Sunday, August 30, 2009

Long Time No Blogging

Wow. Two and a half weeks with no blogging. The reason has been, unfortunately, computer issues. But it's just as well, because there has been no sewing going on around here. I've been taking a little break and writing in my "spare" time. I hope to get back to sewing real soon. I even cleaned up my sewing room last weekend in anticipation!

In the meantime, there has been stitching. I'm proud (and relieved) to report that the Birth Sampler is DONE!
The silk ribbon work is done and the beads are all attached and the linen is stretched and ready for framing. I'll send it to the intended recipient and let them pick their own mat colors and frame. I'm not sure that what I would choose would be to their taste, and I would rather they choose something they will really love.
Here is a little bit closer look at the top half. I modified the design quite a bit. The original design is called Heirloom Anniversary Sampler and it does not have the open work border (an optional portion taken from a second design in the same leaflet). The silk ribbon heart at the top is also quite different on the original.
And here is the bottom half. I am very pleased with how this piece turned out, but I have to be honest- I'm glad to be done! It was a lot of work, but very worth it.

Here area couple of shots taken indoors so you can get a better idea of the colors.
I've also managed to finish up Pumpkin Harvest during the computer drought.

Yes, this is my actual stitching! Can you believe I got this all finished and stretched and then I noticed I left off the little bird button? You guessed it- I had to un-mount it, stitch the bird on and then re-stretch it! Argh!
This one finished up approximately 3" by 7" on 32ct Natural Belfast linen. You can just see my "signature' under the left pumpkin and the date under the middle one.
Now that these are done, I've started on a little kit I've had for a while called Cider House Garden, by Liz Turner Diehl. So far it's fun to stitch and looks promising. More about it later!
And hopefully, I'll have some sewing to share soon, too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Project Finished- A New One Started

I finished a little sampler Sunday night.

This is Tropical Garden Sampler, by one of my all time favorite designers, Thea Dueck, of The Victoria Sampler. Although I adore her designs (and I have stitched a lot of them) I have to say I am so happy to be finished with this one. It was tedious.
It's a very small design- only 2" by 8". It's stitched in silk fibers on 28ct linen. The pattern calls for Miracle Mint Cashel, but I substituted a different fabric. I don't know the brand or the color name, but it's a pale aqua with green hand dyed marbling. I enjoy band samplers, but I find very small areas of cross stitch with lots of color changes and just few stitches of each color here and there to be quite annoying. I did not particularly enjoy the section with the fountain or the bottom section with the sunbathers. I probably will not stitch any of the other Garden Samplers, even though I think the designs are beautiful.

I'm sorry the photo is rather dark and the sampler itself looks rumpled. I have not stretched it yet. I plan to get some supplies this weekend and stretch several pieces for framing, so I'll have to remember to share better photos later.

I also started a new project: Pumpkin Harvest from The Trilogy. (This photo is from the pattern- my piece is just barely started! And I'm finding the actual colors to be somewhat darker than the photo.)

What's that you say? Aren't I supposed to be working on the birth sampler? Yes, I am. But this is a very small piece (aproximately 6.8" by 2.8") and it should be a quick stitch. As I've said before, I have a thing for pumpkins, and with the kids going back to school last week, I had a yearning to work on something "autumny." This one is stitched on 32ct Natural Belfast Linen using threads from The Gentle Art and features a little polymer clay bird button.

Still no garment sewing right now, but maybe this weekend. I'm waiting for sewing inspiration to strike!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

No Sewing Around Here

There's been no sewing around here this week. I've had too much going on and my schedule has been hectic. Plus, I haven't really felt my mojo this week. The BWOF dress is stalled. I got really frustrated with it last weekend and I decided the best thing to do would be to set it aside for a few days and let it cool. I'll come back to it when I'm feeling calm about it again.

In the meantime, new Buttericks have come out and I thought I'd share a few that I'm considering .

I love this little jacket. I even like the hot pink view with the blousy sleeves. I'd leave off the little bows at the waistline- I don't need those! I think I like the shorter version best, but the longer one could be interesting. I just wish there was a real photo on the envelope- pattern illustrations are fun to look at, but they are often misleading.

Interesting top. I like that you can apparently choose which side you want the pleats on and I like the asymmetrical design. Once again, I'd like to see a photo.

Beautiful dress. I love it, but I doubt I'll buy it. I just don't have anywhere to wear it. I do like the fact that they included a photo this time. I notice that the real dress seems much shorter through the bodice than the illustration would lead us to believe.

I really like this one. I love the modest neckline and the pleats, and the empire waist. I'd probably do the short sleeve version, or maybe the 3/4 sleeve. I appreciate the photo, too.

Another cute jacket. I love the extra vertical seaming on this one and the asymmetrical neckline. Darn it, I just wish there was a photo! I think this could be cute for an everyday light coat for fall.
I'm off to find something to do. I think it might be a needlework day today. The birth sampler is pretty close to finished and it would be great if I could cross that one off my "in progress" list!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

City Shorts!

The city shorts from Simplicity 3846 are done. I wore them out and about today.
I'm quite pleased. I cut a size 20 and took them in about 1/4" at the waist tapering to nothing at hip level.

I think they turned out pretty well. (And I promise I ironed them- even though you can't tell in the photos.) They're just a little bit wide at the hem, but I can live with it. After wearing them around all afternoon I decided they're just a tad loose, but that's okay. I'm thinking about making the long pants version, and if I do I will take them in just a smidge at the side seams.

I used denim for these- the same denim I used in my favorite pencil skirt. I thought the denim would be kind of heavy to use for the facings, and since these were made specifically to go with the Dots and Stripes tunic, I decided to use leftover fabric from the tunic for the facings.

Turned out nice.
These shorts are so easy. There are only four pattern pieces- front, back, front yoke, and back yoke. The yokes are supposed to be cut on the fold, but I took about a 3/8" wedge out of the center back of the back yoke (for my sway back) and added a center back seam.
The pattern calls for a lapped zipper, but I used an invisible one- works great. It also calls for twill tape to be sewn into the waist. I was concerned about bulk, so I skipped it. But, if I make these again with a less stable fabric, I'll definately use it.
Oh, and these run kinda long. I had to fold out 1.25" of length above the knee! Or maybe it's just my super short legs!
So one project down this weekend and one to go. I want to get the military dress finished so I can start on those high waist jeans!