Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Toy

I have spent the last 45 minutes or so weaving in my basement. That in itself is pretty good, since I have a craft show on the 5th of December, and I need some inventory.
The extra-exciting thing is this
One of the lovely ladies in church choir asked if I would like to borrow this loom for a while.
How could I resist?
I don't really know what I am doing yet, my next stop today is to the library to pick up some weaving books I have on hold.
Also, I think I need to re-organize the craft dungeon, there's not a lot of flow as it is right now.

I hope the weather is as wonderful where you are, I hope to spend not too much more time in the basement today.
The Younger and I need another afternoon in the woods.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As I was shopping for halloween costume material at the thrift store today I hit the jackpot!
An American Girl doll for $5.If I had to guess, I'd say Samantha, though she's dressed a little like a lady of the evening.
Since we'll have a 7th birthday in December, I thought what better thing to do than get an outfit or two, books and maybe a cheesy day out with her doll.
What I hadn't realized is that the original girls are all discontinued.
This may take a little more thought.
I guess I can scour ebay from now until then.

I suppose that since I do actually know how to sew, I could make her some outfits.

I could even call this a Laura Ingalls Doll, come to think of it, and make her some prairie clothes.

Clearly I am thinking aloud...

The weather here has continued to dazzle, so I may just leave the sewing and/or agonizing about what to do with this new friend for the Elder, until later.
Time for a walk in the woods!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Fall Edition Day 5

I spent the morning working on the Younger's vest, and I am almost finished.
I quilted and bound the whole thing and now all I have left are the pockets.

Not being a very skilled quilter, I decided to just go across the vest in straight lines.I used painter's tape and moved my needle to the far right position, following the tape with my presser foot. This gave me a pretty fool-proof method of measuring my quilting lines.
I do still have to attach the pockets, but I may leave that until late tonight.

I always love to join in on these sewing challenges! It really helps me focus on a few key projects, instead of fluttering around from knitting to weaving to sewing to baking to whatever else strikes my fancy at that moment.

Anyway, I'll call this vest a moderate success.
The Younger wanted the bugs to be on the outside,but as I had already quilted it by that time, there was no way I was going to put in a new zipper.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Fall Edition Day 4

I got about halfway through a vest for the Younger today.
Hopefully, I will quilt it tomorrow, and then he'll have a fun, cozy, transitional garment for the late fall/early winter.
I found these two fabrics in the remnant bin a few weeks ago, and I just loved the color combo.A quilted vest seemed like the perfect project. The brown is a fine wale corduroy, and it is really soft and cozy.
At first, I had planned a reversible garment, until I was sewing in the zipper tonight and realized that I hadn't bought a reversible zipper.
So, brown lined with bugs is what we get.
Then, as I was sewing in my non-reversible zipper, I sewed one side upside down.
So I ripped out the zipper, re-aligned it and sewed it back in.
Now all that remains for tomorrow is the quilting, binding and sewing on the pockets.
I just might be able to finish this during my me-time tomorrow morning.

Can I just give a little product review here?
I just discovered Wonder Tape. It's double-sided, water soluble tape. All you have to do to put in a zipper is tape the fabric to the zipper, no pinning.
And, as I have been assured by a very trustworthy co-worker, it washes away in the laundry.
I used it yesterday on the hooded sweatshirt, and it was so easy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Fall Edition Day 3

I got most of a flannel shirt finished today for the Younger.
I left the bottom hem until I find a separating zipper.
I think it should fit him well for a little while, at least through the fall.
This wasn't planned, but the side seams came out almost even!
Are you sewing this week?

I put in the zipper, and finished the hem.
I think the Younger might just wear this to school tomorrow!

A Trip to the Park

The weather has had its ups and downs lately, but yesterday was definitely an up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Fall Edition Day 2

I spent last night finishing the backpack for my girl. It's not fancy, but it will hold her homework without creasing it. Also, it matches her lunch box. That's just a little mama geekyness.

I also spent this morning finishing up a dress that I had intended to finish before school started.
I pulled out my very favorite sewing tool - my buttonhole maker.
It always makes perfect buttonholes, unlike the buttonhole feature on my zig-zag machine.

I was able to agonize over button choice, make the buttonholes, sew the buttons on and hem the dress this morning, and I still have a little time to stop in here and share the photos.

A girl could get used to this 2-hour alone time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Fall Edition

Meg of Elsie Marley is hosting her wildly popular Kids' Clothes Week Challenge again, and it's just the kick in the pants I need to finally get some stuff sewn up.
I hadn't planned on the project I started today, but unfortunately the Elder's backpack shrunk in the wash and she needs one that is big enough for her weekly homework folder.
So, this morning I searched for about an hour for the pattern that I had used last time to no avail.
I figured, how hard can it be? I have made three of these before.
We'll see how it goes, but so far it looks like I'm on the right track.
It's almost time to get the Younger from school, but I hope to get some sewing time in later this evening.
Are you sewing this week?
What's in the queue?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Little Things

I have been finishing up little projects lately.
Last year when I made Siobhan, a doll for the Elder, I wasn't ever very happy with her face.
She always looked a little too mischievous, or even homicidal if I really look at her. It was the eyes, I have always had trouble with eyes. This summer, however, I learned a new technique which makes a circle every time, and I gave Siobhan a little plastic, or cotton, surgery.I used a Spider Web embroidered eye, which is sorta like this video, except I only used 5 spokes, and I just went over and under, and over and under until the whole circle was full.
It took about a half hour, and she was good as new, if not better since she wasn't quite so scary.

In other crafts, I am also doing some knitting and weaving to build up some stock for a craft sale coming up in December.
I have 2 scarves woven and I have this grand plan to make matching hats so I can sell sets.

Today I finished up a hat, and I am pretty happy with it, other than the fact that the pattern doesn't show up that well in the color/texture of this yarn.
I am using a pattern of my own, and it's all still in the experimental stages as far as the ideal yarn, needles, sizing, etc.

I think I will start a sweater for myself soon, though I do have some important mitten knitting to get busy with as well; those kids of mine don't want frozen fingers this fall/winter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Into the Woods

For many reasons we didn't make to the woods this Summer, and I was feeling especially in need of a visit this morning.
One major reason is that we've been spending too much time in front of the computer and tv, and the Younger has been showing signs of mental strain.

Today, however, he was happy to leave all electronics behind and join me as a wilderness explorer.
We took a walk down the Bruce Vento Trail, and stopped for a little lunch off the path.
It started to rain, and there were little streams criss-crossing the path as we went.
It's always energizing to me to spend some time with the birds, water, trees, chipmunks, sky and rocks of the woods.
It certainly helped me creep out of the funk I have been in for a few days.

Also, since I threw in a gratuitous cute photo of the Elder yesterday, here is a shot of the Younger to show that he has always enjoyed exploring nature.
Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gratuitous Cute Shot of the Elder in Her Younger Days.

My friend just posted some old pictures on Facebook and I had to share this one! It was from her first Halloween party

Good Ideas - Regurgitated, Again

I have said before that I feel like everything I do is just copying someone else's great idea.
Well, today is no exception.
My friend Anna made the cutest change to a t-shirt the other day, and I had to do the same.
I have been hanging on to a few t-shirts that are just not fun to wear anymore.
Either they're too baggy, or they have stains or both.
Today I took on the task of revamping one of those.
I always complain to myself that I have no white cardigans, it would be so convenient to have one that I could throw on with anything, and isn't too hot.
In the interest of solving that problem, I cut open one of my white t-shirts and added an applique flower to cover some of the stains.It's really comfy, I think I might just make a bunch more.
I can't stand to throw anything out, and the shirts I have are in pretty shabby shape.
There may be lots of applique and conversions in my future, especially since this went so quickly.
Even with agonizing over the applique ideas, then sewing it with a machine, then taking those stitches out and re-sewing by hand, the whole project was finished between the dropping off and picking up of kids this morning.

Monday, September 13, 2010

International Craft Swap

At the beginning of August, Jenn of Paper and Clouds (and The Write Ingredients, don't even get me started on this amazing, talented woman who somehow has time to work, have an etsy shop, parent a darling little girl and run two blogs!) co-hosted an international craft swap, and I joined up.
I got my package in the mail this weekend and I couldn't be happier!
I sent my partner Amber a hand-woven scarf, which I didn't get a photo of, but maybe she'll send me a photo of it in use? (hint, hint, if you're reading this out there (: ) Amber send me these beautiful pillow covers. They're made from hand-painted fabric from an artist in Australia, which is also where my swap partner lives.
I love them! And don't they go well with my new couch?


First day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

{this moment}

I haven't been participating in this phenomenon, but we had a good one this week.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Amanda Blake Soule

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Last Minute

My name is Jess, and I am a procrastinator.
Anyone who knows me will confirm this.
It's not done maliciously, I just don't always think to start stuff in a relaxing amount of time.

Anyway, here it is the night before the first day of First Grade and I realize that the Elder Hug-a-Bug has no lunch box.
Her bag from last year was really grubby, (really, grossly, grubby) after a year of use, and I either threw it out, or just stashed it in the basement for deep cleaning.
At any rate, it's not at hand.

So I thought to myself, I'll just whip her up a new one. Or at the very least some cloth bags to keep her sandwich and carrots or peapods in.

She helped pick out the fabric and I gave her the choice between the same pattern as last time and a new one - the camera bag from Sew Liberated.
She chose the camera bag, and away we went.
I let her use the iron for the first time, and she was thrilled with the new responsibility. She also went through a box of buttons and found a couple that she wanted to use for embellishment.

I made a few changes, mostly in the name of making the bag more insulated for the food, but mainly stuck to the directions in the book.
Meg McElwee has designed another great project! I did break 3 needles in my machine, but that was due to my modifications, so I don't blame the project at all.One major change from last year's model is that I used dark blue fabric, so if it sits on the dirty, dirty ground, I won't notice it as much.
Good night, I have a big breakfast to make in the morning, not to mention a lunch to pack.

One More Button Shot

I know I showed you photos of my newest sweater with its potential buttons yesterday, but I have changed them and I wanted to document that here.
I had part of a flour sack that I bought in high school in my fabric scrap bin and I used that instead for my covered buttons.
I love the new buttons!
I didn't love taking photos of the sweater with its new buttons.
The sweater is a deep teal and the buttons are light-colored flowers on a light blue background. The buttons kept washing out when I tried to photograph them.

I also thought I would try to get the word buttons into every sentence of this post.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Melrose Peacoat

There is a definite chill in the air.
It makes one want to do some serious knitting.
Here is my latest project - the Melrose Peacoat from New England Knits.
If you haven't flipped through this book yet, I highly recommend it.
I want to make at least 3 more sweaters from it.
The Peacoat is a model for the Yarnery, so I won't get to wear it for a year, but I guess that just means that I have to pull out some stash yarn and get going on another one as soon as I finish this one.

This sweater has some extra-cool features, one is a large textured pattern on the back, and the other is that the pattern calls for fabric-covered buttons sewn over snaps.

At this point, I'm truly not sold on these buttons.
The pattern calls for 7/8" buttons, but I might go back and get 1" buttons instead.
Also, I didn't have the sweater with me when I chose the ribbon that I used to cover my buttons, and I think I might just have to try again on that too.

The best thing about this sweater is the large gauge, which allows me to go really fast.
I have the body and one sleeve finished, and it's been about a week since I started.

This is a refreshing change from my last project (for a customer, out of hideous acrylic yarn) which took me all summer to finish.

What are you knitting?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last Week of Summer

A friend of a friend offered to share her horses and home today with a group of people that she'd never met.
The family was so open and generous with our kids, it was really wonderful.
Our host had 4 horses, and gave everyone a chance to do a little riding.
The kids both enjoyed themselves so much, it almost makes one want to move to the country and get a few horses.
Also, if you had the space anyway, a rope swing
and a trampoline seem like necessities as well.
I think we have one more last-gasp outing this week, then it's time to buckle down and get to school!