Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This and That

It's hard to believe there are only six more days 'til Christmas. Since I've been married I haven't decorated at all. I stopped decorating the inside of my house years ago but rather concentrated my energy to the outside. So much that I had an electrician come in and add 2-20 amp circuts so I wouldn't burn the house down. Fast forward to marriage and a move to a house where my gravity fed iron was on the same circuit as the kitchen. Can you say nightmare? That put an end to my decorating. It's doesn't feel like Christmas without thousands of shiny lights.

I have not been doing any garment sewing because I am busy embroidering towels for bowling. Of course the machine had to act up on the first towel and I was reduced to removing most of the stitching.

So far I'm up to 15. Some are for gifts for my teammates and others are for profit. Right now my sewing room looks like an episode of Hoarders or that somebody broke in and trashed it. How in the heck did four pairs of shoes make it back up here? I've acquired a couple of new pairs and absolutely could not get them into my shoe closet so I resorted to moving all of the summer shoes out to the garage. My shoe collection is outta control.

I'm still making greeting cards and if you haven't visited my other blog "I'm Black Martha" you don't really know the gift I have for creating with my hands. I sold $200 worth of cards last week without even trying.

Do you remember when I had a new desktop built earlier this year. Seemed like a good idea at the time but I wonder. The new computer is super fast and running Windows 7. Well my knitting and sewing software won't run with with Windows 7. Lucikly I have several older laptops around that I am able to still use for these programs. I could always upgrade the software but for the prices they want...I'm holding out as long as I can as in FOREVAH! My printer doesn't want to work with Windows 7 either. I guess the husband got sick of whining about it and went out and bought me a fab new wireless printer. Although I want to kill him sometimes...I love him to death.

That's all for now but take a look at my cutting table...ugh!

I'm not sure it could get worse.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Machine Knitting Monday

It may be difficult to tell from my posts, but I was once an avid machine knitter. I own six machines! Thus the name "knitmachinequeen." Some I bought and some were gifted. For some reason, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, I lost the desire to knit. Well slowly but surely the desire has returned.

Yesterday I took the time to reacquaint myself with one of the machines by making a hat. You know the adage "use it or lose it" that totally applied to my knitting prowess...or lack of. My first attempt resulted in a hat that might have fit an infant. Did I mention that hat was supposed to be for me? The second attempt was a total success and only took 10 minutes! Two way...try 360 and motorized!

My second attempt went so well that I think I'll knit a swatch and chart a cardigan. Stay tuned for my Machine Knitting Monday posts!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Modeling "Lumberjill"

I had one of the students in my sewing class take my picture today because I was wearing the "Lumberjill" tunic. I think the camera must have been on the wrong setting but you can still get a feel for how the tunic looks on me.

The tunic is so comfortable I could live in it and I feel the same way about the leggings!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lumber "jill" Tunic - M 6167

Today I put the finishing touches on my "Lumberjill" Tunic. Probably because it's plaid, it reminds me of the shirts Lumberjacks wear. The fabric is "Homespun" which is a loosely woven 100% cotton from JoAnn's. A couple of months ago when the clearance fabric was half off, I bought 21 yds at $1.50 per. I love how the Homespun feels against my skin and will be using some of it for pajama pants for the husband and the remainder for me for blouses and tunics.


Pattern Description:
Misses' Tunics and Sash. Close-fitting tunich have collar, collar band, front button closing, shaped hemline, long sleeves with pleats continuous lap, buttoned cuffs and tabs.
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think it looks exactly like the drawing on the front of the envelope (View D)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions were super easy to follow
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the style of the pattern especially the shaped hemline and drawstring waist. I really like the collar and stand too! The only thing I dislike about the pattern is that the waist seam is pressed up and tends to want to fold out and make my waist appear much larger than it is. I edged stitched it it place but still have the problem. On the previous version I used Steam-A-Seam to keep it in place.
Fabric Used:
Homespun 100% cotton
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made an FBA adding a horizontal side seam dart and shortened the sleeve one inch.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is the second time I've sewn it. I'm thinking about sewing one of the other styles included in the envelope. I'd recommend it to other but caution you that it is kind of labor intensive!
I like it, I like it! I'll be wearing this with a pair of leggings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OOTD - Election day outfit

I was at the polls bright and early this morning...6:34 to be exact. Came home and started a task that will be a few weeks in finishing. I'm removing the carpet from the stairs and hallway of our third floor. It's a mess and I can't stand it any longer. I'll later be sanding and staining it. I'm in no particular hurry but I don't want to let it linger on too long. I have a busy week with eye and dentist appointments, bowling, orchestra practice, violin lessons, and teaching at JoAnns. There are enough hours in the day.

I did take a break and snap a couple of not so clear pictures of yet another rendition of Vogue 8815 and the "Kickin' It Old School" skirt.

Thanks to Faye, I now know the difference between Ponte and Ponte Roma. Ponte is 100% Polly and Esther and Ponte Roma is a blend of polyester, rayon and spandex. Ponte is more like polyester double knit of the seventies. Ponte Roma has a softer hand and is drappier. As a skirt it should almost always be lined. Ponte can stand on its own. The top is Ponte Roma and feels great against my skin. The skirt is Butterick 5566. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just a few photos

I am becoming a particularly lazy blogger. It's not so much the blogging that's a chore it's the getting all dolled up to take photos of the projects I've worked on!

This is the Vogue 8815 it!

New Look 6130 peplum...wearable muslin.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kickin' it Old School

Well I reached my personal goal of eight skirts in two weeks. Yippeee! This is my "Kickin' It Old School" skirt. This skirt is the real deal. Yeah, I'm talkin' "Polly and Esther." I bought the fabric at an estate sale about three years ago. When I was looking in my fabric closet it cried out to be used! I used my now TNT skirt pattern Butterick 5566 View A without the overlay.

Of course I matched the side seams

And the center back with the invisible zipper

I still want to make a navy skirt as well as a solid black one but for now I'll start looking through my pattern stash for blouse patterns to work with my new skirts!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skirt #7

Here's a quick picture of skirt #7. I think I'll wind up making more than eight skirt! I've got at least three more fabrics lined up. Of course now I'll have to make tops to wear with the skirts!

The skirt is Butterick 5566 view A without the overlay. The fabric is a moleskin python print. I've combined it with the Vogue 8815 peplum. Keep an eye out for skirt #8.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Carnival of Skirts Again

I'm just popping in to say that I am full steam ahead on my skirts. I am currently working on skirt #7! Only one more to reach my goal. Here's what I've got so far...

The denim, animal print and herringbone all came from the reamnant bin at JoAnns. The animal print was originally $20 a yard but was half off making ti $10. Because there was was a half off clearance sale going on it was half off the $10 taking it to $5. With my 15% off teachers card the final price was $4.25! You an't beat that for a skirt. The other fabrics were even cheaper.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My carnival of skirts

I'm still continuing my carnival of skirts. Today I hope to finish up skirt #5. I've also realized that I'll probably need a carnival of blouses to wear with the skirts! Here's some quick pictures.

View E
View B

View E w/New Look 6130 view C

Monday, October 22, 2012

Butterick 5566

I've just finished my third skirt using Butterick 5566.  This time I made version E. My previous version were A without the overlay and version B. I have just been having a field day at JoAnn's with remnants. It takes a little under a yard to make a skirt and at 1/2 off remnants, the skirts are costing me under $10 including zipper, thread and interfacing.

It didn't take any time to make the skirt. I didn't use the directions. Does anybody for a skirt? I used contrastng gold thread and my machine's "triple stitch." I knew the finished garment would need some tweaking but this one almost stumped. I never have the issue of my skirts hiking up in the back because I cut the center front about 3/4" lower at the waist seam. Then it's usually just a matter of pull the sides up as needed if any.  When I tried the skirt on it was a total mess. The center back was hiking up and the front was ballooning away from my body! No matter how much pulling up or down I did it was not a good look. From the side I looked wider fromt to back than I did side to side.

Naturally I dug into my arsenal of "fit" books and none of them addressed the "hiking up" issue. On page 183 of Fit for Real People, there is a small paragraph addresses the alteration but it wasn't quite what I needed. I know there are some sewers that add a wedge to the back of their skirt patterns but I don't agree with using it. If you get in the habit of added the wedge, what happens when you have to match a design. You'll undoubtly wind up not being able to match a pattern or ehe posibility of your center back hemline almost forming some kind of weird "V." I finally called it a night and slept on it.

Before church on Sunday I first decided to narrow the hemline  of the denim skirt by taking the side seams in. That sorta worked but not enough. After more contemplation I decided to take a wedge in from the center back hemline to a couple inches below the zipper. Guess what? It worked like a charm. I don't know why but it did. I hope to make a navy, gray, and two black skirts by next Wednesday. Wish me luck and I will be posting pictures soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm in pepper HELL

I really want to work on a skirt I cut out earlier in the week but I can't because...

I am in pepper Hell.  What you see pictured is only a fraction of the peppers that I have to wash, slice, remove seeds, chop and freeze! Somebody that my husband knows gave them to us. I'm not complaining too much because I love using them when cooking. It's just that all this work is cutting into my sewing time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simplicity 1760 Pattern Review

Yesterday I was extremely productive. I cleaned off my cutting table which involved putting away about 21 yards recently purchased that had already been washed and dried. Next I sewed another pair of leggings which only took about 30 minutes to sew. Finally I sewed a skirt that now only needs to be hemmed and it'll be ready to go. Doesn't that sound productive?

Pattern Description:
Misses' skirt in two lengths
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Exactly


Were the instructions easy to follow?
I never even looked at them
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I thought the center lace pattern was particularly interesting
Fabric Used:
A polyester blend from my stash
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a short version but added two inches. I should have added three because as it is I only have a one inch hem. I added hem tape
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will absolutely sew another. I'll have a black version before the month is out.
Super easy and stylish. I plan to wear it with the Vogue 8815 peplum top.

 I'm already starting on another skirt. Butterick 5566. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boot Refashion

I'm not sure whether internet sewing friends are good for you or bad. Sometimes that put all kinds of ideas in your head the may or may not get you in trouble! Faye and I were having a discussion about boots. Here problem is that the calves on boots are ALWAYS usually too big but on me they are ALWAYS too small. A while back she sewed a pair up to make them smaller. That got me to thinking. I'd purchased a pair of wide calf boots nearly six years ago but the calf was just to wide. I wore them only once and thank goodness I didn't trash 'em.

Last night I dug the boots out of the closet and the "boot refashioning began!"  I want to preface this by saying, "please excuse the crummy pictures." You still get the idea.



I probably could have taken them up a little more but the after is way better than the before. I'll can't wait to wear my "new boots."

This is how I did it.

Step #1
I cut through the inside elastic down the calf

Step #2
I trimmed some of the padding from the calf inside along the part I intended to overlap

Step #3
Using regular sewing thread and whatever needle was already in the sewing machine, I stitched the overlap down switching to a zigzag stitch at the bottom to be sure to catch both sides of the leather.

I guess I can thank Faye for my "new boots!"