Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter sledding, HO HO HO!

 So Sam got a Pelican sled for his birthday and we used it for the 1st time yesterday. It was snowing, windy and cold. What a perfect time to go sledding. We wrapped up the kids, bundled up in long johns and off we went!
The pelican sled is perfect. It has a belt and the child is completely sheltered from the wind. Sam was so snuggly that he fell asleep.
 There was just enough snow that we could slide down the hill.

Let it snow!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Pjamams! McCalls 6475 - Easy Onsie PJ and New Look 6525

Today I decided to finally make the Christmas PJ's for my boys. I will be making the McCalls 6475 size 3-4 and the New Look 6525 size small.

I used 2 tables to lay the material out and cut the fabric. For 2 small kids, there sure is A LOT of fabric!

I decided not to use the pockets, hood and feet for the McCalls one.
It was super easy to sew, it took a grand total of 2 hours from tracing the pattern to sewing it up.
I sure hope it fits Tyler!

 I did not see the need to make the feet. I was disappointed I could not find a pattern for a onesie with feet attached. These feet are attached by Velcro. In the end it is ok as Tyler finds his onesies too hot. He always takes off his socks. 
I did not want the hood as he would not like it, and the pockets are kinda useless on pj's, no?

Now I had lunch, on to Sam's PJ's. they are more complicated and detailed than Tyler's. This McCall's pattern is so simple, I did not even need to read the directions. I always do, it is just good practice. It is like cooking, you always read your recipe from start to finish, that way there are no surprises.

I am glad I took the 3-4 and not the 5. This is a bit long on Tyler and wide. Granted my children are small, but Ty  does wear a size 5 clothing. If you are not sure, take a PJ that you know fits and place it next to the pattern. This tends to run big. This is a good this as it will last for a long time. 

So it took me until December 24th the finish Sam's PJ's. This is the 4th time I make these, you would think it would go easier. The problem is when you think you don't need instructions and you are good, that is when you make silly mistakes. I had to rip out my stitches for the collar and the feet.
I have made a few modifications. You REALLY need a longer zipper. Diaper changes are extremely hard with such a short diaper. Just trying to get them on and off is impossible. I thought I had bought a 20 inch zipper but could not find it, so maybe I didn't buy such a long one. I wanted the zipper to go down the leg. Anyhow it went right down to the leg. Good enough.
I don't like the collar. Next time I will make the ends straight and not curved.
The collars for the wrists are too long. I cut them 5/8 of an inch smaller. What happened was I sewed them together, tried to attach them and said "Nope too big". On the other sleepers they were too loose as well. So I cut them at the seam and resewed them. Perfect. 
Oh, I almost forgot! I used jiffy grip on the feet. I used the flannel as a liner and I put the grippy material on the bottoms. No more slipping!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 2054, View A size 10

I loved the lines of this dress and I should have started with this one and not the New Look dress. I chose to cut this in a size 10. All the other things I have made have been  WAY TOO BIG, so foget it, I am not wasting any more time and I cut a size 10. Hold my breath, fingers crossed, I hope it fits!
I chose view A with no cowl. I like the arm details, but I just want an easy dress that I can actually wear, so the detail will have to wait for the next dress.

It took me just over 2 hours, I was not in a rush. It was super super SUPER easy to sew.

I made this with a nice Cotton knit. I sewed it using my Singer Esteem. I used my walking foot for the body and the double jersey needle for the hems.

The arm lengths are really perfect the way it was cut. I decided to keep this dress long. The next time I make it I will make it shorter. 

Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 2054, View A size 10

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Smooth tracing wheel

SO I used my instructor's smooth tracing wheel during one of my classes, and
WOW! What a difference. My marking tools S-U-C-K! They do not give nice clean lines, I never can see where the marks are from the carbon paper.

So last night I looked around Fabricville, no SMOOTH tracing wheels, only serrated. So I asked Pauline where I could find one and she told me they stopped making it. Why? The smooth one is the only one that transfers my markings properly. Off t the internet I go in search of the perfect tracing wheel with low shipping costs. I could ship some in from the US, but there would be extra duty costs involved. There is EBAY, but they are from the US. One place in Canada, but for $20?

Now as you all know, I am married to wonderful man, who can build anything. More than that he NEEDS to have projects. He NEEDS to make stuff. Here is a nice project for him. Make me one. He is up to the challenge. Unless you can tell me where to buy one in Canada? Or have it shipped within Canada?
Yesterday we went to Deserres, Michaels and then back to Michaels, and nothing. At Deserres we saw a kit that had a small roller in it, but it cost close to $40. It was a kit for sculpting or working with metals, or something.
Then Hubby suggested we get a screen tool, the roller tool that you use to install the mosquito screen on a door. I Googled it at and I saw the perfect tool! 
It seems like the perfect width and it does not have a sharp edge that would cut the paper and fabric. It costs $7.19 so it is affordable. I will run over to Rona today and pick one up. I will keep you posted and let you know how it works out! Who knew it would be so difficult finding supplies?

 As you can see it is much bigger than my current tracing wheel. There is one side that is way too wide, so you have to check it before you start tracing

 The width of the blade is good. It is not too wide.
Because it is smooth and not sharp, it does not pierce the paper or your fabric. So if you want to reuse your patterns, it will keep the integrity in place.
 And just look at the lines it makes! Perfect!

 I contacted Prym Dritz Canada and said that I could not find their smooth tracing wheel. I left a message with their customer service and emailed them. They called me back the next morning! Their offices are in St-Laurent, SOOOOO close to my office. So they said that I could go to their offices and pick them up! I got the plain one and the ergonomic one. I am going to tell my instructor to tell the manager at fabricville to stock these! For sure everyone in my class will purchase one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Look 6125

So I decided on Friday that I would get a few projects completed. I chose so called "easy" patterns. Now, I realize that I am new and what is considered easy by many is complicated by me. I have never done a dress with a lining attached so it is a bit confusing. I got to use my dress form that I purchased on Kijiji for $40, so I feel good!
I bought a light blue stretchy material of unknown fibers from this past Black Friday sale at Fabricville for $1.50/meter. If I scrap it, no big deal. I used the same material for the lining.

Lining up the material was a breeze. Cutting it out was simple. No confusion so far. What confused me was attaching the lining and having to pull it through and upside down and around the bend and so forth.... I am new, it sounded bizarre and I did not want to make a mistake, so I waited until my sewing class.
My sewing teacher says I have a knack for finding easy patterns that are more complicated than they appear.
I am now at the part where all pieces are together and I have turned the liner to it's proper direction. Next I will sew up the sides and then the zipper and the hems. It will have to wait until Friday and a screaming baby and active toddler are not very conducive for my concentration.

So I sewed the sides and the back. I (rather my instructor) sewed the invisible zipper. It was super easy, but you need the invisible zipper foot, which I do not. I used my instructor's. Now all I have to do it sew the lining to the zipper on the inside (one side is done) and sew the hem. Don't forget to make the lining shorter than your dress. I am so happy that I made a dress that I can actually wear! I am so glad I took a size smaller. I will try it on properly tomorrow when I finish it.  I think I will make this dress again. I want to make it for the summer, but with a heavier fabric that does not require a lining. And I want to make it without the zipper.


So I finished the dress. Make the lining in something a lot lighter and this pattern runs large. Or I am SUPER tiny, or both. I felt like crying, yet another thing I have made that is too big. Forget it, I am going with a size 10 from now on. Maybe we can take this in and omit the zipper? In the pictures I did not press the seams so they seam a little bumpy, but they aren't. I just did not bother the press the seams seeing as I have to take them out. And note my disappointment on my face (sans makeup and with dark circles, I am brave) This dress is so big that I look large in it. I am a RTW size 0.
I am happy that I got to use the double needle for the hem and I did a nice job, if I do say so myself!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rotary cutter

Olfa Deluxe Rotary CutterSo hubby saw in the Canadian Tire flyer a rotary cutter on sale. This one is a cheap one, but more for construction. In the description it says it can cut material. Now he is stuck on buying me one for Christmas.
Now, I have never seen one in action, and I would assume it is more for quilters, no? What do you think, is it just a gimmick?

So I learned all about zippers on Friday. For Simon's pants we had bought the wring kind of zipper. We agonized over the color and the type of metal and pull to buy. We selected a 9inch zipper(as per the pattern). But w bought a zipper that opens at the end. Oops. It worked out well as the 8 inch zipper fits perfectly and we do not need to cut it at all. That zipper is done.

Now, for the jacket that is missing a pull on the liner. The zipper on the other side has a number 5 on it. Apparently, certain zippers aren't manufactured or distributed in the US and you can't replace the heads, you have to replace the whole zipper. This I did not know...then. We checked the number on the back of the zipper slider, it was a 5, but no letter. The zippers sliders at Fabricville were number 5, but with letters as well. I tried them, none worked. Seeing as this zipper is for the inside lining that can be removed in the fall or early spring, Pauline advised me to just sew it together by hand, and when needed remove the stitches, seeing as it will stay in place for winter. Good idea, less headaches. 
So, what is on the sewing agenda for Sunday? The feet on Sam's PJ's, the dress that i thought was ohh so simple, and the back of the fly for Simon's pants, I have the make the buttonhole. 

Oh, and cook a turkey. Totally unrelated, but we have one defrosted in the fridge and it is calling ym name!

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Friday off to a Great start

Yesterday was my 6 year Anniversary, and Hubby decided to give me an awesome treat for my day off. He drove the kids to Nana's this morning. This way I could stay in my jammies and relax (Yeah Right!)
They left at 6:40 and it is now 8:16. My toast just popped and I am done my chores on my list. Tyler was complaining his winter boots were too small. We just bought them this month. He has finally had one of those growth spurts everyone was talking about. We are small people and we grow is small bits. Tyler has grown a few inches this fall, and that is SUPER awesome.
So I decided to go through ALL of the shoes, sandals, boots slippers and organize them by size. I was tired of hunting and digging only to find one left shoe. Now they are all organized from size 3 to 12. I am good, lol.
The second thing I had to do was fold and put away (ugh) all the laundry. 45 minutes later I am having my coffee. Simon had done the laundry last night but did not have tome to fold it. He said it would take me an hour and I scoffed at him. No, he was right, there was a MOUNTAIN of laundry.

SO now that is out of the way, I am starting to blog this morning, I only hope that I have enough steam to plow through my sewing project today! Wish me luck!

1 p.m.

So I finished the arms on my shirt. Nice job. I am satisfied. I even did the hem on the sleeves. Very happy with my results. I tried it on, and it is BIG. I will definitely use a size smaller from now on.

I have to say that my walking foot has been a GREAT investment. I no longer get frustrated sewing with knits or silky material. Both my projects today involve just that!

Just remember to pull the threads out the back, that way they do not bunch up your material. I learned this the hard way.
After this I started on my New Look 6125 dress. I cut the fabric, lining and interfacing all from the same material. This is my "test" dress for size 12. I am using the fabric I bought at Fabricville for $1.50 per meter. I have the dress done up to the point of pinning the dress to the lining. I must have been tired and hungry as I was getting confused and thought best to leave it aside for the moment. Time for Lunch! I will continue this dress at my course tonight. I have to buy an invisible zipper anyways.

I want to finish Sam's PJ size small after my shower. It looks like the Cynthia Rowley dress will just have to wait until tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sewing plan for the week

Fabricville had a crazy sale on Black Friday, 50% off all material in store, no exceptions. I stocked up on material that was $2.99/meter, at 50% off it came to $1.50 per meter. I chose 3 fabrics, a stretchy orange, light blue and a dark blue unknown fiber. With these 3 choices I can do a few shirts and dresses and if they don’t come out too well, I have not lost a lot of money. If I like them, I will use my “good” material. I also stocked up on the gripper material for my son’s PJ feet, as well as the ribbing material for all the cuffs.
Then, on Monday Fabricville had a sale on patterns! All New Look and Simplicity patterns are $1.99 each.  I have a nice stash and I have to have a plan to get them all done. I don’t want to end up having a stock pile, and not doing anything with them. I am going to start with the easy projects and work my way up to the harder ones.  I have this Friday off, so I want to make 2 dresses and a PJ by then. This week I have a goal, a sewing plan. I want to sew a Christmas tree skirt, finish my shirt I was making during my sewing class; Sam’s PJ’s in a size small, New Look 6125 dress A, Simplicity 2054 either dress B or C.
The Christmas tree skirt I finished. I had some red material that my father had given me 25 years ago, and Simon bought some gold ribbon. I sew the ribbon around the edge and I reinforced the seams at the opening, and Voila! Done. I had to make a rectangular skirt so that it could fit around the table. We put the tree on a table so that Sam would not grab it or knock it down. We used binders to attach the tree to the table and it is SUPER solid. I only needed a skirt to hide it all. In all the years past I draped the red material around the tree base. Now that I am super crafty, I could sew myself something a bit fancier.
I want to try one more PJ for Sam before I make the boys their Christmas PJ’s in the Christmas material I purchased.  I really like the New Look 6525 pattern. It runs big and even the medium was too long on him. I will take the same material I have left over and try the small. Fingers crossed it fits! If at 14 months Sam fits only into a small, this pattern will last a very only time. I have traced the pattern so as to preserve it. I have used it so much that it is starting to get damaged. I even photocopied the original to preserve it.
I had bought a fun simple blue dress at Reitman’s. Simon LOVED it on me. Everyone loved it, and I was thinking that that dress was SO simple. But hey, if people like it, I will take the complement. The problem being it is a small and I am an extra small now. It runs a bit big in the chest area. I found New Look 6125 that is just like it, so I will try to reproduce it. This one has an invisible zipper in the back, so I can leave that for this week’s sewing class. I also have the zipper to do on Simon’s pants, as well as installing a new zipper pull on Tyler’s winter jacket. This week’s class can be about perfecting the zipper.
I don’t think I will add pockets to this first attempt, nor the ribbon. And I want the plain collar for my first attempt.
I am trying to find other reviews to see how this dress sizes. I am really tired of making things for myself that run too big. I want something I can wear!

When I saw this pattern by Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 2054, something jumped out at me. It is a basic, dress with simple lines. But I like the added details of the sleeves and collar. The more I think about it, the more I want to do dress C, with the cut sleeves.
I think I may make this dress according to my measurements, but in a cheap material. The reviews I read do not say that the pattern runs large. I will have to take the pattern out and see how it measures up against my measurements.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simplicity 1916 Misses' Knit Tops

I have decided to make a shirt for my next sewing class project. I chose Simplicity 1916, view A. I had picked out a really nice turquoise stretchy material to match the pants I made in my sewing class. The pants were a washout as they were WAY too big, and not flattering at all. So, I was really hoping that I could make this shirt and wear it. There has not been one thing that I made during the sewing class that I could wear out in public. Stuff I made after at home have come out, and the pants I made for the boys were good. Now, if only I could make something for me!
I had cut out the pattern and material at home. It was straightforward, no issues. I did the first few steps, including the collar, no issues. Then I got to the left and right sides and something was wrong, something DID NOT make sense. What I had done was put the left side on the right side and the right side on the left. Now, being this is stretchy material and if I undid the whole project, including the neckline, the material would rip. SO my sewing instructor help me save it. Now instead of the wrap wrapping to one side, it wraps to the other. No biggie! It is saved.
My instructor, Pauline, suggested when you have a pattern that has a left and a right side, take your tailor's chalk and write LEFT or RIGHT on the piece. That way you do not get confused.
So I only have the arms left to attach and the hem. I tried it on, and it FITS! I used a size 14 and it is a good fit. Unlike all the pants I made a size 14 seems to be good. This pattern is quite low cut, as I found out from other pattern reviews AFTER I cut out the material. I will have to wear this with a camisole underneath. I usually do anyways!
My teacher and I joked that I would not be doing this pattern again. However, after trying it on and seeing that it actually fits, I may just try view D! I will post pictures after I am done this pattern. I have the double jersey Knit needle. I am not sure how to thread it, so I will have to search for some info on the internet before trying it. I will keep you posted!Wish me luck!
This shirt is B-I-G on me. I should have sewed a size 12. Oh well, maybe my niece can wear it? I still have the bottom hem to do, but I want to do this with the serger in my sewing class.

My teacher surged the bottom hem for me and she informed me that there are a few pieces that I put on backwards. With this material it is so hard to tell which side of the fabric is the good side and which is the wrong side. She showed me and I still can't tell. I wore it with a tank top underneath and it looked fine. I am now making everything in size 10, so hopefully these fitting issues will be no more,  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bias tape accomplished!

So I decided to tackle Bias tape during this class. I drafted my own pattern for Sam's bib. I think I did a good job. The bias tape I chose was quick narrow, and I should have chosen the larger tape. Well, I really had to work at it and I certainly learned how to apply bias tape.
I pinned and pinned and pinned. I basted and basted and basted. Then I sewed zip zip zip. 3 hours later and I have a new bib!
We had this material when we made diapers 5 years ago, as well as the Velcro. I sewed this using my Singer Esteem and I used my new Walking Foot.
So, what do you think? Will Sam enjoy getting food all over it? I bet Tyler will want his own new bib, just watch!

So, I was right. Tyler wanted me to make one for him as well. I had JUST enough bias tape left to complete a bib for him. I had maybe half an inch left over. Making the second one took much less time, now that I am a "PRO" at bias tape. I unfortunately took a narrow bias tape, a wider one would have been much easier to work with. If it is your first project working with bias tape, I recommend the widest possible tape. It will make it easier. That being said, because it was so narrow, it required a LOT of attention to detail. I am now not afraid of it, I now feel that it is only a pain in the you-know-what and time consuming.

My trick was to PIN-PIN-PIN and then BASTE-BASTE-BASTE. Yes, this did take some time, but it was done properly, and I am sure as my skills improve I will not need to do as much, maybe.
As you can see there were a lot of pins. I pinned it on the wrong side first, basted, removed the pins then sewed. I then turned the bias tape over and pinned on the right side, then basted, removed the pins and then sewed it. I had to make sure that while I basted and removed the pins that my sewing thread did not get caught up in the pins sticking out. My fingers got pricked a few times. Oh well, that is all a part of the learning curve. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Look 6110 Leggings

I sewed yesterday New Look 6110, size 12 leggings, pattern A. 
This was my first attempt at sewing with stretchy material. I found a very nice brown stretchy material that was 50% off at Fabricville. I have about 3 yards so I can make a few pairs of pants.

Now, I have to ask my sewing teacher on Friday what happened, but the tension was way off on my machine and the material was being fed into the feeder plate. I could not do the buttonhole on these pants, the material got eaten up. So, I omitted the buttonholes for the twill tape. No biggie, I did not want it anyways.

I made my pattern piece shorter to accommodate my lack thereof. I think I under measured, because I would have missed about an inch. Not a problem! I made a cuff for my pants, and I think it worked out better that way.

So I know what happened to the material. I bought a walking foot and the material does not get fed into the feeders. I make sure the thread is all the way in the back, and voila! No problems. Thank goodness. I really like these pants, but they are big. I may make them again in a size 12. I already have a stain on them, ugh. And the material is so comfortable. And I will make them about 1 inch shorter on the waist as I am short.
All in all a great pattern, easy to accomplish and you can add some changes really easily if you want to change it up and make it your own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween PJ's Simplicity 9499

So I made Tyler some Haloween PJ bottoms using our graveyard fabric. I used Simplicity 9499 pattern. I traced out the pattern using tracing paper we purchased at DeSerres. It is a good thing I used the tracing paper as this pattern I will use over and over. It is so simple and quick! It took me 1 1/2 hours to make these bottoms and I was going nice and slow.
This time I made sure the graveyard was going in the proper direction. You only make that mistake once, lol! Tyler still asks me why the haunted houses are upside down. Oops.

One good tip is to sew a tag in the back of the pants so when you go to put on the pants, you will know which is the front and which is the back. Kids need a little help sometimes!

And Voila! New PJ pants for Halloween!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butterick 5510 Infants' Shirt, T-Shirt, Pants and Hat


I chose Butterick's 5510 for Sam's pants and PJ bottoms. There is one piece that is used for the front and bottom. If I used 1.25 meters of fabric I can get a PJ for Tyler and a PJ for Sam. It is super easy and quick. I made the pants with the stripe on it, but omitted the stripe. By luck I placed the pattern on the material in the correct direction, so Sam's haunted houses are in the proper direction. Like he would notice!

It turned out great. It was quick and simple. I like that.

One issue I had was with sewing the elastic for the bottom. The elastic was hard to work with on my machine. But now I know that I should just take out the tray and I will have much more room to work with. I had originally sewed it by hand but it came apart. Once I did it by machine it stayed put.

 The good thing about this pattern is that it can be long and still wearable because of the elastic. The elastic keeps it above the ankle. Always good!
I plan on making the Jeans style pants out of recycled jeans. I have a pair that are too big for me (ok, more than 1 pair) and instead of throwing them away I plan on making Sam a pair of new pants. With Tyler wearing his pants for 2 years in a row we do not have many hand me downs in terms of pants. I can make a lot of pants into shorts or Bermudas!