Monday, February 24, 2014

Simple sewing...

Do you ever have one of those days where you're just itching to sew something? 
You really have nothing in mind, you just want to sew - ANYTHING.
 I had a day like that yesterday.
 I wanted to sew something simple - no pattern to cut, no measuring - none of that. 
As I was looking through my stash, I found this fabric.
Cute and kitcheny.
(Kitcheny...that's a word, right?)

I cut a rectangle and hemmed the short sides.

I then cut a strip of red and white checked fabric, serged the long edge, hemmed and made a ruffle.
After attaching the ruffle to the bottom of my rectangle, I then found a ribbon in my stash and stitched it across the top.
My new apron!

 VERY, simple sewing....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My WORST sewing - EVER!

First, let me say thank you to Kristi, Meg and Meigan for offering their help with my Renfrew Top.
After three failed attempts to sew the neckband following the written directions, I gave up.
I ended up cutting a strip of fabric and sewing it to the neckline as you would sew on bias tape.
In the process of removing the neckband (for the third time), I tore a hole in the fabric. Grrrrr....
 Luckily, I was able to cover it up when I brought the "bias tape" around to the back.
At this point, I was so frustrated I didn't care what it looked like, I just wanted it DONE.
Can we say... really sloppy sewing????
I was actually dreading the waistband and armbands, but they went in perfectly!
The photos don't do it justice..... it looks WAY WORSE in person!
My hat's off to you who have mastered the Renfrew neckband and then went on to make many more.
Sadly, this may be my last.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kitchen wall decor

I have never been accused of being a minimalist.
 A bare wall drives me crazy...literally.
 I recently moved a cottage sign I had hanging above my stove to another area in the house.
 Even though I have very little room between my stove top and range hood - the bare space was making me nuts.  It measures 30" wide by 11 1/2" high so I didn't have a lot of height to work with.
I was strolling through Michael's one day and found this frame in the clearance bin.
It was marked down from $24.99 to $5.00 and measured 18" X 10 1/2".

I couldn't beat the price and figured if I didn't like it above the stove, I could certainly find a place for it elsewhere.
I got to work using a few designs I purchased in the past from Embroidery Library.
Here's what I ended up with.
Even though I like it, it's not really what I wanted for the space, but (to keep my sanity) it will have to do for now...
Happy Tuesday!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Romancing my home...

...with ruffles, hearts and roses.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not the mushy, romantic kinda gal, so I knew I would need help with a sweet, romantic Valentine's Day post for today.
I started searching the web for love poems and quotes, but most made me gag until I came across this one and thought it appropriate, funny and more my style...
If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular??
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Linking today to:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Never Dull Wadding polish

A couple of years ago my best bud, Debbie, gave me a set of mismatched silverware as a gift.
I just thought it was the coolest thing.
Anyhow, I decided to display the silver in an old wooden box with a few other items.
As I was dusting one day I realized my silver had become extremely tarnished.
I first tried Tarn-X.
After much rubbing nothing was coming off.
 My silverware looked exactly like it did before I started.
The bottle says "simply wipe and rinse".
 Nope. No change.
After complaining to Mr. Fisherman, he went to his workshop and brought me back a can of
 EAGLE ONE Never Dull Wadding Polish.
It comes in a can and looks like a big wad of fiberfill stuffing.
You just pull a piece off and gently rub it onto your silver.
Just takes a minute and your silver is shiny as new.
No messy liquid or rags to deal with.
What a difference!
On another note....
She's here!
My new neighbor, the one I made the welcome gift for... she's here!
She is just adorable and we found we have a lot in common.
I can't wait to invite her over for coffee and dessert.
Anyone have any yummy recipes you would like to share?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I am pulling my hair out!

I am desperate.
I need help!
Last year I purchased the Renfrew Top pattern.

All the reviews were great and everyone raved about the ease of sewing this top.
I attempted to make the Renfrew Top soon after I received the pattern in the mail.
I say attempted  because - that was as far as I got.
As I started sewing the neckband, I am realizing I have done something seriously wrong.
No matter how much I eased, stretched, pulled and pinned there was no way I could get the neckband to fit.
I didn't blog about it at the time because I was sure it was something I had done wrong and certainly didn't want to bash the designer.
I thought maybe my knit was not stable enough and was causing the issue so I e-mailed Sewaholic patterns for help.
Here was the answer I received:
Having a stable knit is pretty important, but it shouldn't have caused that much of a problem. Do you think your neckband piece stretched out before you managed to sew it on? Which view did you choose? I would suggest double checking that you cut the correct band "view" and in the correct size for the band?

Let me know, and I'll see if I can help further! The neckband definitely should not have posed such a problem, but I can't imagine what went wrong aside from a mis-cut.
I went through all the suggestions...
Nope, don't think my fabric stretched out before sewing on - I was very careful not to stretch too much because the pattern doesn't call for stay-stitching - which I found odd.
Double checked the correct band "view" and size - cut the correct view and size.
(I was making view A with the rounded neckline.)
Needless to say, I became soooooo frustrated - it ended up in the trash!
I consider myself a fairly seasoned sewer and decided I was not going to let this simple pattern get the best of me.
For round two, I purchased a much more stable knit, made sure I had chosen all the correct pattern pieces and attempted again.
For some reason I just can't seem to get the neckband to fit - no matter what I do.
Since the pattern calls for basting stitches on the neckband itself I find it hard to ease or stretch the neckband to fit.
I know there are many bloggers out there that rave about this pattern and don't seem to have any problems with it.
 Help me............ pleezzzz......
What in the heck am I doing wrong????
What am I missing???

I've sewn invisible zippers, button holes, piping, shirt collars, waistbands, pin tucks, inserted elastic, made ruffles, quilted, made and sewed bias tape, etc.
Why am I making such a simple pattern so difficult?
I have sewed slipcovers for furniture and never had this much trouble.

 I know I can measure, cut and MAKE something myself to fit, but I didn't want to go there.
I wanted to know what I am doing wrong with the existing pattern pieces and instructions.

Any suggestions?

Linking today to:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The dangers of sewing

My plan for yesterdays post was to show you the sewing project I am currently working on.
After about 20 minutes of sewing... I decided to gather everyone together for a (good ol' common sense) safety meeting instead.
It's true what they say about "the right tools for the right job".
Sometimes you need a little help guiding your fabric through your machine. 
Sometimes I use my stiletto...
or (my favorite) a handy wooden skewer from the kitchen.
Either of these work great for guiding your fabric as you sew.
Your finger!
Yep. Sewed right over it.
You can see in the picture below where the needle went through...
Luckily the needle missed my nail; I think that may have been worse.
I apologize for the graphic photos, but I am hoping the photos will be effective in reminding you about the importance of safety as you sew and the importance of...
Geezzz...where was mine????

Linking today to:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fashion trends

A few years ago I walked into a small, fancy shmancy ladies clothing boutique near my home.
I should have known as I pulled my minivan into the parking lot between the Jaguar and Mercedes, it might not be my kind of place, but I was curious.
They had beautiful clothing.
 I found a little white linen blouse I liked and checked the price tag...$335.00.
Come in the heck do these designers justify $335 for a yard of linen and a couple buttons?
Trying to act cool and not run screaming from the store, I continued to look.
They had an entire rack of designer jeans ranging from $295 to $480.
I did find a nice pair with a bit of embroidery on the bottom of the pant leg for just under $300.
Still - WAY outta my price range!
I thanked the ladies behind the counter and strolled out the door.
I decided to experiment and made my way to the closest thrift store where I found a perfectly good pair of (slightly used) jeans for $2.
Grant it, they were not a fancy name brand for $2, but I didn't care.
 The fancy designer name is usually on the pocket or waist band; I figured if I didn't tuck my shirt tail in... Who's gonna know - nor did I care.
I took my slightly used jeans home, washed them, dried them and took the inside seam out of the pant legs up to the knee.
I embroidered my design and stitched the inside seam back up.
For just $2, thread, stabilizer and a little of my time, here is the finished project.
I wore these one season and haven't worn them since.
My question is...
Are my $2 jeans now IN or OUT of fashion?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

~ Nesting ~

My cloche was looking a bit blah....
So I decided to dress it up a bit...
Much better.
Linking today to:


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