Friday, March 16, 2012

Phooey again!

Man, I just do not seem to have any luck right now. First, my family and I went through a glasses and dishes breaking spree, working our way down to just barely enough to function. Then, my camera died. Okay, so it was a cheap camera to begin with and it lasted me for a little over a year of very heavy use, but still.

Then, the other day, our toilet started running and leaking out all over the bathroom floor. We have fixed this toilet so many times in the last year or two and we knew it would have to be replaced soon, but that does not make me any more excited about doing so.

And now, worst of all, my sewing machine died...right in the middle of making this adorable little pocket that will go on the bag I am making for my nephew for his birthday. This pocket is seriously so cute! But not cute enough to give to my nephew by itself...although if I got the right box and packed it in some sparkly paper, it might just do. He is only turning two, after all.

Anyway, I was replacing the needle two days ago, just before I got ready to sew the little pocket onto the front piece of the bag. When I went to put the new needle in, the whole mechanism fell off and a tiny little piece fell out and rolled across the desk. Tiny little pieces never mean good things...

I took the machine to a repair shop yesterday and they said it would cost more to fix than the machine is worth. It was a very inexpensive machine bought by my husband on a whim before either of us had a real desire to learn to sew. So, I guess I am in the market for a new machine.

I can easily look on the bright side. It is always bittersweet when things break and you can replace them with better ones. That is what happened with my camera. I upgraded a lot this time around and am having so much fun with my new Nikon D3100.

But I just finished researching cameras and now I have to research sewing machines. That is just way too much internet surfing for me for one week. Not to mention the expense. I am thankful for the big tax refund that is coming just at the right time...

So, here I am hoping that someone - anyone - will have a recommendation for a mid-range machine, ideally in the $200-300 range. What kind of machine do you use?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Other Pair

Evan wore his second pair of new handmade pants today, made of red and white seersucker, this time without pockets. He requested a pink button on the front, so I sewed that on this morning. It was a good idea actually, since it will help him to figure out where the front of the pants are without the cues of tags or pockets.

When I was making these pants, I was convinced that they were going to look like pajamas, but they do not! I think the double stitching on the hem does a lot to give the pants a more finished look. Evan was a bit disappointed that I did not add pockets this time, but I really wanted to get this pair done quickly and I was, in fact, able to put them together in one day.

In case you are wondering, my boys have been obsessed with watering the weeds in this corner of our yard. Can you tell? If you've seen my pictures on my other blog (Mommy Repeat), you will know that brown and dirty are apt words to describe the world in which I live. This green looks downright unnatural!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ready for the Next Project

I just ordered some of this adorable fabric.

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

I cannot wait to see it in person. It is going to become a shoulder bag for my nephew, who is about to turn two in just a couple weeks. I am going to have to do some quick work to get it across the country in time, especially because my sister and her family are moving within days after Owen's birthday. Actually, a sewing deadline sounds like it could be a fun thing...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Saturday Night

Why I am posting on a Saturday night at eight, you ask? There is a good explanation for it. I am waiting for my husband to finish the dishes so we can watch a movie...and if I go out in the kitchen, I might have to help him with the dishes. (Yes, I am actually admitting that...)

So, I am hiding out in the office and though I would take this chance to post some pictures of my little guy in his new grey twill pocket pants that I made for him last week. So seriously cute!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I had a very productive week with sewing, mostly thanks to the freedom that comes with grandparent visits, lending me a few extra minutes each day to make a little progress with my projects.

I started the week working on a dress for myself, a jumper of green twill that I am hoping will be good with a long-sleeved shirt and tights in the winter as well as alone in the summer. I really did not make much visible progress on this, since I have not even started cutting the twill. But I decided to take the advice of a kind reader who suggested making the dress out of muslin first to check on the size. So, I did cut the muslin, but have not started putting anything together yet.

But what a pleasure it was to cut out the muslin on my NEW large cutting mat. I thought maybe I was whining about nothing and was ready to chalk up my unsuccessful cutting experiences to my lack of abilities, but once again the proper tools saved the day. If you do not have one of these yet, start watching for sales. I have been on the lookout for a couple months and found one last week for less than half off.

I decided to take a break from the dress for a bit though. I kept watching my three-year-old hitch at his pants every few seconds and started to feel guilty that I was "pleasure sewing" for myself. Evan is as skinny as can be and we almost never find a pair of ready-to-wear pants that fit him both in the waist and the length. I have recently started to think that I need to just start making his pants, at least a few pairs so that he can have a few days of rest a week without having to worry constantly that his pants are about to fall down.

I managed to make him two pairs this week - one in grey twill with an orange and white striped contrasting fabric and one in red and white seersucker. They are both adorable and fit him perfectly. Hooray! The grey ones, which I made from a pattern in Meg McElwee's Growing Up Sew Liberated, even have pockets, a first for me.

But, phooey! My camera just broke yesterday. So, so sad about this. And just on the day when I was ready to take some pictures of Evan wearing his pants. Time to work on that tax return, I guess.