Thursday, 27 March 2014

A Dog's Age

About 13 years ago I made my oldest nephew a big stuffed toy for Christmas. He was six months old and I thought he needed an elephant. So I made him one using this pattern.
The next Christmas I made my niece a lamb. A cow looks like a lamb when you use the correct fabric. I grew up on a farm -trust me!   ;)

Two years later I made a spotted dog for my second nephew.

Not the first tongue cut from this piece of fabric.

My third nephew has a leopard but I couldn't find it when I was looking around my sister's house this past Christmas. It seemed impolite to rummage thru' the closets for the leopard when the elephant and the dog were in plain view.

My fourth nephew has had three Christmases but he still didn't have his animal. I blame his parents, as they have been away for every Christmas since he arrived on the scene. This has been weighing on my conscience as I like to treat all the kids the same, for better or for worse. This was going to be the year he was going to get an animal. Since N2 and N4 are kindred spirits I thought it would be ok if N4 got a dog too.

But as Christmas approached, I found out N4's family was going to be away again and my motivation dropped; I figured I didn't have to rush. I didn't.

I finally cut out the little beast in the middle of January when I went to visit my parents. I sewed the face togehter a few weeks later.

Interfacing to stabilize the fabric and a button to hold on the eyes.

And there it sat. For weeks. And weeks. Impeding any other projects I had because I felt guilty about not working on the dog. Does that happen to anyone else? You can't work on things you want to because of things you feel you should do?

At any rate, I called my sister and asked when would be a good time to get together so I could give Miss S her Christmas present and N4 his dog, even tho' the dog was still at the face-only stage. I work better with close deadlines. I got a tight deadline. She said she would be in town the next day and she would drop by with the kids. Yoikes!

I dragged a sewing machine upstairs and put it on the kitchen counter. It was a machine I found at a garage sale - a Singer 185K- but more on that later. I spent about five hours, on-and-off, fiddling with the tension before I could get started, but it worked like a dream after all that. And I finished that dog.

Its not a difficult project so I can't imagine why I was dragging my heels so.

Here is the dude. Finally.

N4 seemed pleased by his very, very late Christmas present and that albatross is no longer around my neck.

I have a question. Does it count as stash-sewing if the fabric was bought for this pattern and this specific project? Probably not, but at least there is two less meters of fabric and a one less bag of stuffing around.

And I can move along to other projects with a clear conscience.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Separation Anxiety and Singer 318K

About 10 days ago I took my sewing machine in for a tune-up.
I've had my Kenmore for almost 31 years; it was a high school graduation gift from my parents and probably the best gift I have ever received.
The machine has been oiled and cleaned 'regularly' and I have had no problems with it, but I thought it could do with a once-over every 30 years or so.
I must admit to feeling a pang when I walked out the door. It has been with me almost every place I have lived and it feels odd not to have it around.

 An addict always has to have a back-up plan. In my case, it was a Singer 318K I found at a garage sale last summer.

 It came in what I think was it's original carry case, plus an old toiletries case, both smelling slightly musty.

I was puzzled to find two power supply cords in the cosmetic case.

The green one proved to have a patch job, a scary thing in electrical stuff, so I used the black one.

 The little beast comes with loads of cool attachments like these fashion discs which provide hundreds of stitch variety options.

 A box of all sorts of attachments. I have yet to figure out if they all belong with this machine.

 And a buttonholer.
 These switches allow you to toggle through various stitch options when used with the above discs. Plus the dual thread holders/

I downloaded the users manual and I tried it out by sewing it a cover.  Recycling at its finest -I used the a leg from these trousers when I turned them into shorts.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Sew Grateful Pattern Winners

 Here are the winners of the patterns. Since I couldn't find the slingshot (I hate it when we clean up) I had to use a different method to determine a winner when there was more than one person requested a pattern. If only one person asked, they got it; when there were multiple entries (Butterick 4018 and McCalls 9361) I wrote the entrants names on a piece of paper and did Itsy, Bitsy Spider to decide.


 McCall's 8770 goes to Phillipa . She has the most beautiful pair of knit gloves in her lastest post. And it hadn't occurred to me to have someone else knit my stuff, since I am so dreadfully slow. Well, it had, but I wasn't sure who I could get to do it. I will have to look into it. Thank you for the tip.

To Meriwether goes the McCall's trousers. Unfortunately, Meriwether didn't leave any contact details. If anyone knows her, could you ask her to drop me a line with her mailing address?

McCall's 9361 was, by far, the most popular item. I hadn't looked that closely at it until Jackie mentioned the princess seams. And sonofagun, it does have princess seams. I wonder if I have time to trace, I doubt wrap dresses do well on bicycles. Maryall, this is going to be heading to you. Maryall has a number of links to free patterns on her blog, and she looks so very elegant when she models her versions.

And Butterick 4018 goes to Rachel. Rachel knits, and spins, and sews. Am I the only one who didn't know Christchurch had an earthquake three years ago?  Rachel and an number of people she knows are still rebuilding.

Thank you all for entering. I have enjoyed finding new blogs to read and, as always, finding out about other little corners of the world.

Ladies, please check your my email so I can get your mailing address.

Take care!