Summer Sewing

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It is officially summer, both on the calendar and on the thermometer. We have been in the mid-80’s pretty consistently here in central Ohio and the humidity is going up and up, making it more and more uncomfortable to be outside. We have the air conditioner on in our home, but to save some energy and money, we have it set a bit high, so it is still pretty warm in the house. As a result, anything that requires a lap-full of fiber has been put away for now.

Instead of knitting or hand sewing items, I have turned to using my new sewing machine! I have been sewing up a storm lately and loving it! I thought I would share a few completed items with you!

I love sewing for my kids! So, I decided they needed some sun hats to keep the sun off their faces. I found a tutorial for a reversible sun hat on Craftstylish and thought it was just what they needed! I had a fat quarter that I knew would suit each kid, plus some other material already in my stash. These were fast and easy. I think I made both in the same night!

Here is my son’s. His was done first and I think I measured his head a bit wrong. I found that it was a bit snug when he put it on. I measured my daughter’s head a bit differently (instead of flat around the head right above the ears like I did with my son, I measured from the bottom of her hair line, over her ears and onto her forehead) and the fit was a bit better, but my son still likes his hat!

Bugs!!

Front view

Front view

Bugs!

Bugs!

I don’t have a decent picture of the inside of the hat. My daughter was a bit easier to photograph. Here they are together. The other side of my son’s hat is a dog print. My daughter has a pink floral print since she adores pink.Hats together

And the other side of my daughter’s hat. I decided to sew two pink buttons, one on each side of the hat at the top to help hold the hat together as it was flipped and also to give it a really cute touch. I also made her brim flare out a bit more and it gave it a very nice wavy look.IMG_2294

And I didn’t forget to sew for myself, either! Now, yes, I know these are both from the same material! But I had a TON of it (I hate to admit it, but I bought it for curtains and a bed-skirt for my room and had a ton left over! It is a nice linen blend, so it makes lovely clothing, too!) And yes, I know I also need to iron them!

A shirt for me. I used McCall’s 5388 and it turned out well. I would like to do this pattern again, possibly in the tank version (minus the ruffles) and in a lighter fabric. Please pardon the terrible shot. I am not good at self portraits and our mirror was a bit dirty!IMG_2310IMG_2311

And this is my new love! I would wear this every day if I could! I have since bought more fabric to make another. I used a tutorial for the wrap skirt at Home Grown. This was easy to understand and turned out great! Again, sorry for the crappy image!  IMG_2320

And then I did more sewing! Yep, I was busy! Several months ago, I saw a tutorial for cute fabric baskets on Pink Penguin. I happened to have a charm pack of fabric I bought last June and was still trying to decide what to do with it. I decided it would be perfect for the baskets! I didn’t want to waste much fabric, so I cut them in quarters, which made them a bit bigger than the tutorial called for. I ended up with a rectangular basket. Unfortunately, I didn’t have batting at the time, so I used several layers of flannel, but they aren’t all that stable when they are empty. But, I keep fabric and yarn in them currently and they are great! I plan to make some square ones eventually. I made two different baskets – one featuring the red fabrics and the other the pinks.Pink fabrics

Red fabricsI LOVE these fabrics and wanted to showcase them somehow, and this was perfect. The bottom & lining was left over from the pillow I made my Mother-in-law for Christmas. It is a nice, sturdy fabric and helped give them some stability.

And finally, one of my favorite projects! I fell in love with this project when I saw it on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog. And it was a free download, too! I pulled out some fabrics from my stash and some fat quarters I had on hand and went to town. I LOVED the way it came out! I have a small pincushion I made some time ago that I keep with my hand sewing stuff, but didn’t have a decent pin cushion with my sewing machine. This is wonderful! The scrap bag actually can attach to the front of the cushion with a loop that hangs down, using the green button on the inside of the bag. There are also three pockets just right for a seam ripper, small sewing gauge, and fabric markers.IMG_2297
Well, I think that about brings me up to date on my sewing projects! I still have more to show, though! Next up, socks and pendants. Stay tuned!

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Just a quick note

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In my last post, there was a link at the end of the post that was “possibly related”. I have NOTHING to do with that link! I have no idea why that link was deemed “possibly related”, so please, ignore it! Thanks!

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned

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More often than not, I blog about finished objects that I am proud of and that look decent. Sure, there may be small errors, but as long as they are not glaringly obvious, I leave them alone. And most of the time, with a few small mistakes, I don’t have many issues with the projects I start. And then, you have days like Monday.

Monday night I was in a very creative mood, but didn’t have anything specific going, so I decided to start a new project. My cousin is pregnant and due in September, so I decided I would make something as part of her shower gift. I have some patterns for baby shoes saved, so I decided to go that route. Only my printer wouldn’t work. I found out tonight my dear husband had unplugged it! So, I traced the pattern off the computer screen. Whatever works, right? I found cute material (in keeping with my general plan not to buy more fabric, I used some pieces of flannel originally cut to make diapers – until my son decided to potty train suddenly!) I started sewing. I loved the first one (although I do think it looks too big to fit a 0-6 month baby!) So, I moved on to the second. Got it finished and laid them next to each other to compare.

baby shoes

Not the best picture, but do you see what happened there? Here, how about a second look.

inside shoeAh! Now you see it, don’t you? Yep, I sewed one sole on upside down! Crap! I have started ripping it apart, but it is still so darn discouraging. I ended up putting the project down for later.

I decided that I would then attempt to make slippers for my son. How hard could that be? I had a pattern saved for the basic design, but they were also sized for 0-6 months. I was also afraid that they would be way too wide if I upsized them from the original pattern, especially since my kids have long, skinny feet. So, I sorta drafted my own pattern.

slipperThis was a complete disaster! They didn’t fit at all, the sewing was terrible and, well, a second slipper wasn’t even attempted.

So, I finally moved on. I have been thinking about trying crochet again. I have this orange bulky weight yarn in my stash that I thought would make a perfect blanket for my daughter’s dolls. But I HATE knitting blankets. Too boring! But I could crochet one quickly. So, I got out the yarn, pulled out a crochet hook, and started doing what I remembered to be crochet. After getting out a crochet instruction book I owned, I realized what I was doing was not crochet, or at least not what they described in the book, but that didn’t stop me. I liked the fabric, so why change? It wasn’t something to be judged or anything! I got through a whole skein in one evening, then looked at the piece. Uh, I think I somehow lost some stitches. It was turning into a triangle instead of the rectangle I intended! I frogged it and started over. The second attempt was better, but still not great.

crochet

No, that isn’t a trick of the eye or due to perspective. It really does get skinnier the further I went. Ugh.

So, at that point I put it down and picked up something I KNEW I could do – knitting a pair of socks. Thankfully, they are turning out well. I won’t let my disasters get me down. I learn something from all of them. Plus, I still have my successes behind me to bolster my confidence. And I plan to be back soon to post some of those!

Sewing Machine Meme

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I subscribe to a great crafting blog called Sew, Mama, Sew! June is “Sewing Machine Month” and to kick it off, they are asking readers to complete a Sewing Machine Meme. So, I thought I would participate! Here we go!

What brand and model do you have? I have a Singer Confidence 7470.

How long have you had it? Since February or so of this year.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? Approx. $500

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Clothing, home decor projects, some basic quilting

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? 2-3 times a week, usually an hour or so at a time. So very light use.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I LOVE my machine! But it doesn’t have a name.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? I love the ease of threading, winding bobbins, selecting a stitch pattern and the auto tension.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? The only thing I don’t care for is the hesitation when sewing. If I have been sewing, take my foot off the pedal enough to make it stop, then try to sew again, it hesitates.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! I had a very, very basic Singer before this machine and wanted a new one badly. I received some money for Christmas and wanted to use it for a new machine. I had planned to buy a basic electronic Singer sewing machine from JoAnn’s. My husband told me he would order it for me. A week or so later, my 7470 arrived! It was the machine I had dreamed of, but didn’t think I could afford! It was a combo birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas gift and it was a HUGE surprise!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Yes, I would recommend this machine to others. It is easy to use, threads easily, it is quiet and yet it is sturdy. It feels like it will last for a long time.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Ease of use, clear instruction manual, and having a list of needs that match what the machine will offer.

Do you have a dream machine? Eventually I would love to move up to an embroidery machine. My dream machine would be the Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond machine.