El Tour de Tucson & How to Sew a Musette

Musette Feed Bag

Musette Feed Bag

What is El Tour de Tucson? It’s a cycling event which attracts about 10,000 participates from all around the world each year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  The main event is a 104 mile ride around the perimeter of Tucson, AZ.  I’m proud to say that I have family members who are avid cyclists, & fierce competitors who tackle this ride each year.   That’s not the most amazing part Continue reading

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New Look Pattern 6648 – View B

New Look Pattern 6648 View B

New Look Pattern 6648 View B

I’m back again with another finished New Look 6648 project, this time –View B.

This view differs with a v-neck, and while still loose fitting, I like this much better. The other variance is the sleeves, this one having somewhat tapered sleeves.   I chose to leave the bottom of the sleeves open, but the pattern includes elastic gathers as an option.

Since this light knit fabric has a little give, I cut my waist panels on the cross grain, which I think gives it a little more interest.  To match the the bodice to the waist panels, I ended up hand basting it first (due to the grain/cross grain tensions being different).

Once again, this is really comfortable to wear, and pretty darned fun to make!

Scrap Busting Sunday – Pattern Weights

 

Pattern Weights

Pattern Weights

 

I love a good project that allows me to use up some of those scraps I have in my sewing room.   In fact, I think just about every seamstress feels the same way.  It gives us the chance to breathe new life into a favorite fabric.  It gives us the chance to try something new without fear of messing up.  It gives us the chance to re-purpose.  It’s an inexpensive creative outlet.

I’ve been on the lookout for a cute little pattern weight idea, and I’ve seen some really clever ideas out there (creative people make me smile).  After a fun search all over blog-land, I ultimately decided to make up my own.  I just love drafting things myself.

So I decided that  3 – 1/4″ square weights would be a good size, so I sketched a little boxy flower to fit inside of  those dimensions.

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I’ve always been a sucker for a pink and gray color combo, and lucky for me…I had fleece scraps of each.

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I’ve had these black velvet heart buttons for ages, just waiting for the perfect project to use them.  I think they add a sweet touch.

Sushi Rice???????????????

 

Leftover dry sushi rice (from making California rolls) provided the perfect stuffing.  I don’t know if it was necessary, but I microwaved the rice for a couple of minutes to prevent little buggy-critters from nibbling on my project!  Years ago when I made bean bags out of dehydrated beans, I remember the recommendation of baking the beans first, to better preserve them.  Who know if it helps…couldn’t hurt, though.

So there ya have it… a quick and useful project, which I was able to make from start to finish even before the rest of my family woke up on
Sunday morning.  …Stolen moments…gotta use them, they’re too precious to waste.

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New Look 6648 Pattern – My Finished Project

Last week I felt the need to get lost in a project and try something new. Since I don’t have much experience sewing stretchy fabrics, I thought that would be a fun thing to tackle. Lucky for me, JoAnn’s was offering 50% off some of these fabrics, so off I went. I had a blast looking through pattern books, and finally stumbled upon the New Look 6648 blouse pattern.

I ended up making View A, and I was really pleased with the way it came out.  I selected a purple lycra blend that worked well with this pattern, and it’s oh so comfortable to wear!  I like the combination of the loose fit, along with the gathered, form fitting panel across the bottom.  The sleeves flow nicely, reaching just above my elbows.  The only thing I would possibly change, is the neckline being a bit too large for my taste, and tends to drop a little over my shoulder.  This is a minor issue, and I’m looking forward to trying the other views.

New Look 6648

 

“Welcome to Tuesday!”

…or whatever the current day was at the time.   That’s what our son, Nick use to say when he was little. Instead of “good morning” or the like, he’d greet us with that wide-eyed face, spunky grin, contagious giggle, and say “Welcome to Tuesday, Mom & Dad!”  How could we NOT have a fantastic day after a greeting like that?!   So…Tuesday, already? Continue reading

As the saying goes, “Sewing is cheaper than therapy…”

I’ve seen that quote on Pinterest in various forms, and each time it made me chuckle to myself. Sometimes things are funny because they have an element of truth, no?  I’ve certainly turned to sewing (or another creative outlet) when I’ve needed to calm my nerves or clear my head.  In the same token, I turn to it when that inspiration hits me, and there’s nothing quite like creating to make me smile.  It’s the ultimate “me time”  that’s motivation in and of itself, to cross those chores off my list.  As I create, I push myself to learn new things, to improve the skills I already possess.  It allows me to express my love to my family in my own unique way…  (There’s nothing like a thoughtful meal to say you care).  Creating helps me understand myself… It’s the ultimate expression of who I am.  How can something so seemingly simple (looking from the outside) mean so many different things?

 

 

 

I Love Learning New Things

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time (what’s that you ask? Haha) is to watch sewing tutorials. I enjoy watching not because I necessarily plan on making what they’re making, but I can usually pick up some new tip or different approach.
Take this morning, for example. I was watching Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting:  (Episode#2312, featuring Mary Fons & guest Patrick Lose).

Fons & Porter’s Loverbirds Placemat

A couple of little things jumped out at me, the first was in regard to applique.
~ While stitching around a piece, do so at a steady pace, avoiding stops. This keeps the stitching smooth, and free of unwanted pointy edges.
~ When coming to a turning point on the piece (like the inside top of a heart shape), over-stitch by about 4 or 5 stitches, then turn with the needle in the right position. This creates a cleaner look at the pivot point.
~For mitered corners on a quilt binding, Patrick stops the normal distance away from the edge as he is using for the seam allowance (which I normally do anyway). Then he pivots by 45 degrees, stitching up through the corner edge without back stitching. Proceed with the corner, folding and back stitching as usual. He also teaches an interesting way of trimming the corner at the fold-line, clipping a few stiches, then trimming the dog ear.  It’s difficult to explain here, but it’s demonstrated very clearly on the show.   I can’t wait to try this technique on my next quilting project.

So many talented people, each with a unique approach.

Have you learned a new little trick or technique that has made a big difference to you?