Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy PR day, shopping trip!

Happy 10th Anniversary PR, and all the wonderful members who have helped make it such a wonderful site.

After missing the chance to get up to Seattle for PR day, my family took me out to Fabric Depot in Portland. That place is amazingly huge! It really is the largest fabric store int he nation, with almost 1.5 acres of floor space! It was great fun to spend a couple of hours checking out all the fashion fabrics and sale items (because at heart I'm always a bargain shopper).
I had a list of patterns I was shopping for fabric for, mostly I wanted knits. So here is what I ended up with:

The white print on the left (not a great pic, but it has the same dusky blue in it as the solid above it) is a Moda 1930's reproduction. The soft blue is a drapy poly blend.

I plan to use these 2 to make this vintage jeans top, with the white as the bodice, and the blue for the sleeves and skirt. I think I want to use the pretty butterfly sleeves, though, I tend to dislike sleeve bands on my biceps.

I got a little over 3 yards of the maroon, it is a 2 way knit, pretty heavy with a nice soft hand. I hope to make the tie front cardigan from McCall's 6408. With the remainder, I am pretty sure I can squeeze out a basic long sleeved T, or perhaps a Jalie Sweatheart top.

That pretty red and gold ombre that gradiates from lilac to wine is also a knit, about 20%, and was so pretty I couldn't pass it up. I want to make myself a holiday top, so I'm going to make the square neck tunic from Simplicity 2852. I have a black turtleneck that will go perfectly under it.

Last in this pic but certainly not least is a pretty green sheer knit with floral emroidery. I got the crochet lace to the far right to edge it for this vintage Simplicity 6971 cardigan, view 2 (but without the clasp). There was 2-1/4 yards on the bolt, so I got the whole piece. I am hoping there might be enough to make a tank as well, but if not, I'm sure I can find a use for that remnant someday. :)

I also got a couple of character prints, the Dinosaur Train print is going to be a button front shirt for Liz. It is her favorite cartoon. The Spongebob print is actually for my husband's eldest brother (who is 60-something), but LOVES Spongebob. I am just making him a fun zipper pouch with extra pockets.

I also picked up a thread spool rack, something I've wanted for ages! It really helps organize the sewing area, I love it. There are a few nearly empty spools on here, so there is room for a few new ones if I need them.

I also wanted to share my new shears! Ok, I didn't buy these today, they were actually a birthday gift from James, along with the sewing machine. Isn't he great!? These are GREAT shears, 1000 times better than my old cheapo things. I love feeling like I'm actually getting good tools for doing all this, now. Oh, I got a very nice glue gun, too, but I don't think we need pics of that, lol.
Alright, back to the fabric and shopping day!

Next I had to stop at Jo-anns, since I had 2 really great coupons. I got the fleece on the left for part of a mouse puppet I plan to make for Liz, and perhaps another stuffie as well. The snowflake sweater knit in the middle was my big buy there (50% off, 2-1/2 yards), it's a wonderful cotton/poly mix. I plan to make a pullover sweater for James, and a matching one for Liz.
The red on the right is a true jersey knit (at 60%off!) which I've never sewn with before. I want to make Liz and myself both long sleeved tops for winter.

Now, after I was done shopping, my father wanted me to come over and visit my great aunt and uncle. I haven't seen them since I was probably 20 (over 15 years), but they were very excited to have company. My great aunt is 92, and my great uncle is 90, but they were both sharp as tacks and completely physically active. They are both very into all sorts of crafting, she actually used to teach sewing, so she gave me an old book she taught from for sewing knits. It's really great, actually! My great aunt also wanted to share some of her fabric stash with me.
From left to right: About 3 yards of pink fleece, the blue I am not sure, a cotton challis?, yellow floral jersey knit, the autumn print is poly or rayon and very drapey, then 2 beige sweater knits, one kind of knobbly feeling, and one striped (good for James!), then a sky blue sport knit, and a dark pink....I don't know what! It is pretty heavy, like pantweight, but very drapey. A really great grab bag she shared with me!
Overall it was a very successful day. I almost doubled my fabric stash in a single day! Well, if you don't count the old sheets in there, lol. I now have enough projects lined up to last me until next summer at least.

I hope everyone else had a fun and productive PR day, weather you were shopping with a group, doing fittings, or home sewing, or just being with family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My birthday vest

I got all those wonderful vintage patterns as a prize recently, and I really wanted to give one a try. I originally wanted to have something new to wear to PR day in Seattle, but now that I won't be going (snow + 6hour round trip drive = no :(), I decided to make something for myself for my birthday.

Burda 3386 is designed for faux furs and fabrics with a nap.
Jilly was kind enough recently to pass on to me some beautiful dark purple velveteen. When I got it, I wasn't sure what to do with it, but when I saw this vest pattern, I thought it was a perfect match for the zippered view C.

I know they aren't traditional welt pockets, but I'm not sure what else you would call those diagonal zipper pockets. They are created the same way as a welt (from what I've read, this is my first time making anything like these), only instead of using a fabric rectangle or flap over the top, it has the zipper.
I spent so much time making sure those were perfectly lined up and sewn, I didn't pay enough attention to the fit on the shoulders, which turned out too wide. They stick out a bit, I should have thought to look carefully at the shoulder size of any 80's pattern!! lol

Because it is such a dark purple, it can be worn with quite a lot of tops. I own a number of turtlenecks, and now that winter is on the way, I'll be happy to have this vest to add another layer for warmth. I do hate to wear coats inside shops or restaurants, but I'm often too cold to just wear a long sleeved top. This will help keep me warm, and hopefully still stylish, despite the too wide shoulders.

Liz wanted to get in the pictures, and wish me a super happy birthday. She was so cute singing to me, and I had a great day!

And although I won't be able to attend PR day, my family is going to take me out to lunch and then to Fabric Depot (The largest fabric store in the USA!) in Portland for our own little PR shopping day.
I'll post pictures of any interesting finds I bring home from my shopping trip. And to everyone who is getting to attend their local PR days, I hope you all have a wonderful and productive day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brotherly love

Ever have one of those days that starts out bad but ends up good?
Today I was working on a vest I'm hoping to finish in time to wear to PR Day Seattle, and my sewing machine simply would NOT sew the tricot lining, no matter that I had stretch needles, or what tension setting I used, or anything. It was beyond frustrating, and I couldn't figure out what to do.

Well, my husband lugs this giant blue bag out with a huge bow, and tells me he can't wait until my birthday in 2 days, just to open it now. And look what I got!!! It is a Brother 7500, with all the trimmings.

He says he read up on dozens of machines, probably hundreds of reviews, and even took a quiz for what sewing machine would best fit :D Isn't he the best hubby ever?

My oldest machine was great, honestly, for a $75, 10 year old machine, it was a champ. It is a heavy duty, has 9 stitches, no way to change the stitch width or presser foot tension or anything. Very solid little guy, but very basic. It has got me through every project for years. And it will be a perfect little back-up machine, I'll keep it.

But my new machine? It has everything!
Out of idle curiosity, after getting it threaded and figuring out a few basics, I decided to try it on the tricot, and with a regular sharp needle, and no special setting, it sewed the tricot without missing a single stitch! I was instantly in love!

And it has so many decorative and quilt stitches. It has multiple one step buttonholes, automatic needle threading, and an extended table! It even came with many specialty feet, including a walking foot and a quilting foot.
But just look at all these stitches. Leaves! Hearts! Flowers! I can't wait to get some more creative projects ready and really put this new gal to work.

Isn't it so pretty? Sigh....
I am having a very good day. And a very very good (early) birthday. :D

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween family fun

Happy Halloween everyone! I do hope everyone had a great one.
This is the first year Liz was old enough to go door to door. We still hit the mall first, since it was too cold to wear her wings outside. She got a lot of great comments, and one store even went a little nuts over her, all the employees started yelling "ding ding ding! We have a winner!" And they went back and got her a big package of Tinker bell shaped sweet tarts. That was pretty entertaining.
Dad came over early and spent most of the day with us. It was also nice, we got a lot of comments on having the whole family dressed up, because so many people only dress up their kids.
I'm glad dad still likes his pirate costume, too. :)

And James was pretty thrilled a couple of young people stopped him to ask about is costume, and he got a lot of interested looks. So overall, a very fun and happy Halloween.
She got SO much candy from the neighborhood though, her bucket was so full, we had to help her carry it between houses at the end. Now who do you think will eat most of that candy? Hint: it won't be Liz, or me. lol
Oh, she'll get her share, of course. We just have to dole it out a little bit at a time for a week or so, letting her have her favorites.

Some of the more interesting other costumes we saw included Waldo (cane, backpack and all), and Mario and Luigi. Also, a giant robot with flashing eyes. I love seeing all the other costumes, that is why this is my second favorite holiday! :)