Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I have been altering pants for a customer. I don't know if I do it "by the book." I taught myself how to by taking things apart paying attention to how they were made. I thought some one else might be able to use the technique I use if they have never been taught.

The first thing I do is to have the person try on the pants and then pin them with safety pins holding the fabric where it needs taking in. I put as many safety pins in as needed to check the fit on the rear and front and the hang of the legs. I saw a tailor and a home dec designer both pin on the outside of things on tv shows, that's what gave me the idea.

Next, I turn the garmet inside out and mark the fabric where the safety pin is. I mark both sides of the fabric. Then I remove the safety pins. By the way, the reason I use safety pins is that you don't have to worry about the person getting stuck when taking the garmet off. You also don't have to worry about the pins falling out and not knowing where you pinned after the person has left. The next step is to take apart any waistband and the hem. The two pairs of pants I have been altering have drawstring waistbands with elastic in the back. I took a seam ripper and took apart the waistband a few inches on both sides of the seam. I then took the elastic and pulled it out of the seam. I used a safety pin and attached it to the pull string to keep it from sliding in the casing and getting lost. I took the seam ripper and took out the hem. I did this on both legs.

Once I have marked the position the safety pins were in with chalk and removed any thing blocking me making a straight seam up the side I pin the two layers together with straight pins and take a ruler and mark my sewing line down the length of the pants. Then I sew from top to bottom, with this pair remembering to hold the pull string out of the way so it will not get caught in the seam. After I check the seam I take the pants to the serger and serge 1/4 inch away from the straight sewn seam. This cuts off the excess that needs to be removed and finishes the edge for a more professional look. If you don't have a serger you could either pink the edge or cut off the excess to within 1/2 inch of the seam and then do a 1/4 inch zigzag.

I like to tuck my serger threads under when I put the waistband and hem back in. On this pair I tucked in under and sewed over it when I re-attached the elastic to the side seam in the waistband. Next I sewed the waistband back down where I had taken the seaming out to sew the side up. Last I put the hem back in the pants.

That gives you a pair of altered pants that look like they came from the store that way. On this pair I took one inch out at the waist on each side and two inches starting at the hips down the legs on each side.

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, October 27, 2008

On Friday I had to deliver 1745 papers. It was a special promotion. It took us 8 hours. I was suppose to deliver 1945. They called me Thursday night to say they lowered my amount by 200 papers. That was great, but I was still soar and tired afterwards. I did not get anything else except supper done on Friday.

I did work on some sewing on Sunday after church. I sewed out a design I had digitized for some one and started piecing the table topper. I am quite far and hope to get it finished this week. I had a call this morning from the digitize customer and she wants some changes and I have three pair of pants to alter for some one. These are all things I do in my spare time. I still have a household to run and lessons to do with the children plus deliver the papers everyday. Life is so rich and full.

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yesterday I pressed out my pairs of strips that I had sewn together. Today I finished sewing the sets together. I have five sets of 8 strips. Tomorrow I hope to cut the triangles out and begin to piece together the topper. I worked on digitizing a design today. Tomorrow I hope to sew it out and see if it needs any tweeking. I also need to hem a pair of my daughter's jeans and alter two pair of pants and hem one for a customer.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I was going to write about my sewing yesterday. I came online and was reading through some of my favorite blogs when I came to Ann's post today at Holy Experience. Ann and I have been cyber friends before she or I started blogging. We are part of a wonderful group of homeschool Momma's who have been e-mailing each other for many years. I love this group of women who I have never met in real life. Ann is the person who introduced me to blogging. She writes some of the greatest posts you could ever read. Her post today though reminded me of a conversation I had with my daughter in the early morning today.

I started delivering the papers over a year ago because of financial struggles. My husband was already working one full-time job and one part-time job. He couldn't do much more. I didn't want to go back to a full time office job and he didn't want me to go back to work. We settled on paper delivery because it is only a couple of hours a day and it pays good. It leaves me free to homeschool, keep up the home, and still sew. There are down sides to delivering papers, one being that you never get a day off. It's seven days a week, 365 days a year. Our children help me. The take turns and it makes the delivery go faster, plus I am never by myself. That's my explaination of it, but at times I see God had another reason for me and the children to do this job.

I have gotten to know my children better during these early morning hours. They have talked to me about things we don't have or make time for during the daylight. Even though my children have always spent 24 hours a day with me because we homeschool, during the day you have so many other things to focus on that you don't often just sit and talk. Also, something about the dark emboldens us to talk about things we might not in the glaring light of day. This I see as truly a blessing from God. Back to my purpose and why Ann's post today made me cry.

Yesterday was a very stressful day at our home. Things didn't go smoothly, we were all tired, we had a lot of places to be and had to run around a lot. The General and I ended up cranky. We got into an arguement. The General and I have been married for 22 years. We don't argue a lot. Like once every year maybe. During the paper delivery our daughter told me she didn't like us arguing. I thought about telling her neither did I. I thought about telling her it was wrong. I told her neither of these two. Instead I told her that it was good for her to see us argue some. I told her I wanted her to have realistic expectations of the relationship her and her future spouse would have. Realistically, people don't always agree. Realistically, sometimes we take out our stress on those who don't deserve it. I told her she needed to know that it was ok to sometimes not get along, but what you do after that is what mattered. We talked about the details of this and what God teaches so freely and easily in that early morning dark.

The General and I apologized to each other and went to bed as happily married as ever. I can see what Ann so beautifully spoke of living out in our home. The Master told us never to let the sun go down on our anger. As disciples we had to live that out in our home yesterday. Our disciples watched us following the Master. Oh, what a beautiful life I live!

Sew Long for Now!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I should be at church, the papers were late again and I was late getting home. Sigh, this is becoming a typical thing with them. Especially, Sundays and then I can't make it to church.

Yesterday I didn't get any sewing done. I did get a lot of help in my sewing room. When we moved it, we were in a hurry and then right after that the friend brought me all that stash. It was a mess. The General helped me clean it out yesterday. He cut down one of the table I had and rebuilt it 3 foot shorter. That really helped because then I got to T it to the other table. He and the little bee keeper helped me move 11 of the big rubber maid containers into the storage area in the basement. The General cut out some holes in my shelving unit on the wall next to the computer and ran the wires neatly through them and under the table to my sewing machine. It looks so much neater. I still have 5 huge rubbermaid containers in the room, 4 are in the closet and one is in the corner. The room looks so much better. I felt like I was trying to work in a storage shed. It saps my creativity to be in a mess. Now, I just need to find a system of rearranging all the containers of stash and supply so I will be able to find things and use them.

I have a big five drawer file cabnet. I need to clean it out and put all my patterns in it. I have them spread out everywhere. That will be one of my first projects. Hah, what am I saying. I promised to clean off all the bookshelves months ago and purge my books. I promised last spring to clean out the photos and put them in albums and print the ones I haven't for the last 5 years or so. Don't even ask about my kitchen. I rearranged it last year and everyone hates where I put things so I need to redo that mess. Will I ever get things caught up? Probably not, but I have no excuse for every being bored!

Sew Long for Now!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I awoke to rain this morning. I didn't know it was suppose to rain. The rain is needed, but it was a little wet on the paper routes. We also were suppose cover the grill, lawn mower, and tiller back up yesterday and it never got done. Now, they are a little wet.

The General bought me some new toys last night. He bought me a new computer monitor, 22 inch. Wow, I love this monitor. Our old monitor was a hand me down from churh when they upgraded a few years ago. It was a huge 13 inch. I have tons of space on the desk top with this flat screen model. He also bought me a wireless key board and mouse. Our old key board and mouse were hand me downs from a friend's brother. We have a habit here of taking people's discards and using them until they can be used no more. I hate to see things thrown out and I hate waste. Not very often do I have some thing new. It is sort of exciting.

I spent some time yesterday finally working on my brother's tap topper. I cut out all the strips and began sewing them together. The last of my company left yesterday. Today Captain Kitty goes to fall retreat with our church's youth group. With just the General and little bee keeper here this weekend I should be able to get some sewing in.

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My day started at 3 a.m. I got up to deliver the papers. It was a beautiful autumn morning, not too hot nor too cold. The sky was clear and the stars sparkled brilliantly. The moon was something worth getting up this early to see. It was so big and round and close down on the horizon. As a matter of fact it was so beautiful that when I got home I ran into the house to get my camera to capture a picture of it. By the time I came out it had sunk behind the mountains though. I really need to remember to keep the camera with me on the paper routes!

My in-laws and sister-in-law have been visiting with us since last week. With all the excitement I have been going to bed late so this morning I decided to take a nap when I got home from the paper routes. I had been asleep about an hour when the phone rang. It was a customer wanting to send me a file to digitize for them. I got up to check my e-mail, but the file wasn't there. I called her back and we made arrangements for her to come over after lunch and bring me a hard copy.

I spent the morning visiting with my in-laws and sister-in-law. This was the last day my in-laws are here. They leave Wednesday on the way to visit my mother-in-law's sister in North Carolina before heading back to Kansas.

The afternoon I listened to the children practice their instruments while I did some mending that had been piling up. The General came home from work and soon after I left to take the little bee keeper to his piano lessons. While he was at lessons I ran to the store to get some buns and potato salad for supper. My mother-in-law insisted upon store bought potato salad. She isn't into cooking from scratch or any frugal ideas. She flat out refused to use a coupon I gave her the other day for a product she was buying. I love her, but I don't understand her reasons for some of the things she does.

When I came home the General was cooking hamburgers on the grill. I sat on the back verendah and visited with everyone while he did this.

Our little bee keeper had built a fort out of some branches that had to be cut down off the fence. He ask me to come check out this cool neat place to play.

When the hamburgers got near ready I went in and helped Capt. Kitty set the table. Right when we set down to eat the customer finally showed up with the hard copy for me to digitize. I spoke with her a few minutes and when I came back to the table there was a card at my place. My in-laws gave me a birthday card early since they would be back at home on my birthday. My birthday is exactly fourteen days from the 14th.

After supper we all sat around visiting until time for me to go to bed. Everyone else was staying up to watch Dirty Jobs.

So I said goodnight to everyone, even Casey my in-laws cute dog. The General came down to tuck me in and say good night and I fell asleep after a lovely day.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The day started with a dreary look (this picture is looking out back at my folks house, but it is what it looked like this morning here.) I took my serger in and I had some how broke some rod or something. They fixed it while I was at piano lessons with the little bee keeper. He told me it needed to be maintenanced and new cutters put on, but he fixed it because he knew I needed it right now. How sweet. As soon as I save up the funds I will be putting it in for a servicing.

I finished the formal dress hem, edging the shawl, and moving the straps on the dress. I am taking a week off from sewing for others. My in-laws are due here today from Kansas and I haven't seen them in a year so I want to spend time visiting. I don't know if I can take a week off from sewing, but I may. When they come to visit we usually run around so much there isn't much time.

Oh, for those people who have been worrying about the economic troubles and such some good news from our neck of the woods. Gas was $2.89 at station in our area this morning. Yes, I never thought I would see gas under $3 again in my life time. I saw in the Wall Street Journal that Walmart and Target are having a toy price war. Some toy sets have been marked down to $10. The Little Bee Keeper got excited over that, he hopes it some he has been wanting and saving for. Now if I can just get Bernina to reduce the price of that new sewing machine they are coming out with that I want!

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I haven't been very faithful about writing, sorry. Life has been a bit hectic here. Our van, that I use for the paper route, had to have new brakes. My husband replaced them. The day he finished that the power steering started acting funny, something called the raconpion went out. He spent the weekend replacing that. Sunday morning I got up to a kitchen floor covered in water. The frig was leaking. We had just cleaned the coils last spring, but we spent Sunday afternoon cleaning them again hoping that would solve the problem without an expensive fix. So far it has held up! Today I was trying to put a rolled serge hem around a piece of shear fabric for a lady to use as a shawl over a formal dress and my serger's upper looper tension wasn't working. I got the piece finished by holding the thread where it comes off the cone between my fingers to simulate tension while serging the edge of the material. This afternoon when I take our little bee keeper to piano lessons I am going to stop by my favorite sewing machine dealer and have them look at it. I called this morning and it may be just something stuck in there preventing it from working right, if not my baby will be at the doctors being fixed.

The above picture is of a wall hanging a lady is giving to her parents as an anniversary present. It is beautiful up close. The flowers are applicaid on by needle turn. No, I didn't do it! I wish. The stitches are so tiny and perfect! I embroidered the verse on the bottom for her.

I was going to show a picture of the material I picked out to make the table topper for my brother, but the cat seems to have claimed it as his bed. He looks so cute, don't trust that innocent look. He loved to chew up paper. I have to chase him out if I am not here or else he chews up patterns, directions, books, you name it.

This looks like a wonderful idea-laze away the afternoon in a sunny spot-ah that would be the life!

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The bridesmaid dress fit perfect! I was so happy. I put a lot of work into altering the pattern. This morning I embroidered two shirts and picked out fabric for a quilted table cover for my next to oldest brother.

It's a cloudy day here, but we are going to spend the afternoon in the park. We all need a day out.

Above is a picture of one of hankerchiefs I received. This is all hand done. It is the most beautiful delicate thing.

Oh, salsa making ends up not being finished after all. So many men have ask for salsa at work that my husband ask me to make some more. This afternoon when I get home I will be making hot salsa. He wants another batch of mild also. The only problem I am running into is finding tomatoes. Ours have about puttered out and it doesn't seem to have been the best year for tomatoes here.

Sew Long for Now!