Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NightGown For Me or Thee In Two Hours

My Darling Niece inspired me to make this, as she makes these gowns for her daughter all the time. The pattern is very easy to make.
I made this for my Darling Granddaughter last Saturday in two hours. They both (I have two - one of each) came over for the day and night. While they wee here, I showed some sampling of fabrics to sweet Lucy. After a very some deliberation, this fabric was chosen. It was "designer fabric" that I bought at FIDM. There was only 1 1/2 yards (60 inches wide) but with this length, I was able to make a nightgown for a child.
This is how anyone can make this in a very short time:

I will use Lucy's measurements for example.

Measure chest : 28" and
add 1/3 more making it 40 inches for the width of nightgown pattern.
Length to ankle: 38" , measure from the knob on neck to ankle, this allows for a 2" hem.
Upper arm circumference: 8" , this is the dimension for width across the top A to B.
Shoulder to inner armpit: 8"

The sleeve measurement from A to B is the measurement of arm circumference: 8"
The angle measurement is 30 degrees. This measurement can just be eyeballed but I did but the 30 degree angle from my layout board.

Since it does not need very exact cutting, I folded the fabric into four layers and cut it out super fast.

I matched the B to C points. Then sewed the sides. On the left side, I sewed down to the knee. Leaving it un-sewed, allowing for running away from her brother or for elegant walking.

I turned the sleeve and neckline under to create a channel for 1/4" elastic.

Then, I used iron on "Magic Tape" to do the hem. It went very fast and as a result, I still had the time to make dinner.
Funny thing about children, there is never, never time off.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gray Water Dilemma

I live in the Los Angeles basin. They call this a desert but you can see all the green lawns and beautiful flowers. About twenty years ago I started my rose garden and at the time I didn't know that roses love lots and lots of water. I did find out how they thrive with frequent deep waterings. At that time I was also moving things around in my house. I had the back porch enclosed and moved the washing machine and dryer to the back porch. This allowed me to use the "Gray Water"* from the washing machine and funnel it out to my rose garden.
This was a good thing but then I was doing a lot more laundry. Both my parents were still with me as well as my son. This made for frequent use of the washing machine and frequent distribution of the gray water*.
Time has moved forward and the frequent use of the washing machine has gone done to maybe two a week. That means less water for my garden.
I received my water bill last month (we are billed for two months at a time) and I was stunned. We were warned that we were in "conservation mode" but until we are faced with reality, it is hard to confront.
This led me to think about how much useless use of water we as a society do every day. A hundred years ago, many people did not have in house water but had to go out to the pump. I am sure that they did not waste water to brush their teeth or wash their hands. I don't know what they did but I am sure it was with a lot more respect than we give it.
With these ponderings I came to this experiment. I am using basins in my sinks to see how much water, that could be termed "gray water"*, I use in a day. Since I am not working, I am at home more and that means more water use. But this is the part that I found very interesting. I carry out to the garden four buckets containing 3 gallons each a day. That is 12 gallons of water that my garden drinks. All that was going down the drain when it could have been put to better use.
I am only using water that I have washed my hands, dishes, fruits and vegetables in, using a mild "earth friendly" soap.
It does take more work but it is also a lot more thoughtful about the planet, our current life, the future children and more efficient with our resources.
I think that we need to make a more thoughtful use of our resouces and I feel that I should continue with my little "experiment".

*This is WikiPedia discussing of recycled water:

Water recycling systems without purification

[edit] Water diversion systems

The simplest greywater system is to simply divert the water directly to the garden. Regulations change by country and region, but common guidelines for safe usage include not storing the greywater for more than 24 hours, ensuring it cannot pool or run off, and depositing it with subsurface irrigation.

Greywater diversion systems can be both designed-in to new homes, or retrofitted to many existing homes. When systems are fully designed, manufactured and installed to relevant standards such as the Australian Watermark standards. Water diversion systems tend to be highly efficient, effective and safe for simple applications where potable water is not required.

Diversion systems can be as basic as running the outlet hose from a washing machine out a window to the garden, or can be designed as a permanent part of the home plumbing. Fully engineered systems incorporate a sump pump and surge tanks and deliver the water through sub-surface irrigation.

Greywater from the shower or bath is generally good quality water for the garden. The soap levels at the dilutions typical are actually good for the garden as they are a wetting agent. When laundry greywater is diverted to the garden, the laundry products used must be chosen carefully to ensure phosphate and salt levels are low, and that pH balance is neutral.

Basic guidelines are also available from system suppliers. It is essential that greywater is diverted to sewer when garden-unfriendly products are being used.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

W.I.P. "Scraps"

This is my "work in progress". I feel that I should show that I haven't fallen by the wayside of creating. Now, that isn't exactly true. I have been going very, very slowly. I haven't figured out why except to say that I have other things to work out. Very boring things, things that have to get done, but time consuming things.
After I finished this purse, I had lots and lots of little pieces of silk left over. I diligently saved these pieces. I love silk and feel that anything larger than two inches should be saved.
I could not really think of anything profound to do with them and then, this is where I would have cymbals and trumpets, "profound thought" occurred. I would make a "hippie bag". What fun I would have. I would quilt and applique myself into "hippie heaven". Well, I quilted and appliqued myself into finally running out of time. I could no longer put the rest of my life. Duty called me.
But it feels like I can get back to making myself happy. And I worked on my project today and I plan to do some more tomorrow.
Soon, hopefully, this little "hippie bag" will be completed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

For A Birthday Girl

I made this purse for a young girl who is just stepping into young womanhood. Doesn't that sound like I copied it from Jane Austen? Well, anyway, she is going to be 12 years old. She is my nephew's oldest child and she is lovely. What impresses me the most is that she plays the flute and does not need to be encouraged to practice.
This purse is made from Navy Blue Velvet with the polka dots of American Turquoise. The little beads that hold the discs to the fabric are clear Tourmaline. It was fun to make, except for the sewing of it to the frame.
If you are ever lured onto Etsy's site for purse frame, be on the look out for NOT getting the sew on frames. It is cheaper but creates many for problems. It is difficult to sew on and the major problem is making the inside neat and tidy. I had to sew seam binding on both sides of the fabric (the velvet and the lining fabric - which were different colors) and then sew it to the frame. I found this "antique" chain on Etsy's as well. I put antique in quotes because I doubt if it is antique!
The main thing is that I did enjoy designing it and assembling it. And the main thing is that it is done in time to mail off tomorrow.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tweaking Past History

I made this purse a while back. I had found this light weight cotton with the roses on it. It seemed to capture what I thought of as very old fabric. The print pricked at my memory, as if I had seen it in a past life. Some fabrics do that to me. Sometimes I find the explanation. Once when I was about 18, I saw an Indian rug by the name of Numda (sp?). It is a felted rug with embroidery on it. I couldn't get it out of my consciousness. I told my mother about this experience and she said that when I was about 8 months old (not quite walking) she would place me on this rug to sit in the sunshine. But since it was old and had holes in it, she discarded it.
I never found the explanation for this red fabric.
The fabric was never enough for a shirt but I kept it anyway. I decided that if I put it together with red quilted fabric, it would have enough body for a purse. The gathered fabric is Grosgrain ribbon that I sewed together. That part was very fun. I finished the bag but was never very pleased with it. I made a smaller eyeglass or cell phone bag, but that did not make me any happier. It seemed like it was an adventure that went no where. But it kept itching at my brain.
All it needed was tweaking. I opened it on the inside and put in red grosgrain to tighten the whole thing.
I am now happy with it.