McCalls 4103 view D size 6

It’s so cute and my 6 year old loves it, but I’m not really happy with the fit, it’s huge on him. Luckily kids grow!

I did the collar differently than the pattern calls for. I wanted the neckband to be ribbing. I also debated about putting ribbing on the cuffs and on the hem, but it’s already too big. I felt this would swallow my little guy whole!

I’m glad it’s done. The Canada fleece was a free to me scrap of fabric. The green fleece was from my stash. I bought it for 3$ a metre some years ago. It is the weirdest fleece to sew with….stretching and twisting and slipping out from under the presser foot. I thought on this simple project it would be OK, but my seams on the cuffs and hem are wonky because I cannot sew a straight seam on this stuff if my life depended on it!

I don’t LIKE this green fabric…but it’s such a great colour for kids. Hopefully my next move with what’s left of the green is a project that works with its issues, not against them. If I was rich I would invest in a Walking Foot, maybe that would solve the problem?

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Store bought vs Homemade

Rant. And I would love feedback.

One thing I find it really frustrating is when I buy clothes for my kids and after two washes the seams are breaking and I have to spend time mending them anyway. Or, I have to alter all the pants to fit their slender frames. I could’ve just sewn them to begin with. It’s so frustrating time versus money money versus time. There’s just never enough of any of it.

That is all for today.

Have a good weekend everyone.

I’m going downstairs to order groceries online.

McCalls 4103 view D size 6

There are so many ways to cut out a pattern. Here is what I have found to be the best for me, right now.

Step 1,

I cut my pattern pieces out, on the size I actually want to use, with paper scissors. Couple of reasons. Mostly age. Sometimes, multi sized patterns I have to hold close to my eyes. This is hard to do when it’s pinned down to a fabric. Secondly, 4 kids are distracting. Cutting out the pattern first narrows down the mistakes I might make with the actual fabric.

Step 2,

I tape my pattern pieces to my fabric. For most fabrics, they don’t shift. If I am working with a slippery, shifty fabric, I will actually pin it. I find that taping the tissue paper can strengthen my pattern pieces in the long run.

Step 3,

I grab my FABRIC ONLY scissors and I cut out my pieces.

This is the method I have found to be the fastest and least confusing, to get the pieces cut out.

Sewing mojo / energy

My sewing mojo is completely gone. I am very concerned. I have no desire to sew anything! Everything feels too hard! I love sewing, it’s for pure pleasure for me. And now my life has taken even that from me. All the simple projects I could work on to get going again, just feel overwhelming. It makes me very bitter and angry that even sewing has slipped away from me, into the realm of things I “used” to do, before motherhood / wifedom took everything from me. I just don’t have time. I’m so slow with chores, because I am so tired. The toilets, the dishes, the laundry, the meals, have to get done, and it’s taking everything I have.

Will I recover? I don’t know. I don’t know.

I’m just going to have to force myself to start my day with sewing, before chores. No more than an hour. A step forward is a step forward, no matter how small. Thanks Dr Suess…

And also sewing patterns. I think I’m sick of me same old same old sewing patterns. Time to invest in ones that reflect my current outlook?

Kwik Sew 3275 size 8

More fabrics from the basement, and a pattern from my binder. Nothing new bought for this. Actually, really exciting news. While cleaning in my fabric hell I was able to combine 2 blue bags into 1! It was during that process I came across these pants, already cut out, with the pattern pieces still attached. If my memory serves me right I was attempting to alter the size 8 pattern to fit my 12 year old and discovered they were, again, too short. In frustration I threw them into the pit of dispair. Well, discovering them now is Gods perfect timing, as the 10 yr old just asked for more cozy pants.

Boys pants must have pockets. I chose a contrasting remnant to make the pockets. Too weird? I think the top stitching helps make them look store bought. I love top stitching. I really enjoy doing it, and I really like the look. Chalk line will disappear once I wash them….

I added a heavy ribbing waist for the elastic casing, but in reality, when he finally tried them on, they are a few inches too long, so I could have just turned under a waist band.

To compensate, I made a wide ankle cuff, and put elastic in, to keep the pants from dragging on the floor until he grows a wee bit taller.

Overall, I am very, very pleased with the completed pants.

And, it’s gone from my basement forever! That’s the best part!

T for me, It’s So Easy Simplicity 4418

I am literally totally in love with the way this T-shirt turned out. It is a long cry from perfect, mostly because of the plaid print that is nowhere near the grainline.

I laid out a couple of my favourite shirts. I measured the arms; both in length and in width. (Fat upper arms). I measured the length of the back of the shirt, and I measured across the bust under the arms. I took these garment measurements and I use them to help me choose the size pattern pieces. This is a very different message from using the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope or measuring my own body. Neither of those methods have proved successful for me in the past. It looks like I finally got a winner. If I own something already, and I love the way it fits, I will use that garment’s measurements for sewing like items.

On this particular project, I tried very hard to match the plaid on both side seams. I was not successful. I’m going to blame the print itself. It’s off grain, and I don’t even think it’s even from one section to the next of the fabric.

Let’s go with that. Regardless, I love this shirt, I love how dressy it looks on.

The pattern calls for a facing around the neckline. This particular T knit rolls very badly on the cut edge. Given that, I just didn’t want to deal with the facing underneath my shirt rolling up. I just turned under the seam allowance, and stitched it down flat, then trimmed the excess, close to my stitching line, to keep it from rolling.

The only thing about this is that there’s basically nothing holding the front together, at the centre top edge of the V. I tried to add extra stitching to reinforce this edge. Only time will tell if that was a good idea or not. I will definitely be making this pattern again in other knit fabrics. I still don’t like the idea of a facing on a T-shirt. I will let it percolate in the back of my mind, as I am moving on to sewing for my kids again now.

I cannot wait to wear the shirt to work!!!

Taking selfies is extraordinarily difficult. I just felt that the shirt looks so much better on me than it does on the couch. Please ignore my purple pyjama pants. It’s still -21°C here.

Scrapbooking – getting sorted

Digging in a floppy tippy bag, where all your printed paper is smashed together, seemed to make sense when I was hopping from one Scrappy Saturday to the next one. It made sense to have my paper portable in a heavy duty bag with good straps and zipper closures.

Now when I go, if I go, ever, I take almost nothing with me, usually only one project, with all the papers already selected.

Today I sat on my butt and built this cube with two dividers. It’s made with these metal grids and zip ties, and it is rock solid. And it weighs a tonne.

Lots of room to actual view my papers. Sturdy sides and dividers to keep my paper edges square.

This project has been bugging me for a long time. As I am still feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck, today was the perfect day to sit in one spot and fasten many zip ties.

I feel happy, however temporary. I got it done! I’m so glad to get this bag off the floor and out of this room! This metal cube is going up on a counter, right next to other scrap booking supplies.

I want to celebrate this personal victory!

Form and function! A thing of beauty!

Pillowcase gifts

This fabric is gorgeous. It’s a nice heavy quilting cotton with gold gilt accents. The name of the designer and manufacturer on the selvage was not readable on the piece I bought. It was only 8.99 a metre. My husband loves and collects books. I love and collect fabric. Pillowcases for his birthday seemed apropo.

In the end they seem a bit short. I did a super wide 6″ cuff, because I like that. The narrow hem on pillowcases seems less dressy. Next set, I will measure the length before indulging in a very wide hem. I had actually originally intended to add a deep green velvet as a trim, but ran out of time, and simply turned under a wide hem. They are alright, just the pillow might sneak out over time. I don’t know how he does it, but my husband has a habit of losing the pillowcase in the middle of the night.

I still feel as though my nerves are somewhat shattered from the labour intensive and incredibly detailed dress I just finished. I feel wiped out by it. So in that way, simple straightforward pillowcases seemed like a gentle task to bring back my love of sewing. I’m debating on what to sew next, a T shirt for myself, or another 2 pillowcases for him for Valentines Day. But I’m so tired. Probably neither.

Burda 6520 view A

I will tell you straight up that this project pretty much solidified my decision to sew with knits and never use wovens again.

Anything you want to learn about sewing, this pattern has it all. Buttons and buttonholes. Gathered sleeves. Pleats. Set in Sleeves. Side Zipper. Darts. Facings. In Seam Pockets. The only thing I didn’t have to do was an elastic casing.

I found the pattern instructions straightforward, well explained, and the diagrams made sense.

I didn’t find it hard to match the plaid…where I DID match the plaid, centre front, and side seams. I found that part easy, actually. Looking at it now I wish I knew how to match the sleeves. But…I still don’t know how you would do that.

Just – so many steps. So many time consuming, fussy, finicky, steps. I would have like to have taken 3 months,- to slowly sew this dress right. I raced through it to meet the deadline, and it shows. I hope no one looks inside.

My aunt whom I consider a sewing expert, serges all her pieces as soon as she cuts them out. That would have been helpful in this project. Again, taking time to do it right the first time. Sigh.

I’m actually really burnt out from the stress of this project. So much manipulating and fussing with the pieces, the edges frayed quite badly. I did get my serger rethreaded and lumping along close to the end, because by that point the seam allowances were just so trashed.

I’m totally done sewing for a deadline. I love sewing, but I love sewing slowly and perfectly more. I’m even revamping the way I sew for myself and my family. No. More. Deadlines. One project at a time. Start to finish. However long it takes, working around the whirlwind that is my life.

Favourite Kwik Sew Kids Pants pattern, 2858

Happy New Year, everyone! I love this pattern. I’ve used it so many times. It’s cut out in a size 4. It was my first Kwik Sew Pattern, and it was the beginning of a love for Kwik Sew. I used it when my oldest was 4, and he is 12 now. Now I’m about to start on a pair of pants for my 4th child! I have used this pattern more times than I can count; I have shortened it, lengthened it, reinforced the pattern pieces, and sewn it over and over again. I am chomping at the bit to get going on this pair for my wee girl now.

In the end she loves the cosy softness and I love the pockets with trim. I shorten them because they are a size 4 but they are almost too short so I won’t shorten the pattern pieces next time I sew this pattern for her.