Sunday, February 26, 2012

More Pajamas

I made Kevin another pair of Pajama pants.

I used the same pattern again, still not following it (it has a weird old timey style with piping).   I did the same modifications to greatly lower the waist band, and then lowering the fly- otherwise, it would be way too short, since the waist band is drafted to go to the chest.

The only mistake I made was not stitching down the part of the fly that ended up in the elastic casing.  It really makes no difference, because one side of it is closed- but one side remains open. There didn't seem to be any part of the instructions saying to do that.  He could put a quarter in there.  You never know when you might need a quarter.

I did not attempt to match the plaids at all on the sides (and they don't match) but oddly, they match nearly perfectly on the back seam.  This makes me wonder how matching the plaids could be possible, because if I matched the sides- then wouldn't the back seam not match?

I'm excited to say this is my first TNT: Tried and True.  Now if I know Kevin wants Pajamas, I know exactly which ones to make.

Except now he says "but they don't have pockets..."  URGH! You never said you wanted pockets! I could have added pockets. 

All I was told is that the first pair I made (years ago) didn't have a fly, so I found a pattern that had a fly.  But- at the time I didn't buy new fabric and used the least girly stash fabric I had.  So then the complain was that the second pair  was purple.  This pair fixes both these issues, and now he is saying he needs pockets.  Who needs pockets when they sleep?  I mean, I gave him a place to put a quarter :)  I guess if I make another pair (probably next year, he doesn't wear PJ pants all that much) I will add pockets.  Probably just in the side seam.

I also made a gaggle of headbands.  Courtney asked for ones that wouldn't slip out of her hair when exercising, and she specifically asked for velvet (skating dress remnents), so I used some crushed velvet I had.  Then, I have a micro-suede one I like, so I made one (ottoman remnents), then I used a textured fabric that came in my fabric mart box.  And there is the flannel one from this morning.  If you look at the stitching lines, you can see the flannel one has the stitching very inward- I used the quarter inch foot, but changed to the edge stitch foot for the others. I like that better.   I also stabilized the stretch velvet and the mystery stretch fabric, and that helped a lot.   My other note is OMG as a quilter I take the ability to press cotton easily for granted.  Trying to press these fabrics was a nightmare- all three of them.

What a dud...

Class was a dud...I drove up to Cedar Rapids and ended up coming home.

So here's the story. I signed up for a class called Bag Making and Detailing. I try to do a class every month because I get lifetime free classes with my machine (but not really- a year, and then you get another year when you get the machine serviced...) because of the VIP card (which also gets you 20% off Bernina accessories, fabrics, and kits.)

So Pine Needles is really vague about what their classes are. When they put the calendar out, they didn't know what the project was yet, or the kit cost. (How do you have a class without knowing what the project is?) That's okay- so far I've really liked the classes and learned good techniques even when the project isn't my favorite. Plus, I really like bags.

So then I get the supply list and it is not useful. "Fabric according to pattern"- but I don't have the pattern yet. However, I googled to find the pattern and it is a cosmetic sized bag. This is my first UGH- I was thinking purse/tote bag. So already, I'm not too excited.

Then I call to get the kit cost- $31 (minus discount), but they didn't mention this was not including thread or needles (that is usually what makes the discount on kits nice- they don't usually discount thread, so it helps me build my Mettler stock). Thread is usually included in class kits. The pattern ($10) calls for 2 fat quarters and a zipper. I figure I could bring the supplies, but then I feel bad about it because they won't make any money, and if stores don't make money, they don't stay open. So $31 for a class that will teach me pintucks and demo Bernina's super expensive really cool ruffler sounds fair.

Today I drive up there and it turns out the kit is $39.95 (minus discount). That is just too much. I ask if I can buy the pattern separately, but it turns out they won't sell it outside the kit- so bringing your own supplies isn't even an option for this class. If you wanted to do that, they said, you'd also have to find your own copy of the pattern. WTF? I politely tell the teacher that this was more than I budgeted for, so I wouldn't be staying. She trys to tell me the kit is a better value than 2 fat quarters, a pattern and a zipper, because it is home dec weight fabric, not quilting weight. UM-$10 pattern, $2 zipper- how expensive is your home dec weight??? And besides, if the supply list told me I needed 1/2 yard of home dec weight, I could have brought that myself. But even still, you wouldn't sell me the pattern.

I'm annoyed I drove up there. But in my free afternoon, I did make three more headbands.

Quick Sunday Project

My sister asked me if I could make her some headbands, so this morning before I packed up my machine (I'm heading to Cedar Rapids for a class this afternoon) I gave it a try. I just copied a headband I already have. It takes about 20 minutes, and uses two 2" pieces of fabric 15 inches long, and just a bit of elastic. A nice remnant use!

Courtney wants ones that won't slip when exercising, so I plan to try different fabrics, and take them to skating and SPIN. If they don't come out when spinning, they should be good (of course, she has straight hair, so that might be more slippery than my hair.)

I wear headbands daily, so I am excited to make more.

You might recognize this fabric from a recent Fabric Mart purchase- this is the Marc Jacobs flannel. I made Kevin a pair of pajama pants yesterday, but we haven't done the photo shoot yet. I think to thank me for the pants he took the above photo at an angle that makes it look like I have not only ONE chin, but a very skinny one. I don't have too many photos like that!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Fabric...

I actually got this quite some time ago. Before I sprained my wrist and put my sewing to a halt I planned on doing a block a week- so I needed some good quilting fabric that would go together. I had a credit with connecting threads, so I picked up a few lines of clearance fabric to do that. The three in the lower right are 3 yards each- enough to do most of the back of a quilt. I have lots of piecing fabric, but a lot less for backing...

So now I'm back to mostly healthy, I'm going to see if I can use the rotary cutter again. But, this project will likely need to be put off a bit longer. I need to quilt the top I made for my Mom, and my sister has asked me to do a few projects (she clearly needs a sewing machine. It is clear she wants to be a crafty Mom.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Patterns...

I often take advantage of the 99 cent pattern sales for Simplicity, McCall, and Butterick. It is difficult to justify spending more than that on a pattern. However, Vogue has some beautiful patterns and they all get great review on Pattern Review. I decided to take a chance and try a few out. These were on sale for $3.99 each, making them cheaper than Kwik Sew or Jalie (I love Jalie) but still expensive. Unlike those other two brands, they still come on the cheap tissue paper, which I don't like.

I am hoping to make a cruise dress- these are the four I decided on. (Pictures from Vogue Patterns website)

This one is my favorite. I plan to make it with the Charmeuse fabric I have, which might be a little too light weight (Charmeuse is suggested for the lining...). Kevin doesn't think this one will look good on me :( It only has 2 reviews on Pattern Review, so I'm not sure what to expect with it.

This one caught my eye a while back, but I thought it would cling to much too my stomach, and the more I looked at it the less flattering I thought it was even on the model. However, it was named a best pattern on Pattern Review, and TONS of people have made it and it looks excellent on a wide variety of body types. I'm excited to try it. I've read it has a unique construction, which worries me, as I'll have to alter it to fit my petite frame. Stupid petite frame.

This would be a more casual beach dress. Kevin hates it. However, again it was named a top pattern on PR, and tons of people have made it with all different body types. I'm excited about this one. I plan to use a knit I got from Gorgeous Fabrics a few years back, a black and white sunflower print.

You'll be shocked to hear Kevin hates this one too. I don't think he can look past the model's photo (it also isn't very flattering) to just see the shape of the dress. (That is something challenging about sewing- to imagine what it could be, rather than what it is being shown as.) This is another pattern rated as a top pattern on PR, and a ton of people have made it, and it flatters a large number of body types. Essentially though, this dress is a sack of potatoes with a belt. I'm not sure what fabric I have for this- as I don't have many wovens.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Secret Project...

Has been received! I made my skating friend Melissa a blade towel to wish her good luck at Adult Sectionals. This is the same design I made for my coach for Christmas (though I forgot to take a picture of that- and his skate was a black fabric.)

Now I need to make myself one!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Quick project.

Yesterday I had a terrible day at work. It was just no good. Kevin and I went out for Indian food (oh so good! I just ate the leftovers for dinner tonight- I want more!) and then we came home and played Super Mario 3. We aren't so good at it anymore... Then, I went down in the sewing room, and played with fabric and thread for a few hours and came up with this:

It was based on a McCalls pattern, but the pattern was really not good. My measurements were all over the place, so I started with a medium, and sewed it up with my serger, and then started grading down the seam allowances on the top, but not at the bottom. I think it was 3 tries of taking off from the side seams before Kevin finally said "that looks like a real shirt". Because I like the shirt long, and I only had 1/2 yard of fabric, I had to V cut the sides so that it doesn't pull too tight over my hips. Kevin says it looks fine, but I think maybe it looks a bit goofy. If I did it again, I'd just cut that part wider, but I had way less fabric than the cutting layout called for, the pattern piece was actually hanging off the edge by about an inch, but since I was using the serger, I knew I didn't need 5/8" seam allowances, so I figured it would even out more or less.

I think it looks nice enough, but I wish I had thought to narrow the neckline before I started. Of course, that can only be fixed by sewing a seam down the center front and center back, so once I made it up, nothing could be done. I'll consider this a "wearable muslin" and I know what needs to be fixed if I make the pattern again.

I think this is my favorite of the fabric I got in those Fabric Mart bundles, I'm glad that I was able to get a garment out of it, since it was such a small cut.

In other news: man I am pasty white! My poor arms haven't seen sun since college. I rarely wear sleeveless anymore, and am almost never out in the sun like I was in Texas.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crafty Weekend...

First up: A contribution from Kevin. (He also did all the photos...)
We picked up the blank for this pen while we were in Fort Worth during Christmas. It is Dymondwood in Bubble Gum. What's interesting is I have Bubble Gum Dymondwood knitting needles too! Those are darker than this is, but really, I cannot think of a wood that is a better fit for me. I love the cheerful colors of this pen!

I'm still having some issues with my wrist. I mentioned before I can't open and close scissors. I did get spring loaded scissors, but it is still too difficult. The opening action is too wide for my hand to handle, so while they are better, there is still some pain. But I found out I can use small scissors. Small scissors mean one thing: applique!

This bib is for my new niece. I also made a secret project but can't post a picture until I hear that the recipient has it.

On Saturday I made this mug rug for a ravelry swap.
Can you see the bump on the top where I joined the binding? I can't remember how to do it on a diagonal, so I get a ton of fabric :( I also managed to do a fairly good job of mitering 3 of 4 corners.

I also added another row of border to the quilt I'm working on for my Mom. Kevin had to cut the strips - it hurts too much to put the pressure on the rotary cutter. I managed to cut the rug above to square it up, but it is very tiny- a quarter of a placemat...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fabric Splurge...

So Fabric Mart is known for their fabric bundles. Usually the 10-yard bundles are $15, or sometimes they are free with a $75 purchase. Even though I spent $50 on this order (with shipping- they charge $8 flate rate), $75 is sometimes kind of hard to hit there, because they have such a weird selection- you just never know what might be in stock.

But one day on facebook, I saw their bundles were half price! 10 yards of who knows what for only $7.50? I'm in!

Now, with $8 shipping, I can't just buy bundles- because I might not get anything useable. So I threw in a few other things.

Here are my purchases:

25-invisible zipper bundle ($15)
I got 10 large zippers, 8 medium, and 9 small. That's 27 zippers! Bonus.
Lucky I just got an invisible zipper foot for my machine. Per zipper, this is a great deal. Especially since I got lots of long ones- they can always be cut if I end up needing smaller ones.

I also ordered 2 fabric yardages-
First, 2 yards Marc Jacobs (ooh- designer!) flannel. I'm wondering how this will wash, because right now, it just doesn't really feel like flannel. The plan was pajama pants for Kevin, but it feels like a warm winter shirt from Nordstroms, not pajama pants. I can't use it for a shirt though because 1) I'm not that good and 2) did you see the colors? Kevin will never wear it. Even if I tell him it is Marc Jacobs. It was $3.99 a yard. I've found it on other sites for $15 a yard!

The second yardage is 3 yards striped stretch poly/cotton for $1.99/yd. I want to use it to make a Lisette t-shirt dress. I'm a bit nervous because 1)I've never used stripes and 2)the dress does not call for stretch fabric. I'm hoping this means I can just cut it a little smaller, and not that the dress will stretch and sag out on me.

And then come the bundles. Holy crap. 10 yards is a lot of fabric. And for the most part, I have no idea what this stuff is, or what I could do with it. The good news is I got a lot of stretch stuff- that can easily turn into tops. I can get $15 worth of useable stuff out of this no problem.

So up first, bundle #1. Keep in mind, this all cost $7.50.

-1 yd brown leaf print - selvage says "Ascher Studio Inc (c)1995 Design 1057" Seems to thin to be quilting cotton. Couldn't find anything about this one.
-1.5 yd blue quilting cotton selvage identifies it as Free Spirit by Westminster Fabrics "Sis Boom Basics". Similar fabric on Fabric Mart sells for $5.99/yd, other website $10.50/yd. This is a keeper for sure! Great quilting cotton
-1.25 yd plaid shirting It's nice. A button up style shirt? Can you do that with this little?
-1 5/8 (not marked, I guessed) yd of this. It says it is quilting cotton, but it is thin and silky- apparently this fabric is called Voile. I like the floral print, but don't know what to use it for- lots of websites show little kid clothes. The selvage says "Little folks (c) 2009 Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Westminster Fibers #VAH 05 Little Honey" which made it easy to find exactly what it is. I found one website selling it for $14.95/yd!!! Good deal! (Similar things on Fabric Mart are $5.99/yd)
-1 3/8 yd striped stretch suiting. Not the same consistency as the stretch cotton I got, more fluid, but probably a similar thing, maybe more manmade fibers. This could work for a skirt. Don't think there is enough for pants, though I am quite short...
- 1.25 of some awful purple stuff. No idea what this is. Some sort of manmade fiber. It is a teeny bit stretchy and has some sort of blocky weave to it, might call it pique, but I'm not sure. This will likely go in the donation bag.
- 1.25 of BRIGHT yellow something. Very stretchy, 4-way, but quite firm, like compression fabric (but thicker than most compression garments). Man-made fibers, but not awful, could have been a good fabric, but the color is too much for me. Maybe I could use it for accents if I ever make my skate leggings. It would be good for the ankles...
-1.25 yd of something gray. This might be considered a stretch suiting slight 2-way stretch. Maybe a skirt? Or a jacket? I'll hang onto this, but who knows.

Overall rating of the grab bag: only 1 awful fabric and 1 icky color. Might not know what to do with the stuff, but I'm pretty happy here!

And the second grab bag:

-0.5 yd of a butterfly border print knit. I think this is called ITY. It has a lot of stretch in one direction and a tiny bit in another. This should be just enough to make a sleeveless top. I love it.
-1 yd of something Navy. It's a woven with a balanced weave. Maybe this could be a skirt?
-3/4 yd of a super stretchy pink. I think I have a RTW shirt in this exact material from years ago. It has some damage (looks like glue) on the selvage, but a keeper for sure.
-1 yd of a white embroidered cotton. Could be a cute peasant blouse. Do I wear cute peasant blouses?
-1 yd lilac chiffon. I have almost this exact color in my stash from Hobby Lobby. It will join it.
- 1.5 yd baby blue houndstooth suiting. If this wasn't baby blue I'd be using it for sure. I love houndstooth. But this will go in the donation bag. Why even make this in baby blue? Makes no sense. I wonder if I dyed it if the blue and white would still retain the value difference? I wonder what you dye this with... It doesn't really feel like wool, but I have wool dye...
1 yd- super stretchy gray. Not sure what I'd use this for. But in high school I had a floor length skirt and also a dress made out of similar but shinier material. Unfortunately, I don't have the body I had in high school. See...
-5/8 yd of some navy blue stuff with a circular texture pattern. No idea what I'd do with this. It's stretchy. I don't see it as a shirt. Maybe a skirt with lining? But then the stretch is kind of negated. Probably donate it.
-5/8 yd of a polka dot ITY. Could make a cute top. Maybe a wrap top to wear over a tank top, since it is sheer.
-5/8 yd of pink wool (I think) in a herringbone pattern. The edge of it reminds me of the chanel jackets. Actually this one and the next two would make a cute jacket but there isn't enough of it. Not sure if I can do anything with less than a yard of this type of fabric.
-1 yd blue crazy weave has 5 rows of herringbone, then a weird pattern. Lots of different colors sprinkled into the weave. Again, not sure what to make of this.
-3/4 yd of gray wool (?) This is odd- it is a chevron weave, but in the middle has a decorative detail with a satin stitch and then loose threads kind of like bows (but not bows). Don't think there is enough of this to do anything, but it could be cool. Maybe use for a formal handbag? Do I need a handbag?

Overall, this bag isn't as good as the last, the wool cuts were too small to do anything with. But the stretch fabrics make up for it, and I more than go my money's worth.

So here's the question- when will my wrist be strong enough to use scissors again? I can operate the sewing machine now, but if it isn't already cut, I'm stuck.