Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Interlude: Leg warmers and leotards

Girls' undies will be cut and sewn this weekend when they're away at
their dads. Good for sewing but bad for making adjustments. In the
meantime, here are some legwarmers I made for Naiobi. They're made from some
knee highs I was gifted. I knew I wasn't going to get much use out of
them and she loves them. She has suddenly refused to wear tights so
these work out perfect. I've made 3 pairs.

I came across this Lycra? Spandex? material at a Sally's Fabrics in my mall. They're going out of business so everything is 40% off right now. I had no intention of going there to buy leotard fabric. But what little girl wouldn't just love this? They are finished. This picture was taken last night to show how tight the armscyce is once you add the elastic. I was suspicious of it when making it up, because the same pattern piece is used whether or not you add sleeves. When you add sleeves, there is not elastic there and so I suspected that this was going to happen. They both complained about it. So there I was last night, picking out the stitches and taking out the elastic. I was tempted to just turn under and stitch but I was afraid the stitches would look wonky. So I added clear elastic without stretching. I'll find out on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birdie Bag

I took a new position at my job at the beginning of December. I am no longer isolated in a dull, corner office by myself. I am in a mobile unit, meaning most of them work from home (but not me) and it's surprisingly full on most days. It's fun having people to interact with face to face again. There is actually another sewer in there! It was so fun to find that out. I clued her into Sewing Pattern Review but Lucy hasn't gotten the courage up to post yet. Anyway, another co-worker Renate, immediately asked if I'd make her something. She wasn't pushy at all and just sorta said it in a joking way, pouting that the Lucy hadn't yet made her something. I've known Renate the whole time I've been with my agency (almost 12 years). She's a fun and vibrant girl-woman. She loved my Green Pepper bag and I'd told her I'd make her one. She brought me the fabric, an Ikea bedspread, and I finished it last week. She's quite pleased with it as you can tell.

Again my biggest complaint is that it has no outside pocket. Will add one next time. But otherwise, this bag is a breeze to construct. I did notice that once I added the zipper, the sides were no longer the same length. I think it's because I sewed the fabric too close to the zipper teeth. So, I just cut off the tops of the sides so they'd match up.

Because I had not liked how floppy the bag was, I went ahead an interfaced the outer material with medium weight fusible Pelon. This gave the bag the structure I wanted BUT there are some air bubbles I could not get out! I ironed and ironed and it would stay for a while,but in the end they came back. I've heard others complain about Pelon so I don't know if that's all it is. I've never used Sew-In interfacing and I wonder if that would work just as well. Do you know?

I ordered the straps and hardware from Strapworks this time and I like the webbing a LOT better. It's way thicker than the one I used previoiusly. It holds the hardware much better.

Some more pics, all taken on my iPhone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Underwear Month: Part 2

These were made from Jalie 2564. I used the same burnout knit as before. I got 4 panties out of that 1 yard! Quite a deal at about $6. This pattern is confusing when you're tracing it out. It looks like they have 2 patterns for the same panty so at first it doesn't make sense. But if you look closely, there is a little box inside each pattern identifying which one is to be used with foldover elastic and which one is for picot edge elastic or enclosed elastic.

I've had a love affair with FOE since I made diapers for my youngest, 4 years ago. So much so, that I still have some left from hundred yard roll I ordered back then! LOL Many people find it tricky, but I think it's the easiest thing to use. It finishes off so neatly and you can find it in so many colors. You can also dye it. I find it much easier to use FOE than say, folding under and then sewing. I use FOE almost exclusively to finish off elastic waists for my kids' garments. Needless to say, my favorite pair is the one with the FOE. I would have used white if I'd had it. But the waist on the other pair was not as comfortable. May have something to do with using 1/2" elastic instead of the 3/8" called for. I should say that these go a little higher up on the leg than the previous ones I made. I do like that better. But the other ones don't bother me either.

This weekend I'll pre-wash the fabric to start on the girls. Part 3 to come before 3/31/09! Let's see if setting a deadline actually gets me to finish them.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Underwear Month

So I had declared (to myself) that February would be Underwear Month. My kids are outgrowing what they have and I was going to dedicate last month to whipping up a few pairs for them. Well, I don't know what happened. February just flew by and I didn't get to it. So, now March is underwear month. So, 2 weekends ago I was all ready to go but I had no kid friendly prints! No pastels and the white I had was too thick. So I got on (order arrived today) and ordered some basic colors and a few prints. I also ordered lots of stretch trims from Kathy's Lace and Elastic Outlet. In the meantime, I thought I'd give making my own underwear a shot.

I used Jalie 2568 and made all 3 styles. I didn't have the same kind of elastic to use on the waist and since I hadn't planned on making undies for me, all the elastic I ordered was girly. So I used what I had.

I used stretch lace for the Brazilian Hipster (style C) and a stretchy burnout knit for the white ones. I LOVE the fabric. It's very stretchy and very comfy. The granny looking ones are supposed to be the Hipster (Style A) and the other pair is the Bikini (Style B). I've made the Brazilian Hipster before and honestly don't use that pair a whole lot. But I had the lace so I might as well make them up. I'm sure they'll sit around for a while.

Here's a close up of Styles A and B for comparison. These were both made with the High Waist. There is also a cutting line for a low-waisted version. On the model, the high waist fits very close to the belly button. On me, they are mid-waisted. In between the low and high. I wish there was a pleasant way to show you but the white is very sheer. The Hipster has you just turn and sew the leg seam. There is no elastic there although you can add it if you want. I wanted to try it without. It doesn't work well with the burnout knit bc it looks messy AND I should have thought this out and used a stretch stitch on the leg seam. I used a straight stitch and well, it doesn't stretch LOL.

(Edited to add: I just realized why they aren't high waisted on me. I didn't use the wide elastic at the waist!)

I really, really like the bikini style. It fits well and it's comfy. I wonder how much of that has to do exclusively with the fabric. Note that the leg is low. So if you find that uncomfortable these aren't for you.

This was waiting for me today. The solids, except for the pale yellow are all bamboo/cotton jersey. All the solids will be covering bottoms. I might make some out of the tissue weight polka dot jersey (isn't it cute?) and the little skulls too. How cool is it that the fabric comes with a little sticker telling the fiber content and the yardage? Love that!

And here's the elastic trims I got for the girls' undies. Glitter and ruffles and hearts.

More to come. I made a couple more from another Jalie pattern and I finished another Green Pepper bag for a co-worker. Will post in the next couple of days.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


This is how my nail fell off. My finger didn't actually start hurting until this happened and there was raw meat exposed. Now it just looks like I'm a really bad nail biter. (I am a nail biter, (see other nails for proof) but I know where to draw the line.) And just so I could take full advantage of my Tetanus shot, I went ahead and sliced my thumb with my food processor. It was NOT fun washing dishes last week and seriously considered going out to by all paper products that would end up in a landfill. But I didn't.

Like how the background is more in focus than the object of the picture? LOL That's my camera phone for you. We are ALWAYS well stocked up on marshmallows.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Stock Pot

So I got this 10 quart stock pot from Overstock. It's a great size. I was a little weary of it when I pulled it out the box because it was really light. My pots are not heavy, but they certainly aren't light. The steel is very thin. The pot feels like it's going to dent at any minute. Especially when I'm washing it. To wash it I place it on it's size, place my left hand on the top and apply a little pressure to hold it in place while I scrub the inside. I actually make myself NOT add too much pressure, cuz I SWEAR, I am going to dent that thing! I don't recommend you buy it. I was going to return but, nah! Too much trouble so I'm keeping it. I've used it about once a week for the past four weeks. Always for this Chicken Soup Recipe as we keep passing viruses back and forth. I found that I had to increase the amount of herbs I used. I followed the portions when I was using my 5qt pot and the flavors were OVERPOWERING and we loved it! When using the same amounts in the 10 qt pot the flavor was more bland. My fault for sure because I also added more water. The last time I made it, I followed all the steps and portions CORRECTLY and it was great. I did add Thyme of my own accord bc I did that very first time and I like it better that way. Anyway, we all love it and seems that we won't be needed Chicken Soup this week. YAY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick Update

I am fine. I got the tetanus shot, part of my nail fell off, just a sliver and it didn't even turn black. I got a big pot for my chicken soup but I don't like it. I will post pictures in a couple of days. I made another messenger style bag for a friend and didn't order enough webbing. So it's sitting on my table waiting for some more to come. Not much other sewing. Be back soon.