So, summer’s been over for me for a few weeks now, and it’s been a rough/busy start to the school year!
Even though (or maybe because?) the blog posts were less frequent, this summer was filled with all kinds of sewing and crafting. Over the summer, I set myself a challenge called “ANDED” (A new dress every day) for two weeks for a special new Effner/Boneka doll, and somehow got caught up in researching and learning new embroidery stitches/techniques from India.
I told myself these dresses would become blog posts, and I’d do a little series on embroidery, but it was just so much fun sewing I didn’t want to stop and take pix and write about it! 🙂 Anyway, she’s got some AMAZING new dresses and even some half-finished furniture piled in a box, and I’m hoping to get to those embroidery posts eventually. I also did a lot of sewing for my Petworks Usaggie, who welcomed some new bunny and cat companions, and then started a house project for all of them which also might appear here eventually.
(jacket pattern is from Dolly Dolly #20)
Non-doll-related crafts included indigo dyeing and finally getting around to learning kumihimo on a marudai, after years of doing it on foam discs. Some decluttering happened in the craft room, and all my colored pencils finally got organized into little drawers, which ended up being WAY better than I even anticipated! In the past, I’d often choose which brand to use for a project and get them all out of their case onto the desk, then have to hunt through another brand’s box in frustration when that one specific shade of pink wasn’t available and then spend a long time reorganizing and cleaning everything up at the end. Having all the soft, compatible pencils I use most (Coloursoft, Prisma, Polychromos, Pablo) organized in one place means it’s so easy to just pull out all the drawers of one color and choose exactly the one I need, and slide them back in when I’m done. Specialty pencils (like Derwent Inktense or Graphitint) are still relegated to their original boxes, because they aren’t easily interchangeable, but the boxes are easier to get to with all the other pencils categorized together.
Messiness and creativity often DO go hand in hand, but a clean, organized workspace can really put you in the right frame of mind to be creative!
Another thing I thought would be a good idea and inspire summer crafting, but really hasn’t been worth even its discounted purchase price so far was a Cricut Maker. Their customer service is good when you have a problem, but the maker is not as foolproof as I’d like. I mean, a cutting machine that cuts into itself and doesn’t notice and stop immediately? Yeah, that happened. Also cutting in the wrong spot and wasting my materials. Grr. Cleaning up the sticky mat afterwards is not a lot of fun either, and then there’s the annoying software which is web-based but for some reason keeps needing to install updates on my computer. Anyway, I used it because I wanted some precise cuts on these sandals and was pretty pleased with the results.
Obviously, you can cut perfect rectangles with a rotary cutter and ruler, but the precision of the scallops and soles on these sandals really delighted me. My final step in shoemaking is usually trimming/sanding the soles so they all line up perfectly and it wasn’t necessary this time! Tip: I used faux leather that had a shiny side and a fabric backing (check the upholstery or costume sections at the fabric store) with the shiny side down to help with cleanup. The regular (fine point) blade worked fine with the super grip mat and the material set to bonded outdoor vinyl. In the close-up pix, you can see some raggedy edges of the fabric backing of the vinyl. If that bothers you, make sure to choose vinyl with a non-fray type of backing that looks like felt or knit.
with instructions and a printable pattern you can cut out with scissors. These sandals were for my Nancy Famosa (reedición) but the fit is forgiving since they’re sandals. They could potentially work for any doll with a similar or even a little larger size foot like Animators/Sasha/AGAT. If you’re cutting out by hand, it’s very easy to adapt the sole to fit your favorite doll.
I *think* you should be able to access the cricut version of the project with the link below. Make sure the long ankle strap measures 4″.
There’s an AMAZING dress coming next week to go with these sandals. It’s a bit of a challenge, but if your sewing space is your happy place, it will be a perfect way to relax over the 3-day weekend 🙂