Friday, October 22, 2010

The Itsy Bitsy Spider.......

For a couple of years, I have wanted to make Halloween outfits for my dolls. Again this year, I just didn't seem to have the time. But then......

A contest emerged at work. Co-workers had already passed out spider web stuff  a couple of weeks ago. I went crazy with it. Actually, I couldn't leave it alone. I sat at my desk fiddling with it all day. It now covers most of my desk, my phone and my monitor. Next, I decided I needed some spiders. Off to the 99 Cent Store. They has some great spiders. I bought pink spiders, silver glitter spiders and black flocked spiders. I was really enjoying my desk.

Then came the challenge, a Best Decorated Desk Contest, to be judged on Halloween. Well, there you have it! I set out last night to make my 18" Ann Estelle a spider costume. I am pretty darn happy with it. I drafted the pattern myself, which I am proud of. I made the entire outfit from scraps. I can't wait to take her to work on Saturday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It Takes Courage

"What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage!"
..........The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

What makes a sewist put buttonholes in a garment? Courage! Especially when she  hasn't done so for 30 years. Today I finished up a vest I started last weekend for S. I used to have a mantra, "No zippers, no buttons, no tears. No zippers, no buttons, no tears. " Well, last Christmas I made Christmas dresses for S and T........zippers. After all going well, I went on to put zippers in the flower girl dresses for S,T and A to wear in Heidi and Dan's wedding.

I skirted the buttonhole issue with a no-button vest for S last year. When I picked up a great piece of music-themed 100% cotton Robert Kaufman at JoAnn's, S knew she wanted a vest. She headed to her pattern box, pulled out New Look # 6914 and pointed to view C........not only a lapel collar, but buttonholes. I drew a deep breath and knew I could tackle this.

In the end, all went well. She wore it to town today and before she even got to the car, a neighbor told her she liked her vest! Good enough for me!

Challenges and new things I did on this pattern.

1) I removed the princess lines in the front and back. I really didn't want to chop up the fabric's print.
2) Had to do some adjustments in the bust. This is a Miss pattern. Skylar is on the top side of Girl patterns and can also wear Miss, if I remove the bust allowance. Because she was at school when I started it, I didn't do much fitting. I see know I needed to fold out some of the fullness at the armhole.
3) First time I've pre-shrunk my fusible interfacing. Never thought about it before. Thank you, Brook.
4) I am also pre-shrinking my fabric three times before sewing. Thank you, Margaret. Some ladies just purchase some darling 100% cotton knits. In the first wash, they shrunk 30%.WOW! Can you inagine the disapointmnet of sewing something darling for a gift, only to have it ruined in the first wash? I am committed to always pre-shrink three times. Margaret does a more scientific method. She measures her fabric, washes it, then measures again. She repeats this until she has all the shrinkage out. I am not that patient. Three times through the washer and is what it is......I start sewing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It has been a long time since I last blogged. Guess I lost my enthusiasm after the Christmas rush. My favorite sewing pattern magazine, Ottobre, has a contest going and it has encouraged me to get back to blogging.

All the patterns I sewed up last fall/winter were from Ottobre. They have a truly marvelous selection at a wonderful price. I love them and wish I could sew even more of them. My job keeps getting in the way. Mind you, I am thankful to have such a wonderful job right now, but I do love sewing more.

Check out . Order an issue or two. I promise you won't be disappointed. For an added inspiration to visit their sight, I'm posting the cover of the newest Women's Magazine. Click the link above to see all the wonderful ways to wear this shawl. Maybe this is the beginning of a "units" line, similar to that of the 70s? Whoo weeeee.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sad to see the tree go...........

Christmas has come and was great. The new year, the new decade, has begun. Today I was remind of my Valentine Tree, from years ago. I had mentioned it a while ago and decided today is the day to tell you about it.......

After Christmas, I couldn't bare to take the tree and all its beautiful lights down. I had so enjoyed getting up extra early, pouring myself a cup of coffee and spending an hour by the tree relaxing before getting into another hectic day . Whether I daydreamed, read, planned my day or my life, it didn't matter. It help me immensley, one blustery winter.

One morning, mid-January, while I was musing beside my tree, an idea hit me. I would turn the Christmas Tree into a Valentine Tree! I raided my craft and sewing stashes. I did a little shopping. When I returned home, I told the kids my idea.

Anything which didn't pertain to Valentine's Day was carefully wrapped and put away. The lights, tinsel, red and pink ornaments, artificial candy ornaments and heart-shaped ornaments were all that were left when we finished. Now, we added red and pink paper doilies, yards and yards of pink and red ribbon, lace ribbon and more Valentine goodies. It looked delightful! Very Victorian!

Throughout the next month, the kids made paper snowflakes and Valentines for the tree. When it was time to make our annual (which has never become annual) Lebkuchenherzen, we hung those on the tree, too.

I spent six more weeks enjoying coffee, in the peace of twinkling lights. All-in-all, it was a beautiful tree. Although, I did hear whisperings mentioning locking me up if the tree became a St Patrick's Day Tree!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mom's Birthday

While adding a picture to my birthday post, made me think of the picture I have of Mom on her 80th birthday, last October. I love this picture. Thought I would share it with the world...LOL.

Monday, December 21, 2009

And sew it goes.......

I have come down with a bug. I hate being sick during the Christmas season. It seems to take the enjoyment out of everything.

I did get quite a bit of sewing done today, in spite of feeling miserable. I finished off three PJ tops, and made a denim skirt for S. I've never made a jeans-style skirt. It was challenging. I had a couple of moments when I had to move away and think about it, but in the end, it looks darn nice! It will be so nice with the zebra-print and the leopard-print hoodies I made for her last week. I'm sure she will like these a lot.

Tomorrow will be PJ day. I finished Matthew's chameleon PJs yesterday. I have now managed to get Robert, Heidi and Erik to try them on. From there I made notes on adjusting the pattern for each of them. I still need to make the guys PJ shirts, my PJ top and bottoms and Heidi's PJ shamrock set. I love the shirts. The fabric is a deep red, deeper than a Christmas red. It has a wonderful hand. Then I have appliqued a penguin on the front. Adding the googlie eyes made them come to life. They are so cute! Robert liked them enough to think a penguin on the guy's shirts was ok.......hurray!

Plan for tomorrow:

4 PJ tops-three w/ appliques
5 PJ bottoms
1 bed jacket

I better hit the hay!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My 60th Birthday.......

It is strange. As many with other birthdays, I feel no different today than last year. My mother used to ask, "Do you feel a year older?" I never do. I always feel younger than I am. I don't worry much about age. The most memorable thing about this last ten years is it was much easier than my previous 50.

When I turned 50, I had the feeling, "I had made it." I had many turbulent years during my first 50. I was proud of myself for living through it. Surviving with a certain amount of sanity. I was happy to be 50.

Now at 60, I have peace. The last 10 have been relatively good years. There have been changes, challenges and moments of chagrin. That will always be. Life changes, life is hard and I respond, at times, in ways which, later, embarrass me. But peace and joy cometh.......

Peace knowing I can face the challenges of life
Joy knowing my children and grandchildren love me
Peace in restored relationships
Joy in a wonderful new job
Peace in my relationship with Robert
Joy in the small things all around me
Peace in my relationship with God

Yes, 60 and life is good.........