Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kimi Rose Purse Pattern

Using Meredith's machine, I made Kimi Rose Purse Pattern by Purse Strings for Kaitlyn.

The description from the website
 13"h x 17"w x 6"deep
The Kimi Rose Tote is pure fun! Adorning the front of this bag is a massive multi-colored rose.
Diamond quilting adds background interest along with grommets that hold the cord-filled handles. Inside, find two large pockets for all those "girl" items and a magnetic snap closure.
This is one of several patterns from Purse Strings and all of them very cute and unique.
This bag went together quickly and the results are WOW! I had this red and aqua fabric for awhile and knew it would be perfect for Kaitlyn. She loves red.
The bag was easy to construct and the instructions were easy to follow. I used larger grommets, only ones I had. Due to the larger grommets, I had to remove the inside pocket. It was too high and was in the way of the grommets.

flower purse 2

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sewing Machine in for Repair

Last week with all the wedding preparations, I decided it was a good time to take my sewing machine in for repairs.  I hate being without my machine and I think it will be a week or two before I will have it back. What is wrong with my machine?
  1. The lights are all burned out, hard to see to sew.  I would position my small Ott light just right and that help somewhat.
  2. The reverse button does not work.  I really missed not being able to backstitch.  I used my fix button often on my machine.
  3. The needle threader is misaligned
  4. Sometimes when I turned on my machine the needle would not be centered.  Other times, needle centered perfectly.
  5. Bobbin sensor not working.
Not too many things but the lights and no backstitch were a pain to live without.

I am sewing on Meredith's machine, mainly items with quilting cottons.  New pillows, bags and other home dec items.  One problem with that, Meredith is going to start a quilt soon, we will be having to share the one machine.

So what about you?  Do you hate taking in your machine in for repairs?  Do you take it in when there is one or two things wrong or do you wait until there are several things wrong?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Simplicity 2467–Flower Girl Dresses

Here is the pattern Erin selected for the flower girl dresses.  I used the same size for both girls (sisters and cousins of the groom) and just lengthened it for the older girl.

Pattern Description: Child's and girl's dress sewing pattern with neckline and trim variations and jacket.
Sizing: 3 to 14
Instructions: They were easy to follow, with nice diagrams and hints throughout.
Changes:  I added a lining to the dress and an eyelet ruffle on the lining.
Also, on the lining I used my lettering on my machine and embroidered the girl’s name onto the lining.  I thought since they were so similar in size and for sisters, this would help the mom know the owner of each dress.
I also added ribbon for a sash, just something a little extra and I thought the big bow in the back would look cute when the flower girls walked down the aisle.
Fabric:  A Michael Miller quilting cotton from (Erin ordered it last summer  so not sure if still available)
Conclusion:  A great pattern, with several seams to help in fitting.  It is easy to construct and looks very cute on the girls.  I was very pleased with my dot matching on this dress in the front bodice.  The first time the dots looked horrible, so very mismatched.  I had enough fabric to recut the center front section.  The other dress is not this good but looks fine for the wedding, plus I had no extra fabric.

Simplicity 2467
Erin and I delivered the dresses to their aunt along with their decorated headbands, which you can see here:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pattern Review "Best of Patterns" Contest

My first ever contest at Pattern Review and the voting is opened.  So head over to VOTE for your favorite (hope it is Meredith's trench)

Here is the information from Pattern Review:
Consider this contest the Olympics of commercial patterns. Over the last few years, PR members have voted on their favorite patterns, resulting in the thirty (30) Best Patterns of 2009, 2010 and 2011.
During this contest, participants created a garment using one of the 30 patterns. Who will take home the "gold medal"?

Voting ends May 24th.


Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have been doing some sewing for hire since I quit my job in April.  Mostly, quilts for people and I have been enjoying this very much.  Here is a  couple ofquilts that I have just completed.

First, a bit of background on them.  They have appliqued elephants, something that has been done in this family for a couple generations.  The elephants are from the mom's maternity clothes and this mom had twins, a boy/girl set.  She used her maternity jeans and wanted 32 elephants on each quilt, representing her age when the twins were born. 

We emailed back and forth about design concepts, size of quilt and then while I was sewing these quilts, we emailed about thread color and decorative stitches (including pictures).

You will see initials in the lower right quilt block, the child's initials.  I finished these this morning and now they will be heading to the longarm quilter. 

This was such a fun project, one that will be a cherished family heirloom.

a little overexposed

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last of the Wedding Sewing

11 DAYS and COUNTING until the wedding and I finished the sewing last week.  Gifts for two of the bridesmaids, Alice Book Bags, which I have made here.  Erin;s bridesmaids are oldest sister, Paige as her Matron of Honor, Kaitlyn, Meredith (the twin sisters) and then 2 friends.  The twins have these book bags, Paige wouldn't want one, so Erin has other gifts for them.  She knew her friends would love these bags, "so, Mom, do you have time to make two of these?"  Of course!

I stacked them to get one picture:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

My day was spent with an outside brunch with my parents, three youngest daughters, son-in-law to-be and hubby.  Then back to work on bride-to-be's backyard fence.   Now we are heading to high school graduation parties.  A very full day but a wonderful Mother's Day.

Older picture but one of me and all my girls!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A few questions answered

I have had a few questions in the comments lately.  I always email back but sometimes it is a non-reply blogger and I think maybe someone else has the same questions.

Hilary asked:
The only bag I've made had 6 layers of fabric on the finish out and my machine wasn't happy about that. How did you handle that? I used a denim needle w/upholstery wt. thread. Any suggestions?

I lengthened my stitch from 2.5 to 3.0, then occasionally had to sew over some of the stitching again.  I could tell some of my stitches just didn’t “stitch” the best, thus the reason for sewing over them again. I used regular thread and a 90 universal needle.

Maxi asked:
When you say you edged the armholes, etc instead of turning in, did you make bias tape from spare fabric? If so, which size would you recommend making? I'm just learning knits so please excuse what might be a daft question! :)

I did use the extra fabric, just cut it with my rotary cutter 2" wide running with the stretch.  I then measure my pattern for the neckline, armhole opening and subtract seam allowances.  Here is a tutorial I did for a neckline which can be applied to the armholes Tutorial here the only difference is for the orange dress I did not fold the binding in half.  I stitched it single layer, folded over the seam allowance, pinned and then stitched it down.  HTH.

I think that is all the questions.  Thank you all for the kind comments on my blog, in fact, Meredith loved reading all you posted about her new trench.  You made her smile the entire time she was reading.  Thank you.


I am off to Paige's today, we are cleaning and disinfecting her house for Jesse's return home.  Not sure if it will be 1 week or 2 weeks but she wants to be ready.  He has had a few rough days, expected but still  hard for him and all who love him. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Simplicity 4281

This pattern is a bit older (and discontinued) , but it was the perfect pattern for a striped twill so here is goes again. The first time I made this jacket was in August 2006 and it was for me.  You can check out the review here and the blog post here, I need to mention, I still love, love this jacket, here is a picture

The piping, button loops, sleeve openings and I need to wear it more!   You know those things you make, put in you closet and sometimes don’t wear often.  Then you pull it out and think, why?  Why haven’t I worn this?  It might not be stylish right now but I think it is classic.  What do you think?

Okay, now onto the newest jacket, once again this garment is for my soon-to-be bride.  The fabric is from Fabric Mart, a purchase sometime ago, with the purpose of a jacket.  Just one of those things I have not gotten to but now cross it off the list
I made View A (khaki version) of Simplicity 4281 omitting the extra right pocket flap

I added a bit to the center back, after my last interview with Sarah Veblen and I asked her about this fitting issue with my daughter.  Erin says this has helped with the tightness in her upper back and shoulders, more than anything better ease of movement.
I used a lining that was cream with a bit of stretch, as the twill had a bit of lycra in it.
The back has two darts on each side of center back and I made this dart one inch longer at the top.  When Erin tried on the garment, it had too much fabric between the dart and the middle of the armsyce.  This adjustment seemed to help with that fullness. 
The jacket turned out cute and I I think she will wear this lots, especially with the stripes trend right now

Simplicity 4281

Simplicity 4281side

Simplicity 4281 back
My machine needs to go in for some maintenance, maybe the week of the wedding.  This is the first time I have note been pleased with my buttonholes.

On another note, for this post Live Writer and it is so amazing and easy to use.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Butterick 5606

Description:  Infinity wrap dress; Pullover dress that's close-fitting at the bust, slightly flared skirt and ties extending from the side seams which offers a variety of ways to wear the dress

Sizing: XS to XXL -  I made my daughter a Small

Instructions:  Very easy, this pattern is only 3 pieces and the total steps are four.  Butterick offers insturctions on  how to wear this dress 6 different ways.  I copied these so my daughter could have them when wearing the dress.

Likes/Dislikes:  I liked everything about this dress, which is for Erin.  She plans on packing it for her honeymoon.  I thought is would be a fun dress for her, with many options. 

The only dislike is the unhemmed tie, but it works with the various ways to wear the garment.

Changes:  Took 5 inches off the length, it was way too long on my daughter.  Also, used fabric to bind the neckline and armholes instead of turning it under.

Fabric:  Rayon lycra knit from Joann's in her favorite color.

Conclusion:  A cute dress for summer which can look different every time you wear it.

One option

Option 2 - wrapped around twice tied in front.

Option 3 - cute style

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Weekender Bag #5

I have made this bag five times now and love it more everytime I make it.   This time for a friend of the twins, she is graduating from high school in less than 2 weeks.  I thought this would be a perfect gift for her college years, just the right size to pack for weekends home. 

Look!!!  I matched the pocket and the bag side, first time ever.