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!