Monday, August 29, 2016

A Quick Update

Our weather cooled off for a couple of days and yesterday it got to 22.7C or 73F. We warm up for a couple of days only to get cooler and will see cool weather for the long weekend. You can tell fall is coming and we hope we have a lovely Indian Summer.


I have been focussed at work for the past 3 days. I have been redoing displays in notions and putting out new stock. It has been a lot of work but it is coming along nicely. Two more days and I hope to be just about done the area I am working in.
The Spousal Unit has been picking tomatoes and we have been eating a lot of them at lunch and dinner. He did pull a couple of carrots and they are the best we have grown. The soil he put into the boxes is loose allowing them to grow long and straight.
We actually can harvest most of the garden and we have to get some vegetables to a friend of ours.
The weight is still coming off me. I have lost 25.5 pounds to date. I was surprised when I lost 3.7 pounds this week. And, I have met my goal of losing 10% of my body weight (and more) by the end of August.


I haven't looked at my sewing for the past three days. I know the doll shirt must be finished and then it is on to sewing for others. The stack on the cutting tables is mainly for others. Grocery bags, a lunch bag, cushion covers all are waiting for me. Some are for now, others are Christmas gifts. Several weeks to get through that pile but once done, I will be a happy lady.
My next store project is going to be a longer length button up the front shirt in a cotton. I will have to measure myself and make a prototype out of some cotton I have on hand. I really don't know what size I am and how fast I will continue to loose the weight. But, I need a top or two to wear to work. I am still on a fabric diet buying only what I need to finish projects.


I work a full day and know I will be tired when I get home.
Until the next time....................

Friday, August 26, 2016

Pick a Fabric, Sew it, and Repeat

Yesterday was a warm day with a high of 32.2C or 90F. Today is suppose to be warmer and then it will cool down again. Our story this summer.


We stayed home yesterday and it was so nice. I did three loads of laundry, a bit of house work, and sewed.
Our afternoon was exciting though. The big excavator ruptured the gas line across the street and two houses down. I heard the loud hissing noise of the gas and thought it was the egg poacher. It wasn't that and I ventured outside to get the story. Our street got busy for the next couple of hours.

In all we had two police cars, the fire truck, and five Fortis gas trucks on our street. It took about 45 minutes to get the gas shut off and another hour to repair the pipe. We weren't evacuated or given an evacuation notice but the people on the corner were. It turned out the gas line was buried 7" above where it was suppose to be.
We talked to Son and family last night about their trip to Nova Scotia and it sounds like they had a great time seeing the area. They had a seafood cook out with a friend who lives in Truro and they raved about how good it was.


I sewed off and on in the sewing room all day and it was so nice to do that.
First thing in the morning, I hauled out this fabric.

Daughter-in-Law uses @frogger for everything. Before I knew it, the handles were made.
And before lunch, the grocery bag was finished.
After lunch and a short break, I started on the doll's western shirt. I spent some time figuring out how to match the pattern, make the front band on the bias and start sewing it.
This shirt has a collar and collar band. When I stopped for the day, I had gotten what I wanted done and the sleeves cut out ready to make. The sleeves have a placket and cuffs so some more tiny sewing has to be done. Next - order the cowboy boots.
I have to say that I am enjoying sewing from the pile on the cutting table. I pick a fabric, sew it and repeat.


I am back to work for the next 5 days.
Until the next time...................

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some Sewing Done

We have had a variety of weather since I last posted. High winds, rain, thunder, lightening, and sunshine. Our hottest day was 35.7C or 96F and the coolest day was 21.3C or 70F. They were two days apart and we really felt the temperature difference. Our nights are cooler now which is nice.


Our street is a mess but the majority of the digging is done. We have had no water during part of the day for over a week. But they installed new lines into the houses and new valves at the intersection where we reside. Now they can start getting the road ready for pavement, cement curbs and a sidewalk. All is progressing well.
The Spousal Unit spent yesterday morning having his 5th immune booster IV. It went well and he has his last one Sept. 21. Then he will only have a month to wait until he has his cataract surgery. He is happy about that.
My weight is still coming off though slower now. It seems to be more in the normal weight loss range each week. I am a pound short of having lost 10% of my body weight. I look forward to that happening. I am feeling so much better and look forward to do more as time goes on.


I brought one doll home and she got to model the jeans with the attached chaps.
One of the rhinestones fell off the chaps so I need to hot glue it back on. Next on the list is the shirt and the boots need to be ordered.
I bought another doll and will be making her a western outfit that includes a skirt, vest, and top. Both dolls will be displayed at the store.
I made two minion pillows for Grandson and the tutorials are up. I have enough fabric to make him two more pillows but will make Daughter-in-Law another reusable grocery bag as a belated birthday present.
I haven't moved much more out of the sewing room as I am short on space to store it. I think I need to really start using up what I have. So far, I have bought 4 zippers for the cushion covers. No fabric though I do get to do pick another project on Sept. 1. Have it picked out in my mind -- fabric and pattern.


I am off work and have to do laundry, clean house, and make the grocery bag. I am looking forward to a day at home.
Until the next time....................

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cushion Cover Tutorial Part 2

You now have all your pieces cut and are ready to sew up your cushion cover.

Back of Cushion Cover

Press under 1/2" on the 18" side of the cushion cover. Pin in place and press.
Turn right side up and pin the zipper to one of the turned under seam allowances. Pin into place.
Using your zipper foot, stitch the zipper in place back stitching at both ends. I open my zipper about 8", stitch to it, then lift the presser foot and close the zipper. Make sure your needle is in the down position.
With zipper closed, pin the second back section to the zipper making sure both ends are even with the stitched piece.
 Take the front piece and lay it on top of the back right sides facing together.
I took the time to measure to make sure the top piece was 18" square and to determine where I would have to adjust my seam allowance.
After I pinned around the cushion cover, I made sure the bottom zipper tape was pinned as was the top zipper tape was pinned with the zipper closed.
Remove a couple of pins and reach in and open the zipper about 6-8" and pin the opening closed again.
Sew around the cushion cover using 1/2" seam allowance. I back stitched at all four corners and across the zipper top and bottom. Cut the zipper ends off both sides.
Cut the corners diagonally. Open the zipper, turn cushion cover right side out. I rolled the edges and gave it a good press before I put the cushion form into it.
Front of the cushion

Showing the zipper
You can stitch the backs together to insert a 16" zipper if you want. As this pillow is going on a chair, I chose a zipper the width of the cushion (18").
The second cushion cover was made in about 30 minutes as it was already cut out.

Cushion Cover Tutorial (Part 1)

I have been asked to write a tutorial on how to make a cushion cover with a zipper in it. How I do it is a combination of reading about how others make theirs and a whole lot of experimentation.


I like cushion covers to be tight over the pillow form and spent a lot of time figuring out how to come up with a simple formula. It hit me one day and it works.
When you cut out your fabric, you cut it out the same size as the pillow form.
14" pillow has 14" squares of fabric, 16" pillow has 16" squares of fabric and on it goes.
Then, I wanted to put in the zipper in the back of the pillow so I had to figure out that. You cut out the back square one inch longer than the front.
14" pillow is 14" x 15", 16" pillow is 16 x 17" and on it goes.
Zippers then follow the size of the pillow. 14" zipper for a 14" pillow, 16" zipper for a 16" pillow and so on. If you can't get the right size zipper, buy a longer one and cut off the bottom when you sew it in. Easy.


I use 100% cotton for my pillows. Mostly quilting cottons but I have used cotton upholstery fabric. I am ready to move out into other fabric in the store. But, I am not ready to use the heavy fabrics. That will come with experimentation.

Fabric Amount

  • 40" of fabric will make 2 cushion covers between the sizes of 14 to 18" square. After that, you have to do some math. 48" will make two 22" cushion covers.
  • Two zippers to match the width of your pillow for 2 cushion covers.
  • Matching thread.
I use a rotary cutter and a 20" square ruler when cutting my squares. If you don't have that make a paper pattern.
1 - square the size of your cushion form (18" for this tutorial)
1 - piece that is the width of your cushion cover and 1" longer. (18 x 19" for this tutorial)

Preparing Your Fabric

If you plan on washing your cushion cover, wash, dry and iron your fabric prior to cutting out.
Trim the end of your fabric square using a rotary cutter and ruler.
Flip your fabric over and cut a piece that is 18" from the trimmed end.
Set that piece to one side.
Cut a second piece that is 19" long.
You will have a piece left at the end to discard. I prefer to have 2 or 3" left than not enough.
Take your pieces and trim off the selvage edge.
 Open up the fabric so it is only 2 layers thick and cut them to be 18" wide. There should be a piece of fabric left from the folded edge.
Take the back piece (18 x 19") and cut it in half so you have four pieces 18" x 9.5". These will the part where the zipper goes.

You are now ready to sew up your cushion cover in Part 2.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Yesterday was a gorgeous day with a high of 33C or 91.5F. We must be getting use to it as we don't complain about it being hot. We just monitor how much we are outside in the heat.
The sky looked gorgeous last night and I had to snap a couple of pictures of it.


I had to take the Spousal Unit to the hospital yesterday for a biopsy on his back. The procedure takes a few minutes but the waiting takes 50 times longer. He had to be frozen and then wait his turn.
We got done near lunch time so we headed to McDonald's for lunch. I was well behaved and had a grilled chicken burger and 6 small fries. After that we went to another grocery store and did a bit of shopping and a lot of looking. Got home around 2 p.m.
The road crew finished work early yesterday and it was quiet out there. You don't realize how quiet until they shut down all the equipment and leave. No noise until Monday. Bliss in our minds. But WRONG!! They are at it again at 7:15 a.m.
My weight is still going downwards. I am amazed that it is coming off easily. This morning I found a new set of numbers which was exciting.


I emptied more out of the sewing room yesterday. It got put into our bedroom as we are running out of space in the living room.
I went through the yarn and got some ready to donate and threw out some small balls of orphan yarn. The empty containers got sewing books in them for the time being. The closet is almost empty but not quite. Another day and it will be done.
I decided to write a tutorial on how to make cushion covers my way. It is a combination of reading and experimenting. It will be done in two parts. My feature fabric is
Minions for Grandson's game room. Each meter (40") of fabric will make him 2 - 18" cushions.
This is the beginning of a bunch of simple projects that I left on the table. I can put down part of the cutting table and still cut out the squares and rectangles of fabrics to make these projects. The vast majority is reusable grocery bags and small bags to put stocking stuffers into.


I work today -- the first of three days before my next day off. I have a feeling it will be a busy day doing a wide variety of things.
Until the next time.......................

Friday, August 19, 2016

Making A Mess

Yesterday was another lovely summer day with a high of 32C or 90F. Today is suppose to be warmer and then hot on Saturday. This morning was cool at 13C or 55F. That is nice to feel.


Our street was busy yesterday being destroyed for new water shut off valves for the area. The fellows arrived early and worked 10 hours steady.
We park on the street behind the excavator and walk in to the house. We didn't have water for 9 hours yesterday which was a bummer. But, we have new valves and water last night. We won't have water again today, Monday and Tuesday.
Son and family are in Nova Scotia and are touring around the province. They were at Peggy's Cove yesterday and sent this picture.

Yes, our grandson is kissing the seagull but I love the scene of the buildings sitting in the water.


I started to clean out the sewing room and it is confirmed!! I have brought in more fabric than I have sewn. That has to change.
I started by cleaning out the closet as the painter wants to paint it the same colour as the room.
I was on the road to a great mess and no idea of where to put it. As I sorted and piled, I decided to put it into the living room.
I went through all the garment fabric boxes and made some decisions on it. Most of it I kept and will sew it up. A few pieces will be kept for later on -- the silk/cotton blend and a piece of lovely cotton to muslin a dress  for next summer. The rest has to be sewn up over the winter.
The next was the craft fabric and I decided to keep most of it as I did purge it way down last fall. I have a bunch of it on the cutting table to make simple items so am happy with that decision. Those went out into the living room.
Then I hit the patterns for another round. I have patterns to go and then organized the ones to keep. They are now in the living room.
I was so tired doing all that work, I had a nap. I am not finished as there is still fabric in the sewing room, books to look through, and other stuff to be put away. The garbage and recycle did get taken out.


The Spousal Unit has to go to have a biopsy done on his back and then the rest of the day will be spent cleaning up the sewing room. When done, the Spousal Unit can take down the valance over the window and fix it up. It will be nice to see it gone as it made a huge difference in the guest room.
Until tomorrow (if I'm not missing in the mess)....................

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Another Project Idea

We have been having some sunny, summer weather the past few days. It is to be warmer this weekend which is great for people on vacation but bad for fires. We are drying out rapidly.


The Spousal Unit had a rough day this week. He felt off and tired. I personally think he got over heated, sweat like crazy and ended up with a bit of heat exhaustion. He is feeling much better again and is doing things in the coolness of the morning.
Our street looks like a horse trail and is very dusty. Though they water it several times a day, the dust still is floating in the air. There has been no water during the day since Monday and we expect it will continue until Friday afternoon. I will have to do laundry early and late on my days off this week.
My weight is continuing to go down hill. I have now lost 21.6 pounds and am feeling so much better. Donna, I am glad to have inspired you to join Weight Watchers. I have found that portion control and walking lots on work days have been a key element to weight loss. When I retire, I will have to either join a gym or walk 5 km every day.


McCalls 6124
I am hoping to make this shirt for my next project. I love the versatility of the pattern. Many different lengths and princess seaming. I will probably start off with View C (blue pants) and then do a couple of more lengths. Fabric is to be 100% cotton in a lovely red Santa Fe print.
I will begin cleaning up my sewing room tomorrow. I have chosen to make simple projects such as bags and one doll shirt. Most of the stuff has to be removed from the room which is a pain and I need to figure out how to store it so I can get to certain fabrics and notions. On the up side-- the room will get a good cleaning and some purging.


Is my last day of work before I get Thursday and Friday off. Thursday will be a bit of a write off as the Spousal Unit has to have a biopsy done on his back and we will have no water for clean up. I will grin and bear it.
Until the next time.........................

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It's Done

It was warm and calm yesterday. The high was 33.6C or 95.5F. We sat outside twice in the shade and it was warm out there.


It was quiet on our street yesterday. No equipment moving other than the watering truck. It starts again tomorrow for five days.
We were out twice yesterday. The first for groceries, the second a trip to the book store. The Spousal Unit got 3 books and I got one. We used a gift card, got a gift card, and paid 40 cents for our purchase. We had a chuckle over that.


I pushed on and finished the vest by 4 p.m.
I spent quite a bit of time on the finish as I wanted it to look good. The buttons are square to match the check.
While making the vest, I worried about not using interfacing in the front facings but it works. I can see wearing it this winter when it is cold. Right now, I sweat when I think of putting it on. Glad I made it a size smaller.


I work 8 hours -- 3 hours by myself doing books and then on the floor when the store is open for 5 hours. Discounting and ordering will probably be the name of the game.
Until the next time.............................

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Progress Being Made

It was warm yesterday with a high of 32.9C or 91F. It hit you in the face when you walked outside. One thing we did notice was how dark it was at 9 p.m. last night. It means fall is creeping up on us.


It was a hub bub of activity on our street yesterday. They dug up the waterlines at three houses (including ours) and it was quite the process.
The Spousal Unit is happy watching what is going on and talking to the guys. It is good to see him smiling all the time.
I had a good day at work yesterday. I spent some time discounting items, helping customers, counting patterns, and doing a trims order. I finished up at 8:45 p.m. The three ladies on that shift got the store cleaned up and we all left happy.


I picked out all the under stitching on the vest and gave it a good pressing. The first armhole was finished with a bias strip and the second one is ready to be topstitched.
Hem facings, button holes and buttons and it is done. I'm loving it.
I was gifted seven doll patterns and some fur yesterday. I am going to make one doll a winter coat with jeans and top for winter wear in the store. That will be fun.


I am off work and have to shop, sew, and do laundry.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Vest

It got to 30.6C or 87F yesterday. That is about 8C cooler than last year. It is suppose to be in the mid 30C for the next few days which will help the fruit and vegetables ripen nicely.


Our part of the street is being ripped up and we will be without water for the better part of the day. The sewer, water, and storm drains are being upgraded prior to the road being rebuilt and paved. The Spousal Unit loves to sit outside and watch the machinery and the workers love to talk to him. A win-win situation.
We got the first board up in the guest room yesterday. Putting the wall back together where the valance was has begun. When completed, the sewing room is next on the list. When all four rooms are done, a friend will come in to do the painting.
The weight continues to drop off. This morning I am down a total of 20.7 pounds in 5.5 weeks. My last A1C was in the good range (5.9) and my next one is done in September. I hope it is down a bit more.
Yesterday was a rough day for me. I was starving, cranky, and emotional. I could have eaten all day long. But I didn't. I am fine today.


I sewed on the vest for the vast majority of the day. I have some under stitching to remove, a pleat to stitch down, and the arm and hem facings to put on. It will then be ready for buttonholes and buttons.
I do like it enough that I may make it again in the future. This fabric gives it a very casual look which is what I want.


I work the afternoon/evening shift. I hope to have the vest ready for buttons before I go.
Until the next time..................

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chaps Done and Vest Started

Yesterday was a sunny day with the temperature getting to 28.5C or 83F. Today is the first day of the temperatures going into the 30C range so everything will grow and ripen in the garden quickly.


Elliott got weighed yesterday and he lost maybe an ounce. The vet clinic was happy that his weight went down not up. We have cut his night food back by a bit to help him loose a bit more in the next month.
I am still loosing weight. Yesterday, was a day I could have gone off my eating healthy foods. I drooled for chocolate but refrained as I can pull my jeans down over my hips while done up. I walked by all the candies and got over it. I did eat a bit of cheese last night as I was hungry.


I finished the jeans with the attached chaps. They were another labour intensive project.
Next will be the shirt. I have tiny crystals in the same colour that I can put on the yoke of the shirt to glam it up.
I traced the pattern for the vest I am making. Then I laid the fabric on the floor and cut it out. All of the pieces but three are cut out of one layer of fabric. The back pieces are cut on the fold. Trying to get the plaid matched up was the hardest as it didn't want to cooperate. I am ready to sew it up today.
Confession -- I made it one size smaller so I can wear it this winter.


I am home again today. I want to sew on the vest and then will be out for a bit getting my hair cut. My focus is to finish the vest as it has to be hung in the store on Monday.
Until tomorrow.......................

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starting Day On A Project

It is raining this morning. The clouds are low and all is grey and gloomy. It is suppose to clear off and be nice this afternoon but in the mean time it looks and feels like fall out there. But, the next few days are suppose to be summer temperatures.


Elliott has been very active this morning. He found his fat elastic band and was all over the place playing with it. It is his weigh in day so we will see how much he has lost. He has to continue on his diet for a few more months. The good thing -- he hasn't been as miserable as he was when we tried before.
I got all the lace discounted from one company and started on the drapery hardware. There. Is. A. Lot. Of. It. I work at a cutting table so I can help customers. When I finish this one set of discounts, I have another set to do. It feels never ending.


I am hoping to work on my store project today. The pattern needs to be traced and the fabric laundered. Once that is done, I can spend time cutting out all the pieces and put it together.
The fabric is a lumberjack plaid and soft. I am making it one size smaller so I can wear it during the winter with a black t-shirt and pants. Casual looking.
After I finish this project, I have to clean up the sewing room so the renovations can start in there. Our friends can't help until they have a house ready to lock up so we need to be ready when they can come. That means taking the sewing room apart and getting everything in its right boxes, etc. I will be able to sew until they have to work in that room. Then I can't do any sewing until they are done.


I am off work and we need to do a few things prior to me sewing. I am looking forward to having today and tomorrow off.
Until the next time....................

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Lace Finds

The weather has been a bit cooler than normal the past couple of days. We had some rain but not much. It is suppose to clear off and turn hot starting tomorrow (which could be today).


The road in front of our house has been marked and they will be starting to rip it up in the very near future. Maybe today which means I must find another place to park. We aren't complaining as it means everything will look nice when they are done.
We walked around the back yard last night. The vegetables are starting to mature as they had an early start this spring. The tomatoes need more sun to vine ripen and when they do, we will be eating vast amounts of them. The three watermelons are growing quickly though. We have a good garden this year.
I got weighed yesterday and lost 2.8 pounds in a week; more than I had expected. I am down a total of 17.8 pounds in 5 weeks. I am feeling much better and have more energy. That being said, I am tired after a long day at work as I go, go, go all day.


I spent the day discounting a lot of lace. As I sorted it out and marked it down, I put aside some that I wanted.
I saw this lace a couple of weeks ago when someone bought it. I got enough to do sew it onto a pair of pillowcases for the guest room.
I bought what little was left of this lace to use on doll dresses and skirts. It was exactly what I was looking for and I found it.
The last piece is a stretch lace with rhinestones on it for a brides outfit next June.

There is other lace that I want to get also but not for a bit. I am picky about lace and buy what I like right away.


I work today and then have 2 days off. I am looking forward to the 2 days off this week. Sewing is in the books though I need to help with some renos one morning.
Until the next time.........................

Sunday, August 07, 2016

A Store Project

It was slightly cooler yesterday by almost 2C and it is to be cooler for the next few days before it heats up again.


The Spousal Unit worked on the renovation in the guest room and is doing okay. His biggest issue -- seeing double when he goes to cut anything. His bad eye is getting worse.
At work, I spent two days cleaning up and organizing about 600-800 cushion covers. It is done and all is labeled. Next is discounting more items in the store.


I chose to do a project for the store for fall. Fun and different.
I don't usually choose Katherine Tilton patterns but this one kept talking to me. I chose a royal blue and black check fabric and square buttons in black. I have to start sewing it immediately so I can have it in the store on the 15th. Pictures to follow.
I tried on my fuchsia Barb pants yesterday and they are between one and two sizes too big. I will have to put those into the donation bag and make a new pair to get the fit correct. I am hoping the new Ponte will be in soon (invoice is here) so I can get some black and navy for pants. I can wear them in the fall and winter.


I am working an 8 hour shift. I get some hours by myself to do the books prior to opening the store. I do enjoy those quiet hours.
Until the next time...................

Friday, August 05, 2016

Chaps and Pants Nearing Completion

Yesterday was warmer than on Wednesday. At 5 p.m. it was 32.5or 90.5F. Today is suppose to be about as warm but includes showers/thunder is in the forecast.


It was a busy day doing laundry, some housework, and getting a few items before I start work today. We went into one of the many grocery stores in the city and was amazed at their deli and produce sections. We will be back there to shop.
I cleaned out the pantry in the kitchen and it is looking good. I put the slow cooker in the pantry and will put in the roasting pan. That frees up a shelf in the linen closet.
We spent some time cooking some of our potatoes and I made a lovely potato salad for dinner. I had a bit with a home BBQ'd hamburger with sun ripened tomatoes.
The furnace man was out to check out "possible frozen coil" and tweaked the furnace settings for us. The house stayed at the same temperature all day which was nice. The furnace/ac we bought is high tech and they are still learning about this combination. There are not many installed in our community.


I had some time to sew the jeans with chaps. It was a lot of work and I am not finished.
Once I got them done to this point, I realized I had to shorten the chaps by 1/2". Then playing started.
I laid on the crystals but they do not belong there. They do look good with the colour of the leather.
I cut some fringe and will glue it onto the chaps and then add the crystals along the top of the chaps and down the side. It shouldn't take long to do once the second leg's fringe is cut and I buy some more crystals.


I start day one of five days in a row. I may or may not get any sewing done. It depends on how I feel at the end of the day.
Until the next time.........................