Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OWU Spotlight: Box Clutch

Lots to things to announce! First things first, there is a small shop update coming this weekend! Just a few items but it's been a while so I am very excited!

Another source of excitement is that my Etsy store is getting a makeover! Several of my listings are slooowly be updated with model photos of yours truly. I have wanted to do this for some time and so with the help of a dear friend over the weekend, I have tons of photos creeping into my store.

While showing off these new pics, I am going to be doing a series of blog posts featuring each of my designs. Starting today!

One of my favourite designs is the simplest one: the box clutch. (No, it's not a box. I like the name and it stays :D!) The perfect size for your makeup, your e-reader, or just use it for items that you want to keep separate in your purse. I make a box clutch out of my favourite fabrics. Check them out with their two-toned counterparts here!

1. Aztec Print
2. Purple Lace
3. Teal Tapestry
4. Blue and Gold

Saturday, February 23, 2013

DIY Knitted Boot Cuffs

It's winter. It's cold. You're sad. Time to make something! I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day trying to explain what boot cuffs were.

"Are they socks?" 
"No, they're cut off so it only looks like you're wearing socks." 
"Like legwarmers?" 
"Tiny ones, yes." 
"So…they're leg bracelets."  

This is a fun and simple knitting pattern for cozy, cabled leg bracelets boot cuffs. Enjoy!

What You'll Need:

Bernat Roving (half a ball used for one pair)
US 11 (8mm) needles
Cable needle
Yarn needle

Make two.

Cast on 47

Rows 1 and 16: K1, P1, rep and end on K1

Rows 2 and 17: P1, K1, rep and end on P1 (this will create two rows of 1x1 rib at the bottom and top of your cuff)

Rows 3, 7, 9, 11 and 15: P3, K8, repeat 3 more times, end with P3

Rows 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14: K3, P8, repeat 3 more times, end with K3

Rows 5 and 13: P3, cable 4 forward (slip 4 stitches onto your cable needle, hold in front of your work, knit 4, knit the 4 off of your needle), repeat 3 more times, end with P3

Bind off. Measures 14 x 4.5 inches. Using a yarn needle, stitch together to form the cuff; weave in the ends. 

Make a pair in every colour!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inspiration: Seventh Tree

Ever since Goldfrapp's fourth album, Seventh Tree, came out in 2008, I have considered it to be a great inspiration, both musically and visually. All of the promotional photography from this band's era hits home: dark wooded scenes, contrasting soft and vibrant colours, the all around warm and cozy feeling it evokes. The album itself is absolutely perfect sewing music. And "Caravan Girl" has a perma-spot on all road trip mixes.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Favourite Things

My friend Leia and I recently spent a few weeks embarking on a Closet Shopping challenge. The idea was to come up with brand-new work outfits using the clothes we have instead of feeling like the only "new" things were from stores. We sent each other photos every morning and the challenge forced me to try combinations I would have never considered. It was fun!

The whole idea it got me thinking about appreciating other things I own, not just clothing. I am trying to cut back on shopping in general. The internet makes lusting after things just part of my day (stupid Pinterest!) but in my home there are certain pieces that will follow me anywhere.

1. My beast of a sewing machine.
2. & 3. Embroidery by my grandmother.
4. Topaz and garnet ring from One Garnet Girl.

Happy long weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Makeup Bag

This tutorial will show you how to make a cute and easy pouch for your cosmetics! Make one for your purse or as a gift. Let's get started!

What You'll Need: 

Sewing machine, matching thread, 7 inch zipper (I'm using a nice chunky one for this project!), cotton lining fabric, sturdy outer fabric, zipper foot, regular foot, seam ripper (hopefully not!), iron, ruler, pins.

I love to use tapestry or upholstery fabrics because not only are they gorgeous but they are strong enough that you don't need to use interfacing to maintain structure.

Cut 2 pieces of your outer fabric at 9 x 6.5 inches, then cut 2 pieces of your lining fabric at the same dimensions, 9 x 6.5. Cut 1 piece of your lining fabric at 6 x 1.5 inches for your zipper tabs. (I like to leave lots of fabric to ensure the tabs don't get sucked into the machine.)

Cut 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares out of the bottom corners of each of your four 9 x 6.5 pieces. This will create the base later on.

Zipper Tabs:

With your iron, press your 6 x 1.5 inch piece of fabric in half lengthwise, open, press edges again towards the crease in the middle. Fold together along the original crease and press again. Cut into two pieces (one for each edge of your zipper). Trim your zipper edges about 0.25 inches so your tab can fit snugly next to your zipper. Using your zipper foot attachment to get your seam as close to the zipper as possible, attach your tabs. Trim edges.

Attaching the Zipper:

Align your zipper face up on your lining fabric, centered along the top edges.

Place your outer fabric on top of the zipper and lining right side to right side. Pin. Sew. Pause in your sewing with the needle in the fabric to secure alignment, lift your foot and move the zipper head out of your way as needed.

Open up your fabrics and place the other two pieces on the other side of the zipper and repeat. Always take the time to make sure the zipper head is well out of the line of fire.

Press open and top stitch down each side to finish your zipper.


Open the zipper. Match up right sides of each of your inner and outer fabric. Pin. Sew one seam straight across both sections with the seam allowances from your zipper always flattened toward the lining. I use the edge of my foot as a guide for my seam allowance. Slightly less than half an inch. Sew the second side.

Sew the base of the outer fabric. Now sew about an inch on each side of the base of your lining fabric from the edge towards the centre. Leave enough space to get your hand or a few fingers through. You'll need this and the zipper open to turn your project right side out in the end but you need the edges secured for the next step.

Pinch the corners together so the 1.5 inch cut edges form a straight edge with your seam centered then sew. Always be sure to backtrack your seams. I like to start these corners with my foot in the center and then go backwards and forwards for secure seams (see below picture for reference).

Make sure you are keeping your seam allowance on the bottom pointing in the same direction (instead of having a twisted bottom) when pinching together the second corner. Do the same thing for the lining corners.

You'll be left with an interesting balloon shape thing.

Now the fun part! Reach in through the opening you left in the base of the lining fabric and very gently pull your pouch right side out. Smooth out the corners.

Press together the opening of your lining. Pin. Sew. Put the lining back into your pouch.

And voila!

Hurray! Also, if you are not sewing inclined, I have these pouches available in my shop so you can check them out there too!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow (Half) Day!

Yesterday Toronto was hit with a snowmageddon. I had to go to work but was lucky enough to just miss the Transit Terror. However, the office closed anyways and we got to leave after half a day. My friend Jena and I decided that we were going to have some fun. With our regular buses no longer running, we walked to the nearest subway station (about 2.5 km away) but we took the scenic route. It was gorgeous if slightly strenuous at first. We made the most of the situation and finished the workday with a frolic and rock-hard calves.

Breaking ground. Photo by the lovely Jena.

We finally made it to the bridge!

Slowly leaving the bridge behind...

So happy to finally reach the plowed section.

Home stretch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cross-Stitch Love: Steotch

If you're looking for a fun way to express your creativity, hide jokes and references in your crafts and destroy your eyesight, then I highly recommend cross-stitch. In fact, you may as well just head over to the brilliant Steotch's site or Etsy store and buy all their patterns and increase your friendload exponentially. I have completed three of their amazing, delightful designs…so far.



All photos are from my Instagram profile. Follow me! @owlswakeup

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shop Update! [2-2-13]


It's finally shop update time!! This batch took way longer than I had intended but apparently new ideas have to be fleshed out as opposed to just appearing fully formed in my studio on my coffee table.

Check out my store to see what's new!

I am so excited to list a bunch of new fabrics and styles! All four new designs stemmed from feedback from awesome people. Over the next little while I will be adding more variations to the larger purses but for now it feels so amazing to have them out there. Here are some of my absolute favs now listed!

This fabric is my favourite thing. Totally making one for myself (or keeping this one)...

 Now to sleep. And by sleep I mean get cracking on the next round!