- Pattern: Simplicity 4635 - Stash (now out of print, but available in a number of places online.)
- Jacket: Two yards wool double knit from SR Harris - Stash (purchased in 1994)
- Lining : Silk charmeuse from Fabric Mart Fabrics - Stash (purchased in 2007)
- Notions: Thread, interfacing, 1/4" shoulder pads, one hook and eye - Stash
- Time: Four hours
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I figured as long as I had an extra tee-shirt I might as well whip up another skirt. This skirt is Ladybug, Ladybug, in a size 12, green and pink cotton print from Joann's, with a green and pink striped grosgrain ribbon accent near the hem.
Now I really am done as these need to get to the post office to meet Charity's deadline. Pin It
Friday, December 26, 2008
And why do I say it's okay to call me a loser today? Because a few days ago, when I was attempting to make some sense out of the mess I fondly call my sewing studio, I came across a bag with some unfinished sewing projects tucked inside.
That in itself isn't a big deal. After all, I have a bit of a reputation for beginning projects, getting bored, and moving onto the next one and forgetting all about the previous one.
But this time I discovered the skirts and tees I had PROMISED to send to Charity as part of her Hundred Skirt Project!
As I pulled the items out of the bag it all came rushing back to me. I had run out of elastic with only two skirts left to finish. I tucked them neatly into the bag with plans to purchase more elastic that weekend. Except that the bag somehow ended up packed away with fabric and I soon forgot about it.
Well, I'm happy to report that I had purchased elastic for the pajama factory production run and finished the remaining two skirts this morning. They'll be packed tonight and on their way to Charity tomorrow.
I shared the first two with you previously - I Love the Flower Girl and I've Got a Secret, both of which are a size 12.
Now let me introduce to you:
Hello/Goodbye. A bright pink skirt trimmed with a pink and green floral braid trim in a size 8. Since the front and back are the same on this simple a-line, elastic waist skirt, the panel (which is sewn into the side seam) can be worn with either side showing.
Candy Dots Dreams. A mint green cotton skirt scatted with yummy colored polka dots that look like candy dots. The skirt has two curved pleated patch pockets decorated with two buttons. The bottom is trimmed with over-sized white ric-rac that had been a gift from Gaylen. (I was going to use it on an apron but it really, really, really wanted to be on this skirt) The matching tee has a small ruffle sewn on to match the skirt. This skirt is also a size 8.
Oh Hoppy Days! is a tie-dye cotton print skirt with frogs scattered about. This size 10 skirt has only one pocket, but it's a pretty cool patch pocket.
Not only is the pocket really large, but the zipper unzips to reveal a pocket in a pocket.
So there you have it. My contributions to the Hundred Skirt Project. Pin It
Sunday, December 21, 2008
That was just me...a very happy me.
Very happy to be able to be done sewing the little flannel pajamas for this year.
Not that I don't love sewing gifts. And these certainly are not difficult to sew. It's just that I do get a bit bored sewing the same thing, over and over and over. Even with production sewing (same color thread, sew all the same seams at the same time, press at the same time, etc.) it gets monotonous after awhile.
In addition to my favorite New Look pattern, I ended up using a vintage 1988 boy's pattern for the white and red pjs shown. Just for a change of pace. I had picked it up for a whopping 30 cents from a thrift store at the same time I had found that fabulous Vintage Vogue pattern I posted on my pattern blog.
There was not quite 1/2 yard left over from most of these so I also whipped up a couple of little flannel pillows using the left-over fabric and pillow forms that I had stashed away. Oh how I love using things up and getting them out of the house!
Anyway, I'm glad to have the flannel nightwear done so I can move onto the toddler aprons.
But not tonight. Tonight we make homemade caramels...yum!
(and by we I actually mean my husband
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As many of you know, I'm a self-taught sewer. Neither my mother or grandmother sat me at their knee while I was a young 'un and taught me the secrets of sewing. Nope, I learned through trial and error.
I learned the importance of finishing seams many years ago when a cotton skirt I had spent hours sewing came apart at the seams after a few washings. The seams had simply unraveled to the point where the thread no longer had anything to hold together. Until that point, I had no idea you needed to finish seams when you sewed something. The pattern instructions certainly didn’t mention it.
Now, when I teach others to sew, one of the first things discussed is how to finish a seam edge. Because I own a serger I will usually serge finish my seams. But what do you do if you don't have a serger handy?
This is how I finished my seams pre-serger. While different fabrics will require different seam finishes, you’ll quickly discover your favorite finish.
Pink or stitch and pink:
This one is as simple as it sounds. I use this finish when I'm working on a tightly woven cotton fabric that does not ravel.
Trim the edges of a seam allowance with a pinking shear. To stitch and pink, sew a line of straight stitches about 1/4” from the raw edge. Trim close to the line of stitching with pinking shears.
One of my all-time favorites, especially before I owned a serger.
Another favorite that requires just a bit more time than the the zigzag finish, but it looks so nice when it's done.
Turn each raw edge under 1/4” and stitch in place.
I'll admit, I rarely use this finish now that I've used the Hong Kong finish, but try it for yourself and see what you think.
Use a purchased single fold bias tape or make your own in a contrasting fabric. Encase the seams with the bias binding and stitch in place.
Oh, how this one used to scare me. It sounds oh-so-fancy and hard. But it's actually very simple and produces a wonderful looking seam. Once I got over my fear of this seam finish it quickly became a favorite.
- Use purchased one inch wide bias tape or make your own in a contrasting fabric.
- Pin the bias tape to each raw edge (right sides together) and stitch 1/8” from the edge.
- Press the bias tape flat - away from the seam allowance.
- Turn the bias tape to the back side of the seam allowance, encasing the raw edge, and press.
- On the top side of the seam allowance stitch in the ditch (sew in the center of the seam of the bias tape and seam allowance).
- Trim away any extra bias tape on the backside of the seam allowance.
There are many excellent instructions for the Hong Kong finish on the Internet such as here, here, and here. If you're a visual learner, like I am, then you'll really appreciate the step-by-step photo tutorial on Burda Style.
What's your favorite seam finish? Pin It
Monday, December 15, 2008
Coming off of a busy weekend that didn't go as planned I woke up this morning grateful for a home with a working furnace and enough money to pay to use that furnace.
You see, our neighbors had their furnace go out Saturday morning, right before they were leaving to spend a few days with some family members. They had it serviced and we both commented on what a good thing it was that it went out before they left. It was a bit selfish on our part because we had agreed to keep an eye on their home for them and we would have had to deal with the service call.
Well, lo and behold this morning we noticed a certain light was on at their house. The light that notifies us that their heat is below a certain set point. Sure enough, their furnace had gone out again. Service was called and of course, the only time they will provide is between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
So here's the other blessing in disguise. My husband threw his back out yesterday morning - which certainly didn't seem like a blessing when we had planned on hauling out all of the Christmas decorations. So this morning just as he finished calling into work to let them know he was going to be out today, when he noticed the neighbor's light was on. So, except for a doctor's appointment it turns out he will be around when the service company shows up.
So, like I said, I'm grateful today for many things, including a warm home, a job and a warm car to get me to my job.
As for the Christmas decorations? This year the lone decor is the Nativity set. But that's the only one that really matters anyway. Pin It
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Girl's flannel nightgown
This was sewn using my fave children's pj pattern - New Look 6746. Yes, I realize there is no nightgown included with this pattern. But with the design of the girl's pajama top it's a snap to turn this into a nightgown. Simply place the pajama pants pattern piece on top of the lower bodice skirt pattern piece matching the waist markings. Now you know how long to extend the top to turn it into a nightgown.
The little Peter Pan collar is adorable. Before you turn the collar right side out, press that inside seam flat. I know, it's a challenge to press those tiny little curves and it seems like a waste of time when the seam will be completely enclosed anyway.
However, if you take the time to do this step you'll have a nice, sharp edge on the collar. Well worth the extra few minutes you spent pressing.
Mini craft iron
By the way, I used this tiny little mini craft iron that I purchased the other day at Joann's. It lists for $9.99, but it was 50% off this past weekend and I received another 10% off for my ASG discount so I only spent $4 for this tool. My recommendation? Four dollars was too much to pay for this item and if I was you, I certainly wouldn't waste $10. It worked okay for this application, but the cotton flannel presses easily and I doubt you'd get enough heat from this tiny little thing to press a more difficult fabric.
I often get questions from newer sewers about finishing seam allowances. In this case I just used a pinking shears to finish the edges.
One of the simple pleasures of this pajama top is the fact that there are no buttons, which means no buttonholes! Oh I how I hate to make buttonholes. The front is closed with snaps and the bows are purely decorative. Whenever possible, I like to add a simple customization. In this case, I cut a daisy from the collar trim and glued it to the center of each bow.
Friday, December 12, 2008
However, there were times when I mistook a fad for a fashion trend.
Witness Christmas 1989 and the gold lame top. And I must admit that I did indeed sew this for myself. A simple pullover, dolman sleeve top.
At least I had enough sense to pair it with basic black and not over accessorize.
Did you also fall victim to the over-the-top eighties glitz? Pin It
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Last year, when we decided all nieces and nephews would receive pajamas lovingly sewn by my hands, I realized that I didn't actually have a pajama pattern on hand in the sizes I needed. A quick trip to the fabric store to browse through the pattern catalogs resulted in the purchase of my new favorite kid's pajama pattern - New Look 6746.
All of the sizes I needed were in one envelope (sizes 3 to 8) and it included a version for both a boy and a girl. I especially liked the pants in this pattern as they do not include a side seam making them super simple and super fast to sew. You could sew pajama pants with this pattern and pick up a coordinating tee-shirt and be done with your gift in no time!
The boy's top is a traditional button front with a collar, while the girl's version had lace and ribbon bow details that added a little extra charm. There's even more versatility as the girl's top can easily be turned into a nightgown by adding additional length to the lower bodice pieces.
So that's my fave children's pj pattern. What's yours?
Sunday, December 07, 2008
While I've begun production only a few days earlier than last year, the number of pajama sets decreased from eight to six. That's because two of the flannel PJ recipients from last year will be receiving little aprons with art supplies instead.
In between sewing Christmas gifts, planning for the next Sweet Monday on Tuesday as well as the next children's sermon, decorating the house, and hosting the annual family cookie bake day (oh yea, and I can't forget the job), you'll notice sporadic blog postings for the next few weeks.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
a customary or regular course of procedure.
I don't know about your dogs, but ours have a morning routine. I'm not sure if we trained them or if they trained us but every morning it's the same thing.
Abby begins stretching and making a sound that is so odd that I don't even know what keys to press on the keyboard to replicate it. The only time she makes that sound is in the morning after she has begun to stir and before we leave the comfort of our bed to let her outside. This happens usually minute before the alarm goes off.
Sophia, happily nestled in the warmth of a king sized bed with her people, pretends she's still sleeping until my husband climbs of bed to lead Abby to the door. At that point she will open an eye or two, lift her head ever so slightly, and await the hands that will gently pick her up and carry her to the door to go outside.
After our two girls have gone outside to do their "business" they quickly run upstairs into the kitchen where they await their morning treat.
Of course, after all that strenuous work of going outside and running up a flight of stairs, the next obvious stop is the beds.
Not the beds they just left but the beds in the kitchen.
That's right. After sleeping all night and having only been up for five minutes, they both act as if they are worn out and curl up on their beds for a little more shut-eye.
Sophia, enjoying her new "just-my-size" bed, wasn't too happy about the bright light I kept flashing at her. Sheesh, you think she'd be used to the camera by now, after all she did used to have her own doggie blog :-) Right after this photo she decided she headed for a spot where she was less likely to be disturbed - under the bed.
More dogs on thursday posts here
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
As of right now I have plans to attend on Saturday, which will be my first time attending. It's a great opportunity to buy from artists, designers and crafters. Pin It