Monday, October 24, 2011

New Background

I'm trying to make my blog look a little more interesting so I played around with some blog backgrounds.  Now,  from my years in business school, I know I should probably have something a little more plain - for marketing purposes.  The simpler, the better.  However, this is a creative blog, not a business blog and I wanted to use a little more color.  I tend to be very traditional so I'm trying to step outside the box and do something different.  Of course, this may very well change over the course of the next few months so please, bear with me.

Another weekend flew by and I didn't get any sewing done.  *Sigh*  Sometimes I wonder when I will get to sew.  I thought I might be able to do a little in the evenings but I'm busy every night this week and I have guests coming in from out of town over the weekend.  Oh, well.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I’m such a nerd!

I cannot let go of the flat-felled seam debacle from the other day so, I pulled out my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing and read up on seams, to see if there was something I missed.  According to that resource I saw that I had done it correctly, albeit with great difficulty.  Yet, I still couldn’t get over the thought that I had done something wrong.
Well, yesterday I was surfing my favorite sewing blogs and came across Suni's Sewing School,  saw all the seam tutorials there and decided to spend some time reading about seams.   I found the flat-felled seam tutorial and I read and re-read and finally realized that I had indeed, done it wrong.  I had done it with right sides together instead of wrong sides together.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?  The light bulb instantly goes off and you say to yourself, “DUH!”
No wonder I had so much trouble and no wonder it still didn’t look right.
Needless to say, I have a feeling I will be doing lots of flat-felled seams in the future.
Yet, isn’t it great?  Now, I know how to do it and I’m encouraged to do them more because I can see how fun it will be!

Have a great day and keep on sewing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Extra seating

Hi Friends!

As you know, I've been doing a lot of work on my house of late, rearranging furniture, creating a guest room, painting, etc.  I finally got around to reupholstering some stools that match a long sofa table that my husband got from his mother.  I've never been a big fan of the table because the stools were so outdated.  I bought some fabric at Joann's some time back that matched the fabric for my new little pillows I made.



Whaddya think?

Flat-felled Seams

I hate them!

I was finishing up my boxers for the MPB Men's Boxers Sew-Along and as per Peter's instructions, I used flat-felled seams.  I found them to be so difficult!  Perhaps it was because my pattern (Kwik Sew) only required 1/4" seam allowances rather than a standard 5/8".    I struggled and struggled with them and they turned out a little messy but I finally got something that had some semblance to a flat-felled seam.

As you can see, they are somewhat crooked but it looks ok from the outside.  They are underwear after all so I guess no one will see them except my husband.  If I say nothing, maybe he won't notice.  They actually look a little better in person than in these pictures so I shouldn't complain.

It's been slow going on the sewing front this week.  Been busy with work and still working on the house.  I was adventurous and decided to make a couple of small pillows with some fabric I bought some months ago.

I had considered using some fringe or other decoration but I decided against it after I took a trip to Pottery Barn yesterday.  Their pillows in general were very plain and without much decoration.  These are a little smaller than I wanted but I still like them very much.  The fabric is just gorgeous.

That's all for now.

Have a great day and keep on sewing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sewing Classes

For some time now, I have wanted to take some formal sewing classes because I really want to hone my skills.  Simply put, I'm hoping to eradicate all the wadders I make.  Sewing can be an expensive hobby and I want to be able to utilize my tools to the best of their abilities and stop wasting so much gorgeous fabric.

Now, I've done a few online sew-alongs and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  I still need to do Gertie's bombshell dress on   In fact, Craftsy is a great resource for online classes and I'm tempted to take some knitting classes.  But, I digress.  While I find online classes very helpful, I'm still looking for one-on-one help with fitting, tailoring, and the such. An online class doesn't tell you what you are doing wrong and I think a teacher would give me increased success in my sewing projects.  I've contacted a few individuals who offer sewing classes but found that I'm more advanced than they were (why would someone who could sew nothing other than a pillow give sewing classes??).  Needless to say, I'm hitting a brick wall.

I'm feeling compelled therefore, to take some sewing classes as the local community college.  I really do not want to do this and I don't really know why.  I have a master's degree and perhaps that's why I hesitate to step onto a college campus once again.  The class is four hours on Saturday morning and I am a busy person who likes to have her weekends free to do as she pleases.  In one sense, this four hour block of uninterrupted sewing time sounds like heaven.  I never get uninterrupted sewing time! I could actually finish something!!  On the other hand - it's an entire morning I would be spending away from my little boy.  As much as I like sewing, my son is far more important.

Interestingly, with shows like Project Runway being so popular and the economy tanking, making things from home have enjoyed a new popularity.  Sewing is having a resurgence in popularity, with many young sewers starting blogs and really making sewing fun.  The sewing community is no longer just senior sewing circles.  It has become sewing cyber-circles.

So, I have a bit of a conundrum.  I can't decide whether to take a college class or continue with online classes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn is here!

As you may be able to tell by now, I've been working on my house more than I've been sewing.  I'm sort of attention deficit that way.  I'll become absorbed in something one minute and completely change directions the next.  So, in addition to working on my new guest room, the cooler weather in Arizona inspired me to take out some fall decorations.

Like many other people, I am entering my favorite time of year.  I love fall colors and all the earth tones.  I use these throughout my house but I'm able to pump it up a little in October and through Christmas.  Although I don't have that many decorations, I do have a few and I'm enjoying setting them all up.  So, dear readers, in the spirit of the fall season, I give you ........ drum roll, please....
my dinner table.

I've tried using a matching tablecloth but the wood is so gorgeous that the cover just made it look flat.  The wood brings such a rich color and warmth to the room. The suede place mats were purchased a few years ago at Walmart.  They are Better Homes and Gardens. The vase is an old copper vase from my mother-in-law.  It fits perfectly with this.  The chair pillows were on sale at Khol's just this morning and I couldn't resist - especially since I had a gift card.  So, essentially, they were free.  The napkins holders are a little fancy for the decor but I think they bring a little bling to it.

I've seen many tablescapes on the blogosphere and this is in no way even close to what those talented ladies put together.  Some of them are truly phenomenal and I envy them their vast array of tableware.  I just wonder where they are able to store it all.  This is just my little decorations for the autumn.  I hope you enjoy it.  It also gives me the opportunity to practice taking pictures!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Guest Room

My daughter moved to California last week and I wasted no time changing her room into a guest room.  Can you tell I'm a happy semi-empty nester?  We cleaned everything out last weekend and painted the room a Benjamin Moore color for Pottery Barn.  The color is called Hush and it is so lovely.  I had acquired the pictures over the bed from my mother-in-law and I've been holding onto them for some time until I had the right place to hang them.

The bird nest was on sale from Hobby Lobby and the canister of soap from a popular clothing store whose name escapes me right now.

The flowers are to bring a little color to the room and the silhouette is of my son from Disneyland. The frame it came with fit the room perfectly.

My husband bought this picture before we were married and we've had it hanging in a dark hallway for the longest time.  It's nothing special but it's a Paris street scene and again, brings some color to the room.

Close-up of the soap canister.

Here is the best picture I could get of the entire room.  It's a small room and no matter what angle I tried, I couldn't fit the entire room in.

I have had another french picture stashed in my garage.  It was something that caught my eye at Ross and I picked it up for a song.  I liked it but there was no other place to put it in the room.  Since the room is so small, we put an empty dresser in the closet.  I just put the picture on top of the dresser for an "Ah!" moment.  I want to include a porcelain bowl and pitcher.  I think that would make it a nice vignette.

We had plain blinds in the window before and we were going to hang them again for privacy since the window faces the street but I wanted to dress the window too, to make it prettier. I had just purchased some fabric for curtains in my sewing room and I feared I would have to use that for these windows since the colors matched perfectly.  I was pondering my dilemma when I found these forgotten cafe curtains in my linen closet as I was pulling out the sheets and bedding. I had an "aha" moment as I pulled them out and ironed them.  They fit perfectly and let in light but kept privacy during the day.

The room is fresh and light and airy and I'm so pleased with the results.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

MPB Men’s Boxer Sew Along

Hi folks!  It’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  I had one of my older children move out and I was able to repaint her room and make a new guest room.  Whew!  The weather here in the Phoenix Valley seems like it might finally have cooled down.  We are having days of 80 degrees and below.  I know, I know – it’s a far cry from where some of you may be but here, it’s a Godsend!
This past Monday, I started the Male Pattern Boldness men’s boxer sew along. Here is my fabric – purchased at on sale.  I’m using a Kwik Sew pattern (I can't remember the number) that I traced so I don’t cut up the original pattern (in case my older boy wants some boxers).  I think the gray geometric is different for boxer shorts.  Different, at least, than the usual plaid or stripe.

This sew along may be a little slow going for me since I only have an hour or so in the afternoon to do any sewing during the week.  And of course, if my little one allows me to sew.  But, he's my darling and I'll put anything down to spend time with him.

Have a great day and keep on sewing!