Monday, February 25, 2008

My Ashford Kiwi Arrived!!

My Kiwi arrived on Friday. As scheduled. Which is amazing, because things always seem to get delayed when arriving to me. My daughter and I immediately opened up the box and unpackaged all the pieces. The box was so much smaller than I thought it would be. My husband had the sealer in his car, so I had to wait until he got home to start sealing everything. While I waited, I sanded the parts that needed it and looked around for a way to hang the parts so I could finish them easier. After looking around for a while I discovered that my ironing board top is a metal grid!! I took off the cover and plopped that thing on my desk. (sorry for the messy art/play room in that picture) I then made some crude hangers with some wire that I had and hung up the pieces. All but 4 small pieces had holes through them. After he got home, I started to poly all the parts. I knew that I wanted to wheel to be teal, and after noticing the adorable Kiwi bird on the petal, I decided that he should be teal as well. My brother and sister in law came over so my hubby could put together their new computer that night. There were problems (some wire was to short... I don't know much about computers... but when I saw the soldering gun and duct tape, I knew we were going to be up for a while) Anyways... while they were doing that I got the second coat of poly on and gave it time to dry. By 12:30 in the morning they were still futzing with the computer. I was getting bored and tired. They all started telling me to put the wheel together. And, against my better judgment I started putting it together. I followed the directions exactly and really had no problems. I began spinning at around 1:30 and kept spinning in a sleepy daze until after 2 when I gave up and trogged up to bed... they were still working on the computer. I've been spinning almost non-stop since then. I'm completely in love with this wheel. I highly suggest it to anyone looking to get one. I've never spun on a wheel before. I've found this wheel to be smooth and so peaceful. Here's a peak at some of the yarns I've made and the progress of the wheel being finished.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Babblings From A Frustrated Seamstress

Time line of unfortunate events: (photos to come later)

Yesterday was the first real sewing day that I've had for over a week. I sat down thinking that I would get most of my commission finished and also have a pair of jeans finished for my doll. No such luck.... The two pairs of jeans that I did finish were completely wrong. I put them on my doll and almost cried. I've made up that pattern before, so I'm not sure what happened. His crotch and bum were totally off. There was way to much fabric and it was bunching up and pleating weird. My mom was over sewing with me and when I showed it to her, I mentioned that it looked like certain female parts. She started laughing and agreed. What was I going to do now.... I'd been sewing all day (with lots of little interruptions in between. I don't think I actually sat down for more than 15-30 min at a time) and it was time to pick my daughter up from school. Frustrated, I decided to put down my sewing and take a break. I picked up my daughter and wandered the house for a few minutes. Cleaned the dishes, watched the girls play outside, had a snack, etc. I finally came to the conclusion that I just needed to draft up a new pattern and start fresh the next day. And, that's exactly what I did.

This morning I drafted up a new pattern (to replace horrible jeans mentioned above), made a really quick test pair, and breathed a deep sigh of relief when I saw that they were just about perfect. A few tweaks hear and there was all they needed. So, I went to cut out the new pair for my commission only to find that I didn't have enough fabric left. ARGGG!!! I looked around for more fabric and found some new stuff. I through it in the washing machine (yep... it wasn't' ready...needed to be washed first to prevent staining on the doll) and decided to play with my daughter. I was beginning to think that this was going to be the commission that would never end. And I still had one more piece to make. The other piece is something that I've been looking forward to doing for quite a while. I was really excited when my client said that she wanted a partial zip front male shirt. Anyways... after playing with my daughter I decided to start working on the pattern for the zip front male shirt. It drafted up quickly and I got the test shirt all sewn up before it was time to get my daughter from school. I put the shirt on and it was perfect. Finally!!! Something worked out right the first time. I have the real shirt cut and ready for tomorrow and the denim is all washed and ready to go for tomorrow also. I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring a much calmer sewing day. I really need one.

Ok, Ok... I realize that the past two days of sewing haven't been to unfortunate. But, sometimes it just seams like things are conspiring against you. And, it's not like I don't have other things to do except make terrible pants and have to redo commissions. I have a household to run. And, I'm waiting anxiously for my first spinning wheel!! (more to come about that later.) Boy, I've been babbling. I guess I should go and knit...calms the nerves.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day today. Before school the girls opened up their present. I made them each a pullover fleece hoodie and 3 felt heart shaped sugar cookies. They loved them. My hubby had left some Lilies on the dining table for me as well as a beautiful chocolate mug filled with cake and cream. It looked to beautiful to eat, so I put it in the fridge to share with him when he gets home. I made him a bookmark and a heart shaped chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

I used See&Sew pattern #4894 to make the hoodies for my girls. I altered it to be a pullover style and added a front pouch to each sweater. The jackets took me about 4 hours to make both sweaters. They were very easy to sew up, so I'll definitely be making more in the future. Next time though, I will lengthen the body and slim up the sleeves a bit. I made up the size 5 which was huge. It fit my 4 year old as well as my 7 year old. Pattern sizing is so weird....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quick Nightdress Recon

So, my mom and I went to the local thrift store this last Monday. On Monday's certain colored tags are only $1.28. I found a few things. Mostly sweaters to unravel and one leather coat that my mom found. (an amazing find) One of the things I found was this simple slip dress made of brown knit fabric. It was adult size medium with what look liked a bleach stain down near the bottom. For $1.28 I grabbed it and decided to recon it into a nightdress for my oldest daughter. (she's 7 and is very petite) She loves nightdress's and is growing like crazy, so I thought this dress may last a while. I shortened it up and cut the straps. I tied the cut straps to shorten them. (which can be retied as she grows) She specifically asked for a heart on the front. So, I cut two different colored corduroy hears and put them on the front of the dress. It all took me about 20 min to do. She absolutely loves it, and I will definitely be making more of these.

Photos show before and after. In the before, my 4 year old is holding up the dress. It was very long.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Purses For My Daughters

I've decided to make my weekend end time “free craft time”. Meaning that I put aside any commissions that I may be working on, and instead work on whatever I want. I have so many ideas buzzing around my head. The first things that I wanted to do this weekend was finish my hand spun bag (below) and make my daughters some purses. My youngest had picked out this adorable Tinkerbell fabric over a month ago. And, last week I found this butterfly print for my oldest. So, I set about making them purses!! I used Simplicity pattern #4535. The pattern worked up beautifully. The only adjustments that I made, was adding interior pockets. And places to put pens and such. I love these little bags and so do my daughters. I'll definitely be making more. I got both of these done in about 5 hours from start to finish. And, that was with all the distractions of the kids running around the house!!

First Hand spun Bag Finally Finished

I was dragging my feet getting this bag done. (see post below on unfinished bag) I finally finished it yesterday. It turned out better than I thought it would. But, its still pretty unfortunate looking. I used a brown denim to line the inside. I made two large elastic pockets inside to hold small knitting or crochet projects. The other side has a large flat pocket with a shorter pocket on the outside of it. The shorter pocket has compartments for pens, knitting needles, etc. I added leather to the handles to attach the handles to the bag. I used recycled leather and free cut the design out. I hand stitched them in place. I'll do a few things differently on the next knitted bag. But, overall, I'm pretty happy with this one. I'm planing on putting it next to the sofa where I regularly sit and knit. It'll be a good travel knitting bag too.