Sunday, February 27, 2011

A little tuckered out...

That's how I'm feeling tonight, a little tuckered out. I was thinking back on this week and wondering why I didn't get more sewing done when I realized that I was being ridiculous. I finished the loose-fitting jacket for my mom, a hooded fleece sweatshirt for one of the little boys I know, and sewed the binding on a long-standing quilt project that I have been avoiding. That's quite the week of projects... I guess not so shabby after all.

I bought some red fleece with waffle finish from my local Fabricland store last Friday and planned to make a hoodie for a boy whose third birthday is fast approaching. I used McCall's M6237, which is quite a versatile pattern and I might end up using the dress pattern that is included as well. I was talking with a friend who also just recently used a McCall's pattern and we agree that sometimes there is just something missing... in this case I thought the way the front pocket was attached seemed fussier than it need be. I know that it is a simple pattern (the word EASY graces its cover!) but the product looked a little handsewn when I finished it so I added some extra top-stitching. I think that helped. Does it need something else though? I haven't decided yet.

I was also able to complete the loose-fitting jacket with short sleeves and a mandarin collar using Butterick 5567. I took it to my mom today and it looked really nice. A word of warning though, I think the pattern is too short... my mom is pretty small and still she could have used an extra inch or two on the bottom of the coat otherwise things get a little boxy.... I'll be making another version of this in a navy linen that my mom and I picked out and I'll definitely be adding a little length for wiggle room this time around.

Does anyone else miss Project Run and Play...? I sure do. What fun it was and so inspiring.
But in my internet roamings (and there are plenty) I found an etsy shop with great kids patterns for both boys and girls, and it's based in Canada! I think I'll be ordering something ... any requests?
You should check them out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Celebrate the Boy

I've been following along with Celebrate the Boy over at Made by Rae and MADE. It's good for me ... because I have a magnetic pull to all things girl-y and frankly that means that 50% of the people in my life will never receive something handmade and that's kinda ridiculous!

So, yeah, check it out. Plus there's a tutorial on the flat-felled seam, ack! Beautiful clothes on the inside and out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day has come and gone

It's amazing to me that every year Valentine's Day comes and goes with very little hoopla around here. That's fine with me, it all feels a little forced and kinda awkward! Bah-humbug. Tee hee.

Nonetheless I did my part (I usually don't) and brought out a small wall-hanging my mom made a few years ago and I made this silly little mobile which stood in as a chandelier over a meal of crepes (je t'aime Montreal).

Although I've been sewing a little bit this week it hasn't resulted in much that was picture worthy. And I still find it challenging to take a good photograph at night.

I made another pillow the other night. It matches my first pillow in colour palette and is similar in size. It's a funny mix of things: muslin, vintage fabric from the 70s, ikea stripe, some scraps from Josh's grandmother, and a covered button with some leftovers. I'm happy with it's sorta scrappy result. I even like the look my little haphazard birds -- when I look closely at the machine applique it looks not too bad, which felt like a gamble at the time, am I going to ruin this nice pillow with some terrible applique??

I would quote a source for this pillow but I think it's truly an amalgamation of all the bird pillows out there in blogland. I love them all ... so thanks y'all for the inspiration.

Other than pillows I've been working on another loose-fitting jacket-like thing for my mom. It's a Butterick pattern made with some polyester I had kicking around. I'm using it mostly as a muslin this time around to see what the fit will be like and whether my mom likes the shape. The sleeves are wide and the shape is quite box-y so I'll have to see what it looks like on before I go ahead and cut out some nicer material.

The pattern requires a fair bit of topstitching and that actually went quite well. The results are nice so far. For right now progress is stalled however... no more black thread. Heheh.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Busy day, full of nothin'

Another Saturday morning that started with ideas flying around in my head even before I managed to get out of bed. On Friday I took a fieldtrip to Fabricland to check out their sale and buy a few notions. There were some good sales and I was able to get covered buttons, a pattern, two pillow forms, and a zipper for under $20. That makes me happy, because I can imagine my craft spending getting a little out of control without too much trouble!

I enjoyed my day at home. I sewed in the morning, made a good lentil soup, lazed a bit, went for a long walk on this unseasonably warm day, helped Josh with his own "craft," and watched yet another episode of The Wire. Wow, that show's addictive. Oh, yeah, and PANCAKE supper!

I bought a zipper for the quilted pillow I was making and I was able to finish the project. Here's the final product, pretty cute, but maybe a little big for it's pillow form.

I also started a new project using some small pieces of fabric from Kyle's Marketplace fabrics (beautiful fabrics with fruits and vegetables). I'm not exactly sure what this will be ... wall hanging? table runner?

Off to bed now, considering a glass of wine ...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A new dress and another WIP complete

I cannot tell a lie ... I work part-time. Not that this isn't completely obvious considering my obsession with my hobby and with other people's blogs about my hobby. As a result, though, I have Mondays off most of the time. So on Monday I started a new project out of my newest book Sew U: Home Stretch, of Built by Wendy fame. If you live in Canada and are anywhere near Chapters/Indigo/Coles you should go buy this book for the rock-bottom price of $5.99 (oh, yeah, I suppose you could order it online, I never really think of doing that, what can I say, I don't use a cellphone either a.k.a I live in the dark ages).

Of course you should start with the t-shirt pattern because that is where you learn all the skills you will then apply to your other projects ... or you could skip to the dress, because what's more fun than learning on the fly, non? So, yeah, I skipped to the dress, and here is a picture of what I learned.

1. I love my machine and will never criticize it ... but it doesn't love this fabric. Or maybe it does love it because it liked to EAT it. So, all of my seams look like this. What is that, you say? Little, teeny, bits of tissue paper that are left over after feeding all the seams through with tissue paper under them. Hmmm.

 2. My shoulders are narrow, like really narrow! So when I put this dress on for the first time after making it the shoulder seam was down my arms and the little puff on the sleeve was more like an awkwardly placed bicep. I made an extra dart along the top between neckline and shoulder line on both front and back to gather up a little fabric and bring that puff back on to the shoulder.

3. Oh yeah, and sewing with knits is hard. I know, I know, Wendy says it's easy but I kinda think it's hard. Not impossible but challenging when you don't own a serger!

Next week - back to cotton! YAY! Oh knits, I'll be back -- I just need a little time with some fabric that likes to be pressed and folded and cut, oh yeah and sewn!

Meanwhile I have this pile of leftovers to take a look at!

PS My mom's cardigan fit and I didn't ruin the hem!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A world without cable...

leaves quite a bit of time to sew! My husband was off for a gig today that took most of the afternoon and evening so I was left to my own devices this Saturday.

At first I spent a good deal of time surfing the internet looking at everyone else's sewing (I am religiously following Project Run and Play, and a number of other blogs) until I decided that there is something pretty lame about gawking at everyone else's work when you don't do any of your own.

I had a difficult time picking out which project to work on (which is silly) and then decided to start something completely new (hee, hee). I told my mom that I would work on a swing cardigan for her from the Butterick 5498 pattern that I bought a while ago. I used some "linen look" fabric that she already had and I went at it.

This is an extremely easy pattern and really took only 3 hours or so (although at the moment it is still unhemmed). I think the fabric has great drape and I hope that it fits my mom because in many cases I've already finished the seams. I even made my own bias tape to finish the facing (what has gotten into me?). It was really fun and I didn't get held up by unclear instructions.

It's hard to tell due to my lack of picture-taking prowess but the fabric is blue-gray and not as drab as it may appear here. But I was still afraid that it looked a little plain, so I went ahead and made a little purple organza flower for the lapel.

I'm happy with the way it turned out.
I only made one change to pattern and that was that I decided to topstitch the facing down because it always drives me crazy when it starts to creep around.

For many years my mom made a dress for me for every important occasion in my life -- and yes, that included my wedding dress. I suppose this is the start of paying some of that back.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A little personality at work

Sometimes I feel like a complete imposter at work. I'm really not nearly as serious, dedicated, intelligent, or committed as the person I pretend to be at work. I realized that today when I brought in my little homemade coaster for my cube. Funny, it stuck out like a sore thumb ... like, "hey, sometimes I have a life and I do things and they have absolutely nothing to do with my job!"

This may sound like I didn't like the look of it sitting on my desk, but I really did. It just struck me that work can feel so personal and yet be so impersonal simultaneously. Hmm. Deep thoughts.

Anyway, here's a winter picture taken from my "balcony" (I use the term loosely because you would die if you stood on my balcony). A beautiful sunny morning with hoar frost on the trees. I'd flip it, but frankly I don't know how!