Simplicity 2593

white rolled neck tank - 3

Simplicity 2593 in japanese double cotton gauze, AFTER washing. See the crinkles?

I first saw this pattern on Angry Chicken and put it in the back of my mind.  Then I saw it for a dollar at Jo-Ann’s and bought it to experiment with some leftover fabric from my Far, Far Away quilt. I needed another white shirt (don’t we all?) and I thought maybe this was the application in which double cotton gauze could shine.

I have been messing around with the double gauze ever since I got into sewing this spring.  I made the nightgown and saw how it stuck to my undies.  I made jimbei pjs for Claire and saw how it got almost spongy after washing.  I wondered if it would launder well as a shirt.  I didn’t want to iron out the comfy sponginess.

This pattern is very simple–no shaping or interfacing.  The only trick is to get the rolled neck to look the way you want and then hope it comes out in the wash okay.  Because you can’t iron it, really.  I conclude that the double gauze worked well.  It has a relaxed feel, like linen which is supposed to get wrinkled, and that makes it a great summer top.  The rolled neck just gives it a little something extra special, with little extra effort.

One word of caution using double gauze:  it ravels easily, which caused some difficulty in cutting and ironing and applying the bias tape for the armholes and neckline.  If you could use a different fabric for that, it would save you some frustration AND fabric.

white rolled neck tank - 2

Does it look like I tried to bandage myself? But I do like the texture.


How to apply blanket binding

So, you think you will make a quick blanket as a gift and you buy some cute flannel and fuzzy fabric and want to add the classic satin blanket binding.  Then you get frustrated because it bunches and snags and you can’t find any help on the internet!  I recently scoured the net for directions on how to apply blanket binding with mitered corners.  I found a couple sites, but none with many details.  So here are some more details to help you put satin blanket binding on the edge of fabric.   I wanted to put the binding on the edge, overlapping the fabric just 1/2 inch.  I also didn’t want to fold it in half again, as you would for a quilt binding.  I came up with this through trial and error, and perhaps there is a different way, but this worked for me.   One more thing, I used a straight stitch with a walking foot.  If you don’t have a walking foot, and you can’t get the tension right on your machine (which happened on my old machine and one reason why I have a new one), you can do a wide zig-zag on the very edge, with half the zig zag on the binding and half on the fabric.  It looks nice, too, and holds up just as well.

blanket binding - 1

I applied the binding to the edge of the fabric, about 1/2 inch in.  You can put it at any distance you like, maybe even all the way in so that the edge of the fabric is touching the inside of the fold of the binding.  You will sandwich the fabric between the binding.  Sew down the length of it and stop 1/2 inch (or however far you have sandwiched it in) from the edge.

(Excuse my blurry macro shot.  Still figuring out how to take good pictures.)

blanket binding - 2

Next, fold the binding up, as shown, to form a 45 degree angle.  Finger press this a lot.  You will need this fold to guide you.  You could even use an iron, but I would rather not have such a permanent crease in case I need to adjust it for whatever reason.

blanket binding - 3

Open up the binding and lay it down in front of you .  Push up the left side of the binding until it touches the inside of the top fold.  You will now have a mitered corner on the front.  Pin that through the first three layers to keep it in place while you do the back.  Fold the back in the same way.  Then put the straight pin through all the layers.

blanket binding - 4

Pull the binding down to sandwich the next side to be stitched.  Pin it in place.

blanket binding - 5

Go back to where you stopped sewing, backstitch and sew the corner and continue sewing until you get to the next corner.

And that is how I mitered the corners of the Daycare Baby Blanket I made for my niece.  Good luck with your blanket!

Daycare Baby Blanket

My sweet and rascally niece started daycare today.  She has spent the first 2 1/2 years of her life running around her own house and sometimes mine and now she will have to actually take a nap on a mat at a very kind lady’s house.  So I made this blanket for her, a copy of her blanket she sleeps with every night that I made for her when she was born.  It is the same except that I sewed in photos of her and her family around the border.  If she can’t sleep in the new place very well at first, at least she will have pictures of her loving family to look at instead of the ceiling, or the other kids asleep.

Daycare Blanket - 1

Daycare Blanket - 2

Daycare Blanket - 3

I used washable, printable fabric that I put through my ink jet printer.  You can see a skipped stitch in the top left corner of the photo .  I had to change to a fresh needle because it was a bit tough to sew through.  Then the skipped stitches went away.  The quality of the printing is pretty good.  I hope it will hold up well, too.

Inner Peace

I found this on a blog that was found on Gabrielle Roth’s myspace page, and I don’t know who that is yet, but I liked it a lot.

UPDATE:  The original author of this is Saskia Davis and you can view her entire message on a poster for sale at her website.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others, as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

I might add, boredom may occur too! Yes, I want peace. But also excitement. I haven’t jumped into any projects since staying up late with the tote bags because I am afraid of the huge mess I will make.  So, having a cleaned-up house helps me feel peaceful, but makes me afraid to mess it up again.  That means I don’t have inner peace (according to thought #1 above).  So it appears peaceful, but is not.  Hmm. . . And I am bored.  I want to get into another project.  Can I not make a huge mess that takes all day to clean up.  Let’s see what happens today!

Inner Peace AND Creative Excitement, here I come!

P.S.  I have to add, I had a great time making those bags and I did it spontaneously and feeling just about all the symptoms on the list.  I just did it when I should have been unpacking from my trip to Cape Hatteras.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of the place, on a windy evening before a thunderstorm.


Birthday Decorations

I’ve been busy living, so not too much time for blogging.  I am not sure how some people do it:  living life to the fullest, then writing about it and adding fabulous pictures, to boot.  I guess I am too simple and lazy.  I really like to daydream.  Not much comes out of it, but it is a very pleasant thing to do when you have a nice window to sit by.  So when I am not busy, I don’t always think, oh, I should blog.  No, I like to sit in a rocking chair in the coolest room in the house and feel peaceful.  Oh, maybe that’s what I am–peaceful.  Not simple and lazy.  Yes, that sounds better. 🙂

However, I did get away from the window to make some decorations for Claire’s birthday party.  The garland pattern came from Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson, the author of the blog Posy Gets Cozy.  For once, I did not make modifications.  I even used the same font she did for the lettering.  This was a very fun, but time-consuming project.  The fun outweighed the time, so I recommend this project.  Plus, you can use it year after year.


Collin and I made the pom-poms, using this tutorial at Martha Stewart Living .  This was SO easy and cheap.  I think it cost $3 all together.


The bags were a last-minute-stay-up-late and wake-up-early-and-trash-the-house-in-the-process project.  The fun in this project was that I didn’t use a pattern, didn’t measure much, didn’t pin or press much, and used what I had at home!  But it did take about 5 hours total to make 8 lined canvas totes with each child’s first initial.  I made these for the scavenger hunt and take-home goodie bag.  Children of this generation and demographic expect goodie-bags and although they are usually filled with junk (mine included!), the kids really like them.  They like junk!  They like to collect little trinkets and tiny bits and pieces.  They are definitely in tune with their hunter-gatherer instincts.


Sheepy Skirt

Sheepy skirt--tiered - 1

I recently bought the Sheepy Skirt Collection pattern from the Ravelry store. This comes with 19 different skirts!  Not to mention the variety of edgings you can do.  I had a hard time deciding on one to do, but after a few evenings of looking and looking and Collin saying, “pick one already!”, I choose the tiered skirt version.

Sheepy skirt--tiered - 4

Yarn: 100 pure wool; color "Hardly" More details at Ravelry

It has a nice flounce when Claire toddles around the house.  It’s great for somersaulting.  And it does its main job of covering cloth diapers very well.

twirly day - 08

The designer, Amanda Harrington, has a cute website with her creations called Sheepy Time Knits.  She was, maybe still is, a moderator on the Yahoo! Wool Soaker Group.  I used to spend hours while nursing in the early days reading all the knitting and off-topic advice on that group.  I had to quit it just to free up some time, when Claire became more mobile.  It’s interesting how close you can get on a Yahoo! group.  This one is a kind-hearted group and off-topic posts are okay if they are somehow related to mothering.  Heated discussions are usually ended by the moderator.  I decided to join back up because I missed all their chatter!

New Look 6889 in Double Cotton Gauze

far, far away nightgown - 1Pattern:  New Look 6889

Modifications: bias tape hem

Fabric:  Far, Far Away “Field of Flowers–Green” by Heather Ross

Purchased at Sew to Speak

Ah, I finally have a new nightgown and my own piece of clothing in double cotton gauze. I’m feeling very good about this dress, but I have a word of caution.  DO NOT set the timer for two hours and see if you can beat the clock when the front of the pattern claims to be a 2 hour project!  This was the first mistake I made, which caused one, irreparable mistake:  I cut the fabric upside!  You can’t really tell, but the orange tulips are pointing down.  D’oh!

far, far away nightgown - 2

I’m very pleased with the pattern because I measured my bust, then cut according, sewed accordingly, and miracle of miracles, it fit perfectly!  That has not happened for me yet.  So with this simple shape that fits perfectly, I can envision making my own creative modifications on future nightgowns (or dresses).  This was actually a dress pattern, not a nightgown pattern, but I really wanted pajamas made of double cotton gauze because Claire looks so comfy in hers.  Another reason this is a nightgown and not a dress can be seen below:

far, far away nightgown - 3It sticks to your underwear!  This was also lamented by Amy Karol on her blog, Angry Chicken.  She fixed the problem by wearing a slip.

A couple more details:far, far away nightgown - 5

I liked the narrow ribbon tie.

I couldn't figure out how to do the bias tape on the neckline.  The directions were not very clear.  I recommend looking for help on this.

I couldn't figure out how to do the bias tape on the neckline. The directions were not very clear. I recommend looking for help on this.

I finished the seams because the double gauze unravels A LOT.

I finished the seams because the double gauze unravels A LOT.