Friday, June 24, 2011

Adventures in Serging!

For the first anniversary, the theme is supposed to be paper. I adhered to this theme by getting Art paper tickets - to the season opener of Ohio State Football this year! Of course, when I bought the tickets, OSU still had its star player and coach, so the dynamics of the game have certainly changed, but we're still excited!!
Anyway, I married a man who had never heard of "themes" for wedding gifts, and he bought me the opposite of paper - a SERGER!!!! The man is gifted, truly.

This machine has sat on my sewing table for approximately two months without any use. It's complicated. It's scary. And I barely even know what it does.

Correction: I barely knew. I totally know now.

The user DVD is older than me and doesn't even work on a Mac, so with some help from my friend Andrea I found some user guides on YouTube and elsewhere. In about 10 minutes, I had the thing up and running. It's fairly simple, really. It's like a sewing machine in that it loops threads around until a really fancy knot is tied, but a serger prevents fraying on the edges and cuts off the excess fabric while doing it. If you're wearing a knit garment right now, chances are the inside seams are serged.

And yesterday I finished serged ruffles... for baby butts.

Look at those baby butt ruffles!!

Here's a closeup of the serged ends of the ruffles:

And here's another closeup:

The front of the diaper cover:

And what it looks like with the matching dress:

Sorry, you'll have to turn your head. I forgot to edit the photo before I posted!!
This outfit is surely to make this little girl happy:

I sent away all my Lily clothes (minus the airplane booties, more about that later) yesterday!
I love my serger!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sewing, sewing, sewing!!

Let me tell you something: I. Love. Summer. I always have, of course, like everybody else, but being a teacher has made me appreciate these three months even more. Technically, with vacations and summer training, I only have five weeks of just being at home (two and a half of which are already over!), but I have been busy. Much to my glee (and my husband's annoyance), instead of catching up on housework, laundry, and gourmet cooking, I have been sewing.
And watching Lost. A lot of Lost.

I definitely consider myself more of a quilter, since that's what I learned to do first, but that's a heap of delayed gratification. With the arrival of my new niece, Lily (who I have never met but adore), I have been welcomed into the world of baby clothes, which can be finished in a few hours and are adooooorable. I found most of my patterns on Etsy, and have gathered fabric from trips out of town or the occasional fat quarter at Walmart. I think we have the only Walmart in the country without a fabric section, so pickings are slim, but sometimes I can find a gem.

Here's what I've been working on. These are all gifts, so if you see one pop up in your mailbox one of these days, act surprised! :)

These are little clutches I made for the teachers in the ELA department at my school, all with Walmart fat quarters. I was so blessed to work with nine wonderful women during my first year teaching, and this was my thank you! Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to give them all out, so this will be the gift that keeps on giving once next year starts. I am moving to the math department next year, and will miss working with them!
 This is an idea I saw online that I'm in love with - appliqued onesies! I bought a bunch at Walmart and then looked for patterns online. I didn't find any I really loved, so I freehanded this little bird. It was originally for Lily, but leave it to her to grow out of newborn onesies before I finished. So, I sent it away to my friend Nikki, who is due in a few months with baby Peanut! (not to be confused with my Peanut, of course) All I did was cut out the pieces and then zigzag stitch around the edges. Then I sewed a little black button for an eye.

I also made matching booties for Peanut! They are kimono booties with a pattern from Etsy. Can you just stand them?? They look like little yoga slippers. I made these slippers in about two hours. Super easy!

Here's another appliqued onesie... this one will actually fit Lily, and will go in the mail soon!

These I'm obsessed with. Emily's husband is an F-16 pilot, so I made booties shaped like... airplanes! In CAMO! I could die. Although, leave it to Art to point out that the wings aren't even, and if these were planes, they would crash like Oceanic 815. (Lost reference, natch.)

And of course... appliqued onesies to match. And I made another set for a friend's baby shower coming up because they were so irresistible.  Booties... shaped like airplanes!

This is a little baby dress for Lily. I finished the dress, and the hat to match, but I'm waiting on the matching diaper cover until I get thread for my new serger! Which I have no idea how to use. Not to worry, the dress is up to six months! :)

Look at this little hat!!! Took two hours and less than a quarter yard of fabric. Was supposed to be all one fabric on each side, but I decided to mix it up. I love the results! Both patterns were from Etsy, from different stores.

Taking a pause from all the baby love, I made a wine tote for a friend who recently got married. I am super late on the sending, but I'm waiting to get beads to make some matching wine charms. I love how easy and fast it came together with just two fat quarters from Walmart. The pattern was free from Bernina, the manufacturer of my machine. (And yes, that is Lost playing on my laptop in the background.

PS - How awesome is the camera on my silly iPhone?! Got a great close-up of the topstitching. 

This little guy hangs out with me every day while I sew, protecting my batting.

Oh, and here's what I'm not doing during my time off:

But I did make this for dinner yesterday: Thai Chicken Tacos

So that's how I've been spending my days. It's all about to end though, because starting next Tuesday, I'll be in Columbus-Dayton-Columbus-Macinac Island-Columbus-Dayton-San Angelo-Austin-San Angelo-Fort Worth-Grapevine... until July 21st, with no stops home! Then two weeks home, then Fort Myers for my mom's birthday, then, unbelievably, it's time to go back to school!

Did I mention I'm also taking two classes towards my Masters? Leave it to me...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Day Picture Challenge - Day... the rest of them.

Before I ramble on, I have to request some prayers for the families in my community. A bus carrying band members from Del Rio High School crashed into a semi yesterday on their way to Florida.  The last I heard, two students were still in ICU but the other 25 or so that were hospitalized were released. There were no fatalities, which is really lucky, but all these students I'm sure are traumatized from this accident. Please say some prayers for them!

And back to my lateness...

I warned you. However, I have been berated by my friends and family for being a bad blogger. So, thank to some help from my friends Bill and Caiti, I redesigned the blog and am ready to be better about keeping in touch. Especially since I have a lot of upcoming sewing projects to blog about! Plus, summer's HERE, and since I did not pick up a part-time job, I'll be dedicating my summer to the things I neglected during the school year... chores, my hobbies, my hair... all the things that need the most work! But anyway, since I can't start something with out finishing it (sooner or later)... here's the rest of your 30 days!

Day 8 - A Picture that Makes You Laugh

Hahaha. :) This is the first picture I ever saw of my sister! She was not a fat baby at all, but this picture made her look like a little squash!

Day 9 - A Picture of the Person that has Gotten You Through the Most


Day 10 - The Person You Do the Most Messed Up Things With

I don't really know what this one means.. ?

Day 11 - A Picture of Something You Hate

Well, I wouldn't even begin to try to Google for such a thing or post a picture. If you really hate me, you ought to find as many pictures of mimes as you can and tape them to my walls. I hate mimes. I hate even thinking about mimes. Seriously, right now my heart rate is skyrocketing because I'm thinking about them. My deep seeded fear/hatred I believe stems from an assembly at Holy Angels, somewhere in the early 90s. Clara was with me, and if she wants to tell the story, she may. But I'll be busy doing my best to forget I ever saw a mime in my life.

Day 12 - A Picture of Something You Love

I'm sorry if you're all sick of sunflowers. I probably should be too. But I'm not. I love them, and I always will.
Day 13 - A Picture of Your Favorite Band or Artist
 Oh, the days. I was a quasi-groupie for this band. I still have a shoebox of memorabilia that I refused to throw out when I moved to Texas. They were awesome.

Day 14 - A Picture of Someone You Could Never Imagine Your Life Without

 Are you sick of me gushing about Art yet? Too bad! (I also look at this picture whenever I think I might look better as a brunette. I'm always wrong.)

Day 15 - A Picture of Something You Want to Do Before You Die

Go to the Oscars! There are a few ways that commoners can get there... and someday, I'll be one of them. I hope!

Day 16 - A Picture of Someone Who Inspires You

So this is me with Jodi Picoult, my hands-down favorite author. I still carry with me my childhood dream of being an author, and I'd like to be one just like her someday.

Day 17 - A Picture of Something that Has Made a Huge Impact on Your Life Recently

I don't have any pictures... but Art and I just celebrated our first anniversary! It didn't really change our lives that much, but it's nice to have milestones!

Day 18 - A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity

I can't say I don't have insecurities. Of course I do. But, in the interest of overcoming them, I'm not going to give them the time. I'd rather spend time recognizing the things I'm good at!

Day 19 - A Picture and a Letter

I have no idea what this means. Sesame street?

Day 20 - A Picture of Somewhere You'd Love to Travel

Paris, France! I'd love to spend Bastille Day there one day.

Day 21 - A Picture Of Something You Wish You Could Forget

See Day #11.

Day 22 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Were Better At

 Working out... or anything athletic, really. I just didn't get the gene. Unfortunately, I didn't get the eat-whatever-you-want-and-stay-thin gene, and living next to a lake means I need to be in a bathing suit a lot. Summer resolution: gym at least 4 times a week.

Day 23 - A Picture of Your Favorite Book

Anybody who knows me knows that I couldn't ever pick just ONE favorite book. I just devoured The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and can't stop talking/thinking about it! If you haven't read it, go read it. You'll be obsessed too.

Day 24 - A Picture of Something You Wish You Could Change

The place I live. My heart will always be in the Midwest. 

Day 25 - A Picture of Your Favorite Day

See Day... whatever the day was where I said my wedding! Day 6?

Day 26 - A Picture of Something That Means a Lot to You


Day 27 - A Picture of Yourself and a Family Member

My siblings have not gotten entirely enough love in this challenge. I am the LUCKIEST to be their sister!!

Day 28 - A Picture of Something You're Afraid Of

See days 11 and 21.

Day 29 - A Picture That Can Always Make You Smile

Sometimes, when I'm sad, I Google "cute puppies." Not kidding.

Day 30 - A Picture of Someone You Miss

How about if you live currently, or have ever lived, in THIS STATE. O-H!!!!

And that's that. In the next couple of days I have a sewing room to organize, laundry to do, books to read, and Peanut to cuddle. I love summer!