Thursday, December 29, 2016

December MAGAM Travel PJ's completed and a strange phenomenon in my sewing closet.....

December MAGAM Completed 

My December MAGAM challenge of some new travel pj's is complete - and in record time!  Using my favorite 2-hour turtleneck pattern for the top (minus the turtleneck portion) and McCall's 3017 for the bottoms, I sewed both of them almost entirely on the serger.   Aren't they cute!

The serger has since taken a trip to the sewing hospital as it was making a terrible squeeking noise towards the end - it didn't want anything to do with sewing on the elastic for the waistband.  I wonder if the color of the pj's caused it to become sick?  They are a similar shade to hospital gowns.....I didn't read anything in the owner's manual about the machine having an aversion to sewing certain colors.  Hmm, I'll never know.  Anyways, I'm not sure what the visiting hours are in the serger ward, but they tell me it should be back to normal in about a week or two.  Whew!

I used some bird print ribbon that I had in the stash to embellish the bottoms of the sleeves and the pant legs.  And, using the ribbon as a guide, I drew a bird to use to embellish the bottom of the top front.  Don't laugh at my bird - I'm not the best artist in the world, but I think it looks pretty close to the one on the ribbon.

Using some quilting scraps, I traced the bird onto some double sided fusible and fused him to the front and then used the blanket stitch on the sewing machine to stitch him down.  I found the perfect black ball button in the stash to use for the eyeball.

Here's a close-up of the ribbon on the sleeve.

Adding the 3 yards for these pj's to my stashbustin total for the year brings me to a grand total of:

106 yards for 2016!!

Since I started tracking my sewn yardage back in July of 2014, here's where I am so far:

2014 = 48.75 yards
2015 = 68.875 yards
2016 = 106 yards

For a grand total of 223.625 yards!  Holy Cow!  That's alot of stitchin!  Which now leads me onto....

The strange phenomenon in my sewing closet...

Can you see what has happened here?  I think that is actually some empty shelf space in my sewing room closet stash!!!!  Yes - there is a wall behind all of the fabric - I can verify it because I actually touched it to be sure!  After keeping track of the stash sewing over the last few years and trying to focus mainly on reducing it, I can actually see some progress starting to happen with the stash!  I no longer have pieces hidden in other rooms, or piled on the floor in my sewing room, or stacked up on my cutting board (well - there are two pieces at the moment waiting to be cut out).  There is actually some room in the closet!  Are you reading this DH? - That trip to New York is now a "very faint" light at the end of the stash tunnel!  It's faint, but I can see it!!!!

Now before I run out to the store and buy some more fabric thinking I have some extra space that needs to be filled, I'm going to move my 11 shoe boxes of zippers (yes, you read that correctly - 11 shoe boxes of zippers) from the guest room closet into the closet in the sewing room. And with the Sewing Garage Sale coming up in April, I will have to practice some self control there too knowing my goal of a shopping trip in New York is getting closer.  It's going to be tough, but by actually seeing a little progress (finally), I think it might actually happen now!  Whoop!  Whoop!

That's it for me now - I need to cut out those two things on the cutting board and start a new yardage total for 2017.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Sewing Year!


Monday, December 26, 2016

December MAGAM project, a funky giraffeneck top finished, and my sewing finds from vacation

December MAGAM project

I am delayed in determining and posting my December MAGAM Challenge, but finally - here it is.  With a theme of "December Dreaming" I couldn't let this opportunity pass me up to make yet another pair of pajamas.  These however, will become my new traveling pajamas.  After our recent trip to the UK, I discovered that the pair of knit pajamas that I took with me took way, way too long to dry in the dryer.  I think it was because of the facings, collars, and pockets on my pj's that were adding extra fabric layers and causing them to take forever to dry.  So - I decided that a pair of travel pajamas were in my future and with only a few days left to cut out and finish the project, this should fit quite nicely into the last few days of December.

I'll be using this really crappy knit that has been in my stash for quite awhile.  I really can't remember where I purchased the knit, but it has no spandex or lycra in it, so I'm sure my pj's will stretch out while I'm wearing them, but I really don't care.  The "hospital tunic color" might cause me to add some embellishments to the front somehow so I am not accidentally mistaken for a patient in case I'm seen taking out the trash or something.

I'll be using my usual McCall's 3017 for the pj bottoms, but I'm going to use my 2-hour turtleneck pattern (minus the turtleneck portion and the cuffs) to make the top.  Remember, I'm aiming for as few of layers as possible in order to speed up the drying time - so that means no pockets, no facings, no cuffs - actually, this is going to really be quite a boring garment for me!  With that said, I'll show you a recent top I made from the same 2-hour turtleneck pattern that is far from boring!

How do you like my Giraffe impression??

Yes, if I were really cold, the turtleneck portion of this top could double as a balaclava - if only I had put eyeholes in it!  Does this shirt make my neck look long?

Both of the fabrics in this top were leftover from other projects.  The turtleneck and sleeve portions of the top are cut from a nubby knit and the polka dot portion for the front and back are polar fleece. Rather than doubling the turtleneck piece, I only sewed one side to the neckline, leaving the other side to drape nicely around the neckline.  I added some beaded trim to the neckline as well that was left in my stash from yet another project.

Much better here when I'm not trying to impersonate a giraffe.

Back view.  Nothing to exciting here. 

As you can tell, most of these pics were snapped while I was still on vacation in the UK.  Oh - how I miss being there!  

While on vacation, I seek out fabric store and magazines too.  Here I am at Truro Fabrics.

And look at the goodies I purchased:

A black and gray knit, two viscose prints and a new Christmas stocking panel.....completed just in time for Santa to fill it with - of all things - an inversion table!  Just how Santa fit that in the stocking, I will never know - but it's being delivered on Thursday!  Stay tuned for posts while I'm hanging upside down practicing to be a bat!  

I also picked up 6 sewing/crafting magazines.  Why is it that UK craft magazines always come packaged with an extra goodie inside like a free pattern or kit?  Do other countries do that too?  Our US magazines don't have goodies in them!  Who can I complain to about that? 

I collected 4 free patterns and two kits in these magazines.  I make a point of not opening the magazine packages until I get home so as to try to "prolong" the vacation feel a little bit longer.  And, these are fun to curl up next to the fire and have a read.  

Time to add to the stashbustin total. 

Yardage for the Giraffeneck top = 1.5 yards
Yardage for the lining of the stocking = .75 yards (notice, I'm not including the outside of the stocking, just the lining fabric that was from the stash.
Total for both projects = 2.25 yards
Total YTD = 103 yards!  

That's it for now!

Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

November MAGAM Completed and lots of other good stuff!

It's been over a month since I last posted, but lots of good things have happened since then.

- Finished the November MAGAM

- Completed our Vow Renewal Ceremony

- Met a blogging sewing sister in person!

First - I've finally finished my November MAGAM - Simplicity 1320.

In comparison to my Pinterest inspiration garment, I think it turned out quite nice.

There are outside pockets on each side of the front.

All of the fabrics were from my stash - the black wool, the swirly wool and the polyester lining.

It's a little big thru the waist and hips, but as I plan on wearing a bulky sweater underneath it, I think that will be just fine.  I should have worn it on picture day as it was freezing outside when I snapped these pics.

The jacket has an asymmetrical front with three buttons.  You can see the pockets better in this picture.  I changed the fronts to a curved bottom rather than a straight bottom as the pattern calls for. 

Here is the asymmetrical collar.

The buttons are actually two buttons stacked together.  The tan square button on the bottom, with a different colored circular button on top.

I used elastic loops that wrap around the buttons to hold the jacket closed.

The jacket doesn't call for a lining, but I added one and didn't notice until I was sewing the buttons on how well the lining matches my buttons - that was a total coincidence.

As all of these fabrics were from the stash, this will bring my stashbustin' YTD total past the 100 yard line!

Total yardage for this jacket = 4.625 yards
Total YTD total = 100.75 yards!  Whoop!  Whoop!

Our Vow Renewal Ceremony

On November 23rd, in a tiny church built in the 13th century in Cornwall, England, we completed our 25th anniversary vow renewal ceremony.  

After traveling over 5,000 miles, I'm surprised at how well my vow renewal garment actually held up. Here we are after the ceremony and after I had dried my tears!  

Meeting my "Sewing Sister by the Sea!"

And last, but not least, during our trip to the UK, I finally had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger and sewing friend from across the sea in person.  Everyone meet Dawn - aka The Winter Queen.

Dawn and I have been corresponding via e-mail for the last two years.  Both Dawn and myself and our husbands have so much in common, it is hard to believe - we are even dressed similarly below!

We met over drinks and lunch and both us and our husbands got to know each other better in person.  It was fantastic!  I am so happy we had the opportunity to finally meet face-to-face.  Here's to Dawn - my Sewing Sister by the Sea!

Until next time!
Happy sewing everyone!


Saturday, November 5, 2016

November MAGAM Determined

The theme for November's Make a Garment a Month is "Natural".  My garment is going to be a wool jacket using Simplicity 1320 and a jacket I pinned awhile ago on Pinterest as my inspiration.

Here's the Pin:

I'll use Simplicity 1320 as my pattern, View A:

And here's my selection of fabrics - both of them wools from the stash.  This is an unlined jacket, but I'll add a lining to it.  Linings make a jacket so much easier to get off and on I think.  

Close-up of the felted piece:

I'm pretty sure I purchased the felted piece at Joann's a few years ago and the plain black has been in the stash for awhile too.  They will make a great jacket when paired together.  Now I just need to find some buttons that will work!

Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween! - My TV Dinner Costume is complete!

Happy Halloween everyone!  The much anticipated completion of the TV Dinner costume is finally done and here it is!  It really does look like a Turkey and Stuffing TV Dinner!

For those of you following along on the costume progress - let's review from the beginning.  Here are most of my supplies.  I needed to add a few (such as the pillow stuffing for the mashed potatoes and the laptop strap for the strap system).  Most everything else is pictured here though.

Here we have the basic shape of the tray using pool noodles, pipe insulation, cardboard and lots and lots of duct tape.

Next came the "edge" for the tray - again using more cardboard and duct tape.

Covering the tray with gray felt:

Now we are moving onto the food portion of the costume.  Here are the "Peas and Carrots".  The peas are plastic eyeballs that are about the size of the ping pong ball.  The carrots are some square reusable ice cubes.  Both of these items were found at the dollar store.  

Finished spray painting.

And into the tray, securing them with the hot glue gun.

I am surprised at how much they really do look like peas and carrots!

Next came the cranberry sauce.  This is made using the burgundy colored cellophone wrap.  I just crinkled it and glued it in place using the hot glue gun.

Next came the mashed potatoes with a pat of butter on top.  The potatoes are made from the stuffing of an old pillow I had laying around.  The pat of butter is a piece of felt. 

And voila - last but not least - the turkey and stuffing!  The turkey slices are two pieces of felt and the stuffing is made from the small foam piece, cut into squares and then "toasted" using some more spray paint.  My Swanson hat is made from cardboard covered in green felt with the Swanson's logo glued to it.

The costume is held in place around my shoulders using a strap from an old laptop bag.

I added some rope and rings secured around the pool noodles before covering it with felt.  The laptop strap just clips into place on the rings.

Here is my original inspiration for the costume:

I think I came pretty close in the end!  Happy Halloween everyone!

Until next time, Keep on Sewing!