Categotry Archives: handmade


luxe patchwork chair


This project is actually from last summer! I came across Squint furniture, and who could help but be inspired? My mom bought me this cute slipper chair and I knew exactly what I was going to do.

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I bought a million small pieces of some gorgeous upholstery fabrics. Even at lengths 1/4 yd and less, and with a 40% sale, it still cost around $50.

It’s technically a slipcover, although the zipper is tacked closed. Still, it is possible to remove the fabric for cleaning if absolutely necessary. I made the base of the slipcover out of an old sheet. Then I pinned and topstitched the “patches.” I used 1,500 yds of thread for the satin stitching! It was a very time consuming project, but not too difficult. I’m thinking about using the same process on my sewing chair.

I love all the covered buttons! I got these fabrics as swatches for free, and the fleurs de lis and bees are my favorite.

I gave the chair to my mom when I started traveling, but here’s how it used to look in my living room. I also upholstered the violet sateen sofa, made the pillows, painted the two tables, and made the wax screen behind!

This chair was selected as a Craftster featured project in January 2010!


my stylishly snuggly jersey jacket


taken from my Craftster post

The inspiration: Last February I found myself sleeping in a car in the Austrian Alps, with the snow 2′ deep, and I was cold… and uncomfortable, and frumpy! So even though this winter I am in mostly warm places, where I have snuggly beds to sleep in, I wanted to have something that would be comfortable enough to sleep in that I would feel confident in when walking around fancy cities.

So I made this jacket out of dark grey sweatshirt jersey. It is stretchy, wears well with no wrinkles, and looks pretty damn good.

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I really like how the princess seams line up with the shoulder seams at the neck.

The lining is a fancy printed fleece (I made sure the pattern was centered on the inside), so my jacket is sooooo warm!

The pockets are lined with fleece and big enough to hold a honey’s hand in. There are also pockets on the inside to keep my goodies safe.

I didn’t use any patterns for this, and I’m not sure how many hours went into it (maybe 7?). The total cost wound up around $35, which was way more than I wanted to spend, but I am so happy with this jacket that I don’t mind. Whenever I wear it around my boyfriend he makes a point of telling everyone around that I made it myself. And I did wind up wearing it in to sleep in the car at the Grand Canyon, where the temperature at night was 17.

My jacket was selected as a “Technical Beauty” on the Craftster clothing forum in December 2009!


etched rocket necklace


This weekend was my boyfriend’s big birthday and I wanted to make him something really special. We had a pretty magical moment involving a 40′ tall rocket at Burning Man, so rockets are a significant motif in our relationship.

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The pendant is made out of a penny that was flattened by a souvenir machine, and then the image (it was a penguin) that was stamped on it got ground off by my jeweler friend. Next I etched the penny, treating it just like any other (tiny) copper plate. I used a red stop-out ground, did the outline first, then the body, then the little flames shooting out the back. I went with an asphaltum ground for the back.

I couldn’t resist adding something mushy to the back of the pendant.

I tried printing the plate, but because of the slight curve of the penny the print didn’t come out at all. But the ink did add a great patina to the penny, and I was able to get some decent rubbings with thin paper and a hard lead.

I used an old penny with a high copper:zinc ratio and then sealed the pendant, so it won’t oxidize out of control. Then I went old school with a friendship-bracelet style necklace, so the whole thing is handmade. Unfortunately I did not take into account how much bigger his man-neck is than mine, so I have to make him a longer necklace. I put it in a little drawstring pouch that smells mysteriously good.

My man doesn’t wear jewelry, but I really wanted to make this for him. It was so hard to keep this a secret! I had it for 3 weeks before giving it to him. I was going to wait until we got to the Grand Canyon on his birthday, but instead I gave it to him the night before. It just felt like the right moment, and he was pretty excited.

OK, that was staged, but you get the idea.

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