Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!, etc....

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I hopes are that everyone has the ability to enjoy family and friends. We will be having a very quiet Christmas and then heading out to visit will family for a few days.

I can't believe that it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted. Lots has been going on. We've continued working in the room and it is progressing. The office has officially been moved and can now be found in the depths of the cold basement. There is a small heater down there and it will keep the area about 60-65 degrees F. If I need to spend a lot of time there, I will take a small heater from one of the bathrooms so I can have warm air blowing on me. DH has gotten a skim coat on one of the walls along with removing the baseboard and the tack strip. How's that for progress? When I return, I will take a pictures of the section of room that hasn't been shown yet. This will include the wonderful closet that is in this room. We are planning on putting a closet organizer in here. The size of the closet is approximately 8 to 9 feet x 5 feet.

I've sewn up several yards of fabric since I last posted. I think the total is something like 14 yards. I think 10 of it was new this month. It was purchased specifically for gifts which all were made. My temporary sewing space is rather small but it is certainly usable. I sewed several days in the midst of the mess in that room and it didn't hurt much. I still have not located all the missing items but I do know that they are somewhere in the room. The only item that will not be very useable in the new set-up is my cutting table. It is currently folded up and being pushed back and forth depending on which side of it I need to be on. I guess if I really need to use it that I can push it into my son's room to set-up it. I have been using all of the great storage inside the cutting table and I can get to most of it very easily. I have found many great items that I have forgotten about.

Well, this is it for this year. See you next year.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A pleasant day to sew!

Today found me sewing all afternoon. I'm in such a good mood this evening. I decided to make a pillowcase for my nephew and of course, the serger is the best place to start. However, my serger is set-up for a wide 3-thread and I soon found that my tools are missing. So, no needle changes for me. I can live without the needle holder but the screwdriver is a different story. I hope I find them soon. I'm still organizing the temporary sewing area. Hopefully, it will be found soon.

Back to sewing, I made the pillowcase using the sewing machine and the serger. I used the Lisa today since she has been neglected since the Designer joined the team. Wow! It doesn't take long to get spoiled with the fancy machines. After finishing the pillowcase, I cut out a couple of shopping bags and had them finished by 5:30. I'm going to make 4 more shopping bags as part of my "green" Christmas. Then it will be on to finishing the stuffed kitties and some kitty toys. Hopefully, they will get finished before we leave for AR.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finally! I'm ready to sew again.

The temporary sewing area is ready to sew in. I have the serger and one of the sewing machines plugged in. I immediately serged the edges of the 10 yards of fabric and then to the washing machine the fabric went. If I'm lucky, tomorrow I will find a couple of hours to cut out projects and maybe sew. The serger will make short work off at least one of the projects. We leave on the 26th and all items have to be completed by then.

Today, my DH figured out a way to get the office moved and it still be functioning. My goal is to have everything ready by the 19th to move the office to the basement. I guess that will be my office home for a few months while room is being worked on. March is the goal. I hope we make it. Speaking of the room, DH was able to get another 4/5 feet of the border removed today. The steamer is working well on it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The week has flown by!

Well, another week almost gone. I did get the wallpaper off the 2 walls in a record amount of time. I think I spent about 4 hours total. Honestly, the wallpaper almost fell off the walls. I don't know if it was the downy mixture but I feel like it was. I have always steam to remove wallpaper before and it's hot and sticky. The border which is around the majority of the room likes where it is at. The downy did nothing to it. The only thing that we have been able to use is a small steamer and it's working well. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for your arms to tire out. I haven't completely finished cleaning out the room either. Here's some pictures with a message from the former owners:

Above is a the message from the previous owners. I'm guessing it means that the room was redone in March 1992. I was only off by ten years on my estimate of when the room had been done. I love finding stuff like this. We have left stuff behind the cabinets in the kitchen for future owners when they are wondering "What were they thinking?". LOL

The pink wall was in really good shape. Hardly any work will need to be done to this wall outside of a little mudding where the nail holes and sanding where the numbers are at. Also, this wall is a different color of pink than the remaining room.

The white wall is a different story. It is not in very good condition. It will take a little more work. Unfortunately, the rest of the walls in the room are going to need a more work. I don't know how long this is going to take but maybe everything will be finished by March. Yes, I giving myself a lot of time because the closet will need to be redone along with the floors. I also will have a phone line installed for the fax machine. Lots of work.

I will be sewing this weekend. I purchased 10 yards of fabric from eQuilter to make some items for Christmas. Yes, I know it is getting close but the items are quick and easy. I was beginning the think they wouldn't arrive before Christmas. It took almost 2 weeks to show up. I love the website but don't think you're going to get your order quickly. This is a normal delivery time for them.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hardwood floors? YES!

Last night, we made about a 3 foot cut in the carpeting diagonal from the door to see what the condition of the floors were where the closets had been for the orginal bedrooms. Yippee! No patching required. The floors will need to be sanded and refinished. Now, of course, this doesn't mean that there isn't a problem somewhere on the floor. That will be completely unknown until the carpeting is removed. I'm so happy about this. It is much easier to dust the hardwood than the be vacuuming. I do have area rugs and I may end up with some small ones in this room but I do like the hardwood floors. This also means that there will be new baseboards in this room. So that will be adding more renovation time to get those cut, painted, installed, and final coat.

Today, I've started working on the wall paper. I've sprayed it with a mixture of Downy and water. This is something new that one of the neighbors told me about. So, I'm giving it a try. I will let you know how well it works.

Happy Stitching! (I wish I was but fabric is coming!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Room Reorg

Well, I promised a couple of pictures. So here they are:

Above is a view as you would see it from the doorway. You can see that I couldn't help but pull some of the loss wallpaper. I stop myself because I wanted to document the change of this room. I'm sure this wallpaper was lovely when this room was redone in the 80's. I guess that is when the two bedrooms were turned into one.

The opposite corner still has a piece of furniture in it. It will eventually be moved. I just haven't decided where. The basement is the obvious spot but the end of the driveway may be where it ends up. The navy carpeting is going to be used as the drop cloth for this room.

Well, this is where I'm starting with this room. The wallpaper appears to be loose but when I pulled the backing was left so this is going to be a lot of icky work. Hopefully, it won't take more than a week to get the wallpaper off those two walls and I will be able to move on to the border on the remaining three walls. I'm hoping the wallpaper isn't hiding too many surprises.

Tonight, we will be cutting the carpeting and pulling back some of the padding in the area where we think the original closets were to assess the damage to the hardwood floors. If we are lucky, then the floors are in good shape. I'm hoping to call a contractor for estimates on any repairs and refinishing.

No sewing for me today. Hope everyone else was luckier.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's December already?

Where has the time gone? I can't believe it's December already and Christmas is just a couple of weeks away. I've been steadily working on my rooms. The room that is being redone has most of furniture out of it now. The only thing left to move is my son's desk, the filing cabinets, and cleaning out the closet (that will be as bad as the whole room). My desk and computer will stay until the carpet has to be removed. It will be so much fun to remove the wallpaper. This will be started next week. I will take before and after pics.

My "old" dedicated sewing room is packed from wall-to-wall in both directions. There is just enough room left to get my son's desk in there. I still have a lot of organizing to do in this room, then I will get at least one of the sewing machines plugged in and I will be sewing a little bit every day till Christmas. Then, we will be heading to Arkansas until after New Year's.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! and etc....

Hope everyone had a wonderful day! This year we stayed in PA. We fixed a lovely meal and then spent part of the afternoon geocaching. There is a cache at the park down the street. We finally managed to find one of the four hidden clues in the park but the second clue appeared to be missing. Others have figured it out so we are going to keep trying. This evening found us trying to figure out a new board game "The Pirate King". This is a long game to play. After two hours, we decided to take a break till tomorrow.

As far as sewing, the past week has found me mending. It is not my favorite thing to do but it was just sewing on buttons so it was not so bad. I did work on redrawing the Simplicity 3789 top and changed from a 12 to a 14 with the D front, then used the pivot/slide method of alteration to finish up. I think that I have a workable pattern now. I just need to locate a spot and an hour of extra time to get the top cut out.

I have been working on rearranging the existing sewing room. I have moved the bookshelf and the sewing table. I'm going through my books and magazines as I have more items than space. I will be parting with my collection of Sew News. These magazines will be listed at Pattern Review by year for free just pay the shipping. There are other magazines that I will be listing with just shipping payment. I still need to go through the collection of books. I don't know what I will be doing with those books. Haven't decided whether or not to donate to the library or attempt to sell. I have also managed to get two the machines back to the sewing table so once I get a chair I will be able to sew. Also, I will have space to embroidery with the Diamond. I have not embroidered with this machine except in an owner's class. It's not convenient to carry that machine and it's many parts to classes.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where did the week go?...but I've been sewing!

Wow! The past week went by quickly. I've been busy with work and everyday things. However, I have found time to sew and work on the Simplicity top pattern. I've been working on crafty things (i.e., stuffed kitties) and trying to paper fit the Simplicity top pattern with DH's help. I've decided that I'm going to start over with the size 12 pattern and use the pivot and slide method of pattern fitting. This has worked well in the past and I'm thinking that it will work this time, too. I'm not sure why I think that I need to try something new when I already have something that works.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Simplicity 3789, Threads - 01/2009

I have started the paper fitting of the Simplicity 3789. DH has been helping a little bit. I think I need him to take some pictures so I can see what he's talking about. The back on most tops is usually too wide me and from what he is telling me the size that I choose to way too narrow from about mid back to the hem. Of course this is an easy fix for most pattern just move over and trace the next size. I haven't done this yet. Maybe tonight I will be able to retrace that portion of the pattern. The front looks good. The center line is staying centered and the side seam is where it's suppose to be. Maybe when I'm done I can make a couple of tops from this pattern.

Have you read the article on white shirts in Threads 01/2009? It is really an outstanding article for all three of the designers. I printed the extra collar information from Lois Cutting today.

It's off to do more housework. The school gardening club is in a couple of hours and I still have a few things that I would like to accomplish before then. I just wish that it was warmer outside because I don't like standing around outside for long when it's cold.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still not sewing!

The weekend got away from me. I really did plan to sew but it never occurred. Yesterday was just busy and today the whole family went geocaching. This was my first time to geocach. It was fun and a little chilly. Really a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with your family. We made it to one spot and wondered around in circles for 30 min. to an hour. Of course, we had walked by the cache many times. One interesting thing that we found while looking for the cache, a bat hanging inside a tree. He wasn't very big and my son was very excited about finding him. I was just happy the little bat preferred to stay inside the tree when we found him.

Ok, there is still a little bit of time tonight. Maybe I can get the pattern pinned together and check the fit.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Simplicity 3789, etc.

Today, I made time to trace Simplicity 3789. I took my measurements and decided upon a size 12 with a D front. I'm a little concerned that the sleeve will be too narrow but we'll see what happens when I do the paper fitting. DH will have to help with this but I think he will be willing. Paper fitting isn't really a one person job, at least not for me. I will need to decide whether or not I'm going to make a muslin or make the with the real fabric and say my prayers. LOL. We'll see. I don't think that I have any “muslin” fabric hanging around in that weight. Perhaps I will get the pattern cut out tonight, too. That would be wonderful.

I also need to start thinking about Christmas sewing. I have a short list of sewing for family and friends. I will not be posting a list because I don't know who may be reading. I'm making my niece and nephew something, perhaps my Mom, my DH, and maybe my son. Seems like I'm leaving my Dad out but I don't have any idea what I could make for him.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Completed 2008 Costume

Here's the finished costume:

I created the jacket, the whip & whip holder, and the canvas bag. The jacket appears to be a little bit big but he was a wonderful Indiana Jones. In this picture, he was trying to grim because that is how Indiana Jones is.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can you believe that October is almost over?

Where did October go? I have spent the entire month working on costumes. In the last post, my son had thrown a little bomb my way about needing a costume for his French class. Yes, the kid wanted to be Hugo Victor. Not only did I not know who that was but I had very little time to actually work on the costume. He wanted a leather jacket (ok, this made me laugh), a bowtie, and a beard. I made a bow using 1 1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon gathered in the middle and another folded piece wrapped around the gathered area. Double-stick tape was used to attach it to a shirt. I purchased a white beard from the costume store and trimmed it to match a mustache and shortened the beard. Then, I went to the Goodwill store and poured through the size 4/6 jacket and actually found a jacket with similar lapels that Hugo Victor had worn (that's a little scary about fashion isn't it?). That was the costume. It worked. I haven't seen the grade that he received yet. It had been stressed that they had to have costumes that would take about 2-5 minutes for them to put on.

Today, I received a the January 2009 issue of Threads. It has the most gorgeous dress on the front. I wish that I had somewhere to wear clothes like that. There is an article on bound buttonholes, another designer challenge on white shirts (they are all nice but I really love Fred Bloebaum), sewing with velvet, check out the coat article about weaving, and much, much more. I will definitely be scheduling time to sit down and just read. This has been my favorite magazine since the 80's and I have every issue.

I have not found any time to work on my next sewing project. My days just seem to disappear between my business, helping with the daily homework grind, son's activities, scheduling repairs on the newly renovated kitchen (microwave died, worst of all - countertop replacement), and just generally trying to keep up with housework (failing here), laundry, and cooking daily.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

No real sewing today!

Today has been a bust as far as sewing goes. I thought about working on my pattern but never got to it. However, I did spent a few hours working on my organization of the sewing room / office / guest room. This is going to be a huge undertaking. I have about 90% of my business stuff transferred to the temporary location. The sewing room looks like a tornado blew in but my inventory is organized and I know where everything is. My personal sewing stuff on the other hand may not be so easy to locate. Oh well, in the end it will all be good. The only thing that I haven't figured out is what to do with the computer. I can leave it set-up until the very last minute but I really can not be without internet connection more than a day.

The rest of my evening was doing homework (not mine, my son's). I don't actually do the homework. He does it. I check it then explain what is wrong if anything. Then sign all of the appropriate paperwork. However, this week is the end of the first nine weeks and there is a test every day. I really don't mind helping him that much but I really do look forward to when the light bulb goes off and he figures out how to do all this himself.

Oh, yeah, he dropped a wee little bombshell tonight. He has to have a costume of Victor Hugo by Wednesday. Yes, my chin hit the floor. No, I don't have anything suitable for the task. All he wants is a leather jacket, a black bow tie, and a beard. I'm in the process of making a black bow tie out of black grosgrain ribbon and elastic (I think). Since it's costume season, I should be able to come up with some sort of beard but Victor Hugo was always in some sort of jacket. I don't know what I will be able to do with that. I have one day to create.......

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Bag for the Halloween Costume is done!

If you didn't know, the Indiana Jones character carries a vintage WWII gas mask bag. So, after looking at a multitude of photos of said bag, I decided that it would be very easy to make a bag and it was.

Here is the pattern that I drafted. Not a lot. I drafted the main part of the bag in one long piece with side pieces. The size of the bag is larger than one of the vintage bags since it will be the candy bag for Halloween. The size that I ended up with is 12" x 15" x 3" and I used 1/2" seams.

Here's the finished bag. Not bad for my first attempt at drafting a bag. This style of bag is suppose to have snaps but at the last minute I decided not to put them. It seemed like a waste of the snaps. The bag handle is from a bag that I got at Good Will for this purpose.

Here you can see the side of the bag with the d-rings. You can also see the seams which are basically french seams. Yippee! Halloween costume is finished with the exception of make-up which I have decided if I'm going to give the kid stubble or not but I did locate a website with a video on how to do the stubble.

Now, it's time to decide on the next project. It actually didn't take very long to decide on. I will be making this Simplicity pattern:
There are a couple of decisions that need to be made like size and which view. I'm thinking either the bottom one on the left or the middle on the right. The pattern has separate fronts cup sizes c and d. I'm hoping that this will eliminate a little bit of work. The fabric that I found in the stash is a pinky/lavender shade. It's on the washing machine right now.
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tutorial - How to draft and attach a pocket flap

This project started with me looking for information on creating a pocket flap and the actual placement of the flap above the pocket. I found information on drafting a pocket flap and sewing on the pocket flap but no information on where the pocket flap should be placed above the pocket. So, I looked at Men's RTW and this is what I came up with:

Above in pink is the original pocket pattern. I changed the top of the pocket to add a pocket facing and squared it off. You can also see the 1cm seam allowances.
Next, I checked the finished width of the pocket. I used this measurement + 1/4" for the width of the pocket flap. Yes on every RTW jacket I looked at, the flap was slightly larger. The depth was approximately 2" + (2) 1 cm seams. I also copied the curve of the pocket bottom on the flap.
Here are the results of my drafting. The pink is the actually size with the brown showing the seam allowances.
Here's the jacket front with the pockets sewn on. When completed the flap will cover the topstitching on the pocket.
Here I've sewn the two pocket flaps. Since I will be adding snaps, these will need a heavy interfacing.

Here I've added a buckram (it was the only stiff interfacing that I had in my stash). Since this interfacing is very stiff, I cut it without the seam allowance and hand stitched it to the flap.

Here's the flap turned and topstitched. I did two rows of top stitching.

I placed the flap raw edges approximately 1/4" above the finished edge of the pocket, centered so that there is a small overlap on each side (approximately 1/8"), and pin into place. Finished placement on RTW was general 1/2" to 3/4" above the finished pocket edge.

Here I stitched 1 cm seam. Remember to backstitch at the start and the finish. This seam will need to trimmed to approximately 1 /4" of the stitching line. Press this so the flap lays on the pocket.

Topstitch enclosing the seam. My pocket flap covers the topstitching on the pocket.

Finished product with the snaps in place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whip Holder created.

Above is the whipholder that I created. I modeled it after the sample displayed on Here is roughly the measurements that I used - length is 25cm long (includes 1 cm seams, width is 3" + (2) 1cm seams, add a heavy duty interfacing about 2" on each end. Fold right sides together long ways and stitch a 1cm seam leaving an opening large enough to right side out. Lightly press and do a double-row of topstitching. Add snaps on the ends making sure that they will match up evenly. Then stitch the belt holder in place just above the snap. Width will depend on belt using.

Above is the whipholder with the belt inserted and the whip snapped in. It is a little bit tight (I forgot to check this measurement). If I were making this again, I would add 2cm to the length. Otherwise, I think it turned out perfect.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Jacket is Done!!!

Here's the Ottobre jacket that I made for my son's Halloween costume. It was made using Ottobre 01/2005 #28. I had to enlarge and lengthen the pattern so it would fit my son but now I have a pattern that fits him and I can make jackets for him (at least until the next growth spurt). I also changed the pockets to include flaps. My son is very proud of his jacket. He says that he feels just like Indiana Jones in it. The only thing that I would change on the jacket if I were to redo it would be to use a better fabric and change the height of the pocket.
Now, it's off to make the whip holder and the bag. The bag has been drafted. I am hoping that the first one works well enough.
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A very sad day

Today we had our little garage sale. It was very slow and we packed up early. I didn't really sew much because I was very tired. So, I took a little nap. I heard the police go by and glanced out the window. They were in a big hurry which is unusual for my little neighborhood. Turns out that one of the neighborhood children was shot and killed mostly likely by another child. I am so sad about this. My tears can't even compare to the parents heartbreak nor the hysteria of the other child who will forever miss the who is dead. Please, please, please don't leave guns around where children can find them and play with them. They must be taught that guns are not toys.

Sad in PA

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sewing today!

I had a wonderful day sewing today. The Ottrobre jacket pattern that I'm using for the Halloween costume is wonderfully drafted. Even with the amount of manipulation that I did (i.e., enlarging), it went together perfectly. I estimate that I'm about half way done. The jacket is sewn together and topstitched. It just needs cuffs on the sleeves, a collar, zipper, facing, and hemming. That shouldn't take too long to complete. Hopefully, I will have the afternoon and evening to finish up the jacket. Then, it will be on to the bag. I'm thinking that should be fairly easy. Although, I admit that I have never drafted a bag before.

The creation of the pocket flap and stitching it on went very well. I did take pictures of the process of creating the patterns and cutting out the pocket, flaps, lining, and interfacing. Once I finish the entire costume, I will post a tutorial of the pocket flap and the pocket lining.

Tomorrow morning, I will be helping neighbors with a garage sell. I hope that we sell everything very quickly.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still working on the costume jacket

I have not made much progress on the Ottobre jacket. I had made the decision to change to the patch pocket with a welt to a packet pocket with a flap to make it look more like the jacket that I'm copying. First thing, I wasn't sure how the flap was to be positioned above the pocket. One of the ladies on the Ottobre-English group kindly sent me a link to Expert Village regarding pocket flaps. Here's the link to the video: How to Attach a Pocket Flap. This is a great resource. Go check out all the videos. However, the flap placement didn't seem right. In my younger, I made tons of flap pockets of course I had a pattern and placement marked then. I seemed to remember the flap being placed higher and being topstitched. I was unable to locate any other resource. So when I went to the Post Office today, I headed over to Macy's to see what the Men's jackets looked like and if anything had flaps on the patch pockets. Much to my amazement, it must be the trend to have a flap over a patch. So, I had multiple examples of what the flap should look like. I think that I will be doing a small tutorial on how I went about making the pattern for the flap, and placement of the flap. Ok, I'm off to get these pockets done. They have slowed me down. Halloween is only a 1 1/2 weeks away....eek!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slow day(s) of sewing

I did start the Ottobre jacket. Yesterday, I played with stitch length to see what would work. I decided on using the 3.5mm for the seams and 4.0mm for the topstitching. Today, I was able to get the two-piece sleeve stitched together and topstitched. I really wanted to get the jacket together today but life got in the way. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to get an hour in of sewing. The fabric has turned out to be very easy to sew. I was afraid that it might be difficult but it has a knit backing and I can't really tell what the front is but pins don't leave a hole (at least not that I can see). October is slipping away very quickly. Halloween will be here before I know it. Costume must be finished in the next week.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A day to myself

There is only 2 or 3 times a year that I have the house entirely to myself for a weekend. This is one of them. I've been just enjoying the quiet, working (house and job), and working on my son's Halloween costume. Today, I finished the whip:

I found instructions for the whip at the Skip to My Lou blog. I think the whip turned out great. It will certainly last through Halloween and maybe beyond. I used 3 rolls of Ace brand duct tape to create the whip.

Look I've finally started on the Ottobre jacket for the Halloween costume:

The fabric is a dark brown upholstery fabric with a foam backing. It has the look of leather and that is all that I needed. I still need to figure out the pockets and draft some kind of a flap. If all goes well, I will get most of this completed tonight. I don't usually cut out on the floor but I wanted to watch/listen to the TV while I was cutting out and this was the only way I could do it. My little buddy was helping me by jumping over and around everything. Of course, it had to be very closely inspected just in case it was really a great big toy to be played. He finally gave up on me playing with him:

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pattern Storage, Costume, and more general chatter

The dreaded re-arrangement of the bedrooms has begun. Here's picture of the IKEA cabinet that I purchased to put patterns in:
It is really perfect for patterns. Currently, I have around 300 hundred patterns in it and there is still room for more which is a good thing since I ordered the Vogue patterns that I was wanting to get. The Vogue website has been having a sell the past couple of days. So, I decided to join in and purchase. I ordered all four patterns that I was interested in and was surprised with one of them being free. However, the shipping was the same price as the free pattern so I didn't really make out there.

I have been working on the Ottobre jacket pattern for my son's costume. I pinned the pattern pieces together and tried them on my son (yes, amazingly he let me pin the pattern to his shirt). The sleeves needed 5" added to the length. I think I will add another 1" to the body of the jacket also. Once the sleeve patterns have been fixed, I can start cutting and sewing. I hoping to be finished by Sunday. Then, it will be on to the bag. I have the bag sketched and dimensions decided on. Also, I hope to get the whip created.

Yesterday, it was raining lightly and I decided to run out to the garden to pick some hot peppers for salsa. I was surprised to see fungi growing everywhere around the patio. I took several pictures. Today, while I was out in the garden I noticed that there were fungi growing everywhere around the back of the house. Since I'm not sure exactly what they were I tried not to step on them but they are kinda pretty.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be a good sewing day. In the morning, I will do my Curves workout and work for 2/3 hours. That should leave a couple of hours in the afternoon to work on the costume jacket or draft the bag pattern for the costume.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Costume work, general chatting and Charity

Yesterday, I finally got going on the costume pattern again. Just two more patterns pieces to retrace and add the seam allowances to and the pattern pieces will mostly be finished. I will need to double check the arm length of my son but that will be easy to add if needed. The plans are to finish the pattern today and possibly cut out. Once again I think that I have selected a fabric that will require careful handling as I'm not sure about using pins and my rotary cutter is missing. I may start drafting the bag pattern today. Hopefully that will be the easy part.

I have also started the dreaded rearranging of the sewing room so that I can move items from the current office area into it. The office area is a rather large room and it needs to be redone. I have been in this house almost 5 years and this is the only bedroom that hasn't been redone. It will be a lot work as 2 walls are wallpapered and the remaining 3 walls have a paper border on them. Once the walls are cleaned, the patching will begin. I'm thinking that the new wall color will be a blue or maybe even a green. I'm looking forward to removing the carpet. It is a dark navy blue and always looks dirty (since I have a white cat). I'm actually hoping that the flooring will be in good enough condition that I can have it re-finished. However, this room was at one time two separate bedrooms. So, there is uncertainty as to what the condition of the floors look may be. Repairing is most likely not an option as I don't want to damage the ceiling on the 1st floor.

Today, I received an email from some organization - crocheting or knitting and it has a link for a charity called "Knit One, Save One". This organizations give hats either knitted or crocheted to newborns in developing countries. Patterns are free. Here's the link to the organization in case you're interested in donating your time to this cause: Knit One Save One. I always like to be doing something while I'm watching TV or as a passenger in a vehicle.

Happy Sewing (knitting or crocheting)!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Vogues

I'm still not sewing but I'm looking at the new Vogue patterns. There are lots of beautiful items in the short list of new patterns. Here are my favorites:

V1072 - a vintage pattern which is a fitted and unlined blouse with a peplum and a semi-fitted A-line skirt. I think that this would be a lovely item to wear to church. It is on my list of patterns to get.

V1078 - This is a lovely Guy Laroche design. I love the front of this dress but not so sure about the deep V and the diamond. This is absolutely not a pattern that I would have a place to wear but it is still very lovely and feminine.

V1082 - This is a Sandra Betzina design. I really like this skirt. It is another item on my list of patterns to get. I don't think that it is too fancy for my lifestyle. Everyone can handle a nice straight skirt.

V8534 - View C of this pattern is really cute and I want to attempt it for myself. We'll see how well that turns out. Tops are really hard for me but I keep trying. This is another one on my list of patterns to get.

V8543 - Another cute suit with great details. I'm drawn to the skirt on this pattern. It's another straight skirt with great details. You can never have too many skirts. This is the last pattern added to my list of patterns to get.

My pattern collection just continues to get bigger. I enjoy seeing all the beautiful designs, purchasing the patterns, and planning projects. Now, if only my closet showed the completion of all those projects that are dreamed about.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where did the past week go?

I can't believe a week has gone by and that I haven't worked on the halloween costume. That's right. I haven't touched the pattern in a week. Looks like I have about 3/4 weeks left to make the jacket, bag, whip, and whip holder. Tomorrow must be the day that I put the finishing touches on the pattern for the jacket and maybe cut out. Eeek! I'm starting to feel pressure now. It seems like this happened last year too and I was up all night before the costume was needed.

What have I been doing? I as smart as a fifth grader? Maybe, since my little fifth grader is having such a rough time we have been spending every afternoon/evening working math and cramming for tests. I have joined the ranks of Kumon in hopes that the little guy will gain some confidence in his math skills. Everything else seems to be falling into place with the exception of handwriting. I'm struggling with how to get the kid motivated without discouraging him.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Costume officially started

I finished up Simplicity 2806 and wrote reviews for that pattern along with the Vogue 2967 yesterday. Last night, I started crocheting a shopping bag. Something to do while I'm going over school work with my son.

Today, I started working on the Ottrobre jacket pattern which is destined to become the Indiana Jones jacket for my son's halloween costume. I have enlarged the pattern but didn't leave enough room between the pattern pieces to add the seam allowance or hems. Hopefully, tomorrow I will have time to outline the revised pattern pieces and retrace so I can add the seam allowances. Tomorrow, is going to be a very busy day - volunteering for 2 1/2 hours in the morning, and an appointment in the afternoon. Sometime in between the volunteering and the appointment I will need to take orders to the PO. After my son gets home from school it's off to the library and then on to a class.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another pair of grocery bags, etc.

I finished pressing the Vogue top today and DH took pics for me. I'm not happy with the pictures and I'm not not happy with the top now. I've been calling this top the "Look she's got boobs top." Now, I'm looking at thinking that it may be too big. I will go ahead and do the review and post the pictures.

Yesterday and today, I've been working on another set of grocery bags - Simplicity 2806 View B. This is similar to the bag from Craftster that several people have been using. However, this bag will stand up without me holding it up. I'll have pics tomorrow after I finish the second one. Then it will be on to the Ottobre jacket.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Fine Day of Sewing.

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. I spent a lot of it finishing up the Vogue top (2967). Yes, that's right. It is all finished except for a final press and some pictures for the review at Pattern Review. I would say that overall this was a well drafted pattern and I'm glad that I have finished it.

I think I will throw in another super quick and easy project before I start on the jacket for the Halloween costume. The jacket is from Ottobre and needs to be enlarged. So, once again, I have given myself a fun project. I hope it doesn't take a month to get it finished because I still have to draft a bag as part of the costume also. I have made a rough drawing of the bag so that I have some idea of what I want.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another great sewing day!

I had a wonderful afternoon to sew. I put the sleeves in the Vogue top and amazingly the next size of sleeve still eased onto the blouse beautiful. Next, I got the sleeve lining ready with the seams all stitched and pinned the two together at the hem edge to stitch and realized that I didn't know what size seam to make. Would you believe that I can't find the instructions? I had them a couple of days ago and now they have mysteriously disappeared. I'm going to finish the sleeve with a 1/4" seam but I'm unsure of how to proceed with the hem facings. Any one out there with the directions for V2967, could you let me know how the hem facings are suppose to be finished? I am so close to having this top finished. I want to start something else like that Halloween costume.

Off to see if I can locate those instructions. They have to be somewhere nearby.

Happy Sewing

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Friday, and no I'm still not done with that top!

Where did the week go? It went by very, very fast. I have been sewing but not necessarily on my Vogue top. Wednesday, I made another grocery bag. It was from the Burda Style Charlie bag. It is a rather large bag. I did a review at Pattern Review. Here's my version of the Charlie bag: floral bag. It has (2) 100 oz bottles of Tide inside with room for more items.

Thursday, I very carefully removed the sleeves from the Vogue top. The sleeves had gone in so nicely. Such a shame. Today, I traced the size F sleeve, cut out the new sleeves, and eased all the way around the sleeve instead of from notch to notch. Tomorrow, I intend to put the sleeves in.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grocery Bags Complete!

I did finish the grocery bags today. It really felt good to get something completed. Of course, I'm now the proud owner of 3 grocery bags. I no longer need to feel as guilty when I go to the grocery store. I'll admit that 3 bags are not nearly enough for my grocery order normally. So, I will definitely be making more bags. This will require diving in the stash because I don't want to purchase additional when I own so much fabric.

Tomorrow, it is back to the Vogue top. I will not allow this to become an UFO.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It was a good sewing day!

It has been a wonderful sewing day. I did set the Vogue top aside. It has been a very painful process but I will finish it.

So far today, I have cut out 3 grocery bags, the lining, and the handles. All the fabric was found in my rather large stash. The pattern that I used is from The Creative Thimble called the "Let's Go Green Fabric Shopping Bag". I used three different fabrics. One fabric for the outside of all three, another fabric for the lining, and a third that made the handles on two of the bags. The third bag will have the same fabric as the outside. These bags will be wild and crazy. Hey, no one will have a bag like mine. If all goes well, I will have pictures tomorrow and will return to the Vogue top.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday sewing - sigh!

Very little sewing was accomplished today. It turned into a day where I was running errands with my son, taking pictures of my son, and then running out and getting a cartridge for the photo printer. I spent a lot of time in my car today. However, my son now has his poster ready for the student counsel vote. So, he's happy. I'm very proud of him for trying to do this.

Back to the Vogue top, I'm very tired of this top. I did let the sleeves out a little bit this afternoon and the sleeves feel better but I think that they are still a little bit snug. I will be cutting out new sleeves tomorrow after I decide just how big they need to be. Of course, these sleeves are lined so I need to allow a little bit for that too. I may quit on this for a day or two as I really need to just sew and not have to think about it too much. Maybe I will make a grocery bag or two. Be productive, get rid of a little bit of stash, and have a sense of accomplishment all at once. The bags shouldn't take too long to make.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday's Sewing

I did make to the Vogue top today and I did get the invisible zipper in. The zipper looks fantastic. I have never put in an invisible zipper that looks this good. Honestly! I have to admit that I groaned when I saw the invisible zipper. I groaned even louder when the instructions said to interface the area where the zipper was to put after the seam was sewn and then to put the zipper in. I have always followed the instructions that you put the zipper in before you sew the seam. You know where you always end up with an area under the zipper that you can't seam and have to close by hand. So, I went looking for information on the net and I found Diva Els Sewing Invisible Zipper Tutorial. Folks, if you have problems putting in an invisible, go as fast as you can to get this tutorial. Even if you don't have problems putting them in, go look. I didn't follow the instructions 100% and I still have a wonderful invisible zipper application.

Ok, as for finishing the top, the sleeves are a little too tight. I am going to attempt to let out the seam allowance a little bit and see if that helps the situation. If it doesn't, I will cut out a larger sleeve an carefully ease it in. Amazingly, the rest of the top looks pretty good on especially that zipper. Yes, I will put a picture up as of the pattern, my version, and of course, the wonderful zipper. So, maybe by Monday, the top will be finished. I can only hope.....

Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I've been sewing!

Wow! I didn't realize that it had been three days since I have written anything. Yes, I'm still working on the Vogue top but it is almost there. Tomorrow, I will be installing the invisible zipper and if all goes well I will finish the sleeves and possibly the hems. If that occurs, the blouse will be finished. I'm certainly ready to move on to the next project.

The next project is my son's halloween costume which will include a jacket, whip, and a bag. He wants to be Indiana Jones. The costume is not intended to be an exact replica. I still need to locate a belt and a handle for the bag. I think I will make a trip to the Goodwill store and see if there are any possiblities there.

Next item in line will be some groceries bags. I may move them up a little bit so I can have some instant projects to feel good about. How hard can they be? I have extra fabric and multiple patterns to try out and best of all, I'll be green if I remember to take them to the store with me. I may even look around at the Goodwill store and see if there are any fabric possibilities there.

Ok, my goal for the weekend is to finish the Vogue top and write a pattern review. We'll see how it goes.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Slow going on Vogue top

I was finally able to carve out a couple of hours to work on my Vogue top. This top has so many pieces. So far, I have the sewn the 3 back pieces together and 5 of the front pieces. I have decided to remove and resew a couple of the seams. This is definitely not a pattern for a beginner sewer. I don't expect there to be information in a pattern regarding finishing seams but I do expect there to be information regarding easing either in the instructions or on the pattern pieces. This pattern doesn't have either one. I was very surprised. Since I had traced the pattern, I thought that maybe I had not noticed the information on the pattern but it really wasn't there. I even checked Pattern Review to see what had been said about the pattern and there was very little there. Tonight, I made a mad dash to JoAnn's to get the invisible zipper for the top. The rest of the evening I plan on ripping out the seams that I was unhappy with. I hope that I don't stretch them too much since they are on the bias.

I hope that I'm able to find more time to sew tomorrow. I really wanting to find out if this top is going to fit.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vogue Top Cut Out

Yesterday, I didn't find time to do any sewing. Today, I made time in between other things to do and finally got the V2967 time cut out. When I was laying out the pattern on the fabric, I realized that I had forgotten to trace one of the back pieces. I thought when I traced the other day that I had traced all 16 pieces but I was unable to locate it. I know tomorrow I will find the missing piece and the cat will have had something to do with the disappearance. The only thing that I have found so far that I do not like about this pattern is the number of pattern pieces that need to be on the fold.

Tomorrow, I plan on sewing the top together. I ended up cutting the cap sleeve instead of the 3/4 sleeve because I realized that the sleeve pattern would need to be altered for the width of my arm and I didn't feel like doing it. I did manage to pin the pieces together to see if the bust point and waist line were in the right spot. I have my fingers crossed that this will be a good size. Then, I should be able to get some nice fabric and make another top.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Paper pattern fitting?

Among all the things that I did today, the only thing that I was unable to do was pin the Vogue pattern together. I did take all the pieces out but I've never pinned together a paper pattern shaped liked this or with so many pieces. So, I have decided to just cut some fabric and see what happens. That will be tomorrow's job. Hope everyone else is doing better at Pattern Stash contest than I am.

Tomorrow, I will need to spend 3 or 4 hours with my job. The bright side is I will finish the painting that I have been working on all week in the morning. Yippee! Free from painting for a few days.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another long day!

Whew! It has been another long day. There was a breakfast at the school, painting at home, my normal WAH getting stuff ready for the post office, going to the post office, gardening, and more WAH stuff. However, I did find time tonight to cut out the Vogue blouse that I traced yesterday. Yes, I did this while I was listening/watching the TV. There were a lot of little pieces to the pattern. Here's what I'm hoping to make: V2967. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will fit.

Tomorrow, I plan on tissue fitting. I have not had much luck the Today's Fit patterns but I keep hoping that I will figure out which size is my size. This will be my first project for the Pattern Stash contest at Pattern Review.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pajama Pants (er, shorts) completed

I finally found time tonight to cut out the Sponge Bob flannel to make a pair of shorts for my son. Yes, they were suppose to be pants but I didn't have enough flannel and my dear son was unwilling to give up his flannel. He didn't care that his cousin could get a pair of pants from the flannel. He wanted it. So, he now has flannel shorts that hit about the knee. First, completed project of the month. Quick and super easy.

Sorry, the photo isn't the best. I can't seem to get a good photo when I reduce the size of the picture with the Kodak software. Any recommendations for photo software would be greatly appreciated. However, you can see that it's a super cute print. Too bad I only found a yard plus a few inches.

I didn't do anything significant with these pants. Just serged all the seams, applied the elastic with the serger, put a little piece of satin ribbon in the back to mark it, and zigzagged the elastic down. The elastic hasn't been steamed yet. It takes time for the steam iron to generate enough steam to do anything and my regular iron spews water at me every time I put water in it. Actually, the water spills out the bottom of the iron when it gets hot. Yes, I know it needs to be replaced. I need to decide what kind of replacement to get. The steam iron is a Rowenta and I've had very good luck with it. But the "everyday" iron never seems to last more than two years. I guess I'm really hard on irons. It doesn't even matter what the brand is. Generally, I go to KMart and get the heaviest iron that they in stock.

Tomorrow, I will be starting on the Vogue top for myself. My day is filled with exercise, painting, and work. So, we'll see if I can at least get the top pinned together to do a quick check on fit.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pattern Stash Contest - Day One

First day of the Pattern Stash Contest at Pattern Review found me busy tracing patterns. I traced three patterns - one for me and two for my son. I traced V2967 top pattern for myself, an Ottobre jacket pattern for my son, and a Kwik Sew pant pattern for my son. The Kwik Sew pattern doesn't count toward the contest. I'm starting pjs and needed a easy pattern. The Ottobre jacket pattern is actually too small for my son. I will be grading up 3/4 sizes. I will need to double-check all of the measurements so that I don't end up with a jacket that is too wide. My son is very slim. Hopefully, tomorrow I will have some time to sew up the pj pants. Those were the ones that I was convinced that I could finish yesterday. Maybe tomorrow.

Today, I chose to freeze beans and tomatillos, and can some tomatoes. The gardens here in PA seem to be late this year. Usually, the tomatoes start about the first of August but this year it was the last of August. I guess it was the same with the beans. I doubt that I will get very many peppers from my garden.

If you like salsa, here's a quick and easy recipe using the tomatillos:

8 oz tomatillos + 1/2/3 hot peppers

Roast in oven about 5 minutes per side. Cool. Blend with ~ 1/4 cup of water depending on how thick you want it. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped cilantro.

This is very, very good. Quick tip on the peppers. It doesn't matter what kind of hot peppers you use. I've used habernos, jalapenos, and sarranos.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flannel PJs

A couple of weeks ago I found some cute flannel prints at JoAnns. One was a Scooby Doo with camo background and the other was a Sponge Bob sleeping print. Both are very cute. Little did I realize just how much my son has grown. I going to try to make some flannel pants from the Sponge Bob print but I'm a little short on fabric. So, what I think I'm going to do is make some really long shorts. I think that there may be enough fabric to make down to the knee or maybe I'll call my SIL and see if my nephew will like them. One way or the other something will get created with this fabric today.

The pattern stash contest starts tomorrow at Pattern Review. Have you gotten your patterns ready? I will be starting with a faux leather jacket for my son. This doesn't need to perfect as it will be for an Indiana Jones costume. Then, I will need a bag and a whip. We'll see what I can come up with for those two items. The next item is a pullover for my son. This is suppose to have a cobra embroidered on it then lettering will be done that says "COBRA". I haven't decided yet if I'm going to attempt the lettering on the embroidery machine or if I will make templates and let my son paint the letters on. Now, if I can get those 4 items done. This will be successful contest for me.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pillowcases finished!

Here's the completed pillowcases:

Sorry this was the best pictures I could get. I used my new DD to make these as I'm still learning about this machine. The scallops were completed using the H2 menu #20. The entredeux is the D1 menu #7 (sorry, can't really see them but they are there on either side of the green design). The scroll design is D1 menu #17.
Overall, I'm happy with the way the pillowcases turned out. There could have been a little more planning but I was really playing with the machine trying to get a good feel for sewing with it. There are so much going on with this machine compared to my favorite sewing machine, but I'm glad that I finished them on the DD. I did end up having to use a stablizer to get the designs to stitch properly. Part of it could have been the thread that I was using. It was a poly embroidery thread.
That's it for tonight.
Happy Sewing

Friday, August 29, 2008


Yesterday, I decided that I would make pillowcases today. I needed a new pair. Generally, I make them with scallops and embroidery of some type. So, last night I spent the evening looking at embroidery designs. I have too many designs. Well, amazingly, I did not find anything that I thought was appropriate. So, I set about playing with my software to see if I could make a set of flowers or something but that didn't work out either. Then, it dawned it me that I should play with all those wonderful stitches on my new sewing machine.

This afternoon, I took out the lovely 100% cotton batiste that I like to make pillowcases with and tore the fabric to the length that I wanted. Then, starch the fabric. Ok, I ready to stitch. WRONG. Even though I have starched my fabric multiple times, I couldn't get the machine to stitch correctly. I finally gave up and used a stablizer. I know that I didn't use a stablizer the last time I made pillowcases. I did start, stop, and rip out stitches multiple times before I was happy with the stitching. The pillowcases will NOT be finished today as planned. Tomorrow they will be.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tutorial - How to make bias binding for piping.

There are a couple of ways to make bias binding and for the floor pillow project I used them both. Here is my preferred method of making the bias binding:

This is the fabric that was left over after making cutting out the pillow front and back. I was luck to have such a large piece to work with. I cut a piece that was approximately 20" x 30" and made sure that the corners are 90 degrees.

Here I'm getting ready to mark a 45 degree line on the fabric. For this particular project, I'm using a pencil. If this was for clothing, I would not use a pencil but chalk.

Here the line drawn on the fabric.

Here I have carefully cut down the drawn line.

Now, place the right sides of the edges together and stitch a 1/4" seam. Press the seam to the side.

Here is the results.

Here I've drawn the cutting lines using a straight edge. It's important to be very accurate here.

Now, offset the by one set of lines and pin matching the the drawn lines at a 1/4" seam line. Again, it is very important to match at the seam line. Also, pin at every line. Sew a 1/4" seam.

Here are the results of sewing. I haven't pressed the seam in this picture. I waited until I have cut out the bias strips. Cut out the strips and wrap around your cording and baste in place.

Here's the finished picture of the pillow with the bias piping on the edge. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the bias strip or the cording upon completion.

I picked up this technique somewhere in a quilting class or a quilting book but it works for every situation that you need a woven bias binding.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Floor Pillows - finished!

I didn't think that I was going to be able to finish the floor pillows today because life was just getting in the way but some how this evening I was able to finish the 2nd floor pillow. Here's the final pictures of this project:

This is the pillow back with the zipper along the bottom edge.

Here's the pillow front with the pillow tucked inside.

Here's the final picture of both pillows. I received a thumbs up with a thank you from DS. Guess that means that I did a good job. The pillows are now in the playroom near the tv and the games.

Tomorrow, I will put up a tutorial on making the bias trim.

Happy Sewing!