Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time Flies...

Wow! I didn't realize that it been so long since I posted anything. No, the jeans are not done. They are sitting in the same spot when I left them a month or so ago. I have been busy though. I spent a week in AR with my family and friends. I was a great trip but very tiring. I was able to spend some time with an old friend that I had not seen in years. It was good.

What have I been doing? Cleaning the sewing area and moving the equipment has been happening. It is still in the works but getting there. I have been knitting a scarf in the evening. This has been very relaxing. The scarf is about 1/2 way finished. I really wanted to finish it before Thanksgiving but some things are not to be.

My son and I created a Christmas garland. Here's a picture:

Didn't it turn out cute? It took a little more time than what I had intended but it was nice spending time with my son and talking with him. I purchased the instructions from an Etsy store called StudioCherie. The instructions were good.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One step closer....

Yep, I'm one step closer on those jeans (Silhouettes - Lana's Jean). Everything is cut out and I added a 1/2" to the outside seams. I'm waiting on the jean stitch to show up. I don't really expect these jeans to fit right out of the package but I'm willing to give it a try. I may be pleasantly surprised.

I did go shopping last weekend and found 1 pair of pants (knit) and two skirts. I was doing a happy dance. There was a couple of casual tops thrown in. I was really excited about the pants. Over the past month I have tried on probably 50 pairs of pants - various stores and brands. I have purchased two pair. I'm really puzzled over the fit problems that I'm seeing in RTW. If the hip fits, the waist is many inches to big. ???? I understand that each manufacture has a particular model that they fit but I find it hard to believe that every pair of pants has an apple for model. My waist is only about 8 inches smaller than my hips and there could be a smaller difference than that but the 90% of the pants I've tried on lately has needed at least 4-5" removed from the waist. I have almost decided that the tailor will be my new best friend. I'm going to give myself one more go at making some pants. If it doesn't work out, I will visit the tailor.

Ok, jean stitch will be here tomorrow. I'm hoping to start sewing tomorrow evening. I thnk the hardest part is going to be the zipper.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

School project....

I thought I would share a project that my son did at school. It's a rock:

Isn't he cute? I ended helping with this project because my son did not complete during the sewing portion of his class. He was extremely frustrated with the school machine and his teacher. He claimed that she yelled at him every time he a problem which apparently was non-stop. So, I volunteered to let him bring the project home and use my machine. He proudly brought home the pieces of the project (apparently the teacher had taken it apart) and said "Here Mom, you can finish my project for me." To which I laughed and said "I don't think so. This is your project and you are going to complete it. You will use my machine and I will show you how to thread it properly and you will make you project."

First thing I did was pull out the instructions and the pieces. I decided very quickly that it needed to be broken down even more than what the teacher had done. I saw why my son was having a problem. When I pulled the bobbin from the bag, it wasn't properly wound. The thread was very loose. When working on the frog stitches, I could tell that the stitch length was way to small. It was at the default 2.5mm. Blah! Now when the kid sat down to sew, I realized that he was scared of the machine. He would not put his hands near the needle. No wonder he couldn't get it to feed the project correctly to get even stitches/seams. I also realized that I had to remain very calm. I would explain what he needed do, show a little, and walk away. If it needed to undo the stitching, I would tell him that was it for evening. Over the course of four days, we finished his project.

Remember I said that I wasn't going to sew for him. Well, please notice that the rock has feet. Yep, that meant that there was a tiny little circle that has to be sewn to tiny little legs along with tiny little shoes and he's afraid of the needle. I gave up sewed those sections for him but he did do the rest. In the end, I'm proud of him for putting forth the effort. He HATES sewing because of all the problems he has had at school. I would have gladly volunteered had I know that the teacher didn't have any help with a class of 30 kids. Of course, I would be able to help her all day maybe just one or two classes.

Now, for opinions. This project was considered to a Level 3 project which for my son means that it is the third project he has ever completed. Each sewing session has had a least one school year between and only lasts about 4 weeks. Does this look like an appropriate project for a beginner? Fur and tight little curves. I admit I was a little bit intimidated by this project because of the fur. What are your thoughts?

Off to work on my

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Comparing patterns..

After spending a couple of hours trying on clothes and not finding anything that fit well. I came home and pulled out a couple of jean patterns. I have never made a pair of jeans but now is as good a time as any. Here's the jean patterns that I chose:

The first pattern is Silhouette patterns #3300 - Lana's Jean. This pattern has all the sizes the Peggy Sagers offers in her pattern line. I measured my hip as indicated in the pattern. Ugh! I choose a Size 18 based on that measurement. I have traced out the pattern and double-checked that it had been traced correctly. Although, I did note that there were notches missing on one of the patterns pieces.
The second pattern is McCall's 5894. This is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern. Unfortunately, I purchased the wrong size in this pattern but I decided to compare the size 16 to the Silhouette pattern size 18.

Much to my surprise the width of the patterns matched but that was the only thing that matched. The crotch curve is different between the two patterns with the Silhouette pattern having a more scooped curve (ok, this is an adjustment that I have done to other pant patterns in the past). I'm guessing that this would mean that the Silhouettes pattern actually has a little bit less ease that the McCall's but may fit the back a little bit better. As in it would cup the area better.

I will need to dig through the stash to find the denim that is I know is hidden there. Hopefully, I can get a muslin made in the next week or so.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another week...

Another week has gone by.  I didn't sew this week but I did spent time cleaning.  The wood floors look wondering again.

I spent some time this morning looking at the new patterns at the various companies. It is kinda depressing. I rarely seen anything that I find interesting. I did find two items to share.

 The first one is Butterick 5673.  This is the one I think I will purchase. The lines on this dress should be very flattering.  I'll have to check the neckline but otherwise I really like this dress.

This pattern is McCall's 6433.  I really like the look of the dress.  The neckline is lower than what I would like to wear but I really like the pleats down the side.  This is a maybe on my list.

The other thing that I noticed was the number of poncho patterns.  How many ponchos can a person have?  I also saw a pattern for gauchos (?).  I know I'm telling my age by calling them that put I don't know what they are being called now.  That look is right out of the mid-70's.

I guess that it for today.  I would like to clean some in the sewing room and dining room today.  Of course, laundry is in the works already.  It seems like a very lazy day but it raining.  I also need to put some thought into a dinner of some sort.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall is here but I'm not ready!

Fall is officially here.  I'm not ready for the cooler weather at all.  The early morning walks are getting harder to do.  It is getting cool enough that I need a jacket, at least to get started, and it is dark out when I start.  I will admit that I have seen some beautiful mornings.

My plan of not spending as much time on the computer is working fairly well.  I have been sewing.  Not a lot.  I had purchased new comforter, shams, and bed skirt for my room.  However, I never use the bed skirt and this one was really long. So, I took part of it to make a matching body pillow case.  Washing instructions for the bed skirt was dry clean only but you can not have a pillow case that is dry clean only.  So, I took a chance and washed it liked I would wash sheets and it turned out fine.  I still need to decide how I'm going to finish the hem but the serger makes really quick work of this stitching this type of project.  I do prefer french seams but this time it was just serged.

I have also been reviewing a chapter every day for the past week from Basics with Claire Shaffer Couture Techniques Workshop DVD .  I think it is a companion for the Couture Sewing by Claire Shaffer.  This has been a wonderful little DVD.  I have really enjoy seeing her show various techniques and garments from her collection.

Something else that I have been doing is teaching my son to cook.  It has been funny watching him use a knife. OK, I'll admit that it's scary too but he is afraid of the knife and tries to use it with one hand. That makes it a little bit tough to slice and dice.  I will keep working with him.  I have also been working with him on using a peeler.  Again, this has been an experience.  I really should have been working on this sooner because in just a few short years he will be exploring the world by himself and I would like to believe that he will be able to cook for himself.  In looking back on this, I have no memory of my own Mom helping me learn these skills.   I only remember making cookies and such.

Ok, enough rambling.  The dryer is calling.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is it fall yet?

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I know it's isn't really fall yet but I'm getting ready.  I started looking for new boots early this year.  First pair I found was a wonderful distressful leather boot with the zipper on the outside of the leg.  I was so excited when I received them but the shaft circumference wasn't big enough.  This made me very sad.  Alright, I will admit it. This is my normal issue with boots. Yes, I did measure before ordering.  However, this did not stop me.  It was Zappos to the rescue!  Here's the boot that I ended up with:

I can't complaint about these boots fitting.  They are perfect!  Well, as close to perfect as you can get.  The shaft circumference is not the least bit tight.  In fact, I could probably do something crazy like tuck my pants into the boot if I was so inclined (don't worry, it won't happen).  By the way, they are a very dark brown.

I also found a style website that I didn't know about.  It is Clinton Kelly's StyleRx.  For $2.99, Clinton will provide you with a style guide.  I figured for the price it couldn't hurt.  The information provided isn't really that much different than what Clinton and Stacy also talk about on their show.  It has been amusing to play with style room.  My only advice if you choose to play with this is to provide the most accurate information that you can.  Take the time to take all of your measurements as accurately as possible because you will get style that dummy (it is suppose to represent you).  The only that I can say is that as far as I can tell, you can not change the information on measurements.  Did I learn anything from this?  Maybe.  There wasn't anything that surprised me about the pants and skirts but the tops surprised me a little bit.  It's not that I don't purchase the type of tops that was suggested.  It's more like where are the typical knit tops.  I was told that  I should not wear anything that doesn't have a dart.  That puts most of your knit tops as a NoNo.  If anyone else decides to give it a try, I would love to hear about your experience.

I purchased a Great Copy pattern today.  You do not hear much about this pattern line.  It's your typical independent pattern on heavy white paper.  I was surprised to find that the sizing on the outside is your typical body measurement chart but the gold in this pattern is inside.  Located inside is the finished garment measurements, garment lengths, and finished sleeve lengths.  The only measurement that seems to be missing the sleeve circumference.  Of course, this pattern is for a simple t-shirt style top and it doesn't have any darts.  So, the question is, should I follow the Style Guide that I purchased? or should I go ahead and make it ?   Ok, I'll admit the chances are very slim that I will make anything but I do like to dream. 

I have decided that the real reason I do not get any sewing done is I spend too much time on the computer.  It doesn't matter whether I'm working or doing something for pleasure.  I just spend too much time with technology.  So, I'm going to try to quit work by 5pm and give myself no more than an hour to surf for pleasure.  That should give me a little bit of time to sew, a little bit of time to clean, and a little bit of time to relax.   I will report back in a couple of weeks and let you know whether or not this has helped any.

Well, my technology is mostly over.  I guess today is as good as any day to start turning off the technology.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

It has certainly been a lazy summer. I haven't sewn anything all summer. Will I remember how? Of course, I will. Oh, I have been lots of mental sewing. There have been several projects planned with patterns, fabric, and notions purchased. Just no sewing.

So, what do you do when you find yourself in this situation. I would love to hear what you do to get yourself over that hump.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wow! do I have some news....

I have some really interesting news..... Remember yesterday I was talking about Heather Claus? Well, she's back and has her fingers in a lot of pies. However there are lots of freebies to be had, if you're interested. The site is called 365 days of sewing. It is technially owned by another person but Heather is loading lessons on it. I can't tell that anything is for sale on the site but please be careful. Check it out there is lots of interesting stuff. You do need to be a member on the site to download anything.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too hot to sew?

Ack! Another hot day! It's suppose to cool down a little bit over the next couple of days. Please give me the low 80's over the low 90's.

I did manage to sew a little bit tonight and the sewing room is very, very warm. The kiddo is having a carnival at school and needed bean bags. So, tonight I cut them out and finished them. I'm a week ahead, too. Normally, I would be doing this around midnight the night before it was needed. Next on the list, candy for the carnival. Gotta have prizes for those who win.

Then, I found a older sewing CD - The Ultimate Shirts & T-Shirts collection from See It, Sew It! by Heather Clause(?). Perfect for sitting outside with the laptop. This CD is really stuffed with a lot of great information. She had so many great ideas and was really a little bit a head of time with her ideas but she didn't do well following through. Such a shame. She was very talented. I think in the end she was just burned out. Too many irons in the fire so to speak. I wasted a lot of money especially the last year or so she was around.

Think I'll head upstairs to the warm sewing room and put navy thread in the serger. That will put me one step closer to getting the cardigan done. Baby steps will get there, too. It will just take a little bit longer.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It was a good day...

We had a very hot day for Pittsburgh. It was in the low 90's. There was a lot of work outside accomplished mostly by my DH. However, I did get a bit of sewing done. I added a few weights to the curtain that I had made for the deck last year and hung it up. Now, the deck is shaded from the late afternoon sun again. Then, because it was too hot to hang out inside, I brought fabric, pattern, and everything needed to cut out. Amazingly, I was able to cut out the Cool Cardigan - Draped Front by Pamela's Patterns. I started tracing this at the beginning of May and realized that I did not have the correct pattern instructions (Pamela sent them to me). So, I'm just now getting back to that project. This is going to be quick and easy, I think. I just need to get the serger and sewing machine set-up. By the way, the fabric was horrible to deal with. I think it was a rayon/lycra blend. It had wrinkled horribly and needed to be steamed before I could cut out. It felt like it took forever to get it to lay out correctly. It did not want to lay flat. I hope this doesn't continue when I start sewing. Cutting out wasn't too bad. Maybe sometime this week I will be able to get the cardigan sewn together.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prepping to sew..

Yesterday, I was able to get the remaining fabrics for my skirts washed. Today, we are having beautiful weather (i.e., no rain). Hopefully, this evening, I will be able to press the fabric. The patterns have been traced and with any luck I can start cutting out. I need to sew. For me, it is a very relaxing activity.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's good news...kinda

I woke up this morning to a Facebook message from my brother. My Dad didn't have a stroke but a mild heart attack. He was out of surgery by midnight. Laughing and joking in recovery afterwards. That is good news in my book. I will be calling later today. Prayer is a wonderful thing. I hope the rest of the week is very quiet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What a week....

I returned from Quilt Market late Sunday night exhausted but Quilt Market was exciting. Sorry, I didn't take any pictures at the market but I did bring back lots of goodies.

Fast forward to Tuesday evening, it is noted by us that my 18+ year old cat is not acting right. We help her to the water bowl, the kitty box, the food, and put her in her bed knowing that this will be the last time we do so. This morning, she had lost interest in all the things that she loves (particularly getting in the shower right after someone has taken a shower). I call the vet and explain what is going on. He tells me to bring her in as soon as I can. I called my husband because I did not want to face the vet and the decision that I knew was coming. So, I went home and gathered her up and talked to her. She is now in kitty heaven. I have spent the majority of the day crying. Why do we get so attached to little animals? I know that this is best. She had kidney disease and I have been giving her fluids daily for more than a year. My sweet little friend will be missed.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening, I get a phone call that my Dad has been taken to the hospital. My Mom thinks that he has had a stroke. So, here I am, hoping that my day doesn't continue to spiral downwards. Hoping that my mother is wrong about the stroke. Hoping that my Dad is OK. Wishing that I was in AR with my family instead of PA. Please pray.

Sorry for the sad post. Maybe I will go serge some fabric to keep busy while I wait.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One step closer to sewing....

The order arrived from but the excited ended when I found a large piece of bright green synthetic instead of the white cotton lawn that I had ordered. Sigh...that was the second order this past week that had something wrong with it. Both companies has resent the orders.

Today, I decided to go ahead and trace some patterns. The first one I traced was the Cool Cardigan - Draped Front. I followed her directions and selecting a size and was very surprised at the size. I going to go ahead and try the size because it's just fabric and can be replace. Then discovered that the directions in the pattern were for a different pattern. ARGH! I sent Pamela an email to see if I could get the instructions emailed. On to another pattern. Next I traced Amy's skirt pattern by Silhouettes. This went extremely well. I need to dig through the stash and see what I have that will work as a muslin. Instructions are minimal but it doesn't look like it will be difficult at all.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Still dreamin' of sewin'

No sewing going on yet but I did get the lining fabric for both of my skirts orders - a white lawn. I hope I picked the right fabric. I also ordered fabric to try the Draped Cardigans - Draped Front from Pamela's Patterns. Both should be here by the end of the week. This gives me a total of 4 projects to complete -- two skirts and two tops. Let's see if I can get them done this year. I really wanted to have a couple of items made before I left on my next trip but .... I guess I need to have a little more confidence in myself.

Did anyone see the Threads article "Flatlock for Fashion" by Pamela Leggett. I loved what she did with the flatlocking on her skirt and t-shirt patterns. I started playing with this stitch a couple of years ago and ran out of steam. I did accomplish making a blanket-stitch on a fleece throw. I was happy. Now, I will like to give this a try on a t-shirt. Let's see if I can make time to do this in the near future. I will admit that I hesitate to use too much of a thread contrast but let's see what I can come up with.

I found another goodie in the mailbox today..... Inspirations #70. I love getting this magazine and actually have every issue. I have made a few things from the magazine but I mostly drool over the pictures and think about ordering kits. Ok, I've opened it and the front cover is wonderful. It is crewel work.

Happy Sewing! (or in my case dreaming)

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's a dreary day but the mail came...

We are having a very dreary day in Pittsburgh. When I got home from work, the mailbox was packed with goodies and most of them were for me. How could I not smile and be happy? I received my orders from Silhouette Patterns today in record time. One order was placed on Tuesday evening and the other on Wednesday morning. The fabric is beautiful and the patterns I hope work out. I'm ready to start except I still need to get lining for the skirts. What patterns did I get? Amy's skirt (#2750) and Nancy's blouse (#450). It was a special that included fabric.

I also received a DVD - Achieving Great Fit Through Muslins. I want to learn to use my French curve. Oh, I use it but I don't think that I use it exactly the way it's suppose to be used. This is one of the items that Peggy has been going over. I realize that she is an "expert" in her field but I think finally understand the use of the French curve around the armhole, neckline, and the waistline. I had a major AHA moment the other night when she would working with the skirt webcast. So, here I am with sewing stuff piled around and I'm happy.

I was looking at the pattern instructions for both the top and the skirt. Wow! they are really minimal. However, neither item is particularly difficult and really shouldn't be hard to do. I think the hardest part will be figuring out the sizing on the top. I think I should get some inexpensive muslin and see what I can come with.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Anyone watching Peggy Sager's webcasts?

Has anyone been watching the Peggy Sager's webcasts? I've been watching these over the last few weeks. Sometimes, I there live and sometimes, I have to watch the replays. Let me tell you, she makes everything seem easy about sewing. When I was watching the skirts webcast last night, I had a major aha moment. People were asking questions about sway back, skirt backs being shorter than the front, etc, etc. She whipped out the curve ruler and was explaining how to use it to adjust the pattern to fit our body. She made a comment about people expecting patterns to fit them right out of the package and that it just wasn't really possible because of the curves of the pattern would not necessarily match the curves of our bodies. Then, she said nobody waist is straight and don't expect it to be. She makes me want to sew for myself, again.

Yes, I am sitting here with a beautiful piece of voile to make a skirt. I realized after I washed it that I'm going to need another piece of voile to either line or make a matching slip. So, back to the internet I go. does have white voile cotton available. Now, I need to figure out how much to purchase.

If you haven't watched any of the webcasts, schedule an hour and treat yourself. It will be well worth the time.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blankie is finished....

I finally finished the baby blanket a week later than I had intended. I think it turned out really cute. Here it is:

It's an exaggerated log cabin. I used seersucker fabric for the top and minky for the back. Yes, I forgot to take pictures with the back showing but it was a very pale yellow minky. This was my very first time working with the minky and I did a lot of research before cutting it. Surprisingly, I did not have a hard time sewing the minky with the machine. I used many, many pins and made sure that the minky was next to the feed dogs.

How did I do on my first quilt project in years?

I haven't decided yet what my next project is but I was thinking about the Swing Shift jacket pattern by Sewn square one for your style or 1 little girl version of the Vintage Baby Bubble pattern by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen).

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sewing again....

Listen....Did you hear that sound? No, it's the sound of my sewing machine being used. Oh, it feels so good to have one of my machine going again. I've been sewing since Sunday just about every day. What am I working on? A baby quilt. I'm not really much of a quilter but I was inspired by the January issue of Martha Stewart's Living. Of course, there aren't really any instructions other than very basic information like the size of the starting square and the width of the strips. I should have the quilt top finished tonight. Then, the challenging part starts. I will be working with Minky for the first time. I want this little quilt to have lots of texture and interest and it's going to. I post a picture next week after it is all it is all finished assuming I survive the Minky.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I didn't know....

Wow! I didn't realize that it had been so long since I have posted anything. Well, I haven't been sewing so maybe that is one of the reasons. I have turned my serger on twice since the first of the year. How sad is that? I may not have been sewing but have been busy. A home renovation project was moved up a month. Move forward three weeks and I have a newly renovated basement. It turned out beautiful. However in the middle of the renovation, a pipe developed a leak (on the 2nd floor, of course) and it was discovered before the ceiling fell in the living room which is above the area being renovated. About 1/4 of the living room ceiling had to be replaced along with the piping above it. Those copper pipes don't last forever. With the ceiling being replaced it meant that the living room had to be repainted. Because of all the dry wall sanding the whole house has had to be cleaned. Yes, I'm still working on that. There are just too many things to do but I will be sewing soon.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A new year for sewing!

It's a new year and I'm ready to sew. I've decided that I want new Christmas decor. I think the only way I can accomplish this is to attempt to make a plan and start early in the year. So, I will be starting with tablecloths. Here's the fabrics that I have chosen:

These fabrics are from my shop and they are wonderful. I think this very traditional look will look nice in my red dining room. I need to measure my table and check the drop before cutting the fabric. I think the gold plaid will have a traditional sewn hem and the red plaid will have a serged edge. I need to look for some decorative serger thread. Any suggestions?

Here's my goal for the year: tablecloths (2), placemats (4), napkins (4), tree skirt, and holiday pillows. I do think this is a doable list as long as I don't put anything off till the last minute. The fabric collection that the tablecloth fabric is from has lots of very traditional fabrics and I may use some of those. However, I want the treeskirt to have a scrappy look with lots of embellishments. More decorative threads.

Happy Sewing!