I love to sew. I. Love. To. Sew. I. LOVE. TO. SEW. Sewing makes me happy. To be able to take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into a dress, skirt, quilt, whatever, makes me happy. So, why am I to the point of just throwing away* my machines and buying a whole bunch of yarn?
Several years ago, I was on my husband's laptop, playing around on the internet and found a couple of sewing blogs and then I found Pattern Review. Then, I learned about fit. You know, things like using your high bust measurement and altering the pattern for a full bust. About swayback adjustments. About rotating darts. About what wrinkles tell you about the fit of your garment. And life has gone downhill ever since.
Before, I found out about all of these things, I would use my full bust measurement to pick out a pattern. I would do a petite adjustment and then sew up the garment and I would be happy! Now, it seems as if I spend most of my time altering the pattern, only to still have the garment not fit. Honestly? I don't mind doing a muslin, but I don't want to have to do 2 or 3 or even more to get a simple t-shirt to fit! 'Cause if it takes that many for a t-shirt, can you imagine what I have to go through for a jacket? All of this leads to much frustration, leading to me not wanting to sew, leading to a lot fabric just sitting around. Maybe I should invest in one of those pattern software thingys. Wait a minute, I do have one (the Bernina one) but I don't have anyone that I can get to measure me everytime I gain weight (and yes, I'm gaining weight - like crazy).
Which leads to this: Jalie 2910 - the top that caused me to learn just what a sausage feels like. Let's see, what did I do to alter the pattern? Well, I started off with a size W (full bust measurement) moving out to AA at the hip. Did a petite adjustment at the waist and the hip area to take off a total of 4" to the length. I did a full bust adjustment. Shortened the front band. Slashed and spread (S&S) the back for a bit more width across my very full back and also S&S the sleeve to allow for my wings.
Quite frankly, I hate it! Okay, maybe what I really hate is spending time doing the two things that I don't like about sewing (altering a pattern and then having to cut it out), only to sew it up and still have a garment that is TOO TIGHT! And yes, this is a muslin, but if I hate the muslin? If I have to go back and still do major re-adjustments?
It makes me just want to sew nothing but children's clothes. Actually, just baby clothes. Debra can't talk (much) and tell me that she doesn't like that fabric, that pattern, that trim; she just wears what I make and then put on her.
I think that I'll just go knit today. Or sew some baby clothes.
Wendy Schoen's Jane in a really busy "Winter Wonderland" by Debbie Taylor-Kerman for Henry Glass & Co.
TooCuteDobs helped me to see what was bugging me about this dress. Both of the prints are very busy, so with the band around the waist and then another band 3" below it on the skirt, the eye just didn't know where to rest at, and I felt that adding ric-rac to the skirt band would just add to that busyness. In the end, I decided to take the skirt band off and be done with the dress.
The dress was well-received when I dropped it off at the store along with the Swingset outfit. It's always nice to know that others like my sewing as much as I liked sewing it.
They sent me home with fabric for two more outfits. Can't wait to get started on those...
Sorry about that random picture of clothes. I needed it for Ravelry and after uploading it to Flickr, I couldn't manage to link the photo from there, so... y'all got a look at some of my sweaters. :)
This is the second of two dresses that I was to make for the Quilt 'N' Stitch. I didn't get it delivered today, but that's okay, since today's delivery was a self-imposed deadline. And am I ever glad that I didn't tell them I'd be there today with them!
The store manager had asked that I make a few dresses for further in the year holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they could keep the dresses for a longer period of time than a month.
The pattern is Wendy Schoen's Jane. The pattern is very well written but I had a moment of mirth when I realized that every "w" was missing from the instructions. Maybe it wouldn't have been as funny but the designer's first name is Wendy! With a W! Okay, so I'm easily amused.
These two coordinating fabrics remind me of those Coca-Cola commercials with the polar bears, and while I like this dress, I'm not in love with this dress. The prints are just too busy or something. I have a couple of ideas, but... well, one of them involves ripping off the band around the skirt, inserting rick-rack behind it and then sewing it back down. Not sure if I want to invest that much more time in it. I'm also thinking of making a Christmas tree pin in a dark green for the bodice.
On Saturday, my MIL brought over several shirts that she wanted cut off to 3/4 length sleeves. Two of them had already been cut and re-hemmed for her by a friend but they were too tight and she wanted a vent sewed in them. When she left, she warned me that she wanted them back, ready to wear, by next week. My my, I think that my family knows that I put off the mending for a bit.
Yesterday, I got busy. This is the before photo:
On the black shirt, I ripped open the underseam and sewed the seam allowances down. I also re-hemmed the sleeves so they looked a bit nicer.
On the pink shirt, MIL's friend had made a 2" hem, so I had enough fabric to turn the fabric to the right side and make a vent at the top of the sleeve. It's not perfect but it'll do.
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the other two shirts that I re-hemmed for her. She happened to come by while I was finishing them up and I forgot to take pictures of them before giving them to her to take home. Rest assured, they were completed!
Today, I finished up the first of two outfits that I have to deliver to the quilt store. This is Oliver & S's Swingset Tunic and Skirt. I love how the finished outfit turned out.
First off, this is a size 12-18 months. The pattern pieces are mis-marked on my pattern! The back lining and the front lining for the 12-18 month size and the 18-24 month are marked 6-12 months. This could cause a bit of confusion if you don't pay attention (ask me how I know).
The skirt is very simple. It's fully lined and has two casings with elastic running through and then a drawstring running through a third casing.
I finished off the drawstring with beads from my severely lacking bead collection.
The top has a very... interesting construction. This pattern begs for a tutorial and I might put one together next week. I did add some piping and a rick-rack flower with a beaded center.
This is the inside view of the back. You can kind of see why I say it's interesting and to be honest, I'm not sure that I really like it.
This post is not for those with weak stomachs. Do not read if you are easily grossed out!!! There are no pictures, I did not want to record this for prosperity.
Since my last post about my experience with canning there have been a few comments on freezing tomatoes instead of canning. Would that I could.
Let me tell you a story...
If y'all will remember every weekend, the girls and I go down to South LA to stay at the travel trailer and visit with Cody. Two Saturdays ago, we hit the road. We came home on Tuesday, but I was too much in the mood to sew. I wanted to get that maxi-dress fixed. Wednesday morning I went outside to take care of the garden. To get to the water hose that I use to water my garden, I have to walk by the back storage shed and... I smelt something kind of bad. Since the shed was locked up, I called Hannah to come unlock it.
While she went inside to get the keys, I went on to my garden and was happily picking more tomatoes and squash. Suddenly, I hear, "Momma, you need to come here." Uh oh. Can y'all see where this is going? I walked back to the shed and there stood my freezer... the door wide open... the meat completely thawed... and the entire thing crawling with maggots. It had been like that since Friday - the day the shed door was closed and locked up in 95+ heat.
I turned off the freezer for a while hoping that the motor hadn't burnt up while trying to stay cool and that I could at least kill all of the critters before having to deal with cleaning out the freezer. Feeling squeamish at the thought? Me too!
The motor was dead and the general consensus amongst my friends was that the smell probably wouldn't ever go away. My FIL and Uncle-in-law hauled the freezer off on Friday.
So, the moral of this tale is... don't put popsicles in the deep-freeze!!!
Do y'all remember those t-shirts that some kids would get when their parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles would go to some exotic place like the Bahamas or Hawaii? You know, the ones that read, "My so-and-so went to Hawaii and all I got was this stupid t-shirt." Y'all remember those? That's a bit how I feel about this. Nine hours of work and all I got was 8 pint jars!!!
To be fair, I'm a complete canning newb. I'm sure that I might eventually get better and faster. Maybe. Anyway, I ended up with four jars of tomato sauce and four jars of chopped tomatoes. But still, I think that I should have at least managed to get a jar per hour. Don't you? I mean, there has to be some kind of minimum wage for canning! The tomato sauce is really the culprit. You have to peel the skins off the tomatoes, seed them and then cook the tomatoes down until about half (that part takes FOREVER!!).
Okay, on to better things. Last week, I finished my Denim Shawl but I just now got around to blocking it. The finished shawl is 47" x 20". It a rather small shawlette but is good for keeping your neck warm and also giving a bit of color around your neck.
I had enough yarn to make four rows of the eyelets and still have a bit left over.
You can read about the shawl and the type of yarn that I used over on my project page on Ravelry. BTW, you don't have to be a member of Ravelry to see this page.
was a lazy day. I did almost nothing. I drove to town, dropped off my vehicle for some maintenance, came home and laid around.
Well... I did manage to pull out my next project and get the fabrics washed, ironed and the pattern ready.
This is Oliver & S's Swingset Tunic and Skirt. The floral will become the tunic and the swirly pink, the skirt. This is not for Miss. D - at least not for a while. My local quilt store has asked me to make a few outfits for display in exchange for free fabric and a discount on the patterns! I nearly did a happy dance right there at the check-out counter.
Yesterday, I promised Rachael that I would finally refashion two shirts that were too big for her. These are shirts that Cody had bought this past winter and have been sitting on my dresser waiting for me to fix them. I started out this morning by making a pattern from one of Rachael's favorite T-shirts.
This shirt started out as a child's size 10-12. Rachael barely fits into a 4 but needs a size 7 for a proper length.
This shirt started out as an adult medium. I'm not sure why Cody bought such a big size, but I think this was the smallest size they had at the hunting lodge.
I cut the sleeves out and cut the shirt apart along the shoulder seam. Folded the shirt in half - side seam to side seam. Actually, there wasn't any side seams, this fabric was a tube. Placed the pattern piece on top and then cut.
I put the sleeves to the side for reuse with the new shirts.
I decided to make her long sleeve shirts with a layered look. Using two stained tank tops, I placed those on the fold and then put the sleeves on top. I kind of eyeballed it to see where the top sleeve should go. Notice that I used the hems of the sleeves and of the tank for the new sleeve hem.
For the neck, I cut a strip of fabric 1.25" by the neckline measurement minus about 1/2". Sewed the strip into a circle and then sewed right side of the binding to the wrong side of the neckline ( a very scant 1/4"). Folded to the right side, tucked the raw edge under and then stitched the binding down. I used white thread simply because I almost never sew anything yellow and certainly not neon yellow like the LaCroix shirt and I wasn't going to go buy a special spool of thread that would probably rot before I used it again.
I used Steam-A-Seam Lite in the hems and top-stitched them down with a twin-needle. Since I used my serger for most of the sewing, the two shirts together took me about 1 1/2 hours to make.
Back of shirt #1:
Front of shirt #1:
Back of shirt #2:
Front of shirt #2:
Once again, these were one of those projects that I've put off for months that took almost no time to actually do! I do think that these turned out really nice. Best of all? I now have a shirt pattern that fits Rachael really well.
I mentioned last week that over at New Vintage Lady, the month of July has been declared Make and Mend Month. This week I decided that I was going to get to all of my mending. Imagine my surprise ~ I only had two things that needed mending. I'm keeping up with it better than I thought. Of course, that mending has been sitting next to my machine for the last month, but hey!
First up was a cute little dress that I bought a few months ago for Debra. I love this dress and was not happy to see about five little holes in the seam line. Apparently, when the lace and the fabric were sewn together some parts of the fabric were not completely stitched.
Here it is in all it's ironed glory. Time to mend? Maybe 15 minutes (including winding a bobbin, threading the machine and ironing the dress).
The next item on my list was a button for my husband's shorts. Poor Cody - he often gets the short shift when it comes to button replacement on his garments.
I did the job properly, just like my mother taught me. A toothpick underneath the button and then a thread shank between the button and the fabric.
Total time? 5 minutes (including finding the thread wax and needle).
So, my mending took me a whopping 20 minutes today. I don't know why I put off doing my mending, it's not like it takes that much time.
BTW, New Vintage Lady is having a give-away for the participants of Make and Mend Month. So, you might want to check it out and sign up! :)
So... last week when I left the house, my dress was complete. I was actually sewing the bottom ruffle when I found that little hole. Yet - the dress still didn't make me happy. The straps were too short, making the bodice too high (never thought very-modest-me would say that!) and making my chest just look weird. Not to mention the dress itself was just too long. As an aside, isn't amazing how pictures make you really look at yourself?
When I arrived home today I set up Rachael's sewing machine (mine had to go back to the shop) and got to work. First thing was to cut off the ruffle. Using part of that ruffle, I cut new straps (15") and sewed those to the dress.
Since the straps were now longer the shirring went further down my torso emphasizing all the junk in my trunk and the poochy baby belly left over from pregnancy #3. NOT a pretty sight. I then ripped out 10 - yes, 10 - rows of the shirring. May I say, shirring is much easier to rip out than it is to actually sew.
I patched that pesky little hole. Beth - you were right! The print is so busy that nobody (including myself) should ever notice it.
I still need to re-hem the bottom and I'm going to knit a flower in the hot pink for the bodice (maybe).
Well, what do y'all think?
The second item that I'm planning on making is the light layering top/cardigan. I have the fabric already picked out but no pattern. I'm not even sure that I'll be able to find a pattern for what I have envisioned in my head! The fabric is a 45" wide crochet-look lace that I bought from Sawyer Brook a couple of years ago. I think that I bought all the fabric that I'm going to be using for this wardrobe around the same time.
I think that I want to line it with a flesh-colored broadcloth so that whatever I'm wearing underneath doesn't compete.
Anyway, what I would like to make is something like this:
From Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009
Any ideas for patterns?
In the meantime, I'm going to be working on some mending that needs to be done. Anybody else hate to mend?
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.