Socks, Again…

November 5, 2009

I feel so stupid!  These socks have been sitting there, taunting me with their not-quite-done status for months.  So tonight, I picked them up to work on them…and all they needed was to have the ends woven in.  Fifteen whole minutes later, they’re done.

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The yarn is Noro Sock Yarn, from Twist.  The pattern is the Coriolus architecture from Cat Bordhi.

Captain Cannonball!

October 31, 2009

Murphy had such a marvelous time last year at Halloween (he sat by the door the next evening waiting for the fun to start again), I thought he needed a costume this year.  One of his many nicknames is Captain Cannonball, referring to his tendency to run faster than he can brake, so I made him a cape:

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Here’s a closer look at his logo:

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The fabric is poly satin, cut in a rectangle about 20″ x 25.”  The edges are bound with purchased bias tape.  Rather than figure out a way for him to wear it, I attached it to his seat belt harness, which he’s already used to wearing:

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One bonus to this method is that the harness has a D-ring that I’ll use to hook a long leash to (the other end will go around the stair rail).  He can reach the front door and greet the kiddies, but can’t get out, and I can hand out candy without having to hold onto him.

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Now to keep him from tugging on it!

A Tidier Purse, I Hope

September 28, 2009

I got this pattern from the Ghee’s booth at the ASG conference in July.  It’s the “Portapockets Purse Insert” by Studio Kat designs.  I put it together out of red and orange hand-dyed fat quarters.

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It’s got 5 elastic-top pockets, a zippered pocket, credit card slots and elastic pen loops.  The pattern is generally excellent — very detailed instructions, drawings where appropriate, everything fits together like it should.  I made a couple of changes — I replaced the ID pocket with another set of credit card slots and extended the elastic pen loops from seam to seam.  The only flaw I found in the pocket was in the recommendation to use “extra-wide” double fold bias tape.  Either I misunderstood her directions or she uses a different brand from the one Hancocks sells, but my bias tape was too wide and I had to cut it down.  A minor problem in the grand scheme of things.

Now to see if it can help me find a pen when I need one!

Time For A New Sewing Chair?

September 27, 2009

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I thought so…

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ASG Conference: Zipper Necklace

August 17, 2009

Another class I took at conference was Lyla Messinger’s “unzipped” necklace.  It’s made from a RiRi zipper, beads and jewelry findings.

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Nifty, huh?  The zipper teeth really make it…

ASG Conference: Bias Skirts and Irreverent Heirloom

August 14, 2009

One of my favorite workshops at conference was Julianne Bramson’s Out of the Envelope Bias Skirt class.  Using a simple, on-grain rectangle, we sewed a custom fit straight skirt with that lovely bias drape and some nifty seam detailing.  I was able to finish mine to a wearable state in class:

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When I got home, I found the skirt had developed a gash along the seam (a scissor-packing error, I think).  I stuck it down with Steam-A-Seam and handstitching, but it looked it nasty.  So, still under the influence of another class I enjoyed, Suzy Seed’s Irreverent Heirloom class:

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where we learned about decorative stitching with double and wing needles, I added a couple of rows of wavy stitching.  The stitching does a good job holding the gash together, and the wavy lines distract the eye:

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I’m not sure how it will hold up to multiple washings, but the fabric isn’t the best, so I expect the fix will last long enough.

ASG Conference in Albuquerque

August 2, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation…at the American Sewing Guild‘s national conference in Albuquerque!  This isn’t like most conferences — all boring meetings and speeches.  There is a day of boring meetings and speeches, but only chapter presidents have to go, so I didn’t have to.  Then there’s the good stuff — five days of sewing classes, workshops, demonstrations, trunk shows, shopping and laughing and eating and … not much sleep.

The conference was held this year at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque.

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There were two hotels nearby — I stayed at the Hyatt.

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Since I waited so long to get a room, I was afraid I’d be in trouble, but it actually worked out well…there was a really nice hotel sale going on and I got the room for less than the conference rate.  It’s a great hotel, except that they don’t have free wifi.  The other nearby hotel does, as does the conference center (which, oddly, wasn’t publicized).

A warning about Albuquerque — the downtown area seems to close up about 3pm…we had some trouble finding non-hotel food within a comfortable it’s-90-degrees-outside walking distance.  Fortunately, the breakfasts and lunches that were provided were substantial enough that we hardly needed dinner!

One night the conference organizers set up shuttles to Old Town, which is a historic/touristy area about 2 miles from downtown.  MUCH better on the food front!  We ate a place called Church Street Cafe, which claims to be the oldest Mexican restaurant in New Mexico.  Long wait, good food, nifty interior.

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As we were leaving, a storm rolled in.  Great skies over the church in Old Town!

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Back to the Sewing Room

June 11, 2009

I wanted to try wearing more skirts this summer, so chose this for my first project back in the sewing room.

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It’s the Six Sense skirt from the Shapes line from Linda Lee and Louise Cutting.  I got the pattern and the fabric, a silk/poly blend, from Country Cousins in Concordia, KS.  The pattern instructions are great and the sewing is fairly straightforward.  Except…my fabric wouldn’t take a press for love or money!  On the good side, though, that means it doesn’t wrinkle while wearing…  I made a straight size 3 as my measurements indicated, which is about the right length in back, but the drapes in front are a bit long; if I make it again I’ll shorten it about an inch.  It was also too big around, so I took out about 2 inches in the center back, and it could stand to be even smaller.  I’ll take it in when my ab muscles finish recovering.

A (Non)Sewing Day

March 31, 2009

Used my first day driving to go to an ASG sewing day. Still can’t lift my machines, so I stuck to knitting.  And trying on a polonaise Theresa is making for Cowtown.

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I don’t think this is going to be my look…

Sleep Tee Upgrade

February 23, 2009

I acquired a stack of sleep tees from Lands End in preparation for a hospital stay, and this weekend I decided they were boring.  The first one I upgraded got a foil initial:

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The second one allows me to take Murphy the puppy with me:

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I silk screened these using some photos I had taken…

The initial photo:

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The edited design:

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And the screen:

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I’ve been using a product called PhotoEZ.  It comes in sheets and is exposed using UV light — I use sunlight.  It’s a trifle temperamental, but I gather all screen creating technologies are, in one way or another, and isn’t nearly as expensive or space-hogging as a Thermofax machine.  I definitely need more practice, but it’s really fun!