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Jul 242014

I’m still working on that Cambie I keep mentioning.  There are so many annoying things that have happened during the construction of this dress, all of which I’ll talk about in what will hopefully be my next post.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the pattern; it’s all my fault for not thinking things through when lining eyelet with a different color, plus something went wonky in my fit from muslin to final garment, which is what I’m dealing with right now.

So, next most important thing:  hair dye.  I mentioned in my last post that I was going to dye my hair, but I didn’t say what color.  I had initially wanted to dye my hair bright pink, but I went to a sort of costume party a few months where there was a pink wig, and I realized my yellowy-olive skin looked gross with pink hair.  When I talked to my hairdresser, she agreed that pink wouldn’t be good for my skin tone.  So I turned to purple, which is my favorite color.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but the number of things I own that are purple is reaching a disturbing height.  So dyeing my hair seemed both a natural choice and probably one that would make me look like a purple people eater.  But the hairdresser recommended purple because she thought a reddish one would be great with my skin.  I think she was right.


That’s me right after getting my hair dyed at the salon.  All of it is dyed a very dark purplish brown – so dark you can barely even tell it’s purple – and then there are highlights with a brighter reddish purple.  Another thing I initially wanted to do is totally bleach my hair to platinum and then dye it colors because then I could use much more vibrant colors.  I didn’t end up doing that because I just went with what the hairdresser recommended, which was this.  I was a little nervous about bleach frying my hair, so I didn’t argue.  Next time I think may have my whole head of hair taken down a couple levels and dyed the color of the highlights because they’re my favorite part.  Plus, those are the parts that are bleached and they’re not damaged at all, so I think I should be okay.

The purple seemed really subtle to me, which made me a little sad, so I decided to put some Manic Panic over top of it to see if I could make it more vibrant.  It’s a subtle difference, but I think it is a little more purple with the Manic Panic.


I have like a billion hair pictures because I kept taking them in attempts to convince myself that my hair really was noticeably purple.  Here’s a sunlight picture, where the purple that seems so similar to my dark hair color in low light really pops:


However, you guys, Manic Panic is a huge pain in the ass.  Ever since I did this a week and a half ago, it’s been turning my fingernails purple.  So now that I have purple hair, I apparently have to always paint my nails purple as well because painting them yellow (which is what I’ve done today) leaves them with gross purple streaks.  The first day I did my hair after adding the Manic Panic my hands turned seriously purple, and I kept hiding them in my pockets like a weirdo while I was trying to teach.  In addition to all of that, it’s already significantly faded.  Has anyone ever tried Manic Panic and had the same problems?  If so, have you found an alternative?  I’m going to try Special Effects next, which Lauren Lladybird recommended to me, and I hope it isn’t as annoying as Manic Panic.  After my next salon appointment, I hopefully won’t have to do this again because I’ll be able to get my whole head looking like the highlights I have now, which should be vibrant enough.

The purple is very similar to my natural dark hair color, plus I think it looks almost natural, so I haven’t had many comments on it.  The hairdresser actually called it “adult purple” when we did it, so it’s pretty tame.  But the funniest story that I’ve gotten out of this hair dyeing situation is when a student who came in late one morning raised her hand in what I thought was an attempt to answer a question I had just asked about the article they had read for the day.  Instead she said, “I have an unrelated question. I came in late, so maybe I missed this, but is your hair purple?”  Everyone busted out laughing, and I’m guessing some others were wondering the same thing.  I laughed and told her that she hadn’t missed, like, an announcement or anything, but yes, my hair was purple.  Haha!  My next favorite story is when a friend sent me a picture of a coloring book page her three-year-old daughter had colored that day because she had given the lady in the picture purple hair.  Her daughter hadn’t seen me or anything – it’s just that great minds think alike!

Ok, with all that hair nonsense out of the way, how about some sewing projects?  Today I have two household projects to show you instead of the usual garments.  The first one is a new ironing board cover.  A couple of years ago I got fed up with my cheap ironing board from Walmart leaking rusty water all over my clothes, so I did a bunch of research and found that a lot of people like this Reliable ironing board:


So I got it even though it was pretty expensive and some friends made fun of me (little do they know how much I’ve spent on other sewing nonsense!).  It’s very sturdy and it’s all powder-coated metal, so it’s not supposed to rust.  However, the cover has always bugged me because the white sides of it will flip up so that there’s a lip on the edge of the ironing board, which make sit hard to move your fabric around, plus the padding has always been too thin for my tastes.  Then I got fusible interfacing goop on it.  Then I spilled juice on it because in our tiny apartment, the ironing board gets set up in the kitchen where it sometimes ends up serving as additional counter space.  So I decided to make a new cover out of some home dec weight Amy Butler cotton sateen I got for a quilt but ended up not using because it didn’t go as well with the other colors as I thought it would (that quilt?  front and back pieced over two years ago, batting bought, remains unquilted to this day.  the quilting part terrifies me.  boo.).  I also added two cotton towels underneath it for padding, and I placed all of this over top of the original padding as well.


This is one of my summer stashbust projects, because I’ve had this yard of fabric hanging around for longer than I’ve had that unquilted quilt hanging around!  There’s some leftover, so I think I’m going to make a new cover for my tailor’s ham so it matches.  I used Sunni’s tutorial to make the cover and it was all pretty straightforward.  The only thing was that I didn’t have enough elastic to run through the bias casing, so I just used some thick pearl cotton I got a long time ago for pintucking and tied it.  It was the only thing I had enough of!  The next time I’m at Joann’s I’ll have to pick up some elastic and switch it out.

A better view of the fabric:


The next project is a new shower curtain.  About a year ago the apartment above us had some issue with the plumbing that caused our ceiling to leak.  It left a gross-looking rusty water spot on our shower curtain, and assuming it would never come out, I just didn’t even bother trying to wash it.  I was sick of the shower curtain anyway, so I began a massive hunt to find the perfect new shower curtain.  I didn’t really want to sew one because shower curtains are both wider and longer than 60″ wide fabric, so I’d have to piece it together, and that really bugged me.  I thought I’d probably end up not matching the pattern precisely enough and it would end up  looking tacky.  Even so, I bought some curtain fabric from the Textile Discount Outlet that was long enough.  Well, it wasn’t wide enough.  So I went back and bought some more.  I got it home and realized it was ever so slightly different than the first piece I’d bought.  I decided I would just piece the fabric together in multiple strips, and then it would look like I’d gotten the two very similar but slightly different pieces on purpose.  But I was sort of fed up by that point and lazy and I also hate sewing things that aren’t garments, so that never came to fruition.  And the massive search for the perfect shower curtain fizzled out because every shower curtain currently being sold is fugly, ya’ll.  I searched every single website and store I could think of, and everything was either too boring, too fussy, too ugly, or too expensive.

But about a month ago we were at Ikea and I thought, hey, Ikea might have a cheap, awesome shower curtain!  Well, reader, I was wrong.  They, just like every other place I had searched before, had no decent shower curtain options.  But then I thought, hmm, Ikea has other cheap goods.  Perhaps I could buy one and harvest the fabric for a shower curtain?  I checked the duvet section and found a couple I liked, but decided again that I didn’t really want to spend time sewing one.  So I went home and searched every place I had already searched, found nothing that wasn’t outrageously expensive, and when I found myself back at Ikea the next day because we had bought the wrong drawer for our end table unit (isn’t that always the way with Ikea?), I just bought the duvet cover.  And now I’m the proud owner/creator of this shower curtain:


Plus I have enough leftover fabric to make a whole other shower curtain because the duvet cover was the same on both sides!  We also got new purple rugs (we use Flor tiles because they’re easy to clean and replace) for the bathroom at the same time, because purple.

Here’s the old shower curtain, which I was super sick of.  This picture is actually from the apartment before the one we’re living in now, so that’s why the bathroom looks totally different.


I’d had my fill of it, plus I’m not really into that branchy flowery style of things anymore.  I’m more about bold graphic things when it comes to my living spaces these days.

The shower curtain was super easy to make.  I just measured the old one, noted down its seam allowances, then copied it.  I made buttonholes to put the hooks through, and that was that.  Oh, I did also interface the top hem where the buttonholes are to add some sturdiness to the area that would be holding the whole thing up.  Our shower curtain had a plastic overlay in that area, but I never understood the point of it because it ripped the first time we had to take the shower curtain down.

Another view of the shower curtain, now with flash!  I had a real crisis over whether this picture looked better with flash or without, so now you know a little about how high strung I am!


That’s it for today!  I hope to get that blasted Cambie finished soon so I can wear it and post about it.  I love the fabric I chose, but man is that dress trying to kill me!


  5 Responses to “Household Sewing”

  1. I love your purple hair!! I know your feelings on wanting it brighter, and I say GO FOR IT! Your stylist should be able to lighten your hair without causing a bunch of damage, as long as she knows what kind of dyes are already in it (like, don’t lie and tell her you never dyed your hair with box dye or something) so she can do chemistry magic 🙂 And yeah, Manic Panic is probably the worst dye out there! Haha! I looove Special Effects, as the colors are super saturated, but I have noticed with this recent bottle that the color has been crazy about bleeding, though. Not sure if it’s a bad batch (when I used SE in the past, I never had bleeding problems after the first wash) or their new formula, but there’s that. The other dyes I used and loved are the Raw (Hot Topic brand) dye and N’Rage from Sally Beauty (which I’m almost certain is the same dye, just in a different package. The color is the same, the name is the same, and it has the same company info on the back haha). Those stick really well and they don’t bleed hardly at all. Plus, they smell like candy 🙂 Special Effects does have the best color selection though. Seriously, try that Burgundy Wine and tell me that’s not the most beautiful purple red you’ve ever seen 🙂

    • Seriously, Manic Panic is awful. I wanted to get something easy and local just to see if it would even show up over top of what the salon did, and there’s a Sally’s right around the corner from me that carries MP. It shows up, so that’s good, but it’s terrible in every other way! I’m definitely going to get a more vibrant purple the next time I go to the salon so I hopefully won’t have to worry about bleeding semi-permanent dyes. In the meantime, where do you get your Special Effects dye? I just looked on Amazon, but they don’t have Burgundy Wine. 🙁

    • Wow Bev! This is absolutely adorable! I love the contrasting colors. It is great having you join us as guest designer at Cute Card Thursday. Welcome! Hugz,Julie

  2. My hair is currently purple, and after a few washed the purple fingernails stop 🙂 I’m a bit mad at how fast it fades, though so we’ll see how long it lasts. Oh, and I’ve heard special fx is awesome but also leaves you with purple everything all the time 🙁

    • Purple-haired Chicago sewing bloggers unite! I totally agree about the staying power. If you want to have sfx dyeing party when our purples get too faded, let me know! 🙂

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