Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taking shortcuts

Sometimes with sewing I wonder how much I can get away with. All of my sewing skill has been by trial and error. I have learned that the first thing I make of anything is always a learning experience. Like do you really need to use interfacing? And which weight interfacing? A few months ago I made the bag below. I have found that if I use too sturdy of an interfacing in the handle they don't stay on my shoulders comfortably. Too stiff.

(fresh off the sewing machine)

So I thought, let's see what happens when I don't use any at all. The results are mixed. While the handles fit comfortable on my shoulder and stay put they also warped into a curled wrinkled mess. I should note that the handles are 100% linen. Maybe results would be different if it were cotton?(60 days later)

Not that I mind. One friend even said the handles go with the relaxed style of the bag. I still love the secret pocket in the front. Perfect place to hold my keys. I always know where to find them when my arms are full of groceries.

Next time I'll definitely put something in there to help stabilize the fibers to make them 'just right'. But I just wanted to see what I can get away with.

A story of making do

My very wonderful neighbor, who I will miss dearly when we move away from our rental, has a husband who has a unique way in which he tears a hole in his left elbow of every long sleeve shirt he owns. She has taken this opportunity to learn more about sewing and together we are mending his long sleeve shirts by converting them to short sleeves. Never mind that the nights have already cooled off and I believe our fall has already begun.

We used a short sleeve shirt that fits him well to take measurements on the length of the sleeve.

Then we fold over 1/2'' and then another 1/2'' to encase the raw edge of the newly cut fabric. I thought this mend would be a quick and easy project but after sewing up my first shirt I realized that the fabric gathers funny, always leaving a pucker which I concentrate on the bottom of the sleeve. I now realize why this happens. The sleeves are tapered and when I roll the edges I get that pucker, but does anyone have a good solution to this problem? I suppose I could mess around with changing the angle of the sleeve. In this case the top of the sleeve measured 11 1/2'' and the bottom measures almost 7''. I also suppose I could make a binding from the remaining sleeve to finish the edges. Or I can continue to "hide" the pucker in the bottom seam. Any suggestions would be helpful. We have quite a few more shirts to hem.

And I just want to thank everybody on the well wishes for our new home! As expected, it's been a whorl wind of activity around here. Moving in bit by bit. Spending over $40 in felt at Lowes to put on the bottom of all our furniture so not to harm the hardwood floors. I think I finally decided where to put the vegetable plot garden. Today I am going to take a break from moving boxes and get two bags sewn up that are needed for a wedding. I woke up to cool, overcast Labor Day morning and it seems like the perfect slow day to get that project accomplished.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Playing Hookie

This Wednesday both Jeff and I were ready to leave for work, keys in hand, when we both looked at each other and said we didn't want to go to work. So for the first time ever (at least for me) we played hookie from work last minute. We didn't have anything exciting planned. We just felt that this sunny August day was perfect to spend with each other. And since we are sans kiddo's we better take advantage of our spontaneity while we can!

We ran a few fun errands like picking up peaches at a local farmers stand, hitting up a thrift store, and then day dreaming about our new house. This awesome news is only a partial excuse for my absence online. The other part is laziness. Sewing hasn't ceased but taking the time to photograph and write about it has.

But let's not dwell on that. Let's talk about the new house! We are first time home buyers and I can't tell you how exciting this whole process has been. We've been saving for what seems like forever and started to look this spring online. The worst/best part about waiting and saving is that we got to spend a lot of time deciding what we liked and didn't like. So we were quick to say no to many properties that came on the market. But time was on our side and patience paid off. We ended up getting many of the priority items on our wish list. Newer home in the country with land surrounded by farms. And its less than 10 minutes from Jeff's work. Amazing!

Hopefully, this will be the last time we move for a very long time. I am so ready to plant roots.

Long lane leading up to the house. We plan to plant fruit trees in the front yard.

View from the mudroom through the kitchen into the living room. Check out all the natural light!

View from the breakfast room which we are just going to use as our dining room.

Dining room

We take possession in 9 days. Our actual moving date is 2 weeks later. Between Labor Day and out of state work trips it works out better that way. We have our rental til the end of Sept so there is really no rush. I can clean the new house before we move in, get settled, then have time to clean our rental. :)