Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Bit of Selfishness

I think that most of y'all know that whenever we have long school breaks, we spend that time with my husband where ever he might be working at the time. Currently, he's in Baytown, TX.

Last month, while we were on Spring Break I had the awesome chance to visit a couple of yarn shops. It felt like pure luxury. First because I got to go by myself! Second because I only had to drive 25 miles to get to it. Here at home, I have to drive to Shreveport or over to Jackson, MS. - we're talking 3 hours in a vehicle. One way. Needless to say, those trips are usually only made once a year.

At the first yarn shop, Park Avenue Yarns, I bought a couple of Kim Hargreaves pattern books, 2 pair of circular needles and 10 skeins of Cherry Red Hempathy by Elsebeth Lavold. 

It's a sport-weight yarn, hemp/cotton/rayon blend. The notes on Ravelry says that swatching is essential since this yarn blooms after washing. I still didn't swatch - I like knitting dangerously. 

The sweater is Maggie by Kim Hargreaves. I have to say this about Ms. Hargreaves. I'm not sure if I've ever seen any other knitwear designer manage to have as many patterns that I love and want to knit. right. now as she has.

My notes on the few mods that I made are here.

I currently have a summer shawl blocking - I'll share that in the next few days.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Vow

I, Amy Bailes, do hereby declare that:

I will not buy any fabric to add to stash;

I must sew/use 2.5 yards of fabric before buying a single yard of fabric.

It's past time to get the stash under control.

Last year, we bought our next door neighbor's house and land. We tore down our old mobile home and moved into the new (to us) house.* I love this place - we have room to spread out. Unfortunately, although we gained 600 square feet of house, we actually have less storage space, less closet space. Go figure...

Anyway, when we moved in, I put shelving up in the utility room and my fabric stash completely filled the bottom 4 shelves. For the first time in 20 years of sewing, all my fabric was in one spot and I could see every piece of fabric that I had bought and then not used. 

Well, it was all in one spot until this February, when I decided that I no longer wanted my sewing desk in my bedroom. I wanted my bedroom to be just a bedroom. I wanted to be able to make my bed and not trip over the sewing desk chair. After pulling my fabric off the shelves, I moved my sewing desk and pattern cabinet into the utility room. Man, I have a lot of fabric. I guess most sewers do.

Seriously, I have a piece of fabric that I bought the year I learned to sew. I remember buying it! I remember what project I was going to use it for. I remember what town & state we were in when I bought it (Lake Jackson, Texas). I have fabric that I remember buying when Hannah was 6 months old; I was planning on making smocked dresses (bought at Famous Fabrics in Monroe). I have fabric that I bought when Rachael was a baby. And even more fabric that I bought when Debra was still in diapers. 

When we first decided to buy this house, I started going through fabric. I gave away a lot of fabric. A lot. Every piece; every yard that I now have? I love it. It's not something that I'm not willing to part with. All the fabric that I still have is in 4 - 120 quart plastic storage boxes and 2 - 100 quart plastic storage boxes.

So, that why I've made the vow. It's time. Past time. I'm not saying that I don't want to have a stash, but I would like to have maybe half of my current stash? We will see. At least one less storage box of fabric would be nice.**

*We have central heat and air. I love not having to get up twice a night during winter to put wood in the heater to keep the house warm.

**Notice I said nothing about the yarn stash?

***Want to take a wild guess as to where the fabric stash is being stored? Irony, thy name is Amy - all those storage boxes are in my.... bedroom. Yeah, let's not talk about it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


She turned 17 today. Somebody, please tell me where the last 17 years have gone?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Zig-Zag Outfit

Last week, I finally managed to get an outfit made that Rachael has had planned for about 4 months. What can I say? I procrastinate!

The shirt is self-drafted using a zig-zag print we bought back in October. It closes in the back with a zipper. Without the belt it's a little boxy but this is the style she wanted. The sleeves have a fold-up cuff with a buttoned tab. 

The skirt is also self-drafted using a ruffle fabric that I found at Hobby Lobby. Super simple to make! 

The belt is one that my MIL bought for Rachael last year from Cato's Fashions.

This is the second outfit that Rachael has planned for Church Camp. Two down, one to go. The fourth is to going either come from her existing clothes or we will buy something!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Youth Rally Dress

This post was originally started two weeks ago....

Rachael wanted a new outfit for a Youth Rally that we were having at our church and I finally had to tell her that it just wasn't going to happen. The week before a Youth Rally is super busy, the church gets extra cleaning done to it and so does the fellowship hall. There is also last minute skit rehearsal and school and dental appointments and laundry and dinners to cook and... and... and....

We spent most of the Thursday before the Youth Rally at the dentist and afterwards, Rachael and I went shopping for a little bit. We found a really cute dress at Dillards. We both fell in love with it. We discussed several different ways to make it a little more modest for her to wear. 

I dug through quite a few plastic containers of fabric to find that yes(!) I did have one yard left of a semi-sheer georgette leftover from another project. I cut one panel 17" and another 15" to make a "skirt" underneath the lace hem. I also added a 4" ruffle underneath the lace around the bottom of the sleeves. This made it modest enough that she could wear it to church.

In case you might be wondering - Rachael does her own hair. I'm not sure what kind of setting my phone was on when I took these pics of Rachael. The dress is a dark coral.

This outfit was not only worn to the Youth Rally but it's also one of the outfits that she's selected to take for evening church at Church Camp this year. Only 3 more outfits to go...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Testing, 1, 2, 3

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This is a test. I repeat, this is just a test of the Amy Needs to Sleep system.

I Despair of Ever Sewing For Myself

Debra's skirts have been finished for about a month. They are cute, she can run and play in them and well.... what else is there to say about a plain A-line skirt?

Rachael requested an outfit several months ago and slowly has become more and more insistant that she has to have it NOW! That's the next items that are in my sewing queue, I despair of ever getting to doing any kind of sewing for myself.

The ruffle fabric will become a simple A-line skirt and the zig-zag* wiill become a simple tunic. The blue dot may or may not be used as the facings. Probably not though since it doesn't match the skirt fabric.

Until later....

*This fabric could be listed as a major pet peeve of mine. It's not a chevron, it's a zig-zag. 

Family photo:

Hannah and two of my best friends' kids at the local civic center watching the Monster Truck Show. I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. I still like boxing and motorcross better though.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Skirts Are Done.

They are done, but there won't be pics for a bit. Freezing rain, snow, and just general really nasty weather has kept us inside. Well, that and the fact that we are under quarantine - a bug came to visit and doesn't want to leave.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Growing Like a Weed

It seems that just after, or maybe during, Thanksgiving, Debra grew several inches. I noticed her skirts were too short and I bought about 5 yards of a very dark stretch denim while in Hancocks right at the beginning of December, pre-washed it and then... it went into stash. I did nothing about her too short skirts until last week, when I finally decided that enough was enough and forced myself to make a pattern, cut out the fabric and get busy sewing. 

With 5 yards of denim, I had enough to cut out 4 A-line skirts and 2 tiered skirts. I've been playing around with a top-stitching thread (that I've had for a couple of years and never used) on the sideseams. My first attempt met with some really pretty stitching on the right side but the wrong side was a mess. My tension was so far off - I know that Debra would have refused to wear any of these skirts.

Corrected tension? 6.0
Stitch length? 3.5 mm 

I'm finally finished with the top-stitching on the A-line skirts; I've changed thread and needles and am about to work on the waistbands. They will be elastic - I feel that allows for a bit more comfort and growth with a child that seems to grow almost overnight.

Time to sew!

Family photo:

Rachael and Debra being silly. Debra's dress was made by me but not blogged about.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Ramblings

1.  Sunday is my favorite day of each week.
2.  Best day for a nap.
3.  Gathering denim yesterday really gave my wrists an unpleasant workout.
4.  My to-do pile is shrinking.
5.  So is my stash.
6.  I wonder if I could sew only from stash for the rest of this year?
7.  I have been sewing a LOT these past two months.
8.  I have not been knitting - hardly at all. 
9.  Winter is horrible to my skin - my legs get so ashy.
10. Life is still good.

The girls in their Thanksgiving Day costumes for school this past week.

Debra (4 yo), Hannah (16 yo) - Native American, Rachael (11yo) - Gov. John Carver's wife, Katherine

Maybe not authentic but all fabric was from STASH! A big woot for that.