Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Step 1: Gather the following tools and supplies: Cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, bias tape maker, iron, and of course, fabric.Step 2: Align 45 degree line on the ruler with the selvage edge of the fabric.Step 3: Rotary cut the fabric. Discard the inital triangular piece of fabric or save it to your scrap bag.Step 4: The width of the next strip will vary depending on the width of bias binding you are making. My bias tape maker makes 1/2 inch bias binding, so according the directions included with it I cut my next strip 1 1/8 inches wide. Continue to cut as many strips as needed for the length of bias binding needed for your particular project.STEP 5: After cutting all your strips you will need to sew them together. Place two strips together to form a 90 degree angle. Right sides of the fabric are facing each other. They should be placed on top of each other exactly as shown in the above photo. Pin together to prevent them from slipping out of place.STEP 6: Sew together using 1/4" seam allowance. I usually use a very small stitch and eliminate the back stitching.Step 7: Press all seams open.
STEP 8: Using rotary cutter trim away all extra fabric at the seams.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Inside the basket I keep some small project I am working on - nothing too complicated or difficult -- something that can be stopped or started at any point without too much difficulty. Usually, it's a crocheting or knitting project. The rhythmic motion needed to perform those tasks is very sootheing to me. That helps me to easily forget how much time has passed while I've been waiting. Helps me to feel as though I am not wasting my time doing nothing.
As I head out the door, I grab the basket. It's become routine for me. My kids probably love this little basket as much as I do, because it keeps me from becoming irritated as I wait for them. No more accusations from an inpatient mother, such as "What took you so long?"
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I am no longer a cute little size 12 and I am no longer 20-something – NOT BY A LONG SHOT! The result of this is that I hate going shopping for clothes – everything is made for teeny-boppers. (And even most of those styles I would not allow my teen-aged daughters to wear. Just a tad immodest!) When I do find a style that would look okay on me, it’s either black or black print or bright circus colors. Now I don’t mind an occasional black outfit – that can be very tasteful, but I don’t want every piece of clothing I own to make it look like I’ve gone into mourning. As for bright circus colors, I prefer to blend into the background.
Well, clothes shopping has taken a turn for the better – I found this great, reasonably priced, little shop – BonWorth. They actually have more classic and modest styles in nice REASONABLE colors.
It’s a rather unique store. It carries mostly three piece, coordinated outfits in average and petite lengths. The three pieces are sold separately so you can mix the sizes. (You know -- small on top, heavy on the bottom and sundry such combinations.) Also, you don’t have to buy all three pieces. These three piece ensembles usually consist of an over-shirt (or jacket), shell type top or tee , and slacks.
Not to worry -- I AM getting to my sewing projects for this week.
Now as much as I have fallen in love with this store, there is problem with it . . . They sell no dresses and very few skirts (and I do mean VERY few). So when I bought these two pieces (50% off -- HOORAY!)
I needed to make a skirt to match.
I chose Simplicity Pattern #4138 (a pattern I already had). I found 60” wide textured dark plum fabric at Wal-Mart for under $5.00 a yard. I used less than 1½ yards of fabric. The fabric is soft and has such a nice drape, and it is REALLY wrinkle resistant.
A Swimsuit Revamp
My niece recently shared this information with me one day when my older daughter was complaining about the PLUNGING necklines in every swimsuit she looked at. My niece said she had recently been watching a TV program where they had addressed the problem. They suggested wearing a colored sports bra underneath the swimsuit that would coordinate with the colors in the swimsuit. This gives that layered look that is so popular now-a-days. It also adds support for larger bosoms.
That was all background information – Now I'll get to the sewing project.
Problem: the infamous plunging neckline.
Also, the sides reveal just a little-too-much.
Here’s my remedy. I purchased 1 yard of 60” bathing suit material ($1.00/yd. from
No Before picture – I TOLD you; it was TOO revealing, remember?
Here’s the after pictures.
Younger daughter’s happy; I’m happy.
What do you think?
SEWING TUTORIAL & TIPS: Since this post got a little long, I’m not including the sewing tips and tutorial today. I have been thinking about posting it on another day than Friday from now on.
To view craft projects shared by other bloggers or to share your own creations, be sure to visit SEW CRAFTY FRIDAY on Shereen's blog .
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
First, in the preparation of this event the participant must put off ironing clothes for a sufficient amount of time in order that a LARGE amount of ironing accumulates. A basket may be implemented for this accumulation. The technical term for this phase of preparation is PROCRASTINATION.
Goal: The goal of this event is to properly iron the entire basket of clothing in the shortest amount of time.
Participants: This is a one-man (or should I say one-woman) event. Those who have trained properly (see above for training and preparation for the event) are qualified as participants.
Penalties: Points will be lost for burning oneself with the iron. In the event that the basket is not completely emptied, the participant will be disqualified.
Of special note: This IS a marathon event.
* * * DEMONSTRATION OF THE EVENT * * *
Because I firmly believe in the learning process of “Show me, tell me, let me do it myself” I demonstrate some of the particulars of this event.
In the procrastination phase I have accumulated an ample supply of laundered (but un-ironed) shirts belonging to my son and husband.
My rationalization phase included sewing a skirt for myself and taking my older daughter to CVS. (Where else?) In additon, the following excuse was used: Why iron these shirts now? The guys have one or two shirts left before they must go without.
NOW, LADIES GO OUT THERE
WIN THE GOLD!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Our summers are a little less scheduled and a little more laid back. Along a more selfish-line, there’s a little more “me” time, chances for me to delve in and create. It seems I never seem to complete all the things I planned to get done over the summer.
You see, we’re a homeschooling family. We have been for the last eight years. This year I seem to be a little more reflective than in other years. This is my older daughter’s senior year. I’m in shock – how did we get here? I remember when we first started homeschooling with a fourth-grader, a second-grader, and an early kindergartener. It was a rough year, I was ready to throw-in-the-towel more than once. I cried, and prayed, and asked God, “How am I going to do this?” Somehow God kept before me my conviction that this was best for our children. My sweet husband was a constant encouragement.
My older daughter was easy. We’d go over a lesson; I would give her the practice work for that lesson or a reading assignment to complete, and she’d DO IT while I worked with her brother or sister. She was conscientious and would often go on to work on something else when she was done with the given task.
My son, the second-grader, was a different story. We’d go over a lesson. I would give him the practice work for that lesson or a reading assignment to complete, and while I worked with one of his sister’s he would DAYDREAM. I would return to him only to find the work undone. I can't begin to count the many evening’s after supper that this little guy and I would have do the work that he was to have done during the day!
The youngest was an eager learner. She often parroted things she heard me teaching the older ones.
The two older children had attended a Christian school until that time. They already knew how to read. In fact, my older daughter loved to read. The year before we began homeschooling, she had received an award for reading the most books in the school that she attended. While my son really didn’t like to read books, still his reading comprehension was good.
My big worry that year was “Will I be able to teach my youngest child to read?” (I believe this is a very common concern with new homeschool moms.) Well, of course, she DID learn to read, and she is also an AVID reader. Ever notice how most of the things we worry about never come to pass?
So here we are eight-years later with two in their highschool years and one in her junior highschool years. I now pray “Lord, I can do this as long as you want, but only with your help. You have never failed me.” I want to encourage any of you who have started homeschooling, stay with it.
The first couple of years are the hardest, then you begin to “settle in”. Somehow, it becomes more natural, a way of life. The rewards are great. A strong bond develops as you all learn “together”. From what I have seen, most homeschool families are very close. The kids don’t seem to think that their parents are from outerspace. They actually enjoy being around their parents. Are there exceptions to this? I’m sure there are, but this has been my general observation.
If you have been homeschooling for a while and have any encouragement or tips for those thinking about homeschooling or in the early years of homeschooling, be sure to leave a comment with your tip or word of encouragement.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Children's apparel is my favorite item to sew. I love all the special touches that can be added -- embroidery, tucking, piping and the like.I used Vogue Pattern #V7958 for a matching little girl's dress. I did change the collar to a peter pan style collar rather than use the collar that was used on the original pattern. I can never leave patterns well enough alone. LOL
The AG Doll dress was not actually a particular pattern. I designed it to match Grace's dress.
SEWING TUTORIAL AND TIPS
Making a pattern more "User Friendly"
You might remember these bonnets from last week's post. I'd like to use them as an example of making a pattern more user friendly (and time saving).
For the little girl bonnets I had used Simplicity Pattern #5042. The pattern instructed the sewer to cut a piece of bias binding to use as casing for the elastic at the back of the bonnet and to sew a narrow hem at the side and bottom back edges of the bonnet. I had sewn the bonnet on the right using that method.
1. Bias binding wastes a lot of material because of having to cut it on a 45 degree angle to the selvage.
2. I find pressing and sewing the narrow hem to be tedious and time consuming.
Also, I think my alternative method (shown on the left of the photo above) gives a much more "finished" look to the bonnet.
If this tip has helped you or sparked your creative juices, let me know, and I'll keep trying to add these little sewing tips to my blog in the future.
To view craft projects shared by other bloggers or the share your own creations, be sure to visit SEW CRAFTY FRIDAY on Shereen's blog at http://www.w8ng4him.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Dad and the kids check out the amo. Next stop ... reloading suppies.