Friday, February 27, 2015

More Denim On It's Way...

Oh, yes, I have 5 yards of denim headed in my direction sometime in the future.  I had signed up for the notification at Close Case Patterns for when they were getting some more of the Cone Mills denim.  I did search high and low to see if someone else was selling the Cone Mills denim.  Unfortunately, the denim isn't made here in the US and that is what I was actually looking for.  I'm sure that it will turn out OK.  The denim is still a top brand of denim but it is produced in China.  I suppose that is part of the reason for the long wait.  I did end up with the jeans pattern from Close Case Patterns as it was part of the package.  The question is should I attempt that pattern or go with the Silhoutte's version.  I haven't fitted either pattern.  Hah!  Maybe I will try both and the stash will continue to get smaller.  I do have a small stash of denim.  I just don't know how good the actually denim is.

The weekend plans are to attempt to fit a knit dress pattern.  If the muslin works out well, maybe I will get the dress made as the fabric has been washed and is ready to go.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring McCall's...

I see that McCall's has another Spring collection.  Maybe the first was really called Early Spring or Late Winter.   Regardless, there are more new patterns.  I noticed a new to designation on some of the patterns - "Learn to See for Fun".  I'm not particularly interested in any of the patterns for myself and the pattern stash/cabinet thanks me.  LOL   Here's the first one of interest:

This is 7155. A nice collection of dresses (3 lengths), tunic, and leggings.

This is 7129.  This is nice little wrap skirt with two variations and each variation has two lengths.

This is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern 7132.  It is an interesting unlined jacket.  As you can see, there is piecing going on with this one.  It could be fun depending on the fabric that was chosen.  I am a little tempted by this one.

What are your thoughts on this release of new patterns?

Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Spring Wardrobe Thoughts...

I had mentioned earlier about joining in on the 6-pac Spring Sew-along.  I haven't even made any plans yet but here are the items in the list:

1. Jacket or covering layer in a mid-to-dark neutral
2. Jacket or covering layer in another or lighter neutral or favorite color
3. Bottom in the same mid-to-dark neutral
4. Bottom in a second neutral
5. Top in one of the neutrals or a "white"
6. Top in your favorite color or a print that mixes

Sounds pretty basic doesn't it?  But where to start?  I suppose the best place to start is the existing stash of fabric and patterns.  I have been purchasing new items recently and really need to think about using as much of it as I can.  So, with that being said, here's a list of patterns that I am going to consider:

1.  Silhouette Yoga pant (in stash)
2.  Silhouette Yoga skirt (in stash)
3.  Silhouette Sweater Set (in stash) for one or both of the tops.  T-shirt style. Perhaps a cardigan, also.
4.  Silhouette Classic Blouse (in stash). This is a maybe.  It depends on #3.
5.  Silhouette Shelia's Jacket (in stash).  I've had issues with this one in the past.  Peggy sent me a corrected draft.  I just need to try it again.

Ok, the patterns seem to settled and it looks like it is Silhouettes all the way.  I don't think there will be much of an issue with the yoga skirt.  It just has to fit my high hip.  All the remaining items will need to be fitted.  Happily, this will use up stash as I will not purchase anything to make a muslin.

Now, I'm off to see what is in the stash that will work for muslins and the actual garments.  I'm hoping to not purchase anything but a stash doesn't always carry the colors you're looking for. This should keep me busy for a few days.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Every winter we put together one large puzzle.  This year, we started on January 3 with this lovely puzzle:

The extreme cold over the past week had the whole family planted in the same room as the fireplace and the puzzle.  The puzzle was worked on for many hours and is finally complete.  Here are the results of our hard labor:

It was satisfying to put in the last piece.  It will most likely stay out for a few days so we can admire our handy work.   Since it is still extremely cold, this one may not stay out as long as it normally would.  I have a couple more puzzles that need to be put together.

On the sewing side, I just got notification that the patterns had shipped which means that maybe this weekend I can start working on a muslin for the Butterick dress.  My fabric order isn't expected to ship before 2/23.  I was thinking about trying the Silhouettes Yoga pants pattern this week.  I have both the fabric and the pattern.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cold Weather and Shopping....

Give me super cold weather (we're talking negatives) and I'm shopping for spring /summer fabric.  A girl can dream that winter is almost over, can't she?  Since I really liked this pattern:

I decided to find a knit fabric that is appropriate for this dress.  I do intend to make this with 3/4 sleeves instead of the cap or long sleeve.  Here's the fabric, that I chose:

These are an ITY knit from and I'm hoping to have the dress made by mid-March.  How's that for planning?  I hope that I like the fabrics when they show up.  I have never made anything using the ITY knits before.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 

What do you think of my fabric choices?  

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Easy Pajama Pants revisited....

It's mid-February and I'm just now getting back to the pajama pants for my son.  Poor kid, the last pair was made in October and I thought then that I would get to the second pair made quickly.  I guess quickly means different things to different people.  I'm sure he will be happy to have them.  Here's the results:

Not much to see really.  This time I used a french terry.  The pattern was a freebie from Simplicity.  I did make minor changes:

1.  There is no drawstring in this pair.  On the last pair, my son decided he didn't like the drawstring and pulled it out.  So, I didn't take the time to make one this time. This also meant that I didn't have do buttonholes.

2.  I used a 2" elastic at the top.  We'll see how he likes this pair compared to the flannel ones I made in the fall.

It feels good to move another piece of stash from storage to usefulness.  However, I do have a piece of this left and it's too big to toss but it is big enough to make a little person something.  If you're interested in a cotton french terry in olive green, I have a small piece about 31" x 56".  Let me know.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Resistance is Futile...

Yep, that McCall's sale couldn't be resisted.  I indulged in two patterns that I had recently admired. Here are the lovelies:

Butterick 6166.  Now, I need to be on the look out for a great set of matching fabrics.  They should most likely be in my color set of black, grey, teal, and rose.  If you see anything that might work, let me know.

Vogue 9087.  I need to go back and check the fabric requirements.  I might have fabric that will work for this one.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pillow Cover Completed...

The trapunto pillow cover is finally completed.  Here are some pictures:

Here's the new pillow cover before it was washed. See how pointy the corners are.  This is when I realized that I forgot to adjust for the dogears.


Here's the pillow cover after the dogear adjustment and being washed.  I looks like I could done more than 1/2" adjustment but I do not plan on making any additional changes to this pillow cover.  I don't have a picture of the back but it has a lapped zipper application as shown in this tutorial.

I'm happy with my first attempt at machine trapunto.  As far as a technique for our monthly sewing get together, I would call this a success.  Both of us finished our projects.  This is a technique I would like to revisit for other projects.  I'm even happy with my second attempt at doing free motion quilting. I can't remember if I said anything about my first free motion quilting attempt but I wasn't sure that I would ever revisit the free motion quilting after I did it.

If you're interested in attempting the machine trapunto, this post  talks a bit about technique with links to how-to sources.  This post shows my work on the pillow case.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cleaning Your Sewing Machine...

How often do you clean your sewing machine?  I generally clean my machine after every big project. My last project was a trapunto project with a lot of free motion embroidery. I knew my machine was in need of cleaning.  So, here's my process:

Here's the area in question on my machine.  I have already removed the presser foot and the bobbin cover.

Here are my favorite tools. With the exception of the screwdriver, the basic cleaning tools are the same as when I am cleaning the serger.

With this picture, you can see how dirty my machine is.  I was actually a little bit shocked at how much fuzz was in the bobbin area. I have removed all the loose items from this area.  They will be cleaned separately.  When cleaning this area, I mainly use the natural bristle paint brush.  I can get into a lot of the little nooks and crannies by turning the fly wheel and then moving the paint brush into the machine as far as I can. I also go around as many times as I feel necessary which is basically until I'm not longer finding any dust inside the machine.

All the loose items.  The throat plate will be wiped down along with the little gray part.  The bobbin case will be carefully dusted and checked to make that there isn't anything hung up inside.  Don't forget to check the feed dogs.  They will get the fuzz built up also.

Just to give you an idea of how dirty my machine was after a day of doing free motion embroidery.  That is a lot of dust.  In fact, this makes me want to have my machine serviced.

All sparkly clean and ready for the next project.

So, does this mean that you should take the time to clean your machine more often when doing free motion quilting?  What do you think?

Remember to clean your machine often.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spring Butterick Patterns....

I don't know when the spring Butterick patterns were made available but I love many of the patterns.  I also just missed the spring sale which I suppose is good thing.  Here are my picks:

This is Butterick 6166.  Isn't this a lovely little knit dress?  I love the front overlay, the hem, and the two tones on the front.  I could only wish to find a pair of knits like that.  This little number will be on my list to get.

Isnt' this a wonderful spring suit?  I want it in exactly the same fabric as shown.  This is Butterick 6185.  The dress and jacket would be perfect for going to church.  I might get this one also.

This little dress/tunic has a fabulous neckline.  This is Butterick 6168.  I think you can see details without the line drawings.

On this pattern, the tank is wonderful.  This is Butterick 6173.

Although this is a pajama pattern, take a look at the tank.  It is for woven fabrics.  This is Butterick 6159.  I do like the entire pattern and it would make a nice set for traveling.

So, what do you think of the new Butterick patterns?  What are your favorites?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Next Knitting Project - A Cabled Headband...

The next monthly knitting club will be coming up soon as it was time to pick another project.  Although I have a ton of knitted dishcloth patterns which are fun.  How many dishcloths do you  really need?  So, I contacted my niece to see if she had any ideas for a small knitted project that I could do.  Of course, she did and it was a headband/ear warmers. So, I looked for a pattern that looked like it would be interesting and found this one:

Yes, I like to do cable patterns and have been practicing.  This is called Intertwining Diamonds Cabled Headband/Ear Warmer (link).  It is a freebie and I thank the author.  My niece wanted the headband in some shade of green.  So, I choose this:

This is Lion Brand Heartland in the colorway King's Canyon.  It is two different shades of green - emerald and forest green.  I'm hoping it will satisfy her love for all things green.

Unfortunately, I have misplaced the correct size of knitting needles and will need to go purchase additional set.  I don't know how I misplace knitting needles.  Generally, I always put away my knitting needles.

Ok, I'm mostly ready for the next knitting meeting.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Trapunto...The First Attempt

I didn't realize when I decided to attempt trapunto that there would be soooo many decisions.  I started with the instructions for the Quilted Snowflake at  The instructions seemed fairly straight forward.  Next, I had to decide on a design.  This was really hard. I finally settle for a Celtic knot design.  Here's the design that I chose:

Due to the size of the design,  I decided to create a pillow cover .  Sorry, I don't remember where I found the design.  It was a freebie. Next, I had to choose fabric but what color? Most of the time trapunto is done is light colors or a solid.  I decided to go with a cream color fabric.

So here is my tracing.  Even though you were suppose to use a water soluble marking pen, I didn't. It was a kid's colored marking pen.  We'll find out if it was a mistake when the finished project is washed.  Actually, I thought that I had a water soluble pen and it turned out to be a air erase pen.  The air erase pen would not write on the heavy duty water soluble stabilizer.

Here's the design stitched with the water soluble thread.  I chose to use it in the bobbin as well has the top thread.  The instructions had you using thread the matched the main fabric in the bobbin but I didn't want any loose thread hanging around when the item was washed.  I used two layers of a cotton batting (it was in the stash).

Here you're starting to see the design pop.  I was really making a mess with the free motion quilting and I quilted the inside very tight.  I had to take a break at this point.  My sewing buddy had finished her project and decided that she would like to do the trapunto again in the future.

Here is the piece with the finished free motion quilting.  I did not quilt the outside portion as tightly as the inside portion.    I'm happy with the look of the project and hope that I like the look of the cream in my family room.  I'll post the finished pillow cover at a later date.  As I still need to cut out the back and get a zipper.

Time-wise, it took about 6 hours to complete.  This included me cutting out the fabric for the top, back, and batting.  Stitching the initial Celtic knot and then trimming the batting from the areas that I didn't want it.  Then, completing the free motion quilting.  There were also breaks for lunch and when my sewing buddy left.

What do you think of my first trapunto attempt?  I even feel like I got the hang of free motion quilting.  This is the second time I have done the free motion quilting and I think I'm starting to like it.  I can see it being a very relaxing why to spent a free afternoon or evening.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pattern Addiction....

I think I'm addicted to purchasing patterns.  I have done a little better recently but once again I couldn't resist the new Silhouette patterns this season.  I did try but it didn't work.  Here are the covers from the new patterns:

I really like the dress #4015 and the knit top #315.

I watched the announcement video and that is what convinced me to purchase.  In the video, the coat was made from a waxed denim and the jacket is made from leather.  I have never sewn with either one of these fabrics.  I'm not even sure that waxed denim is available to the public.  At least, I couldn't find anything.

 I confess.  I'm a pattern collector. I have a cabinet that is stuffed to proof it.  How do you overcome this addiction?  I don't think there is a 13 step program to get over.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How Often Do You Clean Your Serger?

Are you a person who cleans your serger after every use?  I'm more of a it depends on the project. I just finished a project where the serger had to be cleaned many times.  Here's my serger where I'm getting ready to clean it for the next project:

A little pile of the synthetic fabric that was my last project.  I think I cleaned the machine 4 or 5 times while working on that project.  There was a lot of lint produced.

Here are my favorite tools for getting rid of the dusty materials inside the serger - a wool mini dust-it and a paint brush with natural bristles.  Yep, that is all.  I do not oil the machine every time I clean it.

Here you can see some of the fine fibers on the machine.  It is covered inside and outside with this dust.

I start with the mini dust-it to knock out all the large particles. Then, move in with the paint brush and dust inside the machine everywhere I can reach bringing out the little clumps of dust.

Next, I take off the cover and presser foot.  Using both the mini dust-it and the paintbrush, I remove as much of the dusty particles as I can see.  Then, I put the machine back together.

  You can see the little pile of dusty particles that came out of the machine with this cleaning.  It is now ready for the next project and so am I.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, February 2, 2015

V Neck Tunic Completed…

Here’s a pic of my latest creation:

I love this fabric and thought it would be perfect the V-Neck Tunic pattern by Loes Hinse Design.  There were a few challenges that I wasn’t expecting.  This sweater knit was a difficult to work with.  Serging a single layer was impossible and this stopped the sewing process down until I could go to JoAnn’s and get some mesh.  Actually, I was amazed that they had this item.  In reality, neither the serger or the sewing liked sewing on this fabric.  The serger handled one layer of the fabric with one layer of power mesh just fine.  

Ok, back to the pattern.  I combined the two views on the pattern envelope as I really wanted long sleeves with the tunic length.

Here's a close-up of the sweater knit that I used:

Coordinates perfectly with the colors chosen last fall.

I did note that on several reviews that it was mentioned that the neckline was low so I raised the neckline by an inch.    I know I will not be wearing this without some type of top under it but I wanted to draw the eye up more.   I cut ½” pieces of mesh to serge to all the edges including the neckline.  Due to the super stretchy nature of the fabric, I used the “lighting” stitch on my machine and lengthening it to 4.0 mm.  

After getting the tunic sewn together, I tried it on.  I was very surprised at how long it was in both the body length and the sleeves.  I ended up removing 4" in body length and 2" in sleeve length. Overall, I'm happy with how this top turned out.  

Now, I wonder why it took me so long to use this pattern.  Even though it took me about a month to finish this tunic, it shouldn't have taken longer than a day.  I did make a mistake and I to re-order a yard of fabric to finish the top.  I will be using this pattern again.  

Happy Stitching!