January 29, 2013

Another Winner

Last weekend I stopped into Joanns to purchase some Vogue patterns on sale.  I happened to take a quick looks at the McCalls book as they were on sale as well.  I've recently had very good luck with Simplicity, McCalls and Vogue patterns.  And while I try to emulate Carolyn and use the same pattern over and over - I do get bored and want to try something new.  McCalls 6713 caught my eye and came home with me. 

During the past week - I was rearranging the fitness room as some of my sewing equipment - Lou, my hem marker and the full length mirror got relocated out of the fitness room due to a new piece of equipment.  I happened to lift the lid on a large rubbermaid bin and find a lovely stash of fabric.  This piece of cotton jersey happened to be in that stash.  It had enough stretch and was perfect to sample this pattern.  I traced the pattern with the only alterations being to shorten the back bodice by 2".  I'm really, really short from my neck to my waist in the back - 15 1/2".  See, really short!  I also cut the front skirt piece in 2 equal pieces with a seam down the center front.  I thought about cutting it on the fold, but the grainline didn't run parallel to the center front.  So - I cut 2 pieces.  Finally I added 3" of length to all the skirt pieces.  

For this version I didn't want the drape as my cotton jersey was a bit heavy.  I also didn't line the bodice for a couple of reasons 1.) I didn't have enough fabric and b.) my fabric was a bit heavy. 

Can you see the gathers?
Construction was fast and easy.  The most time consuming part was cutting - and I had to cut the right front twice.  When cutting pattern pieces out single layer it's important to make sure the same side of the pattern piece is facing up - otherwise you either flip the pieces or you have one piece where the wrong side is showing.  Thankfully I had enough fabric left to cut another right front.  That slowed the sewing down a bit. 

I wore this dress to work yesterday and it was comfortable and twirly.  I have another double sided jersey on my cutting table and have the cut on fold pieces cut already.  Version #2 will have the drape with the wrong side showing.  Now to get it cut.  Hopefully another new dress before the week is out. 

January 24, 2013

It's Thursday - Are You Thankful?

So - once again we get another Thursday in the week - that's a good thing right? It means the week is almost over. It's at this point of the week, when I'm tired and it feels like the weekend will never get here that I like to remember the little things that make me smile.
:: cute puppies - this is Titus, my brother's dog who visited for Christmas :: clear, cold, crisp days and warm houses and cars with heated seats for the commute :: knitting, I love being able to take two little pointy sticks, some string and make something that will keep someone else warm.   :: good friends

:: fabric, yarn, and the sewing, blogging community.  I have taken a sewing dare!  more info soon.

:: friends who share their knowledge

:: short work weeks.

I shared mine - won't you share yours?  Happy Thursday Everyone!

January 21, 2013

Little Known Fact

In 2011, my friend and I decided it might be *fun* to walk a 5k every month.  However, we were unable to make it happen in 2011.  So we committed to doing so in 2012.  We participated in the Resolution Run on New Year's Day and didn't miss a month.  In fact, we even threw a 10k into the mix in November.
We collected all the tees and my friend actually wears some of hers in public.  I have saved mine to make a quilt from.  Most of the shirts are jersey but some are technical fabric and I'm not sure about putting them in the quilt. 
The best part - I am not overly active.  My hobbies are sedentary and so is my job.  My biggest form of exercise is walking the hound dogs.  We finished each and every race with a time of under a 15 minute mile - including the 10k!  And we WALK!  We tried running one race in 2011 and I tripped, fell, skinned both of my knees and my palms and my friend twisted her ankle!  So we stick to walking.
As 2012 ended, we wondered what we would do in 2013.  We decided to do a 10k every month.  We have completed our first race in January with a pace of 14:05 - I'm pretty impressed with that.  And we've crazily signed up to participate in a 15k in just about 7 weeks.  What were we thinking on that one?????

January 17, 2013

Dogs on Thankful Thursday

I know this isn't a great photo - but it tickled me to have the boy in silhouette like that.  Sorry about the background - my house is cluttered and messy. 
Beau was laying on the chaise last week and wanted to make a fuss about the garbage truck coming.  He was sitting their 'howling' at it - but couldn't be bothered to go to the window.

It's early in 2013 and it's time to do a Thankful Thursday again.  Today I'm thankful for
::  How pretty it's been with the clear, cold, crisp weather
::  Crafty friends - I have an idea to save the dress
::  Knitting classes
::  Health and Fitness
::  Credit Card Monitoring
::  Small local restaurants with good food and people who remember you
::  Good friends.

What are you Thankful?

January 15, 2013

I Could Kick Myself

I have these lovely French Chefs for my embroidery machine.  I have made them a time or two before and they are really detailed and easy to do - even with changing the bobbin color.

The problem comes in when you are embroidering on thin cotton dishtowels.  Target sells really nice quality of towels - in a set of six!  Can anyone explain that to me?

Anyway - I wind a matching bobbin because they back shows.  I prefer to stiffen the towels rather than use stabilizer - just because it's too hard to wash out completely.  Now back to the title.  I could kick myself because I was out of spray starch.  So I used some canned 'fabric stabilizer' that I had.  Fortunately, you can't really tell from this photo, but the fabric stabilizer scorched when I pressed to dry it - even using a press cloth.  Even after washing with bleach - some of the towels are discolored behind the design.

The worst part - I need to get this out, so I'm actually going to mail them this way.  I'm going to make another set for the recipient, with a different design.  She can use either tea or coffee to dye this set so they all match and don't just look dirty.  And yes - I'm mailing them without ironing them again - I mean who irons dish towels? 

January 14, 2013

I Made Another Dress

I started 2013 with another dress.  I'm really lovin' the dress this year.  It's so easy to get ready for work - even in the deep cold of Winter.  Dress, tights, boots, cardigan and off I go.

It's hard to tell, but there is yellow in the print of the dress.  The fabric was a home dec section and I really liked it.  So - I brought it home.  It said dry clean only - so I threw it in the washer and dryer - because I have slobbery dogs - and I need machine wash clothing. 

The pattern was Simplicity 1966.  It's just a very simple princess seamed bodice with raglan sleeves and a 4 gored skirt.  The only adjustments I made were to the bodice - I learned how to make a full bust adjustment on a shoulder raglan.  I might have needed to lower the bust point a bit - but that didn't happen.  Also - sometimes I wonder if I have too much room between the bust point and the shoulder - but I haven't started removing room there, the fit was comfortable. 

As drafted - the neckline was really, really high.  Like I was positive I was going to choke high.  So I just drew new facings to lower the scoop.  Lucky for me - it worked. 

I have another version of this dress completely sewn up with some rayon challis I bought at Hancocks and I believe I'm pulling the pins from the hem and tossing it.  I had never used challis before and this fabric stretched all over the place.  The waist seam on the challis dress is a good inch off at the zipper and no way to fix it.  So - live and learn.   Any ideas on handling challis?  I have another piece that has a lovely border print that I really want to use soon, but I don't want another wadder.

This last photo isn't great, but just had to show you that Beau has turned into a camera hound. 

Happy Monday and Happy Sewing everyone. 

January 9, 2013

Vacations 2012

In 2012 we were lucky and managed to take 3 different trips. 

In May we went to Connecticut to watch The Princess graduate from design school - finally!  We also got to meet the boy's parents and took a fabulously fun side trip to Mystic and Newport. 

JB and I also took the train into New York and had dinner with Carolyn and managed to connect and go out for a drink with Bonnie

In August we took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons.  JB had never been to Yellowstone.

It's an amazing place and if you've never been and nature amazes you - go.  Please.  You won't regret the time spent there. 

One day in Wyoming at the Grand Tetons I finally saw a moose in the wild.  This is a momma and she had a baby close by.  Huge, huge animal.  Incredibly beautiful.  I'd still like to see a bull moose, but I can die a happy woman now.  Check that off the bucket list. 

Finally in October we took a birthday trip to Las Vegas.  JB had bought a big bad car earlier in the year and it came with a driving class.  He was quite excited about going and only a tiny bit disappointed.  He wanted to just drive as fast as he could around the oval - a la nascar - and that wasn't this class.  But he did have fun and we spent his birthday at the training school. 

We also manage to take a couple of little weekend trips closer to home - I can finally say I've been to Snoqualmie Falls.  Lived here all my life and never visit the big 'tourist sights'.  Isn't that the way?  Well we are slowly checking those off the list.

2012 was a good year for us and travel.  Not sure what 2013 will hold - but there are rumors about something tropical and a 50th birthday.  

January 8, 2013

Sewing 2012

I did not sew nearly as much in 2012 as I have in years past.  But the things that did get made were good things and I am still wearing most of them even when I should have retired or re-worked them. 

Case in point?  That lovely mustard print pencil skirt (it's not really a pencil on me) - it doesn't fit properly.  It's way, way too big in the hips. 

I'm not sure what I was doing this year instead of sewing.  I know at least one skirt got made that never got blogged and I think that will make an appearance when I review Vacations 2012. 

It wasn't until I attended the Fall Sewing Retreat that I really started sewing this year.  I took 2 patterns to retreat with me, one woven and one knit.  The patterns were traced, standard alterations made, and 'fake' fabric cut out.  I came home from retreat with 3 dresses - not too bad for 3 days of work, right?

I then proceeded to make another woven dress for my birthday and a few more knit wrap dresses.  I know how 3 dresses that fit me well, that I can slap on fabric, cut and sew and know (barring any fabric and pattern mishaps) I will have a winner. 

With that end result - I'm very happy with the sewing output from 2012.  To see the posts with finished garments in  2012 click the finished g12 label.  Happy 2013 Sewing to all!

January 7, 2013

2012 Knitting

Ravelry says my 2012 knitting production was much higher than my finished pile of socks would show.  I know some socks were given away without having glamour shots taken and I knit several shawls and a bunch of pairs of tiny socks. 

There are 11 pairs of socks for me in that pile of socks.  They all have some significance for me - favorite yarn, favorite designer or in one case the pair of socks I was knitting while at the Emergency Vet with Lucy - that particular pair will always make me think of Lucy. 

I also knit 3 pairs of bulky boot socks which were given away, test knit a very pretty pair of cuffed socks that didn't fit me - so I gave them away, and all 3 of the girls (The Princess, The Musical One, and The Dog Walker) got socks for Christmas and none of them got photos taken.  There was also 24 pairs of baby socks which were knit with left over sock yarn and all gifted to a friend who then re-gifted them to multiple friends who were having babies in 2012. 

According to Ravelry there were 22 pairs of socks, the pile o'baby socks, a bag, 9 shawls, and a baby sweater started and finished in 2012.  I guess I did more knitting than I thought. 

January 3, 2013

Beau & Abby

 It's been a minute since I've posted current photos of the dogs. 

Granted these aren't great photos - but they are current - I took them this morning! 

Beau has decided he's too good for the dog bed and has taken over the chaise in the sitting room.  He's close to where we are, but laying on nice comfy furniture. 

Abby would be up there with him, but she's decided it's too hard to get down with her old lady hips, so she sticks to curling up on the dog bed to stay warm.

It's been bitterly cold in the Pacific Northwest this week - in fact, we all think if it's going to be this cold, we should get snow.  Mother Nature isn't agreeing with us, but the dogs are staying in the house all day.

Happy Dogs on Thursday everyone.

January 2, 2013

a 2012 Finish

I've been reading all the 2012 wrap ups - how much I sewed, how much I knit, how much I read, in some cases - how much I lost. 

I want to do a wrap up post - but I didn't knit nearly as much in 2012 as I have in years past although my focus changed from socks to other knits. 

For example, when I heard my brother and his girlfriend were coming for Christmas I had to come up with a quick gift.  I don't know T very well, but I do know where they live and it's cold in the winter and I know she likes to walk outside.  Hmmm - that gives me enough to work on.  I bought some fluffy grey wool and signed up for a test knit.  You can't see the pattern in the cowl very well, but it's knit broomstick lace.  Very fun and easy way to create a great stitch that will still be warm. 

I also know that T has very long hair.  So when I saw the tea cozy hat that ChanKnits had knit - I knew it was perfect!  So - a hat that would allow T to keep her ears warm, but let her hair hang free was knit. 

I did tell her she had to model the gifts and have her photo taken or give them back!  She wasn't very happy about it - but she did cooperate. 

These two pieces were a super quick knit.  Seriously - I think it took me 3 days total to knit the whole thing. 

I do need to go back and do a review.  I know I didn't do a lot of sewing early in the year.  I need pull out the 2012 knits and get them photographed.  And maybe even inventory the books I read - thanks to the Nook I read a bunch more last year.  I also need to update the blog this year - change the header (I'm working on it), update the links (or remove them) how do you feel about links on the sidebar?  Do you follow them to a find a new blogger?  And also figure out how to add reply to comments.  I try to reply via email to all comments, but that isn't always possible. 

For now however - it's time to head back to the office after a lovely week of vacation.  Happy New Year everyone!  I'm looking forward to spending time in 2013 with you here.

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