Made with Moxie: February 2013

February 23, 2013

Old earrings made new


Old, too heavy earrings
Needle nose pliers
Electrical tape

**I recommend wrapping the tail ends of the wire loops around your feather stems before taping to avoid it from pulling right out.

February 22, 2013

Merrily We Sew Along: Improv Nesting boxes

Do you guys have a copy of this book yet?

Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut have written this awesome book, Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Sewing. Anyone who sews and need to practice being more improv about their projects should check this book out. Stop following the rules and patterns and make something unique. You will have to be okay with coloring outside of the lines. It is liberating.

My buddies, Kelley and Rachael, have organized Merrily We Sew Along, so you know I want to do the projects and sew along too. Project #3 is a set of canvas nesting boxes.

In true Moxie/Improv fashion my boxes are flannel, not canvas, and I didn't bother to follow the size measurements for the boxes either.
Instead I did this is what I did: I fused two pieces of flannel together using Pellon's Wonder-Under.

I machine stitched along the top edged then serged those puppies too. This set is in my bathroom drawer holding a variety of ponytail holders, bobby pins and other clips.

The very best part of these projects is that they can be as involved and ornate, or simple, wham bam thank you ma'am as you want them to be. I'm taking Physics and Anatomy this semester and have just about negative time to sew and make. Which drives me nuts, but I had an itch and made these pretty little boxes in less than an hour.
Creative itch soothed, fabric scraps used, bathroom drawer a bit more organized. That's a Win-Win-Win.

In an alternative universe I make a perfectly measured set for my silverware drawer because the tray in there doesn't have the right number of compartments and it makes my voices upset. Maybe this summer when I am not taking classes.

Want to Merrily We Sew Along with us? Got a creative itch that needs to be scratched?

February 15, 2013

Covert Robin Sign ups

it's time to sign up for this year's covert robin!

the covert robin button

what is the covert robin?
a round-robin gift exchange of handmade presents. you get to make something special for another blogger, and you'll also receive your very own handmade present from a mystery gifter (your "covert robin").

handmade gifts should have an approximate retail value between $20 and $30. i know this can be tricky to determine for some items, so if you have any questions about what is/is not appropriate, please don't hesitate to email me: rachael {at} imaginegnats {dot} com. thank you!

not sure what to send? we saw a great variety of items last year, from sewn goods to paper crafts, from baked goods to beautiful artwork... anything is game, as long as it's made by you! want some inspiration? you can see some posts about last year's gifts in the link-up here.

how does it work?
once sign-ups close, my co-hosts and i will assign everyone a gift recipient. after receiving your recipient, you'll make your gift and send it off. and here's the extra fun part: you can blog about the gift you made and/or the gift you received for a chance to win prizes! we'll host a linky party starting april 1, and each of the co-hosts will be randomly awarding one participant a prize (that's TEN chances to win!). you can keep up with covert robin updates here.

when does this happen?
sign-ups: open NOW... through february 28
recipient information: will be emailed by march 4
gifts: must be mailed by march 31
blog post link-up: open april 1-30
prize winners (will be chosen randomly): announced on may 3

who are the hosts?
Cassie (elegantitus)
Clara (Clover & Violet)
Courtney (mon petit lyons)
Jane (buzzmills)
Jill (Made with Moxie)
Karen (Sew Well Maide)
Kelley (casa crafty)
Melissa (a happy stitch)
Rachael (imagine gnats)
Stephanie (The Crafty Kitty)

swap guidelines (are simple):
1. make something handmade and lovely
2. send your gift according to the above timeframes
3. post about your gifts to enter for a chance to win!
4. have fun :)

not required, but would be appreciated:
1. add a nifty covert robin button on your blog (code available in sidebar)
2. check out and follow my lovely co-hosts' blogs

click here to read the covert robin FAQs.

February 6, 2013

Sterling De-Luxe

I'm always jealous when fellow bloggers post awesome sewing machine finds from the Goodwill. I found a decent White machine last week at the Goodwill that they were asking fifty dollars for. Fifty dollars! For a not really cute or vintage basic machine. Yes, it was good and worked, but for that much I expect it to be awesome or at least a sweet color. Not 1985 white.

I often browse Craigslist for machines too. I am a huge fan of Craigslist. I met my husband on Craigslist, found many apartments and homes there, hired employees from the site, sold things, got a free dining room table that is now my cutting fabric piling table. The unfortunate part of the Washington DC area Craigslists is that people assume that every piece of crap they sell is valuable. Every used sewing machine is over $100. Seriously.

So early one morning when I saw a recent post wanting $39 for this baby, I snatched it up.

Working or not, I wanted it. The roses on it remind me of my tattoo so I'd have kept it if it did not run. Or at least taken it apart to try and fix it, then put it back together when I determined it was beyond help.
Good news! It runs. Bad news. I had to order it a new belt.
However, I am over the moon about it.
This is what internet research has told me about my new Sterling:

It is likely a Japanese clone of a Singer 15. There were massive numbers of Singer 15 clones made following WWII. They are all different company names and colors, but the same shape and functions remain. I can't find anything about the Sterling Sewing Company. I think mine may be Japanese made, but assembled and sold in the United States. It's got a nice Dodge motor attached to the back.
If you have any information about my Sterling, I'd love to hear from you. I plan on taking her apart, cleaning her out and making her shiny again. (Notice how Sterling went from an 'it' to a 'her' in one post?) I'm pretty psyched about my find.

Sterling is one heavy mother, too. With her case bottom she tipped the scale at almost 45 pounds! The case lining is crumbling and musty. I'll have to ask my husband to build her a nice new wood base.

Ooh! Ooh! My mother in law just suggested I could scrape the case and Modge Podge it with fabric. Awe, yeah.