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On Sewing and Ohio Weather

28 Mar

Spring in Ohio is fickle. Last week it snowed two inches on Monday and on Wednesday it was almost 60 and I had a lovely evening in the warm sun enjoying watching my son’s soccer practice. Three days later his game was canceled because of cold weather and a frozen ground. Maybe I belong in Ohio, because I can’t make up my mind either.
This winter weather lingering into spring has actually given me more time to sew and think about future sewing.  It’s nice to get outside, but it’s also nice to sit in my warm sewing room! I’m taking advantage. So here’s what I’ve been up to lately. Forgive the randomness here. I’ve been bouncing around a whole bunch, and can’t make up my mind on what to focus on.

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I made another Renfrew. It needs a hem, but I haven’t officially made up my mind on what to do with it yet. If I put a band on it, it would be too bulky to wear under this adorable skirt. If I hem it as is, it’s a bit too short for my taste. Decisions, decisions. (Please excuse my kids’ gross mirror, I’m Spring sewing, not cleaning)

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I love the Heather grey of this fabric, but it’s not very comfortable. It’s probably 100% polyester since it was given to me in a grandma stash from the 70s. It’s not terrible, though. We’ll see if I wear it enough when push comes to shove. I have another one cut out just like this one only I want a high low hem with a printed fabric for the back panel. More like a tunic to wear over leggings.

Speaking of leggings, I also refashioned a pair of leggings. I added a velvet stripe down each leg. Olive won’t stop touching them because it’s so soft.

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Next up I started researching a dress to make for the two weddings later this year. I fell in love with one from modcloth, but I can not find a pattern close enough to replicate. So I thought I’d mess around with some draping. This might turn into nothing…. or something… it’s fun to play around at least. I’m just getting started there, the other shoulder would hypothetically mirror the other side. Also, the fabric I fell in love with for this dream dress is crazy nuts expensive. Especially for someone who normally buys my fabric for free from my stash. I might be dreaming, here.

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Last but not least, I actually did buy some fabric to make Keith a work shirt!

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It’s a nice blue Oxford,  and I’m excited to get started on it. But first I’m sewing up a wearable muslin for him in easter fabric. He promised he’d wear it to work. He’s a fan of wearing things as a joke. He loves hokey Christmas sweaters and even wore as ascot to work once as a bet.

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He’ll probably only wear it once, but that’s the ultimate test of how well the pattern fits, right? Wear it for a whole day and you’re sure to find out where it can be improved. I can’t wait to get started on his real work shirts, though. He’s been in need for so long!

So that’s it for my spring sewing. It’s scatter brained and going in spurts with the weather, but I’m thankful for the time I’ve been given to indulge. 
Happy sewing!

Old Baby Towels Turned Into Robes

14 Mar

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I had a heaping stack of baby towels we were using on these  kids that did absolutely nothing for drying them or keeping them warm after showers anymore.  Apparently I don’t have babies anymore. In fact,  as of tomorrow,  I’ll have a 4 year old and a 5 (and a half) year old.  Yes,  not babies.  Not even close.
But I am a sucker for keeping fabric around, even if it’s in the form of hooded towels.  And you know what?  I’m glad I did.  Because I finally had the idea to turn all those towels into some robes for the kids. 
They love them.  I love them. Win. Win. 

(And this in no way is helping my fabric hoarding addiction)

Sewing Birthday Gifts December 2014

21 Nov Sew20Something

Every year as October approaches I start to plan out my gift ideas for my nieces’ and nephew’s birthdays.

I also plan Christmas at the same time, because they all fall very close together. I have to plan ahead if I want to be prepared, and I try to be as frugal as possible. I always try to use fabrics I have, and this year I was successful in not even having to buy any notions! I patted myself on the back.

Anyway, I am completely done with birthdays and really, almost done with Christmas! This year I even have enough time to sew my own kid’s P.J.s for Christmas! I’m so excited.

Ok, here’s where I warn the family members, if you have a child that I know and love and their birthday is coming up in late November or early December, I am spoiling things for you. If they are puttering behind you as you read this and you want them to be surprised on their birthday, close the window NOW!

If you want to be surprised on their birthdays, close the window NOW!

If you are a completely random visitor to my site and I do not know you personally, welcome, I’m glad your here, continue reading if you’d like, but don’t tell my nieces’ and nephew what they’re getting unless you want to break their hearts. (Don’t do that, I love them, and I do not want their hearts broken)

So here goes:

Birthday #1 is for my niece who is turning 2 (WHAT?!? that’s not possible, I still call her a baby). I used this free pattern from PiePie Designs. It’s called the Izzy top and I love the price tag on this top pattern. The instructions were simple and well done, but not printed with the pattern, she has them as a sew along on her blog. I ended up making a few of these in varying sizes for assorted birthday and Christmas gifts. This one is a size 2T

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I used an old sweater that I accidentally washed and shrunk for the front bodice and a really springy, GLITTERY, knit for the skirt. I nixed the button closure in the back and made it all one piece all the way across because I was using knits. I also altered the pattern a bit and lowered the neckline in the back, that way her adorable noggin won’t have any trouble getting into it.

This little one’s birthday is in late November, but she celebrates with her brother and sister in the beginning of December, so she’ll receive¬†this just in time to wear to all of her happening Christmas parties, and she’ll happily spread glitter everywhere she goes. Don’t worry, I asked her mom first if this amount of glitter was ok. She said yes.

I also made this one at the same time and with some of the same fabric, along with the same pattern.Sew20Something

This one was for Olive, to wear to Christmas events (her birthday is in March). She has been eyeing this fabric for a year or so, hanging in my stash, and she loves all things glitter. She is very excited, to say the least ūüôā I used a pink cotton for the top here, and completed it as the pattern prints, with a button closure. She just loves it!

Next up are the twinnies. One boy and one girl, turning 4! They have early December birthdays and their mom put an idea in my head that they don’t have big kid hooded towels. I just happened to have inherited some half finished towel projects from one of the grandma fabric stashes, which means I didn’t even have to buy terry cloth! I was beyond thrilled, but I had a challenge, What can I make with these random towel colors? I laid¬†them out and played around. ¬†This is what I came up with.

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The clouds are from an old fleece robe I cut up ages ago that had fake lambswool around the cuffs and collar. Just enough for a grouping of clouds on each towel. I love how they turned out, so sunshiney. And the personalized monograms int he middle of each sun makes it all theirs (except that their initials are both M, haha).

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Last but certainly not least is my niece who is turning 5. Goodness, these kids are growing fast. For my sweet, soon to be 5, niece I made a blinged out purse. She loves pink and all things sparkly. I actually made this sequined name applique last year, but failed to finish my hand sewn birthday/Christmas gifts (oops), so it got turned into a new thing for this year. I had a lot of fun sewing the sequins on, and I know I got the idea from Pinterest…. somewhere…. but it was a year ago and I honestly don’t remember. I do, however, remember where I got the bag design! I read through this whole “course” on ikatbag, and followed her instructions. What a great resource! I’ll be heading back there again, to get more practice making different kinds of bags!

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That’s it! I finished early this year, and I think they all turned out pretty well. I’m excited to party party party!

Next post will be the handmade Christmas gifts for the kiddos (which might actually include my own children this year, yay!)

Happy Surprise!

8 Oct

I could not be happier to figure out that my sewing machine does little tiny letters!

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I never paid attention to that section of buttons because it’s all about memory functions, which I don’t use.

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Here I am trying to figure out how to make size tags and all of the sudden I find this little gem hiding in the corner of my machine. This is a game changer! I’m so very excited.

This leads me to realize I really need to take a class on my machine. I would love some more decorative stitches and I have this plate:

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Does this mean I can find more stitches sonewhere? I really need to figure that out! Anyone out there have this machine and know the answer?

Christmas Gifts Finished, Finally.

12 Dec

My family is no longer allowed to have children. Seriously, that’s a lot of pajamas!I’m not joking! {OK, I’m joking, I love all these kiddos and I want more more more!}
2 boys and a thousand girls {6 girls} Christmas pajamas have been sewn. I started planning this in September. And I will do it again next year:) I am hoping they will wear them Christmas eve!

Hand dyed flannel fabrics: Purple/Pink/Blue

Jersey fabrics: Green and Dark Purple old jersey sheet sets.

Florals: Already in my stash from grandma’s and such.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

Oldest cousin's dress. I couldn't decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

Oldest cousin’s dress. I couldn’t decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

Special hem!

Special hem!

Fleece Pajamas

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Olive's didn't get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won't do this next year!

Olive’s didn’t get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won’t do this next year!

Fleece Pajamas

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

This collar didn't exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

This collar didn’t exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

Fleece Pajamas

And ruffles:)

And ruffles:)

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

Lessons learned:

  • ask for waist measurements of all the kids {some of them might be too big}
  • This pattern’s torso length is insanely short. {Ruffles, and special hems were added to extend the length for the kiddos because I could feel it in my bones that they are going to be belly shirts)
  • Ironing freshly RIT dyed fabric results in discoloration.
  • Sewing the armseye on a size 5 or smaller is difficult unless you sew it flat}.
  • Sometimes I hem one pant leg in the rong direction, which means technically one pant is sewn on backwards. Thank goodness this pattern has a similar front and back.
  • I will not put in as much effort for my own clothing {or my own children} as I do for sewing gifts for other people. I hope to improve this.

So what do you think?

Christmas Pajamas Update

24 Nov

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I’m coming close to the end! I have finished sewing all of the pants/shirts sets, Wahoo! All that’s left is 2 dresses and to dye all she white I have also hand embroidered the size labels, which has turned out really cute and quick!

Snow White

14 Nov

My niece’s birthday is coming up in December and I’m ashamed to say I missed her in the planning ahead part of my sewing list. Between 3 other niece/nephew birthdays and 8 niece/nephew Christmas gifts, I missed it. But! That was in September, and I remembered her birthday in November, which is still a month ahead of time, so I really could have done worse! Anywho, she’s all about dress up. She was Cinderella for Halloween and I asked her mom which princess dress she would like that she didn’t already have. Snow White! I used the dress pattern that I will be using for her Christmas pajama dress, so it really worked out perfectly. The only thing I changed were the sleeves and collar.

 

Olive is modeling it here, she’s a whole size and a half too small for the dress {and she is a cranky little munchkin today} so bear with me and the quality of the pictures:)

 

 

Super, cranky. “Maaaammmmmaaaaaaa, soooooocccckkkkks” She really wanted socks on.

I even made a little red bow and slid it onto a clip. 

The sleeves are pleated in the actual fashion of Snow White’s dress. Box pleated at the arm cuff, and opened slightly to ease in the armseye.¬†
The lion was the model before Love woke up, and frankly, he might be a better model. I’m not sure:)

 

What’s on my worktable

13 Nov

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Any guesses as to what I’m making?

Sewing a T-shirt V-Neck Band {Tutorial}

1 Nov

I am making a billion {8} knit pajama tops for Christmas gifts this year, and I have gone from feeling intimidated by neckbands, to feeling pretty comfortable with them. I thought I would share my step by step with you, just in case someone out there might need some second reference. I am using a walking foot, and crazy old leftover jersey sheets. This is a 4T sized neckband, so don’t be alarmed at its size:) I mainly use the lighting bolt looking stretch stitch on my Bernina, and a stretch needle. I wish I had a ballpoint needle {you’ll see why later}.

Overlap your neckband. Right over left, or left over right, do what you please.

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Baste the ends of the neckband together along seam lines {I did 5/8in}, though all thicknesses.

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Basting the second side, forming an X.

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Then Baste up the center, to make a star {*}

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It will look this when you are finished. I also reinforced the center front of the shirt. I was careful not to stretch the fabric, and I used a normal stretch stitch. Then I snipped the V right to the dot, being careful not to snip my stitches that I just sewed.

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Next up, I made sure to complete the neck hole, by joining the sleeves right sides together. No I’m ready to put the band in!

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It’s really hard to show this in pictures, but I did my best, so here goes.

With right sides together, pin the neckband to the neck edge, matching center back notches, and aligning the shoulder seams with the dots that match. Match the center front dot on the shirt front with the center of your star, and pin.

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Here you can see how I pinned the V. {There will be a lot of extra fabric in the V on the other side, I made sure the head of the pin was lined up in the center of the star and went all the way through the center dot to match them up, then the rest of the pin goes through to keep the pin in, not to hold the gobs of fabric in place}

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On the wrong side, start sewing at center back, adjusting the fabric as you go to match notches, and dots accordingly. {The band is slightly smaller on purpose! That ensures it to lay flat when finished.} When you get close to the V, take the needle that is matching the star and center front dot out half way. Keep the needle poking out so it still keeps the matches together, but doesn’t direct the rest of the loose fabric. {Watch out! It’s pokey}

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Sew along the 5/8in {or whatever your seam allowance is}. Keep the raw edges together, you will still be sewing a straight line, and the shirt front will be flat against the band, where you are sewing {but not on the other side of the V}. Sew until you hit the center of the V, which is also the center of the star, keep your needle down and get ready to pivot. {I can not say the word pivot without screaming it in my head like Ross from Friends}

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Needle down still, lift your presser foot up. Rotate the neck so that your now facing the rest of the V. You’ll want to adjust the¬†excess¬†fabric so that this side now lays flat and the raw edges¬†align. Lower the foot, and sew the rest of the neck, all the way around, easing in the shirt to the band and¬†continuing¬†to match dots and notches.

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This is what it will look like. {hopefully} Sometimes I mess it up, and I rip it out and do it over. Or, I call it a feature, convince myself I like it better than the normal and leave it. It happens, we’re human.

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Then I sew another reinforcing line just inside the original line.

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Rip out the basting seams. There are three, and go carefully. You do not want to rip out the ones you just worked so hard to get right. I will actually pull out the baste  seams when I can, grabbing one of the ends and pull slightly, sometimes they pull right out, sometimes they need the seam ripper.

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Then you have this beautiful V. {I was using a stretch need but it’s not ballpoint. I recommend a ballpoint if you are worried about the basted lines showing}

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Here’s what it looks like on the other side.

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I pressed it.

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Then serged it. If you don’t have a serger, you don’t need one. Just go straight to the top stitching.

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And the other other side’s view.

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Topstitch. Use a fun stitch that has a stretch to it, this one is slightly thicker of a stitch. I start at the center V and just go around if I am using a crazy stitch and just overlap them at the end. I like the look and it’s easier than trying to guess when the needle is going to be going forward or backwards. If your using a regular stretch stitch or zig zag, you can get fancy, start at the center back and then keep your need down when you get to the point of the V, rotate and have a lovely finished V.

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I saw that some of my foundation stitches showed through here, so I ripped them out, and used some water to erase my water soluble ink dot.

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And here it is!

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Handmade gifts update.

21 Oct

I am currently figuring out how I want to finish up the car roll. I am almost finished with it and I am really excited for it to be finished. I just finished an adult Halloween costume as well. As soon as I take good pictures of that one I’ll post.

I also finished playdough mats for all of the kids to give as well. These are laminated sheets that inspire creative play using playdough, or dry erase markers as well. Each child get a variety of sheets including numbers and faces along with other types of play subjects. I am completely finished with these!!

Here is the great of my sewing check list. I still have a lot to do, so November will continue to be a busy one.

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