Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Down to the K N I T ty-gritty!

Where in the world did the time go since my last post?  I had good intentions, really I did - to catch up with you much sooner than this.  Okay, kids are asleep and all is quiet in the house.  This is a long and possibly exhausting post.  Get a cup of coffee and enjoy... here I go!

So you've all gone back and seen all the great pictures of the past retreats?  The food.  The awesome accommodations.  The busy sewing area.  The best sewing buddies in the tri-county area.  And, the hostess with the mostest.  Well, it was groundhog weekend and that was okay by me.  That's why I have been FIVE times in less than three years!  I missed going to the hamburger joint and meeting up with everyone on Friday.  I HAD to stop at the local sewing shop and get ball point needles.  That's what my directions said to do! 

Our busy room.  I can't believe we don't blow the breakers when we are there.  At least eleven sewing machines, maybe ten sergers, three irons, about twelve lamps, and one new embellisher AND a new coverstitch machine.  For real.

My happy place...

... all organized and "ready Freddy"!  Doesn't look like much?  Pshhhhh.  I'm so good that I know exactly what to take.  (and if I forget anything, someone else will have it!)  Notice my tape measure?  Of course not!  It is camouflaged as a cupcake - ha!

Some familiar faces and some new...

All of the ladies are super sweet and super talented.  The knowledge in that room was some powerful stuff!  So, we had to take frequent breaks to rest our powerful minds.  Relax, unwind, and dine.  Check out a few of the things Miss Linda made for us.

And that was just some of our treats!  Five pounds I say, five.  What was that?  Oh, what did we actually sew?  Minor details.  Well, I started out with this little dress from McCall's pattern #6154.  It really went together nicely.  I had some pocket issues but I think that was just because I am a dingleberry.  Operator error.  Got past it.  This isn't the greatest picture and I think it will look sweet with a little t-shirt underneath and maybe some leggings.  The polka dot is cotton and the print is a soft corduroy, both from Hobby Lobby.

My daughter thought it was okay, but she was more thrilled with this one...

Yes!  I sewed with knits!  Jenny - you were right, girl!  You're my new best friend!  What was I afraid of?  After the whole pocket drama, I was nervous about starting this project.  But, weirdly enough, nothing happened through the process.  No serger snafu's, no seam rippers, nothing.  It just all fit.  Weird.  And awesome!  Well, I will say this - when I finished it I noticed the neck didn't stretch.  I had cut the neck piece the wrong way.  No problemo.  Lorene helped me cut it out and we put in another. But, the pattern and the material were great.  Thanks Patty!  The dress was a kit from SewItUp.com.

Lorene educated us on the different kinds of knits and the associated sewing items such as needles, thread, etc.  Single knit, double knit, gauzy knit, ugly knit - you know.  This Micheal Miller knit was great to sew with and was super-soft.  It didn't stretch or move in the process and pinned very nicely.  Having said that - beware - it did shrink - a lot.  So, when purchasing your knit you may need extra.  Pre-wash!  Just saying.

We had so many great projects going.  Some knits, cottons, shirring, smocking, serging, tulle, embroidery - you name it!

I always learn so much at these retreats.  It is so hard to soak it all in sometimes.  I hope that it is stuck somewhere back in my brain and I'll recall it at a later date!  One thing I learned to utilize better is my "ditch" foot.  I love this little foot and use it as much as my clear foot now.  It is great for top-stitching and putting on those pesky little pockets!  The stitch is nice, even, and best of all consistent.  Get one and use it!

I started on another project but had to finish it up at home.  I'll post about it later.  Thanks so much to Lorene and all the ladies - I had a great time and always enjoy your company.  We laugh into the wee hours of the morning and with little sleep, get up and do it all again!  I have to say another big thank you to Linda and Bill, owners of Southern Comfort Retreat.  You just cannot imagine how hard they work to make us comfortable and happy.  I look forward to seeing them and feel like family going to visit.  They must be the hardest working couple I know and they always do it with a smile!

Thanks everyone for stopping by and sticking it out til the end.. of the post!   I'm so glad to be able to share a little bit of my world and I really look forward to hearing from you.
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WOYWW - Retreat, retreat!!!

It is time for my bi-annual Sewing Retreat!  Yippeeeee!  I am happy, my family is happy.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder and the work go smoother.  Or smoothly!

Funny word, retreat.  So, I looked it up.  I know how I intended to use it but I didn't want you to start running for the hills! 

Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. retret,  noun use of pp. of retrere  "draw back," from L. retrahere  "draw back," from re-  "back" + trahere  "to draw" (see tract (1)). Meaning "place of seclusion" is from 1423; sense of "establishment for mentally ill persons" is from 1797. The verb is first attested 1422.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Actually, most of this definition pertains to my post.  I am going to "draw back" - from the everyday so I can play and sew... and sew... and sew!  And, it will be a "place of seclusion".  Well, me and eleven other ladies sewing up a fabric storm.  I'm a little concerned about the mention of the mentally ill persons.  But, I have been called crazy before so, oh well - moving on!
So what's on my work desk this Wednesday?  Putting together my "projects" for the retreat.  I like to have as much cut out and bagged up with all the goodies I need.  Then, I can get right to work play! We arrive on Friday at noon, unpack everything, and go have lunch at the best little burger joint around.  Check out my retreat posts and you will know how much fun I am in for!  Go here, here, here, and here!

Lorene, our hostess with the mostest always has great projects ready for us which usually include the latest patterns and styles.  This time we are focusing on knits!  I was so thrilled when she emailed to let us know because, yes, I am afraid of knits and a little (a lot) intimidated by my awesome serger!  And how ironic - Jenny of Sew Pretty Dresses just posted about the fear of knits yesterday!  She gave some great tips on working with knits and included links to videos from Patty Young that were all quite encouraging and helpful.  I must go forth, right?
Lorene will have the new modkid patterns by Patty Young available.  I think I am going to try the Abigail pattern first.  I bought some cute knits the other day and I'm sure Lorene will have Patty's fabrics for us as well.

Now if that isn't fun, what is?  I will take lots of pictures and post when I return.  You'll be jealous, I promise!  Oh, and something fun is coming around the corner.  Let's just say you can help me celebrate... more on that soon.

Have a great weekend,
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WOYWW - Mum's the Word!

Really?  It's been two weeks since my last post?  So sorry.  Life has been happening!  School started back and it has been crazy around here.  And, someone decided that it would be a good idea to make our high school homecoming the second week of school!  So, this Friday is homecoming and we had to get busy.  

For those of you in the south, you know what I'm talking about.  Mums.  Homecoming mums.  Back in the day (am I really that old that I am saying, "back in the day"?)... our mums were real.  Anyhoo, I digress.  Well, since I'm what people call "the crafty type", my daughters and I make our mums.  And don't forget the garters (which are just mums for the boys that they wear on their arms)!

So, here's what's been on my desk.  Note, this is about as messy as I can stand it.  I have to stop and reorganize every so often!

Mums for the seniors are supposed to be in all white.  Well, white and silver because just white would be dumb.  Our colors are green and white so I did sneak some green in there.  For my daughter, I added lime green and white zebra striped ribbon and lime green sequins.  Girly, but not too girly.  The fun part is adding all the sparkly goodies like footballs, bells, ribbons, etc.

For my other daughter's garter that she will give to her homecoming date, we actually put lights in the mum and it blinks.  Too cool!  He said to surprise him.  I believe he will be surprised!  They are both in band so we added lots of "band" things like musical notes and ribbon with musical notes and things that said "band".  Pretty crafty, huh?  We're smart like that.  He also got a special French horn and a track shoe.  Guess what sport he's in?

Okay.  So, I'm going to bed now!  I'll have to show you what cool little outfit I made for my four year old to wear to the football games - next post!  

GO COLTS!!! Pin It