Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Simplicity A1273

I bought this on another grocery shopping trip.  Lots of little girls must have gotten dolls for Christmas, and the AG patterns on the racks were bare.
 This pattern has a cardigan, done in knits or wovens, a skirt, a top and the tunic, and the leggings.  The leggings and tunic need a knit.
 I tried the little cardigan jacket in a brown Ralph Lauren scrap (literally) wool.  I lined it with a cream stretch lining fabric.  My Bemburg was packed in a box under the Christmas boxes in the garage.  This is the front.
And the back.  Some tugging, but I really think it's me working with the lining and the wool and the tiny 1/4 inch seams.  Anyway lots of fun.

I hope everyone has a very fun but safe celebration of New Year's eve tonight...And a very Happy New Year tomorrow.

Simplicity A1230

These pants are from a pattern I purchased recently for AG dolls.  
 I made the pants in a lightweight summer tan cotton.  I don't have an AG doll, so I'm not sure how they would fit one.
 This is the dress pattern I made earlier in a wildlife print.  This one was made in featherweight cotton corduroy and I tried pleats instead of the gathers.  This was my own adaptation.

You can also see how I did the Pixie Faire dressform.  I used a cork from a wine bottle and then glued the dress form onto a creamer bottle.  I wanted to try longer dresses.  This dress form does not measure the full 18 inches.  I think it came to 16 1/2.  The beauty of having the pattern is I can make more and mount them prettier than this.
 If you look on the tomato pincushion side, you will see I pleated the fabric the wrong way.  I was having a lot of difficulty working with the facing and the 1/4 seam allowances.  I kept having to resew some areas, that I got tired and didn't pay attention to the direction of the pleating.  Practice makes perfect.
The lining fabric.  I was planning on throwing the bulk of my remnants away, but decided to play around with the doll clothing patterns and I can see how my choices in fabrics do seem to go together.

Kwik Sew 3293

I'm finally finishing this jacket.  I began this jacket at the end of the summer and got all the way up until the button holes, and had to wait to get up my courage to do those.  I was in a sewing slump also.

I wanted a quick easy pattern at that time.

 I used a Ralph Lauren wool tweed I bought 3 or 4 years ago.  The lining is a rayon Bemburg lining and the buttons came from a coat my mother bought about 35 years ago, then gave me the coat, and I kept only the buttons when the coat began looking really worn.  She bought it from a thrift or resale shop at the time.
The pink pencil is showing the tuck this pattern includes in the lining pattern.  I've gained even more weight since I've made this, and I can only button the top 2 buttons.  It fits a little boxy but I'm okay with that because I wanted it to go over sleeveless wool dresses and long sleeve sweaters or tops and skirts.  I can then use it as a blazer, jacket, coat type of look.  I think it's a really beautiful jacket.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Simplicity A1230

I picked this up at Walmart shortly after I purchased the dress form pattern.  I used remnants and did not attempt to match any design or different pattern coloration.  I made the dress.

I used an all cotton.  The back closure is a loop and tape.

I still have not finished the dress form, but did try the dress on it.  The boys said it was adorable.  I made them Barbie and Ken doll clothes, baby doll clothes.  The church toy box doll clothes way back. And Don McCunn's wine bottle drafting class clothes which I really enjoyed.  I was actually going to do his wine bottle drafting to do the same thing I'm doing with the Pixie Faire dress form.  Just some mindless fun.  I guess this was my fun gift.
The boys are not sharing this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Notes

First off, Happy Holidays.  What have I been doing?  Mostly not much.
 We graduated another one.
 We put our tree up.
 Molasses cookies from home made sorghum molasses.
 Oatmeal walnut.  We made cookies.  I had planned to make a few more, but there is alot of moisture in our air here, and I can't get the cookies to dry out better.  They are staying moist.
 Brownies iced with cream cheese mint frosting.  We've been trading light versions of the flu and I think this may be the end of Christmas sweeties for us.  One of those years.
 Simplicity 2517

Now out of print I see.  I made 2 of these for Halloween.  None of the college kids dressed this year, and it went unworn.
 This is the inside lining.
 It was made from the leftovers of a wool coat I'm still working on.  I love this hat, and the boys I made it for plan to keep it and wear it next winter as an actual hat.  I'm told Castle has one!!
I will show you the coat later when I've finished it.
 Another early Christmas present to us.  A plain Jane Kindle during a sale.  I've been on the fence about one of these and decided to try the cheapest one.  I've only downloaded the free books.  It is good for a basic novel read.  It has held a lot of the free books and I can see using this Kindle.
 For me.  I had to have the Pixie Faire Dress Form pattern.  I do not have an American doll, nor do I have a clone version.  I do plan on making one or two or more and having some fun making outfits when I have no idea of what I want to sew, but want to sew, or I want to try combining fabrics or potential looks.  I'm not sure of how full to stuff it, so I'm making an American Doll pattern up to check for fit on the dress form.
My aunt passed a few years ago and my mother got her machine.  Sadly it has sat for some time at my mothers, and it's acting up.  I'm seeing online used prices of these go for 150.00 to 250.00.  It may take up to that much to break it down and oil it up.  I'm working the needle, but thinking about my next step with her,

I've not sewn much.  We lost our microwave, and stove, and one car.  We've felt a little off and tired.  Our mail lady keeps losing or misdelivering packages,  I really wonder if she should go and get reading glasses or her supervisor should suggest it politely!!  They won't do much, and we've had to make some claims, and file small police reports.  Anyway, enough pity party.  I hope everyone has a happy holiday because it's coming up very quickly, and a wonderful New Year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Non Sewing Candy making

These are not the prettiest.  I have been wanting to try chocolate covered cherries for several years, and decided yesterday was the day.  They don't look great but taste even better.  My chocolate seized up on me and I had to go to the internet and find some quick fixes.  The peppermint patties were also from the leftover white filling with some cream cheese and peppermint flavoring added.  I'm thinking I will be making these again soon.

I used a basic recipe from my 11th edition of Better Homes & Gardens.  The chocolate chips coating recipe was from the internet.  I take responsibility for the seizing.

I have a Sherlock Holmes hat I made for Halloween that I want to show you but haven't even taken a picture of it yet. I also took pictures of the bridge work last month, but boy are those pictures already out of date.  I think according to the plan, I will be taking that bridge when I drive back home.  I have to say, I will miss my country road with the horses, and the quiet little pond,  Gone is the farmers market, the ski rental and the little grocery store.  Out are the one handed fast drivers (85 at least in a 60), who think they are cool and this is their road.

 It's warmer here this year and I really wanted to go downtown and see the lighting of the town tree, but my youngest and I have been trading a stomach bug back and forth.  I took him into see the doctor  for medication.  I really think kids should work through these things to help them fight off the next thing that hits them, but I wanted this bug gone and he was on his 2nd time with it.  I wanted antibiotics.  No more fooling around with this thing.  We are feeling more normal again, though he is lagging behind me by a day or so.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Non sewn resin fire log

I wanted to post this fire log I got for an early Christmas present.  I saw it last year and stalked it because the price kept going up.  They sent it very quickly with wax tea candles.  The candle between the two battery operated ones is one of the wax ones they sent.  I did not unwrap all of them and I will be using battery operated ones.  I just happened to have some left over from Halloween.  I have not put this in my fireplace yet.  We have a few more fire logs to go, then we will clean it out and try this resin log.  I love the look of the real fire, but we do try and keep the fireplace clean and there are some years I'd like to leave the cleaning part out.

I've been sewing a little, but the family has been keeping me busy with their schedules.  Most of what I did in September were some basic Kwik Sew pull on stretch denim pants and skirts.  Very basic.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Footstool cushion

The finished cushion.  I think this was probably a recliner stool.  I put the finished stool in front of my maple boston rocker and it's too big for that, but seems to go well with the oak rocker we got from my husbands work.  When you work so many years, you get to pick a gift from a catalog, and I chose this Kennedy rocker from the Troutman Chair Company.
 I used a upholstery/drapery fabric I got long ago   from a Big Box store when they had a more formal fabric dept.  I've also made a glass top table skirt in this fabric, and I currently have a chair cushion for the rocker in the same fabric cut out.
The buttons are from a kit and I covered them myself.  The cushion I'm not so pleased with.  It's a polyfill cushion and not a foam cushion from JoAnns.  I love the product, but wish I had gone with the foam instead.  I wanted to redo the buttons.  I think I got the tension off a bit, but the long upholstery needle made a loud puncturing sound and I and my husband were worried we would rip the fabric destroying all the work I had done.
 The side view.  The little stool will have a new life.  My husband loves putting his feet up on it (in socks) and the boys love pulling it up to the TV for a closer look.

Hello.  I'm off to visit a pair of Texas Spiny lizards on the other side of the back yard for dinner.  
My youngest stood spell bound watching the lizards fight over a grasshopper, each had a part of it in their mouths.  The only picture is in his head.  He's sending this one their way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I am stalled.  I'm in the middle of a pair of pants and don't have the correct color zipper.
I did try a pincushion from Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp.  That book is lots of fun.

 I'm stalled in my cushion.  The pattern is marked and ready for the next step, but I need a zipper and covered button kit, and the foam seat cushion.  I even have my cording ready.

I've even made a quilted pot holder from Crafty's Quilt As You Go class, but I need to add a backing and binding.  I made a 12 1/2 size and rounded off the edges.  I plan on using it for larger pots and pans.  If it works out okay, I think I will make a few more for the holidays coming up.  I'm trying to go to the other fabric store more, and it's way out by the mall.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I should have taken better pictures.  I don't always have my laptop on and our new desktop computer has been crashing lately.  Windows 8.  It's been a real pain.

There are times in our alley way someone will set something out with a Take me, I'm free sign.  I had seen a foot stool setting out for maybe a good week or a little longer.  On the 2nd or 3rd day of rain, I sent a kid down to bring it back.  Being a boy, they generally don't have a problem with it.  The stool is maple wood in a maple finish with a Town Square Hillsboro Tx 1983 on the back.

I vacuumed the cover all over and took it apart.  I'm hoping to make a new cushion for the stool.  It will be a great TV stool for the den. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday Drive

Texas Spiny Lizard.  Just in case you've never seen one.  We've seen some gecko's, but not as many as years past.  
They bob up and down when they are mad.

Friday night on the news, there was a quick blurp about the new highway being built over the lake and the 35 Express project.  This fall my son was supposed to be going to the state college up the road and taking Dart which has a stop at the college.  He decided to take a few last courses with one of his favorite teachers in one of his favorite subjects and get one more degree.  We told him that would be fine if he paid for it.  He got a job this summer and paid for it.  So we are driving him up the 35 express to the little college again.

Saturday morning, we get up and turn on our computer and Explorer 8 crashes and will not come up.  My husband and I decide to  put some gas in all of the cars while the boys work on the computer.  It's still not up, so we decide to go to the home improvement store to buy some home improvement things.  It's still not up, so we decide to see whats on 35 express and take one of the cars that's not seen highway driving in a while.
 The parking lot of the little college.  It soon will be very full.
 The baby cows grew up!!

 While we were in the area of several stores selling sewing machines, we decided to visit them.  I don't think I will have the same difficulty trading in my 960Q for an upgrade that I was having with my 936 Huskylock serger.  That was not pleasant at all.  So, with 8 or 9 days left on my listing, I ended the Ebay listing early.   There is another machine I am interested in spending some time with at the stores to see how we would get along.  I got a lot of watchers on the machine but no offers at all that I could say.  One wanted me to give the machine away for a very small amount and I pay the shipping but I declined.  That will not help me pay for the new machine.   I thank everyone for taking an interest though.
On the way back home, I got some picture of the new highway being built over the lake.
It's the same on the other side, but all the pictures I got had bushes and trees covering up the work.
The roads don't look bad at all.  I was worried about some crazy lane fixes, but there are none.  We got back from the drive and the computer was still not fixed.  It took until that night.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Style Arc Barb pants

Style Arc recently let everyone sign up and get a free pattern, the Barb pants, plus 2 other sizes near the one you choose to boot.  3 whole pant patterns!!  I chose my size and got the downloads right away, but my mail system crashed and I was very upset.  Not only were the Barb pants gone, but everything else!!!  My son was able to recover we think all the mail.  I had to use a few other emails I rarely use to try and get the Barb pants resent, as the original ones were corrupted.
 I went to the Style Arc website to see what kind of fabric they recommended and found something close to that.  This is a stretch woven with a 4% spandex amount.
 I had a bit of rear gaposis, so I pinned out the amount at the back seam.  I then halved that amount and split it into 2 for 2 darts about 4 inches in from the seam line.  This took care of the gapping.
I then pinched that amount out of the waist band.  I added in the optional elastic inside the waistband.  I like the pants overall, but Style Arc pants, or this style anyway seems to have a shorter rise than Kwik Sew or Jalie (although I haven't lined up patterns and compared).  I will have to wear these around and see how I feel about them. I think maybe a tiny wedge added in to raise up the center back over my bum, and some side seam narrowing would do the trick.   Overall they were very easy to download, put the pattern pieces together and sew up.  I'm so pleased about that.  I thank them very much.

**I do think a slight, very small wedge added in would be helpful.  I am a 5'5 pear, at my heaviest, 147, with all the weight in the lower half.  The back pulls down slightly, but not bad at all.  The Barb pant sits lower on the waist than I have been sewing in the past.  The elastic I added in was measured exactly to my lower waist measurement of 33.  I needed to go in an additional 1 to 1 and 1/2 in with the back dart from the outer side seam to get it centered more over my rear.    I may also contour the top of the waist piece in a bit more.

I did get a few compliments from the family, so not a bad fit.  No pulling, or tight smile lines.  I may pull out my stretch denim and make another pair.

I really thank Style Arc again.  Nicely drafted, quick to make up, and comfortable.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kwik Sew 2811 and bugs

A quick pair of pj pants.  I wanted to do this pattern as a set, but that will have to wait.  I needed a quick pair or 2 or pj pants.  We have all the boys living at home right now, the dog is on a diet, and June bugs are big at night.  They are her favorite.  In and Out, in and out.  As soon as the June bug hits the back pavement, she's on it.  Crunch, crunch.  We tell her no, but she's not listening and she doesn't need to go out that much for bathroom business.  Rant over...

I made some great night gowns, but I also wanted some pj pants.  I made these a mixture of Medium and Large.  My bottom measures 42 firm right now, and the ease in the Large is 46, so I'm trying these out.  The waist borders on Medium and Large, so the elastic pulls the fabric a bit.  The fabric came from Fabric com 1.95 sales some time ago.  It's all cotton.  The drawstrings are attached to elastic and I like this.

I'm going to wear these a week or so, and see if I like this size or scale down a size or a half.

Monday, June 23, 2014

McCalls 4244

My youngest son wanted some new pj shorts for bedtime.  He did not want a set, he just wanted some shorts.  After a haircut, I went next door to finally face that our Hancocks is in fact closing, and look for some pj short fabric.  

This fabric was not my first choice.  I had my first choice in my arms when I saw a table with a bunch of bolts marked way down.  It's an all cotton quilting fabric. It was the only piece that seemed more boy related than the rest.
 I've had this pattern for some time, so it was time to try it.  I traced the small men's shorts.  The waist called for 2 pieces of 3/8's elastic and a drawstring to go through the middle casing.  I was completely out of 3/8's elastic and was not sure if I wanted to buy some for an untested pattern.  So I used 1 1/4 inch elastic and no drawstring.
 The full boxy view.  The 1 1/4 elastic worked just fine.  One pair has a car machine embroidered by my 960Q,and one pair some bicycles to tell back from front.

I love that these are more boxy and give more coverage.  We unexpectedly loved the print.  The lightweight quilting cotton is very soft and comfortable.  I'm glad I only traced the pattern.  I'm going to keep it in my current box for more boy pjs.