Saturday, December 31, 2011

Closing Out 2011

Hello Everyone,

Can you believe 2011 is over. I don't have much to show for it project wise but I am not discouraged. The new year is right around the corner and hopefully there will be some progress with the items I am able to produce.

Sooo what did I do this year:
I was able to finish one scarf (I promise I just haven't uploaded the finished pics yet),
Multi Directional Diagonal Scarf Revisited

start a cowl,
GAPTastic Cowl

and leave a lot of things unfinished (no pics, just go back a few posts).

Yay me!!! (actually epic fail but whatever).

I am considering merging my two blogs so come follow me here as well so you don't miss anything. More on that once I make a final decision.

Wishing all of you a great 2012.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

15 Minutes

Yep... I have done absolutey nothing. Maybe not absolutely nothing but I think my last post was about baby steps. Heck, what is smaller than baby steps because that is where I am. So be it. Life is all about reflecting and restarting so I am restarting.

Every day 15 minutes will be devoted to my "creative" side. Be it sewing, knitting, or even sitting down at my piano for 15 minutes. I think 15 minutes is a good start. We'll see.

For the rest of the month I am going to be working 15 minutes on my UFO's. Yeah, I have way to many and I can't stand it. Off the top of my head I know of a scarf, a sweater, a skirt, and 2 shirts that are unfinished (oh, and a dress).

Before I start anything new I want to make sure I have a clean, fresh start.

Here is a scarf I have been working on since January 23, 2011. GASP. It has been sitting on the needles forever. Oh well.. I will get it done.

Multi Directional Diagonal Scarf Revisited

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby Steps

Wow, has it really been 2 months since I last posted. Geez...this blog as well as everything else has taken a back burner to my new job. It is a 9-5 but new jobs always take some adjustment. Me, I have crashed just about every day once I get home from work. I am determined to get moving again though. So here I am.

Don't expect anything major though. As the post title implies I am taking baby steps. Only one or two small crafting goals per week. It may be something as simple as picking my next pattern or it may be to do a couple of steps to finish a UFO. I refuse to set myself up for disappointment. Just coming back to blog is really major progress for me.

So my sewing/knitting/crafting goals for this week: Finish the seam and belt on my shirt.

I did finish the majority of the New Look 6915 shirt I was making but somehow never got back to finish the bottom seam. I am going to make a belt to go with it too, I think. I am not 100% sure on that but I will decide and do it or not.

I really don't like posts without pictures so here is a random pic of a nest my daughter found while we were outside gardening.

Birds Nest

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Few Purchases

Even though I haven't been sewing much (new job) that doesn't stop me from buying sewing items. Why should it? After perusing the New Look catalog at Joann's I decide to pick up a few patterns and some notions that I needed.

New Look 6648 (chill mode)

New Look Patterns

I love this style of shirt. Once I find something I like I am likely to have LOTS of them. I can think of 3 RTW shirts in my closet that are like this. Two of them are the same but just different colors. I have a few knits in my arsenal to make this.

New Look 6915 (work mode)

New Look Patterns

And another I like what I like shirt. I have some RTW shirts very similar so I wanted to see if I could just make a few more that I like. My work wardrobe is lacking and with spring knocking on the door hopefully I can whip up something wearable for work.

Somebody, please kick me back into sewing gear!!! This weekend I was going to sew but I just needed a weekend of nothing. I was able to recharge my batteries some and hopefully can get back at the sewing machine soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Can't Let It Go

Restyle Items

Have you ever cleaned out your closet and just could not let go of some things that you really needed to. Well that is what I did the other day. Start cleaning out my closet. I did manage to get rid of a nice chunk of things so progress was made but for some reason some items I just couldn't toss.

Now that I know a tiny bit about sewing some of the the things that no longer fit me the way I want can probably be refashioned into other items. Dress into shirts. Skirts into shirts. Skirts into different skirts. You get the drift. I may or not be able to do anything with them because lets face it the fabric is not going to get bigger which means I would have to get smaller. I'll have my daughter take a look and see if she likes any of the fabrics and wants to try and refashion into some items for her wardrobe. These hips of mine are going to do me in!!! My recent frustrations with sewing are also making me think just restyling a few items will be fun and help me get back on track.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

UFO- Can I Finish--- PLEASE!!!

I started this sweater on January 1st and it is still not done. I told my daughter she would need to try it on a lot as I go along so that we can make sure it fits properly. She had been doing pretty good until about a week ago. I needed her to try it on and no go, to busy, then sick. UGH. I just need to finish the bottom ribbing and the arms but I really didn't expect it to take so long. Part of it is my fault as my knitting mojo was in hiding. I will finish though. SOON!!

$5 In Paris Sweater

Maybe I can finish this weekend. Maybe, we'll see. I have a lot going on right now so all things are coming to a grinding halt!!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Think I Cut the Wrong Size- McCalls 5522

VENT..VENT...VENT and RANT. I am in the process of cutting an 8 for McCalls 5522. I looked at the envelope sizes and measurements on the pattern pieces at least 10 times and now I look again today and am cutting out an 8 instead of what I probably need, a 10. GRRRRRRRR!! Thank goodness I was only aiming for a wearable muslin and thank goodness I have 2 daughters so it may fit one of them it turns out anywhere near decent.

I don't even want to go back in the sewing room. Everything I have made thus far is a wadder. I am going to the library and getting a book to make pillowcases. I am serious. February may just be pillowcase month for me. I am totally that frustrated with sewing right now. I know it takes time and consistency but I may just need to take 20 steps back and start all over as if I never even tried. Back to square 1 for me. Thanks for letting me vent if you read this far!!

I'm off to knit until I can get my mind right.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Old vs. New- Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing

I got the original Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing a couple of months ago at the thrift store. I knew the new one was coming out as well but for $2.62 I snatched it up in a heartbeat. My library got the newest version so of course I was all over taking a look at it as well.

Just recently I needed to look up some information on pleats. Great time to compare. After thumbing through both of the books a lot of the pictures and information are exactly the same. There are a few differences though (this really pertains to the pleats section as I did not thumb through and compare the whole book).

First we will take a look at the Index and you can see there is an obvious difference in the number of pages dedicated to pleats. Twelve pages of content in the original versus six in the new version.

Reader's Digest Sewing Comparison

Here is the content difference:
Vintage 1976 Version
-page of different types of pleats
-page of fabric considerations for pleats
-section on pleating on plaid fabrics (never even considered this, interesting)
-section on estimating amount of fabric needed

2011 Version
-has a pleated skirt pattern at end of segment
-color pictures

It appears contentwise everything in the 2011 version except the pattern is in the 1976 version. You can see the 1976 version has a few more details which to me are important fundamental details. The new version also has color pictures and nice glossy pages but when it comes down to the content section for pleats, I'll stick with the original.

Anyone have both the old and newer versions of this book? Which do you prefer?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Oops, Wrong Color!!! - Burda Marie Skirt Lining

I got a lining. I planned on doing a lining. But I guess this skirt didn't want to be lined!!! In the dark store when I got the lining and fabric I was so excited to have matching pieces. Now that I am home I can't tell if the subtle color on the fabric is red or pink. This basically comes down to me not wanting to use the lining I got to "coordinate" with what I thought was red in the skirt fabric. Bummer.


But I do have something in mind for it. Depending on how my skirt comes out I may suggest my daughter make one and use the lining for hers. So no lining for this skirt. I know, I know the lining doesn't show but if I am going to do it then I want it to match. That is probably just the beginner in me. We'll see how much I care in a few years.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Burda Marie Sew-A-Long- Pleats?

Yes, I actually sewed something. A little something. I am playing catch up on my Burda Marie skirt but since I was up at 4 AM I didn't catch all the way up. Sewing and sleepy don't mix. Nevertheless I got the interfacing cut and ironed on and sewed my pleats.

I have got to be the world's slowest sewist (say that fast). Everything I check and double check and check again and check a website and a book. Just do it gosh darnit!!! Well, I wouldn't go that far but it seems like every step takes an hour of research if I don't quite get it. Perhaps it will pay off down the road but it really slows progress which can be demotivating.

The pattern said to baste all of the markings. I didn't do that but I gave it shot with the pleats to see if it would help me line them up better. One side I did the basting (since I marked the wrong side of the fabric anyway and the other I just used my tracing paper markings and retraced on the correct side. The verdict. Basting wasn't necessary. It was easy enough to line up but much quicker to just use the paper markings and no picking out of the basting when done.

Burda Marie Sew-A-LongBurda Marie Sew-A-Long

Even though I am participating in the sew-a-long I wanted to take a closer look at the pleats step because the hostess said she had a WT? moment when she looked at some of the instructions.

The instruction was this:

Lay and stitch the pleats one by one, starting at a pleat at the side. Fold the skirt so that the fold lines of the first pleat meet, right sides facing. Pin the pleat lines onto each other from the top ending at the arrow line. Stitch. Secure seam beginning and end (a). Then lay The other pleats in the same manner and stitch. Press the fold towards the side seams (b). Pin the pleats to the upper edges of the skirt.

Burda Marie Sew-A-Long

Using my trusty Reader's Complete Guide to Sewing and looking at lots of finished pics of the skirt I made sense of it. Basically it comes down to whether or not you stitch down (waist to hip) each pleat and then across all pleats at the top or only stitch across the top of all of the pleats. I see this as matter a matter of personal preference for where you want the poofiness to begin. I am glad that the hostess said that she had a moment of confusion because it caused me to really take a look at what was going on instead of blindly following.

So that is what is done thus far. It seems like it took forever and not that long at the same time. Not sure how that is possble.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sew-A-Long- Already Behind

It is always something. I know I have been checking for updates for the Burda Marie Sew-A-Long but for some reason I am already behind. Somewhere along the way I missed some posts. Grrrrr.

Anyhow the pattern is cut but not the fabric yet. Indecisive me had picked a navy blue fabric and tonight changed my mind. I also have gray and a magenta fabric as well that I thought I could use. Who knows, depending on how much I like it there may be a second or third. I am thinking I want to do a lining though so I need to get up to the fabric store and get that. I hope she goes step by step through that because I have no idea how to add a lining. Tomorrow will be my catch up day I hope.

Burda Marie Sew-a-LongBurda Marie Sew-a-LongBurda Marie Sew-a-Long

Come to think of it, I'll stick with my original plan I think because I am making a red shirt and navy and red always look nice together. Plus I don't have any gray or magenta thread. Problem solved. Moving on.

In other sewing related news...well actually there is none. This will be my first sewing for 2011. I have been knitting, or supposed to be knitting this sweater for my daughter. It is coming along, just very slowly. I need to find the balance so I can get these projects done. Maybe I am just setting unrealistic timelines.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day Zero Project- Craft Related

Day Zero Project- 101 in 1001

My list is finally together for The Day Zero Project- 101 in 1001. If you haven't heard of it check it out. Most of you already have New Year's Resolutions but this is somewhat like a bucket list but you only have 1001 days (not the rest of your life) to complete your list of 101 and things. I am not going to share my whole list on this blog as I try to stick to crafty things here but if you are interested my whole list is over at my other blog.

These are my craft related items. This may seem easy peasy to some of you so please don't suck your teeth or roll your eyes. This is MY list. I am slow as molasses when it comes to crafts so it is a big undertaking for me.

Here you have it. My craft related items from 101 in 1001.

  1. Knit a blanket
  2. Take a sewing class
  3. Make a quilt.
  4. Make a garment for each person in my immediate family
  5. Only give handmade gifts for Christmas
  6. Make 25 new garments (0/25)
  7. Make a holiday wreath.
  8. Make curtains for bathroom.
  9. Make pillows for living room sofa
  10. Make a necklace.
  11. Wear an outfit of only handmade items
  12. Make at least one item from all the fabrics in my current stash
  13. Do a knit-a-long
  14. Do a sew-a-long
  15. Make 4 pairs of pants.
  16. Sell a handmade garment.
  17. Make a dress for New Years Eve.

Yep, that's part of THE list. I am looking forward to checking each item off.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Purple Sweater

I finished this sometime last year but I can be quite lazy when it comes to blogging. Blogging is a lot of work. Taking pictures, writing the post, uploading everything, and oh how about the first step..doing something worth blogging about.

Knitting my first sweater qualifies as blog worthy doesn't it. So here it is, my first ever knitted sweater.

The Purple Sweater

This is a free pattern I found on Ravelry called Purple Sweater. This was for my daughter but it turned out to big. Wrong type of yarn, lesson learned, it fits me though. Kind of. The majority of the sweater is stockinette and on the pattern picture it rolls but it rolls A LOT!!! My plan is to go back and do some ribbing around the sleeve ends and bottom of the sweater.

It is warm and would be comfy it it wasn't for so much rolling so once I fix it I'll be happy. The next time around I will try it on more often. There is some wonkiness in the body under the arms and the decreases along the side but for a first sweater it is almost wearable. A few tweaks and it'll be fine. It already a tad fuzzy but I have been throwing it on when I am chilly so as long as it gets worn I am happy.

Question for you knitters: Should I unknit and do ribbing or just pick up stitches and add the ribbing? And how many rounds of ribbing should it take to tame the roll?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Knitting and Walking

The first project of 2011 is..... drum roll please.......

a knitted sweater for my daughter. The first one didn't come out so well so we are going to give it another try. Same concept of knitting top down but a different pattern will be used and there will be a bazillion fittings to make sure it fits how she wants it to.

It is going to be a 3 color version of the $5 in Paris sweater. I found it on Ravelry but it is a free pattern that is here.

$5 In Paris

While working on this I have found that knitting and walking is not that hard. I was tired of sitting on my bum so I stood up and just started walking in place, then marching in place, and then walking laps from my kitchen, to sewing room, to living room, around the foyer, and back to the kitchen. Of course my family looked at me like I was crazy but hey, I can burn a few calories while knitting. Not bad.