Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pattern Weights

Ha!  Finally followed through with another Pinterest idea and made my own pattern weights.  I saw this a month or so ago and bought all the stuff, but didn't actually follow through until yesterday.  Little G was napping and big sis was my "helper".  I've been using them to trace a pattern off this morning and I really like both the weight (3 washers) and the nice flat stability of the 2" washer.  I thought they might be too big, but I like them.

 I wrapped 3 washers with leftover 3/8" ribbon I had on hand.  The one thing I did notice is that the washers have a slightly rounded side and a completely flat side with a sharper outer edge.  I made sure that I turned the rounded edge out on both the top and bottom of my stack.  I thought this would be better for delicate fabrics and such.
 I did anywhere between 8 and 10 wraps around the washers then secured it with a very fancy knot.  Done!
 This is what I used.  I bought 2 boxes.  I still have one box to make.  I should end up with 13 pattern weights which seems like a good number.
Putting them to use this morning!  I only have Little G with me this morning.  Big Sis is at Grandma's playing with the cousins.  I take it there was a lot of water and ice cream at Grandma's house...finally we're feeling the summer weather.  I think it might hit 90 today!  That's crazy for us PNWers.

And these are the 2 very busy reasons mom's sewing and crafting go so slowly!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

100% Pendleton Wool stash enhancement

I was down in Vancouver on Tuesday visiting my cousin and her daughter.  They're family is about to move cross country to Virginia.  They're originally from CA and have been living in WA since January...3 1/2 hours away from us...I hadn't visited yet.  So, I figured I should visit before they left the state.  The kids were super-trouper travelers and slept most of the way South on the highway.  Our plan to take all the kids to the park to play evaporated in the midst of what we call "summer" in Western WA (warmer rain than usual).  I suggested we see if we could squish all 3 car seats across the back of the Subaru and take a short drive.  We ended up at the Pendleton Wool Mill Store in Washougal, WA.  They've been weaving wool fabric there since the 1860s, I think the sign said.  I've been visiting since I was a toddler...H-A-T-E-D stopping there as a kid, now I inflict it upon my own kids!

The fabric area had gotten smaller and smaller every time I go and the RTW clothing has greatly expanded.  In the one tiny corner of yardage that remained I did find 3 rolling bins of remnants, some as big as 5 yards, that were all $5.99 a yard.  I ended up with 9 pieces of fabric, all 100% wool, all 60" wide.

 These 4 are the lightest way of the pieces.  Probably shirting-type weight?  Anyway clockwise from the top-left are a brown/blue plaid, a medium gray with darker gray and rust plaid stripes, a black/white plaid (looks gray in the picture) and a heathered tan-colored piece.
These 3 pieces are somewhat heavier in weight.  The top is an antique white solid, the bottom right is a blue/gray/black plaid that I do remember is washable, and the bottom left is a dark gray.
These 2 pieces are wool crepe.  The top is close to a deep purple and is quite a small piece, a little over 1/2 a yard.  I have plans for that to become a jumper for C for Lad & Lassie Lead at the county fair in August...she'll have to learn to lead a sheep around before that.  The bottom piece is solid black crepe, 3 yards.  I'm kicking myself because they were 5 yards of the piece and I took only 3.  Why didn't I just get all??  Duh!

The 2 kiddoes are telling me it's lunch time...

Grainland Select, Bay View State Park, & Dairyland Milk

What do those all have in common?  My last few days and then some.  School was out a week and a half ago, but I went in and continued to work, clean, & plan until Thursday of last week.  I'm planning on going in to school a lot over this summer to sort, organize, and plan for next year.  I have a new 2nd grade teaching partner and we have a nice spark going that I think will totally energize my planning.  We've already decided that we are going to start by building a "gingerbread village" in our classrooms at the beginning of the year.  It's an interdisciplinary math/social studies/reading/writing unit that I am  modifying to address a huge number of the new Common Core standards.  Whew!  That's where the Dairyland milk cartons come in...and juice cartons and anything else that is either a quart or half gallon cardboard container.

I need to collect 180 of those cartons over the summer and transform them into potential homes and businesses for our village.  I've been hitting up local coffee shops as well as buying all my milk & juice in that size carton...  I wash and rinse each one, cut one side off with a razor, then measure and score the piece so that I can use the hot glue gun to stick it back in place as the 2nd story.  The kids will be buying additional building materials to decorate their houses ($ skills).  For 2 classes of kids I think it's going to take about 180 of these "building"!  11 down...169 to go!

Friday last week we packed up and headed North to camp at Bay View State Park.  First camping trip with both kids.  They had a great time, played with their cousins, built sand castles, and sat at the edge of the bay and pulled handfuls of eel grass!  What more can kids ask for?

My sister happened to have a great beach toy bag that my mom had given her.  It was an empty chicken grain sack that she'd sewn into a large bag.  I stopped by Grandmas on Monday to have her babysit the kids for the day, and I collected a few feed sacks of my own.  They're made of a woven, poly kind of materials.  They're super sturdy and waterproof.  Last night I tried my hand at upcycling them to a beach bag of my own.  I added a squared, box bottom to the bag, put binding tape around the top of the bag, then cut apart a second bag to make handles (no handles on my sister's version).  I can see why Grandma chose not to sew on handles.  These are great bags and the material feels indestructible, but sewing with it is completely unfun!  It is super stiff, crinkly-loud, difficult to manipulate, and just a bitch to deal with.  I have enough materials to make a second bag and I'd rather not, but I should probably just power through and do it today and then never make another one.

Here's my version.  It's probably 3 feet tall and should hold our collection of sand toys.  I'm hoping the handles are up for hauling toys too and from the beach.  I reinforced them as I sewed them in.  These feed sacks are used to holding 50lbs. of cracked corn, so a few beach toys shouldn't be too much?

I'll have to write another post, but I also have some sewing info. to add to the blog.  I drove down to Vancouver, WA to see a cousin who's moving next week.  Sadly the rain cancelled our planned trip to the park, and I suggested we head over to the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal, WA instead.  I may have bought upwards of 20 yards of 100% Pendleton wool.  They had a great remnants bin that I pulled a lot of fabric out of.  Everything in the bin was $5.99/yard!  I had to stop myself from buying even more, but as it was I still got quite a bit.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A trip to the zoo and all the rest of life

This is a crazy time, and I'm just barely staying afloat.  There are 2 more days of school to get through, then report cards and classroom cleaning and organizing.  I have a new teaching partner so we'll be doing lots of chatting and planning for the next year.  Plus my father-in-law is rather unexpectedly flying in this week for a visit.  We're so glad and excited to have him, but the house isn't really company ready.  That's what today is for...but we are also going camping next weekend and have to get all the camping gear out and in working order.  This will be the first camping trip for all 4 of us.  The tent situation will be interesting.  G and I each have a 1-2 man backing tent, but nothing big enough for all of us.  Being on a budget, I think we're going to put one of us and one kid in each tent.

I'll leave this post with some zoo pictures from last Tuesday.  I went with both kids and a friend and her almost 3-year old to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.
 C and her friend holding hands as they walked.  Ahhh!
 Cutest baby tiger!

Fitting 3 carseats across the Sportwagon!

Note for future:  Do not go to the zoo on a weekday during the last week of school.  I think there were at least 500 kids on fieldtrips there at the same time as us!  We lost our little friend for a few minutes.  Boy was her mommy (and me too) freaked out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baby bath?

Did I mention we live in a 1918 Craftsman?  Probably not.  Well, this is our kitchen sink.  We don't think it's original, but more likely from the 30s/40s??  I haven't dug into it all that much.  Big G thinks it's great.  Um, not for me.  I am not a fan of shallow sinks (about 5") that hose down my middle every time the water hits a dish.  Baby G, however, thought his impromptu bath in the sink was a party!

Gratuitous cute baby shots.

P.s. He does have hair, it's just white blond and plastered to his head.  He's blonder than either Big G or I was at this age.  I'm was honey blond, but have darkened to a medium brown.  Maybe Baby G will keep his blondness as he gets older.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Felt Crowns ala Pinterest find!

I had a fun and productive Saturday yesterday.  I started out early heading to school to work on report cards and furniture moving and arrangement.  (Note: Long story shortish.  Our school is quite decrepit and old.  We had a ground breaking last week and the day after a construction fence went up closing down our playground for the last 2 weeks of school.  A little over a year from now we will have a new school!  In the interim I went 'shopping' in some retiring teacher's classrooms and scored myself a great u-shaped teaching table.  The downside was that all the furniture swapping has to happen NOW, not after school is out, so that the excess furniture can be more out of the building before construction commences.)

By the time I got home we had a houseguest for the remainder of the day/evening.  A friend's 6 year old needed last minute babysitting so they could go to the Seattle Sounders game (awesome, come-from-behind-winning game by the way!!!!).  While Big G took the 2 bigger kids to the park, Little G and I had a nap and did a little Pinterest browsing.  I came across a fun and simple double-layer felt crown.  How fun and easy!  I pulled out the machine and headed to the basement to find my stash of left-over Halloween costume felt.  I drew out a pattern, cut my first layer of felt, sewed it to a long skinny contrasting layer of felt, stitched around the outline of the cut piece, and finally trimmed away all the excess from the rectangle piece.

I had read on the Pinterest crown that it was easier to just cut out one layer, sew it to a rectangle, then trim the excess, than it was to cut out 2 layers and get them all matched up.  I decided to sew both crowns with contrasting colors of felt: blue/green for our boy guest, and 2 colors of pink for C.  I added one line of decorative stitching for C's crown.  She hasn't taken it off yet, which makes mommy feel happy.

All in all, I was super happy to have taken one of the bazillion Pinterest ideas that I pin and turn around and create it in under an hour!
 The crown is reversible to either the light pink or fuschia side.  C's crown is secured with velcro and should fit for quite awhile.  The blue/green crown I connected with a piece of elastic and is also reversible.  It went home late last night with our houseguest and I didn't get any final pics snapped before bedtime.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


In fantastic news, I am the new owner of a slightly used, Bernina 1300MDC serger!  A serger was my Mother's Day/Birthday present, so I've been doing some research.  I thought I would buy a new, middle of the road Bernina, however, one night last week G and I were trolling Craigslist looking for antique furniture.  I decided to type in "serger" and up popped a very slightly used Bernina.  After a ferry trip and a little bit of a drive up to Everett, me met up with a very nice woman and her serger.  For her it was somewhat of an impulse buy last year, as she already had 2 other sergers, and she found that she wasn't using it.  I was more than happy to take it off her hands!  Here she is - I am so giddy with excitement I feel like giving her a name, maybe Bertha or Helga (something that evokes a 'workhorse' kind of image, which is what I'm hoping she'll be).

She came with every original part, plus all her manuals, and even a DVD of the sewing class Bernina offers to all new owners, the one thing I'll miss by buying second hand.  For the $1200+ I saved of the retail cost I think it's worth it.  

As you can tell from the picture, she isn't set up as of yet...I may have to hold my horses a little bit before she goes into action.  G is still sanding drywall, as I type this, and hopefully next weekend the sewing room will get a coat of paint.  I can set up on the dining room table in the meantime, but I'm not sure it's worth it.  My 2 helpers under the age of 3 would wreak havoc out of any kind of temporary sewing set up.  Plus I actually work 5 days this coming week (!) and we'll be staying at Grandma's for the whole week.  I'll keep busy at her house working on putting my purple and green skirt back together.

In other news, while G was upstairs sanding, and little G was sleeping this morning, C and I went outside to stain the gate.  C had a can of her stain (water) and I had mine.  In about 90 minutes I had both sides of the new gate, some fence post caps, and the last driveway post stained.  Ahhh...just one fence gate and one driveway gate left to be built and then stained, and then the fencing project will be complete!

And what can I say?  Joann's had a pattern sale again this week.  Vogue were on sale for $3.99.  As cheap as I've seen them, so, as you can guess, more patterns.  Oddly enough, not all of them are Vogue.  I think I grabbed one Simplicity and one McCalls that I had seen and coveted in blogland.  I seem to have taken the attitude that if I like it, I should get it because the next time it's likely to be gone.

Excuse the upside down picture.  I've got 2 kids in the room with me and I want to get this post finished!

In quick succession they are:
V1247 - Rachel C0Mey (?) - shirt and skirt for wovens
V1298 - Rachel C0Mey (?) - lightweight wovens
V1169 - Rebecca Taylor - tailored suit!
V1218 - Donna Karan Collection - rayon spandex
V8499 - Marcy Tilton Wearable Art - skirt and pants
V8815 - Very Easy shirt with a peplum.   I may try out the peplum trend, maybe.
Simplicity 2246 Lisette Traveler Shirt Dress
M5974 - Classic Fit, the Perfect Knit Dress, knit wrap dress with ties

I can't help thinking that I am accumulating a lot of patterns in a short time without actually having sewn anything.  All in good time I hope!  I've got 12 more days of teaching, a few days to clean up my classroom, and then I hope to be able to do some sewing, even with 2 kiddoes underfoot for the summer.