Anyone want to bet how long it will be before I drag the sewing machine out again, though?
A very long sewing drought was ended a few weeks ago when I made up a few gifts to bring to the baby shower of a friend. This is the third batch of flannel square/drool clothes/cloth wipes that I've whipped on on my interlock machine, and probably the nicest. They're all double-ply and I'm much better with getting the tension correct on the Pfaff.
I originally was going to use a free pattern on the internet for the diaper case, but all of the three pieces of the pattern printed out on different scales, so I just decided wing it using the actual Diapee and Wipees case I have as a guide (makes it more worth the $16 I spent on what amount to a pocket sewn in broadcloth).
It was nice to sew something again, and be sitting at the Bernina (plugged into a mega-sized voltage transformer, of course). While putting the rolled hem on the flannel squares I became all nostalgic about making the same things for my own kiddo and being able to whip out to Fabricland at whim. Well, there isn't a fabric store near me here, but at least I have a much nicer room (with natural light!) to sew in now!
Today was another of those lousy days where I yelled at everyone (both needed and needlessly) and once again cursed the misfortune of our poorly-timed impending move. If anyone finds two extra weeks in the month of May, let me know, okay? I'm not sure that we'll all make it ...
Today I got to cross one of the many unfinished projects around the house off of the giant list of unfinished projects: fixing the living room curtains. The house came with peach chiffon pinch-pleat curtains, which we were quick to remove. We replaced them with dark blue tab curtains, but the tabs were too long so I improvised and stuck the curtain rod through a channel running across the top of the curtains. A quick and dirty fix (and that's what it looked like, too, unfortunately). The problem is that we left them like that for 3.5 years. Back before we took off for St. John's, I decided that grommets would really well on them, and even bought the grommets when Fanny's Fabrics was clearing them out! Why, oh why, didn't I fix the curtains back then? I must have thought that it was going to be really hard ...
Anyway, it turns out that they were easy to put in! Trace a circle, cut, pop in grommet. I managed to get all five curtain panels done, and they look great. Relieved to have decent curtains in place for the next residents of this place. I should take a photo ...
This evening I was too depressed to prime the last closet door. Instead I rounded up more boxes of clothes and toys for donation - some charity is coming by tomorrow. I have eight boxes waiting by the door to be put out tomorrow morning. I hope it's a big truck!
One of the problems with living somewhere temporarily is that it's hard to justify making substantial purchases. For months I've wanted to have some sort of shelving in our living room to hold our books and Madeline's toys. I was out today, taking advantage of our newly renewed Costco membership, when I spied these modular wire shelves for a paltry $23.
I will admit that it was really tricky to assemble this with a toddler who thought it was great fun to jump in the cubbies or climb up and sit on them, but I am thrilled that I can easily take the shelving apart, pack in back into the small box it came in, and then pack it all up to take back to Calgary. I think I'm going to use it to hold all of the fabric that I currently have stashed away in cardboard boxes under my sewing table ...
Well, I can!
My sewing project last night was repairing the frayed stitching on the toes of the shoe on the left for Madeline. The moccasin stitching held up for quite a few months of wear, but my first attempt to repair with dental floss didn't quite work out as well as I'd anticipated.
I ended up using some sort of fine cord (or maybe it's just thick thread) from the shoe hospital on Duckworth Street to do the job. I wandered in there with Madeline one day to ask if they sold thread for moccasin stitching, and one of the employees just gave me two feet of cord for free! I was thrilled, and have to repay that debt by doing something nice for someone else when a good opportunity presents.
It's a different type of thread than what the manufacturer used - the original thread is much finer, and several layers are used. It kind of reminds me of fishing line because it's more plastic-ish than fibre-ish. I used a curved quilting needle for the stitching, and I'm happy with the end result!
So, did I take this photo to show off the tidy rolled hem stitch on my serger or the cool depth-of-field effect I've been able to get with the manual settings on my camera?
Though I am thrilled to be getting better with my camera, I really did take the photo to have a visual record of the rolled hem stitch. I managed to get it right with this batch of cloth wipes (hemmed them for my sister to give to a friend), whereas when I made a set for Madeline, I had accidently used a flat hem stitch. How would I be able to remember all of my sewing mishaps without this blog? Both stitches do the job nicely - the flat hem is more delicate, and the rolled hem more substantial. I am not sure if I'm a fan of the wooly nylon thread yet, though - it take a bit more tweaking than I'm used to in order to get the tension right.
Everytime Madeline and I go outside to hang out on the deck, I spend a few minutes brushing away the new crop of spiderwebs, all the time marvelling at how strong the webs are! You see, I'm in the market for strong thread. I've been repairing some fraying moccasin stitching on a pair of Madeline's shoes, and my latest attempt (dental floss) didn't hold up particularly long. Does anyone have any ideas? I have a skein of embroidery thread here, but I don't think that will do the job. I've toyed with the idea of fishing line, but I have a hunch that there probably is something better out there!
I thought that I wouldn't miss my sewing machine. I left it behind when we moved, figuring that I wouldn't have much need for sewing, and if I did, my serger could handle it. My sewing machine and I have been separated for five months now, and I've discovered that it's indispensible to me for putting in zippers! I'm making yet another sleepsack for Madeline (summer-weight, out of seersucker), and the whole business of the zipper is taking far too long.
First, I'm not using a pre-made zipper but a length of zipper tape (because I need one much longer than is available at my fabric shop) and slider that is installed separately. Popping the slider on the zipper tape just might be rocket science, I'd decided! Very tricky, even with this relatively useful zipper website!
Second, it's a slow process sewing a forty inches of zipper in by hand. This is where I miss my Bernina with it's handy zipper foot. I've been spending my evenings on the sofa, stitching away with re-runs of House or Hell's Kitchen on tv in the background. I don't know when it's going to end!