So, I was reading a book (early 1900s) and it mentioned things needed in your sewing basket. One item, I had never heard of: an Emory bag. So, Google to the rescue. For those who may not know (like me) the book was basically referring to a pincushion. Today, anyone who grew up sewing or watching anyone sew and probably touches a small version of an Emory bag: do you remember the tomato pincushions with the strawberry dangling from the top? That strawberry was filled with Emory sand. It is for keeping the pins and needles sharp.
Well, I’ve been a bit busy. I’m really enjoying sewing and can’t wait to move on up to something that can be worn out in public, though this is pretty dang close, even though it is an apron. So, let’s start with the basics:
This is the pattern I used:
I am not a girly girl in any way (my usual attire is a 3X White T-shirt and sweat pants, worn with Birkenstock shoes, of course). Hair? Makeup? Twice a year, at the most. So, to test myself, I chose apron E (center right) but decided to add the ruffle to the bottom. For some reason, I felt the ruffles over the shoulder would be a bit much. 🙂
This pattern was much less confusing than the bath robe I made. The only thing I had to learn, really, was machine gathering. See, I could never understand what they were saying when I read about how to do gathers on a sewing machine, so I decided to just do them by hand. Well, since these sewing projects are being done so I can learn how to make things properly, I decided to look again. Once again, You Tube to the rescue! Now, I had two comments on my Facebook wall about this. Both said they learned to machine gather by sewing three (not two) lines of basting. I will try that next time.
I did change one thing, though. There is no way I’m going to button and unbutton (or try to slip this thing on) the straps. So, I left them loose and just tied them around my neck (I still need to figure out how to make button holes on my machine, anyway).
And since I am not a girly girl, I decided to go all out and become one for the photos of this apron. I love this thing! The fabric I got from my hubby’s grandmother. She was a spit-fire of a woman and we miss her dearly. I think of her every day.
Two years ago, I got on a tangent to learn how to properly crochet. Last year, it was a little wood carving but mostly knitting (still is … I’m hoarding knitting patterns like the internet will shut down tomorrow). This year? Sewing. I have been an avid hoarder of all things “sewing” for as long as I can remember. I’ve been known to hold onto clothing I don’t like just because the fabric is a good quality. When I am offered any kind of fabric, I gratefully accept it. And patterns? As soon as I get the schedule down, I will be, once again, buying as many sale patterns as I am allowed. Most of my new patterns were purchased when they used to have rotating sales on McCall’s and Butterick (one week, McCall’s would be 99 cents each, the next week would be Butterick). Since that time, fabric stores have closed down (or moved) and I have lost track of when those sales occur.
Having said all that, until this past Winter, I had only sewn one garment with a pattern. That was when I was 16 years old and my friend’s mom was showing us how to not only sew from a pattern but to re-size and alter. That’s it. So, 29 years later, I decided to try my hand at another one (more about that in a future post). In reality, this drive stemmed from me looking inward to find out who I am and what my focus in life should be. I have so many varied interests (obvious from anyone who looks at all my blogs) I knew it would be difficult to narrow it down. That’s when I (once again) remembered high school and a short one-semester class I took: Home Ec. Bells started ringing, lights began to flash, and I jumped for joy! That’s basically what I my interests have been all these years!
As I began reading it, I realized just how uneducated I am. I had to look up most of the terms, regarding types of fabric. No matter how well they described some of them, I still had no idea what they were talking about (and seriously doubt most who work in the local fabric stores, which are now mostly large chain stores, would know).
The first project for these children was to make an apron. This apron is designed for sewing, to keep your clothes clean and neat. It called for a fabric called dimity. Even after looking it up, I cannot say I would know it if I saw it in the store. So, I went through my fabric stash and found some that I thought would be a good substitute. It turns out it wasn’t. I think the fabric is too dense for the pattern. See, the apron is basically one piece of fabric, that is gathered at the waist and the bottom is turned up to make pockets. This is what I ended up with:
How do you like those pockets? I also did not stitch this by hand. My patience was not with me and I have a new sewing machine I need to get used to, so I used it. I was supposed to make a button hole (I know I could do it by hand but I copped attitude) but I don’t know how to use my button hole attachment on this new machine. It bunched and just made me mad. 🙂 So, I thought about this (and thought about this) and ended up just removing the gathers and sewed on some Velcro for the closure in the back. The Velcro works but I think I’ll just extend the waist band so this can be tied. I love the new version:
It wraps almost all around my bum and that’s perfect, since I am messy when I cook, clean, sew, do anything crafty. It reminds me of an apron that showed up on my Facebook feed for gathering eggs (made from a pillow case). My next sewing post will be within the next week or so. I have made two items from one pattern (pajama pants and a robe). I’m about to lay out the pattern for the top, then I’ll make the shorts and post about those (my observations and musings about the experience). My eventual goal is to get to the point where I can make something I feel comfortable wearing out in public (Lord knows I have plenty of patterns to choose from). lol
This is how I finished it. The velcro wasn’t working. It wasn’t strong enough. So, I sewed on a different waist band, making it longer so I could wrap it around and tie it in the front. I’m happy with it!
I started this project and, once realizing how long it was going to take me, my A.D.D. brain wouldn’t let me finish. BUT I wanted to share this with everyone because I love the way it looks and how it will turn out. The problem I had with it was the video. There are no written instructions and no audio describing what is being done. So, I ended up downloading the video to my computer (since, for some reason, my internet connection and/or You Tube have been buggers and decide not to cooperate a couple of times per day). Watching it on my computer allowed me to pause so I could count how many times to macrame this section or that one and how many times to repeat a sequence. I will post the notes I made once I am finished. Once you watch the video, if you see any errors with what I noted, please let me know.
For the flat area just after the buckle: Lark’s Head Knot (for attaching your cord to the belt buckle) Square Knots Half Hitch
For the design: Square Knots
And, my results so far (one thing I didn’t take into account when starting was the different weight of the yarns. The white yard is thinner, so I had to adjust by adding how many macrame stitches I did to maintain the proper look):
I’ve been making an inner journey. It’s a journey that I am willing to share the basics of, soon. This journey has led me to let go of so many of my doubts when it comes to exploring my abilities. That is now in the past.
Yesterday morning, I stumbled onto a set of You Tube videos. These videos were, “How to Paint a Sunflower in Watercolor”. Here’s the first video:
I sat there, watching, and thought, “I can do that. No, I will!” So, I grabbed my child’s art set, my sketch paper (you know, those large pads of paper that you can get in just about any store), and I started. No, first, I snagged a photo from my prolific photo-taking friend, Melana Hiatt (she takes some of the best photos). Then, I got started.
AND here’s my result. My first painting:
I love it! I made mistakes but they are lessons for what to do next time. I can’t wait to do another one (thinking maybe something about Montana). I loved the freedom of watercolors. You just put some paint on the brush and let the brush do its magic. So, what do you want to do? Don’t let anything stop you. If you love it, it’s art!
So, I’m “THIS CLOSE” to finishing my woman cave (well, as finished as it can be until I can make some looms and such). The last thing I need to do is make some plant hangers so I have room on the desk. I have two skeins of some funky, fuzzy yarn and thought that would be fantastic, macramed into some plant hangers (yes, think 1970’s child here). My problem is this isn’t the strongest yarn. Although the pots aren’t huge and heavy, I don’t want to take the chance of them snapping and raining dirt all over my work. So, while trying to figure that out, I thought, “Well, I’ll just read up on card weaving.” That’s when I stumbled onto Lucets. Take a look at this:
That tool … aside from the sanding, I could whip one of those up really quick. What do you think about making cordage with that, THEN macrameing that into a plant hanger?
Then, I have a friend. She scares me sometimes. I hadn’t posted anything about lucets at all yesterday. That’s when she posts this:
All I have to say is, thank goodness I’m not doing this to make money! They are ugly but they work! I used a Rotozip (because I couldn’t find the blades to my scroll saw) and boy oh boy, does that thing like to go everywhere! But they are sanded and I’m finally making my cordage. So, perhaps some time tomorrow, I can make my plant hangers?
I’m back on my weaving tangent, though I’m not even finished with my woman cave yet. This is how my Attention Deficit works. I was given a link quite a while ago (Wayback Link to original weaving page). That tab has been sitting there, open, this entire time. I finally decided to go through all the links, download what I wanted, then finally close it.
Well, imagine my surprise when I found these .pdfs! It’s Weaving 101, with instructions for building a full-sized loom, tablets, board looms, and table top looms! Not just that but exactly how to use them! I’m thrilled (and properly distracted from finishing my cave). Actually, I have hung my embroidery hoops on the wall and thought, “You know, I could do the same for the tablets I was given and even make some small frames and store them on the walls, too.” That one though gave me permission to embrace this tangent again. 🙂
These were all written by Luther Hooper and are a fantastic resource for anyone to have (who is interested in this or think they may be in the future). To save these to your computer, right-click on the links below, click “Save Link As” and choose where you would like it saved on your computer. I hope you enjoy these as much as I am!