Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ARGH - continued

So I did get the leather shoes done, but they turned out a tad too small. :( So Thing 2 will not wear them for more than about ten seconds, if that. They're fine in length, but I added batting and Toughtek in addition to the leather sole, and I think that was what made them just a hair too narrow for his chubby little feet. And because Thing 2 got sick, I haven't been able to work on the denim pair yet.

I've also been steadily working on the cut pile, and I should have pictures tomorrow, I think. So far, I've finished two pairs of pants (one woven, one knit - both from KS Sewing for Toddlers) for Thing 2 ; one pair of shorts (KS Sewing for Chidlren), one pair of pants (KS 3042), and two pairs of PJ pants (one flannel - KS SFC, one knit - KS 2275) for Thing 1; and two pairs of shorts (KS SFT) for a friend's boy. I also finished two pairs of slippers (GP Polar slippers). I still have a pair each of knit shorts and pants (KS SFT) for Thing 2, a flannel PJ shirt (KS 3042) and a knit PJ shirt (KS 3043) for Thing 1, and five pairs of slippers. Which leads me to the next "argh."

The knit PJ shirt for Thing 1 is done except for hems. It's also a new pattern to me. So I sewed the size that seemed appropriate to test it out. It worked okay, except that Thing 1 couldn't get it over his head - oops! So I ripped out the neckband (I'd used unwashed self-fabric instead of ribbing) and cut a new one, this one longer and more narrow. Since my fabric has little stretch, I ended up using a neckband that was equal in length to the neckline. I'm hoping that it will shrink at least a little when I wash the shirt, but even if it doesn't, it'll work for a PJ shirt. I'll just plan to adjust the neckband next time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yep, that's frustration you're hearing. I took the monsters along when I went out to work a rodeo last night, and I had planned to have at least one of Thing 2's new shoes done in time for him to wear. Yeah, the best laid plans and all that....

First, I kept getting interrupted by people calling. Well, actually, first I kept procrastinating and doing other stuff, and second, I got interrupted. Then I had major technical difficulties. Don't know if it was the leather, the thread, the needle, or all around bad sewing mojo. But I finally gave up. I had run out of the gold jeanstitch thread after stitching down the casings on the heels, so I switched to the cream upholstery thread I have. Got the trim and the toe guards stitched down, then started to stitch the uppers to the soles. I have one down and still probably a third of the other to go, but that's where the majorly bad mojo occurred. And I was getting awfully low on the upholstery thread, too. Oh, yeah, and I went through three leather needles, trying to rescue the attempt that way. No such luck.

So today I bought more jeanstitch and upholstery thread at WM while grocery shopping (along with a neat variegated green that I hope will be showing up on some green "disco" pants soon), but WM does not carry leather needles. Oh, darn, I have to go to JAF again....where I was good and walked out with the leather needles and three colors of heavy polyester thread. I keep hearing that polyester thread is best for shoes, since cotton will wick, but I've never looked closely enough to realize that the only kind of polyester only thread JAF carries is the "heavy dual-duty XP" thread. So I'll see how that works...maybe on the denim pair. Oh yeah, and I'm also planning to put a Thomas the Tank Engine applique on the denim pair. We'll see how that goes....hopefully later this afternoon....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not much sewing done....

So I haven't actually finished anything since my last post. I have, however, spent some time sewing the "cut" pile. I've been doing a modified assembly line - I sew seams on each item until I reach the point where I need to use the serger, then I set it aside. When I'm done with everything I can do on the sewing machine, I pull out the serger and start over on the pile. When I get through that, I make a trip to the ironing board. Then it's back to the sewing machine. It seems to take forever to finish any one thing, but this way I actually get all the stuff done faster...I think. Or at least I get a bunch done at once.

I went to the fabric store last night. Joann is having a sale - snuggle flannel prints and cozy flannel solids were both $2.49 a yard, and red tag clearance fabric was 50% off. I needed more fabric like a hole in my head, but hey! I had to at least look, right? :) So I came home with 12.25 yards. Oops! Guess I'd better keep on sewing. I'm now almost forty yards past parity. Not good. In my defense, I got 6 yards to make two new blankets for the Things, and about 4 yards are for scrub shirts - at least one of which will be a gift.

And now, in addition to the current "in progress" pile, I need to cut out another new pair of shoes for Thing 2. I think he drags his toes sometimes when he walks, because he's got major fraying going on in his shoes. This time, I'm going to add toe guards! And I think the next pair will be leather, too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Interrupted by a quick project....

So I was planning to be good and tackle the large pile of cut stuff, since I was good yesterday and demolished the large mountain of clean laundry, but then I was interrupted by an idea. See, when I picked up the Things from daycare today, I learned that Tuesdays and Thursdays will be "swimming" days for Thing 2's class - why couldn't they have sent this note home last Friday??? - and so he needs sunscreen (check - already in his cubby), a towel, and a swimsuit (don't own) or swim diaper (luck is with us! Thing 1's swim diapers from last summer mostly fit Thing 2 now!). I also plan to buy him some water shoes this weekend, but that'll be this weekend....In the meantime, why would I just use any old towel that I found in the house?

Thing 1 has a special water towel for school, so I decided that Thing 2 needed one as well. Voila!

This probably took all of half an hour tonight. I traced the letters (backward) onto the wrong side of Heat-n-Bond, then fused that block to the back of some fabric I took from a pair of Thing 1's pants. (They had gotten a hole in the knee last fall, and I hadn't repaired them. Now that he's grown, I thought it made more sense to cut them off and remake them as shorts.) I then cut them out and fused the (right way) onto a towel that I found in my sewing supplies. (I think I had bought this to make more hooded towels, but it hadn't been used yet.) Then I satin-stitched around the edges. By the way, this towel is actually navy blue, and the stitching is a bright green.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, and I know that it won't disappear. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm back!

And I've been sewing....well, mostly cutting - I have a pile of things to sew, most of which use the current serger thread color. That will get started later today....in and around emergency calls. Hopefully there won't be too many of those!

But in the meantime, I did finish something! This is a drawstring backpack. It's actually a birthday gift, but it may also be a prototype. I normally wouldn't use one, but it could be very useful for an upcoming trip. We'll have to see, though I'd need some modifications, like inside pockets. :)
I based this on a bag that I saw my sister use for years, and I'm pretty pleased overall with how it turned out. We'll see if I end up making it again. It uses 2 yards of fabric and sews up pretty quickly, so it's a good stashbuster. ;)