Tag Archives: 30 Days of Sewing

Shabby Chic Diaper Bag

In the 30 Days of Sewing group on Ravelry, we decided to have a Flouncy Bag Sew-Along.  The pattern is from the book, One Yard Wonders.  Many of us were interested in making it, and making it together was really fun.  We were able to ask each other questions, share pictures, and just chat about the pattern.

I was interested in making the bag for a quick trip diaper bag.  I have a messenger bag I use, but it’s kind of big.  It can hold many cloth diapers, wipes, toys, burp rags, extra outfits, my current knitting project (and book), and all my necessities.  Sometimes I feel like I’m lugging around the entire nursery.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this messenger bag. It’s been so good.  I did want a smaller, cuter bag for those quick trips where only one diaper change may happen.

Since I use cloth diapers and they are bulky, this couldn’t be the quick change bags that are in the book, One Yard Wonders.  I thought this would be the perfect bag for this purpose.

In the bag I have: One pocket diaper, 2 cloth wipes, a wet bag, my wallet, sunglasses, cell phone, keys, a pen and lip gloss.  This all fits inside nicely.  Since the pattern says to sew loops of ribbon on the inside, my smaller things are held securely to the side and easily accessed.  I still even have room for a toy and some snacks for the little one. 

Overall I am very happy with the way the bag turned out.  I omitted the D-rings and decorative ribbon on the strap.  I didn’t have either, but I don’t think it made much of a difference.  I love the fabric I used. It’s matches my personality with the shabby theme and of course, my love of roses.

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Committing to a Vegan diet and other goals

I’ve had a rough few weeks, but now I can say that I’m back!  Life’s back to its regular routine.  I am making some changes though, so I thought I would blog about them.

First of all, I am committing to a Vegan diet.  Indefinitely.  I know there are times when I need to be flexible, but I want to be vegan.  Here are a few reasons why I love it so much:

1. I am actively choosing compassion over killing

2. I feel GREAT when I don’t consume animal products, especially dairy and eggs

3. I don’t have to worry about weight management

4. It makes me happy.

I am undecided about what to do about the animal fiber dilemma.  I’m very torn.  I’m going to work through my stash and then decide later.  For now, I already have it so I might as well use it.  So if I can’t use the word vegan to define myself, I’m going to call myself a herbivore.

Last night I made rice and almond milks, fresh wheat bread, and slow cooked some garbanzos overnight.  I’m very excited that things are going all the way back to the way they were, like when I was vegan the first time.

I need to finish my socks this week.  I had a very difficult time knitting when we had company for the past two weeks.  I’m happy to work on them again.

I’m starting on Day 1 for the 30 Days of Sewing again.  Sewing also makes me very happy, and I just love setting time aside daily to work on it.  It is very fulfilling, and visiting in the Ravelry group is so much fun.  There are so many fun women there and it’s encouraging to talk to them, work through problems, and share our sewing projects.  The group really keeps me going.

I’m going to try really hard to incorporate sign language into the baby’s routine.  We’ve been working on it for a week, and he is responding really well to it.  I feel like he’s understanding what I’m trying to say to him.  I know the key with signing is consistency, so I’ll do my best. 

I know that was very random, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.  I hope everyone has been well.

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Filed under Exercise & Nutrition, Janelle's Jibberish, knitting, Meatless Monday, sewing

30 Days of Sewing- Mission Accomplished

Dear readers,

First I want to apologize for my blogging inconsistencies.  It seems that my goals have taken me away from the virtual world.  My current goals for knitting, sewing, and weight loss take up a lot of my time.  On top of that I do my best to keep a clean house and make dinner for my family.  Taking care of a baby doesn’t exactly allow for blogging much either.

With that said, I may be taking a little blogging break.  I fear I have not only run out of time, but steam as well.  I don’t like spending too much time online, it’s too draining and most of the time leaves me feeling depressed.  It sucks hours from my day and the more time I spend online, the more I feel I need to spend online.  Also, I don’t know what to talk about at the moment.  Don’t worry though, I’m sure I will be back soon enough.  Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while.

I do, however, need to tie up a few loose ends.  A while back I made a goal to sew everyday for 30 days for at least 30 minutes a day.  On Sunday I finally reached the end of that goal.

I set out to learn how to sew, to stop fearing it, and possibly learn to enjoy sewing. I would have to say, Mission Accomplished. By treating myself as a beginner I learned so much. I constantly referred to my Sewing for Dummies book and really learned to do things! It’s exciting having some experience behind me. Of course splurging on a nice new machine made a huge difference, but other than that I feel like a brand new seamstress.

You see, I learned to sew when I was about 9. My aunt was wanting to teach a 4H sewing group and was testing her teaching abilities on me. It must not have gone over well because she never started her 4H group and I didn’t touch a machine for 5 more years.

When I was 14 every 8th grader had to take home economics. We made a locker caddy and then learned how to cook and clean.

I would sometimes buy a yard or two of fabric at Wal-Mart (that was the only store in the town I grew up in) and get out my mom’s ancient machine. That didn’t go over well because I don’t have even one finished object from my teenage years.

My parents gave me a Brother for my high school graduation. I sewed a skirt to wear to the graduation, but you couldn’t see it under my robe. Through the few semesters I took of college before I got married I tried to quilt, but just threw that away because it turned out awful.

After I was married I tried sewing many many times. I never consulted a manual or anything to try to fix my problems, I would just get angry and stuff my project and machine in the closet until my next endevour months later.

During that time I did manage to make some people some awful baby blankets. It makes me laugh thinking back on it.

Last summer I made some fitted cloth diapers. I actually did a good job on them, though I didn’t install the elastic correctly and they popped out in the laundry. I sewed a lot last summer and also at that time I frequently consulted the Sewing for Dummies books and also went online and many tutorials offered a lot of help. But still, when my diapers didn’t survive the wash my confidence in my sewing was severely damaged.

So this attempt I wanted to REALLY learn about sewing. I really did, I am so happy with the way this challenge has gone! I still see myself as a beginner in everyway, but I know I can do it because I’ve finished many projects during this time. They turned out really well, and at last I can feel proud of myself and be confident in my developing sewing skills.

My goals for my short-term sewing future are to perfect my fitted cloth diaper pattern and to sew sundresses for myself.  I think a fun floral sundress with a knit cardigan would be the perfect outfit for me.  If I made the outfit, it would be a work of art.  Isn’t that the beauty of knitting and sewing?  Making a functional piece of art?

I have decided to take another 30 days to sew everyday.  I have found an hour to be a pleasant amount of time, but if I can squeeze in 30 minutes I am completely satisfied.  I hope to be back and report on my progress soon.

Until then… Happy Summer Everyone!!!

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WIP Wednesday: Plain Socks and a Crinkly Tag Toy

It’s been a while since I blogged last.  Real life has been taking my time, I suppose it’s bound to happen every now and then.

This week I found out the Ravelympic team Itty Bitty Knitties are rising again for Tour de Fleece.  Tour de Fleece was originally an event for spinners to work on their projects during the Tour de France cycling competition.  Team Itty Bitty Knitties is using it to work on our knitting, crocheting, spinning, sewing, weaving, or just about anything that needs any extra motivation.

Honestly I don’t need any motivation, I’m always obsessively knitting.  I wanted to participate so I can chat with my friends in the group.  I’ve made a goal to finish both this months socks during the Tour de Fleece, July 3rd-24th. 

My husbands socks this month are just flying off the needles.  Last month his simple ribbed socks took forever and it was a really easy pattern.  I have to admit, I was quite discouraged because there are a million other things I would also like to knit.  I still can’t put my finger on what took me so long.  I’m thinking it was the Harmony wood circulars.  They were too sticky for sock knitting.  This past weekend I bought several sizes of Addi Turbos in 40″ circular.  I can’t tell you all how much I love them.  They are perfect for magic loop 2 at a time. 

So this pair is the Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel by Nancy Bush, from her book, Knitting Vintage Socks.  Another reason they are going so quickly is because they are mostly just stockinette stitch, but the ribbing was a breeze as well.  Surprisingly this pattern is not boring me one bit.  I turned the heel this morning and it was unlike any other heel I have turned before.  I think I will finish them tomorrow, and I just started working on them Saturday.  How exciting!

This past weekend was a 4 day weekend for my husband.  We had a lot of fun together.  It stormed so we stayed inside and the baby was cutting tooth #4.  I think we got a bit stir crazy because we decided to reorganize the house.  In the middle of that, my husband decided he was going to start a gun case for one of his many guns.  He sketched out the design he wanted, and together we worked on it.  The house reorganization came to a screeching halt.  So today I’ve been trying to clean the house up the rest of the way.

Also today I started a simple little sewing project.  It’s a crinkly tag toy for Dylan.   It took me 45 min from start to finish including the time I spent looking for a little iron on applique.  I decided not to use it anyway. 

So the toy is crinkly because I put the inside wrapper of a cereal box inside.  He loves it!  He keeps smashing it and rubbing the ribbon loops.  I should have made it earlier, I hope he doesn’t outgrow it too soon. 

I guess that’s not a WIP, but I still wanted to show it off.  It was a WIP earlier today.

My 30 days of sewing is almost up.  Today I finished with day 28, I can’t believe how fast it went.  More to come about it later.

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I made a Mei Tai!

I’m pretty excited about this!  I bought the fabric to make it while I was pregnant but never got around to it.  Now the baby’s a little over 7 months old and I finally made it!  A Mei Tai (pronounced May Tie) is an Asian baby carrier.  

I love my Ergo now that it’s hot.  It’s kind of bulky and all the snaps and hardware are a turn off for me.  I have always thought Mei Tais are beautiful and it’s great that they’re mostly for back carry.  Since my baby has been big enough for back carry, I feel like I am free to do almost anything.

I used a tutorial on Jan Andrea’s website.  It was a very easy to follow pattern with good instructions.  My only complaint was that when it was instructing how to cut out the pieces, I got really confused. If it weren’t for the sample layout there’s no way I would have figured it out. 

   

I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, especially since this is something I’m going to be using all the time.

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line drying goodness

I’m a big fan of line drying my cloth diapers.  There are so many benefits.  The direct sunlight sanitzes and strips them, bleaches out any stains, and it saves so much energy which is good for the environment and the power bill.  Or in my case, saves energy and $1.25 to use a coin-op dryer.  Then there’s the added benefit of the wonderful smell that comes with drying outside. 

Before I had the spin dryer, anytime I would dry my clothes and diapers outside, they would come off the line really stiff.  Since using the spin dryer, they dry almost instantly and they are just as soft as if they had come out of an electric dryer.  I’m not sure what the difference is, but I think all the water still remaining in the clothes has something to do with it.

I put my diapers out on the collapsible rack every morning.  The only items that need pinning are the wipes.  I have issues holding several wipes and pins at a time while trying to put them on the rack.  I’m too impatient to just hold one wipe and one pin at a time.   When I saw the Granny’s Clothespin Apron in the book, One Yard Wonders, I was immediately in love.  This pattern and the pug on the cover, of course, were the major selling points. 

I finished my clothespin apron yesterday.  I used it to hang my diapers this morning, and I am so happy about it!  It works perfect for me!  It’s so satisfying making something that is going to be used so often.

While making this, I couldn’t help but think of my sister.  She loves making aprons.  She is an apron making master!  She made me this apron for my birthday last year. I use it all the time and I just love it so much! I also can’t help but giggle when I see this picture.  I was only days away from finding out I was pregnant.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Eco-friendly, sewing

WIP Wednesday: ribbed socks and an apron

Last week I started some socks for my husband.  I’m using the Oak Ribbed Sock pattern from the book, Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.  So far I’ve worked the cuff and leg.  Today I started on the heel flaps and I hope I will have turned both heels by the end of the day.  I am using my new Knit Picks Harmony Wood circular needles for magic loop.  I’m also using Knit Picks yarn, it’s Gloss in Parsley.  I’m really enjoying these needles for magic loop.  Casting on top down two at a time was difficult, and despite my research efforts, I found nothing online about doing this.  Maybe two at a time magic loop is a newer method?  I don’t know. 

My sewing project today is the Granny’s Clothespin Apron for the book, One Yard Wonders.  Yesterday I attempted to begin sewing, but I did not understand what the pattern was telling me to do.  Sewing patterns are another language to me.  I feel like many I have come across are worded to where I can’t understand what they are telling me to do.  Long story short, I knew it wanted me to make a bias tape edging on the pocket.  I was mad at the pattern and decided to do it my way.  So I made the bias tape and zigzag stitched it on.  Well, come to find out, it was just having me put the bias tape on in a way that would show no seams.  Ha, they should have stated it so obviously.  Oh well, I’m not going to fix it, I’ve had enough with it.  So I continued on and I’m actually nearly finished with the project.  I worked for an hour today because yesterday’s time was absolutely wasted, and I wanted to make up for it.

So today was day 15 of my 30 days of sewing, the half way point!  I have fallen behind on my days, it really should have been day 17.  Between a busy weekend and a grumpy baby, 2 days I skipped my sewing goal.

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