Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Blanket Scarf

January is cold in Canada. (BIG understatement) One day last week I was cuddled up on the couch with Thing 3 on my lap. We were huddled in my blanket scarf.

It's the one on the right. I was assured by the salesclerk at Pseudio that it would "literally go with everything". In fact she repeated that to me several times. So now I'm on a mission to find something it doesn't go with. Anyway, Thing 3 thought it was a great idea to have a blanket scarf and she asked me to make her one. 

After some careful deliberation, she chose a "My Little Pony" printed flannelette that was left over from her onesie. I guess when you grow up with a mama who's a seamstress you gain an appreciation for being able to customize your clothing.

It was a very easy project, but also very time consuming. All I had to do was cut (or rather tear) the fabric into a square, sew about an inch in from the fabric edges and then fray them. The flannelette has different weight warp and weft threads, so the larger weft threads came out of two scarf ends very easily. But the smaller threads that had to be removed from the remaining two remaining edges were tough to get out of there. In total, it took me an entire day to make her scarf. Most of that time was spent tickling out those tiny warp threads.

A cozy reading chair for my six year old.

Year in Review

Happy New Year!

2016 has taught me so much. My resolution was to sew 52 projects in 52 weeks and I did it! What I didn't do was blog it. Once June ended, so did my blogging. So here is a quick recap.

My goal was to sew 52 items from start to finish, alterations didn't count and they didn't have to be garments. Sets of things, like placemats or curtains, only counted as one project. However, multiples of the same item, like gymnastics leotards or dresses, each counted as their own item. This is what I made:

window curtains for Thing 1's room
the "reindeer robe"
black cherry bra
Valentine's dress
Houndstooth pyjama pants
pink pyjama top
charcoal wool skirt
striped sweater
red "kash-mere" jacket
gingham skirt
Baby Alive diapers
Green nightshirt
Running Belts - counts as 2
Pink Sparkly Leotard
Pink sparkly leotard #2 and matching scrunchie - counts as 2
purple hearts bowtie

At this point in the year, I decided to start my own sewing/alterations business. I was surprised by how many people don't sew. I didn't expect older people to sew because they might have a hard time seeing or have arthritis in their hands or whatever. And I didn't expect young people to sew because I know that they don't teach it in school any more. But I really did think that every middle aged woman out there could sew as well as I can. After all, we were all taught the same things in school. Boy was I wrong. I guess that was as silly as thinking that we would all be good at math because we were all taught in school.

Chair Cushion Covers - counts as two because they're for two different styles of chairs
Monks Habit

That's where my blogging died. After that, I tried to keep a list of things to blog, but it just got to be too much with the sewing, and all of the alterations that I was making with my little home sewing business. So, in the interest of not spending forever catching up. These are the remainder of my 2016 sewing projects:

Vintage Butterick 9304

matching little girl's dress - Simplicity5794

wedding shrug - McCall's 3033

fleece hoodie - McCall's 7275

four onesies - all McCall's 6224

grey plaid poncho - McCall's 6209

turquoise gymnastics leotard and matching scrunchie - Jalie 2792

Grommet Top living room & dining room curtains - no pattern

Grey ponteroma knit pants - McCall's 7263 (These pants belong to a client and I forgot to take a picture of them)
cherry blossom valances - no pattern (They belong to a client and I forgot to take a picture of them)
4 leotards & 5 scrunchies - Jalie 3138 (They belong to a client and I forgot to take a picture of them)
4 pyjama pants - McCalls 6251 (Made as Christmas gifts for my husband and Thing 2, no pictures were taken in an effort to keep them a secret)
Onesie - McCalls 6251 (Made as a Christmas gift for Thing 1, no pictures were taken in an effort to keep it a secret)
3 Star Wars aprons (Made as Christmas gifts for a client's family, no pictures were taken in an effort to keep them a secret)

grey pants - Simplicity 2860 and grey tunic - McCall's 7020

Yearly total: 55

Like I said, I learned so much this year. Between sewing all of these "from scratch" projects and the multitude of alterations that I've been making. I truly feel that I can sew. I know I could sew before, but I was always worried that this could be the project that I can't handle. Now, I start projects with the assumption that I can do it, and if I can't... well... I'll fudge it.

2017's resolution doesn't have anything to do with sewing. But I will try to maintain my sewing schedule and keep you up to date on what I've been doing.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Monk's Habit

My second post for today...

Another client commissioned me to make his habit. This was a cool project to work on! I got to draft a pattern, source the fabric and sew the garment.

My client told me that his community wears dark blue. I checked out the local fabric stores and was able to purchase a navy poly-cotton knit at Atlantic Fabrics.

The garment itself went together quickly and easily. I did have to remove and redo the collar, but that was because I had purposely made it big (so as not to choke  a monk when he sat down), and then found out that it is a no-no to see the clothing that they wear under their habit.

Completed projects: 23
Remaining projects: 29

Chair Cushions

I've fallen behind on my project blogging. Sorry. I hope to catch up with two posts today. 

This first post will cover (pun intended) two projects that I did for a client. She had two large chair cushions that needed recovering. She brought me the cushions, the new fabric, two zippers and even the thread. The cushions belong to two, large, differently styled chairs. She unifies the look by keeping them covered in the same fabric. This is a lady who knows what she's doing!

Monday, 30 May 2016


Perhaps it's leftover from my days in the IT sector, but I always feel like if you're not learning, you're falling behind. So, I watch a lot of YouTube sewing videos. Usually, even on the most basic of videos, you can learn something, refresh your memory, or gain a new appreciation of something. Yesterday, I was watching Gertie make a gathered skirt and I noticed that she had a wrist pincushion. What an awesome idea! Who ever thought of wearing a pincushion is a genius! I wanted one.

My thoughts went like this... Gertie's wrist pincushion looks like it's got a metallic bracelet, which isn't good for me due to my metal allergy. But a fabric bracelet would work.  And Gertie's bracelet looks a little too big for her, she had it half way to her elbow. An elasticized fabric bracelet would probably be perfect. And, Gertie's pincushion isn't very pretty...

So I made this one...

Wrist Pincushion

Here it is, on my arm. It has a cardboard circle sewn into the bottom of the pincushion so that I won't stab myself with the pins. It's actually quite comfortable. I put it on to show my husband when he got home from work and I got sidetracked, forgetting that I was even wearing it. He says it looks like a wrist corsage. I think it looks a little like a water lily.

Wrist Pincushion

Once I remembered I was wearing my wrist pincushion, I went back to my sewing table to take it off and I remembered that Diana's pincushion has been missing for a number of years. So I decided to make a little one to replace the one that's missing from her neck.

Dressform Pincushion

Completed projects: 20
Remaining projects: 32

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Going Into Business

About a year and a half ago, I bought Nina (my latest sewing machine). In the back of my mind was the idea that someday I would start my own business with her. At the time, I didn't tell anyone because I was afraid that I'd be held to it. It's funny how fear can affect you... Anyhow, after mulling it over for the last while, and making sure that my skills are up to snuff I have finally taken the plunge!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Purple Hearts Bow-Tie

"Thing 1" landed a job at the casino. On the shifts that she is serving food and drinks, she is to wear a "kitchen staff" type of uniform. They provided her with a white shirt and black vest. She gets to wear her own black pants and her own tie. She had been wearing a tie from dad's closet, but she said she wanted a bow-tie. So, I made her one.