Cabin Fever Remnant Project Lineup

“And on the seventh day…”

It’s the seventh day since I broke my foot, and have had to keep it elevated, and will continue until I go to the orthopedist a few more days from now.

The first couple of days I had more energy and a more hopeful outlook. Both energy and attitude have been steadily going downhill. But I don’t want to be negative. In fact, there are several bright facets to that diamond of derring-do, the clumsy trick that landed me here in cabin-feverama.

1) I have more time to read, watch TV, watch Craftsy class lessons, and delete extraneous stuff off my computer that is prompting iCloud to try and get me to buy more storage.
2) Mostly everywhere I go in the house has something nearby that can be converted to a foot-prop. Therefore, I can still serve as a tech-support person, sew, knit, Internet surf.
3) DH rented me a wheelchair so I can get around with greater ease, and crutches for the places that the wheelchair won’t go.

Since becoming bored out of my skull, I decided to do a little work on my wardrobe. This guy, #Adamsays, “I think, no matter what your age is, a pencil skirt is the most flattering skirt out there.”

I like the pencil skirt. I wanted to try out this pattern, especially since the skirt only takes 1 yard no matter what size, and see if it works with some choice remnants in the stash.

Simplicity pattern

Threads Pattern for skirt, top, pants

I chose a 1-yard piece of charcoal Ponte Roma for skirt #1, which normally sells for $12.99 per yard. Ponte Roma is a soft, luxe, drapey knit (in this case anyway). For possible tops, I have an almost 3/4 yard remnant of gray reversible knit that I think will fit the bill for this April 2015 Burdastyle Super Easy vest (normally $16.99 per yard).

April 2015 Burdastyle

BurdaStyle ridiculously easy clothes patterns

Then there’s a .83 of a yard piece of gray, aqua and peach/pink Hacci sweater knit, 57″ wide, that looks like it will make an awesome spring top. And a yard of blush-pink open-work Leno t-shirt knit for a tunic. I’ve seen lots of combinations of gray and blush-pink, and it’s savory together. Hacci knit, normal price is $12.99 per yard. Leno knit piece, normally $9.99 per yard. Of course, sold as remnants, all these cha-ching’d up at half the prices quoted herein.

Having had success with the first pencil skirt, why not another one in black? Not just ordinary black, but a glossy, Sleek Foil Denim Knit that looks a bit like shiny leather? Normally $24.99 per yard, it’s 55″ wide, so a .945 yard remnant actually provided a whole skirt. And to go with it, a top out of animal print sweater knit with a black foil collar. True, the collar piece is supposed to be cut on the bias, however, the fabric stretches in all directions, so this little neckline piece was cut from a scrap of the skirt fabric, on the straight grain. This animal print sweater-knit piece is older and I’ve lost the price tag, so we’ll just presume it is the same price as the Hacci, $12.99 per yard.

Remnant fabrics for 2 skirts, 3 tops and a vest: a little less than $40 (half of what it would be if bought off the bolt). Simplicity pattern: on sale for $1.99 (retail price $18.95). Cost of Burdastyle April issue £4.99 plus postage. Various notions: 2 zippers, thread, single-fold bias tape from stash. Estimated gasoline savings due to not being able to go anywhere because of broken foot: $15.

black pencil skirt

black pencil skirt

gray pencil skirt

charcoal Ponte Roma pencil skirt

reversible vest

reversible vest (Burda calls it a waistcoat)

Hacci sweater knit top

Hacci sweater knit top

Simplicity top

animal print sweater knit top with pleather collar

Leno weave top

Leno weave tunic top

First top was the animal print sweater knit, view C from the Simplicity pattern. Next was the Hacci sweater knit, a combination of views A and C. It has a stand-up collar and the back hem is a little longer than the front hem. I presumed for value’s sake that the two knits were similar. In the midst of sewing, they were not much alike at all. The animal print knit, although soft and light, had a much firmer texture than the Hacci. The Hacci sweater knit frayed at the ends, and while sewing the very first seam, the knit fabric bunched up under the needle and needed emergency extrication by prying up the throat plate and pushing the birds nest up through the needle hole with a screw driver blade. After that, I applied SewKeysE knit bias tape to just about every seam. Stretch needle used for all these knits. Maybe when I get a little more mobile, I can add some P.S. pictures of me wearing them…

Was I a pansy?

Your opinion, please:

I was standing in the cutting line at Joann Fabric, watching the lady in front of me have her fabrics cut from the bolts. The first was a gorgeously colored pansy print–possibly this Keepsake Calico? Then came a silky fabric in a brilliantly coordinating purple shade. The purchaser was elderly and extremely stooped over a walker. I mentally admired her choice and loved that she put those two items together for the stunning effect they produced. I noticed there wasn’t much left on the bolt of the pansy fabric (“remnant project” neon light started pulsing on and off in my brain), and the clerk shoved it under the cutting table when she was finished, unlike the bolt of purple, which she placed in a wire bin. When I got up next, I asked to see the remainder of the bolt of pansy fabric. The clerk told me, haltingly, “Actually, I wanted that.”

“Oh,” I said.

I completely understand that people who work at a fabric store probably have a great love of fabric, themselves.

And it’s not like someone was stealing from me, something that was not at all even in my cart yet. But I know if I’d been the clerk, I would have offered it to the customer. I am not saying I am better; I’m not better. I am just old-school enough to know that the customer should prevail in a contest such as that. Do you agree?

But I didn’t challenge her. I have run into many little scenes at various Joann stores, where clerks think they have a special power over the discounts (or maybe just an inability to ring up sale items correctly) and can wield it at their own, in my opinion, flawed, discretion. And, sigh, of material, I have plenty plenty, so I shouldn’t even be writing this–except that it seemed so unique, that a fabric store clerk, someone who is paid to enable people to trade their food, gas, and electricity money for fabric, would put the kabosh on another attempt, however small, for the fabric addict to score.

And so I hereby fling away to the four winds, any feelings of having been slighted, any residual emotion of regret that the Great American Novel was not written nor the Great Remnant Project of the Ages produced, and acknowledge that the Heavenly Father of all of us is the great source of all love, compassion, beauty and spiritual experience, and say, “I have enough fabric! I am free!” And to the clerk at the cutting table with the beady, darting, rodent-like eyes, I give you, along with your prize pansy-motif end-of-bolt fabric stashed under the counter, a dozen virtual roses and my wish to be prosperous and happy in your creative pursuits!

beautiful roses

Organizing the fibers and crafts for 2012

As the old year passes away this evening, I want to say good-bye to it in a friendly way. Because I’ve been doing creative projects in 2011 and blogging about them, it’s been a fun-filled year! And after today, I will not ever tag a blog post “postaweek2011” again, woot! I’ve seen that WordPress is pointing us toward another bloggimmick, posting about the same thing 365 times this next year, but I don’t think I will jump on that one.

Toward the end of the year, I got a bit slow and didn’t get in a post a week. Last week I did some adjusting to my creative work space and I’m happy with it. In fact, I’m almost afraid to get started, because it took me so long to straighten it up. The biggest changes were prompted by my looking at a copy of Studios magazine, an Interweave publication. I never thought I would be nuts enough to shell out money for a magazine about studios, but I found it quite a bit more interesting than many of the other magazines I mindlessly buy with a foolish trust that I will get my money’s worth.

I decided to take down a couple of shelves’ worth of books that I’ve been keeping in the room, which don’t have a thing to do with sewing or art, and replace them with fabric stacks. I chose only cottons or others suitable for quilting to go on the shelves. This is going to inspire me, hopefully.

fabric stacks

Knits and non-quilting fabrics are in the drawers, so now the drawers are full again, but at least I don’t have an overspill of fabric everywhere!

An example of the hoardity, before reorganization


My DH volunteered to make me some utilitarian shelves, to help organize, and did it ever! I now have a clue as to what I have, and where it might be located!

stuff stashed

Note the coat rack from Lowes, installed on the wall under the bulletin board, which keeps the hoops from jangling around and falling into the lost zone in back of the sewing machines. I also installed a little display frame that was my mom’s, which houses a thimble collection. I relocated my extra sewing machine feet to a clear plastic, lidded box that sits on the sewing desk and hides a large, unsightly, awful burn on its formica surface. Yarn is boxed on the shelves by fiber type and color. I got a new thread caddy and a bobbin thread case, both 40% off at Joann’s, so all my thread is now encased and categorized. Art supplies are stashed. Felted sweaters and blank t-shirts, tubbed. Pillow forms and batting, bagged and boxed. I considered putting a few more pics in, showing the shelves at the top of the room, but you get the idea. And my studio doesn’t exactly look like Hollywood. The feng shui is not perfect; it feels more in tune for Internet surfing and blogging than sewing and creating, at the moment. But I feel more ready to get started in 2012, hoping to do more of what I want to do: art quilting, making cool kids’ clothes, sketching, multi-media things.

Here’s to a bold new year coming, and as for the old one, it was pretty good overall!

Up, Up and Away with Summer Remnants!

This week’s project features a remnant of all-cotton Hi-Fashion Fabrics, Inc. print in a multi-colored hot air balloon motif.

balloon fabric remnant

I found this at Hobby Lobby, and thought it might provide a good companion to some cool Jacobean machine embroidery designs I purchased from emblibrary.com this past spring.
I made a pair of shorts from the remnant, using Butterick 3860, a very basic Fast & Easy pattern. It’s Labor Day in central Florida, so we can still get away with wearing shorts and summery things for another month or so. I spent probably about an hour, total, making the shorts, plus about 40 hours of avoiding getting started on the project. Why do I do this? If it were not for the bow on the front of the shorts (one of those skinny tubes you sew and then have to turn right-side out and then slip-stitch the edges), it would have probably taken 15 minutes.

bright cotton shorts


The machine embroidery was applied to a t-shirt I scrounged from the clearance rack at JoAnn’s for a mere 97 cents. It is a Heavy Duty Jerzees shirts that holds up well and the color does not bleed in the washer, so is pretty sturdy kidwear. I fell in love with some of the gorgeously ornate Jacobean balloon designs. My DH thinks they are not strictly appropriate for kids’ clothes; they are more for heirloom projects. He may be right. The time and effort factors that went into the producing of this shirt tell the story. It took about 3 hours, minimum, to stitch out the balloon design, and I just about went nuts trying to keep it under control. The hoop got bumped and the design jumped out of the hoop only to resume at a completely different point from where it left off. As I looked on in horror, I realized the design was stitching about 2 inches farther away from where the needle should have resumed, and I stopped and had to re-hoop everything and regress back to the beginning of one thread color. Luckily I had established a north, east, and west point in the hoop on the shirt by folding it in half and then in quarters, and marking the points on the t-shirt in air-evaporating marker as they lined up on the hoop. So I was able to re-fit the shirt into the hoop at almost the exact same position it was in before it went berserk. But during the shift, the tear-away stabilizer underneath became very unstable, because the stitched pattern thus far was extremely dense in thread count. I added some sticky-backed stabilizer in the hoop, then tore off the backing and sat the work-in-progress on top of it, lining up the positioning marks. I had a water-soluble stabilizer spray-glued on top of the shirt with 505, as I usually use with knit fabrics. So, all together, I used quite a few more layers of stabilizer than I started out with. I had a little mishap with bird-nesting under the hoop, too, so I had to stop the design and wrench the hoop off and cut away about a mile of bunched-up thread that was making the throat plate immovable, so that required another tense re-positioning step. Too much drama for one kid’s t-shirt!

remnant shorts and embroidered tee

The JoAnn Chronicles

In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle, for the people on the island where the drama takes place, it’s against the law to believe in Bokononism. Anyone caught practicing the religion is subject to a horrible death penalty. However, as you progress through the book you find that everyone really is a Bokononist. That hints at my relationship with JoAnn Fabric: outwardly I complain that JoAnn’s, the “Big Box” fabric and craft store, has put all the smaller local craft and fabric shops out of business and now has diabolical control over what is available for purchase, but yet I still patronize that place like mad.

The fact that I married a man who lives within walking distance of a JoAnn’s was just one of the enticing, glorious perks of wedded bliss (sadly, the store went away when the Publix next to it expanded, but I’m still happily married!) And just around the corner from where the JoAnn’s used to be is a Viking sewing machine store which has happily received the diverted flow of my ready cash for sewing stuff.

The remaining JoAnn’s in our town, Gainesville, is far away, you have to drive past the freeway exit to get to it so there’s always a lot of traffic, and it’s rather shabby inside. They never seem to have what you want unless it’s pretty basic. Some of the cashiers don’t know how to enter the mysterious codes that will get me 50% off remnants, horror of horrors.

Having just denounced it, I now confess that I run rather than walk to the nearest JoAnn’s when I’m in another town that has one.

Provo, UT: JoAnn’s Etc (the Etc denotes a Husqvarna Viking shop within) is a vibrant place. Provo is the birthplace of lots of crafty items that JoAnn’s sells, and especially scrapbooking is huge here. Cake decorating, all sorts of sewing, knitting, and crafts are monumental here. Utah seems to shelter more people who support the “stay-at-home mom” point of view, and it seems that families have more kids. JoAnn’s has lots of fun things for kids to do. I saw more yarn here than in other stores like this.

Altamont Springs, FL
: Of all the JoAnn’s Etc’s I’ve seen so far, I like the layout of this one the best. It is so organized. The displays are engaging. The sales people are friendly and informative. There was a massive art department. I walked by as the Viking clerk was demonstrating the cutwork embroidery accessory package, so I stayed around for that and then learned a lot about the Huskylock sergers she had on sale. My visit was cut short when the clerk’s husband called her from home and said that a tornado had touched down. Everyone scattered!

Colonial Drive, Orlando: I spent more money in this Joann’s Etc than any of the others, and I want to understand why I succumbed to the sales pressure here, rather than at one of the others. One, I found a lot of juicy remnants.

remnants from Orlando

These are remnants that I try to get when possible, because they’re expensive and useful fabrics and they’re half price. I like to use the knit jersey remnants for clothes, especially t-shirt and other tops. Some are good for purses, some are destined for quilts.

Some will end up as phants (see previous post about A Home For Phant or visit the site here).

I did buy some yarn at all the JoAnn Etc’s, skeins that were on sale. And from Orlando, I found the size 50 needles I’d been looking for. But yarn’s another story; I’ll be working on it on my other blog, wednesday night knitting .

Contest prize from ReliefSocietySisters.com

Some days I feel so lucky! Many thanks again for the great opportunity to win at Relief Society Sisters.com blog. (see the pic below of my winnings) We tried the Lion House hot rolls and they were thoroughly delicious! And the tote bag is gorgeous! I found out on my birthday that I had won, woo hoo! Getting older wasn’t so bad after all.

Lion House, Brigham Young's home in SLC Utah

A Visit to the Mothership

We had occasion to go to Jacksonville yesterday, so I gathered up my flyers and my 20% off everything coupon, and prepared to visit the Mothership:

JoAnn Superstore

It was great. Truthfully, it was a bit disappointing, because the vultures had swooped down and snatched up all the good after-Christmas buys.  But I did get some things that were on sale, a Burda pattern to try out, a few remnants, some yarn for my machine 🙂 and some more dish towel material, which is hard to find, and a magnificent orange furry blanket for $3.99. My savings, with coupons and sale items: $79.

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