August 31, 2008

new patches and kits in the shop!

first real quick, if you’re in the portland area, i just want to let you know my zine is restocked at powell’s on hawthorne (it had been sold out for a long time, and is still out downtown), newly stocked at guapo comics, and still stocked at q is for choir. in case anyone local wants to take a look… (of course, if you’re not local, you can just buy it through me)

leethal recycled fabric coffee patch! leethal recycled fabric tea patch! leethal recycled fabric beer patch!

i just added about 15 new clock kits (scroll to the bottom of the page) and a bunch of new patches! wooooo! here is my blog post about both my patches and clock kits from the time of the first batches. and here’s what the clock kit mini-zines look like:

clock kit zines

and a few of my favorite new clock faces:

leethal clock kit! leethal clock kit! leethal clock kit!

as for the patches, i made a top-stitched version of each different design, including the ones at the top, and these:

leethal recycled fabric tape recorders patch! leethal recycled fabric shoot patch!

i made a bunch of new “i’m a baller” patches too, but they sold out at the zine symposium! i’ll try to make more soon! all clock kits and patches are assorted recycled fabrics, printed by me with my hand-carved linoleum blocks.

also new in the shop, 2 different overdyed merino bracelet kits! the one that’s just called “overdyed brown” is dyed with bits of green and blue, which only shows up in short spots, making a cool subtly-variegated brown yarn. the dark red is the same original brown merino, overdyed with lots of red, making a nice deep solid red yarn.

knit bracelet kit - overdyed brown merino knit bracelet kit - dark red merino

the other 2 bracelet kits, which are variegated yarn, normally cost more because of the multi-colors, but i’ve put them on sale for the same as the others because i have a bunch of them and want to make room for new colors. they are a bulkier weight wool blend, one dyed pastelish shades of blue, green, and bits of orange, and the other is shades of purples and (purpleish) red.

variegated knit bracelet kit variegated knit bracelet kit

(because those are older kits, the buttons are hiding underneath the yarn, so you’ll be surprised!)

ok that’s all for now, but there will be more shop news tomorrow, and hopefully another tutorial very soon!!

Filed under: leethal store,portland stuff,printing,yarn — leethal @ 6:31 pm

recycley skirt how-to part 3: simple sweatshirt skirts!

turquoiseskirt1.jpg orangeskirt.jpg

oookay this one has been on hold for awhile, so i’m happy to finally bring you the sweatshirt edition of my recycled skirts series! and to make up for the pause between projects, this one is actually 2 different designs! if you have a blank sweatshirt (or you don’t mind the image being upside down) you can make the skirt on the left (above), where the bottom of the sweatshirt becomes the waistband of the skirt. if you have a sweatshirt with an image you like, you can make the skirt on the right with the band around the bottom…

redskirt1.jpg blueskirt.jpg

for the sweatshirt bottom as waistband version, it’s best to choose a sweatshirt with a still-stretchy bottom band, and the best results will happen when the band fits your waist well so you don’t have to take it in. the turquoise sweatshirt i used did not fit these recommendations, so i did have to bring it in at the waist, with resulted in a weirdly-shaped skirt which i will probably only ever wear over pants to hide the weirdness. the above examples had better fitted bands, and i made them into the most simple version, which is just chopping the sweatshirt across under the sleeves, leaving you with a mini-skirt. i’m not the mini-skirt wearing type, but i like the red one over pants, and i plan to add something along the bottom of the blue one to make it longer. anyway, if you are into short skirts, that’s the super easiest version.

turquoiseskirthowto1.jpg turquoiseskirthowto6.jpg

if you want it longer, it’s not much more work, still super simple. chop the sleeves off straight up from the body…

turquoiseskirthowto2.jpg

…so you have a vest-like thing like this:

turquoiseskirthowto3.jpg

then chop the top straight across so you have this:

turquoiseskirthowto4.jpg

now you can flip it upside down and try it on as a skirt. if the waistband fits you well, awesome! if it’s too big, like mine was, you’ll have to bring it in somehow. depending on the thickness of the fabric, and on your sewing skills, you could try putting it elastic or a drawstring. i sewed the sides in as pictured, and it didn’t work out great… i think it would have been better had i come in even more and sewed down further at less of an angle.

turquoiseskirthowto5.jpg

as for the bottom, you can choose to leave the slits, or sew them closed. i chose to stitch them closed with embroidery floss as pictured below (click the image to see it bigger). and, a close-up of a good, stretchy waistband with no bringing-in required. (oh, a side note, if you want to know more about the circle printing i did on the turquoise skirt, i did a threadbanger post about it over here.)

turquoiseskirt2.jpg redskirt2.jpg

so if you have a sweatshirt with an image on it, it’s not much harder, and you don’t have to worry about the size of the sweatshirt or the stretchiness of the band. as long as the sweatshirt body, measured across the middle, will fit around your hips/butt area, it’ll work.

orangehowto1.jpg blackskirt.jpg

the first step is the same as the last design, chop the sleeves up the sides:

orangehowto3.jpg

then, also like the last one, chop the top off, but this time be careful to cut as high up as possible, just under the collar, because of the image.

orangehowto4.jpg

now it looks like this, and all you need to do is sew the sides in to fit your waist…

orangehowto5.jpg

turn the skirt inside out, pull it on, and pin it evenly on the sides so it fits well.

orangehowto6.jpg

you could use safety pins to pin all the way down your sides while wearing it to get a perfect fit. or you could do what i did, which is to pull it off, pin along the edges to hold the sides together, and mark with chalk where to sew. the photoshopped dotted line represents how my chalk line should have looked for a better fitting skirt. (you can see in the bottom picture how the black skirt is shaped better than the orange, that’s how it should be sewn, like the black one.)

orangehowto7.jpg

after you sew the sides up, you can fold the top under and sew a hem if you want. it won’t unravel or anything without a hem, but i think it makes for a more fitted waist, so i sewed hems on mine.

blackandorangeskirts.jpg

oh yeah, by the way, i have no connection to florida, i just like the alligator (/crocodile?) guy and, of course, the orange. got the sweatshirt at a yard sale in wisconsin for 50cents…

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,personal,skirts,threadbanger,tutorials — leethal @ 10:38 am

August 26, 2008

zine overload and i knit a sweater!

the zine symposium was pretty awesome! here is what my cramped little half-table space looked like:

leethal (half)table my table at the portland zine symposium

while it felt similar to a craft show, it was pretty different from what i’m used to… i only sold small stuff – zines, buttons, patches – and i did a ton of swapping! i met a lot of awesome people and it felt rad to be a part of the event, it had a real community kind of feeling. so, wanna see what i got? everything was traded!

zines

arts & crafts revolution vol.2 arts & crafts revolution rip, stab, stitch

all three of those – arts & crafts revolution vol’s 1+2 and rip, stab, stitch – are by terri anderson of vancouver, bc and are flipping awesome! rip, stitch, stab is a long, detailed book-binding how-to zine, full of hand-drawn illustrations and fabulous ideas. the first vol. of arts & crafts revolution is a cute little one that states on the first page: “this is mainly a zine of ideas… a jumping off point. not an instruction booklet.” heck yeah! my kind of craft zine for sure. and vol.2 is a big fat amazing crafty book of awesomeness! including: basics of sewing, knitting, stamping, screen printing, sections on “thrift craft” and “enviro crafts”, how-to’s on yarn scrap dryer balls, craft apron, record bowls, a big section on “damn the man crafts” (“dismantle the system… one stitch at a time!”), and lastly, diy kink. holy crap this zine is rad, the only problem is, i don’t know how you can buy it! i can’t find a website or any online distros that carry any of these. so, i don’t want to post terri’s email here on my blog, but if you leave a comment or email me i would love to give you her email so you can order a copy from her!

what did you buy today? destination diy

those two don’t go together, just trying to group pictures… the first one, “what did you buy today?” is volume 26 of the obsessive consumption zine by kate bingaman-burt. i had read about kate on diane’s blog so i was super excited to see her at the event. i really love her drawing style, makes me want to draw more like i used to back in college. it was so hard to choose one zine for the swap – there were something like 32 issues, all with different gorgeous covers.

destination diy is the zine about the podcast of the same name, which used to be “diy portland” and is one of the many reasons we moved up here! i got to meet julie sabatier and she was super awesome and nice, and i even got mini-interviewed for the podcast, although i think what i said was kinda dumb so i doubt i’ll be on. (“what’s your favorite thing about the portland zine symposium?” “umm, i don’t have a favorite thing, i love the community feel of everything…..” something like that.) and i got a sticker to put on my car and show my diy pride! and, i did a swap with destination diy intern hilary galian for the hands print on fabric below (left).

hands print potential patch

the brown+pink patch is by drew nowhere, who also gave me all 4 of his subterranea travel zines!

subterranea library polaroid the journey of quetzalcoatlus

the multnomah county library zine people had a table 2 over from me, and they took polaroids of people with their giant library card all weekend, so on sunday before it was over i had to get one taken! yay library!!

the journey of the quetzalcoatlus is by james williams, who was the other half of my table. we had actually met before, at the library zine social a few months ago, so it worked out well that he ended up sharing my table. he was nice about watching my side while i walked around a little and stuff. his comic zines are pretty rad, great artwork, and that one is educational too! oh and he drew me while bored on the first day, hehe.

the following are various zines i got that i don’t have links for, but if you click on the pictures the flickr pages have the title and creator info…

i swear forbearance poe-a bad breath bee finger tales of del taco

i wish i’d done some walking around and trading on saturday, i think i missed out on a lot. i met sam of chickeney on saturday, who had bought some buttons from me awhile back, and she got some more, and i’d planned to check out her stuff on sunday but i didn’t see her there. but, i was kind of hurrying and overwhelmed with all the stuff to check out, so i could have walked right past her, and other cool things. i didn’t want to be away from my table for long, so i didn’t do nearly as much trading as i wish i’d been able to do. oh well… i still got lots of neato stuff!

moving on from zines, i did the knitolympics/ravolympics this year and made my first sweater ever!! it’s a twinkle pattern, so it uses size 19 needles! it’s the “marilyn jacket” from twinkle’s big city knits. and here it is:

marilyn jacket marilyn jacket marilyn jacket

marilyn jacket marilyn jacket marilyn jacket

if i try to close it in front it looks terrible, so i’m not gonna bother putting on buttons or a tie or anything. i might end up putting an edge around the sleeve bottoms. i copied raveler A-L and did the k1p1 trim all the way around the back, i’m glad i did that, it would be too short without it.

i found a great dark red bulky sweater at the bins to unravel for my next sweater project, so now i need to decide whether to choose another twinkle pattern, or one from this book! i’m sticking with fat-needle projects for now, i was way into how quickly that marilyn jacket knit up!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,lots of links,portland stuff,swap — leethal @ 10:28 am

August 23, 2008

portland 1 year anniversary and zine symposium!

oh man, sorry the blog has been slow going, i’ve had my third skirt tutorial almost-ready for days now, but haven’t had time to finish and post. hey guess what, today was our 1yr in portland anniversary day, yeah! but before i get to that, i have something important to tell all my portland readers:

i’m going to be selling leethal goodies at the portland zine symposium this weekend!! i’m totally nervous because i’ve never even been to the zine symposium before, but i’ve heard lots about it and wanted to go so badly last year but it was happening about a week earlier so i wasn’t quite up here yet. so i don’t really have any idea what it’s gonna be like. there were so many people wanting a table that i got cut to a half-table, so i’ll be sharing with a mystery person, and pete’s working, so i’ll be alone with my social awkwardness. and i don’t know what kinds of things people want to buy, so in addition to zines of course, i’m bringing almost all my leethal inventory except for (full-size) yarn (i am bringing bracelet kits).

ok jumping around a little more… last week i sent off my samples for the september sampler, which consisted of: bracelet kits, stitch markers, coffee/tea/beer patches, and button duos. and also ten media samples, which were “leethal goodie bags” stuffed with: a bracelet kit, “i’m a baller” patch, “shoot!” patch, and a leethal button. sooo, when i was making all the samples i made lots of extras of everything, which will be with me at the zine symposium and then up in my shop next week.

so check it out, new stuff! and new versions of old stuff! new bracelet kits with merino yarn – from a brown sweater overdyed dark red, and overdyed with bits of green and blue. and i changed the way i do my bracelet kit packaging! i discovered an amazing, life-changing tool called a dental floss threader which makes it super quick+easy to thread yarn through buttons, so now i’m putting the buttons on the outsides of the kits instead of hiding them under the yarn. (unfortunately, i’ve just used up the last of the cardboard letters and scrap has no more, so more package redesigning will be happening with the bracelet kits…)
bracelet kits

i also changed my patch “packaging” – i’m now paperclipping the patches to my little patch paper, with one bead on each paperclip to dress them up!

patches for samples

and my brand new patches, shoot!

shoot patch

new button sets!!

needles/yarn button duos

and a new collection of recycled portland map buttons! (more details about the new buttons when i get them up in the shop…)

recycled portland map buttons

so if you get a chance to come by the symposium, be sure to say hi! and now onto some portland 1 year reflections…. the year went by so crazy fast, i really cannot believe it’s been a year, but then in other ways, i’ve accomplished a lot and feel totally at home here. some things i/we planned to do super soon after moving that didn’t exactly happen as planned…

we thought we’d get a cat right away up here, and we’re still catless. but… i have “kitty day” on my ical for sept 17th and we are definitely getting one, it’s a set plan now instead of just “we want a cat someday…”

we were supposed to have a road trip up to seattle from california in february ’07 that ended up in a scary snowed-in adventure, so we planned to make it up there asap once we moved, and i’ve still never been! but… we have a definite plan and place to sleep (thanks amber!!) and everything for this coming wednesday-thursday!

lots of other places i’ve wanted to check out for the last year, like astoria and olympia (but we’ll go there on wednesday) and canada! pete still needs a passport for that one, but hopefully we’ll get to astoria super soon…

our place is still far from being as organized as i’ve wanted it to be, but that is a problem that will be resolved before kitty day comes, since i can’t have yarny stuff etc out everywhere anymore. that’s something i should have dealt with way before our 1 year point though, like getting art up on the walls, but that’s just how i roll.

umm we both still have california driver’s licenses, that’s pretty lame. i hate being carded. that will be a pretty easy fix once i just get my butt to the dmv.

issue #2 of do stuff! i really thought i’d have at least one more issue, if not several more, released by now, but no. i really do plan to release another. really, i promise! also zine related, i had planned to join the iprc right away, and i just joined on monday!

ok enough of that list. a list of what i have done would be much much longer, so i won’t really attempt that one, but the major things include: quit the day job and am self-employed!! woooo!!!! registered leethal so it’s an official business in oregon (did that pretty soon after moving), joined trillium artisans (still plan on a whole post about that, soon!), made a bunch of superawesome crafty fabulous friends and have a bit of a social life (which i didn’t have in long beach during my time between college and portland), became a spinner, became a published knit designer…. lots of other crafty things, i’ll stop the list now. in conclusion, yay portland! we love you!!!!

Filed under: leethal store,personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 1:29 am

August 16, 2008

belated tour wrapup and new yarns!

remember the tour de fleece? remember how i said i planned to make one skein per day to put in my shop? yeah that didn’t happen. that first week i was sooo into it and made so many rad yarns, i guess i drained all my energy and ran out of steam to keep it up. i did keep spinning through the tour, i didn’t fail completely, but i spun mostly little trial mini-skeins to try out new fibers or techniques. the whole 2+ weeks after that first week i spun one skein for sale, and one single that’s still on the bobbin waiting to be plied. ok so here is my first week:

tour de fleece week 1!

and here are the 2nd and 3rd weeks combined:

Tour de Fleece after week 1

(that is the same yarn at the end of week 1 and beginning of week 2 – i spun the single on day 7 and navajo plied it on day 8.) highlights… i spun 100% bamboo for the first time, navajo plied – it’s that bright turquoise shiny mini-skein. spun 100% cotton (organic) for the first time, freaking hard! that 26yards of 2-ply cotton took me about as long to spin as maybe 100yards of 2-ply wool. but i like how it turned out, it’s pretty. and i practiced spinning balanced singles with some insubordiknit dyed wool, i really love how that one turned out!

mysingles1.jpg

the only tour yarn i’ve knit with so far was the scraptastic skein i spun for myself in the first week.

handspunhat1.jpg

as for the yarns i spun to sell… only one of that big batch sold so far, the scraptastic purples flufforama, and it was made into this beautiful scarf by Lynne:

scarf1.jpg

so that means most of those tour yarns are still up for grabs, and these two yarns have just been added to the shop today:

unevenplied01.jpg beadedthreadplied06.jpg

that second one took me way long to spin, with all those loops and beehives and beads!! i was hesitating to even sell it, so i set the price pretty high to make it worth it to me… if no one grabs it and i think of a project i want it for, i’ll keep it for myself! the first one is super fun too – i plied in unevenly on purpose, switching the tension back and forth between the singles, so there are tons of wrapped sections, i think it looks awesome!!

i have some other fun new things coming to the shop soon, and an announcement about my yarn for sale locally in pdx! just need to edit a ton of photos first…. happy saturday, and if you’re in portland, hope you’re handling this heat better than i am!!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,photos,yarn — leethal @ 4:05 pm

August 12, 2008

Mr. Pointy: the hat of many faces!

cotton3.jpg blendy2.jpg

ohmygosh it’s a new knitting pattern! woo hoo! i have been working on this pattern, on and off, since april! upon finishing my first version, it wasn’t at all what i had imagined/planned, so i was kind of disappointed and put it aside… but once i adjusted to what it had become, i grew to love it! so i made another, testing out the pattern, in cotton this time for summer. and when that one was finally done about a week and a half ago (started it in june and had to keep putting it down to complete other more time-sensitive projects) i decided a couple pattern elements needed to be retested and i knit another! luckily i got the third one done in about a week, blocked it over the weekend, and stayed up late into the night last night completing the 6 page pdf!!

hat sneaky preview cotton1.jpg

ok enough back story, on to the hat! it’s not my usual, i’m branching out from the whole short-rows, knit-flat thing, back to my knit-round hat roots. this is a crazy asymmetrical design, with a different number of stitches between each point, giving you a variety of positioning options when wearing it. increases and decreases form a wavy pattern in the stripes and points along the edge; and yes, mr. pointy is a buffy reference!

hats square

here’s all the essential info, copied straight from the pdf:

Size: adult. (fits my 22inch head well, but the hat gets blocked, so it will block to fit slightly smaller or larger adult heads)

Yarn: about 90 yards of any yarn ranging worsted to bulky.

yarns I used:
3-color blues hat – Uruguay Chunky by Queensland Collection (merino/alpaca/silk blend, bulky weight)
2-color blue + brown – Nature Cotton by Araucania (thick + thin cotton, worsted weight)
blendy blue + purples – my own hand-dyed recycled (alpaca/acrylic blend, worsted weight)

Needles: size US 9 16″ circular, a set of size 9 double pointed, and a crochet hook size appropriate for your yarn.

You also need 10 stitch markers total – 5 of one type/color and 5 of another type/color. And a balloon for blocking.

Gauge: 4 sts/inch after blocking. (again, the hat gets stretched and blocked to fit, so exact gauge isn’t super important, as long as it’s close.)

Skills Needed: just basic knitting with increases and decreases, in the round on circulars and dpn’s; basic crochet – single crochet stitch with increases and decreases.

the pdf itself is 6 pages full of high-quality color photos, with the actual pattern contained on one page so you don’t need to print all 6 pages. i think/hope i explained all the elements of the making of the hat in enough detail, but you can always come to me with any questions you might have.

pattern pdf cover

and, this glorious pdf is for sale for only $3! you can buy it right here, right now, by clicking this link. or, through ravelry by going to the pattern page. or through my patterns+yarn page. i’m sorry i can’t make it free, it took me way too freakin long, and i’m doing this for a living now. so i’ll super appreciate every single copy that sells!!

Filed under: hats,knitting,leethal store — leethal @ 11:32 am

August 11, 2008

recycley skirt how-to part 2: vintage sheet double wraparound!

wearingskirt2.jpg wearingskirt1.jpg

ok time for my next skirt tutorial! this concept came to me when i was thinking about wanting to make skirts with vintage bedsheets but how some of them can be pretty see-through… so i thought, double layered would be cool… and the double wraparound idea was born! this sheet is a little silly, but the design worked out well, so now i can make more skirts with sheets i like better…

so you take your sheet and cut/rip it lengthwise to the length you want your skirt, then lay it flat across the floor. (if yours is as wrinkled as mine was, you might want to iron it!)

skirttutorial1.jpg

now: measure around your waist where you want the skirt to sit. divide this number in half, giving you a. measure across the length of the sheet strip. take this full length measurement and subtract a x 4. now divide that number by 3, giving you b. make marks on the sheet starting at the top a from the edge, then b over from that first mark, on the bottom, then across a on the bottom, b over on the top, a across the top, over b on the bottom, and then the remaining width on the bottom should be a. don’t worry about following those written directions, i made a diagram!

skirt tutorial

the easiest way to mark the points is to fold the sheet lengthwise and just make sure you’re marking on the correct side, like this: (i used green sharpie, but it’s probably better to use something that’s actually meant for marking on fabric…)

skirttutorial2.jpg

now just cut between the marks and you’ll have 4 panels that’ll fit together to make your skirt. the 2 sheet edges don’t flare out, so choose which end you like better to be the front/outside and use the other end panel for the opposite side. sew all the panels together, and you have a double wraparound skirt!

skirttutorial3.jpg

a note about sizing/adjustments…. my b measurement was 5 1/3 inches, which worked well for the amount of flare (a-line angle) it gave my knee-length skirt. the design might look a bit crazy if the flare angle is much more than mine, and if you’re thinner than me then it probably will be, depending on your sheet + skirt length. if you’re making a longer skirt, b can be bigger, and if your skirt is shorter then b should be smaller – you’ll want to look at the angle of flare when you make the marks and see if it looks ok. if the angle is too much and you need a smaller b, try dividing by 4 instead of 3 – if the new b makes for a better angle, mark your fabric the same as the diagram but add an extra b flare at one of the edges, so you’ll have a triangle of scrap fabric left over. make sense? if b is still too big when dividing by 4, try dividing by 5, and making both end panels flare out on both sides, leaving two scraps.

and for the closure…. i used buttons because i had just been sorting my button stash and wanted to use some, but it would be super easy to do a tied closure. because of the double wrap design, the inside end is right behind the outside end, with one layer of fabric between. so, to make a tied closure, you’d just snip a buttonhole in that in-between piece right where the two ends line up, and attach ties (fabric strips, ribbons, whatever you want) to each of the end corners. when putting on the skirt, bring the inside tie through that hole, and tie with the outside, yay! (if you want to use buttons like mine, there is one hidden button on the inside holding the inner panel closed. i marked where to put all the buttons and buttonholes by wrapping the skirt around me how i wanted to wear it and safety-pinning where they should go.)

skirtflat1.jpg skirtbuttonscloseup.jpg

oh yeah i almost forgot to mention – after sewing the panels together, i hemmed the top and bottom edges. i left the inside edge raw because it’s hiding and i’m lazy (not lazy, just always rushed). the outside edge was the original sheet hem. if you like the deconstructed look, sheets have nice raw edges so you can just leave them alone.

after the skirt was complete and i tried it on, i found that since the buttons are lined up along the side edge, i could wear the skirt backwards if i wanted to…

skirtflat2.jpg

and when playing with different skirt positions i discovered that i really like how it looks with the seam down the middle!

skirtflat3.jpg

ok i hope this tutorial made sense, it’s a little weird. the basic concept is easy – 4 a-line panels, the tops each measuring half of your waist. if you have an a-line skirt that fits you well, feel free to ignore all my equations and stuff and just use that skirt as a template to make your own pattern! just trace the skirt flat on the sheet 4 times to make your 4 panels, it should work well… ok have fun finding and recycling some rad vintage sheets!

wearingskirt3.jpg wearingskirt5.jpg wearingskirt4.jpg

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,skirts,tutorials — leethal @ 12:06 pm

August 3, 2008

recycley skirt how-to part 1: asymmetrical scrunchy t-skirt!

t-skirt t-skirt

yay, it’s the first of my many-part series of how-to’s for skirts made from various recycled things! i’m going to try to do one per week, and there will be 4 or 5 or maybe even more different skirt projects, woo!

i’m starting simple with this t-skirt – you just need one t-shirt and some basic sewing ability. oh yeah, i should add, about all the designs: i am not at all a skilled sewer, so every project i do that involves sewing will be friendly to low experience levels. you’ll basically need a machine and the knowledge to use it and that’s all, nothing fancy! ok here we go!

first, pick out a shirt. to make sure your skirt will fit how you want it, measure around your butt/thighs area to get your largest skirt-area measurement. my measurement is 44in, and i wanted my skirt to be comfy-fitting, not too snug, so i made sure my shirt measured at least 22in across or a little more, meaning it would fit around me fine without having to stretch too much. you will be sewing the shirt in a bit, so if you want it extra loose, it should be about 4 inches bigger than you are. t-shirts do stretch, of course, so depending on your specific shirt’s stretchiness and your fitting preference, your shirt of choice could measure less than you do. i chose this rem shirt that was pete’s from high school – he almost gave it away when cleaning out his closet, but i held onto it to make it something new, yay!

t-skirt how-to 1

now you need to chop off the sleeves. instead of cutting along the seams, just cut straight up following the body of the shirt. i used a rotary cutter, but scissors will work fine.

t-skirt how-to 2

now your shirt should look like this (front side):

t-skirt how-to 3

now chop off the top, straight across, to cut off the collar part and open up the whole thing.

t-skirt how-to 4

slip on the soon-to-be skirt and hold it together where it fits comfortably. pin in place down the sides so that the two sides meet the edges asymmetrically. the way i did this: when i tried on the skirt i pinned only the top pin on each side, then carefully took it off. i put it flat on the ground and put the pins in as shown in the picture, the left side going down further than the right side. then i (very carefully) slipped the skirt back on to make sure it fit well. (use safety pins if you don’t want to poke yourself when trying it on.)

t-skirt how-to 5

now sew along where the pins were – wrong sides together!! the dotted lines are over the stitching, which you could barely see in the picture. then cut through both layers one inch out from the seam, represented by the solid line.

t-skirt how-to 6

on each side, fold the one inch flappy parts outwards and sew them down along the edges, forming tubes on either side of the seams about 3/4inch wide. do not sew these parts closed on any end! when the flaps get narrow at the bottom, just keep sewing parallel to the center seam until you hit the end of the flap. (i only have a photo from after i put in the drawstring, but you get the idea.)

t-skirt how-to 10

cut drawstring pieces at least as long as up the seam tubes and back down. i used t-shirt pieces – when you cut strips of t-shirt fabric about 1/2in-1in wide and stretch them out they make great cord for this purpose. you can even use strips cut from the sleeves you cut off if you want the same color.

t-skirt how-to 7

on each side of the skirt, pin a safety pin to the end of the drawstring and thread it up one tube and back down the other side.

t-skirt how-to 8

now just pull the strings to cinch it all up and tie in a knot or a bow – you can do this while wearing the skirt to get it cinched just right. this picture is from my first version of this design (which is shown below), with contrasting thread so you can see what’s going on better. it’s always good to use zig-zag stitch on t-shirt fabric, but since you’re scrunching up the sewn parts of this skirt it’s not super important in this case.

t-skirt how-to 9

i have this vision in my head of making this same skirt design except crazier – with like 7-9 scrunched drawstring parts, all different lengths, with one going all the way to the bottom! someday when i have a little free time i’ll try it out. you could also make this skirt with the drawstring only on one side, and just sew the other with right sides together for a regular seam. if you make a skirt based on this design idea, i’d really love to see a picture!!

t-skirt (first version) t-skirt t-skirt

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,skirts,tutorials — leethal @ 5:43 pm

August 1, 2008

stenciling class tomorrow!

oops i forgot to post this earlier in the week like i meant to, but you should still be able to join the class last minute. just wanted to remind anyone who might be interested that i’m teaching a freezer paper stencil class at the 100th monkey studio tomorrow (saturday) from 2-4. i just stenciled onto this old skirt today for one last practice/sample before the class:

dandelion dandelion stencil

it’s a skirt i’ve had forever and used to wear all the time in college, but i haven’t worn it for years because it’s not quite my style anymore i guess. but it’s super duper comfy, so hopefully now that it’s printed on i’ll want to wear it more…

Filed under: portland stuff,printing — leethal @ 8:16 pm

blog improvement!

ok so here’s the thing. i know my blog has been not-so-awesome for awhile now; i have not been living up to my “do stuff!” goals of making this blog an inspiring collection of project ideas, causing everyone who comes across it to want to go out and, you know, do stuff! because of everything i’ve had going on, for weeks at a time the blog has been nothing but leethal store announcements, and that is no good. so i’m afraid i’ve lost readers, or that readers have kind of stopped paying attention even when i do post projects.

soooo, my point of course, i am now making a major effort to turn this all around. i have some fun projects lined up, some giveaways, lots of maybe-ideas… what i want to ask of you is, what do you want to see on do stuff!? i’m going to list a bunch of subjects i could try to make regular posts and if you could take a minute to comment to let me know what you’ve love to see here, that would be so fantastic and hopefully help me to make this blog a great source of diy inspiration! here it goes:

clothing projects – stuff like the shirt sleeve skirt post, assorted clothing reconstruction/embellishment… i do have a series of projects/designs based on a common theme planned, which will start later tonight or tomorrow, but i could do more shorter (not full tutorial) posts if you want – like, “hey look i made this” kind of posts.

food-related – i am not much of a foodie person, but i do occasionally bake or make interesting things in the kitchen. i’ve thought about posting about food here before but haven’t done so yet…

book-related – not full on book reviews, but kind of like the post i did on cosy’s book a few weeks ago. like, a project i made from the book and a little blurb about the book itself. of course, this would be all different crafts and things, not just knitting.

heads up about my threadbanger posts – i could do a quick post here each week letting you know what i posted on threadbanger, just to let you know in case it’s something you’d want to check out.

portland places/news – i don’t know how big of a percentage of my readers are here in pdx, but is there interest in more portlandy posts?

home decor/origanizing ideas/etc – my apt is too small and super messy, so i’m always trying to come up with new ways to keep things in semi-order. i have a couple things i’m planning on posting about, but i’ll put more focus into that if there’s interest.

photography-related – i do have a background in photography and i collect old cameras and stuff, so i could post random little photo how-to’s, links to fun projects and ideas, that kind of thing…

yarn porn – pictures of yarn i spun or dyed, pretty much for the sake of looking pretty. (i doubt using that word on my blog could possibly bring me more spam comments than i already have!)

random fun/personal stuff – things like flickr games, meme thingys, stuff like that.

ok i think that’s enough of a list to give me an idea of what to focus on – now pleeease let me know what you want to see! i hope i haven’t scared/bored too many people away with my lack of interesting posts in past months. stay tuned for fun stuff, i promise!

and just so this isn’t a pictureless post, here are my first two hat projects from that japanese hat book i showed you. the first one, made from sweatershirt pieces, is an exact pattern from the book:

sweatshirt hat sweatshirthat2.jpg

and my second one is my own design, based on that design from the book. same kind of shape structure, but the center/top shape is a rectangle and the middle section is triangular. it’s made from t-shirt pieces. i think it has potential, made with fabric other than t-shirt…

tshirthat6.jpg tshirthat2.jpg

Filed under: hats,personal,random stuff — leethal @ 2:50 pm
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