Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Summing up January's List to Do

Sewing:
Make 2 skirts for me (1 Made)
Make 2 tops for me (took me forever to decide) Renfrew from Sewaholic received yesterday eeek! and Taffy from Colette
Finish projects for the baby
Finish projects for the boy
Finish projects for hubby

Make kitchen and dining pretties-make extra to sell (decided to wait til February was uninspired)
write reviews and share tutorials

Yarn Crafts:
Finish crocheting afghan for babies room
Work on grannie squares for the sofa cover
make dishcloths and face clothes/scrubbies-make extra to sell
make baby cute raglan shirt (Some how no longer want to make this)
create tutorials (next month maybe) lol 

DIY: Focus De-clutter and Hide
Work on the sewing room de-clutter and hide materials
De-clutter the utility room

De-cluttered my scrapbook and other supplies too
De-cluttered and tossed or donated about 35 lbs of clothes, books, and filing cabinet stuff

The Shop:
Work on new line of Doll clothing for girls 11" and 9.5" dolls
re-work the vintage button angle
make things for the shop


Scrap-book:
Keep up with my "Life Imagined" Hybrid scrapbook
share pages and keep motivated

Began project life to make a physical scrapbook

Baking and Cooking:
Try 3 new recipes and share them (oops...life was too busy have pictures though)


Garden:
Been very busy outside planting and working in the yard and making a vegetable garden yeah!


School: 
Wrote a paper
finished and received an A in my marketing class
Began my statistics class which requires a large amount of math that is a riot! Me liking statistic = pigs flying!


Children:
Spending time reading to them at night
Helping the big boy improve on his reading
Enjoying the baby move and communicate more everyday


Family time:
Grilled 4 times this month
had 4 family game nights
had 2 family movie nights
had 4 family taco nights
had 1 park outing


This is a summary of last month and I must say I have done pretty well sticking to my goals.  I am currently working on February's list to do. How have you done on your lists?


Cheers!
Bran

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tips and Finished A-line skirt

***Graphic Heavy Post***
I did manage to finish my a-line skirt Friday, but it has been a long weekend with a baby who is teething and has allergies to the oak that is pollinating the air. I did get some pictures and I have some tips for you. I sewed my muslin incorporating the reduction I took out of the pattern and everything worked like I had hoped. Sewing the skirt is a breeze with the instructions provided you know how to insert a zipper and sew in facings, if not do not fret there are tons of places like Colette patterns, Casey's Elegant Musings, Sewaholic, and more that have great tutorials on how to overcome and learn to sew these elements. I did not add saddle stitching and opted for a lace trim at the hem. I am very please with the fit of the skirt and how well it turned out. My pockets are one of my favorite aspects of my clothing. Here is a peek of the skirt followed by some tips.



Tip 1) When making your muslin write what each piece is marking the backsides so that you do not get confused with which pieces you are using.

Tip 2) I love Freezer paper for my pattern pieces, not only is it sturdy, you can iron it under the wool setting with no moisture to temporarily adhere it to the fabric making cutting a breeze.

Tip 3) Press Press Press, sure the book says it sets the stitches, however the stitches are in there, what it really does is create a professional look.

Tip 4) Pink or finish your seams, this will give your garment longevity especially in the wash.

Tip 5) Leave the pins in where your pockets are not sewn into the seams, this will make sure they stay in place, it also helps to give the pockets a nice pressing so that they lay flat.

Tip 6) Repeat Tip 3 often, again you want a beautiful garment that has a professional qaulity.

Tip 7) Stay stitching the upper edge of the pockets before adding the waistband will ensure that the fabric does not stretch or morph into shapes.

Tip 8) The zipper, it is scary, maybe even a pain in the feet, but it can be done and there are many great resources out there. Try practicing with similar material until you feel more comfortable inserting your zipper.

Tip 9) If you are starting to feel frustrated or tired, STOP!!! Go back to sewing when you have a clear head otherwise you will make mistakes and set yourself up for a sore experience.

If you have questions please leave a message in the comments and I will do my best to help. With that note, now that the baby is resting I am going to crochet and then go to bed. Good Night!

Cheers!
Bran

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whew!!

Been busy finalizing a final paper for my marketing class, working on a new journaling element line for scrapbooking, and I managed to get that muslin done for my A-line skirt!! Also been working on my own scrapbook and well just being busy with life. I hope to sew the skirt tomorrow so I can get pictures of it up and I have also been working on a little boys pattern :) which will be my first made pattern yeah!

I left of deciding to use the small sized pattern based on my calculations and it fits in the waist and hips perfectly, however, I noticed there was just way to much fabric for one woman to handle in this skirt for it to look the way it does in the picture. So I combined the small pattern with the x-small pattern by grading down after the base of the pockets to keep that nice fit in the hips, however to much loose fabric in the back still. So I decided to try a technique a friend showed me a few years back by removing extra width in my pattern piece. I will try to document this for you so you can see what I have done. I have to test this out on one more muslin before final fabric cutting.
 yes the pockets are on the outside lol, I just wanted a fit.
 I took off a total of 2 inches and there was still too much fabric.

 See the extra back there, I pinched and pinned until I got the desired look and found my point.
I then marked that point on my pattern and measured out to my side seam and made cuts leaving pivots and adjusted the pattern to take out this extra fabric. I will test this out tomorrow.
Until then Cheers!
Bran

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Troubleshooting the A-Line skirt

Alright I stole some time to take a first look at the sizing issue with the A-Line skirt from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders.
The Sizing that is referenced in the book is how we are supposed to pick out our pattern size.

XS 23"     S 25"    M 27"    L 29"    XL 31"

Now based on these measurements the pattern is supposed to fit just below the natural waist. Based on these measurements I would need to choose the Large pattern and instead I choose the Medium size which was considerably too large still.

So I took my measuring tools and went at sizing the issue at hand. My medium size pattern in fact finished size will be 34". Wow alright that explains why I took off around 5" from the side seams. So I measured the small pattern and based on my calculations this would be a finished garment size of 30". The extra-small finished garment sized base on the next set of measurements would be about 28". I have decided to go for the small to test my muslin with. If I need to go down a size it will be easier to adjust my pattern this way.

I have chosen my lining fabric and decided to add a nice trim to the bottom of my skirt. I had to go with a gray invisible zipper as this was all that was available. My main skirt fabric is a blue cord it is close to a Copenhagen blue, the lining fabric is cream with pretty little blue designs, the trim is a cream color with a pretty edge.

Up next tracing my pattern pieces and cutting them out, also doing a test muslin. For my muslin I am only cutting out the main parts skirt front, back, waist pieces, and pocket facings, no linings. From here I will troubleshoot the width of the skirt issues as it seems too wide for me.

If you would like to know I am a true petite at 4'11, with a moderate bone structure, larger bust, I have virtually a 1in space between my ribs and hips. I usually prefer patterns that are for the hourglass shape and Triangle or pear shape. I can do either of these and pull them off well. Maybe this will help others who have similar issues

Cheers!
Bran

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Adjusted A-line Skirt and I think my choice for a new Blog Look

Did I ever mention that I am a Libra and while I have learned to make choices and stick to them, I can never seem to decide how I want my blog to look. Unique like me and possessing qualities that resemble me. Hopefully the picture says it all up top. I have many adventures in many things and the books I chose reflect just the top layer of all of my endeavors.
Meanwhile in sewing news... I adjusted the A-line skirt by taking in an inch at each seam. I think I now know which direction to head on the next skirt. Be sure to stay tuned for trouble shooters for this pattern, for my next final version I have chosen a blue cord, now to decide on the lining.....

Well, that is all for now, tomorrow I will be away from my computer visiting with my mom, we are off to Joann's and I need two zippers.

Cheers!
Bran

Monday, January 9, 2012

There is a towel thief in our midst!!

There is nothing quite like taking a nice warm shower and getting out to use your nice freshly laundered towel...only to find that it has been used...sigh! The thief is my big boy who knows that the towels are color coordinated and knows which towels are his! So in an attempt of fury I purchased 1 towel for each of us and I will embroider our names on them and just maybe the towel thief will use his own towel :)

I have had our towels for the past 5 years, but I must admit having fresh new towels feels kind of whats the word...? Spoiling, Rich, um regal...well they are just really darn nice!

 I spent forever trying to find my little boy some building blocks like the ones I had as a little girl. I find that the older I am the more I choose toys that go way back, nostalgic maybe but they were fun and practical. I scored these at Target for $2.50. I love this photo and I think it might make an appearance in my shop in the future :).
My little one has been enjoying his blocks and all the fun time of knocking them down. See that blanket, that was a thrift store find for $1.00. It is handmade and was made in the 60's :).

I am off to watch New Years Eve with my Mommy have a great evening!

Cheers!
Bran

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My New Favorite!!!

So for Christmas my hubby gave to me 1 Crosley all in one radio, cd, mp3, cassette, and record player!!!! I have only wanted this for um like 3 years. I told myself that I could not open it until I re-arranged the living room. So yesterday we took down all traces of Christmas and nestled those dear boxes in storage until next time. I then re-imagined my living room and set out re-arranging, purging, and setting up my New favorite in its semi-permanent home. We are saving up for a new entertainment center that I have been watching for a while. Now I have had a few records and loved playing my parents records growing up. So to my surprise about summertime last year a whole crate-ful of records sat at the curb....Nothing makes me more upset than to see these beauties or anything that can still be used wastefully discarded. I had to save them and I did. So I have sat waiting for my new record player hoping to get it for Christmas so that I could play these records and see just what gems I might have found. Can I say perfectly wonderful records some that are over 70 years old that play beautifully!!! I spent a great morning listening to these records while putting new items in the shop and making a sale to boot! Enjoy my lovely new favorite and come by the shop if you would like I will be adding new things on a regular basis.
All that cleaning and I forgot to dust the darn TV lol, but look at that beauty!

So far this is in my top favorites

Peety enjoying holding up my lovely records-I am a crazy owl lady!

A lovely variety of Records and they all play so well!

To me there is nothing like listening to a record to get me jump-started
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Cheers!
Bran

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pattern Review : A-Line Skirt with Saddle Stitching

Alright my first me made item of the year was right out of Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins "Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders". I love the creativity and inspiration that these particular authors have to offer and being adequate on some level of sewing felt ready to take on such a thing as an A-line skirt as I have made a few over time. I approached this project as if I were a beginner so that I could truly evaluate what the new sewist might experience. The skirt is cute and wearable but needs to be altered and taken in. Here are some pictures which will be followed by my review.
I chose a dark Brown Corduroy and a nice quilting cotton to line my skirt waist and pockets
Lady Royale is enjoying her new skirt which now completed hangs at her hips and not her waist
The lining in the pockets
The lining in the waist
Pattern: From the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders I received this from my darling hubby for Christmas!

Fabric: Dark brown corduroy was red-tagged at Jo-anns at and a coupon :) $2.25 the quilting fabric is from connectingthreads.com and on clearance I purchased this for $1.79.

Wearable: I like the overall skirt however it sits loosely at my hips and I will have to take this in. I will wear this and the next version. I did not add the decorative stitch to the skirt yet as I need to alter the fitting.

Recommendations:  This is a good introduction on how to add a waist and pocket facing and inserting a zipper. This also offers a new decorative hand-stitch detail for a new sewists arsenal.   Note*it says to use the measurements for the waist* I caution against this, my waist measures in at a large for this pattern. I felt that this was too big and went for the medium size and discovered that this was in fact too big on me as well. I would recommend making a muslin in the future to create a nice fit. I think on the next version of this pattern I will document some simple alterations in hopes to help others who have the same experience. To achieve the a-line look I will also have to adjust the hips  to offer a more streamlined look as I find that based off of the waist to end ratio the a-line affect is too wide. So I give the pattern a C+ for ease of use. The first time sewist might be quite disappointed when they measure their waste and make this skirt solely off of that measurement.

Ease of sewing: The directions are very easy to follow providing you are comfortable with attaching a facing and putting in a zipper. For the new sewist this would be ideal for practice in installing both of these elements so I would not fret if you have your heart set on this pattern as it will offer a great learning experience.

Have a great evening! Cheers!
Bran

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2012 Adventures with Bran

I spent this past weekend reviewing and tweaking and Sewing! I actually found time to sew something for me. This year is about living life the way I imagine it, whether it be scrapping, cleaning, blogging, sewing, running my business, bogged down with school, this year it is time to re-haul the way I look at life and take charge. The great thing about this is I get to share it with you and maybe just maybe you will be inspired too. So with out further ado here are the Many Adventures I have planned for this January.

Sewing:
Make 2 skirts for me (1 Made)
Make 2 tops for me
Finish projects for the baby
Finish projects for the boy
Finish projects for hubby
Make kitchen and dining pretties-make extra to sell
write reviews and share tutorials

Yarn Crafts:
Finish crocheting afghan for babies room
Work on grannie squares for the sofa cover
make dishcloths and face clothes/scrubbies-make extra to sell
make baby cute raglan shirt
create tutorials

DIY: Focus De-clutter and Hide
Work on the sewing room de-clutter and hide materials
De-clutter the utility room

The Shop:
Work on new line of Doll clothing for girls 11" and 9.5" dolls
re-work the vintage button angle
make things for the shop

Scrap-book:
Keep up with my "Life Imagined" Hybrid scrapbook
share pages and keep motivated

Baking and Cooking:
Try 3 new recipes and share them

Most of all have fun, get the school work done and enjoy life.

Stay tuned tomorrow: I will have my review on the Saddle Skirt pattern from the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders from Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

Cheers!
Bran

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Last night was spent in the company of my family. Helping my parents usher out 2011 which proved to be a challenging year for them. The biggest highlight of the year for everyone was the arrival of Timothy in March. This year more than ever I need to focus on me, I gave up a lot of me last year in order to take care of the boys while my hubby was away. As much as I wanted to do things for myself, at the end of the night I was zonked. So with a new ambition and new goals and rest I have a new outlook on the way I want to accomplish many things. I will get my personal sewing in, scrap book, blog, and much much more. I look forward to another New Year in sharing inspiration and gaining inspiration with you. Tomorrow I will be back with an agenda of things to come for January in the blog world and I have learned that if I do not get to everything on my list it is ok, because life happens everyday. In the meantime please enjoy a peek into the New Years Celebration with my family and enjoy your relaxing New Shiny day!

Cheers!
Bran
A Bright and Shiny New Years indeed!

"Kissing the Old Year out and Kissing the New Year in"-Holiday Inn

Hubby Caught a Candid Picture of Me

My lovely little toothpick flags :)

Baby Boy's 1st New Years!

I got a melting pot for Christmas and Had to test it out, this is the platter I brought to the celebration.