Thursday, October 30, 2014

Decisions and Planning to Explore 2015

It was somewhat warmer yesterday and we did see some blue sky and sunshine. It certainly was nice to see the sunshine.

I started the morning off with cleaning up the kitchen. It was between “Not Bad” and “Yuck”.  It is done and I am happy with how it looks.

I am wanting to take part in a holiday mystery table runner. I drug out 7 tubs of Christmas fabric to find two groupings of which I must choose one to make.

I love cardinals, especially the red ones. I have ornaments of them throughout the tree at Christmas time. The first grouping of fabric leans that way.


The backing is the top fabric. This runner could be on our table with the two cardinal ornaments I put on the table at Christmas time.

The second grouping is snowmen and blue. Again I am partial to this combination. I could use it in the dining room for January and make a couple of small items for the furniture in there. There is plenty of fabric there if I buy the backing fabric.


I have to decide as I need to do step one by Sunday. I am leaning towards the red set. If I like the pattern, I will do the blue combination only if the snowman fabric works. All the snowmen go in one direction and it needs a pattern that looks at that.

The other things I did yesterday was to read my email as I didn’t look at it for two days. A lot of it got dumped into the trash but two I kept were from Knit Freedom. Liat is a wonderful writer and an awesome knitter. I have several of her patterns plus a couple of her ebooks.

She asked the question of “If you and I were having a conversation a year from today, and you were looking back over the past year, what has to have happened in your knitting for you to feel happy with your progress?”

In the past year, I have grown a lot in my knitting but still have a long ways to go to be a master knitter. A year from now, I would like to be knitting continental and working through some classes on knitting. Start at beginners and move forward. The next email talked about three challenges:

  • Patience with the pattern and keeping track of where you are. That is happening using a row counter and paper when necessary.
  • Knowledge of knitting abbreviations. Google and YouTube are my best friends. I do read my instructions out loud saying the abbreviations in full words.
  • Challenge your hands. I need to be here. I have learned how to knit with my elbows in and not move my hands a lot using the throw method. Now it is time to learn how to do the continental method of knitting.

So, one of my goals is to learn the continental method after I finish the pink baby shawl. I will be making another baby sweater which is all garter stitch. I can learn how to knit continental while knitting the sweater. I have Liat’s eBook on this topic so am ready to go. When I have it mastered (kind of) I will be buying a beginners course through The Knitting Guild Association. I will be working through the courses to take the Master Knitters Level 1 sometime down the road. I am so looking forward to exploring the world of knitting at a different level and receive feedback from the best.

I do feel good knowing how I want to explore next year. I will get myself organized on what I want to do in sewing as I clean up the room and handle the fabric.

Today I need to keep working on cleaning the house, do some literacy work, and try to put away some more items in the sewing room.

Until tomorrow………………………………

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Swirling Thoughts and Settled Plans

It has warmed up slightly due to the Pineapple Express that has come our way. It is also cloudy with some rain though we did see the sun shine a bit yesterday.

Our meeting went well yesterday and I can see progress being made for those who will work in the literacy field for years to come. The validation of what is being done to promote literacy is wonderful.

I had time to do a bit of thinking about the sewing room and what direction I am going to take with it. I let the ideas swirl around and around and around and then let it settle into a plan.

I want to keep the curtains and runners that I already have in that room.


The print matches up quite nicely with the paint colour I have chosen to paint the walls. It is calming but it also adds a bit of colour to the room that is in the basement.


I have collected items over the  years that fit in this colour scheme. Some are gifts, others are items belonging to my mom, and others are from my grandmother’s home. They have nestled well into this room.


How I plan to show case them simply will evolve as I redo the room. I am being very opened minded as I go about cleaning, sorting, and rearranging.


I want to keep it sewing related as this is what the room is about but I will bring in other items that I love.


And it needs some pictures also. I have the ones I want for the room in there.


The above one was stored for many years in a trunk and when I saw it, I had it matted and put back into its original frame.


This one was in my room as a child and I have always loved it. It needs a new glass in the frame.

I am going to pack the items I want to keep into tubs while I do the room. Two choices have been made – paint colour and knick knacks. We are moving forward.

Today I have to clean the kitchen. That is going to be a big job but we will survive it. I can always go down to the sewing room and put my treasures into containers as I start to dismantle the room. I also have a panel to sew into an advent calendar that I can putter at if necessary.

Until tomorrow………………………………

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Recharging the Batteries

It was a cool day yesterday; within the normal range for fall. The building we were in was cold and it made it worse. I arrived home feeling cold to the bone. I do hope we have heat today as we all grumbled.

Though I didn’t like the sound of the topics on the agenda for yesterday, I enjoyed the day. A group of us sort of let our feelings be known and, though it hurt, our presenters said they had food for thought. The majority of the literacy people are struggling financially and wonder if they will be working next year, one group stands out and we bombarded them with questions on their success. Theirs is a fabulous story with committed board that has been operating for many years.

I took a good look at my sewing room. It fared well this year when everything left. I took the time to clean up after every project and even swept the floor twice a week. But, it sure looks bare.


Other than a wall hanging that needs to be made, one would wonder if I sewed up a storm in that room.


Not a lot of sewing to be seen.


Thread is gone and the extension was put down. I had it up so I could lay out the dresses as I hemmed them.


Dress forms are naked and may leave this room forever. Both are in sad shape form over use.


A bit of a mess on the serger table. But the room is ready for its annual cleaning and I think this year it could be a major one. Actually, I am thinking of painting it. Daughter sent me this picture and we both fell in love with the colour scheme.


Though I had thought of blue walls, I am not going down that road. I plan on going with the lightweight beige and add darker shades of beige and the blues into the mix using fabric, etc. in the room. I am actually going to let it spill out into the rest of the house. Sewing and knitting will abound as I see our style of home in these colours with a pop of cranberry for excitement.

Today I have another day of meetings and then I have to get some groceries before I head home. I plan on knitting tonight as I didn’t have the energy to pick up the needles last night. I need to recharge to move forward.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Am Done

The weather is cool but I don’t care. I am done with all the sewing and happily helped put it into their garment bags and carry it outside to the vehicle.

To say I am happy is an understatement. It is a year late coming but this girl, her mom and sister are the sweetest people I have ever met. They were wonderful to work with on designs, fabrics, and colours. They willingly stepped outside the box to try new ideas and were excited to receive their gift.

I have shut the sewing room door for a few days and have to adjust to how bare it looks with no dresses and other items hanging up and fabric lying around ready to be sewn. I can hear the room saying “Clean me” and that I will do. But not until after I do a couple of small quilting projects.

One parting shot and then I will do a review next week as the pageant runs its course.


The next two days I am at meetings so I doubt if I will blog. I leave early and arrive home late so there will be no time to do anything. The dust bunnies will continue to multiply and the mess will not move an inch.

Until Wednesday…………………………..

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just Need to Hem

As it was dull and wet yesterday, I set about doing items inside. I got the turkey soup cooking with all the ingredients in it before lunch. The smell was wonderful as was the soup when we ate it for dinner. Perfect for a cool and damp fall day.

Daughter was talking about a piece of fabric she has on hand. I have a scrap of it here. By the time we were finished I think she has an outfit to make – a top and belt. I have ultra suede in the same colour and have this very expensive fabric to embellish both the top and the belt.


Between the time I put the carcass on to boil and when I had to make the soup,  the buttons were sewn onto the shirt. Only the hem left to do once it is tried on. Yes, the buttons are sewn on with the backs showing and you wouldn’t know that I did that trick.


Next the clasp was put onto the front of the vest to keep it closed. It is officially done.


I had a few minutes and hauled out the thread I won’t be using any more……


And bagged them up. I am not sure if I have any more to go in.


The dress pieces arrived after lunch and I went on a sewing marathon for the afternoon. I finished up around 4:30 p.m. exhausted. But the dress is ready to be hemmed. I am thankful that I only had to sew up the shoulder and side seams, insert the sleeves, add the lining and sew on the neck facing.

This dress has a bit of a vintage feel to it, which I sort of like. The large pieces of expensive lace on a tulip skirted dress does the talking rather than crystals and pearls. Even the neckline is nice.


And the skirt.


Some of the flowers (large and mid size) flopped around so I used applique tape to stick them in place.


I was tired last night but not exhausted. I did knit without falling asleep but had to unknit a couple of rows to fix a mistake. My brain is slowing down and emptying out which is nice.

Today I have the hems to do on both the dress and shirt. Thread changes on both the sewing machine and serger. Once that is done, I am finished client sewing. Perfect, as I am away for two days at meetings. I can come down from all this sewing in a different venue and talking with others on literacy.

Until tomorrow………………………………….

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nearing the End

We finally got our first frost yesterday morning. As the sun came up, the temperature dropped to 1.1C and in the low areas it was 0C and frost occurred. The high was truly fall weather – 13C or mid 50F. This morning it is 5C and raining.

Yesterday morning I started with the shirt looking like this (from the day before).


The front darts ran down to the hem. In the end, I needed the width at the hips so shortened the darts. I narrowed the sleeves by stitching the sleeve seams a full 1”. The end result prior to cuffs looks like this:


The cuffs are on the shirt and the buttons match to perfection if I put them on backwards.


Before lunch, I made two belts for the dresses and got that job out of the way. After lunch I went and got the leather vest to complete. I finished sewing it, turned it right side out and joined it at the shoulder seams. Done to the closure.


Daughter worked on a belt last night and it is ready along with the vest I made. This outfit will be cute.


vestbelt back

I have one dress left to sew and I am done. Sooooo happy to be at this stage of the game. It showed last night while I was knitting. I fell asleep in my chair and went to bed before 9 p.m. Exhaustion is setting in.

Today I have to put the buttons on the shirt and the closure on the vest. I am hoping the dress arrives to be sewn but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, I will clean up the house and cook turkey soup which is already on the stove boiling and making us want some right now.

Until tomorrow…………………….

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Slim Fitting Shirt

It is cool this morning. 2.6C or 36.7F. Yesterday was also cool getting to 12.6C or 54.7F. Wearing a light coat was a must while outside. It even rained about 1:30 p.m. and I turned the heat on to warm the house a bit. It was damp out there. I have to remind myself, next Friday is the last day of October and we haven’t had to run the heat very much this fall.

My trip to the city was fast. Shop, hair cut, home. I was home and unpacked by 1:30. I took a quick breath and hit the sewing room and sewed up a storm.

The plackets went into the sleeves with ease and the sleeves were prepped and inserted. Side seams sewn but not pressed. This is such an easy pattern to sew that when I stop for a short break, I don’t realize how much sewing I have accomplished until that point.

At that point I put it onto the dress form ready to fit it to a more slimming shape.


My plan is to take in the darts and side seams (cuff to hem) not quite as much as what I have pinned. The same for the darts. I will be slimming the sleeve width and adding the cuffs. I will do the button holes and sew on the buttons so it can be fitted on Sunday. At that point, the girl can wait for me to finish it up which will be less than an hour. Fingers crossed it will be serge the hem and sew it up.

I watched the Great Sewing Bee – Children In Need while supper was cooking. I enjoyed the first part on Oct. 21 and enjoyed this one a bit more. Pam, who acts on Call the Midwife was priceless in my opinion; great sense of humour and a wonderful sewer. The remaining three had fabulous senses of humour and showed some great sewing skills and creativity. I am able to watch these shows through using Google Chrome and Hola.

Today, my goal is to get the shirt ready for a fitting, finish up a leather vest and complete three easy belts. If that happens, I will have one item left to sew. The lining is done, all the pieces cut out and, once bedazzled, ready to sew. That means shoulder seams, side seams, insert lining, neck facing, and hems. The end is near and I can’t wait to get back to a more well balanced schedule.

Until tomorrow……………………………….