Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jean Jacket Review

I've had this jean jacket in my UFO pile since late September. I had only cut it out and then set it aside because I was starting the Palmer/Pletsch fitting class at the beginning of October. Then came the pants class followed by Christmas sewing so there it sat patiently waiting for me to return to it. I think it would still be sitting there, but I decided to get busy so I could enter it into the Pattern Review UFO contest. I finally got enough motivation up yesterday to get it finished and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. It's your basic unlined jean jacket made with Kwik Sew 2895. I like that view A has a bit of waist shaping so it's not as boxy as your typical jean jacket.

Topstitching Details and SnapSource snaps

I received feedback from a reader that she would like it if I posted my reviews on my blog too, so here I go with my first review (yep, it's copied from my review on PR, but it's all the pertinent info).

Pattern Description: Misses jackets with front and back yokes, three panel front and back, pockets in the yoke seams with flaps, and topstitching details. View B is shorter and has a waistband and cuffs while view A is longer and has no waistband or cuffs.

Pattern Sizing: xsmall - xlarge, I used the xsmall and made version A.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very straightforward and easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked the styling. I've seen many great versions of this jacket on PR and purchased the pattern a long time ago. I know it has lots of positive reviews, but I couldn't help adding one more.

My only dislike is in myself and how long it took me to get this jacket made. I cut it out at the end of September when I was on a cutting spree and then never got around to sewing it. I guess my slacking allows me to enter this into the UFO contest that is currently running. There is really no reason this became a UFO, just the lack of time and other things got pushed ahead of this item. Unfortunately it's a little too cold for me to wear it now, but I am sure I'll be wearing this a lot once the weather warms up.

Fabric Used: Red stretch twill I had in my stash - I am sure I purchased it at Joann's. I also used size 16 SnapSource snaps for the closures instead of buttons. I might have opted for size 20 if I had them, but I didn't have any on hand so I went with the 16
s and am pleased with how they look.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made no pattern alterations and sewed a straight xsmall. It is actually pretty generously sized and am glad I didn't grade up in the hips like I contemplated doing.

Next time I make this jacket I will omit the chest pockets. I will put the flaps and just not sew on the pocket bag. I will never use the pockets, so what is the point in sewing them? I guess they might add a little more padding to bust! lol I also might lengthen the jacket a smidge too.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I'm quite sure I will sew this again and I definitely recommend it. Just think of the multitude of fabrics that can be used for a variety of looks - denim, twill, linen, corduroy, etc. There is a fair bit of topstitching to do, but I don't mind all the topstitching and like those sort of details. I even got very nice approval from my family on this one. I have some pretty embroidered linen that I think I'll make another version with and also some velvet corduroy that would be great too.

Conclusion: Great basic jean-style jacket that is a classic wardrobe piece.

Hopefully this jacket is the start of my sewing mojo returning. I think I worked myself too hard at the end of the year and burnt myself out.

P.S. I really want to see your garment label, so please email me. I made it a clickable link in my last post, but maybe you didn't realize that. Email me at noboty at ~ thank you! :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Garment Labels

I'm soliciting your help. I won 1st prize on Pattern Review for the holiday/gift sewing contest and my prize is 250 labels from ClothingLabels4U ~ thanks Lisa for such a generous prize! I'm super excited to finally have labels to put into my garments, but I'm stumped as to what I want them to say and look like.

So here is where you can help. Will you pretty please email me a picture of your sewing label(s)? I need some inspiration on how I'd like them to look and I'm not even sure what I want them to say. In a perfect world, I'd love something I can use in everything I sew (myself, the kids, and anything I gift), but I'm not sure I can figure wording that would work well for this (you know chic enough for me, yet cool enough for my kids). I made this mock up to get me started, but obviously this would be for me only. I might put a black border around it too.

If you wouldn't mind sharing your label with me, please zap me an email. Also, what size are your labels? Are you happy with that size? My labels can be as big as 2"x1", but that seems awfully big to me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Widening Blog Columns

It appears that I've inspired a few of you to give your own blog a face lift, so I wanted to share one more thing that I thought might be helpful. You might not have encountered this, but I have been annoyed on countless occasions of my main column being too narrow. I have typically noticed this with pictures were getting cut off on the sides. I could never figure out how to make it wider, however I knew it must have been fairly simple because I've seen others blogger blogs have wider columns. Well I finally found a helpful post after doing a little Google search. So if you'd like wider columns, visit this helpful blog post by John Deere Mom.

Now I'm off to have myself a little snack and go visit my friend who just had her seventh baby this morning! I can hardly wait to meet Miss Lucie Lynn and hope it doesn't make my uterus ache too bad for another one. I embroidered a few special things for her.

One more thing while I'm on the subject of babies. In one of the blogs I follow, I read this past week about a family who just had a baby that could use your prayers. Click on the link below to learn about this sweet baby. She's improving, but every prayer helps.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Face Lift (again)

Thank you for the feedback. I know I only posted a short bit ago, but I was worried it was too bright with the pinks & greens, so I changed it to a b&w theme. I hadn't thought of it clashing with pictures I might post, duh!

Not sure I'll keep my header, but for now it works. I need to get something productive done besides playing on the computer. If you see anything that looks funny, please let me know.

Face Lift

I have hated the look of my blog for a long time. I see so many other pretty blogs and feel like mine is "ho hum".

I went surfing around the net and found a site with lots of free backgrounds to choose from ~ The Cutest Blog on the Block. There are lots of cute ones and so I played around with it until I came up with something that I liked fairly well.

Now I need some honest feedback. Looking at it on my laptop it looks good, but when I look at it on our desktop it doesn't look quite as good. I think my laptop colors are off so I need to know what you all see. Does it match or clash? Please tell me, I swear it won't hurt my feelings. I know it's pretty girly girl, but I am after all, a girly girl so pink and such suits me quite well. So pretty please, tell me if it clashes or not. *smooch*

P.S. Thank you for all the sweet comments about my daughter - she really can't wipe the smile off her face. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

All smiles (or what $5000 will buy you)

Today was an exciting day at our house that has been nearly 2 years in the making. Our beautiful daughter got her braces off!!!!

And thank you Dr. *C* for your wonderful work. Unfortunately (for our checkbook anyway), I think we'll have at least one more kiddo in braces - ugg!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kreativ Blogger

The ever sweet and talented Jeannine of Sew Pink nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you Jeannine! If you haven't visited Jeannine's blog, you must! She makes the most beautiful children's clothing and always posts lots of inspirational pictures to get your creative juices flowing.

Here are the rules of the award~ 1. Copy the award to your site - 2. Link to the person from whom you received the award - 3. Nominate 7 other bloggers - 4. Link to those on your blog - 5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

So I'd like to nominate (ABC order of course):

The rule was to pick 7, but like Jeannine, it was hard to narrow it down.

In my previous post about my embroidered patches, I was asked which embroidery machine I have. About 4 years ago I purchased a Babylock Ellure-ESL (click to see larger pic). I think it's the prior model to the Ellure that is current available, but maybe a few have been released since I purchased mine.

It is a combo sewing and embroidery machine, I use it for embroidery only tho. I embroiders up to a 5x7 size and I find it perfect for my needs. I really thought I'd get into embroidery more, but I really haven't. I also use it to embroider the bloomers I sell (P.S. these make a great gift!).

I was also asked if I hoop or stick down the jeans and applique the patch directly on the the jeans or embroider the patch and sew it on the regular way. This probably makes the professional embroider cringe, but what I usually do is use spray adhesive and pins to hoop my item. In this case, I used two layers of cut away stabilizer in my hoop, ironed a fusible stabilizer to the back side of the knee area, sprayed some spray adhesive on the hooped stabilizer, and stuck the pant leg to that. Then for extra security I pinned it down to make sure it didn't move. Since the designs I used were more dense, I used multiple layers of stabilizer to help keep the design from distorting. I hope that makes sense. Everything was done on the embroidery machine with the exception of sewing the leg closed.

Thank you all for your positive feedback about my fix. It works for now and they love what I did, so that is a good thing in my book. :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

*hole* lotta fixing

Do your kids (in my home read BOYS) come home with jeans looking like this? Mine do and it happen in a matter of a few short weeks. Note the pants on the right were purchased only a few weeks ago!!!

So what's a mom to do short of buying jeans every month and burning a hole in her clothing budget? Well fix them of course! Yes, I do make the boys' jeans myself and those seem to hold up better, but sometimes I just don't have enough time or find them for under $10 and buy them at the store.

Here are the fruits of my labor. I used my computer program for my embroidery machine and imported a design. Then to make it into a patch, I put an applique shape around it. It was super easy to do. And so I didn't have to unhem the jeans, I removed the inseam or outseam (depending on which seam wasn't double top stitched) from about 1" above the hem to close to the crotch and spread it open so it was flat. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step. Then I stitched out the design and sewed things back closed. My boys were beyond thrilled and thought they looked so cool - yay Mom!

I have a HUGE train fan. Anything trains he loves and he adores the Santa Fe diesel. I was snooping around the net and found this little gem for FREE at Ann The Gran ~ just search trains after you log in and you'll see it.

For my middle son I made a dog patch from Embroidables (link opens to the design - not free tho).

Up close and thank you blogger for not turning it the correct way - grr!

And lastly a fire hydrant from Designs By Juju (link opens to the set). This one isn't my favorite one, I mostly don't like the light gray I used. It's a good design, it's just my color choices I don't care for.

The base of each patch is the reverse side of denim. While weeding out the boys' play clothes of what fits whom, I found a few pairs of pants that looked really bad so I just cut them off to make them into shorts. Apparently I'm a little strange because I thought I should save the lower legs of the jeans in case I need a little denim for something. Viola, patches for pants! I figured denim as the base would be more durable than any other fabric I had and I used the back side as a design element.

Now go patch some jeans already!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Selling Hand Crafted Goods

Times are tight and we're all feeling the pinch. Do you sell your hand crafted items or crafting supplies on Etsy or FeeBay (um, I mean eBay)? Then you must check out this new site where it's absolutely free to sell things! It's called Art Fire. Listing up to 10 things per month is free (no listing or closing fees) and if you list more than 10 items, it's a flat $7/month. Sounds great doesn't it? Let's help them take off by supporting this new business. If you sign up, I'd love for you to use me as a referral, here is my link if you're so inclined (my user name is poshpunkins if you need that too)~

Register on

Not much else going on. I've lost a little sewing mojo and am looking everywhere for it. I'm confident it will return soon. Instead I've been working on the painting and just doing the norm around my house. I still have to paint the stair well, maybe this week.

I did manage to machine embroider a quilt block for the official Pattern Review quilt. Here is what I am sending. Not too exciting, but hey it's something.

Hopefully I can find my sewing mojo somewhere around here....

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Falling out of love

It happens to all of us right? We truly love something and then our feelings change. This feeling has been coming on for a while for me. I'm falling out of love with my house.

When we first moved in, I honestly couldn't think anything in the world could be finer. It was a dream come true for us. We were able to get a building loan and built a house just for us. At the time we'd have loved to gone a little fancier, but like most young families, we had a beer budget and were just thankful we had the opportunity to build something to call our own.

Now we're approaching our 8th anniversary of living here and our taste definitely leans towards champagne. Hubby and I have all sorts of ideas of things we'd like to do go give our home a face lift, but like always, there is an order of operations and money must be saved to do the enhancements. It sounds so wonderful to just run down to the bank and borrow money, but after paying off our debts in 2007, we don't want to go back there. It's super hard to save money for something, but I think we end up appreciating it more than we would otherwise.

So while we're planning our remodeling projects, what's a girl to do in the mean time to soothe her love loss? Paint of course!

This past week I got a few gallons of paint, the same colors we currently have, and am in the process of repaint our main level walls and trim. While the walls were starting to look a little tired, the trim was KILLING ME! It was so banged up from Tonka trucks ramming into it and I just cringed anytime we were having company. After two days of painting, I feel like I'm getting somewhere and it's looks soooo much better! I feel like I *like* my home again. I would say *love*, but I'm reserving that for when we have new hardwood floors and lots of beautiful crown moulding, hopefully it will be sooner than later.

I still have some painting to do over the next few days. I am really not that fond of painting, but the end result makes me so much happier and is a great way to start out the new year.