Posted in Book Reviews, Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry IV – December 2017

Okay, December was a good one. Let it be known to all.

It wasn’t eventful, like I always say, but it just felt good throughout, you know?

It got nicely cold near the middle, after it rained on the 10th and 11th, but then it just wore off again and that was so disappointing. See, I like to experience the short days and biting winter together. But for some time lately, winter always comes full force when days are beginning to lengthen again and that makes me sad.

The first day of the month I went to a friend’s place. We talk regularly via chat and infrequently on the phone but the last time we met was February 2016. It was nice, obviously. I consider her to be one of my closest friends (don’t be shocked. Hobbits rarely go out, even if it’s to meet up with their best friends) and we always manage to have fun. The exchanging of gifts is our thing, sweet, exciting but also awkward because she insists of opening them right away and she insists that I remark on everything she gives me.

I managed 4 orders for my shop during the first half and three during the last. Which was LOW. Eurgh. That was, and is, upsetting. My goal is at least 10 each month. I used to be unconcerned about it before but now it makes me afraid.

My sister and ducklings came twice. The first twelve hours are the height of fun, the rest is chaos and confusion and a whole lot of screaming. Three little boys, what can you expect?

I read a whopping 11 books in December. Three of them were mangas so even if I don’t count those it’s still 8 which is 1 more than my usual goal of 7. A big fat YAY on that! Here are the books I read:

Artemis by Andy Weir

I liked it a lot but didn’t love it. The technical stuff got heavier and heavier until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

An extremely fun setting with an extremely disappointing adaptation.

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carrey

HECK to the YEEEEEAAAH!!! Loved the first one, loved this one. Zombie apocalypse, but more interesting than the usual affair.

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Mostly crap and slap-dash.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Vivid and engaging but also a bit disappointing and lame.

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

God-awful protagonist, equally awful narration, more disappointing and lame.

The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

An underrated dystopian book with weird awesomeness that everyone needs to read ASAP!

Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve

Sequel to Mortal Engines, as good as the first one.

The Ancient Magus’s Bride Vol. 1,2,3 by Kore Yamazaki

YES!

Here’s to hoping January will be good too! Insha Allah.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry III – November 2017

Woof! Boy, am I late to the party. I was supposed to have written this, like, 15 days ago but I have been strangely uninterested in blogging lately. It’s a little like Postpartum Depression, you know when supposedly women don’t want to touch their children and are constantly dispassionate towards them. It’s a horrible analogy but it’s the best I can come up with. And since I’m not a “serious” blogger (my definition: one who blogs for the benefit of others rather than himself/herself) that made letting it go easier.

Do I sound cranky and rude? I must not have shrugged off the symptoms entirely.

These entries are meant to be a reminder to my future self what good ol’ times were like. So, dear future self, here’s what happened in November 2017:

A healthy dose of nothing.

I’m not one of those people who have exciting things happening to them all the time. Probably because I work hard to make it that way. Eh.

Once again, I’ll be referring to my “monthly spread” to summarize November. Here, take a look:

The little alphabets in the date boxes dictate what I have to do each day. The reason I mark “bathing” is not because I’m inherently disgusting and filthy and have to be reminded to take a shower, it’s almost a compulsive thing, marking it. I like to be thorough.

The little icons besides the alphabets indicate if something ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ happened. There is a total of 4 of such icons. 3 of them indicate the coming of guests, one when I had periods.

My goals for the month were to:

  1. Deliver 10+ orders. I did 10.
  2. Improve painting and lettering skills. Did not.
  3. Flatten Belly. HAHAHAHA. (Seriously, someone recommend me a workout regime that WORKS.
  4. Sew 15 new ideas. Did 12.
  5. Read 7 books. Only go around to 4.
  6. Write 10 blog posts. Wrote 8.

The books I read were:

Fireblood

Sequel to Frostblood which also came out this year.

The Lies of Locke Lamora

HIGHLY, INSANELY, RIDICULOUSLY RECOMMENDED

Borne

A baffling post-apocalyptic science-fiction book. Left me scratching my head.

Red Seas Under Red Skies

Sequel to Locke Lamora.

SO. MUCH. WIN.

Mere Khuwab Lota Do

Barely read half of it so not counting it actually.

Oh, I remember two other things that happened in November. No, make that three.

First, it got a little colder. I like it when it’s cold.

Second, I got sick with the flu. I don’t like it when I get the cold.

      

Third, Avengers: Infinity War‘s trailer dropped. AND OH-MY-GOD.

It was second after second of jaw-dropping AWESOMENESS. And none of them had quite as big of an impact compared to this:

ASDFGHJKL WHY DIS MAN B SO BEAUTIFUL?!

I showed this to my nephew the other day and it was so worth it, seeing his face when the Avengers theme played. He had a goofy, fanboy smile on his cute face. I was looking at him the whole time.

So, to wrap this up, uh, I’ll just wrap it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, Gobbledygook, Me Stuff

My First Bookstaversary!

Short for “Bookstagram Anniversary”. Yup, I started my account last year on November 26th. So, technically, yesterday was the day but, you know, life and shit, couldn’t post.

I believe I was browsing through someone else’s feed or just checking what the heck “bookstagram” was on Google when I suddenly wanted to do it myself. And the very next day I did! It became obvious right at the start that it was messy work. The setting-up of props and books and good lighting is hard work. I slowly and eventually understood how to take good pictures, nothing teaches better than experience but I did start off nicely.

I mostly read ebooks, *ahem* the ones that don’t necessarily require payment. (IMMA HIDE) How could I, you ask? Well, I have my reasons. So, I buy a few books every couple of months or so. Compared to most bookstagrammers, that amount is insubstantial. My feed has always been more about unique angles and unusual stuff rather than loads of props with a kingdom of books in between. Get this: I don’t even have a proper shelf for the ones I do have.

Enough whining. Here’s what my very first post looked like.

Yeah, my captions really needed some work. Now, I think I’ve mastered the art.

Then there’s the matter of deciding what theme your feed is going to follow. By God, that took me along time to get. I don’t need to follow a theme, I would say to myself. But eventually I learned that even that was a theme of a kind. It’s a very bizarre and headache inducing thing that simplifies over time so don’t expect me to explain. Basically, you get it when you do it.

Some of the images from my first month of bookstagramming

And don’t even get me started on followers, comments and likes. That shit makes you lose your sleep, yo. And like everything else, you learn to live with it slooooowly and eventually.

EHEHEHEHEHE

And Hashtags! LORD IN HEAVEN, DELIVER ME FROM THIS EVIL. Be specific. Don’t be specific. Use 30. Use less. It’s a three-month course in itself, learning to use instagram specifically for books.

There was a period of time when I though, eh, I don’t only have to photograph books! I can take pictures of other things as well. It’s a free country, hey? Yeah. I outgrew it. So there are pictures of cats, babies, purses and random shit but 99% of this account is books.

    

I decided to keep a username that wasn’t too descriptive, if you know what I mean. The feed itself was going to show the idea anyway I didn’t think I would have to come up with a name to reinforce that. For example, xyz likes to read, abc reads too much, asdfghjkl bibliophile, 3788 bookish. They made me cringe before, they make me cringe now.

February

There are, of course, times when you just don’t feel like doing it (I’ve been facing quite a lot of those times recently) but as someone pointed it out to me, the key to doing this successfully is consistency.

As for what I mean by successful, well, I admit this somewhat shamefully, that even though I got into this because of books and I loved doing it and adopted it as a hobby, a part of me was fascinated by the idea of people getting free stuff off businesses just so they could promote it through their accounts. The catch? You have to have a frick ton of followers. And yes, that obsession left me in due time. I do not have the patience or the temperament for such a thing. The sheer dedication it requires is insane. Plus, it would have started being less fun and more duty-like if I had.

 

So here I am. A year later. Still doing it, still enjoying it. I don’t intend on stopping. Ever.

Oh and the camera I use for these photos? It comes with an iPad mini.

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff, Uncategorized

Gypsy Diaires Entry II: October 2017

Ah, so it is November and here we are again!

This post will be short because last month was as uneventful as it gets. Which is just how I like it. Like, literally, the only things that happened (which I also put in the “HIGHLIGHTS” section in the monthly schedules/spreads I make) were:

  • October 20: Had periods.
  • October 20: It started getting chilly.
  • October 21: Nephews came to visit.
  • October 25: The second last episode of Yakeen Ka Safar aired.
  • October 26: Periods stopped.
  • October 28: Sister came with nephews to stay.
  • October 29: Uncle visited.
  • October 30: Went to the bank.

I’m looking at my Calendar and that is ALL it tells me.

I am a Hobbit, a Hobbit is me.

The books I read this month total to 6 which is disappointing since I was aiming for 7.

  • A Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo) – 4.5/5
  • Assassin’s Creed (Oliver Bowden) – 1.5/5
  • Jo Ruke To Koh-e-Garan Thay Hum (Aneeza Syed) – 4/5
  • Warcross (Marie Lu) – 5/5
  • Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead (Rick Riordan) – 3/5
  • Wonder Woman (Leigh Bardugo) – 5/5

I don’t review books here. Goodreads is my sacred reviewing space.

My goals for this month were:

  • Improve Lettering and Water Painting Skills (EPIC FAIL, since I only painted twice this month and only bookmarks at that)
  • Deliver at least 10 orders (WIN, I delivered 20)
  • Read at least 7 books (FAIL, obviously)
  • Write 10 blog posts (EPIC FAIL, got to only 7)
  • Sew about 15 new ideas (MODERATE WIN, I managed 11 which is pretty okay)

That was a short review of the month copied almost entirely from my spread. I can’t think of anything else to add besides that because I swear that is ALL that transpired.

Oh, wait. I just remembered three awesome things. Without further ado, here they are:

  1. It got chilly. Which means Winter. Which is Awesome. The last 12 days were delightfully cold.
  2. I got my biggest cheque yet. It was very nearly 10,000 Rs. Masha Allah. I gotta admit that was a proud moment. I showed it off.
  3. The “Yakeen Ka Safar” madness reached it’s crescendo. Tonight’s the last episode. I would like to scream VERY much.

I hope to keep working and keep learning and keep doing things that make me happy, my way. And I hope to see Winter in all it’s cold glory unleash the coldness upon Pakistan this month in November.

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

Super-Nerdy Gaming Remote-Shaped Pouch (OR That One Time I Impressed Myself)

This idea/design/piece of pure awesomeness is original. I repeat: my brain gave birth to this ALL ON ITS OWN. It was not impregnated by the internet. No, sir.

Oh, and this is a tutorial. You may officially begin thanking me.

This was about a week and a half ago. I had just read Warcross by Marie Lu (EXCELLENT book, just FYI) and I was making shaped pouches. Saw one shaped like a tea cup and made that but then there was like this TINGGGG in my brain and the spotlight of genius ideas immediately landed on my brother’s gaming remote. It’s a sleek looking thing and really pretty. Immediately, I was like, IMMA GO MAKE THIS SHIT. Tonight’s really not my “speak-the-eloquent-speech” night so forgive the ‘immas’ and the ‘likes’.

So … I’ll try to let the pictures do the talking:

1. I trace the thing.

ISN’T SHE A BEAUTY? Look me in the eye and tell me you aren’t seduced by how gorgeous she is.

2. After tracing.

I draw another line a quarter inch away from the original on all sides, that’s the one I’ll be cutting.

3. I cut the thing.

4. I take some long-forgotten black velvet pieces that I had and since they turn out to be smaller for my purposes, I stitch them together to make two pieces, the front and back.

BEFORE…

AFTER…

5- I decide to add a zipper at the center of the back piece so while I’m stitching the velvet pieces for the back, I make sure to leave an opening in the middle to insert the zipper. (I’m not sure why I’m going in present tense but O-KAY)

Like, so:

If the fabric you chose is full-sized (?) and you don’t need to stitch pieces together like I do here, then you can make a cut in the middle and insert the zipper through the, uh, insert zipper method. Which I won’t be explaining here. Eh. If you’re a practiced sewist you probably already know. If not, none of this will be making sense anyway…

A VERY IMPORTANT thing I should mention, the velvet I use in this project is blessedly of a kind that does not fray. My life=SO much easier.

(If the incessant use of gifs is annoying you, deal with it)

6- I use the pattern I made to cut the front and back of the pouch, making sure that the slit I left unstitched is in the middle of the back piece.

Left – Back Piece     ,     Right – Front Piece

7- I cut the lining and interfacing for the front piece. Lining because when the zipper opens on the back, the inside will be visible and interfacing because I wanted the front of the pouch to give a realistic 3-D effect. The interfacing is actually polyester. I don’t know what it’s called. Batting? Padding? Eh.

8- I prepare the buttons. 3-D and a huge pain in the butt. You decide how you want your buttons to be. I just use what I had here and made them however I saw fit at the time.

This is a neat little trick for making appliques and turning them inside out.

Use the hole to flip the buttons inside out.

Fabric Markers. The greatest invention for sewists since the needle itself.

I want the buttons to be squishy and pushy and stuff so I do this dumb shit which took a lot of time and grunting.

9– I attach/sew the buttons to the front piece.

The three on the top are again really small velvet ones, the two on the sides are black and the middle one is burgundy. I couldn’t even see them properly, they were so small and sewing them on wasn’t picnic either.

10- I take the padding/batting, sandwich it between the main piece and lining and sew all the way around. HUZZAH.

11- I attach the front and back together. I would have added the zipper to the back first but I didn’t have a black zipper at the time.

12-  I add these pieces on extra-ness on the shoulders of the remote. They have those on real ones. There are square pieces of felt (like the buttons) underneath them to make them puff up a little. Also, this little loop thingy above the zipper slit is meant to hold the cord which you’ll see soon enough.

13- I slide the zipper in, tuck the edges inside over the zipper and sew on top.

This is what it looks like on the inside of the back piece.

14- Finally, I place the front and back, right sides together and sew all the way around, then use the zipper slit to turn it inside out. Keep the zipper open, otherwise you’re screwed.

This cord was meant to imitate the wires that come out of these remotes and was supposed to be purely ornamental. BUT, it is useful! You’ll see. I just tied it in a knot around the loop.

USE # 1:

USE # 2:

And this, peasants people, is how I made this RAD AF little purse. You’re a hundred percent free to try. I give thee permission.

P.S: I’m sorry if I sound like a pompous peacock in this post. One of my friends said that I’m too self-deprecating so I tried to change that. Turns out I have only two modes: self-deprecatory or annoyingly arrogant.

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

Good-sized Back-to-School Bag

More like “Back to University” bag since the person who requested this is a university student. I’ve been incredibly uninspired lately when it comes to my blog. I mentally berate myself everyday and say that today I will write something but I never do. So here is a super-boring post about this bag that I sewed.

She didn’t request this particular bag, just asked me to make something big enough to fit her supplies and notebooks and stuff. I just went ahead and made what I thought would fit her needs. This is an original creation. I did not copy this from some place else.

NOTE: This is not a tutorial.

Like I said, uninspired and just not feeling it.

This print is a favorite among everyone and I call it “FoxFell” on the suggestion of a friend. There are two versions of this, one with a darker midnight blue background and the other with a lighter grey one. I used both here to create a nice contrast. No interfacing or lining was used. Oh, and the fabric is flannelette so it’s quite soft and sturdy.

I believe the main pieces I cut were somewhere around 16″ x 14″. From there I just adjusted other pieces and pockets to go with it. This was kind of a last minute thing so I did it very quickly and hastily. The back of the bag, as you can see, is upside down, print-wise. This was deliberate.

The front piece has a little flap pocket that again, has no lining inside and no velcro tape as well. I tested if it would close nicely without the tape and it did so I didn’t add that. (PSSHT: *Pinking shears are life savers*)

Moreover, I didn’t sew the top edge of the flap to the bag, if I had done that the pocket would have been secure, not that it isn’t already, but it wouldn’t have served as a double pocket. So, yeah, that worked out and I wasn’t even planning that.

The back of the bag has a inside zippered pocket which are mostly attached in big bags. I loved sewing that zipper for some reason.

Then there are the sides which also have one pocket each. Those sides are really wide and pockets big to give the bag depth and to fit as much as possible.

I experimented with the straps, I have never done ones like this before. They’re attached to handles, all four corners. It gives a nice touch.

The thing she did request was that I add a zipper on top of the bag. That’s the only part I didn’t like. It was needlessly complicated.

I’m a little paranoid by nature. My biggest fear when it comes to the things I make is that they’ll all come apart, I stitch and double stitch for this reason. Even after doing that, I’m afraid that the fabric won’t be able to handle too much stress or whatever. God help me. I hope that never happens.

Posted in Journal Entries, Me Stuff

Gypsy Diaries Entry I: September 2017

September is a month like all others but for two reasons it’s very special to me. One, Fall arrives in September and Fall is the harbinger of Winter which I long for with all my heart every year. And two: I was born in September. The 24th to be exact. I’m 22 years old now. Except for the typical albeit short-lived pang of “Haye haye, main itni bari ho gayi”, there has been no change whatsoever in me or my life. We have a habit of treating birthdays as casually as possible so there was no grand celebration which is fine by me.

The month kicked off with the fervor and excitement of Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid itself lasted from 2-4 September. My father was here too (he works abroad) and there’s a general noise in the house and a happy chaos when he’s here. He’s a very loud man. I take after him in temperament: we’re both short-tempered, quick to anger but just as easily subdued. I wish I could talk as well as he does, though.

The second day of Bari Eid is the day our entire khandan with all 4-5 families gathers on a farmhouse for BBQ. I’ve grown to be quite the hermit over the years so I don’t enjoy family gatherings at all. I didn’t this one either. I did take a few of my books with me a took a lot of pictures for bookstagram so the trip wasn’t entirely wasted.

When the aftermath of the Eid vanished with all its traces, life once again, became normal which is just how I like it: no change, no surprises.

There’s a show on air right now called “Yaqeen Ka Safar”. I became a hard-core fangirl during September. Bookstagram and Sewstagram accounts went steadily. Oh, I just remembered! The night we got home from the BBQ I found out that I, along with some other people, were mentioned in a MangoBaaz article about Bookstagrammers to watch out for and my following jumped from 390-800!

My shop did well and is still doing well, alhamduliullah. I got a lot of orders and huge ones at that. I’m only one person and I have to sew everything by myself so 5-8 orders maximum are what I can manage twice a month. I love my work and I love putting it to good use.

After Eid I went with my sister and got a bunch of new fabric prints. I uploaded them and got an immediate response. Speaking of aapi, my munchkin #3 recognizes me now and according to her, when he sees me on video chat, he smiles brightly than he does when he talks to his father. I mean, GAAAAAH.

During the third week, on the 16th we went to visit my uncle and it was, by far, the WORST experience of my life. I don’t have the stomach to put all of THAT down here but there was something really positive and encouraging that came out of that as well; my father’s support. I figuratively whooped that night. There is no question to the fact that women, mothers especially, are emotional creatures and they tend to listen to their hearts more than their brains, thus the emotional blackmailing. While fathers, our sweet fathers, they listen to reason, they take the emotional aspect apart for a second and try to understand what you’re trying to say. Each approach has its merits and each parent is trying to look out for their kid. But I prefer the latter.

Also, there’s this old man who “allegedly” sells cool square pieces of printed fabric. I’ve been trying to locate him, but he eludes me! Every time I go where he’s supposed to be, the baba ji is not there.

Hmmm, what else? Oh, yeah. The “goals” I set for myself for September. They were:

  • Selling 10+ times. Check.
  • 10 blog posts. Nope.
  • Reading at least 7 books. Lol.
  • Working on new pouch ideas. Didn’t even do one.

The books I read this month are:

  • The Golem and the Jinni
  • The Last Magician
  • Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops
  • The Princess and the Goblin
  • The Princess and Curdie
  • Jo Ruke To Koh-e-Garan They Hum (I haven’t finished it yet)

The movies I watched are:

  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Gifted
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Alien: Covenant

Then came my birthday on the 24th, without ceremony and just as unceremoniously, it passed. I received some really sweet and unexpected wishes, all from friends on the internet. The last two weeks were spent mostly sewing and trying to finish orders. God knows I tried so hard to do everything ahead of time so I could get to those ideas of mine but one thing led to another and I couldn’t! This is precisely why I don’t tolerate even a second of variation from my schedule and why I hate unannounced visits.

I think I put most of it down.

Till we meet again.

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

Pocket Organizers Galore!

Good evening, children. I realize I’ve been AWOL for what has been probably weeks but I have a legit reason: I’ve become obsessed with some Urdu dramas and binge-watching them, ya know, obsessively. As a result, less time for reading, less time for sewing, no time at all for blog posts.

But, despite being glued to my iPad’s screen, I did get some serious sewing done. Since my last post about the Pocket Organizer sewing project that I did, I’ve made 3 more Pocket Organizers. Yeah, it’s a pocket party in here. The first one was completely my own idea, the rest of the three have been inspired by some cool pictures I found.

Feast your eyeballs:
(I’m going to give them annoying names just because I can)

BLUE4STUPIDSEWINGMACHINE

Number of Pockets: 4
Material Used: Denim (for pockets), Lawn (we have an abundance of that here in Pakistan) and ribbon.
Difficulty Level: 5/10
Work In Progress Story: I’m glad that you asked. One, the Lawn leftovers were from a new shalwar kameez my ma had recently cut and she got mildly mad/amused that I had made my pocket organizer before she could sew her shalwar kameez. That was lame, here’s another one: due to a series colossally infuriating incidents that involved the sewing needle breaking in half and then the new one being maladjusted, this project gave me grief and a slight case of depression, until I realized what was wrong and fixed it.
Inspired By:

GREEN12MEDIEVALHOGWARTS

Number of Pockets: 12
Material Used: Cotton fabric for main pockets, Lawn pieces for bias tape and ribbon.
Cool Tidbit: I personally LOVE this print. It’s sort of a Hogwarts Houses Hybrid with a little bit that represents each house in my opinion. So we have the green color and the serpentine body of the creature for Slytherin, the orange-gold and the fact that the creature has a lion like mane for Gryffindor, the yellow for Hufflepuff and the keys which can symbolize knowledge for Ravenclaw. The coat of arms style and the owlish face of the creature can represent Hogwarts in general. Anyhoo, that’s what I like to think to justify how cool this print is.
Difficulty Level: 5/10
Inspired By:

PINK6BABYLACECUTEAF

Number of Pockets: 6
Material Used: Cotton Fabric, some Lawn pieces, lace and ribbon.
Difficulty Level: 6/10 (Assembling and designing each pocket, although easy, was kind of a hassle.
Cool Tidbit: This one’s my favorite.
Inspired By:

Thank you for reading this highly entertaining and informative post.

Adios.

Posted in Cool Sewing Projects, Me Stuff

Pocket Organizer – Sewing Tutorial

I’ve been getting a steady number of orders on my shop lately and I couldn’t be happier. Sewing gives me such satisfaction and pleasure, things I never thought I would get from it, at least a few years ago. It’s mostly book sleeves and zipper pouches but lately people have been requesting fresh stuff, new stuff and I just LOVE making new things.

I got an order for a sleep mask yesterday and laptop sleeve a week before, it was challenging but so much fun. The reference I used was from a written tutorial blog post and it helped out immensely. I’ve done written tutorials before (2 if you’re asking) but I feel as if I didn’t go into much detail or precision, especially when it came to the images.

I hope to change that with this blog post where I would be putting down “how to sew a pocket organizer” in ink, as it were. The design is completely my own, meaning I didn’t use anything as a reference or a guide for this. It doesn’t mean that no one else has made something like this before.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Your basic Sewing Essentials
  • Fusible Interfacing
  • Two fabric prints, one will serve as the main outer piece and the other as the, uh, not-main? outer piece. I suck at this, forgive me. Basically both pieces will be visible on the outside and you’ll also be able to use one of them as a lining for the pockets. The main one will be facing towards you and it’ll have pockets while the other one will be facing the wall without any pockets.

I chose this super-awesome and cool map/stamp/animal print which is African themed and a simple black fabric. These are both incredibly sturdy.

Instructions:

Step 1: MEASUREMENTS & CUTTING (Duh):

  • 3 pieces from each fabric print of your choice measuring 7.5″ x 9.5″. That’ll be 6 fabric pieces total of this size. These will make the 3 pocket holders.
  • 3 pieces of interfacing of the same size.
  • 3 pockets for 3 pocket holders. The first and the third pocket will be of the same size 5.5″ x 6.5″ along with their lining. That’d be a total of 4 pieces of this size.
  • I decided to do two pockets for the middle pocket holder. These will obviously be of shorter width. Again, you will also cut the lining so another 4 pieces measuring 5.5″ x 4.5″.
  • The connector pieces that would join the three pocket holders together into one mighty pocket organizer would be 4 in total measuring 4.5″ x 3″.
  • The hanging strip or the piece that would be used to hang your organizer on the wall would be 22.5″ x 1.5″.
  • Lastly, you would need bias tape to give the edges of the pocket holders a beautiful and finished edge. You will need 3 strips of fabric measuring 1.5″ x 35″. If you can’t cut pieces that long, just cut smaller ones and sew them together now.

Step 2: IRONING:

  • Do all the iron work right now starting with fusing the interfacing to the 3 of the 6 outer pieces. Wall-facing 3 or you-facing 3, doesn’t really matter.

  • Iron the edges of the 4 connector pieces as shown below. This will make sure that you don’t need to fold anything while sewing to hide the raw edge.
  • Iron the hanging strip in the same way, making sure to fold and iron over both shorter edges as before.
  • Iron the three strips of bias tape in exactly the same way.

Step 3: SEWING:

  • Start by sewing along both edges of the 3 connector pieces and the hanging strip as shown in the picture. You will not sew the edges of the bias tape yet.

  • Put each of the main 3 pieces with the 3 wall-facing pieces WRONG sides together and sew with a quarter inch seam allowance. The bias tape will cover the edges later.
  • Now sew the bias tape along the sides of each of the three pocket holder pieces. It’s hard to describe it but basically what you do is, you put the middle crease of the bias tape with the edge of the pocket holder piece, folding the creased side edges of the bias tape symmetrically over the top and bottom of the pocket holder. In that way, when you sew along the top, the stitches appear exactly below securing the bias tape perfectly. I will assume that you did not understand of word of what I just said. In that case:

Take care when you come to the curving point. Stop sewing about an inch away and make an L by folding the bias tape like so:

Don’t worry if you can’t do it the first time. I, myself, did it on the third try. Your pocket holders should now look like this:

As you can see, I wasn’t satisfied with a single stitch so I doubled it and stuff. I’m paranoid like that. Also, the bias tape is about 4″ larger than the perimeter of these pieces so it would overlap where you started. Just sew over the first edge, make sure the second edge is folded inside and the raw side is hidden.

  • Once you’ve sewn bias tape all around the three pieces, it is time to attach the hanging strip. Pick one pocket holder piece and place it right side down. Now place both ends of the strip about a half an inch from the top edge and 2.5″ from the sides in such a way that all the strip is downwards. Pin the ends and fold them over, now sew over the strip in a rectangle securing it to what is going to be the top pocket holder piece. The strip should now be facing upwards.

(I should probably mention the fact that if you had ironed and sewn the strip as I had instructed, you would not need to fold the strip like I’m showing you now. I did it because I forgot to tuck in and sew the shorter edge so mine were raw. I folded them to hide the raw edges. So yeah, do that if your edges are raw, if not, just place the strip and sew.)

  • Place all the pocket pieces and their linings right sides together sewing with a quarter inch seam allowance. Leave about a 2 to 3 inch opening for turning the pieces inside out. Iron them and top stitch.

  • Now place the pockets on the pocket holder pieces positioning them in the middle. Pin them in place and sew the pockets. You will sew the sides and the bottom, not the top. That’d be silly.

  • Take two connector pieces and position them at the bottom of the back of one pocket holder piece, on both sides of the pocket but a little lower, close to the bias tape. Pin them if you want and sew them in place. Now take the other ends of the connector pieces and position them on the second pocket holder piece but at the top instead of the bottom. Repeat with the remaining pieces essentially joining all the pocket holders together into one glorious organizer. Voila!
This is my pocket holder’s backside. It’s backside. HA! That’s hilarious.
This is full frontal. LOL.

There you go! One pocket organizer locked and loaded. This was my first ever so I will be trying variations.

Also, this wasn’t as neat as I wanted it to be. My machine is from the Dark Ages and it broke about 453636 times while I was doing this project. Stupid old rust bucket.

I realize now that the words I was looking for in the beginning were “front” and “back”, not “wall-facing” and “you-facing”. They completely evaded my mind. Human brain does that sometimes. So this was the back and here is the front.

Really looks like a chalk board, doesn’t it? Weeeell, I tried. You cannot fault me for that. Let me know if you try it and show some pictures!

Cheers,
Sara

Posted in Film Reviews, Me Stuff

Logan: The Lone Wolf of War

Ten years. That’s how long it’s been for me. Half of my life, if you will. I’ve watched this ageless man age and grow and suffer while kicking ass and taking names. I’ve loved him and cried for him and wanted nothing more than to just give him a hug. Before, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther and the Avengers, there were X-men. And among X-men, there was Wolverine. No one deserves such pain, especially a good man like him. A good man who just wanted to be left alone but got dragged back into the fight every time. He fought to be more than what they made him to be. He was … beautiful.

I saw the film two nights ago. It, as they say these days, slayed my very existence, shook me to my core, made me reminisce, nostalgic and so very, very sad. The film was depressingly brutal and beautifully fitting. For a man like Logan, this was truly how it could end, to die giving all he had left for someone else to live to fight another day. That sucker.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this makes my throat close up and gives me an uncontrollable urge to cry. Emphasis on the uncontrollable.

The movie begins with a sleeping Wolverine waking up to the sounds of thugs stealing the tires of his Limo. He tries, very nicely, to ask them to step away, they don’t, he tries again, less nicely this time, they beat him up, he flies into his trademark rage and tears them apart, defending himself.

If you have never seen or heard about Logan/Wolverine before which is EXTREMELY unlikely, this scene perfectly sums up his entire existence for you.

I don’t mind violence in a film, as in, if it’s rated R because of violence and language and not sexual content (prudish alert!), I will watch it given that it’s something I want to see, like this film. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Having said that, I don’t enjoy it. The sheer level of bloody murder and nasty ripping-open-flesh-and-bone action in this film had me like:

He’s limping around the entire length of the film, barely able to hold himself together and trying to take care of his beloved friend and mentor while being repeatedly shot at, stabbed, mutilated and kicked. LEAVE HIM ALONE. HE DIDN’T DESERVE ANY OF THIS. The whole film was emotional torture of the highest kind.

I’ve respected, admired, loved and rooted for this guy since I was ELEVEN. I’ve seen him go through shit and rise back up again, only to be put in the same shit in the next film. It went on and on but it was easier to ignore how lonely and miserable his life was because of the lightness of every film’s tone. It was virtually impossible to do that with this film, not only because it was darker, grittier and more realistic than all the rest with no humor whatsoever but also because Wolverine in this film is not what he once was, his prime long gone. I was hit and I was hit hard.

Another reason why I think he was subjected to violence more than the rest was due to the fact that he possessed healing abilities. Ooooh, this guy can’t be killed! So let’s choke the life out of him, let’s be as savage as possible. UGH. Watch this film and see what kind of impossible barbarity he was put through. And yet he ploughed on through life enduring shit after shit after shit.

“I’ve hurt people too.”
“You’re gonna have to learn how to live with that.”
“They were bad people.”
“All the same.”

This was perhaps the most beautiful conversation in the entire film, one that was mercilessly honest and gut-wrenching. Old man Logan gives his little girl advice, one that she’s going to need to remember in the future, one that is completely devoid of any sort of sugar-coating. Really, it would be wrong on so many levels if it was. The one giving it, the one it was being given to, the circumstances that lead to it, everything demanded it. There’s no “it’s going to be okay”, a hug or even a pat on the back. No, he’s straight as an arrow with Laura because he knows her life and sanity depends on it. That, and…

“Don’t be what they made you.”

Oh, don’t worry about me. Who needs a heart anyway?

With X-men he finally found a home, friends, loved ones, a place where he could live in peace. Never lasted very long, did it?

My familiarity with the character is restricted to the films alone. I haven’t seen the animated versions of him nor the comic book ones. For me, the only version of Wolverine that exists or matters is Hugh Jackman’s.

See? He was precious. He was frickin’ perfect. But what did they do, after decades of torture? They KILLED him. Oh, yeah. If you didn’t know and have just been spoiled, consider this my revenge.

Won’t lie, I was in denial when both Professor X and Logan died. With the Professor I thought it was a dream and with Logan I kept waiting for an end credits scene or his hand to suddenly pop out of the grave. Nah.

If I say anything more I’d essentially be repeating myself but here’s the last of it: I love you Logan/ James/ Wolverine, whatever you were called, and you would always be my hero.

Farewell,
X

NOPE.