Friday, December 27, 2013

Broomstick lace

I signed up for the Broomstick lace class on Craftsy.  I took the Tunisian Crochet class from Jennifer Hansen, and she is a wonderful teacher.  So, this was my Christmas present to myself.  I ordered the yarn(beet red), the extra large knitting needles, and now I am taking the time to learn the technique.  My first practice turned out pretty well and I love the look.

That was yesterday.  Today, I tried to make the swatch (which uses a different pattern) and mine came out too big.  This is easy to fix, but I hate taking the time to make another swatch when I am anxious to get started on the project LOL!  Well, I WILL do it, because I don't want to put all the work in and then have it not fit!  The finished project is the Rebel Lace Cardi and you can see some great pictures of it here

Here is the cover photo:

I think some of the examples on Ravelry are even better looking.  I'm (attempting to ) make mine in the same color as the sample above.  Tonight I will try to finish swatch # 2 and hope that will be the end of it!!

On another note, my son did something really cool and different for me for Christmas this year.  (I say "me" because my husband can't appreciate the photos since he is blind.)  He has a friend who has a GoPro camera and remote control helicopter that is made for it.  They came out to our place when I was not home and took all kinds )over 200) aerial shots of our house, the river, and the valley floor.  The resolution is so high that I can zoom in on things across the river and see what I never could with my eyes.  I had to reduce the resolution considerably in order to post on line, but here is an example of one of the shots that he did.

Monday, November 25, 2013

SWAP - I've got a plan

I've got a plan - but that doesn't mean I'll stick to it!  Years of experience tells me that the SWAP plan always changes by the time it is over!  Right now my plan is of all new made garments.  If I don't finish everything by the end I can substitute since this year we're allowed

  • one purchased garment
  • one previously made garment
  • one garment made between now and the start date of December 26
I do plan on making a pair of pants (or two) before the start date.  If I don't finish everything, I do have black skinny pants or a top that I can substitute.   I should be able to make everything by the end though since I do not have any major trips or moves proposed by the end date!

I originally wanted to make everything from stash, but I found a great coating for a great price at

Also, I have been wanting to make this Sandra Betzina skirt for a long time, but didn't have the right stripe.

Of course, once I found that stripe, I had to have the aqua too!  Everything else though, will be from stash.  I will keep you posted!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I guess I'll let him live (LOL)

OK, today I can laugh about it, but yesterday I was in tears.  All the time I had allocated to sewing was spent cleaning up soot and ashes.  It's amazing how much ash can fly out of a shop vac in just a split second!  Fortunately, my cabinet doors to the fabric cabinet were shut, but everything I had out (I'm still unpacking) had/has a fine layer of ash all over it.  I guess I'll continue to clean as I go.  Not much else I can do about it.

I did make a little progress yesterday.  I usually trace all of my patterns, but I probably won't mak this dress more than once, so I just cut it out.  I did trace the front bodice sine I wasn't sure how I wanted to do a FBA on this.  I knew I would want to rotate the dart into one of the pleats, so this is how I ended up doing it.

This pattern has the typical Vogue method of sewing in the lining, which I don't like.  It seems that the shoulder seam never looks quite right when I try to insert the lining and then join the shoulder seams last.  I prefer to use my standard method which joins the side seam last.

So, I've got the front completed and the back bodices sewn to the skirts.  The pleating in the front was more time consuming than I anticipated.  It's fairly simple, but then getting the top and bottom to line up is extremely difficult (Well, maybe not if you're a much more accurate sewist than I am.)  I think I ripped this out 4 times and this is the best I could do.  Fortunately, it will be covered with a belt, but I like to know that it looks good.  At least this is pretty close.

I like the way the pleats form the front of the bodice.

Today I would like to finish cutting out the lining and sew it together.

On another note, Stitcher's Guild is starting up for the next SWAP (Sewing with a plan)  This year it is 11 garments.  3 mini packs and 2 wildcard.  You can find the official rules here.  For the last several years, I have attempted SWAP and failed miserably.  In fact, last year, I don't think I even completed one garment from my proposed SWAP!!  So, looking at it that way, I can only succeed in improving my progress from last year!!  Plus you can use a few items that you already have made, so I am planning to use this dress and the pair of pants (that still need hemming) that I made last weekend.  Are any of you planning to SWAP this year?  It officially starts in December, but you can actually start sewing and planning now.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Best Laid Plans (or How to Get Your Wife to Want to Kill You)

I had so much enthusiasm today - I knew I was going to finish that dress!  Well, unfortunately, my sewing room is also the home of the litter box.  There was some litter on the floor, so I asked my husband to bring in the shop vac so I could clean it up.  My husband has had the brilliant idea lately of cleaning out the fireplace with the shop vac.  You might guess where this is going.  Said husband comes into the sewing room and turns on the shop vac. Tragically, he has the hose in the WRONG hole and it is set to BLOW.  NO, he did NOT clean out the shop vac after the last time he cleaned the fireplace.  Well, he will not have to now since all of the soot and ash have shrouded my entire sewing room!!  I cannot believe this just happened!  I've spent the last hour and a half cleaning and mopping.  No, I'm not in the mood to sew anymore.  I'm just frustrated!

Hoping for a new dress

Next up, Vogue 1025

I looked on Pattern Review to see if there were any reviews, but couldn't find any.  It looks easy enough, but looks can be deceiving!  Andy and I have an event tonight, and I'd like to make this.   I don't think I will get it done in time, but at least it will be motivation to get started.  Last night I pulled out some "Lipstick" red wool which is almost a wine color, and some ambiance lining that will go with it.  I was surprised to find that I even had the right sized invisible zipper in the right color.  Since it is about a 45 minute drive to the nearest fabric store, I've got to make sure I have everything I need before I get started.

I don't think the dress will take long to make, but I still need to fit the pattern.  Of course, a muslin would probably be the best way to do this, but I think I am going to try to tissue fit to save time.  I'll post my progress later :-)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Emergency Sewing

I've actually been working on a pair of pants this weekend and have finished them except for the hem.  They are Loes Hinse Cruise pant.  It's an old pattern, but I like the narrower leg, but wanted something with an elastic waist for those days that I just want to be super comfortable.  I always wear longer tops, so you can't really tell what the waist is anyway.  So many fashion sites say you should NEVER wear elastic waist pants.  Why?  Granted, they arent going to give you that great butt like a good pair of jeans, but I'm not wearing jeans to work - and I'm not too worried about how great my butt looks with a class full of fourth graders!

I get to play the doting grandma every Wednesday night and every other Sunday afternoon.  Little Emma spends the night at my house on these days and we usually have a great time.  So, today I pick up Emma from her dad's house, and thankfully I asked him if there were any diapers in the bag.  There weren't.  So at least I snagged those before I left town.  Unfortunately, I neglected to check the clothing situation and not only was there not a change of clothes, but no pjs either.  Now, where I live now is a place that begs children to get in the dirt - and that's exactly what my granddaughter  loves to do.  So, I'm thinking, what is this poor child going to sleep in?  Thankfully, I had Simplicity 1567 on hand from the Halloween costume.
I took the long sleeved T and lengthened it for a night shirt.  This was fast and dirty sewing.  I found a piece of knit in my scrap tub and it was just enough.  The whole thing is serged, and I didn't hem anything.  I did add a neckband because I was afraid the neck would stretch out of shape.  It was faster to make the neckband than to turn under and stitch.  
Well, it's not the best made thing, but it took less than an hour and it serves the purpose.  It's moments like these that I'm really glad I can sew and basically make something out of nothing!  And, I think this is a great pattern that can make a lot of things.  Emmas wearing a 2 now and this goes from 1/2 to 4.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I shocked myself!

A couple of months ago my daughter asked me if I could make Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone costumes for her and my grand daughter.  At that time, I don’t even think we had moved yet.  I didn’t think I was ever going to get my sewing room in order (it’s still not, but at least somewhat functional) so I kind of held off on it.  So, a few weeks ago I asked her if she still wanted the costumes and she said that she did, but she wanted to be Betty instead. 

Well, getting together with my daughter is not the easiest feat in the world.  We both have busy schedules, and she lives 45 minutes away.  I kept trying to get together so I could at least measure her (she avoids this like the plague), but it never seemed to work out.  Her great suggestion was- “Just guess.”  Really?  Are you kidding me?  Obviously, this girl, much to my chagrin, has not the least clue about anything sewing related.  Just guess on a fitted dress with boning?  I tried to just ignore this comment and started on the Pebbles costume first.  That was easy enough.  Shorts and top in one evening.  I even painted the spots on the top.  Pebbles done! 

Now, for Betty.  I still didn’t have any measurements, but with Halloween only a week away, I had to get started.  I didn’t really have a choice, so I just guessed!!  I made a size 8 bodice out of muslin and took that to her house on Monday night before bible study.  It was too big in some places and too small in others.  I tried to guestimate my measurements from there, since I was lucky to wrap the bodice around her.  There was no way she was going to deal with me re-pinning, letting out and taking in seams.  The only reason I let myself into this in the first place is that she never asks me to make her anything, and I always like to. 

So, I had Tuesday night and Wednesday night to turn Simplicity 4070

                 into this.  

Now here’s the deal.  I’m a pattern girl.  I sew from patterns.  I do not draft my own patterns.  I do not drape.  I do not design.  I sew from patterns.  Well, I could not find a Betty Rubble pattern or anything close.  I decided to forge ahead anyway and I’m really glad I did.  I also shocked myself  First, that I actually did it. Next, I only had two nights to design, cut, and make the dress.  The dress was fully lined, had a boned bodice, pleated skirt and shaped hemline.  I also had to redraft the front and figure out how to do the neckline. Whew!  OH, and I was also watching my 2 year old grand daughter who didn’t want to go to bed on Wednesday night!  Well, it turned out really cute.  I’m still not sure how it fits her because I have not seen it in person.  Maybe someday I will. LOL
So here they are, Betty and Pebbles:

This really got me to thinking.  I was worried about this because I do not really know how to “take short-cuts”  and I’m not sure that I want to.  I like things to be just as  nice on the inside as they are on the outside.  Most projects will involve some kind of hand sewing.  I was really worried that I would not be able to finish this in time.  If I were making a dress like this, it would take me over a week.  I’m not sure how I got it done so fast.  I guess I was just really focused (something I’m usually not).  I’m always amazed at how other sewists get things done so quickly.  I think I’ve just been too slow with my sewing.  

Now that the sewing room is up and running (sort of) I hope I can get to some sewing for myself. There are still things I cannot find (Like, Where is all my seam binding?  I know I have a few rolls of Steam a Seam.  Why can’t I find a tape measure?)    I have tons of fabric and patterns.  Now I just need to find the rest of my sewing tools and get started!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted.  Yes, we finally moved.  We are still not completely unpacked, but I am determined not to do what most people say is true, which is "it can take years."  Basically, I just need to finish the TV room and the sewing room.  The sewing room is my nightmare.  Nothing seems to fit where I want it and all the shelves are either too narrow or too shallow.  I need to start thinking outside the box so that I can get that room ready to sew!  I'm going to try to post some pictures later today.  We have terrible internet here, so every time I try to upload pictures, my connection fails.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Still waiting to move...

Well, the house is almost completely packed.  Well, it feels like that since my living room is stacked full of boxes and my kitchen is completely done.  (Except for one drawer of silverware)  The garage is even more packed with boxes than the living room!

We were supposed to close escrow yesterday, but still no news.  Waiting for the buyer's lender to release funds so that we can close on the Three Rivers property.  It's really coming down to the count.  We are scheduled to move next Friday and I have to be back to work on the following Monday!  That means that I will be in school most of next week getting my room ready.  I'm having a hard time getting motivated to do anything at school because all I can focus on is moving.

Here's what's left of my sewing room...

And this will be my new sewing room!  Unfortunately, there really aren't any walls in this room.  Every wall has either cabinets or windows.  The one wall that has a bit of space happens to have a water spigot near the bottom, so you can't put anything against that wall.  I may put my folding cutting table in front of that.
It looks kind of HUGE in the picture, and it is huge for a laundry room, but when I think of setting up a table and machines, I don't think it is actually as big as it looks in these pictures.  The cabinet you see in the back corner behind the exercise equipment will be my fabric cabinet.  It is actually smaller than the one I have now, but deeper.    The shelves arent very wide, but they are probably 24" deep, so I will have to find a way to fold my fabric differently to get it to fit and so that I can see everything.
Also, I am going to have to store the dog and cat food containers in here since leaving food outside attracts bears and raccoons.  There is a small closet on the back patio and I'm wondering if it would be safe to keep the dry food in there.  I will have to ask the neighbors what they think.  Any of you have experience with storing dry animal food in an area where bears sometimes visit?  They say they havent seen any this year, but usually do have bears come into their yards a couple of times during the summer.  Summer's not over yet and its been a really dry summer for us.  I won't be surprised to see some bears in August.

We have decided to paint the new house before we move in.  Who knew that painting was SO expensive!  It would have been cheaper for me to take two months off of work and do it myself!!  Still, I think I would be too afraid to paint the ceiling of a two story house!
We are painting the majority of the house the tan color with the cream colored ceilings and trim (trim now is bright white and baseboards are black.  Walls are currently a very light peachy-buff color.)  We are going to paint the master bedroom and bath the sea salt color, which is a light greenish blue - the color doesn't look right on my monitor.  The tan is also lighter than shown on my monitor.  Anyway, I'm hoping the painters will be done by the time we move in.  It's going to be a close call.

Since school is starting so soon, it is going to take me forever to unpack.  I wish I could stay home for another month and upack everything, set up my sewing room, and get to work sewing!  As I've said before, summer is usually my most productive sewing time and all I did this summer in that regard was to mend a quilt until I decided it was too far gone and will go to good will on the next trip.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It's been a month - today is Tuesday.

And today is the first time I have even looked at a blog - let alone written on one.  Needless to say, life has been busy packing, packing, and packing.
Hubby and I and another couple went to Cabo earlier this month.  I have always wanted to go to Cabo, but maybe my expectations were too high.  I love Mazatlan, but Cabo was just a little to "Westernized" for me.  I didn't feel safe to walk on the beach at night.  It was noisy.  Everywhere.  All the time.

  We still had a great time and my new favorite drink is a mojito (can't believe I hadn't tried one yet!)  Unfortunately, the last few days of my trip were bad.  Tuesday we were supposed to go on a dinner cruise, but the weather was stormy and it got cancelled.  We rescheduled for Thursday.  Wednesday was overcast and windy, but the weather was good by Thursday.  Unfortunately, I woke up feeling a little sick to my stomach.  Since this is a common occurrence
 for me, I didn't think much about it.  Well, to make a long story short, I ended up with a fever, terrible Montezuma's Revenge, low BP, dehydration and landed in the hospital on Friday morning.  Fortunately, the hospital was very nice and clean.  Unfortunately, they did not want to let me leave and I had a plane to catch.  I figured that if I was going to be in a hospital, I would rather do it in CA than in Mexico.   In Mexico (or at least where I was) when they don't want you to leave, they just keep stalling.  No one says "Hey, we're not letting you out of here!"  Nope.  It's "Oh, the doctor is in surgery"  "Someone is on their way with your paperwork"  "You must show us you can eat before you can be released" (This was a challenge since I hadn't eaten since Wednesday and it was now Saturday.)  Finally, I had to get dressed and walk out the door before they would get my prescriptions and give me a bill.  Unfortunately, the bill was over $2000 and I had to pay it before I left (I was afraid of those notorious Mexican jails!)  Apparently, I had an amoebic infection and am still battling it unfortunately, but feeling MUCH better.  So now, you can see why I have no desire to go back to Mexico any time soon - hahaha!

On the other hand, I have been super anxious to sew.  Every time I look at my machine I want to stop everything and get to it!  Well, yesterday, I was trying to mend a quilt for my son .  As it turned out,  it may not be worth mending.  I discovered this after putting on about 10 patches and realizing that it probably needs about 20 more plus a new binding.  This may be going to the homeless shelter.  Anyway, during the process of this, my machine decided it needed to go to the hospital!  So, I guess after ten I will take it in to the shop and remove the temptation from myself.  I keep telling myself "There will be plenty of time to sew after you move"  but there really won't be.  School starts the second week in August, which means I have to be there the first week.  I am determined to find a way!!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

My little grand daughter has something called "Periodic Fever."  This means that she gets fevers often.  This also means that she has come to hate Tylenol and has even learned how to not let anyone get a Tylenol suppository into her!  Her fevers get high, so we don't want to leave them untreated.  Today, I am making Tylenol Popsicles.

(This is her normal face on the left - her little fever face on the right)

I found the pop molds at my local Rite Aid for a buck.  Bought 2.  I filled each mold about 1/2 full with juice and added the correct amount of Tylenol to the molds. I am using cherry flavored tylenol with pomegranate "juice".   I used a knife to stir it.  I'm putting these in the freezer for 30 minutes and then stirring to make sure it doesn't separate.  I also want the majority of the tylenol to be in the end she eats first incase it starts melting before she eats it all.  After I stir these again, I will fill them up with juice and place in the holders.  I sure hope this works!
The pops that you see on the right of the ones I am making are Pedialyte pops - I didn't have to make those!  BTW, today I discovered Children's Tylenol soft-melts.  She actually ate one of those - it looks like we're on the right track!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Packing and moving

I haven't posted in a few weeks because we've been super busy.  We sold our house and things are moving along nicely.  I can hardly wait to get into our new home on the river.  This weekend DH and I went furniture shopping.  We saw some beautiful (and not so beautiful) pieces.  Oh to have endless funds and just buy all new furniture!  Actually, we want to incorporate the furniture that we have already because I do love a lot of what we already have.  I mean, after all, I am 55 and it has taken me a lot of years to get the things I love!  haha.  Anyway, there will be plenty of pieces that we will have to get rid of because there is just no wall space in the new home.  Even though our Three Rivers home will be larger, it is all open and mostly windows.  We will need more living room furniture, but almost everything else will be reduced in some way.  These are the things I don't want to get rid of.

I really like our dining room table and have always liked a separate dining room.  This will fit beautifully in our new home.  The china closet was my mother's and there is a wall for that.  I don't know where I will put the mirror, but I really do not want to give it up.  We are also taking the chandelier with us because I like it so much more than the one that is already in the new house.

I havent found a spot for the curio cabinet yet, but I think it will either go by the front door or in the little area below the stairs.

We are conisdering buying a new  sofa and loveseat.  They currently have a sectional.

We would like to replace it with this furniture that we found yesterday.  Instead of a sectional, I think that a sofa and loveseat will work just as well and be more versatile.  

There is also a chair and ottoman that match.  I think we will go with the ottoman, but skip the chair.  It is a double chair, and I am going to also incorporate this sofa (on the right) that we already have.

Also, we will be using the Persian rug instead of the red one that they have.  I really like that the new furniture has the combination of leather, fabric, and wood.  I think it will tie everything together.  There is a lot of wood in the house, and I like the look of mixed woods.

Now is where it gets tricky.  I love the furniture that we have in our living room now.

These two chairs and sofa may or may not fit into the living room with the other furniture.  It may just be too much of a mix.  I can give up the marble table and end tables.  (The round one I'm keeping since it was my grandmother's)  I may end up keeping the two chairs in my bedroom and putting the sofa in the guest room.  I'm just not sure.  I love that gold picture behind the chairs.  The only place that it will fit in the new house is in the stairwell.

Unfortunately, I may have to get rid of this sofa table.  There is just nowhere to put it in the new house. The painting will probably go over our bed in the bedroom.

This isn't a very good picture, but I also love our breakfast room set.  This will look good in the new house and I like it a lot more than the set that they have.

Well, everything is in escrow on both houses, so I'm just praying that it all goes smoothly.  I can hardly wait to sit out on the back deck drinking a cup of coffee and watching the river.  Needless to say, there has been no sewing going on - just packing.  This is the worst part.  Well, of course, there is unpacking.  I'm trying to throw away as much as I can - but that's not easy for someone like me.  I keep thinking, what if I need that someday?  I'm doing pretty well at tossing right now though!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Me Made May - Just one more day

Well, I haven't kept up with my pictures, but I've made it wearing something I've made every day this month.  Sunday was Day 27, and I wore this skirt.

Monday I wore this blouse made from a cotton lawn and Silhouette Patterns basic blouse.  Earlier in the day, I wore my favorite red linen dress that I have worn just about to death.

Tuesday I was in Los Angeles and the weather was beautiful!  I wore this self drafted skirt.  I had to ask a stranger on the street to take my picture, and she didn't get the bottom of my skirt.  The hem has an orange band with a green print that is the same color as my sweater.  It was funny, because when I was in the restroom at one of the restaurants, and woman came in and commented, "I like your attire."  I resisted saying, "Thanks, I made this skirt." hahaha

Wednesday it was back to work.  I love this brown rayon tank from Pamela's Patterns Twinset.  The skirt is Christine Johnson's Aline skirt made in a double layer of knit mesh.

I am really on a roll with skirts this week it seems.  Today I wore this skirt from the same draft as the Tuesday skirt and I also made the little shrug.

Tomorrow is "dress your favorite era" day.  I have a perfect dress to wear that I made over 10 years ago.  It is a 50's reproduction pattern.  I hope it still fits!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Me Made May Days 22-25

Oops!  I haven't been posting!  Well, let's see if I can catch up.  :-)
Today has been a great day so far.  I had a brunch and some ladies over for a JewelKade party this morning.  Having a "party" right now is the last thing I need to be doing, but a good friend of mine just started selling JK (Which I love) so I did it to help her out.  I love having friends over, but everyone is so busy all the time it's hard to get people to come.  I invited over 50 people, and 7 came.  It was a great group and we had a nice time.  Here was the menu:

Cinnamon Flax Seed Scones

Spinach and Ortega Chili Quiche

Fruit Salad (apples, mango, peaches, nectarines, strawberries & blueberries with a touch of Greek yogurt.) Crud.  I just realized that I forgot to put in the grapes LOL!!

And this:

This morning I wore this top, which I adore.  It is New Look 6891 with pants.  It's wrinkled now because I have been wearing it all day.

Yesterday was "break the rules" day at school.  I wore my ever-famous black knit pants, and this black embroidered tunic Butterick 4684.  In looking at this picture, I realize that my legs are too short to be wearing this length top.

Thusday I did not get a picture, but it was "twin day" at school.  The other three fourth grade teachers and I wore jeans, black shoes, black shirts and the ladies in the group wore our hair in pony tails.  I wore a black sleeveless rayon knit turtleneck top from the Christine Johnson Basewear 2 pattern.  I love this top pattern and need to make more.  It fits well and is super comfortable.  I have made it several times with different necklines.  I will need to try it with the sleeves.

Wednesday was Western Wear day, and I have nothing "Western."  I used to have a couple of western cut shirts, but I just don't wear anything like that very often.  My western wear consisted of putting a bandana around my neck and wearing my rodeo hat.  (Andy and I like to go to the rodeo, so we wear our western hats when we do.)  The top is Textile Studios Marseilles top.