Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sewing Bits and Bobs

I have, as usual, made little pockets of time for sewing in the midst of family chaos. Actually, a couple of these pockets were courtesy of friends who took my older three kids to the park, and one was courtesy of a very late night. In any case, I must sew, or I get grumpy, and then all the baking and playing in the rain and doing last minute things that will require me to pack instant lunch and wrangle everyone in and out of the van and skip the baby's nap just aren't fun anymore.

So, first off, I am determined to finish some of my "to do" quilts despite having a few stacks of new fabric calling out to me. One is this windmill quilt, which seems to never go away - I bought the swirly Kaffe dots on ebay (my first online fabric purchase) and the pink and orange FMF are from the original run of the fabrics. I decided to make this quilt out of those fabrics at the same time as Katy which was back in 2010. I should have decided to make the blocks the same size as hers - 4" HST - and I would have almost a full quilt top already. Instead mine are 3" HST, which makes the finished blocks 12". I've discovered that I'm not a lots-of-small-blocks kind of quilter unless I'm making a small quilt. I get bored too quickly.
In any case, I digress. These 14 blocks are done. 8 left to go, plus a chunky improv-ed border and we'll be good to go. Hopefully it won't take me another 3 years to finish that!

As far as time goes, my next project was fast - it took me about 2 minutes. They boys were playing dress up, and Emma decided that she wanted to join in. She had an old dress up tiara, but it has been sadly beaten up, since she got it for her 2nd birthday, so she decided that a new crown must be made. Now.
Fortunately I have lots of wool felt drifting around for just such occasions. I folded a scrap that looked about the right size for her head in half, cut it into a crown-ish shape and added piece of 1" elastic to the back. That's my kind of dress up sewing. I shall add jewels later (I'm hoping to get away with felt ones, but I think I may have to find some faux baubles somewhere).

It really does make me happy when the dress up gets pulled out, as there are so many things I've made or found over my years of parenting in there. The wizard's hat (modeled by Owen) and Emma's "dress" were from my original dress up kit I gave Andrew for his 2nd birthday. The belt is a knight's belt I made a pair of for Christmas for the boys one year.
Andrew's jedi robe was from Halloween two years ago (note the unfinished seams - I don't make fussy dress up, otherwise I just get mad when they never wear it), and Aaron's vest is a pirate / cowboy vest I whipped up for Christmas when he was 3.

Now that Emma is entering that fabulous dress up stage, I have to start making girl dress up. Yes, chain mail and super hero masks and firefighter hats are fun, but seriously, what is a little girl's dress up world without wings, tutus and at least one sparkly dress? I was informed, in fact, that her friend Clara has both butterfly AND fairy wings. Just in case I'm feeling ambitious.

I also sewed a test run of the pants out of Simple Modern Sewing - a Japanese (English translation) sewing book. The fabric is this mystery colour - sort of a green - grey - brown I had drifting around in my stash. I think I bought it in Saskatchewan because I was excited to find something at the fabric store that actually contained 100% natural fibres. 

They were really basic. And I'm sure they would have been quick to whip up if I hadn't been so keep to whip them up late at night. I've made pants before - in fact I once made an awesome pair of fitted plaid pants with belt loops and darts and everything - but not in a long time. So I got the seams mixed up and ended up having to rip them apart.

They are a nice, simple pants pattern, and I'm sure I'll be making myself some more in the fall. As you can see, I've been wearing these around without hemming them, which I suppose I should get to soon. I'm just so short of summer pants right now, as my dryer ate all my Thai fisherman pants and I'm still not in my pre-Owen pants, that I needed to wear them right away.

And those of you who sew clothes can't tell me you've never worn a not quite finished garment out and about. Because I know you have.

Better photos to come when they're actually finished.

I was hoping to get a lot of clothes sewing in, and had optimistically purchased the English translation of the "Stylish Dress Book" so I could make some summer dresses. Now I'm thinking maybe some tunics for early fall and winter layering. Or some cute dresses for next spring. Well, since I've already ordered some Parsons Grey and Anna Maria Horner linen, I'd better make something . . .

ps - not to be an enabler or anything, but Pink Chalk Fabrics has a bunch of linen and voile on sale for $10 a yard. Just so you know.

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