Saturday, June 27, 2009

Butterick 5215

One of the sewing tasks I wanted to accomplish this year was sewing knit fabrics. Whenever JoAnn's had their $1 Butterick pattern sale I picked up pattern 5215. It is a simple t-shirt. You know, a t-shirt you can pick up on clearance for just a few bucks but instead I worked from late afternoon until the wee early morning hours sewing. Ya. To be honest I did take several breaks for dinner and such but still it always takes longer the first time around.
Most of the time was spend preparing the pattern. I have to admitt that I was feeling impatient before I even started this project. I have been trying to get into the habit of tracing patterns instead of just cutting out the size I need. But I confirmed my size on the envelope and just went for it. Full on scissor on pattern paper action. I chose style A which is a more fitted t-shirt pattern. But to be honest, I couldn't really tell any difference between style B or C just by looking at the pattern pieces.

I had some clearance knit bought at JoAnns for $2/ yard. So I only had $2 for fabric and $1 for the pattern I just ruined by not taking the time to trace out my size. Stupid me.

It only had 4 pieces and the instructions were very good. No misinterpretation on my part. This was the first time I also sewed a sleeve. So that's 2 tasks checked off of my years sewing list.

I also was able to discover the best way to handle sewing stretchy fabrics on my sewing machine. I used a special needle for jersey fabrics and lengthened my stitch length until it sailed through my machine like butter. I do not own a serger so this was crucial.

Check out this neckline. I also topstiched the shoulder seams. The neckline is finished using a simple bias tape cut from the same knit. With all the folding there is 5 layers of fabric there which makes for a sturdy neckline.

Later on in the evening or early morning depending on how you define it, I was finishing up the bottom hem. My plan from the begining was to embellish this shirt using a reverse applique` technique like found in my Alabama Stitch Book. Probably the rose with a white background and aqua topstitching. So after looking through my trim box I found this vintage lace. At 1:30am I pinned it on and sewed with no hesitation. Everything looked great until I realized that this is not stretch lace and my hem is now never going to have any give.

None-the-less, I through this over my head and realized this was a very form fitting t-shirt and exagerated my chest quite a bit. I have the horizontal stretch bands in between my two boobs. Classy. The hem, even in its non stretch state, was fine. And I realized an easy fix would be to retrace the pattern one size bigger on top. But then my impatient self cut the sucker up. So there you go. I guess I'll have to reinvest $1 the next time on the same pattern next time it goes on sale. Lesson learned. In the mean time my best bet is to get skinny and save myself the $1 for the second pattern.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Before and During- Garden Edition

This was my little back patio container garden that was just planted at the beginning of May...

This is my garden on Miracle Grow and 2 months later....

Things are really taken off!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This weekend in photos

Tiny mushroom found on a visit to a state forrest. It was my first geocashing adventure!

I had all intentions of actually sewing up this shirt pattern Saturday morning, but I caught Critter making it into a frumbled mess. Such a bad kitty. I did get it cut out. Now it's at a stands still again.

My green beans are in flower. They did a lot of growing over the past week. My first planting will have some beans to harvest this coming week. I'll be able to pick some cucumbers this week too. And my zucchini is flowering. I want to count how many zucs can grow on one plant. We'll just see if a plant can feed an army!

Sugar snap peas from my local farmers market. I have to grow these next year! I tried a new recipe that steamed these peas and mixed up a dressing that included mint and goat cheese. I am not a fan of mint and peas. I know it's suppose to be a classic combination, but it's just weird.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rainy Day

Have any of you checked out the website Feed Your Soul: the free art project? I found it recently and it was an answer to my cheap (FREE!) cool artwork woes. Remember all those frames I painted black then hung down my long front hallway? Well they have remained bare with the exception of some really cute bird decals I bought off of Etsy from Vinyl Wall Art.

It took literally no time at all to print these beauties off on some card stock paper, trim, glue stick to some colored card stock I had on hand (I really wanted black paper but I am fresh out.) and affix to the wall with double stick tape. It has been a week and so far they have all stayed up.

This is a temporary solution. Ideally, I plan on purchasing a few free floating glass frames to place inside the black ones. All in good time.

My flowers are taking off. They don't lack water right now. This morning as I was eating my breakfast I was amazed how much my little container garden has grown. So many blossoms.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I have been making things!

Last Sunday I when I was dressing for church I put on a newer black shirt that was begging for a new necklace. I looked at the clock. I had at least 5 minutes before we had the leave so I grabbed an old silver chain, my pliers, and my box of do-dads. In less than 30 seconds I found this crystal that I salvaged off a broken Xmas ornament and a bird charm from Michael's. It was so satisfying to whip this up. I left for church with a new necklace sans makeup. I did brush my hair though. :)

100% linen front, 100% red and white cotton backing. Appliqued letter embellished with hand embroidery to mimic cotton fabric. Binding is a small red and white polka dot fabric repurposed from a thrifted sheet. Machine free motion quilted in natural colored cotton/poly thread.

A few nights ago I finished up this baby blanket for a newborn baby girl. It was crazy simple to make and was inspired by Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book. In the book she has a soft wool baby blanket project that has the initial letter detail. Basically I used the solid surface theme and the letter to whip up this blanket. I also tried my hand at the free motion quilting option on my machine. Once I got the hang of it, it went pretty well. But to tell you the truth I wouldn't want to quilt anything larger! It's been washed and dried. I was a bit nervous about the red bleeding, but as a precaution I washed the blanket on its own with a cup of white vinegar and everything came out fine. The only thing I wish I would have done differently was use a lighter weight batting. But I was using what I had on hand. It's a great weight to be used as a play mat.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Playing catch up

I downloaded many pictures off my camera a few days ago, but I can't recall where I put them. I did manage to find two unrelated pictures to share. I've been trying really hard to get back to blogging and I can tell it's going to take a bit more effort.

First, I need to talk about a great swap I had with Christina from This Girl Beads. It came about from a continuous email discussion on the color yellow. So we put together a private swap. I wanted a new yellow necklace and she asked for a new summer bag. Because I was terrible about taking pictures of her gifts to me (forgive me Christina!) and my swap partner is so awesome you can actually see what she sent me here.

Everything she sent was absolutely wonderful and I am one lucky girl. I wear that necklace often and it quickly became a favorite of mine. I did manage to take one quick photo of the bag I made her in the early morning light before I shipped off her package. (The rest seen here.)
She asked for a gray and yellow bag. She likes linen and pleats. I found the mustard velvet ribbon in an amazing fabric shop in Gettysburg, PA. They carry many period fabrics, as well as, modern reproductions. This ribbon may not be vegetable dyed but its an historically accurate color from the civil war era. Come to think of it, I bought the gray fabric there too. This bags looks really great in person.


Remember those mojitos I mentioned last weekend. They were so good! I can't wait til it's weekend again.