Friday, August 29, 2008


I love good mail days, don't you? You know, those days will your mail box is filled with all sorts of goodies (and no bills to boot!). Well today was my good mail day. It was actually a good mail week so I'm showing off my loot.

It started earlier in the week with my new Vogue Patterns and Burda Easy Fashion magazines. Then yesterday my Threads magazine arrived. I'm on the fence about the BEF mag. I like some of the coats, but I'm not sure if I see myself in anything else. I'll let it marinate for a while and see what I think later on. The new Threads magazine looks like a good one, but I always seem to enjoy the magazine. The Vogue Pattern one seems pretty good too. There is a great article on how build a better coat. I have had a busy week so I honestly haven't had much time to look at the magazines.

Then today, be still my heart, the new Ottobre Woman mag arrived. I haven't even cracked it open. I had some things left to finish up, so that was my incentive to get them done. As soon as I'm done with this entry I'm off to snuggle with it. I liked the preview on line so I'm sure I'll like it even better in person. Plus I love the Ottobre staff and like to support their efforts by subscribing to the magazine.

Also pictured is a booklet of all the new Burda Fall/Winter fashion patterns that were released recently. This was included with the new patterns I got (shown below).

My friend Kim can atest to my waffling while trying to figure out what Jalie patterns to order. Of course I wanted so much more, but at nearly $12 a pop, I decided to limit myself to two new ones. I ended up picked coat pattern #2680 and the adorable criss-cross knit top pattern #2787. Then to get my order to ship free on PR (friends of PR get free shipping at $25), I added NL 6729. I've always liked the top and figured this was a great reason to try it.

This past week while checking out one of my favorite forums (, a gal was selling off some of her fabric and I picked up the above gem. It's a yummy knit that is the perfect shade of red for me. I have no clue what I'll make with it, but I just had to have it - it's just so *me*!

Since it's Labor Day weekend, Joann's has 50% off the notions wall. All week long I've been making my list so I could jet in and out and not be wooed by anything else. Success! I got some embroidery stabilizers and adhesive, another magnetic pin cushion, purse handles, and a sleeve roll ~ everything that was on my list, nothing more.

I had a question asked in the comments section of my last post, however Blogger doesn't typically give me your email address when readers post a comment so I'll take the opportunity to answer the question here. Anne asked if the knee patches would work if the fabrics weren't fused together. From past experience, yes that seems to work well. The knees stay without holes longer, but once a hole forms you just see the nice new fabric underneath the hole. What I was hoping to accomplish by fusing two fabrics together was a overall sturdier knee. One that was thicker and would be harder to make a hole in. My oldest son is known for being tough on his knees so this is an experiment. I will report my findings once the school year is underway and I can see how the knees are fairing. I've only done the treatment on one pair of pants. The second pair I made had pleated knees (a design element) and I found the fused fabric very hard to manipulate. Thankfully I was able to take the fused fabric off fairly easily. The pair I'm working on right now has double knees already so I didn't do the fusing. I hope this provides some enlightenment as to why I did what I did.

So what are your plans for the holiday weekend? We are just hanging out getting ready for Tuesday (the first day of school). My daughter's 11th birthday is coming up on Wednesday, so after church on Sunday we're taking a family trip to Build-A-Bear Workshop and then going out for dinner (birthday girl says Red Robin). I hope to get a few more pairs of pants done for the boys, but they don't seem to be too in to school clothes like my daughter. I guess a good mom would make sure they have a new shirt to wear, so maybe I'll whip up a few new t-shirts too. Have a safe & fun weekend! :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Make your own knee patches

So do you have a kid that wears holes in the knees of his pants in no time flat? I do! I have been working on Back-To-School pants for my boys and nothing breaks my heart more than to put my heart and soul into their clothing just have a rip or stain happen right off the bat. I know, I shouldn't be so attached, but I try my hardest to give them RTW look, but made ever so lovingly by mom. Yep, you won't get dorky clothes from me. I may be a sweatshop of labor during the busy season, but my pay in hugs and kisses make it well worth my efforts.

So today I was sewing up my first pair of pant and thinking how thin the twill felt (a remnant I had, no clue what it was from - can you say free pants???). So I pondered for a second, what if I put another layer in the knee area for double layer protection. I called my trusty friend (thanks Kim!) to get her input. The verdict was that two layers really isn't going to help unless I fuse them together. Well we all know necessity is the mother of invention, so I present to you my "custom made" knees patches!

First, I cut a piece of fabric and a piece of Heat N Bond Lite to the size I needed. Then I fused the two together per the package instructions (see below ~ sorry for the side ways picture, Blogger would not cooperate and rotate it like it needs to be, but you get the idea, right?).

Then I removed the backing and fused my "patch" to the knee area of the pants. The pants I'm making have two pleats in the knee area so it's impossible to see where the patch is from the right side. On the right side of my test sample it was hard to detect where I fused the two together as well, but I imagine if you use thicker fabric it might show slightly. Still, a few lines are WAY better than a hole in the knee days after school starts. Here is what the inside looks like after I fused the patch in place.

So there you have it, custom knee patches and my first tutorial! Ain't I something special today? ;-) I'll make sure to let you all know how it ends up working for my boys, but I don't see why it won't work like a charm. :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Dress

I had my daughter snap a picture of me in my new New Look dress on Saturday before we headed out into the 100 degree heat to a BBQ. What a classy, yet comfy dress - I LOVE IT!!! Just wanted to share it with you. It's really a great pattern, so if you love twist tops like me, you'll surely love this dress. It's NL 6802 - you can click the picture to make it bigger if you'd like to see the the details a little better).

Thank you all for the comments you posted to my last post. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who suffers from Analysis Paralysis. :-) I did trudge forward and made a top from BWOF 4-2008-116 (a dress - line drawing below).

The only problem is I didn't realize the smallest size was 38 until I finished tracing it off. I wear a 36, sometimes 34 in the top depending on the ease. I decided since it was a top and I was just using a remnant, I'd just go forth and see what happened. I did a SBA and had my fingers crossed it would fit. Well no such luck. I had to take almost a full inch out of each side it was that huge. I still need to hem it, but have tossed it aside for now because it's stormy and cold out for the next few days (I made it sleeveless).

Well yay me, I made a step forward. No AP is going to defeat me. ;-P

Up next, I think some misc school clothes. I need to thumb through my Ottobre magazines and see what grabs my interest. I'm so thankful the boys like pretty much anything still.

Friday, August 15, 2008

There is a term for people like me....

it's called Analysis Paralysis. Yep, that is me. I can't make a decision about sewing for the life of me. There are zillions of garments I'd like to sew, but I just can't decide what to do next. Then when I do decide, I trace off my pattern and then worry if I'm making the correct alterations and picking the best fabric from my stash. So what in the heck is up? Why am I stuck all of a sudden? Does anyone else have this happen to them? I just feel like I'm totally over analyzing everything and I just need to relax. And really, what is the worst that is going to happen??? Really the worst case would be throwing something in the trash and that isn't life shattering. lol

So all that to say, not much sewing to report. A few days ago I did make myself another New Look 6802 - view D using some knit jersey from I'm happy with the outcome, but haven't snapped a picture yet. Other than that, nothing but diaper sewing which isn't too exciting to report about.

While out on errands today, my daughter and I stopped in to Joann's for some 50% off thread and we peeked at the pattern books. She is very into Hannah Montana and was immediately wooed by two Simplicity patterns so I caved and bought them for her (at $1 each how can I go wrong???). In an earlier post I expressed how she really wanted to shop RTW and not have me sew things for her. Yes this breaks my heart, but I honestly don't want to waste my time sewing things for her she won't wear. She's almost 11 and has her own opinions and ideas - especially about clothes! Instead I decided to give her a little budget for school clothes and she was very picky with what she bought and tried hard to conserve money. I am very proud of her and think she did well. She even has $20 left! The two patterns we ended up getting were:

2878 - jumper

3716 - knit basics

She's really keen on the jumper and she wanted to shop my stash so we didn't bother looking at what they had at Joann's. Unfortunately we didn't find anything to her liking that was suitable for fall. She found several she liked, but they were all too light colored and spring-like. So back to the fabric store we'll go.

Hopefully in my next post I'll be beyond my Analysis Paralysis and have something great to share - keep your fingers crossed!