Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finished serging/Finished Potter

It's 1:30am. It took me 30 minutes to get the tension right on the serger and 1 1/2 hours to serge all the pieces for Omari's outfit. I'm unlikely to actually start sewing until next weekend b/c my sister's coming this weekend.

I finished reading Harry Potter. I cried at one part last night.

Then I went online and googled Vintage Patterns. I'm thinking of joining one of the contests over at Sewing Pattern Review. But the pattern that I liked was $10 to $15. Expensive for me considering that I buy most of my patterns when they're on sale for $2. It's a girl's 3-armhole dress. Hard to imagine right? It's basically a sorta of rectangle with three holes cut in where the arms go. You put it on like a coat and then wrap it around and insert your arm again. Cute! They have women sizes but I want it for the girls.

Anyway, time to go to bed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why does it take so long?

So why does it take so long for me to finish anything? First of all, to make something using a pattern, you first have to trace it. Why? Because there are different sizes piled up on top of each other on one sheet of a pattern. For example, you will use the same piece to cut out size 2, 3, or 4. Each size is slightly larger than the other. So if I cut out the size 2 without first tracing it onto another piece of paper, I will no longer have the sizes 3 or 4. That is TEDIOUS and the part I hate the most about sewing. This is what it looks like when I have traced a pattern onto another piece of paper and am ready to now cut the material. Those little green things on top that look like hackey sacks are weights. They are actually like hackey sacks. They have little beads inside. For this pattern it took me an entire evening to trace out all the pattern pieces and trace them out.

And this is what my "sewing area" looks like when I'm sewing. Unlike some of my friends, who clean as they go, I make one big mess and clean it all up in the end. Cutting out the material for an outfit that I am making for Omari took me all day, from about 9am-2pm. This of course included eating breaks, bathroom breaks and couple of tv breaks.

And this is what I'm making for Omari. I am making the jacket, the skirt and the little top with the sleeves. That jacket is make up of like 10 pieces!!! I can't remember right now but it was a lot. That thing better look good.

So, 1 day to trace out the pattern, 1 day to cut out the material, another day to serge all the edges so that the material doesn't ravel and another day to actually sew it. Now keep in mind that I work and only have weekends free and have to spend time with my girls on the weekends and you can see why it takes me so long and why I don't get enough sleep. But it's all worth it for the sense of accomplishment it gives me and the praise from my fellow sewists at PatternReview.


I made these skirts for the girls a few months ago. Naiobi found it while digging through the closet. And Omari's has been on my to do list for a while. All it needed was the rolled edge on the bottom. I decided I'd try my hand at a lettuce edge. Isn't it cute? I was quite proud of myself. It's a knit that I had set aside to make undies but... It says, Princess, Believe, Dream etc. Both of them liked them a lot. Naiobi's is from Antoinette's leftover curtain material! Naiobi loves it!

Last Friday we had a ScrapDown! at Irene's. The hours were 8p-2am. Monica, Irene and I sat down for some work. Monique tried but seemed to have lost her mojo for the evening. Elena, Alva and Carol also joined us for a relaxing girls night. I haven't taken any pictures of what I was able toaccomplish, it wasn't much. I made a 1 page layout of Naiobi's ultrasound pics and then a 2 page layout of her at the hospital I think.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

First Pair of Pants

This was my first pair of pants I've ever made! It wasn't difficult. Except that I couldn't quite figure out how to to sew the pants pieces together. I didn't actually sew them together until I had it all figured. I really wanted some white pants but got this fabric instead b/c I was planning on wearing them to a park thing with the girls. Not too dirty but still light. I made this top thinking that they matched together but Kevin wasn't having it! I swear I'd by a fashion diasaster if it wasn't for him. That's why I stick to jeans and t-shirts. You just can't go wrong! Putting outfits together is a craft in itself. Don't you think?

I think the pants fit fine except for that slight pull outward in the crotch area. I wonder if it's b/c I should have made them a size bigger. I also thought the waist was too high. No picture of that b/c I'd be embarassed when you saw what my mid section looks like. Even I was horrified when i saw the picture. Nothing like a bad picture of yourself to motivate you to workout! Speaking of which, Kevin and I did ab exercises last night at around 10pm. He's signed me up for another round this evening. Anyway, the fabric is 100% cotton and I swore I was going to pay attention to what it was so that I could write about it at sewing pattern review. But I don't remember. It feels like the material that slacks are made of, but all cotton. Yummy! The material drapes nicely and I have enough left over to make Omari a skirt.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 3760. It contained both the top and pants. I'd like to make the pants again with a light gauzy material to wear to the beach.

Here's a picture of the top on the day I wore it. I ended up wearing it with pink pants and Kevin and I both agree it looked better.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I made a little lunchsack

This is my little lunchsack that I made following the free instructions from It was fairly easy. I even added a front pocket! So here's how I did it:

First, I made the bag from memory. I saw the instructions while hard at work (wink) and got home and just did it by what I remembered. I therefore didn't have the exact measurements. I just eyed about how much I needed to make a decent sized bag. I used PUL leftover from diaper making. I folded the material in half and cut out the little squares at the bottom. As I had decided that I was going to add a front pocket, I cut out a piece of contrastic PUL just slightly wider than edge of the cutouts below. To determine th height, I folded the top edge of the printed PUL about an inch and then folded it down again measured that distance. Why? Because that would tell me where the bag was going to close and therefore, where the top part of the pocket would be.

I sewed up one side of the bag before determining it would be easier to attach the hook and loop tape before I sewed up the other side. What is hook and loop tape? That would be Velcro to most of you. However, Velcro is just the brand. The brand I have is Aplix which I have leftover from diapermaking. I placed a square of Aplix hook (the rough part) in the middle and sewed it on. At this point I switched my needle to a Denim needle b/c I remembered that when I was making diapers, I always had a hard time sewing the Aplix if I used a Universal needle. This one didn't give me any trouble.

Once I did that, I folded it over once so that I could see the Aplix.

I then folded it over again and marked a line.

I used that mark to line up the bottom of the loop tape (soft part) of the Aplix and sewed that on.

The hook tape is on the other side of the bag.

I sewed another piece of loop tape right below it. This will be the closure for the pocket.

I then sewed up the seam on the other side. Next I matched up the unsewn bottom edges. You can see that my edges didn't really match up. I just sewed them up where they both met.

Yes, that's a clothespin at the top of the picture. The PUL is really slippery. You can also use binder clips. This is what it looks like when you're done with that.

Now you start topstitching the edges. I started by topstitching top to bottom in the side that had the hook tape. That's the "back" side where I attached the hook tape at the top edge of the bag.

I next attached the hook tape to what would be the pocket. I just placed it on top of the loop tape and marked where the hook tape should go and sewed it on.

I then folded in the edges and held them in place with paperclips. Hey, use whatever works I always say. I then began topstitching, again from top to bottom, catching the pocket in the stitches. I started on the right edge of the bag so that I could just lift my presser foot and turn the material to topstitch the other edges. When I got to the bottom, I folded in the bottom part of the pocket and caught that in the stitches and so far to the other edge. And this is the result!

Here it is closed up.

And this just to show how big the inside is.

Why did I make it? Omari gets lunch at camp. But somedays they have beef or pork and those days I send her with her own sandwich. The lunchbag she uses for school is too big, and a paper bag gets wet if I put in a frozen drink or an icepack. This is the perfect solution. It's the right size and it won't rip when it gets wet. PUL is actually waterproof which is why it's used in diapermaking.

Here's the link to the Simplicity instructions:

Monday, July 9, 2007

Scratch that

Well, I was making this blouse.

I almost finished it but I hated it. I hated the collar (too big). I hated the facings which I ended up not using. Instead I used some hem tape. It seemed to work okay. The armholes didn't fit well. Did I grow in the past few weeks? Possible.
It's the same pattern I used to make that nurse looking tunic that I like. I was just making a different view.

Anyway, I'm going to turn it into this little pink blouse for Omari. I really like the fabric. I feel like it's so dainty and girly. I like the scalloped edged and it's embroidered with little dots everywhere.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Reconstructed Boys' T-shirt

I just despise the way a boys' or man's t-shirt looks on a girl/woman. We've collected a few camp t-shirts over the past 2 years that I've done nothing with. What motivated me to take action this time is that she has to wear this camp shirt every day! I just couldn't have my little girl wearing this overgrown monster every single day of the week. So I took out Burda 2703 and cut out a new neckline and smaller sleeves. Isn't this way cuter?

The instructions were very easy to follow. My sleeve is a little smaller because I was working with a smaller piece of fabric. I used the sleeve pattern as a guide and kept the original hem. All I did was place the curved part of the pattern toward the edge that attaches to the body of the shirt and let it be whatever length it was going to be. The boys' shirt was just a square. I also didn't do a neck binding. I just folded it over and used a somewhat decorative stitch to tack it down. I think it's called a double pointed zig zag or something like that. I also didn't cut the shirt where the pattern said because it would have been too short. Anyway, Omari loves it and is looking forward to wearing it. Don't you love that there's a kid with dreadlocks on the shirt? But no girls. Hmmm. Tomorrow is her first day of camp. Gotta go do the other shirt now.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Cauliflower Pasta

Okay, so this is not necessarily a craft. But it is creative. I got the recipe, Pasta and Cauliflower from allrecipes. The creativity comes in when trying to hide vegetables from the kids. I shredded the cauliflower in the blender. Naiobi was my helper and she gives it 2 thumbs up. I also added a package of St. Ives ground round for protein. The white stuff in the picture is the shredded cauliflower. I used Brown Rice Pasta from Trader Joe's and unlike the suggestions in the allrecipes reviews, I needed the full 1/2 cup of olive oil. I think the difference is the use of the brown rice pasta. I have made oil based pasta dishes using the regular semolina wheat pastas and they come out really, really oily. Okay, the verdict is in. Both Omari and Kianna loved it so it's a keeper.