Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fix Your Shirt!

Now it may seem like I buy a lot of clothes that don't fit, but it's just that my body is so unique! Not really--I tried on the pants and they fit in the store. And this super great shirt was a gift from my mom.

My dad was in Guadalajara, Mexico for 7 weeks as director of study abroad, mom visited and brought gifts. I did ask for a embroidered dress (yes, like to old Mexican ladies wear) and she delivered! (I wore it on the front porch and the neighbors laughed.) But this shirt was a surprise. I cannot overstate how much I love this shirt, however, it was a little boxy so I gave it some shape. Here's how it is done:

1. I pleated the sleeves. I folded the sleeve in half, measured down an inch from the point, and folded it open. I stitched it down with a coordinating thread.

2. I gathered the back. I measured a piece of 1/4 inch wide elastic to fit across my back when stretched. I marked a few inches from the side of the shirt on the inside of the shirt, about bra strap height. I sewed in the elastic on one side, make sure to backstitch to tack it in. I then stretched the elastic across to the other mark while sewing. Voile! Gathered by the elastic. Be sure to backstitch so it doesn't snap back at you!

I should have taken the sides in even more and I may, but that would require unpicking all that stitching! So, maybe I'll just get fat-cause that's another way to make your clothes fit!

Talk about getting fat.... one of the BEST cookies I've ever had was a Snickerdoodle from Harmon's bakery.

I finished one part of my media center pillow adventure:

But I forgot to take pictures of the pillows-can anyone guess why? It has something to do with a 20 month old with a really good arm-ouch!

Here's the best photo I got:

See, cool pillows. I'll teach you how to make them, and how to stick the big white fluffy square inside!
I'll get photos of all of them-and share instructions for making pillows, eventually!
So, take away message this week: Buy clothes you like-fit doesn't matter because you can sew them or eat Snickerdoodles to make them fit!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Really Trying!

There are a couple of questions and projects that I want to get to. They are: 1) denim skirt from old jeans and 2) brightly colored quilt idea for Bek. However, this week I got a wild hair to go through my basement, which I haven't for about 5 years! and gather things for a garage sale. Crazy! I also have a lot of fabric and thought I'd get rid of some, but I didn't! I am getting rid of a microwave, futon chair (that is awesome!), and kitchen table among other crap. Come over and buy it!

I've also been holding off on other projects until I finish some pillows for my daughter's elementary school "media center, " but I prefer calling it the library. This is what part of the project looks like:

I bet you're intrigued and want to know what it will look like, well, sister, let me get through this weekend and I'll write something really exciting!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fix your pants!

Summer! It's soooo hard to sew when it's nice outside. And since it's so nice all I want to wear are capris! Really, it's been gorgeous. So I bought some awesome designer (Gloria Vanderbilt) pants at Kohl's--I know, I'm such an old lady-it gets better! I wore them with the fam at Zion's National Park. Here is me and Baby #3 in the backpack carrier and midway through the hike I noticed my pants were FALLING OFF!!! I couldn't wear my awesome orange cargo capris the rest of the trip. And when you're in the wild, you want to wear orange.

You ask, What did you do Sewing Friend?

(First, I have to mention a belt wouldn't fix the problem because the belt loops in the front were not the same size as the belt loops in the back and nothing would fit through.)
I added elastic to the back casing to "grip" my back waist.

Step 1: Unpick the inside seam of your pants about 3 inches. Work from the side seams in the back and when you sew again, you won't see extra stitches.

Step 2: Sew in a length of elastic (I used 3/4 inch wide) on the side seam.

Step 3: Feed the elastic in the casing (space between the open seams.) I used this neat red plastic thing that allows you to pull elastic or ribbon or whatever through a casing.

Step 4: Pull through and adjust to just the right "grippiness" by trying on the pants. Pin elastic and stitch on other side seam. Trim excess elastic.

Step 5: Sew over where you unpicked the inside seam to close the casing.

Step 6: The finished product.
Now back elastic is a bit old-lady, but while you're wearing it, the elastic stretches out and you can't tell
-and your pants don't fall down (and you get to see a totally unflattering picture taken by myself while wearing the pants!)

Try this at home and have great fitting pants! Good luck and buy some orange pants-they rock!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Last Saturday, I ran in the Draper Trails Day 6 mile run. I just wanted to run on trails with other people because 1) I'm afraid of wildlife (there has been a Rocky Mountain sheep attack on one of our friends-he's okay) 2) I would rather someone else break through the cobwebs (lots of trees= lots of spiders!) and 3) I like to run outside! The first three miles UP A MOUNTAIN was tough, but then I flew downhill-it was a blast. After the race, while I was eating my Costco muffin (I deserved those 600 calories!) and orange slice, I heard my name--I got 3rd place! I got this great white ribbon:

Hey, I just wanted to enjoy the out of doors and wow, 3rd place! Now, many of you may be saying, "But Gina, 2nd place got a ribbon AND a loaf of Great Harvest bread." I say to that, "I run because I eat too much bread and I love ribbons!"

But it got me thinking....I often work on a sewing project just because I like it. Any accolades are great. But let me tell you, when you get 3rd place or when someone sees something you made and "oooohs" over it--same great feeling! You can do something someone else can't do, you can! So you should do it and maybe get a little lift from it!

Now that's not to say everything will go smoothly.

The race wasn't really 6 miles. I wore my GPS and it was actually 7.05 miles. Sometimes a project will take longer than we think.

I started out with some high school track team doing a little summer training. What was I thinking? I really thought I could keep up with 15 year old boys? Yeah, they ran too fast for me! It's okay to evaluate your project and save it for another day. I slowed down.

I latched on to a couple of women going a realistic pace and made some new friends. Find people who can work with you through the project.

At the top of the mountain, my husband and girls were waiting for me to cheer me on. Share your project with others for encouragement. It's okay if you're not finished yet!

I lagged behind my new friends because I talked with my family, so I had to run really fast to catch up with them. I kept them in sight and set my goal to beat them to the finish (I can be a friend while running, but I'm a competitor!) Set specific goals to get your project done in a timely manner.

I sprinted up the finishing hill with another lady on my heels-she wasn't going to catch me after all my hard work the last half of the race. Finish your project!

Now, if you're not going to sew something--go run!