Tuesday, December 31, 2013

First set of flags are done!

The first set of flags are done!  This is my big accomplishment this week.  There were 8 flags in this set, all of the same design, but with 4 different background colors. These are made from poly china silk/lining material. They involved appliqueing a large design onto the background, trimming the background away underneath, and fray checking.  Lots of little issues with this one.  I can't share pictures just yet, but will share this one.  To reward myself for completion I ordered the 4" and 5" Gingher Julia scissors to go with the 8"  ones I received for Christmas.  Here is a peek at the flags, boxed up and ready to go.  I need to pick up the basement and start on the next set which is 14 flags.

This week I also finished my Wendy Schoen Le Jardin Sewing Box.  I decided not to put it into a Sewing Box, but have sent it off to be framed.  This was a class I took with Spirit of St. Louis Smockers, several years ago.  Not sure how long ago it was.  I realized after I sent it off, I made some mistakes on threads on the center section.

Friday, December 20, 2013

One of these things is not like the other.........

Below are pictures of part of Mini-Axelgirls Christmas present.  They are all skating clothes for her American Girl Dolls.  But one is different, can you guess which one and why? We will be playing this game with her when she gets the gift. I'll tell you the answer at the bottom.

I have misplaced the patterns I have drafted for skating clothes for AG dolls.  This really frustrated me.  This meant I had to start over, so each dress has a little tweak or two to get a better fit/look.  Don't know what took me so long to think about putting Velcro in the back of these.  In all the ones I have done in the past, I have never done this, and it makes them a lot easier to put them on.

To draft the basic pattern, I traced 3 different patterns onto my tracing paper, each with a different color sharpie.  One was Kwik Sew, a Butterick, and a Simplicity.  The KS one on its own might have worked, but it was an empire waist and I wanted the lower, on the hip skirt.  The skirt had to be drafted from scratch.  It is a full circle, a little longer in back.  This was done by starting with the panty pieces, slitting them, spreading them, then adding the lines around it.

Color blocked dress (front only) with lavender/orchid lycra and silver on white hologram.  This hologram is really nice, as it reflects a lot of colors.  Lower scoop neck in back.

Ariel skating dress.  Mid section is nude mesh.

Basic skating dress.  Hot pink velvet bodice and panties with tie die velvet skirt.

Black lycra practice pants with hot pink with silver hologram bottom and waist trim

 Rapunzel skating dress.  This one was probably the most challenging of the 6 to do.  Skirt is two layer, bottom one a pink glistenette, top a dark purple glitter velvet.  Sleeves were the biggest challenge.  The velvet is pretty thick and hard to gather tightly.  all ribbon was sewn on before construction.  Next time, I would gather the sleeve ruffles a bit more.
 Green and blue skating dress with handkerchief skirt.  Bottom layer is royal mesh.

So were you able to guess which one was different?  If you guessed the first one you are correct.  The other 5 are duplicates of skating outfits I have made for Mini-Axelgirl.  The top one I have not made for her, yet.  That will be the rest of her Christmas present.  There is not a good way to get current measurements without making her suspicious, so I decided to do it this way.  There are still some dresses I haven't duplicated for her dolls yet, but I don't have any of the fabric left.  I would like to do those at some point as well.

Below is a lanyard I made for secret santa exchange at work.  The person whose name I had has asked me in the past to make her a lanyard, and I hadn't done it yet, so this was the perfect opportunity.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What I've been working on

3 months since I have posted.  Wow.  I really need to be better for my own benefit about posting.  I know I have done things in that time but not taken many pictures.  Here they are, in no particular order, other than what I remember

First here are the color guard flags I made for last season.  I promised pictures but had to wait until they had performed.  There were 16 of each flag.  The white were easy as far as flags go.  The blue and orange ones took about 5-7 hours each.  I have stuff for 2 sets for winter guard in the basement.  Once the majority of Christmas sewing is done, then they take priority.  Jan 15 is my target date for them.

What else have I done in those 3 months.  There have been some things but not a lot.  I am probably leaving out items as well, as I am getting sloppy about remembering to take pictures.

3 sets towels for Christmas gifts, embroidered with this from www.designsbyjuju.com  No pictures taken

Elegant Christmas Embossed Monogram

16 drawstring backpacks, as made in previous posts for the Winter Guard.  No pictures taken.  They are made with a gray bottom, and a lavender vine/heart pattern from Joanns.  Their name is embroidered on the purple section in gray.  For the coaches, it is embroidered in purple.  Here is a picture of the accent fabric.

The band did not get to go to homecoming due to a competition.  So one of the parents organized a band-coming for them.  I got to make my first 'fancy' dress.  It is one of the big 3 patterns, can't remember which one.  Fabric is the Joanns Casa collection satin with glitter.  She chose the feather fouf for accent on the belt.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the night of the dance, because I didn't put a card in the camera.

Our band does something special for the seniors at each competition during the season.  Different parents volunteer to donate snacks or other goodies.  We had 18 seniors this year.  I ordered some drawstring bags from Oriental Trading, and embroidered them with a music note and their names, and loaded them with goodies.  Gatorade, chips, cookies, and gum.  The bags were just the right size to hold this.

At the overnight competition, A bigger gift was given where we all chip in.  They decided on pillowcases.  I did the embroidery for these  Again there were 18 of them.    This is what was embroidered on them.  This was a sample of the stitchout for approval before I started.  Again, I forgot to take pictures.

Again, no picture, but I embroidered a name on a baby blanket for my brother to give as a baby gift, he purchased the blanket.

Then there was Christmas sewing for my niece and nephew.  

My nephew is getting a Thomas toy for Christmas.  So his item had to be related to Thomas.  Again, no picture.  I purchased a pair of sweats, a white T-shirt, and Thomas underwear.  The white t-shirt was embroidered with a train design in the colors of Thomas. I had actually purchased a Thomas embroidery design from a seller on Etsy, but it did not stitch out to my satisfaction, so I went another route.

My 'slightly' spoiled niece is getting a My Little Pony toy for Christmas.  To go with that she is getting 2 dresses.  A Mary De, and a Lucy, along with coordinating doll dresses. She is getting MLP Panties as well.  The smocking is based on Cross Eyed Cricket Pretty Little Ponies with some changes.  Embroidery design is from www.designsbyjuju.com.  Blouse is Mary De blouse with Carol sleeves.  

Tonight I decided to start on Mini-Axelgirls Christmas present.  She wants a new skating dress.  Since there is not a good way to get new measurements without raising suspicions, I decided to make her a doll dress in the style of her new dress.  Went downstairs and to start and my skating dress patterns for dolls had disappeared.  This left me to recreate them.  I really don't like any of the ones that are commercially available in the fabric stores so I have modified them over the years.  I had some notes on my KwikSew pattern and went from there.  I made two dresses tonight.  I only took pictures of the one Mini Axelgirl will be getting a dress like.  Don't know why I didn't take the other one, but I am too lazy to go back down.  

Hopefully for my own record I will do a better job of updating what I am working on.  There are probably things I forgot, but I can't remember

My next 5 projects are:
8 color guard flags-set 1
15 color guard flags-set 2
Mini Axelgirls Skating Dress
Several doll skating dresses for Mini Axelgirl

Monday, September 16, 2013

Baby Shower Gift

A Coworker is expecting her first baby on September 27.  (I'm rooting for September 15, because it's. my birthday).  We were going to have a baby shower for her, but it was delayed due to her having some gall bladder issues and put on bed rest.  Her and baby are doing fine now.

These were all made the first day I had my new sewing machine.  Have I mentioned how much I love it?

For baby shower gifts I pretty much give some combination of bib/blanket/burprag sets.  For this one I chose to make 3 sets.  Bibs and diapers are from Target.  Blanket fabric is from Joanns, ribbon is from stash, most likely Joanns, Hancocks, or Hobby Lobby.

First set is a monogram since they are so popular right now.  You can't see it in the blanket fabric, but it has silver glitter around the tear drops.  I picked the cupcake ribbon because it had the same colors as the blanket.  I do not remember the source of the monogram font.
 Next is Hello Kitty.  Mom to Be is a big Hello Kitty fan, and since baby was a girl, there just had to be Hello Kitty included.  HK ME design is from here http://www.etsy.com/shop/DigitizingDolls?ref=l2-shop-info-name
 Last was a butterfly design from www.designsbyjuju.com  I use a lot of her designs and love them.  The room is brown, pink and aqua, so throughout I tried to find things that would work with that theme.

Scheduled on 9/14 to publish on 9/16

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Different Dress-Same Pattern

I'm going to do a series of quick posts to try and catch up.  Some posts may be longer as I finish newer projects, but in general, I am going to try and play catch up.Last summer, I made this dress for Axelgirl.  http://www.lifeinthesewingroom.blogspot.com/2012/05/dress-for-axelgirl.html  She loved it, and it gets a lot of wear.  Looking at the picture, I can see where it has faded a lot.  She had asked for a new one, and about two or three weeks ago we got out and purchased fabric.  You can see it here.

And the finished dress.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of her wearing it.  The fabric would not have been my first choice, but it did come out sort of cute.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lanyards-Step by Step Tutorial

First,  I do intend to get caught up with pictures.  The original intent of this blog was for me to keep track of what I've completed, and I need to do better at that.

Today I decided to make some new lanyards for work.  I have been using the same one for the past year.  I have been intending to make more, and decided today was the day.  They sell on etsy from about $8.00 up, and the Vera Bradley ones are $16.00 on her website.  I was able to make 4 of them for just over $8.00 all on sale from Hobby Lobby, not including thread and velcro, and under 2 hours, including clean up.  You may have the things needed on hand, which would make them 'free' :)

These are made to my preference in size (width and length).  There is no correct dimensions, just what you prefer.  Mine are 1/2" wide, by about 40" in length overall.


  • Sewing machine w/ straight stitch
  • Steam Iron
  • Thread and bobbin to match
  • 2" wide strip of fabric, cut selvage to selvage or 40" long, if purchasing I buy 1/6 yard, so I can trim it up straight.  It amazes me how crooked fabric is cut at times. If making wider, fabric width is 4 times finished width of lanyard
  • Appropriate size swivel hook, and/or split key ring.  This is personal preference.  I like just a swivel hook, keeping my ID and keys on separate rings, making them easy to move.
  • Scrap of Velcro, each piece approx 1/2" X 1/2", or breakaway clasp-optional.  This allows them to 'breakaway' if pulled on.  If your work environment doesn't require this, you can just stitch the edges together.  If anyone knows of a reliable cheap source of small quantity break-away clasps let me know.
  • Rotary cutter, mat and ruler, or scissors, marking pencil and ruler

Fabric Selection-Keep in mind you will only be seeing 1/2" wide strip of the fabric.  While fabric is a personal choice, some fabrics will not look good, or be identifiable on that narrow of a strip.  I would recommend something with an all over print, a quilting weight 100% cotton. If you look at the edge of the bolt between two solid fabrics, it will help you visualize how it will look in a small width.  This is still wider than the finished lanyard, but can help in decision making.  For mine today, I found a smallish fall leaf print, orange with white dots for Halloween, and 2 larger geometrics.  For the larger geometrics, I prefer those that are busier, without a lot of solid space.  Here you can see the fabric and swivel hooks I chose to use today.    Everything was on sale at Hobby Lobby.    I purchased 1/6 yard (6") but could have probably gotten by with 1/8 yard (4 1/2").

 Cutting Fabric-Cut fabric 2" wide by the width of the fabric.  Cut length to 40" or length desired plus 1" for folding over edges.  I stacked my fabric and used a rotary cutter.  If you do not have a rotary cutter, mark cutting lines and cut carefully.  These were all cut pretty straight, but we've all had that one piece that was just wonky.  One of the reasons I buy extra fabric.  Since I was using the rotary cutter, I was able to cut all pieces at one time.

First Pressing-Fold fabric in half lengthwise, making sure edges are even, and press a sharp crease along entire length.  Use as hot an iron as the fabric will tolerate, press hard, and use lots of steam.  Watch your fingers as you don't want to burn them.  The iron is hot, and so is the steam and the fabric as the iron moves over it.

 Second pressing-Carefully bring one cut edge to center fold, and press, taking care not to press away center fold.
 Third pressing-Bring second cut edge to fold line and press.  Again, taking care not to press away center fold line.
 Fourth pressing-Fold back in half, pressing heavily to make sure everything is pressed down, and center fold is in place.  This is the width of the final lanyard.  Take care to make sure folded edges are as even as possible.

 Stitching sides down-I like tto use my edge stitching foot on this one.  I set the needle position on 2.0 from the left.  This is for Babylock machines.  Using the guide, stitch as close to the open edge as possible, while making sure to catch both layers of fabric, making tiny adjustments to edge alignment as necessary. The more accurate your pressing, the less adjusting will be necessary.  Stitch down the entire length, then stitch down the entire length of the folded edge, using same spacing from edge.

 Adding Swivel Hook/Keyring/Connector of choice-Slide swivel hook or other hardware on lanyard, fold in half.
 Using zipper foot, and allowing enough clearance for hardware on side of foot, stitch lanyard together, keeping edges even.  I end up stitching about 4 times to keep it secure.
 Not the straightest stitching, I had the hardware to close to the zipper foot on this one.  Also ignore need for manicure.  I worked in yard this morning, and hadn't redone my nails yet.
 Attatching closure-I use velcro.  I cut it about 1/2" x 3/4"-1".  For first end, fold edge over, and stitch velcro on all 4 edges, making sure to secure so it doesn't pull off.  For second end, line up sides, and determine which side velcro will go on.  Fold end under velcro.  For other styles follow manufacturers dirctions.  If you do not wish to use a breakaway clasp, stitch edges together in your preferred method.

 Finished Lanyards, and a sample of when I just used a key ring instead of the swivel clip.

My current top five to work on would be:

  1. Silk shirt for me
  2. Another pair of pjs for DH
  3. Twirly dress for Mini Axelgirl
  4. Robe for Axelgirl
  5. Finish 5 weecare items completely