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Proof of [Sewing] Life


Yesterday I promised to write more about my current projects and how I am starting to get back into the swing of things with sewing. So, here goes…

My current knitting project

My current knitting project

First, my biggest project right now is a knitted shawl, which I am mostly making just to learn about carrying yarn and working with two colors. There was a class for the Iraira Shawl being offered by a local shop, Warm n’ Fuzzy. It seemed like a good learning experience and a good excuse to try out some ombré yarn I had been drooling over. I will post about that one more once I finish it.

I mean to talk about getting back to sewing though, so that’s enough about yarn for this post. You probably want to know what has been going on in my sewing life lately, since I have been pretty silent here for the last eight months or so. The biggest bit of news is that I got a serger. If I had gotten this machine last year I would have been loads more excited about it, but as it turns out I finished paying off my lay a way right at a time when I wasn’t really wanting to do much sewing. Still, it is a very nice machine and I am very glad to have it. There is a huge learning curve, but luckily I have the support of the shop that I purchased it from. Any time I want to schedule some time with their resident serger expert and lug the thing down there, I can get some one on one training for whatever I haven’t been able to figure out on my own. So far I honestly haven’t done very much with it aside from making one very simple unlined bag, and I finished the seams in a dress that I am trying to make for my daughter.

Having the serger has gotten me excited about the possibilities of garment making, especially with knits. I have a few knits in my stash now and am trying to decide what to make with them. Hopefully you will be seeing some posts soonish of clothing I have made. Right now I have a half-finished dress made with double gauze, which I put aside in frustration when I couldn’t get the rolled hem right on the ruffles. I took a little sanity break from it to save the fragile state of my sewing motivation, but it is still sitting on my sewing table and not forgotten. It is definitely going to be a little-at-a-time thing so that I don’t get too frustrated with it. Once I finish that up I will tackle something with knits.

Attach0 IMG_8650While I was taking a little break from the frustration of 1/8″ hems, I made a few things for a co-worker’s new baby and a cape for the baby’s older brother. I didn’t really snap any photos since I was just whipping them out quickly, but I made a changing mat, a very simple flannel blanket, and a knitted hat. I snapped a quick iPhone photo of the cape in progress, and the co-worker sent me a photo of his son wearing the finished product. The pattern was a freebie from Peekaboo if you’d like to make one. I originally cut a small, which was sized 2T-4T, but it looked so tiny that I cut a second medium one that was supposed to be for sizes 5-7. I will sew up the smaller one that I already cut for my daughter if I can ever decide what to put on the back of it; and I also have pink material to make some more if she loves it.

There have also been a couple quilty projects that have peeked my interest lately. First, I joined a Fancy Forest block of the month back before I completely lost all desire to quilt. The BOM started in April, and I chose to receive my kits every three months in order to avoid shipping costs. I have received the first three kits, and I suppose I should be getting the second next month. I have only done a little cutting for the first month’s kit… it is a  LOT of cutting, especially if you are in a ‘meh’ sewing mood. There are some other things I would rather be sewing, and I am not really caring about getting the quilt done since I have at least 4 months before I have all the material anyway. I will post about it later on once I actually have something worth talking about. The pattern is so fun that I am looking forward to the sewing… the cutting is a pain in the arse though.

Shop Example

The second quilty project is one I randomly decided to do last weekend, and I ran with it since I am trying to seize hold of moments when I actually want to sew. I had sworn off buying an Row by Row kits this year, since I have yet to sew a single one that I have purchased in the last couple years. But the one at Elegant Stitches was just so darned cute. And, they had a laser cut kit! This meant it would be super fast to sew up without having to deal with the tracing and cutting of 50 some little pieces. It was the day before my birthday when I saw it, so I decided, what the hell? Birthday present to myself.

My little guys fused on an appliqué sheet

My little guys fused on an appliqué sheet

I worked on it the past couple nights during the little bits of free time I could find, and managed to get everything fused together. It is now ready for stitching, which I will hopefully be able to get back to soon. We will see how life goes… things are pretty busy for the foreseeable future. It came together really quickly, but unfortunately the shop had not included a reverse of the image… so I ended up just using my lightbox to trace the shapes on the back of the paper. It is understandable that they only printed them in one direction for cost savings… just slightly annoying when you realize your plan of using the pattern as a guide under an appliqué pressing sheet isn’t going to work without some of the tracing you thought you would avoid by getting a pre-cut kit.

That pretty much sums up my current sewing stuff… although there are of course about a million other works in progress that are lying idle. Right now I am feeling the urge to work on using up all of the stuff in my craft room, and actually make all of the things that I have been meaning to make for years. I am trying hard to avoid going to craft stores right now, simply so that I don’t see other things that I want to make/buy. Unfortunately I do need to go back to Elegant Stitches to pick up some of that adorable black and white striped fabric to make the binding for my wall hanging… and I need to figure out what to do about a border. And backing. I swear that I will not buy anything that is not directly needed to finish the project at hand!


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