Archive for June, 2010

Canada Day Tops!

It took a fair amount of time, but I did it!  Three matching Canada Day tops for my three beautiful daughters!

I was lucky enough to have been given some scrap fabric with maple leafs on it.  It had been sitting in my stash and I knew I wanted to make something for Canada Day with it.  But what?  There was not much fabric.

I have been wanting to try my hand at applique, so I decided to make the tops with an appliqued heart.  I used the Oliver + S pattern for the Popover Sundress and then I just made it shirt length instead of dress length.  I like that the dress had the bit of contrasting fabric at the top and this was a great spot to use more of that fun maple leaf fabric.

All in all, I would say that things went pretty well with this project.  The applique was easier than expected.  I did a pretty basic shape, but I think it turned out pretty good.  I’m getting a lot better at using the bias tape now.  I used thicker bias tape with this project than I did with the pillowcase dress.  It was much easier to sew the straps with!  Again, I had a bit of problem with the hem not sitting well and I am wondering if I should be experimenting a bit with the tension for this part of  my sewing.  It seems the fabric keeps getting pushed along more on the top than on the bottom, which then creates the puckering.  Something to try.

Only a few days until Canada Day and I got it done in time to add to the Make It, Wear It challenge over at Sew Mama Sew.


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I have had the unfortunate luck to have spent the past week sick.  I am on antibiotics now and things are improving, but my energy is sapped.

We are almost at the end of the school year, so there are field trips and parties galore.

And I have been somehow been finding little pockets of time to work on a project.  Yes, it is something I am sewing.   Yes, I am trying something new.  No, I am not going to tell you what it is yet.  I will show you when I am done though.  Hopefully, that will be by this weekend.

Stay tuned!

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I have a few confessions to make today.  Some things you may not know about me.

Confession #1:  There is an ironing board permanently set up in our dining room.  On top there is always an iron.  Underneath there is always my sewing machine.  I don’t have a sewing room or corner, so this is the best way for me to have it all readily available so that when I get a few moments, I can get busy and do some sewing.

Confession #2: Sometimes when I have a project on the go and I am almost done or am at a critical part, if my sweet baby girl wakes from her nap,  I sit her on my lap and finish what I am sewing.  She’s very good about it and seems to enjoy watching the machine as I sew.

Confession #3: I have what seems like a million projects that I want to try making.  The problem?  There is just not enough free time to get it all done!!  I fear that most of the projects I will never get to make.  Already our baby is getting too big for some of the projects I want to try.

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Well, I tried again.

I picked out all the stitching.  I ironed the pant leg out flat again.  Ironed down a 1/4 inch all the way around.  Then I did something a bit different from last time.  I made the hem not as deep and I used my measuring tape and my marker to mark where I was going to fold the fabric to.  I marked it all the way around.  Then I folded and pressed to the line.  The first leg turned out much better.  The second leg, not as good, but better than before.  I called it good enough.  Sometimes these projects just get to a point where you need to say ‘good enough’ and be done with it.

The pattern was one I had used in the past to make my very first pair of pajama pants.  The first pair of pants I made were a bit big on me.  So, I trimmed the pattern down to the next size.  Unfortunately, it seem that I was right the first time.  The summer version if a little snug to get over the hips and when I sit down, it’s a bit tight in a couple of places.  If I make them again, I guess I will have to add a bit to the pattern.  I wonder how that will go?

The pajama pants –

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Although I enjoy sharing some of my favourite things, I am not enjoying writing them down every Friday as much as I had hoped.  No worries though.

So, I am going to continue to write about my sewing  journey, and sometimes baking, but I will also write about other interesting things I find on the web – just not always on Friday.  I’m sure I must have more to share than I do, so I am going to try to write more often.

Other than doing some seam ripping on my attempted summer pajama bottoms, I have spent the past two days cleaning and organizing.

A lot of what I had to clean up was my fabric stash.  I had a bunch of fabric freebies that I acquired and they were taking over.  Fabric was spilling all over the hall closet and on our bedroom floor.  Yesterday, I sorted it all into colours and then into solids and patterns and put them all neatly away in containers.  I labelled the containers and stacked them all in the back of my closet.  Now, we can get into the hall closet again to get to the puzzles and board games (yay!) and my bedroom actually looks clean for a change.

We are supposed to be getting some sunny days this weekend, so I spent today cleaning up our deck.  It was covered in dirt, pine needles, empty plant pots, kids toys and  clothes pegs.  I cleaned up and put away all the toys and plant pots.  I gave the deck a good sweep, I picked up the clothes pegs and threw out the mildewy, rusty and broken ones.  The clothes pegs had made a stain of rust on our deck, so I got out a scrub brush and scrubbed it clean.  I ran out to the store, bought a clothes peg bag, a pack of new clothes pegs and an outdoor tablecloth for our stained hand-me-down deck table.  I planted some flowers in a long planter box.  It took a great deal of my day today and it felt so good to get it done!  I am looking forward to enjoying some time out there this weekend.  I hope the weatherman is right and we finally get some sun!!!

It always feels so good to get things clean and organized!

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Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes!

I seem to have a bit of a sewing issue. There is something I am missing. I believe it is that I am not cutting patterns well enough or my measuring is not good enough. If I need to sew up a hem before a piece is sewn together, then all goes well. When the item is already sewn together (like how a skirt is sewn together at the sides) and then I have to sew the hem, then I end up with my fabric bunching up somewhere along the way. Sometimes it is a little. Sometimes it is a lot.

I am so frustrated.

I just tried making some summer weight pajama bottoms for myself and the casing for the elastic resulted in bunched up fabric. Since it would gather once the elastic was in, I was not too worried. But then I went to hem them and it was even worse. I was so frustrated and discouraged that I had to put it away for now.

It is times like this that I am reminded that I am new to sewing. I am still learning. I have sewn so many hems now and done so many casings. There is something I am missing. I just have to figure out what. Perhaps someone out there has been through this same thing and can offer advice?

So, for now, I am on a sewing break. I need some time away. And hopefully I will solve this bunching up issue I keep having.

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When you have three daughters, you can not make just one a dress.   So after making my oldest daughter’s dress (and the dress that was a gift for a friend), it was time to make my middle daughter a dress.

Here is the dress I made her using the tutorial for the Spring Ruffle Top.

Pretty, isn’t it?  I just love this fabric!!!  I saw it in the bargain area of a local fabric shop and I had to get it.  I shouldn’t have told my daughter I would make her a dress from it though.  It would have made a lovely bag or something for me.  No worries though.  It really does make a beautiful dress!

Here is my beautiful daughter modeling her new dress…..

Hmm….. it appears I went wrong somewhere in the measurements?

Now, I don’t know how many of you have daughters, but when it comes to little girls, a new dress that doesn’t fit equals tragedy.  With a daughter near tears, this creative mom has to find a solution and quick!

After much thought (and the wonderful forums over at Sew, Mama, Sew! where more experienced seamstresses can help us newbies), I decided to cut it to shirt length, slice open the back and add some ties.  I am so happy with the way it turned out!

Check out the angled ends on these ties!  I have never done that before, never looked up any tutorial – I am so proud! LOL!  The simple things that amuse me!

I love this top.  Not only can my daughter wear it as a summer top,  she can pop a long sleeve tee underneath it and wear it on cooler days.

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