.  I'd used to try to keep rubber bands on them, but rubber bands are inconvenient, and can never be found when most needed.  You know what is always around in my sewing room?  Safety pins!

So, here is what you do:
1.  Start the 'tail' (I start at the end of the tape) - and loop around thumb, leaving the tip close to your pinkie (this becomes important in later steps.

2.  Do the "figure 8" wrappy thingy that guys do to their cords and whatnot:

3.  Slide the figure 8 off your fingers, and using a large safety pin, and pinch the 'waist' of the figure 8 in the safety pin.  (Note I'm not piercing the tape with the pin, just 'paper clipping' the whole thing)  This is where the 'tail' comes in handy - with a 60" tape, and the size of my hands, each end is overlapping just enough to be caught fairly securely in the pin....you may need to adjust accordingly.

4.  Pop your tape in a bin or drawer with far fewer tangles!  (This method isn't *completely* foolproof.....if you do a lot of vigorous digging around, there is a chance it'll come loose, but I've not had it happen very often at all)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hurrah! I sewed something!


To celebrate my almost-organized-and-cleaned sewing room, I promptly made a mess by making my little niece an outfit.  :D  It's the first thing I've made is *gasp* almost two months, so this is a big deal.  (I have a giant bag full of stuff to make for HRH, so I'd better not keep on this sewing funk for long....)
Anyway, without further ado, here is Lil Miss posing for teh cameraz!  (It was difficult - my flash had gone out, and she was spinning and spinning and hopping and hopping.....yeah, she liked her dress, I think!)

I felt weird.......top stitching, zippers, and machine hems, commercial patterns....oh my!  And I'm kinda glad I don't use zippers in SCA clothing......I hate them!  >.<  My ruffler AND my gathering foots were not working for some strange reason, so I ended up doing all the gathers by hand....argh!  Everything is double layered with lavender silk and an embroidered net over the top.  (It's wai cuter IRL!)

There are things that I would do differently next time, but since it's my first piece of mundane clothing (for a little girl, to boot), I'm not too worried about it.  I think it turned out cute!
This pic is closest to the 'real' color....

She decided that she was a princess, and needed a wand and a tiara to go with her new dress and pretty pedicure.  I didn't have a length of silk long enough to make a nice boofy sash, so I fudged up a faux sash (sewn down to bodice) and permanent bow that snaps on one side.  I think it turned out better than had I used a sash!  The fabric store didn't have any nice, delicate dress zippers, so I ended up using the most innocuous 'regular' zipper I could find.  It's still too beefy for the dress, but ah well.  I couldn't wait to get it done!  The dress is also about a size too big....I wanted her to be able to wear it in the spring, as it's still very much winter here!

Next up, I'm going to make a matching purse and probably a headband or clip of some sort.
......but that's after I finish cleaning my sewing room!