Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Did I Just Make?

I have no idea! Technically, it's a cover for something hunting related. I'm making it for Rich, who is making me a tall cat stand for our new kitten. I'm also making him a cover for his tree stand and redoing a medium-sized seating pad. The velcro on the pad and thingamajig cover was in great shape so I was able to reuse that, however, I'm buying more velcro for the tree stand cover. It's great to be able to barter services like this. The cat stands (or cat trees?) I'm looking at are anywhere from $150-$300, and I know he'll be able to make one even better than what I'm seeing in the catalogs.

Rich bought the outdoor fabric on his own after I directed him to a few online stores that specialize in outdoor fabric. He called and then made the purchase. The tree stand should be done in a few days, then I'll work on the seating pad which should be a snap. He bought just enough material, about 5 yards, and it is enough for all three projects. I've never made anything like this before and it's not too bad. I'm not much into home dec and hate making Halloween costumes, but something like this has a meaningful purpose which will be appreciated for several years.

My only issue with the project? The fabric is treated and has a special finish which makes it very stiff. Maneuvering 5 yards of stiff fabric while sewing seams is a feat in itself LOL. Check out the massive yardage on my kitchen table. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a picture of the tree stand cover when it's done.

More later. I'm getting back into some garment sewing! Yeah, baby!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meet Jake!

Here he is. This is *THE* one! We took a long drive out to the breeder on Thursday and definitively selected him from the litters. He's a Devon Rex, low allergenic, short/wavy fur, huge ears, big eyes, known for their wonderful temperment and desire for human companionship. He was snuggling right up on my chest and neck, and in the pic he's cozying up with DD#2.

We can't wait to take him home. I need a soft, fuzzy, and warm computer and sewing companion. DD#2 wants a pillow and homework companion. The only thing I can definitely say is that he will be loved by all. We are SO looking forward to his arrival in about 3 weeks. It's been two years since our last cat died of old age, and we miss having a fuzzy, friendly, loving cat in our house. Over the next three weeks, guess what I'll be doing! Yep, securing all the threads and everything else that little kitties love to play with in a sewing room.

There is a story behind all of this as well. About 20 years ago, DH and I went to a cat show and picked up three business/cattery cards. DH was cleaning out some stuff about two weeks ago, found those three cards and showed them to me. The first two cards were the two catteries related one of our cats that died 4 years ago. One was the cattery of his mother, the other of his father. The third card was simply one we picked up because we found the breed interesting, but there are so many different breeds at the shows. What was breed/breeder on the card? The Devon Rex! And the owners of that cattery 20 years ago sold a cat (for breeding purposes) to our current breeder and helped her get started. It's really a weird coincidence, but really, I believe very few things are coincidence. It was simply part of the "master" plan--it was meant to be.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Jake and happy sewing! Especially if you own any furry or feathery helpful, loving critters in your home.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Recent Projects

I asked in a previous post where does time go. It flies by, and yet it seems like I have nothing to show for it. What I didn't mention is how totally unexpected things can happen that can befuddle, bewilder, and leave a person (that would be me ;) !) actually shocked and confused. Kind of like walking into a wall. Yeah, friendships can do that to a person.

So, in order to forget the negativity of the situation, I'm reconnecting with my projects. I need feel-good sewing and have something to show for it. So I refocused my much needed attention on sending in my PR Top 10 dress by the date it absolutely needed to be shipped, made a quickie skirt in 45 minutes with a leftover remnant from my "Mini" maxi dress, embroidered and stitched up my great nephew's baby quilt that's been sitting around for 4 months at least, put the final two embroidery lines on DD#1's tennis jacket, and am working on a quickie summer top that maybe will be worn once during the rest of the summer. We have to get at least one more day in the 70's after today.

So here they are in no particular order:

The baby quilt made from Minky and cotton flannel

The quickie skirt I stitched up yesterday and wore today:

The quickie top still a work in progress--I'm futzing with the placement of the straps and will add the facing. I plan on making it short too. Sure hope it doesn't look like a potato sack on me like it does on my DTD.

DD#1's RTW jacket with the last two lines of embroidery for her high school tennis career (She finally got the No. 1 singles spot she's always wanted AND was voted in as Captain.) What a royal pain it is to make sure alignment is as close to spot-on as possible.

Sewing truly is my feel-good-about-the-world activity. It makes the stars all seem like they're in alignment and makes *most* things right.

On my last post about kiddie sewing machines, I wanted to make a clarification. My friend and I did not know each other well when she bought this machine for her daughter. She did not know I did any type of sewing at all. That is why she did not ask for my help. She simply was buying what she thought was a decent machine for her daughter, a beginning sewer.

Peg mentioned the Janome Sew Mini. That would have been a much better option. The reviews for it make it seem like a nice little machine. However, I think the caveat of this machine is it doesn't make buttonholes? So I still couldn't recommend a machine like that to a newbie sewer. It would make for a nice, portable convenient backup though.

Overall, my point was if pattern companies were going to allow their names to be placed on a beginner sewing machine, make sure it's a quality machine from a quality/reputable company. It certainly doesn't need a bunch of bells and whistles, but it needs good basic features found on regular, full-sized machines. And we all know that a good, basic machine CAN be purchased for about $100. But this $70 toy machine was no bargain. Peg, had a very good point--don't shoot them all down before trying them. However, it would be hard for me to shoot down a Janome ;) . I love my Janome machines.
Good night, and happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

Honestly, I don't know! Can someone help me get it back?

First, it was back-to-school shopping. With four kids, each one has to be taken separately, at least two days for each child. Taking all of them, even only two is of no joy to me. They're much more enjoyable one-on-one. It's about appreciating uniqueness, not thinking about how I'd like to send them to some third-world country so they can understand about squabbling. Really, if they're going to squabble and fight, it better be about worthwhile like lack of food or shelter.

And let's talk about my wallet. Not only do I have no time, I have no money. Our public school went to uniforms this year. The BOE calls it a "standardized dress code". Whatever. It means buying all four kids totally brand new wardrobes.

Even with that, shirts, skirts, and pants all need to be hemmed. The shirts can't hit past mid-behind, the pants can't touch the floor, the skirts and shorts have to be at the knee cap. Not what I call enjoyable sewing.

So how about sports. Call me a chauffer. That really is what I am, but get no tip. "Take me here." "Take me there." "Come pick me up." "I need to be dropped off." Then it's fundraising. DD#2's softball team is requiring each set if parents to come up with $200 in sponsorships. So I'm dressing up every day for the next week going all over the place praying that some businesses will provide sponsorships for her team. There IS a reason why I switched out of Marketing when I was in college. I hate sales and I hate selling. Especially during these tough economic times.

I still have to beat the deadline for the PR Top 10 Contest and send my dress in. It has to be mailed tomorrow. Where's the box for mailing? I don't know. The dress was just dry cleaned though so at least that is done.

I want to sew! My Coverstitch has only taken baby steps. Haven't even had time to really get into it and try some new things with it.

This is the second week of school and I have yet to have a "free" day to accomplish some sewing that has value to me, like making a dress, pants, skirt, or coat. My bathing suit! The one I started in May or June? It's still being worked on! I'll finish it for Christmas LOL.

And blogging, don't get me started. I'm scared to look at the blogs I have subscribed to and the ones I plan on subscribing to. My blog is so boring too! First, the look is stale. The content is abominable 'cuz I haven't done much sewing lately. And no sewing means gives me a very cranky frame of mind. Hence, this blog post today. It's just a lot of complaints. And I'm sparing everyone my biggest gripe for the week.

Happy sewing to you all! Some of us have to have some fun ;) !!