Monday, 15 January 2018

Day 8 - The Best Elastic! and Overdressed

I ordered this from Elastic By The Yard. These arrived today in the mail. So pretty!!!!
Now my online buying is complete!

Here's another angle. Each of these spools is 5 yards of various foldover elastics for projects that require such edgings of beauty!

In reading news, I have finished The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Reading it now to my 12-year-old. He digs it.

What am I reading now? Well, near to my crafty, sewing heart is this book, written in the year 2012, by Elizabeth L. Cline: Overdressed - The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

The book describes how the proliferation of cheap fashion has driven away once thriving clothing manufacturers and design shops in the United States. I'm 90 pages into this book, and I feel the urge to shop only at second hand clothing stores, but more to my liking - make as many of my own clothes as I possibly can. Not a perfect solution, given that the textile industry carries its own problems with the way it is manufactured, but I still think making my own clothes is a positive step. Sewing forces you to use thought and time and problem-solving skills in every piece you make. I don't need to have a lot of stuff (clothes), but I sure love to create, so I will soldier on!

Bible Reading:
Acts, chapters 18, 19
Excerpt: Acts chap 19 vs 18, 19 Also, many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Day 7 McCall's 7542 - The start of this week's project

I have a panel of fabric. It's some kind of shiny light-weight, slinky polyester. Here it is wrapped around my mannequin. I'm thinking of turning it into a fancy top, specifically to use the giant flower to advantage. I think I may try to adapt it to McCall's 7542

I think I may try to adapt it to McCall's 7542
I've seen some really pretty versions of this pattern online by other sewing enthusiasts.

There are many pieces to cut and I haven't decided what sleeves to select, or what fabric I will use to make the sleeves. We will see...

I've mentioned some reading goals I have in a previous post. Today I'd like to document my sewing goals. So here they are:

1) To create one brand new project each week. Finish by Saturday, decide and start on new project by Sunday.
2) To finish one of my many works-in-progress (wips).
3) Tackle at least one tedious mending jobs per week.
4) Post pictures and details of projects.
5) Enjoy it. Listen to interesting podcasts while cutting out pieces, doing easy parts etc.
Sewing is like a wonderful therapy.
So's knitting...

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 7, 8
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 8 vs 7a Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Day 6 - Heather Dress and Family Fun

I finished a dress I started last Sunday. It's the Heather Dress by Sew Over It.  I like the result. Here is the process it takes to make a pattern from a pdf file. At least this is the way I do it:

Tape the pages together, carefully attaching numbered triangles. Then cut out the individual pieces.

Next I chose which size to make for myself. I picked size 10, the second size. I found it helpful to trace the outlines with yellow highlighter for my size before cutting out the pieces. 

Next, pin the pieces on your fabric and cut them out. I used an old knit bed sheet. It was a top sheet which my son did not want for his bed anymore. He has renounced top sheets. So I decided to make it into a dress. I selected the Heather Dress.

Once all the pieces were cut out, I set about to sew it all together and rather like the result as you can see below.

I made it long. I cut the front and back pieces out at the bottom of the bed sheet, where it had already been hemmed. That way I did not need to hem at the end, which did not take any of the length away from the dress. I like this color and I like the fit. I very much like the deep pockets. I could fit a lot of snacks in there if I needed to. 
I accidentally sewed the middle panel in wrong side up. That is why the hem faces out instead of facing in. I don't mind though, I kind of like it that way.
 My Tom Sawyer boy.

Little pieces of the rest of the family. Today we went to a photographer friend's house and had family pictures taken. It was great fun and afterward we decided to go to Red Robin for food. My two oldest boys work full time and live on their own, so it's a treat for me when we all get together.

A random shot of me trying to get the timer on my ipad to work. Daughter in background doing something funny.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 5, 6
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 6 vs 4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners. (groom speaking to his bride)

Friday, 12 January 2018

Day 5 - Excitement

This big bundle arrived at my doorstep today. I had to pay duty because inside are textiles. Canadians get punished for buying fabric from the USA. My fine was $18.

Anyhow, I ordered in late December, when Girl Charlee was having a 30% off sale of all their stock. Well, I was in a buying mood and my Bitcoin was doing good so I took a plunge and bought a bale of fabric. Here is the package - I had begun to hack into the plastic barrier, when I realized I wanted to dramatize the opening by photographing. Not wanting to reveal my home address to the worldwideweb, I cleverly stuck and handmade pincushion on top of the offending label.
Shrink-wrapped potential. Shall we unbundle this? Yes we shall...

Here are the first six fabrics. I will label them, left to right: 1) Cotton Jersey Knit - 1 yard;  2) Single Spandex Knit - 1 yard;  3) Cotton Jersey Blend Knit - 2 yards;  4) Cotton Jersey Blend Knit - 1 yard  5) Cotton Jersey Knit - 3 yards;  6) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards

Continued, left to right: 7) Single Spandex Knit - 1 yard  8) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards   9) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 2 yards  10) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 3 yards  11) Cotton Spandex Blend Knit - 3 yards.

I noticed that the fabrics which are the lightest weight are the ones labeled Cotton Jersey Blend Knit, so in this case it is fabrics #2 and #3 (the wavy, shaky lines and the bird fabrics). I don't usually care for knits that are quite that lightweight, so I will see what I can make of those ones. All the others are also lightweight, but not to excess. Sooooo, what am I gonna make with these?

Below, all laid out in a pretty arrangement. Oh how lovely they all are!!

Reading with my kiddo:
Today I finished reading Tom Sawyer to my 12-year-old son. He loved it! (I did too). It contains humor, pathos, irony, satire, mystery, romance, tragedy, horror and excellent prose! If you are ever in charge of a 12 year old boy, I suggest you read this one out loud to him. You'll enjoy it together! Below is the exact same cover of our copy.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 3, 4
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 4 vs 7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (groom speaking to his bride)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Day 4 - The Art of Scraps

So I took a picture of the scraps which over the past months have slowly filled up my large waste basket at the side of my sewing machine. The photo is the art, cuz I sure am not keeping this stuff. I thought of using it for stuffing of some sort, but most people think it would be too heavy and lumpy. Also, there are needles interspersed throughout. There are lots of memories in this scrap pile. 

Another angle

In health news, I'm posting a picture of one of my favorite indulgences, kombucha. It is supposed to be excellent for your gut health (digestion and absorption of minerals) - whether or not it's true, maybe, but I really really love it!

This one is almost finished as you can see.
I went to an extra ballet class tonight because I had a free evening. Made me feel good.

Bible Reading:
Song of Solomon, chapter 1, 2
Excerpt: Song of Sol. chap 1 vs 1 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! for your love is better than wine; (wife speaking of her husband - very romantic)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Day 3 - Back to ballet

One of my goals for this coming year is to improve my pointe work in ballet class. This for me is very difficult because my ankles are weaker than I thought they'd be when I first started. Also, I'd like to increase my range of motion in the ankles for a nicer line. As it is, I can't get fully up on the blocks due to ankle tightness. So I have lots of work to do - strength, technique, flexibility of the foot, balance, core control, and probably other stuff. Also, this being my first time back to class in 2018, my toes hurt. Another goal - in relation to ballet skills, is I'd like to drop the ten pounds or so I've gained in the past couple of years. I just feel better when I'm lighter, so I'll work on that. More on that in another post.

I know my elastics are not sewn in at the right spot, but I was just trying it out to see if it could help me with fighting off sickling my feet. My right foot in particular doesn't want to cooperate.

Here's me just goofing around. It was so cold today, and even rather cold in the studio, so I wore another version of a top from pattern, McCall's 7093. This one is the fleece houndstooth material I made back in November. I blogged about the beginning of making this.
Excuse the weird hand shape. Anyway, like the top?
Lighting issues to be solved, but for now, I have a photo of myself after getting back from my first day back to ballet.

Bible Reading:
Psalm 72; 2 Chronicles 1
Excerpt: 2 Chron. chap 1 vs 16 And Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders would buy them from Kue for a price.

Kue = Tarsis. Tarsis is a port city in southern Turkey. The Apostle Paul was born there, I think.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Day 2 - McCall's 7093, BPC, and The Art of War

McCall"s 7093
This is a pattern I've made a lot in the winter time. It has been really cold!! here. More on that in tomorrow's post. I've made about four or five versions of View B, with the pockets - but with the 3/4 length sleeves of View C.

Here's the one I wore today. Excuse the bedhead - I had just woken up. This one is made with fleece on the front, velvet sleeves and pockets with a sweatshirt material back and neckband. Very warm and comfy, ya?

Front View

Back - too bad hem was flipped up.

Coffee - Part II   How I make my own bulletproof coffee

Filled up my little k-cup with some of the Norwegian coffee grounds (from yesterday's post. I poured the grounds into a jar.)

Next assemble ingredients: coconut oil, collagen (good for joints), cream, cinnamon
Place in mixing bowl.
Pour in coffee and attack with immersion blender.
Froth. Pour into your cup. Top with cinnamon. Enjoy! I like my coffee hot, so I zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds before I drink it.

Bible Reading:
2 Thessalonians
Excerpt: chap 3 vs 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

One of my goals is to read more - and I mean books, not just the internet. I'm currently reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

I've read it before. It's a short read, but I enjoy it for some reason. Even though I am not at war personally, I find some applications for life therein. Today I read the chapters, Manoeuvres against the Enemy, and The Nine Variables (the nine variables are not listed, alas). I've read 8 of the 13 chapters, so I will soon be done this book.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Day 1 - Acacia Undies

Day One - what's that? Well I decided to track the next few days. I will decide how many days, but I am trying to make some new habits.

First of all, since this is a sewing and knitting blog, I will show you the new Megan Nielsen pattern I got. She sent this out to customers as a free Christmas gift two weeks ago, and I gratefully printed it out. I had a scrap of material left over from a knit dress I had made, and in a short time I had a new pair of Acacia underwear!

Progress shot. I like how funny this looks halfway through :)

I used decorative elastic. It's black with nice scallops. The pattern describes how to insert regular elastic, lingerie elastic (below), and foldover elastic. I used the foldover for another pair I will show at the end of this post. Not shown in the picture, but the gusset is double thickness, so there are two layers and the right side faces up on the inside of the underwear also.

For something to do with leftover scraps, I highly recommend making your own panties, or I suppose I should call these things unmentionables.

More to not mention - bottom to top: lycra spandex with foldover elastic, cotton jersey, an old cotton jersey sheet, lightweight lycra spandex, slightly heavier cotton jersey. I made size small. All fit well and are most importantly comfortable. Well, that's all I want to say about underwear.

Moving on to coffee: My sister-in-law has traveled to many countries and has lived in some very interesting ones (Azerbaijan for one). I have some pretty exotic coffees. My husband drinks a dark roast and does not want variety. Fair enough. I changed the housing in my one cup Keurig brewer and now use a reusable pod in which I put my own coffee grounds instead of buying k-cups. Here's what I've got. (Most, not all, are from faraway countries).

The first coffee package I will brew is from Norway. From the front you'd think it was French, but...

Looking on the back of the package we get Norwegian!
*Friele Cafe Noir er en serie aromatiske kaffeblandinger som er spesielt utvalgt med tanke pa a lokke frem litt luksus i hverdagen - en rikere og mer raffinert smak. 

*Friele Cafe Noir is a series of aromatic coffee blends that are specially selected with a view to
attracting a bit of luxury in everyday life - a richer and more refined taste.

Bible Reading - 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5
Excerpt: 4:17,18 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

I begin again

I have not blogged for a long time, and I am not going to say why but I want to start this thing up again and document what I make and some of the stuff I do. I find it interesting and hope somebody else does too.

This is McCall's 7093. A cute knit top with pockets. I'm making a mash-up of view B and C, so the pockets like view B, with the long sleeves of view C.

The fabric is fleece, albeit a thinner sort of fleece but still fleece. It's winter and I need warm tops. I will post finished garment in my next post.

Something else I have made recently: a wrap-ghan! It started out as a hoodie: (the hoodie part is on the right side. It got unraveled. The wrap-ghan beginning is at the top of the picture.

Here is the completed project
I made it 7 inches longer than the pattern called for and it's heavy and thick. You warm up instantly!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


This is our new painting - well it's new, and it's an original commissioned painting by Canadian artist Glen Ronald, and it's of Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Fridtjof Nansen, buuuuuut it's not ours. Too bad - hahaha. We get to display it on our wall, though, until the rightful owners move back to Canada from Norway. Nice art for us for now. I love it!

Fridtjof Nansen - by Glen Ronald

Updated to add: I made this recipe today - steak fajitas. They were really good. I want to make them again someday, so posting the link on my blog for posterity.