Thursday, August 23, 2012

I won! I won!

So, you know how I keep talking about the Pattern Stash Contest on Pattern Review?

Pattern Stash 2012

Well, I won!  I sewed 33 different patterns in the month of July!  Woo hoo!  I really use sewing (& knitting) as a way to cope with the difficulties of living here in Angola.  As long as we have power, either from the grid or a working generator with a long extension cord, I'm usually sewing!  Sometimes I have to use a flash light to find things in my sewing storage room after dark (generator usually doesn't power those lights and there is some problem with the wiring, I guess so that light doesn't always work anyway).  And even when there isn't power by any means, there is always the planning, the pattern tracing and all that other stuff to do.  So, the bottom line is, I made a ton of stuff in July (even a few more things than those for the contest- 42 in all), and I was able to cope with all the upsets of life in a 3rd world country in the process.  So, here's all the stuff I made:

Whew!  That's a lot!  Now, I'm taking a little bit of a break and doing knitting and crocheting instead of all the sewing (well, obviously still some sewing).  For instance, I had to make a matching hoodie for my daughter:

as well as a matching pillow cover:

and a pair of jeans for my son's doll:

And of course, I am also working on a doll for my daughter, but I've run out of stuffing and haven't quite decided what to use instead...*scratching head*... I am considering un-stuffing a couch pillow with a recently "decorated" velvet covering.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Décor.........

During the Pattern Stash Contest, I sewed some more things for around the house (i.e. non-clothing).

I swear I have been wanting to make some super cool wall thingie to measure the kids height on almost since my son was born. And I finally did it!

I just need to figure out which type of thing we will use for markers.  I am thinking worm and butterfly to start (with height and date).

And I finally made some covers for the kids' throw pillows.

I have also wanted to make one of these for a very long time.

And I finally did.  It was just in time for my son's birthday party.  All of these items were made from patterns from the book Sewing Bits & Pieces.  This book is wonderful for inspiration, but the patterns themselves and the instructions are variable.  If you aren't good at winging it, you might hate this book, I mean, unless you just want to look at the pictures.

The last non-clothing item I made in July was this little pouch on a belt for my son.
Pattern is Simplicity 9080
 He can use it to collect rocks & leaves or to carry tools or Bakugans.  I mean, pockets alone just aren't enough!  Plus he can use this on clothing without pockets............. you know, like underpants!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some Things to Keep the Kids Warm....

It is winter here right now in the southern hemisphere, and although it doesn't get real cold in Angola, we feel cold sometimes.  We even have to use a sheet or blanket to cover up in bed lately! *Gasp* 

So, I decided to make the kids each a pair of warm, fuzzy, fleece pants.
The black ones I made using a Kwik Sew pattern, and they turned out great.  The blue ones I used a Butterick pattern for, and their sizing is ludicrous.  My daughter calls these her "big, blue, monster pants".

Then I realized that she really just needs lots of little knit pants or leggings to wear under all her dresses, so I whipped up a few.

For the aqua ones I used French terry with lycra and the Riviera leggings pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love, and added a little ruffle.  The navy and purple ones were made from the Lil Blue Boo leggings pattern using a cotton/lycra jersey.  They all fit great; and I know she will get a lot of use out of them. I don't know why I ever buy leggings.  They are so easy to make.  I guess it's because good knits are a bit hard to find.

But then, I thought they needed a new long-sleeved top each, and they love hoods.
I made these using the Imke pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  I used a really thin cotton jersey for these since I don't want them to sweat too much.

And then, lastly, I decided to make one more little warm thing the night before the Pattern Stash Contest was over.  My daughter never seems to have the right color of sweater.  So I made her this (because she has a lot of dark pink stuff).
This shrug pattern is also from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  I used an old Gap sweater of mine that I loved but accidentally shrunk and felted a little.  I used part of the belt as the binding around the shrug and then I decided to add some cut in half as a little tie so it doesn't fall off her shoulders.

I have been considering knitting everyone some socks or slippers (because I feel the need to knit lately for sanity), but I just don't think I could tolerate how quickly they would be ruined and/or worn out.  Our socks don't last long at all here, so I just can't bring myself to hand-knit something that will be used up in a short amount of time.  Oh well.  It looks like I'll have to knit more doll clothes and wash cloths.....

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Few Things for Me

In addition to the Japanese pattern flops and the brown, scrunchie tank top, I made myself a few other things in July.

I made another French terry tank top, this time in dark purple.
Pattern is Kwik Sew 3467.  Great pattern!
I am pretty happy with this one, and I think I will make some more of them when the weather warms back up.  Also, I just can't say enough good things about this French terry fabric.  I don't know why I horded it for so long.  I think I've used it all up now, and I want more!  It's such a stable knit, with plenty of softness and just enough stretch. 

And I made myself a little, purple, knit skirt.

Pattern from Ottobre 2/2010.
It's a little bit too little though, so I am thinking of adding something to the bottom, like maybe a ruffle.  This is a thinner, stretchier knit, obviously with some lycra in it.  I can't remember if it's cotton or bamboo.

And I made myself another knit item, a navy blue sleeveless dress.
Also from Ottobre 2/2010
This one is also a little short.  I haven't decided if I should add to the bottom, shorten it to a tunic, or just wear it as a nightgown......  It's lovely and soft though and I think I will make more of these.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hooray, Hats & Headbands!

While sewing for the Pattern Stash Contest, and also sewing away the crazy, I made a bunch of hats and headbands.  I made these two hats for my son:

Let's Go Fishing Hat from Sewing for Boys- A great pattern and a great book!

McCall's M58118.  A green, twill cowboy hat with little rope buttons  holding up the sides of the brim.  I expect him to wear this while lassoing.....

I also made two hats for my daughter:

New Look 6193.  This hat wasn't supposed to look like a pirate scarf.  It had 13 pieces and turned out HUGE!

Bananafana Lollipop Beanie pattern.  There is a darling strip-work dress in this pattern as well, which I intend to make eventually.

And I also made a bunch of headbands:

Braided t-shirt headband.  I had been wanting to make some of these for a while!  Now I have (others not shown)!  She and I can both wear them!

JCasa's "Aflutter" headband  and PatchworKids velcro headband.

Okay, so now that our heads are tamed, we can get back to not worrying about the fact that our water tank is nearly empty and there is still no water coming in from the grid........