Friday, December 30, 2011

Who will I give it to???

 I've been working on this for a few weeks now.  I had actually started to learn how to tat, so I could add the tatting to this little daygown.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those who has to have hands on instruction rather than learning from written.  I'm starting to get the hang of it now, but I'm not proficient enough to add it to any of my heirlooms just yet.  I refuse to give up though.  Anyway, I just have to add buttons and button holes, and this one if finished.  I just have to determine who will get it!  I've never done this pattern before and just wanted to try it.  I thought I might get it finished in time for Christmas for one of my great-nephews, but that did not happen.  This pattern is Jeannie Baumeister's from Old Fashioned Baby.  I ordered little pearl buttons today, so once they arrive, this one will be finished!  Make sure you check out Jeannie's blog.  She has some really great tutes and some beautiful stuff.

This is also the very first garment I've done with a hand stitched hem.  This little running stitch is just precious.  I think it just adds a little something, and I can't explain it.  I know a machine stitch is straighter and probably more professional.  But I just prefer this one for this particular gown.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sewing Room Delayed

I have been searching and searching for kitchen cabinets for my sewing room cutting table and am having no luck.  So my search continues.  If I don't find them, I think I can use a big table and modify it to do what I need.  So I'm looking for one of those just in case.  I'm also on the hunt for a desk for my sewing table.  This is one of those times I wished I lived in a bigger city.

In the meantime, I have several projects in the works; I just haven't completed any of them.  I also can't upload any pictures until I get to my office.  I've been off all week since my little one is home from school.

I am working on a modified version of this bench. I'm toying with the idea of using spindle legs.  It is my first real wood project, and I'm really excited to see how it turns out.  I already have some of the wood, and Britt picked up the fabric yesterday to cover it.  I'm going today to pick up the rest of the wood and furniture nails.  I had Gabby with me yesterday, so I couldn't get it.  I could see me going into the hardware store with my dog and trying to carry her and the boards out! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Sewing Room!

 Okay, so this is just half my sewing room.  It is currently the home for my Christmas tree.  And it takes up half the room.  There is nothing else in that room except a few pictures on the floor that would have someday had a home on a table on that back wall.  It's actually our study, but I was going to turn it into a formal living room.  But all that has changed.  It is now my future sewing room.

I will be working on my new sewing room now that my Christmas projects are finished.  In between, I'll be making some other stuff that Britt and Austin have for me.  I love when they ask me to make them things.  I feel needed even though my oldest baby is now 21!  haha.

Anyway, I've been designing and researching for weeks.  Since my study will be my new sewing room, and my formal dining room is just across from it, I'll have to make sure that the room and the furniture are a little more formal than typical.  And everything will have to have a place to be stored out of sight.

So what I've decided to do is make it look more like a study.  I'm going to the Restore in Bluffton sometime this week to look for kitchen cabinets.  I'll have an island for my cutting/pressing table with lots of storage and maybe some cabinets for my sewing table or simply find a pretty desk.  At some point in the future, I'll have a tall armoire for storage.

My cutting table will have some long shallow drawers for my rolls of tissue and tracing paper and for stabilizers.  I'll also have some long deep drawers for my fabric.  I'll use these and these to roll them on.  I'll have one cabinet with vertical slots (like for cookie sheets) for storing my long rulers.  The shorter rulers with other cutting supplies will go in another drawer.  I'll have cabinets too for storing batting.  I will also have either cubbies for baskets or drawers for fabrics scraps.  I really love this idea for storing scraps. Then I could slide the baskets right into little cubbies. 

I think (but haven't decided yet) that I would like the top of my table to look like this.  That way when I'm not using it, the black will blend with the cabinets and not stick out like a sore thumb.  I initially wanted the pressing board on hinges with my cutting board underneath (stationary).  Then I could just move it out of the way easily.  My ingenious, carpenter brother thought it would be better to do that in sections though.  He said the table would be too wide forcing me to bend way over the table (even with a strap) to lower it.  Plus the table will be 37" tall so it may hit the floor.  With sections, I wouldn't have to keep moving it around while I was working.  You know sometimes you need both cutting and pressing tables.  I could flip one section out of the way when I needed the cutting part whilst still having one small pressing section.  I like that idea a lot.

My sewing table will house my threads and bobbins for both my sewing machine and serger and at some future point, embroidery threads and bobbins.  I really like this idea, but I'm not sure I can pull it off.  I wonder if these would work the same way.  I thought I'd use those plastic jewelry organizers for my presser feet so they would be within easy reach.  I wish I could design little slots like I have in my sewing machine so they are easily visible.  I'm still working on that.  This is a great idea for Bernina feet, but it won't work with my Viking feet.

I thought this cutting/sewing table was ingenious, but it won't work in my room.  I thought I'd share it though in case any of you would like to try it.

I like this idea for smaller things like buttons, snaps, hooks, extra empty bobbins, small needles, metal hair bow thingies an such.  It would fit into my future armoire.  I think this idea is fabulous for ribbons.  I would probably put it in one of my smaller open cabinets on my cutting table though, because I don't have a huge stash of ribbons.

Have I analyzed this enough???  I just feel as though I'm forgetting something.  But it will just be a work in progress.  I am excited though to have a designated sewing room.  My dh is excited too.  He is tired of my sewing stuff all over the kitchen.

I would love any feedback or suggestions.  So please feel free to comment or email. me.


P.S.  I love this sewing room! And this one!  And some of these are great too!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pretty Polka Dots

I found this cute polka dot fabric at Joannes and thought it was perfect for scarves for my nieces for Christmas.  I finished these up this week and got them off in the mail just in time.  These are the same Amy Butler pattern I've used before.  I finished the pillow cases yesterday, thank goodness, and that completes all of my sewing projects until after Christmas.  Britt and Robbie both have a number of projects for me to do.   So not to worry, I'll still have something to post on going into the new year.  Britt will be home this weekend and next week we will tackle a wood project.  I'll be borrowing a friend's power tools - wish me luck.  I hope I don't cut something I'm not supposed to.  You know like an arm or finger!  I'm excited though.  If that works out well, I'll tackle a few other wood projects.  My dh will be soooooo happy! You did detect that bit of sarcasm, no?  Not only have I taken over the kitchen, but now I'll be taking over the garage.  lol


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pillows for Grandma

Finally finished these pillows.  I personally am not fond of the rope trim, but grandma is terribly traditional.  I didn't think she would like the tassel type trim that I liked.  And since these will be her pillows, I thought they should reflect her style and not mine.  And as I suspected, I did a much better job at joining the rope at the bottom.  Still not perfect but better than the first.  At least I'm getting the hang of it.  I think I should have used a bit darker gold floss for my vase on pillow to the left, but the picture doesn't do it justice anyway.  They look much better in real life.  I'll be working on my lighting situation after the holidays.  I attempted to build a light box a couple of weeks ago and cut too much off the box.  So I'll start over when I have a bit more time.

And here is a little peak at the pillow cases I'm working on.  You know the one that nearly drove me into the nut house last week?  I changed my direction, and this is what it looks like.  I nixed the embroidery in favor of something a little less stressful.

All I have left to do is add a little stitching to my birds to keep them in place.  I think they turned out pretty cute considering.  I'll post on these a little later when I get them completed.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Little Troublemaker!

I've had these ornament appliques for a very, very long time.  I kept them thinking I would do something with them eventually.  I had this great night shirt pattern and thought it would be perfect.  I was having a hard time though with the placement and thought it looked kind of plain with just the ornaments.  So it has been sitting for about 6 weeks.  The little troublemaker.  Anyway, when Britt was home for Thanksgiving, she suggested adding a pocket.  Emma thought that was a good idea too.  So when Emma was over this past weekend, we played around with it a bit.  We didn't like just a plain pocket.  Then I ran a rolled hemmed on 3 sides with the ric rac at the top, but it was still missing something.  We decided to applique a small candy cane out of some old red and white striped fabric I had on hand.  Then we just attached a little bow.  We were very pleased with the end result.  This is for my friend, Gracie, for Christmas.

I made a little night shirt like this for Britt when she was little, but I used Christmas trees instead.  It was so cute and one of her favorites.  There was a small star on the left tree and some little red balls for ornaments.  They have long been gone.  But one day when she has one of her own, we'll fix that, so it can be loved again.

I have one more gift left to make......the stupid pillow cases.  Remember the fiasco with the last one. Yikes!  Because I'm running out of time,  and Joannes doesn't have anymore of the white linen I need, and I'm terrified that any red will bleed again, I've decided to use the white linen I have and attach an applique and a band of color at the opening.  I should have these finished tomorrow and will post about them later in the week.  I'll attempt the embroidered pillow cases again one day, but I think it best to wait until after the holidays.  Otherwise, I'll be terribly cranky, and no one will want to be around me at Christmas.  And when mama is unhappy, everyone is unhappy. LOL

I did manage to finish the pillows for Rob's grandmother yesterday, and they are all stuffed with pillows.  I'll post on them tomorrow.  My camera battery was dead last night, so I had to charge it this morning.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Burp Cloths

These are the burp cloths we made for my great-nephew.  That's my little friend, Emma.  She actually cut most of them out herself, stitched 2 together and clipped the edges.  It took us less than an hour with us both working on them.  I found the pattern here.  It's really simple.  Cut out the shape, sandwich the batting, stitch around the edge, cut away the batting, clip the edges, and wash/dry to ravel the sides.  That's it!  Voila!  You have baby burp cloths.  I love the shape, since they fit so nicely on the shoulder.  Incidentally, we used flannel for both the front and the back. They are so soft!

This is a close up before we washed them.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Down to the wire!!

This is one of the pillows for Rob's grandmother.  I finally found the right trim and got it finished over the weekend.  I found this cording at Joannes.  I must say there were others that I preferred, but Rob's grandmother is VERY traditional.  I just didn't think she would be happy with something a little funkier like I had in mind.  AND she would be very vocal about whether she liked it or not!  I even stopped some strange, but very kind, woman in the store to get her opinion.  She agreed that given grandma's disposition, traditional would be the way to go.  No sense in pulling my hair out by the roots.  I have very little anyway!  I think I'd like to keep what I have.

I had never worked with twisted cording like this before, and it was a little bugger to get joined at the ends.  I managed to find this fantastic tutorial though, and I was finished in no time.  I was still not entirely happy with the end result, but for my first time, it wasn't too bad.  I'm sure the second one will be much better now that I know what to do.  I was afraid to rip it out, since the cording is temperamental.  I was afraid it would unravel beyond workability.  Besides, once I get the pillow form inside and it's on the bed, you'll never see that.

And here is a sneak peak of the other pillow.  I finished the embroidery but have not yet finished assembling it.

You can get the embroidery patterns here.  I have done a number of Kim's patterns now, and I've loved every one.

I also finished the nightshirt for my friend Gracie and the burp cloths for my great-niece all with the help of my little friend Emma which I will post this week.  I still cannot get used to saying great-niece.  Isn't there another name I could use?  I wonder if that's worse than grandma or granny.  Oh my, I'm definitely not ready for that!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time for a Change!

I found this adorable changing pad pattern on Bernina's website.  I thought it would make a great Christmas gift for my great-nephew.  Did I just say great??  Boy that feels old!  Anyway, it took me all of 2 hours, and that was with several interruptions and distractions.  The one thing I did not like was the pony tail band for the closure.  I'll do something different the next time I make this.

Here is a picture of it when it's open.

There is a pouch at the bottom to store wipes and a few diapers, then simply fold it up and toss it in the diaper bag.  Very easy.  I made my own double fold bias tape for the first time ever.  It wasn't that bad, but it was not that easy either.  Perhaps it's time to invest in one of the many bias tape makers on the market.

The pattern called for chenille or some other soft fabric for the lining.  I opted out of the chenille, since I know from experience that it sheds.  I also wasn't sure how it would hold up with repeated washings.  I chose a simple cotton.  I wanted flannel, but they had nothing to match my focus fabric.  All in all though, I think it will make a great gift.  I'll throw some wipes in with it.   One more gift down.  And at last count, I had only 4 more, and only 2 of those are home made.  Yay!

And here is a sneak peak at some burp cloths I'm making for my other great-nephew.  Yeah, I said great again.  I should have these completed this weekend.  This is a project that my little friend, Emma, is helping with.  She cut most of the pieces herself.  She's coming for the weekend, and we'll finish them up then.  I have to get them sent off next week if they are to arrive before Christmas.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A lesson in faith out of the mouth of a babe!

I was having a discussion with my friend, Donna, yesterday about some baby burp cloths I was making, and her daughter, Emma, was helping me with.  That brought up a story about a teacher at our school who is expecting a baby any day, and Donna and her girls were trying to think of a really cool gift to give her.  Since this pattern is soooooo easy, it would be something the girls themselves could do.

Anyway, this teacher had a really tough time getting pregnant with her first child who is now 6.  He recently asked his mom why he didn't have a baby brother or sister.  She tried to explain why, but he's 6, so the explanation had to be simplistic.  And in his simplistic thinking, he told her she couldn't give up.  Why wasn't she praying about it??  So he told her he would pray for a baby, and did he ever.  She didn't want to discourage him, but she didn't want him to get his hopes up either.  He prayed day and night - at bedtime, at dinner, at every meal, anytime he could.  And about a month later, are you ready????  She found out she was pregnant!!

So that little boy not only taught his mom a lesson in faith, he taught me one too.  We give up too easily.  Even if the prayers aren't answered, and they really are.  It just might not be the answer we wanted.  We still must be steadfast in our prayers.

Lesson learned!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Boxers Galore!

Three more gifts under my belt.  Don't you think those Hawaiian themed ones are a hoot?! I can't wait to see their faces.  What guy doesn't want to prance around in floral boxers?  Lol.  I have another pair of Camo boxers that I finished yesterday that aren't pictured here.  Of course, once Robbie saw the Camo fabric he had to have a pair too.  In fact, he had all sorts of projects for me to do with the left overs.  I finally had to tell him NO, NO, NO - NO MORE PROJECTS.  I simply don't have time for him to continue to add projects to my plate when I'm in a time crunch to finish all my gifts.  I told him anything else he wanted me to do would have to wait until after Christmas - including his new UGA themed bedroom.  He just will not let up.  He gets something on his mind and he hangs on like a pit bull.  He should be a lawyer when he grows up or a car salesman or any salesman for that matter.  Sheesh!  I give in to him a lot just to silence him.  I know, I know - bad idea!  But sometimes I just need peace - just a little peace......  I told you I created a monster.  I never should have done that lion costume for him.  Now he thinks I'm talented.  hahahaha


Monday, December 5, 2011

Laptop Case

This is a 13" Laptop sleeve I made for my daughter.  I made another for one of her best friends.  I found the pattern here.  It was really very simple to put together.  Although, I made it slightly more difficult by adding ric rac around the flap.  If I make another, I'll know a little better how to get it in there straight.  It was challenging because it was sandwiched between the outside fabric and the lining, so you really can't see it.  I knew where my stitch line would be, so I moved it in just a smidge inside to be sure that it would catch just the outside edge.  I had to rip it out in spots and reattach once I turned the case right side out.  I'm still trying to determine a better way to add trim.  I'm thinking that rather than stitch the flap with the body of the case and then turning, I would simply turn in both the lining and outside fabric by 3/8" after turning, then slide the trim in between the layers then top stitch closed.  I top stitched around the whole flap anyway, so I don't think it would matter much.  I may try that next time.  I was very pleased with the result.

This is a close-up of the ric rac.

This is what it looks like open.  I slid a big jar of body butter inside to keep it open.

And this one is with both of them side by side.  I think it looks so much cuter with the ric rac, don't you think?

Two more Christmas gifts done!  I think at last count I had 6 left, and not all of those are sewing projects.