Archives

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.

Back to work!

Well folks, the summer is over and so is my vacation and my slow down, things are now moving apace!  Since I last posted, I have finished a few aprons, a pair of pants,  and a tunic.  I made out like a bandit at the McCalls $.99 out of print clearance sale.  I bought about 15 patterns, some for me and some for my niece and some for aprons to make for sale.

I also cut out a number of items which I am going to start sewing this week.   I started designing for WM Bridal, the new line I am going to add to my Etsy shop.  I registered for 2 craft shows this November at the Ottawa RA Centre in the Clark Room on November 16th and 30th.

Here are the aprons I have made so far.

 

This is what it was supposed to look like, (far right with the scalloped edge)

New Picture

Now, as you can see, what I created is completely difference from what it is supposed to look like.  This is because the scalloped edge came out looking horrible!   So after cutting off the scalloped bit, I didn’t have a very big piece left so I took the accent green and created a gathered skirt-like piece with patches from the main fabric.  The carrot patch is a secret pocket.

The other two when MUCH better!

B5436

image_4

This one is cute, I used some sheer lacy fabric for the flounce and the ties at the back. and I am pretty happy with the results.  I can see trying the other versions on this pattern.

image_6

This one is my favourite!  It is hard to see in the picture, but the fabric is little owls, with red linen accents.  The pattern is a retro one either from Vogue or Butterick, I can’t remember, (I will add the info later when I find the pattern).

 

FOUND IT!

S2592 Simplicity Archives 2592!  View B.  I want to try View C next!

Those are the projects I have actually completed in the last month or so.  Here is what I have cut out that I am going to start sewing this week!

image

 

A Jumper, skirt and blouse for me.  A t-shirt and blouse for my niece, and three aprons for upcoming craft shows!  That should keep my Jenome working overtime for a while.  I also ordered Simplicity 4940 for a Halloween costume for myself,

http://www.simplicity.com/p-2201-costumes.aspx

New Picture (4)

I can’t decide between the Arwen dress and the Eowyn dress.

Now for the Jewelry items.  I haven’t been as busy with this as with the sewing.

I have started developing some items for what I am calling WM Bridal.  I started working with some sterling silver and fine crystal for some items, but also with silver plate and glass for bridal on a budget.  My own bridal set was silver plate and crystal.

Here is what I have come up with so far.   I would love some feedback, items that you like, and things that maybe could be better, or things you would like to see.

il_570xN.653652192_sk68 il_570xN.653650818_c589 il_570xN.653648590_cizm image_3

 

I also did a really neat up-cycled necklace out of different chains that I got from my Uncle whose father had owned a jewelry store, combined with beads that I salvaged from some old costume jewelry my Aunt gave me from her theatre group that wasn’t being used.

I really like the effect!

 

image_1

Well, I think that might be it for now.   I have lots of work to do this fall.  I can’t wait!

summer slow down

I haven’t done all that much crafting or sewing lately, and who can blame me. The weather has been wonderful, we have been spending our weekends working outside, redoing the deck, hanging out on a friends boat and watching the World Cup.  I also forgot to add photos of my completed items from the previous post.  oops.

I haven’t been completely idle in the craft department of course, I completed the mult-imeter case for my DH, and that was quite a challenge!

So the multi-meter is a hand-held device about the size of a large paperback novel, and has a number of attachments for measuring temperature and electrical current.

The first thing I had to do was to take all the necessary measurements, and then come up with a pattern that would work.  I spent a lot of time mulling it over before I applied scissors to fabric! The original design my DH and I came up with was to basically fold over a piece of the fabric and sew in a number of pockets, but once I sat down with the device and the fabric, I realized that it wouldn’t work because of the depth of the device, about 3″.   So I needed to rethink the entire thing, and this is what I came up with.

image (5)

 

A deep pocket for the device at the bottom of the case, and then a long flap above it with pockets for the attachments.

It has been a LONG time since I have had to add fractions together, but I had to do quite a bit of that for this!  I needed to make sure my seam allowances were included in my measurements.

The first issue I ran into was trying to get the device pocket to go together.  it had a front piece, a side piece to give it depth and these went together onto the main back piece.  Sewing curves is never easy and trying to do it with a thick and stiff fabric, was not going to work.  So the long side piece had to be re-cut as three pieces.   I had to trim a lot of the seam allowance off so that it would fold in nicely.

The rest when together fairly easily.  I even included a flap with a snap to hold the device in.  The attachment pockets went in quickly and I decided to put a flap over them so that they wouldn’t slide out.  Once that was finished I was able to install the strap and clip closure.

image (7) image (4) image (6)

My DH is quite happy with the results.

 

I spent a lot of yesterday in my craft room as well, most of the time spent sorting through all my amazing stash of old jewellery that my aunt brought me, and planning some cool upcycling projects! I have plans for making x-mas ornaments from old ornate brooches!

I have fairly large hands, and the kinds of bangles you can buy in cheap accessory shops don’t generally go over my hands easily or comfortably.  I have a ton of them anyways of course.  So the first thing I made was a wire wrap tree, with gold plate wire and labradorite chips, using a gold bangle as a frame.  I can see myself making more of these!

bangle tree

 

I also made an abstract one with various white beads as well.

That is it for now, folks.

 

 

 

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.

 

A Productive Weekend

It was the first weekend in a while that my DH and I didn’t have a lot of plans, so we got to devote our time to our various crafty pursuits.  For me of  course it meant spending every possible moment in my craft room.

When I got home from work on Friday I set to work on some seriously cute stuff for my niece Charlotte.

From http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6947-products-48426.php?page_id=487

M6947  I made View A, the shorter top and view G, the leggings.  Both in the same hot pink knit that I made that tank top out of for me.  My machine does NOT like that fabric!  My thread broke continually throughout the project, but I did finish it in the end.  I added three little white flower buttons on the top for decoration.

Charlotte outfit

I didn’t know this place even existed, but on Saturday after we popped in to visit my father-in-law so my DH could use his table saw, my DH took me to this place called Rockland Textiles.  They carried every shade of Gütermann thread available so I was able to get the green and red I need for my skirt and pants projects.  I also found a bunch of fun quilting fabric to make aprons for my next craft show.  We also found fabric for me to use for my DH’s multimeter case.

So I texted my mom to say, “did you know about this place?”  Not only did she know about it, apparently while we lived in Ottawa she used to work there on Saturdays and most of the fabric that made up my early childhood clothing came from there!  Who knew?

But I digress.

I also made my niece Top A from http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6022-products-10720.php?page_id=487

M6022

I used an adorable printed knit that is blue with white flowers with hot pink middles. It goes with the hot pink leggings perfectly.  It was a more challenging pattern than I have done before, but I really like how it came out!

Charlotte blouse 1

When we were at my Sister-in-laws house yesterday for a Father’s Day BBQ, I tried everything on Charlotte.  The hot pink tunic is a bit big, but she can grow into it.  The leggings fit quite nicely.  The blue top unfortunately is to big in the shoulders so it hangs down too low.  I thought I could just take it in at the shoulders, but then it would be difficult to get it onto her.  So I gave it a lot of thought throughout the evening, and I figured out what I will do.  I will unpick the shoulder seams, and refinish them open, then put a button-hole on the front side, and next time I see my niece I will add the buttons to the back so that  it is easy for her mum to get it on and off and it still fits properly.

Now, don’t think I ignored my own needs during all this.

My Aunt also gave me some great Hawaiian print of green leaves and pink flowers, that I think had been either a skirt or curtains or something in a previous life.  At any rate, the fabric is lovely and soft, so I thought I would use it to make http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6927-products-48273.php?page_id=101, which my mum had helped me to adjust for my fit when she was visiting last.  It is a great pattern!  It is super easy to adjust to the size you want, and includes different pattern pieces for different cup sizes, so that the darts are the right fit.  The pattern only goes to a 24, but I added an inch on each side from the waist to the hips to make a 28, I cut a 20 in the neck, a 22 in the shoulders and armholes, but moved from a 22 at the top of the armhole to a 24 at the bottom.

And it fits perfectly!

Hawaiian top I will absolutely be using this pattern again.  I love the way it is finished too.  The back is closed with a button and thread loop.  Fortunately I had a button that worked in my collection, but I had to look up how to make a thread loop on YouTube.  It’s fiddly.

So I decided to wear it on Sunday for the BBQ, and because it’s me, I decided that I needed a pair of earrings to match.

hawaiian earrings

 

So tonight I will tackle the top for my niece and finish cutting out http://butterick.mccall.com/b3460-products-3524.php?page_id=367

B3460

 

A Slightly Tragic Occurance

I know it has been a couple of weeks since my last post. It isn’t for lack of anything going on however. I was keenly sewing away the week before last when the worst happened. The 25 year old Jenome finally gave up the ghost. The motherboard wasn’t in great shape by then, but it finally decided it had had enough. Right in the middle of working on a top!  Thankfully, my excellent neighbour came to the rescue and let me borrow her Singer, which was  until I got a new one.  Sadly, the top I was working on was also a disaster.  It should have been a simple v-neck sleeveless top in a knit.  But for some reason, which I discovered later, the top was huge in the neck and shoulders and fit perfect everywhere else…huh.  I had cut a 26 or a 28 , I can’t remember, but it did NOT fit.  SIGH!  So I might try to make something from it later, but for now it will sit in a drawer.  It was during this fiasco that my machine died, and I used my friend’s Singer to finish the hem and arm holes and then add some ill-advised darts…oh dear.  I did NOT take any pictures of it.

So after a long consultation with my mum and her best friend who was always like an aunt to me, both of whom are extremely accomplished seamstresses.  We decided that my mum and step-dad would come and visit for the weekend and mum and I would go shopping for a new machine.  Both my mum and Aunt Carol are Jenome users, and won’t buy anything else, so both recommended that I get a Jenome as well.   I had planned to get a fair amount of things done on Friday before they arrived, which I had off from work, but unfortunately I threw out my back on Wednesday morning.  I ended up spending a very painful day at work, and then didn’t actually manage to get OUT of bed on Thursday, although I did crochet a fair bit!  Still, My parents arrived on Friday afternoon, and Saturday, my mum and I went to the Sewing Machine Hospital on Merivale to shop for a new machine.  The Sewing Machine Hospital specializes in Jenome and Pfaff Machines.  I looked at the one my mum has, the Jenome 4120, but it was a lot more $ than I wanted to spend, and did a lot more than I really needed.  So I can home with a brand new Jenome 3160!

 

photo 3

Isn’t it Pretty?!  I couldn’t wait to get it set up and start using it, so I did!  I had cut out a number of projects during the week while my machine was out of commission.

I had visited the Fabricland in Kanata again and picked up more great fabric.

So I cut out Simplicity 1620 in a pretty white and blue floral cotton,  The top that is the same as the dress.

photo 1  I cut out a smaller size on top this time, and it fits a lot better!  What my mum and I discovered as we were going through my pattern collection and taking the necessary measurements, is that above my bust, I am about a size 22, and my back is even narrower.  My bust is somewhere between a size 24 and 26, and my waist and hips are a perfect 28.  This complicates matters when it comes to making a dress or top, however, we managed to work out how to adjust a couple of the patterns so that they will fit me perfectly!  So this top I cut out a 26 for the yoke, and a 28 for the body, but I made the pleats larger so that it would fit into the yoke.

My mum also showed me how to do seams in a much more finished manner.  I put in a row of stitching at 5/8″ and 3/8″ inches, and then trim to the 3/8″ line, then overcast the edges.

I also cut out Simplicity 1920 in a brilliant Kelly green!

photo 2  This is a perfect fit in a 28.  However, I can’t quite figure out the final instructions for the slit and the hem, so I am taking it to my sewing class on Wednesday for the teachers help.  This was Sunday evening and Mum was already on the road home at this point.  I cut the belt out in the same green fabric as well.

I have also cut out the pants from  Simplicity 3506 in a lovely red linen, but I haven’t started assembling these yet.  Maybe tomorrow evening.

 

and sew on

and sew on and sew on.

It’s been a busy craft week this week!   The last time I was in Michael’s buying feathers for hair combs, I also took home a collection of glass pearls in pink and chocolate brown, of various sizes.   So besides to take a break from doing chain maille, I made this elegant (at least I think so) graduated pearl necklace with matching earrings.

graduated Chocolate Pearls  I will have to get some better pictures and get it up on Etsy.

Saturday my DH and I were exploring Kanata and I insisted we stop in at the Fabricland there, which is sadly closing, but at which pretty much everything is 60% off!  Oh my goodness, self-control was going to be needed!

I was looking for black 1/2″ wide, singlefold bias tape for my dress, along with some tracing paper and a wheel.  No tracing paper or wheel to be found and the only bias tape in the size I needed that was even close was beige, so I got the beige because it accented the dress nicely which has beige in the pattern.   However, what I DID find was a TON of fabric on sale.  I was like a kid in a candy store!

I came away with three different fabrics, 11 metres in total, the bias tape and lots of thread for less than $100!

Fabricland Score!

The black and white fabric is cotton with some stretch, the blue floral is 100% cotton and the blue wavy fabric is a knit.  I have already cut out a little t-shirt in the knit from this pattern.  I think I am going to make the tunic pattern that is the same as the dress I am making in the blue floral.

New Picture  I may attempt to assemble this on my own and then cut out something else for next weeks class.  Ambitious I know!

Yesterday evening was sewing class, and I started to assemble my spiffy new dress! It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to get the pleats right and lining everything up properly. Still, the overall construction of the dress if fairly simple, and that wonderful wonderful Janome still purrs its perfect lullaby. It also includes features such as built-in seam allowance markers on the bed of the machine and little numbers to help you thread the machine with ease (which is good because I forgot the instruction booklet at home).

I was really hoping and expecting to finish the dress in class and maybe even start out on the shirt I cut out, but getting the pieces together properly and getting the bias tape in took a bit longer than expected.  I got pretty far though and now all that is left to do is to finish the neck, and hem the sleeves and bottom.

Of course I had to try it on as soon as it went together, and it fits great and is quite comfortable! I am going to whip up a little tie belt to go with it as well.

I figured I would practice my modeling skills 😉

Unfinished Dress

I will get a better picture once the dress is actually finished.