Thursday, January 7, 2021

2020 Blessings-She's a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

2020 brought me someone new to love, my granddaughter. 


Amazingly she was born on Independence Day! A regular Yankee Doodle Dandy!

I've been doing lots of sewing, including the blanket you see in the photo. 

I'm also updating this blog. Stay tuned for that and more posts of my latest projects.

Praying for blessings in 2021 for all my dear readers!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2020 Academic Year

Perfectly Planning (2)
Perfectly Planning Homeschool

Are you looking for more out of your high school curriculum? Online courses are a great way for your students to learn how to prepare for deadlines, develop friendships, and improve computer literacy, all without leaving home. HSLDA Online Academy, a division of HSLDA, offers live, interactive courses online as a way to encourage families to continue homeschooling through high school and help them prepare their students for success. The Academy offers 36 different courses in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, History, Government, and more.

Each course is taught from a Christian worldview by experienced, Bible-believing instructors and includes a weekly live, interactive session with the instructor. This session allows students to ask questions about concepts that may be difficult for them to understand on their own, while encouraging accountability and self-discipline, and live sessions are recorded, giving your students the flexibility to catch up on any missed work. Classes are filling up quickly. HSLDA members save $50-$100 on tuition.
Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing PTXVN2G in the "coupon" field.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

One thing about participating in MeMadeMay2020 is that the process of analyzing my wardrobe reminds me that I forgot to post about the sewing process of some of my clothing.

Lost in my closet (and on this blog) has been my yellow gingham embroidered jacket. I've yet to actually wear it. Hopefully I can soon, when things warm up a bit. It's a cool single layer summery jacket.

This is actually a stashbusting project from the summer of 2018. I had already sewn my yellow gingham embroidered dress, and with the remnants I decided to sew a jacket using an old pattern, McCalls 8222. I actually love to wear classic jackets and vests, exactly like the ones in the McCalls 8222 pattern, but up to now the only ones I've owned have been either store bought or yard sale purchased.

I didn't exactly have the right size pieces of remnants for the jacket, so I did as the 18th century...I pieced this jacket.

1-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Below you can see the piecing. It is very even across the front and even in reference to the back...

2-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Inside construction-I zigzagged all the raw edges on my Pfaff. Clipped the curves and pressed seams open. I used a creamy soft cotton for the facings...

3-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Love the back with ties. The ties practically hide the piecing...

4-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

The piecing is revealed as the ties are pulled down a bit.

5-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Hope to model this soon, once the weather warms up! I'm looking forward to using this pattern for more garments. There is so much variety possible. The only change I plan to make, is to make the armscye smaller, since the sleeve cuts into my arm when I raise my arm. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Blue Jean Capri Pants

I sewed my first, and so far only, pair of blue jeans in January 2016. Before cutting into the fabric, I pre-washed the fabric. Nevertheless, the fabric shrunk is subsequent washings after wearing my finished jeans.

So in July 2018 I cut them below the knee to make capris pants. I tapered the leg, although it doesn't seem noticeable.

1-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue Jeans cut down to capris pants and tapered

I created a little slit.
2-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris tapered legs with slit

Here you can see the fashion fabric I used for the pockets.
3-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris with fashion fabric for pocket

And I like the results!
4-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris

This photo was taken for MeMadeMay2020. Follow my diary and social media accounts. All the news here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

On the matter of Cinco de Mayo...and TexMex!

Cinco de Mayo Trivia...

Sept 1821-Mexican independence from Spain

July 1861-Long story short, Mexican President Benito Juarez announced a pause in debt payment to other countries for 2 years. Britain, France, and Spain sent their ships to demand payment. After negotiations Britain and Spain withdrew but France, under the rule of Napoleon III, engaged.

May 5, 1862-Battle of Puebla (one battle of many between France and Mexico) was a decisive win for Mexico, which became a moral boost of patriotism and unity.

1863-France, with 30,000 newly arrived troops, took Mexico City and Maximillian I became emperor.

1865-The United States sent aid to Mexico.

1866-Napoleon III, beleaguered on all sides (and with threat of war looming with Prussia) had his troops retreat. The Mexicans regained Mexico City and executed Maximilian I.
(Paraphrased from History Channel)

Cinco de Mayo is reportedly celebrated more in America than Mexico.

And I like to celebrate by cooking my own TexMex!

Beef Enchiladas2
Beef Enchiladas
Cheese Enchiladas
Cheese Enchiladas
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chili and Quesadilla
Chili and Quesadilla
Crispy Beef Tacos with Nachos
Crispy Beef Tacos with Nachos
Sour Cream Enchiladas
Sour Cream Enchiladas

Monday, May 4, 2020

Me Made May 2020

In this life of great concerns, it is so nice to have a bit of normalcy.

In this life of great concerns, I still need clothes.

In this life of great concerns, I still want to sew.

I have a great stockpile of fabric, supplies, and patterns. This May I'm going to participate in the annual seamstress event, Me Made May, hosted by So, Zo: What do you know? A Sewing Blog.

I like this event as a time to reach out and connect with other seamstresses, as we share the garments that we have sewn and actually wear.

When I'm out and about others are often amazed that I was able to actually sew, alter, or elaborate a particular garment for myself.

Store bought skirt which I shortened, using cut off fabric for ruffles.

And one of my favorite stories is of a young girl in Canada who was inspired by my sewing projects, so she decided to try, herself. Her mom sent me a picture of the "toy" sewing machine her daughter used to whip up a dress to wear to church. She looked great! And she did this on a simple machine! And this was her first project that she excitedly wore! Congratulations!

Zo encourages us to evaluate our wardrobe and not push ourselves too hard in the challenge, but to simply enjoy the process. Wise words!

My goals, which will be posted randomly throughout the month of May, are:
  • I want to connect with other seamstresses. I have much to learn from them.
  • I want to improve my sewing skills, so that I wear more fashions that I enjoy.
  • I'd like to therefore talk about that process.
  • I'd like to share images of myself wearing clothing on instagram (lahbluebonnet) and flickr (lahbluebonnet). And blog about it here. 
May 1
Day one is a chilly day. None of the clothing I have sewn would keep me warm enough, today. However I do wear my robe every morning. Sewing details can be found here.

May 1-Robe
May 2
Another chilly day. I need more blue jeans. Since store bought ones fit me poorly, I want to sew some more for me.

May 4
It was warm enough for me to wear my blue jeans capris pants. The construction details are here.

4-Blue Jean Capri Pants

Sunny Yellow Gingham Embroidered Seersucker Robe edged in Eyelet

From 7-22-2018

While stashbusting a couple of years ago, I found my yellow gingham embroidered seersucker. I decided to make a robe, which I desperately needed. However I didn't have enough for the facing trims, so I pulled out some remnant pieces of eyelet from the 19th century petticoat that is another work-in-progress.

silk robe fabric pattern

For inside ties I found some yellow gingham ribbon in my stash. Instead of following pattern markings, I pinned the ribbons in place while wearing the robe. I turned under the edges and machine stitched one ribbon to the inside front facing at my waistline.

1-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

The other ribbon was likewise stitched to the other side at the side seam at my waistline.

2-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

When they tie together they help ensure the fit.

3-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

I forgot to take pictures when this was first sewn. Nearly 2 years later and this is the condition. It looks like the eyelet shrunk quicker than the seersucker.

4-Yellow Seersucker Robe edge in eyelet

The back...

5-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

Since I wear this every morning, it is one of my MeMadeMay2020 components.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Facemask Tutorial

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to sew a facemask for him so he could enter his office. He's an essential worker, but not medical or food related. He sent me the CDC pattern and instructions which were highly problematic. They only offered one size which was far too small for his face.

So I did some research and made a couple more prototypes until we settled on one he really likes. I like this version too, because I find it the easiest to sew and fit. Also he definitely wanted elastic loops for around the ears.

I suggested I sew the masks out of an old dress shirt of his, and he happily donated a couple. I thought that way he would have a more manly look than my quilting fabric. More importantly, it has a tighter weave than quilting fabric.

We found the best fit for my friend was to start with rectangles that measured 12"x7".  I was able to cut 8 of those squares from each dress shirt, there happen to be three sets of two here.


Because I want to create pockets, inside of which disposable non-fusible interfacing can be inserted and later removed, I stitched a zig-zag stitch on one long side of each fabric piece. This will reduce any fraying when the facemask is tossed into the washing machine. (As you can see in the photo, I didn't actually sew end to end, because the edges will be caught in seams, but it doesn't matter whether this is done or the entire length is zigzag stitched.)


Then I laid them on top of each other, zigzag side at the top.


Then I secured with pins.


Although it is possible to sew one long seam around, I prefer the following method, which I think better strengthens the corners. I sewed a seam on the long side opposite the zigzag stitching. I made 1/4" seams and backstitched at the beginning and the end of this seam, and each of the following seams.


Then I stitched a seam on one short side.


And then the other.


Then I sewed a seam in the left corner.


Finally I sewed a seam in the right corner.


Here is a close up of the backstitching. If this is your first time using a sewing machine, backstitching is where you sew in reverse a few stitches, and then forward secure the stitches.


Then I carefully clipped those corners, without cutting into the seam itself.


Here you can see each of the clipped corners. This will allow the corners to be neater when this is turned inside out. And so that is the next step, to turn inside out. (That is why the one side was zigzag stitched.)


Press. The zigzagged edge should be turned under, which will be easy to do since the fabric will pretty much do that naturally as a result of the seams inside the pocket.


Here you can see the pocket. That is the zigzagged edge near the tip of the scissors. I will not sew this closed. This is to allow the insertion of a non-fusible woven interfacing (I've read this can be a paper towel, kleenex, coffee filter...) because the microbes are so tiny that they can still get through woven cotton. Many medical professionals have advised making this pocket to allow for a third layer to be inserted. The value of a non-woven interfacing is that hopefully microbes can't sneak in through that non-woven. (We're still learning a lot about this as we go, aren't we?)


Next I pleated the fabric into 3 parts. This was difficult, because odd numbers are more difficult to divide than even. So I just kept fiddling with it until it seemed functional. I secured the layers with pins.


Now both sides are secured with pins and ready for the sewing machine.


I sewed each edge down, just to secure the pleats. Lots of directions refer to this as topstitching, which often uses a longer stitch. I didn't worry about that with this project. I just kept the same stitch size throughout. It doesn't hurt anything.


Then I used 1/4" elastic which is so much easier to sew under a sewing machine, than 1/8". My friend has no problem with this behind his ears. And with a more secure stitch he doesn't have to worry about the 1/8" popping. The 6" length recommendation by the CDC was way too small for my friend, as was the teeny tiny fabric recommendation the CDC had. For him we found that 9" long was perfect.


I rolled the edges of the mask over the elastic and pinned in place. (Most often in garment sewing, we sew the seam first then insert the elastic, which is how the CDC recommended, but I found this so much easier.) It also allows for fine tuning the fit to the person who will be wearing the mask.


Because I have a Pfaff sewing machine, sewing this thickness is simple. Pfaffs have an integrated dual feed, which easily handles thickness while keeping everything secure without slippage. I just took my time and it sewed easily.


Now this part gets really fiddly. I just took my time. I overlapped the ends of the elastic, about an inch. Then I carefully placed underneath the foot and dropped the foot. When I had everything lined up, I sewed down the length of the two layers of elastic.


Then I trimmed the threads.


Then I pulled the stitched ends into the newly formed casing. And I finished trimming the threads.


Front Finis!


Back Finis!


And it's a perfect fit for my friend!

For myself I'm using a bandana and hair elastics which I keep stored in a baggie in my tote bag. I've been able to practice social distancing, and my son does all the food shopping. So I haven't used mine yet. My son uses a bandana, tied snugly like he was a cowboy.

Well I never thought in a million years I'd ever sew a facemask. I have a friend in Oregon whose hospital supplied kits with special n95 rated fabrics and such for seamstresses to sew, which I thought was great, since medical staff need the really good stuff!

2020 Blessings-She's a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

2020 brought me someone new to love, my granddaughter.    Amazingly she was born on Independence Day! A regular Yankee Doodle Dandy! I'...