Archive for April, 2012

Summer is approaching fast (it was 90 degrees yesterday) and the elder daughter is planning a trip to Texas to see her college friends.  I am making her a series of sleeveless tops to take on the trip.  These tops are great because you can wear them as is on a hot day or wear a little cardigan over them in the air conditioning.  I am using her favorite top pattern, New Look 6027:

The first fabric is a drapey cotton in black and white, though the white reads as gray, and the second is a batik I got at Fabrix in The City.

M thought a gray trim would look the best, though finding a trim that color is impossible.  Instead, I used a decorative stitch to make scallops on the tucks down the front of the inset yoke piece.  I also found some great buttons to sew down the middle.

The light is not too great in the sewing room when you are taking pictures at the crack of dawn, but you can get an idea of the batik for the second top.

These tops will be like the first sleeveless top I made from this pattern, the tan one with the embroidery:

The sewing room cleanup went faster than I thought it would, and I found it easier than expected to get rid of my extra patterns.  I sorted through all my fabric stash, separated the stuff I didn’t need anymore and put the rest in opaque bins to go out into storage.  I took pictures of the fabric that was in each bin so I will know where to find it in the future.  This took a huge stack of bins out of the sewing room and opened up the space.  I was able to move my cutting table in there and have better access to the knitting machines, too.  I also found stuff that has been missing for awhile, including my self-drafted pattern for a checkbook cover from past Christmas presents.  I want to make myself several more of these. Here’s a picture of the cutting table being moved into the room before the place was made a little neater:

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It’s still wild out in the backyard, but we are pulling weeds and getting started on the plants.

I finally set up the little greenhouse whose original cover has rotted away, so I covered it with some clear plastic and fashioned a little window using the ever-useful duct tape.

 I was going to sew a cover but got lazy and just clipped the plastic on with clips and clothespins.  It worked.  Here’s a view inside:

There are not too many plants started yet but I try to start a few flats of plants every other day or so.  So far I have tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, cucumbers, basil, and resurrection lilies, plus two six packs of flowers I bought at the hardware store.

In sewing news, I have two tops cut out that I am ready to start sewing.  This came about when I ran across two interesting pieces of fabric during the sewing room cleanup that I cut out right away and work on when I am tired of going through my stash. So far in my destashing adventure, I have gone through most of my boxes of patterns and have weeded out four boxes full of styles I will never sew.  I took two boxes to the thrift store, and they were delighted to get them.  I’ll pick a different thrift store for the next batch to spread around the largess.  My plans are to move my cutting table into the sewing room turning the guest room back into a guest room.  In order for this to happen, I have to store my mountains of fabric somewhere else.  I’m still working on a plan.

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We went from cold spring to hot 90 degree weather in 12 hours.  Meanwhile, my new rose bush, Joseph’s Coat, bloomed for the first time:

I love everything about this rose and hope it climbs all over the fence.

One thing about trying to clean up your act is that you find stuff you had forgotten you had. Here’s a few old patterns that turned up while I was going through my pattern stash:

Look at that fashion artwork in McCall’s 4003!  Those girls are easily 8 heads high and would look a bit freaky in real life so out of realistic proportion are they.  It does make the clothes look nice though.

I also found the pack of missing crochet hooks that I have been looking for.

Not much happened today in the sewing room because we went into Oakland for the bead show.  There is still stuff all over the living room waiting to go into storage, so maybe tomorrow I can start culling the fabrics.  Like I said, it will be a long process.

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I needed to reorganize my thread, so I got another thread rack from the Joann sale and hung it from the bottom of one of the existing racks.  I had to tie it on with strong yarn and use some wood glue, but it hasn’t fallen down yet.

I see that I have pretty much evolved away from the regular spool thread from the fabric store.  I’ll get a spool once in a great while if I need a particular color, but mostly I use my cone thread.

I’m also going through my patterns for the first time in decades and getting rid of the outdated ones I will never sew.   I already have two full boxes ready to go to the thrift store, filled mostly with 80’s and 90’s fugly patterns.  What was I thinking when I bought those??

I am looking forward to having an open and organized sewing room, though it will take a long time to get there.

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Even though the girl at the sewing machine repair place said it would be 3 to 4 weeks before my machine would be looked at, fixer man #2 came in over the weekend and completed it only 6 days after I dropped it off.  I decided that I’d better hurry up and finish the robots while the warranty was still in effect, so I spent hours and hours stitching on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, I did something like bumping the hoop on the first robot, so the eyes stitched out on its forehead.  I realized that I was going to have to rip out the large area of dense embroidery and start over because everything was out of alignment.  It took a few hours, but I did it.  I was worried about ruining the curtains and was really nervous when it came time to stitch the robot over again.  Was something wrong with the machine or was it operator error?  The area where the robot had been was looking worse for wear, but somehow the new robot stitched perfectly right in the same place and covered up all the weakened fabric.  It was a robot miracle.  I hemmed the curtains last night and now am finished with that long project.

I’ll try to get a picture of them after she hangs them up in her kitchen.

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I got within three robots of being finished when the poor little machine developed a glitch and had to go into the shop.  Luckily, I’m still on the three month warranty, but unluckily, the fixer man just went on a two-week vacation.  So I am waiting.  Right now I am sewing more stuff for the church sale but am thinking of what I really want to be sewing.  I just have a few more items to finish up and then back into sewing for myself and the girls.

Also have to start the seeds and set up the little greenhouse.  The rainy season is a bit lengthy this year, and the nights are still cold.

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