Recently in Sew - A Needle Pulling Thread Category

She Finally Painted Those Baseboards

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I did! What I had planned to do before my mother came at Christmas has been done in this past month. I painted the baseboards and the window frames in my kitchen. Finally!
Sometimes I cook on the woodstove. Why waste electricity?

Look at those pretty white baseboards!
Not only did I do the painting but I have managed to also complete one set of curtains for my windows.
See the unpainted things that never got painted at Christmas?

Looky there! Curtains!
These curtains are a project I have worried over for almost two years. Yes, two entire years. I flipped flopped on the curtain/no curtain issue many times not wanting to put up a curtain that would close in the room and block out the wonderful sunlight this room gets all day long. I purchased this fabric online a month or two after we moved into this house. It was always earmarked for curtains. Either in my kitchen or my bedroom. The kitchen won. It is a great toile print of a barnyard scene with an old red bard and rooster. Although I had ordered 10 yards of the fabric there was not enough for two windows of this size and the smaller window at the end of the kitchen. Nice. Because this print is out of stock. It is a two year old print that has long been gone. I have wanted in some way to have gingham in the kitchen but I didn't want to go overboard and look like a barn dance in here. So I thought about it alot. I looked through thousands of patterns for curtains and draperies. It wasn't until recently that I was inspired by a designer kitchen advertisement to make the curtains you now see. Not too much gingham. The perfect matching crimson. Nice fabric for draperies. The first set I made I lined them. The lining blocked out too much of the sunlight. I do not want this kitchen to be dim. I like it flooded in natural sunlight. So I ripped out the lining and remade the curtains without it. I like the look of the yellow walls, red accents and white trim in this room. The appliances are stainless steel with black trim. I have begun to add black and cast iron things to the room to flesh it out. The heavy black cast iron is a great contrast to the more feminine white ceramic pieces and china in the room. I never planned to paint those cabinets white. It was sort of a last chance to have a nice looking kitchen without the expense of new cabinets. These are just too good of shape to toss for the sake of cosmetic wants. I never planned to paint the walls yellow. I never had a color in mind but yellow just wasn't one of my choices. One day I saw a yellow cloth given as a gift in something when Steven was born. My brain said paint the kitchen that color. And so we did. Last July. The black granite of the countertops was simply what was available without a special order. The price was right. The white cabinets and black countertops deemed the black hardware the wiser choice. I chose them online based solely on price. I think they work. With the brick red floors I already had a lot of red accents. The rugs and towels, the wall plates, the roosters and painted sign. As things began to come together I realized the little sofa was red with yellow(ish) and black plaid stripes. It just works without any conscious effort on my part. Eveything is really beginning to come together after alot of hard work. I am really beginning to see and feel the room as a part of the house and not as an addition without much thought to the rest of the house. This has been a long time in coming. I started painting the cabinets (3 coats of primer 2 coats of paint) and continued on when Steven was just a newborn. I have progressed over the past year slowly. Very slow. My infant grew into a giggly baby and then into a busy toddler and now a non-stop very active little boy. Meaning it took me this long because instead of painting from the bottom up I painted from the top down. Little people under three feet tall do not listen to you when you tell them not to touch the wet paint on the baseboards. I suppose you already knew that. I should have. Speaking of which ...
Steven, 14 months old
His smile pretty much says it all.
The above is a pattern front for a 1930's pattern. It is called the kitchenette Pajama. I want to make a pair. I want to make a nice pair. Maybe out of fine linen, handkerchief linen. Maybe a lovely rayon for wash and wear durability. But I don't necessarily want to wear it as kitchen or house wear. What do you think? Would you wear it? Would you wear it out of the house?
Thank you for supporting me again with the sale of my bags. They are all sold and I am working on another grouping of colors. Look for them next week.

Wrap Skirt

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Remember those cute little skirts that wrapped around your waist and tied with a simple and quick bow at your hip? Sometimes they had a button on the waist instead of a tie? Yeah, those skirts. The really cute ones. I have made the girls a few to have something different to wear to church. You can make one in about an hour without a special pattern. Here is how to get a custom fit perfect for your height and your hips and waist line. Measure your waist. Let's say your waist is 30 inches. Take your measurement of 30 inches and add half to itself. 30 inches + 15 inches = 45 inches Now we need to figure the proper ratio of waist to hem. For the waistline we will multiply by 30%. 45inches x .3 = 13.5 (round up to 14 inches). Now let's figure the hem line by multiplying by 40%. 45 inches x .4 = 18 inches. Next is how long do you want your skirt? Shall it hit you at just above your knee or just below your knee? Measure from your waist to where you want your skirt to fall. In the deeper south we tend to wear our skirts much longer. For simplicity sake let's say you want your skirt to be 27 inches long. So we have three numbers. 14, 18 and 27. Let's add 3 inches to each number so we can account for seam allowance, waist band and hem. Our measurements become 17 inches, 21 inches and 30 inches. How will we make a skirt from just some numbers? Get out a piece of newspaper and a ruler and marking pen. Let's transfer those meaurements to newspaper to have something to work from. It is easiest to work from the centerfold of the paper.
It is not as hard as it may seem. You can draw this out on newspaper in just a matter of a couple of minutes.
Now that you have drawn your pattern, cut it out along the lines. Pin it to your pre-washed and ironed fabric and cut out 3 identical pieces.
With wrong sides together sew the side seams. With your iron press the seams open, nice and flat. While at the iron go ahead and fold over a the raw edges of your skirt on both sides (about 1/4 inch). Fold over again to hide those raw edges about 1/2 inch. Carefully run a seam along the inside folded edge on both ends of the skirt.
Next, go back to the iron and fold over a scant 1/4 at the waist and press it flat. Now fold over another inch and press that flat as well. This will form your wasitband. Stitch along the inner fold in a straight fine seam. At this point you can use ribbons or buttons to secure your skirt at your waist. You can also cut a thin strip of your fabric and create a tie belt. I usually cut a matching strip of fabric. It is easiest and the least expensive. If I have a spare button I might use it. It just depends on what I have available in my sewing box.
Add a simple button hole on the right side near the side seam for the tie to pass through and wrap around your back. Hem the bottom edge. In about an hour you have a nice new skirt. This pattern will work for any shape and size woman or girl. It is perfect for spring and summer. Many light weight fabrics are available on discount tables for often as little as $1 per yard. You could reasonably make a skirt for about $2 and your time. Most any fabric will work. But make sure your pre-wash it so that if it shrinks you won't have a too small skirt after you have taken the time to make it. This skirt look great paired with a simple T-shirt and a pair of sandles or cute slides. You can dress it up with a crisp light blouse as well. If you make one the next one will be even easier. Think of the cute wardrobe you could make over a weekend. Think how everyone will be asking you where you found such a cute skirt and you can say with pride, "I made it myself!" Today is Wednesday. Take a few minutes this evening and make the pattern. 15 minutes maybe. Thursday pick up about 2 yards of fabric. Maybe more if you want a longer skirt or you are a bigger girl. 30 minutes - it takes time to decide on the fabric! Also decide if you want a button or a tie. Friday lay out your fabric and pattern and cut the three pieces out. 15 minutes, tops. Saturday do the sewing. Remember, just sewing simple straight lines. Voile. You are finished. It hasn't taken much time. You haven't worried or stressed over it. You spent just a few minutes on the preparations. You didn't become frustrated and ready to throw it away. You didn't become overwealmed because you took each task one at a time. You can make another one with confidence and probably do it all in one sitting. Now, go forth and be creative. Then come back and show us what you are going to be wearing. :-) I made this one last night for Gracie. I timed myself. Start to finish 42 minutes. It might take you longer but once you get the hang of it you can whip out a skirt in no time flat.
Gracie was upset that she could not have one of the bags I had made. I used the scraps and pieced a much smaller bag for her. This size would work great for a lunchbag for those who carry their lunch to work.
**Diagrams are copyright

Sewing Projects

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March is craft month. Lots of people have been getting crafty. I do not consider myself a crafter. Sewing and whatnot has never been a hobby. Since I learned to sew as a pre-teen I have been making clothing and other items for myself and family and friends. At one point it was a neccesity to sew. I made all of my girls dresses when they were little. It is when children grow up that the cost of making a dress vs. buying one comes into the picture and often it is more cost wise to buy an item than to try and make it. But still I persist and run across a great bargain on fabrics and make my girls a dress or skirt or blouse or vest or whatever they want at the moment. Or I quilt and sew other things. I was looking in a fabric warehouse and ran across a series of retro prints that caught my attention. They beckoned me hither.
I looked at the price tag and shivered. Even at a discount they were a bit pricey. They each whispered to me in a symphony of voices to take them home. Singing sweetly in my ear trying to seduce me with their beauty. When that didn't melt my steel belted heart they began begging and pleading and crying out for me to please bring them to a warm and loving home where they could be turned into something beautiful and interesting and begin to serve a purpose. So I did. The fabrics have become something useful with a purpose. I have put together a new series of my bags. Each one is different. No two are exactly alike. Each is fully lined. Measuring approx. 16x12x8. It has been a year or longer since I have put together a new color pallet for my AngiePangie bags. I thought I would offer them here to my readers first. Each bag is hand cut, stitched and assembled by me and my sewing machine. If you have an interest email me with the bag number (1 - 8) of your choice in the title please. I'll send you the paypal information to purchase one. Each bag is $22.50 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. I am offering them at cost of the fabrics and nothing more. Each bag is hand pieced and cut. This is a patchwork bag. It is not printed in patchwork. I pieced them myself to get a custom one of a kind look. The fabric is 7oz cotton duck. Very durable.
Bag #1
Bag #2
Bag #3
Bag #4
Bag #5
Bag #6
Bag #7
Bag #8
Each bag is fully reversable offering two bags in completely different looks.
None of the reverse interiors are exactly the same.
These bags are a great size for crochet/knitting projects, a diaper bag, as a beach bag, a handbag, a pajama/overnight bag for kids, a tote, a gift bag -so many uses. Actually they are a versitile bag that can serve many purposes and needs. These bags are with us women in mind, to use as we choose or need.
This is a gallon sized pitcher to show the roomy size of the bag. Big, but not too big.
The bags open fully and have a squared bottom.
The bottom measures approx. 8 inches across.
Each of the girls have one in fabrics that reflect their personalities and they use them to haul their libarary books back and forth. I use one as a light diaper bag now that Steven is out of that baby stage that requires everything and a kitchen sink to walk out of the house. This bag is a bag we made way back in the stone age days of Home Ec in junior high. We each made a bag so as to have something useful and durable to carry our future projects back and forth to school in. I have modified it a bit and adjusted the size (because size matters). I can make a larger or smaller bag if anyone is interested in a custom bag. So, since the sewing bug has bitten me you can see what I have been up to the last week or so.
Oh, that and being busy with church, guitar lessons, head colds and a teething baby, repotting houseplants, sewing a few seeds for fresh kitchen herbs and getting things in order for my spring garden. It is busy days around here now. We have put in a few blueberry bushes, three fig trees and I have pruned and tied the grape vines. Spring is coming! Can you hear it?
Although you wouldn't know it here if you spent last week enjoying 80 degree days and then suddenly it begins to rain, turns stone cold, sleets and then coveres everything in snow! What is your talent and why do you hide it under a bushel?

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