2019 Makes

I don’t know about you but did it seem like January was concurrently extremely long and extremely fast moving?? I had meant to post a recap of my making adventures last month but since it feels like February is the new January … here goes!

Last year was super busy with two graduating HS Seniors, College selection / College visits / Buying all the things for College, a business and a household I was not sure that I actually had managed to make anything… but the photo evidence tells the tale (as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I am not super good at tracking things). Photos below in no particular order (and I’m experimenting with photo display style so bear with me…

Knitting makes included: My second pair of socks in Regia Perfect yarn : Lace Cowl (can’t remember the pattern now) : Cable hat out of Madeline Tosh Home (just needs the faux fur pom pom I bought last weekend) : Cable scarf out of Madeline Tosh ASAP (needs to be re-blocked!) : Baby sweater for our contractors first baby ! There was also a lot of filler knitting on the scrap blanket that is always nearby and also STILL working on the brioche shaw…which I should finish before I am eligible for Social Security!

Sewing makes included: Hemming and altering 3 Prom Gowns (!) : Drawstring shorts : Cashmerette Springfield Top in floral rayon : Sew Liberated Metamorphic reversible dress in sanded rayon (it’s like wearing secret pajamas!) : Butterick 2925 grey knit top (no idea where I got the fabric!) : 2 underwire bras in an Orange Lingerie weekend bra workshop : Helen’s Closet Patterns Elliot tee shirt in black jersey and Elliot Sweater in grey sweater knit : Helen’s Closet Patterns Blackwood Cardigan in denim blue herringbone french terry ( LOVE this pattern and have a cream sweatshirt material on deck for another sweater) and some more organizational pouches for Charlie out of my cotton fabric stash!

As I mentioned in my post about quilting, I am making modest sewing goals for 2020… one wardrobe piece a month. January will be the Sew Liberated Hinterland dress in red/black buffalo check flannel (yes, I am aware that as of this writing it’s February 4th). February will be some kind of shirt/tunic out of a butternut herringbone flannel and March will be pants in a olive green heavy twill. I am determined to winnow down the wardrobe fabric stash this year and all three of these fabrics were purchased in 2019 or earlier !

Wish me luck! What are you sewing in 2020??? Do you plan or do you sew on a whim??

2020 Mini Quilt project – January

I have been thinking about crafting goals since last December. I have the habit of making lists of things to do that are so huge that there are literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Then I get frustrated that I can’t get 40 hours of work done in a 16 hour day (assuming 8 hrs for sleep … but not accounting for anything else like work, or dog walking or laundry… you get the idea). SO This year I decided to set ATTAINABLE goals for my creative endeavors. I am still working through the details on knitting and memory keeping (but enough to say that my goal is to use up both stashes of supplies) but I have narrowed down quilting and garment making.

Today…I present to you completed project #1 on the quilting list for 2020! My quilting goal this year is to complete at least one quilt block and a mini quilt each month following Alyce Blyths “Mini Master Pieces” book of 12 essential blocks and techniques. I love Alyce and several years participated in a Half Square Triangle quilt along with the result being a beautiful quilt for our home!

The first lesson is a basic 9-patch block, super simple so I wanted to play with dark backgrounds and using some fabrics from my stash that have been aging like fine wine under the piles ;-). I’m very happy with the result!

The block finished size will be 6″ square and I made up 7 to set aside and see what percolates after working on more blocks from the book.

I don’t have a design wall but fortunately, the mini quilt is about 24″ square so laying out the squares on the craft table totally works! Some blocks were fussy cut around motifs and I will admit to liberal use of the seam ripper when I sewed blocks together in the wrong order and upside down.

No photos of quilting, I used two layers of scrap cotton batting… I think by the end of this project I will have used up my bin of batting scraps in the attic – huzzah! I set my machine to it’s slowest setting and used my walking foot, remembering I had quilting gloves after about 1/3 of the way done. Definitely room for improvement as far as machine quilting. But that is the beauty in smaller projects, room for experimenting on a small scale.

I am very pleased with the finished product! This series will also be a good exercise in binding. My corners need a bit of work and there was a bit of hand stitching involved but still a success!!

Looking forward to Februarys block…I’ve got my fabric all pulled and set aside!

What projects are you working on in 2020?

(Also…am not a huge fan of this new “block” arrangement on WordPress, I feel like it’s getting in the way right now more than it’s helping…anyone else out there have feelings on this???)

Pajama Pant Party…

Awhile back, I posted about the stacks of fabric needing to be magically transformed into projects.   I am happy to report that I managed to complete 9 pairs of PJ pants…plus one.  Yes, I am insane, 10 pairs of pj pants.  I suppose technically they were 3 pairs of fleecy/sweatpants and 7 pairs of pj bottoms…. but 10 none the less.

studio pix

yes, this is what it looks like “in process”

The girls had picked out 3 flannel fabrics and a fleece fabric each.  As I was going through my stash (another post for another day) I found a big piece of flannel so I could make pants for Charlie and a length of orange cotton fleece that I had bought on sale to make Gwen something.  Since the pants for the girls would all take the same pattern, and it’s the same assembly routine for all the pants, I decided to go for it and make them all up at once. I sewed in two batches, two of the fabrics were on the light side so I made those up with cream thread and the rest were in black, this saves me having to re-thread my serger for each color.

puzzle pants

When I have a number of the same things to make, I do all the operations in batches.  I cut and mark everything at once, stitch all of the inner legs at the same time, press and stitch all the hems at the same time…you get the picture.  It is far more efficient to work this way than to complete one pant then start on the next one.

Each pant gets a ribbon "tag" at the center back so everyone knows front from back!

Each pant gets a ribbon “tag” at the center back so everyone knows front from back!

The bonus to this process is that when you’re done, you’re DONE.  And, I won’t have to sew pajama pants for awhile.  Of course, you will note there are no pants for me ;-).

a stack of cozy goodness

9 pairs of “cozy pants” as we call them.  They are growing leaps and bounds, hopefully this will hold them for awhile.  One last pair of pants…

fred and the orange pants

Of course, they need to be approved by the studio assistant.   On to the next stack of fabric!

 

 

 

 

 

A sewing jumpstart…

photo

 

I will say that sewing is my first (craft) love.  I’ve been sewing since I was in about 5th grade when my grandmother bought me a sewing basket and helped me make clothes for my barbie…and I’ve pretty much never stopped.  Sewing may take a backseat to other pursuits, but never for long.  Tonight I cut out something for *gasp* myself!  A super simple top that (theoretically) will be quick to make.  Sometimes you need a jump start to get back in the groove.  I think I burned out on 10 pairs of pajama pants, and I’ve got stacks of fabric that need to be transformed into things to wear and use and boy do I need to get on those projects!  So here’s to a jumpstart and a cute new top!  Oh and yes, I did finish the pj pants…post on that coming!

What projects do use as a jumpstart?!

and yes, the top is done!

I realized while reading Amanda Soule’s blog (if you don’t read it, you need to pop over here, right after your done with mine) that I never shared my completed sewing project that I started in … June.  OK in all fairness, it did not take me until November to finish a shirt…it just took this long for me to post the results.

IMG_0509I started with the buttons and buttonholes on the placket…they are my least favorite thing to do so I figured I’d get them out of the way.

IMG_1427This top was a fun one to make, setting in the bib was a bit tricky but going slowly and paying attention (!) it was fine.IMG_2697So please don’t laugh too hard at my photo in the dressing room mirror (at the Gap trying on jeans while the girls were at a birthday party) Charlie is always teasing me about the look on my face in these types of shots.  Anyway, love the top, it’s fun to wear, very easy, love the fabric.  Will definitely make another one but maybe a touch longer (Top is the Tova Top by Wiksten patterns)

I’ve been sewing quite a bit lately, home stuff mostly, hoping to get more posts up soon.  Very happy to be returning to my sewing machine after too much time away!  Thanks for stopping by…what projects have you been working on?