I'll write about my adventures in sewing, pattern design, fabrics, notions, sewing books, magazines and the lessons I've learned from my Mother along the way. I'll be adding Knitting as well now that I have my own knitting buisness.
These are my latest fabric finds for two more crossover aprons. I’m finished with the plaid and have already cut out the linen. I’ll probably pick up more linen with a different pattern and make my one linen apron into two aprons by splitting up the different patterned fabric. This will give me a two sided apron with opposite patterns.
Pockets & Loops
With this apron I decided to add two pockets, one on each side for convenience. The loop was added because not everyone has a wooden, peg rack to hang all their beautiful aprons on, some of us just have a small hook in a utility cupboard. This time I placed the pockets to the sides of the apron and not out front.
Back side cross over
This is a very roomy and comfortable apron, that is easy to cook and clean in. The convenience of the pockets to put nick-knacks in as you muck about the house is a benifit to any house keeper who will always run out of jean pocket room while vacuuming the house especially when they’re kids involved. I never knew what I’d find on a cleaning day, an apron like this would have been great when my children were young. When Lego and Hot Wheels were to be found everywhere in my house.
Would you sew an apron like this for yourself?
God Bless & Keep Sewing On
Until I sew again, thanks. Jennifer
P.S. I’ve checked out the linens at Fabricville and will be not picking out a different patterned linen to compliment the fabric I have now. I didn’t see anything that I thought would be a good match. I will start sewing the linen apron today.
In this time of isolation, it’s important to stay busy, productive and most importantly positive. This is why I thought a creative morning crocheting hearts would be fun. I started off yesterday crocheting face wash scrubbies for myself and progressed to crocheting hearts. These four hearts were super easy to whip up and can be used for a variety of purposes from gifts, scrubbies, decorate bags, and blankets. What ever your imagination can think up these hearts will do just fine. With this project I learned a new and easier way to work a magic circle with just the slip knot, and I no long cringe when someone says (magic circle).
Link to all the sizes of hearts
I mostly knit, but I do like to crochet on occasion especially if the project calls for it. What are you? A knitter or crocheter?
God Bless & Crochet On
In times like this don’t be over come by fear, search for the positive and be faithful to it. Your local neighbourhood crocheter, Jennifer.
The call for much needed support for United States Health Care Services being met by the Sewing Community
Last weekend I ran across an article for sewing face masks for the Doctors, Nurses and Health Care workers who were running low on their medical face mask in the United States. I have found that Nurses and Pediatricians with sewing skills are meeting this need, and creating face masks for those who work on the front lines in Hospitals and other Health Care facilities. I felt these professionals were brilliant with their creativity in meeting a needed. I wanted to share the mask I’m making for my 82 year old mother who lives in Toronto and who I believe would be safer with a mask when she has to leaves her apartment.
These masks are for air born droplets from talking, sneezing and coughing. If you are donating sewn masks to hospitals then they will wash the masks. For your own personal cleaning of the face mask, a washing machine or dipping it in boiling water that has soap to sterilize the mask so you can reuse it. Use what ever method you feel is necessary.
This link has an instructional video for sewing the face mask with flat elastic. There are also 2 PDF files for face masks with ties and elastic. There are adult/child sizes.
100% Cotton (quilting fabric), One fat quarter gives you 3 masks at (9 x 6) inches with flat elastic, you’ll need extra fabric for making binding strips.
Package of flat elastic (1/4) inch wide or make binding strips at 34 inches by 1 1/2 inches each, make two.
Thread, straight pins and scissors.
Note pad and pencil for your own notes.
My Transcript from Video (Adult)
Use pre washed fabric because shrinkage and any chemical finish.
Cut 2 rectangles of 100% cotton (9 x 6) inches.
Cut 2 flat 1/4 in elastic strips at 7 in long.
Place right sides of fabric together, pin in place.
Start sewing (straight stitch) at halfway mark on (9 inch) side. There is 3/8 to 1/2 inch seam allowance, which ever seam allowance you feel comfortable with. The 3/8 in follows along the edge of sewing foot, this is what I did.
Placing elastic at corner: An inch before you reach the first corner you will place the elastic with one end at and towards the corner, halfway btwn 9 inch and 6 inch edges. The remainder of the elastic will be btwn the two pieces of fabric at an angle.
Continue sewing to and around the corner making sure you sew over the elastic. Do the same with the next corner, placing the other end of the elastic, the same as first corner, creating the loop that will go over your ear.
On the next ( 9 inch) edge you’ll create a hole by ending your stitching and starting again in 2-3 inch. This creates a hole for you to turn your fabric right-side out.
Continue sewing around the other corners, and placing the elastic correctly.
Finish sewing to where you started.
Turn the mask right-side out.
Poke the corners out and I give a quick press with steam from my iron.
Pin Tucks: You’ll do 3 pin tucks on each 6 inch edge making sure tucks are going in the same direction.
Top stitch 1/4 inch around all edges two times for strength and reinforcement, making sure you catch the elastics on your way around.
The flat elastic is too long for me, I would cut 6 inch long strips because my face is smaller. I had to pinch a bit and sew to make elastic shorter for a better fit.
For the children’s sizes, there was no elastic length given, so I’d try btwn 4-6 inch strips depending on the child age.
When sewing the last two rounds, around the face mask. Sew the 1/4 inch seam allowance because you’ll sew over the ends where the elastic joins the corners.
These masks are double layer 100% cotton, they’re reusable and washable.
These masks do not take the place of hospital grade surgical masks but the do fill a need due to shortage.
Please join a group that is already working with a Hospital.
Some videos position elastic differently, checkout Links at the end for the Youtube video for an example.
From cutting fabric to finishing touches the whole project takes about 30 minutes per mask.
Some photos I took for a visual reference.
Finished the Face Mask, front and side view.
More links for different face masks:
There is a wealth of important information in the following links, please take the time to read.
I hope this post has encourage you to see hope and light at the end of the tunnel. We will survive this pandemic because we are made of strong stuff, just look around at all the amazing people stepping up to find solutions. I feel encouragement because of these people and I thank God that I can be part of the solution by sharing, Amen.
When I first thought of a new project for a shawl I wanted it to be asymmetric, but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. So I started playing around but couldn’t quite get the asymmetric look. I knew I wanted an eyelet as a decorative element and I also played with a kfb but I ran into a problem, there wasn’t asymmetric happening. I also knew there had to be a decrease but where and when was my problem. I also wanted a straight edge with no step decreases or short rows, what to do? I started to look through all my books, I looked at Pinterest and YouTube until I found just a single decrease is all that was needed.
The start of the asymmetric shawl
An asymmetric shawl is a triangle that is more long than wide. It is also knit at an odd angle creating the asymmetric shape of the triangle. Here’s what I mean, this is very mathematical of me but it makes more sense. It is a scalene triangle in shape with two acute angles at the long ends with an obtuse angle at the widest part of the shawl. I will illustrate in a drawing. Now your asymmetric shawl doesn’t have to be a scalene shapes triangle it can be more centered than mine but the knit direction gives is the asymmetric shape that create two long ends with a more shallow depth. A truly beautiful shawl to knit up.
To create the knit asymmetric direction you’ll need to understand just a few things. First you start at a long end that goes over your shoulder. Second, C/O the desired amount of stitches, btwn 3-5. Thirdly, (important) because I knit the garter stitch I marked my right and wrong sides. I always increased at the neck edge every row and decreased every second row on the opposite edge, so my shawl continued to grow at an odd angle.
Choosing your increases & decreases
I have seen a couple of different ways to proceed with the asymmetric shawl. But one rule remains the same, you’ll always increase and decrease on same edges. How you knit it is up to you. I’ve seen kfb, yarn overs for increases and short rows, steps and I just did a simple k2tog every second row for decreases. There are so many stitch variation that you’ll be able to create your perfect asymmetric shawl. I played around until I found the stitches I was happy with, so I encourage you to crack open your knitting books and create your own look.
Another look at an Asymmetric shawl
From Martina Behm who designed a beautiful shawl called the (Hitchhiker), a fun shawl to knit up. You can clearly see the stitch direction on this shawl.
Yarn, Gauge & Needles
Yarn: 2 skeins of green DK weight, 100% marina wool, 200 m-100 g by Celtic Raven Fibers.
Yarn: 1 skein of pink DK weight, 100% marina wool, 200 m-100 g by Celtic Raven Fibers.
Gauge: 17 sts and 35 rows (4 x 4) square.
Needles: 4.5 mm circular needles.
How to Videos
1. How I started the asymmetric shawl.
2. How the Y/O eyelet rows work
3. How to Knit a Nupp: sounds like (noop), like soup.
1. How to start an asymmetric shawl
Y & N: Celtic Raven Fibers with 6.0 mm needles. Follow the Link below.
I hope you enjoyed my videos, I certainly enjoyed making them. I found out they are harder to make then I originally thought and so I learned a lot along the way. The nupp video will be added when done.
Some where down a long road of owners, one of them decided to paint this vintage Singer grey, and the original colour is black. Because I cant read the serial number at this time I believe it was made in 1947 which makes this machine 73 years old, and that’s 25 years older than me. This machine still works wonderfully and I bought it for my use. I see not just doing odd jobs for people but more importantly sewing many different bags from purses to satchels and more, with beautiful linings.
I look forward to cleaning my Singer up to look more like this one.
I’ve spent some time looking my new/old Singer up on the internet and I’ve found out that they are going for $530.00 plus (Can), I paid my neighbour down the road $100 to take it off his hands because his wife needed it out of the house, which made me laugh. We loaded it on to the back of his truck, strapped it down and drove it to my house. The Singers new home is my laundry room in our basement, and what a laundry room it is. This room has 3 windows, and has 140 square feet of space. Truly lovely for me to move around in, but at the moment we have a lot of home renovations going on. So this room has turned into a bit of a dumping ground, in time though I’ll have the floor and walls painted. I may even put up curtains.
The Singer class 241 is a high speed, single needle, lock stitch machine with a completely automatic lubricating system. It has a gear-driven, lubricated rotary sewing hook and a drop feed.
Maximum speed of machines 241-11 and 241-12 is 5000 stitches per minute.
An Original Ad
To do list
I’ve just printed out the manual
Bought the oil for a self regulating machine
Have to get new needles
Get more feet for different jobs
Question: The obvious, do you own a vintage sewing machine and do you use it to sew?
If you know anything about this machine please let me know, I’d love to hear.
This is my new Page called (Knitting by the Project) where I’ll walk you through my knitting or crocheting projects step by step. Whether I’m learning a new stitch or working with well used ones I’ll show you my progress as I work. With this page I’ll also be adding videos of how I work different stitches in each project.
What makes this knitting Page different from others?
What makes knitting page different from others? Well, instead of just showing different knitting or crocheting stitch techniques that independent of a project. I’ll show you the stitches I work in a project from start to finish, so you can get a whole picture of how different stitches go together to finish a project.Yarn in the Picture
I’ll be using a variety of patterns from different sources. Some of the patterns will be mine, as well as from other designers. I’m an entrepreneur myself and I value other designers work. Even though I’ll be showing stitching techniques from other designers patterns. I will not be giving patterns out that aren’t mine. I will though let you know who the designer is, their pattern and where I found them.
Yarn, Needles & Gauge
Yes I will be talking about the yarn and needles as well. Where I bought, how many skeins, size of needle and gauge. I will not leave you on the hook!
We moved into a bungalow just outside of a small village in Colchester County, Northern Nova Scotia. On a small 2 plots parcel of land to grow a big vegetable garden with a couple of fruit trees, and a creek running along the back of it. Truly a dream home for my family to grow and thrive in. If you’re not feeling a bit envious already, we also get to see the calves being born in the field past the creek during the springtime. A perfect place to finish raising my family and start my home grown sewing and knitting business. I’m tucked away in the spare room upstairs and not in the basement anymore. My sewing/knitting room is all mine and not a dumping ground for everyone else’s junk.
The new sewing/knitting office is just perfect in size and shape to accommodate my needs. 9 x 9′ room and closet 5 x 2′. My closet is compact with shelves for my various machines to be stored when not in use.
The biggest and most used piece of furniture in my sewing room is the table where I will do all my work, so it had to be big to meet all my needs but also fit into the room without overwhelming the space. The new table had to be a versatile piece that met different functions from a desk for my computer to a cutting and drawing work station and a sewing table for my sewing and surging machines. When first dreaming up this table and its function I wanted it to have wheels, but when I saw my new room I quickly realized this would be too cumbersome to move around and the wheels would put the table top at an unusual height that would be difficult for me to sew at. The table top is bamboo kitchen counter top at (6 x 2.5′) which I have treated with a special oil and beeswax to maintain its health, this also keeps it smooth. To hold this table top up I went to Ikea and picked up two shelving units that are 30 x 30 inch with 4 shelves that hold containers for my yarn and fabric. These shelves are the only place where yarn and fabric are allowed to be for a stock pile free environment and keep my supplies in a manageable amount, so that I actually use the fabric and yarn instead of forgetting that I’d bought it.
Clutter free & Organized
My biggest aim in creating my new room was to be clutter free and organized so I didn’t feel like I was being pushed out of my room or over whelmed by too much hording fabric and yarn. I wanted to be able to use all of my fabric and yarn and then replenish it, a recycling of supplies. Basically a stress free environment for me.
Book shelves, rolling notion trays towers and more. I picked out a comfortable, rolling, height adjustable chair that easily moves around on my wood floor. To hold all my books and binders I have a book and bakers shelf that holds and array of books baskets and binders. For additional storage I kept my bakers pie cupboard which I wasn’t willing to part with in the move. Here I keep an over flow of items.
Gillian’s New Home
Gillian made it across Canada in one piece with only a small hiccup of lost feet which the movers found for me. As you can see Gillian is very busy in her new home and she is getting ready to finish a jacket I started sewing too many years ago, looking great in a dress I just finished and trying on a new apron I’ll be selling in the summer.
These is still lots of work to do in my new sewing room but I’m quit pleased with my room so far. I’ll be changing light fixtures, a new coat of paint and curtains but all these thing take time. I will post when all is finished.
It is one thing to clean a sewing room but to move it is another whole adventure. A colossal task it seemed at first, but it has proven to be quite freeing as well. I feel more focused, and have a clearer path to my road.
From Calgary, Alberta to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
To be sure this has been the most difficult room in my house to take down but also the most revealing. It is truly amazing to find all the hidden treasures’ while cleaning and packing. I have found long lost pictures and letters from years ago, some have made me cry while others are bitter sweet. Saying good bye to mementos I have held onto for so long have brought release from the past. Over the years I have realized these things hold memories and that is all, memories that are good to look back on once then it is time to let go.
Only halfway done, but coming along with YMCA (Village People).
What I learn I’ll never do again in my sewing room
I will never stalk pile fabric again, I gave away way too much fabric, that I lost all interest in.
I will not turn this room into a dumping ground of useless items ever again, I’ll throw it out before it hits a surface.
Make no emotional attachments to inanimate objects again.
What will I keep from my from my sewing room and take with me.
About 15% of fabric that I’ll work with
About 10% of patterns I’ll use
Gillian my dress form
Stamps for handmade cards
Knitting needles & crochet hooks
Yarn (my best)
I’ll be leaving all my furniture from the sewing room and starting fresh in Tatamagouche.
What have I been up to while packing up my sewing room?
Finishing sewing and knitting projects while I’ve been cleaning out my sewing room
Infinity scarf with snaps made from jersey fabric.
Sleeveless jersey top.
Irish dancing dress wall quilt.
knit two slouchy toques.
knit a infinity scarf.
Take the measurements from a corduroy child’s jacket to grade it to size for an older child.
tailored jacket womens
The Hardest Part so far
I wasn’t looking forward today. So far the most difficult job for me has been going through all my sewing class binders. All my class work took a lot of my time and I’m finding it very difficult o let go BUT! It has also been freeing for me to let go because I know how to do these things. Out of 10 binders I’ve only kept a few because I thought they were important to keep. I have enough books as reference and if I forget how to do something, I can look it up. Right now I have to get up and walk away, it has suddenly become too difficult because I’m throwing away all my hard work and all my sewing examples. But I don’t need to keep them, everything I need to know is already in my mind, it’s there and I’m not letting go of my hard work because it is in me. For over ten years I never looked in these binders because I knew what to do and all my hard work paid off. Well it’s done, and I’m better for it. Now I just have to clean up my mess. Lol! An afternoons job done.
Modifications to the New Sewing Room
While cleaning out my sewing room I found way too many dead spiders and bugs I don’t know the names too. I will fix this problem by: 1. only buy notions that I’m going to use on a project, 2. only buy fabric I’m going to use on a project, 3. I will have two shelves (generous) in size but can only fit 5-7 projects at a time. 4. I cannot add to this shelf unless I have finished other projects. I think I’ll have a cleaner (minimalistic) approach to my new sewing room. Try not to laugh! I’m aiming high. I just can’t have this horrid, pack-rat approach for a sewing room again. I was suffocating in this room. I am freeing myself. P.S. the project shelves will have project bins, that will fit an entire project (notions and fabric), one project per bin.
Preparing Gillian (dress form) for travel
As you can see I changed her pins for safety pins to keep the (black lines) in place for pattern drafting. Luckily her post (leg) comes off and I can put her in a box for safe keeping. We’ll see on the other end if this succeeds. Because there was no box found and I had to wrap her up here legs were taken off and at the other end in Tatamagouche Gillian lost her legs. It took a while but they were found and she is standing again. Here she is wearing a new apron. An apron I’m still working on.
Question: If you were able to design a new sewing room, how would you go about doing it? Would there be a budget or the sky is the limit?
God Bless & Keep Dreaming (Sewing)
Thank you, Jennifer P.S. new sewing room soon to be painted.
Wrapping the wrap Dress up from Calgary to Nova Scotia
Finding the time is making the time! After putting my new sewing room together I made the effort to finish this puppy up and I’m pleased with the result.
From Beginning to End
I’m happy to say, finished! Sewing this dress took a long time with many interruptions along the way. I’m only guessing 4 years it took to finish this dress. I started a knitting business, homeschool for my youngest, took on a large wall quilt job, moved across Canada and the general hub-bub of life. My intention for the next dress is a shorter time of creation from start to finish.
Hemming the Dress
Hemming the dress proved to be a bit more challenging than expected. First problem the hem is straight across, so I’ll be changing that for the next dress which will not take 4 years. The second problem was something I forgot about early on and as the years progress it slipped my mind and didn’t surface until the end when I was hemming. So, the problem was up front where there are two layers and the underlayer was too wide at the bottom and as you can imagine this was not good! Fixed it to my satisfaction.
Next Wrap dress will be Black
I’m looking forward to starting this dress and finishing it up much, much sooner. Since I have the pattern altered and I will also make necessary adjustments concerning the hem I’m sure it’ll take no time at all. Also I’ll be changing sleeves to a cap ones.
I’ve decided to design a new apron, not because I’m bored with my old favorite but because it’s like sewing a new dress. The fun in playing with colour, fabric and details, like fancy stitching is too irresistible to ignore. I’d seen many different aprons over all different kinds of platforms and was consistently drawn to the cross-over utility apron.
The fabric is 100% cotton that I’d use for quilting or a summer a-line skirt and was bought at a cost of $3.99 per m. luckily there was 2 meters left on the bolt and with a bit of fiddling I was able to create this cross-over apron. Its not a colour I would usually pick up for myself but what is one to do when the fabric calls, buy me!
Dimensions and Fit
This apron has a very generous fit and the ease is 25 cm over my 94 cm upper bust line with the cross-over included. The main part of the apron is 120 cm X 85 cm rectangle and the straps are 50 cm X 20 cm, and I would say this is a medium fit.
As you can see I’m playing around with decorative stitching, a leaf pattern and I encourage you to play with different coloured thread as well. When I was first learning to sew in my early teens, thread was not to be seen and always the same colours as the fabric! I disagree, have fun and play.
This is a very roomy apron that will fit small to large sizes depending on your own personal measurements, you may have to adjust the pattern a bit for your perfect fit. I shall continue playing with decorative stitches and I will add a pocket with the leftover fabric. This is a two-sided apron so there will be a pocket for each side.
I'll write about my adventures in sewing, pattern design, fabrics, notions, sewing books, magazines and the lessons I've learned from my Mother along the way. I'll be adding Knitting as well now that I have my own knitting buisness.