Braided Cowl & Slouchie Beanie

I few weeks ago, I posted a preview of my crochet project that looked like a mass of loops. Last night I finished and below explains the loops.

Being asthmatic and suffering COPD, winter months can be extremely hard on me but I do not like how a long scarf adds bulk under my coat.

I found a solution.

I made myself a braided cowl (yes with fringe) instead of a long scarf that will cover my neck AND a matching slouchie beanie.

Sofa Pillows

I went to a well known local furniture store yesterday in search of microfiber sofa pillows. I selected the fabric and the salesperson said they were $75. I left. I could not justify $300 for $30 worth of fabric.

Later, I stopped by a fabric store’s upholstery department in search of a camel or tan color. Lucky for me the microfiber fabric was on sale for $19 a yard and they had what I needed.

Two yards and four zippers later I have four new 18″ pillows for the sofa and chaise.

DIY Yarn Cabinet

A little after the Christmas holidays, I began crocheting skull caps for various charities affiliated with my employer as well as local hospitals. I also crochet baby clothes and blankets. Lately, my yarn stash has become ridiculous, therefore I’m at a point that I had to catalog my yarn in an iOS app to know exactly what I currently own. This ensures that when I am in a yarn shop, I am not unnecessarily buying yarn that I already own. Once I reached 103 skeins and hanks I felt that its best to buy a shelf.  The problem is, I was against investing in a Sauder shelf because they are compressed wood and I found Raymour & Flanagan too pricey if it’s just a yarn shelf.

Then I thought, “Wait a minute! I can do this!

Using a little ingenuity and an Xmas gift card from my daughter, I decided to make my own shelf to store my yarn and the flat screen in my sewing room.  I take pride in this because I did this without anyone’s support.

Here’s what I did:

First I picked up 8 wooden crates. Initially I wanted the heavy-duty $28 crates but yarn isn’t heavy so I opted for the $10 crates instead.  In reality the $28 crates would have defeated the purpose in saving money.  (If you use this idea for a desk or table that will hold lamps, books, a laptop, please invest in the $24-28 crates)

Even though I knew that my yarn would not weight much, I was unsure if the crates would provide stability,  so I decided to go to Home Depot and buy wood to support the back and base (I used birch – no specific reason other than color was close to the crates). .

Then next day, I felt that it would look really cool if I painted the crates white and stained the top and made the base.  To support my little flatscreen, I had the base cut 3″ deeper to ensure that it does not tip over.  Here’s where the fun began:

After work, and any time that I wasn’t watching Netflix, I began sanding. This was necessary to ensure that the wood does not snag the yarn.

I read that stain applies better if you apply wood conditioner so after sanding, I applied a coat of wood conditioner and allowed 30-45 minutes for it to absorb.  As I began toying around with the assembly of the crates, I got the idea to add feet. Ugh!  Here I go back to Lowes on Memorial Day weekend.  When I arrived, I honestly did not know how I was going to affix them or Lowe’s selection. I was overwhelmed and stared at various legs and bums for 30-45 minutes. I selected on a 4″ to raise the shelf off of the ground.  Because my shelf is going to be roughly 70″ wide, I felt support in the middle would be best, so I invested in 8.

Just look at the rich color! I was so pleased in this stain choice.i knew this would definitely pop once I painted the crates white.

The first really looked good. So I gave it a few days to completely dry, did a light sanding and added a second coat.  I then waited a few days to ensure that there were no sticky areas before assembling.

This is the outcome.

On Father’s Day 2018, I had the privilege of finally getting around to emptying some of the bags and boxes of yarn.  I wiped down the shelf, brought it upstairs to my sewing room, stocked it, and stood back to stare at my work and smiled.

I would have made my late mother proud!

Women’s Bomber Jacket (Simplicity 8222)

This fully lined jacket was truly a labor of love. Made using Simplicity 8222, I actually did not have fabric in mind but fell in love with the fabric that I used for the lining and had to have it. That led me to a quest for fabric that complemented it for the jacket.

It features side pockets, rib knit cuffs and waistband with a faux buttoned belt embellishment on the back

I hope that my niece Nasariyah likes it

Belted Tunic & Leggings – Simplicity (MimiG) 1019

When MimiG discussed the release of Simplicity pattern 1019, I knew that I wanted to sew this.  Like a Prince fan camped outside of the local Ticketmaster box office, I was READY on the release date.  I fell in love with the style and wanted an opportunity to successfully sew a Simplicity pattern in a day, especially something that I could wear to work or a night out with my girlfriends.  The belt, the buttoned shoulders and the slits on the side….SMH.  I had to have it!

Fabric:  navy and off-white medium weight double-knit (perfect for winter weather)

Modifications:  None.  I wanted to make this precisely as written.

Would I make it again?:  Most definitely! I knew when I purchased the pattern that I wanted two sets.  One long, pictured here in navy and white knit and one all off-white with a shorter pullover which I plan to sew this weekend.  In the winter, I love off-white knits.  The only difference, the next go round is make the leggings a size 8.  I am a normally a size 4/6 and cut my leggings in a size 6.  They fit perfectly unlike any leggings that I have purchased.  I washed them after sewing and they did not shrink in length or around the hips but I would like to know that I can pig out and not have to worry about the waist after a hearty meal.

Difficulty:  Zero difficulty.  This pattern was very easy to follow and took three hours from cutting to hemming.

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TMNT Cargo Shorts – Burda Easy 9641

Pattern makers are sleeping on adolescent boys and it can be frustrating trying to make them something that suitable.  Using TMNT theme fabric, I made my grandsons cargo shorts with side pockets and front pockets for the summer.   Yes, they are loud but the 8 year old is going to say “This is cool grandma!”

Considering they were simple to make, now I need to purchase more fabric  for the boys!

Pee Wee Fashion – Butterick B4161

Yesterday after breakfast, the spirit hit me.   It was as if my sewing machines were luring me into my sewing room murmuring “Mother, walk towards to (sewing) light”.   I entered the room with every intention of sewing my neighbors daughter a shorts set but this (to me) defines her.  I pushed the other fabric aside and made this instead.  I’m glad that I did.  The end result: total cuteness!  Just like everything that I sew, I washed it in Tide, dried it with Fabric softener sheets and will deliver it this week.

Amelia Neiman!   I’m delivering another dress for you princess!!

Modifications: Something about Amelia strikes me as fairy princess, eyelets and cute buttons.  I didn’t want to overdo it because polka dots should not be tampered with.  I simply added an eyelet lace trim on the hem.

Would I make it again?: Most definitely.  Anything that I can whip up in 60-90 minutes is a no brainier.  It’s simple and doesn’t require a zipper for those who fear the job of sewing zippers.  It requires one button for the back closure.

Difficulty:  None. I just overthink things no matter how simple it is. As much as I prefer my bodice to have interface and or lining, this vexed me.

If you can recall in a previous post, I have always sewn by eye and patterns are a new challenge to me.  Sewing the facing wasn’t the issue. Closin the front and back facing made me suck my teeth repeatedly.  I like a facing  that is tacked down; not one that constantly sticks out at the nape of your neck or arm holes.  It boggled my brain for a minute.   Once I realized that I was functioning decaffeinated, I had a cup, returned to what I was doing, I wrapped it up quickly and laughed at my impatience.

What do you think?  Yay or nay?