Tag Archives: sewing

re-usable baggies

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My middle guy started kindergarten this year, and that means packing lunches. We now go threw so many sandwich baggies its crazy. My enviro guilt has been getting to me. The solution…home made re-usable baggies.

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The pattern is self drafted by copying a zip lock. Instead of a zipper there is velcro. The fabric is PUL. If you’ve never heard of PUL, its this awesome stuff used to make cloth diapers, totally water proof and washable and durable. But a bit of a grump to work with, the laminated side doesn’t always feed nice into your machine and can get all gathered. So go slow and take your time.

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I did experiment a bit with the closures, mostly its velcro but a few have elastic and snaps (like my fat tiny one.) Any excuse to use my snap press.

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The baggies came together so quick why stop at 2 …. and lets try varying the size a bit. Then I got really wild and varied the pattern, using scraps to do a little baggie with a bottom so its nice and fat.

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I will most likely use the snap ooga booga baggies myself, for veggie snacks at work 🙂 The little one is perfect for fish crackers, and I’ve already used it to take a few tea bags to work. The boys (and Mr. Lemon too) prefer the robots. The bigger ones were made with sandwiches in mind.

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“Gahstly” scrubs

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These new scrubs were made for the beginning of October and finally blogged now. The material was bought last year with the plan to make scrubs for work. Its from Alexander Henry called ‘the Ghastlies,’ the whole collection is right up my alley, I just love everything ghoulish and spooky. Great restrain was used to not make them in the middle of summer. Now that it is ( ok was when I started this project and post ) the dark creepy time of year when we scare little children 😛 I can wear these to work. scrub

They came together quickly, having been cut out months ago it was just a matter of whipping them up. Great care was taken to choose a fun character for the pockets.

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The detail of black ribbon was added to the pockets and sleeves. The V neck is also lined with ribbon, it was faster than doing the neck line all proper like (short cuts make me happy) and added a nice shiny pop. All it took was a bit of ironing lengthwise like bias tape, and sewing it in the same way as finishing any hem with bias tape.

Taking a leap of faith in my skill to sew straight I did the side seams on the serger. That’s right, big step for me ! Betty (my aged serger) had a few tension issues that I was unaware of at the time. So the seams ended up looking like this ….scrub5I just left it, deciding that it added to the creepy feel, like Sally from the nightmare before Christmas.

Oh I couldn’t end this post with ut sharing the thread spaz my regular machine had (jelous of Betty ? Could be….)

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So I love my new scrubs and have worn them a few times this season, and like the skull ones I made ( hmm and never blogged) will most likely get worn year round. So here is one last photo in my dirty bathroom mirror lol

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tis the saeson to be scary

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I love this time of year! Halloween is my favorite! And also a big part of why I sew. Before the blog and all this great online stuff, i would pull the sewing machine out of make costumes for my daughter. I made some for myself as well over the years.

It is great because the creation only had to stay together for one fantastic night.

No Finishing ! No Ironing !

You can fix bad lines with a safety pin !

Hot glue is also aloud 😛

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This year I have  a few projects on the go. My own as well as Mr. Lemons are done as we had a Halloween Party to go to on friday. So the last bit of hot glue dried at 3pm and lapels were pinned in place as we were grabbing keys.

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The great thing about our design this year, is it is mostly embellished garments. Mr. Lemons suit jacket with tail started as a 2nd hand trench coat.

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His ruffled shirt is a dress shirt that he owns, embellished with two layers of ruffles. Lace over a sheer white from the scrap bin at the fabric store. It will be easy enough to rip the seams out after the season is over. ( I have certainly ripped out much better sewn and surged seams in the past lol)

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My own top was a tough for me. I just couldn’t decide what to do. I knew I was going to pair my skull corset (bought years ago) with the new skirt. I spent a lot of time looking at Victorian cloths. There was a shirt in the up-cycle pile that I could manipulate and change up. I tried horizontal pleating…ugg. Then shirring …ugg. I added the ruffle and pulled the shirt into an off the shoulder. It worked but was not quite cohesive with the tailored box pleats of the skirt. Back to the inspiration board. And the oober ruffled sleeves were born. I really love them.

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My skirt was made out of a couple of 2nd hand mens shirts. I used the natural shirt tail to make the train. And love how it turned out. the box plaits were a much easier than I thought. I used a tone of spray starch and they are by no means totally uniform, but hey its halloween 😉

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We called our costume “Til Death Do us part” and had a blast at our party !! I’m hoping to get the kids costumes done and blogged in time for All Hallows Eve !

hall5Happy Haunting !!

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.

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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 !!

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Thankfully even with all the chaos the dress turned out

And its fun to twirl in !

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one great pant deserves another

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Last week I blogged a new pair of pants for lil’ E (you can see them here) and so this week we have a pair for Mr K. These boys of mine are just growing so fast, that the pants drawers are looking quite empty lately. K has requested comfy pants.

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I used the basic kid pant by Dana of Made, she is celebrating the boy all week long, check what that is all about here. I lengthened the pattern to fit my tall guy and kept the pant leg strait.

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The fabric is a sport grade type fabric that athletic shorts  and golf shirts and stuff is made of. I grabbed it out of a remnants bin. Its too light weight for winter in Vancouver so I lined the pants with a yummy soft flannel I forgot I had. The trim and knee pads are from a too small golf shirt. bluepantsjump

I never got a shot of it but the pants have a waistband in the dark blue as well. K loves the soft flannel and movability of them.

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A few days after they were finished he asked “when are you making me some green ones?” lol looks like i need to get myself some green fabric!

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one last attempt to show the lining fabric

Leggings

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I’ve been wanting to make leggings for while now. Ever since October when I made a wonder woman costume. (the blog was under a different name then) the fabric was this awesome 4 way stretch lycra. I was amazed how fast they came together, and wanted more! I new I needed a better fit than the halloween wear for one day fit.

Then the other day I stumbled across this great post about drafting custom leggings.  It’s a great sewing with knits series;  by Mad Mim and One Little Minute; so do check it out. They cover t-shirt drafting and all kinds of great stuff, think this series will become a go to for me.

Part of my new years resolution ( as you may know if you’ve been following ) is to learn how to use my mom’s old serger that she gifted to me. Leggings are a perfect project, as the overlock stitch will help keep the stretchy seams intact. I had some thread breaking issues again. Do you know if thread wears out? I also re-threaded just threw the tension disks. By making slack, unthreading and then re-threading threw. I wonder if there is little bits of dust in there….anyway

Due to theleggingoops stretchiness of the fabric I needed to play a bit with the fit. I also had this disaster occur  with the waistband lol  but hey its all about the learning curve here in the lemon bowl. And my serger is a steep curve 🙂 I wasn’t able to nicely serge on the waistband, as I have not yet mastered the stretching of fabric threw Betty’s feed dogs. If you look close you will also see that I sewed wrong to write side lol. After ripping it out  I sewed it on my good old regular machine, then finished the edge.

Any way I whipped them up in 3 short sewing sessions (including the pattern draft and fixing ). And like them more than some of  my store bought due to the weight of the fabric. I would really love to try this in a light interlock. How yummy would that be.

The photos were taken on the second day in a row of wearing them, and they are still looking snug and nice. I still want to tweak the fit for next time, I want them just a tad tighter threw the top of the thigh and a bit shorter back rise. Also I some how made them way too long 😛 I do really like the fit threw the calf and knee. That was were the halloween costume was almost cutting off circulation.

I’ll leave you with this photo cuz I think its funny how long the legging are. They will probably stay too long for a while, I get all stressed thinking of cutting them, for fear they will be lop sided.

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A great little bag

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For some time now I have needed a small bag to put my wallet, phone and essentials in. That way I can easily transfer everything back and forth from my mom bag to my work bag. And now that baby E is now over 2, I can take a smaller bag with me on errands, leaving the big diaper and snack tote in the mom mobile.

It needs to be a bit bigger than a clutch but not too big….you see the dilemma. So I decided to make one.

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The insperasion bags are a make-up bag, small shopping tote and a lululemon bag. The idea is to copy the shape of the make-up bag to the width and depth of the shopping totes. I chose a hight that looked balanced based on the width. One key element is to keep it small enough to avoid receipts and paper bits having babies filling my bag with random junk.

I wanted to make a really square design, like a mini tote. It took ,me a bit to figure out the construction. Click here for a mini tutorial. The photos are mostly of the lining (ya sometimes pictures are still an after thought)

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The fabrics are all from my stash. The main one is my old curtains. Then 2 prints of Michael Miller’s knit pirates and quilt pirates; and lastly the lining is left over bits I had of Robery Kaufman’s the lorax. I used mid weight fusible interfacing, to give the bag some stability.

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I just love a bright lining in a purse, it keeps it from becoming  baginsidefulla black hole that swallows chap stick and keys.The inside pockets are elastisized. I kept them small to keep organized. Also there are little pen holders that can double for lip gloss.

The outside large pocket is more just for show.The side one holds my phone. The strap is detachable (any excuse to use the snap press.) The seams are all properly serger too. And no major hair pull out moments using “betty” the serger.

So there you have it my awesome little bag. It fits perfectly in the packed mom tote, among the cups diapers and snacks.

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The Adventure Begins

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Well I cracked into the serger today. (My wonderful Mom gifted me our old one) It has the manual, and a couple of books about about decorative overclock stitching. Other than being a bit dusty it seemed in great shape.betty Sadly I remembered nothing from past together, it has been *cough twenty *cough years or so since I used it last.

And thank the Gods it was still threaded!

I decided to oil her up, since she has been retired for many years. I was even able to change the thread colour. The manual taught me a great little trick; you cut the old thread off by the spools and tie the desired colour to the old one. Then pull the tread threw the machines’ loopy tricky parts, only re-threading the needles. It’s kinda tricky but way easier than a complete re-threading.

So all in all I got her working. Finding the right tension was crazy!! The thread to needle # 2, the one involved in the over-locking broke like 15 times. I wish this was and exaggeration. It was so very frustrating I couldn’t get more than a cm sewn and that same thread would bust again. I must have looked crazed, I could feel that woman against machine thing.  I couldn’t walk away or call it quits till I had it working. I looked up at one point from the 10 or so threading of the same needle to see this… too funny!

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At least I got her working, there are still lots of kinks to work out, the tension thing will be ongoing I think.  I’m starting to think after using the serger over the past few days that the numbers are completely arbitrary, I need to just sew with her to find the magic spot on each dial.  Also she has a name now…Betty. She is old but still works and is a bit temperamental, also she hates to drive fast.

I’m pretty excited to use Betty in my next few projects, it seems nerdy but I am. The excitement makes the frustration bearable.