Jam, Jam, Jammie Pants

27 12 2007

I HAVE gotten some sewing done of late, but it is not too obvious from my most recent posts. Glitter Glue Princess was in desperate need of jammie pants – her old ones were too short and too snug. I tried out a new pattern, rather than drafting it in pattern master. I used Kwiksew3477 with a fake fly in the front. GGP was not a fan of the whole fly thing, but accepted it for these pants. I added 9 inches (yes, 9! I told you all she was tall and skinny!) to the legs of the pants to make them long, also straightened the leg for a bit more fullness and comfort while sleeping.

Her first draft pair was in the laundry when I took the following pictures:

Hopefully five pair will last her for the season (crossing my fingers).

A wordless post – all about Christmas.

26 12 2007

Yes, She still believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy…

26 12 2007

I was recalling a conversation, some months back, that I had with our little neighbor who happens to be Glitter Glue Princess’s dear friend. It was right after the tooth fairy visited, and GGPrincess was showing her the wee little note the tooth fairy always writes her. They have had a long standing communication, with GGPrincess leaving her notes when the tooth got lost at school, and the Tooth Fairy telling her about her life and leaving her little poems. As the kiddo was putting away the note in another room, she smirks at me and says “I bet she believes in Santa too”.

I look at her nonchalantly and say “But of course! He leaves her notes as well!” Looking at her in awe – “Doesn’t he leave everyone notes?”.

Being her sophisticated 10 year old self and laughing – “everybody knows he doesn’t exist”.

Giving her the most stupified look possible I say, “woooowwww! I never knew that! I thought everyone believed in him!”

A while back, Glitter Glue Princess and I were out to breakfast. She says something like, “all the kids at school don’t believe in Santa, but I don’t believe them. They keep saying things, and I just keep my mouth quiet because they would make fun of me. He has to be real, especially since I can see him on radar, and the long letters he leaves me every year. Who else would eat those cookies we make? Dad?!?”

I’m keeping this gig going as long as humanly possible…

Sorry, No Christmas Letter from Me, and Tips for Holiday Letter Writing

18 12 2007

I’ve received multiple letters from folks this year, regarding people’s health, people moving, people’s kids, people’s grown kids, people’s work, people’s pets, people’s vacations.

This just goes out to tell you that you won’t be receiving one from me – I think this blog should cover my christmas letter allotment. You know what is going on in my life from this, no need to send it out with the cards.

Some letters give me a great snapshot of a family’s year, some just seem to ponder how one managed to stay alive. I’ve not received any that belong in this book, but I’m not sure how much farther they have to go to get there.

After being subjected to having read this year’s assortment, I feel compelled to make the following suggestions. These suggestions are general and not aimed at one letter or another:

1 – READ your letter after you write it, and have someone who isn’t related to you read it too. Not just for typos, not just for run-on sentences, but for content. You need someone who is not afraid to tell you that the letter is a big pile of hooey. Call me, I’ll read it and be totally frank.

A good suggestion is that if you can’t read the letter out loud, then don’t send it – this revelation came to me while listening to Glitter Glue Princesses essay work last night when she read it out loud.

2 – Please, Please, PLEASE keep your letters upbeat – this is the season of joy and giving, and the giving part doesn’t mean giving me depression. This is Christmas time, when love, warmth and the season of sharing are the best themes of all. Use them wisely and share them freely.

3 – Don’t brag – it is not becoming of anyone. Also, I don’t participate in the “my kid has more extracurricular activities and more awards than your kid” doctrine – again, not becoming, but also teaches our children no level of modesty whatsoever. I love to hear about you and your kids and your grandkids, don’t get me wrong, but walk the fine line that keeps you on the side of being modest. When your kid is the star of every team he/she is on, I begin to worry about your sense of reality.

4 – Don’t humiliate members of your family on paper either. Again, it is not becoming.

5 – If you go on for paragraphs about your diseases, you need to be dying. You obviously have a full life that revolves around more than just complaining about your conditions. I don’t want a full page about your ailments, then you tell me you went to Disney World – unless the trip was paid for by the make a wish foundation. These letters should be telling me happy things, not about your morose existence…

6 – Three pages is too long – you lost me at the end of the first page. These letters are meant to give people a shapshot of your life, not give sermons.

7 – Write the letter in the first person. Getting letters that refer to each person by name makes me wonder who the ghost writer was and where he went after living with you for a year.

O.k., now I think I’ve probably offended every person who sent me a letter, and will be promptly removed from all card lists forthwith. As I stated before, these tips are general and not aimed at one person, but please, please, PLEASE (yes, I’m begging, on the floor, and tugging on your leg), look at the following links next year for better christmas letter writing skills:





I’m picking up my soapbox now and retreating to the corner….

Um… Wow…

11 12 2007

Yesterday I had over 1200 hits on my fabric bag tutorial.  Thank you to whomever put me on stumbleupon.com.  I got listed on the top posts on wordpress too, and I wasn’t even paying attention…  Does that mean I’m famous?

Any suggestions on what other sewing or tiedye projects you’d like to see a tutorial on?

My First Tutorial – Fabric Shopping Bag

8 12 2007

Here are the instructions for making your shopping bags from an existing plastic bag as a pattern. As I mentioned before, I liked the shape of the container store bag for its height and thickness of making the pattern, but any bag will do… This one worked particularly well, as it fit nicely on a 45″ piece of fabric. It was nearly exact, and used a bit less than 3/4 yard remnants.

Cut the bottom seam and handle seams open on your bag, removing the part where the bag is fused. Slit the bag down one side inside the crease. Trace the bag with seam allowances – I used 5/8″ because of the french seaming and double sewing in the handles.

Cut your bag out. You will need both a lining and an exterior. For this example, I’m using the rainbow fabric for the outside and plain blue dye for the inside – this will keep things clear (I hope!).

First, sew your side seams.

Then for the curved part connecting the handles.

Trim them nicely, turn right side out and press.

You will now have a tube with 4 “legs”.

Now, this step is not necessary, but it helps me from ending up with a jumbled mess. Find your handle portions by looking for the narrow curved connector. You will sew together the two legs of the narrow connector (I had to tear out the seams of at least one bag before I had this epiphany). Take the two legs and sew them together on the inside at the edge – doesn’t matter if you pick inside or outside fabric – this is just a sewn tack for when you flip the bag. Repeat on the other set of legs.

Now for the tricky bit. We will now flip the bag so that the right sides of the fabric are together again, like when we were sewing the legs. You will pull the legs through too.

Now, where you tacked the handles together will show up as a round tube.

You are going to sew around the tube, as demonstrated here.

I remember this was always called “sewing around the teacup”, but I can’t remember where I learned that. I sew at 3/8″ and 5/8″, then serge the edge.

Your handle seam will be nice and professional looking when you put the bag back to wrong sides together. Press.

Edge stitch the handles at this point, about 1/4″ from edge.

You should then fold the handles, so that the side will crease, the outside edge being folded underneath. Stitch in the ditch at the top seam to hold them together.

Using your folded handle as a guide, crease the bag portion with a gusset on both sides and press. Sew the bottom of the bag from the outside as shown below at a small seam allowance, appr. 1/4″.

Trim the excess, and flip it to the inside, taking care to keep the gusset folds straight.

Sew again at a deeper seam allowance, appr. 3/8″ in a french seam. Flip your bag back to the outside, and your done!

Initial tests of this bag show that they hold well more than the standard paper grocery bag, about 50% more, most likely due to the size of the original bag used as the template.

“What am I getting for Christmas?!?!?!”

3 12 2007

This is the condensed version of how conversations have gone between Glitter Glue Princess and me for the last week…

GGP: “What am I getting for Christmas?”

Me: long pause. “What do you want for Christmas?”

GGP: “Mo-om!!! You’ve been getting boxes from Amazon all week! That piano you got – I want that!”

Me: “No, that is for me.”

GGP: “Let’s open it right now!”

Me: “No. If I open it right now, I’ll have nothing at Christmas.”

GGP: “Pleeeeeease”

Me: “No”

GGP:  “Well, what else came in those boxes anyway?  Where did all those boxes go anyway?  Mo-om!!  I know you got something for me, where is it?”

Me:  “For your information, one of those boxes was for me, and one of those boxes had your cousin’s toy cash register in it”  (Casually failing to mention the other two boxes that arrived, and hoping she wouldn’t notice)

GGP: “So, what am I getting for Christmas? What letter does it start with? Is it a P? Is it a puppy?”

Me: Exasperated silence.

At this rate, something or someone is not going to make it to Christmas….