Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I had planned to do a post on my sewing of 2008, but I need hubby's help to make a graph. I will still try to do that in the next few days. If I can't get the graph, I'll at least share what I've sewn. I've enjoyed reading what other bloggers have accomplished during the year. My list actually surprised me and is quite long, but many were TNT patterns and things for my kids so those are less time consuming than starting from scratch.
Be safe if you're going out tonight and may 2009 be a year filled with wonderful things.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The kids were all thrilled with their gifts, but I think my daughter might be on cloud nine still. She has been bugging us for well over a year for a Sleep & Study Loft from Pottery Barn Teen. It's a little too rich for out beer budget at $2,000 (shipping included) so my uber talented hubby built her one! It was hard to pull off the surprise. As you can see, the thing is huge (it's a double bed up there). The project was started the day after Thanksgiving so it's been weeks of torture for the kids wanting to know what dear ol' Dad has been up to. The kiddos all went to my in-laws for a sleepover on the 23rd and we got busy getting the big surprise ready.
She has been going on and on about wanting pink walls with polka dots too ~ wish granted. It was fun to get her room ready for the big reveal, but the icing on the cake was her reaction. She was more than thrilled and burst into tears. And seriously, I can't believe I went to the ends of the Earth to find a pink office chair for her, she better appreciate me from here to eternity! lol And without further ado....
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
First up is a garment for me. It's one of my favorite patterns, BWOF 10-2005-114. I actually purchased the fabric in November when I was taking my pants fitting class. I can't remember the blend, but it's a sweater-y knit of sorts. Not that stretchy, I guess more like a fancier fleece. It has a nice texture to it and the colors are berry. The photo is a bit dark, I think it's prettier in person. So cozy and a welcome addition to my wardrobe.
I also made one for my sister out of a sweater knit I got from Joann's a long time ago. It too is prettier in person (Is this a good enough reason for a new camera since I have such crappy shots??? If so, please email my hubby and tell him! lol). I was going to get rid of the fabric, but when my sister saw it in the pile she really liked it so I decided I'd make her a sweater too for a Christmas gift. We're the same size and she'd tried on another one I made so I'm sure it will fit her. The fabric is definitely her colors and not mine. This is a "what was I thinking" purchase.And a few box bags from this tutorial ~ thanks to Stacy for pointing out the tutorial on her blog. I will post a review on PR of this pattern very soon. The directions are a little confusing, but the pictures help. I also found a helpful post on this blog about how to do the corners in an easier manner. Below are the fruits of my labor. I made the black one larger for my SIL - you can see it matches the Weekender Bag she'll get for graduation in March.
And another throw pillow for my couch from some leftover fabric (ivory chenille on the back side). I got smart this time and put a zipper in it. This is soooo much better than hand sewing the pillow shut because it's faster, plus I can take the pillow out and wash the cover. I might go back and redo the other pillows I did earlier in the year.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Now after starting the bag, I'm not fully committed to finishing it in time for Christmas. I'm reconsidering this might be a good graduation gift for when she graduates nursing school in March (that gives me a little more time). I think I suck at big projects. I like more instant gratification projects. Possibly I'm longing for a few new things for me, so I will set this aside for a bit and bring it back to the machine soon. I will finish it, the question is whether it will be in time for Christmas - that is still to be determined.
Here is the bag in it's sad state~
Now onto my other sewing projects that I promised to share in my last post. First up is the outfit I made to wear to DH's work Christmas party. Of course you can just call me "Last Minute Lucy" on this one. I seem to have this theme every year. I want something new to wear and don't start it until the day of the party. I had purchased a black knit with subtle silver sparkles in it when my local indy store went out of business in January. I never knew what I'd do with it. It's a pretty stable knit with not a lot of give, but something kept drawing me back to it so I got 2 yds to toss in my stash. Well here is the end result, a Jalie Crossover top and a little A-line skirt I quickly drafted out of the scraps. I lightened the picture to help see the details better, but it's still hard since it's black. What I liked about the outfit was that I wasn't freezing. They always have the air cranked up and if I had any sort of sleeveless dress or top on I'd freeze.
And pj's galore~
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family is blessed beyond measure and I hope the same holds true for yours. Enjoy the day!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So my ironing board cover was getting a little ratty. It wasn't that bad, but the ironing board I got came from Wally World. I really wanted an oversized ironing board so I upgraded earlier in the year. I had looked at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but they wanted like $80+ for the ironing board and I just couldn't see spending that much money. So I happened to be at Walmart (my least favorite store) one day and saw they carried the oversized ironing boards too. I can't recall the exact price, but it was $40 or less. I came with an extra cover which I have no idea where I put. I could have dug around to find it, but I found the cover always wanting to grab what I was ironing and shifting around. Plus the pad it came with is ultra thin. The bottom line was this ironing board needed a makeover!
Next I cut out my fabric.
Then I serged around the raw edges of the cover so the edges wouldn't ravel. After serging, I pressed a 5/8" SA, stitched the pressed edge down to form a casing in which I fed 1/4" elastic through the casing. I put it on my ironing board and adjusted my elastic to get the fit right. Once I got the length of the elastic where I wanted it, I sewed the ends of my elastic together and closed the casing up.
Here is the finished board. I would have liked the elasticized edge to go under the board a bit more, so next cover I will trace with a 3" boarder so I have enough extra fabric around the edges. I actually didn't have enough fabric to make it any wider tho since what I had was a small scrap. Oh well, live and learn.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I ask this because I saw a dermatologist a few weeks ago about my acne (which is mild). I requested Accutane since my sister just finished a four month cycle of it and now has gorgeously flawless skin. We both have similar skin, so her acne was mild as well, but my skin is definitely oilier than hers.
The derm I saw wasn't too gung ho on prescribing Accutane, but since I requested it he said he would prescribe it. He said he's rather try other alternatives first such as antibiotics and topical medicines. I went in with the mindset that I wanted Accutane. I have tried all other methods without success and after 20+ years of dealing with acne I want to put an end to it. Well now I'm getting cold feet about taking it.
As a female, you have to wait 30 days before you can start it to make sure you're not pregnant so I'm in my 30 day waiting period. While taking the course, you must use two forms of birth control because it causes very severe birth defects. The birth defects aren't the part that scares it me, it's the other stuff such as the potential to have depression, bad headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, seizures, stroke, hearing problems, vision problems, lipid problems, well the list goes on. Then at the end it says, the common, less serious side effects are dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose. I can deal with the common side effects, I'm just paranoid about the others. I realize if we all had to read a thick book about each and every medication we took that it probably wouldn't be so scary to me. My sister experienced the common side effects as well as had some joint pain that was minimized taking Advil daily. I had another friend who had the same complaints while she took it. I just don't know anyone else who has taken it and want some feed back.
If you'd rather not post a common, please do email me - noboty at kalama.com
Thanks for any insight. I'm still deciding on what to do.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
October has been a busy month for my family, but taking the fit class just added to the craziness. My last class was on Wednesday and I will declare it here, I'm now a HUGE advocate for tissue fitting a pattern. I used to just wing it and just hope for the best. Well I'm here to tell you, I now think that "winging it" is a total waste of time (not to mention a waste of fabric too if you ruin your fabric. Some will say, make a muslin. True you can do that and surely there is still reason to do that on occasion, but honestly tissue fitting doesn't take that long and it helps you see exactly what needs to be done before you even cut your fabric. After tissue fitting if you'd like to see if there are any alterations that still should be made since different fabrics behave differently (for example dart ending placement), you can then pin the garment together to making sure everything looks perfect before you start sewing.
From class I learned many things about my body and how to fit it. Remember this class was only tops, dresses, and skirts and not pants. Things I learned about fitting myself:
1) I am a "B" cup and don't need an SBA! This was totally shocking to me. Shocking!
2) I wear a size 8 for tops and a size 12 for skirts.
3) I need a 1/2" broad back alteration. Every pattern I altered in class (that would be at least a dozen), I needed a 1/2" broad back so that appears to be the norm for me. If you have the FFRP book, it's on page 118 and I use method #2.
4) I don't always need a sway back or forward shoulder alteration like I thought. Trying on the tissue will tell me if I need either and how much. I needed a 3/8" forward shoulder on only two things in class and a the sway back was only a tiny pinch on two things.
5) Sometimes I need a broad shoulder adjustment as well, tho most of the time the 1/2" broad back will cover it.
6)I also learned it best to trace a pattern onto tissue paper for tissue fitting. I usually use Pattern Ease when tracing a BWOF or Ottobre pattern, but PE it's too heavy and stiff for tissue fitting.
If you have the opportunity to take a class from Marta, I highly recommend it. She's personable, helpful, and most of all super nice. She is filled with so much knowledge and is so eager to share it. She really wants everyone to be success and to love sewing and fitting as much as she does. The class I took is geared for local sewers because it's weekly for four weeks, but Marta & Pati also teach a four day fit workshop and people fly into Portland from all over the country.
Overall, it was well worth the $100 I spent. Last night I even tried tissue fitting a top I want to make by myself and I think I got my alterations right on the money. Guess I'll know for sure once it's sewn up.
Next up is the pants class which starts this coming week. It's a different teacher but also with the Palmer/Pletsch sewing school. I have one evening session and then all day next Saturday where we'll actually sew our pants in class. I'm looking forward to it and will be using OOP Vogue 2812; my fabric is gray stretch sateen.
In other sewing news, I have two Halloween costumes finished, one mostly finished, and one not started (tho that is the easy one and only requires some hot glue, spray paint, & a box. :-) I'm also working on a top for myself, Butterick B5101.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
My zippers are all the same length so I chose to band them together by color, but if you have lots of different lengths you could chose to do sort them by size or color. For now, all my packaged zippers (a bunch gifted to me by my neighbor) are banded (still in the original package) by length and style (regular, metal, & invisible).
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Our first assignment, to be brought to our second class, was to bring in a top and skirt pattern cut in our size. During the first class, Marta measured each of us and then had us try on the fitting shells. Based on the information she gathered, she told us what size we need to cut for tops and skirts (no pants are covered in this class).
Since I mostly sew with BWOF and am trying to use the existing patterns I already have, I traced off a blouse & skirt pattern on Pattern Ease from my BWOF stash. I thought I was doing myself a favor using the patterns I typically use, but instead I messed up. My first mistake was not tracing them onto tissue. I learned from Marta that Pattern Ease is not the best medium to use for fitting. There isn't much drape in PE, so getting it to fit properly is a challenge. Ultimately the fitting session with my BWOF top told me one of my adjustments was a 1/2" FBA! I knew there was no freakin' way! Thankfully I took a Butterick pattern to class with me and cut it out quickly so Marta could fit me with that before class was over. After fitting that blouse, she compared both pattern pieces and they were very similar, thus proving the tissue is a much better medium when you're tissue fitting than PE. So lesson learned, use tissue if trying to fit yourself with the actual pattern pieces. And since tissue like the pattern companies use isn't readily available to buy on a roll, simply using gift wrapping tissue paper works like a charm. It's easily and cheaply obtained at your local dollar store. :-)
For next week's class I'm going to find a handful of patterns at Joann's this weekend during the $1 Columbus Day sale and have them 100% ready to try on in class. So this weekend I will be cutting patterns (which is totally against what I typically do any more, I always trace them off), taping necklines & arm holes, and pinning them together. I really want to maximize my time with her so I'm on the right track making the correct alterations for my figure.
My blouse alterations thus far are only a forward shoulder (the pattern I used this last class was 3/8", however this can vary based on the pattern), broad shoulder of 5/8" (very common in smaller size patterns), and then I needed to let out the waist about 5/8" (this came as no surprise because she had me cut a size 8 for my top and says I need a 14 for my skirt - I am thinking 12 for skirts, but next time I'll see for sure since I'll have that ready, in tissue, to fit). I'm taking a straight skirt because I think this is the hardest thing to perfect so if I can get that down, other skirts will be a piece of cake.
Lastly, coming up at the end of the month is another class called Fit & Sew Trousers. It's two class sessions, one 3 hour block and one all day block. By the end of the second class we're supposed to have finished pants to take home. I'm not sure if we can use any pattern or if we will have a selection to choose from. I'm waiting on the supply list from the instruction, but am very excited about making pants that actually fit! :-)
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
So now we have an abundance of water - hallelujah!!!! At about 8:15 last night when the water came back on, I was singing his praises! I immediately started the dishwasher, started laundry, flushed toilets, and brushed my teeth! Yes, I did brush my teeth that morning with a Dixie cup full of water. It reminded me of camping when I was a kid. Thankfully I could at least brush them, but brushing with fresh sink water is so much better!
Once the pump was pulled up nearly 200 feet, Mr. Fix-It could see the malfunction occurred because the connection between the pump and the motor became striped out. Thankfully all is *well* (yes, pun intended) now and we have a nice gushing supply to fill our needs. Thank you all for your concerns via comments, email, & phone - you're all so sweet to me.
So to make up for lost time, this morning thus far I've washed & folded five loads of laundry, made Chocolate Chip cookies, hard boiled (and deyolked) two dozen eggs for hubby's lunches the rest of the week, made two batches of Strawberry freezer jam, made one batch of applesauce (the chunky kind, my personal fav), and even loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice...and it's not even 11am yet!
Now I must get my patterns traced off and prepped for my class. Still not 100% sure which ones I'm tracing, ack!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Well all the fun started last Thursday night when I was draining the kitchen sink...it didn't drain. I've had this happen before and just used a plunger to dislodge whatever the problem is. Well the plunger just didn't give way to whatever the clog was. Long story short, a bottle of Drain-O, a "snake" tool, and climbing up on the roof to check to see if the vent was clogged did nothing. More drastic measures had to be taken, so in the dark my hubby was on a very tall ladder cutting a hole in the sofit area of the house so he could get to the water pipe that was clogged (of course it couldn't be something easy to get at under the sink). Ultimately he had to cut the pipe open (which resulted in Drain-O gushing everywhere) so he could snake the clog (which was further down the drain) and then flush it with the house. Time taken, 3.5 hours (plus an hour of cleanup on the weekend) and $40 spend.
Well fast forward to this morning at 6am. My alarm goes off and I cheerfully (NOT) get up to take my shower. I just start to put shampoo in my hair and the water stops. I turned off the shower and turned it back on, it starts and immediately stops. I try the other nozzle in the shower, nothing. Okay, out of the shower with shampoo still in my hair I frantically call my hubby at work. I couldn't believe he answered the phone, I didn't expect him to be in his office because they have a huge maintenance day scheduled on Thursday and he was having to prep a bunch of stuff.
Me: "I'm so glad you're there. We have a huge problem. I was in the shower and all of a sudden the water stops. I tried turning it off and on and nothing."
Him: "Can this wait until tonight?"
Me: "No, we have NO water, do you not understand I have shampoo in my hair, there is NO water".
Him: "Okay, go out to the pump house (we have a nearly 200 foot well that supplies our water that was drilled 8 years ago) and check to hear if the pump is running and see what the pressure gauge says."
So on the phone I go to the pump house in the pitch dark making sure I don't trip of Tonka trucks or the like. In the pump house I find the pressure gauge at 0% and the pump sounding like it's trying to pump water, but nothing happening. So the not-so-happy hubby says he'll be home shortly.
Fast forward to now (6 hours later) and little progress has been made. We had our well driller come out for some guidance, but it looks like something is wrong with the pump (thankfully just the pump and we're not out of water). So my hubby is working to pull up nearly 200 feet of 1.5" pipe out of the ground so he can get to the pump and diagnose the problem. A new pump is about $800, however the wire could get damaged as well during the pump removal process so who knows how much the final bill is going to total. Not to mention $70 call fee for the driller to come provide advice. And to make matters worse, a piece at the top of the well head fell into the hole and is causing trouble, so my hubby and his wonderful father are working to get that free so the pump will pull up. Now I just wait as I live without water and still have dried shampoo in my hair.
But hey, it could be worse - it could always be worse. So I'm optimistic that this will be fixed relatively soon and that I will be able to take a shower and actually rinse my hair clean. Never a dull moment.
On a bright note, I signed up for a fitting class taught by Marta Alto of Palmer/Pletsch. Last week was my first class. We discussed fitting and each member of the class tried on fitting shells (bodice and skirt) to determine the correct pattern size. Marta is super sweet and I think I'm going to learn a lot. I'm looking forward to my next class, but need to figure out what patterns I'm going to take to alter. I do feel like I knew most of what she said because I read her book Fit For Real People, but I appreciate that hands on approach and her help to make sure I'm doing the correct alterations for my body. I'll post how the class goes after this week's session. I feel so fortunate to have such excellent fitting experts so close to home.
Lastly, the voting for the Sewing for Babies/Kids contest is going on at PR right now (through Saturday the 11th), so don't forget to vote. I will warn you tho, you'll have lots of trouble deciding on a favorite as there are so many adorable entries! Here is the direct link to the gallery where you vote.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
On Saturday I worked on another little number for my baby. I made him a "holey hoodie" last fall and he loved it, but sadly it's too small now. Since he loved that sweatshirt so much, I decided to surprise him with another one. The pattern is from Ottobre 4-2007-11. It's really generously wide, so I can see getting a few more years out of this pattern by just adding some length even tho I made it in size 110 (the biggest size) .
Up close of the pockets. I used the reverse side of my cover stitch to make to stitch the pocket down.
I think the pictures show how much he likes he new hoodie! :-) I wish I could keep him little, he's so darn much fun.
Friday, September 26, 2008
From the pictures you can see all the details of the jacket. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. I posted a detailed review of the jacket on PR. I highly recommend the jacket and plan to enter the jacket in the sewing for children contest that is currently running.