Monday, 21 September 2015

9 Months

No! I'm not pregnant. But I *did* just give birth. I gave birth to a large sewing project that just happened to take nine months to complete. (Yes, one of the two projects I've been mentioning on here since January.)
Coincidentally, the recipient also took nine months to get here to planet Earth.
My little niece Henley was born July 11, 2015. Meanwhile, I was busily hand-embroidering Trev's signature and my signature on our respective pieces of fabric (mine from my first ever make, and Trev's from an ill-fitting Valentine's present).
I won't lie, at times it was really difficult work..
Like, say, when your dog is laying comfortably on the quilt....
But I managed to plow through and get it done.....two months late.
What else makes this quilt so special, you ask?
Grandpa Marshall's hockey jersey and Grandma Marshall's infamous "moose outfit" pocket.
Well, I had A's parents mail me each a piece of fabric and scan their signatures over for me to embroider....
Grandbob's dress shirt and Granice's nursing training uniform (!)
...and I had C's parents (my in-laws) bring me a piece of fabric and sign a paper for me to transfer and embroider.
For the quilting, I did a bunch of random intersecting lines, and then followed all of the outside ones three more times.
I also added in a few quilted triangles where there needed to be more quilting.
Trev and I had fun picking out different meaningful fabrics. The firetrucks represent the fact that A is a volunteer firefighter, Nessie is for their Scotland trip, an the labs are for their chocolate and black labs, Finn and Nevis. The rest of the fabrics either fell into "woodsy/camping", "cutesy animals", or gray, which was their gender neutral colour of choice.
I used a 6 inch quilting square to cut out 13 squares horizontally and 17 squares vertically. I used a half inch seam, mainly because I don't trust myself enough to use a quarter inch SA. This made the quilt approximately 65' x 85'. It is a baby quilt in that it is a quilt for a baby, but we made it big so that she could grow into it and use it when she is older (plus there are quite a few quilters in the family so we figured Henley would receive a few other baby-sized quilts).
Overall, I'm quite pleased with myself! If I had more time I would have continued the quilting lines, taken my time a bit more with the quilting I did do, and made my own bias tape, but I'm still really happy with it.
Extra special thanks to Trev for holding this up for me outside while I took what probably felt like a million pictures. :)

And yes, they loved it!

Also: you may be wondering what happened to Harley. Did he lose weight? No! Quite a few months ago we decided to adopt another dog, and so when Sweet Dee came up for adoption (not her original name), we snapped her crazy self right up.
She has chronic dry eye, so she's not the prettiest dog, but she is certainly getting very comfortable in her new home.

That's it for today! I hope to make some T-shirts in the near future, and some sweaters for winter now that my machine is free. Hope to see you soon. :)

{Sweet Dee does stand up}

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Fun Summer Tee

I can't believe it has been over a month already since the last post! I have been doing a ton of sewing and almost nothing to show for it (yet). Plus, let's be honest, May and June in teacher world is hella busy.


So how are you doing? Good? That's great to hear! :D
A while back, when we decided I would make my mom her mother's day top, we also decided I would do the same for my mother-in-law. For the record, I have the best MIL. The very first time I met her, she was very welcoming and easy to get along with. It was almost like she was family already, which I suppose is pretty lucky!
I'm actually a little embarrassed to put this picture up because of that terrible top stitching (seriously, the underside looks neat and straight!), but I'm just trying to keep it real.
I was planning on making another Hot Cocoa (versions one, two, three), but when I gave my mom hers, I realized she basically can't wear it for another few months until it cools down again. So, I just happened to see the Fun Summer Tee on Life by Ky that she made for her mom and thought it would be a great breezy tee for my MIL. Added bonus: it is a free pattern.
This photo makes the neckline look wobbly but it's not. I just couldn't be bothered to fix this. I was frantically taking these photos before leaving for work.
I decided to use the same charcoal gray Ponte de Roma as on my mom's Hot Cocoa's sleeves and neck binding for the front of the tee, and after an unsuccessful trip to Fabricland, I used some thin pastel striped jersey (I think it is a jersey, I am completely guessing), that my sister gave me for the back. I also decided it needed something more and gave it a sweet little pocket on the front in the striped jersey.
I love how it turned out!!! I think it looks really great, and I think that it is cool that with each project I complete, I can see real progress in my sewing skills (especially when people don't know that it is handmade at first). I did size this up, only because I didn't have my MIL's measurements on hand and I would hate for it to be too small (I'd rather it be a loose, flowy top than a too-tight-top), but I don't think I would need to if I made her another.
Please do share: What have you been sewing for summer?

{Enjoy the start of summer :)}

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hot Cocoa

I can't believe it has been so long since the Dog Lady wrap up already! The weeks have been absolutely flying by at lightning speed now that the nice weather is here.
I have been getting quite a bit sewing done, but as I've mentioned, it has been moving very slowly since I'm working on two very big projects. Hopefully I'll get around to showing you a few in progress shots soon because otherwise I am going to disappear for a few months again. And that's no fun, now is it?
I did, however, manage to put aside some time this week to complete another Hot Cocoa for my mom for Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Happy Mother's Day to my mother! Word to your mother.
I bought some ponte knit off of, in charcoal and in this funky Aztec print. For my past two versions, I kept the sleeves, body, collar, and cuffs all the same, but for this one, I used the two fabric to break up the print and give it more interest. I really like how it turned out!
To be honest, the quality of the fabric isn't super awesome (the more I sew with cotton, the less I like polyesters), it is a little thinner than I was thinking it would be, or at least the Aztec one is, but the print is nice. It should make a nice spring/fall transition piece.
I also added 1.75" to the width to the front and back bodice pieces, 4.5" to the length of the original bodice pieces (update: which I think may be a tad bit too much now that I've given her the top and had her try it on), 1" to the sleeve width, and I sort of winged it with the collar piece. I also added a little piece of ribbon to the collar to make a tag. I think it adds a nice little touch. I hope she likes it!
Did you make anything for your mom this Mother's Day?

{You mothers}

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The weirdest thing sewing has ever done to me.

Hey! Happy Easter! Hope you are enjoying this fantastic long weekend. I sure am!

This is going to be a short post. I'm currently working on two very long-term projects, so there will be more in-progress posts (less finished projects posts), upcoming and at a slower rate than what I've been able to do these past few months. That's okay though, as both of these projects will be challenging and exciting in their own way.

But I'm actually here to talk about something really, really weird. I went to the dentist this past week.
No cavities, awww yeah!
My teeth are fine but, one thing that has been happening for the past few years is I have had some sensitivity. I've known it was because my gums have receded a bit in the back but never knew why my gums have done that. Well, this trip in the dentist chair, my dental hygienist asked if I grind or clench my teeth.

Well, here's the thing folks, I've noticed recently that I clench my teeth. While sewing. A lot. I do it usually when I have to cut out fabric or snip seam allowances. Sometimes I do it when I am just thinking about what I am doing while sewing, or placing pattern pieces, or anything really! I am a sewing teeth clencher.

Well, according to my dental hygienist, clenching your teeth, besides other things, can lead to gum recession. I've had pretty sensitive teeth for about three or so years. I started sewing about three or so years ago. So yes, what I am saying is that sewing can lead to tooth sensitivity. Weird. I know. But worth mentioning. Next time you are sewing, it would be worth paying attention to whether or not you are clenching your teeth, because, you know, tooth sensitivity sucks.

That's all I really wanted to say. But, I do have to ask: do you have any bad sewing-related habits? I can't be the only one!


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Crazy Dog Lady Challenge: The Finale, Part III (or WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!)

Hey there everyone! I bet you are all as excited as I am to see who the Random Number Generator Gods have picked for the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge winners.
(Not to mention ALL. THE. GIFS.)

Before I get into the good stuff, I want to say a big, huge, ginormous thank you to:

1. All of our amazing sponsors. Seriously, you are all so awesome. My cheeks hurt from smiling each time one of you said, "Yeah, we'd love to help out!" Please do yourself a favour and if you don't already frequent these people's shops, check them out (for direct links, click these two posts). All of these people could have easily said no. But they didn't. Hooray!

2. Tanya and Sophie-Lee. You are both two well-known bloggers, and I am just a little guy when it comes to blogging, and yet the both of you have been so helpful and gracious with me throughout this process. I am so grateful that I was able to meet two like-minded ladies from around the world! Thank you for all your help! You both rock!

3. All of YOU! Yes YOU! You all made this possible with your amazing dog lady craziness! It is nice to know that there are others around the world who are as nutty as I am when it comes to fur-babies. Seriously, I showed all the people at work every time a new dog coat or dress was posted. You are all amazing and I am so happy that we are able to offer these prizes for some of you to reward your craziness. My only regret is that we can't send you all something for joining, but then we'd be broke and then how would we buy our fabric?

Okay, now on to what you are all really here for: PRIZES! The Random Number Generator Gods have spoken, and without further adieu, the winners are as follows:

Who gets to take home:
1. a dog paw brooch from MrZhuo
2.  a pattern from By Hand London
3. the linen dog print fabric from Grey's
4. a Fox and Hound shirt from Grey's
5. a package from Riley Blake Designs that includes: a designer fat quarter bundle, a basic variety Rolie Polie, a basic variety 7" square Stacker, and a Floriography 5" square Stacker

Who gets to take home:
1. a Dachshund dog brooch from nettimadeit
2. a pattern of their choice from Sewaholic Patterns
3. a custom dog embroidered needle case from kerso
4. a package from Riley Blake Designs that includes: a designer fat quarter bundle, a basic variety Rolie Polie, a basic variety 7" square Stacker, and a Floriography 5" square Stacker

Who gets to take home:
1. a dog brooch from MrZhuo
2. a pattern from By Hand London
3. a pattern from Bluegingerdoll Patterns
4. a package from Riley Blake Designs that includes: a designer fat quarter bundle, a basic variety Rolie Polie, a basic variety 7" square Stacker, and a Floriography 5" square Stacker

Who gets to take home:
1. a $50 gift card to Michael Levine, Inc.
2. a doggy prize pack from G Marie Sews

And that is it everyone! If you are a winner, please contact us via e-mail (click here), so that we can either start shipping your goodies, or get you in touch with the people who need to ship your goodies.

Thank you again for participating! Toodles :)


Thursday, 26 March 2015

One Day I'll Get This Timing Thing Down.....a.k.a. Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge Dress!!!

Holla! How are you? I've had a very crazy two weeks over here and am very much looking forward to this weekend. As for this dress, I'm only just over a week late, and technically, I'm not completely done because I haven't slip-stitched the lining down but I already wore this to work today so I count it as good enough for pictures. And like I've said before, since I can't win anything anyways, it's not really a huge deal (to me at least!).
I made this up in Simplicity 1873, just like my pink fruity-floral muslin, with the only changes being that I changed the shape of the arm holes slightly so that they don't rub like my previous version(s), I didn't make the skirt as fully gathered, and I lowered the hemline to just below the knee instead of just above like I normally do. That's it! 
I really wanted in-seam pockets, but by the time I finally got around to sewing the skirt, I knew I wouldn't have time to pattern match, and I knew that if it wasn't matched, I might go a little mad. So, just as with my muslin, I settled for a patch pocket. At first I wanted to make a bone shaped patch pocket. But then, I thought, there is potential that it may not turn out looking like a bone, but rather, something inappropriate (a penis), and seeing as I work in high school, that might not be a very good idea. So, after a quick search on Pinterest, I found a dog-shaped pocket and decided I would try to wing it.
I decided to try to make it blend in in case it looked like crap. Unfortunately, because I was winging it, a few parts got weirdly stretched out. Fortunately, because I made it (mostly) match up, unless I point it out to you, you can't really tell.
I also made a little bandanna for Harley to go with all the other ones he already has kickin' around the house. We actually like to put it partially on his head and call to him saying, "Awwww! Look at the babushka lady! Look at the babushka lady!!!!"
I am pretty proud with how far my skills in pattern matching have come, though I have to say that when I am off by thismuch, it makes me a little twitchy.
The skirt is matched really well, but I get twitchy when I look at the bodice too close.
Also, there totally is a hook and eye there but I just didn't do it up. Whateva! I do what I want!

I kind of think I look like an elementary art teacher in this, especially with the blue button up underneath, but I went ahead and wore it this way to work anyways. Overall I'm really happy with how the dress turned out and can't wait to wear it without the button up once the weather warms up (which it never will). I've only worn it one day and already have gotten compliments from everyone I come across! There is something to be said for unique fabric designs. Thank you whoever introduced me to Spoonflower!
Not much else to say, really except how amazing everyone's makes for the challenge were! If you haven't had a chance, go to the flickr group and check them out....OR EVEN BETTER!!! check out Tanya's finale part one, and Sophie's finale part two. And be sure to check back here on Saturday to find out who won our four amazing prize packs (if you need a refresher on prizes, see here and here).
Yes, we are listening.
Final note: at the end of every post, if you hadn't noticed, I always try to post a link. Click it today, you won't be disappointed. Anywho, can't wait to see you back here on Saturday! Have a great Friday! :)