Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Socks Again!

 Back in May, we were going for a drive to check out the property of a well known artist . I needed some road trip knitting, so I quickly grabbed some sock yarn I've had a long time. I tried to keep the ball band intact, but can't find it now. Maybe JaWoll. 


I started off with Judy's magic cast on  and worked the foot in stockinette stitch. For the heel, I did the Fleegle heel  in ribbing and as I was incorporating the top of the foot, I gradually started adding more stitches to the rib, so it wraps around the leg.  
Then once I had encorporated all the stitches into the rib, I kept going for the leg until it felt long enough.
Very basic socks, which I really didn't need LOL. I don't wear wool socks much anymore as I work so much now and they don't fit in my sneakers and my clogs...I do still wear them but they feel so insecure compared to sneakers and I don't want another sprained ankle! I meant to take them on my vacation last week but forgot. I didn't really need them though. I'm sure I'll enjoy them this weekend. And, it's 66gr out of my bin (from a 100 gr ball so now what do I do with the extra 34 grams?). And it really doesn't matter since my wonderful daughter stopped by a yard sale by Topsy Farms
when she dropped down to Kingston for a weekend to check on her house. She picked up 3 skeins of aran yarn. Her boyfriend is hoping for some mittens. This is 150gr of yarn (450gr), though I don't have to add the cost. I also picked up a 340gr ball of Handicrafter cotton for our vacation, to make dishcloths. I bought it from Wal-Mart and I don't remember the price....about $12 plus tax....so $13.56.

Yarn In: 75gr + 790gr = 865gr

Yarn Out:  20gr + 66gr = 86gr

Difference:  779gr more brought IN than out

Costs: $13.56 +$15.22 = $28.78/270 days = $0.11/day



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Still Boxing

 Rob was impressed with the pouches in the last post, but when he saw the totally stiff pouch, he wanted the "Men at Work" pouch to be just like that. I had some more fabric, but not much. I had also been looking at other fabrics in my stash to make into pouches. I wanted to give OklaRoots Ultimate Boxy Pouch a try. This one uses a piece of vinyl for the bottom (and lower sides) of the outer. There's no bottom seam in the outer bag (but there is in the inner bag). This would mean it would be great on a bathroom counter, where it's often wet!

I have a strip of this white stretch woven with fancy ladies walking dogs. It was originally from a ring sling I had made when Megan was a baby (2005-2006). I loved that sling though I would have to adjust it fairly often. I had this vinyl in the stash, I probably bought it from the clearance bin. I'm pretty sure I used it to make a tote bag that folds up into a wallet (it's not really a wallet, it just zips shut and looks like a square wallet). I did not have enough of the fancy fabric to make it the same size as the box in the video (13.5" long, I had only about 11"). I kept all the other measurements the same, which make some things difficult.

It seems there might be an error in the dimensions given. The short outer pieces of cotton are supposed to be 4.5", but in the video, her two outer top pieces don't totally cover the vinyl piece, which is strange because the vinyl should have been 9". On mine, there wasn't this gap. This made the lining pieces too small, so in the next one, I made them 9" and it was much easier to sew. 

The inside of the first bag was a white eyelet fabric that I had used for a sling in around 2007. That one was a gift.
I also followed the instructions to make an inside mesh pocket. However, in the True Tracy Way, this did not go as intended either. My pouch was not as wide (long), so I wasn't sure how big to make the pocket so the edges would be in the side seams like the tutorial. I didn't have the rigid mesh, so I used tulle. I used the wrong fabric when I made the bottom strip. Things did not go well when I sewed it. Let's just leave it at that. The stiff fabric, the box corners being a bit big for the size of the bag, the inner bag being a smidge too small; it all added up into a difficult sew.

For Rob's new pouch, I was able to just squeeze out the pieces in the remaining fabric. Inside, I used blue broadcloth. I didn't want black, but this was too close to black. I didn't want to go too light and have it look gross after the first trip either. The zipper on this one was another vintage zipper.
The bottom piece for Rob's bag, is from the trimmed off pieces from when we put up drapes this spring. There were black black-out panels, with a subtle texture. Ironing on the interface though, there was some bubbling and weirdness happening. The drapes have a plasticky backside, to be light blocking. 
Wider zipper tabs make sewing them in easier and are less noticeable if they aren't totally straight with the zipper LOL.

I bought two zipper grab bags from Fabcycle.shop, to make more. I put them in the shopping cart, $20. Then shipping showed at $17! I messaged them, and they said they could do lettermail if it was under 500gr, which it would be. So it ended up being $5 for shipping. They arrived, but I've been so busy, I haven't opened it yet! 
Then Megan and I went thrifting and I got even more vintage zippers!
These two zippers have the same colour code, but the teeth are different colours!
Look at these old snaps, and the price! Adorable!
And get a load of these needle prices!! Fabricland sells them for over $11 now, I believe! 

This was also in the bag, but I haven't checked it out much. They're a guide to help you sew curves at 1/4". My plate doesn't have a 1/4" measurement, so I use the edge of the feed dogs, which isn't actually 1/4". So maybe these will help (there's instructions for how to do it for straight sewing too). I love sewing grab bags at thrift stores!


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Boxy Pouches

 I get many emails each week from sewing pattern companies and blogs. One had a link to a pattern for an easy box pouch. I took a look at it and noticed the inside seams were exposed. I knew there had to be a better pattern out there, and I went down the dark rabbit hole of pouch patterns! OMG. So many tutorials out there. Here are some links:

https://youtu.be/Yr_A8Zfbq9w this is the one I primarily used. It's good, though not the ultimate. She shows stitching from the seam line, like Ikat Bag, but when doing the side seams, the top stitching end is exposed. 

http://www.ikatbag.com/2016/01/zip-bag-chapter-4-faced-zippers-darted.html this is very technical post, no video. 

https://youtu.be/w9kZMTNoF58 this one was really good! I highly recommend it. I did have some issues with the sides and getting the "over the zipper" seam to match with the side seams. Not sure I'd do it this way again, but maybe if you're a very accurate cutter and sewist. My pieces had.... issues. LOL.

https://youtu.be/N5Akv6LjVaw this is for tiny pouches, but they're so cute!

https://youtu.be/BJQT-UWls_Q These are a little more complex, but the basics are still the same

I have become obsessed with the last two's channel, OklaRoots! 


I started with the first link above, using her measurements in the video. I really thought it would be bigger, and I certainly have the fabric to make bigger versions! 


I bought the fabrics from Fabcycle  and they were quilt cottons, but I was expecting a garment fabric. It's the dark, turquoise/teal pouch, with structure. I didn't use the fleece interfacing, I used a stiff sew on interfacing, but I have iron on fusible web, so I applied that and then ironed on the interfacing. 


This shows how you stop the top stitching at 1/2" from the side edge, but the side seams were sewn at 3/8" seam allowance, so there's a little gap there. I also did my first line of top stitching on the pull tab too far from the open edge, so I had to do another line closer to the edge. Because I trimmed my zipper too soon, it was hard to sew that bit. 

I did slip stitch the lining closed. It's not hard to do and is just that little bit nicer.

Being interfaced with the stiff iron on stuff, makes this pouch quite structured. However, being small, that did make it harder to sew the darts. Since the seams are closer together, that also gives structure, and it probably didn't need quite that stiff of interfacing. So keep this in mind when working with smaller sizes.

I then made the "Men at Work" bag, but I didn't interface the whole outside piece. I made it up to sewing the side seams, and pressed it with the bottom seam lining up with the zipper. I interfaced just that flat portion, and accidentally used a lighter interfacing. I thought it would good having the upper part squishy, so it can be compressed in luggage. The stiffer one, I worry that squishing it will make the interfacing wrinkle and lose structure. At first, Rob liked it, but then he saw the stiff one and said he thought that was better. I used the large size measurements from the web post, not the video.  11"x14".

 The inside fabric is some sort of brocade, not cotton, that I've had more than 13 years (I date things from before or after our move to our current house LOL. I had used it to try to make a blazer sort of jacket, and have quite a bit left. It's hefty, but has no structure and pretty much no ironability). 

The butterfly one, I used the third link above, but the same measurements as the Men at Work bag (11"x14"). I did the same thing for the interfacing. I had trouble getting the side seams to connect. Not sure why it's done this way. Ikat Bag says to be sure to "assign the zipper" to one layer only. The end result of both ways is slightly different, but I don't see a benefit to either way. They were both fine. 

You can see where the interfacing ends; this one definitely had the stiff sewn in one (I used fusible web to make it fusible). I also trimmed it so it wasn't in the seam allowances. 

After this, I found the tutorials for using one piece (like vinyl) to create the bottom section, and another piece for the sides. That's great for giving it stability too, or using a waterproof material because you know it's going on a wet bathroom counter LOL. I'll be doing one like that next.

The zippers were all from my stash, the first two were definitely old, and metal. 

What I learned...don't trim the zipper too soon. Wait till after sewing the side seams. 

Mark where you'll be cutting the corners out, and when you sew the side seams, start at those marks, backstitching. If you just sew up the sides, then cut the corners, the side seams will start to unravel. You can go back and reinforce these before boxing the darts, but why not just do it from the start? Some patterns do have you cut the darts when you're cutting the fabric out, which does solve this, but makes cutting the fabric a bit slower. 

The little tabs are essential for helping open the zipper. Don't make them too narrow though; it was hard to align with the zipper exactly. 

Have fun with these! I'm going to make more. They don't take a lot of fabric, but have a big wow factor, and really don't take long at all! 




Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Another Go at an Old Pattern

 This is one of the quickest fabric purchase to wearing makes in a long time LOL. I bought the fabric at Talize (thrift) store on July 22, and wore the dress on August 15! When I bought the fabric, I thought I might use it for another pattern that I was working on updating the alterations for (I did finish that one but don't have a picture wearing it yet), but decided it was too thin for that one. I had always liked Simplicity 3506  but there had been an issue with the fit. I got it out and took a look.

I'm not sure what I had done to the pattern! The seam between the yoke and the bodice was really angled. There was also a line drawn across it, straight. I pretty much chopped off the top of the front pattern piece and redid it (the FBA seemed okay). I cut out the front piece, using the dress line and slide the fabric up to cut out the backs. 

Ummm. My fabric was shorter than I thought! The back was three inches shorter! I went for it anyway, thinking it could just become a top if it was too short as a dress. Good thing I'm short!


I didn't want to do the facings, because the fabric was so sheer. I thought I might do bias binding again, but there wasn't much fabric left over, and I didn't want to deal with the slippery fabric! I serged the edge, then turned it under twice. I did add pockets! I didn't do the zipper, and I ended up taking the back darts in a bit more. The sides could also be taken in a bit but I like the relaxed fit. 

I know it's a little pale, and it's 100% polyester but I like it. It wasn't too hot, despite being polyester. I wore a cami with a shelf bra, and a beige slip under it, and felt comfortable. Though when I took it off, I realized I hadn't washed off the marking dots! They really weren't very noticeable! This is another great basic pattern for quick makes that each look unique. 


I think the wavy lines makes the neckline look a little misshapened...which it could be, considering the slipperiness of the fabric LOL. They lines look pretty neat on the back though. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

I'm So Trendy

 I was struggling with my laptop earlier this spring. It was suddenly out of memory. I took off all my pictures, Cricut files, sewing files, work files, everything. Still out of memory. Had a tech guy look at it, and he said each update of Windows takes up more space and eventually you just run out. It did have a small hard drive, but had been fine for 2.5 years. I really thought it should last a while longer. So I splurged on a really good laptop. Frankly, it's not much different. It has a larger screen, but most of the increase is horizontal and I would have prefered more vertical increase. The sound is WAY better though, and I can plug my camera card in directly, as well as the projectors at schools. Anyway. I was recently going through the USBs that I had saved everything onto, and found some sewing patterns I forgot I had. This especially happens with free patterns, it seems.

This is the Be Trendy halter top from Ellie and Mac. It's been discontinued, so I won't bother linking. Free patterns are a great way to test if a designer's "blocks" work well with your body. Do they design for an hour glass? A slim shape? Busty shapes? And also things like how well the patterns print, go together, are written. I did find a typo in the pattern and a few awkward instructions. I wasn't keen on the wide bottom band, especially since I was doing a solid fabric that wasn't all that drapey. So I eliminated that on my first one, and added what I thought was a reasonable length.

It's a bit short, I feel. And it's obvious I need a FBA, by the diagonal drag lines from the bust to the sides. But I really liked it! I made a shelf bra (totally messed it up of course LOL). Normally I don't like things knotted behind my neck, but this was okay.

I made a second one, a bit longer, and with a FBA. I made chiffon ties because I wanted this one to look a little upscale. I thought I made them wide enough so they'd be somewhat of a feature, but by the time I turned the tubes right side out, they were still narrow (I did widen it out towards the end, but it's not much). I hate chiffon LOL. I am now almost out of the soft elastic I got from somewhere, that I use for the shelf bras. Not enough for one more. Neither of these are lined, they just have the shelf bra sewn to the top edges. The bottoms are hemmed with a blind stitch. 

I really like this top. Simple patterns like this are great for customizing, making mutliples in different fabrics and colours. I'm not sure if I can wear these to work. A little bare without a light cardi over top! But great for in my truck with no air conditioning! We'll see. I have lots of hot weather dresses and tank tops that are suitable anyway.

The pattern is discontinued, which is too bad, but I’m sure there’s probably something similar out there.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Is it Summer Yet?

 At the start of summer break, I planned to having a relaxing summer. I wanted to draw, practice flute, clean out my email inbox, walk daily, practice yoga daily, sew....So how's that going? I've gotten some art ready for stickers, but haven't actually drawn any new art. I practiced flute for about 15 minutes. I started the summer with shoulder pain so the flute, and yoga, had to be put on hold. I have been walking a lot--30 minutes daily, M-F and some on the weekend, as well as an almost daily 25 min walk with the dog after dinner (not fitness walking at all LOL). I have done a bit of sewing, which I'll go over. Also finished up a charity crocheted blanket and started a Christmas stocking. I have also had doctor's appointments, x-rays, ultrasound, physio, dentist, eye doctor...middle kid got her wisdom teeth out, both girls have jobs and need rides, youngest has the rink twice a week...it's been a lovely summer though not the relaxing, do nothing summer I thought it would be

One day, I got a phone call from an elderly man who's quite popular in our community FB group. I had previously repaired an old wool Mary Maxim jacket for him, and now he had a wool blanket he kept in the car that had a few holes. I said I'd take a look. 
Turns out, it's woven, not knitted, but this gave me a great opportunity to learn how to do mending using the weaving method! One of those things I thought I'd learn at some point. 
It wasn't too hard! He was very pleased with it. I also made sure to give it a good bath in wool wash. 

As well as making stickers on my Cricut, I made IG address decals for our trucks, and new dishwasher magnets. I was planning to make the silver one, white, but it was too transparent. The Tricolour one will be sent to my eldest. He expressed interest in having one, but didn't like our original one since when the Clean was upright, it was on the bottom. So I fixed that. 

I despartely needed new slippers. I loved the gold ones I had, with suede soles. I'm out of suede, so I got out the ToughTech I bought for swim shoes in the summer of 2019, as part of the cruise prep. 
I also wanted a new sleep mask. Currently, I use a dark coloured buff. It works fine but thought maybe something new would be nice. I wanted something with some shape, as commercial sleep masks gape along my nose. I had seen some really cool shaped ones on Amazon and thought maybe I could make something. I had a hard time finding a pattern, eventually landing on this one by a Korean YouTuber, for a contoured eye mask. She created it so it wouldn't rub on her eyelashes. It's supposed to bubble outwards, reminds me of fly eyes, LOL. However, my interfacing was too weak (she didn't specify in the video), and my fabric too wimpy, so I don't quite get that same effeect. Plus, I had trouble sewing the slippery fabric, then I trimmed the seams, turned right side out, and discovered I had sewn the elastic into the seam. Picked it out, re-stitched, turned right side out, and discovered that I must have snipped the elastic when I was snipping the seam allowance on the curves. So I had to rejoin the ends. Overlapping the ends has made the elastic just a smidge too small now, and I wake up with a blue line across my forehead. There is still some gaping around my nose, but it's not too bad. I think next time, I'll just make a flat one LOL.

One of the lettering tutorials I followed early in the summer. Going to make it into stickers.

There is a long story with this. The short version is I combined some different pieces I did into one, and made a background for my new laptop. The two mushrooms with faces, I drew them just by looking at reference photos! I'm so proud of them!
Megan bought a dirtbike, but has been cursed. Another attempt to go out and this happened. Sigh. Poor girl.

Finished this corner to corner crocheted blanket for the seniors. 

As I was getting near the end, I realized I wouldn't have enough of the green blend. So I created a plan to increase the pink (previously it had been one row) and decreased the green (it had been two rows). It's not quite the transition I was envisioning, but it's done. It weighed 600grams.

I made two versions of this dress very early in my sewing hobby--2007. I learned the hard way about full bust adjustments. Actually, I didn't learn it then, but this pattern showed why I needed a FBA. Check out New Look 6557 in the Labels section.
I found this pattern at a thrift shop and it seemed complete. It's similar to the above pattern, and Simplicity is the parent company. This one doesn't have the midriff band, and uses pleats in the bust instead of gathers. I thought I'd give it a try finally, but found it was missing all the bodice pieces except the front upper bodice. So I'm merging the two patterns.

I tried on the second version of the New Look dress that I made in 2007. I could zip it up this time, but after much searching, I found the original picture (which I didn't seem to blog!).
My bust is definitely bigger now! This was 6 months after the reduction, and a month after recovering from giardia.
This is the first test of the new mash up. It's just the top portion. It felt a little bare and revealing in the V neck. So I altered the pattern pieces a bit more.
On the last few inches of sewing the lining to the bodice and I run out of bobbin thread. I start winding a new one, get halfway full, and suddenly the machine starts slipping. My other machine is getting looked at because it started making a noise! Ack. For the last year, every time I ran out of a bobbin, I tended to just grab whatever was somewhat close and already filled Now I'm down to a few bobbins, and they're those colours. Argh.

And that's pretty much it for now!


Tuesday, June 07, 2022

More Snowstorm Sewing

 As we are finally in spring (ohhh was it a long, cold, wet spring), I thought it was about time to post the other sewing I did during the first couple weeks of the school year in January, when we were doing virtual school and I had pretty much no work. 

Megan mentioned that she'd like another Lovesick Bra (now called the LBB) by George and Ginger. I had the idea that finally I should try to make it reversible. It has a separate band, so I knew I'd have to do a few things. Well, those first things did not work and I got a mobius tube that would not work LOL. 

I found this video which helped tremendously. It still was a little tricky to follow along because she uses purple fabric for both layers, and the fabric looks the same on the right side and wrong sides! I wasn't keen on topstitching to close the bottom of the band, but in the end it looked okay.

I wanted a new one too, but with a higher neck for doing yoga. I got to it, pleased it was going so well despite having to remind myself a couple times which was the fold on the back piece, and which was the side.

Apparently I didn't remind myself enough, and when I went to sew it together, I found out that my front side seam was way longer than the back piece. 

I compensated with some tidy pleats. It's a little more low cut than I'd like at the side, but considering what it could have been, it's a very functional fix.
This picture shows how the back is way too high in the centre. Oh well. 

This time, I somehow found a different YouTube tutorial: https://youtu.be/SN59u1QM5i8  I searched and searched, using different words, and this one did not come up the first time. It's a great looking channel!

To end off the sewing spree, I made my Mom some women's Boxerwear. She said she had been wearing Dad's to bed. I had been too, and had swapped out some of the fly fronts for a flat front. So I felt she deserved a proper pair made from the woman's pattern (now just called pouchless I think). I don't know if the fit is different than the men's, but I hope so. I didn't get any feedback from her...I should ask!

They are so comfortable to sleep in! They don't get all twisty like loose boxers. 
I'm looking forward to the summer, and hopefully doing some more sewing!