Sunday, February 28, 2016

Selfish Sewing Week #4

Alas, the end of February means the end of the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns.  For the second year in a row, participating has accomplished two things:

a) it has really made me enjoy my sewing space and tackling some things I'd been putting off but always wanted to try

b) it has demonstrated yet again that I indeed have a severe case of ADD which is made far worse when I start to think about sewing.  Even as I am sitting at my machine, I've already got another thing cranking through my brain!

For example,  just this morning, as I was about to figure out which of about 5 things I wanted to do first, I found a GREAT tutorial for a scrap catcher for under my serger and had to seriously hold myself back from abandoning everything and working on that!

Being part of the challenge also keeps me accountable and makes me finish a task.  Sometimes, when I get aggravated, I abandon a project or make it half assed and never enjoy the finished look.  Knowing I have to post pictures makes me at least hide my half assed behavior a little more than usual!

So, I found a great fabric for the back of my Big City Quilt that I showed you here, but after a million washes and soaks, I almost threw it away.  That red would NOT stop running.  I did the salt water soak, the wash and dry it maneuver, the soak it a few more times chore and finally, the vinegar soak.  It finally seems to have stopped running, so I'm going to take a risk and use it.

I don't know why that red doesn't run into the white which kind of makes me feel like it might never have been an issue, but....

I didn't finish that quilt this week, but that wasn't really my goal anyway.  I wanted to have everything I need so that when the mood strikes, I will have batting and a backing.  It takes a lot of oomph to tackle quilting a quilt that size on my machine, and I keep thinking I am going to rearrange things so I have a bigger table in my sewing room which would make it all much easier.  But that will require moving a lot of things around and finding new places for a lot of things and I'm so not into that right now....

The next thing I thought I was going to work on this week was a block or two from this Farm Girl Vintage book.  I made the Wooly sheep and Penny pig blanket from this book (the pig was separate but from the same designer) and I like some of the other blocks.  The fruits and baking items aren't really my thing, but there are a few quilt blocks that I really like.

I got some fabrics ready but didn't actually make a plan because...

I needed new lingerie bags for the washer.  I buy these once in a while and I use them quite a bit.  They are great for bras so they don't hook everything in the wash, but also those little ped socks I wear with flats.  They tend to get caught up in everything and in my old washing machine, they were always getting under the rubber on the door frame.

These bags take a real beating and it seems like they've all died at once.

I kept thinking I could take out the zippers and make new bags but every time I went to Joann Fabrics, I couldn't find the right mesh.  I was beginning to think I might have to try using tulle, but I knew that would not work and would be a total mess.

The last time I was there, I asked the girl if she knew where I could find it and she said they have something like what you'd use in a butterfly net.  EXACTLY what I was looking for!  And in case you're wondering, it's near the canvas type materials.  In my Joann, anyway.

There wasn't a lot of precision involved in making these and I actually ended up making 3.  I loved that I could recycle the old zippers.  I just serged the seams with whatever was in my serger, which wasn't white, but who cares?

Next, I can't believe I did this, but I bought fabric for 3 more pairs of leggings!  I really like the Sloan Leggings by Hey June (in fact, I think I've made or altered  a pair every week of this challenge!) and I am determined to figure out which size is right for me!

I've now gone down two sizes and there's nowhere else to go!

I love this wide waistband, but even at the smallest size, it's a little loose at my waist.  BUT, this could be a matter of the fabric being thin and slippery.  I'd had my eye on some of the Nicole Miller slinky knits at Joann and with a 50% off coupon before they went on sale, I bought myself the 1.5 yards as required in the pattern.

I didn't realize until I put these on just how slippery the fabric is.  It's not very thick though I could have sworn it was in the store.  As I moved around, the waist sort of shifted.  They will probably be great for my spin classes, but probably not for running.

I think with a more substantial knit, this size might actually be too tight.  It's hard to know if the reason they are shifting is because they are too big, or they are snug and pulling the waist down as I move.  It's such a pain trying to make sure they will go over my butt but then snap back in to be at my low waist.

After the next two, I am sure I cannot make anymore for a while!  I'm going to make at least one of them capri length and then I need to be done.  I can't live my entire life in leggings or I'll become one of those people who can't wear real clothes anymore because they are too constricting!

Hey, did you know that when you cut out your printed PDF patterns, if you cut the right and top sides of every page, it will make your life 100 times easier?  And if you actually have a paper cutter, you will make your life 200 times easier.  It's something I never thought of and it's actually a suggestion printed in the Sloan Leggings pattern.


Does this look familiar?

After I cut out my leggings, I looked at the leftover piece and thought I might have just enough for a tank top.  I used the Just A Tank pattern from Maria Denmark, which I've used for a few things.  In fact, my 4 dress sewing spree was made from this top which I extended down into a dress length.

I had exactly enough for the front and back piece and plenty for the bands.

None of these pictures actually shows what the fabric looks like!  There's a green in there and much more subtle color changes but you can't see any of that.

As leggings, I think this fabric is totally perfect and I would wear them to exercise. However, as a tank, I feel like it's way too fancy to wear to work out and I would only wear it as a nice top.  How ridiculous is that???

And speaking of ridiculous, in a million years, I would NEVER wear the top and leggings together in public.  I actually couldn't even do that in private. I couldn't live with myself.

So, in this month, I more than met the goals I set out to accomplish here!  I think, in course of this month, I've shown you just about every kind of sewing I might do, from horse blanket repairs to knits to quilting.  I'm really glad I got so much done and my  machines BOTH cooperated the entire time.  Last year, I had a major meltdown with my serger around the time of this challenge and it really made my life difficult because I was in the middle of a commissioned uniform job!

I think this was just the kick I needed to keep the pedal to the metal and continue working on the other things I've dreamed up while I've been sewing this month!

Linking here:\


  1. Such a productive end to the challenge, you've really done awesome this month!

  2. Everything looks so great! :) You're so talented!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  3. Every single time I read your posts, I laugh, which is great - I look forward to it! (And, no, you wouldn't want to become one of those anti-real clothes people from too many leggings ; ) You blew your goals out of the water this month! Thanks for participating in the challenge and for really running with it!

  4. Congrats on your finishes! Sounds like a good month!


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