Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week on Crutches Productivity

I figured I would give a detail of what I accomplished during my week on crutches.  In other words, I have tried to stay parked on the couch, and just stitch.  My productivity went down as the week went on, as on Tuesday, I was supposed to stop using the crutches in the house, and moving around a bit.  I was getting fidgety, and had to go several places anyway which took up time, and I was trying to do some household chores. Friday, I braved out into Joanns, as Axelgirl had a birthday party to go to, and needed a gift.  I then made it into the sewing room to make the blanket (serge edges and embroider name).   I still am not released for driving, hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday.  I did more in the basement today, and will post that later

Thursday and Friday-Smocked dress with 5 Princesses on it.

Friday and Saturday-Several attempts to smock nightgown.  Haven't decided if I should rip it out or not.  I wasn't liking it earlier in the week, but looking at it later it doesn't look too bad.  I intend on putting bullions in the large diamonds.

Saturday, smocked 2 wee care gowns

Saturday and Sunday backsmocked insert for Carries Cupcakes

Sunday and Monday  Smocked Carries Cupcakes with lots of redoing parts.

Off and on Thursday through Monday-Smocking on 6 month bishop, and decided I didn't like the way it looked.  Ripping it out.  I should know better than to smock without a design in mind, and try to make up my own.  It hasn't worked out well lately.  This is looking better than I thought it did as well.  I will take some time to think on it

Tuesday, repleated 5 wee care, broke most of my pleater needles, stitched a wee care

Wednesday, stitched a wee care, did some back smocking

Thursday-started stitching a wee care, need to add the rest of the bullions.

Friday, did a giraffe print blanket for Axelgirl's friend for a birthday gift

Monday, June 10, 2013


Several days ago, I had arthroscopic surgery for what was supposedly a torn meniscus.  Once he got in there, he found out the meniscus tear was very small, but the arthritis behind the kneecap was worse than expected so he cleaned that up.  I had my follow up today, and the current plan is to begin Physical Therapy this week, two to three times a week for the next four weeks.  I also have the goal of being off of the crutches by the end of the week.

Prior to the surgery I looked on line for various tips and such on how to use crutches.  It was a way to see what I could do to make things easier.  One of the things I came across was extra padding on the armpits and handles, and a way to carry things.  Below is what I came up with including a matching Ice Pack.  There are 7 peices total.  2 crutch pads, 2 hand grips, a water bottle container, and a zippered pouch with two zippered compartments and a section for a phone or other small things, and of course the matching ice pack cover.  Honestly, I didn't consider these to be that big of a deal or impressive, but at the hospital, and the today, different nurses kept coming in to look at them, and were impressed, even suggesting I sell them.

Picure of both crutches with accessories attached.  Crutch on left has the water bottle holder, sized to fit my Camelbak water bottle.  On the right would be the 'wallet' pocket with 2 zippered pockets and open on the top to hold a cell phone or other small items (ibuprofen, pain medication, etc).  Both pockets tie on for ease of putting on and removing.   Hand grips are reversable with velcro.  Fabric is a bumpy minkee type fabric, and remnants of a quilting weight cotton I used to make Axelgirl a skirt years ago. 

Close up of wallet pouch.  Back side is plush fabric, rest is done with the cotton.  I wish I would have lined with the plush as I think the phone would slide in and out easier.  Pockets are sized to hold $$, DL, credit cards etc.

Water bottle holder closeup.  It is lined with insulating fabric.  I just sort of improvised, and it turned out really well.  It is nice to be able to move my water bottle with me and fill it myself instead of waiting for my help.

Crutch pads-Again I just sort of improvised in making of these.  I used the same construction techniques I used to make skating soakers.  They are lined with 4 layers of quilt batting to add extra padding.  After making them, I inserted 3/8 elastic through the casing, and once tight enough around, just tied the ends together in a knot.

Reversable hand grip covers attach with velcro.

Ice pack cover.  I had some leftover fabric, and one of our icepacks did not have a cover.  I liked one we had that had elastic around it to secure it around the body part.  This cover is based on that idea.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Princesses Everywhere

A while back, I loaned Mini-Axelgirl an old dress of Axelgirl's.  It happened to have a representation of her current favorite princess on it, Ariel.  She really seemed to like the dress, so I decided she needed a Princess dress of her own.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of princess plates available for certain princesses.  Fortunately for me, a sewing friend had designed one for personal use, and gave me permission to copy it. I was able to recreate it from a picture, by counting stitches.  All of the princesses have the same basic shape and just changes for the style of dress and hair.  I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, except for the hair and faces of them.

Axelgirl gave the dress to MiniAxelgirl today while they were skating together.  They are preparing a duet for a summer competition, using a song featuring Ariel and Ursala.  MiniAxelgirl will be Ariel, and Axelgirl will be Ursala.  With some modifications, this years Winter Guard costume will be the Ursala costume.

There was enough room for 5 Princesses on the dress.  Deciding which ones to use was the challenge.  The original plate had 4, Belle, Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella.  I did not do Belle or Snow White, but added Tiana, Rapunzel, and Aurora.  I did not get pictures of each princess when finished.

Each princess took 3-4 hours to complete.  But it was worth it when I saw the pictures.  I have had a lot of time on my hands since my knee surgery, so am trying to take advantage of it.  I've been doing a lot of stitching, and a lot of ripping out, when I don't like how things look



From Left, Ariel (in her pink dress), Rapunzel (hair is made from 4 strand bullions done on 5 long darner, wrapped around each other), Tiana, Cinderella, and Aurora.

Mini Axelgirl showing off her new dress.  I think she looks happy.  Spinning in a dress is usually a sign of approval, I think.   I didn't go today, as I didn't want to deal with crutches and the rain at the same time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Skating Pants Done (one pair at least)

Tonight, after we got back from a Campus Visit at Purdue University (not impressed), I decided I needed to get one pair of skating pants made.  I had drafted the pattern the other night, and just needed to get them made.

I spent about $45.00 for 4 yards of fabric.  I should be able to get at least 3 pairs out of this for Axelgirl, and maybe a pair or two for Mini-Axelgirl if she wants or needs them.  Chloe Noel pants run $50-$60 a pair.  Of course, mine don't have the cool spiral down the leg, but oh well.  I just wish I could find the fabric they use.  Since this was a new size, and I had just redrafted the pattern, I only made one pair.  She will skate in them tomorrow, and we will tweak it from there, then make another pair.

Fabric is High Performance Lycra in black from Hancock Fabrics.  Pink trim is leftover from a project several years ago, so I consider it 'free'.  This will probably be the case for any of the pants I make.  The only other cost is thread and 1" elastic, so I think it is worth it to make them, considering they take less than an hour.

After asking on a sewing group on FB, I have decided to try smocking the nightgown with 4 strands of white, then add the roses. I will try a row or two and see how that looks.

I have also made some progress on the blouse for the Mary De.  Not sure how I will let the hem out.  I need to see if I have any fabric left to add tucks on the skirt.  That or make a pair of bloomers out of the blouse fabric.

My next top 5 are:
(these are temporary, and may change.  I can sew through Wednesday, then I am having knee surgery.  It will be at least a week before I can get back downstairs, so things may change.  Then there is also the issue of guard flags._

  1. Smocked nightgown for me
  2. Doll dress to coordinate with Ladybug dress
  3. Summer dress for Axelgirl, out of white dotted swiss.  I would love to have this done before she goes to engineering camp.
  4. Summer shirt for me
  5. MaryDe and blouse for niece

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Keeping track

Not much to report this week.  I've been busy trying to keep up on things. We had a new small chest freezer delivered this week, so I spent some time shopping and filling it.  I also made 11 freezer meals yesterday to have during recovery from knee surgery.  Hopefully it won't be that bad, but if it is, I'm prepared, and if not, I have meals ready to pop in the oven or microwave.

Last week I finished a sash for a flower girl dress, and forgot to post pictures.  Dress is from David's Bridal and they wanted a colored sash to go with it.  They provided material, not sure where it is from.  This is very similar to what David's Bridal offers for the same dress for $10.00.  I have it safety pinned in place and it should hang better on an actual person.

I also pleated up another nightgown for me.  It is adequately aged stash.  It is a Woodrow Studio London Lawn.  Not sure of it's original intent, but I have claimed it for me.  It feels almost as nice as the silk, but I like the fact that it is not as sheer.  It may end up not smocked, as I can't figure out the colors. I have tried the green, light pink, and dark pink.  Nothing really is jumping out at me.  I may try the yellow next, but not sure that is the look I want.  I had in mind something with bullion roses for the smocking design.

We are headed off to Purdue shortly for a campus visit.  I brought along two of the six month bishops I have to smock.  Hopefully I will make some progress.

In looking at my list, I never posted the pink and orange skirt for axelgirl I finished.  I will try to remember to do that next time.

My top 5 items are:

  1. New pair of skating pants for Axelgirl.  She has grown since the last pairs I made, so I need to redraft the pattern.  She is planning on skating more this summer so I need to get this done before my surgery
  2. Above nightgown for me
  3. Doll dress to match previously posted ladybug dress
  4. Summer shirt for me
  5. Mary De and matching blouse for neice.