Friday, August 26, 2016

Pick a Fabric, Sew it, and Repeat

Yesterday was a warm day with a high of 32.2C or 90F. Today is suppose to be warmer and then it will cool down again. Our story this summer.


We stayed home yesterday and it was so nice. I did three loads of laundry, a bit of house work, and sewed.
Our afternoon was exciting though. The big excavator ruptured the gas line across the street and two houses down. I heard the loud hissing noise of the gas and thought it was the egg poacher. It wasn't that and I ventured outside to get the story. Our street got busy for the next couple of hours.

In all we had two police cars, the fire truck, and five Fortis gas trucks on our street. It took about 45 minutes to get the gas shut off and another hour to repair the pipe. We weren't evacuated or given an evacuation notice but the people on the corner were. It turned out the gas line was buried 7" above where it was suppose to be.
We talked to Son and family last night about their trip to Nova Scotia and it sounds like they had a great time seeing the area. They had a seafood cook out with a friend who lives in Truro and they raved about how good it was.


I sewed off and on in the sewing room all day and it was so nice to do that.
First thing in the morning, I hauled out this fabric.

Daughter-in-Law uses @frogger for everything. Before I knew it, the handles were made.
And before lunch, the grocery bag was finished.
After lunch and a short break, I started on the doll's western shirt. I spent some time figuring out how to match the pattern, make the front band on the bias and start sewing it.
This shirt has a collar and collar band. When I stopped for the day, I had gotten what I wanted done and the sleeves cut out ready to make. The sleeves have a placket and cuffs so some more tiny sewing has to be done. Next - order the cowboy boots.
I have to say that I am enjoying sewing from the pile on the cutting table. I pick a fabric, sew it and repeat.


I am back to work for the next 5 days.
Until the next time...................

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some Sewing Done

We have had a variety of weather since I last posted. High winds, rain, thunder, lightening, and sunshine. Our hottest day was 35.7C or 96F and the coolest day was 21.3C or 70F. They were two days apart and we really felt the temperature difference. Our nights are cooler now which is nice.


Our street is a mess but the majority of the digging is done. We have had no water during part of the day for over a week. But they installed new lines into the houses and new valves at the intersection where we reside. Now they can start getting the road ready for pavement, cement curbs and a sidewalk. All is progressing well.
The Spousal Unit spent yesterday morning having his 5th immune booster IV. It went well and he has his last one Sept. 21. Then he will only have a month to wait until he has his cataract surgery. He is happy about that.
My weight is still coming off though slower now. It seems to be more in the normal weight loss range each week. I am a pound short of having lost 10% of my body weight. I look forward to that happening. I am feeling so much better and look forward to do more as time goes on.


I brought one doll home and she got to model the jeans with the attached chaps.
One of the rhinestones fell off the chaps so I need to hot glue it back on. Next on the list is the shirt and the boots need to be ordered.
I bought another doll and will be making her a western outfit that includes a skirt, vest, and top. Both dolls will be displayed at the store.
I made two minion pillows for Grandson and the tutorials are up. I have enough fabric to make him two more pillows but will make Daughter-in-Law another reusable grocery bag as a belated birthday present.
I haven't moved much more out of the sewing room as I am short on space to store it. I think I need to really start using up what I have. So far, I have bought 4 zippers for the cushion covers. No fabric though I do get to do pick another project on Sept. 1. Have it picked out in my mind -- fabric and pattern.


I am off work and have to do laundry, clean house, and make the grocery bag. I am looking forward to a day at home.
Until the next time....................

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cushion Cover Tutorial Part 2

You now have all your pieces cut and are ready to sew up your cushion cover.

Back of Cushion Cover

Press under 1/2" on the 18" side of the cushion cover. Pin in place and press.
Turn right side up and pin the zipper to one of the turned under seam allowances. Pin into place.
Using your zipper foot, stitch the zipper in place back stitching at both ends. I open my zipper about 8", stitch to it, then lift the presser foot and close the zipper. Make sure your needle is in the down position.
With zipper closed, pin the second back section to the zipper making sure both ends are even with the stitched piece.
 Take the front piece and lay it on top of the back right sides facing together.
I took the time to measure to make sure the top piece was 18" square and to determine where I would have to adjust my seam allowance.
After I pinned around the cushion cover, I made sure the bottom zipper tape was pinned as was the top zipper tape was pinned with the zipper closed.
Remove a couple of pins and reach in and open the zipper about 6-8" and pin the opening closed again.
Sew around the cushion cover using 1/2" seam allowance. I back stitched at all four corners and across the zipper top and bottom. Cut the zipper ends off both sides.
Cut the corners diagonally. Open the zipper, turn cushion cover right side out. I rolled the edges and gave it a good press before I put the cushion form into it.
Front of the cushion

Showing the zipper
You can stitch the backs together to insert a 16" zipper if you want. As this pillow is going on a chair, I chose a zipper the width of the cushion (18").
The second cushion cover was made in about 30 minutes as it was already cut out.

Cushion Cover Tutorial (Part 1)

I have been asked to write a tutorial on how to make a cushion cover with a zipper in it. How I do it is a combination of reading about how others make theirs and a whole lot of experimentation.


I like cushion covers to be tight over the pillow form and spent a lot of time figuring out how to come up with a simple formula. It hit me one day and it works.
When you cut out your fabric, you cut it out the same size as the pillow form.
14" pillow has 14" squares of fabric, 16" pillow has 16" squares of fabric and on it goes.
Then, I wanted to put in the zipper in the back of the pillow so I had to figure out that. You cut out the back square one inch longer than the front.
14" pillow is 14" x 15", 16" pillow is 16 x 17" and on it goes.
Zippers then follow the size of the pillow. 14" zipper for a 14" pillow, 16" zipper for a 16" pillow and so on. If you can't get the right size zipper, buy a longer one and cut off the bottom when you sew it in. Easy.


I use 100% cotton for my pillows. Mostly quilting cottons but I have used cotton upholstery fabric. I am ready to move out into other fabric in the store. But, I am not ready to use the heavy fabrics. That will come with experimentation.

Fabric Amount

  • 40" of fabric will make 2 cushion covers between the sizes of 14 to 18" square. After that, you have to do some math. 48" will make two 22" cushion covers.
  • Two zippers to match the width of your pillow for 2 cushion covers.
  • Matching thread.
I use a rotary cutter and a 20" square ruler when cutting my squares. If you don't have that make a paper pattern.
1 - square the size of your cushion form (18" for this tutorial)
1 - piece that is the width of your cushion cover and 1" longer. (18 x 19" for this tutorial)

Preparing Your Fabric

If you plan on washing your cushion cover, wash, dry and iron your fabric prior to cutting out.
Trim the end of your fabric square using a rotary cutter and ruler.
Flip your fabric over and cut a piece that is 18" from the trimmed end.
Set that piece to one side.
Cut a second piece that is 19" long.
You will have a piece left at the end to discard. I prefer to have 2 or 3" left than not enough.
Take your pieces and trim off the selvage edge.
 Open up the fabric so it is only 2 layers thick and cut them to be 18" wide. There should be a piece of fabric left from the folded edge.
Take the back piece (18 x 19") and cut it in half so you have four pieces 18" x 9.5". These will the part where the zipper goes.

You are now ready to sew up your cushion cover in Part 2.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Yesterday was a gorgeous day with a high of 33C or 91.5F. We must be getting use to it as we don't complain about it being hot. We just monitor how much we are outside in the heat.
The sky looked gorgeous last night and I had to snap a couple of pictures of it.


I had to take the Spousal Unit to the hospital yesterday for a biopsy on his back. The procedure takes a few minutes but the waiting takes 50 times longer. He had to be frozen and then wait his turn.
We got done near lunch time so we headed to McDonald's for lunch. I was well behaved and had a grilled chicken burger and 6 small fries. After that we went to another grocery store and did a bit of shopping and a lot of looking. Got home around 2 p.m.
The road crew finished work early yesterday and it was quiet out there. You don't realize how quiet until they shut down all the equipment and leave. No noise until Monday. Bliss in our minds. But WRONG!! They are at it again at 7:15 a.m.
My weight is still going downwards. I am amazed that it is coming off easily. This morning I found a new set of numbers which was exciting.


I emptied more out of the sewing room yesterday. It got put into our bedroom as we are running out of space in the living room.
I went through the yarn and got some ready to donate and threw out some small balls of orphan yarn. The empty containers got sewing books in them for the time being. The closet is almost empty but not quite. Another day and it will be done.
I decided to write a tutorial on how to make cushion covers my way. It is a combination of reading and experimenting. It will be done in two parts. My feature fabric is
Minions for Grandson's game room. Each meter (40") of fabric will make him 2 - 18" cushions.
This is the beginning of a bunch of simple projects that I left on the table. I can put down part of the cutting table and still cut out the squares and rectangles of fabrics to make these projects. The vast majority is reusable grocery bags and small bags to put stocking stuffers into.


I work today -- the first of three days before my next day off. I have a feeling it will be a busy day doing a wide variety of things.
Until the next time.......................

Friday, August 19, 2016

Making A Mess

Yesterday was another lovely summer day with a high of 32C or 90F. Today is suppose to be warmer and then hot on Saturday. This morning was cool at 13C or 55F. That is nice to feel.


Our street was busy yesterday being destroyed for new water shut off valves for the area. The fellows arrived early and worked 10 hours steady.
We park on the street behind the excavator and walk in to the house. We didn't have water for 9 hours yesterday which was a bummer. But, we have new valves and water last night. We won't have water again today, Monday and Tuesday.
Son and family are in Nova Scotia and are touring around the province. They were at Peggy's Cove yesterday and sent this picture.

Yes, our grandson is kissing the seagull but I love the scene of the buildings sitting in the water.


I started to clean out the sewing room and it is confirmed!! I have brought in more fabric than I have sewn. That has to change.
I started by cleaning out the closet as the painter wants to paint it the same colour as the room.
I was on the road to a great mess and no idea of where to put it. As I sorted and piled, I decided to put it into the living room.
I went through all the garment fabric boxes and made some decisions on it. Most of it I kept and will sew it up. A few pieces will be kept for later on -- the silk/cotton blend and a piece of lovely cotton to muslin a dress  for next summer. The rest has to be sewn up over the winter.
The next was the craft fabric and I decided to keep most of it as I did purge it way down last fall. I have a bunch of it on the cutting table to make simple items so am happy with that decision. Those went out into the living room.
Then I hit the patterns for another round. I have patterns to go and then organized the ones to keep. They are now in the living room.
I was so tired doing all that work, I had a nap. I am not finished as there is still fabric in the sewing room, books to look through, and other stuff to be put away. The garbage and recycle did get taken out.


The Spousal Unit has to go to have a biopsy done on his back and then the rest of the day will be spent cleaning up the sewing room. When done, the Spousal Unit can take down the valance over the window and fix it up. It will be nice to see it gone as it made a huge difference in the guest room.
Until tomorrow (if I'm not missing in the mess)....................

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Another Project Idea

We have been having some sunny, summer weather the past few days. It is to be warmer this weekend which is great for people on vacation but bad for fires. We are drying out rapidly.


The Spousal Unit had a rough day this week. He felt off and tired. I personally think he got over heated, sweat like crazy and ended up with a bit of heat exhaustion. He is feeling much better again and is doing things in the coolness of the morning.
Our street looks like a horse trail and is very dusty. Though they water it several times a day, the dust still is floating in the air. There has been no water during the day since Monday and we expect it will continue until Friday afternoon. I will have to do laundry early and late on my days off this week.
My weight is continuing to go down hill. I have now lost 21.6 pounds and am feeling so much better. Donna, I am glad to have inspired you to join Weight Watchers. I have found that portion control and walking lots on work days have been a key element to weight loss. When I retire, I will have to either join a gym or walk 5 km every day.


McCalls 6124
I am hoping to make this shirt for my next project. I love the versatility of the pattern. Many different lengths and princess seaming. I will probably start off with View C (blue pants) and then do a couple of more lengths. Fabric is to be 100% cotton in a lovely red Santa Fe print.
I will begin cleaning up my sewing room tomorrow. I have chosen to make simple projects such as bags and one doll shirt. Most of the stuff has to be removed from the room which is a pain and I need to figure out how to store it so I can get to certain fabrics and notions. On the up side-- the room will get a good cleaning and some purging.


Is my last day of work before I get Thursday and Friday off. Thursday will be a bit of a write off as the Spousal Unit has to have a biopsy done on his back and we will have no water for clean up. I will grin and bear it.
Until the next time.........................

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's Done

It was warm and calm yesterday. The high was 33.6C or 95.5F. We sat outside twice in the shade and it was warm out there.


It was quiet on our street yesterday. No equipment moving other than the watering truck. It starts again tomorrow for five days.
We were out twice yesterday. The first for groceries, the second a trip to the book store. The Spousal Unit got 3 books and I got one. We used a gift card, got a gift card, and paid 40 cents for our purchase. We had a chuckle over that.


I pushed on and finished the vest by 4 p.m.
I spent quite a bit of time on the finish as I wanted it to look good. The buttons are square to match the check.
While making the vest, I worried about not using interfacing in the front facings but it works. I can see wearing it this winter when it is cold. Right now, I sweat when I think of putting it on. Glad I made it a size smaller.


I work 8 hours -- 3 hours by myself doing books and then on the floor when the store is open for 5 hours. Discounting and ordering will probably be the name of the game.
Until the next time.............................