Thursday, December 30, 2010

Doot, Doo, Doo...Looking Out My Back Door...

That's what it looked like when I opened the back door yesterday. Wood pile covered up...predicting another 8-10 inches.  We headed's what the pass looked like:
And then it looked like this:

Scary for me, but my hero got us home safe and sound! Weird weather patterns though...saw this heading North on I-5, just before we headed into the squall:

The trailer broke a spring and shredded a tire, but thankfully we were close to home and not on the snowy mountain pass when that happened! All in all it was a great time. I read 4 books, cut out 3 patterns, played alot of dice, did a little work on the homestead and played in the snow, had Christmas with the Godchildren and surprised my Mother-in-law with a spur of the moment visit.  Also beheld nature in her finest:

God is good! Regularly scheduled sewing will resume soon!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Is anyone else as tired as I am? I finished the last of the baking and wrapping presents and I can do no more! I love this time of year, but right now, all I want for Christmas is some time to be still and relax. Tomorrow we leave for snowy LaPine, so I will be scarce for awhile. It is the first time we are taking the cat with us...should be interesting in the 5th wheel with the Chief!!! Heading to bed to recharge for the last big push! Good night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Step Forward: Vote for Colt!

Hey everybody! Proud Gram here...please go vote for our Colt from our daughter's blog: A Step Forward: Vote for Colt!: "I entered Colt in the American Baby Cover Contest over at, and he's in the running to become one of the weekly Reader's Choice F..." Thanks dear blog friends! Mary

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pendrell Dress on a Real Girl...

So I have been trying to be better about taking pictures of my clothes on me...I'm not sure if wearing a dress tomorrow is in my best interest, so I threw on the Pendrell this morning before work and took a few shots. I really hate having my picture taken, but it is good for seeing things that need to be changed. Not the Pendrell, mind you, she's great, but I took a picture of the pants I finished this morning and realized that they really were too long (that's a new one on me). I made a lot of pants as a teenager because they didn't make long pants for tall girls in the 70's. My RTW pants were always too short! Anywho, back to my story...I ripped them off, cut them off, and then ran them around the machine with them blindhem stitch and voila, all better!  I don't use the blindhem enough.  I used to use it all the time in high school, when I didn't have a cool foot with a guide that makes it a snap to make your hem straight, but somewhere along the way I stopped using it so much.  I am one of those strange birds that enjoy handstitching, so it may be that I started sewing all my hems by hand because it gave me something to do at night while watching TV with the family. Enough 'bout some pictures? I present to you...Pendrell...the dress:
Here are the pants that took like three years to finish. They are Palmer/Pletsch the Perfect Pant pattern. They seem to fit pretty well, but the waist is higher than I would like, almost like the dreaded "Mom Jeans". It's funny...I used to not like lower cut that's what I prefer. They are comfortable though and don't look too bad (although it took about a dozen pictures to get one I would even consider posting!) Here you go:

The fairy dropped today, so I hope to get a few projects done for the cutest baby in the world...

He loves Rudolph...just like Gram!

Weekend Wrap up

I'm not confused folks...this is the end of my "weekend" and I go back to work this afternoon. I completed the finish work on the Pendrell dress and may wear it tomorrow for graduation. It depends...they are calling for snow early and I have to leave for work at 5:30 in the morning. Don't want to risk getting stuck out in the cold in a dress. I could take it and change at work I suppose.  I did an embroidery job...twice...well, really one and a half times. The embroidery machine ate the first T-shirt, so I had to run to town to get a replacement. There goes my profit on that job! I started with the same brand shirt as the proto-type I did a few weeks ago, but the fabric seemed thinner (it was).  I probably could have prevented the big whopping hole had I changed the needle first, but maybe not.  I looked all over town for a long sleeved navy crew T-shirt that would not rip apart with machine embroidery.  Old Navy came through. I was able to go see the bear suit I bought online for Colt too...super cute and looks warm. The guy at the checkout asked me for my email address so they could send me specials. I told him I had just recently dropped over $100.00 in baby clothes from Old Navy me got my email! I constructed a custom cover/belt for a heating pack for a friend at work. Pat always brings me unusual jobs...hell, everyone brings me challenges to sew, but I love a good challenge! After finishing the "have to" jobs, I decided to work on the UFO pile.  I was down to 2 garments cut out waiting for sewing and I'm proud to say that after I get off the computer and put some closures and hems on the pants I whipped out yesterday afternoon, the pile will be down to one vest!  Good thing, because my order should be here soon and I just got my hands on a copy of the new sewing magazine My Image and there are a couple of things out of there I want to make right away. Guess I better get cracking...more later...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wearing What I Sew

I have been taking the easy way out when it comes to taking photos of my garments. They're on the dress form anyway...why not snap a picture of them? Saves brushing the hair and actually putting a look together. I really do wear the things I make and slowly, but surely my wardrobe is becoming more saturated with made-by-me garments. Here I am wearing the Vogue cowl tunic at work.
I admit I'm not comfortable on this side of the camera. I much prefer taking pictures than being the subject matter. My hair is always a mess no matter what I do and I usually have a goofy look on my face. Guess I need to spend a little more time with Sal over at Already Pretty! As for this sweater, it has been super comfortable and warm, which was very important today as the weather was horrible...we even had a tornado down towards Salem. As I mentioned before, this fabric was purchased at the thrift store and it was a fairly large cut. I threw it in the washer because that's what I do with all fabric I buy used.  I did not see it when bundled, but there were scattered holes all over the yardage that had to be worked around to cut this sweater out.  It was dicey at one point, but I am so happy I was able to make it work! Well, break time is over, so back to work for me...catch you all tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stand and Deliver

Here it is...the Pendrell dress...all that's left are the hems as predicted.
Fabric is a mystery fiber. I received it in a bundle from Fabric Mart a couple of years ago. Feels like it might be a wool blend, but I'm not sure. Lining is a cocoa poly from Double shift tomorrow so finishing will probably be on Wednesday unless I get a second wind after work tomorrow night. Hawaii Five-O is heating up...better go focus! Later kittens!

Pendrell the Dress Pending

I had a bunch of errands to run today, so I didn't make it to the sewing studio til after 4:00. I know that because Oprah was already in progress. When I finally settled in, I had to change the Evolve from Coverstitch to Serge and change the thread. I was able to get the Pendrell staystitched, shoulder seams done, sleeves pressed and basted, plus complete construction of the lining, including pressing before I broke for dinner at 6:00 p.m. I'm heading up now to get back to work...maybe I'll get her to hems by bedtime...catch you later! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sewing ADD

I think I have it. Sewing ADD, that is. I get so many ideas and plans going and I start projects and then start new projects before the old projects are finished. Sound familiar? I did accomplish quite a bit today, but I was scattered. I needed to change the thread on the serger before starting the Vogue cowl tunic, but I wanted to finish the aprons I started a couple weeks ago, so I did that first. Since I was spending some quality time in the studio, I had to throw some things on the embroidery machine. I embroidered a new towel with a retro Grandma's Kitchen design plus another potholder with the Urban Thread's design "Coffee-You can Sleep when you're Dead". Next I whipped up the cowl top in a wool jersey knit that I picked up at the thrift store.  I have to say that this pattern is a real winner...soon to be a TNT! Here it is on Valentine:
I had an Indiana Jones marathon today. It's hard to believe how long ago those movies were made. I forgot how handsome Harrison Ford is. This evening I watched Sarah Palin's Alaska. Kate Gosselin and kids came for a visit and the Palin's took them camping. Kate Gosselin was miserable and packed up her brood to head back to civilization after lunch. Sheesh!!! What's a little rain? It looked like they had an awesome camp set up...I want to go camping with the Palin's in Alaska!

Forgive Me for I have Sinned

I caved.  After putting things in my shopping cart at a couple days ago and taking it out, my dear sweet Hunny asked "Why?" Well, because I have lots of fabric in the closet. "So?" I have been clearing out alot of fabric. I cut out the Pendrell dress last night plus my first Vogue 8634, raglan cowl neck sweater. I did want to pick up some of that cute baby blue camo fleece to make Colt something...ooh, and I need some chocolate colored fleece for his bear hoody...and while I'm at it, I must fill the cart up to $35.00 for free shipping. It doesn't take much for me to justify a trip to, does it? I did get some pieces for me...a couple of knits for tops (I'm a sucker for knits!) which include a darling giraffe print (eat your heart out Kim!), some houndstooth (WWMD? what would Mondo (or Mary) Do?), a hunter green knit for another Vogue 8634 and a beautiful red slubby jersey blend knit to do the Jalie cardigan. That pushed me over $35.00 for free shipping, but then I had a coupon for 15% off, so that made the total a hair over $30.00 Not bad! Thanks to my Hunny and Colt for pushing me over the edge! Now to get busy clearing out room in the fabric closet. I just heard a crash upstairs so I better go see what the Chief is up to! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

Cue up the music...I would add it to my blog, but blogs that have blaring music when I open them up annoy me, so I will refrain. have the ugly.  My blog chronicles not only my sewing adventures (and mis-adventures!), but is a little slice of my world, raw and unvarnished. So this next story is kind of bad.  My husband's stepsister got married yesterday. No big surprise, we knew she was engaged and the wedding was to be this Summer. I was going to make a dress for her sister Gabe to wear...something chic, but appropriate for a young lady. Apparently all the wedding preparations started getting too overwhelming and they decided to have a simple ceremony at the justice of the peace.  That's cool...I applaud their decision to do what is right for their life. I didn't even mind reading about it on Facebook, which seems to be the way we all communicate these days. Lottie said they would like to have a reception or maybe an anniversary party later on...CRAP!!! This is the bad part! I looked at my husband and said "I think we forgot our anniversary this year!" He got the same deer-in-the-headlight look and said "I'm sure glad you forgot too!" We kind of laughed about it and agreed that we still consider April 15th (our first wedding) as our anniversary! But here's the good...we celebrate our union every day. So what if we forgot what day it was that we officially said "I do"? The important thing is that we do! Here's an example of what our union helped bring forth...the cutest reindeer in the world!
Regularly scheduled sewing posts will resume tomorrow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pendrell Love!

The first Pendrell is finished! The fabric was a little fiddly, as all silky drapey fabrics can be, but the pattern is very well drafted and the instructions are very clear. I finished the seams with the serger and I think the next one I will use the 5 thread serger stitch to do the majority of seams.
I can see making this many more times. It sews up quick and the sleeveless version will be very versatile to wear under jackets. I have some aprons to finish up and then it's on to the Mondo dress!

Another One

How many sewing machines are too many? I know...stupid question! At least in my house. Yesterday I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with a start wondering if I had remembered to turn in my time sheet (I hadn't), so I made an unexpected trip to the office so I could get paid next week. I had a few other errands to run, including paying an overdue fine at the library (I'm really forgetful this week).  I had to pass right by the thrift store and had no plans to stop, but something told me to just drop in to say hi to Linda.  Sitting outside the door (in the rain, no less) was a Kenmore 1941 with a bag of attachments and manual.  There was a note pinned to it that she sewed okay, but needed some tension adjustment.  Four dollars. That's all they were asking for the poor little machine sitting all alone in the rain.  I took her in and jokingly asked Linda if she had any patterns (I took a ton of them in last week) Out of all those patterns, she said they only had 2 boxes left.  That's pretty impressive! Anyway, without further Penny!
Why is she called Penny, you ask? Because her maiden garment (the fingerless glove toot doesn't count) is the new Pendrell blouse. I just finished the muslin of view A and it is fabulous!!! Tasia really nailed it! I made a muslin because I wasn't sure how a woven without buttons or a zipper, but the muslin fit perfectly right out of the package.  I will be cutting into the fashion fabric soon.  It is a rainy afternoon here in Oregon...just perfect for a Twilight marathon.  I've watched Twilight...New Moon is playing now and we'll finish with Eclipse. It's a very good day!

Fingerless Fleece Gloves Tutorial

You asked for voila! Here it is! I apologize for the slight delay...I was slightly distracted yesterday by my thrift store find, which I will blog about in length a little later I'm sure, but now on to the tutorial so you busy elves can make some fingerless fleece gloves too!

Start with 2 rectangular pieces of fleece. I have found 11"X 8 1/2" works well to make a medium size glove. I use 9 1/2" wide for a size large. You can adapt the width of your gloves by measuring around the palm of your hand (do not include the thumb) and add 1" to the total width to give you a 1/2" seam allowance. I find that is adequate and gives enough ease to slip your hand into the glove.
Fold the rectangle right sides together in half along the length, giving you a piece approximately 11" X 4 1/4" to work with. Measure 2" from the top and mark (or pin) and then measure another 2" from that point and mark (or pin).  That space is where the thumb opening will be.  Sew from the top to the first mark or pin.  Be sure to back stitch at that point as it will be a high stress area pulling the glove on and off. I suppose you could use a stretch stitch, but I have made hundreds of these with just a straight stitch and have not had any problems with stitches popping.  Raise the needle and presser foot and pull the glove 2 inches to your second mark or pin. Restart your seam (with a back stitch to reinforce) and sew to the end of the piece.

Turn your glove right side out. The fleece does not ravel, so I don't worry about finishing the thumb opening. You could also leave the ends unfinished, but I think a hem makes the glove more stable and it looks nicer. Fold up 1/2 inch to the wrong side and stitch around to hem both sides. You can use the free arm of your machine if that is easier, but I just whip it around.  You could use decorative stitching to embellish if you want. Your gloves are finished!

Here's what they look like on
Jazz hands to see the palm side!

Lastly, another variation of this project is that you could sew the entire seam and cut a thumb opening on the opposite side. I have done it both ways, but think that having the opening in the seam looks better and the backstitching adds more strength to the strain area. So there you have it! I hope you can make lots of warm fingerless gloves for your loved ones!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Clearing the Plate

Yesterday I finished a kajillion pairs of fleece fingerless gloves before heading to work.  I had an order for a vague "let's start with 10", but usually that ends up with a barrage of "Can you make some for me", so I went large and cleaned about 6 yards of fleece out of the closet. (Does that mean I can buy more fabric? just kidding!) In truth, I didn't make a kajillion, but I think there are about 50 pair in there. I will do a more accurate count and take them to work so Jaymin can pick out what she wants and then we'll see how the rest go.  These are very simple to make and are nice stocking stuffers. If there is an interest in how I make them, I would be happy to throw together a quick tutorial. They work nicely for any outdoor activity where finger dexterity is required (like working a guide dog!) Anywho...we have company coming into town this afternoon and then it will be on to the Pendrell and Mondo dress.  Because the Mondo dress will be very fitted, I have decided to do a muslin first (Gasp! I know!!!) I want it to be Mondo worthy! In other news, we received two, count 'em, two new Colt videos yesterday. One was a candid movie of Sir Chats-a-Lot telling Mama a story. Sara angled the camera so we got a profile of Colt, so he did not know he was being filmed.  She put the camera on him in the end and said "Say goodbye to your Grandparents" and he immediately clammed up! It was like "Mom! Have you been secretly filming me???" Love it! My friend Kelly, who is blind, asked how Colt was doing and I pulled up the video for her to enjoy.  She was so excited! She said "You know I have never been able to see the pictures of him...this is the first time I got to see Colt!" Aww! Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas is Coming!!!

And the gift thing is in the bag! I am feeling very comfortable in the gift giving category and can concentrate on other sewing for me.  I finished the digitizing project yesterday afternoon and discovered that I really need to practice more often with the program. As with everything that you don't use very much, I forget the little tricks that make the process easier. I also figured out something I didn't know while completing that project, so it was a worthwhile venture. Plus it felt good to present the sample design and tee shirt to receive big hugs and appreciation (no monetary compensation required!) I also spent an hour playing my keyboard, which was a lot of fun (and frustrating). It's hard to learn a new skill, especially when you are a perfectionist and as with all new skills, it takes time to develop. The keyboard has the capacity to play one-key chords, which I know is cheating, but makes it easier to focus on the melody line. I am learning the chord positions as well, but it is fun to play something that sounds remotely like a familiar tune! The keyboard also adds in fill in accompaniment, so it sounds pretty good with minimal user input.  I like it...I like it a lot!!! Anywho...what to sew first...the Pendrell or the new Vogue cowl top...Or how about that new Maggie London??? Decisions, Decisions...I picked up my copy of Eclipse this morning...perhaps a Twilight marathon is in order. After the Civil War game of course.  Go Ducks...Go Beavers!!! What??? I ride the fence!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sew Excited!!!

It was a good mail day today! My Pendrell pattern AND my BMV patterns all arrived today! Plus I knocked a whole bunch of Christmas shopping out at the Holiday Bazaar in town and I don't have to cook dinner for the boys at the firehouse tonight (well, I do have to bring a salad, but how hard is that???) Just finishing up lunch and it's back to the sweat shop! Loves to all! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sew Day!

It;s my day off and Tom is out delivering oil, so what's a girl to do? Sew I say! The studio is somewhat tidy after the great pattern purge of 2010, and once that was straightened around, I had to do something with the fabrics! My closet overfloweth with textile goodness, so I should just delete's daily propaganda, but I did spy some fabrics that I wanted for Colt later on in the 12 days of Christmas sale, so we'll see how my resolve is. If it's for Colt, it doesn't count, right??? Yesterday was a good day at work. I skipped over to Border's on my lunch break. Unfortunately the downtown Border's is closing soon (where will I go browse at lunchtime? H&M perhaps?), but they were having killer sales, so I picked up some books for Hayden and Chloe for Christmas and found an adorable baby sign book for Colt! I also picked up a keyboard lesson book and a great book of all the piano chords. I am determined to learn to play a musical instrument, since my voice doesn't cut it! I picked up an order for some fingerless gloves too yesterday. Those are so easy to knock out and I have a whole shelf of fleece, so no additional fabric purchase is required for this job.  One of our students also hit me up for a digitizing job for her non-profit company. That will be a fun project...Love Sherry! I have the movie Temple Grandin waiting for me at the library, so soon as 9:00 am rolls around I am hotfooting it over there and the post office...maybe my Pendrell pattern will be here! Happy Thursday y'all!

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...