Archive for August, 2010

Serging Dreams

The wonderful people over at Sew Mama Sew are generously giving away a beautiful, shiny, new serger to one lucky person! They are looking for a creative and fun response. Well, people who sew are obviously pretty creative so this could be a tough one. I think it would be best if I enter this contest by telling you a story. It is a happy story, but please, brace yourself, for there are some sad parts!

Once upon a time, there was a young mother who needed a hobby.   She thought long and hard and decided that she might like to try her hand at sewing.   She searched the used ads in hopes of finding a half decent machine for a good price, but sadly no machine was found after several months.  She felt uncertain as to what features she would need and did not know how to tell if a machine was near the end of its life.

Soon it was Christmas and a charming and handsome man (her husband) bravely ventured into the unknown territory of a sewing store.   He even thought to go to a store that specialized in selling sewing machines.  He asked questions – so brave for a man who does not like to ask for directions! – and he walked out with a big box containing a fabulous Janome sewing machine.

On Christmas morning, the young mother woke up to find this sparkling new machine under the tree.  She was in awe!  She thought “Wow!  It even has a one-step buttonhole! How lucky am I?!”

She started to sew.  Once she started she could not stop!

Her first top was the lovely Spring Ruffle Top.  With a pinked finish to the seams, she though it was a lovely shirt!  Then this happened –

and this is what the rest of the seams looked like !

This sweet, young mother was so in love with sewing though.  She was determined to have better seam finishes!  She dreamed of one day selling her sewing, so that she could remain a stay-at-home mom.  But could she do it?

With the help of a friend, her seam finishes did improve.  They now look like this –

Such an improvement from before, but enough to make something suitable to sell?  A serger would make a much tidier finish, that is for sure.

The young mother spends her time dreaming of nicely finished seams.  The days pass and she continues to work on, and hopefully improve, her sewing skills.   Perhaps one day, if she is very, very lucky, a kind fairy godmother will send a serger her way.

And so ends this tale of a mother and her seams…..

…….or does it?


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A Tunic Top

I recently ordered DMK’s gorgeous Reversible Tunic Top pattern.  I had some pretty fabric I had been wanting to use to make something for my one year old to wear.  I thought maybe I could squish all the pieces onto the fabric I had, but no – it didn’t work.  So I made the top non-reversible.

Being somewhat new to sewing , this might have been a bit much to ask of myself.   But it was an experience and all in all the top looks pretty cute despite its’ flaws.

I was happy that the main body of this shirt came together very nicely.  Unfortunately, when it came time to put in the sleeves, they did not seem to fit properly.  I had to add seam allowance to this pattern, so am unsure if I somehow added too much of a seam allowance?  I ended up adding a bit of a gather to the top of the sleeve.  It turned out not too badly.

Because it is supposed to be reversible, I had to figure out how to finish the neckline.  I decided to go with bias tape.  It didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.  This shirt has a square neckline and I couldn’t figure out how to make the bias tape work with the neckline.  It looks a little funny to me, but my husband says he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

To make the bottom match, I also finished it in bias tape instead of hemming.  I wonder how well this will hold up in the wash?  I zig-zagged the bias onto the bottom in hopes that it will hold up better.

The back of the shirt has a loop and button closure.  That didn’t work out so well for me either.  I used the bias tape to make the loop and added a really cute, but too small button.  I suppose I will have to fiddle with this part to make it work.

I hope to have better results when I try this out in its intended reversible form.  It is a very sweet top and being reversible gives it a nice weight.  Also, if we are out and baby makes a mess of her shirt, we can just flip it over and she will look clean again.

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A Coffee Cozy

A friend of mine is currently in the terrifying waiting period of finding out if she has thyroid cancer.   She is a young mom to two beautiful girls.

The day before her biopsy, she was feeling very nervous and unsettled (as anyone would be!).  She loves Starbucks and stops there almost daily, so I made a quick coffee cozy and dropped it off to her.  I realize that a coffee cozy does not take away the fear, but I hope that it reminded her that we are all with her in this journey and are praying for the best outcome possible.

This is the first coffee cozy I have made and I think it turned out pretty nice.

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The Bib

My one year old was discovered over the past few months that if you pull hard enough on a velcro closure bib that the bib will come off.   Such a smart girl – and a messy girl!  It was time to learn to sew a bib.

This was my first bib and my first time doing a snap.

I loved making this bib!  I loved how easy it was to put on a snap!  It is so pretty!

I am so excited to make more bibs for my baby girl!  I really needed a successful sewing project like this after all the struggles that silly peasant top gave me.  So, yay for pretty bibs!

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Peasant Top – Try #2

Do you remember my peasant top disaster?  Well, I ended up cutting the sleeves shorter to see how that would work out.  It definitely worked out better, but it is unfortunately still not a keeper for me.  The armpit measurement is way off and it just doesn’t look right on me.  I’ll show you the changes though.

See the problem?  Even my hubby says it does not look so great.  Oh well.  I guess these things happen when you are learning to sew.  For now I am done with this top.  Sadly, I think it’s headed to the second-hand store where it will hopefully find its rightful owner.  I’m really not sure if this would fit anyone at all, but at least it might have a shot.  Maybe some creative person will pick it up and “refashion” it.  I can only hope.

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So, I went out this weekend, without my children in tow, to get a snap tool and some elastic from the fabric store. This was a real delight for me since I always seem to have at least one child with me. Looking around a fabric store is pretty much impossible with kids along for the ride. So, of course, I took some time to ‘look’. As I was looking about, I came across some great deals on beautiful quilting cottons. Should I? Shouldn’t I?  Of course I should!!

So, not only did I come home with this –

I also came home with this!

Mmm…. pretty, pretty fabric!!!  Only a meter of each.  Just a tiny bit of each.  Enough to make a little something.  The solid pink is a flannel.  I got that because I plan on making baby some bibs with snaps on them so that she might actually stay clean now.  She has figured out that if you pull hard enough on a velcro bib that it will come off.  Clever girl!

Oh!  Did I mention that I forgot to pick up the elastic?  Looks like I’ll be heading back in the next few days!

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My oldest daughter was invited to a birthday party this past weekend for a child who wanted nothing more than lots and lots of Zhu Zhu Pets.   We, of course, got her a Zhu Zhu Pet, but I wanted to give her something more than the tiny toy hamster.

So, after a quick google, I came across these instructions for making clothes for your Zhu Zhu Pet.  These were so fun to make!  I used some scrap fabric and lace and a bit of a ribbon that I love.   I made both outfits in probably 15 minutes!

Now, I couldn`t leave it at just that!  So, I decided to make a sleeping bag and pillow for the little pet.  I tried googling instructions since we don`t actually own any Zhu Zhu Pets ourselves, so I had no hamster to test the finished project with.  Unfortunately, nothing came up.  So I did my best and made a little sleeping bag and pillow and asked the girl`s mom to let me know if the hamster did not fit, so that I could make one to fit if needed.  Luckily, my guesstimates were right and the toy hamster fit! YAY!

I am happy to report that not only did the birthday girl love the Zhu Zhu Pet accessories I made for her, but the other girls at the party were asking if I could make some for them too!  Such a nice compliment!

After my unsuccessful search to find instructions to make a sleeping bag for a Zhu Zhu Pet, I am seriously considering making my first ever tutorial.  I am so thankful for all the great tutorials I find online, and maybe it would be nice to offer one too.  So, stay tuned!

On a side note, my daughter came home with a Zhu Zhu Pet for her `goodie bag`  and I have been busily sewing outfits for her.  If I get a chance, I will post pictures of the outfits I have made for her Zhu Zhu.

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