Tag Archive | year

Look WHOO’s Here For Thanksgiving!

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As I made my list this year of the many things that I am thankful for, I decided to include my fabric stash in the list.

YES! I am VERY thankful for my fabric stash!

Like a fine wine, it is a place for my fabric to age and rest until it is time to be sewn into something wonderful. It seems that the fabric I buy HAS to spend a certain amount of time in the stash to age and breath before I can use it.

That was not true for this fabric though…

Joann’s had a doorbuster sale on holiday fabric. At 60% off, how could I not buy some? Sitting on the doorbuster deal shelf was this cute Thanksgiving owl printed fabric. When I saw it, I knew I wanted a shirt made from it. So, I bought enough fabric to make me a typical shirt with it. Off I went straight home with it to the sewing room, bypassing the stash completely.

DSCN3819I pushed all of my other sewing projects aside and got started on my new Thanksgiving shirt straight away!

This was a very odd feeling for me…

Here I was ready to prep and cut this fabric within hours of purchasing it, and it had not yet spent its allotted time in the stash to properly breath and age. I blame the recently made Snoopy shirt for this reckless use of fabric on my part. After cutting and sewing such a precious fabric as the snoopy fabric, why not try using another recently purchased fabric?

I started the construction process by pre-washing the fabric and I am so happy that I did not skip this step.

This fabric shrank. A LOT!

DSCN3820I could still get my shirt from it but there would be little to no scraps remaining when I was done. After washing and ironing the fabric, I pulled out my collarless button front basic sloper pattern and the cutting process started.

Knowing that I had just enough fabric to make this shirt, I tried to cut carefully, but I did not cut carefully enough. I cut two right facings, and I did not have enough fabric left to cut a left facing. Since the facing on this shirt will not be seen, I thought about making the facings from a different fabric, but as I fiddled with the scraps of this fabric that was left, I determined I could cut the left facing from the scraps if I put a seam across the middle of the facing. Once again, since the facings will not be seen, I decided to try the seamed facings first. If it looked bad or was bulky or messed with the buttons or buttonholes, I could always cut out some new facings from a different fabric.

DSCN3821So with that, I began the process of sewing it into a finished garment.

The sewing of this shirt went smoothly. I have made this basic sloper many times without problems. When the shirt was completed, you would not have known that I had to piece the left facing together. The seam did not add any bulk to the front of shirt and it is in between the third and fourth button so no one will know it is there but me.

IMG_2870The shirt wore great as I gobbled down turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie in it on Thanksgiving Day.

The shirt is very comfortable and I have received a few compliments on it.

So with that I will add one more thing I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am thankful to have a fun Thanksgiving shirt for one of my favorite holidays. I am also thankful that I did not make this fabric spend a year or two in the stash before sewing it up into this shirt.

I have wore it all month long now and with November nearly over, I can’t wait for next year just so I can wear it again!

Until then, sew forth and gobble till ya wobble on!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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DSCN0801I just love to do Christmas crafting. The idea of making that something special for that special someone really gets me in the Christmas mood and gets my creativity flowing. I love baking holiday cookies, crafting that new ornament for the tree, or sewing that perfect gift. Unfortunately, my hopes, dreams, and ideas are usually bigger than the holiday season, and I never get everything done that I want to, but over the years I have learned to not let that ruin my holiday fun. This year was no exception. I was able to do some holiday crafting, not as much as I would have like to, but some and I am thankful for that.

Each Christmas season, my work has an auction for the Relay for Life cancer event and asks for donations. This year I decided that my Christmas crafting would be to make something to donate. I wanted to make something small that people would not mind spending a dollar or two on. So, when I found some fun snowflake patterns on ravelry, I knew that was what I wanted to make and donate.

DSCN0776The problem with that was that I don’t crochet with thread so don’t have any in my stash, or have any good small sized hooks to crochet with. So I wondered what the snowflakes would look like made out of 4-ply acrylic Red Heart yarn and my favorite size G hook instead? Let’s find out! And the answer is they turn out just great! I had a great time crocheting the snowflakes and changing up the pattern each time so that each flake was just a little different just like real snowflakes. When they were finished though, they were kind of boring. I needed to spice them up.

DSCN0780To do that I found a pattern for a star shape in a scarf pattern I had. That would work to spice up the snowflakes, but what color should I make them in? I started out with a light blue. What about dark blue? Oh, maybe black? No, silver! How about this blue variegated? It is Christmas, so why not some red and green too? I started making stars from all of the colors to see what I liked best and found that I liked them all. Some colors I liked a little more than others, and some colors the husband liked better than others, but all the star looked great with the snowflakes. I had to modify the star pattern a little and use a size H hook to get the larger sized star that I needed to match the snowflakes size.

DSCN0792I thought about stiffening the snowflakes, but I decided not to. Because of the yarn I used, they were already stiff enough. I did block the snowflakes and stars with water to help them lay even and flat. When I started to glue the snowflakes to the stars, the husband said they needed to be spiced up even more, so he helped me use spray adhesive to glue blue and silver glitter to the snowflakes before I used some tacky glue to attach the flakes to the stars.

DSCN0809And now my Christmas snowflakes were complete! With the changes to the snowflake pattern and the different colors of the stars, and the glitter, no two snowflakes are the same just like real snowflakes. These snowflakes were fun to make and turned out great. I hope they will make someone’s Christmas I little bit merrier and make a little money for the Relay for Life event.

In the meanwhile, while watching Christmas movies, I crocheted this little reindeer. I call him Rudy. He has the tiniest body for his big head but he is so cute! He was a fun and quick crochet and will accompany the snowflakes to the auction. Hopefully someone will get a kick out of a tiny crocheted reindeer with a big red nose!

Until next time, crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

Now where did I put that Trapper Keeper anyway?

The precious, the precious…

Do any of you remember any of your first day of a new school year?

It was all so exciting and scary at the same time!SchoolSupplies1

 

New clothes and shoes of course, but more important to me were the new school supplies! Sorry I must admit here that I am a HUGE fan of office supplies and I always love to see what cool new things they have invented for kids to go back to school with for every new school year. Since I used to roam with the dinosaurs, I am always amazed at all of the cool high tech things kids get to go to school with in these days of future past. For us oldsters it was usually something along the lines of Pencil’s and Paper. Erasers, yes lots of those since we were pretty sure the mistakes we were going to make that year would be of EPIC proportions so we had to have some way to ERASE the evidence.

Glue1Some sort of glue or paste, depending of course which one would make a bigger mess stuck in our hair and on everything else and which tasted better. Why yes I did purchase the new mint flavored Elmer’s Glue, didn’t you? Only the finest ground up horse hooves would do for us kids back in the day.

Then of course I remember the year that Mead brought out the very first version of the Trapper Keeper. Man were those things cool! See! I told you I was OLD! Roamed with the dinosaurs people, roamed with the dinosaurs I tell ya!

Trapper1Oh man! I just had to have one! In pink! Oh yeah! And you should probably go ahead and throw on a Unicorn or two, and maybe a rainbow just to be on the safe side of course. I didn’t want to be seen in public without being in the haute of fashion!1963-jetsons-school

But today kids go to school with all kinds of crazy things. Smartphones, Tablet computers, Laptops, Graphing Calculators, Fitbits, Nike+’s, and a whole host of other crazy things to keep them distracted just long enough that they don’t have much time left over to learn much of anything.

It is fun to reminisce about the past, and a little nostalgia every once in awhile is okay, but it’s not healthy to romanticize the past too much.

At the end of the day, today’s kids aren’t all that much different from when you and I were kids, and most of the school supplies are still the same too. The things they teach kids have changed over the years of course. The humanities don’t seem to be taught as often and with as much fervor as they were when I was a child. But I think that the basic Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic are still there. I don’t believe that things like history and literature are pushed very much anymore. It’s too bad, those were my favorite classes when I was in school.

And while I still don’t have everything in my life figured out, I can take comfort in another kind of nostalgia, reminiscing about how much I’ve learned over the years. I can only hope that when I look back on my life, I’ll regard this version of myself as equally clueless. Only then will I know how far I’ve come.

Until next time, Sew Forth and Trapper Keeper on!

New Years Resolutions… I’ve had a few!

Well there is just one more week left in the first month of the new year 2014.

And over the years I like most of you used to always make several resolutions about what I wanted to accomplish in the new year.

Stuff that I really, really wanted to get done, but I could just never seem to make happen in the previous year for some reasonable excuse or another.

Well a few years ago I decided that rather than make some silly arbitrary list of things that I wanted to make happen at some point in the future, that I would just do stuff that I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.

It’s been working out great for me so far!

You know what they say! YOLO (You Only Live Once)!

How about you? How many of your New Year’s Resolutions have you already broken three weeks in?

I think this comic from the DOGHOUSEDIARIES says it best:

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I won, but I lost, but I won

Well after organizing and re-packing all of my fabric into fifty two separate boxes, the fabric in my stash is finally organized, pictured, labeled and put back in the closet, or at least mostly put back in the closet. Some of it just would not fit, so it is sitting in boxes next to the closet instead.

And with that my New Year 2013 resolution is finally complete! Yay!

Now that my stash is finally fully organized and under control again, I am very satisfied with the results and very pleased with myself for a job finally completed and done well. It has been a long time coming.

And I felt that it was time for some relaxation and what better way to relax than to check out Fabric Mart’s latest sale? And what better way to reward myself for a job well done than to make a fabric purchase?

Now, a small fabric purchase of a piece or two of shiny new fabric should do just fine I thought to myself. And the fact that it was on sale for an unbelievably awesome deal and that it would not ever enter the stash at all, but would instead be used right away should be a fine reward for anyone who had just completed a total reorganization of their stash, but oh no, not for me. Instead I ended up purchasing 45 yards of fabric on sale at Fabric Mart, for a grand total of 37 pounds of new fabric. Cheese Louise!

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But, but, but the flannel was only two dollars a yard and the wool was imported from Italy, and the pique is just right for the husband’s shirts and at just one dollar per yard how could I not buy at least 10 yards of it? That’s 4 shirts for just $10! Really?!? How could I not buy it ALL? REALLY?!? How could I actually go and BUY more fabric?

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After just spending almost 2 months of my free time reorganizing all of my fabric stash how could I possibly add more to it? Hadn’t I handled enough fabric lately to have grown sick of it? Hadn’t I just found so many pieces that I had long forgot I purchased so it was like a new fabric purchase to me anyway? Hadn’t I been inspired by all of the cool pieces in the stash to do something with them? Why oh why did I feel the need to purchase still more fabric? Now I will have to get more boxes. Now I will have to take more pictures. Now I will have to add more categories to my new stash organization system. When will I ever have the time to sew again?

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Although I can not answer all these questions right now, I can answer the last one. It is time to start sewing again after a two month hiatus. While organizing the stash I found two pair of pants for me already cut out and just waiting to be sewn up. So that is next on my list to do. And I set out 4 pieces of fabric from the stash for baby sleepers. So that will be the second thing I put on my to do list. And I know exactly what piece of fabric I want to use for the husband’s next shirt too.

So let the sewing begin!

And perhaps I can stay busy enough sewing fun new things that my fabric addiction will subside, at least for a short time…  Or until the next great fabric sale that is just too good to pass up, so maybe I am safe for a week or two! I hope!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

P1020861With the sorting of all my fabric in the stash finally completed, it was time to start re-boxing it all back up. And I must say that I just hated to be putting all of my lovely fabric back into boxes. I was wishing as I was packing it back up that I had a way of displaying everything in my stash at once so I could see what I have without looking in the boxes. I could have bought the clear plastic totes to box up the stash in, but I am a frugal person at heart and I didn’t want to put out the money for them.

So, how else could I box my stash back up and yet still be able to see what I had in the boxes?

The answer was a simple one of course! A picture of the contents of the box, taped to the outside of the box, would let me see what I had in the box and yet the fabric would be safe and secure in storage inside it’s box. This also went hand in hand with the way I wanted the stash categorized for my needs.

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P1020916So my Organizational Categories that I came up with are as follows: Category 1 is Knits, solid colors, 2 yards or longer. And so in the first box I arranged 9 pieces of knit solid color 2 yards or longer fabric in the box. I had picked darker colors to go into this box. And since I had taken the time to pre-sort all of my fabrics as I unboxed them all, I knew that I had all of my pieces of this type of fabric together.

Once I was sure they would fit in the box ok, I then removed the 9 pieces of fabric and took a picture of them. I then re-boxed up the 9 pieces of fabric, and then I printed out the picture I took and labeled the box and picture 1a. Next I placed the picture in a plastic sheet protector and taped it to the front of the box so I could easily see it from the side as it was stacked with other boxes in the closet. Since I have many more pieces in this category, I repeated the process for the next box but labeled it 1b and so on with the next boxes of fabric.

Now when I decide that I want to make something that will require a piece of solid color knit fabric of more than 2 yards in length, I will only need to look at the photos on the boxes in the 1XX series to determine which box I need to open. And when I remove a piece of fabric from a box, I will pull the picture out of the plastic protector and mark out the fabric on the picture showing that it has been used and is no longer in the box. Also, if I need to condense boxes in the future, I can just retake the pictures for the the front of the box to show the boxes current inventory.

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P1020923Fortunately or unfortunately, depending who you are and how you think about it, I am not parting with very much of the fabric from my stash. I had started this project with the original intent of getting rid of quite a bit of the fabric that I would probably never use while I was organizing and categorizing it. But that didn’t end up happening.

While I was discussing my intentions with the husband, he asked why I wanted to part with any of my fabric that I had spent so long carefully curating, and he was right. Why would I? It isn’t like I didn’t have room to store it or anything like that. And each piece in the stash is a wanted piece of fabric that I was willing to give money for and was willing to store, sometimes for many years on end.

He wondered why I would part with these pieces only to end up going back out and purchasing them again in the end. I told him it was probably the thrill of the purchase, to which, he of course responded with some smart comment about charging me for each piece that I removed from the stash so I felt like I was getting nothing for my money. I promptly ignored his last comment, but I took his other comments to heart.

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P1020873Of course, there are always those pieces that you just adored back when you first purchased them and at the time knew just exactly what you wanted to make from them, but after aging in a box for awhile, they just don’t have the same appeal to you when you next see them. And all of those pieces have now departed the stash and are being sent to a local charity that makes things to sell at craft shows.

Also a lot of my older scraps that I had been storing are finally making their way to the garbage can. I view scraps quite differently now than I used to.

Previously I would always keep all my scraps, just in case, you never know, like aliens are landing on earth and the only thing that would save us is if I could make a rope from the tied together pieces of the scraps and we could climb down from the rooftop using the rope made from the scraps and we would be saved from certain destruction, and on and on. But after storing the scraps now for years, and just never really needing them, they are finally departing the stash.

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P1030024I remember the first time that I ever threw away the scraps from a project, it upset me greatly and I ended up retrieving the scraps from the garbage can, but I then found a bit of bravery and threw them away again. And I did not in the end ever miss or need them. It was all ok.

So, now it is time I have decided for the scraps in the stash to just go away. Now, bear in mind, that I am pretty conservative about what I consider to be scraps. If I can squeeze a baby sleeper or a size 6 month t-shirt out of a scrap, it’s not a scrap. Instead it is still a usable piece of fabric to me. So, the scraps I am parting with really are scraps. Two or three inches here, four of five inches there, etc, but even at that I even kept some or the cuter scraps for appliqués.

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P1020875As I am writing this I am still in the long process of re-boxing the stash. It is a very slow and painstaking process and so I am taking it slow. I wanted to get this sorting and boxing process done right this time, because I want the stash organized and under control for the first time in a very long time.

And I want to be able to easily and quickly find what I want, when I want it. So far it is looking good with my chosen categories and pictures. And I am excited to be done with the boxing and to start on my next project and to be able to find a piece of fabric from the stash without spending hours looking for it as I would have previously. My husband was nice enough to design me a small computer database of the categories and photos so that before I even head to the stash I can see an overview of everything I have without even leaving my sewing room. I have my fingers crossed that it will all work as I had planned. Here is to hoping that I am right!

Mother Dough – The Obsession Begins

When you make sourdough bread, you start with a piece of dough left over from the last unbaked loaf as a starter for the next loaf. This is called the mother dough. And when I was opening the boxes of the stash in my big ‘Fabric Stash Organization and Cleanup of 2013’ project, I have found the first piece of fabric that was ever placed in my stash. It is a piece of cotton, 2 yards in length, with tiny camels on it. It was the piece of fabric that started my fabric stash in the first place, or my mother dough as it were.

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P1020984When I was in college, I needed a job to pick up some extra cash to help pay for the expenses of going to school full time. And so, back in the day I found work at a discount fabric store named the $2 Fabric Store. My mom had taught me to sew when I was just a young girl and I had entered a few sewing projects as a member of my local 4H club. And now that I was a newly married bride, and a full time student and poor as a church mouse, I was trying to remember all that she had taught me as quickly as I could. I was doing this so that I could make some clothes for the husband,  and so we didn’t have to pay the outrageous clothing prices they wanted for clothes in his size at the local Big and Tall store. I understood the basic process of sewing and I had recently purchased some fabric and was in the process of making the husband a shirt from it, but I had not bought any more fabric than I needed to complete that project, and I only had the piece I was currently sewing together.

I of course knew about the obsession to buy and store extra fabric that people develop when they start sewing, but I certainly had not been swept up by it at that point in time. The other ladies that I worked with at the fabric store were quick to snag any new fabric that came in and caught their fancy, and I remembered my mother buying fabric to tuck into a box for later, so I did not find their behavior odd at the time, but it just wasn’t for me. Then one day while at work, some of the fabric had been marked down to just $0.50 a yard and the ladies were going nuts over it! It was at this time that I got caught up in the fabric purchasing frenzy and I bought this first 2 yard piece of fabric just to store away for later. And so I put my dollar in the register and took my purchase home. Even though at the time I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

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P1020986Purchasing the fabric was fun. I got a little kick from it and the ladies at work were so excited to see me purchase the fabric since I normally did not buy into their mania. So, I figured that the next time I saw a great deal that I just couldn’t pass up I would do it again. So, I soon spent another dollar and purchased another piece of fabric, this time 2 yards of cotton with panda bears skiing printed on it. It was just as much fun to purchase as the first piece of fabric was and the second piece of fabric was soon placed with the first piece.

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I quickly learned that fabric purchasing was highly addictive. I began to look at the other fabric in the store and think about what my next purchase would be. I started to agree with the other ladies that I just had to buy another piece that next payday. It was not long before the next payday came and I had purchased my next piece of fabric, 2 yards of purple and green plaid printed fleece. I loved the piece and wanted to make a shirt from it. I had even paid a whole one dollar per yard for it! Outrageous! This was the start. Now I had 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I now had yardage of fabric on hand. I could make whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without going to the store and making a purchase first. And so it goes.

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P1020987And even now, somewhat ironically, I still have these original 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I laughed when I came across them while I was sorting through my boxes. After 20+ years, these three pieces of fabric that I had originally purchased so long ago are still living in a box, sitting in the stash just waiting for their turn to be picked and made into something fun.

As I looked at these three pieces, I thought to myself, “What were you thinking? Especially that purple and green plaid fleece. It’s just awful.” Needless to say those three pieces quickly made their way to the depart with pile, but in the end I had pulled them back out. Doesn’t the little neighbor girl need a dress with camels or skiing panda on it? Plus the purple and green plaid isn’t that bad. I should make me the shirt I wanted, even if I never wear it, just to say that I have a shirt from the third piece of fabric from my stash that I purchased all so long ago. It’s all so nostalgic of course!

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P1020992Speaking of nostalgia, I found one more piece of fabric that brought back a million memories for me. This piece of beige cotton with fudgecicles printed on it is very old. It is the remnants from a blouse that my mother made for me for my first day of school in the first grade. I remember the blouse having elastic at the neckline and she also made me a pair of brown polyester pants to wear along with the the blouse. The final piece of the outfit was a matching purse from the brown polyester, lined with the fudgecicle fabric. The purse had a ruffle on the flap made from the fudgecicle fabric and a fudgecicle pocket on the front. I thought I was quite dashing in this ensemble at the time!

A few years ago, my mother was parting with this piece of fabric and I quickly took it from her. It needed to come home and live in my stash. Now as far as a piece of fabric goes, it is not a very high quality piece at all. It’s a very thin and loose weave, and it would not be the first fabric I would pick for a project. And I would not have bought it had I saw it at the store, but it still holds a lot of memories for me, so I keep it tucked away in the stash if for nothing more than nostalgia’s sake. I need to do something special with it, but I am not sure what that exactly is yet. So, for now, it continues to live in the stash to provide me with some fond memories of my childhood’s past.

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“It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.”
― Ally Condie