Friday, June 28, 2013

Off topic-the good and the bad about having a really smart dog

If you have read my blog for any length of time you are aware I share my life with dogs, oh yeah and The Husband. Five dogs. I would love more, but The Husband disagrees. So does Barney.
Barney adores fabric, if any fabric hits the floor, he is on it.

This post is about Barney, our Border Collie/Labrador Retriever cross. Barney is the Einstein of the dog world. Seriously. He is smart. Scary smart.

Barney is a rescue, he was in our yard for minutes when he figured out he could open The Gate To Freedom, so now we have to have carabiners on the gates to keep Barney contained. He can find any gap or weakness in any fence. He is our self walking dog. We have always been grateful he doesn't have opposable thumbs, god only know what he would be capable of (yes I know, bad grammar, don't care).

Barney is very protective of children and anyone he figures can't protect themselves (he is a pretty good judge). Aunt Edna for example, Edna has cerebral palsy and is mentally and physically challenged. A couple of years ago she had to stay in our home for a couple of days, and Barney decided he had to guard her through the night. One morning I got up, opened to door to the room to get Barney outside for his morning pee, I guess I surprised him as him as he let out a growl unlike anything I have ever heard from him before. He quickly realized it was me, and was rather embarrassed by his error in judgement. I really believe he would have attacked if it was someone he didn't know. Good Barbar, taking care of Aunt Eddie.

In recent years Barney has developed an extreme fear of thunderstorms. Salivating, crying, shaking, he is clearly terrified. It is awful to see him like this, as he is usually fearless. He then made the connection between rain and thunder, and now he is frightened of heavy rain as well. Nothing we do seems to help.

We resorted to pharmaceuticals. We started giving him peanut butter (the only time he gets peanut butter BTW) with his Valium when the weather got too much for him. Works like a hot damn, he gets stoned and sleeps through the storms now. Then his bad mom forgot to refill his prescription, so I thought I would try giving him just peanut butter, couldn't hurt, right?  Guess what? It works, he made the connection between the peanut butter and feeling better. I have a dog so smart that a placebo effect works. Scary.

Update-The PB seems to work for a small/short thunderstorm, if thunder continues for more than 20 minutes, he needs the real thing. We have reduced the size of his dose by half however, and now Barney doesn't just sit around with glazed eyes, eating junk food and listening to Pink Floyd all day. It's all good.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pay It Forward-A Giveaway

We all know that the online sewing  community is kind, welcoming and generous, don't we?  Recently I was given an OOP sewing book that I really wanted by someone I don't even know. And, she wouldn't let me reciprocate. Thank you Josette ♥. Her selflessness is your potential gain. I somehow ended up with two copies of OOP Bridal Couture, by Susan Khalje, (before you accuse me of being a thousandaire, I got them both at library book sales).  If you want a copy of Bridal Couture, all you have to do is leave a comment and promise me that you will "Pay It Forward" to another sewist and if you have a blog, write a post about what you did.

I will draw the name on Canada Day. update-Canada Day is July 1.

PS-the book has been changed from a softcover to a hardcover by the library, but other than that the book is in good shape, no stains or torn pages.

Is it just me?

McCalls 6809 Boot Wraps

Or is this the ugliest/stupidest thing/pattern that has ever been produced in the history of the world?

Tell me. Honestly. If I am old and have no taste or clue as to what is happening in the world of fashion let me know. I really am curious if people actually like these.

Oh yeah, McCall's autumn patterns are out, seems premature to me, seeing as summer hasn't really made an appearance yet. They have some interesting patterns. I may even have to buy one.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

from the Manequim website

I found a link on Pattern Review about the Manequim website, saying they had free downloadable patterns online, of course being a greedy thrifty sewist I had to go see. Now we all know that Google translator isn't entirely reliable when it comes to translating, but this one had me in convulsions. Here is a screen shot of the translation from Portuguese to English.

How to measure the horse's shoes? WTF?

Oh and here is the link to the website, if you are interested. I couldn't find the patterns. Let me know if you do.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The tension is getting to me

I am hoping that one of you out there may be able to help me. I am trying to make a shirt for The Husband. I struggled for an hour this afternoon with the tension and nothing I do seems to make a difference. The fabric is 100% densely woven cotton. My machine has a drop in bobbin and the pressure on the foot is automatic. I have tried every needle from every size Universal I have, a Denim 16, Microtex 12 etc. I have cleaned my machine thoroughly, and it was serviced recently. Other fabrics I can make the tension work. Just not this one. Is there some fabrics that a machine just will not sew?
As you can see, the stitches on the top look fine, but the bottom the bobbin thread just lays on top of the fabric.
There is barely any difference between the tension being set at 1 and being set at 8.
 Does anyone have any ideas?

Updated June 20

After testing on another fabric, where the damned tension was fine (sigh), I removed anything removable from my machine. Cleaned the tension disks with fuzzy dental floss. Blowed air at the tension disks as well (canned air, not human air). The tension was improved, not perfect but improved.. Thank you all for your help! It is much appreciated.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pepto Pink Pyjama Party

I love making clothes to lounge about the house in, L♥VE I tell you. I don't know if it is because the pressure is off, if I am making things only my family will see, I don't feel the need to be as perfect. Possibly. Then again, I live a fairly dull life, (I'm not complaining, if I wanted excitement I would go get me some), and I wear casual/lounge clothes more than almost anything else. A combination of the two perhaps. Let's go with that.

After my recent make of Loes Hinse Cruise Pants (cropped version), I thought they would also make perfect pajamas (notice how I am demonstrating my cleverness in using both spelling of PJ's, oh wait a third version too, goodness, I am gifted).  They are easy, fast and fit like a dream. Exactly what one wants in lounge wear.

So I went stash shopping in the fabric closet of requirement and found Pepto Pink Linen! Why was Pepto Pink Linen in my stash I asked myself? Myself had no idea. You see, I don't wear light pink. Ever. Even as a child. So why on earth did I buy it? It must have been cheap. I washed and dried the fabric three times in hot water and put it in the dryer before cutting. It made such a difference to the feel, it's like a completely different fabric. Much improved, not as crisp and wrinkly, and I am not likely to iron these.

I love them. Worn together they have the look of hospital scrubs, not exactly what I was going for, so I tend not to wear them together, I don't sleep in bottoms any way, they are too warm for me, so I sleep in the top and wear the bottoms with a t-shirt.  The top is OOP Vogue 2148 and as mentioned above the bottoms are Loes Hinse Cruise Pants. Win.

I feel I need to explain/apologise for the lack of photos of me wearing garments. I really hate having my photo taken, even if I am the one doing it. I am trying hard to get over it and I promise I or at least my body will make an appearance soon. Bear with me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help me! Opinions Please

Is the look of orange and pink colour blocking over? I have the above fabrics (knits), which are exactly the same and now I feel like doing something with them together. Tell me ladies, is it too late, has the boat sailed on this look already? 

1. Is this look over?

2. If it isn't over, what would you do with colour blocking a t-shirt? I am thinking of one sleeve a different colour or ............? Share with me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Alert the Media! Part one.

I have contacted Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp), BBC, but not FOX news (for obvious reasons). For some reason they don't feel the information I am about to share with you is news worthy. Humpf. What do they know anyway? Now that I have your interest. Here we go.

I sewed. Yup, that's right I sewed. In spite of the way it appeared, I hadn't been kidnapped and held hostage for my impressive sewing book collection, I wasn't being held for questioning by the stash police, wasn't on a top secret mission finding the world's rarest fabric, oh no. Just suffering from lost mojoitis. No, not mojitos, mojoitis. I just couldn't get going. All that changed this week.

I made this.

What is it, you ask? It is a holder for my earbuds for when I go to the gym. More than once I have arrived there without any means of listening to music thereby keeping my butt on the treadmill for the required amount of time. Now that my membership card is attached to them I can't go without them.I love the fabrics I used on this, the colours make me smile every time I see it.

I finished a caftan that I started months ago. It is Vogue 7335 now OOP. I have had this pattern forever, it came out in 2001 and I bought it pretty soon after that. On Pattern Review there is a consistent opinion that this is way oversized. Hell yeah it's big. I made a size 16, and I am a size 20 or 22 (on a bad day), I also am broad shouldered, and this hangs off me like those sweatshirts they wore in Flashdance, not really the look I was going for. That isn't to say I don't like it, I do. It will be perfect for lounging about the house when the stupid hot days of summer arrive. It made from one of the worlds ugliest prints (think of fishbones on acid), a rayon from my stash (I think it was thrifted, I hope it was really cheap). It was intended as a wearable muslin. Next one will be considerably smaller. Mark this as a win.

Next up Butterick 5504, Connie Crawford shorts or capris. Let me say right away that these are most definitely not a win. I am not sure whether that is the fault of the pattern or the fabric I chose or both. The fabric was in my stash (thrifted) and is cotton twill with lycra. I have read other people describing fabric as being spongy and I was never quite sure what they meant by spongy.  Now I do. If you want to know what spongy fabric feels like, let me know and I will mail you some 8-). I think if I made these in a drapier fabric, I might be able to fix whateverthehell is wrong with them, but with this fabric, no way I am willing to try. They do some really strange things, for instance in the front crotch area there is fabric pooling there, which as I am sure you can imagine is less than attractive.  Apparently when I walk strange movement occurs on the legs. These are too awful to photograph. My camera might break. Sorry, you are just going to have to take my word for it.

Next up (I told you I sewed), Loes Hinse Cruise Pants. I made the cropped pant, in a linen cotton blend. Instant Love♥. The pattern goes together like a dream and fits well. I'm not saying they fit perfectly but as my weight is in flux I am not willing to spend a bunch of time fitting something that won't fit perfectly in a little while anyway. I have barely been out of these pants since I made them, except to wash them to take photos. WIN.

It is so nice to be back to sewing, you don't realize how much you love it until you haven't sewn for awhile. Stay tuned for part two.