30 December 2015

2015 sewing goal review

Congratulations to Mindy on reaching 100 recipes in a year! I, on the other hand, lost my cooking mojo a long time ago and never got into a rhythm with it this entire year. I just don't care. I did recently come across this recipe for buttermilk scones (while looking for something else on that blog) that totally nailed it. Hint - freeze the butter, then grate it with the food processor to speed up cutting it into the flour. And for making "buttermilk" - one cup of milk, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

What I did do this year was sew. On January 1, I posted this list from the WhipStitch blog as my target for the year, along with the Alphabet Challenge ... and here are the results:

1. a treat for your sewing space: I saw this post on SouleMama about rope baskets, and followed it over to where she got the idea on Maya*Made. (Backtrack through this one - there are lots of rope basket posts with lovely photography.) I don't read these two blogs very often, but really like them. A few days later, I came across some rope for piping in a box of craft supplies someone gave me last summer and decided to try it out. Neither blog has a tutorial for the baskets - they want you to buy Maya's book of course - so I found this tutorial online. It took me a little bit to get it right and I had to go over some of the sections a second time to make sure it was all secure. But they were freaking EASY!! And I LOVE them! SM and I colored on these a bit with fabric markers to jazz them up a little. They were given to a friend as a gift, but I've since made more to corral the little odds and ends that are always floating around on a sewing table.

2. something for him: Adam's flannel pajama pants were done! And ready for Christmas! But they didn't look quite right, so I pulled out his store-bought pajama pants and laid the handmade ones on top ... too short in the groin rise, and too short in the legs. They actually fit ME. But no. This fabric is from his mother's house that I got when she passed away. I will not steal his pants. Fortunately, I had doubled over the waistband by a lot, so I have room to fix it. And I found some small pieces in my scrap box that I can use to extend the legs. So they're still in the sewing room, but close enough to count for this! Ha!

3. a skirt or dress for you: Sew clothing for myself? Yeah right.

4. a quilt or blanket for charity: My first quilt top is done! I'm going to use a regular top sheet for the backing but I haven't found room in the budget yet to get the batting because I want the good stuff. When it's all finished, I will post more (and better) pictures of it. And no, this is not going to charity. This is going on JE's bed. Completing this item will go on the Alphabet Challenge and is the first thing on my Year Ten list.

5. a garment for a child: RG's baptism dress. She still says it's boring because there's no color, and I still love the white-on-white embroidery.

6. a project using only scraps: I had some ideas for this, but don't think I ever got to any of them.

7. an accessory: my mom forgot to pack her kitchen aprons when she moved to New York for a year and a half. Tawnia and I took care of that for her birthday.

8. something in an unfamiliar textile: ROPE!!! Who sews with ROPE?!?! Also, the skirt on JE's Elsa dress is a sheer-ish cotton gauze, which I'd never sewn with before. It has a deeper blue lining behind it (which I have used before), which explains the rich color.

9. a project from a printed sewing pattern: I used patterns I've already done - the Rollerskate Dress for the baptism dress (above) and the Playtime Tunic from Oliver+S for all the Christmas nightgowns. I started with the Fairy Tale Dress pattern (also Oliver+S) but it's more difficult than anything else I've ever done. I was going super-slow and had to set it aside and move some other things to the top of the priority list. It's back in the line-up now that Christmas is done. Anyway, I made 4 nightgowns - this one is a variation on the pattern because I left off the sleeves. SM wanted this particular fabric and there wasn't enough for sleeves, but it turned out great anyway because of the dropped shoulder seams. It also doesn't go clear to the floor like the other girls' but it's past her knees so she has plenty of room to grow in it. (And yes, I made only 4 nightgowns, even with 5 girls. TA refuses to wear nightgowns right now, so she got a top and shorts, noted below.)

10. a quilt or block for a swap: Since this allows for a block, rather than an entire quilt ... I tried paper-piecing in February. I love it, but it took such a long time! This whole thing is actually four smaller blocks, and each of the four was twelve pieces each. So yeah. It took awhile to make one of these flowers. It will be put into a sampler quilt or just made into a pillow. I haven't decided yet.

11. a project from a PDF pattern: Dana Willard’s shorts pattern ... eight pairs later ... Three cotton pairs for during the day, and five flannels for pajamas. The flannels so far have all been for SM and TA because they keep asking for them. The other girls prefer to wear other things to bed, but I'm sure I will eventually make them flannel pajama shorts too. I can make a pair of these shorts in under an hour - I timed myself. This little monkey got flannel shorts with a top for her Christmas pajamas, because she's silly like that.

12. a bag or pouch: Bento tote bags for SM and TA for their dance classes

13. a project you Pinned but haven’t done yet: Hooray hooray! I did use a bookmarked project! The Elsa dress on Made by Rae was my model for JE's Elsa birthday dress. It's the one and only link moved into my "projects completed" folder, but at least I got the one!

14. applique or embroidery: I made this little simple skirt for JK out of the leftover fabric from making some shorts, and it needed a boost. I like the turquoise heart on it but don't look too close - my applique work needs A LOT of practice. It's a mess.

15. something doll sized: Not yet. I had a plan for Christmas that didn't happen, but has moved to JK's birthday in March.

16. use an unfamiliar tool or machine: I used embroidery stitches on my machine for the Christmas nightgowns. Does that count? I was using something on my machine that I'm not familiar with.

17. a project using fabric you designed: this had me stumped in January and continues to elude me. 

For the Alphabet Challenge, I did only E, F, and G this year. I have H almost done. I and J are started and on stand-by. So I have been moving forward with it, just reeeeeally slowly.

 Other things I made this year in addition to this particular list:
- two simple skirts from a dolphin/beach print my mom gave me
- another Elsa dress for TA's birthday, styled similar but with different fabrics from JE's Elsa dress
- a Wizard of Oz Dorothy dress for SM for Halloween, used this tutorial from Girl. Inspired. I didn't shirr the back (but I probably should go back and try it), and I put the straps over the shoulders instead of as a halter top.
- this pattern and tutorial are what I used for TA's Christmas pajamas.
- I finally finished a couple of Christmas decor projects I started forever ago: a scallop garland and embroidered fabric gift tags.
- 30-ish items fixed from the mending box ... which still looks untouched. What the heck?!?

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