Tuesday Tip

If you’ve ever bought those economy sized spools of thread that just don’t quite fit on the spool pin with a doodad.

I also have a flat doodad with the same little spiky ends which would work equally well.

Christmas crunch time, or why do I do this to myself?

So it’s December. I’ve been hearing Christmas music on the radio for at least a couple of weeks now, but it’s never really “real” to me until the first of December (or the second, that works too.😉 ) And immediately following–relatively speaking, of course–is Scotch’s 3rd birthday. And I realized this year that Scotch does not yet have his own quilt like big brother does.

*Cue frantic planning of said quilt.*

I’ve been dreaming of a Tetris quilt in varying shades of blue for a long time, but somehow I ended up letting Scotch choose his own colors, so there’s a little bit of everything in there. Scotch is a big fan of orange and purple, so it’s going to be red, orange, yellow, purple, and a kind of ocean green. Fairly traditional Tetris colors, or at least in my memory they are.

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This is the current plan, but I’m actually going to have to rework it a bit because the bottom 1/4 has too many of the same pieces touching each other, and that can’t happen on the final quilt or it will lose the effect. I’m hoping I can just redraw those few lines on the bottom and match them up with the rest so that I don’t have to redraw the whole thing.😮

I even bought the fabric this morning, so it’s really going to happen. !!! I’m not 100% convinced about this, but the colors are very pretty, and somehow they work together. And even if they don’t, my son loves them and is super excited about his quilt, so I’m not going to argue.

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The colors aren’t quite right on my screen, the purple is a bit more faded and a bit less blue, and the red isn’t quite that dark either.

I’m also not sure why I keep saying “never again” to quilting and then am sucked back in to making another quilt. This will be my 3rd, so it should go together flawlessly–or at least I shouldn’t bungle it too badly. It’s got to be easier than the queen sized one I made for our bed a while back! I can still remember the horror that was shoving a queen sized quilt through my regular sewing machine. *shudder*

Also in progress: a couple of things for me for wearing over the various Christmas celebrations and I just finished the PJ shirt I started for Scotch like a month ago. I’d make him a couple more, but even as quick as they are I think I need the time for other things. What do you suppose the odds are of being able to finish the quilt by the first week of January? Slim to none? Or can it be done?

Is JoAnn Fabrics quality already slipping?

I recently bought some solid color flannel (usually I buy prints) for Scotch to have for pajama pants, and after the prewash it was just covered in little balls of lint. And it made a lot, because it also covered everything else that was in that load of laundry with little red and blue specks too. I’m used to flannel pilling, but usually it takes it more than a couple of washes (and not to this degree!), and this is just not acceptable to me. I’ve previously defended JoAnn’s, but if this is how they’re gonna be now that Hancock’s is gone, I can’t.

Has anyone else had this experience? Did I just buy the wrong “brand”?

Things that tick me off Thursday

Today’s peeve isn’t really sewing related, except for the hypocritical moment I admit to at the end…

As you all know, I’ve got two boys. And when you have kids–boys or girls–you quickly realize that they need stuff. Plastic cups that have straws, plastic plates that don’t shatter when they hit the floor, training pants, potty seats, toothbrushes, shoes, etc,. etc.

WHY DOES EVERY ONE OF THOSE THINGS HAVE TO HAVE A STUPID CHARACTER ON IT?????!!!!! I don’t WANT shoes with Ninja Turtles or toothbrushes with Elmo, I just want a pair of nice looking shoes and a toothbrush that does its job!!! My sons don’t need all this licensed character crap, they just need the basics. And frankly, someone needs to tell these people that those shoes with characters on them are fugly. Same with the bicycles–why is it impossible to find a bike that isn’t either pink with a goddamn princess on it or green/blue with a effing superhero on it?! How about a bike that’s gender neutral without a character so that should I have a daughter in the future (God, please no!) I don’t have to buy a new bike for her. And don’t even get me started on those stupid faux motocross bikes that are ubiquitous today.

Now, having shouted all that (sorry!), I will admit to one time that I’d like the option of more character stuff, and that is fabrics to make pajamas for the boys from. The occasional Thomas and Friends print just doesn’t quite cut it for me. And while my kids are John Deere fans from the womb, those prints are often ugly too, and so I skip them when I’m hunting for fabrics.

Who’s with me on this?

Things that tick me off Thursday

Sorry this post is a bit late getting off the ground, for some of you Thursday is already over!

So today my peeve is about pattern companies. WTF is up with the S-M-L type sizing anyway? And to add insult to injury, they can’t be bothered to put the full size range into one envelope, so you get to guess which one you need and pray that you’re not between a M and an L! Some of the patterns that I’ve skipped out on because of this stupid sizing:

McCall's website shows this as having numerical sizing, but the reviews say otherwise. I've seen it in store too, and unless they've changed, the website is wrong.

McCall’s 7254. Close-fitting and moderate stretch only. This seems like a bit of a recipe for a lot of tweaking in such a limited size grouping.

Same thing here. And this is supposed to be able to be used on a woven too, which is definitely uncool. You need those size variations for a woven, even a loose-fitting one, IMO.

McCall’s 6751. Same thing here. And this is supposed to be able to be used on a woven too, which is definitely uncool. You need those size variations for a woven, even a loose-fitting one, because fit through the shoulders is important.

Now, lest you think I’m picking on McCall’s, I’m not. I just really wanted these two patterns (plus a couple more that I can’t think of off the top of my head), but the sizing cutoff didn’t work for me. Am I the only one bothered by this?

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New wedding outfit…or not…

I’m terrible. I was so excited about that jumpsuit. But, life (and a bit of bad luck) seems to have gotten in the way.

Last week, I started to feel like crap, and since we had a big event coming up, I went to the doctor. I got a flu test and had my chest x-rayed, and…I have pneumonia*. I took the antibiotics, frantically lysol-ed everything I ever touched for a week, and sent my children and husband away with stockpiles of vitamin C. I didn’t want anyone to get sick–especially not with the wedding coming up this weekend.

* I feel a bit silly saying I have this. Aside from a cough that hits at random (unless it’s bedtime, then it’s fairly constant–grrrr) and some exhaustion mid day, I feel pretty normal. I did feel crappy the first couple of days, but after that, it’s mostly just the cough.

The other thing that held me back was that I bought an exceptionally beautiful dip dyed rayon (double-crepe? is that a thing?) that they didn’t happen to have quite enough of. The pattern called for 3 yards, but I’m a pattern tetris whiz, so I felt fairly confident that I could fit it on my 2-3/4 yards without too much issue. Turns out I was wrong. If I hadn’t chosen that type of “print”, I’d have had fabric to make a whole nother project, but because of it I needed at least another yard. Which was sold out everywhere, even though the website said that they had a one yard remnant that I tried to order twice over a two week period and which was canceled both times…grr! And by then, I was stuck on this kind of fabric because it seemed perfect–thick enough to not be see-through, lovely drape, that tiny amount of mechanical stretch that rayon is known for and I just couldn’t find anything else that seemed right. And in true Joann style, they only buy a limited quantity of anything that a person might want and oodles of rubbish that hangs out on the shelves forever. Which is the opposite of what I’d do if it were my store, but then, what do I know?

So anyway, all of that to say that I’m giving up. I’m just going to wear my fancy maxi dress instead. I did make all the adjustments to that jumpsuit pattern though, so I’m still planning to make it. One does not simply tape together a PDF pattern, make all the adjustments for it, and then just walk away…though finding an occasion to wear it might be tricky.😉

Measure twice, cut once…AKA Jalie 2111

I procraftinated on my wedding guest outfit to make my youngest a dress shirt to wear for the same wedding. It was perfectly drafted, everything sewed together nicely, and while I mad a few mistakes–most notably sewing the cuffs together wrong after getting those curves sewn perfectly–the end result is pretty darn cute.

But.

But.

It’s too big. *smh* And it’s all my fault too. You see, I made it based on Scotch’s neck measurement. I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do, but seriously, this kid has a huge head and his neck is in proportion to it. He’s also one of those people whose height is “all torso”, which is the opposite of his brother. So because he’s all torso and has arms proportional to that, I just up and decided to add an extra inch in length the sleeves and the body of the shirt without taking any additional measurements. You can do that sort of thing on pants, just take up the hem and you’re golden. On a shirt, it’s not so easy–especially one with sleeves that have plackets and cuffs. I’m not taking that stuff off to fix it, so he’s just going to have to grow into the shirt…please just don’t let his neck get any bigger when that happens!

Sorry for the grainy tablet picture–I hadn’t used it before and didn’t realize there’s no flash?

The pattern was Jalie 2111, and it appears to be PDF only now. As I said before, it went together perfectly. All the notches lined up perfectly, the edges lined up perfectly, if you need a men/teen/boys/toddler dress shirt–buy it. Seriously. Jalie didn’t steer anybody wrong on this one, and you can’t beat all those sizes in one package (though I’ll admit that tracing it off is an exercise in extreme patience and good eyesight).

At least the project was a scrapbuster–it’s leftovers from this shirt for my husband. I was hoping to get that piece of fabric out of my stash, but unfortunately there’s still a piece that is too big to throw away and not big enough to do much of anything with…I hate it when that happens.

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Things that tick me off Thursday

It’s that time of the month week again.😉 No, I’m not OTR, the Cardinal isn’t visiting, and it’s most certainly not “shark week”, though I remember watching that on the Discovery channel when I was a kid.  Ah, memories… Do they even play anything besides Mythbusters marathons on there anymore?

But, I digress. This peeve is kind of getting to me, even though I know it’s absolutely a first world problem. I’ve tried talking to WordPress on their forums and on Twitter, but got nowhere, so I’m just going to ask any of you that I follow and that follow me back, can you dig my comments out of your spam folder? Every time I post on someone else’s blog (doesn’t seem to be an issue on mine) it never shows up.😦 Hopefully, if enough people do that, my commenting feature will be fixed??? I know that I’m not the most witty person out there, but in the meantime, I want you all to know that I have loved the thoughtful, lovely posts that you’ve made. Your projects were gorgeous and I totally want to copy a lot of them.🙂

Up next, I hope to have a post about a wedding guest outfit, plus maybe a bonus rehearsal dinner outfit. Have a great weekend!🙂

Shorts fail

Well, Simplicity 1808 was a big, fat fail for me. I should have known better. I have a lot of junk in the trunk and a belly in the front, but the thought of elastic waistband jean shorts called to me and I ignored all common sense. The crotch curve on this pattern is laughable. I’m pretty sure (though not positive, since it’s never something I’ve had) that these are designed for the flattest butt to ever flat. There is almost no curve, and then they also add in a crazy amount of ease. The size chart said I needed between a size 18 and a size 20 for my 43″ hips. That size wasn’t even included, so I used the finished measurements and cut a size 14, thinking that the stretch in my denim would cover the rest of the ease.

When I first tried them on they didn’t touch my body at all. Literally. There was an “air moat” between the denim and my skin all the way around. Chub rub was all that held them up. I took out 3″ from the center back and then 4″ more in the form of two darts to get them to fit loosely without being baggy, but while they fit, they looked terrible (think mom jeans), and I decided that was enough. I promptly threw them in the trash.

As I said in my review, I’ve been trying very hard to take accurate measurements and then use them honestly instead of lying to myself. But then you have a project that comes out like this and you wonder if you’re going too far the other direction.

My quest for nicely fitting pull on shorts continues…

Heatwave Sewing Part 2

Quite a long time ago, like June of last year, I attempted a muslin of the blouse from V1440. It’s a gorgeous blouse, or at least the back is, and I wanted it for my very own. The muslin I made didn’t have near enough room in the chestal region, and after a fail I get bored and tend to move on instead of going back and working out what went wrong. Also, I really liked that fabric, so I was a bit upset with myself that I couldn’t make it work.

So a little over a year later, I decided to try again. I had found this super pretty voile(?) print at JoAnn’s, and since it was 100% cotton, I thought it would be the perfect thing for the heat we’ve been having. Being a bit smarter this time around, I made a test garment, added an FBA, and got to work. It’s still too snug to wear with a normal bra, but it works just fine with my racerback sports bra. And with the sports bra, there’s no straps showing, BONUS!

A few notes for next time (and the last couple of people who haven’t already sewn this up):

  • It is designed for someone with a pretty extreme pear shape IMO (and the lovely Amy of almondrock concurred when I mentioned it on Twitter.)
  • This means you can have your tummy and cover it too!
  • I tried the Sewing Lawyer’s method for attaching the facings, and while it worked, it was fiddly. No fault of hers, I just was having one of those days (and outside super wide facings are just plain fiddly in general).
  • I hate the collar. Unless it’s buttoned all the way up (so not my style) it’s just huge. HUGE. No.
  • Also, never EVER try to sew a collar with 5/8″ seam allowances. I’ve made many collars, and this one about broke me. If this would have been my first try at one, I’d probably never have tried another collared shirt, deeming them too hard. And that would be sad.
  • This isn’t meant to be a fitted blouse, and while I know that I could have done a bit better job on it, it’s intended for wearing during a hot summer, and I figure when we’re all sweaty and miserable, not many are going to notice the pooling in the back. Less sticking to my skin for the win!
  • I skipped the hidden placket, they’re just too bulky in an area where I already have enough bulk, thankyouverymuch. Plus, I had the most perfect buttons and I didn’t want to hide them. Seriously, they are perfect, and they just happened to be in my stash!

In spite of it’s flaws (and they are legion), I love this blouse, and am excited to wear it out!

What have you been sewing? I’ve been working on some shorts too, but they may yet be a fail. I’m still trying to work out how to have my pull on jean shorts and have them fit too. They’re almost done, so we’ll see.