Monday, February 21, 2011

Cases and a koi

Hello, my lovelies, it's me again! So more crafting has been going on in my life than my blog makes it look like. I just post the fancy ones. :)

Anyways, here's a quick overview of my more "mundane" crafts. More photos and information (including some simple tutes) are below the cut, but it's a looooot of pictures.

Oh yeah, check out my mad Paint skillz!

 So the earliest of these is my sewing machine cover. I was so excited to get my first sewing machine last fall, but I was nervous. I had spent over a year gathering tutorials, inspirations, and a ton of fabric, but now I was too scared to jump in!

So I decided to start with something fairly simple. The machine came with a simple white vinyl cover, and I wanted something a little more fun. So I broke out a lovely, decor-weight remnant I picked up at Jo-Ann's and went to work!


It's very simple. Two rectangles for the front and back, a smaller rectangle for the pocket, and a long rectangle for the sides and top. Add a little ribbon for a pop of color, pin, and sew!

By the way, is this the "right" way to sew silk ribbon? I had no idea what to do (nor matching thread), so I decided to use the stitching to make it a little decorative. Just curious, are there other ways to sew down ribbon?

Moving on: about a month ago, I got sick of my most recent backpack. The plastic waterproof lining was getting torn up by my books and littering my room with little fragments of black plastic. Plus, without that, the bottom felt dangerously flimsy and I thought it would tear right out soon. I decided to switch back to my backpack that had faithfully served me all four years of high school (gotta tell you guys, Jansport never disappoints!).

Unfortunately, this backpack has no special laptop pocket, so now I was constantly living in fear of destroying my laptop by simply setting down my bag too hard. To ease my fears a bit, I made a quick and easy laptop sleeve. I was pretty excited because I hadn't used my machine for anything but clothing repair in months (I'd left it at home last semester), and it was my first time using my brand-spanking-new self-healing cutting mat and rotary cutter (thank you, awesome boyfriend!).


Again, so easy. The plan was to cut two long rectangles, long enough to fold over the end of the laptop, one of black fleece and one of my cotton pique print, but the fleece wasn't the right shape so I had to cut two rectangles of that. After that, I just sewed it up! You can kind of see in these pictures that the cotton folds over a little on the inside. I intended to do that but didn't do it very neatly. That's what happens when you squeeze projects into the hour before class! My favorite part of this case is that, since the cotton is just one piece sewn up the sides, I don't have to worry about the weight of the laptop breaking the stitching when I hold it with the open side up.

I was pretty proud of this next little guy, even though it was so easy I don't think it really counts as crafting! I've seen these koi necklaces floating around the interwebz quite a bit, lately. It got me to thinking, "Hm, don't I have one of those dangling off of my blinds right now?"

So what do you think I did? Of course, I went to Michael's, bought a lovely, cheap gold chain, and strung that baby on there! Took all of two minutes to get this done, and it only took that long because I was trying to make sure not to twist the chain.

 Sorry, I know there's a gazillion pictures of him, but I have my excuses! 1) I was experimenting with different angles and "techniques," and 2) he's just so darn cute! You can usually find these on Google if you search terms like "cloisonne fish" and "koi". The necklaces aren't hugely expensive, but you know what, I still got my mine for cheaper, muahaha!

Now, being one of those children who was forced to wear those matching sets of sweaters and sweatpants or a T-shirt and certain matching leggings, I like homogeneity and match-matchiness, to a degree. So when I decided that my mouse needed some protection as I tote it around to class and home and back, of course I would decide to have it match the laptop case!

In this last picture you can kind of get an idea of how I constructed it. First, I sewed up my outer fabric and liner (again, cotton pique and fleece). Then, I put my liner inside the outer "bag" and folded the top edges of both inward, as if I were going to topstitch them together. Before doing so, I cut a rectangle, folded it in half and sandwiched it between my two layers to become my drawstring channel. Again, easy peasy, but a bit bulky. If I were to do it again I might use a more "structured" but thinner fabric like flannel rather than fleece.

Finally, my mp3 player sleeve. I have wanted to make one forever, like, you don't even know. I got this in my freshman year of college. It's a beautiful thing, the Samsung T10. All sleek and black, touch interface, it's great. However, I have a habit of treating my belongings roughly, and my mp3 player is no exception. Finally, after three years of ownership and two years of actually being able to crochet and sew, I have made a cover to protect it from further abuse!

Yay! I used a nice, thin yarn I bought from China. It's this really sweet, pinkish purple color that doesn't quite come through in the photos. I used a very simple pattern, two rounds of single crochet alternating with a row of double crochet, to give it just enough detail to be interesting but not so much that it gets cheesy. Also, I added the long button strap so I can secure my earbuds there as well. This was pretty important to me because I used to wrap my earbuds around my mp3 player. Whenever I wanted to connect my mp3 player to the car (I have a tape cassette converter, and, yes, my car is old enough to have a cassette deck >.<), I'd have to leave my earbuds in a jumble in my purse, and it was annoying! But no more! Now, I can easily slide my mp3 player out and leave my earbuds nice and neat. Everybody wins!

All right, so that was a lot. Thanks for sticking with me! Let me know if you have any questions, and remember, feedback is a sign of love! I'd love to hear your comments! :)

'Til next time!


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  1. Wow, great stuff! I love the mouse bag, would be really good for my mouse that doesn't fit in my netbook bag!

    Also, I have a great Dove chocolate giveaway going on right now and would love if stopped by and entered:

    ~Katie @ Eye Spy DIY

  2. Hi! I'm so glad I found your blog...some adorable patterns and projects...I will for sure be trying the Forever 21 scarf. New follower here! :)