Tag Archives: mistakes

A Golden Pick-Axe

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A Golden Pick-Axe

lemons are for licking

My little E is possibly more obsessed than his brother with mine craft. He plays “pretend MineCraft” on a daily basis assigning diamond armor and golden pick-axes to me as we walk threw our day. While I was sewing up K’s Creeper Shorts, E started telling me what he wanted on his. A golden pick-ax

lemons are for licking

The pattern again is clean slate pants by blank slate patterns. For E’s shorts I used a straight up size 5 in width and length, sewn up with the front pocket option. The size fits him well. The material is from the stash again, its actually the accent material from K’s MindCraft shorts. The little square pattern works so well in this theme.  The applique material is jersey knit from the stash, its actually queen size jersey knit sheets I grabbed from Jysk on clearance.

lemons are for licking

Jersey knit posses some challenges when using it as an applique, its too bad I didn’t have any suitable fabric in anything other than this oober stretchy knit.  (You can read my applique tips in the previous post here,) the biggest issue is usually warping of fabric, and jersey makes that trickier because it is so stretchy. To help with this I used fusible interfacing on the main brown fabric to make it  hold its shape better. I added it before cutting out the ax, and in hind sight I should have for the light brown too, with all those tight snips. But at the time I was worried it would make the entire thing too bulky and thick.

lemons are for licking

The whole thing ended up being bigger than first imagined, because the pick-ax is designed on an angle, in order to cut it all out and make it sew-able I had to increase the size. It was a tricky one too, and I’m a bit unsatisfied with it.

lemons are for licking

golden pick ax

I mean its totally recognizable and cute, but its a bit warped and sloppy looking. Part of he problem was that it is designed on the angle and I didn’t think about that until cutting out the light brown. I  had to add a bit of overlap  or end up with 9 light brown squares. The on the fly cutting did not turn out well 😦 and the sewing together compounded it … so the middle is pretty warped.

lemons are for licking

see it the flap is not over the zipper

lemons are for licking

so i sort of fixed it

 

 

 

There is one other error on this project and its the zipper fly. This is only my second fly so I’m not too sure what happened. There is no real flap over the zipper. I must have mis-aligned something, even though I was following the tutorial I managed to goof. But hey its all apart of learning new stuff right !?  I fixed it by messing with the waist a bit manipulating the fabric so that it had a bit of a pleat thing, that could sort of pass as a regular fly (couldn’t explain it if I tried)

lemons are for licking

 

No one will notice that zipper anyway, everyone will be checking out the fabulous top stitching in golden thread 

And you all know what matters most ! That the boy will not take them off ! He is so excited and loves them so much.

lemons are for licking

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First batch of Soap at Home

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Now if you’ve been reading along for any amount of time, you probably know that I share my follies right along side with my victories.   And as much as I am excited about becoming a soap-a-teer (yep I just made that up) it does not make me good at it 😉 This first batch was definitely a learning experience. It all seemed straight forward when I had Rene from Karma Suds at my side giving me step by step instructions. However on my own was a bit trickier

Now I had bought myself cute scale, and had all my new soap making ingredients set up, (if you want more information about how it all works click here) Spent a few days thinking about my recipe and what I was going to make. I decided on a coconut and olive oil based soap, with green swirls of  olive leaf extract and blue swirls of organic colour. I chose the essential oils of neroli and jasmine – I know fabulous right ?!

making soap with lemons are for licking

Now one of the great things about customizing your own soap recipe is you get to add little extras, like shea butter or an exfoliant. For this batch I chose avocado oil, it’s so great for the skin and we are heading into those hot days of the beach where we might like a bit of vitamin A  n’ E and more moisture. Great idea but also part of where I had my learning moment.

making soap with lemons are for licking

When taking the soap to “trace” I got a bit over excited and I think I added my avocado oil a bit too soon, my lovely soap stopped thickening. And was loosing heat instead of building heat in the reaction that takes place when you make soap – saponification

In a panic I reheated the batch on the stove. I was really worried that I had messed it up beyond repair and would have to start all over 😦

Bringing it back up to temperature did kick-start the magic again. I got it in my mold cleaned up and went to bed.

The next day when I removed my pretty cake of soap from the mold, it was so lovely to behold….But it was kinda soft and oily looking and well just not quite right.

making soap with lemons are for licking

beautiful to look at but odd and oily

After a few e-mails to my teacher and checking of my recipe, it was concluded that I over oiled (or under lyed) my soap. Its pretty  likely that I went wrong with the math of my lye solution, or by adding my avocado oil too early I  threw off the balance of the reaction.

making soap with lemons are for licking

can you see the odd texture?

 The good news is that it will be usable but soft and possibly mushy if left in the kids bath. It takes about 6 weeks to cure all the way so I will soon know how usable this batch is.

making soap with lemons are for licking

extreme close -up

Its all about the journey here in my lemony home, I’ve started thinking of the next batch already.

P.S.

  It took me a few weeks to get this out, and you know what? My weird soft soap is usable ! I think it would melt away quite fast if left in the shower, but its great for in the kitchen where I wash my hands like a zillion times a day.

 

 

 

Little Black Shirt

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I seem to have this on again off again flow to my sewing in the last while, and right now its on again. I have been puttering away at a few new shirts for myself. This one is another self drafted T-shirt, its a copy of a favorite of my wardrobe that is really looking worse for the wear.

the original

the original

new lil' black shirt

new lil’ black shirt

 

The material is made from a yummy knit I found in a remnant bin., It feels like a bamboo or cotton with spandex blend, or something oober soft and has a tun of stretch. I tell ya the Sundrop Studio in my town had got the best stuff in the discount bin, a lot of the fabrics are from really wide bolts too so there is a lot to work with.

The design is really basic a T-shirt with a cap sleeve and a bit of flair in the neckline. What I loved about the mother shirt is the neckline and colours. I tried to copy the cute neckline but it didn’t turn out 😦 so instead I tacked it up and made a keyhole neck line. The result is cute but not planned. I guess we call those things ‘happy acidents.’ And its part of my sewing adventure these things that go a bit wonky.

There is nothing to do about coping the colours though, black material was calling from the fabric stash, so its a black shirt lol. It needed a little something to add a bit of interest, enter contrasting thread.  I sort of have this thing with contrasting threads and the funny stitches all our machines have that no one uses. Using green thread I over stitched the shoulder seams. And then another stitch for the sleeve and hem.

blshirt

oooo contrast thread

 

As always since I’m long I added length so that the shirt hits where I like it, however I had a not so happy accident along the hemline. Serging the hem was a mess, the stretch of the fabric (i think?) made the stitching go all wonky, the tension was all wrong so the over-loops were all loose, I realigned the fabric and tried again…the result was no better. I mussed with it got frustrated, well when I looked at it it was all crooked and worse I had eaten up the nice long waistline. See I wanted this a little touch of contrasting thread in the hemline with the serger, and instead I ended up with a shirt that is few inches shorter than I like. In the attempt to salvage the shirt, I did a basic fold over hem, it is not strait at all, and really quite sad. Instead of a contrasting serged edge it is over stitched like the sleeve hem, and it looks fine done like that. Wished I had stopped my war with the serger sooner…sigh…then the hem would at least be strait.

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

So here is to honest sewing and learning as we go. I’ll still wear my imperfect creation, the hem can be camouflaged, the neckline is cute.

blshirt5

cute little turtle pants

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These cute little pants were started as part of Kids cloths week, and were almost completed. All that was left was the pant leg hem and the front snap. And I procrastinated about a month. This pair is for my youngest E. I wanted to use up some of this great seersucker fabric I bought way back when both boys were smaller. Its so cute with stripes and little turtles. The fabric seems a bit too baby sweet for my big kindergarten boy. But little E can still pull it off. The seersucker is also nice and light, perfect to take him threw spring and and into summer.

Eturtle

The pattern was clean slate pants from blank slate patterns. Melly’s patterns are just great, I find it really easy to size both my kids with her patterns. I cannot remember what size I did these in…..oh well it matched his measurements what ever it was. There was some on the fly inspiration while sewing them up. Most likely due to all the KCW posts and shares going on. I decided to add a pull tie on the leg so the pants can become capri pants.

rolled down

rolled down

rolled up

rolled up

In thought this was pretty simple, as I’ve done it to a shirt before. I did run into a few snaggs.

I did all the work for the gathering pulls before I sewed up the inseam to the pants. Good idea right, strait lines no fighting with pant leg, wiggling it onto the machine. You get the idea.

I made the ties out of scrap. And attached a rectangle scrap to the inside of the pant  leg as a casing for the tie.

ETgather3See nice strait easy sewing. What I didn’t consider was hemming. And that is why these cute little turtle pants sat on the sewing desk for a month or so. My cool idea made serging and hemming the cuff kinda yukky. the tie casing was right in the way.  What I ended up doing was just serging the pant legs and not hemming at all. It felt like way too much work to move the casing or even shortening it. So next time I do this I’ll move the casing up, so that it ends an inch or so above where the hem will be, instead of right at the hem line.

ETgather2And the truth is there are a few more sewing errors in these pants. Did you notice that the turtles are upside down, on the front and not on the back, yep I messed up when cutting out my pieces. I chose not to worry about it 😀

The other alteration I did was to put in an adjustable waistband. If you have never tried this do it ! you can buy the button hole elastic everywhere. it makes flat front pants so easy to fit. I use my button hole foot on my machine for the hole in the waistband, and hand sew the button on.

Eturtlebutton

So there they are the cutest little turtle pants, mishaps and all.

Eturtle4

"mom is my face in there?"

“mom is my face in there?”

 

 

 

 

 

colour blocked maxi dress

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With summer comes summer dresses.

I’ve been checking out the 30 days of summer over at Melly Sews, if you haven’t had a peek you really should. I was got all inspired as I usually do when clicking threw blogs. But it was actually my teen who convinced me to make a maxi length sundress. We were out at target, I was still on the fence with the whole trend. I tend to get a bit stuck in  the familiar….and on the hangers the maxi dresses all look a bit like a granny nightie. Well she made me try 6 different dresses, and by the end of our little shopping trip I was ready to make one.

maxi1

The bodice was drafted off of a tank top, and the skirt loosely followed a tutorial put up by Melly Sews for a maxi dress (find it here). The hi-low hem is a trend I like, it feels all fun and rompy.

Because I was copying the bodice off an existing shirt  and needed to free hand the skirt, I cut the bodice out first. BIG mistake do not do this to your lovely thin silky jersey knit you got on sale. Because if you do you will not have enough material left to make a skirt ! even a neat hi-low skirt ! A impromptu trip to the fabric store got me nowhere cuz the bolt was sold out ( ok not totally nowhere there was new stuff on the sale table … reminder to self go check for more sale knits this week) that is when my maxi dress turned into a colour block maxi dress yay!!  Colour block to the rescue !!

maxispin

Thankfully even with all the chaos the dress turned out

And its fun to twirl in !

maxispun