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Showing posts from November, 2009

Making Progress

I worked on my jeans a little more today.  Yesterday I got the fit to a place where I think I can be happy with it.  Then I took apart the "muslin" and decided to sew it for real to practice all the other parts of making jeans: topstitching, rivets, placement and design of back pockets, etc.  Ideally, I'll be able to wear them a bit, re-evaluate the fit, and then make another pair out of another cut of denim that I like better than this one.

Muslin pictures:

I'm happy with the fit in the front.  The rise is a little higher than most of my jeans, but I'm going to leave it as it is with this pair.

I'm not as pleased about the back.  After looking at these pictures, I went back and worked at getting rid of the wrinkles pointing to my high hip.  I will put pockets on the back, but wanted to work on the fit without them in the way. 

I tried pinning out the wrinkles under my seat, but when I did, I couldn't sit.  Well, I could, but it was rather inappropriate. …


I'm not going to pursue the gift card bag idea.  Again, I'm really grateful for your feedback.  You had lots of good ideas about how to improve them, but for the following reasons, I'm not going ahead:

1.  The question of what to make the bags out of is a big one.  The white felt I used didn't look that great.  I think it looks better in person than in the pictures, but not different enough to go ahead.  If I had some quality wool felt, that would be a major improvement.  It would have a nicer texture and appearance and it also wouldn't be such a stark white.  The appeal of using felt is that the edges don't need to be finished.  No seam finishing, lining, etc, and it is substantial enough to support embellishment.

2.  My thought was to make them and give them to the school to sell.  They are not a big ticket item and I can't reasonably make piles of them, so they wouldn't really bring in that much money.  Not enough to make it worth my time.  There wou…

Liturgical Sewing

This past Sunday was the start of a new sermon series at church.  It will run until Christmas, covering different aspects of prayer with the theme of "Come, Lord Jesus."  The Preacher asked me to make a small banner to hang on the front of the pulpit to go along with the theme.

This sort of sewing makes me nervous.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I'm not an artist.  I don't have great ideas for interpreting themes or symbols or combining them and I feel pretty inexperienced and uncreative in what media and skills I am able to use.  Church banners are a little like theatrical makeup - it has to be a bit over-the-top up close so that it looks okay from a distance.  Anything too subtle just gets lost.  Size and scale are much different, too.  I don't have much confidence in my ability to judge these things in the design/construction phase.  And then knowing that the thing is just going to hang there week after week for a couple hundred people to…

More Wine Sleeves

Thanks so much for the feedback on the gift card bags.  All of your comments were very helpful.  I haven't decided for sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Three more wine sleeves, ready to go:

Now that I've made a few of these and have all the gliches worked out, they come together pretty quickly.

Two of these are going to my MIL who wants to give them as a gift.  The other will go to the shop for sale.

Next up:  Something for ME!  I don't know what yet, but it doesn't matter.  As long as it's for ME!  :)

Soliciting Opinions

When I was looking for inspiration for the stockings I made, I saw these little bags and they kind of stuck with me.  With a little modification, I thought they would make good gift card "holders".  My daughter's school sells gift cards as a fundraiser.  Many of you are probably familiar with this sort of program.  If you aren't, I'm sorry, but I can't really explain it since I'm not sure I understand it myself.  Anyway, understanding the program isn't important. 

I was thinking that maybe I could make some of these and give them to the school for them to sell with the gift cards for the Christmas season.  I haven't run this idea by anyone at the school yet, but I thought I would make some samples so that they would know what I was talking about.

I was thinking that they were pretty cute.  Then I asked the Preacher what he thought.  His response went something like this:
"Honestly, I really don't like them.  I don't think they are cut…

Draft Busters

A woman I know asked me to make these for her son who lives alone in a large, old, drafty farmhouse.  It sounds like the heating bills can be a little tough to swallow.  These will sit on the floor in front of the closed door to block any drafts that normally would come under the door.

They're just a tube of fabric, sewn closed at both ends.  I wouldn't have picked this fabric, but that's what she gave me.  It is some sort of knit fleece, with a fair bit of stretch.  It was smooth on one side, but very fuzzy on the other.  I wouldn't have picked white for something that sits on the floor, either, but it wasn't my call.  I wanted to get rid of the stretch, so I underlined (that seems like a much too sophisticated word for this application, but I guess that is what I did) it with bleached muslin.

I haven't made this sort of thing before, so I did a little online research about them.  My biggest question was what to fill it with.  Some were just stuffed with polyf…

I Forgot to Mention...

Someone (anonymous) asked where I got the embroidery designs for the tea towels.  I meant to include this info with the initial post, but forgot.  The Christmas ornaments are from a purchased piece of clipart.  The Christmas candle is available here as a coloring page.  The other two designs are from  There are a lot of other designs on this site that I would like to do someday.  For all of the designs, I printed off the design and then traced the back side of it with an iron transfer pencil (against the window to be able to see it better).  Then I ironed it on the towels.  I found this worked well because it reversed the design, making it the right direction on the towel and I also could easily see the placement of the design.

The 500th birthday party for John Calvin was a fun evening.  The hat was a hit.  Here it is in action (with "Calvin's" permission):

In my previous post, I mentioned an art show that I went to.  The woman that hosts the show aske…

Fur Mitts

On Friday evening the Preacher and I stopped at an art show.  A woman that we know hosts it annually in her pottery studio.  Most of the art was her pottery, but she invites some other area artists to exhibit their work too.  One of the artists this year was a woman that makes things out of reclaimed fur.  The most common things were hats, mitts, and muffs, but there were also other things like slippers and fur-trimmed objects like purses.  The Preacher bought a pair of the mittens.

They are rather unique.  The cuffs and the palms are soft leather and the fur is Alaskan Seal.  The inside is fur, too.  They are really warm.  They are also really big.  They don't stay on my hands (but they're not for me, so that's okay).

Unfortunately, the artist wasn't there when we were, so I didn't get to talk to her.  The construction of the mitten looks pretty simple, but I would have had lots of questions for her about sewing fur.

I don't have much experience with fur, but …

Christmas Stockings

So I didn't make my goal.  I was hoping to have these finished earlier in the week so they would be on display at the open house event last night.  I just finished them this morning.  But, since my son was hospitalized with the H1N1 flu and pneumonia for the first half of the week, I'm cutting myself some slack.  The little guy is doing well now - he gets tired out easily, but is taking long naps and sleeping well at night.

Anyway, I came up with three stockings.  Since these have a limited shelf life, I didn't want to invest much in them.  Everything came from my stash except for the beads on the flower.

The first is made from uphostery fabric that I picked up a few years ago at a thrift store.  The whole piece was about half a yard and the price tag was still on it: $.50.  The cuff is a velveteen that was left over from a different project. 

The flower is made from poly organza and you can find the tutorial here.  It was fun and so easy to make.  I purchased the beads s…