Friday, February 17, 2017

Sewing Class : Soutien-Gorge 1 / Bra Making 1

knocked me outYesterday I started my latest sewing class, Soutien-Gorge 1 / Bra Making 1. I am taking it at Club Tissus in Laval with Mme Barnes. This class is only offered in French, but it is not an issue for me, and well worth it! Sometimes I get my terms mixed up, like paramenture and entoilage. But I write both terms on my patterns for easy reference.

So why a bra making class? I HATE, no I LOATH shopping for bras. They never seem to fit properly. I assumed it was due to having 2 kids, breastfeeding, loosing weight, etc. But after my first class I discovered it is due to the pattern. I need to adjust the upper cup and the placement of the underwire. And I need to reduce the space in the middle. Huhh, So not all women have the same standard shape? Not all women's ta-tas fall at the exact same place on their bodies? Who knew?

But seriously. I am very hopeful and confident that I will produce something of comfort, fashion and Za-Za appeal!

This course is a 5 week course and she provides the pattern. The bra takes 13 pieces to make. Now this may seem like a lot, but it really is not. The pattern we modify to fit us perfectly, as we always do in all of her classes. Seeing as the course if offered during a Thursday, the store is open during our class. This was marvelous as she went with us in the store to give us what we needed to buy. She had pre-made cut fabric and elastics ready for us. So easy. We will be making 2 bras. The first one is a standard white satin stretch. The second one will have lace. We will also learn how to die our materials. She has a binder of recipes using vinegar and food like fun dip and jello. I can't wait!

In the first class we learned how to take our measurements and where we need to make modifications. We also saw a demonstration of how to entoile / line our Satin stretch with Melonite. We traced our pattern, made modifications where necessary and cut the pattern out. Our homework is to cut out our fabric. Our homework is to cut the material for next class.

So here you can see the glory of having a carpenter husband! I was able to lay out the Satin Stretch and Melonite flat to iron it. I was able to fuse the 2 pieces together without having to move my material once.

Have I said I love my sewing table? I love it! Thank you Simon!

So Simon was playing XBox, he said something, I looked up at the TV and Wham-o! I made a mistake. Mme Barnes always said that you have to smooth over your material, you have to caress the material. Yup. I didn't here. Because it is fused together I can't smooth it out.

Now you can't really see, but up close you can. there is a hair stuck in between the 2 materials. I have long hair and it gets in my face when I lean over to sew. I placed my hair up when I placed my material, but a hair STILL got out.

Another lesson learned.

Last night I cut out the material. There were only 4 pieces to cut out. I laid out my material, I aligned the pattern pieces. Somewhere between the layout and placement I switched the direction the pattern pieces lay. Thank goodness I noticed it after cutting out only one. I was tired and silly. I mixed up the grain line with my stretch direction.

I panicked, I begged Simon to help me and double check what I was doing. He enjoyed this as he was able to take the pieces and lay them on me to double check which direction the stretch should go in. Win-Win, lol.

Lesson learned. I will never forget which way the stretch goes on this pattern. Just like the time I made Tyler his Halloween PJ pants and I put the pattern upside down. I will NEVER make that mistake again. Oh, how it is fun to learn!

Class #2

I am feeling a bit nervous after class #2. I have a head cold and am tired. The information just does not sink in the same. There are many steps that involve placing the pattern pieces in strange positons. The construction is simple enough though. I will approach it in small steps.

She cut up a sample bra and we go to take home one half of a bra. I will use this as a real sample to help me construct my next steps.

Reading over our class notes I am reassured. The steps are clearly laid out for me. The only trouble I have is with the translation of certain terms. I always confuse the French terms for "right side" and "wrong side". I will have to write it down on a sticky note as a reminder.

Now I can't wait to start the next few steps!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Minecraft themed loot bags

For my oldest son's birthday party we decided on a Minecraft theme for the loot bags. He is 9 years old and it's getting hard to do loot bags. I think it's going to be the last year of loot bags for his birthday party. I don't want to give out useless toys that are just going to end up in the garbage. It costs an arm and a leg for toys that are not very practical and cheap.

But what do 9 year old boys like? If your kid is anything like mine it is Minecraft!

My son is obsessed with Minecraft, so what better theme for his [arty than his favorite game! Call of Duty is not really an appropriate theme for a kid's birthday party so his second favorite game will just have to do.

I scoured the internet looking for ideas I like and decided on the below. I printing off labels that I stapled to Ziploc bags. I took pictures of numerous Minecraft items and found their food equivalent in real life. Melons are the watermelon candies, sticks are pretzel sticks, carrots are cheesy poofs, obsidian is Oreos, cookies are cookies, TNT are twizzlers sticks, coal is chocolate bits, the Trappe door are Cheese Nips, diamonds are Hershey Kisses in a blue wrapping.

I looked all over the internet to find a fun container to put it all in. This is what really sells the loot bags / crates.  I did not want to hand out plastic baggies stuffed with junk food. I wanted the loot bag to really WOW them.

I went to the Dollar Store and I found a green square bin, kind of like a small milk crate. It was perfect! I then got green transparent wrapping paper to wrap up all the items inside the Box. I hope the kids enjoy it!

At the party we decorated the table with more Minecraft labels, Creeper Juice, "Carrots", Cake, Dirt and Grass, etc. I was supposed to have a party room, but the company goofed up. I had a table out in the open. This turned out not to be such a bad thing. Every kid (and teenager) that passed stopped to oogle the Minecraft display. Everyone LOVED the cake and Dirt and Grass.

Now this cake was our first attempt at making a cake with a frosting bag. It got a bit shmushed in the transportation, but it was still an awesome creeper cake!

We bought the Wilton tips and disposable bags. This was a fun project, once I figured out how to attach the tips. I practiced first on cupcakes.

We bought the Wilton icing coloring and used Kelly green, leaf green and red for the middle lava layers.

This is a four layer cake. We frosted the inside layers with red, orange-y lava. Simon but red sugar crystals in the icing. When you cut it it looks GREAT!

All in all it was a sugar induced Minecraft party that all enjoyed. I am not sure if the kids had more fun on the trampoline and at laser tag, or if we did! Now on to plan my Mario Bros themed Beaver Scout camping trip!

***disclosure*** I ripped off and copied many people on the Internet. Most of the above ideas are not originally mine. I have been heavily influenced by the internet and Pinterest

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Christmas Gifts: Sewing classes!

So for this year’s Christmas gifts I got sewing classes! Simon and I take sewing classes at Club Tissus in Lavel with Dorothée Barnes. We have taken sewing classes with her and made our winter jackets, snow pants (I have not finished them shhhh!), shirts, sweaters, dresses, swim suits, etc… We love her classes and enjoy our date night together. 

The first course I am taking alone. Simon would like to come with me, but the other ladies may be uncomfortable with a man there. The course is Soutien-Gorge 1, Bras. But Simon will be helping me at home. He can’t wait for the measurement class! I am tired of purchasing bras that don’t fit well. And they are not cheap. So why pay for something that annoys me, that fits poorly and is not what I want? Time to make them myself.

The course comes with a pattern. I assume we will be hacking it to bits, making it work for us. Yeah!

The second course is Lingerie Fine. We will be using the pattern Jalie 3242, I already have this pattern in my stash and I can’t wait to use it. We will make undergarments for the whole family. Simon is taking this class with me. 

Jalie patterns are great! The paper is really thick so they last. And they all include sizes from 2 to adult. I can't wait for this class. 

I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays and got some sewing time in. I passed too much spare time on the XBox for sewing. Maybe next weekend!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sweatpants for Tyler: Jalie 3355 size 8

Tyler is in desperate need for sweatpants. He has outgrown all of his sweats and the ones we have left all have holes in the knees, big surprise! I just can't bring myself to pay $30 for a pair of kid's sweatpants. Plus all the ones that are good for his length are too wide in the waist. So to my pattern stash to find a straight leg pattern for boys.

Jalie Sweatshirt, Hoodie and Sweat Pants 3355Now, if you sew for boys you will also know that there are not too many styles out there for boys. If you have 3 patterns you are good. You need sweats, pull on pants and a pants with a fly. You can add pockets, make a cargo style, etc. The availability of boy's styles is really lacking.

That is where Jalie 3355 comes into play. OK, so the picture shows a girl on the front. I think they really should show a boy and a girl as this pattern is unisex. I have made the sweaters for both Simon and Sam, now for the sweatpants.

Tyler is slender so I do not want a wide leg. And he LOVES pockets. What little boy doesn't? Plus adding topstitching adds details to make it look less homemade. This pattern is the perfect one for a straight leg sweatpants.

Simon decided to make this pattern. This is his first pair of pants. I am letting him fly on his own. I am sure they will turn out fabulous. There is one error in the pattern. On the pants assembly where is says fig. 21 they mean fig. 31 and the fig. 22 they mean fig. 32

I am familiar with how to assemble pants, so it did not throw me off. But someone was new they may be confused for a moment.

I had a nice thick charcoal grey stretch material. They are heavy and thick. Because I took the size 8 pattern and he wears a size 8, the fit is perfect in the stretch material. I will use a size 9 for real sweatpants material with no stretch in them.

Simon had no issues following the pattern. He was able to put them together without any issues. 

The pants fit very well. The fit is perfect, no modifications needed.  The topstitching details on the pockets add some nice details. Simon did an excellent job on the stitching.

He had to redo the waistband elastic. The first time he did not make the elastic tight enough. Easy fix, undo the stitches and re-stitch. He learned to pin together, try on, then sew. 

The hem is perfect. We now have sweatpants for gym class that fit, with no holes in them. Let's see how long the no holes lasts!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Scouts Campfire Blanket

I am a Scout Leader for Beavers. Now Beavers don't normally go camping, but I love camping, so the Beavers are going camping. This past mid-September I brought my group camping, outside, in tents! Now you may say, what's the big deal? You go camping all the time. Well, Beavers starts at the tender age of 5 to 7! Many of the Beavers never slept in a tent, let alone away from their parents, let alone SLEPT OUTSIDE!

Well, my Beavers were AMAZING! Not one was afraid, not one had an accident, and we were all snug as a bug in a rug. And it was COLD! Now I wanted to have my campfire blanket ready, to show off, but my timing was off. They are now ready for our winter camping trips.

Last year we bought some nice wool and fleece to sew our Scouts campfire blankets. I started the project, but like many other things in life, I ran out of time. So I started the project again before my Beaver camping weekend a few weeks ago. I was rushed and I did not like the results.We decided to scrap the idea of having fleece sewn on the wool. It will be too bulky with the fleece.

Now you just cut up the middle to form a poncho. We serge the edges, then we sew on the badges.

 The campfire blanket is a record of your adventures in Scouting. When you swim up from Beavers to Cubs you remove your badges and sew them on to your blanket. Any awards, Beaver tails, crest etc... you sew on.
It is also a means to keep you warm by the campfire and on those cold nights where you sleeping bag just isn't warm enough.
 I had to sew everything all at once, which I don't recommend! It took forever. I had to baste all the badges on as the blanket is heavy and cumbersome to manoeuvre. The badges kept falling off.
Plus you have to change your thread for each different colored badge.
But going forward it will be a quick process to sew them on. The only hard part is deciding where to put sew it on!
Now on to Tyler's blanket! He has a LOT of badges, Beaver tails, and activity crests. I may leave it to next weekend!