Monday, July 29, 2013

The Battle of the Serger

I've been involved in the Battle of the Serger.
I like the idea of a serger--really I do.
But, when the thread snaps every inch or two, when it makes holes in your fabric where your sewing machine would not, it is liable to drive someone crazy and declare full-out war.
Or, just go back to the sewing machine....
First up, a gift for a friend who received a little blessing--a baby boy!
The fabrics are organic cotton jersey knit in orange and Robert Kaufman jersey knit in hazelnut--both from
Now, I just need to find myself some A4 paper to print off the bigger sizes!
I wasn't planning specifically to put those star appliques there.
That was an accident.
As in, the serger making holes in the fabric (after I had accidentally caught a piece of the front in the seam, even though it had not gone through the knives).
So, I had to be a little creative--after putting the neckband on and one whole sleeve on, I was so close to being done that to ditch it would be rather frustrating.
Out came by Wonder Under and my stencils and, voila!
Only one star was necessary, but 3 made it look less accidental than one lonesome star on the shoulder...
And, then the side seams....
I had started with the serger and was determined to finish with it, but I do not know how many times I had to rethread that thing.
Out came the owners manual.
And, I learned how to rethread the top threads.
I think I can do it by memory now.
And, then.
My second son was telling me how his underwear had holes, how they were too small, etc.
"I need you to make me some, Mom."
Back to the serger I went, the next day. After serging three of them, having to rethread many times, I decided to finish on my sewing machine.
Enough is enough.
All the fabric for these are from shirts that were either stained, looked more like a PJ shirt (the ball one), and all were shirts I had received from a friend.
They now actually get some use.
And, the pattern is again from Apple Tree Boutique.

The ball one was claimed by my oldest. (Yes, I know--I was sewing for my second but he has much less need of underwear than my oldest.)
I'm still trying to decide how many I should give my second and if I should give my oldest one more.
The lizard one is claimed by my second.
And, I made sure that each of the boys got at least one with a tag that had a 'meat-eater' dinosaur on it (Tyrannosaurus). They are obsessed about 'meat-eaters.'
The tags are actually some ribbon I found at Walmart.
Finally, some boy ribbon!
And, that is the Battle of the Serger.
We'll see when I want to open up those old battle wounds...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July Finishes

I had made a plan at the beginning of July to get these things done.
And, they are done!
1. Binding on the quilt
2. Underwear for my son
3. Dress for myself
4. Figure out this serger
I don't know all the ins and outs of the serger yet, but I sewed with it--one day.
I'm still a little leary of that thing, and give my sewing machine preference--big time!
But, it'll come.
For more pictures, check out here and here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Art Smock--Free Pattern and Tutorial

A number of years ago, I made two art smocks--my older boys still use theirs, even though it's been around 2, almost 3 years!
My daughter really needed one, so I thought I'd share the pattern and tutorial with you!

This art smock is around a size 2/3 but, my 5 year old is still wearing his. And, if your older child needs one yet, you can just add length and maybe a bit of width, depending on the size of your child.

So, first you'll need to have your basic sewing supplies.
1/2 yard of fabric
1 package of pre-made bias tape
An additional 36" of pre-made bias tape in contrasting or same color
And, the pattern, which you can download here.

Alright, lets get started.
Cut the pattern piece around the outside of the black line--I had to make it show up on the scanner, so I made the line on the pattern. Tape them together, matching up the lines and the circled A.

Lay the pattern on the fold of the fabric, and cut out one front piece, pulling the bottom line straight to the fold so there is no curved corner.
Then, fold the fabric in half again and lay the pattern piece on top, not on the fold. Remember to cut the curves this time. This will give you two back pieces, both facing the opposite direction.

With right sides facing, stitch the shoulder seams together, finishing the seam as you would normally do--with a zig-zag or a serger.

Press seam to front.

And, top-stitch.

Encase the arm curves in the bias tape. (NOT the 36")

Sew the side seams and finish the seam.
Trim the top corner at the armhole a little, as shown below:

Press seam to front and topstitch.

Starting at one back top, encase the back and bottom in bias tape (again, NOT the 36"), easing it around the bottom curves.

Encase the neck-line with the 36" piece of bias tape, leaving about 10" on each side for tying. Do stitch these ties all the way to the end to finish them neatly.

And, you're done! So easy and quick.
And, unless you have boys who like having paint fights, their clothes are safe.
The two for my sons each have the first letter of their name appliqued to the front.
I still plan on doing that for my daughter's...

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
And, if something is unclear, let me know so I can improve this tutorial.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bibs, Bibs, Bibs...

I had an order for some bibs.
So, 10 bibs later--2 of each color:
I got all the fabric from Fabricland--the quilting cottons on the front and the white flannelette on the back. I used Velcro for the closures this time. I usually do snaps, but I didn't have enough of the same size, and the person I was making these for didn't care if it was Velcro or Velcro it was.
I like uniformity. 

It's not too often I make custom orders, but when they're pretty simple and I have some time, I really enjoy it. This way I don't have a bunch of unsold items laying around either...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Look 6355

I had some fun sewing for myself this past week.
I had found this lovely Royal Brit Linen at the thrift store--for a couple of bucks, and knew that I wanted to make something for myself--a dress would be ideal.
I'm not sure where I got the pattern--I think when I bought a box of random fabric and patterns. But, either way, I really liked the simple lines of this dress. It's an older New Look pattern--# 6355 from 1995. No need for a zipper or a button--this one just slips over your head. It has neck and arm facings and you're supposed to slip stitch the hem. Instead I figured out how to work another feature on my sewing machine--the blind hem.
 I find the sizing for New Look rather weird. I'm glad I didn't go with my measurements and instead went from my usual 6/8 to a 10. My measurements said to use 12 or 14 but I definitely would have been swimming in that!

It's quite a simple dress but, a jacket or sweater on top, or some blingy jewellery (if I get that daring), or a belt will dress it up quite nicely!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Quilt, Boxers, and a Rather Intimidating Addition to my Sewing Desk

The quilt for the pregnancy care centre is done--bound and everything:
Again, the owl fabric (front panel and back strip) is from the Fat Quarter Shop. They were so kind as to donate a whole box of fabric and I admit, I still have a LOT of sewing to do to get through that box!

The binding is a co-ordinating print to the backing--many of the colors actually re-occurred in the front panel.

And, I sewed up some quick boxers for my oldest son.
The pattern is from Apple Tree Boutique on Etsy, available here.
It's a very easy, two piece pattern--such a quick sew and if you upcycle some old t-shirts (which I did), it's super cheap as well!

Lastly, I partly sewed or should I say serged them on this lovely machine:

A friend of mine had two sergers and let me borrow this one--long term!
I have been looking at this thing, wondering how in the world am I going to use it?!
It is a rather intimidating contraption..
Thank-fully there are two instruction books along with it, so that has been helpful.

I've also sewn up a little something for myself from a vintage-esque pattern--from the 90's.
I'll post about it soon--once I get my man to shoot some pictures of me wearing it. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July Goals

I hadn't heard of Sew Bitter Sweet Designs challenge, Lovely Year of Finishes before.
Mara from Secretly Stitching told me about this link-up and it's a great idea!
I usually have my 'goals' in my head but I end up pushing them back as the weeks go by.
So, without further ado, here are my goals for July:
1. To bind this quilt that I just finished quilting this past week.
The front is a super cute panel that the Fat Quarter Shop sent our way, and the corresponding back strip is also from the Fat Quarter Shop. (Owl Wonderful)
The rest of the backing is some fabric from my stash.
I need to figure out what I want to bind it with--possibly some of that backing fabric I have left.

When I finish this it'll be for the Pregnancy Care Centres yet!
2. Also, on my list for this month is underwear for my sons I believe I have two patterns--I just have to find them.
3. I was also lent an Elnita serger to borrow for long term--I'm quite excited about that. So, on my list is to learn how to use a serger!

4. And, if time allows, I have plans for some dresses for myself....

Linking up: 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Winner! And a Dino Adventure

And, we have a winner!

 Blogger Mara said...
I love giveaways too! Wish I could sew for your pregnancy centers, but since I am in Europe I will just admire all of your creations.
Congratulations Mara! I will email you shortly for your info so I can get this off in the mail to you ASAP so you can receive a fun squishy package in the mail!
On another note, we took the kids on a fun day yesterday--to Jurassic Forest!
They had so much fun.

The first part they were terrified, actually--they seriously thought the dinosaurs were real.
We had barely entered the trails when we heard roars and had earlier heard some kids screaming. When the dinosaurs actually moved they were sticking quite close to us!

My one son was afraid to leave my side until I said that they were pretend.
"They're pretend!!!!" he shouted at his brother.

After that they were only a little leery of the 'meat-eaters' but enjoyed themselves thoroughly, running ahead on the trail to see if they could spot the next one.
And, of course, we had to bring home some toy dinosaurs which had to be 'meat-eaters' except for my daughter's which bulges it's eyes out if you squeeze it. She thought it was hilarious and it now has the name, 'googly eyes.'

It was a beautiful park--a nice boardwalk trail through an absolutely gorgeous forest and then a sand pit where the kids could run and dig and play.
The only thing we didn't like was the evolutionist propaganda--we actually skipped two short trails--the evolution of mammals and the evolution of birds and feathers.
The main trails also have signs and such but if you go prepared to answer questions and explain the errors then it'd still be a great learning experience.
And, what boy doesn't LOVE dinosaurs?
--The two pictures of 'nature' are entered into a contest on their Facebook page. The 15th of July is the deadline and then I'm assuming they'll be up so people can vote on their favourite by liking the pictures there!--

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Peek-a-Boo Patterns 4th of July Sale!

Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop is having a 4th of July sale!
They have some super cute patterns:
Image of Anchors Aweigh Sailor Dress
This nautical dress is so sweet!
Image of Hang Time Basketball Shorts
And, these shorts would be perfect for this beautiful summer weather!
Plus, if you buy three patterns, you get one free!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day, a Huge Thank-you, and a Giveaway! *Closed*

First of all,

Happy Canada Day!

Second of all,
I want to give a huge thank-you to these companies and individuals who have contributed either patterns or fabric for us as we've spent the last two months sewing for Pregnancy Care Centres.

FABulous Home Sewn
We've got a decent stack in our Flickr group!
It was definitely a lot of fun and I'm thinking of organizing another one of these sew-alongs in the future!
  Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop
Jaye Jaye (screen name yellowhibiscus)
And, last but not least, I have a fun giveaway for you all--I love giveaways!
And, here it is, a set of three fat quarters:
don't you love the keys?!
All you have to do to win this, is leave a comment.
Followers, new and old, get a bonus, just leave a comment letting me know you follow!
Also, those who have sewed for the pregnancy care centers get an additional entry--again, just leave a comment telling me you did! 
This giveaway is open internationally.
Please make sure that you are not a no-reply blogger--I need to be able to contact the winner!
And, this giveaway will close July 5th, 2013!
 ** Giveaway is closed! **