Friday, June 8, 2012

Curtain to Mini Skirt

Believe it or not, I have been sewing.  However, I am not the best and many of my projects have been massive fails.  This one, however, is flippin awesome.

I have been recently inspired by the blog Trash to Couture and inspired to look for good fabric rather than good pieces.  I saw these curtains at goodwill and knew I wanted a cute lace skirt.  Voila!  I literally just wrapped the curtains around me, added a lining (see through was not good), and added a zipper.  And now I'm adorable.



Monday, January 23, 2012

Sewing FAIL

I have done a myriad of projects.  From painting a bookcase to learning watercolor to sewing my own clothes, I have learned a lot this year!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I got a sewing machine for Christmas and am learning to make my own clothes.  I am using patterns I found at a local thrift shop for only 25 cents apiece, and love the idea of making new stuff out of old fabric.

My thoughts about sewing prior to actually sewing from scratch:

  1. It is relatively easy.
  2. Don't bother readying the instructions that come with the pattern, because they are like stop signs:  a suggestion, not a rule.  
  3. You don't need to worry about what direction your pattern goes, just make sure it all fits together.  
  4. Just cut out the pattern "close enough" and it will fit correctly once you put it together
  5. Just speed through the stitching part, you don't have to be PERFECT with your seams.  
  6. The other stitches on your machine are not really for sewing clothes, really more for quilting.   
  7. Hems?  Easy peasy. Just make it up as you go along. 
  8. You can complete a garment start to finish within an hour or so.  
Don't you love my preconceived notions of sewing?  I am a perfectionist and thought that I would be able to throw together the perfect garment of Anthropologie quality in an hour.  

I really wanted to make this lovely peplum dress, but modify it by making it a black skirt rather than a coral dress. I wanted to make something trendy but thought that it would be easy to replicate. Remember I had the notions as noted above.

It took me several multiple-hour days to just finish the dang skirt.  And the final skirt? Ginormous.  I had to bring it down multiple times.  And the final fit?  Terrible! I got over-excited and wore the skirt to church on Sunday, probably out of exhaustion.  Note to self: don't make any major decisions when tired.  I could end up with a tattoo or invest in a ponzi scheme.

I am working on multiple other sewing projects which have already ended up much better!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Best online sewing videos

Many of my friends say that they have a sewing machine but no idea how to use it properly. I have started sewing with my new machine, and already ruined multiple beautiful fabrics because of improper use.  I thought that those pesky instructions in a pattern was mostly for stupid people, much like the warning to take the metal packaging off of pop tarts.

After realizing that I was consistently getting my basic sewing wrong, and realizing that I couldn't just wing it, I realized that I needed some help.  During one shift at the ER where no one had any emergencies, I searched long and hard to find the best online videos for basic sewing information. I've found that non-video tutorials are not as helpful, as sewing is as much of technique as it is instructions.

 Sewing Studio at YouTube

These videos are the best!!!  She offers an online sewing course, but these videos (just put the setting on auto-play)  get you from no idea what a "bobbin" is to a making a perfect skirt from scratch.  Ok, I don't know if the term "from scratch" is a sewing term, but I am a former pastry chef, so I relate everything to food.

I am finishing up my first from scratch (ie, from a pattern) skirt with a lining today!  I'll post as soon as I get it done!  


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kate Spade inspired Covers

I got a sewing machine for Christmas, and have gone a little crazy about it!  I needed a sewing machine cover, but obviously it had to be fashionable.  Check out the one I made, inspired by the fabulous designs of Kate Spade.

This is version #1.5, as version #1 looked like a drunk person sewing blindfolded.  I was of perfect vision and alcohol free at the time, but I think I was just going too quickly to sew straight.  

It is a little hard to tell from the picture, but I also added a back pocket system to hold my pedal and chord while transporting.  It definitely isn't my best work, but it gets the job done of keeping me organized!

And not to have a naked Nook (also a Christmas goody) I believed it needed a cute case, too!

I had a request to share my pattern: here it is!

I love them both, and now need a logo that adequately reflects my style and class, just like Kate Spade.  However, I don't think there is an obvious symbol for "Lewis" :-)

With love,

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Watercolors

Well, hello there, Blogosphere! I'm sure you think that I've abandoned you and forgotten all about my goal to spice up my life with art in a budget-friendly way.  I have been working non-stop on Christmas gifts this year and have not uploaded many of the gifts I have made because those people follow my blog. 

I chose to get into watercolor because my niece is 2 years old, and I didn't think that I could make her anything that was completely age-inappropriate, or that she would grow out of in a month.  I thought a nice art piece would do well in her room.  Below is the piece I did for niece #2 which fits nicely in her Tiffany-blue room.  And did I mention that I love elephants?

After thoroughly investing in the necessary watercolor materials (good brushes, quality paper, etc) I come to find that watercolor is one of the most difficult mediums.  Really?  God could have sent me a memo first.  I've had a great time and am getting much much better since I've started this endeavor. 

I made a bright pink bird for my other niece whose room is hot pink and lime green.  She also was selected for the regional choir concert and loves to sing.  Perfect verse!

I did a pet portrait for my mother-in-law's Wirehair Schnauzer, which she absolutely loved.  It was a lot of work to get the coloring for the dog correct without her knowing that we were sneaking to get a photo!  Pets were really fun to do but also quite difficult. 

This painting is one of my sister, but made for my grandmother.  It looks just like her and I was really proud of the final product.

One of my besties in College Station-land got married this year, and I did a wedding portrait.  She was so tickled!  This draft looks lovely, if I do say so myself, but I will admit that the first few drafts got me all discombobulated.  Lots of cursing because I am a perfectionist! 

Another dear friend in the area graduated from undergrad in December, but the cap and gown is flattering on no one.  She is an avid reader and I wanted to capture her in her element.  She loved it!

Multiple family members suggested I do portraits of people's pets. I'd be happy to do a painting of any variety if you want to send me a photo and specifications, such as how big you'd like it.  I could do people or pets, or your favorite teacup.  I absolutely love doing it and am having a ball trying to come up with stuff to paint. 

With love,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Cards!

Hey everyone!

I've already made my holiday cards for this year, but there is a website that has the cutest, most original Christmas cards to make your holiday bright from Tiny Prints!
Go to, and if you mention their cards on YOUR blog, you get 50 free holiday cards!  I will probably use them for other cards I need, cause their stuff is adorable.


The Lewis Dots

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Free Inkscape Penguin & Cat / Dog Silhouette Images!

I have mastered a graphics design program, well, as much as a non-techie can.

I first got into Inkscape because I didn't want to pay a graphic designer's premium fee on a simple T-shirt design for softball.  What is Inkscape? It is a FREE SVG editor (standard vector graphics).  That means that no matter how large or small you make any image, you don't get that grainy look you find when you make your picture too big.  Big win!

My first project was creating this for my newlywed class's softball team, obviously a comic book theme:

From then on out I have decided that I am completely capable of any basic graphic design work that needs to be done.

And my favorite, the penguin with plaid hat.  I know, it is adorable.  He is on a Christmas Party invitation I created!

I am now working on my family's Christmas card / newsletter, which is different than I usually do.  I am including these adorable fellows, cat and dog silhouette! 

Feel free to download or use any Inkscape image I've provided, but if you use it on your website I ask that you link it back here!  

Happy Hollidays!
The Lewis Dots