Friday, February 27, 2009

New McCall's are up!

I love seeing the new designs each season and I certainly purchase my share of the patterns. I just wish I used more of them. There are two designs that I might to add to my collection:

I really like this shirt dress (M5847). This is a little bit more fitted than the patterns I've noticed in the past. I know I have a couple of shirt dress patterns and I will need to check them before I invest in yet another pattern.

I was surprised that I didn't see any shirt dress styles with ruffles. Although I suppose if that is what you're interested in, it would be a easy detail to add.

This is M5856. This is a very trendy skirt this year. I have seen several designer skirts made similar to this that costs between $200 - $300. I like the length of the skirt, too.

I thought this was a very cute top. The neckline is a bit wider/lower than I like to wear but it certainly is very cute. The embellishment on the white top is very pretty.

There are lots of pretty dresses from all of the pattern companies this year. I love dresses but don't have a lot of places to wear them. However, I suppose that the daily casual could include more skirts / dresses. I think that the shirt dress could easily be a great every day type dress. I suppose we'll see what happens with that. It doesn't take that much more to look nicer on a daily basis.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I did sew again today!

I haven't made it to the next set of PJs yet but I did sew today. I found this little project on another blog. I think it was Mermaids but I can't locate it. This is a little pocket that you can add to a notebook. I made this as part of a gift from my son to my husband. Here's how I made mine:

1. I took a piece of 1 1/2" petersham ribbon. Sorry not sure of the length but it will change with every project. I trimmed one end straight across, zigzagged the edge, turned under the edge and stitched across, Then I attached a 1" piece of elastic.

2. Next I figure out how long the ribbon needed to be. This was really just eye-balled. The pocket is a couple of inches from the top of the notebook. I trimmed the edge and repeated the zigzag and turn under.

3. Then I put this edge where I wanted the pocket to begin, lined up the edges of the ribbon, and straight stitched the edge (don't forget to back stitch at the start).

4. When I turned the corner at the fold, I switched back to a zigzag stitch and centered the elastic. Then, stitched up the other side of the pocket and back stitched.

Here's the results:

The perfect place to keep a pen. This took maybe 15 minutes to create. Makes a really wonderful gift. Think of all the embellishments that could be done on the ribbon.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flannel pants finished..on to the next project

Here's the flannel pants:

This is such a quick and easy project. I do recommend the Kwik Sew patterns. However I think of all the Kwik Sew books, the Sewing for Children has been the least used. Once I got started on these pants, it took less than an hour to complete.

The next project will be another set of PJs. I am making all of these with a little extra length for just in case the fabric shrinks a little bit and of course growth. Again, a cute little print that I was surprised my son was willing to wear. He did pick it a couple of years ago. The top for this pair will be the same one that I used for the Scooby Doo pjs that I made at Christmas. I think I'm going to try the pant pattern that was in the same book as the top. The sizes is slightly different and it is a good time to give it a try.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The PJ pants are cut out....finally!

Below is the flannel fabric that I used to cut out a pair of flannel pants:
Isn't it cute? I was surprised that my son was still willing to wear such a cute print. I'm using Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children pant pattern in the large width, x-large length with about 5-6 inches added in the leg length. The additional inches was split evenly above and below the knee.

Here's my little buddy enjoying the heat from the fireplace. It's about 25F out today and about 65F inside. When I rubbed his belly, he was very warm. He is generally nearby when I'm home following me from room to room.

Above are the finished floors. I think that they are beautiful. This is a unstained oak with a oil-based polyurethane. The finish is satin. I'm still working on getting the dust off the walls. You can't really tell in the pictures but there is a lot of dust on the walls and I have already done over the walls with Endust and a dust mop. The next round will be with a microfiber cloth from top to bottom. The closet is also in need of a heavy cleaning. That will have to wait until the baseboards are installed. The view of the room is from the closet.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Class was fun,...

The all day sewing class was fun. It was really geared toward getting folks over the fear the machines and was a "Thank you" from the dealer. In the morning, we played with the different decorative stitches and I realized that my machine has a balance problem. So, it will need to be worked on sometime in the near future. Since I'm so far from the actual dealership, they will be sending a technician to the closest JoAnn's that has a small dealership inside. They will send an email to let me know when the technician will be there. In the afternoon, we used our largest hoops and practiced stitching out a design that required alignment. We were also shown how to create similar type designs using our software. The fabric that I chose was a cream silk dupioni with the design stitched in a med. blue. I'm hoping to complete a pillow for the guest room. Although, technically it could end up as another UFO. I wanted to take some pictures but my camera is missing and no one know where it's at.

My "new" sewing room is getting closer to completion. The floors are finished and turned out absolutely beautiful. Electrical is finished. I really want to sew again. I have found lots of items but unfortunately there are more things that are still missing. I discovered the other day that my crotch curve had gotten broken. I don't even know if I can purchase another one. I will be searching for a new one. As soon as I locate the camera, I will get pics of the floors. Although, there is a good chance that the room will be finished before I find it.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's going to be a sewing Saturday!

I have an all day class on Saturday which should be lots of fun. In the morning, we will be making cosmetic bags and in the afternoon embroidering pillow fronts. I'm so looking forward to this class. What a great way to make myself sew! Back up to yesterday, I moved my machine and all the luggage that goes with it down stairs so I that could update machine before the class. The machine update turned into a lesson in frustration but the Designer group came to the rescue and I finally got the machine updated. Today, I will probably sew a little just so I can be a little more familiar with the machine.

Last coat of polyurethane will go on the floors today. I'm really tired of having things piled around in various locations. I also need to start going through all of the fabric. I really have doubts that I'm interested in sewing all of it. I know that there are little boy prints in there that my tween son would not longer be interested in wearing. Other fabrics just may not fit into my WAH lifestyle. I'm not saying that I wear blue jeans and t-shirts everyday but it's still fairly casual. Most of the fabric was purchased with the intent of making work clothes but the more I worked the less time I had to sew. However, that didn't stop me from buying fabric and patterns.

OK, it's off to work for a bit. Then wait on the guys to show up and finish the floor.

****Floor Update**** When the floor guys showed up this morning, they didn't like the way the floors looked, removed the finish, and put a different type of polyurethane on the floors. The floor was really white and much lighter than the hallway. No trim work or painting this weekend maybe the following weekend. :-( *****
Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Room Layout...

I finally got the room layout to scan by using a black permanent marker and tracing the outline of the room. My drawing is a little shaky. You get the general idea. All the large pieces have a spot in the room.

What do you think of my efforts at room design? The table next to the L shaped desk in the sewing area will most likely be folded the majority of the time and sit in front of the window. A perfect spot for either of my little buddies to sit and watch me or the great outdoors.

Happy Stitching!

Another week gone by....

Oh, another week has gone by and as usual I have been busy. The electrical work is now complete. Yippee! I won't be worrying about the iron causing black-outs any more. It now has it's own 20 amp circuit. Sounds extravagant doesn't it? However, the iron is a 1750 watt baby. I do like using this iron but its a steam generator and it takes up a lot of space. I was thinking about getting a different iron -a Reliable V95. If you know anything about this particular iron, please let me know. I go through a lot of irons maybe one every two years. So far, it hasn't matter how much I pay for them. They all last about the same amount of time. I just need an iron that I can use when I'm in a hurry. I also have a new circuit for my machines. Again, no worries about someone turning a vacuum on and causing problems.

The floors will be started tomorrow. Although I see the work in this room as minor, I'm hoping the floor guys do to. There are a couple of places on the floor that will need attention - one is definitely a patch replacement, and the other will most likely just be a spot with filler. Won't know till they are done. Thursday, the floors will get the second coat of polyurethane and we should be able to work on the trim by Sunday. Yippee! Once the trim is up and painted, we will be able to start building cabinets and working on finishing up the closet.

I wanted to share my room layout but my scanner refuses to scan my drawing and the camera is missing. I will keep looking for it. The next project for this room will be organization. I do not want to just bring everything back to the room. I think that would defeat the purpose of bringing everything into the same room. I need to know what I own especially the fabric. Right now, everything is contained in boxes and plastic containers. I found some moth holes in a wool skirt that was stored closed to a other wool fabric so everything will need to examined closely. I'm hoping that I have not lost all of the lovely wool fabric that I have purchased. Any comments of fabric storage would be great to hear.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where does the time go?

I couldn't believe it when I saw that I haven't posted in almost a week. Between not being well and just being busy with work, I forgot.

I haven't been sewing but I did get the pj pant lengthened. I may have over done it a little bit but I do want these to be for next year too and little boy is getting very tall. If all goes well tonight, I will cut out one pair of pj pants.

Thursday is the big day for electrical work to be done. One more step closer to moving back into the room. We've been working on how the closet will be organized and of course, DH has different thoughts than I do. He has drawn out the room to 1/4 scale and made 1/4 scale furniture so that we can decide on furniture arrangement. Of course, we disagreed here to. I pointed out to him that how the room was arranged was important to the electrician and that making changing now was the time to do it. Of course, the changes could cause the quoted price to change. It will get figured out. It's not like I haven't been telling him all along how I was thinking about arranging the room.....

I found a new blog that I want to share with everyone. It's call True Up and it's all about fabric. I've added it to my list of blogs. Go check it out and enjoy!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things are moving again!

I finally found a floor refinishing company that is willing to do my floors. By February 22nd, we should be putting the trim in, and putting the final coat of paint on the trim. The electricians will be here next week. They will be moving a light switch, removing an outlet off of the switch, and moving/adding circuits. Now, I need to get the closet organizer selected and think about curtains. I have gone back and forth regarding curtains. Originally, I wanted to put up some toile curtains in navy but now I thinking about some kind of a swag with a lightweight linen. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

On the sewing front, I'm still twiddling my thumbs about the PJs. Honestly, all I have to do is length the pant pattern (again) and cut them out. Once I have that done, I know I will whip them right up. I don't know why I'm dragging my feet on this issue.

However, the company that I purchased my sewing machine called me and said that part of my order was in. I had gotten a $250 gift certificate which had to be used by mid-January. So, I went over and order a bunch of items. There were limits on what type of stuff I could buy and to be honest, I couldn't remember what I had ordered. So, it was kinda like Christmas. Here's some of the stuff that I got - a clear S foot (this is for the wide stitches on my machine), a button foot w/placement tool, a 10mm hemmer, a circular attachment (not sure about this but it was on my invoice), stabilizers, bobbins & needles. I still have two items on order. Of course, the stuff that is still on order is what I'm wanting to play with.

It's off to work for a little while.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I don't understand....

I don't understand why I can't get contractors to help me with my room. The floor refinisher never showed up or called back. The electrician at least showed up and implied that he was willing to do the work. However, he has never called back with a quote. A Very Big Sigh.... and this is with them telling me that they not working or have very little work. Maybe that's it...something bigger came along and I'm not worth their time.

I have found another floor refinisher that looks like they are local and Wow! they have a cool website. Estimates right there. Obviously, repairs add cost but how cool is that. I don't know about electricians. I think I will try Handi-Man and see what they have to offer.

However, we are painting trim now. The carpets remnants have made they way out of the house. If the floor refinishers wanted to start tomorrow, it would take about an hour to get it completely cleaned out and ready for them to do there work. Although, I did find out that make iron requires a 20 amp circuit. No wonder, the circuit blows whenever I have the iron on and someone turns something else on at the same time.

I'm going to share another recipe with you. It's for a quicky dessert that my son's teacher shared with us at the open house.

Hasty Mexican Chocolate Pudding

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons of butter (optional)

1. In a microwave safe bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and cornstarch.

2. Whisk in milk a little at a time so the mixture does not have any dry lumps.

3. Place in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.

4. Stir then cook at 1 or 2 minute intervals, stirring between cooking times for 2 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens.

5. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until butter melts.

6. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.

7. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

When I make this, it never has the opportunity to get cold. It's good warm, too. Enjoy.