Archive for February, 2011

Pink Paisley Pajamas

Finally got the buttonholes and buttons in these PJs.  This was the first time I have ever used Gutermann thread to make buttonholes, and boy, my Kenmore did not like that at all.  The thread kept snapping halfway through the buttonholes, but I kept trying and managed to finish them all.  It was hard to decide on a button color for this wild print, but since I was using buttons from the stash, I went with some apple green ones.

Now, on to the next project.  I obviously have lots of new patterns in case I need inspiration.  M came for dinner and gave her approval to several of the blouse/top patterns I got at the 50 cent sale.  Both she and A are eager for me to get the serger set up and start making them knit tops.

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Pattern Sale!

The Joann store in San Ramon is closing, I found out by accident today.  They are consolidating their stores into another Super Store in Dublin, the girl at the counter said, and are trying to reduce the amount of merchandise before the move.  The Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, and Burda patterns are, get ready for this, 4 for $2.  These are all current patterns and there are still lots left, though a lot have already been sold.  It was rainy this morning and for over an hour I was the only one in the pattern department going through the Vogue patterns in the cabinets.  How great was that!  I also had fun buying some Burda patterns which are usually never on sale, and are too expensive for me.  I ended up with a hugely long sales receipt.  You know how they put at the end how much money you saved?  Here’s the best receipt ever:

That’s what happens when you buy a bunch of $30 Vogue patterns for 50 cents each.

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Sewing Room Reorganization

The front band turned out pretty well, and it completely covers up the white rectangles at the selvage.

We are trying to come up with a plan to fit the Singer 404 in its cabinet and the new serger into the sewing room.  As I feared, the only solution involves moving the Anaboda chest full of patterns over to the side a bit so the cabinet can fit into the corner.  Unfortunately, that means I will have to empty the chest of the hundreds of patterns because it weighs a ton.  Once we put the cabinet in the corner, I can put another sewing machine on top of it and put the serger on the long long desk.  We have to hurry to do this because I don’t want to forget everything I learned at my serger lesson this week.  I had never sewn on one before, but it looks like it is going to be terrific.

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Stormy Weather

It is pouring buckets of rain out there, so I am staying inside and working on another pajama set, this time for A.

It’s funny how, no matter how long you have been sewing, you can always manage to make new mistakes.  I was cutting out the pajama tops and put the pattern piece too near the edge of the fabric.  The selvage was printed with wide white areas that would show even after I sewed on the facing:

I decided to reverse the facings and have them turn to the front to hide my mistake:

Now I have to grade the seam, give it a good pressing, and topstitch it down

Last Friday I was in Sebastopol, and on the way home I stopped at several antique stores on the Gravenstein Highway.  I was lucky and found a big bag full of vintage embroidery transfers.  As I drove home, I was remembering how my little magazine holder, where I keep my transfers, was so full that I didn’t think I could get even one more in there.  I needed a new container for the transfers.  I thought about an old pan that I inherited from my mom, the big pan she used to make giant meatloaves and huge cobblers in.  The pan is a little too old and beaten up to cook in, but I still want to keep it because it makes me remember all those great dinners my mom made for our large, hungry family.  When I got home, I discovered that the transfers fit into the pan very well.  Here it is sitting behind one of the knitting machines:

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If you collect or are interested in owning a vintage machine, I saw that there is a Singer 301A long bed machine at the Hospice thrift shop in Clear Lake, California.  On this last weekend they had a sign that said 25% off the sewing machines, too.  There was also a Morse machine there for the taking.  The Singer was $70 before the discount, and the Morse was $40.



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I had a few adventures last week.  I found a few great vintage patterns for blouses and some sewing books, and got 4 1/2 yards of 108″ wide nylon tricot for only about $2 at the thrift store in Sebastopol.  They were having half off everything and they sell the fabric by the pound, so it was a real bargain.  The next day we decided to go for a drive in the country and headed up to the Capay valley.  We used to go for drives there back in the day when we were both at college at Davis and were courting.  It is still beautiful there, in spite of the humongous casino complex that was built on reservation land, but the casino looks much better than I expected and fits into the landscape as well as it is able.  In other words, it is easy to ignore.  The picture above was taken on a side road on the way to a farm.  Those are almond blossoms, the first tree to bloom in the spring.

I finished up another UFO, a white blouse I cut out and partially assembled so long ago I don’t even remember.  I don’t know what pattern or size it is, or whether it was a woman’s size or teen or girls.  Since I am finishing up things, I measured it and thought it might fit my sister.  It turned out to fit her perfectly.

I remember that I got the fabric at New York Fabrics which has been out of business for a few decades.  I miss that store still.  They used to have fabulous sales of great fabrics for 88 cents a yard.  My stash is still full of that stuff, really good quality fabric I got at those sales years ago.


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Busy Year

Well, so far this year hasn’t let me have much time for sewing, but spring is on the way here in California so everything seems more cheerful.  I have been working on my pile of UFOs.  I finished off one shirt for my sister, and am working on the second shirt.  I have no idea what pattern this shirt is from, or if it is an adult size or pre-teen size, but it looks like it will fit my sister.

I have put in the sleeves and plackets, and now I have to put on the cuffs, do the hems, and sew the buttonholes and sew on the buttons.  It should be a nice, useful, white, long-sleeved classic shirt if only it fits someone.

In other news, my mom’s pattern stash has been handed down to me, so I have been sorting out the patterns, patching up the envelopes, and pressing everything.  This makes me nostalgic because the fashions bring my beautiful mom vividly to mind.  Here are a few I have finished processing:


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