Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dalliance Gloves, Round 2

I decided to give the Dalliance Glove pattern another go. This time around I used the same knit from the Infinity Scarf and a matching remnant for the lining. Since the fabric had so much pattern, I skipped the pleated exterior and just used the ‘shell’.

According to the directions, because I was using a knit material, I was to cut the ‘small’ pattern size – no matter what the person’s hand size was. While this time around the gloves are considerably easier to put on, they still feel too tight -I’m pretty sure that I could have made the largest size and it still might be too snug. Bummer, because I really wanted this pattern to work for me. I think the next time I want to make some sort of arm warmers, I’ll try my hand at making my own pattern.

The Great Closet Purge

One of my ‘resolutions’ for the new year was to go though my closet – something I haven’t done in years. I dreaded doing it not just because it’s such an undertaking, but also because it means parting with items I’ve sewn for myself. This weekend I mustered up the willpower and performed what I call, “The Great Closet Purge of 2011”. Once I got started, it got easier saying ‘goodbye’ to some of my favorite projects (because after pulling them out it was obvious that they were out of style – either by the style, shirt length, or even the fabric). Now that things are cleared out, I was able to do a wardrobe assessment to see what I ‘need’.

Probably what I need most are shirts – casual and ‘dressy’. Perhaps this year I’ll opt to make a few less trendy ones and stick with some that are more ‘timeless’. Secondly, shorts. I probably won’t be sewing that many for myself, but I won’t rule it out if I find a great pattern this spring. Next, dresses – the casual kind. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear ‘dressy dresses’, but would love some casual ones to wear out on ‘date night’ or just something quick and comfortable to throw on when heading to the store.

So, what does that all mean? Pattern shopping! I started off by picking up Simplicity 2250 – although Taylor saw it and claimed it as her own. I wonder how she’d feel about mommydaughter dresses at her age?

Double The Fun

Several weeks ago, I blogged about a new pattern up on The Sewing Republic website – The Infinity Scarf. After talking to my latest swap partner, I discovered this was a design that she really wanted – which gave me the perfect excuse to make one! In fact, this scarf is so cute and so easy, I made it twice!

I debated on what fabric to use. While my partner had linked to several ‘inspirational’ scarves that were made of some cute print, fleece, I really wanted to make her a scarf that looked like it had been ‘hand knit’. I searched my stash and came across a cream and gold cable knit material I had purchased from Fabric.com two years ago. Besides the fact that it looks like someone knitted it, it’s thin enough and has great drape – perfect for this design.

The first scarf I made was exactly the length described in the tutorial. The second version I made much longer – so that it can be wrapped around your neck twice (to keep you warmer) or left longer for a completely different look (when I see people wearing these out, they are generally long). I think that they both look great, but a word of caution: if you chose to make the longer version you need to be very careful as to the thickness of the material you’re using – if you get to heavy of a material, the scarf will lose it’s drapiness and it could very possibly add some unnecessary bulk to your midsection or look like you’re wearing a baby sling.

Linky Thursday

I’m going to start off today’s Linky Thursday with a NSFW entry: The Shock Jock Flirt Boxer and Brief by designer Andrew Christian (I’d send you to his site to check out the underwear as well, but some of the photos aren’t much more tasteful). I guess the logic is: since women can have padded, push up bras men can have padded (more like prosthetic), push up ‘supports’ themselves? Now is the ‘watch and wait’ for ‘knock offs’ to start showing up on etsy… unless they already exist.

49 of the 50 states currently have snow on the ground. Put that cold, wet stuff to good use and dye some fabric.

Unfinished projects? Host a party, post some pictures, and be entered into a drawing for 3 fabulous sewing books. Find out more, here.

Hemming jeans – we all dread it because the end result never looks ready-to-wear. Here’s a two part series on how to get the perfect fit without sacrificing the RTW style.

Simple, functional, and perfect for the cook – felt hot pads.

Seeing that I’ve joined two scarf swaps this month, it only seems fitting I follow a Scarf-a-Day website (for the month of January).

If you’re looking for a way to keep yourself warm and you love owls, then this pattern is just for you!

A felted and redesigned wool sweater tutorial by Kenneth King.

The Triangular Pouch may be my new ‘box bag’ style obsession.

A great way to use up scraps and make you children happy – indietutes baby doll tutorial.

Help those effected by the flood in Australia – not only are you helping those in need, but you could also win a contest. Make a donation to Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal then enter your receipt number in this post to win a Ric-Rac original.

Feeling chilled? This warm up wrap tutorial can help with that!

Snow Day

Snow day #2 is afoot – not just because of all the snow we received Monday, but because of our frigged wind chills (it’s almost 9 am and it’s still feels like -15 below). For most, snow days means productive sewing, but for me, it seems as if home bound children make for less time crafting. I have managed to put up a new article on Sewing Machine maintenance on BurdaStyle – with so many people beginning to take interest in home sewing and teaching themselves how to do it, it’s a good way to make sure everyone is taking care of their equipment. It’s also a great reminder to everyone else (because if you’re like me, you sometimes want to skip all the cleaning and just hop into the next project). Here’s a few tips that I put up on the site:

Change your needles often. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your machine working properly (not to mention keep your fabric from becoming ruined). A good rule of thumb is to change your needle after 8-10 hours of sewing or if it has become damaged.

Clean your machine after each project
. Even if you’re not working with a particularly ‘messy’ fabric, small particles of lint can still work their way throughout your machine. Use a small brush to clean areas such as feed dogs (removing the face plate will help in cleaning thoroughly) and bobbin case. Compressed air can be used to clean areas such as tension disks, but never blow into your machine – the moisture from your breath can cause the metal in your sewing machine to rust or corrode.

Oil your machine as recommended by your manual (some machines are self-lubricating and will not need oiling). Use small drops and only oil designed for sewing machines.

Tighten loose screws.

Keep your machine covered when not in use. This will prevent dust, hair, lint from entering your machine.

Have your machine serviced by a professional every two years. Not only will they thoroughly clean your machine, they will check for loose or broken parts, adjust the timing (if necessary) and keep your machine running smoothly for years!

Speaking of machine maintenance, today, I plan on venturing in the sewing room and attempting to change the blade in my serger myself (I did this with my previous machine, but this is the first time I’ll be doing it with my new one, YIKES). Wish me luck – I’d love to be able to do this myself and not have to take it into the shop!

Sunday Sling

Here it is, the first ‘big’ project of 2011, The Reversible Sunday Sling! As far a bag patterns go, this is a fairly simple one to construct – there are no snaps or zippers to contend with, but at the same time, you have a finished tote with a nice shape and some cute details. The instructions are easy to follow. However, I will admit, the pleats on the mail panel of the bag caused me some confusion. In part this was due to my “helper” (a.k.a. Easton) distracting me with dancing and Guitar Hero moves, but it was also in part to the illustration provided because it looked as if I should fold and measure more than what was really intended (doing this caused my pleats to be ‘off center’ and too large)… of course if I would have read the directions more clearly, I would have seen that I was doing it wrong! Once I realized my mistake and corrected my problem, it was smooth sailing. It’s a good thing too because the procedure for creating pleats is repeated several times throughout construction.

The only modification that I made to this pattern was eliminating the cell phone pocket. After starting on it, I discovered that it was going to be too small for my phone design (I have a Blackberry) and decided to just scrap it – the reverse side of the bag already has 4 large pockets and I figured one of them would be good enough to house my phone in it’s case. Overall I love this bag: it’s large (I used the small pattern), but not HUGE, it has cute design elements (I love the pleating on the main panels and side pockets and handle design), lots of pockets, and, best of all, it’s reversible so you get two bags in one!

Project Details:

Pattern:
Amy Butler’s Reversible Sunday Sling

Fabric:

Two Anthology Fabrics from Sew Much

Materials & Cost:
Pattern……..$0.00
Fabric………$25.68
Notions……..$16.73
Total……….$42.41

New Design For The New Year

If you logged in yesterday, you may have noticed a radical change – a new site design! I thought I would take a moment to walk you through some of the changes because they are vastly different:

On the top, right-hand portion of the screen are links to my RSS feed and to my Twitter page. Just a warning, I don’t always discuss sewing when I tweet! You’ll also find the search function, an ‘about’ page, and link to my Etsy shop (which is currently empty) right under that.

Links (which need updating, badly) appear on the top, left-hand portion of the site right under the Stacy Sews banner. At some point during the year, I will go through them and update.

Categories have remained the same. Clicking on them will take you to all the posts that have recently appeared in that group. Projects from this year (2011) appear under ‘Categories’ and will continue to contain information on fabrics, pattern(s), cost, etc. Previous year’s projects are in the drop-down menu – currently the costfabric information is not listed, but will eventually move over in the coming weeks. There is also a ‘monthly’ feature which is pretty self explanatory (you can also use the ‘older posts’ button at the bottom of the page for more recent posts that have moved off the main page).

Featured posts is a new element to Stacy Sews. It is ‘scrolling’ content that has appeared on the site at some point in time. As new, completed projects or tutorials are up, I plan on placing them here as well as in the actual post themselves.

The posts look very similar: The number of comments to each entry appear on the right (if there are no comments, no ‘bubble’ will appear). Clicking on the title to the entry or the comment number bubble(if there is one) will allow you to leave a message. You will now need to use a CAPTCHA code before submitting – hopefully this will cut down on the spam my site has been receiving.

Lastly, if you ever want to send me a message, show off your work, ask a question, or share a great sitelinkproject my email appears at the very bottom of the page.

I think that’s it! Many, many, many thanks go out to my husband who spent countless hours creating this new look and putting up with my critiques, dealing with the frustrations of a new program, and the headaches of converting all my old entries – I think he did a great job!

Keep Me Warm

I know that I get easily ‘distracted’ when it comes to sewing. I have a tendency to work on a project, see something that I have to make, then shove it aside to work on the new item – this is how my UFO (Un-Finished Objects) pile grows… and this is how my latest project came into being. Partners were assigned in the Keep Me Warm Swap last night and I was inspired to make this coffee cuff after ‘stalking’ my partner. Essentially I used an interfaced layer of fabric for the exterior and a piece of Jiffy Grip (that bumpy stuff you use for non-skid soles of slippers and kids footed pajamas) for the underside (with a layer of fusible interfacing in between) – this should keep the cuff from slipping off the cup while you’re drinking. The finished cuff is held together by an elastic band and large button.

I have to say, these are so easy to make and so cute – if I had more family members that drank coffeeteahot chocolate, I’d make them some… although this time I might give this design a whirl.

With that said, it’s time to get back to my Sunday Sling – it’s almost finished and I am determined that it will not become a UFO. How is every else’s New Year’s sewing going?

Blythe Love

I have wanted a Blythe doll for quite some time. There is something about those HUGE eyes (even in college I loved big eyed dolls, so much so a friend of mine once bought me a Little Miss No Name I obsessed over) and big head that totally won me over – not to mention the fashions are so cute on a miniature scale. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I will be getting one this Valentine’s day. Sunshine Holiday Blythe (pictured on the left) will be arriving sometime early next month! Of course, that means I’ll have the opportunity to make all sorts of fun doll fashions. I’ve managed to pick up Simplicity 2353 and even splurged on a Dolly Coordinate Recipe Book (also arriving in February). Stay tuned for some upcoming doll projects, but in the mean time does anyone else own a Blythe (Pullip, or similar) that has any suggestions for patterns, supplies, etc.?