Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday: The Frustrated Edition

Welcome to another WIP Wednesday! It seems like this is the only thing I'm consistent in posting on this blog.  I actually have a few posts in draft, but can't find the time to finish them up.  Maybe that should be my goal for the coming week, huh?

Romper Update time: I did not meet my goal of finishing Levi's overalls. This project is making me CRAZY!  It was going so well...

I ironed on the interfacing.  Then I read steps five and six of the pattern instructions. I thought I understood what I was supposed to do. I pinned the interfacing to the body of the overalls and seamed.  Something didn't look right.

So I ripped the seams and read the instructions again.  And again.  And again.  And then I consulted a few books.  Turns out I was being asked to stay stitch, except the instructions didn't say to stay stitch.  Annoying.  I was pretty happy with my clipped seams though!

I repinned. And reseamed.  And this is what I ended up with:

This lumpy, misshappen disaster.  So I ripped again.  This time I basted before seaming. It still looked like crap. I have been unable to get the facings to lie flat after turning it right-side out (or in?). Whatever.  It doesn't look good. Something is wrong. I don't know what I'm doing incorrectly. I need help! Please help! Did I cut out the fabric incorrectly (I didn't, I swear!).  I am slowly stepping away from this project before I rip it too shreds in frustration. I'll pick it up in a few days and see what I can do it finish it up. Oy!

In other news, I bought fabric for the watch me grow chart and stitched my jelly roll strips together. 
It took me a full hour to decide which strips to use. I arranged and rearranged and finally selected the eight I would use.  These are four of them. Adorable right? Next steps are to cut them into smaller pieces and arrange them in a pleasing manner.  That's my goal for this project this week.

I'm not sure if I have any readers out there besides my husband and the delightful Sara of Sweet and  but if I do, why not leave me a note and tell me what you're working on? It doesn't have to be crafty!  Oh, and take a minute to offer Sara of Sweet & Crunchy your healing vibes. She sprained her ankle.  Yeah, that's just what she needs, what with being over seven months pregnant and having two kiddos under four to wrangle! Heal quickly my friend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Jumping on the Blogging Bandwagon

I'm thinking of "linking up" with some of the WIP Wednesday bloggers in the sewing blogosphere.  The problem is, I don't really understand the etiquette.  Freshly Pieced is a modern quilt blog where bloggers put up thumbnails of their WIPs and then put a badge on their blog.  What I don't get is, how are the thumbnails generated? Do I just comment on the blog or what?  Aha! There looks like there's an upload tool.  Okay, let's try this out.  Here's the badge:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

In Progress:
I am loving working on the romper that I told you about on Sunday.  I cut the pattern out that night and the following afternoon I cut the fabric pieces.

I've noticed that the majority of bloggers I read don't sew from patterns. I generally come across tutorials where sewists use clothing or accessories they own and like as guides.  I learned to read a pattern in my intro sewing class this summer and it's a really great skill to have. Figuring out this pattern without my instructor around to ask questions provided some challenges which I'm happy to say the internet, plus The Sewing Bible, solved.  For example, stay-stitching. I had no idea what this was. Now I know! It stabilizes fabric to prevent stretching during the sewing process and does not show in the final garment.

I've sewn the centre seams and the two side seams, including finishing the seams (with a zig zag stitch), plus finished my edges. I'll admit that my seam ripper got put to good use. I read recently that one should not hesitate to rip seams one is unhappy with and I took that to heart. Why end up with a product I'm not totally proud of, right?  I also had to take an extra trip up to Fabricland because I didn't buy snap tape before and the project really needs it.  I think I am about half done this project. Next steps are interfacing for the front and back tops of the romper, finishing all the hems and buttons. I'm going to use these huge red buttons I've had for a while. I don't think I'll make button holes though. I'm planning to use velcro instead.

My goal this week is to finish the romper by next Wednesday so that I can post photos of L in it for you to see! I'm making the 12 month size, so it'll be big, but he looks cute in anything!

Queued: I'm going to take the plunge and commit to a quilting project. I want to make a growth chart and I'm deciding between two tutorials.  The first is The Embroidered Growth Chart from The Longest Thread, and it actually a guest post from from Emily of The Student/Teacher, who I started reading a couple months ago.  I really like the simplicity of the design, plus it doesn't require a ton of fabric.  The other is the Watch Me Grow Chart from Moda Bake Shop and is by Crafty Gemini. There is more piecing in this project which is good from a learning perspective and it also requires just a jelly roll, plus two yards of additional fabric.  I'm not leaning one way or the other. 

My goal for the week for this project is to pick a tutorial and the fabric. I'm going to have to do my buying online. I called all the quilt stores in Toronto and no one carries Moda jelly rolls. I was really surprised since they are so popular on the blogs.

Can't wait to hear what Sara has been up to this week!  And anyone else who's been working away.  Join in the fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Retail Therapy

I woke up today feeling entirely blah.  What to do? I was itching to start a sewing project, but couldn't find any inspiration in my stash.  Enter retail therapy! I had a bottle of pumped milk in the freezer and my dear husband was happy to mind the baby while I took a quick jaunt up to Fabricland.  Here's what I picked up:

These adorable flannel prints are going to make a sweet baby quilt. That's green bias tape in the package there and I also got some batting.  I'm planning to use Prudent Baby's Beginner Baby Blanket #3 tutorial.  This will be a gift, but I hope I can eke out something little for Levi with the scraps, like a soother clip perhaps.

The only new fabric is the middle one in the above photo.  These will become a patchwork something.  Maybe pillows for the living room.  Or a tote.  I love the prints and I'm slowly collecting additional pieces that match.  This could become my first quilt.  We'll see.  Clearly I am undecided.

Now, this is the piece de resistance!  That striped fabric up there?  It was $2.50 for the entire yard.  It was in the remnants bin. I think it will make a sweet romper. I decided to buy an actual pattern rather than wing it.  This particular pattern has seven clothing items so it was totally worth the price.  I can see myself making all of the items, but the romper will be first.

The new fabrics are currently being washed and dried. I'm going to start cutting my pattern.  Exciting!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


If you are wondering what WIP Wednesday is all about, check out Sara's blog post here.

WIP Wednesday: Again with the pants

This week's WIP report is really more of an "I haven't posted pictures of projects I've recently completed so here's my chance" report.  Here goes.

Sally's tote was very well received. I'm really happy with the end result, so much so that I wanted to keep it for myself. I will be making more, as it is fast, easy and makes a great gift.

And now...lessons learned in pants version 1.0:

- Babies have short thighs. Knees are higher than you might think. This is only important if your project requires knee pads. Ahem.

 See how it looks like the knee pads are well centred here?  Levi's feet end about four inches above the bottoms. This photo is pre-hemming.

- Cloth diapers require a high rise. And a lot of room in the tush. If you think you've left enough room, add more and maybe then a little more.

-A little creativity can solve anythingLegs too narrow?  Add side stripes!  NOTE: The side stripes are a bit tough to see in this photo but trust me, they are adorable.

-Heavy cotton is great for durability, but has no drape (duh!).  I'd like to make these in a lighter fabric next time.  Since this pair is indestructible (almost denim weight, plus double denim weight on the knees) I hemmed them to be too long so that they'd fit through fall and hopefully winter. There's lots of room in the waist.
Levi isn't totally on board with the pants yet.

Obligatory "could my kid be any cuter?!" shot

I'll be making Levi more pants using the pattern I created when crafting these. The pattern needs adjusting (see lessons learned above) but remains a good guideline.  

So, what's my goal for the coming week, you ask?  I'm having space issues and need to buy a new piece of furniture to hold my ever multiplying craft supplies, my sewing machine, and some of the more fragile items that are currently housed on open shelves and/or low shelves. Levi will be crawling soon.  Things need to be secured in drawers or cupboards aware from little hands.  I'm considering getting a Pax wardrobe from Ikea, because I can customize it to suit my needs. My goal for the week is to make a decision on what exactly we are going to buy.

Check out what Sara is working on over at sweet & crunchy and don't forget to leave a comment and tell me what you accomplished this week.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Boy Pants: Will They Fit?

I've been working on a pair of pants for Levi. I decided to follow a tutorial rather than buy a pattern. I chose Made's Knee Pad Pants which are pretty freaking adorable. Using a pair of Levi's pants that are a tad too big, I drew a pattern according to the instructions, and cut my fabric. Everything was going swimmingly, or so I thought. I sewed the crotch seam and the inner legs. I cut the oval knee pads and began to sew them on. I found this rather difficult and my seams are not even close to perfect, but these are rough and tumble pants so I'm okay with it. I'm even willing to show you my terrible seams! Note, the oval will be filled with straight lines.

At this point I decided to put them on Levi to see how they were fitting. And this is when I discovered that the legs were too narrow. Oy! The fabric is a thin denim with no stretch. What to do?

Enter side stripes in the same co our as the knee pads. Right now I'm basting them and then I'll try them one Levi again to make sure they fit! I'll keep you posted.

In other news, we had begun solids. Despite his expression in this photo, Levi is loving food. Last night he devoured patty pan squash. My concern that the slightly bitter taste would turn him off was totally unfounded. The boy likes him some vegetables!

Whatchu lookin' at Mama?