The anti-tutorial

Even though some of you think I’m a sewing rockstar I can definitely tell you I’M NOT. I fail all the time – just like yesterday. My intentions were good but the execution sucked big time. I tell you upfront: THIS is NOT a tutorial – I want to show you exactly what you shouldn’t do. (hm… when I think of it it’s a tutorial after all)

So I have this great shirt by Diesel. It’s plain white with violet font. But it’s too wide as I bought a men’s size M. I didn’t know they had the shirts for women, too so that’s why I bought it. Though I like my shirts a little roomier these days that shirt was just too wide and so I decided to make it a bit smaller. Couldn’t be that difficult and it actually isn’t. Basically what I did was fine and worked well but let me finish this post so you can see.

before

What you need to do is really easy. You turn the shirt inside out and pin the edges so that the seams are all straight.

pin edges

Then you make the mark away from the seam according to how small you want your shirt to be. I tried the shirt on and thought 3 cm on each side is ok so I marked at 2,5 cm. You have to consider the seam allowance.

make mark

Then you cut the shirt in pieces. Here I made sure the needles were still holding the shirt together after cutting so that everything stays in place.

cut open

Until here everything was fine and all this took 15 minutes. Now that it came to sewing I made TWO big mistakes that I wasn’t aware of until I saw the result. First bummer was that I sewed straight. The problem here is the material. The shirt is (to be honest a very cheap) jersey – which is elastic – which the straight sewing stitch is not! After I sewed the first line I had this tension in the fabric and somehow it didn’t feel right. And what was even worse – I could see the fabric was having micro small holes right by the sewing line. I googled and found the solution. For jersey you need a zig-zag stitch so that the fabric stays elastic by the seam line. OK. I did use the zig-zag stitch on the other side and realized that was way better. BUT the holes would still be there. I googled. Again. And THERE was THE answer. Jersey needs to be handled with a jersey needle. Uff. I didn’t know that.

do not do

shit happens

Now I learned my lesson. Next time – before sewing with a material I’m not familiar with – google FIRST. What needle, what thread, which stitch!

after

Here you might see… the shirt is tighter now. I wanted to cut the collar as well and make it a bit bigger but I couldn’t bother anymore after fearing loosing my shirt any minute. It survived a party though. Next time I pass by an american apparel store I’ll buy a good quality shirt and sew the design on the shirt. This actual t-shirt is a mess and I wouldn’t wear it at daylight.

But it proves that I’m stupid :-) Basically I didn’t actually fail. I just found a way that doesn’t work!  Next time I know better and now YOU know, too!

Vintage Swallows

As I was painting things anyway this week I thought I’d give my new set of vintage swallows a new look. I bought them on Etsy and didn’t read the description of them carefully so when they arrived this week I was wondering why they’re brown… nevermind.

before

So what I did was digging in my closet to get a tube of white and pink acrylic paint. I wanted the birds to be light pink. Turned out that acrylic paint is NOT suitable to paint on plastic. The details of the bird got lost and .. that wasn’t looking good. Not at all.

acryl paint

My next stop was again the Baumarkt where I got a tiny can of “Flamingo Pink” spray paint. There I was looking at the bottle and thought “Aren’t flamingos actually more pink?” but bought it anyway because 1. it was the smallest can they had 2. the color was the nicest of what they had (in small cans) and 3. I was thinking of a light pink anyway.

spray paint

Spraying the color on the birds was exactly what I expected it to be: quick, easy and a mess! And on top of all the pink turned out to be a dirty white. Today after drying it looked a tiny little bit pinkish but not at all what I wanted. It came to my mind that depending on how many crabs the Flamingos eat their color is more bright. So I guess what the people who make colors in cans thought of Flamingo Pink is obviously one that is not well fed…

not good

After letting it dry for a night it still didn’t look better so I decided to make them blue. First thing this morning off to get a can of blue spray paint and as the birds where (kinda) white before the blue looked much better and the birds were done!

blue spray paint

detail

They hang above of our small couch and make me smile.

yay

And one more thing that is worth telling you about: just in case you haven’t seen it yet Sassy Smolak is giving away the most adorable swallow earrings this week. Leave a comment on her post to participate. They’re lovely!

New rocking chair that definitely rocks!

I have a week off and a to do list that has no end. Actually not feeling 100% well already there are some things that I really wanted to get done and one thing was: paint the chair! It’s an Ikea Lillberg rocking chair that I bought on ebay one year ago when we moved into our huge appartment. Instead of 99 Euro I got it for 7 Euro so that was quite a bargain. I just bought it because we both don’t have so much furniture and the living room had an empty spot where the chair fit very well.

Inspired by the Pantone Color of the Year 2010 (15-5519) I went to the Baumarkt (uhm…something similar to Home Depot) where you can have all kinds of colors mixed. Either for the walls or for wood. I chose a bright turquoise that is close to the Pantone color. On the picture it’s the one in the middle and called “Guadeloupe”.

paint

The rest was quite easy. This was the chair before

chair before

And this is how he looks now. I must admit…I’m in love; puts me in a good mood.

chair after

In addition I bought some fabric to sew new pillow covers so that it looks all fresh now.

This was my first DIY furniture redecoration and will not be the last. This whole action was pretty darn cheap:

Ikea rocking chair: 7 Euro

Paint: 9 Euro

Fabric: 8 Euro

Total: 24 Euro

And I think it DOES make a difference.

Pimp my dress

… said my new colleague last week. “Do something with this tunic. It’s boring!”

Lou: “What do you want me to do with it?”

She: “You’ll think of something!”

Ok… a task was born. One where I was asked to do whatever the hell I want. YAY!!

Sunday I woke up and had an idea as I looked at our curtains. They’re from Ikea and the fabric is just beautiful. As they were too long I cut them shorter and with the rest of it I renewed the tunic.

before

Simply cut out some leaves and sewed it on the fabric.

cut out leaves

In addition to the leaves I covered some buttons with the same fabric and added them on the little pockets.

after front

after back

If you ever want me to change clothes for you – I’ll get paid with cake. Feel free to contact me :-)

i proudly present: my un-messy room!

sewing machine corner

Ok Paola. Here you go. Everything is in order, dust free, fresh smelling and serene. :-)   In case you missed it, Paola from mirror mirror and I cleaned up our work spaces because.. well… if you want to take a look at the situation BEFORE you will understand why. So I did my part this weekend. Got rid of the mess on the couch, put my fabrics in order, put one more picture on the wall, decluttered my shelf, made a quick and dirty pin-board for my notes AND for the first time in my life drilled wholes into the wall and mounted 2 little shelves. If our wall wasn’t made of butter cookies the shelves would be straight and fixed. Well… they’re not and I guess next time I only look at them they will plunge down. That part needs further improvement.

While I was cleaning I was singing out loud to these songs here (just a selection… it took hours to clean the mess up)

Mary J. Blige – Enough cryin’

Ida Corrs feat. Fedde Le Grand – Let me think about it

MIA – Tanz der Moleküle

Carl Thomas feat. Brandy – Something about you

Alicia Keys – Teenage love affair

Kid Cudi feat. Crookers – Day’n’Nite

Marit Larsen – If a song could get me you

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Going up the country

Eurythmics – Here comes the rain again (making silly moves with the vacuum cleaner in front of mirror)

Whitney Houston – Million dollar bill

shelf corner

window

shelf

imac corner

Overall it was a fun task and totally overdue. Thanx Paola for kickin’ my culo! ;-) What are we doing next?! Go check out her lovely blog to see her outcome.

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