Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick Peek at the Christmas Aprons and Towels

Okay!  After sitting around wasting time agonizing about which fabric to use, what colors, which embroidery designs, I've finally gotten busy with the aprons.  I decided months ago that I would make unisex aprons for my three kids and their mates or, as my son  likes to say, their counterparts. This apron is for one of the girls.
I'm using a heavier-weight denim which is making sewing on the straps a pain with the multiple layers of heavy fabric.  I've ordered some nylon webbing that I may end up using instead.  The embroidery design is from Urban Threads, and I'm quite happy with it.
There's a theme going here believe it or not.  This design goes with the "you wash, I'll dry" designs I put on sets of white with denim blue trim kitchen towels.
Design is from The Embroidery Library
I have a set of yellow towels to match the yellow apron design and teal towels for the apron designs in teal.  I do hope this is making sense.  It's after midnight here.  I probably shouldn't be allowed to put things on the internet at this hour.  Feel free to let me know of any errors.

Moving on!  The last couple will be spending Christmas in Mongolia which will give me a few more weeks to stress out about colors for them.

My latest setback is this design which I planned to use of the guys' aprons.
It just looks wonky cuz it's hanging wrong.  


First, it turns out that most people have no idea what this means.  For those people, the urban dictionary defines it as being a response to a statement that something cannot be done.  Example:  "You cannot possibly do that recipe.  It's too hard." Response "Challenge Accepted"  To me, it seemed like such a male response to cooking--the men in my family anyway.

 Second issue with this design is that all those curly lines look too feminine to me now that it's on an apron.  The shiny embroidery thread further adds to this problem.  My daughter's counterpart (I can't believe i just typed that word) is a weight-lifting, motorcycle-driving mechanic. Only his tools can  shine.  Any suggestions for a replacement design or quote would be most appreciated.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Towels for Brian

My lovely husband Brian has been in Pittsburgh this week, and I missed him, of course.  That got me to thinking about making him something.  He's always saying that I make things for everyone but us which is not true at all.  It may seem that way, though, because most of my sewing for us is house things. 
No, they are not for the kitchen.  They're for Brian so that he doesn't have to go find something at the most inconvenient of times. Enough said.  Yes, Sandra, that is what these are for.  Now the question is, do I need a new category for these on Pinterest or can I just put them under sewing?

In the interest of keeping this about sewing, and just in case anyone is still here rather than off to remove my blog from their list, here are a couple of pics showing just why you really need to wash these towels before embroidering. 
 See how much the white one has "waffled" from washing above and shrunk in size below?  I love the after, so I'm happy.  They are from Target, $2.99. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

A much more manageable rice heating pad

Okay!  I now realized that smaller is better with rice pads.  This one is for the neck and doesn't weigh enough to compact the spinal column like the last one, so it can get tied on.  I am wearing it at the moment just because I can.  Also it's providing me with some heat since winter has finally descended on New York's capital district area with a sprinkling of snow and cold this morning.


The sewing went well.  Unfortunately, I could not find my funnel and ended up doing this:

which resulted in scenes like this:


and this:


Something tells me I will be finding grains of rice in my sewing room for some time to come. 

This was made with two 9x13" pieces of fabric for the base.  When I finished, I thought I had over-stuffed it because it was rigid, not forming to the neck.  However, just bending and playing with it a bit made it softer so that it bent to the neck nicely.  I don't know whether the flannel stretched out or the rice just needed to settle more.  Either way, it turned out perfectly for me.   

    New Towel Emboidery Design

    I've been searching high and low for nice towels to embroider, both kitchen and bath.  Some I purchased on Amazon that turned out to be much more utilitarian and dull when they arrived than they appeared in the online photos. I was going to just keep them myself til I found this design from Embroidery Library.
    There is another one that say's "I'll Dry."  The design fits perfectly with the rather rustic looking towels.  It gave me the idea of creating sets of these towels with some denim aprons and potholder items for my kids for Christmas.  I'm going to try to take most of the denim from my hoard of old jeans I've saved from the kids to make them more personal.

    In order to accomplish this, I am going to have to stop doing housework from now until Christmas.  I know.  It's a lot to give up, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice for my children.  Who knew I'd still be able to use the kids for an excuse for not doing housework even after they were grown and gone!

    The Pinterest Shoulder Rice Heating Pad Saga

    The dictionary defines saga as a long tale of heroic achievement, so I think it works for this little sewing adventure.  I consider this a success despite my family's reactions.  My sister's recent, "Hey, remember those rice bags we made a long time ago?" reminded me of the over-the-shoulder rice heating pad pin I had stuck on my sewing board while wasting hours of time on Pinterest.  You can see the post here. The real original poster's blog with a tutorial is gone, but this blogger has pics that I thought would be enough.

    Does anything ever work out as planned in the sewing room?  There were two issues with this and I refuse to take responsibility for the first one.  The original design goes out to the edge of the shoulders which I did as well.  Once my pattern was cut, I hung it on my dress stand only to find that there were "wings" that stuck out where the shoulders curve.  How's the heated rice gonna do its job there?  This required some darts which miraculously worked out.  I am NOT good at this kind of sewing improvisation!
    The second problem is entirely my fault.  I thought why not make it longer in the back for when I get carried away with the weight training and need some heat across the upper back?  The answer is BECAUSE IT WILL WEIGH ALMOST 7 LBS.!  This is where the fun began.  After my Keegan tried it on and seemed to crumble under the weight, I thought maybe some ties to hold it on might help with the weight.
    Here is that silly version in the photo below.  No, it does not work.  You don't make the weight any better by tying it on to the body, nor should you be walking around with this thing if you have some achy (is that spelled right?) issues.  Carrying that weight may well exacerbate the aches and pains. 
    I took the ties off.

    This is not a total failure, however.  On the plus side:
    •  if you are sitting or lying down, it's great. In fact, you can even lie on your stomach and the freakin' weight presses down in a rather comforting way nicely pushing the heat down.  
    • sitting back in a chair, it's wonderful.  
    • I was trying to see how long it would hold the heat, but lost track after a half hour.  Were I in school today, I would definitely have been diagnosed with ADHD.  I will just say that it held the heat for a long, long time with the caveat that it took FIVE minutes to heat in the microwave. 
    • it induces gales of giggling from the moment people pick it up.  No one expects a heating pad to have this kind of heft.  
    Remember, though, that you can do it as the original designer intended with a much shorter back which would reduce the weight to something more practical thereby making it Pinterest success!
     

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Is it possible to keep a sewing room neat?

    I mean when you actually USE it?  Here is my room in August.
    I could even keep the door open without worrying that someone would see it!
     

     
    So neat!
     
    A place for everything and everything in its place.
     I swore it would stay this way.  Photo from this lovely October morning:
    I really wanted to make this photo as small as possible, but I'm hoping that publicly shaming myself will encourage me to get it cleaned up.
    I only made a few baby things!  In the process, I had to tear through every piece of fabric I owned to decide which ones to use.  Then I discovered a ton of fabric that had snuck into the stash without being washed.  I long ago promised myself that I would wash all fabric as it came into the house so that it would be ready when I needed it.  I have no idea how all that unwashed fabric got on my shelves.  I'm blaming Brian.  The mess I will have to take responsibility for mess.
     
    Hints on keep sewing rooms neat would be appreciated.  Maybe I can get Pam of Threading My Way to set up a Link Party for this!  If you have not visited Pam's site--that would just be crazy cuz if you sew you HAVE to have found her site, but if not check it out.  Never-ending link parties in all kinds of sewing categories that I often turn to for inspiration.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Tried the Ultimate Baby Bib Pattern (It's a Free Download!)

    I think I've downloaded every free bib out there by now.  This one creates a pocket for catching crumbs that unsnaps for emptying and washing.
    The bottom gets turned up, folded to the back, and snapped.
    It's an easy pattern.  I think the hardest part was thinking through the snap part to be sure I was putting them on right.  My resident dragon agreed to serve as model here. 
     
     
    The pocket has the advantage of popping open a bit to really catch all those little crumbs which is more obvious in the photo below.
     
    I'd love to tell you where the embroidery design came from, but my sieve-like memory fails me here. Just Google it! Since I did not pay for the pattern, I went searching for that link which is right here.  I sooooo appreciate it when people share their patterns.  That link takes you to the maker's tutorial which includes a link to get the free pattern on Craftsy.
     
    The maker used laminated fabrics which is a great idea.  For my first try, though, I went with cotton and flannel.   Laminated fabrics are freakin' expensive, and I am not experimenting on my tiny, costly stash of them.  Next time, though, I'll try the laminates....maybe.  I have a really hard to actually cutting into pricey fabrics. 

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    I have a blog?

    Holy crap!  I almost forgot about the blog.  Nah, not really.  I've just moved the blog down on the to-do list because it was sucking up too much time.  BUT I got some sewing finished that I want to share cuz it's so freakin' cute.  As it turns out, the way to get me into the sewing room is to tell me the recipient's mom is three centimeters dilated.   
     Taggy blanket, pacifier holder, burp cloths, and bib finally finished! 
     
    Got that fairy centered nicely on the bib!
     
    Something tells me IdaMae Catherine (named for a great grandma or something
     like that) will NOT be finding her name on any personalized
    merchandise; so I've embroidered it on a few pieces.
     
    I used some of the fairy fabric for the back of the
    burp cloths.
     
    Brian says he doubts the parents will recognize this quote from The Hobbit.
    Who on earth hasn't read the book or seen the movie??? In any case, I think
    the quote is more than appropriate for always-hungry new babies.
     
    Blanket is about 35 inches square with a soft flannel lining,
     
    And the newby's name embroidered on a corner.
     
    My first pacifier holder was quick and easy with the snap
    setter and some little clips I got online.
    An update for those who sew:  Sometimes we forget or maybe never realize how much our work is worth.  In the spirit of helping sewers appreciate the value of their work, I looked on Etsy to see how much items using similar quality fabrics and embellishment would cost. 34" square embroidered taggy blanket: around $45, pacifier holder: $5, 2 terry backed embroidered burp clothes:  $24, bib: $11.  That about $85! 
     
    Have to share a photo of our neighborhood's summer guest siting on our fence post.   
    He was the talk of the town stalking bird feeders (not for seed either), resting on mailboxes, decks, and lawns, using low lying tree limbs as a dining table for his squirrel and chipmunk feasts.  His habit of eating just outside the second floor windows led me to think he preferred company when dining.  He has apparently moved on as juvenile hawks usually do.  We are all sad and miss him--especially Brian who has noted an increase in the number of squirrels that tend to file their teeth on our siding.
    
    
    

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Beachcomber Bag

    Every time I vacation at the beach I wish I had a open weave bag for all the shells and stuff I find, and every time I get home I forget to make one--until this year.  Finally!


    It's from a remnant piece of white cargo netting I found at Joann's a few months ago.  It should be perfect for letting the sand fall through and for air drying.

     I thought about binding the edges with some pretty fabric but decided to go with French seams on the polyester netting so that it would dry out quickly.  Nothing worse than a damp smelly bag of seashells.  Wait, there was that time the 145- pound dog rolled on the not so freshly dead cat when we were out walking in the woods.  Yeah, that was definitely worse.  Turns out that some dogs still have that ancient wolf thing of rolling on the kill to bring the scent back to the pack.  The message got a bit messed up by the time it was passed down to my dog.  His idea was to quickly roll on anything dead and gallop gleefully back to me, his pack, to share the great news.    Loved that dog--most of the time.

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    If You Are Looking For A Large Tote Pattern...

    try the Totally Versatile Super-Sized Tote.  I got the pattern on Craftsy, but the designer has it on Etsy, too.


    This pattern seems too easy to have gotten such an nice bag!   This is a BIG bag at 22"  wide, 14" high, and 8" deep.  It will make a great beach bag. There are two huge beach towels in there with lots more room for other beachy essentials.



    There are pockets between the straps on both sides. I finally took the time to make the design on the fabric pocket match the  the base fabric.  If I keep this up, I may be able to say I'm an intermediate level sewer without feeling guilty. Look how those designs line up, well, almost line up!



    Both sides of the lining have pockets as well.  You, of course, get to decide the size of the inside pockets.  I tested to make sure my Kindle in its case would fit in one. Gotta have my Kindle with me.


    I only made one change--so unlike me.  I added that flap with a snap thinking it would hold things in if it tipped, but I'm not really happy with how it pulls on the fabric when in use.



    It does look nice when it's not too full, though.


    Last, it folds up nicely if your packing for a vacation.  



    Definitely want to make a few more of these.

    Linking to:  
      

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    In-the-Hoop Stuffies

    I am always afraid to try new things.  I really should have named my blog "The Cowardly Crafter." I must be growing up, though, cuz I've been trying new things left and right here such as these in-the-hoop stuffies.  Making in-the-hoop designs, much like using the Silhouette, turned out to be freakin' easy. 
    I will look up the designer if you want, but you are gonna have to ask.
    I also could also have named my blog The Lazy Crafter for obvious reasons.
    I do like them.  They are cute and easy to make on the embroidery machine.  Each takes six minutes of machine time with a few more minutes for the thread changes, doing the ribbon stuff, and sewing up the opening after turning them right-side out.  I did now follow ALL the directions. My ribbons are whatever length looked good to me.  There is a matching applique that I may put on a baby blanket if I get ambitious.
    White one is flannel.  Pink is felt.
    I like the felt better.  Will try a fleece one soon.
    Right now, however, I feel I've overdosed on cuteness.  Is it strange that I prefer Shaz's walking dead sock creatures?


    I can make sock creatures, but Shaz takes sock creatures to the art level.  She does lots of different kinds and they are usually cute, adorable little masterpieces.  These, however, are my favorite.  I bought three from her to give as gifts.  I stole this one back from my son's room and put it on my bookshelf.  Don't judge me.  There aren't any in her Folksy shop, OddSox, right now.  I can't imagine why. Okay, maybe it is just me, but if you do happen to share my predilection for the odd, you could go to her shop and ask her to make one.  (No, I'm not making any money off this, no freebies. Just trying to help other people find treasures.)

    How's this for contrast.


    Hello?  Do I have any readers left?  Should I have stopped with the bunnies?















    Friday, May 2, 2014

    Who Has the Cutest Towels?

    I do!
    It has been pointed out to me that you're supposed to make a hooded towel on which to place these designs.
    I know!  I like this way, though.  It's easier to make, looks cute, and is easy to fold.  Just try making one of
    those hooded towels look nice on a towel rack.  

    Are they not the cutest things?  I should have waited for better lighting, but I wanted to get this post up before it got lost in my busyness.  

     I've been playing with the washcloth ears.  They can stand up really well like the one below if you fool around with folding the washcloth more snugly. 

    These were supposed to be appliqued, but the pattern doesn't have the level of directions I would need to do that.  I have no idea how to cut out the fabric to fit!  I like my version without the applique just as well in any case.

    I also changed the colors a bit.  The design calls for the upper lip to be black, but I like the pink. The eyelashes are supposed to be gray, but, as you can see, I used black.

     I'd tell you where I got this, but I cannot find anything on my computer with that information!  I thought it was an Etsy shop, but there is no listing for it on my account.  If you really want it, let me know.  I'll go through my PayPal account to see if I can find the info.

    UPDATE:  I hear from a few faithful commenters that my comment section is out of order.  Yup, it is, and I am having a fun time trying to fix it.  If you need info on the towels, email me.  Hopefully that is still working.

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    The Wine Tote

    Everyone needs a bag for shopping in wine country.  I am so ready for the next trip.  This is made with some of the fabric purchased on our last trip to the Finger Lakes wine country.  Originally I was going to put pockets between the straps but didn't want to cover up any of the beautiful fabric.  Then I realized why I really couldn't put pockets on it. Wine has to breathe.
    Needed a glass of wine to celebrate finishing the bag!  Usually things don't end
    up hanging from the chandelier when I drink.
    There are pockets on the inside, however, just large enough to keep bottles from tipping and clanking.


    I had the worst time getting photos today--could NOT get the lighting to work.  You can see that the wine glass is starting to empty out.


    After the fifth try to get the light right, I just gave up.  Rather than refill the empty glass (it was barely noon after all), I decided to fix the pics with Photoshop later.  



    I didn't sew the handles all the way to the top so that I could fold it over if the mood struck.

    I think I may have to try this out at the local store first.  I'll be the obnoxious one in line saying, "No, thank you, I don't need your crappy leftover box.  I have my own wine tote."