Monday, April 15, 2013

What have I been up to???

Well, quite a bit, actually.  We finally got over all the sicknesses, colds, etc.  And now we're normal...I think!

Here's a run down on the sewing-related things I've gotten done.  Some of them.   I can't find pictures for a couple of things that I'm sure I've sewn since January.

Using this book by Sandra Betzina     I made a puppet theater for the girls' Easter  present.  (Instead of candy).

The theater hangs on a tension rod in a doorway.  This is the back (the performer's side) of the theater.

 Here's a detail of the corners, with the curtain held out of the way.

And a picture of the front.

It's made with felt - and even though I used my walking foot to sew on the red strips (for stabilizing of the windows) it rippled some.  I'm annoyed at that, but there's no way I'm ripping it out and doing it over!!! 

Sandra's instructions didn't include curtains, but I didn't want what was in the background to be seen by the audience, so I dreamed up a way to include curtains.  I'm really glad I did.  They work perfectly.  And the red stabilizing strips on the back serve as a clue for where to stick the puppet in front of the curtain.

The girls were tickled with it (H, C, and G more than O).  And I also made a bag to keep it in (along with the puppets- which I did NOT make.  I'm getting smarter in my old age - keeping things easy to clean up and store...I forgot to take a picture of the bag.  I'm also getting forgetful in my old age!!!)

I made G a skirt:
 You'll notice we're typical homeschoolers: hair not combed and socks don't match! *L*
And in case you haven't figured it out, those are high heels.  White with black polka-dotted high heels.  Mom bought the fabric!

And, O got a new dress for Easter.

And H's doll got a skirt and blouse.
I've got a more casual dress cut out for O.  Plans of a dress for H.  I've got a dress cut out for the doll.  I think that's all.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Imagine the scene....

So, it's 6:45 am.  The alarm is going off, I'm hitting the snooze button and really enjoying how soft my socks feel on my feet.  And how soft our Christmas-present-from-mom sheets are. And C is occasionally kicking me and I roll her over.  And then I roll over. 

And then C throws up in our bed.  On our new sheets.  So I jump up.  Grab the trash can.  Hold her hair back.  Run for a washcloth.

There's a lull.  I put C in the tub (with nice, hot water, of course).  I go into C & H's room to get some clothes for C.  I see that H has no covers on.  So I grab a blanket and cover her.  Oh, something's wet on that blanket.  So I go around to the other side of the bed to get another blanket.  And what's that I spy??? Yes, you've got it --- vomit on the floor!!! ARhghghghghggh!!!!!!

She threw up in her sleep.  And never told me!!!! What a way to start the new year!!!

So.  Instead of going out for dinner like we thought, it appears that I'll be celebrating the new year by doing laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry.  Oh, and cleaning up nasty messes.  Ick!!  I hope this isn't a sign....  And we are nearly out of crackers.  The saltines are all.  The oyster crackers are all.  The graham crackers are all.  We're on our last sleeve of Ritz crackers.
Hoping you all don't get the bug, 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December sewing

 That's my husband hiding behind his pillow case.  He recently got a new pillow.   And so I thought he'd like a pillow case of his very own for Christmas.  He's tickled with it.  He's so easy to please.  Notice how the tractors will actually be driving sideways when he lays down? That bothers me to the point I want to go get more fabric and do it right!  But he's happy.  This is the first thing I've ever made him.  I'd like to try pajama pants or something for him, but the girls seem to need clothes so much more than he does! And me!!! I need clothes, too!!  So sewing for him gets pushed back...and back...and back....

This is O's newest skirt.  It's finished now, and I thought I took a picture of it on her, but I can't find the picture.  My second experience with this kind of a waistband - no elastic.  And trying to stitch the facing down from the right side by sewing in the ditch is hard for me - it just never seems to line up.  So the inside isn't quite perfect.  But definitely wearable. It's Ottober, 1/2012 #33 -- a size 122, which fits her perfectly, with many, many inches added to bring it to mid-calf, which is where she likes her skirts.  It really sewed up rather quickly - although it was sewn over the course of two weeks.  I think I managed to sew two seams each time I sat at my machine.   The topstitching made it take longer.  I'm tempted to try it again, in the next larger size, and with different type fabric.  This fabric is a lightweight denim and it works fine, but I think something heavier would work also.

And O's asking for pockets.  So I might attempt some in-seam pockets.  However! First comes ME!!! I need pajamas! So that's what my plan is next.  A coin purse for me and then pajamas for me.  

I've been a good little farm-wife today.  I canned up the leftover ham from Christmas dinner into ham and bean soup.  And some jars of just plain ham.  

Happy New Year!  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The last bit of sewing

Alrighty.  Pictures of the sort of colonial get-up for H.

 Yup, she lost a tooth.  And then a few days later, she lost ANOTHER tooth.  We've been teasing her about getting dentures.  Poor girl.

Also, a new purple skirt for O.  She is desperately in need of casual-type clothes.
 In case you're wondering, I made her take off the polka-dotted tights and put something else on before we left the house.

And, a little snafu happened and I needed to cover it up - Enter my "clearance rack" Winnie the Pooh ribbon.  She chose Piglet and I stitched Piglet over top the little hole.
 Not so bad - her tops will usually cover Piglet.

I have great plans of doing another skirt - Ottobre 1/2012 #33

I'll need to lengthen it, but that shouldn't be a problem.  And find big snaps.  I've started working on that.  It's all traced, just needs to be cut out.  Maybe this week??? I'm not sure how much sewing will get done.  I have high hopes of hitting School Day #90 before Jan. 1 -- we'll see.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Two down and I'm giving up!!!!

This is H's dress.  (Picture by an 8 year old. Not that the mom's pictures are any better!)  I switched up an Ottobre pattern - 3/2011 #26, 28 & 31.  They're all about the same  - just the neckline, sleeves, and skirt are different.  I used the square neckline.  Then I lengthened and added fullness to the sleeves.  Then I cut out some of the gathering in the skirt and lengthened it.  H is tickled.  I'm relieved. 

 I re-learned an important lesson on this dress: Don't steam the life out of a zipper.  Or it will die.  I had some rippling after I topstitched the zipper.  So I steamed it and it came out beautifully.  And the zipper wouldn't go down.  I didn't cry, but I felt like it! So, two days later, I ripped it out and re-sewed it in.  (Naturally, that involved ripping off part of the facing, too - not an easy thing to do, since I had already trimmed the facing seam allowances.)  Needless to say, it is not a perfect example of a zipper.  But it's functional now.
I just need to get a bonnet made for H.  And she's ready.  Maybe an apron? But I don't think so.  I'm starting to get jealous!! All the sewing has been for the girls lately.  And I want a coin purse and a bag for field trips.

Back to the colonial dresses.  I have no pictures of O's dress. It's one Mom made me when I was about 8 (pretty cool, sentimental stuff there).   So I just made O a sun bonnet.  And she's thrilled.

I'm really thinking seriously of just making C and G sunbonnets and not worrying about dresses for them.  If C asks, I might try to get one done for her.  Might.  We have less than two weeks now.  Probably not.  I hope she doesn't ask. !!!

In other news, my Dad finished a third bookcase for me.  And I'm tickled.  (Old pictures of the girls on top.  New ones will be in Friday.)  I have two other placed I'd like book cases for.  But I'm afraid to ask him.  Three was a definite stretch.  Maybe I'll wait awhile and spring it on him when he's feeling especially fine.   Like after opening Christmas presents?? *L*

Also, just so I can remember, the days of a homeschool mom aren't always pretty,  or filled with charming children who do exactly as they are asked.

I need a shirt that says something like "I survived a day with G".   Hopefully tomorrow will be better :).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finally done!

Well, it took four weeks to finish three more dresses, all matching G's.

O is really a bit too big for her dress, but it'll have to do.  I'm hoping to get to JCPenny this week and get family pictures done.  Then we can put the dress in "her" box in the attic.  

So, why did it take so long to get three dresses done?? We've been busy!
We visited a goat farm:

Visited family for a birthday party (and made a mess in someone else's kitchen!):

And helped make Christmas candy for church:

Next up, four colonial dresses -  to be made in three weeks.  I agreed to have the girls participate in a small, local, historical Christmas service....and then found out they'd need to be in colonial dress.  In three weeks.  That's four girls.  Four dresses, four caps/bonnets/whatevers.  

Please don't look at the house if you visit us! I won't be cleaning.  Please don't judge my homeschooling skills: we might do a unit study on sewing - hands-on, of course.  Please bring food if you come for dinner: I might not be cooking!  And we might go broke buying paper plates!  

The plan is to use Ottobre 3/2011 #26 - it looks rather simple.  I plan to just make them out of "colonial"-ish fabric, make them floor length, and make bonnets or caps (shower cap style, with lace).  Of course, I have to trace off four different sizes first.  And then cut them out and sew them.  And here  I sit.   Well, no longer! I'm off! (Of course, before I can trace them off, the kitchen table needs to be cleared.  And the dishes washed.  And supper thought about....)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

One down, three to go!

The goal is to have four matching dresses sewn before the end of November.  (My membership at JCPenny's runs out the end of November and I really want a family picture taken and I like matchy-matchy.)

This is Simplicity 5827, size 3.  I've now traced this in all sizes.  And sewn it in just 4 sizes.  I like the pattern, except there's something funky about Simplicity sleeves - I just don't have luck with them.  I can get them in okay, but it always takes some very careful manipulation.

So - G's dress is now done.  I've learned that if I sew in all my "spare time" I can finish a dress in one week.  That does NOT include the cutting out of the dress.  Just the sewing.  I'm guessing it was about 5- 6 hours of actual sewing and pressing time.  I suppose I don't have to define "spare time" - but here it is: all the time gleaned by cooking poorly thought-out meals, by having the girls do housework unsupervised, by not reading to the girls as much, etc.  You get the idea :)

 Sleeve detail - those buttons (same as on the front of the dress) are TINY! I measured and they're about 1/4".  Very hard to manage.

 Showing off my nearly perfect centered zipper.  This is the first centered zipper I've done in quite a while.  But it went in perfectly.  It was the topstitching that I had to rip out and do over.  And I still have some ripples - I steamed the life out of it, but some stubborn ripples still remain.  The top also didn't line up quite correctly - but G moves around a lot, so I'm pretty sure those imperfections won't be noticeable to the majority of people.

Next up: more of the same!! Assuming I get some free time next week :)  We have plans to go on a field trip, butcher (dress) 21 chickens, there's a book sale I really want to go to,  plus do all the normal things we do.  We'll see....