Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hat for Mom

I made my mom a scarf about a year ago out of polar fleece. The scarf is not your typical fleece scarf, and I'd like to put up a tutorial on how to make one, but so far my photos of the process end up looking really weird. Fleece doesn't photograph well. Anyway, my mom wanted a hat to match, and I finally came up with this one:
It looks like a fleece cloche, and is very warm. I came up with the pattern on my own, and I think it turned out well.
There are only three pieces, so it went together quickly.
Side view:

Back view:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grey * Dress

*That's right, I am spelling it "GREY," not "gray" because I like it better that way. If the residents of the greyest country in the world (Great Britain) spell it that way, who am I to argue?
Well, I finally finished the Burda dress I've been working on. It was a little complicated, but what really slowed me down was being extremely busy all week. In the end, I like the dress, but I am not thrilled with the fit. I would like it to be a little more fitted through the waist, but the layers from the pleats make it bulkier than normal, which makes me afraid that it will start to look quilted and puffy if I cinch it in any.
(My husband took these photos after I wore the dress to Church, hence the wrinkles. We taught Sunday School to about 16 wiggly 3rd-6th graders, so I didn't have the energy to iron it again.)
Enough excuses right?
Here's the dress:

The lesson I have finally learned from this dress is that I will have to put in a zipper on clothing projects a minimum of two times.
In other news, the recipient of the nursing cover-up liked it, and my other friend had her baby (a girl!!! The bird fabric will work!).
Now I am going to drink some coffee and plan my next project.
But maybe I need a nap first...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nursing Cover Up

My friend has a twin sister who is expecting a baby next month. She wanted a nursing cover up, and so they asked me to make one for her. Her only stipulations were that it be reversible and have lots of turquoise in it. She hasn't found out if she's having a girl or a boy yet, so I wanted to use fabrics that wouldn't be too specific. I found these three fabrics at our local Joanns:
I know that the bird fabric is too girly, but I had to buy it because I have another friend who is expecting, and I want to make her something out of it if she has a girl. All of the fabric is 100% cotton, and I preshrunk it. Here is a photo of the finished cover up folded neatly so you can see how the two fabrics look together:
(The fabrics are a lot more turquoise than they look in the photo.)
I used velcro for the strap instead of two D rings because the D rings tend to slide and let go, and with velcro you can take it off by pulling the velcro apart and sliding the strap off. With the D rings you have to put it on and take it off over your head, which messes up your hair (or the baseball cap covering up your new-mom-too busy-to do-your-hair-style).

Here is the whole thing:

I really liked the polka-dot fabric the best, which has green, turquoise, and dark brown.

Here is the start of my next sewing adventure, dress number 119 from October's Burda:
For Christmas, my sister got me a long roll of 24-inch wide tracing paper, which made tracing the pattern much easier. (She knows what I like!)
I'd like to put a photo of the dress, but it seems that Burda has pulled all of their photos from October last year and on, off of their website.
I have traced, added seam allowances, and cut out the whole pattern, so now it's time for the most nerve-racking part --- CUTTING IT OUT OF THE FABRIC. For some reason, that always feels like the worst part. (Unless there is lots of ripping out seams- Yuck!)

Hopefully the recipient of this cover up will like it, and enjoy it until her little one moves on to real food.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frankenstein Awning Replacement

The mother of a friend of mine likes to sit on her porch swing, which was covered by a green awning for shade. The trouble was, the elements had done a lot of very bad things to the awning. You think scary movies are freaky? Check out Mother Nature!
So my friend asked me to sew a replacement awning for the swing.
Here it is before:

This is definitely a well-used item.
Here is a close up of the lichen growing on it:

Someone artsier than me would figure out a cool use for it, but I am more traditional.
This was a fairly tricky project, because the actual frame for the awning is in Alabama, and the old awning was warped, stretched, and held together with duct tape. But, I took a deep breath and several measurements, (and blew my nose repeatedly, because I have a mold allergy), and did my best.
This is the top of the new one, which is basically boring but clean:
This is the underside that attaches to the frame. This took a lot of thought because I wanted my friend's mom to be able to remove it and wash it if the lichen should go into a feeding frenzy again. So, it has triangular pockets on the corners for the corners of the frame, and 14 little straps with green velcro to hold the whole thing down.

I wanted to iron it, but this type of outdoor fabric melts. Easily. Without warning. In a very dramatic manner. This is the voice of experience speaking here...
But, once it gets on the frame, I think it will straighten out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Joy's Bag Part II

Well, who was I kidding?
Like I can start a sewing project and not finish it, if humanly possible, the same day!
Joy loved her purse. Here's a photo of her with it:

Here's a photo of the dog on the purse:
The pocket:

And finally, the pheasant:

Next up, a new awning. One project down, two to go.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Joy's Bag

My friend Joy asked me to make this bag for her. It's Number 104 from Pink Chalk Studio.
I made myself one out of black fabric a while back, and I use it every day for work.
The pattern has two sizes, and I made the small one, which seems big enough for what I use it for. The pattern for the big one is humongous. (You could keep enough food for a family of six in there, and still have room for a trip to Costco.) I really hate how big purses dig into my shoulders after a while, so I prefer small ones. (Also a small purse is good for disguising the fact that you're a mom. Being a mom is great, but who wants to look like a mom?)
She wants a small one too.
Anyway, I decided to keep track on my blog of what all I sew this year, even if it's ugly, not for me, or otherwise not what I want advertised as having been sewn by me.
I think it will be fun to see at the end of 2010 what I've done. (Or maybe I'll just say "OUCH!" and die of shame.)
This is the fabric she wants on the outside:

She wants a pheasant on the front and a dog on the back. Above it you can see the lining fabric, but here's a close up of it:

This is the pocket fabric:

I'm planning to cut it out tonight and possibly sew it tomorrow.
Next up, an awning for a friend of mine, then a fantastic Burda dress I've been wanting to make and REALLY wanting to wear. Not too ambitious for January, right?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bread In Five Minutes A Day

I recently took this book out from the library because I would love to have Artisan bread in only five minutes a day. I make lots of bread. In fact, I make bread about 3 or 4 times a week. The thought of pulling out a hunk of bread dough from my refrigerator, putting it in the oven, and baking it to perfection without having to do lots of measuring is very appealing to me. I've been spoiled by having a Zojirushi bread machine for several years. I don't really like the crust of bread made in a machine, so I usually use the machine to make dough and bake it in the oven.
This is the first loaf I made. It looks good, but let me tell you, artisans must have good teeth! The crust on this loaf is very crunchy and hard to chew. I like crunchy crusts, but this is extreme.
To make this bread, you make a big wad of very wet dough, let it rise, put it in your refrigerator, and pull out enough dough for a loaf as you want it. The idea is good, but that first loaf was not what I was expecting. Also, we go through one or two larger loaves per day ( I have a lot of hungry neighbors, too), so I don't know if I can store a week's worth of dough in my refrigerator. Here is a photo of my fridge:
To be honest, I removed a large plate full of day-old pizza that was somehow perched on top of the milk. So, I have a tiny fridge, the kind that parents give their college-age kids as they head off to a place of learning. (The parents think to themselves that it will be full of milk and cheese, and leafy green vegetables, but I suspect that really they wind up full of old pizza and fermented beverages, if you get my drift...) Anyway, I may not have room for the five-minutes-a-day bread. However, Santa and my husband were very kind and attentive to me this year, and I can make bread in this:
The bowl is not pictured, because it is full of bread dough, the slow, measured kind. I am going to try the other kind again soon, but until then, I will keep making the bread I know.