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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

The Great Craft Room Renovation – Part III

Hello again!   Well as anyone who follows my twitter feed will no doubt already be aware, we have made great strides in the renovation over the last week and especially this past weekend.

We left off last time having finished the first coat of primer.  Well, I won’t kid you, this took 3, THREE, coats of primer to cover all of the blue!   Here it was after two coats.

Craft Room 5  You would be amazed at just how much of the blue was still visible at this point.

Friday evening I completed the 3rd and final coat of primer as well as the first coat of primer on the baseboard.  Saturday I did the first coat of paint on the walls.  I decided to go with Decorators White, for two reasons.  1) it’s a nice clean, but warm white. 2) we already had a gallon and a bit left over from the hallway and I only needed to buy 1 more gallon.

Sunday morning, with the help of my DH I completed the 2nd and final coat of paint on the walls and the baseboard.  Now it was time for the floor!

I knew going in that this would be the most taxing part of the renovation, especially for my DH.  I was not wrong!

Craft Room 6

The first step was vacuuming the floor and scraping off any blobs of paint or drywall compound.  Next, we had to put down the underlayment.  This came in large sheets folded accordion style, which were rather cumbersome, albeit delicate.  So we decided to do half the floor at a time, since you mustn’t walk on the underlayment until you get the floor boards down.  Laminate flooring is supposed to be quick and easy, what a crock!  It’s a pain in the butt folks, you snap one section together and the other side comes out again, you fix the other side and the side you just snapped in comes apart.  My poor DH!

It took from 12:30 – 3 to get to the half-way point, despite my DH’s overall handiness!

Craft Room 7

So here we broke for a late lunch.

It took another couple of hours to finish the job which required some creative sawing on my DH’s part.  But we did it!

Craft Room 8

And as much as laminate flooring is a pain, it looks great!  I love the rough cottage look to the this flooring.

So the only construction tasks left to do are putting the baseboard back, adding some quarter round, touching up the paint and adding a clothes rail in the closet.  Then comes the trip to IKEA!

The Great Craft Room Renovation- Part II

We left off on March 3rd, having finished the first phase of patching the many holes and cracks in the walls of the craft room.

Thursday my DH and I sanded and touched up the drywall patches.  For this of course you really need to wear eye protection and a dust mask, which we did.  I wore a pair of my DH’s safety goggles, and unfortunately, because I was working so hard, the dang things kept fogging up!  It’s really hard to sand properly when you can’t see what you are doing!  It did get finished though.  We also took off the baseboard and found some mould behind the one under the north window.  From the crack in the drywall there, we could tell that a while ago they had some water damage there.  It was old though and thankfully there wasn’t very much mould and it cleaned up quickly.  We will have to get new baseboard for that one side.

Now the fun part, buying stuff!  I did create a budget and so far, because of some convenient sales, I have been pretty close to it.

Canadian Tire had these great plastic storage towers by Gracious Living on sale last week, so Friday night we went and picked up 4 of them.  Two with 5 deep drawers and 2 with 8 drawers (four deep, four shallow).  It’s amazing what you can get into the hatchback of a VW Rabbit!  So far these are still in the family room, but my yarn stash has now been organized by weight (light, worsted, bulky etc.) and that took TWO storage towers!

Saturday nothing got done, because we went to see the Lego Movie and then to my in-laws for dinner.  That was a GREAT movie!

Yesterday, after a visit to Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Museum, DH and I went to visit the good people at RONA, who were having a sale on laminate flooring.  So now I have my new floor for my craft room!  It’s a nice Oak look laminate.

After we people handled the 7 boxes of laminate flooring into the basement we set to work on the final sanding.  That didn’t take too long, and after that we vacuumed and dusted the walls and floor.  After that we set to work on the first coat of primer.  From the amount of blue still showing through, I can tell this is going to take at least 2 coats of primer and 2 of paint.

Craft Room 4

So that’s it for Phase 2.  Second coat of primer is phase 3, taking place tomorrow evening.