Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hannah's new coat.

Apologies in advance for what will be a sewing-heavy few stuck-inside-winter-months-worth of posts.

Hannah was the only one who needed a new coat this year, but she wanted a 'stylish' coat. I told her she could pick out a pattern and I'd make her one. I've never made a coat before and thought it would be good experience. Now that I'm done, I have to say ... a pox on experience!

It wasn't really that bad, but I did tear out more seams than I have in a very long time.

She chose Simplicity 2778 for her pattern. (If you watch the sales, you can get Simplicity patterns for 99 cents at JoAnns and Hancocks - the fabric chain stores in this area)

This uses a faux shearling fabric and is built with some seams inside out. That caused a few headaches for me. The first inside out seam I tore out three times. Three. Times. I am so used to sewing with right sides together, that sewing with the wrong sides together took a bit of getting used to. Then, as soon as I was used to it, they'd have me sew a 'right sides together' seam.

The coat came together really easily other than that, and she loves it. It's perfect for her and her growing-up style.

It has a detachable hood and a matching scarf.

Another thing that I messed up on was the seam markings. I learned a few years ago to use snips in the seam allowance instead of notches on the markings where seams meet up. That doesn't work so well on seams that are on the outside.

The coat has a natural bell shape on the bottom - more from the hang of the fabric used - which kind of bugged me, but Hannah loves it and like she says "It's perfect for when I wear poofy dresses." Now she needs a poofy dress.

I made a matching coat and hat for her chihuahua. I think that dog loves to dress up almost as much as Hannah. She sat at my feet the whole time I was sewing her coat and got excited every time I reached down to test the fit.

Not a great pattern for the dog, but I learned some and think it wouldn't be hard to just make my own pattern for this style of coat for her.

It's not the best chore coat - too fancy.

But for playing in the snow, it's perfect.

It used a bit less than 4 yards of fabric that I had an awesome coupon for, so this coat - and Bella's - only cost me $27. Not bad for such a stylish little girl - and her little dog, too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stash busting. #1

I have too much fabric. Not as much as some, but a lot more than others. It isn't a problem on the same level as my book problem, but it's a bit ridiculous. Fabrics that I still remember the original project I had in mind for, fabrics that were on sale and just too cute to pass up, fabrics that I have no idea what to do with ...

So a few months ago, I decided to start stash busting. Going through my fabrics and using them up. We'll see how it goes.

This is one of the first ones I did.

Since Hannah was one year old, I've been planning on making a puppet theater. Not a fancy one, mind you, just a simple piece of fabric on a tension rod. Two seams to sew. For the last five years I've been planning this. About three weeks ago, I finally did it.

I was pushed more by the need to get our toy room organized than by a desire to finally get it done. The basket of puppets sits down in the toy room and when I clean the room, I am inevitably picking up all of the puppets which have been used as projectiles.

I stopped in the middle of picking them up one day, walked into the craft room, dug through my fabric stash, cut some fabric the right length, sewed a hem on one end and a tube on the other for the tension rod, put it on the rod (which I've had in the craft room *for this very purpose* for three years), and put it on the stairs. Then I went back to the toy room, threw all of the puppets in the tub and hauled it upstairs also. Within 30 seconds, I had two big kids upstairs using the theater - and puppets - as it was meant to be used.

Finally, after FIVE YEARS, we had a puppet theater in use.

I also had one 2 1/2 year old using them as projectiles *over* the theater. (Notice the flying lion)

Now the toy room is more organized because the puppets are not adding to the mess anymore and the puppets get played with at least once a day because their basket is upstairs in the game area in plain sight. An added bonus is that they get picked up almost immediately because if they don't, they're right in the way.

So glad to have this yard and a half piece of fabric out of my stash and in use!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First snows always melt fast.

That's the way it's always been. Mother Nature is breaking tradition this year.

Five days since this snowfall and the snow has been falling or blowing steadily since then and looks like it will be here at *least* another week, if not more.

The goats are in their hutch, the calves are in their straw bale house, the chickens are in their coop - and they're not coming out.

It seems nearly the entire state of Idaho was shut down yesterday. The wind and snow was so bad that there was a burrowing owl hunkered down in my daughter's bedroom window.

He was curious about us first.
Then he got scared and mad and started hissing.

So I backed out of the room and shut the door to keep him comfortable. Strange to see a burrowing owl up close like that.

More snow fun pictures on my other blog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween in the country.

It's not so exciting. It takes an hour to go to four houses since you have to drive there, do the polite chit chat for ten minutes or more (while the kids either moan about boredom or disappear with the kids there and get upset about leaving), and then drive to the next house. This year, we opted to go into the nearest 'big town' for parties and trick or treating.

The kids were all superheroes this year.

If you care about the sewing details - which likely only my sister does - you can read about them on my other blog.