Monday, August 23, 2010

Double the pleasure, double the fun!

......and the sewing machine saga continues!

So, my uncle (my cousin's dad) and his second* wife (*will be relevant later in the story!) are coming to visit us for Thanksgiving. Yay! We have such a small family and we rarely see them as they are dispersed throughout the country. They are driving down from Montana, and have graciously offered to stop in Wyoming to pick up my grandmother's sewing machine for me. How nice is that?!

Sunday morning my mom calls and says that my uncle would like to know if I would like my Auntie's sewing machine too. (it belonged to his first wife, who passed on in 2001) She had purchased hers in the late 1950's around the same time that my mom and grandmother got their machines. grandfather had made a custom cabinet for it, and would I like that also?

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I have been wanting a vintage machine for some time, and now I'm getting two!

That will bring my machine total up to FIVE! JD knows about my grandmother's machine coming, but I haven't told him about my Auntie's machine. He's gonna think I'm crazy, and I may have to part with one of my current machines.

Back to reality now, I haven't sewn much at all this week. Summer finally hit here and it's been in the high 90's. The heat and being back at work have sapped all my energy. I have been planning though! (I love to plan!)

We are going to Hearst Castle/Moonstone Beach to celebrate my birthday in January. I'm working on my wardrobe for the long weekend. (Martin Luther King, Jr. and I share the same birthday)

I bought this fabric on eBay. It's Michael Miller Woodland Delight Blooms Brown. (that's a mouthful!)

I'm going to make this dress:

It's Onion 2031. I got the pattern a couple of weeks ago from Denmark. I've read through the translated instructions, and I'm hoping I can figure it all out! I'm not sure if this will be the "Birthday Dress" or the "Shopping in San Luis Obispo" dress! I think the cotton fabric is a little casual, but I'm just gonna wait and see when it's done.

I have been knitting a little here and there. I'm making Noey a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the hat I recently made her. I found a pretty green/brown/cream yarn when we were in Solvang that matches the hat perfectly. It's been so long since I used double points that I had to start and then rip out the first mitt about 4 times before I got the hang of it again!

Thanks to Carolina I have changed my comments settings so now anyone can comment!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Sewing Gene

I come from a long line of seamstresses. Personally, I know it goes back 3 generations, maybe more. My grandmother was born in 1900. She was quite the fashion plate in her prime, and often told the story of going "downtown" with her mother to window shop. She would spot a dress in a store window, and her mother would then duplicate it for her, just by looking at it.

My grandmother, Leah Marie, was quite a seamstress as well. She made the most exquisite clothing, including this dress she wore as the mother-of-the-bride at my mother's wedding.

It is truly a work of art. I love to pull it out of the closet every once in a while to admire it. The details are amazing.

Sometime in the 1950's both my grandmother and my mother purchased Singer 301 sewing machines. My mother purchased hers to take to college with her, and still uses it to this day.

When my grandmother passed away in 1993, we decided that my cousin should take her sewing machine. Both my mother and I had nice machines, and my cousin thought she might give sewing a try.

Fast forward 17 years cousin has never used the machine and asked me, out of the blue, if I would like to have it!! Ummmmmm......YES!!

The only hitch is that she lives in Wyoming and I live in California. We're working on a plan to get it to me, but I probably won't get it until Thanksgiving. In the meantime I have been doing a lot of research, I downloaded a manual, (60 some pages!) and I purchased a buttonhole attachment from Barbara.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig!

We came home from Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon, and now it seems so long ago!

It was a great trip, perfect weather, and so relaxing. Noey spent as much time in the hotel pool as she possibly could, and her new swimsuit was just right.
(I don't know why she is wearing the skirt so low on her hips!)

We went to the Mission Santa Barbara the first day. California 4th graders study the 21 missions, so Noey has been particulary interested in them this year.

We went to Solvang the second day and, of course, we had to have Aebleskivers! Yummy! (I made Noey's shirt)

and on the third day we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo. A great little zoo in a beautiful setting. (and once again, I made the shirt!)

This is my last week off of work, and I am making the most of it. Noey is off to the Aquarium of the Pacific day camp every day from 8:00am to 5:00pm, so I've had plenty of time to sew, sew, sew!! I planned to make an item each day, 3 down and 2 to go. The first three items I made are t-shirts for Noey.

This one I made on Monday. (Tuesday's and today's have not been photographed yet) I used a women's pattern, Kwik Sew 3338, in XS which fits Noey perfectly. I've made this one a number of times before (the purple shirt above) but this time I used Fold Over Elastic for the first time! It turned out so cute! I also used a twin needle for the hem (first time also!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Last of the Mohicans

(it's a family joke!)

I finished up the last two items needed for our trip. I started out at 9:00am this morning and finished them both by noon!

Noey requested a swim skirt to go with her new bathing suit. I winged it on this one, and it turned out pretty good. I just measured her tummy and hips, and then made a simple a-line pattern. I applied swimwear elastic to the waistband and made a narrow hem, and VOILA!

I haven't gotten her to try it on with the swimsuit yet, but I'm sure it will be cute!

I immediately moved on to my skirt. I tried the straight A-line idea again and this time it worked! I added more at the top and a little at the hips. This fabric is older than Noey, and I have no idea where I got it. It's a medium weight denim and I must've gotten a lot of it because I made a tote bag with it, and some other things as well. (how embarrassed would Noey be if I wore my tote bag with my new skirt?!)

Noey has her art class this afternoon, and then she and JD are going out to dinner. JD does not travel with us (ask questions before you marry!!) so they want to spend a little time together before we leave.

Hmmmm....I wonder if I could squeeze in one more project???

Monday, July 26, 2010

The "Fun" has caught up with me

and I am exhausted!

We spent all day today at the downtown museums; the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum. We saw the Mummies of the World exhibit. I was a little creeped out by it, but Noey loved it!
I should have known it was going to be gruesome when the guy at the ticket booth gave me the parental warning!

Noey and her BFF had a great time running from exhibit to exhibit (once we recovered from the mummies!) Here they are in infrared.

We also went through the Butterfly Garden and Noey made a friend. Seriously, they tell you not to touch the butterflies, but this one would not leave her alone!

So yesterday, after I finished Noey's swimsuit I immediately cut out and sewed up this top in between playing school with Noey, cooking dinner, packing, and cleaning up the house a bit. I sent Noey and JD out for ice cream last night so I could finish!

It's New Look 6979 in a lightweight cotton jersey that I got from I made this to go with my summer skirt made a couple weeks ago.

I just have one more item I want to make before we leave! A denim skirt in a cute floral print. I've had the fabric for years, at least 10! I have about 6 hours tomorrow before Noey's art class. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

3 More Days!

until we leave on vacation! I have been working my fingers to the bone trying to sew up everything before we leave.

Noey specifically asked me to make her a swimsuit for the trip, how could I refuse?

It turned out so cute! I used Kwik Sew 2606 and two coordinating nylon-lycra prints that I bought on eBay. I don't like that RTW swimsuits are only lined in the front or just the crotch area so I lined the entire suit with swimwear lining. Essentially I made a second suit out of lining, then basted the lining to the lycra wrong sides together. I used rubber swimwear elastic around the neckline, armholes and leg openings. Both the lining and elastic came from Sew Sassy.

I'm really happy with the results. It doesn't look home-made, and more importantly Noey likes it!!

In Other News

I have been knitting! I put together some small knitting projects to take on the trip, and thought I would just cast on a hat for Noey, just to get it started. Next thing I knew, I was done!

It's Katt's Brimmer pattern in Lion Brand Wool-ease Chunky. I started it Thursday night and finished Friday night! The hat itself is just a basic beanie shape with 1x1 ribbing at the edge. I really like how easy it is to do the brim. I have enough of this yarn leftover from some other long forgotten project, that I cast on another hat for Noey's best friend.

I've got two more projects I'd like to complete before we leave; a denim skirt and a knit peasant top. I have two days left, and I still need to pack, and we'll be gone all day tomorrow on a little jaunt to the downtown museums. Hmmmm....wonder when and how I'll get them done?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


That was a close one! This time yesterday I thought this skirt was headed to Wadder-ville!

I had all kinds of problems with this simple A-line skirt. I wanted a straight denim skirt, so I used my TNT A-line pattern and tried to "straighten" it. I added 1 1/2" to the center at the fold at the waist only. This effectively straightened it out, but didn't give enough room in the hips. So this morning I cut off the waistband and created a new waistband which raised it up enough to make more room for my womanly hips!!

I used my cheap-o Brother sewing machine to topstitch down the side seams but it would not work on the hem! I couldn't get a straight line to save my life. I ripped it out twice before I switched over to my ever-faithful Kenmore.

Oops! I did it again!

I decided to give Simplicity 4076 one more try, and I think it worked this time. I am much happier with the neckline, although the fabric is very lightweight and looks a little pajama-y.

So, those are finished items #33 and #34, both finished up today. No sewing tomorrow as we are going to the beach, then pool swimming with our friends in the late afternoon.

We are officially on the count down to vacation....7 more days!