Sunday, March 20, 2011

Extra Fabric Needed to Match Plaids

No sewing this weekend.  I was in another town working.  I don't know how much I've mentioned it but not only do I have the honor of serving in the military as a traditional reservist but I serve the military members and their families as well in my job capacity.  It's a great honor and humbling to be among these people as they prepare for deployments or are returning from.  In the interest of security I'm sure you'll understand if I don't go into to much more detail.  So even though I didn't spend the weekend relaxing, it was very satisfying.

Here is a project to share with you that I worked on this last week.

I've had this cute plaid fabric for...well, a really really long time.  It's a lightweight cotton that's a little rough and has a tendency to wrinkle a bit but not horribly.  I haven't bothered to measure it but I think I've around 4 yards of it and for as long as I've had it I've not had a clue as to what to make with it.   Finally I got a flash of inspirations.
 I learned most of my apparel sewing in high school and while there have been the odd projects here and there (the last big one being over 7 years ago and a bit of a fail) I am not ready to dive into anything beyond the straight seam or occasional dart quite yet, so I love the simplicity of this pattern. I decided to make version A (the main picture) It's two side seams, two sleeve seams, lace, a casing, a hem and some elastic.  The most difficult part was lining up the pieces so my plaid matched.  (whoohoo, I remembered this from my high school days)
I did make an adjustment to increase the width at the bottom to make sure it wasn't snug around my hips and were I to make it again I would do the casing for the elastic differently  As is it makes the lace want to fold to the inside.  Other than that it's great and just reeks of spring.  My boyfriend thinks it's quite adorable.   

What's great about this is that fabric and lace are both from my stash, all I had to buy was the the elastic, so my cost on this was under $2!  

I'm rather excited to get back into apparel sewing so expect to see more of those sewing projects.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today has been a rather blah day.  We've gone from beautiful, warm sunshine to windy, gray, rainy, chance of snow weather. 
I found the wind to be the weakness of my little green house as it was blown around my patio where I'd placed it and my plantings all blown about with it.  The tray that I'd planted the four different tomato varieties  in will now yield unknown varieties and only a couple of the 2 liter greenhouses survived.  :(
In an effort to cheer me up my sweetie took me to the lumber yard to price out materials for our garden beds.  We've settled on 4'wide x 6' long x 12" deep beds.  I figure that will allow me to reach into the middle of the beds for weeding and such.  I''m going to try and convince him that we need three of them instead of the two 8'x'8 beds we'd originally planned.   
While we were there I picked up some more seeds.  Cucumbers, green onions, radishes, beets, and spinach as well as dill and basil for the herb garden and portulaca or moss rose for the area around our mail box that currently goes to weeds.  I also grabbed some nasturtium seeds, I've heard that they're good for companion gardening in that they attract the pests away from your garden items.  They're also supposed to be delicious in salads too with a mild peppery flavor. 


Now, so this isn't a pictureless post, I want to share my first attempt at re-fashioning. I've been reading a lot of blogs centered on re-fashioning.  This is where you take a gently un-used item either from the thrift store or your own closet and re-fashion it into something you're happy to have in your closet.
While I love this concept I run into the issue that most of the un-used items in my closet are too small (waiting for me to loose those 15 lbs you know. Snark snark snark) usually in the below the waist area.  I've been so eager to try it though that I dug out my mending/alteration basket and found this.

Thankfully my shape isn't quite this lumpy, I've been trying to get my dressmakers form to match my form using batting and craft stuffing and so far it's been a rather epic fail.

This is a just below mid calf length knit dress with slits to the knee on both sides.  For starters, anywhere at the calf is a bad length on me I'm an above the knee or to the floor build for skirts .  And I don't know many women to whom horizontal stripes on the hips and thighs are kind to.   It fit perfectly up top though and I got to thinking how hard it was for me to get tops that are long enough to cover past my waistband.  So I pulled out the scissors and cut, (yay for stripes, they make great cutting lines) then serged my edge, turned it under once before threading a double needle and sewing around the hem. 
And voila!  I have a nice new top
 The hem did a bit of a ruffly thing where the serging and sewing stretched out the knit and I'm not quite sure how to keep that from happening but all in all I'm really pleased with how this came out. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Greenhouses and Gardens

I'm sure we all get so far behind that we feel there's no way of catching up.  That's pretty much where I'm at right now. 
I haven't posted in forever which would be fine, if I'd spent the time doing things worth posting about now.  That way I could regale you with grand tales of my craftiness.  That, however, is not the case.  I have done nothing blog worthy save for the last two, maybe three, days.   Of course I'm not going to share them all at once so today you get my garden and greenhouse efforts.


This year we're hoping to build a couple of 8x8 garden boxes in the back (south facing) yard.  Last year I tried to grow some tomatoes and cucumbers on the northwest side of the house and it just didn't work, not enough sun and too many slugs, snails and grasshoppers.  In the back yard they'll have full sun and the chickens will be my pest control (and fertilizer) for an organic harvest. So in the spirit of The Garden of Dreams "If you grow it you can build it"  I am starting my seeds for my garden. 
 In seventh grade my daughter learned how to make self contained bio spheres by recycling two 2 liter soda bottles, a small amount of gravel and potting soil, a splash of pond water (fish tank in our case) and some packaging tape.  They used them to grow pothos but I decided to use the same plan for some mini greenhouses to start some seeds.  For the record we don't consume mass amounts of soda, I've been saving the bottles  for several months. The one on the left is the original plan, the two others are modifications due to a bottle shape issue.  Sorry dearest, your favorite soda is out, we can only get the other kind until I have enough bottles to plant my peppers. 

This is more of a test  and we'll see if it actually works.  My mom used to start seeds in trays and I thought this is the same concept only again, re-using something that would have otherwise ended up in the garbage.  This came from the bakery dept of our grocer,  I filled it with soil, did several rows of seeds, added some water and sealed it up with some packaging tape.  These are the majority of my tomatoes so I hope it works!

I ordered this from CSN for less than $40 and shipping was free.  I put it together this evening and it was so easy peasy to assemble.    I do wish that the grid of the shelving was finer, my bottle greenhouses what to tip over. 

I would certainly put it in a protected space though, it's not sturdy in any way.  I like it though, I went to unzip it to put things on the shelves and there was a definite temperature change just within a few minutes. 

My sweetie bought me this because I am a sucker for all things tea (and coffee) related.  He knows me so well. :)  So while we were playing in the dirt I re-potted a couple of my house plants. 

I need a couple new pots to I can re-pot my jade plants but here's my mostly happy houseplants over my kitchen sink.  My kitchen grotesque in the center watches over things for me. 

Well that' it for this post, next I'll have some sewing to talk about.