Christmas Pajamas, Finished (and pants are incredibly easy!)

I finished most of the Christmas jammies today, after discovering that pants are the easiest thing in the world to sew. Well, if you have enough fabric and you’re not spending an hour adding a contrast waistband and cuffs to make up the difference.

But first, the shirt. I widened the arm holes, so I wasn’t sure what changes the sleeves would need. So I cut a practice arm out of some jersey knit I had around (looooooong story, it’ll be a stash project someday) and after spending an hour figuring out what the instructions meant (hint: you can’t pin it laying flat on a table), I figured out I was only missing about an inch.

And there is where I just love freezer paper for patterns. All I had to do was slice it down the middle and add the bit I needed!

Voila! Attached sleeves!

For the pants, like I said, ran out of fabric, so I added the contrasting red to the waistband. Instead of sewing the elastic under the hem like the pattern says, I threaded it through afterward. Easiest thing ever! And I didn’t have to worry about accidentally sewing the elastic in the seam. (Speaking of seams, I so want a serger. Too bad I already asked for a Netbook for Christmas!)

And finished pictures! With a most unwilling subject! (Mom, I’m trying to play the gaaaaaaaame!)

I’m going to sew the V up a bit (and make the Gator’s much shallower in the first place!) and add contrast trim to the arm cuffs. And probably add a pocket on the shirt and pants in the contrast after I finish his robe and know how much of the contrast I have left over!

In unrelated news, I picked up my vintage Singer from Prairie Quilt this morning! Woohoo! Also signed up for the quilting class and picked up fabric for my sister’s Cinderella Quilt and my new baby niece’s butterfly quilt. Because I don’t have enough projects. I plan on working on Cinderella and ignoring the PIP Cars quilt tomorrow. The Wee One will be happy with jammies for a while, right?

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas Pajamas – Fabric & Pattern(??)

I have a wipe-off board separated into months. Guess how many of September’s projects I finished? Well, two, that’s not terribly bad. But it’s not the five I had planned! So naturally, I think the best solution is to add to that and try to make the Wee One’s Christmas jammies by the end of the month. Just ‘cuz Sew Mama Sew told me to!

This is my first attempt ever to make clothing – and it’s actually going better than the &#@%$ elephant sewing pattern. Of cours, I bought the pattern two years ago, when the Wee One might have actually fit size 2, the largest size in this pattern. So there’s been some modifications – basically a little bit wider and a lot a bit longer. And once I started modifying, well, I didn’t stop.

The pattern is (originally!) Simplicity 8493. I’m making B, the long-sleeve, long pants jammies. And eventually A, the robe.

The fabric is from JoAnn’s Debbie Mumm collection, a nice warm flannel picked out by the Wee One, with some prompting from Mommy to get matching red for the robe/accents.

So far, in addition to cutting the shirt slightly wider, I decided to edge it with the accent flannel instead of doing the interfacing. Since the Gator eats jammie buttons, I never planned on doing the neckline the same, anyway. I cut it into a V instead of the |_| shape the pattern had, since it’s too hard to turn inner corners with binding. Or at least, I don’t know how! I still need to stitch the V better at the bottom.

Of course, this and the pants are the easy part. Since I cut the sleeve holes wider – and probably need to cut them wider still – I’m not really sure what modifications will need to be done to the sleeves themselves. I plan on experimenting with freezer paper before cutting fabric!

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Setting a New Record – Kites Over Enid

The local Habitat for Humanity decided to break the world record for kites flown simultaneously last week. They were actually very organized – the huge field was broken down into grids, with 100 people per square. Still, when almost 3,000 kites are involved, there was lots of tangling! Luckily, when we brought down the Wee One’s and the four kits tangled to it, we were able to cut his free without damaging the line.

We only set the North American record – kids in Gaza set the world record only a month before. But still, it’s fun to say we were a part of the record setting!

Shortly afterward, he let go with his other hand. Chasing a kite is fun!

Kite flying is SERIOUS business.

Who’s surprised by the Mickey Mouse kite?

These were the kites sold at the event. Near impossible to get up and control. But fun as long as it’s not in the hands of a four year old!

Probably about 2,000 or so of the kites. They brought in all the middle school kids to help fly.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Neglected Garden (& Everything Else!)

Yeah, I know, no posty lately! We have been super busy – we did Kites Over Enid last week, then a garage sale the nest two days, then I’ve been cleaning the garage and boxing up the leftover donations. Don’t worry, I found some spare time to hit up Hobby Lobby’s pattern sale! Simplicity patterns for 99-cents! Go now!

So not only has the blog and sewing been neglected, but so had my poor garden. Which means, of course, the trumpet vine is out of control. A hornworm got into my tomatoes and luckily(??) only took out one plant.

Even though it’s mid-September, my other tomato plants are newly thriving. They’re topping the 6′ stakes and still shooting out flowers. A bee was busy among them, so I tied and pruned and got out of the way. I don’t know if I’ll get much more tomatoes this year, but they certainly like the cool, damp weather we’ve had this fall.

(So have the mosquitos. Itchy!!)

I’ve learned from this year’s garden – when tomato plants get that big, it’s hard to reach around them to prune the back row. Next year, one row of tomatoes with something shorter in front!And something shorter would not be basil – that thing is freaking loving its corner of the garden. I guess my roasted tomato basil soup will at least contain homegrown basil!

We’ve also been talking about getting a landscaper out this fall to remove some of the crape myrtles along the house, including the one in the corner of the garden. From what I’ve read, they love to reseed themselves, so I’m guessing the garden one was not one of the original – they line our fence and house and are quite lovely….when you keep up with the maintenance.

My husband also agreed to take out the trumpet vine. I assume this means he’s going to find me some uranium. Woohoo! I’m hoping we’ll be able to leave the little tree in that corner of the garden, but since the evil vine is wrapped around it…

I have visions of buckets of morning glories covering the trellis next summer. (Oh, crud, according to Wikipedia, morning glory is also an evil vine! Is there any vine that is not evil?)

OK, now that the garden update is out of the way… I promise, lots more posts this week! I’ve got patterns to share, a new set-up for the sewing table, Kites Over Enid, the PiP Cars quilt, Cinderella Castle…

Oh, and because I have all this spare time… I’m doing the pajama sew-along on Sew Mama Sew, making matching Christmas jammies for the Wee One and his cousin, the Gator. I am obsessed with really love matching jammies. If we ever have more kids, they’ll have those fake “Mom is crazy” smiles in front of the fireplace on Christmas morning, all wearing matching footie pajamas when they’re in their teens.

Until then, the poor Gator gets tortured along with the Wee One. She’s being bribed with a twirl skirt.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Perpetually-in-Progress Cars Quilt (Finished Back…Maybe?)

So after an hour or so of slicing, dicing, measuring, pinning and sewing, I finished the back of the quilt. I mean, so you would think, using all those precise measurements and such from last week.

But this is the PiP Cars Quilt for a reason! And the reason, apparently, is because even the best laid plans somehow get way off track.

It’s 54×46 inches. It was supposed to be 50×42.

Yeah, I don’t know where I went wrong, either. You’d think simply adding a 3″ border all around would be easy! I guess I was supposed to add 3″ total? But still, there’s over an inch extra.

But, other than the minor squaring up I need to do, the back looks nice. And it would be nice to declare SOMETHING finished on this thing…

So in other words, I’ll be re-working the front plan. Again!

Yeah, this thing is gonna look like a mess. Current plan involves weird things like the red McQueens on the bottom, black and red alternating on the top, adding red to the sides of the alternating ones because I just don’t have quite enough… Good thing the Wee One isn’t a critic!

And now I’ve got some seam ripping to do…

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stash Project – Stroller Bag (Part 2)

Part 1

Today I worked on the bottom straps for the stroller bag. They came from the bottom hem of the jean shorts.

They were nice and wide and hence easy to slice right off.

I decided that I definitely need to sew them into the inside of the bag instead of the outside, because otherwise they detracted from the pockets. Yes, it’s the back, but whatever, I like seam ripping. So I ripped, placed, and measured.

I didn’t really need to pin it, but I was trying to figure out how to sew the strap into the seam and yet on both the inside and outside of the bag. Really makes a whole lot more sense to sew this BEFORE any of the bottom seams, but we’re learning as we go. If you sew it before all the seams, you can just stitch it in along the bottom and cross it on the way up the side.

Yeah, doing it before the seam would be MUCH easier. Next time! (Not that I’m planning another of these. And this strap wouldn’t exist on a purse made out of jeans. Oh well!)

After I sewed across the above seam to seal it on the inside and outside, I sewed it along in the inside to secure it. PAIN IN THE BUTT! (Have I mentioned this would have been a lot easier if, um, I had sewed the strap into the bottom seam?)

Way too much fabric, near impossible to keep everything flat and even, really impossible to get over the bunches at the corners and existing seams. My sewing machine can do a circle of fabric, but I don’t think the manufacturing thought someone would be shoving jeans through the little opening underneath!

So it came out looking a little, um, interesting in the back. But it’s the back, so it’s OK.

The front looks fine!

And strapped to the stroller.

I’ll add velcro to the ends of the straps so if the Wee One ever wants to nap, we can release it easily so the stroller can recline. Not that the Wee One naps anymore, but…

Now I just have to figure out what to use for the top straps. As support straps instead of mostly decorative, they need to be a lot stronger than this one!

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Perpetually-In-Progress Cars Quilt

I’ve mentioned this one before, but never really shared exactly how big of a disaster this quilt is. It’s so bad, even Wedge gets in on the cat-butt action.

Basically, since the movie Cars came out and the Wee One became obsessed, I bought all the Cars fabric I could find. Which includes a giant panel (which is not one yard – more like 35×43.) Lots and lots of the brown above – my mother bought some as well. A tiny bit of black that was only at Walmart – and of course, my Walmart shut down the fabric department!

Bad decisions have been made on this one. Originally, the back had black and red as well as the brown and blue. Looked very bad together – the red with McQueen all over it was too much, the black just didn’t go. Seam-ripping ensued. Sewed random pieces together randomly, without checking if anything fit right or would be the right side in the end. So it’s been put aside out of frustration, many times. Which makes the Wee One frustrated!

So yesterday, I brought out all the fabric and bits and pieces and measured and PLANNED.

Not to be outdone by Wedge, Tycho helps me plan.

The front:

(Yes, I know about the cat feet. He attacked me when I tried to make him move.)

The big panel can be bought at Hobby Lobby. I got it at the Fabric Depot in Portland. Love that place. Miss that place! I have no idea where the red McQueens was from; the black, as previously mentioned, was from Walmart. I need to make the top and bottom squares on the sides a little bigger, and cutting down the red McQueens to 3″.

(Really shouldn’t have looked up the Fabric Depot. They have even more Cars fabrics! No! I need to stop!)

The back:

The back is just alternating blocks of the blue and brown. I don’t remember where I got the blue and I can’t get more – argh! So to add enough to make it work with the front, I’m adding 3″ of border all around. The red is from JoAnn’s, and I know there’s another complimentary blue at Hobby Lobby.

So I have my list of things to trim, cut, seam rip, sew and resew. And then I’ll have a 50×42 quilt to hand-bind. *sigh* Not looking forward to that one! But eventually, the PiP Cars Quilt might be done.

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Monkey See, Monkey Quilt (Finished with a mini-version!)

Everything was bound, washed and mailed off this morning. 🙂

Baby quilt measured 33.5×33.5″. According to EQ, I was going for 36×36″, so, um, lost something there. Um, I’ll just blame the border. Right?

The mini-quilt, for the big sister, measured 18.75×18.75″. I think I was going for 18×18″. Darn those borders!

Quilt top fabric is from JoAnn’s from the Crunch Monkeys collection and mini-dot in cocoa. The backing is “In the Beginning – The Cat” in flannel by Wendy Slotboom.

Published in: on September 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two More Crayon Rolls

One for a friend, one for my niece. And some mistakes! The pink, sewed the slots a little too large so there’s only room for eleven crayons. And the blue, oops, put the planes on upside down. Oh well, at least they’re going to people who love me enough to forgive my mistakes. :p

Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment