Archive | November 2010

Take A Stand

I need new work shirts, so while digging through my patterns, I ran across my pattern for a shirt with a stand collar. I have only sewn two of these styles of shirts ever, so I decided it was time to try it again.

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I had already decided on some fabric to use for my shirts, so it was already out of the stash and ready to go. I cut it out very carefully so there would be not be any surprises as I sewed the shirt together.

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On the first shirt I made with this type of collar, I followed the directions but I was unhappy with the difficulty and the results. After a great deal of thought, I decided to sew the collar to front stand and then sew the stands straight across to the shirt. I then stitched some of the curve on the stand, folded that out and up, did some ironing and then stitched in the ditch to finish the collar.

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I tried this on the second shirt I made a while back. It was still not easy or perfect, but I felt that my idea for the construction was better than the original directions. So, here on this shirt, I decided to try it again. This time it did go  smoother than last time and surprisingly I remembered a lot of the things I learned from last time and learned even more things this time around. I did not quite catch all the collar when I stitched in the ditch, lesson learned, so I am going to have to do some hand stitching, which is not my favorite thing to do. Speaking of hand stitching, I think some basting stitches before using the sewing machine may make my method of constructing  this collar easier.

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The thing that I learned the most on this collar was that I need to make another one soon. One of my problems is just the lack of practice sewing a collar with a stand. With that thought in mind, I hope to make another shirt soon with this type of collar to try out my ideas, but first I want to finish this shirt.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time to set aside your differences and come together as family and friends to celebrate your good fortune that you have experienced throughout the year. I hope this year everyone is especially thankful for all we have considering all of the hard times Americans have been experiencing the past few years.

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I’m not a poet so here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving Poem’s and Quotes. I hope you enjoy them.

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What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

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Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet.  Believe in man.  Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place.  There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.  ~Phillips Brooks

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Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday.  People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year.  And then discover once a year is way too often.  ~Johnny Carson

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May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs! ~Author Unknown

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The Penguin That Flew

I know penguins can’t really fly, but this one sure did. This penguin’s parts were crocheted during our layover on the trip back from Disney World. I only had black yarn with me, but I was able to crochet all of the black parts which made it quick to finish up the remaining white and yellow pieces when we got home.

The pattern for this penguin came from Lion Brand Yarn’s web site. It is one of their free designs. The pattern was very easy to follow and written well, but I am sure yet if I like it or not because this penguin ended up with such a fat body. Maybe I am just so use to all the ninja I had been making, and because their bodies were smaller than their heads on most of them. I did change the construction of the penguin just slightly from what the pattern said. I only stuffed his wings a little and sewed them flat to his body rather than stuffing them fully as the pattern instructed and sewing them so they stood out from the body. I do like the fact that this penguin can stand by himself. I did like that about the design.

This pattern also came with the the instructions for a hat and scarf for the penguin. I have not decided if I want to make them for him yet.

I have named this penguin Tubby and I have placed him on my sewing table for now. Tubby does not have a home yet, but I will need to find him one soon. I have too many things on my sewing table as is. But I will tell you, the more I stare at him the cuter he becomes and I have decided to make him a hat and a scarf now.

Halloween Costumes

We had an awesome Halloween celebration this year. We got a super deal on plane tickets, hotel room, and rental car, so we made our way to Disney World for Halloween. We attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and had a great time. But, before we left we had to decide on costumes that would be cool enough to wear in Florida, easily packed, and fun, but not so scary.

Many years ago, I made our Halloween costumes and we have worn them every year since then. The husband is the grim reaper, with black cloak and sickle, and I as a witch in a black dress and cape with a pointed hat and stringy hair, very traditional Halloween costumes. When the decision was made to go to Disney World for Halloween, I knew our costumes would not work. One, they were designed to protect us from the cold fall nights, two, they are big and bulky, and three, the husband is quite scary in his.

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With changes at work, I was running out of time to make new costumes, so the husband bought us a couple of new ones, a bacon costume and an egg costume. Of course, out of the package, the costumes did not fit well and were very poorly made. One of the arm holes on the egg costume was sewn shut. But, they were a good foundation for me to get started. After a little study, I decided to make them into sandwich board costumes, (a front and a back attached at the sides), so we could just drop them over our heads as we went to the party and easily pull them off when needed.

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I was going to put ties on the side, but the husband suggested elastic straps between the two pieces. This was a great idea. The elastic would stretch if you wanted to sit down and make it so each of us could get the costume on and off by ourselves if needed. (We wouldn’t need help if we needed to go to the bathroom.) With the modifications to the costumes, they fit well, and allowed us to move freely, plus they were light weight for the unseasonably warm Florida evenings.

Everyone at the party liked the bacon and egg costumes. One guest approached the husband and said, “I love you, man.” and then we all had a laugh about everybody loving bacon, and I got extra candy since I was a “good egg”. In all, it was one of our best Halloween’s ever!

Monkey Sale

I received an e-mail from Smart Needle advertising a sale on their pack, Monkey Adventures. Since I love to embroidery monkeys on kids clothes, I could not resist purchasing this pack. The pack contained 10 double appliqué designs for the 5 by 7 hoop. Excited about stitching monkeys, on one of the trips to M&L fabric I specifically purchased fabrics to use in the appliqué’s of the monkeys.  When I cut out the Indy shirt for the nephew, I went ahead a cut a second shirt for a monkey design.

I had done appliques before, but I have never perfected the technique, so the stitching of the monkey design became a learning experience. It was actually more of a re-learning experience. I remember learning these same things previously when I appliqued some letters to a pair of sweat pants, but I did that so long ago now that I made the same mistakes again when doing these appliqués. I learned that I need a much sharper pair of very small scissors with very fine points if I am going to continue to do appliques. I was smart enough this time though to use a little spray adhesive on the applique fabric to keep it in place. This helped with both the stitching and the cutting of the applique. Although the design is not perfect, it is usable and sure turned out cute. If and when I stitch another monkey, I want to get a little fur or at least a fussy fabric to make the monkey.

As I stitched the monkey to the shirt, the shirt became quite feminine, so I have decided to give it to the little neighbor girl instead of one of the nephews. She just got a new little brother and needs a little extra attention.