Thursday, January 28, 2010

Too Many Trades?

As a Jill-of-all-trades married to a Jack-of-all-trades, sometimes I have to consciously avoid learning how to do and make new things. My mom once told me I'd do better at one thing if I didn't try to do so many things.

I know our 9-year-old inherited this creative urge something awful. Since we're not living in our home right now and don't have much of our own stuff, his creative outlets have gotten a little plugged. He came to me the other night, almost frantic, "I just need to MAKE something!!!!" He disappeared and I discovered him a while later in the kitchen constructing some kind of umbrella out of toothpicks and aluminum foil.

Anyway, I'll blame it on boredom, but I gave in and let my mom teach me how to knit. It's addicting! I went out the next day and bought my own set of needles and two balls of yarn, hubby's mockery notwithstanding.

Molly quickly learned to appreciate the art.

If you don't knit, you may not know that knitting is essentially combining two different kinds of stitches to make different patterns. I've been using the Library of Knitting Stitch Patterns as a resource for making this sampler scarf for my 5 year old:

Above is the pattern "squares in squares".

Above you can just barely see diagonal steps.

Not one to avoid unrealistic challenges, I decided to make hubby a scarf for his birthday in 3 days. Do you think I'll finish?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Fabric of 2010

We've just moved halfway across the country, we're living in my in-laws' home, and my machines are in storage until we buy a house. So there's been no sewing going on around here. However, that hasn't hindered me from exploring the new fabric stores in the area.

This is 2 yards of Land's End Polar Berber Fleece from Mill End Textiles. I was a little overwhelmed walking into this store (partly because I had just come in from near-blizzard conditions and had 5 kids in tow...). 1/3 of the store is quilting fabrics and the rest is coating, suiting, knits, denim, corduroy, velvet, flannel, home dec and tons of fleece. With a coupon, this fleece was $3.29 a yard.

It's extremely thick and soft and it'd make a great blanket if I didn't have other plans for it.
I originally planned to make this fleece jacket, but the fabric is so cozy, I might make something with a hood instead.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pies and Bars

Pies and Bars sound a lot more tasty than boring statistics. Since our family just moved halfway across the country (1600 miles) and are living temporarily at the in-laws' and I have no access to my machines for a while, I thought it'd be fun to do some (over)analyzing of the past year's sewing. The stats include 91 apparel items, but do not include 34 non-apparel items (couch cushion covers, toys, doll bedding, banners, etc.)

I wish I knew how to make these bigger, but you should be able to enlarge by clicking.

Garment Type

Pattern Used


Month Sewn

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


My husband and I collaborated on the Christmas gifts for our girls and nieces: I sewed and he sawed. I made bedding for all six beds, but realize I took photos of only 3 sets.

No close-ups of the horrible, terrible binding. Ack! 4 straight lines and 4 corners. I think binding is much easier on clothing, for some reason.

The sheet and pillowcase fabrics are from the ill-used quilting stash. That wonderful quilted material comes PRE-quilted from the interfacing and muslin section at Hobby Lobby. I don't know what it's normally used for, but it screamed doll bedding to me!

My favorite part is the pillows and pillowcases, although I realize now that they look tiny in proportion to the beds.

Monday, January 11, 2010

You Can't Sew with Wood

But hammering and sawing a raw material to create something is the same idea, right? These doll beds are my husband's handiwork for Christmas - three for the nieces, and two for two of our girls. Girl #3 will get hers (not pictured) when she's old enough to use it for something other than a teething toy.

The base is removable.

Now that they're made, my husband is trying to devise a way to make them collapsible, since they're so large - about 20 x 15 inches.


©2009 21 Wale | by TNB