Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lost camera

I seem to have misplaced my camera, hence the lack of posts. I don't know how long it will take for me to find it, so I'll just post anyways.

I currently have lots of projects in process, none of which have changed much recently. I've made almost no progress on my cross stitch.

I bought a pattern for a crocheted creche. I'm excited about that. We used to have a tiny wooden creche when we were kids. We eventually lost the baby Jesus so we'd put the lamb in the manger instead since Jesus was the sacrificial lamb. I don't know whether I'll have time to make it before Christmas this year. Right now our house looks like a bomb went off as we box up the Halloween/autumn decorations and put up the Christmas ones. As soon as I find my camera, I'll take pictures of some of our homemade ornaments.

I hate posting without any photos so here's a photo of one of my cutest creations (okay, one of God's cutest creations ;) )

Oh, and you can kind of see one of my sewing creations in the background - the Cars backpack.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas Bibs for One!

Bib under construction.

I can't get enough of those blue eyes!

One getting into my sewing supplies. Those two thread bobbins entertained him for about 1/2 hour!

I debated between making 1 red bib and 1 green bib but decided instead to make 2 bibs that are red on one side and green on the other. That way I never have to hunt for the red bib or green bib, I can just turn it around to match or contrast with his outfit. I still have some fabric left over. Enough for 2 more bibs or something else... I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it.

Skirt is nearly done

Well, so much for posting every day. Oh well, the skirt is almost done. I literally have to do one stitch on the machine at school (one dart is 1/8" shorter than the opposite one) and it will be finished.

Front. Not much to see here. 4 darts and an invisible hem.

Back. You can see a tiny bit of an inseam pocket on the left, the zipper, back slit, 4 darts, and an invisible hem.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bib and Shirt for One

This picture was taken in August I think. Shirt is a size 2. It's a bit big, but it's the smallest t-shirt pattern that I have. I LOVE the fabric. It is so vibrant.
Bib is also made by me. A simple lightweight jean that goes with everything and makes his eyes POP. There's cotton flannel on the back, but I have a few different jean bibs for him so I'm not sure which fabric is on the back of this particular bib.

One's costume (more pics)

These were so cute that I had to share them. (You can see pattern details here.)

I have a secret. I forgot to remove one of the pins, in the armpit section of the costume. So every time I picked him up to reposition him, I was poking him with the pin. And I thought he was just crying because he was tired. *Mommy Fail*. I'm so sorry One. It is a testiment to your sweet disposition that we STILL got some amazing pictures.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Skirt progress

(the sides don't actually bulge out like that, it's just the chair pushing on it.
There's a gentle flare at the hips)

(There's an inseam pocket there, it's just hard to see... which it's supposed to be.)


I still need to finish the waistband, attach a button, finish the back slit, and hem the skirt.

Anna Q

Friday, November 12, 2010

Final Skirt Project

I have all of the pieces cut out for my final skirt project. On the left is the front panel (folded in half) and the 4 pocket bags. On the right are the two back pieces and 3 waistband pieces (with interfacing laid on top.) I have to put it together at school, on their machines. They have a really cool machine for fusing the interfacing, I'm looking forward to trying that out.

Closeup of the fabric.

Anna Q

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No-Sew Fleece Baby blanket

This is really easy. I had a piece of orange fleece leftover from the diaper covers I'd made when I was pregnant with One. It's roughly 1 metre (or yard) square. I cut 3" squares from each corner and then fringed the edges into approximately 1x3" strips (DO NOT cut the strips off of the blanket. It should be attached at one 1" end).

Then use sharp, small scissors to cut a tiny slit in the middle of each fringe, where it connects to the blanket. Pull the fringe through the hole, all going through the hole the same direction. That's it! It is small, so it works up in a few evenings of working while watching tv.

I've made knotted fleece blankets before, but I like this better. It's faster, easier on my hands, and I find the knots uncomfortable when they get under my body when I'm lying down. The pull-through fringe leaves a much smaller lump which is barely noticeable.

This blanket is so soft and washes well. It's great folded in half as a lap blanket in the stroller, wrapped around him in the baby carrier, or placed over him in the crib.

I picked up these fabrics yesterday. I'm not sure what I'll use them for. Any ideas? I only got 1 metre of each since I'm not sure what I'll do with them yet. I was thinking maybe some bibs for One but I'd like to make something more fun... I could get about 3 bibs out of each I think. I might do 1 of each, or 2 bibs that are each red on one side and green on the other, and then do something else with the rest of the material.

Do you see the frayed edge on the green and the other, serged, edges on the green and red?

My teacher was telling us how she stores her fabric. The first thing she does is serge the cut edges, then she washes the fabric. (If it's dry clean or hand wash only, you can take it to a dry cleaner that has a Hoffman - a really big iron basically - and pay them a few bucks to iron it for you, this will effectively "prewash" it.) Jean needs to be prewashed several times, as many as 4-5 before it stops shrinking.

Serging it has two purposes. First, it prevents the edges from fraying in the wash. This saves you fabric and saves wear and tear on your washing machine. Secondly, it lets you know which fabrics have been prewashed, so when you pull it out of your fabric stash years later (at least, if you're anything like me hehe), you know by the serged edge if it's been washed.

These were the first ones I've washed since getting that little tip and what a difference it made! I didn't have to pick loose threads out of the machine, or out of the sink drain. I did miss one edge (on the green fabric) and it was very clear that serging made a difference. I had a big knot of loose threads from that one unserged edge.

I then immediately take it to my ironing board, iron it, and fold it right sides together. I usually cut out 2 layers at a time, and transfer the pattern to the wrong side so by folding it with the right sides together, the wrong side is already up and layered for me to transfer and cut it out. When I get an idea, I like to immediately go and start cutting it out and sewing. I don't like to wait to prewash, iron, and fold. Since it's all done already, I can just go and right away start on my project. I love it! It also prevents wrinkles from getting set in. If I don't iron it very soon after removing it from the dryer, it's hard to get the wrinkles out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn decoration

Five and I made this decoration for the house.

I was inspired by this post. She bought packages of silk leaves from the dollar store. I couldn't find any so I bought two different coloured garlands, one green, yellow and orange and the other orange and red. I cut them all off of the garlands, cut a slit in the centre, and Five helped me to string them on. He had a hard time figuring out how to get them on, but he was really good at knowing which one came next in the pattern. We're renting so I just knotted a loop in each end and taped it to the wall.

It hangs in the doorway between the front hall and living room.

I'm already thinking I'll cut up some snowflakes and make a winter version. Then maybe some red, pink, and white hearts for Valentine's day. It's so simple to do and only costed $3 ($1 for each garland and $1 for the ribbon - also from the dollar store)! Plus I've made a memory with Five. :) I'm hoping I can get him more involved if/when I make more of these.

Anna Q

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Knitting Room Cross-stitch

I found this pattern in Cross Country Stitching magazine, February 2009.

I get a kick out of using one crafting medium to show my love of another medium. This was perfect. It's a cross-stitched pattern all about knitting. There's others in the series too (sewing room is one that I remember). I may try to get some more of them.

I've really enjoyed this pattern. I usually cross-stitch while watching a movie I've seen many times before or listening to audiobooks. I love the colours and the "knitted" afghans and balls of yarn are cute. It'll be awhile yet until it's done. I tend to do more yarn and thread crafts during winter and more fabric crafts during summer, so I'll probably be working on it more steadily now that it's getting cold out.

Anna Q

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bib for One

I made this bib a couple of weeks ago. I used my own pattern, created specifically for my son. (You can buy bibs made from this pattern from my store on Facebook - just search "Joyful Journey Baby".) I think I got this jean fabric in the scrap bin at Fabricland. I get most of my fabric from there. The edges had a wonderful fringed look to them that inspired me.

Before sewing the bib together, I used a scrap to sew on a fake pocket. I decided against putting a real pocket on because I was concerned about it not getting clean enough if he stuffed bits of food or whatever else in there. So the pocket is sewn shut.

I usually sew the bibs right sides together, leaving a gap, turn it right side out, and topstitch. This time I just topstitched, wrong sides together, all the way around. I then threw the bib in the washer and dryer a few times (just kept throwing it back in everytime I did a load for a few loads) and it created the fringe that I love so much.

The sewing was so much easier than sewing, turning, and sewing again. Also, I think that because the denim is so thick, turning and topstitching would have left a very bulky seam allowance and would not have looked very good. I sewed one up in cotton flannel to see how it would behave in the wash, to see if it will work the same way and look nice or if it will just fall apart. I haven't washed that one yet so I'm still in anticipation of how it will turn out. I love this one though. It has heavy duty snaps (I don't like bibs with hook-and-loop tape. It sticks to everything in the washer and dryer).

I like how it turned out and I'll be on the lookout for more jean fabric on sale.

Anna Q

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mom's Birthday Present

Since I didn't have time to blog yesterday, I decided to do two blogs today. So here's a project I made in September. The pillow is 14" square. I used this tutorial and it was really easy. I've hesitated to make pillows because I hate hand-sewing to whipstitch the last seam closed, and was intimidated at the thought of putting in a zipper. It's not as hard as I thought. It could easily be made in one miraculously uninterrupted evening. I rarely get one of those so I think this took me 2 evenings and a nap time.

I made this for my mom for her birthday. Her middle name is Joy.

I used two separate fabrics - the solid pink and the pink, white, and yellow stripes.
The "joy" is hand embroidered.

The back

Hidden zipper

Hidden surprise sewn into the seam allowance - Happy Birthday!

One's Halloween costume

I decided to make One's Halloween costume this year. I probably would have made Five's, but he asked me to make him an Optimus Prime costume with cardboard boxes so that he could really transform. Um, sorry dear. No can do. He got a Walmart Optimus Prime costume instead. Since One has no preference, and no say, in what he wears (hehe) I can still get away with picking out his costume. I looked through some patterns and this pumpkin costume caught my eye.

The pattern is Simplicity 2788, view D. It comes in sizes 1/2, 1, 2, 3, and 4. I made the hat in size large (It comes in small, med, and large) because he has a big head for his age, and the rest is size 2. I also used the booties from view A, done in the same fabric as the jumpsuit from view D.

I've used Simplicity patterns in the past and this one met my expectations. The directions are easy to follow and the finished costume looked quite a lot like the one pictured on the pattern envelope.

I could not find the suggested fabrics so I used fleece for the orange part and sweatpants material for the green part. The black applique is cotton flannel. The closure in the back of the jumper is a long Velcro strip. The pumpkin part also closes with Velcro at the shoulders. I did get some pumpkin buttons but forgot to sew them on. I plan to sew them on the top of the Velcro so it looks like a button closure but will actually be Velcro.

I had the misconception that sewing my kids' costumes would save me money. Hah! Between the pattern, fabrics, and notions, (Not even counting the hours and hours it took to put it together) I spent about $60 on this. Ouch! I paid $25 for Five's costume for comparison. The payoff is that this is much better made, will last for many years, and I have the satisfaction of having sewed my child's costume. I don't know what it is about that, I feel like I've passed some sort of milestone as a mother. I'm not sure I will ever do it again, but I'm glad to have sewn at least one costume for my kids.

Some major things that I learned while making this are:
  1. I suck at fusing paper-backed fusible interfacing. Seriously. You get one shot at it and I failed spectacularly. It just wouldn't stick, no matter what I did. I ended up tearing the interfacing off and using a zig-sag stitch to applique the face on.
  2. You CANNOT fuse onto fleece!!! It will MELT! (all over your brand new iron). Fortunately the inside and outside pieces are almost identical so I made the ruined, melted piece the inside piece. I freaked and grabbed some scrap fabric and ironed that, which got most of the still-molten fleece off of the iron and onto the fabric. After it cooled, Hubby showed me that the rest of it easily scraped off. Phew.
  3. I suck at sewn-on applique. By this point I'd already failed at fusing the interfacing and ruined half of the fleece so I just did it the best that I could, wobbly lines and all.
All in all, I'm glad I did it. It will fit him for many years (Five wanted to try it on so I let him and it fit quite well!)

They can use it for dress up if they wish, and it was a great learning experience. And I have the satisfaction of being able to say that I once sewed a Halloween costume lol. Plus the jumper part can be used all winter. I think it looks very Christmas-y with red socks and maybe a red bib.

I did modify it to add snap tape to the inseam for easier diaper changes. I probably should have made it in size 3 so it will fit him longer.

Anna Q

Friday, November 05, 2010


Woohoo! I managed to finish it and.............
I'm SO happy :D
Tonight will be spent cutting out my skirt in the fashion fabric.

Anna Q