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okay, okay okay, so it’s been a while.

I know, but it can’t be helped!   There has been much to do, and no time to blog about it.

Let’s see, since last time I blogged, I have learned a few things about sewing.  Done a fair amount of beading. Signed up for 2 Christmas craft shows in Ottawa and started my Christmas crafting.  Oh, I also made and preserved chili sauce!

So first things first. My sewing machine has been getting a lot of exercise lately.  Remember the picture of all of those items I had cut out in my last post?  Well, I finished the blouse for me, the two tops for my niece.  I haven’t gotten to the 2 aprons, (M2947 and Simplicity 2161).  Of course, I have forgotten to take pictures of everything except a couple of items.

The most challenging item by far was the blouse I made for myself, M6649.

image_7

I have never constructed a tailored blouse like this before and it involved a lot of things, like lap bands (wha?), which it turns out are the little bit that goes around the opening in the cuff.  So everything was going along fairly well, although there was a fair amount of un-stitching and re-stitching, and don’t even get me started on getting the dang button holes in a straight line.  yeesh.  However, the real issue was the cuffs, I made two beautiful perfect cuffs…and when I attached my lovely sleeves to my shirt, tried it on and…oh *insert expletive*!!!.  I had made two lovely, perfect LEFT SLEEVES!!!  sigh.  So now I have a lovely shimmery plaid 3/4 length sleeved blouse.  problem solved, lesson learned!

I finished the skirt, and the jumper that I cut out for me, and the two tops for my niece came out really well, I made princess seams for the first time, and I was actually surprised and how easily they went together for the jumper.  What really helped was my early birthday present from my mum, a sewing ham and sleeve insert.  (pics to come).  These make pressing curves a million times easier!

I have also been hard at work on Christmas presents but I can’t talk about them just yet of course 😉

The other fun thing I tried was this great mason-jar pin cushion idea i got from Pinterest.

image_5 I also made one that has elastic attached and goes around my sewing machine, which means as I pull pins from my work as I stitch I end up with fewer pins flying around my desk and ending up on the floor.

Oh Pinterest, hours and hours of fun and inspiration!

Like this little wire wrapped birds nests with glass pearl “eggs”.

image_6

I have made quite a few of these and have been selling them as Christmas tree ornaments.  These and the chainmaille balls that I originally made as pendants.

Picture 568remember these?

Anyways, I made a whole bunch in green, red and gold combinations and I am almost totally out of them after my show last Sunday (hence, no pics) .  I have ordered more rings and will try to make a bunch more before my next show on the 30th.  It is at the RA Centre in Ottawa again, and I have the same table!

Oh yeah, and I decided I wanted to try canning, so I got a canning set, cooked up a batch of Grandma MacPhail’s Chili Sauce (YUM) and VOILA!

image_1  This was so fun, I did it again last weekend and made Cranberry Orange Jelly, which will be Christmas presents.

So that’s what I have been up to since last we chatted, or rather, I chatted at you.

My last sewing class, another productive weekend, and a challenge…and another disaster!

Well, last Wednesday was my last sewing class.  I can’t believe how quickly those 8 weeks went!  Not to mention how much I have created in that short time.

I didn’t want to start anything brand new so I took with me, the disastrous hot pink tank top and my Royal blue skirt from B3460,

B3460 which I had cut out and had completed the first couple of steps.

 

I wanted to see if my sewing teacher had any ideas for making the pink tank top fit me.   So we looked at it and she suggested putting in a number of pleats or tucks in the neck to pull it together both in the front and back.  I assumed I would do this with the machine, but after a number of false starts where the knit moved at the last moment and didn’t sew in properly, and then stabbing myself in the finger with a pin hard enough to require a band-aid, I figured it would be easier to do the pleats by hand.  So I moved onto the skirt which went together really easily and I am quite happy with the pockets.  I didn’t get a chance to finish the skirt before the end of class, but all that was left to do was the hem.

So this last weekend, I spend all my time in my sewing room,  surfacing only for meals.   So I finished the blue skirt.  Finished the green skirt and red capris.  I made another top from  M6927 view A, exactly like my Hawaiian print one, but in a fabric I had liberated from my mum’s stash.  It is a pale aqua with a pattern on it in white of stylized flowers.  I also completed M6551 View C, in a similar fabric to the one displayed on the website, oddly enough.  It’s a thick cotton with some stretch in it, with a white background and a dense pattern of red flowers in a sort of water-colour style.

m6551

I didn’t make the belt, because I ran out of fabric.

My only issue with this dress is that because the fabric is fairly stiff, the sleeves and the facings are a bit thicker and stiffer than I would like.  Still, it looks pretty spiffy on, though it is a little shorter than I was anticipating.

The last thing I did was to cut out M6899 View A, in a mid blue cotton.

I also convinced my DH to let me bring some chain maille up to work on while we watched the World Cup.  So I have been having a good time making a long rainbow chain in the full Persian style.  I haven’t decided what the final product will be yet.  The other thing I did last weekend was to measure a number of the earrings I have in my Etsy shop and updating my listings.

So that was the weekend, and sometime during, I decided to set myself a challenge for the coming week.  I would wear something I made everyday.  And I have done so!

Monday –  The new  M6927 (with rtw beige capris)  excellent office outfit!

Tuesday –  M1620 blouse in the white/blue floral with  B3460 in the Royal blue – LOVE this combo!

Wednesday – The red capris (which are more like shorts) that I doctored from M3056 (with a rtw white blouse) a bit frumpy but super comfy!

Thursday – M6551 red/white floral dress

Friday – M6927 in Hawaiian with rtw jeans as well as the matching earrings my pink full Persian bracelet

* rtw = ready to wear/purchased

Challenge completed!

Now for the disaster.  M6899 View A.

m6899

 

I had cut it out in a plain mid blue fabric, I should have used a pattern, patterns hide errors!   The pleats were tricky enough, and i wasn’t use to dealing with so many of them on one garment.  I also made the mistake of taking out the basting before I had completed construction, so that it was a lot of fabric to deal with.  This however was not where the whole thing “fell apart” as the saying goes.  The big trouble was with the collar.

First, I foolishly forgot to double-check the pattern and I sewed the collar to the wrong side of the shirt..dang it!

Second, it got accidentally snipped when I was removing the stitches.

Third, the sewing machine started having fits as I was trying to re-attach the collar (and somehow hide hole) because the thread had fallen off of the arm which at least was easy to fix once I had figured out the problem.

Fourth, could NOT figure out what the heck the button band and collar edge instructions were saying.

I ended up somehow having the button band I think folded over too many times, so that you couldn’t actually tie the collar properly.  It looks so crappy, especially with all the places the fabric has torn or frayed from sewing, un-sewing, re-sewing and re-un-sewing!   UGH.

So I shall now take a break from sewing for me, and get to work on my DH’s multi-meter case.  Assuming there is time this weekend, since we are rebuilding our deck.

 

P.S.  Sorry there are no pictures currently of the completed items, I will add them this weekend.

 

And sometimes things go terribly wrong!

I have been hard at work sewing lately, although I took a quick break to go to the cottage.  So I only got some crochet done.  Go a weekend without some kind of crafting?  Yeah, NOT gonna happen!

Sewing classes have been going really well.  I have started working on the dress for

Simplicity 3506 and so far so good.  I cut out a 22 in the shoulders and gradually widening out to a 28 in the hips.  This was a great learning pattern for me, because it is the first time I have done any gathering, put in darts or installed a zipper.  Each thing took at least 3 tries.  But I am happy with it and it fits really well!   I still need to finish the seams, add the arm and neck facings and hem, but it should be done soon.

And that is the good news!  Now for the disasters!

So, from this pattern I also cut out the pants…and boy i should have cut a 26 with a 24 in the crotch, because when i tried them on, they were GIGANTIC!  sigh.  So last night I removed the elastic, and took it in a good inch on each side.  I am also going to use a draw string and elastic combo instead of just elastic, and make them capris instead of pants.  In the middle of this process I ran out of thread…

So you will remember the green skirt I had started from

Simplicity 1920 Well I finished it AND the belt and I was pretty happy with it I thought. But you know what?  It was also kinda big.  So I decided I would also take it in and instead of elastic, I would use the same elastic, draw-string combo as for the pants.  So I opened up the waistband and removed the elastic. I managed to rig up a tie with a piece of elastic in the middle and I took the skirt in a good inch on either side again.  But as I was trying to put in button holes (for the tie to go through), I ran out of green thread…*$^@#&*!!!

Breath SJ, breath!

So I had also cut out a plain tank top pattern in fuchsia knit.  I was being so smart, I cut out a 22 in the top and widened it out enough to fit through the bust and waist.  I started assembling it and so far, so good and then I finished the neck line and tried it on…AAARRRRGGGGHHHH @#&@$#&&#$&*$*#&%^%&@#&!

The damnable thing went almost halfway down the front showing an excessive amount of cleavage, and the shoulders were still too wide and the arm holes too small!

It was at this point last night that I decided it was time to go do something else.  So I did.

I have a couple of ideas for making it work for me, and adding some decorative elements…I might tackle that tonight, or just wait till the weekend.

So the red pants and the green skirt are on hold until I can get to Fabricland and get more thread (thankfully I kept the sticker with the colour code on it).  In the mean time I have lots of fabric to wash and items to cut out from my last trip to Fabricland from the weekend.  My Aunt who does costuming for a local theatre popped by on the weekend, with some great kids fabric for me, so I bought some patterns for my 4-year-old niece.   As well as a bunch of fabric to cut out more stuff for myself.  My DH also issued me a sewing challenge for a case for his, oh I can’t remember what it is called, but it measures electrical current or something like that. I wish I could book a week off work and just lock myself into my craft room!   I have an urge to make some chain maille too.  But of course the weather is so nice out, I like to spend as much time as I can in my garden.  Good problems to have 😉

 

and sew forth!

Well my faithful readers, I have settled in nicely to my new and improved craft room, and I have been fairly busy!

The first project in the new room was my first ever fascinator.

fascinating

I made it by hot gluing satin to cardboard and adding rhinestones and filigree metal pieces.  It’s pretty cute, but I think it would go best with a messy up-do, it’s a bit big.

Next were some feathered hair combs for a friend of mine who was going to a charity gala. She also borrowed a necklace from my inventory and I made her a pair of earrings to match and for her to keep.I have never made anything like this before, and I have very little experience with feathers…the get EVERYWHERE!

feathers!

I had a few false starts and burned myself more than once with the hot glue gun, but in the end, I am pretty happy with the results.

hair combs

I like the one on the bottom the best, I think the less symmetrical look is more appealing, and that is the one I gave to my friend to wear.  I used small pieces of black satin and flat back crystals.  I used hot glue for the feathers and satin and epoxy for the crystals.

Then I broke out the shop-vac, and removed the excess plumage from my work area, and my clothes, and waited for the rest of them to finally descend to the ground so I could vacuum them up too.

Other than feathers and sparkly bits, I have been back to my chainmailling ways!

I made a bunch of rainbow  byzantine bracelets.

rainbows

I love these, I made them with different, types of attaching chains, a simple 2-2 chain, byzantine and box chain, and a 2-2 in black nickel as well.

I also finally got to use some great pastel jump rings I got from the Ring Lord months ago, before the great reno began.

pink box chain

Pastel Pink anodized aluminum in a light box chain.

blueblackbyzantine

 

and the pastel blue anodized aluminum and black nickel in a byzantine pattern with three rings in each section instead of two.

But now on to the even more exciting goings on in the World of Wearable Miscellany.  I have started sewing classes at a local high school!

Now, I grew up around sewing.  My mom has been making my clothes since I was a baby.  There were many nights I fell asleep listening to the soothing sounds of her Janome purring away in the room down the hall.  So many times I have stepped on dropped pins and needles and had to pull them out of my poor little kid foot!  Sadly, like knitting and crochet, sewing was not something I have been adept at since I was a child.  In the case of knitting, both my poor grandmothers attempted to teach me many times throughout my childhood.  However, it wasn’t until my 20’s when my sister-in-law attempted my instruction that it finally stuck.

So even though I have spent my entire life around sewing,  I have only ever a few times actually constructed anything myself, Usually gift bags and pillow cases.  When I expressed some desire to learn to sew a number of years back.  My mother gave me her vintage Singer machine, and I mean VINTAGE.  This puppy was built during the 1950’s.  And after a few electrical adjustments, it runs really well.   It isn’t the type built into a table, but was one of the early “portable” models.  It comes with a handy case that you can carry it around in, although since I think it is either steel or cast iron, it weighs a ton!  It doesn’t a lot of fancy stitches or anything, just forwards and backwards, but for most of my sewing up until now, this has been more than sufficient.

This past Easter holiday, we were visiting with my family in the GTA, and my mum and I went off to the local fabric land, Simplicity patterns were on sale and I needed some proper fabric scissors.  As we discussed the various attributes of our sewing machines, she suggested that I might need something more advanced than the Singer, something that could do things like button holes and overcasting.  Then she gave me her recently retired Janome, the very same Jenome that had been lulling me to sleep since the mid 1980’s!  It’s was retired mid-way through my wedding dress when it developed a problem with its onboard computer.  It still runs just fine though and I am delighted to have it!   There is a lot of family history in both of these machines!

Sew, I showed up to my first sewing class last week, we went over what we will be doing in the course, taking measurements, and learning about the different tools of the trade.   Great teacher, very knowledgeable, and pleasant.

Yesterday evening was class #2 and we all started to cut out our patterns and fabric, ready to start sewing next week.  I chose a Simplicity pattern, and a lovely cotton fabric for a summer dress.   Thankfully, for a first kick at the can, this pattern only had 4 pieces!   YES!

and sew forth

It still took a little fancy maneuvering to get the pattern pieces all on right, because all 4 pieces needed to be cut on the fold.  Thankfully I had plenty of fabric to work with.  Now

Now, before next week, I have to pick up some 1/2″ wide single fold bias tape and then we get sewing!

Till Next Time!

Of Snow and Shows and Other Things

Well hello there faithful readers.  I know it has been a while, but here in Ottawa we have been doing a bit of hibernating as temperatures have dipped below -30 more often than I think I am equipped to deal with!

I wasn’t able to get much crafting done in the first part of the month as I spent an entire week sick in bed, too sick to go to my craft room…that is SICK!  Not that the time was entirely wasted.  I did teach myself how to crochet a granny square and have since made quite a few as well as starting a blanket project.  I realized it was time to start using up some of my vast yarn stash so I took out all my worsted weight yarns in greens, blues as well as tan and grey and decided to start a blanket made to look like a simple topographical map of an island. I have made it out to sea, but ran out of navy yarn, so I need to buy some more yarn.

island beginsisland blankie

It have another baby blanket on the needles in a aqua and white basket weave at the moment as well, so anyone I know who gets pregnant in the next year is in for a treat 🙂

I did finally kick the cold to to curb a week ago which was a very good thing.  Besides the obvious lack of coughing, I got an email from the Trend Arlington Community Association to let me know that Feb 2nd, they were having a garage sale/craft market at the Community Centre.  I happy applied for and got a table, so now I had something to get making jewelry for!

Bracelet Rainbow

new bracelets

I am still pretty hooked on my Rainbow Jump Rings, so I made a few really neat bracelets with those.

I also made a number of really pretty earrings in cut glass and glass pearl.

I didn’t bring my full set up from the Christmas Show, just my Eiffel Tower for Necklaces, my earring case and a tray for bracelets.

WM Table

At first the turn out was great!   Sadly it started to snow pretty heavily and it slowed down, but I still had a great show and made lots of sales!   I can’t wait to do another one!

I also have a number of new items now to put up on my Etsy site, which will be my plan for this weekend.

Till Next Time!

 

As the year comes to a close

2013 has been a pretty good year for Wearable Miscellany. I have gone to two professional craft shows, made a couple of Etsy sales, learned some new techniques, found a couple of great new suppliers and started tweeting.

So now as the year closes, I think about what I have learned during all these experiences in 2013, what I have learned as a part-time crafter is this,

  1. Rejection happens, not everyone is going to like everything you do.  And that is ok!   Create what you like, for yourself, that way your craft never loses its joy.
  2. Inspiration comes and goes.  Sometimes you just don’t feel like making anything, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes I go down to my craft room and do nothing more than move beads around, rearrange my desk and think about what I want to make while I listen to an audio-book, and sometimes I make absolutely nothing.

Ok, now the above is just what I learned about MY personal crafting lifestyle and philosophy, so feel free to agree, disagree, or think I am bonkers, the choice is yours.  I don’t know how I would feel if creating jewelry was my full-time job, if I would worry more about creating things I think will sell, or getting more stressed when I get hit with a bad bout of crafters block.  If I am lucky, one day I will find out.

So, here comes 2014, and what resolutions have I made for myself?

  1. Get more of my pieces on Etsy
  2. continue to keep up with this blog
  3. do at least 2-3 craft shows
  4. conquer at least 2 new chain maille weaves (specifically the Romanov)

That should probably be enough to start with.

Until next time folks, check out the excellent supply organizer Santa brought me 🙂

new storage! Thank you SANTA!

 

Oh, and I made these,

hematite chain earrings 1.1 I can never seem to get enough of super dangly earrings, and I love the hematite rings. I am thinking the next pair need something Swarovski in the middle.

IMG_20701

These are aqua glass pearls with black bead-caps, I kinda think they need a little bit more…just not sure what.

Yesterday’s Show at the Trend-Arlington Community Centre

What an absolutely great day!   It was a really positive experience start to finish.

Friday night was a late night of course with all of the last-minute prep work that had to be done.   Throughout the week I had been making new earrings (all chain maille of course) and printing up my signs and anxiously awaiting my shipment of Swarovski to arrive from Fire Mountain Gems (which it did, on Thursday, thank you Fire Mountain Gems, excellent people).  So my earring case was packed up and all my items tagged and ready, and my excellent husband added all the hooks to the display cubes and packed up the car.  I chose a large hardcover copy of the Poetry of Robert Frost to help display my bookmark collection.  One little hitch, as I was cutting and framing my Family Pendants sign, I realized that I spelled crystals wrong in one place…crustals…oh good grief.  I wasn’t about to re-print the sign as it was getting late, or as Dick Van Patten said in Spaceballs “It’s too late, keep going”.  So I fixed it with a pen and carried on.  The idea for the family pendants is to create a little pendant of Swarovski rounds by birthstone colour on a head-pin with a bail, custom-made while you wait.

Image

While I didn’t sell any yesterday, People were certainly interested in them and thought them a good idea.  I will have to add them to Etsy!

My alarm went off at 6 (so early), and I hopped (ok, crawled) out of bed and got ready to go.  This included of course, the usual shower, and tooth brushing, standard stuff, but also trying on several outfits and trying to choose just the right jewellery for the day.  That was hard.  I settled on all black with silver shoes and my big sapphire crystal earrings that I made for the wedding I went to in Halifax back in September.

IMG_0289

These made it half-way through the day before my ear lobes began to protest.

So, we pile into the car for the 2 minute drive to the Trend Arlington Community Building, arriving at 6:58.  We were the first ones there.  The organizer arrived at 7 and opened the doors.  She and her daughter were a pleasure to work with and so helpful.  She even supplied the coffee.  My hubby helped me carry everything in (one trip) and then popped over to Tim’s to get breakfast.

So I began to set up, and it went really smoothly, I kept everything fairly simple.  So by 8 am, my table was ready to go.  The doors opened at 9, so I had some time to kick back, drink my coffee and make more chain maille.  I sent my hubby home to go back to bed and settled in.

WM table

I am quite pleased with how the table looked and even though the room was well-lit including windows letting in the lovely bright sun, I thought the little battery tea lights were a fun addition.   My big silver Eiffel Tower was a bridal shower gift from my Dad and Step-mum who threw me an awesome Paris themed shower.  The “s” hooks fit in perfectly and hold lots of my beaded necklaces.

The doors opened at 9 and folks started to wander in.  It was fairly steady all day and I didn’t leave my table more than a few times.  My first sale was a silver bookmark with little crystal dangles, and things just got better from there on in.  Everyone I met was so nice from the volunteers who ran the show to the other vendors to the folks from the community who came in to shop.

My good friend Lian from ReeseSpeaks came in with her daughter around lunch time and hung out with me until 3, she kindly watched the booth while I did a little shopping for myself.

At 3 when the doors closed, my hubby arrived, we took down my table, and loaded up the car.

All in all a fantastic day.  I made lots of sales and met some wonderful people.  I think the show was very well-organized with a great variety of vendors, all of us offering something a little different.  There were other jewellery vendors, but they were all different.  I will certainly be at this show again next year!