Testing, 1,2,3…

It finally happened! I was chosen to act as a tester for a new pattern by 5 out of 4. It was so much fun being one of the first people to get to try it out.

Pattern is Eleanor by 5 out of 4 patterns. And bonus! It’s on sale through Sunday October 7th!!

I made my muslin out of an unknown sweater knit that I found while I was digging around in the stash canopy. My serger was having issues with tension so it was all sewing machine for this version. The lightweight fabric and my machine did not get along, but I adore the finished product and have been wearing it at work pretty much every shift I’m there (I swear my sleeves aren’t uneven, it’s just super drapey fabric)

My second (and final) version was made with another mystery mid-light weight sweater knit. This time my serger performed beautifully and the sweater was just as perfect to assemble the second time around. All in all a highly enjoyable experience, and I have a feeling I’ll be making many more of these for some of the women in my family. Ok, and maybe some for myself too.

No Excuses

I almost kind of forgot I had a blog to be honest. I’ve been sewing and crafting up a storm though, so let’s jump right on in. I’ll try to go oldest to newest if I can keep track.

Starting here, with an Easy Tee by 5 out of 4 patterns.

I had some difficulties with neck and arm bands, I’ve been debating ripping and trying again to see if I can get them better fitted. So far though my motivation to do it has been minimal, time will tell I guess

Next up for hubby is a Nancy Raglan by 5 out of 4 that I put together because I knew the tunic length was long enough to catch most of my panel.

And this panel is just too cute to have most of it get chopped off. Unfortunately I had some server tension issues that I didn’t notice at the time, hopefully it stays put together. But I love it and have worn it a couple of times already.

Hubby got some sewing love too, a Rocky Tee by…5 out of 4 patterns (starting to sound sponsored aren’t I? I’m not, I just like their stuff)

I think I’ve mentioned his shirt before but he finally wore it!

A pic of the glorious back fabrics, I love them both but the snacks just push me over the edge.

Next up are the bags I customized for our Halloween party experience (if we decide to go, which we probably will). It was difficult to get a pic of them all together so here they are as individuals.

There are 2 Minnie Mouse spiderwebs, one for me and one for mom. Mickey and Minnie spiderweb files and the dripping Halloween file came from Etsy. Mickey pumpkin and Frankenstein came from Auntie Tay as part of the files available to her Patrons. I’m planning on using them for the Not So Scary Halloween Party st Disney (assuming we decide to go.)

Last but not least, a Safari tank by pickletoes patterns for Aiden.

Found this while I was digging around in the stash and found the pattern pretty much the same way. Decided it was kidney and went for it. At least I seem to have gotten my neck/armband mojo back a little. Now to do one with a cute ruffle for his little sister, I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough.

I think that’s about it, I did test a pattern for (you guessed it,) 5 out of 4 but I’ll give that its own post soon.

And as always, ending with a cat photo. I actually got Jack to sit still long enough to get a halfway decent one this morning.

Caramel Corn

I have a confession, I hate sweet popcorn intensely. Really the only flavor I truly like is butter, and maybe sour cream and onion. Cheddar, nacho, caramel, just not a fan. Until today.

Meet the start of caramel, the first I’ve ever made. An cup of butter is melted in there and it smelled so wonderful cooking it was distracting.

Pour it over the popcorn I popped earlier and plop into the oven. My house smells beyond heavenly and there are few words to describe the buttery, crispy goodness that this resulted in. Like I said earlier, I don’t like caramel corn, but I may have to make an exception for this particular type, for it is heavenly. Here’s the recipe, but be warned, it’s easier to make than I was hoping: Salted Caramel Corn*

*I used what is known as mushroom popcorn, from what I had read it’s most commonly used to this type of popcorn because it’s huge when it pops. And it lived up to its expectations and provided large surface area for the caramel to adhere to. Not that you can’t use any popcorn you want, just figured I’d mention what I found at my local bulk nation store.


I was so afraid to sew up my rug that I was coming up with reasons to procrastinate. But pretty soon the cats had enough of me, there weren’t any dishes and I couldn’t think of anything else to cook (I could’ve cleaned the house, but I wasn’t That afraid).

The time had come, the first strip was pretty easy. But it’s really easy to fold the thing and sew a straight line, I can do that. The part I was afraid of was the first few tight corners.

And they are a challenge, you can see how they’re puckering up here. My biggest challenge was keeping the stitch going into both sides, for the whole thing but especially in the beginning.

Luckily a hot iron and a ton of spray help a lot to flatten things back out. And the thing grows fast! You start out with this little oval and quickly it grows into…

This beast of a thing that is quite heavy and bulky. But it’s so interesting watching the pattern develop (this is the same reason I love self striping yarn btw).

You just keep on folding it around and pushing it through, until you get here…the last few feet. Insert mixed sigh of relief and disappointment that it’s over. The directions call for the end to be tapered, but I’m lazy and trying to fold the raw edges in on themselves looked like a lot of work. So I said forget it and just tucked the end under like I had seen in one of my tutorials.

Worked like a charm, you can’t hardly tell where it stops. I’m so in love I’m working hard to ask people to not step on it, especially with shoes on. The other day I caught myself straddling it because I had shoes on and didn’t want it to get dirty. Of course it’s completely washable, but no one said I was reasonable. Now I’m debating who else needs rugs, and how would a smaller rectangle one look in front of my door (would never work, that mat Will get dirty).

Assistant credit goes to Gracie, from assembling the strips to sewing the rug, she was there.

Today’s goal was to get this decal ironed onto a shirt. Problem was that I hated the cheap shirt I bought at Walmart last night, it’s too tight and I just hated the fit. Then I thought about having some cheap Walmart knit fabric laying around and decided that I would just make my own.

Just in time for the rays game (we lost). It’s yet another all seasons tank, shirt length. Mom admired it, so she’ll probably get one too. I’m curious to see how a panel will fit with this pattern, I’d love to have some custom tanks with my many panels. Time will tell, I might mess around a bit tomorrow.

I leave you with Jack, who basically thinks that sewing machines are scary and steal his lap snuggle time.

And So It Begins

I stumbled upon the most amazing tutorial for a sewn rug made from 2.5″ strips (basically from a jelly roll) about a week ago. I thought, “I can do that, where’s the pattern”. I figured I have at least 2 jelly rolls somewhere, plenty of batting, what could go wrong. Fast forward to me digging through my stash dresser for a jelly roll that apparently got used up a long time ago. Oops, oh well, amazon to the rescue (thank you prime!).

This is the Feed Sacks True Blue by Linzee Kull McCray. Super pretty blues with a nice pop of red that I think will look amazing in my kitchen.

It began with bias sewing every single strip together to make one enormous length. This part wasn’t too bad, maybe 30 minutes start to finish. Then on to trimming and pressing, a bit of a daunting task at the time.

Little did I know that the fast, easy part was done. Next was making my enormous sausage roll with my bias tape and lots and lots of batting. Since I was trying to use some of the resources I already had I didn’t buy the pre cut batting, though it does apparently exist.

Thank goodness for my Accuquilt and a 2.5″ strip die. Took about 10 minutes to cut apart a wall hanging sized batting into nice, neat 2.5″ strips. Unfortunately one was not enough, took probably a twin sized batting total to fill my entire tape.

Here’s my filling station, laying batting on the strip, folding both edges toward the center and clipping into place. This was the most tedious thing I think I’ve ever done, and so far has taken the longest.

Luckily I had a “helper”, she would probably say “supervisor “.

Here we are mostly stuffed, isn’t that fabric gorgeous? I love these colors so much, I’m hoping it’s as perfect in my kitchen as it is here.

Then comes the second sewing, the closing of the worlds longest hot dog strip. This takes longer than forever, you don’t really realize how long 42, 42″ strips really are until you have to sew it all in one long, straight line. It looks so good though, it’s all I can do to not hug it’s messy, tangly self to me.

The third sewing has yet to come, I was kind of hoping I could be motivated to start today. But it was a stressful weekend at work and so far my brain is just not ready to handle this workload. But it will begin shortly.

So to distract you from my pitiful lack of follow through, I leave you with a cat picture and a link to the rug pattern; Jelly Roll Rug

Branching out

Let me start with my apologies, I’ve got a cold that’s driving me to my knees. I don’t know why summer colds are always worse, but they are. It hasn’t limited my crafting too much, I finished 2 new tops.

One for me, and because there was enough left over, one for Abby.

Mine is still another All Seasons, in a size 12 I believe. If I made it with less forgiving fabric I would probably size up.

And here is Abby’s second Lil LDT as a tank. She loved it when I gave it to her yesterday. Maybe not as much as Minnie, but close. Her big brother gets the next shirt, so no worries about favoritism.

Today’s project is something completely different, no sewing, no knitting.

Today’s project is…you guessed it, lip balm. This cold has my nose and lips chapped beyond belief, and I was tired of using chemical filled chapstick to attempt to moisturize. I used This recipe on Pinterest for my first attempt. Lavender mint, and so far it smells so good!

I have some great tees and tanks planned for later, so stay tuned.

Catch Your Breath

What a couple of weeks it’s been, feel like I’ve just been going non stop. Luckily some of that go has been in the direction of my sewing machine and serger. My poor beloved sewing equipment has been very neglected of late. But I have corrected the deficit in a pretty big way.

I decided to jump back in with 2 pairs of Ninjas, my favorite legging pattern. I found both fabrics in a b/s/t page on Facebook and it was love at first sight.

Next up was a shirt to go with the leggings, I ordered some solids that I thought would go nicely with my prints from Fabric.com and luckily they came at the perfect time. I wanted to check fit though, since I was planning on making a new pattern. The muslin did not go well. Number 1, it was enormous, huge, tent like. Number 2, I majorly messed up my neckband. Not a biggie, that’s what’s muslins are for. Size down and we should be good to go, unless your fabric is just about 3 inches too short…

Luckily only 1 of the 2 was cut a bit short, and I was able to get my tank cut successfully out of the other.

Meet one of my new favorite tips, the All Seasons tank by Pickle Toes Patterns. This is the tunic length and it will go perfectly with all 3 pairs of my new leggings (uh yeah, there’s another pair that I didn’t get a picture of). I’ll confess that I don’t recall the fabric content, but it’s got great drape and hand, it also breathes nicely. I have the same fabric in a light purple that I can’t fit another tunic piece into, despite having ordered 2 yards of both, so purple is going to turn into shirt length and then I should be good to go. At first I thought I messed up the fabric direction (again) but I triple checked before I cut. My only other guess is that I got shorted a bit when it was cut.

Another new pattern, and technique for this week was Boxerwear briefs by Stitch Upon A Time.

Made for hubby as an experiment out of the creepy Aladdin fabric that nobody seems to want (including me honestly). I got it in a mystery pack and it’s the first time I haven’t absolutely loved what I got from backstitch. He’s got rather mixed feelings about them, so much so that he’s asked I hold off on another pair until he decides if he likes them. But I have a cute knit remnant from Joann that would be cool as these, so we’ll see if I listen.

Up next is a pair of undies for me to see how they stack up against my commercial brand. There may or may not be pictures of these, we shall see.

That’s all for this post, I leave you with a beautiful picture of forget me nots my mom took while on her Alaskan cruise last week.

Mother’s Day

Late, but still… The thought is there, I just haven’t seen Mom. I had planned on making her a topiary, but I kind of lost steam. Then when I found the correct stuff to fill it the weather decided to play with me. It rained for 2 days straight, then I had to work. So I finally had time today, to realize that sculpture is not my forte.

Considering my skill set I think he turned out ok. But I know what it’s supposed to be, which is a bit of an unfair advantage

Here’s the backup present I had planned, she’s getting it all. This is the Mother’s Day to end all Mother’s Days (late and all). I’ve just decided to cheat a bit and give her the topiary frame and bag of moss and let her go for it herself. She’s much more artistic than I am. Hopefully hers will look less Groot like, which is the general consensus I’m getting on Facebook.

Here’s what the framed piece says up close, she saved it on Facebook, so I decided to put it together for her. I assume she’ll bring it to work, because she doesn’t really have wall space for it at home. Hopefully she likes it. Fingers crossed.

Nurses Rule

I believe I’ve mentioned in the past that I am a nurse. And not just a nurse, but a third generation nurse. I’ve had many specialties in my (fairly short) career, ranging from Mom/baby to geriatric and now behavioral health (aka psych). Each has helped me learn valuable skills, from managing my time, to putting out fires, to learning names and purposes of a wide variety of medications. I wanted to make myself something to express my pride in my chosen career, but still be funny, as I think you have to maintain a sense of humor to survive.

I saw this on Facebook and thought it was perfect! All I needed was some printed vinyl and a plain t shirt. I found the vinyl on SparkleBerry and fell in love. Unfortunately my phone auto filled the address wrong, and my package got lost. Luckily the address that is wrong apparently does exist so the post office held my package and I was able to pick it up. And I barely got home before tearing into the thing to play. it took a while to arrange, each color was cut separately and had to be placed individually. I have no eye for straight lines, and could only hope that they were at least close enough. Next one that gets made will have 1 color of text. And I foresee that there will be more of them.

I also finished moms New Zealand socks last night. I was already almost at the toe, so I put the major burn on them and got them finished while we were visiting her yesterday. Just in time for her cruise to Alaska.

And they fit like a dream, thank goodness. Pattern is Shapely secret socks and it’s moms favorite. Though apparently she loves to fold down my gorgeous cuffs, which we shall not speak of again.

Jack has decided that I’ve crafted enough and am now cut off from my easy press.

There’s a kind of hush…

Hopefully you can finish the end of the line, I had the pleasure of seeing Peter Noone in concert today. He performs every year at Epcot flower and garden and he’s a hoot every year.

As per usual the sock of the hour got to watch the show too. I’m trying to get these finished soon for Mom, about 1/4″ and I can start the toe decreases. But as anyone who knits can tell you, that last 1/4″ takes 10x longer than the whole sock. You can knit 15 rounds, measure, and still be short. But tread carefully, that 16th round will make it over the measurement you were striving for.

Since today was May 4th I threw together some shirts for the 3 of us. I love hubbys the best, but it was Darth Mickey that got all of the attention.

I will definitely be making more of the Wookiee shirts in the near future, it’s the perfect blending of Star Wars and Big Bang theory, it’s the geekdom trifecta. I’m actually fighting myself not to slap it on absolutely everything I possibly can, he’s just so cute!

I had planned on using this file I had made, but decided I wanted a more neutral shirt so I can wear it again. So poor R2 got left behind, sorry buddy. Maybe next year.

May the 4th be with you! Have a great weekend (I have the pleasure of working).