Swan Song

Life Landmarks!

Just passed my fifth anniversary blogging with WordPress. Project Remnant Redo was created to inspire and impel me to keep sewing and crafting by biting off littler pieces of projects to work on, during times of business and obligations. But face it, when do we have an hour that’s NOT filled with business and obligations? Soon the amount of free space I signed up for on this blog will be filled, and to upgrade will cost $$ rather than save $$. Although I’ve made other commitments, I will still be crafting and up cycling and sewing with remnants, but the particular travail of Remnant Redo is about to come to an end.

Being a part of the WordPress Blogging Community has been fun, to say the very least. I’ve enjoyed interactions with all my subscribers and will continue to look for your gems that inspire me in the Reader every day! But in my own creative life, it’s about time to move on…

If and when I segue into another venue to document our creative journeys, I’ll post a link; meanwhile, thanks dear readers, for all the happiness and hi-jinks in the last fun-filled years.

 

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Shifting into Holiday Awareness Gear

Labor Day Weekend is practically upon us. And you know what that means, don’t you?

holiday fabric

holiday fabric stash


Time to plan some sewing projects for gifts.
Tricia, in our knitting group, has been bringing it up for weeks now, and I’m just now getting on the bandwagon.

Hopefully I’ll get to some of the things I’ve intended to make for years. Hopefully the sewing machine doesn’t go on the fritz and put a kibosh on all my sewing for the holidays. I’ll just do what I can do and see where it goes from there.

Meanwhile, I’m almost at the end of week 2 of the new diet and exercise regime, and so far I haven’t blogged about any of the results.

diet book

TYT for short


The diet has definitely sent me into a culture shock. Actually, the whole program, which I joined at the urging of one of my yoga buddies, has made a major difference in day-to-day living.

1) We had to pay to join it, so I feel some accountability to make it work
2) On the first day, they took a 3D image of us that “knows” our measurements. I looked at the image of me in the email they sent and said, “No, that’s not me, that’s some middle-aged fat lady.” But it was exactly me, unfortunately.
3) For the first 2 weeks it’s a 1000 calorie-a-day eating plan.
4) The meal plan is very exact. You don’t make choices out of millions of things that could add up to the allotted amount of calories per meal; the percentage amount of carbs, proteins, etc. are factored in and you don’t tweak that. You eat what’s on the list. Every day. Day after day.
5) I’m drinking WAAAY more water per day than I’ve ever done before.
6) Exercise sessions twice a week for 30 minutes each are intense.

So far the outcome is that I don’t spend a third of my time, energy, and brain power interacting with food. Truly, before, I was planning meals, shopping for food, cooking, cleaning up, thinking about eating, going out to eat, trying to decide which restaurant, and on and on. Now, there’s a noticeable void.

I went on Pinterest and “unfollowed” all the food blogs that are broadcasting to me those scrumptious images of peach cobbler, enchilada casserole buried under pounds of melted cheese, chocolate-covered crispy bacon.

I guess with all the diets I’ve followed in the past, I really don’t know how I’m supposed to eat to keep from gaining weight. I’ve tried low-carb and been half-dead with no energy but still not losing weight, and low-carb is contraindicated by the friendly neighborhood urologist. This plan doesn’t sap my energy as much. I have lost a bit of weight. The plan is for 6 weeks. We will see how it goes: so far, so good.

Be-Laboring a Long-Sleeved Swimsuit

Almost Labor Day with a semi-remnant project for the beach or pool.

Semi-remnant because although I bought a big length of what they call “fashion fabric” to experiment with, I did snag a remnant for the swim suit lining:

power mesh

Power mesh remnant from JoAnn’s

Sunburn is not the happy-go-lucky inconvenience it was in our childhoods; now it’s being recognized as a precursor of deadly, disfiguring skin cancer. My dermatologist says that you need to wear sunblock if you’re going from the house to the car in your driveway. Rash guard shirts or other cover-ups are becoming required swimwear, as you can see on several sites: Lands End, Orange Blossom Brand

My DD, who’s endured many punishing sunburns in her lifetime, expressed a desire to have a swim suit with some serious coverage. Not sure if she likes the loud flashy fabric I chose, but this is what I came up with:

long-sleeve swimsuit

long-sleeve swimsuit

At first, I had planned to incorporate a bra into the long-sleeved swimsuit, because (by amazing coincidence) I found just a bra top on sale at the Lands End web site for a cheap deal. Her size is not one you find every day, so I snapped it up.

swim suit top

bargain top

At some point in the project, I decided not to sew the bra into the shirt, in case she didn’t like the fabric, or in case she wanted to wear the swim suit top as just a shirt. For now, if she wants, she can wear it under the shirt and we’ll see if any adjustments to the fit need to be made.

Here’s a <a href=”http://Written_8_27_15%2C_7_36_AM“>breakdown of where the pattern pieces came from. Not sure if that link is going to work; I tried using Penultimate and it’s all different than it used to be 😦 Major learning curve and still didn’t get it to do what it used to do so easily: save a sketch into your photos.

But if the link doesn’t work, I used part of 3 different Jalie patterns for this project; the top and sleeves from a leotard pattern, the midriff from a tankini pattern, and the bottom from a swim suit pattern.

Have a great rest-of-the-summer and save your skin!

Finishing up the Last Remnants of Summer

What has happened?

I was thinking of summer outfits that might be fun to sew out of remnants, and all of a sudden things changed.

Not the temperature; it’s still hot. Not the weather; we’ve still got rain every afternoon and tropical storms are waxing and waning. But it’s something…

August sky

August sky

The sky is a brilliant blue (when it’s not raining, that is). It has a different feeling, more purposeful somehow. As if to say, “live it up, because soon it will be school time again, back to the grind, your Saturdays will be taken up with football, summer is going away…”

A couple of remnant projects went by fast. This set was made with 2-way stretch remnants. The top is a small piece of Frozen fabric. The leggings are solid-color fabric that complements the top. For a three-year old, you just need a fraction of a yard to make a cute little play outfit. This is a worthwhile pattern, as it includes several variations.

Kik Sew leotard pattern

Kwik Sew K4011 pattern

Simplicity 1435

Simplicity 1435: child’s tunic and leggings

The leotard is from a pattern I’ve used before. Thought it might go with a pair of red shorts from a while back…

Jalie yoga shorts

Jalie yoga shorts

We’ve got several pattern makers represented here, so why not look at this Moneta I just finished, by Collette. Although not a remnant, and I didn’t even get a cheap deal on the pattern, it was an easy and worthwhile project.

Moneta

Collette Moneta

I’ve had the fabric stashed for a few years, from fabric.com — a soft, velvety t-shirt knit. The pattern was easy to follow and has a large size range, so you can make an XS version as well as a 3X size, and all sizes in-between. I wanted to get the paper copy in the mail, but they didn’t have any paper ones around, so I had to download it and print it and tape all the pages together, but it worked out. Having read several blog posts from others who sewed the Moneta (it’s very popular!) I followed their leads and lengthened the bodice a couple of inches. If you buy the Moneta pattern from the web site, you can get an additional pattern with collar variations free.

And so the remnants of summer are getting finished up, out of the way, to make room for the new, the busy, the purposeful

What’s in your agenda for the end of August 2015?

Remnants Made Magical by Local Indie Crafters

We took the opportunity to go to a local Indie Craft Fair today, as advertised in a blog post by one of the vendors, Wrensong Woods.

IMG_1886

IMG_1887 IMG_1888 IMG_1889 IMG_1890

Some of the other vendors at the event were Artisan Original Pens & Such: pens, bottle openers, and other artful utilitarian items made from recycled materials, Cat Feet Designs: showing unique jewelry, My Purple Goldfish: with lots of gorgeous colorful fabric and rope bowls, Joffe Creations: mosaics, Gator jewelry & Designs,  Hatfield’s Treasures,  Platypusfile.

The vendor DH liked best was Kiker Brothers Boards, AKA the Young Woodworkers in Training booth. DH is always happy to promote woodworking to members of upcoming generations. He really admired the young mens’ beautifully finished boards, and bought one of camphor wood to use as a platter for serving items on the dining room table.

woodworking

Young Woodworkers in Training display, including sleek, polished rock remnants

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Other booths featured artwork, fabulous crocheted jewelry with vintage found objects attached, sewn rag quilts, linens, shirts, unique items of clothing, and many other fabulous finds.

I loved the magical musical instruments by Judy Robinson, whose blog alerted me to the event. My purchase was a 5-holed Native American style branch flute, with a felt carrying case and a sheet of instructions. The vendors encouraged me to come to the local Flute Circle, which gathers once a month at the public library.

flute and case

Wrensong Woods flute and case

Remnants of wood, rock, metal, cloth…once just leftovers, now beautiful objects of art and utility. L ❤ V E

In case you didn’t realize, today is National Thread the Needle Day. So far, I haven’t actually sewn anything but I hope that I do have at least one sewing thing done by night time…although the site says that threading the needle can be taken at its figurative sense…

So figuratively, I may have threaded a needle by: getting groceries or kitchen implements to prepare a dish, preparing for a more musical lifestyle, becoming more familiar with artisans in the community.

Project Remnant Redo’s Muse

room

office, oasis, studio, space, with cat

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is “Muse.” My muse is most often Grayzie the cat, sleeping there in the chair. I take more pictures of him than anything else, mostly because he’s so darn a-muse-ing. But hey, as far as muses go, this recent redo to my sewing room/home office has provided lots of creative inspiration.

I don’t have a “before” pic to show you, and if I did I might not post it because I don’t want to see it later as a Hoarder’s Worst Nightmare …

But it is a remnant redo project, too. My old desk, which was attached to the armoire there on the right, stretched to the corner then right-angled in an L shape along the back wall. That window on the right wall was almost completely blocked by the back of the desk, which had a shelf unit for CD’s, storage of all sorts. On top of the desk shelf were stacks of books, and baskets on top, which went almost all the way to the top of the window.

Proponents of feng shui might say that you should never have your desk facing the back of the room, you should have it situated so that when you are seated at your desk, you can see the door when someone comes in. But notice, there is a sunburst mirror on the wall, so that when I’m seated at the desk I can check the mirror and see if someone is sneaking up on me through the doorway. Plus, I can open the blinds and see the beautiful neighborhood while I’m working, which gives me a new sense of expansion, as if I’m part of the outside world as well as operating inside my cave of creativity. The best of both worlds…

The desk had a nice faux-granite top that was hard and sturdy. But the rest of it was particle-board with a paper-thin veneer on top, and when I moved it here, it didn’t survive the trip very well. Many of the bolts that held it together got jostled and ripped out chunks of particle board, so DH had to rig it with many shims and clamps and such. I actually worked at the desk for over a year, with a big pipe-clamp stretched across my keyboard from the window to the end of the armoire. If I ever had to open the armoire to retrieve something, my keyboard tray would fall to the floor with a loud, agonizing crash.

What I added:

3 filing cabinets

shelf even with top of armoire, moved plastic file boxes to this shelf

a new store-bought keyboard tray (hasn’t been installed yet)

new plastic chair mat

new ink for printer that has been spewing out documents in shades of pink lately

3 shelves and brackets on back wall (some of the brackets we already had)

white spray-painted cans on lower back shelf (cans were former Christmas gifts of popcorn or cookies or butter-rum life-savers)

corner shelf DH put together from desk remnants and spray-painted white

a new Clear Sounds phone DH got me from FTRI

 

In some ways it’s like a kindergarten classroom*, with “stations” for each activity: sewing, cutting, serging, embroidery, quilting, drawing, painting, photography, jewelry-making, knitting, other crafts, writing, the volunteer work that I do, genealogy, processing mail.

*This thought is distilled from my memories of a couple of organizational books by Julie Morganstern.

There’s a bookcase over to the right of the armoire, now filled about half and half with fabric and books. Why have books stacked up all over when they could be in the bookcase where they belong?

Grayzie loves the new redo. He has plenty of serene new surfaces to lie down on, and when he gets bored he can jump up to the serger table and mangle all the thread paths for a fun activity. And how quick can my hand travel across the room to his furry neck? J/K, he’s my muse.

Little Bits of Fabric

Fabric remnants are ideal for making outfits for little people. They’re small, they’re less expensive, and you can find really cute ones in the remnant bin. Like these:

fabric remnants

cute remnants

The pattern presented itself in May 2015 Burdastyle UK.

Burdastyle baby clothes

Little Burda Clothes

I decided to experiment with the more ordinary remnants before taking on the premium Frozen item, the fabric roll on the far right in the first image. Good thing, too, because I discovered that I’d traced the pattern a bit wrong. The dress and top are the same pattern piece with two different lengths and sleeves. Sometimes it’s hard to see the tracing lines on the Burda pattern sheets, because they’re all mixed in with about a hundred other pattern lines. And you have to add seam and hem allowances to every cutting line.

Burma baby clothes

top and shorts

This is my take on the top and shorts. I used small rickrack for top sleeve and hem trim, rather than the stretch lace trim called for. For the waist and leg bands, I used Dritz fold-over elastic from JoAnn’s, rather than rib-knit called for in the pattern.

Burma baby clothes

Burda dress and shorts

The pocket trim on the dress called for elastic ribbon. What the? Never heard of it. But I had a little strip of teal piping in the “oddments” baggie, so I used that. I think the big giant pocket on the front of the dress looks kind of cyclopic, but maybe it will be fun for a toddler. For these pants, I did use the rib-knit, as I just happened to have a remnant of matching white in the stash. The waistband is a casing of rib-knit fabric stuffed with 1-inch wide elastic. The leg bands are just rib-knit with no elastic inside. And since both of these remnants have similar colors, I combined  them in the reversible bucket hat.

Burma baby hat

reversible hat

Oh by the way, you might want to get in on this opportunity to win a Janome serger from Burda. all you have to do is enter a fitting tip in the comments on their contest page. You might need to have an account with them and sign in to it, to do this…

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