Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Good Day

You know when you have a really good day?  Well, today was a good day
  • Erin and I went to Joann’s and Hancock’s to get fabric and patterns for some maternity clothes.  I will be making an assortment of things from regular patterns to actual maternity patterns.  She isn't showing much but this was a day that worked for us to go and we took advantage.  I have a pile of things to make over the next 3 months.
  • This is one of the patterns we purchased and I have started cutting it out.  Thought it was a good one to make while I wait for my serger to get fixed.
  • Talked to Paige on the phone today
  • Talked to my brother also
  • Kaitlyn made chocolate chip cookies
  • I ate some of Kaitlyn’s chocolate chip cookies
  • Took a nap
  • Went for a walk
  • went for a drive with hubby, checking out things on the farm
  • Meredith went to the grocery store for me
  • and I got this in my inbox

The picture was this one, something I had pinned at Pinterest.

Here is the link to the Polyvore information on this outfit.
Isn’t it a great outfit?

Friday, August 24, 2012

McCall’s 6563

Description:  Bias fitted pullover top that has draped front neckline and sleeve, front and hem variations
Sizes:  XS to XXL
Instructions:  They were good, this top is pretty quick to construct, finish the front drape, add bias tape to the back neckline, sew shoulder and side seams.  Then finish but sewing hems.
Changes:  I used fabric bias for back neckline.
Fabric:  Pattern suggests: satin, voile, jersey and faille.  I had some lightweight gingham which I had plans for a long sleeve blouse but Old Navy had too good a price on the same blouse.  I decided to use this gingham for the top.  I wasn’t out too much if I didn’t like it.
Conclusion:  At first when I put it on, I was unimpressed and thought well, so happy that didn’t take too long to make.  Then I put on a cardigan over the top and that really made a difference.  I will wear this and might make another one in the right fabric.  I might could have gone down a size in the hips, but didn’t want it too difficult to put on.  Also, with the cardigan, the top looks fine.
Another great top to make while I am waiting on my serger.  I think others will like it, just make sure your fabric has good drape.
Here it is pretty unspectacular:
Mccalls 6563 shirt only
I think the cardigan makes all the difference
McCalls 6563

Thursday, August 23, 2012

McCall’s 6512

Pattern Description: Misses Loose fitting blouse with tie option, sleeve option and pockets.  Also, has a high-low hem option.
Sizing: 4 to 18, I made a 12.
Instructions:  I thought they were easy to follow.  Attaching the yoke to the front neckline and sleeve could be a bit tricky but McCall’s has such thorough instructions and illustrations.
Fitting instructions on this pattern are incredible.  This pattern is by Melissa Watson, daughter of Patti Palmer, so everything you know and love from the Palmer and Pletsch patterns is included in Ms. Watson’s pattern.  This includes instructions on the sheet and areas to alter printed on the pattern pieces.
Likes/Dislikes:  I like everything about the pattern.  I really wanted to make view B but did not have enough fabric, so A was my second choice.  I am actually thrilled with this version, in fact, the bow in the polka dot fabric might have gotten lost.  For this reason, I omitted the pockets.  I had them ready to put on the blouse and you just could not see the design detail.
Here is a close-up of the fabric:
close up of 6512
Fabric:  A rayon from Fabric Mart (I believe), This fabric was wonderful to work with and has the perfect drape for the pattern.
Alterations:  I added 1” to the body and used the high-low hem from View B.
Conclusion:   I really, really like this top, it is one of those times  when the  pattern and fabric are perfect.    I will make this again in both View A and View B.  Also, I think Erin would like View A for the middle of her pregnancy  (oh, wow, that is neat to type!) 
I left of the tabs on the shoulders, liked how the sleeves looked on me without the tabs,  Do you have an opinion about the tabs?  I still have the pattern piece cut out so I can add them.

Here it is on the mannequin, not too impressive
McCalls 6512
It looks better on:
McCalls 6512 with red pants

Now here is the high-low hem
hem long

Do you think it is too long, when you can see it through my legs?  Just asking, looks a bit weird to me.  So fashionistas, your input, please.  I am thinking of cutting off at least 1-2” of the back hem.
All those zinnias came up from last years zinnias.  I let them grow and grow since they flourished in our 90 to 105 degree weather.
My serger isn’t back yet but I sewed this like the pattern instructions indicated – with French seams and then the yoke is stitched twice and trim close to the second stitching.
Oh, so nice to be back on garment sewing!
Jesse, son-in-law update, he has had two scans both came back clean!!  Thank you for the emails and prayers for him
Also, thanks for all the suggestions of baby patterns and maternity patterns.  I ordered three maternity patterns from Megan Nielson and a book titled, “Making Baby's Clothes: 25 Fun and Practical Projects for 0 - 3 Year Olds by Rob Merrit”  Also, pulled out all my old Ottobres to start looking through.  I won’t sew much for baby until after October 30th, then I will know boy or girl sewing.
Another thank you, I appreciate the nice comments about my purse pattern and those of you who have ordered it.  Thank you, hope you like it. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Amy Butler’s Honey Bun Poufs

My sewing friend’s were talking about this pattern and using it for a dog bed.  At first, I wasn’t too interested but then Erin and Chris bought new family room furniture.  New furniture means their golden lab, Junior, isn’t allowed on the furniture.  He has been laying on an old fleece blanket, so I thought about the pouf pattern for a dog bed and decided to give it a try.
I really thought sew  it  since I have been without a serger for a two weeks and it will be another week until it is ready.  That means no garment sewing.  I could do some winter coats but it is 90 degrees here today and I just can’t sew wool right now.

Here is a top view of her pattern

Back to the pouf.  This isn’t for the faint of heart.  For the large one you need 5/8 yard of 6 prints,  2-3/8 yard of canvas (had this on shelf for a few years),  twin size package of quilt batting (used all my scraps from previous quilts), zipper, and thread.
To get started you cute 90 pieces – 30 each from fabric, quilt batting and canvas.
The sewing was straightforward but a walking foot would of helped with the layers.
The zipper was the hardest part, mine looks horrible and no, I did not take pictures.  The stitching for the zipper goes through several layers and the pouf has the curved edge to it.  This making it a bit more difficult to stitch.
I know why she uses a button in the middle
from top
I could not get the points to line up at all.  My button would have to be pretty darn big.  I am not going to worry with a button, probably isn’t that comfortable in the middle of the pouf.  Upon completing one half of the pout, the mis-matched point was driving me crazy.  I kept looking at it and trying to figure out how to fix it.  I didn’t see a good solution, re-read the instructions.  Still no answers, then reminded myself it is a dog bed.
I think if you used all the same fabric, the matching of points would be less noticeable.
For the inside the pattern recommends:
Polystyrene beads - bag size: 2 cubic foot (from Poly-fil®)
  • 1 bag for the medium pouf
  • 2 bags for the large pouf
I found a big package at Wal-Mart with the bean bags.  I used approximately 3/4 of a bag.  I did not overstuff the pouf so it would more resemble a dog bed.
A few more pictures:
honey pouf


Some notes:
If you used quilting cotton then you need the canvas to make the outer layer a bit thicker.  Home dec fabric does not need the canvas.
My fabric is quilting cotton and working on the entire pouf does get a bit heavy and bulky to manipulate while sewing.
Erin thinks the pouf – dog bed is really cute (just sent her a picture).  I am pleased with the project, would only consider sewing one more and that is if Paige wants one for her dog.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rose - A Messenger Bag Pattern

It is done, finished, completed!!!

What do you think?

I need to thank my pattern testers and my friend, the graphic designer.  I am so pleased with how the pattern looks and hope you feel the same way.

If you look back at my original post on June 19th you will see the beginning of this pattern journey. 

I have made several of these bags along the way, testing the pattern instructions. 

I have listed some purses, Rose pattern in print format to be mailed to you and Rose in PDF format.

Check out my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Future Sewing

We found out some very exciting news on Monday evening and with the news I will be pulling out this book and using it again after 17 years.

A grandbaby  is on the way!  Erin and Chris are the parents-to-be and the baby will be here Mid-March.

Here is the chalkboard Meredith made them for a picture.  ( I have erased the name for privacy)

Probably time to start subscribing to Ottobre again!

Those of you who sew for babies, please share with me all the good fabric sites, patterns and anything else I might need to purchase!

I am so excited and the end of October we will find out boy or girl.  Then the sewing will really begin.

As my good friend, Lynne, pointed out.  There will be somethings to sew for the mom-to-be.  Oh, the possibilities!

Meredith’s Latest Quilt

I purchased American Patchwork and Quilting August 2012 issue with one quilt in mind.
Here is the cover, not too much our style.  In fact, I wasn’t going to buy it until my friend pointed out the quilt.

Here is the quilt which inspired her, Supersize Shoo Fly quilt.

and here is Meredith’s quilt
meredith's quilt
and now it is on her bed!
Today I am back to the Babylock dealer for my serger.  I was making myself a maxi dress and the blades would not cut the fabric.  I serged over a pin last week, so bought a new upper blade.  I replaced that but still it isn’t cutting and making a noise.  Darn!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vogue 1247

Pattern Description: Vogue designer series, described as very loose-fitting top and a-line skirt.
Pattern Sizing: sizes 6-18, I made a size 10.
Instructions:  They were easy to follow.  The blouse calls for french seams, and Vogue’s instructions for these were very good.  I liked how they were included with the construction steps and not put in the general sewing information.  I really liked how the top when together, the front darts add great shaping. 
Likes/Dislikes:  It was one I have seen on Pattern Review for a few months and it grew on me.  The pattern was purchased with the skirt in mind but after seeing Sunny Sewer's review, I was sold on the top.  I usually don’t wear this style of top but thought I would give it a try. 
On the end of my sleeves, I have this bit of a up-curl, think it is the bias and stretch of the linen.  I did was my top after construction and that did help it a bit.
Fabric:  A linen from a free bundle with a $75 purchase at Fabric Mart.  I had forgotten how wonderful linen is to work with.  It presses so nicely while sewing, just have to put up with the wrinkles while wearing.
Conclusion:  I am happy I made this top, our temps have been so high and this will be a nice top for hot weather.  I don’t think I will make it again but happy I did try it once.
Here is a picture on me,, just slipped it on with my shorts.  You can already see the wrinkles just from putting it on.
vogue 1247
On the sewing list (which is pretty long) is the skirt and I will take Sunny Sewer's advice to add 6” to the hem of the skirt.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Winner of Quilt Pattern and Scraps

I took out the duplicates and those that did not want to win.  That left ten comments and selected:

Which is……

Beautiful. I love the embroidery (because I love to embroider), the quilting part scares me. You did a wonderful job.

Congrats to Erlinda, please email me with your address.

Also, THANK YOU all for the kind comments on all my recent posts.  I really appreciate it,

Sunday, August 05, 2012

What’s for Dinner?

That seems to be one of the favorite questions around my house and it is asked on a daily basis.
Cooking?  I can do it, will do it, but it isn’t one of my favorite things, not even in the middle. 
To help with the cooking, I try to do some cooking ahead.  Last year, Erin and I made several freezer meals from this book:

Image from Amazon
Erin and Chris liked everything we made, the twins, not so much. 
I liked most of the meals, loved the ease of pulling something out of the freezer and the fact there was something always in the freezer to answer, “What’s for Dinner?”  Not too mention, the fact after late nights of work, sports or school activity, I could pull out a meal to warm up, instead of driving through fast food.
I would highly recommend this book, if you don’t have picky eaters (opinionated, too). Smile
This year, a different plan of action after I saw this on Pinterest.

The food isn’t cooked ahead, just packaged ahead and put in the freezer.  Pull out the meal the night before, let defrost in the refrigerator, put in the crock pot in the morning and that evening a wonderful home cooked meal.
Click here for my pin
Click here for the site and recipes and information
This morning I made a list, went to the grocery store and made 8 different recipes for the freezer (2 meals each recipe).  I also browned several pounds of hamburger for the freezer.  Then I can pull out 1 pound bags of cooked hamburger for soups, pastas, etc.  I add taco seasoning to some of the hamburger, too and freeze the taco seasoned meat.
Now, I can answer, “What’s for Dinner?”   But in a sad note, tomorrow starts school softball, this is my last year with that type of event.  The twins are seniors.
I am now off to wipe my tears but first one question:
Do you have any tips for make ahead meals?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Well-Traveled Quilt

I purchased this pattern at my local quilt shop over 2-1/2 years ago

It is called “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Crab-apple Hill Studio and I thought it would be very fun to make.
It was okay to make and it took a looonnnnggg time to make.  I would work on the embroidery while in the car.  The embroidered sections  have traveled to:
1.  Oklahoma on one of our trips and I got to meet Ruth on that trip. 
2.  Then I worked on it on the way to Colorado
3. Trips to the in-laws in Iowa and other short trips.
4.  Last summer, my quilt went international and it visited the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  Also, on this trip I met my buddy, Lynne of Wonderfully Made.

After this Canadian trip, the embroidered sections were getting close to completion, so I would work on it while watching television.  This winter I finished the embroidery, hurray, hurray!.  At one of my quilt sewing nights, I set it all together and marked it with a capital D for DONE.

I used half-square triangles for the middle instead of pinwheels, wanted it done quicker and with a bit more color.  It has been back from the longarm quilter for a while but I didn’t have time to bind it.  After a month, I still didn’t have time to bind it, so I asked my mom very nicely to do it for me and she did.  Thanks, Mom.
Here is the finished quilt
Night Before Christmas Embroidery Quilt from Girls in the Garden blog
zoom in for the embroidery and quilting
Close up of Night Before Christmas Embroidery

I do not intend to ever make an embroidery quilt again.  This one was pretty fun but time-intensive. 
Now after saying all this – I have a giveaway.  The pattern for this quilt and all my scraps from the middle of the quilt.  Did I scare you away with the time-intensive talk or are you interested in the give-away?
Just leave a comment on why you would like to have the pattern and I will draw on August 6th (my 29th wedding anniversary).
Garment sewing is next up but I can’t get myself away from the Olympics to get to the sewing room.