Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Day 2 - A quick post about a new Heather Dress

I made this pattern once before last month out of an old bed sheet. This time I used a medium weight knit I've had for about a year and a half. I also got a bra and undies and a scrunchie out of the two yards. Not bad.

Bible Reading:
1 Corinthians, chapters 9, 10
Excerpt: 1 Cor. 10 vs 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Day 1 (Last time I went 10 days in a row - we'll see how long I go this time)

I made these mitts today. I used the same pattern I used last year when I made my Lucy mitts.

Here I am wearing one and taking a hand selfie, whilst sitting in the waiting area of the elementary school my daughter is coaching rhythmic gymnastics in.

Earlier today - mid-construction.

My youngest kid, one day before he turned 13 (Friday - Groundhog Day). The last photo of him at age 12.

Coffee from the world: Greece. My sister-in-law has traveled to many countries and brought back lots of nice items, including some great coffees. This one was a fine grind and had a great flavour.

I did a workout in the gym tonight, including flexibility. Can do both sides front splits but my middle splits need work!

Bible Reading:
1 Corinthians, chapters 7, 8
Excerpt: 1 Cor. 7 vs 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Day 10 - Progress on the flower top. French Seams (McCall's 7542)

So here's my pattern, all cut out. I decided to make version A for the sleeves, but the longer version of the top.

The fabric is very light and slinky, not to mention slippery and most worrying - prone to fraying. For that reason I decided to sew French seams in order to prevent any of the seams from unraveling. I've actually had a top I made unravel at the seams - it was just the type of woven chiffon-y type of fabric and it completely unraveled and I threw it out!

So below I am sewing a very narrow seam with wrong sides together so the right side is facing up.

Next trim that seam - very important - especially if your notches bulge out, like I always cut mine. The last thing you want is frayed raw edges peeking through your finished French seam. Also if you trim with pinking shears, you lessen the risk of fraying.

Now turn your garment inside so the right sides face together and seam again, encasing the raw edges within your seam. It looks so neat and tidy. I pressed the seam open before doing my second seam since the fabric is slippery and difficult to "snug" the first seam tightly within the second seam - not sure if that makes sense or not. See pictures.

Here's that second seam - all pinned and ready to be stitched. This is the wrong side facing up.

Seam is done. Now being pressed to look great.
Here's a pretty seam on the inside of what I hope will be a pretty top.

Bible Reading:
1 Corinthians, chapters 5, 6
Excerpt: 1 Cor. 6 vs 19, 20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Day 9 - Ballet Skirt and Perelandra

I loaned my regular ballet skirt to my teacher because she is using simple exercise wear for a beginner pointe demonstration for the older girls for a weekend dance concert they're in. I decided in the interim I would invoke Sewing Goal #2 from my Day 7 blog entry (the one about finishing projects started already and languishing). Here I've chopped 1.5 inches width of knit fabric in a strip 78 inches long - once the long strip and the short strip are sewn together.

This is the skirt piece I cut a long time ago, and even hemmed already. Just needs for me to make a tie so the skirt can be worn. I think the fabric is pretty.

You feed the strip through the little bias tape maker. I used my medium sized one. Iron was nearby to coax the folds into their proper place.

After you've folded the bias tape over (making double folded bias tape), you painstakingly pin the long skinny tie to the top of your skirt, sandwiching the raw edge in between the two folds of the bias tape tie.

Done! And now my dummy is wearing it. Incidentally, I got this dummy for Christmas. I don't have a name for her/it yet. Will have to think about it.

My son and I are now reading this book together: Perelandra. It is the second in The Cosmic Trilogy by C. S. Lewis. It's interesting because the narrator in this story is named Lewis. As everyone knows, C. S. Lewis is the author of the Narnia series and Mere Christianity, among many other books. A few years ago I read Out of the Silent Planet (book one in this series) to all four of my kids and Mark remembers the story. That's a good thing because he's my youngest and so I'll assume the older siblings remember some parts of the story for their part too.

Bible Reading:
1 Corinthians chapters 1, 2
Excerpt: 1 Cor chap 1 vs 18, 19 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning i will thwart."

Monday, 15 January 2018

Day 8 - The Best Elastic! and Overdressed

I ordered this from Elastic By The Yard. These arrived today in the mail. So pretty!!!!
Now my online buying is complete!

Here's another angle. Each of these spools is 5 yards of various foldover elastics for projects that require such edgings of beauty!

In reading news, I have finished The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Reading it now to my 12-year-old. He digs it.

What am I reading now? Well, near to my crafty, sewing heart is this book, written in the year 2012, by Elizabeth L. Cline: Overdressed - The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

The book describes how the proliferation of cheap fashion has driven away once thriving clothing manufacturers and design shops in the United States. I'm 90 pages into this book, and I feel the urge to shop only at second hand clothing stores, but more to my liking - make as many of my own clothes as I possibly can. Not a perfect solution, given that the textile industry carries its own problems with the way it is manufactured, but I still think making my own clothes is a positive step. Sewing forces you to use thought and time and problem-solving skills in every piece you make. I don't need to have a lot of stuff (clothes), but I sure love to create, so I will soldier on!

Bible Reading:
Acts, chapters 18, 19
Excerpt: Acts chap 19 vs 18, 19 Also, many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Day 7 McCall's 7542 - The start of this week's project

I have a panel of fabric. It's some kind of shiny light-weight, slinky polyester. Here it is wrapped around my mannequin. I'm thinking of turning it into a fancy top, specifically to use the giant flower to advantage. I think I may try to adapt it to McCall's 7542

I think I may try to adapt it to McCall's 7542
I've seen some really pretty versions of this pattern online by other sewing enthusiasts.

There are many pieces to cut and I haven't decided what sleeves to select, or what fabric I will use to make the sleeves. We will see...

I've mentioned some reading goals I have in a previous post. Today I'd like to document my sewing goals. So here they are:

1) To create one brand new project each week. Finish by Saturday, decide and start on new project by Sunday.
2) To finish one of my many works-in-progress (wips).
3) Tackle at least one tedious mending jobs per week.
4) Post pictures and details of projects.
5) Enjoy it. Listen to interesting podcasts while cutting out pieces, doing easy parts etc.
Sewing is like a wonderful therapy.
So's knitting...

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 7, 8
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 8 vs 7a Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Day 6 - Heather Dress and Family Fun

I finished a dress I started last Sunday. It's the Heather Dress by Sew Over It.  I like the result. Here is the process it takes to make a pattern from a pdf file. At least this is the way I do it:

Tape the pages together, carefully attaching numbered triangles. Then cut out the individual pieces.

Next I chose which size to make for myself. I picked size 10, the second size. I found it helpful to trace the outlines with yellow highlighter for my size before cutting out the pieces. 

Next, pin the pieces on your fabric and cut them out. I used an old knit bed sheet. It was a top sheet which my son did not want for his bed anymore. He has renounced top sheets. So I decided to make it into a dress. I selected the Heather Dress.

Once all the pieces were cut out, I set about to sew it all together and rather like the result as you can see below.

I made it long. I cut the front and back pieces out at the bottom of the bed sheet, where it had already been hemmed. That way I did not need to hem at the end, which did not take any of the length away from the dress. I like this color and I like the fit. I very much like the deep pockets. I could fit a lot of snacks in there if I needed to. 
I accidentally sewed the middle panel in wrong side up. That is why the hem faces out instead of facing in. I don't mind though, I kind of like it that way.
 My Tom Sawyer boy.

Little pieces of the rest of the family. Today we went to a photographer friend's house and had family pictures taken. It was great fun and afterward we decided to go to Red Robin for food. My two oldest boys work full time and live on their own, so it's a treat for me when we all get together.

A random shot of me trying to get the timer on my ipad to work. Daughter in background doing something funny.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 5, 6
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 6 vs 4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners. (groom speaking to his bride)

Friday, 12 January 2018

Day 5 - Excitement

This big bundle arrived at my doorstep today. I had to pay duty because inside are textiles. Canadians get punished for buying fabric from the USA. My fine was $18.

Anyhow, I ordered in late December, when Girl Charlee was having a 30% off sale of all their stock. Well, I was in a buying mood and my Bitcoin was doing good so I took a plunge and bought a bale of fabric. Here is the package - I had begun to hack into the plastic barrier, when I realized I wanted to dramatize the opening by photographing. Not wanting to reveal my home address to the worldwideweb, I cleverly stuck and handmade pincushion on top of the offending label.
Shrink-wrapped potential. Shall we unbundle this? Yes we shall...

Here are the first six fabrics. I will label them, left to right: 1) Cotton Jersey Knit - 1 yard;  2) Single Spandex Knit - 1 yard;  3) Cotton Jersey Blend Knit - 2 yards;  4) Cotton Jersey Blend Knit - 1 yard  5) Cotton Jersey Knit - 3 yards;  6) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards

Continued, left to right: 7) Single Spandex Knit - 1 yard  8) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards   9) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards  10) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 3 yards  11) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 3 yards.

I noticed that the fabrics which are the lightest weight are the ones labeled Cotton Jersey Blend Knit, so in this case it is fabrics #2 and #3 (the wavy, shaky lines and the bird fabrics). I don't usually care for knits that are quite that lightweight, so I will see what I can make of those ones. All the others are also lightweight, but not to excess. Sooooo, what am I gonna make with these?

Below, all laid out in a pretty arrangement. Oh how lovely they all are!!

Reading with my kiddo:
Today I finished reading Tom Sawyer to my 12-year-old son. He loved it! (I did too). It contains humor, pathos, irony, satire, mystery, romance, tragedy, horror and excellent prose! If you are ever in charge of a 12 year old boy, I suggest you read this one out loud to him. You'll enjoy it together! Below is the exact same cover of our copy.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 3, 4
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 4 vs 7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (groom speaking to his bride)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Day 4 - The Art of Scraps

So I took a picture of the scraps which over the past months have slowly filled up my large waste basket at the side of my sewing machine. The photo is the art, cuz I sure am not keeping this stuff. I thought of using it for stuffing of some sort, but most people think it would be too heavy and lumpy. Also, there are needles interspersed throughout. There are lots of memories in this scrap pile. 

Another angle

In health news, I'm posting a picture of one of my favorite indulgences, kombucha. It is supposed to be excellent for your gut health (digestion and absorption of minerals) - whether or not it's true, maybe, but I really really love it!

This one is almost finished as you can see.
I went to an extra ballet class tonight because I had a free evening. Made me feel good.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 1, 2
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 1 vs 1 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! for your love is better than wine; (wife speaking of her husband - very romantic)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Day 3 - Back to ballet

One of my goals for this coming year is to improve my pointe work in ballet class. This for me is very difficult because my ankles are weaker than I thought they'd be when I first started. Also, I'd like to increase my range of motion in the ankles for a nicer line. As it is, I can't get fully up on the blocks due to ankle tightness. So I have lots of work to do - strength, technique, flexibility of the foot, balance, core control, and probably other stuff. Also, this being my first time back to class in 2018, my toes hurt. Another goal - in relation to ballet skills, is I'd like to drop the ten pounds or so I've gained in the past couple of years. I just feel better when I'm lighter, so I'll work on that. More on that in another post.

I know my elastics are not sewn in at the right spot, but I was just trying it out to see if it could help me with fighting off sickling my feet. My right foot in particular doesn't want to cooperate.

Here's me just goofing around. It was so cold today, and even rather cold in the studio, so I wore another version of a top from pattern, McCall's 7093. This one is the fleece houndstooth material I made back in November. I blogged about the beginning of making this.
Excuse the weird hand shape. Anyway, like the top?
Lighting issues to be solved, but for now, I have a photo of myself after getting back from my first day back to ballet.

Bible Reading:
Psalm 72; 2 Chronicles 1
Excerpt: 2 Chron. chap 1 vs 16 And Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders would buy them from Kue for a price.

Kue = Tarsis. Tarsis is a port city in southern Turkey. The Apostle Paul was born there, I think.