Oh what a gift the gifty gie us!

🙂 We had our family party, and it was a blast! We got some very fun gifts, and had a great time with everyone!

Ruby came home from the shop in time for me to get most of the sewing I planned to do for the event. I wanted to make personalized dish towels for the group.  Some ended up being a bit plain, due to time constraints.  I bought the waffle-weave and other dish towel fabric from fabric.com and hemmed it, then embroidered some text and motifs. Several of the motifs I got from embroidery library.com, and they are beautiful, and the text fonts are from Husqvarna Viking.  Need I say that I took advantage of some of fabric.com’s outrageous online percentage-off sales?

a selection

Oh, the title of the post, a mash-up of the Robert Burns poem which is supposed to translate as,

Oh, that God would give us the very smallest of gifts (then, To be able to see ourselves as others see us)

Grateful for the very heart-felt thoughts of the speakers at church today, who talked, emotionally, about gifts.  I had to keep dabbing my eyes.  And then we sang “Once in Royal David’s City” which always gets me weepy at the end: “And He leads His children on to the place where He has gone…”

I love my family and am so pleased that I’ve been allowed to be with them during this life! Thank you Father in heaven.  I cannot see myself as others see me, but I hope my family members see that I love them…

Sewing machine incapacitated; shrug

Sigh, if you read my fb posts earlier, you know that I had to take the Ruby to the sewing machine hospital this morning. I tried everything, but I COULD NOT keep Ruby from sewing great loops on the back of every line of stitching. I have only had Ruby since September. I luuuurrrrrve my Ruby, but she done me wrong. Or, perhaps I done her wrong. I’m just a  human, and everyone knows when it comes to machines malfunctioning, usually it’s down to operator error. Heart-sick, I wandered aimlessly through the house, tired because I was up all night wondering, “what could I have done?” I had to explain to the engineer spouse just what the malfunction was, how the mechanism operates to the best of my knowledge, and go over the suggestions made by everyone. One of his suggestions, to go over the thread-path with dental floss, was actually not far-fetched: a well-known machine embroidery blogger also had posted that to a reader who had a similar problem. However, it didn’t work when I tried it early this morning.

Bunny (I still want to call her Becky) was sympathetic. She hated to tell me that the waiting time for fix-its is a standard 2 weeks. She knew by the speed at which my face fell, how much sewing and embroidery I must have planned to get done in the next 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. Sigh.

Back home, I tentatively turned the switch on Sheila the serger. I have not been able to get the Sheila to work since I have lived here. Its four thread paths daunted at every attempt. Lo and behold, I was able to thread them all. I put in a swatch and serged. Since I was apparently on a roll, I got out Quick and Easy Sewing with your Serger by Becky Hansen, and picked the first project that my machine could accomplish, the T-shirt Shrug on p. 45.

I had an oversize long sleeve t-shirt. It was new; I think I bought it at Beall’s outlet for a few bucks.

large t-shirt before

And I had purchased some 100% cotton rib knit from fabric.com, in the eye-numbing shade of pink called “Bubblegum.”

Seriously, I had no idea how easy and fast this project was going to be.

No pattern, just a great narrative and pictures in the book.

I measured and cut the shirt and the strips of ribbing, then serged them together. In MOMENTS it was done.

The most time-consuming part was sewing on the snaps and the giant buttons on the outside of the snaps.  I just happened to have 2 giant buttons that I tore off a poster Connie Hackworth had made years ago for a Relief Society activity. She had embellished it with lots of bright-colored buttons and trim, and rather than throw out those cute notions after the event was over, I squirreled them away. I mean, dumpster diving can be a fun activity, but I’m getting older and I need to dumpster-dive smarter; grab the stuff BEFORE it goes into the trash.

cut-up shirt and project instructions

I also found an iron-on shiny satiny heart that had some of the same pink color within, culled from the clearance bin at JoAnn’s for 97 cents, so I ironed that on. I think the finished product looks a little bit like something the whos down in Who-ville might wear for their Christmas roast-beast feast, but I do kind of like it a lot. I think it would fit better on a bustier model than I am.

Welcome, welcome, Yahoo Borayz!

It is warm over a shirt, but not too warm, because it’s made from thin t-shirt jersey. And it didn’t take all day to make.

Best of all, I got Sheila to work. Serging is so terrific. I can’t wait to find another quick project to serge. I don’t want to say it’s a good thing about Ruby—

A Holiday Dress

Decided to be my own guinea pig; who better to practice on? I had 2 yards of a wine-colored polyester pique knit material I had purchased on sale from fabric.com. Not exactly a remnant, but I did use a remnant from the fabric stash for the embellishment. The pattern was Butterick Fast & Easy B4597.  Good going! The pattern normally retails for $15.95 but of course I got it on sale at JoAnn’s for $1.99. The pattern called for 2.5 yards, but as I only had 2 yards, I needed to make the dress I wanted with shorter sleeves instead of long.

The polyester knit was WEIRD to work with. It had almost an oily feel to the fabric, and it snagged very easily. Plus, I found it very difficult to match up the seams; by the time I sewed to the end of a seam, one fabric piece was longer than the other. I tried to remedy this by using a roller presser foot on my machine, but I still ended up with some uneven seams.  Fixed that; cut them off.  I did use my new favorite stitch for knit material, the Double Overlock stitch.

The beginning

Progress

The pattern has a scoop neck, 3/4 length sleeves, and a hemmed slit in the front. For the neckline embellishment, I made some frayed rosettes, loosely using a FREE pattern by Jennifer Paganelli and Carla Hegeman Crim, that I downloaded from youcanmakethis.com last July.  I say loosely, because I sewed my rosettes onto the bodice, rather than mounting them on felt like the pattern specifies. The pattern is very specific and easy to follow!  The fabric for the rosettes is a 100% polyester double georgette  in burgundy. It’s the sort of material that would make a good fake-silk scarf. Not exactly a perfect match in color, but I’m ok with it.

Neckline embellished with rosettes

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday-preparation time while I’m playing [Who ya gonna call?] Fabric-stash Buster!

That's all I'm going to do right now..

Gator Hat!

Just in time for tomorrow’s game, I finally got together my gator hat! True, it is not made from a fabric remnant, (collegiate fabric isn’t that cheap!) but it does have a cheap-o component in its construction….I used a package of bias tape, circa 1969 it says on the back of the package, that was in my sewing desk, either a left-over from my gran, or one I bought at a yard sale. Look, it cost 25cents!

 

Bias tape from 1969!

 

I’ve been loving this hat pattern ever since I saw an article in the June/July 2010 Sew News (page 72). I had to order the Kwik Sew pattern from Fabric.com, since the closest retailer for Kwik Sew patterns is in Winter Haven, and that shop was closed for renovations! Long time coming, but I’m loving this hat!

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