Red Shirt

For some reason, probably the slippery easy-to-fray fabric, this project just took forever.  I couldn’t start any other projects until I finished this one or it would never get done, so it just lingered around for a long long time.  However, this week I decided to clear my path for other, more-fun sewing, so I tried to work on it every day.  Finally I remembered that I would be seeing my daughter on Saturday when we would go to a family event (my nephew’s wife graduated from nursing school!) so I made the effort and finished sewing on the last button Friday night.

Since we were down in Monterey when I gave A the shirt, she said she would send me a picture of her wearing it.  We have a rule:  if I sew something for you, there is an obligatory try on of the garment.  Here is her selfie:

It doesn’t look too bad after being squished in a ziplock bag all day.  Her mirror is one of a set of curvy, wavy mirrors.

Now I am free to start another project.  I usually hem a tablecloth for a palate cleanser, so that’s what I’ll do.  I have some nice blue and white decorator fabric I got at the craft thrift store that will do nicely.



Sewing is finally getting started again around here but for the last month or so there has been cupboard organizing and some decluttering happening instead.

My first big project was the bookshelf in the entry hall that was a big mess.  A few new containers later and it was neat and surprisingly has stayed that way.It’s really handy to have the baskets for sunglasses and keys and the bin on the left top for the grocery bags that have to go back into the car (this crazy state charges you for grocery bags so I made my own).  I also bought a little white trash can for the umbrellas and walking sticks that used to fall down every time someone walked by.  Much better now.

Then I tackled the pantry cupboards in the dining area.  I got some storage containers and shelf dividers and everything changed from chaos to order:


Sometimes I just like to stand there and gaze at the neatness of it all.  Plus, the plastic containers for food storage in another cupboard no longer fall out on my head.

Now it is time to start sewing again.  I am working on another shirt for A in a pretty cranberry color.  Also have to take photos of the two fleece jackets I made for myself, but tomorrow is another day.

Delayed Sewing

The new year got off to a good start but then both the spouse and I and both daughters caught the current awful cold that was going around.  It takes weeks to get over but we are finally getting our energy back, and I have been back at the sewing machine.  The knit vest I made last year has been a success so it seemed like a good idea to make more.  Then the idea of putting sleeves on it  led to lots of pattern drafting and one of my most successful recent makes.  This was so great that I made another one.  Both are in the wash right now so I’ll take pictures of them when they are ready.  While we are waiting for that, here’s the Waverly fabric (a craft thrift store find) apron that I showed cut out in the last post.


It just pulls on on over the head.  Those side tabs are strips that connect the back to the front.  I changed the bottom from curved to square and added a little to the sides so that they could just be hemmed with a double turn instead of bias tape.

I liked this fabric so much and didn’t have enough to make anything big, and white backgrounds on a bag don’t work for me, so making an apron was a good choice.  The fabric is a nice decorator weight, too.

Now I have another shirt cut out for A, so better go change the thread on the machine.

Almost Christmas

It is stressful around here to shop for Christmas because, though it is soooo much easier to order things online without having to go to the crowded mall, we have had several packages stolen off the porch in the past year.  Crooks even follow the delivery trucks around and nab the package right after it lands on the porch.  I have to manage the deliveries and be home when they are due to arrive which isn’t easy.  For example, the last package, a book, was supposed to be delivered on Thursday, then they said there was a delay and it was due on Friday, then another snafu and the following Tuesday was the day, then another delay and Monday was the due date, then it was delivered on Sunday as a total surprise when I opened the front door and found it on the mat.  Anyhow, all have now safely arrived so there is just Christmas baking left to do.

With all that out of the way, it is time to get sewing again.  I am going to be making some shirts for A, and decided to change the collar.  I don’t think she really cares for a collar and stand so I changed the collar to one I see a lot on Japanese patterns.  I also saw an interesting and easier way to sew the cuffs on a lady’s shirt at church, so I may try that next. Here’s the first version nearly finished:

dsc02399All that is left to do is make the buttonholes and sew on the buttons.  I had to wait for A to come home for a visit to see how high the top button should be.

There are several projects all cut out and ready to go:  dsc02401This will be a shirt for the husband for Christmas.  


Above is an aqua knit for another vest.  I have no idea why the camera decided it should have a pink background since it was white in real life.


This will be an apron cut from a nice length of Waverly fabric I got at the craft thrift shop. ↑

dsc02405Another apron

There have been some changes made to my regular apron pattern to do away with all the bias tape and make it faster to sew.  The first one I changed was a great success so I am making a few more and using up some decorator fabric remnants.





Lingerie Month

I have spent the last month and a half sewing lingerie for my daughter.  But since I am never going to put pictures of my daughter’s underwear online, I don’t have much to show in the sewing department.  The last time I had a lingerie marathon like this was about two years ago, and I have found that I forgot most of the techniques I had learned about bra making, etc.  I had to relearn a lot of things, but now I am on a roll and working on the sixth and seventh bras.  This time I am trying lots of new fabrics, most of which I found at the craft thrift store in the ‘lycra’ bin.

One thing I learned that has been a tremendous help is how to cut and coat underwires.  I have a big stash of underwires that I bought on sale, but most are too long.  These articles caused me to go buy some heat-shrink tubing, hardcore wire pliers, and a heat gun:



I am using the Bolyston Bra pattern and we love it.  I made several with the regular fabric straps, and then several with the strap attachment point moved over a bit and some premade elastic straps I had in the stash.

After I finish this project, I think I will make a few more fleece vests and some more shirts.  It will be nice to sew on something that is less finicky and has no elastic.


Pajama Shorts

Not much to say about these except that they fit and have gone to their new home.

DSC02275-001I did finish two pairs but didn’t take a picture of the second since I was sewing in a rush to get them done before we went to A’s house.

I have decided that August will be Lingerie Month so have started in on some new projects.

Having finished up a few T-shirt tops, it was time to tackle another shirt for A.  This fabric came from the big (huge, really) fabric warehouse in Minnesota that we stopped at on our trip about two years ago.  It was shirting fabric so worth a try.  The fabric sewed up very easily and pressed nicely, but seems to wrinkle easily, too.  I will be interested to get a report from A to see how it wears.  She didn’t seem to worry about the wrinkle factor that much since she always wears a lab coat.  It took me about 4 days to sew the shirt which I was trying to finish before A came home for a visit.  She was pleased with it and tried it on for me over the pretty lace dress she was wearing, so it looks a little ill-fitting in the photos, but we have made this same shirt enough times to know it is OK.



Here are a few of the other shirts made from this same pattern, with variations:

Abby's Blue Striped ShirtWhen she was visiting, A showed me that she still has a pair of pajama bottoms made from a waffle knit that I made for her years ago.  They were shortie pajama bottoms so that got me thinking about all the flannel and knit  remnants I have kicking around in the stash.  She was eager to get some more pajama shorts, so after she went back home, I dug around in the fabric stash.  So far I have two pairs cut out using her regular pajama pant pattern which I shortened to about a 14″ length.  Should have the first pair finished today.  It is the sad truth that it often pays to be a fabric hoarder.