Making

Things I've been making, fixing, modding, breaking.

Kilim-inspired Lumbar Pillow

2019-05-12

I never quite found a good spot for this rug until finally I realized it wanted to be a pillow all along.

Big Red Riding Gown

2019-05-05

I have searched far and wide for the perfect women's winter coat for cycling in the pacific northwest. The key features I wanted were a) a long enough length that it would fully cover my knees and I wouldn't need to wear rain pants (the indignity of pants over pants!), b) retain enough leg mobility to comfortably cycle in, c) and look normal enough to wear off a bicycle. I couldn't find anything that fit the bill, so I had to make this one myself! This is a second take on my red riding poncho, this time more equipped for a full winter cycle. The key modifications:

  • I extended the coat length several inches so that the coat reaches all the way over my knees when on the bike, which provides enough rain coverage for a typical light winter rain in the pacific northwest.
  • I sewed calf covers into the front lining that are secured with velcro. For particularly heavy or windy rains, I can fold these down to gain complete coverage over my legs.
  • In the coat back I inserted a large fold of fabric to expand the skirt circumference, and an elastic cinch for adjusting the waist as needed. This provides extra room for complete mobility and coverage when on the bike, and cinches up for a cleaner cut when off the bike.
2019 05 08 Red Riding Gown Detail

360 Degree Light Up Helmet

2019-03-01

2019 03 01 Robo Helmet

For maximum safety while biking at night, I have been working on increasing my visibility from all sides to 360 degrees. Rather than a single light on the front or back, I realized that wrapping a light all the way around my helmet would provide all around visibility.

I was inspired by this awesome DIY light up handebar project - I used a similar waterproof LED strip and plugged it into a mini USB battery back.

2019 03 01 Helmet Light

Reflective Bike Streamers

2018-10-16

2018 10 16 Reflective Streamers

I had wanted reflective streamers for my bike for a few years but couldn't find anything for sale. When I found these ugly but reflective keychains, I saw my chance! Using a zip tie and hanle bar plug, these keychains became the streamers of my dreams.

2018 10 16 Reflective Streamers Pieces

Bloom Jacket

2018-06-30

2018 06 30 Jacket Animation

Inspired by spring, I made this turn signal flower bike jacket with a teensy, and a ton of flowers and wire.

2018 06 30 Bloom Jacket

Replacing the Alarm on a Vintage Clock

2018-04-30

Hoping to reduce my late-night smartphone use, I got a vintage alarm clock for next to my bed. This beautiful mechanical flip clock has just one problem: a truly horrifying alarm sound.

It’s no wonder what this clock isn’t being used anymore - it’s basically unusable as an alarm; it sound like a piece of metal crying out in anguish.

It seemed like a terrible waste to cast it off complete, so I decided to replace the alarm sound with something better. By intercepting the mechanical alarm mechanism with a magnet and reed switch, I am instead able to trigger a sound with a micro-controller.

Vintage Alarm insides

See the full tutorial on Instructables.

Little Red Rain Poncho

2018-04-08

Over the last year of biking in the pacific northwest, I have been hunting for the perfect biking rain coat, and have tried many different options, including rain pants, rain ponchos, waxing my clothes. None of these worked well for all my needs: rain pants are technically functional but an unfashionable hastle; rain ponchos work great unless there is any wind whatsoever, and are also an unfashionable hastle; and waxing my pants has been only somewhat effective -- so I decided to make my own rain coat that covers my legs while biking but also looks good while not biking.

I started with the North Face Ancha Parka as my base coat. This waterproof rain jacket was about the right size with really lovely waterproof material, but had a poor quality zipper and unflatteringly boxy fit. The first adjustment I made was to update the zipper with a heavy-duty two-way brass zipper. While making this change, I also re-ordered the fabric layer so that the flat that was laying under the zipper was now laying on top of it. This allowed me to add brass snaps to the top flap to create a more vintage looking rain coat.

2018 04 08 Before After Hardware

Next I moved to the back of the jacket, and split the jacket down the middle. My goal here was to add a bit of fabric so that when I'm on a bike, the jacket would create a poncho-like effect and cover the tops of my legs while I ride. Since this is primarily a biking jacket, I decided to use a really lovely reflective fabric from Mood Fabrics.

Not being sure how this reflective fabric would look outside the context of biking, I decided to hedge my bets and add a zipper on the back so that I could zip up and hide the reflective fabric when I am just walking around. This zipper is actually installed upside-down, zipping from the bottom. This allows me to upzip a few inches from the bottom, opening little space for my hips, without unzipping the whole back.

2018 04 08 Bike Back

Picinic Quilt

2018-03-10

Waterproof picinic blanket with vintage gingam wool.

2018 03 10 Picinic Quilt Fence

Indigo LED Constellation Quilt

2018-03-06

This hand-dyed quilt has a layer of leq sequins that glow softly at night. See how I made it here!

Hygge Hotpants

2018-03-03

Mike and I made these fur undies for an Instructables sewing contest, and our friends MJ and Evelyn were the most amazing models!