Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Know You Haven't Been Sewing Much When . . .

your 7 year old mentions it. Yesterday, Andrew said, "You sure don't have much time to practice your hobby anymore, Mom."

Yes, its true. First trimester pregnancy plus working plus a husband with two grad school seminars in two weeks plus grabby, non-sleeping toddlers have worn me down.

Fortunately, first trimester is over and I'm starting to regain my energy, the seminars are finished (and papers not yet begun) and we've decided that non-sleeping toddlers are to be rocked to sleep by DADDY. Ah.

First on my list: finish my mermaid quilt.
Just the binding left to go. I plan to sew it on the front today and hand sew it while watching the finale of Project Runway Season 7 (have you seen that one yet, Sharon?).

Second: Jedi robes
I know, its yellow not brown. Trust me, I've heard about it already. But the brown was 19.99/m and this was 3.99/m. Doesn't Yoda have a yellow robe, and Obi Wan at some point? I'm going to finish the robes, and try to find photos of Jedi in beige robes.

Third: a Cheeky block for Kat and finish up Sarah and Molly's Free Peicing Study blocks

Fourth: Quick change trousers in cordory

Also, in case you're wondering how to study Philosophy in a house with 3 small children, here is the solution, as presented by Dave in the midst of preparing a seminar last week:
Yep, that is earplugs worn under noise dampening headphones. That's my hubby, the stylish one in our family. And yes, that is what my table usually looks like . . . sigh. Okay, off to sew before I start tidying the table instead.

Monday, October 10, 2011

5 Things To Be Thankful For

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, all!

Here are 5 Things I was thankful for today:

5. Sunshine
4. That the Fridge broke down this week BEFORE the weekly big grocery shop.
3. A Clean, Working (knock on wood) Fridge now.
2. A Quiet Thanksgiving with our Immediate Family
1. A New Baby on the way in April.

I know, I said I was done at three . . . but how exactly the "done" was to be accomplished was an item for further discussion for just a little too long . . .

In any case, hope you had a lovely day, with no disasters of any kind.

Smock, smock, smock (and also scarf)

Sometimes it amazes me that Kris and I grew up half way across North America from each other, as we often think of the same "cultural" references. We were born within a month of each other, so that must be why. In any case, she remembered and posted the exact comic I always think of when I hear the word smock. I believe there is actually a whole week of comics about smocks and their value as a symbol of "true" artistry (how I love Calvin and Hobbes).

This is my smock. Its my version of this fantastic tunic which I have been drooling over for several years now. The base fabric is cotton something or another than I picked up at Fabricland a few years ago. It is a little stiff and linen-like, so it works well for this smock. The pockets are a hope valley print and a Free Spirit solid.

The pattern is a very modified Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing, mashed up with the Simple Dress from simple sewing for Baby. Basically, I loved Emma's little girl on a swing dress so much that I wanted one myself. I loved the shape and the placement of the darts on the Summer Blouse pattern, but I didn't want to construct it the same way as that blouse. So I cut out the front of the Summer Blouse, then cut the back with an extra 1/2 inch on either side. I sewed up the middle, leaving about 5" at the top to make a button closure (this is how it is the same as the Simple Dress - I love the ease of this construction. I accidentally made really thick bias tape, so I decided to let it become a collar on the neck line, and use it as regular bias tape on the arm holes.

See? I was thinking of making it a dress, but I really liked it tunic length, so that's how I hemmed it.

The scarf is from one of Anna Maria Horner's project packs . She sends you the two lengths of fabric and you sew them together. Instant scarf! It was super fun and I love it. At first I thought it was ridiculously long, but actually its a pretty fun length.

So there you have it - smock and scarf. Of course, at Curriculum night I didn't have jeans and my hair was dry, so I looked a little more professional. In any case, somehow I always feel like clothes are cheating, as they come together so fast, so I don't always mention them.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reminder to Self: Why I Sew

So, I dont' know if you've noticed, but I've had sewers block lately. Yes, of course I've been busy, and of course I have a million other things to do, but I've also just felt stuck. Like I don't like anything I've made lately and I look at the piles of fabric I really want to use, but never seem to have time to used. Like I have so many ideas swirlng around in my head that I can't decide which one to start on. And by the time I decide, my sewing time is up. Like why should I keep sewing when I never get any comments (or very few, anyway) on Flikr and no one in Montreal ever says, "Oh wow, that's a cool bag / blouse / scarf" because everyone has cool bags / blouses / and scarves that came from one of the many cool boutiques that are everywhere. Like why am I doing this anyway?

Then I have a night like tonight. When I have to get dressed up to do "Curriculum Night" at school, and the best outfit I have is a smock that I've made myself (I love the word smock - have I showed you my smock yet?) and a scarf that I've also sewn myself (have I showed you my voile scarf either? No? Bad blogger. Bad blogger).  Did anyone comment on their awesomeness? Nope. Did I still feel great wearing them? Yes.

And then I phone my friend Barb (for whom I made the mini quilt last week) to say that I won't be at Bible study this week (as I have to talk for 5 min. at Curriculm night) and she tells me how much she loved and appreciated the tiny quilt I made for her. And how her family put it on the very first page in the birthday book they made for her.

Suddenly, Flikr comments and stranger adoration fade away into the background. And I am happy with my little corner of the internet, and my little happy sewing projects that make my home cozy and my friends feel special (not to mention me look cool and artsy on Curriculm Night).

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tiny Mini for a friend

A friend of mine from church is turning a signifigant age (starting with a 5) soon. She didn't want a big party, but her family wanted to find a way for her friends to honour her none the less. So they sent out an email, asking people to write a few words or make a few images, less than 8X11, that they could compile into a book. I decided this would be a fun opportunity to make her a mini quilt. This is what I came up with on my afternoon off this Thursday. The blocks represent her warmth (teacup), faith (cross), love of the imperfect and whimsical (wonky heart) and hospitality (Montreal houses have flat rooves, although I think this one is a little exaggerated). I hope she likes it.

It was nice and satisfying to do a little project in an afternoon. It made me miss my mini quilt swap days, although I don't have the time to reliably swap right now.

This finished off around 7X7,a nd the backing is the same as the binding -- I simply folded it over and machine bound it, because I was in a hurry. Don't look too close or you'll see where I zig-zagged the folded over corners flat so I wouldn't break my needle.

In other news, October has decided to announce its presence. We woke up to a chilly house (we've only had to turn the heat on for two days so far this year) and a cool, grey day. Happy fall, everyone!