Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh Baby

Ok, so I feel a little whiny after my last post.  I really do enjoy sewing home decor stuff.  I especially enjoy when it all comes together in the end.   So I shouldn't whinge too much about all those straight lines... ;)

I brought over the last few pillows to the friend I was sewing the nursery set for this weekend.  I snapped a few pictures of everything together.  They live in a really neat old house- high ceilings, great moldings, old wood floors.  The fact that the house is so cool makes for a great setting for all the fun baby stuff I sewed.  I made curtains, pillows, bumpers, a blanket and a crib skirt.  My friend picked out all the fabric.  Isn't it fun?  They are waiting to find out if they are having a boy or a girl and I thought the yellow/taupe combo was a really nice  gender neutral color combination.  I had nothing to do with fabric choice.  I was merely the seamstress.

This is the second time I've done baby bedding and I have to say, it was much easier this time around.  Probably because I knew what to expect.  It didn't seem to take as long as last time either.  I even printed out a few business cards and gave her a stack to give out.  Am I crazy?  Maybe.  It's not that I want to play seamstress all the time.  I enjoy selfish sewing way too much.  But it is nice to generate a little extra cash here and there.  And baby bedding is fun to sew.  J thinks it's funny that I  have business cards when I don't have an actual business.  I say pfffft to him.

In other news, the sofa is almost done.  It's so close.  I'm super excited to show it off.  It looks great and I can't believe J and I have actually persevered.   I started to make myself a quick knit shirt after I wrote my last whingy post but couldn't go through with it.  I think my sewing block lately comes from the fact that I have so many projects started, but I'm not completing anything.  So I'm on a mission this week to finish some things up.  Just a one more home decor-ish project to go.  Then I'm definitely going to make some totally frivolous garment.

And L and M, if you are reading this, I am so excited for you guys and I cannot wait to meet that baby!

Hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Home Decor Doldrums

I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  A sewing funk of sorts.  It's not that I haven't been sewing, just that I've been sewing crazy amounts of home decor.  I've done an entire nursery set for a friend and I've also been slaving away on the sofa.  Both are projects that are taking (have taken) lots of hours of work.  I do enjoy it.  I really do.  I know I'll be super pleased when I'm done.  But it's hard to stay focused when the end result seems so far away.  These two photos are just little bits of each project.  It's all fun stuff but I find myself longing to make something frivolous.  Something just for kicks.  And specifically something to wear.  Why is that?  What is so different about sewing clothes and sewing for the home?  It's all the same thing, right? 

Anyway, I'm hoping to get out of the funk soon.  I've been trolling the internet for inspiration, sorting through my patterns, reading sewing books- yet I haven't been able to make myself do something.  What do you do when you're in a sewing funk?


Sunday, January 15, 2012


 Guess what I got for Christmas?

Yup.  I can make fancy stitches now.   
Not that I'll use them all the time, but you know- I can.
 I'm excited!  Don't be jealous of my truck stitch.

J and I originally went to the Bernina store but quickly discovered that they were all out of price range.  They had some basic Brother machines that were in price range, but I wasn't too impressed.  There weren't many features that I didn't already have on my $75 K-mart sewing machine. Not to say that they are not good quality machines, but I wanted a little flashiness.

I'm not knocking my old machine either.  It's sewed a tipi, a tailored a coat and has started upholstering a couch.   But I was ready for a few more options.  I wanted a few more choices other than straight or zig zag.   So we did a little shopping around town.  A little research on the internet and I settled on this one.  And since my old machine is a Singer, I already knew how to thread it.  All the functions are familiar, which is nice.  It came with about eight different feet.  I've been playing around with all the funky stitches even though I know they are not all practical.  I'm working out some tension issues.  The tension is much more sensitive than I'm used to.  But, I can tell we are going to be great friends.

J, thank you for the awesome gift.

You and Miss Superb are the...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Most Boring Skirt in the Universe

Not a very exciting skirt.  But practical nonetheless.  

Apologies for the poor picture quality.  I've been playing around with my camera settings (and not getting anywhere btw).  I snapped these photos quickly the other day forgetting that I had it set for something else.  They came out pretty grainy but good enough for a post I suppose.   I also couldn't be bothered to move the ladder.  I made this skirt over the holiday break.  I actually made it specifically to go with the sweater, which is shorter than what I usually wear and has a fun little peplum.  I wanted a skirt that came up higher at the waist and ended at an in-between length.  Longer than knee length but shorter than a maxi.  I've seen some call it a "middy" length.  The jury is still out on the length though I have worn it a couple of times already.  It has the potential to be kind of frumpy.  I would only wear this length with boots.

Made entirely from stash fabrics, woo hoo!  I've got to sew through some of my stash this year.  I'm a little disgusted with how much I have accumulated.   The skirt and lining fabric are both thrift store finds.  I never find good fabric at my local thrift stores but a couple of months ago I hit the jackpot.  Obviously someone who sewed apparel donated their stash.  I scored all sorts of rayon, wool and lining fabrics.  The skirt fabric is some sort of wool suiting.  It smelled like a wet sheep when I washed it. The lining fabric is a mystery.  Its really soft and slippery and wrinkles like crazy.

While the skirt may be boring on the outside,  it's awfully lively on the inside!  I used my trusty self drafted a-line skirt pattern again.  I used a blue ribbon as waist facing.  The green lace on the lining was just because.   Makes me happy knowing that it's there even if no one ever sees it.  They were both leftover notions from other projects.   The band at the bottom of the skirt was originally going to be a ruffle.  I envisioned a very subtle ruffly flare but it came out super dowdy.  I think a circular ruffle was what I was looking for but there wasn't enough fabric.  So I took it off and attached it as a hem band instead.  And that's it.  The most boring skirt in the universe.  Except for the party on the inside.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the middy length- fun or frumpy?  It's definitely different than any other skirt I own.
Now excuse me while I go and plan some other stash busting projects...

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Promise of a New Year

Practice cushion. Woot woot!

Ah, the promise of a new year! Or, a new year's promises depending on how you view it. I'm not generally the type of person to make New Year's resolutions. Nor one that keeps them. So I don't think I'll make any.

But there is something about a brand new year that's rejuvenating. It's a blank slate. A fresh start. A chance to begin again.

Or just begin things you said you were going finish last year.

I'm an optimist so I'll view this project as the former.  J and I are tired of looking at the heap of smelly cushions and damaged wood that is sitting in our front room.  We got a bit of cash for Christmas, went straight to the fabric store and bought the first thing that struck our fancy.   And I love it.  I've made one successful cushion, which is not nearly as pucker-y as the practice one above.  We've covered the bottom of the couch once but have already taken it off to add a bit more padding.  We went to a local upholstery supply shop and are now the proud owners of 90 feet of Dacron wrap.  Not sure what we are going to do with the rest of it, but it was cheaper to buy the whole roll rather than have them cut a piece.  Go figure.

J has been working on the frame.   There were quite a few deep gouges and one of the legs was half gone.  He used a wood epoxy to fill the holes and repair the leg.  Then he mixed a stain to match the original finish and put a coat of wax over the whole thing.  We're not sure that the leg will last but it sure does look nice.  J is a Perfectionist.  This is definitely his area of expertise.  It's so fun to work on projects together even if our methods differ.  I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants.  J, not so much.

And yes, our furry project manager has been "helping."  Ten points if you can spot her in the first photo.

Wishing you lots of promise in 2012!