sensory blanket

sensory blanket
(I made this sensory blanket for my best friend mary anne) Praising Him with the work of my simple hands

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Making Tab Topped Towels in the woods!

I love to read sewing blogs.

In June I was reading a blog called Janine Sews. I enjoy seeing the beautiful work she does. In June she made tab top towels. You can see them here- 
https://lifeofjanine.com/2018/06/28/craft-hour-tab-top-towels/
I love the tab topped towels she made. I hope to try her pattern this Fall at home.

I make them too. Some I crocheted by simply "sewing" yarn across the gathered top of a half of a tea towel. My following crochet stitches are just single stitch sc since the 6 youngest wipe their hands on them daily they aren't fancy or for show! I gradually decrease from the top of the towel to make a "tab". I put velcro at the top to close it over the refrigerator door where it hangs.

I told Janine I'd show her how I make my fabric topped tab towels in September. Well September is already almost 10 days in!
So here are mine!
Since I'm in the woods until early October I didn't have everything I needed for this project so I improvised. 

I looked in our towel boxes for any hand towels. Most were quite old and used. We take our "old" towels up here when we buy new. This one was newer. It was a towel that was purchased years back from a department store- and the towels "lost" their color dye in certain places after washing. Cheap towels that were not cheap to buy. :o(

 The towel (above) was a bit thicker than I like. But it was the nicest. :o) I cut the hand towel in half.


 (above)  The towel straight stitched and zig zag stitched. It is  finished off to stop fraying at the cut top. The two "T" pieces are for the tab on top of the towel. 
I needed a nice heavyweight piece of interfacing made slightly smaller than the fabric to iron on the "T" shaped fabric back.
So to create thickness I improvised. I cut 2 pieces of each fabric to give the "T" some thickness.


 Above is the sewing to stop fraying and 2 rows of stitches for gathering. 
Except the machine stitch tension was too tight on the thick terry cloth for gathering the 2 rows. 
So I loosely sewed 2 rows by hand for gathering. I like hand sewing, I find it relaxing. :o)


 Above is the 4 pieces of fabric sewn front to front with the "T" upside down now and the "T" top (which is where the scissors is laying) is left open.
I clipped the corners.



                                                         And clipped here above.


Above the upside down "T" is now turned right side out. At first I was going to have the same fabric front and back. But I changed my mind. 
This fabric is from my 80's fabric stash that I'm now using to make aprons up here. (a previous post shows my first apron) This fabric was previously used for cute Gunne Sax patterns I sewed for my oldest. 

Above shows the opening of the upside down "T". I ironed it into the inside about 1/4 of an inch. You can click on pictures and it will enlarge it.

Above is the upside down "T" with opening above the gathered hand towel half.


                          (above) I pinned it on to the front.


                                Above pinned it on to the back.


(Above)I did not have matching thread. So I used the navy thread on the machine.  I used a light lavender thread to hand stitch. 
I bring my almost empty thread spools up her to the woods to use them up. Matching thread color isn't often important here! :o)

I hand stitched the top on. The towel was too thick to use the machine. Again, I like hand sewing! ;o) 
I did not stitch each side. I stitched straight through. It did go slower but I think it looks nice.

This is where I admit that I'm nearly blind now. I lost vision in one eye 18 years ago. And now both eyes have cataracts. I need surgery this Fall. It will be done 60 miles away because with vision only in one eye- it requires a specialist. 

Above is the tab top fold over the trailer oven door handle. It is pinned here. 
I always put a snap on mine. One of those nice metal snaps like they use on baby clothing. They sell them in varying sizes. I put a big snap on so my youngest kids with special needs (who can't unbutton) can remove the dirty towel when I ask them! :o)

I stitched around the outside edge of the tab because of the extra fabric inside needed a little stabilizing for washing.

 I decided that since I had a few scraps I should "fancy" up my towel since it would be on the blog! 
I made bias tape to sew here.


I had extra of my bias tape so I also made a little ruffle. (above) I normally don't dress them up because the boys need all of the towel they can get for wet hands!




 And here it is hanging on the trailer's oven door (above) next to a tab towel I bought in the 90s. 
I put my tab towels on the refrigerator handle in the Lodge. That's where the kids eat if they can't eat outside.

I will make more at home. I don't want to make them here without interfacing. I'm 45 miles from a fabric store. 
Amazon does deliver here- thank you Amazon! But it takes 2-3 extra days, and  the delivery guys dump things in the rain or who knows where when it gets here. They make ruts in the long driveway backing out crooked. ugh!! So that's only used for must have things- like my new Cuisinart Air Frying toaster oven coming soon!  


 This pattern was drawn/given to me by a friend. Thus the measurements here are not in exact inches. I was going to "fiddle" with it to make the inches even. But I left it. Click on the photo above and it should enlarge to see the measurements I wrote. (I use graph paper when I draw things with measurements.:o)

Thanks to the motivation from Janine to make the tab top towel; I finally got some other sewing done too. 

I hadn't sewn since August, and very little sewing at that. I miss my dog Sassy who died  July 19th. I'm kind of in a funk.

I sewed the bunk bed curtain above so I don't have to see the things I store there. The trailer back bedroom is accented in pink. This was fabric for a quilt. But I've made us way too many quilts, afghans, and blankets over 42 years.  


Above I used my last curtain fabric scrap to make the ruffle over my baking shelf. #no-wastesewing !!

Please link in the comments if you have made Tab Topped Towels so I can see! 

Happy creating!! (((HUGS))) God Bless!!
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Not much sewing!

 Well I didn't do much machine sewing these 2 weeks. 
Didn't finish Faith's alterations, or mine, or my little curtain valances.
But I did dig out this from 2016, before my precious Mary Anne died.

That's my needle thread hanging above top center. This is a small table cloth.

I buy stamped cross stitch kits because I can only see out of one eye and it has a cataract now ripe for surgery.
I also use a light box to trace patterns for embroidery to do here.

It's fun to pick items with a woodsy decor. 
And we do have Moose 90 miles west! plus a few further north, in Minnesota. 
I also pick kits that only need 1 color thread. They are easiest for me plus storage is a premium here!

 We have 2 "cafe" tables that make into beds in this trailer. 
Both have storage under the seats. The back table underneath shown above, this side holds my special cross stitch and embroidery kits. I find hand sewing very relaxing for my soul. Especially in the Woods!

On the other side, I stored yarn, crochet hooks, a few crochet stitch pattern books. That is empty now. I used up all the yarn.
And since I have so much machine sewing to catch up on here. I won't crochet in the Woods for a while. 
At least not until these oldest 4 teens are all over age 18! They are 14-15-16 and 17 now. So not too far off!

I used all the yarn i had up here for scarves for homeless men this winter. I use 2 skeins to make the scarves thicker. 
I had just a bit of yarn left over. Not enough to make another scarf. So I made this xtra large hot pad to put on my kitchen cart for hot things. The carts wood top stains easily.

Just a simple shell stitch. I'm quite pleased with it! It never shows coffee or tea stains!

Next time I'll "see" you at home! :o) Hopefully I'll have my machine sewing mojo back. I really need knit tops to go with my skirts and pants!

Happy Creating!! (((HUGS))) God Bless!
Thanks for visiting!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

So little time in the Woods this visit!

 Above, my Memorial Garden Arch with a gate. 
I bought the puppy figurine and a new stone for Sassy who is buried here. 
There is also a black iron garden chair here for contemplation. But the biting flies are too bad to sit right now.
There are 2 stones for my oldest daughter, and one for my boy (white Shiloh Shepherd) Snow who died in 2016. He was my heart. Sassy was my clown. :o)

 Last year I posted about all of the "utility" sewing I do. 
I do it at home and here. Its never ending sometimes!

This visit in the Woods utility sewing, was alterations. Little boys with Down Syndrome need arms on sweatshirts shortened.
Above I pulled the sleeves inside out of the neck to sew ribbing on where I cut. 

 Above, the best buy on ribbing I could find in bulk. Bought in colors needed for boy's outside shirts! :o) I bought grey and a navy blue. 15 yards of each, $5.00 per yard, free shipping. 

 I cut the ribbing on a hot day in a spot perfect for cutting- but too hot for taking my time. So I cut quickly, and.........of course............I made an error.

 Luckily the ribbing was not cut for good clothes. 
I had cut some pieces too small and some a too big. 
The big pieces could be halved and sewn to the small pieces......ack- extra sewing. 
So instead of 1 seam on each sleeve of ribbing, it was 2 pieces sewn together per sleeve. 
I'm 61, will I ever learn haste makes waste!? (that's my Dad's voice I hear ;o)

Love Love Love being finally done!! 
It was 2 sweatshirts for my Samson, and 24 for my 5 other loves. It could have been easier, if I had not had to sew 104 halves into the needed sleeve 52 pieces!

                     Above 3 remaining tshirts to alter for Faith.

Alterations to the teen girl's clothes is often requested just to be fashionable!! LOL! 
So my sweet Faithy (17) gave me 8 tshirts to remove sleeves from. WHAT! 
Well 2 were too well worn to sew on. They still have a few wears in them, but not strong enough to sew onto. 
2 were her big brother Samson's so we put those back! Laundry gets mixed up constantly. 
That left 4 for me to alter for her.

It's easy enough, But I dream of doing other things as I sew these! 

This was "my" tshirt Faith "stole". ;o) 
So I slimmed the sides down from the under arm to the waist on each side. You can see she loves it.

Emily is the nearest town to us. 8 miles West. It's a town of about 180 residents. 
It has a Hardware store, a Liquor store,a Bar, a Meat market, an Ice Cream shop, a Cafe, a gas station and a Grocery store. 
And that's are that's there. Almost all close daily at 5 p.m. Only the gas station is open till 9p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. weekends.
Oh yes- the Bar is open till 1 a.m. But I've only been there 2x in 58 years! LOL!
The whole town is under construction this spring/summer for sidewalk and city water/sewer. Seasonal land/cabin owners pay  with their taxes. We are in Little Pine Township now so no more taxes to Emily!! :o) 

 I have yet to make my decorative curtain ruffles.

                                  Or my next apron!

But as long as I'm fueled by my new addiction- apple cinnamon tea, I'm good! ;o) I drink 2 pots a day, yum! I also add a cinnamon stick in each pot.

If this heat wave ever ends; I will share my project. My "new" kitchen island I'm making out of 2 old dressers, and an old picnic table top. Lots of work to do on it yet, but the garage is boiling hot.

 So the dogs are inside with us and the AC is keeping us all cool.

 But the AC makes our hairless Sphynx (cats) girls chilly. So they are bundled under fleece! ;o)

They are bit "dirty", (ears) its hard to keep them clean in the Woods with no running water! Violet right is 3 and Bunny left is 6 months. We do whatever they say! LOL! Cats are in charge aren't they!

Happy Creating!! (((HUGS))) God Bless!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Pants, pants and more pants

First I have to share my pin I bought from Andrew on Etsy. I read his blog on Word Press.(Mensew) And the pin he and his partner designed made me smile. There's still hope I can get my Isaiah to sew! ;o)
I put it here (above) so I can see it every time I sew!

Above- a close up. You can buy one here~ https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewBuster
And no I am not affiliated.  I'm just an admirer of all of Buster's creative skills!

A while back Faith and Isaiah said they needed pants. I made 7 pair for Faith and 8 pair for Isaiah. 
Faith's were a fun sew. She's always fun to sew for! Before this she only wore boys cargo shorts. For about 3 years! Now she's picking out more feminine styles. ;o)

I also made her shirt above. She wanted jelly fish fabric. We used every scrap up! She's also wearing her Green Pepper pattern socks I made her! :o)

This is the pattern I used. With my post it note I attach for next time I make her these.
The pattern I used for Isaiah was a pattern from the 90's I used to make my oldest son pants when he was 12!! He's 37 now. I could not find a better pants pattern for Isaiah today!

I bought new labels to add. Above, I picked those up on Amazon. The pants are a medium weight denim. It made the waist band a bit harder to sew, but looks good. It's a fold over waistband. I've had the pants fabric about 25 years!

I had these labels (above) made for me. I ordered them to say "Always Remember I Love You". Above the fabric is a medium weight Twill. Yup, from the 25 yr stash. Good news is I used the entire pants fabric stash ALL up!!


No one else would to let me use my rainbow thread on their pants! Faith said I could on hers! I think it looks really nice.

Above- I top stitched over all seams. That's the pocket opening.

Zay holds them up so I can take a picture. They have a "full" leg, but not too full as you can see on Faith above.

Above you can see the front pockets and the top stitching. Another 25 yr old med. weight denim.

The pattern back above. I made view B. No side flap pockets. She kept changing her mind. She wanted them on only 3 pair- then she did not want them. After I sewed the pocket flaps, she said no! So no flap pockets.

She really loves them and wears them all the time! 

Above, another pair in med. weight Twill. You can see the top stitching with the rainbow thread better on these.

She won't need any new pants for a while! ;o)

 Above- Try to get a teenage boy to stand nicely while you take a picture of his pants! LOL! He is so loooooong. I left the length I added because he's growing about 2" taller every 6 months!
They are elastic waist.  Until his growth settles I'm not doing zipper flys!

 You can barely see my top stitching on these above. If you click on the pictures they will come up bigger. I double top stitched the side seams.
 Above the flap pocket. Everything top stitched. You can barely see the double top stitching here. I think on boy's/men's pants, that top stitching is a must. On Faith's I did it for longevity. I don't have a Serger. 
 To use up the stash, I lined some pockets with contrasting fabric, shown above. These are a med weight Twill. I used the same Twills and Denim for his pants, that I used for Faith's.

 He loves his pants, altho they are a bit long right now if he doesn't have shoes on. 
He's so thin as he grows. He looks like a bean pole. When he starts filling out I'm going to cry. He won't be my little boy anymore!
Above- double side top stitching, elastic waist for thin guys!

And I just had to throw in Elizabeth 16 and Faith 17 wearing the Hepburns I made them. Faith chose yellow ribbing for hers. I'd had the fabric 25+ years and knew that it had a "Beach type" design. And lo and behold Faith found jelly fish on it! So it was a must have! :o)

Happy Creating!! (((HUGS))) God Bless!!
Thanks for visiting!

Making Tab Topped Towels in the woods!

I love to read sewing blogs. In June I was reading a blog called Janine Sews. I enjoy seeing the beautiful work she does. In June she made...