Category: sewing

Pattern Review: Julia Cardigan

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I want to like this pattern so much, but I’m just not sure. I’m still trying to figure out if I did something wrong in the construction or if it’s just a flaw.
The pattern is the Julia Women’s cardigan by Welcome to the Mouse House. The fabric is a made by rae print by cloud 9. This knit is divine feeling and in the end I’m wondering if my issues have more to do with the type and heaviness of this knit. It’s not sweatshirt thick, but it is a bit heftier and possibly this pattern is best with a lighter weight knit.

Overall this was a super simple pattern to put together. The directions are pretty darn good and there are photos all along the way to help. It’s not the most “professional” looking pattern, but after spending so many hours this year on adobe illustrator/indesign I’ve become sort of a graphic design snob. You have a couple of different options for the collar and I opted for the rolled collar without a hem. There again, with this thicker knit I’m wondering if that was the right choice?

My issue with the pattern is really just the fit and how it lays. I think if I made it again I would go a size down, a lighter weight knit and then maybe it would help with this bulge that seems to be in the hips area. I also think I would half the width of the collar – it just seems a little bit big when you get down the the back waist band.

It is a pattern that I would love another go at before I totally give it up.

Goal Setting: Thoughts on 2017

If there is one goal that I have for 2017 – one little word even – it’s FOCUS. The hardest thing for me to do when I am at home working and homeschooling is staying focused on something…anything! I feel like I drifted through 2016 for lots of reasons. Some of them because I was just avoiding some things emotionally and others because I just had too many distractions.

I have a tendency to become too goal oriented and list makey and then get so overwhelmed by the lists that I just chuck it all. So this year in an effort to try and manage this I am setting goals monthly and ordering my days differently. Such as, I’m going to have laundry days. I know that Mondays Mal and I hate going anywhere and Wednesdays are my low energy days so these are the days we are most likely to be home all day. So those will be the days I get through the laundry piles and make bread etc. Fridays my husband gets off early so I want those to be my grocery store and general “getting out of the house alone” times. Alone being the key word here.

I want to create space in my mornings to write so I’m hoping to get to bed earlier and get up earlier so I have more time to do that. There are other things I’m processing through in order to reduce my distractions online in order to help me write more – but I’m still processing through those. I know that I want to post here more often and so I’m hoping to have at least one day a week where I devote to posting.

I’m still wrestling with my hopes and goals for Etsy and daisyeyes handmade this year. For the time being I’m working on updating all my pdf patterns and I am continuing to take a break from custom orders. If I had one major goal for daisyeyes this year it would be to start offering embroidery kits again and learning how to screen print. I’m crossing my fingers this one becomes a reality. I’d love to do a video component to my website – offering instruction for adults and kids, but I’m not sure how that might play out.

Garment sewing and working through the Wardrobe Architect project is another huge aspiration. I got the Colette Sewing Planner for Christmas so I’m working through that and I’m loving it.

Here’s my top 6 items I want to sew this winter:

 

I’ve got hopes for my kiddos to get them helping out more around the house and I’m hoping we can establish a little more rhythm to those things and just our family in general.  All of us thrive on routine and when the routine gets out of wack we all get out of wack so realizing that I’m hopeful we can remedy that a little bit.

And if you need a good kick in the pants reminder that doing anything takes effort and hard work – this is a great read.

This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)

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Sewing: A Star Wars Quilt

I’ve been working off and on this year with learning about piecing quilts. I’ve made a few mini quilts over this past year and I’ve started falling in love with it. Cutting out all the little bits and piecing them together is like making a puzzle with so many more returns than just a regular puzzle. I mean you can’t cuddle up with a cardboard puzzle!

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I had come across this Star Wars quilt a while back this year and honestly forgotten about it. When I was searching for a pattern one day, I saw that I had even downloaded the pattern and reason flew out the window and I printed it and decided that I was going to make this quilt for my daughter’s upcoming 10th birthday. Did I mention that I was only giving myself about three and a half weeks to get it done?

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I don’t know how I did it, but it got done and honestly I loved every minute of it. Now I see why quilters get a bad rap for being addicts to fabric and quilting. It’s totally addicting.

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I used all Kona Cotton Solids and ordered most of them from The Fabric Shoppe on etsy. Being able to just order all the little bits online and not have to stand at a cutting counter with stacks of bolts honestly made it somewhat more manageable. I used all the suggested colors in the pattern except for the light blue background. Her bedroom already has this turquoise and orange in it, so I decided I wanted to play off that instead of the light blue. Honestly, I love how it turned out.

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The pattern overall is awesome. I don’t have a lot of practice with quilt patterns, but as this one goes it’s ranks right up there as being very well written. As I’ve posted on instagram over the course of this project, I’ve had so many people bewildered with the idea of completing something like this – but it’s like cooking. If you have a well written recipe and you can follow directions you could totally do it!

BB8 was probably the trickiest of all the sections to complete. There were lots of tiny one inch squares and many of them you had to snowball (sew diagonally) and my matching is a little off. But once I saw it come to life I was just amazed and didn’t give a whip about them not matching up perfectly!

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I was probably most amazed at the whole thing once I got the quilt top done. Even I couldn’t believe I had done it. It has to be one of the most satisfactory things I’ve accomplished this year!

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Quilting it was another story. I was completely intimidated with how to quilt it. I did a little research online and one person had recommended a serpentine stitch. I thought maybe my machine did that and hurrah it did! I decided that I didn’t want them to be perfectly evenly spaced so I started out on a seam in the middle and just worked my way out both sides trying to sew down seam lines as much as I could. I used a bamboo batting that is super soft and found this perfect flannel at Joanns for the backing. I did end up having to cut down the sides just a little bit to get the 42 inches I needed to match up the backing. I really didn’t want to mess with piecing that back and really felt like since this was just a throw quilt it didn’t matter if I cut it down a little bit.

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Thank the Lord for wonder clips – the best invention ever. We sat and did a Netflix marathon of The Office a couple of nights ago and I was able to get the binding sewn down. Not my favorite part. Now I just need to give it a wash and hope it doesn’t fall apart!

The big birthday is tomorrow so we’ll see what she thinks!

Sewing: Preschool Sew a Story

I recently finished up teaching a preschool class that I labeled “Sew a Story.” The premise was: we read a few books on a theme and then do a few pre-sewing activities that correlate with the theme. While it ended up being a much bigger class to prep for that I had anticipated, I have to say that it went really well and my little group of preschoolers did awesome (not to mention their awesome parents who stayed and helped!)

Here’s a glimpse into some of the activities we did. I’m hoping to either put together an e-book of activities or a series of posts here sometime in 2017 because so many of the sewing activities that we did are just too fun not to share!

Rainbows: we did some weaving
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Buttons week:
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Gardens: we made some sunflowers and a small flower garden
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Spiders: we made some webs
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Pumpkins
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It was a 10 week class and we did about 2-3 activities with 2-3 books per class. I’m excited to put the whole curriculum together into some form to share. Check back in the new year!

Embroidery: Christmas is Coming!

I’m honestly still reeling over the fact that it’s November and I know I’m going to blink and it will be Thanksgiving. I went back and forth for the last few months trying to decide if I was going to do any holiday markets or not and finally decided to try the Holiday Shoppe at The Hive again. It’s such a great venue and so well run that why wouldn’t I?

The sale is at The Hive on Central, December 9-11, 2016.

Here’s a peek at a few of the things I’m trying to pull together for the event.

my mini ornament collection for 2016
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Mini wreath ornaments (and I’m hoping to work on a set of some a little bit larger – these measure about 2 inches)
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And these guys… my own take on the elf on the shelf
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I’ve got a few other things up my sleeve that I’m hoping to get together too.

 

And just a reminder – I’ve got 3 custom portrait spots left for 2016!
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