Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's time for SWAP

Every year I want to do the SWAP, and many times I fail to complete it.  (I have actually finished by the deadline once or twice.)  This year I think I have a plan that I can actually complete.  The SWAP officially begins December 26, but between now and January 12, I will be busy sewing for my trip to Uganda.  Then I will be gone until February 5, so my start date will not be until the middle of February.  I will try to get 2 items completed before I leave - and hopefully these items will make it into my suitcase for Uganda!  It's hot and humid there, so cool clothes are definitely what is needed.

On the other hand, it is cold here now and long sleeve tops are what I really want to make.  I'm afraid that will have to wait until I return from Uganda.

So the rules for the SWAP are pretty flexible this year.  You can see them here.  This is the plan that I have come up with that I think will work for me.

I have 2 "overs" - a purchased cardigan and faux leather jacket
3 bottoms - knit skirt, woven pants, and stretch jeans
6 tops - 2 blouses, a shirt, and 3 tees.  I may change the tee pattern, but I'll do a test one first.

The patterns I'm using are
Silhouette patterns Max's jacket
Simplicity 1253 - for 2 blouses
TSW Now and Zen - linen shirt
Loes Hinse Ascona Pant (and I'm adding the pockets from the Oxford Pant
Jalie Stretch Jeans
and Christine Johnson's Basewear Two  knit skirt.
I've chosen the Jennifer Stern Tee shirt pattern, but since I have never made it, I may substitute something else if I don't like the way it looks.

But for now, it's time to start making the apple and pumpkin pies!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fall creations and more

I haven’t been sewing as much as I’d like to, but I’m getting back in my groove.  I’ve been working on Christmas presents for my family and just finished this afghan for my son.  It was supposed to be his present last year, but oh well!  I do love Tunisian Crochet.  This pattern is from the book, Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies.  I really love this book.

I have done a little sewing, and made this outfit for the grand daughter.  She has been asking for a gold skirt forever.  Well, she finally got it!  This was her birthday outfit. 


She also got THIS little thing for her birthday (from me of course!)  I LOVE It.  She really can use it and made a little simple felt purse on it (but I forgot to take a picture of it.)  Next I want to teach her to make a skirt.  She is only five, but doing a great job!  I've read lots of good reviews about the durability of this machine, so I couldn't resist.  Plus, since it sits in my sewing room, it's like having a new toy myself!

I have been busy preparing for another trip to Uganda.  This year my friend Sylvia is going with me and we will be going for 3 weeks in January.  The ladies have requested to learn how to make panties and menstrual pads. After combing the internet and pinterest, and making a few different samples, we finally found our “winners.”

The panties will be made from this pattern.  The only thing I don’t like about it is that the crotch lining is too small.  I will add about 1” to the length of the lining.  These panties are easy to make and fit will.  They are the winner in my book.

We sort of came up with our own design for the menstrual pads.  They will come in 2 parts.  The outer piece is the one that will snap around the crotch of the panties.  The “pad” part is actually 2 layers of flannel fabric (7 inch square) sewn together.  This is folded in thirds, giving six layers of absorbency.  

The advantages of this design are
  1. They can use more than one liner if needed for heavier days or night time
  2. The cotton outer fabric is comfortable and pretty
  3. The snap design is clever, but a safety pin can be used if they don’t have access to snaps
  4. The inner layer will dry quickly when washed and unfolded to dry.
We are also blessed that a couple of the teens at our church are willing to do a test run on these for us.  We want to make sure they work well and there are no problems that we didn't foresee.  I'm way beyond the point of being able to test them out myself!

In Uganda, will be working with about 20 ladies at a time who do not speak English.  We will only have a few sewing machines, so much will be done by hand.  This will be a challenge.  Also, the panties will have to be sewn by hand because the treadle machines only have straight stitch and the panties will be in a knit fabric.  Sewing on the elastic really needs to be done with a stretch stitch.

Going to Uganda to work with these ladies is an experience like you can never imagine.  I am so thankful to be able to share it with someone new this year.  It takes us months of preparation to go - shots, fundraising, coming up with workable sewing projects, making prototypes, tracing off patterns, gathering supplies, and preparing bible studies.  There is much communication that must go on with the sending organization as well as making arrangements with the people we will be staying with in Uganda.  This is why we start preparing in October for our trip in January!