Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


My new sewing room!

I’m looking forward to sewing in my new craft space!

Louis sewing room View 2


Louis sewing room View 1

It would be better, though, with different flooring. Carpet traps a lot of dirt and isn’t a great option for people with dust mite allergies and other respiratory problems. Maybe one day we can save up a little money to replace it. That may be awhile since I’ll be in school for 4 more years!

The new space, like the former one, is in the basement. This basement has less windows than our old one, but I should be able to sew more comfortably with track lighting, more controlled temperatures and less water. The old space limited my sewing time because of the lighting, temperature and, occasionally, dampness.

The former sewing spot in Va. We had dissembled the table for easier transport.

The former sewing spot in Va. We dissembled the table for easier transport.

With lots of windows, the former basement let in a lot of sunshine, but in the summer, the hours between 3-5 p.m. were unbearable because the sun would heat up the space. And at night, I didn’t have very much lighting. I often had to use a floor lamp positioned directly over my head to thread the needle.

In the winter, it wasn’t uncommon for the basement to be too cold to stay down there very long. The last few years, however, have been a little better since we added more insulation around the basement perimeter.

Then, like many basements, there was the occasional water during rain. It wasn’t too much of an issue, especially after Chris water sealed the walls and placed a French drain at the south wall, but water was still common during a period of rain. The new home has a sump pump and has already been water sealed, so dampness doesn’t appear to be an issue.

The first projects I plan to complete are a dress I started 3 years ago — before I returned to school — and design and make a wristlet to hold my iPhone, keys and id. The dress only needs a collar and a hem. Before the move, it had been draped over the ironing board for more than a year. I am anxious to complete it so I can wear it in this Kentucky heat!


Two walker/wheelchair bags finished

As flurries fell outside, I sat in the kitchen this afternoon and finished up two more walker/wheelchair bags. Yep, I sat at the kitchen table. No more freezing in the cold basement for me!

Mom and Dad got me a new Brother sewing machine and I pulled it out today and sat at the kitchen table while Chris lounged on the couch reading his new George R.R. Martin book (also thanks to Mom and Dad):

Here’s the bags:

You’ll recognize the bag on the left from this post. I finally got around to sewing the front, back and straps together.

For the second bag, I used remnant material that my friend, Dahna, gave to me. I think it makes a very nice bag and I can’t wait to hand it to a nursing home resident!

I used my new rotary cutter and cutting mat (thanks, again, to my parents!) to cut out the second bag and I loved how everything came out more evenly and how the size of the straps are better proportional to the bag. I asked for the rotary cutter and mat after Rae of Made by Rae said she likes using a mat so that the fabric lies flat and she can cut straighter lines (at least I think it was her who said that).

Since the straps are narrower, I only used one Velcro square. The smaller bag has wider straps, so, therefore, I had to use more Velcro.

What do you think? I bet nursing home residents will be very happy to receive these!

Right now, besides blogging, I’m curled up on the couch, sipping hot cocoa my sweet hubby made and am about to start studying some precal and physiology.

Next up on the sewing agenda is a bag from this book:


Pjs and wheelchair bags

Hiya!

By Wednesday, my official third day off from studying, I’d already done more craft-wise than I’ve done all year.

Do you remember the pjs I made for Chris awhile back? Well, I used more of the same remnant fabric and made me a pair.

There are four pleats in the front and two pleats in the back. The shorts are hard to pull up over the hips, but fit wonderfully once I get them up. I think, next time, I’ll leave off the front and back pleats to see if that’ll make the shorts more comfortable to pull up.

Also, in this post, did you see the button I sewed back onto Chris’ shorts? It fell off within in a week. Turns out the button was broke! I figure I need to find the shorts and attach a new button in the coming week, too. I’ll do that when I’m mending some jeans.

Actually, a lot of jeans. Many of my jeans have holes in the thighs. I’ve researched the various ways to mend jeans and I think I’m just going to go with the traditional patching. The holes are pretty big and I don’t really care for anyone to see my inner thighs or have crazy stitching in that area, so this really is the best option.

But, if you’re not interested in just old fashioned patching, here’s some other ideas: soluble stabilizer and crochet patches. All three of theses are courtesy of Craftzine and Instructables, two sites worth checking out for tips, projects and how-tos.

And, back in October, I started a ministry at church — a knitting, crocheting and sewing ministry. Currently we’re making wheelchair/walker bags for area nursing home residents. I hoped to have several made by Christmas, but haven’t had much luck getting people to participate. Right now I have one lady who always joins me at the meetings every other Saturday (but she sort of has to since she has the key) and three ladies that occasionally show up when they can, but not very often. One lady, whom I’ve only talked to via phone, sent me a really cute bag made out of a kitchen towel.

So far the grand total is 5 bags. I’ve got one crocheted bag made and another cut out and ready to be sewn together. Another piece of fabric has been washed and ironed and is ready for cutting.

Our target goal now is February for Valentine’s Day. If you’re interested, this is the pattern we’re using (or click here for the pdf).


2 Comments

Pjs, some hemming and a quick update

Hello! How’ve you been? Did you think I forgot about you? 🙂

I just finished a pair of pj shorts for Chris this afternoon. It felt great to finish a project and have something to show you.

I have much more of this fabric and plan to make me a pair of pj bottoms, too. That’s actually next on my list, as well as, a shirt for me.

I also sewed a button (for the second time) on a pair of shorts this afternoon. I’m not sure how the it fell off the first time, but I made sure to sew it on extra tight this time. I’m not sure how that man loses his buttons. 🙂

And, weeks after buying them, I finally got around to hemming two pairs of jeans for Chris. We bought them at Ross Dress for Less (my favorite store!) for about 20 bucks or so. Usually we have a hard time locating some good prices on jeans for Chris, so, though they were too long, I encouraged him to get them if he liked them.

But then I forgot about them. Oops!

So, now they’re ready wear. Hope he likes them. 🙂

And, a quick update. I’ve returned to the classroom!

As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of my personal obligations have fallen by the wayside. It’s been a big adjustment, but I’m excited for the opportunity and glad that I can concentrate on this full time.

So, I can’t promise I’ll post weekly, but I’ll post when I can. Sharing my projects and recipes are still very important to me, but I’ve had some major changes in my routine and it’s been a lot to get used to.


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Cowl-neck, stripey Sadie tank

OK. I actually finished this a week ago, but have not had time to post it.


I used the same BurdaStyle pattern as this shirt, but used the version that adds a cowl neck.

The Sadie has a nice fit to it, I think. It’s a little snug, but I like it. I could go up another size, but then I think it would be too large.

This material is from the stash Nannie gave to me. I did not cut it so that the material would stretch from seam to seam (which would be the correct way) because I wanted the stripes to be horizontal. Getting the shirt on, therefore, is a little tough, but not impossible.

I had plenty of material, so the neck and arm bindings are made from the same material, making them softer and lay better than my first Sadie tank top. (You can’t see the neck binding as it’s behind the cowl neckline.

I didn’t like the shirt at first. I thought maybe it was too tight or didn’t look like a good fit. But after I wore it for a day, I really fell in love with it!

What do you think?


Needing cover suggestions

So I bought an iPad and now I’m looking for a way to keep the screen protected.

I could buy a cover, but I’m thinking I could save money by making one. Plus, I’m sure I could make one much more attractive looking than the ones currently offered through Apple.

Jennifer over at CraftSanity has made a really neat one for her husband. If I were to make it though, I would probably try to figure out a way to add a plastic screen cover.

Other bloggers have great tutorials too: Dixie Mango, One Shabby Chick and Craft Gossip.

I will probably try and make one using fabric I have on hand, though I haven’t ruled out making a run to the store. I may have to stop by a fabric store if I plan to make a cover with a plastic window.

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions? Is fleece or cotton material with interfacing sturdy enough or should I opt for upholestry fabric? Color schemes?