Author Archives: Michelle

Top Stitchers extra photos

Yesterday I told you all about competing in Top Stitchers. Voting is now through Thursday. I would love for you to go over and rate my refashion!

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Today I am going to tell you a little more about it, and share some photos that didn’t make the cut. I could only choose 4, after all.

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I used the shorts to make the collar and it turned out to be one of my favorite features of the dress. The smaller collar has black piping to make it stand out a bit. I also finished the inside of the neckline with bias tape that I made from the shorts (those shorts went a long way).

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The side panel and the pocket are from the shorts as well. I added elastic to the top of the pocket, and pressed under the bottom seams.

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Now that jacket. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I would love to make another. I modeled it after one that I wear all the time. I don’t have a pattern, but I can explain my method to you.

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I just traced a sweater of hers, for the sizing, and cut the pieces out of the sweatshirt. Then I made some bias tape out of the scraps that were left. I turned the fuzzy side facing out and stitched it down around the entire perimeter. The ruffles were added last.

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I cut off the bottom ribbing on the hem, and opened it up. Then I cut it in half (lengthwise). I sewed them together (end to end) and the ruffled the entire piece. I sewed it along the bottom of the new jacket.

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I added some Kam snaps, and I was done!

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I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I think it is a good thing to get outside your comfort zone, and really challenge your creativity. You may be glad you did!

Do you refashion? What have you made today?

Top Stitcher starts today!!

Oh my goodness everyone!
I am in the very first season of Top Stitcher (much inspired by Iron Chef, but for Sewists).
I am up against the very talented Suzanne from Pattern Revolution.You may remember the two of us competing in the Challenge Create competition not so long ago. I totally knew this would be a challenge! You can read our bios here.
We had to sew up a Spring outfit out of SPORTS APPAREL! This seriously got me thinking. I had the most difficult time narrowing down the sport. It took me 2 weeks of thinking about it, and listing sports in my head. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY SPORTS THERE ARE??!! Yikes. I clearly have trouble with broad topics with lots of choices. Once I narrowed it down to a section of the Goodwill store, it only took me two more days to actually find something I wanted to refashion! Plus, making something for my 9 year old takes a lot more fabric than when she was a toddler. Tricky finding enough yardage in pieces.
Then I saw that they had golf attire. In XXL no less. Oh yes. Golf! I didn’t even think of that sport. Really: fencing, baseball, gymnastics, football, basketball, soccer, track, boxing, swimming, tennis, fishing. According to Wikipedia, there are more than 8,000 sports.
Once I had the pieces I wanted to refashion, I had to decide how to treat them. The shirt was made from some kind of shiny Polyester with a slight stretch. I just touched that shirt for days before actually choosing a pattern to start with. I couldn’t decided whether it was knit or not.
The other thing that truly challenged me was choosing only 4 photos. Ha! So tomorrow I will be posting the ones that didn’t make the cut for that post, here.
You can read about the rules and the prompts and see who is in the line up this season here.
This week, I will call on all of you to help~ YOU will be the judges!! You can also read up on the voting criteria. This is one well-organized contest.
 Wish me Luck!
 

 

 

 

Expo Recap

I went to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo on Saturday! This is the very first year I have ever made it. I was so excited!!!

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I met up with Amy from Friends Stitched Together (and Crafting Con).

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It was the first time we met IRL, and we laughed for about 4 hours straight! Instantly comfortable around each other.

She is so fabulous. It was really nice to be able to walk around and share this experience with someone who sews!

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There was so much to see. And THE FABRIC. My goodness. THE FABRIC.

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Oh these lace trims! I am pretty sure I drooled a little bit near them.

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There was something there for everyone, for sure.

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It was a quilter’s paradise, though. Plenty of fabrics, machines, and gadgets geared toward quilters. We even got to test drive a quilting machine. It was crazy fun.

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This made me wish I knit.

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This was one of Amy’s favorites.

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The delicate fabrics on these dresses just melted my heart.

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THIS!!!! We have a friend who’s son is going to college for something brilliant and science-y. I would love to make something like this someday.

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And then….. we met Gretchen from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing!!! You may remember that I entered her contest (here). We actually got to see the winning dress. Beautiful.

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 I was a little star stuck. She is made of all sorts of awesome. I also felt a little short. Ha!

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Overall, a memorable day. And an excellent excuse to get out, do a little fabric shopping (more on that in another post), and socialize with my sewing people!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, The Bee actually chose this book:

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Fairy Tale Feasts

Tales retold by Jane Yolen

These beautifully illustrated Fairy Tales (by Phillipe Beha) have recipes (by Heidi E.Y. Stemple) at the end of each story. The Bee has been having fun with cooking up  a few.

What is on YOUR shelves today?

Off to the Expo

Come back tomorrow to see what book is on our shelves this week.

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Today, I am off to the Expo!

Knowing when to stop

I don’t know if you remember this dress? I made it before I really had any understanding of adjusting patterns, and I made a much larger size than needed to accommodate “my girls”. *ahem*

The high waist also bothered me. And it was a little baggy in the chest area.

So I got to thinking it would be great to fix it up and wear it to the upcoming Sewing and Stitchery Expo.

Yeah. It didn’t go so well.

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I unpicked the zipper, and the skirt portion, and kept the bodice in tact. Then I adjusted the boob darts. OK.

I lengthened it by adding a strip of red across the middle, then re-attached the skirt. I then inserted the zipper, which I ripped out and sewed back in three times to get everything lined up. Then discovered (after trying it on again) that it was too tight.

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Unpick AGAIN, and sewed a strip to widen it on either side of the zipper, and I have no idea whatthehell happened, but it all slanted to the side once I sewed it all up. On the bright side it did fit now, but the boob darts needed to be adjusted again.

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Everything started to bubble, and you know what?

I’m done.

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I adore this fabric, so I will keep it and make it into something else, eventually. Maybe when I can actually look at it without twitching.

When do you give up? How many times do you seam rip the SAME SEAM before running away screaming?

She’s Back!

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My machine is back! And it has absolutely has nothing to do with this airplane, above, but I just had to share this photo. This plane flew over our heads and it was so low, I felt compelled to photograph it.

Anyhow…… my beautiful 35 pound (if I had to guess) Singer Quantum XL-1 sewing machine is back and purring like a kitten! When I went in to pick it up, my husband said it was like I was greeting my puppy who was at the pound. I’ve missed her so. I refrained from hugging her. This past month that it has been gone, I felt like a shoemaker without his hammer and nails, or a cook without a stove… or some other person who makes things without their tool to make them with.

The woman that worked there said “Yeah. They make them lighter nowadays“. Ooof. Yup. That is one heavy baby. And she’s ALL MINE.

The tech (see post here) that actually fixed it, fashioned his own spring because they stopped making that part for that machine. And although it cost a whole lot to do it (I am trying hard to block that part), he did it, and I am grateful he extended the life of my tool. My friend.

How about you?? Are you attached to any of your tools?

Update on my right arm

Well, not really my right arm….but it feels like it. It is my sewing machine.

You probably know by now, it has been in the shop since the end of January. I, luckily have been able to borrow my lovely friend Kirsten’s machine. It has been hard to not have my own, though. I love it so! You all know what I am talking about, right? You love your machines too, right? RIGHT??!!!

Last week I got a call from a tech guy who informed me that he was retired but they call him in to work on “the problem machines“. That can’t be good.

He also informed me that it would cost a lot more to open it up (it is THAT complicated) to even see what is wrong with it. *sigh* OK.

I knew that mine, for some reason, is not one that everyone would willingly work on. It is a 20 year old Singer Quantum XL-1,  a digital dinosaur of sorts that Singer has stopped making parts for….apparently.

Yesterday I got another call that it is done. He said there was a broken spring (that, yup, Singer doesn’t make anymore) and he “fashioned his own” and fixed it.

Uh, OK.

Wish me luck!

I’ve got two major things to work on that are due this weekend. *gulp* I could really use my best gal to help me out.

Here’s a photo of the sunset the other night, just so I don’t leave you photo-less today.

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We did it!

Remember that secluded hike I spoke of before? We went back (this time we brought the teen too) and we made it down to the river and back!

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On the way there, the Hood Canal bridge was up to let a few large ships through, and it gave us the opportunity to get out and snap a few photos on this incredibly gorgeous day!

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It was a nice pause before we got to our invigorating hike.

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The trail is in Quilcene, and on a weekend, it was a little more popular than on a weekday, but only by a few people. That actually made me feel a bit better about being out in the middle of nowhere with our girls.

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It is not an easy hike, full of rocky hills…but really beautiful.

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It was 2.5 miles to the river, and on the way there, all of a sudden darting up the path was a dog we had seen earlier (with a woman jogging) being chased by two pitbulls. The dogs scared the crap out of us because they stopped right at our feet and barked at each of us before continuing on the chase. We continued on for another 1/2 mile or so, and saw the frantic owner of the first dog, so worried. She explained to us that these two pitbbulls came out of nowhere and chased her dog. She lost her grip on the leash. We told her where he was headed.

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We finally made it down to the raging river, and the noise was so loud that we didn’t hear those dang dogs when they raced at as again and started to bark at us. We shooed them away, calmly.  They ran further down the trail. About 10 minutes later, we saw their owner and the two dogs were once again on leashes. What excitement!

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Luckily, those were the only wild animals we saw.

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The river was everyone’s favorite part.

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By the end, we hiked a little over 5 miles, and felt tired. But good tired. I am so proud of our girls…uh, and us old folk too!

Do you have a favorite hike?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, I am sharing a book that is on MY shelf….

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Just For You

by Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield and Sarah Markos

Remember that bag I made yesterday? This is the book it was from. It is filled with projects to sew!

What are you reading this week??