Meet Emoji

You probably already know, but we got another Sphynx. His name is Emoji and he is a little terror, but a cute one.

 

Emoji

 

#Hashtag is so calm and so good. Emoji is the exact opposite. He plays hard and then he passes out real hard. There is no middle ground. He is also a trouble maker and loves finding new ways to get into trouble. For example, right after we first got him, he started to play in the toilet water. Well, Sphynx have oil and Emoji’s is a light brown/red. We were finding light brown/red paw prints all over our toilet seats. So we started putting the lids down. Recently, he has begun playing with the lids and trying to get into the toilet. He hasn’t been successful…yet, but it does make a terrible noise. You would think the solution would be to shut the door to the bathroom or toilet, but that’s futile. Emoji HATES closed doors and since we have handles, not knobs, he has learned to jump and hang on the handles enough to open the doors, which is also pretty noisy.

But he sleeps on my face and purrs all of the time and is super loving, so he makes up for all of the naughtiness.

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

We think #Hashtag likes having him around, but #Hashtag is such an emo kitty, that we aren’t sure. They play together, eat together, and sleep together, so it seems like they are OK with each other. It certainly makes things interesting for us.

 

Emoji and Hashtag

 

Emoji

 

Hashtag and Emoji

Carry On Bag

 

In fall of 2015, Mom said she needed a bag to carry her serger in and she was going to make one. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so I said I would make one with her and we planned to do it at the next retreat we were going to be at together in January.

We chose the Carry On Travel Bag from By Annie. I had never made a By Annie bag, but Mom knew people who had and said it was doable. I figured that if I could make The Weekender, then I could do this. We ordered the finishing kits and Soft and Stable from By Annie’s site. To be on the safe side, I measures our sergers and made sure they would fit in the bag. They wouldn’t. Oops! But all we had to do was increase the width by three inches. I went to work on the quilt math and figured out which pieces would need to be cut different and how much more yardage we would need. Once I had that figured out, we needed to buy fabric.

Mom bought her fabric from her local shop. I had fallen in love with the new Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis line. It was supposed to be available before January, so I ordered it. Then I waited for it to ship. I waited some more. I emailed the seller. I waited. I emailed again. Then it was December and I hadn’t had any communication, so I decided to deal with that later and buy other fabric. My friend and I were going to make a trip to Missouri Star before Christmas and I decided I would find fabric there. I ended up buying some Allison Glass fabric and I was super excited about it.

After reading all of the instructions, we were a little intimidated by the quilting that would need to be done with the Soft and Stable. We had never quilted Soft and Stable and it was just a lot of quilting. So we decided to have it long armed, which was the best decision ever. Mom had no problem getting it quilted quickly so I could pick it up while home for Christmas and cut it before the retreat in January. I got it cut the weekend before the retreat. Both of us were a little intimidated by the cutting because of the number of pieces and the fact that we had changed the dimensions of a lot. I double and triple checked everything.

Mom wasn’t able to attend the retreat because we had a sick family member. I wasn’t going to work on the bag without her, so I brought other projects and the bag had to sit until our next retreat at my place in April.

Everything worked out for the retreat in April. Mom was able to attend and we focused our entire weekend on that bag. It worked out really well. We ended up cutting everything correctly!!! Well, Mom had a few pieces that were too wide, but they could be cut down and would have been correct if our webbing had been wider. We also re-cut some stuff because we wanted to use a different fabric for the accent or binding than what the pattern called for. We both had plenty left over to allow that.

The instructions were pretty good. I would say they were better than The Weekender. A few things were frustrating and there were things we didn’t like and would do differently next time (As if there will be a next time. Ha!), but it all totally worked out. We both ended up with gorgeous bags. Mom followed the pattern and used binding to finish the edges. I’ve done a bag like that before and hated it, so I decided to line mine. It worked out great, too. Mom didn’t cover her straps because the webbing she ordered matched her fabric well, but I covered mine like the pattern calls for.

Our main suggestions of things to do differently would be around the lining and seam allowance. I would be nice if when you looked inside the bag, the fabric was consistent. The pattern is written so that it’s not and kind of looks like a jumbled mess. It’s still pretty, but not ideal. The seam allowance throughout the pattern is 1/4″. That’s not appropriate for a bag. It should be at least a half inch. I get that the 1/4″ works well with binding, but it would be better to sew the half inch and cut it down once the binding is attached. We ended up doing that and our bag was a bit smaller, but it would have been a pain to try to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance with all of the bulk.

My suggestion is for the zippers. I HATED her zipper finishing method. My mom thought it was kind of cool because it creates a little ridge that is kind of like faux piping, but it’s really hard to make it work on the inside so the seam allowance is completely hidden. I want my bag to look 100% finished and that method did not do that. I did it for a couple of zippers and said screw it for the main zipper and I’m glad I did. It was just weird.

When you are making a serious bag, during the actual bag making, you’re like, “What did I do to myself? Is this worth it?” But once you have a finished product, you’re like, “This is the best thing ever. Totally worth it!” We both felt that way about this bag since it took ALL weekend. It was the only project we both finished, but worth it. And it was great to get to do it together.

Oh…my Blueberry Park fabric arrived in March, so I still could have used it for the bag, but I would have had to get it quilted and cut the pieces out. And then I would have had two sets and I don’t think I could bring myself to make another one any time in the near future.

HEY!!!!!!

So I’ve been terribly bad lately and haven’t posted in FOREVER. I needed a break, though. I’ve kept this blog updated for years mostly for myself to keep track of things I’ve done. Besides life getting in the way (kitties, family stuff, teaching, work, etc.), I started 2016 with the goal to keep even better track of things I do from a sewing perspective. One of those is tracking completed projects, so this blog became less important to me since I was tracking it there. However, I stupidly forgot that there are other people who care about seeing what I do and they have not so gently nudged me to get back at it. So here I am! (I’m very happy and appreciative that they gave me that nudge.)

Let’s talk spreadsheets!!!!! I love spreadsheets. I love organization. It’s a perfect union. You know what else is great? Google Drive. I can store my spreadsheets (and many other things) there and access them whenever I want to from my laptop or phone. I love technology.

Some of you may know that last year (I think), I started a spreadsheet of all of my patterns and books, both digital and print, and a list of fabric that I own. I know there are Apps out there that help you do this, but I’m really fond of spreadsheets. I’ve kept that going and I have approximately 230 yards of of fabric in my stash that I haven’t yet used. The crazy part is that I have a pretty small stash if you start looking around at everyone else’s stash. Think about how many yards of fabric you have in comparison to mine. Scary, right? Basically, I need to buy more to keep up. Haha! I don’t have an exact number because that includes random cuts that may have a yard and 11 inches and I calculated it using a yard and a quarter. Or a layer cake – that’s a little more than three yards, but I just calculated three. The total number of cuts/pieces/items is 241. The list has come in handy many times when I was in a fabric shop and trying to determine if I needed to buy something or not. Elizabeth will be happy to hear that the biggest portion of my stash is from Modern Makers. 🙂

 

Fabric List

 

I also have a link to an image of the fabric and notes.

For patterns and books, I have 315 of them and 179 of them are digital. All of the digital patterns or books are stored on my Google Drive so I can access them for fabric requirements if needed.

 

Patterns and Books

 

I used to have a column with a link to the website, but I got tired of adding it and ended up never using it, so it’s currently hidden.

Starting this year, I’ve added a Sewing Spend, Sewing Income, Sewing Finishes, and WIPs spreadsheet. I’m not going to tell you what I’ve made and what I’ve spent, but I am ahead right now! I have made 102 things since the start of this year. I didn’t start all in 2016, but I finished them in 2016. There have been 110 days in the year so I’m not quite at a project a day. And I have 54 WIPs, so I have plenty to keep me busy.

 

Finishes

 

WIPs

 

I hope that gives you a little insight into how my weird brain works. For me, these lists have been very helpful, but I could see how they could be overwhelming for some. I find them calming.

Sometime I don’t want to do anything but watch Netflix or Amazon Prime , but then my crazy little mind can’t do that without making me feel guilty for not being productive. I know…I have issues. People wonder why I’m so productive. It’s because I can’t stop. I have to be doing something…pretty much always. I fill up my entire day with activities. Work, gym, sewing, cleaning, whatever. Don’t worry. It’s not just me. My dad and my sister are the exact same way.

 

 

Crocheting

 

Anyway, I have a gray slouchy hat that I wear all of the time. It’s my go to accessory if I don’t want to shower on one day of the weekend. But I need to expand my options. I’m really into this color – along with the rest of the world. The hat took no time to whip up. I really like how it fits and lays. I added two extra dc rows to give it a bit more slouch, but I’m not sure if it needs it. I like this pattern even better than the one I made before. The pattern is The Hadley Slouch that I found on Ravelry. The gloves were also super easy, as the pattern says. They are the Simple Fingerless Gloves, also on Ravelry. Finally, the boot cuffs were also super quick to crochet and also from Ravelry. I love Ravelry – can you tell? The pattern is the Scalloped Boot Cuffs. I haven’t worn the gloves or the cuffs yet, but the hat has gotten a couple of wears already. It’s not quite cold enough for the other two, but I’m sure it will be soon.

I think I’ll do some more crocheting. I really enjoyed it and I seem to get really into it during the winter. Look forward to more projects like that.

 

LMU

 

I thought I would like this shirt, but I’m not sure about it. I think I’m going to remove the hem band and then I’ll like it better. I’m pretty sure that’s what I need to do. The Layer Me Up pattern from Patterns for Pirates is very fitted. I don’t like fitted. So I sized up quite a bit – a medium, I think. The sleeves ended up being too big so I had to take those in, but I’m glad I sized up. This jersey is from LDG Showroom and the patterned fabric is leftover from a Linden I made. I got that fabric from Modern Makers. I whipped this out quickly during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.

 

V-Neck

 

V-Neck

 

 

V-Neck

 

So I messed up. Haha. Luckily, this fabric was given to me. I made this V-Neck and got to the hem and realized what I did. Can you see it? The cats on the front bodice are upside down. Oops. Haha. Oh, well. It was practice. I really like the V-Neck that I made and I wanted to make a long sleeved one but I didn’t have enough of this fabric, so I decided to make another one with the cool cuff look. Plus, I wanted to try out the other neckline method. So it was worth it, but I’ll only be wearing this around the house. If only I had put the cats upside down on the back…then I could just wear a jacket. But that’s not how it worked out. I also made this during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.

 

Everyday Elegance

 

Everyday Elegance

 

Everyday Elegance

 

I totally love this top! I should have made the smallest size, although I’m wondering if the shoulders would be OK then. I might do some grading. Either way, it’s huge and billowy. I took like two inches off of each side and still could’ve taken more. I’ll wear a belt, though. I love how this came together. It’s the Everyday Elegance pattern from Patterns for Pirates. It finishes so well. It looks so professional. I can’t wait to make more. This one is made with rayon challis.

 

Cardigan

 

Cardigan

 

Cardigan

 

I also love this, too. It’s the Grandpa Cardigan from Patterns for Pirates. I can’t believe how perfect it looks and how easy it went together. I need to size down to the smallest size in this, too, but I’m OK with baggy. I did take in the arms a bit, but I left the rest. Andrew even said he wanted one of these. I bought the sweater knit for this at Joanns.

 

Wiksten

 

Wiksten

 

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Wiksten tank. I made so many, but I took a break so  it was time again. I used my modified pattern and I changed up how the neck band is added. The Wiksten instructions make it more difficult than it needs to be. I copied the Patterns for Pirates neck band method and it worked out perfect. I kept the arm bands the same, though. This was another project I worked on while sewing with Amy and Coo. The picture isn’t the best. I think it’s more flattering in real life than the pictures that I took. The only bad thing about the Wiksten is that it is pretty boxy and I probably could’ve taken this in a little more.

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Hashtag Sweater

 

Since I have so many new clothes, #Hashtag needed some, too. This all came from scraps that I had lying around, except the furry one. Amy made that for him. Doesn’t he look cute? The two fleece ones fit the best. I tried to modify one to just have one opening for his arms instead of arm holes, but I’m not 100% pleased with it yet. I need to do some more playing around. I just guessed for this one. The orange one is a sweatshirt fleece that I made a raglan out of. And the Aztec one matches items I’ve made for myself, my sister, my mom, and grandma. We love that fabric. Now #Hashtag is ready for winter, although I’ll probably make a few more for him throughout the winter since he may grow out of these.

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