Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why I need a Husqvarna Viking Serger---let me count the ways:)

Ok....So Sew Mama Sew is giving away one of these babies....yep a super cool--way cooler than what I can ever afford--SERGER.  To enter the contest I have to plead my case...why do I.I.I.I need this serger more than other folks???  SOOOOO here is my heart-felt plea:)
Now let me be honest here....until about a year ago I had no idea that I NEEDED a serger and until about 6 months ago I did not realize I MUST have one or cry myself to sleep at night.  Then I looked at the cost and cried anyways (I am a bit emotional yall).  Anyway....Recently I have started to really begin enjoying re-purposing and creating fun clothes for Emersyn and myself...the only problem...sometimes when you create beautiful clothes on your sewing machine they tend to....how do we say nicely....fall back apart. 
Example 1....I worked pretty hard on re-purposing a pair of jeans into a maternity skirt.  I loved it, hugged it, and named it Jeana...Then what happened the first time I wore it??????  The seams began ripping apart.  Now I understand that I was putting a bit of extra pull on those poor seams...what with my being the size of a small country and all....but imagine my pregnant hormones kicking in and causing quite a cascade of tears when this baby started ripping.  NOT PRETTY!!!!  You know WHY this isn't pretty????  Because guess what shows through broken seams when you are WEARING said skirt----YEP...you guessed it Pregnant Belly.  Trust me NOBODY wants to see that (including me which is why I close my eyes when I get out of the shower). 
Granted I still wear the un-fixed skirt because I am pregnant and have VERY little pride left, but wouldn't it have been great if I could have serged that puppy together and worn it without fear of showing off my stretch marks????
Example Number 2---strings.  Here is a picture of a cute little dress I made for Em (yes I was toooo lazy to take it out of the closet to take a picture).  Everytime I wash this puppy I get strings like crazy.  Sometimes it gets wrapped around OTHER clothes and they are all wrinkled and have to be ironed (thrown back in the dryer) and once the strings even got wrapped around the agitator (is that what it is called????  Todd told me it was....) and I seriously spent hours (probably minutes) getting the darn strings untangled.  Now I realize there are naked people in poor countries who would love to have clothes---strings or not---but for me, it is almost too much of a pain in the patootie to deal with the mess----Wouldn't a serger REALLY help me out on this????  Why yes....Yes I believe it would.
Now I realize my pictures have been super crumby ( I should probably sign up for a camara giveaway too), but here is example number 3.  Zig Zag stitching the raw edges.  I HATE THAT!!!!  Now I know a lot of times in patterns and tutorials they say....If you have a serger blah blah blah and if you do not---no worries you just need to blah blah blah.  BUT what they are REALLY saying IS....If you have a serger you will have  a cute little outfit all whipped up in a matter of minutes that looks clean and lovely and professionally finished.  OR if you are a poor smuck and you do not have a serger you will have a slighly wobbly, less attractive version that looks like you made it at 4-H.  That is how I read it anyways.  Those serger people and their darn serger bias directions...ARGGHHH!!!
I would love to make beautiful things like this...
(picture borrowed from her blog)
Go To Dress from The Train to Crazy ORRRRRR this....
(picture borrowed from her blog)
(picture borrowed from her blog)
by Dana from MADE.  Actually I am not gonna lie---I would like to BEEEE Dana from Made---but I guess that is another post for another day.  Anywhoooo....on all of those cute little tutorials the message is loud and clear.....first step---serge.  OR if you don't have a serger....you will end up with  more of a "homemade" look.  Now I don't mind someone asking if I made my kid's clothes, but the thought of them looking HOMEMADE----especially when the words are coming from the GREATS (like my BFF Dana)---not fun.  SOOOO wouldn't it be great for me to whip up these little beauties (and about a million more that are not pictured) and have them look----WELL....GOOD????  Then I guess I MUST have a serger.  There you have it....how can you argue with the facts?????  Jessica NEEDS a serger (and her cheapo husband would die if she bought one secretly and hid it in the upstairs closet and only took it out after he went to work and he ever found out).  Just sayin....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Guess where I went today...???

Yep....I went to the Buggy Barn Quilt Show.  It was super cool to see all of the quilts displayed on the barns, fences, clotheslines.....cute cute cute place. 
What could be better than a mile of quilts on display????  Looking at those quilts with fun quilt loving ladies and THEN getting lunch (all without my trusty 2 year old side-kick).  Now that is a formula for a GREAT day:)  Thanks Ladies!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

maternity re-fashion

A while back I bookmarked a few maternity re-fashion tutorials for when the time came for me to finally use them.  Well....the most needed for me came from homemade by jill.  She re-fashioned a pair of jeans into a cute pencil skirt.  BTW---this tutorial could be used to make a regular (non-maternity) skirt also.  I decided that since getting ready for church has been a trial of my patience, I needed something that was not held together by hair rubberbands.  SOOOOO I dug through my yard sale box and found a pair of wide leg jeans that I thought would work. I started seam ripping before taking a before shot---oops. 
I pretty much followed her tutorial step by step.  It was pretty easy to follow and once you get started it all starts to make sense. 
My pictures are less than great, but I love this skirt.  It fits great--stays up---and matches everything. 
Here is the back.

One bit of advice---make sure your jeans are WIDE leg.  The wider the better--otherwise you wont have much room to walk.  This is a pencil skirt and so it is tight on the legs even WITH wide legs. 

When I cut of the bottom of the sewn together jeans I had a short tube of jeans---it looked just like a mini skirt.  SOOOOOO I added elastic to the top and now I have this sweet little jean skirt for Emersyn for the fall. It was so simple because it used the bottom hem of the pants, so no hemming!!!!  Seriously took me 10 minutes.  LOVE THAT!!!

Here is a useless picture of Atty Catty, but she followed me up and watched me take pictures of myself.  Probably wondering what the heck her stupid human was thinking.  Anyway I just think she is the cutest and does not get enough blog time:)

Keeping it G

SOOOO if you read my blog on a regular basis you probably know that I really have TWO main hobbies....crafts and READING.  Sometimes one takes over for the other and sometimes they share nicely, but they are what I do when I have a spare minute.  I love looking back and remembering all of the crafts that I have made, but I also like to look back and see the books that I have read.  I cannot wait to see how many make it in in 2010.  Anyway....as I go on and on....I was looking back the other day to find an author that I had liked in the past and realized something about the books that I have read this year----they are ALL very different.  Anything from LDS, historical, mystery, crap....a little of everything.  I also noticed that MANY of them were not books I was necessarily proud to admit that I had read.  You know those books that start off great, get you hooked, and then turn into a lust-fest---not pretty.  Anyway....I was reminded of the books I read growing up.  My mom reads as much or more than I do, so did my Grandma Louise before she passed away.  They were both MORE than willing to share the books that they read.  My mom never said..."no that is not a good book for someone your age."  Which made me realize....she was obviously choosing books that were appropriate for everyone to read---Classy!!!  SOOOO I started thinking.  What if Emersyn goes back into my blog books someday (because I print my blogs up) and chooses books off of my READ list.  Would I be ok with her reading ALL of the books that I have read.  NOPE!!!  Then my dear sweet naive mommy asked me if I had any good books she could borrow.  I had NONE!!!  Not a good moment.  My mom had always been a good example for me---letting me grow up with such amazing books as Little Women and Anne of Green Gables and here I was reading Nora Roberts and not willing to pass them on to my mom to read.  SOOOOO my new leaf (the one I have just turned over) is to try to read books that are both good and GOOD.  Now if only books had ratings like movies.....
Here is my first success though...Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge....LOVED IT!!!
This was a great start into my....new start.  Jayne is a reporter who goes into Amish country to gain information for a story.  She lives with an Amish family and learns about their lifestyle and troubles.  She also realizes that her life is not quite what she wants it to be either (not that she wants to turn Amish or anything).  If you notice on the cover there is also a guy in the picture.  I wont ruin it by telling you who he is, but it is a good twist to the story.  I loved this one and will be reading the next one in the series--Simply Sarah---as soon as the library gets it in.  AND FYI I passed this one on to my mom and she loved it.  It felt good to be able to share BACK with her....so my new leaf is already starting off successful:)
Here is a quick run-down of the books I read before this....there are a lot so I will keep it short and sweet!!

Bound by Sally Gunning.  GREAT BOOK.  This one is about a 7 year old who comes to America from England only to be sold as an indentured servant upon her arrive.  She grows up and is sent to a new master who begins raping and beating her---horrible I know.  She runs away from him and this book chronicles the struggles she faces as a free person.  This book was so full of history from the period of the Boston Tea Party---I was amazed at all that I did not know about all of the "white slaves" of America.  If you are into historical fiction---this one is a must.

The Best Of Times by Anita Stanfield.  This one is an LDS book---so yes of course it was clean.  It was an ok story, but a little on the cheesy side.  You know....a little too happy-ending-ish.  It is about an FBI agent who comes to a bed and breakfast to escape from the deaths of some of his partners.  The inn owner is LDS and single.  You do the math.  If you like a good love story with a Disney Ending---this one is for you.  If you like a little conflict, not so much.

Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts.  I read this one a while back and the details are hazy....but I know it is typical Nora.  It is about a family of illusionists who are also jewelry theives.  If you are a Nora Roberts fan, than this one will not disappoint.  If you don't like steamy romance---not for you. 

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts.  I know I KNOW.....more Nora Roberts.  I got these for free at a yard sale and I guess I should have known better.  This one DID have a great mystery.  The main character comes to Angel Falls to escape her past.  She was the sole survivor in a murder of a number of her friends and family.  She stops in town only long enough to get her car fixed and make a few bucks and ends up staying and getting a job.  She then witnesses a murder while hiking in the woods, but since she is the only witness and there is no evidence, the people in town start to think she is crazy.  The murderer also tries to convince HER and the town people that she is in fact crazy.  So her and her new love interest go in search of the murderer and the victim.  Good story---not G rated.  I am a master of skipping pages at opportune times, and this DOES have a good story in between the skippable stuff:)

Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux.  This one was one of those books that is not good or bad....just there.  Not a great story, not great writing....just time filler.  The main character inherits a house from her old friend who dies.  She moves to the small southern town where her new home is and begins to learn about all sorts of secrets from her friend's past.  BTW---in the will her old friend tells her who she should marry and he happens to be the lawyer in charge of the house--how convenient.  He ends up being the perfect guy, but he has a cousin who is the gardner at the new house who is much more interesting.  You get the picture....good for a beach or vacation read---not going to make you any smarter:)
PHEWWWW....being pregnant and sick has lead to much laying around and reading.....I need to get a life:)  On a sidenote---if you love your library as much as I do I found a great help in my quest for cleaner reading.  On the binding of many books there is a cross (you know like a Christian cross).  These books are considered Christian reading and thus have higher moral standards than some others.  They do have Christian undertones, so if that is not your cup of tea, than books with crosses are not for you:)
I know there are lots of good books out there just waiting for me to read them (and pass on to my sweet momma).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thrifty Thrifterkins

Where do you go when you have not left your house in....DAYS????  To the fabric store of course....and then quickly followed by Value Village.  Emersyn and I headed out today and made some good finds.  Emersyn found some crappy dirty old toys that I somehow managed to ditch in the shoe aisle without her noticing.  AND I found these two Fons and Porter storage boxes. 
My craft table was a DISASTER beyond words....seriously.  BUT these boxes are gonna help me keep organized (fingers crossed).  They are great too.  I am not sure how much they cost normally (I hope less than 5 bucks).  They break down flat and then velcro and snap back together and have velcro closure straps.  One is flat for quilt squares and the other is for fat quarters (not at my house though).
Perfect size for finished quilt squares (not that I have finished any recently), but this is much better than sitting on top of my book shelf---where they were until a few hours ago.
Box number 2 is the REALLY good find.  It is bigger and its new job is to hold my current projects.  So in there I have the patterns and fabric for 3 WIPs (even though I have about 20 in a box under the table).  These are the ones that will actually get done in this lifetime.
I was even excited about the bags that the boxes came in.  They are perfect for holding things too because they have snaps at the top.  This one is currently holding fabric, pattern pieces, and directions for my next project.  It is gonna be so nice to not have to dig through a pile of junk to find each thing that I am looking for.  I would love it if my WHOLE sewing room looked as good as this little corner of my table.....baby steps right??????  I am thinking with some gallon size zip locks I could at least get the fabric that has a purpose organized with the patterns.....maybe another day thogh.  Any craft organization advice????

Sunday, August 8, 2010

maternity swim suit adjustment OR how to gain a little modesty in your swimwear:)

I am gonna go ahead and warn you now....there ARE pregnant tummy pictures in this post.  I have zero pride left at this point, so I decided I would share the finished product DESPITE the fact that I was WEARING A PREGNANT GIRL SWIMSUIT!!!  FYI:)
I had not planned on sharing this particular project until I realized that I CANNOT be the only one struggling with finding a maternity swimsuit that did not show off MORE than I wanted to show off....so here is the solution I came up with.  I now think that this would for sure work with a regular (non-maternity) tankini and I will probably make one of these again for ALL of my future swimsuits. 

On with the show.....here is the problem...
I searched online for a maternity swimsuit that was cute AND covering.  It did not exist.  Trust me I looked.  I did not wanna spend 150 bucks on a suit that did not make me the least bit happy, so I spent under 20 bucks on this suit from Old Navy and decided to make my own changes.  I loved the fun pattern on this suit (all of the really covering suits were plain black---BORING)  I did not see myself wearing these bottoms for 2 big reasons.  One---I wanted boy shorts OR a swim-skirt.  Neither existed in navy blue.  Two--the bottoms sit BELOW the belly---yikes.  I had a fear that I would get in the pool and the tankini top would float up and BOOM prego belly in your face.  Not Pretty!!!
THE SOLUTION.  1/2 yard of stretchy swimsuit fabric and about 5 minutes.  (if you are tall you probably need a little longer piece of fabric)
I had about 3 ideas in my head when I bought the fabric, but when I put the suit on and grabbed the fabric---it all became WAY easier than what I had planned. I took the fabric and wrapped it around my big ole belly.  I wanted it to be a little tight so that the fabric was tight across my belly but looser around my thighs and legs.  When I decided on the fit I wanted, I added a little for the seam allowance.
Then I basically made the biggest belly band EVER.  I sewed the fabric into a tube by sewing right sides togehter along the short sides.

Since the fabric is so stretchy, you don't even need any elastic around the top (plus I decided it would add a bulky waist band around my already bulky belly).  Plus without a waist band you have options.  You can pull it over the belly (right under the girls) for a short swim-skirt with full belly coverage. 

Pull it down below the belly for a longer cover-up type skirt.  I am thinking LONG for walking around and sitting by the pool.  And SHORT for swimming.  The fabric is so stretchy that it stays up OVER the belly, UNDER the belly---no worries on this falling down. (I HAVE NOT tried this in the water yet, BUT from what I know about swimsuit fabric---when it gets wet it will NOT be getting any looser:)

Pull it half up the belly for a little LESS modesty:) I did not even hem the bottom or top edge because I am lazy there is really no reason too---unless you want. 

I hate wearing a swimsuit, but I don't think I will mind wearing this because ALL major parts or TOTALLY covered.  Although I CANNOT believe my belly is now out on the internet, I decidedd that IF ONE preggers girl (or a not preggers girl) feels a little happier about wearing a bathing-suit, than it will be worth the belly shot. SOOO GO OUT AND BUY A LITTLE BIT OF SWIMSUIT FABRIC AND cover yourself up:)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BackPack BackPack!!!

SOOOO I told you 2 things yesterday.  Number 1 that I sewed---TRUE.  Number 2 that I was feeling much better---NOT TRUE!!!!  I got hit last night and today and UGHHH....I am bummed.  I guess one day of semi-productiveness was more than I could ask for at this time.  (sigh).  THIS is the project I worked on yesterday.  The GO TO DRESS from THE TRAIN TO CRAZY. 
Cute right????  Well that is HER version.  I love it.  Look at how cute her little girlie looks in it too.

Love it.  I also LOVED that she made the pattern and tutorial and gave them away FOR FREE.  Seriously---who does that???  It was a great pattern.  Easy to follow (even for me and I NEVER use patterns).  The only problems I had were my own fault.  I guess sewing is not like riding a bike because after a month off----I SUCKED!!!!  I also learned a lot about sewing with knits----and I WILL be trying this one again.
Here is my version.  I only magaged to get 2 crumby blurry pictures of my unhappy model before she peed her pants (I guess I should have stopped her from sucking the water out of the squirt bottle) and our photo shoot was over.  BUMMER.
Great pictures huh????  UGHH.  I swear it looks cuter in real life:)  My only problems with it....the neck hole is too big.  Again....my fault.  I did not gather the top up enough.  BUT I will do better next time and I am thinking a few short rows of shirring or a little elastic to pleat it up might help---any suggestions???? 
I also made mine shorter---more a tunic shirt---because once again I messed up and had to re-cut.  It is a miracle it even looks like a shirt after all of my mistakes. Live and learn---right??? 
For the sleeves I used the fabric I got at GoodWill a while back...Gotta love cheapo fabric!!!
For the rest I used this shirt that I got for myself at Value Village.  I loved it for ONE day until I found out that I had a little visitor for the next nine months and realized that after that FIRST day it no longer fit.  I used the belt for the neck and elastic casing and the bottom of the shirt for the dress. 
Because I hate failure and still love the idea of the GO TO DRESS, I hit up Value Village today for some knits. 
This is what I came up with.
I doubt I will make all three color combos, but if I do better than last time----who knows???
I also scored this cute orange scarf (I am thinking hankie skirt for Em), Pink and teal knit (just too cute to pass up), and this random orange and teal plaid (no reason). 
I also got this fitted sheet (don't you love how I attempted to fold it and gave up??---I think I need my mom to re-teach me).  This sheet is never going on a bed in my house, but the fabrics were sooooo cute.  I thought that it would look cute as skirts, or jumpers, or dresses.   I have lots (a whole full sized sheet). 
Emersyn thinks it is a tent. 
She was also a very happy girl when she found this "Pack Pack."  Guess why she thinks owning a backpack is SOOOOOO fun (hint: it rhymes with Laura)????  Soo One day of sewing, One day of fun fabric finds, One Happy little Dora Fan----I would have to say that we might not be 100% yet, but we must at least be on the up-swing!!!!  Fingers CROSSED!!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back in the Saddle!!!

I actually sat down at my sewing machine today AND SEWED!!!!  It felt so good after over a month off---A MONTH I SAID!!!!  I have been creating a little something these days...
I just did not need my sewing machine for this one:)  I think I am back amongst the world of the living again today.  I got off the couch, ate food that is not white, AND sewed.  I will share a picture of my little sweetie (my OTHER sweetie) tomorrow in her new.....well I guess that part will stay a surprise!!!