bolero

I just got back from a long trip to my mom and dad’s.   I had a great time first at my parent’s house and then at a big family reunion.  We had a good time fishing and hanging out with my dad.  At the reunion, it was wonderful to see everyone and catch up.   We also had a rousing game of kick ball which has left me still walking a little funny.

 

It is a 10 hour drive each way so I made up 4 kits a la Alabama Stitch book to work on in the car. The first one was this little bolero which I made to match the little tank top I made a few weeks ago. It took me most of the trip but I am very pleased with it.

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Here is a close up of the beaded edge.

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I am very happy with it. I am excited to start on my other three kits. Now I can position one on the porch and another up in my bedroom while I am watching TV.

 

multi plaid robe

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I have been working on a robe for a long time. I call it the multi-plaid robe because I used four different plaids. I love it- although everyone I showed laughed at it. It is super warm and comfortable. I used McCalls 6231. This is a super easy pattern. I am not happy with the fit.  The fit issues have to do with it being a men’s robe pattern, so next time I make one, I will get a new pattern. Still, I am happy to have a second robe so I don’t have to go without when I am washing my other one. I hope it make you smile today!

Published in: on July 6, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (2)  
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Busy week

I am in the midst of a little bit of chaos. One of the good things is my mother-in-law is visiting. I am excited and happy she is here. However, any visitor requires me to maintain the façade that always have a clean house. Yes, there isn’t a layer of dust and ketchup on most of the horizontal surfaces of my house and hand and foot prints on most of the walls.

What is nice is the house cleans up pretty good. Steve even painted the walls of the front porch. He bought floor paint also, but time got away from him with all of the things going on. He plans on finishing the floor later this summer, as part of our four year plan to have the house really nice by graduation 2017.

We also noticed we were very low on chairs. So I went out with my usual dining room chair budget of five dollars each to get new chairs. I found these at a garage sale for twenty dollars for four. I am very happy with them, only one has a slight crack in the upholstery. I have had chairs like this before and I know they are super easy to recover so I may do that in the future. Steve wants to paint the carved insert red. I am not convinced because we have nothing else red in our house. However,  I agree with him that it would look super neat.

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We also found these chairs for seven dollars each:

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They look like they have been in our house forever. They are very comfortable and came with these matching pillows.

The other thing going on is the rain. We have had incredible amounts in Minneapolis- all of Minnesota really.  We are in the midst of what is already the 2nd wettest June on record, with a strong shot at the wettest. The parkway is very flooded and we even had a small amount of water in the basement.  I am including a link to some footage shot kitty-corner from my church.

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/2014/06/19/minnehaha-parkway-traffic-blocked-by-surging-creek/11031135/

The nice thing about much of Minneapolis is that we  have a history of a edge of public space around our streams and lakes.  For this reason, there is a buffer between the parkway and buildings.  So it hasn’t bad as it could be.

Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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pattern review corset from The Alabama Stitch book

For many years, I have been very interested in The Alabama Stitch book by Natalie Chanin. I finally began to work on the projects. The pattern I first decided to try was the corset. Here is my first attempt:

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I am very happy about this one. It fits very well and it is very flattering.  I had a little trouble with how low-cut it is. I shortened the straps by quite a bit, and it is still a little immodest for me.

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Now this attempt was not as successful for several reasons. I used a more stretchy fabric. Chanin recommends using cotton jersey of a heavy weight. This was a microfiber for exercising in. I also sewed most of the corset by machine. For this reason, even though I did the pre-basting, I had a good amount of stretching. I simply had to add a modesty panel, which then gapped. So finally, I added elastic. In the end, I kind of like it even though it is not exactly Chanin’s vision.

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I am extremely happy with my third attempt. I dyed these two t-shirts and used them to make one corset. I sewed it completely by hand. For size XL, it takes more than one man sized t-shirt to make one camisole. I shortened the straps by about a half inch and added about an inch to the top of the front center pane. This is creates a more modest neck line for me. I love the effect of the pattern of the original t-shirt on the front.

So all in all, it is a very flattering pattern figure-wise. It is very easy to put together although it is most successful when it is hand stitched. It took about 2 hours to put together (outside of dying), but it was very pleasant easy sewing. I did it after dinner. I will make it again definitely.

 

 

Published in: on June 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jean transformation

I missed last weekend because I was out-of-town.  I am working on a pattern from Alabama Stitch Project. I will have full review in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, I did some dying this week. Remember these jeans?

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This what the lighter pair looks like now:

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I plan to make them into shorts.  I love this new color- although if you look closely you can see the mint green zipper.

 

 

 

rainbow of denim

I know I am a day late, but I was away. I was visiting my sister and got to see my little nephew get confirmed. It was great to see everyone and get to spend time with my family. My mom really surprised me when she brought out two large boxes of jeans that she had picked up at her church sale for five dollars. She picked them from a quilter who could no longer work with denim because her hands were bothering her. I am excited to start working with them!

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I love the gradations of pink she picked up. I am low on red and pink in general and have none in denim. I have an idea for these already. I also like all of the stripes.

In the group, I found two pairs that fit me:

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I plan to dye these and use them for shorts.

As soon as I saw these orange ones, I was knew they would make a great skirt. They are very large, so I can completely rework them.  The color is wonderful!

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Thanks, Mom. I love them all. I can’t wait to start working with them!

Easter lilies

I had a great sewing day yesterday. During the week, I cut a blouse out of two of Steve’s t-shirts and yesterday – in one day, I sewed it. I was pleased with the result, however, I can’t seem to get a decent photo of it today. I think the t-shirts are not exactly the right materials, they tend to look thick and frumpy. In any case, I found that the pattern worked well and fit well. I have some other fabric that I will use to try the pattern again.

So I decided to photograph the prettiest thing in my house right now:
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These are our Easter lilies. They are so pretty they hardly even look real. I am hoping to keep them alive until the nights stop dropping below 40 degrees.

Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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owl

My birthday weekend. Kind of a low birthday- mainly because it snowed one more time- 9 inches and Steve and Eliott were sick. I had a lot of time to sew, but either because of inertia, a light cold or a sympathy cold, I didn’t do much. I did some work on the city chicken quilt and I have direction on what I am planning to do next. I made two little blocks for my wilderness quilt. I have the first one done.

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I hope you can see the little owl in the grass.

I have spent a lot of time thinking and reading this weekend. One of the things I read was Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. It reminds me of my goal to make more of my clothing. She talks about how cheap fashion undermines our sense of quality, is bad for the environment and also takes advantage of people around the world.  I have been thinking of some holes in my wardrobe, and how to fill them.  I have a funky bathrobe for Steve cut, that just needs to be assembled. I also spent some time cleaning my sewing space and found some yardage that I think I can use for a skirt. More to come.

Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 9:46 am  Comments (2)  
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spring~

I do have some small sewing things, but there are some other fun things happening, too. First, it is finally sort of kind of spring. Even though there is a foot or so of snow in my yard it is 60 degrees today. Yay! I am so excited to get some warm air. Also, it is fun to dress without worrying if I will be too cold. Last weekend I had a great surprise. My boss, Victoria, gave me two beautiful scarves. The timing couldn’t have been better. I am/was so tired of my winter clothes and they were just what I needed to perk things up a bit.

The first one is a green floral and very springy. Now, several years ago I posted about a pair of green velvet shoes I bought at a garage sale. I haven’t had anything to wear with them, but this scarf is perfect:

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It tied the lighter sweater with the shoes and these forest green tights I bought.

The other one is a beautiful blue plaid, my blue, which there are few and far between. I think it has an eighties feel which I love:

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This my first and most obvious two outfits. I know there will be much more to come.

Published in: on March 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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new old project

I haven’t spoken about this project for many years. I actually looked back, and I had written about I on my very first blog in 2007. Steve gave me several of his old Hawaiian shirts many years ago.  I thought that I would make a quilt out of them.  I actually pieced them, but I was never quite happy with them.  I saw a pieced tunic top on a friend at work.  I decided to make a pieced garment.  Here is where I am now:

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I always seem to work on a more summer focused project around this time of year.  It’s nice to daydream, especially when the weather here has finally started to warm a little.

Published in: on March 9, 2014 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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