Saturday, December 28, 2013

Home From our Holiday

We arrived home from our holiday at our son’s, daughter-in-law’s and grandson’s home. It was an exciting time.

We traveled over by plane on the busiest day and had three delays in Vancouver. Thank goodness we had business class tickets so spent quite a bit of time in AC’s lounge. We arrived at our destination at 1:13 a.m. and didn’t feel so bad as another carrier’s plane to the same airport at about the same time got delayed until 3:45 a.m.

The whole visit was fun. Six adults and one child in a small house was interesting. We did get outside as the weather was unseasonably warm. But inside we could move from one space to another and sit. We had some good laughs and during our time there, the “kids” put an offer on a house that was accepted. More space to move around in the next time we have Christmas together.

Some pictures of our Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas and


I was so excited I couldn’t fall asleep.

Santa got his snack


using a special set of dishes.

The stockings were hung


and poor St. Nick


had to leave presents on the floor too.

Stockings were first


and then came the gifts


And when all was done


Grandpa and I had on our cowboy clothes.

It was a very special first Christmas with our grandson. Hope all of you had a great Christmas too.

Now we are home and the sewing room is calling to be cleaned. The washing of the walls begins today.

Until tomorrow………………………

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bond Knitting Machine Links

I have been looking at a used Bond knitting machine that is a 4 hour drive from here. I started looking on the internet for what should be in the case and what extras can I purchase if I want to.

Next, I looked up websites on using the Bond and the further I dug, the deeper I went. All I can say is WOW!! Not only for machine knitting but for hand knitting.
Bond’s website has a lot of videos to watch. Some are good, others are short. Combined, they do tell a good story.

Then I clicked onto Cheryl Burnette’s How to Knit A Sweater book. I may have to buy that one. Then I looked at her How to Knit a Sweater Workshop for both hand knitting and using the Bond.

I was digging deep and exploring a lot just in that area plus her You Tube videos. I realized I can hand knit and improve my techniques in sewing my garment and I can learn more about using the Bond knitting machine.

If that wasn’t enough, I discovered the blog Diana natters. Another lady full of knitting machine information. Almost to overload. Really, I had to stop there.
 I saw how to do ribbing without a ribber, do short row knitting, and to add a ribbed band to a beret. Way too cool.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Review of Sewing Part 4

The last creation had it trials and tribulations. It was actually nerve wracking.

I ordered the leather at the end of September and it was shipped promptly. But there was a mistake on the postal code. That shipment of leather arrived somewhere else. Was it Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan? We will never know. The order had to be refilled and shipped as fast as it could.

Having it come late was stressful as the pattern got changed. I do like the pattern choice much better. I started of making the lining to get the fit at the side seams correct.


I rounded the corners on the lower fronts and set in the sleeves of the lining. The leather was cut and sewn with the saree glued down in the centers of the flowers. The chiffon was later cut away so the design was left.

I cut the edging from the saree, stiffened it, and trimmed it for the outside edge of the jacket and the sleeves. I glued it on and then we started to cut away the saree.

The back


The front


It was finished in five long days of sewing. It was an exhausting time but I came out smiling. I was done!! Five days after the deadline I had set.

It is now time to move on to other things. To balance my life between sewing, literacy, and fun. One should not take precedence over the other unless it is fun.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Review of Sewing–Part 3

In the box sent to me was a fuchsia saree and a pant suit. The saree was to be used in a dress and the pant suit was to have embroidery on it. There was a compromise on the suit but that will come later.

Daughter and I had spent most of a day figuring out dress designs for several clients that would be wearing dresses at this  year’s Miss Rodeo Canada event. No two dresses could be the same as the other. As this girl is one of two competing, her two dresses (and one other) got the best of designs.

Once the design was chosen, the fabric purchased, and patterns traced, the saree would not talk to me. I really struggled getting this dress done. I started on the sleeves as they spoke first. The appliques are the same and placement is

One up
And one down


I sewed the dress to hemming it before the neckline applique spoke and I finished it.


To add to the dramatic effect of this dress, an overskirt was decided upon. I got it cut out and the biggest applique laid on to it. It wasn’t talking to me. It was actually ignoring me. And it ignored Daughter too.

This is one of many layout designs we tried.
This looks like it has wings on each side so the overskirt can open up and fly away.

As you can see, the dress does not have an applique on it other than the sleeves and neckline. That started after we got to this stage and Daughter and I talked. That talk led me to cutting the flower out of the large spray I had laid out on the back of the skirt. That was 24 hours after the last design layout.

Once that was done, the outfit fell together. The large spray was discarded from the picture and once that was done we boogied. It wasn’t only speaking to us, it was yelling at us to get busy.


And we were thrilled to be creating. In the process of it speaking, we found crystals that were for an other project that died in the water. So we used them. Volcano stones but these are pinker than the ones used on the velvet jacket.

We decided that the overskirt would be quite plain. All the appliques got hidden in the gathers. Only the edging was used and hand sewn on. It’s simplicity is perfect.


It was done with about 40 hours of hand sewing.

As there was enough of the fuchsia fabric left over, I made a short jacket. It did not work with the dress – curves and straight lines were clashing. In fact is was reminding me of something from you know where.


No matter what we did, it wouldn’t work for us. So we used another idea so it be worn with a lace top and black jeans. It is cute.


The compromise. The black pantsuit was suppose to be embroidered and that meant ripping it all apart to major dollars. The compromise was to add red, black, and gold appliques to it. They were in the stash and ready to go.


Each one of those pieces had to be sorted to mirrored pairs, pinned on and hand sewn down without coming through the lining. It was a huge task. What was left over was carefully put onto the pants to look balanced with the jacket and then hand sewn on.


The fashion show. All three dresses were made in BC.

nicole fashion 2

Nicole fashion 6

The last project is a leather jacket. Stay tuned for Part Four.

Friday, November 08, 2013

A Review of Sewing Part 2

In mid June, a client sent me three sarees to make two dresses and a jacket. Also in the box was two ready made outfits to add embroidery and bling to.

On the first outfit they wanted crosses embroidered onto the vest and jeans. A lot of work that I wasn’t ready to do. I had to come up with an alternative and come up with one quickly.

Each of the crosses was embroidered onto organza and water soluble stabilizer. When done, I rough cut the cross, soaked it in water, dried it, added steam-a-seam to the back, and cut out each one carefully. I placed them, ironed them into position and then hand stitched each one down with invisible thread. Silver studs were added to the outfit.
The second outfit consisted of a dress and a jacket, which is a muslin on steroids. A saree was sent that was the starting point of the dress.
Purple Velvet
To get a good colour match, stretch velvet was purchased. To stabilize the stretch, the dress and jacket were both underlined with a nice lining I found for 2.00/meter in the bargain center in Fabricland. The patterns used for the dress were McCalls 2401 for the basic dress pattern, Vogue 8766 for the scoop neckline, and McCalls 6770 for the skirt. The jacket pattern is McCalls 5668.
The dress came together quite nicely. The appliques from the saree were placed so the two joined together on the body and the third one was placed on the sleeve. I used two pieces from the bodice of the saree for the cuff. All were hand stitched down. The edging from the saree was sewn around the bottom of the skirt. Again, all hand sewn down. The dress has 20ss clear crystals put on it.

As there was enough fabric left over from the dress, I decided to try out the jacket pattern. I lengthened the sleeves and took them in some. I lined the jacket and had some issues to work out and they are now recorded for the next jacket. Once done, it was good enough to gift to the client and needed some jazzing up. There were pieces left over from the edging which included where the saree turned corners at one end. When the jacket was done, I threw those corners onto the jacket and voila. I got a unique look. I handed tied off the beads at the shoulder edge and started to sew the edging onto the jacket. I worked the edging so they met and looked like they were part and parcel of each other. The closure is two large hook and eyes. I used two more pieces from the saree bodice on the cuffs of the sleeves. The crystals are 20ss volcano crystals.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

A Review of 2013’s Sewing Part 1

2013 was a busy year and one I do not wish to repeat again in some ways. In other ways, it was great as I got to try out new ideas.

I sewed until I was sick of sewing and then I sewed some more. I could not afford to loose my mojo. It was a case of keep on going.

I made two items for Miss Rodeo Canada 2013. They were gifts to her as she was amazing at what she did for MRC.

Gillian 2013

I also sewed for another person and it was a massive amount of work. Only one of the shirts shown remained with me. There are several others that were not finished due to time constraints and other issues.

Emma 1

And more. The vest didn’t get sent either. It also had a plain pink shirt made to go with it.

Emma 2

And this shirt that somehow eluded me but took lots of hours to hand sew the appliques on to.


And then I did a redo on a pink dress and sponsorships. There were two other banners with white stitching on them. No picture to be found. The lilac vest was done for a young lady who was finishing up her reign. The teal shirt is one of three I made for another queen contest. The green dress was for another queen. I only did the sewing on it but the skirt was a new design. And the bag for a boy who started reading with me on a weekly basis.


I also did this embroidery on a pair of jeans for Miss Rodeo Canada. Cute but labour intensive.


That was from January to mid June. I was exhausted and ready for a rest. But that didn’t happen; no rest for this lady.


Monday, September 30, 2013

End of September!

Though it was to rain yesterday, we had wind, clouds, and gorgeous sunshine. It was a beautiful fall day. Warm except when the sun went behind the clouds but who is complaining. It is the end of September above the 49th. October begins tomorrow.

Juliane, you asked if I use interfacing or horsehair braid on the hems of the dresses I make. The answer is no. Some of the creations have tiny hems on them according to the patterns I use/abuse. The ones that call for 1 1/4” hems are usually underlined and that gives the hems enough weight to hold them out. I will be using it on one dress I plan on finishing next year. It will need either horsehair braid or interfacing to give it a nice look. I did do horsehair braid on the red bridesmaid’s dress that I hemmed. It was a fuller skirt than what I make and gave the skirt a nice appearance.

Gertie has a wonderful tutorial on her blog that is worth reading up on and following for a full skirt. I am thinking of using this method some day.

Until tomorrow……………………

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Elliott Day

There are days when we think we have three Elliotts in the house. Really we only have one. These three cats look a lot like him; they could be siblings but they aren’t.

Until tomorrow……………….

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Our Son and Grandson

I put the following picture on the patio table this morning and the Spousal Unit looked at it and said “The Dude”. It is actually our son just before his 8th birthday.


And the Dude. He is a year younger than our son in this pictures.


A strong family resemblance I would say.

Until tomorrow…………………………

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday turned in to a lazy day. I did get the guest room cleaned up but not much else got done. We were tired from go, go, go. We hit stop, stop, stop.

Saying goodbye to Jill.


Getting into the car.


In the car.


Heading to Jasper for two days.


The bedroom is cleaned ready for them to visit again.


Today we are heading into town to do a bit of shopping. I need to go to Fabricland for some Fray Check, Staples to get the wireless printer, and then buy some groceries. I don’t know if I will get into the sewing room but if I do, I will finish up the sleeves and insert them into the body of the lining. We will see how it goes.

Until tomorrow……………………..

Friday, August 23, 2013

D Day

It is D day. Departure Day for our son and his family. It certainly will be quiet when they are gone. We are certainly going to miss them a lot.


Judith, the Fraser and Thompson Rivers meet in Lytton, BC. You have to go into the town; we went in the from the north end. We headed down and parked in a small parking lot at the start of the river and then walked across the bridge taking pictures as we went along.

Yesterday was a warm day so we started off the day with painting a birdhouse. We worked on it over the day until it was finished.


After lunch, we went for a short drive to the vegetable ranch and got a ride on the tractor.


And The Dude got to drive it by himself.


Afterwards we watched the crew unload bins of tomatoes with forklifts and load a semi with cases of vegetables (eggplants to be sure).

As it was hot, the electronics were put away and water was turned on. With Auntie and Uncle here for a visit, we had a lot of good laughs.

Today is house cleaning day and then I may get into the sewing room for a bit. Tomorrow is going to the city and Sunday is canning peaches. I may get the jacket done by Sunday night.

Until tomorrow……………………

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Round Trip

Today is our last day with our son and family. We are sure going to miss them a lot. We have had lots of good times and laughs.

Yesterday we did an all day drive going south, then north, then east and back home. It was a lot of fun though there are some “interesting” sections of road.

We stopped about an hour down the road at a picnic site. We wandered around as we took the dog with us.


We looked at the river and the trains and it was a lot of fun for The Dude.


There was a work train loading gravel and we watched it for a bit.


When it was time to have our picnic lunch, a family of hornets moved in and we fled to the car and ate in there.


Making sandwiches in the back of the car.


After we ate, we headed to see where the Thompson and Fraser Rivers meet. Yes, the clean Thompson meets the dirty Fraser River.


And a close up of the meeting of the rivers.


We travelled in a valley between mountain ranges. It was a glorious trip though the road was twisty and single lane in one spot.

When we got to the last community, we stopped for a bit of a break. At the train station we saw the train which runs locally.


This train takes school children to and from school daily and is available for anyone to use. There are regular trains that go through this station on their way to Dawson Creek, BC.

We were happy to get home after an exciting day. Jill was happy to get out too.


She is such a trooper to sit in the very back with The Dude.

Until tomorrow when I hope to get into the sewing room for a couple of hours.