Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review: Hot Patterns 1111

Pattern Description: (From the HP website) "You’ll look effortlessly fabulous in these lovely tops, designed for drape-y fabrics like crepe, charmeuse, rayon, washed linen, crinkle viscose, georgette, or even a silk-y jersey or fluid T-shirting. Relaxed-fit pull-on Tops have a straight, tunic-style silhouette and an underbust seam. Tie-front tunic length top features a boat neckline; applied ties to shape the front, plus optional back darts. Ruffle-trimmed blouse version has an underbust drawstring, a wide-set collar and a front button fastening on the upper bodice, a curved hemline, fluted ruffle sleeves & front trim. Asymmetric front top has a side-front opening and can be worn open, or buttoned closed. Mix your neckline, sleeve and trim options for maximum fashion mileage. Wear any of these stunning styles over slim or full straight-leg pants or jeans, or even over a skinny below-the-knee pencil skirt for a gorgeously casual but elegant look."

Pattern Sizing: Multi 6-26. I started with an 18 at the neckline based on my previous experience with Hot Patterns. It was HUGE and fell right off my shoulders.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Kind of yes, kind of no.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were sufficient for the view I made, but steps such as grading, clipping, and understitching were missing. I'm not saying they should be included, but if you're not already familiar with these techniques and when to use them, this pattern won't teach you. ;-)

Overall impression of finished garment: I wanted to love this top, I really did. And I do love the line drawing. But unfortunately, I ended up with a sack with flipped out facings. The "sack" is my fault because I know I don't like or look good in drop-shouldered, loose-fit tops and yet that's exactly the style I sewed.

The problem with the facings that don't stay put is a combination of too big of a neckline and too much weight in the seam. In some spots there are 6-7 layers with the collar, flounce, interfacing, bodice, etc. A lightweight stable woven instead of a knit should make a difference. The knit I used is heavy so it definitely exaggerated the problem.

Fabric Used: A very fluid knit. I did interface the neckline facings with a non-stretch fusible, and still the facings wanted to flip outward. There's just too much weight/bulk for them to do anything else.

Pattern alterations: Because the shoulder/neck width was so big on me, I ended taking a 1" tuck down the center back of both the upper back and the facing. This helped, but the neckline was still too wide and too low.

I also cut off 2.25" from the bottom edge of the upper pieces because the underbust seam described/shown on the pattern envelope was a waist seam in real life. You can see the original seam pinned together marked in red in the photo below. Removing this length brings the seam to underbust on me. (I would test/measure this again if I were to make this top in a woven but the pattern pieces tell me I will still need to remove length even without a stretch factor.)

If I were to finish this top, I would also remove about 2 inches from the bottom before hemming since it is way too long on me. I used the shortest length option on the pattern. But I would rather end up with too long that I have to trim than too short and be stuck.

I was short on fabric so I cut the neckline flounces almost in half lengthwise. I can't imagine what that extra weight and length would do to the already overloaded facing seam!

Conclusion: I haven't decided if I'm going to try this again with a different fabric. While I love the way it looks on the envelope, my recent track record with these boxy styles has been 0 for 2. On others, this style is fine. If you do make this, test the neckline size in muslin and don't use a heavy fabric if you're making the flouncy version. Learn from my mistakes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Bubble Wrap Suits

I am SO BUSY with work this week that I've barely had time to come up for air, let alone get into the sewing room to progress on my HP top that I didn't finish over the weekend. But the work event I'm stressing on is tomorrow so by Friday and the weekend, I'll be able to breathe again. Whew!

In the meantime, I'll leave with you this photo of my sons in their bubble wrap suits standing next to DS#1's friend (friend, not girlfriend) in her Pokemon-inspired costume.

The jackets have hoods and snap closures and there's a working fly (no zip) on the pants. It was fun to collaborate with DS#1 on this idea, but I'm glad I don't have to sew bubble wrap every day.

While I'm on the subject, shortly after the guys arrived at MetroCon this past Saturday morning, they called to tell me that a lady had just walked up to them and told them she knew that they were my sons and that I had made their outfits because she reads my blog. How funny! (Whoever you are, please comment and say hi!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hot Patterns 1111

I'm making the ruffly version of this (shown in red, but I'm not using red) and am almost done cutting it out. I have to do some creative cutting/piecing for the big neckline flounces and then I'll be ready to start sewing. This is my fault because I'm trying to squeeze everything onto a specific leftover piece of fabric that I found while digging through the stash yesterday. If I was using a new, proper-length piece, I'd be done cutting by now. I hope this goes together as fast as I think it will.

I'm not planning on leaving the sewing room much for the rest of the day/evening, except for food, drink and potty breaks (me and the dogs). Mad Men Season 4 starts tonight so I'll be watching that as I sew if I'm not done by then. Can't wait — love this show!

Speaking of the sewing room … here's the "After" shot of the stash closet.

The only Before I have is a shot taken while the sewing room was torn apart.

You can see there used to be 3 big bins + stacked up outside of the left closet doors, along with few newer pieces you can't see which were traveling between my ironing board and my pattern cabinet.

Every piece of fabric I own is now inside the closet, stacked on the shelves or sorted into the muslin and scrap bins on the floor below. Well, except for the 5-6 sitting on the corner of my pattern cabinet which I pulled out to pre-wash since I noticed they had never been. Yes, I know I have a lot. But I'm sure Carolyn has more. ;-) And I can stop anytime I want to. :coughcough:

When You Give a Mouse a Cookie …

… she ends up rearranging her entire fabric closet.

I thought I would be sewing today. My sons left this morning for MetroCon with their bubblewrap suits (photos and an interesting tidbit coming later), DH went off to work, and I had the whole day alone.

I went up to the sewing room fully intending to start on a new Hot Patterns top which arrived in the mail last week. But then I looked around at the room, which is still in makeover mode, saw the overflow bins in front of the stash closet, and decided I'd first take a few minutes to organize a little better so I could get that fabric out of the bins and into the closet. You know what's coming next, right?

Mission accomplished, but not without spending the ENTIRE day and evening going through every piece of fabric in the closet. Well, it was on my To-Do list for eventually so at least it's done. And I did manage to cart out 4 bags of stuff I never should have been saving, plus I added a number of pieces to the use-for-muslins stack.

Tomorrow I *will* sew, especially since seeing lots of fabric I'd forgotten about sparked the mojo Big Time. And if I buy any more fabric any time soon, shoot me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dude, Where's My Sewing Machine?

I have never seen Dude, Where's My Car? but apparently nearly every male 25 and under has, including my sons. So, instead of sewing something for me, I'm currently sewing not one, but TWO, bubble wrap suits.* My sons are off to MetroCon** this weekend dressed as those guys above from the movie.

For the past couple of months DS#1 has been collecting bubble wrap by the yard as it comes into our house nearly every day (work-related and FREE!). Today, I took some time off to sew the suits. I can't wait to get pics of them in full costume - it will be hilarious.

I also can't wait to sew something for ME. Maybe this weekend?


*It may even stretch to three suits, since there's enough bubble wrap and DS is trying to get another friend of his to dress up too.

**Yes, we know MetroCon is mostly Anime but DS#1 insists they will still fit right in. I have no idea. ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Sewing Room Progress

I've completed 4 bins, without a trip to Joann's or a purchase of any new supplies. Yay me. LOL!

Do you see that plaid on the second bin from the left? That came from years ago as a mistake that they told me to just keep. I had about 4 yards of it. So I used it for one front and all of the sides of the bins you don't see, and I still have enough leftovers for 2-3 more sides. I used the rest of my old pink King flat sheet for the inside linings, and pieces from the floral sheet from the prototype for the parts of the top cuff you don't see. I can get 1 face, 1 handle, and 1 cuff face from one fat quarter, which is what I used for the other 3 bins, with scraps to spare.

I'll show you the ugly sides another day. For now, I just want you to bask in the pretty. Mwah. ;-)

One could also make "turnable" bins with this scrappy method — with a different fabric combo on each side. And one can also be cheap like me and use old sheets, cheap muslin, or ugly what-was-I-thinking fabrics. (It was nice, though, to move out 3 large folds of ugly fabric from the stash. I'm actually getting to the point where I can move the overflow folds IN to the fabric closet, which is another project still to do in this makeover.)

The cardboard to make the boxes was cut from the IKEA boxes. That's five 12.75" squares per bin. The label holders are the bottoms of a big bunch of small ziplock baggies that are leftovers from my sparklies/crystal co-op days. (Anyone remember?) I just cut off the tops and stitched them on. I still have about a billion left. ;-)

Only one bin is actually labeled at the moment. I'm still deciding what will go where, which is obvious by the huge disarray in the other cubbies, and which means I can't find ANYTHING right now without looking in each cubbie.

I've also decided to invest in some spray paint instead of a new bin for every cubbie. First, I think it will just be "too-too" with all those fabric-covered bins. Second, I already have a lot of perfectly useful bins that just need a facelift to cover outdated colors and I think a mix of all types throughout the shelves will look better and be more me. Third, sometimes I do actually like to see inside the bin without taking it down. And Fourth — most importantly — I'm cheap and lazy. ;-) But I do still want to make 2 or 3 more of these fabric bins and then I will "scatter" them all throughout the shelves for a less uniform look.

My four canvas bins like the three shown above will be spray-painted too. They are very dingy right now, but still quite functional. I'm thinking they'll take spray paint in light doses OK and hopefully they won't turn into a soggy mess. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

I did take lots of notes while I was making these bins and I do plan on putting together a tutorial at some point in the near future, but I think I'm going to have to use mostly drawings so that the details are easier to see and understand. So, patience please. :-)

* * * * *

By the way … the Viking 2000 may have taken its sweet time getting here, but it was worth the wait. After oiling, it works perfectly!

Friday, July 16, 2010

She's Heeeeeeeeeeeere!

UPS overnighted (yes, I just verbed an adjective — and now a noun too!) the machine to me so it was here at 10:15 this morning. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original box or the packaging, so I have no idea what happened to it or what UPS meant by "repacking" it. I'm guessing they meant putting a new label on it for overnight service. I'm not going to dwell on it since it there was a happy ending.

The machine was dirty, but I knew that. It cleaned up great and has hardly any scratches at all. Just minimal normal wear & tear. It was missing its foot pedal (also expected), but the pedal for my 6010 works just fine and, frankly, it's nice NOT to have an extra pedal shuffling around. Looks like tonight I'll be playing around with all the stitches to see if everything is good. For now, it's been generously oiled and is soaking for a bit.

The case looks cleaner in this photo than it actually is, and the latches don't work too well anymore, but what do you want for $26? And am I really planning on lugging this 30+ pound hunk of metal somewhere? I doubt it. With my sewing room makeover in process, the case will probably end up in the attic anyway.

Also in the package was a Great Falls, Montana repair tag from 1987 attached to an old needleplate, with this note:

"Needle plate. Adjusted mach & reset needle position. Removed considerable lint. Reset tensions."

For the grand sum of $38. Don't you just love that "considerable lint" comment?

Lastly, with the instruction book for the machine were four additional booklets from 1924 from Iowa State College: Meal Planning, Design in Dress, Under Garments, and On the History of Art Needlework. They each have someone related to the original owner's name (per the repair tag) handwritten in the upper right corner. Thank you Anna and Dorothy E. Buchholz. (I'm guessing Dorothy is Anna's mother, but I have no idea!) These ought to be interesting bedtime reading!

* * * * *

Speaking of the sewing room makeover …I think I've settled on a way to be a cheapskate using my bin cover pattern. I will line them with old sheets or muslin and add a sewn-on "cuff" for the contrast. It's a couple more steps, but oh-so-much cheaper. If I was only making 1 or 2, I wouldn't be so thrifty, but I think I want at least 12 and that much cute fabric adds up quickly. If I wanted this to be a $200 project, I would just buy pre-made bins. ;-)

So a trip to Joann's with a coupon or two is on the weekend agenda, I think. Hopefully, I can find something that's both suitable and cheap because I won't be able to move forward with any other sewing projects until this is done. Thank you OCD.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anticipation …

Remember this beauty? Yeah, me too. It was supposed to be here on July 2. Doing the math, that's almost two weeks ago. The seller quickly shipped via UPS and provided me with the tracking number. I watched the tracking info update every day for four days. Finally, it was in Jacksonville (4 hours to the north) and it remained with the July 2 delivery date. But on the morning of July 2 there was no receipt in Tampa notation in the tracking, which still showed it as in Jax. I kept checking the tracking every couple of hours, but no change. And then the calendar flipped over to July 3 and nothing. Still a July 2 delivery date. Sob! I knew something had gone horribly wrong and I was sending out death ray eyeball stares to whichever UPS worker decided they wanted MY machine. OK, just kidding on that last part. Sorta.

Then we had the holiday weekend which meant the earliest the seller could file a report with UPS was on Tuesday, July 6. The tracking was then updated to show a tracer request on that date. And there it has sat. And sat. And SAT. The seller kept me updated with the non-news from UPS, so I wasn't faulting her at all. Frankly, I thought she had actually gone above and beyond for a $25 sale but I was glad she was being so proactive. I want this machine!

I tried not to give up hope, but each day passing made that harder.

This morning, I received a call from UPS. They asked me some address questions, but didn't really tell me anything. I decided that they were only just now *starting* the investigation. And I think I was right, because a couple of hours later the seller emailed me that the machine had been FOUND! She said that UPS will repack it and send it back on its way and that it should be here within 5 days.

So the waiting continues. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I still have a couple of construction tweaks to do and I want to add a handle to make pulling it out of the cubbie easier and maybe a label pocket for the front, but I'm calling the first prototype for storage boxes for the IKEA Expedit shelves a success. And no spray adhesive necessary. Channeling my inner Peter from Male Pattern Boldness, this one is covered with old bedsheets as a "muslin."

It fits into the cubbie perfectly, which means my measurements and the pattern are good. Whew, pretty good for a first go at it. If the contrast at the top isn't wanted, assembly can be reversed so that the flap is on the inside and in a matching print so it blends to the lining.

But … each bin needs 2 yards of 44" fabric, which means if you have your heart set on a particular print and it's not on sale, there's really no savings over just buying something pre-made. Of course, if you do have your heart set on a particular print, you'd also never find it as a pre-made bin. And if you can shop the stash, they're free. Right? ;-) Looks like I'll need to shop the online sales or head to Joann's with coupons since the stash isn't holding a bunch of bin fabric at the moment.

You'd also have to figure in cardboard if you don't have any. But I saved all the boxes these shelves came in and that will be more than enough. (And since I won't have to put all of that into the trash/recycle bin, that's an added bonus.)

This bin can be completely dissembled, which means it can store flat and you can wash the covers if necessary. I don't know if those two qualities will mean anything to me, but since I'm thinking of making a downloadable pattern for these, I thought it might be a plus for someone else.

I think the whole thing, from cutting out fabric and cardboard to sewing seams and pressing seam allowances, took about an hour at the most. I was watching the tube as I was doing this (Deadliest Catch - RIP Phil Harris) so I'm being generous with the time estimate. The total time per box should go down if/when I'm in assembly-line mode because the cutting can be stacked when working on multiples.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sewing Room Makeover - In Progress

I didn't take any real "Before" shots so all of these are going to show the room in "During" disaster mode.

In this photo, you can see there is a little table with a machine on it sitting at the end of my cutting table. What you can't see is that next to this little table, there was a Sterlite 3-drawer plastic bin thingie.

Both of those are now gone. You can also see the IKEA 4x2 shelf set up in the corner. DH repositioned my mirror, but I still need to re-hang the bulletin board.

This is the far wall where my ironing board was set up.

The ironing board is currently in limbo. But the two 4x4 units are set up and in position.

This corner was a complete mess before.

The bookcase holds all my sewing books, BWOFs, and some other magazines. There are also plastic bins and ugly shelves squished together.

My TV was sitting on top of a piece of plywood on top of a table missing its glass insert. I had plans to refinish this table, but I hadn't gotten to it yet. The best laid plans …

TV table and ugly shelves/bins gone! I've moved in a cabinet from the attic that used to be DH's grandfather's, which DH and I refinished about 20 years ago. I'm thinking of painting it and turning it into an ironing station. The TV has been moved to the top of the IKEA shelves, where I can actually see it now. The tall bookcase has been relocated to my bedroom and the sewing books will again be stored in it. My bedroom is where I read those books anyway so this will actually be more convenient and my bedroom is plenty big enough to take on the bookcase. In fact, I like it a lot in there and have decided that now (as in sometime later) I am going to make a little reading corner in front of its new home.

There's still a lot of stuff to put away, rehang, and/or remove, but I'm making progress. The hardest part is deciding on new homes for the stuff. And I will still either make or buy some bins for the cubbies to make some of the utility more decorative. And curtains, which are looooong overdue.

Actually, the hardest part will be when we put in new flooring someday. Also looooong overdue. Then I'll have to move everything out, which will mean emptying everything first – including the pattern cabinet. I don't look forward to that, but I'm not going to think about that until I have to.

* * * * *

Before I started this disaster makeover, I was digging through my pile of Stuff I Want To Do. I found these tapestry panels which I bought years ago (like before we moved into this house!) and had planned to make into deco pillows for my sister. Well, I decided it was finally time. Well, it was either that or admit defeat and toss them.

These were pretty simple. Trim the tapestry panel, cut some backing fabric to size, stuff and sew up the stuffing hole. But for this one, I decided to also add some welt cording around the edge. My welt cording foot made easy work of that. Love my presser feet!

Because I thought a single layer was going to be too thin, the backs are double-layered with khaki colored linen scraps.

This may be the only sewing to come out of this room for a while. You know how it is when you start a room re-do — a million other little "improvements" sneak in and take over, and boy do I have plans! We'll see how far I get.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Under Construction

We had a little family outing to IKEA tonight, all four of us. It was DH's first trip to this "new" IKEA, which has been open here in Tampa for just over a year now. I can't believe I hadn't dragged him there before now. Neither can he. But he actually enjoyed it. Or he's a very good actor. LOL! My sons (who are still aged 6 and 9 sometimes) wore their Heelies and zoomed all over the place, so they enjoyed it too.

First, we stopped in the restaurant for dinner. I'm always impressed by the combination of the goodness and cheapness of the food. I know it's a cafeteria, but it feels more than that. It was 2-for-1 Buffalo chicken wraps tonight so DS#2 chowed down on both. Plus fries. LOL! DH and I had the chicken fingers, and DS#1 had the pasta, meatballs and marinara plus almond cake for dessert. I split chocolate cake with DS#2. Yes, he still had room for cake after those wraps!

After dinner, we began our my mission for new shelving for the sewing room. I already knew I wanted Expedit shelving. I know everyone and their dog has these shelves, but there's a reason. They hold a lot of crap, look nice and don't cost a lot. Search "IKEA Expedit" on Flickr for some great combinations.

Until I saw the shelves in person again, I wasn't sure exactly how many I really wanted. I ended up with two of the 4x4 and one of the 4x2 (cube-y things, not measurements). I had checked the website before leaving and the 4x4's were priced at the "new lower price" of $99 each. Except they were marked $129 in the store. A quick conference with a manager and we learned that the new catalog had just come out yesterday and the prices were raised overnight, although still not on the website when I checked upon our return or even now that it's technically two days later. But they still honored the $99 price for me, which was great. I heart IKEA.

We also picked up a $7.99 floor lamp for DS#2's room, some 99¢ lint rollers and a bunch of foodstuff from the Bistro section. Yum! Cinnamon buns for breakfast and lox for lunch!

Total spent: $298. I heart IKEA.

So of course this means my sewing room is a HUGE disaster right now. DS#1 has built two of the units so far; one is moved into the sewing room and the other is in the hallway outside of it. The third is on the floor in my bedroom. I don't like clutter so I'll be very motivated to get this swapping done as soon as possible.

I also think I might have to have to spend as much as the cost of one shelf (or more) on some bins to put in the cubbies. But that seems kind of silly to me so before I drop the cash, I'm going to try to work out "refashioning" all the cardboard these shelves were packed in into some DIY fabric-covered bins. Box cutter, ruler, packing tape, spray adhesive, fabric — it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll ask DH to pick up the spray adhesive at Home Depot tomorrow when he's getting a quart of paint mixed to cover the holes I'll need to patch when we he moves the mirror and some pictures. A check of the leftover paint we had and we discovered it was dried out. Florida heat kills paint in the garage.

Spice Girls

And the winners are …

28 = Stacey said... To quote my husband "they're free? POST A COMMENT NOW!"

52 = Marjie said... OOOHHH! Please! Me! Me?

Stacey and Marjie, please email me your mailing info, to If I don't hear from you in one week (by next Saturday morning), I'll have to move on to another winner. I need these boxes off of my counter. ;-)

Have fun spicing up your life!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Giveaway - Non-Sewing

ETA: Blogger's comments are goofy today. First they're there, then they're not. Don't worry if yours appears to have vanished - the comments will be back when Blogger fixes the bug. But if it's not fixed by Saturday, I have the comments saved in my emails.

* * * * *

I know this is a strange thing to be giving away on a mostly sewing-related blog, but what the heck. I'm sure there are some others of you out there that like to cook as much as I do. This collection of herbs & spices are extras I received work-related (too complicated to go into the details) and they are high quality, new in sealed jars, and pretty to look at even if you don't cook. ;-)

What you'll get:

One each of Sage, Poppy Seed, Fennel Seed, Paprika, Muchi Curry, Saffron, Ground Ginger, Black Peppercorns, Chives, 1 Vanilla Bean, Basil, Oregano.

What to do:

Just leave a comment on this post by Friday, July 9. You don't have to friend me or follow me or anything extra. But no Anonymous comments/entries please. I'll do the random number generator thingie and post the results on Saturday.

I have two complete collections so there will be two winners.

Unfortunately, I can only ship these food items within the USA, so I'll have to restrict this to those readers. Apologies to the international-to-me peeps.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pattern Organization

Sondra asked a couple of posts ago for me to expand on my pattern organization. Her wish is my command. ;-)

First, my "analog" version. All regular sized pattern envelopes are stored in loose leaf binders, sorted by general category such as tops, dresses, jackets, wardrobe patterns, men's, etc. I love having my "catalogs" to browse through while laying on my bed.

Until today, those binders were the typical blue plastic type. I don't know why I bought blue except maybe that I already had one and just bought the others to match. I used up more stash scraps by making covers for those binders this afternoon, using the instructions from here, minus the tab closure thingy. (The instructions/measurement guidelines worked out perfectly so I highly recommend them.)

Also on top of the cabinet is my basket of "on deck." I don't always make everything that's in this basket. It's more of a "what has caught my eye lately" collection and it changes regularly. I also throw new patterns in here until I get them into my system. (The basket was more than overflowing with un-systemized patterns until my organization frenzy last night, which tells you how behind I was.)

Finally in this mix, there's often a stack of stuff printed from the internet. Again, I don't always actually DO them, but I like to dream. ;-) The top of this cabinet is unusually clean today since I was taking photos. I stuck the Featherweight on top for more visual interest.

All of my actual pattern tissues and instructions are separated from the envelopes and stored in my pattern cabinet in Pattern Keeper ziplocks I buy from Nancy's Notions. I hope to paint this pattern cabinet one day soon. I'm really tired of the boring beige. (I'm also really tired of my sewing room non-decor/layout in general so look for me to be documenting changes over the next couple of months.)

I recycle the backs of papers to make pattern number sheets and file the patterns by company and then by number. There is a pocket on the outside of the pattern ziplock for this number sheet. I also stick the instructions behind the number sheet so I can quickly grab them when I want to check something.

The tissue is inside the ziplock section of the bag. It's a lot easier to put tissue and tracings back inside these bigger bags than inside a pattern envelope.

My oversized patterns, such as Jalie and HotPatterns, are stored flat in their own drawer in the cabinet. This part of the system needs an update, but right now it's working.

Burda magazine pattern inserts are in their own drawer. I haven't subscribed to Burda WOF/BS for a while now so this drawer hasn't changed much but there are at least 5 years worth of pattern inserts here with plenty of room for more. The actual magazines, along with others such as Ottobre and Knip Mode, are stored on a shelf on my bookcase.

I still have one empty drawer in the cabinet, but it's blocked anyway at the moment by the dog bed which you can sort of see below the drawer.

To prevent me from buying duplicates of patterns I already own, I also keep a digital list of my patterns and magazine issues. I use ListPro for this. It will sync with a Palm or other handheld device so you can carry your list to the store if needed. This is good for keeping a running Wish List too, since as long as you sync with the desktop, you'll always have your Wish List with you. Or, you can just print it too. I'm sure there are other apps available now, but I've been using this one for a number of years and haven't felt a need to change.

With ListPro, I created a custom list that separates patterns by company and then by pattern number. I can enter garment type, size info, notes, whether I've made it or not, and other info. Lately though, I really only enter the number but that and my loose leaf binders are enough for me to know what I have, and it works for me.

In addition to my pattern list and the usual lists such as grocery and to-do, I also have lists for things such as directions to far-away fabric stores that I don't frequent often, measurement conversions, Superbowl stats, state capitols and facts, Presidents, and all sorts of weird stuff like that. It's fun, in an OCD kind of way. ;-)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Banking the Mom Points

Happy 4th to my American readers. It was rainy here all day, which meant I could spend the day in the sewing room guilt-free. For dinner we (the menfolk) grilled steaks, salmon and broccoli. After dinner my sons lit off a few bombs fireworks in the yard in between raindrops. It was just the low-key kind of day I like.

Yesterday, I finished up the string quilting table runner for my mom. A few days late for the official challenge but who's counting. And mom will certainly be surprised when the package arrives at her house in a week or so.

Today I made 6 coordinating double-sided napkins and 6 coasters.

You would think that I would have made a dent in the scraps stash, but I can hardly tell anything is missing. Even worse, I added to it with the purchase of the backing fabric for the runner and the napkins. Sound familar?

These string blocks come together quickly so I'm thinking in the near (and far) future I'll work on additional blocks a little at a time to someday and eventually make into a more random and bigger scrappy quilt. No time limit. Just a casual plan for all those strips and larger scraps I have tucked into a bin.

Next, I've got to work on organizing my newest patterns. Anything I've bought in the last 6 months is still waiting to be added to my database and binders. I was sort of holding off because I needed a third binder and always forgot to get one. But I finally remembered and now I have no more excuses. Plus, the stacks of patterns are driving me NUTS. I'll stay up late doing this while watching TV tonight and then tomorrow the sewing room will be clean and fresh for whatever is next.