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Dyeing vs Painting Shoes

For those that read sewing blogs you might have seen this post.

I made the mistake of trying to dye a pair bright yellow Nine West shoes green. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the dye wouldn’t take because the leather was painted. To save the shoes, I bought a gray shoe spray paint.


Here’s a picture of the disaster I made with dye:


And, here’s after one coat:


And, done:


Looks great, right?

I’m pretty happy. It’s pretty difficult to find shoes this color gray difficult too. So, I’m glad to have a can of paint on store.

Simplicity 8834 Tank Top


This is a simple tank I keep making over and over. I finally took the darts out of the pattern. (I’ll link to the tutorial I used in my next post.)

The fabric is very sheer (probably a rayon and polyester mix) so I sewed a full lining rather than just the facing. The  layers move nicely and although the hem is unintentionally stiff (I used stitch witchery), it creates an interesting effect.



Nursing Blanket

I finished a nursing cover this weekend. I need to make another, but this will go in the mail today since my sister’s baby came earlier than expected.

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There are a lot of tutorials for nursing covers and they aren’t difficult to sew. Most of them call for a piece of boning for the stability around the neck (so the mother can look down and see the baby). I didn’t have boning on hand, so I cut up a two liter soda bottle. The piece came to about 13 in. which is  about what the tutorials were calling for.


Other than that, straight forward measuring, pressing and hemming really.

Grow Herbs


I also managed to re-pot some herbs. I bought them last week and unfortunately they are already looking desperate. From what I read, that’s probably because they are not getting enough light. It sounds like I’ll need to supplement the daylight with a grow light and possibly take them from the window at night if it gets too cold. I bought a grow light bulb this weekend, but unless I can put it on a timer, I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to turning on the bulb and rotating the plants to and from the window everyday.


Sleeve Placket


It took me months to face the sleeve plackets on my western shirt and I’m still not happy with how they turned out.  The pattern called for a more simple version than the traditional plackets you see on collared shirts. Even so, I found the plackets incredibly difficult and tedious in the same way I loathe applying bias binding. The front stitching looks ok but like bias binding, I can never catch the back evenly. Also, because of the tight curve at the top of the slit it looks like I created a wrinkle shooting from the apex. I’m not certain of the wrinkle because the slit closed gives another shape. I’ll have to wait until the cuff it on to really be sure.

Because I HAD to take a break from the wrist area, I managed to make progress with a sleeve, easing it in without any tucks. Woohoo! I think I may have cheated by shrinking the armpit/ shoulder hole of the sleeve and enlarging the armpit hole of the bodice. Hopefully that doesn’t have a negative impact on the fit. When I tried it on, it seemed to fit, though.


Scanning Patterns – Pt. 2


A few months ago, I shared a scanner hack I found on the nets. A few weeks ago, I finally finished modifying a Cannon Lide 90 I bought on ebay using a Dremel saw. Dremel tools are much less powerful than I had hoped. The sawing took almost a half a day and I never did bother with sanding the edges of the plastic  to make them smooth. Anyway, I had some initial trouble with the scanner falling off the track and once I got that back in securely, I was mostly ok – minus the always annoying download of drivers on ancient laptops we have around the house.

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