Thursday, July 30, 2015


I had gotten my sewing machine onto the dining room table recently, for some simple sewing and mending.  I decided it was time to really sew.  Like, clothing!  Most of my shirts are t-shirts, and starting to wear out (or be too small).  I'm hoping to get back to supply teaching this fall, and will need slightly nicer clothes (it appears supply teachers don't wear two piece suits or dressy dresses anymore!).  I hit the fabric stash and the pattern stash, and measured my chest.  Oooohh.  I've grown a bit LOL.  I gave away a lot of pattern a while ago because I wasn't sewing and I had shrunk a bit, and learned how to do a "Full Bust Adjustment" so I was buying for my upper bust size, not full bust size.  So a lot of my patterns are a smidge small now!  I picked out Simplicity 5849.  Because, "it's so EASY!".  LOL.  And although the bust size was a bit small, the finished size matched a similar shirt I love.  I chose some lightweight fabric, the leftover from Megan's dress, made way back in 2010!

I'm trying to find a link to the pattern, I found one on Pinterest, and one on but that Simplicity 5849 is NOT the one I made.  Google is giving me a hard time today.

I adjusted the pattern by taking out 1/2" in the upper bodice, 1/2" in the sleeve length, and 1/2" in the length...but then I added 1 1/2" to the bottom (there was some shaping so I wanted to shorten the waist length).  I didn't do any bust adjustments.  I thought I was doing good by remembering to take 1/2" out of the sleeve cap to match the reduction in the upper bodice.

My first try-on confirmed all my fears.  It was sad.  The shoulders were too wide.  There was pulling across the upper bust, pulling across the upper arm, and it was too short.  Even on me, being only 5'1".

 And the sleeves fell at an awkward spot.  These pictures are from after my adjustments though.
I had to resew one sleevehead, I don't remember why now.  I was thinking of how I could get more width in the bust...since the sleeve was sewn in it seemed that I would just have to go outwards from where they connect.  Then I realized I could re-do the whole sleevehead with a narrower seam (thank god I hadn't trimmed the seam allowance yet!).
 Doing this got me almost enough room.   It made the upper bodice and sleeve heads almost an inch wider (3/8" on body, plus 3/8" on the sleeve, times two, per sleeve), and a bit longer in the sleeve head, though I didn't adjust the shoulder seams because I had already topstitched down the shoulder seam and applied bias trim along the neckline.  Got extra through the bust and upper back.  The lower back is quite boxy; I could put an elastic strip on the inside, but I don't know.
When I was cutting it, I did a size 18 for the body width but tapered in to a 16 for the armholes.  Obviously, I didn't need to do that!
 The pattern called for bias trim on the neckline, to make the casing.  I was going to make my own, but  I wanted to get it done.  I had some trim with simple green stripes that looked cute, but I thought it might show through, so I picked out this vintage flowered one.  I'd been waiting for the perfect time to use it.  I don't really think this was the perfect time as it's all a little busy, but no one sees it.

My changes really helped, but the shoulders still felt like they were slipping, and my bra straps showed.  When I was sewing it up, you were supposed to sew the end of the drawstrings at the "dots", it didn't go all the way around the neck.  I didn't seem to have marked where those dots were on the fabric, so I eyeballed it based on the diagrams.  I thought perhaps I hadn't gone high enough on the sides of the front neck, and maybe moving it up would help draw in the shoulders a bit.  It did help, but it's now down to the fact there just isn't enough fabric at the shoulders for me.

I toyed with the idea of making a wide band to draw the bottom in and give it some length.  But I wanted a billowy, loose, sort of summer shirt and I just don't think I could do a good job...I'm just not a very good, accurate, cutter and sewer!

Now...if only I had some better pants to wear with this top...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Oh Bother!

My sister in law is a big Pooh fan.  She's been in the hospital for awhile, and my brother shared a photo of how she has a bunch of her favourite things on the window sill.  One is a Jean Greenhowe bear.  I know I made bears for her girls...but I don't remember if I made THAT bear.  I know her grandma, I think it was, also knit.  How do you ask "Did I make that bear?" without looking like an idiot?  LOL.

So, I decided I suddenly needed to make a Pocket Pooh Bear.  It started out quick, using Patons Lace in the off white, that I planned to dye.  I used the Jean Greenhowe pattern.  I'd done this before, with a different yarn, and got a tiny bear.  But not this time.  It was more "Purse Buddy" than "Pocket Buddy".  So I re-did the head and body, using half the stitches and half the rows, approximately.  It was going quick.  Then I took it to an outdoor concert and made a leg.  Then realized I made a full sized leg instead of half size.  Oops.  It was all going well, even got the dyeing done in good time...and then procrastination set in.  And I took my kids up to my parents for 5 days and barely got anything knit!
 I used a fine tip Sharpie for the eyebrows.  If I had looked at a picture sooner, I would have made smaller ears, and made sure his belly was fuller.

But he's done.  She's still in the hospital and I hope it gives her a smile!

His legs turned out a little big.  It was hard to get the shaping reduced down.  But he's cute in his big-pawed awkwardness :)

Yarn In:   2876gr
Yarn Out: 17gr + 4505gr= 4522gr
Balance: 1646gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $139.55/208 days = $0.67/day

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Photos

I took new photos of my stock of water bottle holders, so that they were a little more organized.  It's been hard, because I was making two styles (crocheted, and sewn) and at least two sizes.  This time I put the small, disposable bottle sized ones together, and the larger ones together.

I wasn't happy with the top photo though.  Perhaps the crocheted one on the right should be at the far left.  

These ones are tricky because I don't have enough water bottles in the right sizes.  The crocheted holders really need a water bottle to fill them out.  And neither picture show the insides of the reversible holders.

In other news, I think I finally came up with how to make the sewn straps adjustable, at an affordable price!  Snaps!  I was wondering around the local fabric store, looking for something like "buttonhole elastic" but not elastic.  I saw hook and eye tape, but boring colours!  Then I was in the drapery department, and saw a twill tape with small plastic rings sewn along it.  I thought, if I had something that could hook to...(but it was only white).  The assistant started talking to me, I explained what I was looking for, and she said there was nothing.  As I walked away, it hit me!  Snaps!  I could do one half on the holder, and then maybe 5 spaced along the lower half of the strap!  Bingo!  I even concluded that I could put a snap along the top edge to narrow in the larger holders.  Oh, and how about a loop with a snap to attach your key ring?  (Mine used to be on a carabiner clip, but not now).

So, I came home and started looking at snaps.  The fabric store sells the Babyville pliers, but I had heard, from my diaper sewing days, mixed reviews.  I've been fixing up some cloth diapers for my cousin's wife, and she mentioned that she had gotten snap pliers and was loving them.  She lives just a bit too far to be convenient, so I asked in a local FB WAHM craft group if anyone in my town had snap pliers and could show me the ins and outs so I'd know better what I want, and test it to see if they would hold the weight of the water bottles.  I got two responses, and knew (not well, but they weren't strangers!) them and they weren't far from me!  Yesterday, I went to one of their houses (oh, the lady that did the embroidery for the "Rude Robot" hat!) and she showed me how to do it, etc and let me borrow it.  She didn't have many snaps, and not the complete set in black, so I will probably go buy some more today, LOL, and then order my own snap pliers.

I'm really excited by this!  Snaps might be showing up everywhere!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


I know I've been saying for awhile I had some headbands to post about....but I finally got some pictures!!

I think this one started it.  I know my niece likes pinks and orange, and I made a water bottle holder out of this, some old Bernat "Cool Crochet" cotton blend.  It's from

It was pretty easy enough. The scallops sort of flip up though. 

I think this one was next.  It's from
I used an OLD Kroy 4ply sock yarn.  I think there's a typo in her Step 3.  She says she likes to do 16dc instead of  14, but then Step 3 doesn't work out.  I found I actually needed to do 12 dc to make it lie flat.

I do notice though, that her's have more of an interlocking look, where as mine are "this side and that side".
Then I moved on to this one:

It was linked to from the first headband's pattern, but really, the pattern didn't show up well, so I thought just doing DC would also work.

This sparkly blue one was just double crochets. Nice and simple.

A lighter blue one, like the first one.  This yarn was too soft though.  

I really wanted to make this one:  but the pattern isn't available anymore (or at least, not on it's own).  So, I set out to create my own.  It was going well with the swatches, and then I choose this yarn.  

It wasn't doing what I wanted, and I realized the flowers were too close together.  So I tried a solid colour.  Much better.  I think it needs a very delicate yarn though.

I tired again with white cotton, but it was too bulky I think (even though this was probably a sock to sport weight)

At some point, I made another one of these.  This is a #10 crochet cotton with a silver thread in in.  No beads.  Very crisp and delicate!
A bulky, textured purple yarn for another simple one.

Another Queen's Ann Lace, with very small blueish beads.. Or maybe they were clear with silver on the inside.  It's amazing how different the beads look once you put yarn through them.  This was a very thin coned yarn that I'd use on my standard gauge knitting machine.  Thinner than #10 crochet thread.

Another one similar to the  very first one.  I changed the scallops a bit and added a plastic clear bright pink bead in each.  It's a very fuzzy fake mohair (I used it for the Lilac Sunset Sweater last summer).

And one more simple one, in the Neapolitan yarn.

This is all of them, except the Neapolitan one.

 Edit to add:  I'm getting rusty at blogging!  I thought I was forgetting something in this post.  I was!  My yarn balance sheet!

Yarn In:   2876gr
Yarn Out:  106gr + 4399gr = 4505gr
Balance: 1629gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $139.55/188 days = $0.74/day

Friday, July 03, 2015

Catching Up

I just wanted to get caught up with some yarn in totals.  For some twin cowboy hats I was asked to make, I bought one ball of Patons' Decor, and one ball of Vanna's Choice.  She liked the Decor, and I got started on the first hat.  Of course, it took just over half the ball, so I had to go back for another ball.  I meant to return the Vanna's Choice, but I forgot to take it.  I still have time to return it, but don't anticipate going there anytime soon.  So I guess I'll include it and just throw it in the bin.  It's a nice yarn, I have others in different colours...but I just don't care for this colour.  All together it's another 300gr of yarn in.  Boo!

Yarn In:   300gr + 2576gr = 2876gr
Yarn Out: 4399gr
Balance: 1523gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $13.64 + $125.91 + $139.55/184 days = $0.76/day

I've still used up more than I've bought!