Monday, December 26, 2011

Be Careful When You Scoff!

My husband has made fun of Snuggies one too many times.  My daughter decided he couldn't possibly hate something he spent so much time talking about, so she made him a snugglet.
At first, he couldn't figure out what it was.
Then he got it!  He still can't believe she would give him this crazy novelty he despised with such fervor.
 Then, he began to appreciate the genius in it.  We don't know yet if he will ever use it as it was intended, but he thought it made a great monk costume.
The Star Wars fans out there might recognize Senator Palpatine.
Merry Christmas!  I hope you all had as much fun with your gifts as we did.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

When time is short, shouldn't everything go smoothly?

I finally found some time to sew this weekend after working almost 60 hours during the week.  I know that sounds unbelievably ridiculous for a teacher, but my job is not an average teaching job this year.  Unfortunately, my new Babylock is catching on something and won't stop jamming.  I know it could be me, but I have been threading it for some time now and following the directions carefully.  Argh!  I am fighting the Charlie Brown attitude that if something can go wrong it will. 
I went to church this morning hoping to hear something that would help, and the sermon was about how life can throw you wild cards changing your plans completely.  I have an Uno card in my purse to remind me to accept the wild card because you never know what can happen. 
With any luck my trek out to the store from which I purchased the machine at the American Expo will have  a wonderful treasure. 
Hope your weekend was better than mine!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Projects

Thanksgiving day was a bit lonely, yet provided some quiet sewing time.  I wasn't feeling well enough to make anything too involved, so I played with my new serger.  The 3 thread rolled hem is beautiful and finished my latest purchase perfectly.
I love wearing scarves, and this fabric gives me the boost of color I need.  I am so fair skinned, when I read to my daughter as a toddler, she would say "Mama" if she saw a picture of Snow White.  Winter and summer alike, I need color.
I went on to copy an idea I found here on Pinterest.   I recently purchased a new car!  It has a unique color scheme.  The exterior is black and the inside is a beautiful tan color called Cashmere and a brown color called Expresso. 

I love the three colors combined and wear it often in my apparel.  Wanting to keep the interior clean and like new, I made this great trash bag.
I think the next one will be shorter and I will hang it on the gear-shift.  I also want to line the very thick interface that I used inside to hold the shape.  I used an inexpensive storage bag from the dollar store to line it.  The bags come with twist-ties rather than zip to lock.  It is folded over the top of the interface which shows through with the zigzag stitching I used to seam it.  The bag is cute, but the interface bugs me.  My "OCD" will make me line it sooner or later.

I used buttons to attach the strap making it easy to attach anywhere in the car. I just love the two, cotton prints intended for quilting that I found at JoAnn's.

The entire thing was made with a 4 thread serging stitch with the exception of stiching in the ditch and the zigzag to create an overlap seam on the interface.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all a very happy Thanksgiving!  I am not sure whether a day at home alone on a holiday would normally be looked at as a blessing, but it sure helps one to recognize what is important--those people for which we are thankful.  I was not feeling well enough to enjoy the festivities (nothing serious), and I did not want to bring down the mood of everyone else.  I am so grateful for the family I am missing.  I guess I should look at this as an opportunity.  After sleeping a bit, I may now feel well enough and have a few hours to begin a new project.  We can always find blessings about us.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Still here just gleaning from all of you

I need to thank those of you who commented and supported me when I was going through a very difficult time.  You are all so wonderful.  I have kept up with your blogs and love the way this online community cares for one another across the miles. I am ready to blog again and hope to hear from you often. 
Thankfully, I finished my sloper class at Haberman Fabrics taught by a very wise woman.  I have decided to forgo the next class until the summer.  I haven't had time to create anything since school started and it is stressing me out.  The sloper will wait, but my new coverstitch machine is calling me!  I am so excited to experiment with some knits on this amazing machine.  I attended The American Sewing Expo with absolutely no intention of buying anything, but I sort of lost my mind.  My 1986? serger stopped working the day before the expo.  I thought I might just investigate prices a little.  Then I walked into a booth with a Babylock Evolution.  I asked some questions, and the very savvy saleswoman invited me to thread the machine.  I simply put half an inch of thread into a small hole and pressed a button.  Whoosh! It was threaded!!! The machine used an air injection system that makes threading as much fun as sewing.  Well at least until I have done it a bit.  I was immediately buying this machine.  I risked divorce, but I didn't care.  Let me tell you, I think it is worth it.  Luckily, my husband was also fascinated by the inginuity of the threading system and forgave my impulsivity.
I am looking forward to posting my first creation.  I have been practicing every stitch and setting I can.  I think I am ready to make something now that the sloper class is over.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I have missed the blogging world.

It has been fifteen days since I last posted.  I would like to tell you that I was away on a fabulous vacation.  Fortunately, I did get away to one of Michigan's most beautiful spots: Mullet Lake.  However, the real reason is that sometimes life gets really sad, and it is too hard to blog without spreading gloom.  That is not what this blog is about.  It is my happy place, and I want to keep it that way.  Now that I am feeling a bit better, I hope to show off my latest project.  I have made a pair of pants from  a sloper.  They are almost complete, so tomorrow may be the day of the reveal.  Can't wait to catch up on the blogs of all of my friends and followers.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Finds!

My dear friend Laura got me into some delightful trouble today.  She took me to two estate sales full of sewing goodies.  I thought I hit the mother-load at the first sale.

This bias tape was ten cents a package.
The sewing basket might be for one of my nieces if I can find another one for the other niece. 
 It was $4.00.

The flannel is for pillowcases for the annual church bazaar.  It was $1.00 per piece.
I thought the two top pieces looked like remakes of vintage prints.
I couldn't leave the Holly Hobby fabric even though I don't know what I will do with it.  There is about a bolt's worth and it was $1.00!  I had a Holly Hobby birthday cake when I was young.
Isn't this beautiful?  It will likely become a cherished pillow for my guest room.
Muslin, muslin, and more muslin.  Yahoo!  I need it for my next sloper class.

25cents a piece!
Then we went to another estate sale, and I knew that I had truly found the greatest sewing deal ever!
This is mostly seam binding and bias tape with just a few packs of rick-rack. It was only $4.00 for the entire box and included the box with a pretty purple top!

 But, I can't really put all of the blame on her because she dropped me off a 1:00 p.m. and I went off on my own.  I actually went to my favorite home consignment store to find tiny shades for my chandelier project, but I hit a garage sale or two on the way.
This is a Singer Press Magic 4.  I paid $2.00 for it.
There is some rust on the top, needs a new lining and board cover that I can make inexpensively, and the words are rubbed off.

Nothing that can't be fixed with a Sharpie.

Well, thanks for sticking with me.  It was a great day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Social Sewing!

What fun I had today.  My friend and colleague, came over today to sew.  We had a riot and the time flew by.  About 5 to 6 years ago, she was given an enormous amount of decorator fabric ends from a student's relative.  She used as much as she could for student projects, but couldn't make a dent before more came in.  We talked about using some of it to make grocery bags.  Well, fast forward to August 3rd, 2011, and we finally found the time.  We used a Meijer bag as a model.  I think they are beautiful!
They are both made out of the same toile, but have different straps and different colors of grosgrain ribbon for trim.  She is going to be one stylish shopper.
I hope there will be many more days like today in my future.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is there such a thing as SADD--Sewing Attention Deficiency Disorder?

     I think I have it.  I become so involved in my thoughts about what I am sewing or planning to sew that I lose my materials (instruction sheets.)  I also have difficulty working on one project at a time.
     No luck so far on finding the directions for the Muse dress pattern.  The only answer I can come up with other than that I threw them away, is that I slid them into another patter envelope.  I will begin that search soon.  Unfortunately,  I have several patterns.
      In the mean-time, when I am not working on my pants-sloper class, I started a fantastic online class with Gertie.  I love it!  I learned about the class through Oonaballoona who made an adorable bombshell dress.  The class is half price through Oonaballoona's blog.  I am sorry if this gets confusing, but here it goes.  The class is actually through  It requires a free membership and offers fantastic knitting, crocheting, craft, and sewing courses online.  I am amazed at how easy this class is to follow and how much fun I am having.
     This is the first time I have used a PDF pattern.  So far, it has been really easy.  I look forward to using more of this type of pattern.  For those of you, like me, who haven't tried it, you have to print it out on your computer and tape it together.  I felt like I was putting a very simple puzzle together and enjoyed the process.  Gertie suggests folding the edges which is easy enough, but I have a paper cutter and sliced the left-side and bottom of each page before taping them together.  It didn't take long to put it together at all.
     The first sheet shows the layout, so you will know if you have done it correctly.  When I finished, I began tracing the pattern size that I will use rather than cut it from the paper.  Optimistically, I am doing this because of the weight I will soon be loosing.  I will be needing  a smaller size the next time I make this dress.
     My grandmother gave me some of this wonderful patter-making or tracing material before she died.  It is not woven and comes on about a 45" wide role.  Since then, I found a big box of it at a garage sale and scooped it up.  It is really easy to pin on fabric and allows you to see through it.
     Now, here is my question.  Promise me that you will be honest in your answer.  I have the perfect amount of a cotton print in my stash.  Cotton is what is recommended for this somewhat vintage looking pattern.  Take a good look at it and tell me if you think it would be interesting or hideous.  I don't want to make a dress that I either won't wear, or other people are questioning when I am not looking because I have convinced myself to reduce my stash.  The print is of coleus leaves.  I love them in gardens and beneath shrubbery.  It reminds me a bit of some vintage prints that I have seen, but I am not quite sure.  My other choice would be plain black cotton.  This is the pattern provided with the class.  I will be adding a thick halter-style strap to the dress--and will probably wear a little cardigan with it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Assymetrical Body = Two Pattern Pieces

   As I mentioned before, I am taking a class to make a sloper for a pair of pants. I have dreamed of taking this class for years.  When I am done, I will have a hip-block and a muslin that should fit me perfectly. It will have a waist band at my actual waist (where I bend.) However, I will draft a pattern from the muslin with a waist below my belly-button because I can't stand any pressure at all on my stomach area. I can also add other details to my pants. The hip-block will allow me to draft or alter store-bought pataerns to fit very easily.
      Pattern-making requires tough skin when it comes to fitting yourself.  It is a very honest look in the mirror.  You can't hide or disguise anything or it won't fit correctly. No spanx!
     I have had to face the fact that I am a full-diamond and extremely assymetrical in the front.   You begin by analyzing your body shape from several examples.  Average is what I would like to be, but instead I am an extreme.  A diamond is full in the hips (like a pear shape), and a round diamond also has some of the characteristics of a heart shape.  The heart shape is full in the high-hip and abdomen area without much of a bottom or hip.  The strange symmetry of my body only complicates matters more.
    I will always be cutting two different pieces for the right and left side of the front of my pants.  I am sorry the light is not better in these pictures.  I took them during my class.
     I had to slash and remove about 2 inches from the front left side of my muslin.  The side seam is at the top and the waist is to the left. 

     Then I slit up the middle and removed only about an inch from the right side.  The original plan was to use two darts because of the vast difference in my waist and hip measurement.  Unfortunately, that left quite a pucker in the front.  I now only have one dart in the front that had to be completely reshaped.  The science of all of this is fascinating, but the reality of my body is frightening. 
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sloper Class

The search for the dress instructions is coming along slowly.  Had to pack up eleven years worth of accumulation in my classroom to move to another school.  I used 120 labels on boxes and bags in addition to some things I marked in other ways. In addition, I am taking a class to learn to make a sloper for pants.  I've got to keep up with the class and put the dress on hold. 
I get so excited about the class, I can't sleep the night before.  Then I am so tired during the class I have difficulty following the instructor.  Guess I know how my students feel. 
Just finished cutting the first muslin.  I will find out tomorrow if I have made any mistakes.  I have a very odd shape compared to the average figure and pattern, unfortunately asymmetrical.  Will try to post pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Never as Perfect the Second Time

     Well I haven't be sewing for a while.  I had a wonderful time with my relatives from New York when they came to stay.  Unfortunately, rather than getting back to normal when they left, life got complicated.  My car broke down in the college town where my daughter lives on a Saturday night.  Had to wait till Monday to get it fixed.  Then I got the chance to assist a friend who has a little too much on her plate.  You can't complain when life gets in the way because you are always blessed to have one.
     Now, I am attempting to fix the opening in my dress so that I will like it better.  Unfortunately,  I probably should have listened to the advice of my aunt who is a wonderful seamstress.  She took a look at the opening and said I should leave it because it was perfect.  She suggested that I just spread it a bit when I attached the binding.  Guess I should have listened.  The new keyhole is not perfect.  I don't know if anyone but I will notice, but I know it.  The procedure I used worked pretty well, however it is always difficult to work on something partially complete.

I first traced a couple keyholes using the pattern piece as my guide.  When I got it the desired size, I cut it out.  
Next, I taped the opening together with transparent tape.  Then I layed my template on the taped cutline and traced.
Finally, I stitched around the marked line, clipped, and understitched the opening.  This is the result.
     I like the opening better, but I wish it was done as well as it was the first time I did it
     New complication--I have now misplace the instructions.  I may have accidentally placed them in another pattern envelope.  I hope my next post will be about this dress, but I'm in the mood to sew, not hunt for misplaced papers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Changed My Mind

I had planned to work on the orange paisley fabric with the new Vogue pattern next.  Then a phone call came that sent me into a tailspin.  I couldn't be more excited that relatives were coming to visit from New York.  However, I had to get my house in order -- a monumental task.  In the process, I found the pattern I have been looking for, for over a year now. I can now finish a Suzie Chin dress that I started two years ago.  I stopped when I became dissappointed in the result and knew I didn't have enough time to fix, finish, and find shoes before the wedding we were to attend.  This is the problem:
The pattern does not look like the picture.
The opening in the front of the bodice does not show.  The problem may have occured when I enlarged the bust slightly.  I know that the obvious answer is to make the opening larger, but it became a bit more complicated when I lost the pattern.   I am not sure about how to go about it.  I think I will make a muslin first rather than take any chances.  My thought is to make the slit which is truly only a straight line at this point into a tear drop shape.  Any suggestions?  I would love to see this dress finished on someone else.

Monday, July 11, 2011

They're Back!

I don't know if it was the message I left in a two-year-old forum or something else.  After leaving my last post, I turned off the computer.  When I turned it back on, the followers were back.  I guess I can stop fooling with the computer and get some sewing done. 
Because I am so glad to have you back, I am making sure that you are all listed on my bloglist.  Thanks for following!

Where are my "Followers?"

Is anyone else having a problem with their followers not showing up on the screen?  I have been trying to figure this out for a couple days now.  I am fairly new to blogging, so I have not found the answer.  If you can help pleeeeeeeeeease comment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday is Great Day for Thrifting!

I started last Friday when my friend Laura asked me to go to an estate sale being taped for a TV show with someone named Carie.  We didn't get on TV (thank goodness,) but we did meet Carie.  I bought a great snow globe.  Then we hit a wonderful garage sale.  I love this kind of find!
The ruler is the best part.  I used it to mark the pintucks on my last blouse and plan to use it to create a scalloped hem skirt. I have yet to try out the mini-sewers.

Today was exciting because I found something I have been searching for a long time now.

I received this book for my wedding shower almost 26 years ago in paperback and used it religously until the pages fell out.  This one is hardcover and spiral bound.
I also found a canopener that my kindergarten students can use when we "cook."  
The next find was a steal.  Garnet and sterling silver for $9.00.  My computer is undoing everything  I do right now, so I hope you don't mind if I don't rotate.

Not only do I enjoy the sales and finds, I love using this bag I made. Again, sorry about the rotation.
It folds up to fit in your purse.
It is really quick and easy to make.  The pattern called for 1/2 inch double fold bias tape.  I made several bags and preferred the 1/4 inch double fold tape.

The handles slide right on to the bag holders at the store.