Monday, May 21, 2018

Pink Sky At Night

Yesterday, was wet and warm. At one point in the afternoon, it rained hard. Everything has been well watered which is nice. 

Lifestyle

Last evening when I went outside to take some pictures, the sky was gorgeous. Pictures never do it justice. 
Our street was busy at that time of night. Kids were out playing and riding their bikes. Adults were out with them. 
My main reason for going out was to take a picture of the solar lily I got for Mother's Day about 6 years ago. It is always somewhere to look at in the evenings. 
At this house, it is in the front by the walk way. We can look at it out the front windows. 
I was able to get a picture of it with the lights on. After a grey day, I didn't think it would come on. 
In the afternoon, Daughter-in-law and I went to the city to shop. We hit the masses in Ikea, Costco, and Walmart. It wasn't that busy at Christmas. We had a good time shopping and visiting. 

Sewing

No sewing yesterday but more thoughts are evolving in my head. I can sew them while doing the Spousal Unit's shirt. Beta tests on patterns. 
I got the American girl doll and she is in okay condition. I gave her a good wash and she wasn't overly dirty. She has two pen marks on her face which I am hoping will come off with acne cream. Her body has some felt marks on it but nothing drastic. Her limbs are loose and I will tighten them. If her hair doesn't soften with a shampoo and hot water treatment, I will buy her a wig. As of now, she can model the clothes I am making. 

Knitting

The sweater is almost knit and ready to sew together. 
Though the daisy stitch is a bit cumbersome to begin with, it does get easier as time goes on. The pattern is well written. I have a purse and hat to knit to go with the sweater and will sew white leggings. Then pink runners will be added to finish off the look. This pattern fits a Gotz doll. 

Today

After I do some housework, I will be sewing and helping with flower pots. A relaxing day at home. 
Until the next time........................

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tired But Happy

After a lovely stretch of sunny weather, it rained last night. It is a warm rain which is lovely. Better than the frost the night before. 

Lifestyle

The Spousal Unit has been planting flowers and vegetables and it is starting to look nice here. We had to get up at 4 a.m. yesterday morning to cover plants with blankets, towels, and shopping bags as there was frost showing up on everything. We lost 4 tomato plants. 
We got up at 6 a.m. and I watched the Royal wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony in my opinion. We were both tired so it was nice to sit and do nothing but watch the wedding. 
The rest of the day was spent with family. We both went out and did some shopping in different directions. We love those kinds of days. We ended the day having ice cream near our homes and it was delicious. We went to bed early as we were both tired but happy. 

Sewing

I finished the outfit for Kate. It is called Show Time by All Dolled Up. 
I plan on changing the shorts into a skirt. The blouse is a good fit though it does take time to sew. 
From that one piece of fabric, I got two totally different outfits for the dolls. 
Now on to sewing a shirt for the Spousal Unit along with some dresses and white leggings for the dolls. 

Knitting

I did quite a bit of knitting while watching the Royal wedding. I stopped when I thought I needed to knit another buttonhole. 
I have since finished the pattern and have it set up with the sleeves. Ready to start the shaping for the sleeves and the henley opening. My plan is to knit the matching purse and a lacy hat. This outfit will be worn with white leggings and pink runners. The rest of the pink yarn will be used to make a different sweater and if there is enough left over, a coat. 
I got the longer length knitting needles for the Russian dress. I will be starting on the skirt shortly. It will be knit as I have time as I want to knit other items also. I also got very short knitting needles to knit a pair of socks for Grandson. I'm trying something new; another learning curve is in the making. 

Today

I'm not sure of my schedule but I plan on cleaning the front entry. I will stop if I need to if Daughter-in-law and I go to the city. It is going to be a flexible day. 
Until the next time............................

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Projects Near Completion

After several days of sunshine and warm weather, we had a good shower last night. Today will be sunny and warm. 

Lifestyle

We were not going to do garden boxes this year but it happened in the end. The Spousal Unit found what he liked. 
We are now putting weed control cloth in the bottom of each one and filling them up with dirt. And plants and seeds have been purchased so the long weekend will be planting weekend. 
Yesterday we drove to New Minas to do a bit of garden shopping. On the way home, we saw what looks like apple trees in bloom. Spring is certainly here. 

Sewing

I am almost done the shirt I have been working on. It has gone together quite well. 
I just have one sleeve to set in, the side seam to sew up, and the hem to do. Then I have to decide on if I will do button holes or snaps. Now that I have done one of these, I may make another one later on. What I learned:

  • Lace choice is very important. Though I like cluny lace a lot, I need to watch the edge that goes under the yoke. 
  • Serge seams early on. It is a pattern that can have the serging done early on.
  • Don't rush. I didn't and thought about each step and am glad I did as it looks professional on the inside. Except for the sleeve seams that I forgot to do. 
While sewing the Spousal Unit's shirt, I will be doing some doll sewing -- dresses that need to be figured out plus a summer sew along challenge. More on that later on. 

Knitting

I finally got the bodice done on the Russian dress. Forty-seven rows done. I counted the stitches on 43 of those rows. 
I am setting it aside until I get a longer circular needle to do the skirt. It is done in the round. I will continue on with the needle I have but will have to change when it gets too crowded. 
I am going to knit a doll's sweater for Anna and Laura. It is Daisy Chains
My yarn choice is Kai in this variegated yarn. 
I will probably add the purse and a hat. I will need to get buttons on Friday so I have it ready to finish up by the end of the month. 

Today

With the weather so nice, we will probably finish the dirt in the garden boxes. That way, we can start planting them and the flower tubs over the next week. I would love to finish the doll's blouse so I can start on the shirt and dresses. 
Until the next time............................

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Fun

Yesterday the weather was sunny and warm. It got to about 19-20C. This morning it is 1C and foggy. The sun is trying to shine so it will be another nice day. 

Lifestyle

We had a slower day yesterday. The Spousal Unit filled the 6 balcony planters with dirt so they are ready for flowers. This photo shows what you need. 
I use this formula when I do all the pots but not with the hanging baskets. I just use spillers and fill the pots full. 
In the afternoon, we sat for a while in the sun and then we got the garden boxes lined up evenly on the lawn. They are now ready for ground cover and dirt. Next weekend is planting. 
We had dinner with family and then went for a drive to Panuke Lake. It is about a 10 minute drive and the road literally ends at the lake. 
The lake is 30 km long with a hydro-electric dam at the north end. There is also a protected area at the lake due to old forest growth. People have cabins around the lake and get to them by boat. 
Here is the boat dock that people use. We actually saw two boats use it. 
We walked a bit around the lake but it is very high this spring Daughter-in-law stated. It was a great area to see and so close to home. 

Sewing

I spent some time in the sewing room making the shirt for Kate. I had sewn the back to the side pieces and had serged those seams. Next up was top stitching them down. 
After that was done, it was time to do the the back yoke. I folded under 1/4" and basted it in place. 
I pinned the lace so the edge was under the yoke. I basted it down and sewed it on to the shirt. The fun was beginning. I picked it up to check and most of the lace did not catch. It literally hung down on the shirt. Ripped it out and after three tries got it stitched down. Lesson learned: Do Not use lace that has a crocheted edging that has holes on it. You have to zig zag stitch it down and not the look I wanted. 
What I do like is the points on the yoke match at at the seam line of the shirt. Nice drafting skills. 
I did a repeat of the front and it took several tries to get it attached properly. I also serged the shoulder and side seams of the front; I still need to do the back seams. 
At that point I stopped for the day. I will be putting clear crystals into the centers of the flowers on the yokes. This shirt calls for a bit of bling. 

Knitting

I did some knitting on the dress and am ready to start row 23. The dress has a tiny mistake at one sleeve -- I am short 1 stitch on the sleeve and had one too many on that side of the bodice. All is fixed up now and it is looking good. 
As this was a hard knit to start off with, I have not cast on another project. I probably won't until after I start the skirt on the dress. 

Today

I need to do some housework, sew on the doll's blouse, and help with the garden containers. I may even get to mow some lawn as tomorrow is to have some showers. 
Until the next time.....................

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Busy Time

We are on day 3 of sunny weather. It has been about 18C and the humidity has been such that we don't really feel it. 

Lifestyle

On Thursday we headed out to get plants so we could be busy on the weekend. It poured rain while we were out and about. Place #1 did not have annuals so we went onto place #2. We got what we needed for a few days. 
Friday was sunny and we worked at Son and Daughter-in-law's place. Under the flowering tree was our project. We dug a circle around the tree 48" from the trunk. It was edged, covered with weed cloth and mulched. It is designed to have daffodils and/or tulips planted around the edging. No pictures were taken. 
Yesterday, we had Grandson over for the afternoon. He got to make a hanging basket for Mother's Day. He helped the Spousal Unit and I make the garden boxes. His mind looked at this project like a big lego item. While we prepped the pieces, he played with a soccer ball and a tomato cage in the front yard. After he helped put the pieces together, they were packed to the back yard. There he did hurdles over the boxes. 
Craftsy has been having an unlimited weekend of their courses. You can watch classes for free. I decided to watch a beginner's class on using your digital camera. I learned a lot but became overwhelmed. I will buy the class when it comes on sale. I need the time to look at the different sections over and over again. 

Sewing

I got to sew for 30 minutes yesterday. The side pieces are sewn to the back piece on Kate's shirt. Then top stitching and the back yoke. 
I did look for a piece of fabric with a larger print that I want to make a doll's dress out of. 
I do need to get some plain cotton for a matching hat. Also some ribbon. But that will come later. I have to do some beta sewing to make sure I have the pattern done correctly. I will use the left over fabric from the Spousal Unit's shirt to make the dresses. 

Knitting

I am ready to start row 19 on the Russian dress. I will only be making one of these dresses unless it becomes a custom knit. Once I get onto the skirt, I will start on Daughter's socks. 
I have been talking to an lady who makes doll outfits for sale. I asked her if she made her little sweaters out of wool or acrylic. Acrylic she said unless it is a custom order. I will have to switch over. I do have about 4 balls of acrylic I can knit. My dolls will continue to wear wool. They have expensive taste. 

Today

It is Mother's Day and I do hope to sew. I will also have to help move the garden boxes for mowing and then set them up in their proper places. That means spacing them, putting in weed cover, and adding some soil. 
Until the next time............................

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Many Thoughts on Sewing Doll Clothes

Yesterday was warm and sunny and it is suppose to be like that today. We have had fog roll in which will burn off when it gets warmer. 

Lifestyle

With yesterday being sunny and warm, we are heading out to work on Son's and Daughter-in-law's front flower bed. I thought if we got 2/3's of it done, we would have done a great job. We actually got the job completed. No pictures as I left my phone at home. But, we all liked it. Next job is to do around the flowering apple tree and to thin out another flowering bush. Then our work at the front is done. We have a flower bed to weed and then we can finish up our yard. And we have plans for it. 

Sewing

I swept up the sewing room but have done nothing else in the room. I need to do some more tidying up and get my thoughts about what I want to do into a working plan. I think I need to sit down there and think. A rainy day project. 

Doll Sewing

I have one item left to sew to finish the Spring Sewing with a Plan for the dolls. I started out happily and ended up not so happy. I like all the pieces I made and how they work together. I did a lot of beta sewing to see how they fit the dolls. Some patterns I did like and am happy I sewed them. Some need some tweaking to be great. Others no so much. A lot of beta sewing with lots learned. 
What I liked:

  • Kate and Anna's capris and short tops. 

I will make the elastic casing higher up on Anna's top. Kate's is perfect the way it is. I love the capris on both the dolls and they are perfect for quite a few ideas. 
  • Anna's dress. 
Though it is like the top, it is a very nice as a dress and I do like the length. I would use a heavier cotton, make sure the button stands out more, and, maybe, add a bit of trim to it. 
  • The leggings are a great fit on both dolls. The patterns are keepers. I can use a lot of colors and designs when making them. 
  • The t-shirt patterns are also keepers. I used too light a fabric on them and had issues. I want to make the sleeves come down to the wrists and make the neckline higher (more beta sewing coming up). The other thing I will also do is make the back an extra 1/4" wider so I turn under 1/2" rather than 1/4". 
Some items to improve:
Jeans and pants. 

  • The jeans and pants fit the dolls well. I need to figure out finishing some of the seams (front and back crotch) so they look more professional. These are great additions to outfits. 
  • The t-shirt patterns are great. I have mentioned how to do them better. 
What I didn't like:
  • Kate's dress. Though cute, finishing the seams is a pain. I also had fitting issues as it was too big on Anna. I wonder if it will fit an AG doll better. This is a Dolly Duds pattern and they get excellent reviews. I will try again and serge the edges before sewing it up. I will also do more fitting on the AG doll to see if it fits her better. 
  • I haven't photographed the lace shorts. They looked easy to make but were a bit of a pain. I would do a short skirt with rows of lace on it. I loved the idea of 1" elastic for the waistband. 

Down the Road


I am doing several drafts on ideas to work on. It came after I found Sewing for 18" Dolls - How Hard Can it Be? I keep asking myself that question all the time. From reading her blog I came away with some thoughts.
  • I am not going to cut out 100 outfits like she did. I admire her for doing that but it isn't me. 
  • I love her inspirations for making outfits/ensembles. My brain doesn't roll like that; it makes up story lines such as a trip to the sea shore or Bay of Fundy. I come up with outfits/ensembles through that. What I need to do is research more on the outfits after I get the storyline done. 
  •  One thing we do have in common is ideas/inspirations from Pinterest. It is amazing the story lines I come up with looking at Pinterest.
  • I will be doing more beta sewing of patterns so I can make better fitting outfits. 
  • I have a lead on an American Girl doll that I want to pick up this week. She will be my 2nd model and will join Kate in modeling my 18" AG clothes. 
  • I will continue to sew for the Gotz dolls. I will have to slowly increase my patterns for these dolls as I have more knitting patterns than sewing ones. Anna and Laura will be my models. 
So where will I start? I will be pulling out the black leggings and working from there. My idea is to do a Day Exploring the Bay of Fundy. I have an idea for both the Gotz and the AG doll. 

Today

 I am not sure what we are doing. We could go over to do around a tree or we could stay home and do housework. We will see what happens. 
Until the next time..............................

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Day of Exploring

Though yesterday morning started out cloudy, the wind blew in blue skies and sunshine. It was sunny and warm with wind thrown into the mix for the whole day. 

Lifestyle

We headed out with Son and Daughter-in-law for a road trip or what I call exploring. We headed down the valley to Middletown which is in the middle of the Annapolis Valley. After a quick lunch, we headed towards the Bay of Fundy. We arrived at a small community named Margaretsville and it was a treat to behold. 
We drove down Lighthouse Road (more like a lane) and there was a lighthouse. Small and decommissioned in 1952, it still is in great condition. 
The wind was blowing and the waves were spectacular. 
We could see bluffs or ridge line of New Brunswick at the horizon line. The ridge line is near St. John, New Brunswick. 
The tide was low while we were there. This shows the waves coming up onto the ocean bottom. Margaretsville is full of summer cottages. 
These are some of the larger ones and could be year round homes. After looking around and enjoying this spot, we headed down the road. Boats were spotted so we turned around and went down another road towards the boats. 
With the tide out, the boats sat on the ocean bottom. 
On the other side of the wharf, were huge rocks that help cut the wind. This piece of driftwood was perched on top of some of the rocks. 
And then on the wharf, were anchors. 
From what I could see, these anchors are attached to buoys so they didn't float away. 
Our drive back took us through the agricultural zone. There were apple orchards that were 100-200 acres in size. There was so much to be seen. We ended up going to a cheese factory that makes excellent hard cheeses and to a winery. It was a fabulous day from start to finish. 

Sewing

No sewing yesterday as we were out. But I have been thinking of what I want to do with doll clothes. I am still leaning towards making ensembles and selling them. What my combinations will be is what I am working on. I can do:

  • all sewn pieces
  • all knit pieces
  • a combination of sewn and knit pieces
I want to do items that have a twist. The bling on the t-shirt was a great hit. I need to do some adjusting on it and it will be ready. I can do jeans, skirts, leggings, and knit sweaters with it. I need to move forward with my ideas and start building inventory. 

Knitting

I didn't knit last night. I need to work on the Russian dress this week and get the bodice done. The skirt is going to take some time as you end up with 440+ stitches when you cast off. 
I haven't started Daughter's socks yet as they are a new pattern and one challenge is enough with the dress. As soon as I start the skirt, they will be casted on. 
I am moving forward with the doll knitting also. I want to make more sweaters using several patterns I have. I also want to do some other patterns also. I need to look at patterns for American Girl dolls as I have really collected patterns for the Gotz dolls. 

Today

I am heading into the city after lunch to do some shopping. I want to look at plants and hope to buy three hosta plants for the front of the house. Going to Ikea is in the plan. I will probably go back again this week if the plants are out and get more. 
Until the next time...........................