Monday, April 29, 2013

Machine Maintenance

I almost decided not to post today. I haven't gotten any projects done and couldn't think of anything profitable to say. Until I decided to clean my serger...
I got this baby for my 16th birthday
and never looked back since 
Now I love my machines and what they enable me to do but I am no mechanic. One of my biggest fears is taking my machine apart and putting it back together incorrectly, therefore breaking it FOREVER!!!
Then Steph of 3HoursPast wrote about needles and the importance of listening to your machine. Pretty sure I failed at this... My poor machines trapped in a relationship of take take take. So when I sat down to serge some loose threads before I threw stuff into the dryer I noticed my serger was not making happy noises and decided to take note.
I pulled out my manual, kept google close by and dug out my tube of machine oil. Soon I had undone tons of screws and was cleaning lint.
Corduroy is great for cleaning the lint off your brushes with
one quick swipe. Those tiny leftover knit scraps make great
wipe cloths for this stuff too.
Look guys! It's your tension dial up close and personal!
Now I do clean lint regularly from the exposed surfaces. I just forget to oil regularly and I don't unscrew things. On the bright side I figured out where Steampunk came from!
Some sewist decided to clean their machine and was mesmerized by the beauty and intricacy of its inner workings
and decided to express that in fabric! Steampunk was born!
Don't shoot me Steampunkers, I don't know much about it except you make cool clothes with gears and stuff....
So that was the extent of my "sewing" today. The serger sounds a lot better now and we'll see how it actually sews with new needles. I need it in tip top shape for our May Stashbusting Challenge!!!!
Speaking of Stashbusting, Cation's got April's Link Party open so head on over and enter your Vibrant Things and see if you'll be chosen as our second Challenge winner!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Last Vibrant April Stashbusting Post

Yesterday I decided to take my own advice on vibrant living and go out and about with the parents instead of working on my sewing projects and blogging. But I missed you guys and my projects got finished up quickly so I decided you get a Super Saturday blog post.

I fell in love with Portia's Pillows and was inwardly bemoaning the fact I had no home that needed pillows; when it was suggested that I teach a class on them! I've never been so excited about class preparation! I used bright fabrics from the stash. The grow pillow was my first and the navy fabric decided it wanted to be a knit instead of a woven and slithered and stretched??? as I sewed. Since I was just recovering some of Mom's old pillows I wasn't too worried. These are going in our TV room to be sat and drooled on by little children. They are not going to care about its imperfections.
It's already started to fray to give it that worn growing look!

Then I decided since the class is for beginners and we are on a strict time frame I should probably make something that doesn't have a million curvy edges for them to stitch around. Since the class is called "Pillow Talk" maybe the focus should be on the letters and look like the advertising picture. 
Well, sorta like the advertising. I wasn't sure how these fabrics
would work together but I really like the effect.
These sew up super quick and are really fun to put together. I had to keep a tight rein on the applique fiend that wanted to come out and add two million designs. Pinterest does not help with this addiction.
The backs.
I learned the overlap needs to be 3 to 4 inches so the pillow doesn't pooch out the back. This is especially important if you are going for the fitted look. Otherwise everything you need to know is covered in Portia's tutorial. So what do you think of my first envelope pillow slips? Do you like my Love pillow? Has it made you want to hide your eyes and cry yet?? If you live in the Spearfish area come take my class and make your own lovey dovey design just in time for Mother's Day!

Grow in Love my friends! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

StashBusting... YARN

Hello My Fellow Stashbusters!
  My how this month has flown! I'm so glad I didn't make definite plans for this month since its been pretty unpredictable. I took a trip to SLC as a nanny to my friend and the weather has been crazy here. Snowing one day then temps in the 60s the next. This confuses your sewing mojo.
  So enters my stashbusting project. During one of the first sunny spurts I decided to finish what would probably be my last knitted project for awhile.
The moment I saw this sweater I knew it had to be mine.
It's #8 Cabled V-Neck Slipover
This would be my first project working with cables. I blithely knitted the back which was basically a rectangle so super easy to lengthen for my long torso. When it came time to do the front I needed to do a bit more thinking... I decided to shorten the cables and add an extra cable since that came out to approximately the same amount of rows on the back. Only it didn't in real life. The length got added in the shoulders which made for an even lower neckline. Thankfully a friend suggested an easy fix. While part of me wants to rip the whole front out and redo it now knowing what I've learned, another part of me said, NO WAY! So here's my version in all its imperfect glory!
Look guys! I was in a city getting ready to
ride a train!
Details. I don't think I like red fingernail polish on me... Looks like I
dipped my fingernails in blood. I need to repolish my boots as well.
This is actually a great seasonal transition piece. It's made from 100% wool that is super duper soft and cozy; even if I do shed like a blue poodle when I wear it. It keeps my core warm while the short sleeves and open front make it easy for me to regulate my temperature if I get too hot. It's easy to throw on over many different t-shirts or turtlenecks so it can fit with much of my existing wardrobe. 

I think turquoise is one of my new favorite colors
to wear!
Even with all its faults I plan on keeping and wearing it. The pattern was so easy I can see myself making it again in a few years. So that's my stashbusting for April so far. How do you handle knitting mishaps? Does the weather ever affect your sewing plans?

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm In For MMM'13!!!

I'm in!!
The first blog I started following was SoZoe...  and I was terribly disappointed to realize I had found her too late to participate in Me-Made-May. This year I'm so excited to take the pledge and join in on all this fun!
'I, Emily of TumbleweedsInTheWind, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear one to two me made garments each day for the duration of May 2013. I will also do my best to photograph each outfit so I can evaluate what I have made and what styles work best for me.'

 If you want to sign up too, head on over to this blog post for all the details. Just make sure you do it before May 1st!

I feel this will fit nicely with our May Stashbusting Challenge which is KNITS!! I love knits and can't wait to sew up some fun projects with all the stashbusters. I'll probably need them to get through the month! In closing here's a quick pic of me on my nannying trip last week to Utah. They has such pretty flowers blooming while it was blizzarding at home!
Denalli and I being tourists at Temple Square. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Ironing Board!

It's Friday! I'm Home! Guess that means I better get back into the swing of things which means I need to get back to stashbusting and blogging! I've got some personally vibrant projects to show you next week but if you're still in need of some color inspiration check out these boards from Alberto Mateo: Paint your World RED (my favorite color!!) and Colorful World (for great contrasts). They were the perfect pick me ups after coming home to more snow and cold.

I'm so proud of myself for finally getting this project accomplished. I have a small portable ironing board that was in SAD condition!
The sheet was rotten and shredding off. There was no padding.

Since I'm teaching my first sewing class tomorrow (so excited!!) I figured it was about time to get it done. Here's a couple helpful tutorials I ran across Super Easy and Simple Recovery. I decided to use a chunk of wool I had been given for my birthday a couple years ago as padding. Apparently wool is great to hold steam and reflect it back into your work. I had a chunk that felt half felted and was too small and heavy to make into a garment.

I folded it in half and trimmed it to shape doing some clipping for a tighter
fit around the board.
I decided it was time to use some of this cute quilting cotton from the stash that I'd been saving for who knows what!

Many staples and a few safety pins later I had a nicely recovered ironing board. I stapled the padding down first then the fabric. Everything was pulled extra snug.
Finished project and messy sewing table.
I can't wait to give it a try tomorrow! I hope the stashbusting is going well for everyone. April has been a hard month for me since the weather can't decide what it's doing. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vibrant Inspiration & Travel Wardrobe

Oh my! To sound cliched, "Time flies when you're having fun" or more originally, "Time flies when you're nannying." I'm sitting in the airport listening to the baby giggle and squeal on the floor as we wait to board our flight.
Isn't she great! Wish you could hear her sing.
This week has been full of vibrant people instead of vibrant sewing projects. I've enjoyed the change and I'm refreshed and ready to get back to work in the sewing room.

The sky back home. 
 Usually I travel with only a carry on and this trip has shown me I need to work on a capsule wardrobe. I need to pack warmth, color and variety in a few pieces. Any suggestions on how to plan such a thing?
See Ya when I land!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Claiming My Blog

Hi Ya All!
Two posts in one day, aren't you lucky! Actually I'm the lucky one cause I just checked out bloglovin and realized I have 41 followers! I didn't know that! Hi Guys!! So I'm claiming my blog. Apparently thats different than having the button for you to follow me. So here I go. I hereby claim Tumbleweeds In The Wind as my personal domain where I will write whatever drivel I see fit!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Nighty Night!

A Robin from Norway

WhooHoo! I'm so excited! I got my covert robin package and it came from NORWAY!!! As a wannabe international traveler I was delight to get a little piece of another place far far away. Anne wrote me a lovely note full of tidbits about her town along with postcards.
Isn't it just adorable!

I need to learn how to finish pouches like
 I'm delighted, and the little pouch is traveling with me tomorrow as I fly out to nanny for my friend for a week. It's blizzarding here and I can't wait to spend some time where it's warmer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Vibrant April Kickoff!

Stashbusters! I've worked all last week on this tunic so I could proudly show it to you on my first official April post. (and I'm leaving on a trip and wanted to take it along...)
This hasn't been sitting in my stash that long. I bought it in November with a gift card. It was a total fun buy and I knew I wanted to turn it into a tunic the moment I saw its lovely quilting cotton face! How could you cut this glorious print into lots of tiny pieces?
 It called to me, saying this was it's month! "Make me! Finally make me!" Alas, I had no pattern! Just what kind of tunic should I make? After long hours browsing through patterns and agonizing on pinterest I finally had a direction.

source found through Pinterest
I really liked the contrast yoke, hem details and the bell sleeves. I knew it would give me plenty of wearing ease with a woven. BUT, I am not built like these lovely Asian girls and knew I would have to be very, very careful or...
AGH It's a maternity top for the nonmaternal! Ok, I'm maternal or Aunternal,
 I just don't want to look pregnant when I'm not. I'm perfectly happy to wait
for that stage of life...
I drafted my bodice from my Lutterloh kit, (which was a splendid experience!) but added too much fullness to the "skirt portion" ending up with as my friend kindly put it, "a really cute maternity top" Thank you Skype and good conversation. An hour later we'd finished chatting about life and I'd ripped out the basting, stitching and serging and was ready to recut the poof with much better results.

I added some elastic to the back to trim my silhouette a bit more and add some shaping. I couldn't decide on a hem length so decided to hop on the high-low trend just a little bit.

Oh the details! I love this turquoise VELVET ribbon from my stash!! I have no idea how it will wash but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. The buttons and tabs were last minute additions which make me so SO happy. Isn't it amazing when you can find stash notions for your project that look like they were MADE to be together! 
I'm so tickled I got this done! I think it will see quite a bit of wear as the season starts to change because of it's length and I can throw a layer under it if needed. Thank you Vibrant April and Rae's Spring Top Sewalong! Without those two things to push me I probably would have left this fabric alone for awhile longer. And wouldn't that have been a shame! ;)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Last of March Stashbusting

I figured I better finish posting about March before I get caught up in the excitement of April. That last weekend turned out to be very productive and I was able to use up a remnant that was supposed to be sewn up last November.
 A super soft dress jacket for the cold spring days! My little Not Niece's eyes lit up when she saw and felt this fabric. Her favorite color is green and she immediately asked if we could make it "right now?"

I adapted the t-shirt pattern from Kwik-Sew Method Sew For Toddlers by Kerstin Martensson. When I laid the pattern pieces out I decided to go for a bit of a 50's swing jacket silhouette and put a pleat in the back. I also flared out the back sides to give it more volume, and use up the fabric!

I didn't want to do any top stitching on this plushy fabric so I decided to cut a lining from another knit that she liked. I think it adds a lot of fun to the jacket. I did some light pressing so it wouldn't show on the outside. I also cut the sleeves at three quarters, which was all I could squeeze out grainwise but added big cuffs that fit her just right!
I had some trouble with the collar and decided to rip it out. My sharp seam ripper took a turn for the worst and decided to slice into the shoulder as well. Thankfully plush came to the rescue and it isn't even visible on the outside. I took the rotary cutter to the seam at that point.
By the end of the experience I had one happy little girl, even if she didn't want to wear it just then.
Throughout this project I had to keep reminding myself this is just for a child. She will wear it hard and not for long. I don't need to have everything perfect. As long as it holds together the finishing is fine. Turns out, I was right.
What do you take into consideration when you sew for kids? Do you have any special tips or tricks? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Covert Robin and Spring

Spring comes slowly where I live. No green shoots of grass, no spring flowers blooming. The wind still blows strongly. Spring comes to the prairie first in the music of a meadowlark, the return of birdsong blown on the wind...

And on that birdy note, it's time to reveal my Covert Robin makes! I stashbusted a UFO for this project and finally cut into some fun fabrics I'd been "saving" for what I don't know!
Moriah was my mystery match. After several days of stalking I found she likes to travel and wanted to write more this year.
 I finally finished this cute denim clutch/pouch and hand sewed a zipper closure to it. I filled it full of little slips of paper with all sorts of questions to hopefully help inspire her to practice her writing.
Due to life, I had to get the project finished and mailed quickly but I wanted to add something else to it. I found this quick and simple headband tutorial and knew it was perfect! I wasn't sure what her favorite colors were but her blog background was aquamarinish and she had dark hair. Since she is young I figured bright and cheerful. Thankfully my hunches were correct and she sent me a happy email; expressing her thanks and delight. Phew!

Have you ever done a mystery gift exchange? What did you think of it? Have you noticed any signs of the changing seasons in your neck of the woods?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Vibrant April Stashbusting!

Yea!! It's a new month with a new theme!! I'm so excited!! This month its all about color! The brighter, richer, deeper, more vibrant, the better! I'm working on building a hopefully inspirational Pinterest board. Do you guys like having Pinterest boards?
It's also our second CHALLENGE!! You can enter to win fame, fortune and fabulous prizes!! (APRIL FOOLS!!!!) The fame, fortune and prize part. You can really enter, its not a joke.

Here's the rules!

  • All Items entered must be made from a minimum of 75% stash supplies
  • Item must be made within the month of April
  • To enter upload your submission photo to Cation's April pool before the deadline
  • Deadline for entering is the last day of April
  • PS. This might be a given but all items better be full of color! :)
Then we'll vote on our favorites and someone will win a token prize and all our admiration. Thanks for participating in advance, everyone! Let's go out and have some colorful fun!

For other announcements, there's still a few hours left to link up your March projects! Go! Do it now and share in the delight of getting something accomplished!

Now, on to some serious thoughts. Today I ready Jess Lively's post on how we can get caught up with the online world. Specifically how we can measure our worth by it. This hit home to me as I was wondering what the point of my blogging was, do people even read it, why don't I get 20bajillion comments on my posts? Obviously this was a selfish pity party since I have recently been nominated not once but TWICE for the Liebster award, (more on that soon) and was given the Inspirational Blogger award. 
So what's my point? I know I can get overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration on Pinterest and in the blogosphere. I fall into the trap of comparing my blog and my sewing skills against others in the community. And guess what? I never come out ahead. 
So this month I challenge you to not only spend time with vibrant colors in your sewing room but also take time to look outside, whether spring or fall, and find the vibrant colors in your life as well. Then we can all create and blog vibrantly ourselves!