What Happened? Life

It has been so long since I posted.   What happened?  Life.  I  was not too busy.  I needed time to think.  I thought about relationships, creation, and purpose.  What came out of this time is a large amount of change in my life – all very positive.    My direction, daily life, focus, what is important, all shifted slightly.  Most importantly,  I continue to create each and every day.  It could be with fabric, food, thoughts – but it counts.   Lately I have been sewing too.

Rocketeer 500A Machine

I was pleasantly surprised to add one more machine to my collection.  A Rocketeer.  I have wanted one for a little while but never for the right price.  My vintage machine budget is $25 to free and this machine ended up being $20.  It came with a defunct foot controller.  I found someone on facebook that was willing to trade a pedal, slant shank feet, and cams in exchange for some vintage Bernina feet I wasn’t using, so the stars aligned!  This machine sews very well and has many pre-built decorative stitches which makes versatile. However, I much prefer the weight of the Featherweight 221 or 222s, to these beige singer machines – its kinda heavy.  Some of the new paint jobs of this style of this machine are awesome. Ever since I saw this re-model of the Rocketeer in a futuristic grey and red, I had wanted to buy this style of machine.

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Sew Together Bag

I am on a bag kick I recently made this Craftsy pattern called The Sew Together Bag.  This bag stretched my skills with 4 zippers and binding for champions.  This will be holding my sewing gadgets on Sunday mornings.  I will be making a second bag now that I know what I am doing and were all the pieces end of in the final object.

The best part of the this zippered pouch is that is a total stash buster.  You can ‘go crazy’ with all sorts of fabric and even zipper colors.  I may have to try using some 5 inch charm pack squares pieced together for the interior.  I also really like the idea of quilting and designing the outer fabric – and the pattern encourages embellishments.

A construction point – i used a scrap of plain old flannel instead of interfacing.

What I don’t like about this bag is the size.  Although the varying compartments are so very handy for sewing needles, seam rippers, rulers, snips and measuring tape, if I add my chunky rotary cutter – it doesn’t zip shut.  I think I will have try making the Bionic Gear Bag for that kind of thing.

In the end, I really like how this little bag came together.  It will be used a lot.  I can also see re-making this bag for my daughter’s make-up, or as it was suggested to me by a friend, a first aid kit for the RV. It is not long enough for 10inch knitting needles but it would hold interchangeable circular ones, stitch markers, and other knitting paraphernalia.  I am sure that are so many other uses.

I forgot to take a final pic of this bag filled…and you can still see the pins where I plan to hand sew the binding (oops!). And I have to thank my good friend Kirsten for this pattern.

Happy Sewing!

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The Two Zip Hipster Bag

This pattern was given to me by a quilting friend.  We have been sewing every second sunday since Sept. The Two Zip Hispter PDF Pattern is from the Dog Under My Desk site.

I have made one other Dog Under My Desk pattern which is called the Circle Earbud Pouch Tutorial. The full tutorial is here.The earbud pattern is the perfect gift for teenagers.  I usually make one for my daughter to put her friend’s birthday money in.

Back to the bag.  This pattern in not for beginners.  I am thankful I had a comfort level with bag making and zippers.  There are may pages of instructions and images which were invaluable – and sometimes I had to read several times to really ‘get’ it.  I have a habit of trying to speed through patterns and this pattern is one in which you would want to take your time!  I had to rip and resew many aspects of the bag, but it paid off!

I love it!  The material is kinda loud, garish, and in your face.  It was from my stash and the next one will be more calm in nature. I also chose to use metal zips which was a new experience for me and resulted a few broken needles 🙂

This bag is fully lined has a great small zipped exterior pocket plus a drop-in pocket.  The main compartment is deep and has side pockets for your cell or pens, etc.  Below are pics of the partial constructed bag and the final project.

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It Happened Again

I one time had a CL ad up – for buying, and fixing old sewing machines. A guy called and said he had an old singer that no one wanted at his garage sale. Could I swing by his place and pick it up from his girlfriend. She handed me a little broken mint green box! I was in shock.

Then yesterday, I was walking with my little boy in the neighbourhood early morning, while a lady was hanging up a garage sale sign. I asked my standard questions ‘any guitars or sewing machines?’ She said she had some sewing machines for $25!

I went there immediately & saw the little blk box with $150 on it. I opened it up and it was jammed to the top with accessories (zigzager, buttonholer). A bit pricey but I had just got pd so I bought it.

I carried it home and unpacked it and there was a 222 inside! The only things it’s missing is the embroidery hoop. The darning foot is even there.

Im in shock! Stars aligned twice or my city is saturated with 221 & 222. Our city did have a singer store downtown for eons.

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Yoga Bag

So after much searching on the web I came up with this yoga bag. Here goes:

Fabric used: medium weight cotton with scrap lightweight cotton contrasting fabric.

Bag main piece: 18 x 30
Contrasting strips: 18 x 4.5
Handle: 3 x 48
Circle bottom: 3 inch radius – resulting in a circle 6 inch wide.

Homemade bias tape in contrasting fabric. 2 inch strips folded and sew to make a ties but ribbon would look fabulous.

Top edge folded back 2 inches.
Contrasting strip placed and sewn 4 inches from top edge sewn stitching and 4 inches from the bottom.

Namaste. Now not to fall over in yoga class. I kinda reallysuck at balance. 🙂

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McCalls 6844 Sew-a-Long

I have been in a bit of a sewing funk lately so I needed a quick & easy garment to get me back into the groove.  The craftygemini was having a sew-a-long for the McCalls 6844 pattern.  I used a bright red ponte knit and opted for the peplum cardi which was featured in the sew-a-long.  The next time I make this, I will size down to a 12 but keep the 14 sleeve size – not much wiggle room in these sausage link style arms… 🙂   I have since bought navy knit to make the view which is just a straight cardi. Here are the 6 videos for the pattern.

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My Lady

It has been a while since I posted.  I have been busy making some wardrobe staples, but have not taken photos as they are much the same – just duplicates.  I did however, treat myself to a dress form.

I did quite a bit of research on the subject before buying – indecisive. I went back and forth between some of the adjustable forms that I could get through amazon vs the non-adjustable ones.

I settled on one by theshopcompany.  At first I wasn’t sure if they delivered internationally but found out if ordered thru ebay – they would!  I ended up buying a size smaller that what I am, so that I could pad the form to my natural size.

The form arrived in no time and it was exactly as advertised.  Pinnable linen, collapsible shoulders, a cage for hemming, cast iron rolling base.  She is gorgeous.

Not sure of the name, but it was instant assembly and I can’t wait to put her to use.  I will have to wait about 3 weeks until I can get back into my sewing room.

Post script – the boobs look kinda of pointy in the photo – but they are not 🙂

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Wardrobe Architect Week 1

History

I grew up with elderly parents who lived and fought in the war.  When I was school aged, fashion did not play a large role in our house.  My mom was a stay at home mom with little interest in clothes and my father was a bricklayer working in demin most of his life.  Clothes were utilitarian in nature.  Later when I went to high school, I didn’t worry or think about clothes much because I wore a school uniform daily for 4 years.  A grey wool box skirt, white blouse, sweater vest, and knee highs.

I moved out to attend university and did not have money for fashion, as I was focusing on paying tuition, rent and food.  I then started my career at the University in which I studied.  Needless to say academics do not seem to be that fashion forward!

Philosophy

I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools.  My Catholic faith ended after it stopped being forced upon me in school.  I am very faith filled but not in an organized way.  I believe in treating others with kindness.  I have always admired my parents for immigrating from nothing and being totally satisfied with what they had.  I don’t think they kept up with the Joneses’ because the Joneses’ were so far away from where they came from  – any comparison was difficult to make.   I was taught to only buy new or the best and only buy what is needed. They were against used.  I think it was because that is all they had growing up.

**I try to stick with this philosophy but have moments of weakness.

Culture

I grew up in a Dutch house hold but our culture was never celebrated.  My parents moved to Canada, only spoke English and tried to forget anything from the past.  I was only influenced by Canada.  As mentioned above,  we did not shop regularly.  My father went to shopping centres almost everyday in his retirement for a cup of coffee, but both of my parents were not shoppers.  Academic culture has also influenced the notion that you don’t have to follow the gender stereo types of clothing.  While studying at school most of my garments were black, black and more black.  Did I mention black?

Community

Family is the most important community to me.  My husband has been wearing jeans and plaid shirts everyday (including to work – he is a social worker) since I met him in 1992.  He has one pair of dress pants & shirt for occasions both happy & sad.  My small circle of friends are way more fashionable!  I am the type of person who invites the family to the big Xmas or Thanksgiving dinner and asks everyone to arrive in  PJs.  Because who doesn’t  want to relax at these gatherings anyway!

Location

I live in Canada. -50 with the wind is not uncommon in the winter.  And +38 is not uncommon in the summer.  I notice the heavy plaid shirts come out in the winter – never dress or skirts.  This summer, since starting to sew my own garments – I have incorporated many more skirts in my daily wear.

Body

I most recently have been at a weight – a little more (OK quite a bit more)  heavy that I normally carry.  I aged 40 plus now and think it is both age and life style.  I love to sew with a glass of wine in hand.  I have always been able to fit ready to wear garments with ease.

Double the Pattern Pyramid fun!

Spreading the word!

Béa's Sewing Adventures

I wanted to post a reminder that you’ve still got a week to enter the Pluz Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway here on my blog.

But in addition, Alison from Sewing with Cats has now posted her own Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway here, so you’ve got that additional opportunity to join in the fun now. Go on, check it out- it’s got to be worth a little comment to be in with a chance for those beauties!

EDITED TO ADD THIS EXCITING UPDATE!

It’s actually *treble* the fun, because Chris Lucas, another lucky pyramider, has posted her Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway too. Hooray for treble chances!

 

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Fall For Cotton – Butterick 7731

I have decided to make the Butterick 7731 pattern (1956) for the Fall For Cotton Challenge in September. There is a story behind this choice. At the beginning of summer, I received a call from a guy who wanted to know if I wanted a sewing machine that use to be his moms. When I picked it up, he also handed me a box of patterns – at least 60 plus patterns.

Brian gave me a picture of his mom and the bill of sale for the sewing machine which was bought in 1952 for $104 dollars. I can’t fix this 3/4 size seamstress machine…it’s missing a few parts and needs a new motor. It is the only machine out of the 20 I have repaired that remains dormant. I have beautiful picture of Joan who is the seamstress behind the machine. Her patterns mostly range in the 1960s but there are a few 50s and 70s in the mix. This Butterick 3371 pattern was purchased at the Simpson Sears building downtown in the mid 50s. I remember going to this department store with my mom as a kid. It is the 5 story building on the right.

I really like the collar and the cuffs on this top. The pattern states it has an Italian flair. If all works as planned, I will try to incorporate the vintage buttons Nikie mailed me for the Sew Weekly Reunion notion swap from the UK.

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Cowl Neck Ruched Top Tutorial and Free Pattern

I will have to give this a try!

Made with Love

While deciding what to do with the leftover fabric from a convertible dress, I had several ideas and considerations:

  1. I bought some leggings a while ago, but am still lacking a semi-long top to wear them with
  2. I really like cowl neck tops
  3. Ruching looks fun to try and I also like the idea of ruched side seams

Combining all 3 considerations, the idea for this semi-long cowl neck ruched top was born =)

My original intention was actually to make a long-sleeved top. But as we all know, things don’t always turn out as planned! After tracing the front and back pieces for the torso, I felt like there was still a lot of fabric left, so I went ahead and merrily traced out the first long sleeve. It was only after I already cut out the first sleeve, that I realized, oh NO! I don’t have enough fabric…

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Pattern Wants!

I keep a running list of pattern pins on my ‘Sewing Clothes’ pinterest board. Often when there is a $1.88 sale and I will go thru and see if there is anything pinned on my wishlist. I do have a long wishlist, and plenty patterns waiting in the wings to keep me busy. Here is the current $100 list which doesn’t fall into the McCalls 2 dollar sale.

  1. Cake patterns – Tiramisu
  2. http://boutique.deer-and-doe.fr/2-dresses-belladone-dress.html
  3. Sewaholic – Tofino Pants, Cordova Jacket, Renfrew Top, Cambie Dress, Alma Blouse
  4. http://www.tessuti-shop.com/products/tokyo-jacket-pattern-print-at-home-or-copy-shop-version
  5. Victory Patterns – May have to have a couple of these too!
  6. My list keeps getting longer. Easy, knit – Lady Skater Dress

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Karma – Serger!

‘Today is your lucky day’ is what Cindy from Cindy-rella’s Sewing & Quilting said to me!  She gave me SUCH an incredible deal on her serger, I still can’t believe it. Knowing very little about sergers, I  had to do a bit of research when I got home.  To be honest,  I didn’t even know what the proper tension of the stitch should look like. 🙂

I wasn’t really satisfied with the resources online so I decided to buy another Crafsty online course instead of waiting for an in-person course –  Beginning Sergering.  I really like how she takes you thru a 40 point check of the machine and uses 3 different models.  And by the end of the course, you have a handful of resources and you build a binder of samples which you add to your materials.  Later when you need the same stitch all the details like stitch length, width and tension dials are recorded.

After a full day with this serger – it became a love hate relationship.  By now I intimately know the ins & outs.  I also realized some new features on other sergers I would really like, rolled hem capability and differential feed to create a wave effect!  Maybe one day.  Thanks Cindy! When I save my pennies I will buying my 2nd serger at your store – I am so grateful to you.

Here are a few projects made out of vintage silk ties I pulled together on the serger once I got going with the machine.

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Baby Blue

I have a couple more machines – both BLUE.  One of them will be given to a local quilt group!  A singer & a white.  Both we donated.  It looked like the singer had never been cleaned…it was a fabric bunny haven when I took the machine apart.  The white required a full day of cleaning and scrubbing – and I eventually had to use steal wool the oil was so caked on.  The white is just incredible with a great straight stitch.

Singer Before

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White Before

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White After

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Patchwork Draw String – Birthday Bag Instructions

I needed to create ten treat bags for an upcoming birthday party and procastinated until the nite before. I had a bit of an assembly line set up. They took about 2 hours total. Each bag is:

Supplies needed: 6 charm squares, ribbon for the drawstring.

Instructions:
-sew 3 charms squares together in a row
-cut the row in half down the middle charm
-re-arrange & re sew into small panels
-make two panels for each side of the bag
-face panels rights sides together
-sew around the perimetre, leaving 2 inches from the top on each side unsewn. Clip corners
-iron the top sides 1/4 inch back & sew – which will finish the edge of the casing nicely
-Optional – I folded the tips of the corners, iron, stitched, and cut the corner tips off to create a box bottom.
-pull ribbon thru the casing
-FILL WITH CANDY & ANYTHING ELSE.

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Estate Sale – Sewing Notions

I went to an estate sale on the weekend and picked up some really useful items.

  • Henkel’s pinking shears
  • Thread nips
  • 6.5 by 24 inch olfa ruler, 2.5 olfa ruler
  • Olfa slash ruler for chenille making
  • Dresden plate template – small, medium, and large
  • Dritz Tailor board
  • Wooden sleeve board
  • Buttons, marking pens, and marking rulers for seam allowances
  • Patterns were free, so I pick up a dozen
  • And a tiny bit of fabric

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Don’t Touch My Ginghers!

In my house the kids and DH included, will see a pair of scissors in my sewing roomand use them to open jelly sticks, yogurt tubes, and popcorn bagSometimes of course they wouldn’t tell me and I would go to used them and they would be either stuck together from the sugar or dripping in coconut oil from the popcorn.

Now scissors are very important for quilting. I mostly use my OLFA 45mm rotary cutter. So I have gone all my years of sewing sharing my scissors with the family. Granted, most were from the dollar store, or fabric store but most were under $5.00.

Then I started my first sewing class on Craftsy and was told I need a good pair of scissors. I wasn’t really listening and went thru the class with my dollar store specials. Here is what happened:

-there was a bit of swearing -I couldn’t cut my pattern put because my scissors would slip – my notches didn’t even look like notches

So I was on a quest to purchase a high quality pair of scissors. I started with a 5 inch knife edge ginghers, after I received those in the mail, I found a pair of 4 inch spring action embroidery pair, and this Friday my last pair arrived – my 8 inch dressmakers shears! All are made in Italy and cut thru the fabric like butter.

Now I just have to keep these away from the family!

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Overlock Foot & Stitches

I thought I needed a serger to finish my seams more professionally. I set out to do a bit a research before going to my local quilt shop.  The question I asked Goodle was ‘Do I need a serger?’  The search results provided a list of blogs about features to look for etc.  One of those blog posts was surprising.  She mentioned advanced sewing machines having a very useful overlock feet and stitches.  I had never heard of this before and went to search the house top & bottom to find my PFAFF owners manual.  Turns out my machine does have this capability!  I tried it out on a set of sleeves I am working on and was pleasantly surprise.  I think for my level of sewing I will stick to this method as opposed to investing in a serger!  Here is a pick with my PFAFF 2056 stitch 35.

 

Update: Stretch knits pose a completely different challenge….might still have to consider a sergEr down the road 🙂

Overlock Foot & Stitch

Gathered Clutch

I recently made Noodlehead’s gathered clutch. It was more challenging than I expected. I love her blog and like her sense of style. She always chooses the best fabric combinations and very funky designs. That side of choosing fabrics I am stIll learning….doesn’t quite come so easily to me. I chose to make mine out of a fabric I fell I love with called ‘Saturday Morning’. As one of my favorite days of the week, I just had to buy some of this fabric. Here is the gathered clutch pattern: http://www.noodle-head.com/2010/04/gathered-clutch-tutorial.html

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Charm Square Addiction

Those 5 inch squares are so handy for making little pouches.  They could be used for all sorts of things: earbuds, change, a couple lip balms, tea bags…And best of all they take 10 minutes to sew up. With all the charms squares I get in the mail this pattern is a stash buster.  Just look in my tag cloud under earbud for the tutorial.

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Singer Advertisements & Decals

I love looking at old magazines and vintage patterns. Here are two of my favorites. I have all 4 of these sewing machines (thanks to Tammi in central AB for my 99K named ‘jellybean’). It is interesting to me to see how each machine has its own personality. I have also included a closeup of their 4 different decals.

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99K ‘Eye’ decal

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15-90 ‘Eye’ and Trefoils

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201 ‘Paperclips’ decal

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221 Featherweight ‘Celtic Knot’ decal

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If you are interested in learning more or finding out the type of decal you have on your vintage machine, more information is found on the ISMACS website: http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/decals/domestic-decals.html

For the Dogs

Everyone has heard the story of a quilter giving a quilt to a friend and then see her give it to the dogs on the next visit!  I love my schnauzers (black & white).  This quilt pattern was purchased by my friend who would like a quilt for her dog.  It is mostly applique so I had to give it a try.  The first image is of the pattern while the second one is the single block I put together.  I used a recycled plaid shirt that was on it’s last legs.  Now all I have to do is find some schnauzer applique.

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90s Dress Becomes Infinity Scarf

The easy pattern can be found on this blog.
http://team-t-adventures.blogspot.ca/2010/07/summery-cute-flower-scarf.html?m=1

I think this video is the best…lots of ideas for wearing it.

I cut this the length of the dress and 12.5 inches wide and had two pieces. Sew the two together at the short ends. Decorative stitched all the way around. Wet and knotted up. Will be a great airy crinkly summer scarf.

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Fannel Warm Cold Bag

At the end of the day I have tight shoulders. It Must be all the computer work during the day and sewing at night. Not to mention being a mom with 2 very active kids. I put this bag together in about 5 minutes.

It is actually 2 bags, an inner one to hold the wheat (or long grain rice) and the outer flannel. My flannel was $1.50 in the clearance section and I used scrap material for the inner bag because you don’t see it.

Measurements

Inner: 6.5 inch by width of fabric
Outer: 7 inch by width of fabric
Inside: rice
Seam allowance. 1/4

Fold each piece in half and sew the perimeter, but leave a short opening for the grain in the the inner bag and a short opening in the outer to stuff the completed inner bag into. Fold the last opening edges in and sew the final seam. Don’t over fill the bag. I filled mine half way, then when all done, pushed the grain around to top sew a seam to make compartments evenly distributed.

I am going to make these for coworkers this Xmas. Easy, cheap, and can go with a ‘stress free’ themed gift!

Place in the microwave for 2 minutes or store in the freezer – and use.

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Wall of Stuff

My daughter has a wall of stuff in her bedroom. It started at Xmas time and she has put quite a bit of time and energy into the venture. She puts of artwork, instant pics, and anything she is ‘in to’. Last week she added a second wall. And the only word which came to mind was OMG! Her creativity inspires me!

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Blind Hem Attachments

Being a quilter I haven’t explored my machine attachments…but I started to tonite. I seem to be collecting more and more with every machine purchase. The ones I am most interested in are the zipper, bias binding foot, ruffler and blind hem foot. Here is the results of the last. What I learned is you have to allow an inch or two before the material feeds thru it but the end result is a perfect finished seam. The foot works a bit better if the fabric is pressed over about 1/4 inch before going thru the foot. Now I might try the ruffler foot – looks down right scary to me but that will be for another post.

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Online Stores

On my list…

  • Connecting Threads – The most beautiful colors threads sets. Regularly order and has fast shipping
  • Shaker Woodshops – I dream of one day owning this small cherry wood oval box.
  • Pink Chalk Fabrics – I belong to the monthly stash club – great customer service
  • Zipit – I love looking at the rainbow of zippers & the price is right too.
  • Organic Cotton Plus – I have not ordered from this company, but another trusted blogger recommended them. High quality fabric. This site needs more exploration.
  • A great selection of high quality scissors from Silent Stitches.
  • A dry iron I have on my wish list from the Vermont Country Store.  I love design.
  • Bamboo press turner