Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Great Accidental Find

Other than a small rain shower, yesterday was a lovely sunny day. The high got to about 26C. Today is clear and should be that warm also. 

Lifestyle

I have been under the weather the past several days. Though I am still doing things in the house, I've been tired and rested the latter part of the day. I am hoping to feel better. 
I have been doing housework and have even cleaned windows. They are pretty clean considering they haven't been touched since we moved in. I haven't done the windows around the door and once done, I will try to hang up some black out curtain material to keep the hot sun out in the late afternoon. We run the ceiling fans a lot and the a/c some. As it gets warmer, the a/c will have to be run more during the day. 

Sewing

I finished the top I am testing and it looks really quite nice. The fit is perfect on the doll. There are only two of us testing the pattern and the other tester is done. I will push forward on the pants today. 
The Edwardian dress is printed and the fabric is picked. I hope to sew it on Monday. This is the last outfit and then I can work on other items for sale. I am making a list and will stick to it once I am done. I will only be a pattern tester in the future which is one pattern a month. No more sew alongs. 
When I started on the Edwardian Sew Along, I wanted to make a flower head band for the first outfit. I have hunted for a pattern and saw none I cared for. Yesterday I was planning an outfit and the pattern I want to use has one. 
I was thrilled to find it. You use pipe cleaners and small flowers. The dress is Butterick 6431
My plan is to make it using a larger flowered print but it could end up with a subtle print with a flower wreath for a hair piece. We wait and see as I am still thinking on how to accessorize the outfit. 

Knitting

I started to knit the Billie Baby Jacket once again. I am 3.5 rows from finishing the body and still have the sleeves to do. I ran out of yarn so can't proceed until I get another skein. It is in white and I will make leggings and a t-shirt to go with it. I also may make the lacy newsboy hat to complete the outfit. I would love to sew a hobo bag to go with this outfit. 
The Russian dress is coming more slowly now. I am nearing row 30 and each time I am increasing, I add 36 more stitches on the needle. It takes time to knit all those stitches. Thank goodness I have a series of videos to watch while I knit. 
My next two knits are a lacy sweater and a lovely bolero  for the Gotz dolls. I am thinking the sweater in grey and will build an outfit around it. When done, I will up the size of the needle and make it for the American Girl dolls. The bolero will be in white to go with dresses I want to make. I have sworn off knit alongs unless I truly love the pattern and can see making it more than once. 
I will also have to knit other items for Christmas gifts this year so will have to cast on one item to knit when the dress is done. I don't mind having two projects on the go at one time. I alternate between the two. 

Today

This morning is work on the blog and a few other things at the table. Then it will be sewing in the afternoon and Father's Day dinner with family. I hear they are smoking ribs for dinner. I need to eat carefully at noon so I can have a few ribs for dinner. 
Until the next time..........................

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Time on the Deck

We are having some nice weather with the occasional wet day. It is nice to see (and hope) summer is coming quickly to Nova Scotia. 

Lifestyle

I have been under the weather for almost a week. Nothing serious but I'm thinking it is an old problem flaring up or a touch of the flu that comes and goes. 
After a morning of shopping with Daughter-in-law, I spent the afternoon knitting on the deck. I put up the umbrella and enjoyed the lovely day. I needed the time outside relaxing. 

Sewing

The zipper I ditched I dug out of the trash and fixed it. I put it into the top I am testing. I hated the metal zipper when I pinned it in. Made the top look cheap and ugly. Mission accomplished. 
The sleeves are in the top and I'm ready to do the cuffs. If I'm feeling better this afternoon I will try to finish the top. 
The last pattern for the Edwardian sew along came out on Thursday. I need to print the pattern and cut it out. Fabric has been chosen and I need the time to work on the dratted pleats. This is the last week of the sew along and I'm rather happy it is over. The patterns are in bags and stored in their own file folder for future reference. Maybe down the road I will make them again. 

Knitting

I decided to knit the Eyelet Beret for Laura's outfit. It is free on Raverly. I started it out on one size needle and it was too small. Unknit and grabbed what I thought was the next size needle and I went up 2 sizes instead. The hat was too big. 

I will add the big one to some clothes I am going to put in with Kate. Her head is bigger than Laura's and her hair is very curly and she needs a larger sized hat. 
After much hunting I found the tips I wanted and knit the hat last night. A much better fit. 

I need to put ribbon through the eyelets and mission accomplished. I have three tested hat patterns I can make for Gotz dolls. I will slowly test a couple of patterns for AG dolls. I do have one hat pattern tested for them. 
I am working on the Russian dress. The skirt is getting bigger around and I think I am just over half way done in the number of rows. I want to knit. 

Today

My goal is to clean the dining room, to do and fold laundry. We also have to go into town and order more string for the weed eater. If I am not tired, I will sew on doll clothes. I need to get both outfits  sewn and then back on to the Spousal Unit's shirt. 
Until the next time...............................

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Thatched Fence

Yesterday was quite warm at 25C and this morning it is raining as predicted. We need the rain so were happy to hear it early this morning. 

Lifestyle

After a morning of frustration with the zipper, which was perfect until I closed it and the zipper pull came off, we headed out to get a new one. We decided to do another tourist drive on the way home. 
We had fun with Google Maps. Every time I asked for Sackville NS, it would give me Sackville NB. The only time it worked was when I was entering into the community. We drove through Lower, Mid, and Upper Sackville with Siri telling me every mile or so to turn left onto the highway. We wanted to do the tourist thing so ignored her. 
The drive was lovely with a few small lakes to look at. One had Canada geese and goslings in the turn out. Most of the houses are newer but we saw some beautifully kept places. Our favorite is up near our end of the trip. 
A thatched fence around a yard. We have seen this fence several times but I was able to take a picture yesterday. It is an old fence and still in great condition. 
The people put this fence around their property which is pretty amazing. 

Sewing

As I said, my amazing zipper worked until I closed it. Off came the pull - thread stops don't work. I couldn't get a short nylon zipper so got a metal tooth one. I will put it in the top temporarily. I keep moving forward one step at a time. 

Knitting

I tried the Mirabella bolero on Laura and it fits. It doesn't look too bad on her but it won't make the cut for sweaters sold. 
It will be added to our collection of clothes.
I also knit on the Russian dress last night and will keep going until it is the length I want it. I have lots of wool to use up. 
I also bought needles to start the next bolero but am waiting a day or two before I start on it. I want to knit a hat for Laura's dress and sweater first. 

Today

I have to do what didn't get done yesterday. I did enjoy our drive yesterday and was glad we went. 
Until the next time...................................

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Scenic Tour Home

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 24C. Last night the low was 15C which was perfect. 

Lifestyle

We had to be in New Minas by 10 a.m. to have the car serviced. After some shopping, we meandered home. The first part was on the highway but we turned off at Avonport to see if I could find zipper stops at the fabric store. 
When we left, we decided to take the old highway home. As it was sunny, I stopped to take pictures. 
Before we got to the fabric store, we passed this stone house. It has always delighted us looking at it. 
We wonder when it was built. It has been lovingly updated with a new roof and some windows. 
After we left the fabric store, we stopped to take pictures of the year round Christmas tree. It shows up better in the winter but it is fun to see it in the summer. 

Everywhere you drive, you see lupines. Huge lupines that are about 2 feet tall with huge blooms on them. 

It was a fabulous drive even if we do it once every couple of months. 

Sewing

The separating zipper is shortened, ready for thread stops at the top and it can be inserted. That was quite the side trip while making a test garment. 

Knitting

The Mirabella bolero is done. The sleeves seem too small for the arm opening and it may be hard to get on. I will try it on Anna today and make a decision on the pattern. Keep or toss. 

Today

I want to get the zipper installed into the doll's top and do some housework. There is a few other things like learning more about my camera and doing up the Bullet Journal that needs my attention.
Until the next time.......................

Pulling Teeth; Zipper Teeth That Is

Yesterday was pulling teeth day. Literally pulling teeth from zippers. 
I had three seperating zippers in the stash I could use to shorten for the top I am testing. I used two of them. 

Zipper #1

To shorten zipper #1, I followed these instructions. A good method if you can see the teeth to cut off. Not good if they are so tiny your smallest scissors still cut off the teeth and some of the zipper tape. Zipper #1 ended up having about 1/16" of the tape removed along the edge where the teeth were. Into the trash can it went. It had started to ravel away. 

Zipper #2

To shorten zipper #2, I used this video. I watched it twice before I started. I had a plan. Not quite his plan.
I measured the zipper at 6" and then at 7". (I had done this with zipper #1 also.)
Next up was to remove the top stopper. As it is plastic, I knew I couldn't use it again. I broke most of it off. 
Next I used a seam ripper and starting from the top I ripped the threads one stitch at a time to remove the coil. Yes, coils are sewn on to the tape. I got the seam ripper between the coils and the tape and moved downwards to the 6" line. I started at the very top so I had an area to experiment on. 
On one side, I was able to get a thread and it unraveled quite easily. 
Lastly, I cut the zipper tape at the 7" mark. 
I need the top stops and they are hard to find in a small size in the stores. So, I will be over casting thread between tooth 1 and tooth 2 to make a thread stop. The zipper will be ready to install. 
This was the first time I had shortened a separating zipper. I feel thrilled with the results I had.
If you aren't feeling brave, you can buy 6" doll zippers at Zipper That Doll. They have lots of colors. I will be buying some there as I can't get all the colors she offers.
You can buy the top stops for zippers here. The zipper I am working with is a #3 in size. 
It is great to have options when using separating zippers. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Project Began and Stopped -- The Zipper

Once again we had frost early this morning. Came in around 5 a.m. to do its damage. Otherwise it was a lovely clear day yesterday and again today. 

Lifestyle

With the thought of frost, we were out last night to cover up the plants once again. We keep hoping this is the last time. The weather forecast says we are but we pay attention to the temperature in the evening. 
The Spousal Unit was out mowing and weed eating the ditch and it looks much better. The ditch is a lot of work as we have so much of it but everyone keeps them cut. Part of living in this county. 

Sewing

I spent many hours in the sewing room sewing up a pattern that needs to be tested. I have to read the instructions, look at the pictures, and report any mistakes. I have found 3 so far. 
The fabric I chose is a cotton print and a chambray. 
I had .5 meter of the print and was going to make a hat out of the remaining piece. Not going to happen as I can make a dress. The hat will be in the chambray and I will add a white flower on the brim. 
The pattern is well drafted and goes together well. The only thing I had to do was google shortening the zipper. I need to get zipper stops. 
To shorten a separating zipper, I found a very good video. How to remove the coils tutorial is very good. I will be using both of these to shorten the zipper for this project. Now to find the stops locally prior to buying some for future projects. I will take pictures to show you how I did it. 

Knitting

The body is done on the Mirabella bolero. There is one large yarn over that can be used as a button hole if I choose to do this. 
And a close up of the eyelet edging. 
The first sleeve is done and set up to do the edging for the cuff. I hope to finish the second sleeve and finish sewing it together this evening. 
My next knit will be a hat to go with the bolero and then onto a new bolero pattern. This one will be in finer yarn and knit from the top down. 

Today

The car gets its first service and we will do some shopping. That includes looking for a zipper repair kit for the zipper in my project. 
Until the next time.......................
  

Monday, June 11, 2018

Edwardian Sailor Suit Completed

Though the weather has been nice, we have had frost warnings for several nights. Last night we got a touch of frost. 

Lifestyle

We went to watch grandson play soccer on Saturday afternoon. He played his position well and we were proud of him for that. 
We rushed out last night to cover the plants as the temperature was dropping about 1C an hour. When will the frost end we keep asking. It certainly has been a cool spring here. 

Sewing

Week 4 of the Edwardian Summer Sew Along was a Sailor's dress. It was a finicky sew due to the pleats in the bodice and skirt. It was a one stitch at a time sew using scraps from the Spousal Unit's shirt. 
The next time, if there is one, I will make the sleeves larger as they are tight on Laura's arms. Everything else fit fine. I really had a hard time finding a fabric I liked and am glad I used this one as it is really nice. 
There is enough fabric left over to sew a dress for one of the girls. It depends on which doll gets to wear the Mirabella bolero. The dress will be basic with ribbon trim around the bottom. When done, the scraps will be tossed as I can say I really used this fabric to the bitter end. 
The test pattern will be started today. I have to lay out two more pattern pieces before cutting out the top. I have to hunt for the zipper in the stash. 

Knitting

I knit the first Mirabella borelo to the sleeves and it was so big. Even on my American Girl doll. 
 I went up a needle size like I always do. I do love the edging which is just 4 rows. That one got tossed into the trash can as I wrecked it trying to ravel it out. The second attempt using the correct size needles is much better. 
It is ready for the edging. I will finish it before deciding if it stays as a pattern for outfits. I have another pattern picked out if it doesn't though I may use it also.  

Decisions

I have made one outfit and sold it. I have no other outfits for sale. I am still pattern testing as I want good patterns to knit and sew. I have to move forward and get inventory. I have decided that 

Sewing


  • I will use the leggings patterns I have tested and love. Two lengths and lots of fabric to use. 
  • T-shirt patterns need to be tweaked before I can cut them out and test again. Again, I have lots of fabric I can use for them plus lots of crystals to bling them up with. 
  • Dress patterns are ready to go. One is tested and the other has been tested by others. Very simple sleeveless style with a full skirt. I can add lace, ribbon, rick rack, and other trims I have on hand. 
  • I have one summer hat pattern that is cute and fairly easy to make. 

Knitting

  • I have one cardigan pattern I can knit using a fine yarn. They take longer to knit but look nice on the dolls. I need to find a cardigan I like in a heavier yarn. I have a lacy one I will be testing next. The goal is to use it with leggings and t-shirts. 
  • The bolero is being tested and a pattern will be chosen. I want this pattern to wear with the dresses I plan on sewing. 
  • Hats -- no issue I have two or three I can knit. 
This should get me 20 outfits if I am careful and focus on the job at hand. 

Today

I need to cut out the test pattern and start on it. I also need to work on the Spousal Unit's shirt and get the plackets done. Another day in the sewing room. 
Until the next time...........................

Friday, June 08, 2018

Collar Band Sewing Hints

Though we had a lovely sunny day yesterday, it clouded over for rain today. The upside - it was warm last night. The first warm night we've had since our hot day. 

Lifestyle

With the sunny weather, the Spousal Unit headed out to weed eat the yard and ditch. He was very busy as it was a big job. I had to go out and rushed home to make sure he had water to drink as he could have been dehydrated. After I brought Grandson home with me, they both worked in the yard; grandson mowed and the Spousal Unit did the weed eating. My job was to oversee and sweep the driveway. I was up and down stairs like crazy.
We were both so tired last night that the Spousal Unit slept for a good hour after dinner and I started falling asleep shortly before bedtime. Such a boring couple last evening. 

Sewing

I worked on the Spousal Unit's shirt yesterday. The game plan was to put on the collar. I was pleased with it especially the curve on the collar band. 
My tools are the seam gauge and curve tool I have had for years. Not shown is a frixon pen that disappears with heat from the iron. Test on a scrap of fabric first as it could leave a white mark. 
I measure 5/8" from the edge and mark it on the interfacing. Just 3 dots -- two ends and one in the curve. 
Using the 30 mm curve, I draw it onto the collar band. 
Stitch along the blue line. I used a normal stitch length of 2.5 on my machine. You can use 2.0 which is a smaller stitch length. 
I trim the curved piece with pinking sheers and then cut the rest of the seam down with regular sheers. Turn, press, and you are ready to put the collar onto your shirt. 
I bought interfacing specially for shirts for this project and it is wonderful interfacing. I am still deciding if it is a bit heavy for the neckband and if I should have used my fusible knit instead. One thing I have learned while sewing is to mix and match interfacings when constructing garments. 
Though I have made this shirt pattern in many sizes and different fabrics, I am still learning about interfacings. I would use the shirt interfacing on the everything but the collar band at this point and put lighter interfacing on both collar band pieces. But, we will see down the road if I change my tune. 

Knitting

I worked on the Miranda bolero. I got the fronts and back knit and cast off. I sewed up the shoulder seam (need to work on this technique) and picked up 100 stitches up the front, along the back and down the other front. Not fun when using regular knitting needles. No give like you get when using a cable needle. I will finish this sweater and decide if I will do another one or if I will find another pattern. I have two others in mind. One is a short sleeved bolero and the other is long sleeved. The short sleeved one has a lacy design on the yoke and the long sleeved one is garter stitch with short row knitting to make it have a unique design. 

Today

Two doll's dresses and one testing outfit need to be cut out. I need to look for one piece of fabric for the test outfit. I will photograph the fabric later on. The Edwardian outfit needs to be cut out and started today.
Until the next time...........................