Jan 4

I’ve been swapping up a small storm to get over the post-holiday crafting doldrums. Here are some fingerless gloves I made from the arms of a felted sweater. These sewed up in about ten minutes, including the heart applique, which is awesome. Of course, I could have just made them without any sewing… but they needed to be a bit snugger. I like them! Wish I could have kept them, but I think the swap recipient was pleased.

Fingerless Gloves from Felted Sweater

To make:

  1. Stick your arm in the sleeve of a felted wool sweater and decide how long you want your gloves to be.
  2. Cut off at determined point.
  3. Cut small hole in seam of sweater for thumb hole. Either stop here, or…
  4. Embellish as desired. I actually cut my gloves open at the top so I could machine-stitch the heart applique on. When I was done with that, I stitched them back up.
  5. If you want to make fit of gloves snugger, sew a seam from the thumb hole down to the bottom of the glove. To determine this point, you can try the gloves on inside-out and then pinch the gap in the gloves together at the bottom and pin at that point.

Dec 18

I received these adorable altered hoodies from MacesMeMe on the Craftster kid hoodie swap, and they are so adorable! They’re really perfect for each boy.

Lewis got the tractor hoodie and this is what he said when he saw it: “Is that dirt? Is that a backhoe loader? With tires? And more dirt?” It’s obvious he was looking the whole thing over. He loves it. He has been wearing it backward all day so he can see the tractor on it.

The tractor is stenciled on (great stencil – 2 color!), with appliqued dirt and wheels, and a stud in each wheel.

Evander’s has a big E on it, and a super cute elephant squirting water and a free-waving ear and tail. Sooo cute. His also has an elephant applique on the front, coming out of the front pocket. So cute! The elephant is stenciled, with button eye, appliqued ear, and string tail.

These are so cute, and perfect for my little guys! Thanks MacesMeMe!

Dec 11

Here’s the second hoodie I reconned for the hoodie swap.

I used some of my son’s old clothes to make the turtle appliques, which are on the left chest and both elbows (love the turtle elbow patches!), and I blanket stitched around the hood and the pockets just to tie the green in a little more.

Dec 11

I recently tried making a reverse applique for the first time.

I used a cool little trick for the reverse applique that I haven’t seen anywhere else online…

I used an old dryer sheet to draw my applique on. I placed it over the
sweater bit to choose which part of the sweater would look good as a
spider!

Then I placed the sweater piece underneath the sweatshirt, and pinned the
dryer sheet to the front of the sweatshirt to use as a template as I
sewed.

When I was finished sewing, the dryer sheet tore off pretty easily.

I cut off just the top layer (the sweatshirt) inside the area I sewed, and got a cute reverse applique with minimal effort.

Apr 30

squid tieI love Jessica’s whimsical applique! Check her shop out for some wonderful one-of-a-kind items!

Shop name/URL:
aorta
http://aorta.etsy.com

Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Jessica Wynne Plymate, I’m 33, I drink too much coffee and I have a very overactive imagination. Since I was very young I knew I wanted to be an artist. A few years ago I had my last exhibit as a painter. The show went well, but something was missing from my work- I suddenly felt like I was trying to be a part of something in which I didn’t really belong. I decided to take a break from it and, although I don’t remember the catalyst, I ended up putting my designs on clothes instead of canvas. It felt so natural to merge my hobby of sewing with my need to doodle. I find it more personally rewarding to see someone wearing my designs than just looking at them.

What are your main inspirations?
I find inspiration everywhere- a joke between friends, a song, a face, a feeling, my obnoxious dog, staring out the window… I am constantly amazed at the talent of others and it pushes me to think harder about what I’m doing and to put more of myself into it.

What is your favorite material?

With a little embarrassment, I have to confess my love of polyester. It comes in the craziest colors, prints, textures and it sews like a dream.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

Wow, I don’t know how to answer that. I have a lot of new ideas swimming around in my head right now but not enough time to make them all happen. Some of the very talented sellers on Etsy have given me a new appreciation for things like polymer clay and recycling trash into jewelry, but I’m pretty focused on continuing to grow in my craft of applique.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?

Right now I particularly like the jellyfish skirts and the way all the different trims and textures flow and intertwine when worn. I originally came up with the jellyfish as a way to use up my huge pile of notions. I quickly fell in love with the design and had to buy more rick rack and lace so I could make more of them.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
Do what you love, not what you think will sell. Putting passion and personality into what you do is what makes you stand out in a crowd. Take risks, don’t be afraid of change, be willing to work harder than you smoking deerever thought you could and don’t give up.

Apr 4

I appliqued an old lady skirt (got it at the Women’s Free Clothing Exchange last week) with this tall ship design, then machine stitched the “water” all the way around the skirt (including the back). I am super excited about this skirt! (I got the design from a totebag I saw on etsy. I didn’t need a totebag, but I was in love with the design.)


I was so excited when I got done with the tall ship applique that I did this one on another free skirt. The applique is cuter in real life than it is in this photo. This was all just free-hand.

-Heather