It's quite easy to add length to make a dress from this pattern. I simply measured how much additional length needed at the bottom of the top and then figured out how width was needed. In this case, I used my previous dress from Kwik Sew 2694 as the guide. I measured 15.5 inches from the fold and then drew a straight line angled down from the bottom of the bodice to my new dress length. Voila!
This took 2 hours from cutting to completion. I will probably make this again in a solid next. If you haven't given this pattern a try, I highly recommend it.
When in a sewing funk, solution = Kwik Sew 2694. This time I lengthened the top to tunic length. It works for me.
It's been a while. We're surviving life with a husband/father who lives 4 hrs away and commutes home on days off. It's been challenging, but at least the bills are being paid.
In the meantime, I took the boys to our yearly family camp on Whidbey Island. It was gorgeous 4 out of the 5.5 days. We didn't complain one bit knowing how past years have been so rainy. We had a great time.
Pearly stayed back home to attend volleyball try-outs. She made varsity - yea! But she was sure missed at camp. High school is the time where teens have to learn to weigh tough decisions and she is no stranger to that anymore.
Here are a few of my favorite pics. It was great that Tall Dude could go this year. He was a big help and was so sweet with his younger siblings. I don't know many 20-yr olds who take the time play with their younger siblings. What wonderful memories for these boys.
Well, it has seen better days. It had many holes in it. It was in such bad shape, I didn't know how to fix it. He had asked me a number of times to fix it, but I hesitated because I didn't know if he would then reject it because it was smaller. His persistence won. It was taken to the sewing table where I figured the best way to "fix" it was to take off a 9-inch strip down one side. There was still a big hole beyond the 9-inch strip, but I figured it could probably be patched up. That's what I did and it worked well. I don't have a train track stitch on my sewing machine, so I used red thread and the closest matching stitch I could find.
So, I brought it upstairs to give to him. He was thrilled to know that it had been fixed. I carefully showed him what I had done. He then took the blanket from me and looked at the corners. Then, with a very worried look on his face, he said, "where's the hangy thingy"? Well, there were "hangy thingies" all over the place because the blanket was in shreds. As he asked the question, his chin started quivering and he was on the verge of crying. I quickly went downstairs and grabbed the 9-inch strip I had cut off earlier and brought it upstairs to show him. I asked him where the "hangy thingy" was. He pointed to the corner where there were 2 little pieces of fabric hanging - we're talking disgustingly, dingy, torn, ratty-looking "hangy thingies". I couldn't bear to see him cry. He wanted them sewn back on his blanket.
That, my friends, is the look of contentment (I know it's hard to tell behind the stoic facade, but Mama knows.) Caboose is happy. Mama is happy. I wish all of life's problems could be solved with hangy-thingies!
Mother's Day started like this: Orange Boy (12 yrs old) made homemade cinnamon rolls. This is the 2nd time he's made them. He put them together last night and put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, he put them in the oven on very low to rise and then baked them. This kid is amazing. He was craving cinnamon rolls about a month ago and decided to find a recipe and go for it. Some young lady is going to be very blessed to have him as a husband some day!
Can you say YUM?!!!
After church, we had a picnic lunch at a state park and went for a walk in the woods - right in the middle of Portland. Can you believe all of this in the middle of Portland? I love Oregon!!!
Before I continue - the necklace in the picture was on loan to me by my 15-yr old daughter Pearly. Unfortunately, when I checked my jewelry box this morning for a necklace to wear, I discovered THREE of my necklaces had been broken. It seems my 4-yr old Caboose has been lasso-ing things using my necklaces. I bribed my daughter by telling her I'd publicly give her credit for the use of her necklace and she obliged.
My additions to the pattern include using Fusible Tape (SewkeysE brand Extremely Fine knit stay tape) around anything that needed to be hemmed and also the neckline. I use this method in all of my knit tops because I find that my coverstitch machine is temperamental and skips stitches. If I apply the fusible tape, I do not have that problem. 3/8-in. clear elastic was used to stabilize the shoulder seam. I use this in all knit shoulder seams. It really works great.
My easy way of applying elastic to shoulder seams: put the end of elastic under the presser foot and start sewing until the elastic is sewn maybe 1/4-in. This helps to secure it. I then put the front/back shoulder underneath the presser foot while holding the elastic on top of the fabric and stitch across the shoulder seam. The elastic is already "anchored" with stitches, so it is fairly easy to guide the elastic as the shoulder seam is sewn. You may have a little slot on your presser foot for applying ribbons/elastic, etc, and if you do, that is easier than my method.
Oh - one more difference with this dress - I made it a sleeveless dress by applying the fusible tape, turning over about 3/8 inch and then using the coverstitch to hem. This dress was so easy to make. The hardest part was ironing the fusible tape to the bottom hemline because I find ITY a challenge to work with - it rolls! You will definitely see more variations of this pattern to come. It will pay for itself in no time by making simple revisions. I was very slow on the bandwagon, but plan on making up for lost time.
This top is so great. I used an interlock knit from JoAnn's. I am normally not impressed with their selection, but when I saw this, I snagged it. I have other plans for this top pattern - maybe a tunic with leggings for summer? Maybe I'm too old at 45 for that look. What do you think?
Here are the fine details: Pay attention to the length on this top - this is an older pattern that was drafted when shorter tops were in style. Also, the sleeve seems to be tighter than most patterns.
Great pattern instructions.
Pattern modifications: added 1 inch to waist, FIVE inches to bottom of bodice tapering out to a large at the hips. Widened sleeves. Took a tuck form the front neckline = SBA.
Ironed fusible webbing around neckline and for all hems. Coverstitched around neckline and hems.
Very easy pattern pattern. I will definitely make it again.
The new online sewing forum is growing - over 1,000 members now: Check it out: mysewingcircle.com
I've been a member of ravelry.com for knitters for quite a while and love the clean look and simple interface of the site and wondered why there was nothing of that quality for sewists. It looks like there is: mysewingcircle.com
Right now it is in the baby stages, but so far there are over 800 members. The owners are really paying attention to the members and implementing their suggestions. This may be the site I've been dreaming of.
Go take a look: mysewingcircle.com
By far, the post that gets the most search hits on my blog is this post on homemade tomato cages. I want to post an update on the new method we tried last year as I believe it far surpasses anything we have ever tried in our 17 yrs of gardening. In Oregon, the tomato plants grow quite large and most tomato cages will only support half the plant, if that. This new method we discovered is fantastic. It is sturdy, holds the whole plant very nicely without damaging limbs, and allows easy access to the tomatoes. This was the first year all of our tomato plants stayed upright and no limbs collapsed from the weight of tomatoes. (think $$ savings!!!) I took pictures from different angles so hopefully this will be clear to understand. Click on pictures if you'd like to see a closeup.
You can see 3 rows of metal fencing posts - they are around 6 feet tall (before hammering in the ground) my husband in the picture is 6'5". The first row of fencing was for our green beans (bottom of the pictiure), so look at the other 2 rows above.
Plant a row of young tomato plants. Hammer metal fence posts in a row on both sides of the tomato plants - about 4 feet apart between posts and 4 feet between each row. Roll out concrete reinforcing wire and attach to the fence posts using zip ties. As the tomato plants mature and needs support, use narrow sticks (approx 5 feet long) by pushing the stick through one side of the concrete reinforcing wire and all the way through the other side of the concrete reinforcing wire. Weekly, check the tomato plant and see if more limbs need support. This picture is showing how we inserted the wooden sticks through the reinforcing wire. When the tomatoes are ripe, simply reach through the reinforcing wire.
Wooden sticks through the reinforcing wire
Unfortunately, I neglected to take pictures when the big tomatoes were huge. These pictures were taken when the cherry tomatoes were just starting to ripen, so the plants weren't even full height.
This method is a great one in that everything can be reused each year. I found the fence posts on Craigslist very inexpensively.
If you use this method, please let me know how it works for you.