Friday, November 7, 2014

happy weekend everyone

The McCall's blog recently posted about their new magazine which is produced in conjunction with Joanne's Fabrics. As I live in Canada and we don't have a Joannes (not sure whether this is good thing or not), I can't have a look at it before I buy it, I was wondering if any of you Americans have had a look at it. Is it worth it?

I was checking out the Burda patterns on the Simplicity website the other day and I noticed something unusual, There seems to be a pattern (Burda 6974) which appears identical to a top that was in Burdastyle magazine, Draped Shirt 02/2013 #113. Is this normal? Or am I a total idiot for never having noticed before? Tell me.

Don't worry about offending me, I am used to feeling stupid foolish.

And I noticed this pattern description. Almost a little frumpy and innocent??? I got to get me some of that, there is nothing more desirable than frumpy when making your own clothes. You could have added that it would look homemade to make it even more attractive.

Burda, you have to get a native English speaker to proof read your pattern descriptions.


Do it soon.


I promise there will be sewing to show off  write about soon. My mojo has been intact but I have been suffering from decision paralysis. So many things to sew, just couldn't decide which pattern and which fabric etc.

Later sewing sisters ♥

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hello? Is anyone still out there?

Is anyone out there? I wouldn't blame anyone for giving up on me.

First of all, I am admitting I was shamed into this post. Yes, shamed. Fitnottofit nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you darling girl! I thought I should write a post before responding to the nomination.

Wow. It has been a long time since I posted. Since April 25, 2014 to be exact. I thought I would include the year because it seems like it has been even longer. I have tried to post, really, truly I have. I offer as evidence excerpts from posts I have started and not finished. These may or may not get finished and may or may not show up as completed posts one day. One never knows.

I miss blogging. I have been so busy and so tired that I just haven't been able to manage it.

while back while thrift store shopping, I came across a Singer 500 (aka Rocketeer) for $25. I knew from reading other people's blogs that it was a powerful machine and could be a worthwhile addition to my sewing machine family. Then of course there was it's appearance. To me it looks like a old Buick/Chrysler/Edsel.

 I have been sewing, but it has been of an industrial kind of sewing. The kind of sewing that you have to sew. For work, and not pretty, fashionable clothes. Nope, the kind that is almost no fun at all. Why? I got a new job. Not a job doing what I want, as apparently there is a conspiracy between all employers to not hire me to do the kind of work I want to do. 

Anyway there has been lots of sewing happening in the sewing dungeon, just not blogging. I'm sure we would all agree, that if one is going to slack off on one discipline, blogging is the one that should be given up on. 

Why am I stuck on referring to myself in the third person? No idea, but it feels right. 

Anyhoo, Here is a list of what I have sewn since my last post.

The List 

Clockwise from top left, the bra (obviously, close up of dark brown scout, close up of yellow scout, close up of black pants fabric

turquoise scout, tiny pocket tank, yellow scout

turquoise linen Scout
yellow voile Scout
taupe Scout with matching scarf, to wear on head while visiting a Sikh temple
dark brown voile Scout with some very simple beading around the neckline-because it sooo boring without something extra
taupe Tiny Pocket Tank top
black pants-Loes Hinse Cruise pants, I ♥ this pattern
3 pairs sleep shorts for a friend (no photos)
matronly beige Pin Up Girls Classic band bra that doesn't quite fit

the most boring beige voile scrub ever, but it is cool, not trendy cool, but temperature cool
blue and white pattern print scrub
red and pink print scrub
pink camo print scrub
polka dot scrub
red print scrub
turquoise and black scrub
turquoise linen scrub
white scrub
yellow voile scrub -no photo (in the wash)
dark brown voile scrub-no photo (in the wash too)
green print scrub (which I hated and felt like crap in, so I gave it away to someone who looks great in it)

That is 22 garments in 4 months. I think know that is a record for me. Yes, they are all simple garments, and I was all set to feel like I was taking the easy way out by only sewing simple easy patterns. Then I thought about it and realized that even the clothes I have bought recently have been simple garments. I guess my style has evolved/devolved? to basic stuff. I could be called a style minimalist. That sounds cool, I like it. Although one day I will attempt a Koos van den Akker coat, V1377, V1331 or V1277. I WILL.

Of course, all of you will no doubt notice that scrubs feature prominently on the list. If you can read between?around? the lines above, I am now working in a nursing home, and I have to wear scrubs to work. Almost all commercially made scrubs are made from the devil's fabric, polyester. As most nursing homes have interior temperatures of somewhere between a blast furnace and that of the cauldron at Kilauea (for the comfort of the residents), the blend of poly/cotton makes for a hot and sweaty and uh, um, a rather fragrant body. Cotton and/or /linen is required (at least for me).  That explains the scrubs.

Anyway, that's all I have time for now, please forgive the bad photography, I was racing against the rain, and of course, time.  I promise I will write more soon.

Friday, April 25, 2014

♫ Getting to know you ♪

Heather the Featherweight has been feeling tense lately and can't bring herself to form the nice stitches that I know she is capable of producing so I had to take her to her doctor, aka sewing machine repair.

I was leaving the shop, having a glance at the used machines, like I always do, when we made eye contact. My heart skipped a beat, a Bernina! I have never seen a  used Bernina there before. I had a talk with the owner of the shop and after heming and hawing and sniveling and whining and I don't knowing, she lowered the price to one I could live with. I called The Husband and begged and told him he never had to buy me another gift (something I assume he will forget before Christmas, hi honey!) he immediately said to buy it (which reminded me why I married him).

this is Princess

and this is Princess's wardrobe

Princess is her name and she is a Bernina 1080 Special and she was born in 1992 and I love her. She came with all original everything, and 12 feet, almost everything that I use on a regular basis, thank goodness, cause those suckers cost $$$$.  I will probably buy one of those clever adapters for short shank feet for the feet that weren't included. I will keep and continue to use my old machine as it does a few things that Princess doesn't.

I was able to justify the adoption of Princess as I haven't been thrilled with the stitch quality of the old Kenmore. The tension has been a problem lately as well, sometimes it is okay, sometimes not so much at all. Servicing didn't really help. And strangely, I only noticed now that I never named her, hmm, that says something, doesn't it?

It is so much fun learning how to use a new sewing machine. I am going to have a blast for the next few weeks. I will post again once I have a whole day off to play with her.

Don't you just love new toys?

So now this song is playing in my head, and yes, I know it isn't Julie Andrews singing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

the post I should have written yesterday, but was unable to...........

Fresh on the heels of the dental work post, here is what I should have written yesterday. I think I was trying to fit too much into one post.

Recently someone IRL asked me how I got started dyeing fabric and or t-shirts. So I thought some of you may be interested in how I got started too. So here goes.

It all started when I started having hot flashes. Now I am not saying I got a little warm and took off a sweater, I am talking about when you are standing on your front porch in bare feet, shorts and a t-shirt to cool off and you are out there for 15 minutes and it it is -20C (-4F) outside. A windbreaker is your winter jacket. You go to Starbucks and order a venti Frappuccino in the dead of winter because coffee is hot. The chair you sat in for 30 minutes is still warm an hour after you got up. Friends insist on driving, because you don't ever put the heat on in your car. In order to sleep you have to have the heat vent closed and the window wide open no matter how cold it is outside. Your husband moves to another bedroom because he is freezing. Wearing long sleeved anything is too warm. You wake up several times a night to change clothes because what little you are wearing is soaking wet. Your mattress is permanently stained from your sweating through the sheets and the mattress protector. I am talking HOT flashes. It was nasty. Not only did I have hot flashes, I was experiencing my own personal summer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Almost everything I owned was too warm, so I went on a search for the thinnest t-shirt to wear at home. I also didn't want to wear a bra so I wanted them to be over sized as well. I found these.

They were exactly what I needed. Cheap, so I could have a lot of them (because of the sweating), v neck and thin. Too thin and sheer to wear without a bra, so I decided I would dye them. 

This is the old packaging for Dylon dyes, and is what I used.
I used Dylon cold water dye available in my local fabric shop and it worked beautifully. If I hadn't found Dylon dye, I would probably have used Rit and would have been disappointed with the results and I wouldn't be writing this post now. Dylon is a fiber reactive dye,  probably a Procion type dye. When I first started dyeing, I would dissolve the dye in water, add salt and a package of  Dylon Cold Dye Fix (which is most likely soda ash). Add the tied t-shirt and follow the instructions that came with the dye. This method is called immersion method.

this is the kind of dye I use for tie dyeing and snow dyeing

I fell in love with dyeing and the fun and excitement of unwrapping your t-shirt or fabric and seeing what you made. It is so much fun.
Finished project
spiral tie dyed t-shirt-this photo from the Jacquard website
Then I wanted to do more, I wanted to do a spiral pattern, which is more than one colour, and I found Jacquard Procion dyes and started dyeing by direct application, in which you soak fabric/t-shirt in soda ash, and apply the dye solution (dye dissolved in water) directly to the fabric. I tie dyed with a friend and her kids, I did group sessions at the assisted living facility where I work. I did it with several friends. I figured out different ways of tying fabric and other resists. I learned a lot.

Then I found a pin on Pinterest (surprise!) that mentioned snow dyeing.Of course that got me interested. Only I had to wait for winter. Which came late this year, and it was beginning to look like it was never going to happen. But eventually it did. Of course I could have used bagged ice instead of snow, but that seems wrong when you live in Canada where we have snow a great deal of the time.

my first try at snow dyeing

A couple of things I learned about dyeing this way.

1. A little of fuchsia goes a very long way. It seems to absorb into the fabric faster than the other colours, so from now on I will use it very sparingly, if at all.

2. Most dyes are made from a mix of dyes and the colours will split when dyeing this way and that is one of the reasons you get such great results. The dyes that are a pure colour don't work very well. Jacquard Medium Blue is pure dye, Cobalt Blue is a better choice, and you will get more interesting results.

3. This isn't my revelation, but was mentioned casually in someone's blog post. When you are dyeing whatever is your primary goal (in my case t-shirts) throw something in the rack underneath to catch the excess dye. I used sheets that I was originally going to use for muslins. I still might. Muslin's don't have to be white. You might get something really amazing.

4. It is impossible to control the results, for instance I did one t-shirt I love the first time around, I tried to duplicate the results the second time I snow dyed. Not even close. So, let go of any control freak tendencies you may have when you do this.

5. Wovens take the dye differently than knits, and therefore have a more delicate look than knits, and the finer the fabric the more interesting the results. I have done 8 t-shirts, 1 was a slub knit (was a little coarse), 2 were fairly fine knit 95% cotton 5% lycra, the other 5 were the Hanes t-shirts mentioned above.  Here is a close up of 4 types of fabric.

6. If you are going to use one container like I did above, all the colours you use should "go" together, because some dye will go where you don't want it to, guaranteed. If you want purple on one t-shirt and orange on another, use different containers and keep them well apart when you are applying the dye.

7. Use caution when using dyes, always wear gloves and when applying the dyes in dry form, wear a mask. You never know if or when you may develop an allergic reaction to a dye. Be careful.
If you get dye on your hands (for whatever reason, no judging, gloves do break) using a pumice stone will help remove the dye, so will washing dishes, sometimes lots of dishes. Believe me, I know.

The sheet is on the top, the slub knit on the left, cotton/lycra  in the middle and the Hanes t-shirt on the right
This photo hasn't  been resized so the file is huge, so you will be able to biggify it to see the details

My Pinterest dyeing board

These websites are great fabric dyeing resources. The first one is what got me started on snow dyeing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow dyeing Part Two-the reveal

Some of you that have a blog will understand how some posts almost write themselves (like yesterdays rant) and other posts are like trying to do your own dental work without training or anesthetic. Painful and slow and bloody. This is a dental work post. There I said it.  I have written and rewritten and rewritten this, it ain't happening. So, without further ado or explanations, here is the reveal.

Even the photos suck on this post.

That's just the way it is sometimes.

I do like the results though.

my favourite-reminds me of Monet's water lily paintings

The Husband says if you squint and use your imagination (and take hallucinogens IMO) this one
looks like Bill The Cat 

sheet-will probably become pj bottoms

close up of previous sheet

another sheet-this one I folded a little-don't love the effect

close up of sheet
If anyone wants to know anything about these t-shirts and sheets, either leave a comment or email me. The well is dry. can't write more...........

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"do you sew"

Mini Rant On

Three times this week people have volunteered me to sew for them. Two of them I just met for the first time. Where do they get the nerve? I want to buy some. 

The conversation usually starts like this:

"you sew, right?"


I know what's coming next, and I'm sure you do too. At this point my emotional response varies from suppressed rage to disbelief, depending on my blood sugar level.

"I should get you to make me a _______."
"I should get some material and get you to make me a ________."

When someone uses the word material, it irritates the hell out of me. I have always managed to resist the urge to get them to elaborate on what kind of material they are referring to, reading material, insulation material, plastic material, absorbent material, roofing material etc. I refer you to the Merriam Webster Dictionary for details. The term is FABRIC or CLOTH. Let's all say it together, FABRIC OR CLOTH. 

Depending on how well I know the person, and how much I like them, my response varies. But one thing remains constant, I never ever ever say sorry or make any kind of apology. I don`t have to, it is my time and I own it.

"I don't have enough time to sew all the things I want to sew for myself"


"I don't sew for other people unless I am married to them or we have some shared DNA."

This one can take some time for some people to understand. Seriously. Sometimes you can actually smell smoke.


"I don't sew for other people, it makes me suffer from anxiety."


I pretend I didn't hear them and ignore them, this is the easiest, but least satisfying.

or,  combined with one of the other responses 

"I will teach you to sew and you can make it yourself."


"sure, would love to, that will take me around 4 hours, I charge $20 per hour, the pattern will cost $15, and the fabric will cost anywhere from $10-$20 per meter and it will take 2 meters, for a total of over a $135 and it could be more depending on the pattern. When do you want to go shopping for the fabric?"

So far no one has taken me up on the two responses. Thank god.

Why do people always always assume sewing ability is something they should get for free? You wouldn't say to a carpenter, I should get some building material and get you to build me a house, or to a plumber, I should get some copper material and get you to upgrade my master bathroom, or to a mechanic, I should get you to fix my car, it's been making a funny sound. And assume that they would be happy to do it for nothing. Why is sewing so undervalued?

So far this year I have been asked four times to sew for other people. Actually that isn't accurate, it has been assumed by four people this year that I would sew for them. Assumed. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. 

How often are you asked to sew for someone else? 

How do you respond when people ask/demand/beg you to sew for them? I would love to know how other people deal with this issue. Tell me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow dyeing Part One

Usually by this time of year we have a fair amount of snow. Of course this year, when I wanted to play with snow dyeing, there is very very little snow. Wednesday and Thursday we got around 5-6 inches. Yippee. Of course I could have bought ice, but that seems wrong.

There are quite a few tutorials online about how to do this, so I won't post links, because there are quite a few. Most people that snow dye or hand dye fabrics for that matter are quilters. Not me, I hate quilting. Passionately. I admire the result but the process is boring as hell. To me.

Some things are no different with snow dyeing than regular dyeing. You still have to soak the items being dyed in soda ash and water. The items should be 100% natural cellulose fibers for optimum results. Two of the t-shirts I dyed are 5% lycra. It shouldn't make too much of a difference, but we will see.

If you are going to snow dye you will need:

Procion MX dyes-I use Jacquard
Soda Ash
Dedicated measuring spoons and stirrers (use only for dyeing)-get at the dollar store
Bucket for soda ash soak
Gloves to protect your hands from the soda ash and the dyes
Plastic containers to hold everything-I used one of the plastic totes intended for under bed storage
Fabric and/or t-shirts to be dyed

I place a sheet in the bottom of the container to catch the excess dye.
The bottles are to hold the racks above the sheet.

This with the racks in place

The t-shirts are soaked in soda ash and scrunched together and placed on
top of the rack. Then three inches of snow is packed on top of the t-shirts.

All three t-shirts with the dye on top of the snow.

This one has just about the right amount of dye sprinkled on the snow.

This one has way too much dye applied. 

This one has the right amount too. 

This was the first time I had tried this technique, so I was guessing how much dye to apply. It worked out not too bad. One of the t-shirts I love, one I like and the third is just ok, I may over dye this one black.

The dyes I used on all three t-shirts were complimentary. If you decide to try this, look into colour mixing to make sure you aren't going to get mud colours. For example, purple and orange make brown. So choose your colours carefully. I wanted the sheet underneath all this to be useable so the colours had to coordinate.

Next post the reveal!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Welcome to Wadderville

Hard upon the heels of my Jungle January Renfrew success, I cut out another Renfrew. After all, I really like
the one I just made, I was primed for another top I loved. I forgot one eensy teensy detail.

I suck at choosing prints. 

Really suck. Which really pisses me off because so many other sewists play with prints and make pretty shiny happy things that I love, and I can't seem to manage it. It isn't fair.

Occasionally I pick one that works, but usually no no no no. I don't count animal prints as a print, I think of them as a neutral, same as stripes, polka dots, plaids, houndstooth etc. I could go on, but I won't. Herringbone. Glen check.

what on earth was I thinking?

I have to admit when I bought this print, I had my doubts. It was, I believe $2 a meter in the bargain section at Fabricland, I bought it at the same time I bought the Jungle January print and another one that is being donated, it's even worse than this one. Apparently I had money in my pocket and I felt I had to put in someone's cash register. I should know better than to shop when I am suffering from taste influenza.

The top looks bad on the hanger, it looks even worse on me. Something about the girls distorting the print or something, believe me it is bad, and you are going to have to take my word for it. No photos of this will ever be taken. Consider it my gift to the world. 

If one was flat chested. it might work. Might. Maybe. Probably Not.

I announced to the husband that I was going to toss it. He feels certain that there is a resident at the nursing home that he works at that would like it. So, instead of tossing it out, I am going to hem it and hope that someone gets some use out of it. And that people don't point and laugh at them when they wear it.

After writing the above, I went to the sewing dungeon to hem the damn thing and thought I should shorten the sleeves a little. I did, and cut off the serged edge of the sleeve, which was the only thing making hemming the fabric a possibility. So I am not donating it to anyone. 

 (I always serge the sleeve hem and the shirt hem immediately after cutting. So much easier serging it flat than doing it in the round.)

Can someone develop an ability to choose prints, or is it something you are born with? Does anyone else suck at choosing prints? Do Tell. Make me feel better.

Stashbusting: 2 meters gone forever

Friday, January 31, 2014

Jungle in the Snow and Stashbusting

this photo is dark because of the snow-this is the best I could make
it, even with Photoshop

Finally Anne, my Jungle January post. I just made it.

I am taking the easy way out and will steal borrow the template from pattern review. So much easier than trying to be clever and witty when I'm in a rush.

Pattern Description: The Renfrew Top is a fitted knit top with sleeve and neckline variations. View A has long sleeves and a scoop neckline. View B has short sleeves and a deep V neckline. View C has a dramatic cowl neckline and three-quarter length sleeves.  I made view C with long sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 0-16. I used 16 even though I a little larger than the measurements. Fits perfectly.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Exactly. Except for the banded hems which I didn't use.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the fit, it works for me right out of the envelope.

Fabric Used: a drapey poly knit, that I found in the bargain section at Fabricland last year.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I don't care for the banded hems, so I leave them off and lengthen the sleeves and body. I believe they were designed this way to make hemming easier. I have a cover stitch machine, so that isn't an issue for me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, and yes, I will make it again. I will be cutting out another one, or maybe two this afternoon. I can't recommend this pattern highly enough.

Conclusion: IMO a drapey knit is essential for the cowl version of this top to work, and this fabric is nothing if not drapey. 



Back to non template writing. I have finally found a knit fabric that my sewing machine doesn't hate. I didn't even use my walking foot (just realized that). The only issue I had with this fabric was the curling, like that's a surprise with a knit, right? 

I assembled this with sewing machine, serger, and cover stitch machine. I really enjoyed sewing with all three machines, it feels like such a luxury. I guess because it is. I have to admit I got an amazing deal on my cover stitch, it is the Janome 900CP, I bought it from an acquaintance for $100. I was very very lucky.

Have you made a Renfrew yet?
Gratuitous cute dog photo.
Ricky enjoying some rare winter sunshine.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finishing UFO's

Which I didn't even know I had cut out/started. They are good old Kwik Sew 2908, now unfortunately OOP. I found them when I was shoveling out the sewing dungeon, aka the basement. Which is where all the stuff goes when we want to hide it from people who may come over to judge us see us. So shoveling out the sewing dungeon almost always yields some treasures.
Back on topic. I have no idea when I cut these out, or where the fabric came from. I know I don't own any clothes made from either of these fabrics, and I also know that I don't have any more of these fabrics hanging about. Tis a mystery, and likely to remain so.

As you can probably tell, I made the full brief, I think full briefs show fewer pantie lines. Unless of course you are wearing low rise trousers. I also find panties I make myself seem to show less as well. In case you are thinking I spend a lot of time thinking about pantie lines, let me tell you I come by it honestly. My mother was obsessed with them, and in her late 60's started wearing thongs because they didn't create pantie lines. I hate thongs and find them uncomfortable, and as my friend H says, I have spent my life pulling my underwear out of my crack and now they want me to put it there? Uh, no.

I think it is a shame that KS has discontinued this pattern, it is an excellent pattern, which fits me very well. The one thing about this pattern is the crotch area is strangely wide, but that is easy enough to fix, just trim a little with a rotary cutter. I do sew my panties a little differently than the instructions. I sew the elastic to the right side of the fabric with the picot (if any) away from the edge, stretching the elastic to fit the fabric. Then I turn the elastic to the inside and use my cover stitch machine to do a nice finished edge. One of my favourite uses for my cover stitch machine.
sorry it's blurry-it was getting dark when I took this

How about you? What is your preference for underwear? Full brief, bikini, thong, tanga? Are you obsessed with pantie lines? How do you resolve the pantie line issue?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stash Busting 2014-Pun Alert

What a Ham! Or I'm on a Roll.

After seeing the lovely large ham in the Marcy Tilton's sewing studio in the Craftsy course The Ultimate T-shirt, I have been obsessed with them. I kept visiting the maker of the hams website (Stitch Nerd), and admiring all the pretty things. I just couldn't justify spending the money on one. This is not to say that Stitch Nerd's products aren't worth the price. They absolutely are, just not to me. 

MADE TO ORDER - Custom Handmade Extra-Large Professional Size Tailor's Pressing Ham with the Fabric of your Choice

So what is an obsessed woman to do? Make one of course. I found a few websites about making your own pressing equipment, and I was off. The only thing that I didn't have on hand was sawdust. While grocery shopping I stopped by the pet aisle to get some new toys for my canine children, and lo and behold, there it was. A bag of sawdust. Perfect.

I really like the shape of the Stitch Nerd's hams, and my intention was to make one as similar in shape as I could (spoiler alert-didn't happen). So I started playing with shapes on paper, keeping in mind I wanted this sucker to be BIG. As Shams from Communing with Fabric said,  "I have never found myself thinking, gee, I wish my ham were smaller." Size does matter.

I used leftover fabric from lining my Minoru Jacket, it is a Alexander Henry fabric, Home Sewing is Easy, available online here. I think it is THE perfect fabric for a pressing ham, don't you? On the reverse side I used gray 100% wool fabric, which fortunately matched well with the cotton fabric. I say fortunately, because it is the only fabric I have that I am certain is 100% wool.  I used two layers of fabric for each side, the interior layer is white cotton canvas, I'm not sure a double thickness is necessary, but I want the ham to last a long time.
Looks more like the shape of a really large Easter egg, doesn't it?
It takes quite a while to stuff the ham, and especially to compress the sawdust. I used a wooden spoon and a broken rolling pin (which also works well as a pressing tool btw). This can be hard on the hands, so I didn't do it all at once, I worked on it over a week. When you have it sufficiently stuffed, you have to sew it up by hand. Mine is so badly sewn that I will not be showing it to you 8-D.

I was so pleased with the ham, that I decided to make a seam roll as well. The seam roll was considerably easier to stuff and compress than the ham was, and therefore quite a bit quicker.

A couple of hints if you decide to make one for yourself.

If you don't have a canning funnel, buy one.
Leave the hole for stuffing big enough for the canning funnel to fit.
Have a couple of buckets on hand, one to hold the sawdust and one to hold the ham while you are stuffing it with sawdust.
Get used to the fact that you WILL get sawdust on your floor. It just can't be helped.

Here are the finished items. I put the coffee cup there for size comparison.

The seam roll is 4 inches wide and 22 inches long, which I think may be too long, if it is, I will undo the stitching and make it smaller. The ham is 12 inches high, 8 inches wide and 24 inches around.

I am really pleased with both of these, I think they turned out really well, and I smile every time I use them.
What do you think? Will you ever make your own ham or seam roll?

Here  are links to the websites I referred to when making these.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Selfless Sewing, Scrubs, Stashbusting and Alliteration

I am the best wife.

My first sewn garments of 2014 were not for me. I know, shocking. I wasn't even guilted or manipulated into selfless sewing. Sainted, I am or I should be. I believe the paper work is on it's way to the Vatican. I can hear some of you mumbling "get on with it will ya". Shut up and be patient.

I made more scrubs for The Husband. Three of them. I used my standard Simplicity 2769, now OOP. I;m not sure how many times I have made this pattern, but I believe it is around 20 times. I have transferred the pattern to thin cardboard and have the pattern hanging from a nail in the sewing dungeon. Easier and faster than unfolding tissue and pressing and trying not to tear it to pieces. I do this for all patterns I sew on a regular basis. Sorbetto, for example. 

Simplicity 2769

And without further ado, here they are.
This one is made from quilting cotton (from Hawaii) that someone gave my husband. Check out the pattern
matching on the pocket. Dazzling isn't it? I could only match the pattern on the chest pocket.
I hate it when I can't match the prints on all pockets. I think I die a little every time I have to do it.

This one is made from a poly cotton sheet, very heavily on the poly, the fabric is very thin and won't last very long. More pattern matching on the pocket.

This one is also poly cotton with more cotton than Batman, if you look closely at the photo on the right,
 you can see the pocket sewn into the side seam.
Sheets are obviously not the best choice for scrubs, but the two sheets I used, were, in a word, Cheap. Like $3 each. The other thing about making scrubs from sheets is the very large print, which translates well to a scrub top. If you ever decide to sew scrub tops, I have an easy, faster way to sew the lower pockets. Ignore the pattern piece for the lower pockets. Make a new pattern for the pocket 9 X 12 inches, bigger pockets are always better. I enclose one side of the pocket in the side seam and do the same for the bottom of the pocket. So you only have to finish and top stitch one side of the pocket to the scrub. It also makes it much harder to rip the pocket off the scrub, something The Husband excels at. If you look closely at the photos you will notice I sew the corners of the pocket on with a satin stitch, again because nice pretty top stitching doesn't hold up to The Husband's abuse. Since I made these two modifications to the pockets, I rarely have to mend his scrubs.   

Stashbusting down 2 meters of quilting cotton and 2 sheets. It's a start.