Friday, January 15, 2010

Computer Confusion!

Our computer was going very slowly so we decided to get a new computer. My husband decided on this:

It is a Mac Mini. I have never used a Mac before so this is quite new for me. So far it seems fairly easy but it is a whole new thing to learn. I liked my Word and now I have to learn something new. Uggh! Getting pictures is also quite a challenge so my blogging has suffered a bit. I have a couple more things to show you from the holidays but I am having difficulty getting the pictures together. I don't have time for this! Oh, well. I think I will be happy eventually. I hope so! At least the internet stays the same. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another "Sweet Sunday" Ruffle Dress

I made this one almost the same as the last one for my niece. You can go here to see that review. The only change was in the sleeve bands. I made one continuous band instead of having a tie. I tried to make a tie but the velvet ribbon I used for the band was too bulky. I really like the simple band.
Ottobre 6/2009 #23

Sleeve Band

I love the fabric for this dress. I picked it up at Joann's a few months ago. They actually had quite a few nice corduroy prints this fall but this one jumped out at me and said take me home. I couldn't resist. My daughter really likes the print too which is a plus.

I am now working on a shirt that was supposed to be part of my wardrobe. I might have it finished in the next couple of days. It has been slow going. Hopefully I can get to fit right.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Few Blankets

About a year ago I went through all my flannel. I had quite a bit of it from Joann's black Friday sales and I needed to make room for new fabric. I bought most of it when my daughter was little. Now, she is big. Way to big to have pj's made for her out of this cutesy stuff. I decided to make up some of the flannel into blankets to donate somewhere. So, the fabric sat for a year or so just waiting to be used. I finally got around to doing it the last couple of days. They were each pretty quick to make. I cut a 36" square with rounded corners. Serged wrong sides together leaving an opening. Turned it inside out and used a 2 thread overlock stitch with decorative thread to finish the edge.

Here is my pile of blankets. Now I just have to figure out where to take them. I have so many options.
This one is my favorite. I love the plaid with the cute little princesses.

Now, for just a teaser of what I am working on. Last night I cut out the dress for my daughter from the same pattern as the Christmas dress for my niece. I put the bodice together this evening. My goal was to have it finished for her to wear to church tomorrow. But I am really tired and instead of staying up a couple more hours filled with silly/frustrating mistakes I think I am going to go to bed. She can wear it next week.


Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Free Audio Story!

This has absolutely nothing to do with sewing unless you like to listen to them as you sew. I was pointed to this website, Home School Radio Shows, from The Money Saving Mom. My family LOVES audio stories so I jumped on this right away (we listen to a lot of stories in the car). I thought some of you might enjoy this too.

The Long Winter

By popular demand, we again present this fine interpretation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" book, "The Long Winter". This Ingalls family is quite different than the one you saw on TV, but it is a very faithful adaptation of the book, and is quite entertaining. It is the ONLY "old time radio" adaptation of any of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and you love those stories, you'll treasure this. This broadcast was originally aired way back in 1950 on the radio version of the Hallmark Playhouse.

If you click here you can download this story along with two others for free. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Birthday Kuspuks for my Nieces

All of my nieces have their birthdays in November and December. I find this to be really inconvenient (like it was at all up to me). I love to get them presents and I only get to do it once a year because their birthdays and Christmas are so close together. Plus, all the sewing for them is done at one very crazy time. This year I did more sewing for them than usual. I already posted my 6 year old niece's Christmas dress. This post will be about the Alaskan kuspuks I made for my 6 and 3 year old nieces for their birthdays.
Kuspuks are traditional Eskimo dress for men and women. There are different types for different times of year. For the winter they are made of fur and are very warm. I saw quite a few of these on New Year's Eve when we went to see the fireworks. They looked so warm and cozy. The summer style is usually made out of cotton. For women and girls they can be a shirt or a dress or a coat. The version for men and boys (snowshirts) are the same style with out the ruffled skirt and can be used as shirts or coats. They are a very versatile piece of clothing.

Front of Kuspuk for 6 Year Old
(My son is modeling and I promised his face wouldn't show.)

Kuspuk for 3 Year old
(She has plenty of room to grow.)

Pattern Description: The kuspuk is a light fabric parka that is worn in Alaska during the summer. Eskimo women make it in bright prints and wear over their fur parkas in winter to protect the fur.

This pattern by Lois is designed so the flounce may be left off during construction of the garment to make a boy's parka or a shorter summer parka. The garment slips over the head and has a front zipper. Almost any type of colorful material may be used, although the fabric should be durable. Decorative braid or rickrack is used to trim the garment.

Pattern Sizing: I purchased 6-8 (child) but they are available in toddler up through adult sizes. I made the 6 for the 6 year old and sized down a bit for the 3 year old.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. The picture on the front is a pretty basic sketch but my garment looked pretty much like the sketch.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were okay. Most was fairly clear. They didn't give clear directions about attaching the pocket or placement lines where to place pocket. Zipper instructions were also very sketchy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that it is an authentic pattern created by Alaskans and used by Eskimo women. It is a very cute shirt/dress. It can be worn for a while even as a child grows because it can be a dress or shirt.

Fabric Used: cotton
I purchased years ago probably from Joann's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't put in a zipper. I wanted to use my new snap press and snaps so I adapted the pattern. All I did was add about 1 1/4" to the center front of each front piece. I also folded the flounce in half and gathered it to the top so that it wasn't as long and I didn't have to hem.

Close Up of Snap Front

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? My daughter would like on but right now I don't feel like making this again when I have so much else I would like to sew. I would recommend this pattern to others if they want and authentic Alaskan garment.

Conclusion: A pattern with sketchy instructions but worth making if you would like this type of garment.

You can purchase this pattern through Northern Threads in Fairbanks, AK.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Christmas Dress for My Niece

I made a dress for my 6 year old niece for Christmas. I immediately loved the picture of the "Sweet Sunday" Ruffled Dress in the Winter '09 Ottobre magazine. I knew that I just had to make this dress. I thought this would be a perfect style for my niece. I liked how the pattern was so unusual. I had so much fun making this one. I want to make another one for my daughter in a bit more sophisticated fabric. She absolutely did not like the picture once she saw it but I had her try on the one for her cousin and really liked it. YEAH! I get to make one for her too.


Note: You might be interested to know why my son is modeling this dress. It was part of his punishment. He decided to mess around with a permanent marker (which is not allowed for obvious reasons) while his brother was trying on the dress for me to check the fit (my youngest is about the same size as my niece who doesn't live nearby). I think you can imagine what happened next. YES! He got black permanent marker on the dress! I am sure you know how upset I was. He missed out on going to a movie with his grandparents and had to model the dress. BTW, I was able to get out most of the marker with rubbing alcohol. You would have to look very close to see the disaster.

On to the full review:

Ottobre 6/2009 #23

Pattern Description: A girls dress that has a well fitted bodice in contrast to the fullness of the skirt with its three overlapping ruffles.
The sweet ruffled dress is sewn form velveteen. The bow, sleeve bands and neckline trim are cut from shiny satin. The underskirt of the dress, to which the two lowest ruffles are attached is also cut from satin. The sleeve edges are gathered to bands the ends of which are tied in bows. The dress has an invisible zipper on the back.

Pattern Sizing: size 92-128 According to my niece's measurements she was a 116 chest and waist with a 128 waist. I made a 122 and I thought it ended up a little big. I think this dress is kind of roomy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? My dress looked very much like the pictured dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes they were easy to follow for an Ottobre pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like the style. It is different than what you see in RTW but yet very RTW looking. I immediately love the shape of the neckline.

I did have a little difficulty stitching the middle layer to the satin because it so slippery. Before I read the instructions completely I thought the skirt was 3 separate full layers. I was disappointed it wasn't because I wanted to take off the top two layers to make a less ruffly dress for my daughter who didn't like the frillyness. They way they have you construct the dress makes for far less bulk and probably more twirliness (is that a word?).

Fabric Used: I used a stretch cotton woven fabric that I picked up from the back wall at Denver Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't add the bow. I also used knit for the neckline ruffle and the sleeve bands. By using this heavier fabric I couldn't tie the bands into bows. I had to just knot them and cut and resew the ends so they weren't so long. My neckline ruffle falls forward a bit so I had to tack the facing down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely! I already have the fabric and permission from my daughter to make one for her.

Conclusion: I love how cute this one turned out. It is so different and stylish. LOVE IT!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

1st Garment of 2010: Jalie 2911 Pink Fleece Hooded Pullover

Don't I look so comfy in my fleece shirt and cozy fleece pants? This is my usual at home attire. I LOVE fleece!

This shirt is actually garment #5 of my wardrobe plan. Boy was that a bust! Not the shirt, the wardrobe plan. I finished two of my planned skirts and two shirts. I liked each garment I made (I will review when I get pictures), one outfit in brown and one in burgundy. Although these colors look nice together the styles of the skirts and shirts did blend well. I was frustrated with my choices. In order to complete the wardrobe I would have to take out two of these items and add two more. Plus, this shirt really wouldn't go with all the bottoms. So, knowing these hurdles and the need to complete Christmas clothes for my kids and presents for neices and nephew I decided to chuck the wardrobe plan. I will make the garments I was planning but they will not all go together. That's fine with me.

Back to Jalie 2911. I really like how this turned out. I did have a bit of puckering at the base of the collar. It is okay. Next time I make this I will work on getting rid of the puckers. The back also has a few wrinkles (not shown) that will need addressing with a sway back adjustment. I am really going to enjoy wearing this. The fleece is so soft and comfortable!

My Review on PatternReview:

Pattern Description: Woman's pullover with Hood or Shawl Collar

Pattern Sizing: toddler girls -- women's plus sizes

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? My version looked just like the picture.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were okay. I had a bit of trouble understanding how to attach the hood/shawl collar. I did get it together but I have a slight bit of puckering at the bottom corners.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like how comfortable this shirt turned out. I think the fit on me resembles the fit on the model.

Fabric Used: Light pink Polartec 100 by Malden mills that I picked up from my local sewing store, Seams Like Home.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I ended up taking in the sides because I wanted a little bit more fitted look. I also added a 1/4 inch to the pattern at the bicep for a bit more room.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will make this again and would definitely recommend this to others. It was a pretty quick pattern to sew up and I really like the result.

Conclusion: I am already trying to figure out if I have some fabric to make this again. I think next time I will use a knit and do some more shaping. I will have to address the extra fabric at my lower back. I think I will need a sway back adjustment. It is fine in this shirt but if I use a knit I think I would like it to fit just a bit better.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

Until next time...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward!

A Few of my favorites from 2009

2009 is over. It was a good year for us. God blessed us in many ways and I am very thankful for His watching over us. I am excited to see what 2010 brings. Whether it be joy or sorrow I know that God has us in his hands all through the year.

Last year I wouldn't make any resolutions. As I said last year I don't like them because I never keep them. I just gave myself a list of things that I wanted to accomplish throughout the year. I thought I would reflect on last years accomplishments and add my thoughts for next year.

1. I want to purchase better quality fabric. I have a tendency to gravitate toward good deals. I need to put more quality stuff into my stash that I would actually want to wear. I also want to concentrate on coordinating fabrics and not just purchase things singly that I later have to find something else to match. I did pretty well at this this year. I purchased quite a bit of nice fabric (most of which I got for great prices). I ended up with lots of nice wicking knits, high quality fleece, some nice wools, quality cottons and nice fashion knits. I am very pleased with what was added to my collection this year. My problem now is that I do not have very much to use for muslins. I would like to continue this through 2010 (hopefully at the NY and LA garment districts).

2. I want to spend more time crafting and not just vegging out. My main time for crafting is the evening and I am often pooped. I don't want to do anything but when I don't do anything I feel like I wasted a bunch of time. I will still veg out I would just like to do it a bit less. I did better at this also. My completed garment count will verify. I completed a total of 37 garments using up 61 yards of fabric. This certainly is not as many garments as some but I am very happy with what I completed. I did veg out a bit but I did a lot of sewing too. This is a goal for 2010 also. I don't necessarily have a goal to complete more garments than last year or to use up more of my collection but I want to spend time sewing consistently.

3. I want to finish sweaters (and sewing projects for that matter) within a reasonable amount of time (not two years). I have been getting better at this and want to continue this success. Totally failed! I don't think I hardly picked up my needles all year. Maybe I will pick up my needles this year. No pressure though. Only if the knitting spirit moves me.

4. I want to sew more for myself which would then include increasing my fitting skills. I definitely worked on this this year. I made 10 garments for myself. A few turned out to be wadders but I learned from my mistakes. I definitely want to increase my fitting skills this year. There are quite a few Burda garments that I am itching to make.

5. I want to make a chart to keep track of my projects. I really like the chart Karen made and want to borrow the idea. This will really help me see my accomplishments and be a motivator. Then at the end of next year it will be easier to count up my projects and yardage. I would really like to know exactly what I made and how much fabric I used. Oh, and I would like to fill the chart by the end of the year. Completely neglected. Hopefully I will do this soon.

6. Lastly, I would like to figure out my camera and learn how to take better pictures. My pictures don't have to be museum quality just better than they are now. I really want to get some good pictures of my kids. Worked with my camera some. My goal for 2010 is to take a picture every day. I have a separate blog for these pictures. I haven't done well in the past with this challenge for myself. Hopefully this year will be more successful.

2009 Garment breakdown
Made for Me--10
dresses 2
tops 5
skirts 3
dresses 3
tops 3
pants 1
skirt 1
jacket 1
shirts 6
pants 2
shirts 5
kuspiks 2
dresses 1
skirt 1
Nephew--1 robe

I have quite a few garments to show you (11 to be exact plus one I am finishing as soon as I post this) over the next little while. So stay tuned.

Thanks so much for stoppin' by. Have a great day!

Until next time...