Three and a half years after I started on it, I finished my quilt top. I realized during all the cleaning of my craft room that I was nearly done making squares so I busted out the last few over the last few days, then cut some plain squares (not pieced, just one fabric) to make a border around the edges. And finally its done! Its about 56″ wide, so right now the plan is to back it with some 58″ wide black fleece, and then use yarn to tie off at each corner of the individual squares. If I wait until fleece is on sale or there’s a coupon, I can probably finish it for about $10. Anyway, obviously I’m super excited to have gotten this far! I will actually have a finished quilt very soon, even if its already too warm to cuddle under one. Later today I will contact the guy who took the rest of the scraps off my hands and ask if he wants more- I have a few more shopping bags of them left over that I’m not going to be using.Read the rest…

Saturday night I will be at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum selling my makes at the craft fair and chili cook-off. There will be a campfire, cowboy singer, chili cook-off, coffee, and cocoa! You can download the flyer for distribution and more details here, HotH Flyer 15. Chili, Crafters, and Cowboy Songs at “Holidays on the Homestead” Visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum on Saturday, December 5th from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. for an old-time country Christmas celebration! Originally a 1930’s homestead, the historic grounds will be decorated in vintage holiday style with live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids! Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert. Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and was then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditionalRead the rest…

One bad go at pants wasn’t enough. I had to try again. This time I used this simple slacks looking pattern and again, I traced the pattern out on kraft paper and graded up a few sizes. I ran into a few issues in tracing, which may have led to some of my problems with fit. Basically, the pattern was printed lighter than normal so I had to sandwich the pattern between two layers of kraft paper to make the lines visible to trace out. That meant trying to keep all the layers still, which was beyond difficult. In hindsight, I should have pinned them together first. Doh! Anyway, I finally got my pieces traced and a few measurements told me things were going to be a bit big. My waistline was measuring out at 52″, not subtracting for seam allowances so I know I’d have to take things in. I sewed them as is though and then tried them on and yup, way too big. I ended up ripping out the waistband, and taking in about 2.5″ from each outside seam, plus adding one small dart that took up about an inch into each side in the back. ThatRead the rest…

I’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway. Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad. Here we go! Picture time!   I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.   So, new top, and the final view ofRead the rest…

Simplicity 1620 is a cute set of separates, which includes tops, dress, and pants. I decided to do the pants but oh my god was I shocked, disappointed, and completely confused as to how these pants that I made were the same pants as seen on the envelope. I did use a heavier fabric than it called for, however, these pants are awful. For one, they are huge. I’ve gained weight so I remeasured myself to make sure I was making the right size. The pattern is for an elastic waist, pull-on pant, and I initially followed the directions to a T and I think I could have fit two of me into them. I wish I had taken a photo of these pants when I first made them so you could see how bad they were, but I was honestly so shocked at their awfulness I set to work right away ripping them apart and remaking them. When I started, I started out right. I traced my original pattern pieces onto kraft paper so not to cut the original pattern up. I elected to add pockets, which are easy enough to draft yourself. The trick is just making sureRead the rest…

I decided Thursday morning I’d go thrift store shopping. I only know of three thrift stores off-hand, but the internet is my friend. I started off with the three shops I knew. I was looking for certain items- books for Mattie’s dad since I got him hooked on a new (to him) series and since they were very popular, I can find a lot of them for super cheap used, sewing patterns, and yarn. Above is pictured everything I came home with, except for the two books for Mattie’s dad. Good Will I did a quick walk through and I found the 9th book in the series I am slowly getting for Mattie’s dad. That was all I found but the store is nice and clean and people are pleasant. American Way Thrift Store This one was a bust of books, but I did find two sewing patterns I wanted. Salvation Army I didn’t find anything here at all. I wasn’t too upset though because they have business practices I don’t agree with. At this point I was starting to wonder if I was going to find any yarn at all in any of the shops I visited. Thrift ShopRead the rest…

I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time! I reorganized my yarn stash and made it by color. A few look a bit out of place in the photo but honestly they’d be more or of place in another spot. The bottom right has a few that didn’t really fit in anywhere. I also see I have a lot of pinks and greys! #yarn #stash #crafting #organizing A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:28pm PST This tiny little closet space is perfect for my fabric and scrap storage! Snug as a bug! #sewing #fabric #storage #stash A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:29am PST Two of the five bags of goodies from the @michaelsstores sample sale my mom was able to buy into. Can we say crazy? I can’t wait to get #crafty with this stuff! #crafting #beading #jewelry #creating A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:12pm PST These are the beads and small charms from @michaelsstores I’ve managed to put away so far. So sad for me, I’ll need more containers to store the rest! #jewelry #craftingRead the rest…

The time since I last posted has been filled with a variety of things. I’ve finished the last of my knitting UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) with the exception of my blanket, which I’m still slogging along on. I have an informal goal to do at least 4 inches every time I work on it, but some days I don’t feel like working on such a large project. I’ve knit a few more ruffle scarves, which will be available in Raeosunshine Pets‘ auction the second week of February. I’ve listed a few random items I somehow missed in my shop, and I’ve sold an item (not made by me, sadly) that I had hanging around for ages at a much better price than I expected on eBay. I had a birthday yesterday (I’m 34 now) and I took myself shopping for new fabric, new yarn, some new knitting needles, and some meat at Mattie’s request that was “not chicken.” We eat a lot of chicken. The fabric, once pre-washed, will be made into another pair of pajama pants for me, and I have a fun idea for a new scarf using the Edgar pattern I used with that bulky green and yellowRead the rest…

You’ve probably noticed all the changes I’ve been making have been moving towards one big thing – simplification. I keep several blogs but sometimes it can be too much to keep up with all of them. As a way to resolve that, I’m combining my sewing and crafting blog into one with the Kittyloaf Designs blog. A lot of the content really does overlap and it just makes sense to have it all in one place. I will be keeping the debsinstitches.com domain name for a while but it will point here once I get all of the content from that blog moved over to this one. It will probably take a few days but I feel like it will be worth it. I’m also seriously considering combining the Deb’s Cooking blog with my personal blog. I just feel like I can do better for you with less to juggle, and with more content in less places. Its taken me about a day, but I finally have the content moved over from debsinstitches.com to here, and now I just have to rearrange some of it a bit and make it all work together. That will be the most difficult part,Read the rest…

Yesterday I showed you the jacket from this costume and the nearly finished blouse underneath it. Today I am showing you the whole thing together. I am really please with how this costume turned out and I cannot wait to wear it for Halloween! I’m so excited!   I made a lot of changes to this pattern as I went. As I think I mentioned yesterday, the blouse was lengthened to be able to be a separate piece from the skirt, and I added a side zip to it as well as slitted the upper back and finishing the edges with bias tape and a snap so my head would fit through to put it on.   I let off most of the trim this pattern called for. The jacket is already really wild so I was going to let that be the eye catching piece of the outfit and not compete with that. I decided to tuck the front of the skirt up to give it more body and to show of those ruffles in the petticoat that I spent so much time working on. If you now me, you know I hate gathering and I hate doing ruffles,Read the rest…