Saturday, June 24, 2017

Did I Say...

Purple, red and pink? More accurate is light violet, dark red violet, and light red violet—and now its done! Well it still needs to be washed (and hopefully the white transfer marks will wash out) and
blocked. Then it will be put aside till I get to work on the jumper.

Aside from finishing this embroidery, there was no sewing this Saturday. I might get the top cut tomorrow (in the AM) come the PM I will be baby sitting the girls. This coming week, I have two Dr's appointments--one is an eye exam. Which is, to my thinking, a bit of a priority—I need new eyeglasses! I tend to wear frame less or half frame less eyeglasses—and last month, I dropped my current pair—and while looking for them (a difficult task to see frame less glasses when you can see clearly unless wearing them) I managed to step on them. I didn't break the ear piece or the lenses, —but I did bent them at the hinge, and now they are too loose—and annoy me by slipping off, or sitting lopsided. My Rx doesn't change much, but, it is still a good policy to have my eyes checked before getting another pair—which will likely be the same Rx.

I still find myself removing my glasses for fine work (as I type this, they are perched on top of my head)--and I still don't have any problems threading needles (but I do need more light—threading the sewing machine is the easiest—the handy little light that focuses right on the task at hand means I get the task done in a single try—Threading 3 or 4 plies of floss is a little harder—but with my Ott light handy, no effort at all.

My other big project for the day was clearing a slow running drain (in my tub) –Done! How exciting!

Not as much fun as sewing but then, life isn't all fun and games. This week has been one of small tasks, mostly mundane—Laundry, and bills, shopping and cooking...cleaning and clearing—including cleaning out clothes—Some are going to be packed into bags for recycling... Others, got mended, and added back into rotation (a hem repaired, a button sewn on, small things—but needed repairs.

I didn't feel well for 36 hours this week. (Wednesday to mid day Thursday) –so I pigged out binged watched the newest episodes of House of Cards. Not very productive, but something accomplished! (there are also new episodes of Shameless to watch, and new stuff like the Keeper, and.. I have some free movie tickets—Beatrice at Dinner is one film on my list. Movies are a good respite on really hot days—there will be plenty this summer no doubt.

In a moment of impulse, I purchased yet another specialty sewing machine foot—One for sewing circles—It will be a useful tool, I think. with a zig zag stitch and rotation, little flowers will appear. I still need to purchase some non iron on interfacing and tear away interfacing for doing some machine embroidery—Maybe even a special hoop for machine embroidery—Oh What a splurge! But mostly, my sewing will be simple stuff.

So not much done—a quiet week of every day stuff—the basic things of everyday life, and everyday joy.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

So, What about Sewing?

Well, the birthday party was last Saturday, (the 17th) so there was no sewing that Saturday. On Thursday, (and Friday)before the party,  I got two little pairs of shorts sewn up. The girls always wear tights or legging or something under a dress—I always wore slips, but these days, to steal a line from a friend, Bonus Pants, are the order of the day. Except in this case, the bonus pants are outerwear.

I have pinned out a top—but haven't cut it yet. I want to make a few more pieces—A dress, (not to fancy) an other skirt or two (in some of the lighter, summer colors—nile green and pink) of twill. Not denim (blue)—but denim (twill),  all the same. And a jumper or two--At least one of denim.

One jumper that is about to bite the dust has a center front applique(s)—4 different fabrics, each embroidered (machine embroidery), with different colors fabrics, and threads--complex design. I really like the applique, and thought it would be nice to have one for one of the proposed jumpers. But I really wasn't interested in doing anything as elaborate. (I am thinking of cutting these and and re-using them.

So when I was out ribbon hunting, last week, I found this in a clearance bin, and grabbed it immediately! It is a nice size for an applique—that is a 6 inch hoop.   Just the thing! 

I started to work on in Saturday evening, after the  party. It is the hardest embroidery I have ever done!  Heavy weight denim is not a good choice for hand embroidery. Even though it is in a hoop, it is as difficult as working on the toes of canvas sneakers.

Still, it has inspired me to make another embroider for an applique  as soon as I  finish this one—I have a coloring book of mandalas, and other of Celtic designs—it won't take me long to find an other design suitable for a jumper patch. I'll use a scrap of fabric—not sure which, but I have a lot. Maybe something that matches the jumper, maybe something in a contrasting color. (I can measure my collection of floss in pounds--so finding the right colors for the embroidery  won't be hard!) 

I have also been playing with some machine embroidery techniques—A cute denim jumper in a local dress shop window inspired me. It had very simple design, in a single color, mostly leaves (a motif I always like) at the hem.  I will practice and work out a design. I am not skilled (yet) in machine embroidery—my previous sewing machine had some fancy stitches, but my new (5 years old to me, and bought second hand!) has the ability to do simple programs (it also has some ready made stitch patterns like the ones I used on the girls dresses.   There isn't a leaf design—but I can program in “elements” (quarter circles, that can be joint to make whole or half circles, wedges that become tear drops with the addition of half circle). Not hard, but at this point I need to check the manual every time I want to do something, so I need to  practice.

The final sewing (non-sewing) sewing project will be to trim a T-shirt or two to match some of the outfits I have made—I have lots of the medium blue scraps (skirt & vest) , and same for the yellow/blue/white print (skirt) . And as for T-shirts? Thousands! (well maybe not thousands, but plenty) I might embellish with some iron on designs, enhanced with some decorative embroidery—A little practice, but nothing to elaborate.

It's a lot of sewing! A lot already done, and a lot more to do—and then come the fall there will be more; dark twill skirts and the print vest, and well—at some point,  I will burn out, and then go back to knitting! 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Saturday Sewing—Party Dress(es)

Party dress 1 (pink) is done—well, maybe done. I still might add a ribbon sash.

Party dress 2 (blue) Joined it today. Done but for the possible addition of a ribbon sash, and a bit of hand sewing finishing detail.   The party isn't till June 17th—so I have time to continue my search of the right ribbon—and to make up a sash for the dresses.

Before I had started the dresses, I did a bit of clean up—and found a project from last year—75% done that was just sitting there... Why had I stopped working on it? I don't know! My guess is, is that it I needed buttons (3) and a spool of thread, and the local A.C. Moore had closed (there still is a Micheal’s—but it is slightly less convenient) But who knows? Not me.

I have a car now (and didn't then) so I have more options about where to buy buttons and ribbons (for bows) and other stuff..

So, with the party dresses are finished, (and while I am looking for some ribbon for the sash), I will get a spool of dark navy thread, and some buttons—and will finish up!

The project is skirt, a simple 6 gore A line(the same as the medium blue skirt and vest I finished a few weeks ago) and a very short sleeved cropped jacket. The skirt needs the waist band and button, and a hem. The jacket needs 3 (or more) buttons (and buttonholes) and the hem—So close to complete! It won't take much time at all to finish!

Very often, I plan my sewing to a need for my own party dresses. The Yellow/white/blue dress made its debut on mothers day (and, truthfully hasn't been worn since), the skirt of the same fabric debut at a day out with my DD, & grandchildren—a low key outing, but.... The grey dress with all of the top stitching and details? It will be my party dress on the 17th—A 1 year old birthday party, in basement party room is hardly a super special occasion, but then, the dress isn't really super special either. It is nice and detailed, but not at all fancy. Mostly it is NEW and new is always special in its own way.

This blue skirt and jacket? I don't remember if it was planned for a special occasion or not. But when finished will likely go into the wear immediately pile. The jacket has just a cap sleeve, and is loose fitting—so in spite of its dark color (It is a close to black navy blue) I will be wearing it this summer. It will be a cross seasonal outfit—and cross matching--The medium blue vest will look nice with the dark navy skirt—and the cropped jacket will also pair up well with the lighter blue skirt.
(The jacket looks much more faded in this photo than it is in real life (but it was hanging in place where it got exposed to sun light and it is a bit faded—all the more reason this outfit will immediately become every day wear!)

It will be fine to wear in the summer, and fall, and maybe paired with legging, the medium weight cotton will see some winter wear. Come next spring, it will one again be an every day outfit. I even have a dark navy cardigan sweater/jacket that will be a good go with..

I haven't spoken about the outfits that have been culled—and there have been many in the past few months!) Some clothing I purchased back in the year 2000—a set I LOVED. There was a local (I have moved since, so it would not be local now) K-mart closing—and I bought, on the store clearance sale, a set of 2 skirts (identical!) a camp shirt, a tee shirt and vest –all coordinating—I wore the pieces to death! I hated throwing them out.. but every where, the seams were coming apart—the side seams (and pocket seams and the hem, too) on the skirts, the collar and front button band on the camp shirt, the patchwork design seams on the vest...Every where, every pieces were thread bare. They were falling apart, and beyond repair. I also have 2 jumpers from the same clearance sale—that are close to being tossed—I have twice repaired the jumpers (One was a bit too big, and it got taken in and made smaller to salvage) and any day now, they will fail—and find them selves on the dust heap.

There are 2 other out fits, (even older!) that went from special occasion, to work outfits, to every day, and now about to be dumped— One skirt, shirt and vest outfit came with a matching cardigan, which has seen less wear—It will go well with the navy skirt – The cropped, super short sleeved jacket is fine for summer, but the cardigan will be better for the spring and fall. So the new additions I have been making are not going into an overstuffed closet, but into one that has been suffering loses.