Mostly Packing with Some Sewing

Like it says above – I have spent most of my time packing and clearing out things in preparation for our 2022 move. Lots has been done, but still quite a ways to go!

Quite the tower of tubs.

On Instagram, I offered up some of my scraps. There is sooooo much fabric and while I did want to keep some scraps, I knew I had way too much.

This is what I kept.

After sorting and giving away a lot of scraps, I bagged up the remainder by color. Once I am setting up a new sewing room, I can decide if I want them back in the original tubs. Storing them in this one tub seems to save on space but I am unsure how long they would stay in the bags. I could see it becoming just a jumbled mess in this tub.

Much easier to move these than the tower of over stuffed bins!

Last post I mentioned an old WIP I was finishing up. When I cleaned out the sewing room, I found a small quilt top and decided to finish it up.

Norman Rockwell Christmas Scenes

Some years ago, four or five maybe, I picked up these Norman Rockwell scenes. They had been cut from a panel and were in a bag of holiday fabric I bought at a very tiny local quilt show. From what I could determine the panel was from the 1970’s or 80’s. I love Norman Rockwell and knew it would be fun to make something with them. So I sashed them and put the project away. This is such a common story with me!

Simple stippling for the win

I outlined the main graphic and ditch stitched the sashing first. Then filled in with tiny stippling. Look at this happy scene. The girl and her dog, the musical mice – all are so sweet.

I love the pajamas worn by the brother and sister. I bet their mama made them.

It is hard to see in the photo but I did some stitching around the chair and along the wings of it which makes it puff quite a bit. Then the tiny stippling.

It was a fun finish and is already hanging on the wall. Another WIP finished and many more remain. Today we are going to get a tree and decorate for Christmas. Next week Julia has finals and then is home for three weeks. Supposedly we are due for a rainy day or two this week. All good things in my book! Hoping the same for you!

Linking to a few favorites this week. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

November is a Wrap

On this last day of November, I am thinking about how quickly the month buzzed by and how busy it was. Lots of work on the house was accomplished and just a bit of sewing. Such is life.

My photographer has rudely decided to go off to college, leaving me to take pictures in a mirror. Haha.

Earlier I made this pair of pants. They are really, really comfortable and I am quite happy with them. I used Simplicity 2369 to make these stretch knit, wide legged pants.

After making the pants, I was browsing in a shop downtown. I saw similar pants but they had rounded pockets on each side. They were stitched without finishing the edges (which works because knit fabrics don’t really ravel). I thought this was a fun addition so I went home and did the same with these pants. I wouldn’t have thought to leave the edges of the pockets unfinished but it worked out well. I suspect if I tried to turn under a curved pocket, it would not look great and would give the pants a very homemade vibe.

The pocket after washing a couple of times.

This was a fun project and I will make at least one more pair. Next time, I will make the pockets bigger. I drew the pocket size myself and it is a bit too small in relation to the width of the pant leg.

Four generations!

For Thanksgiving we were really fortunate to have all four of my kids, two of the spouses, both grand daughters and my parents for dinner. It was a bit chaotic but really great to be together. My DIL (mom to grand daughters) is a physician and she works one major holiday per year. She had Thanksgiving this year so she was unable to come. We really missed her presence. I love the picture above even with the one blurry leg!

Thanksgiving 1992

When my kids were little (long time ago!) we always made fudge for Thanksgiving. Licking the pot was part of the process. The boys are still in their pajamas and licking warm fudge here.

Some traditions never get old!

Julia was making Muddy Buddies (another family favorite) and everyone joined in licking the chocolate/peanut butter from the bowl. H was thrilled to do this with her dad and Grandpa. It was so much fun. Just in case you aren’t familiar, Muddy Buddies are Chex cereal coated with melted chocolate and peanut butter, then they are shook in a bag with powdered sugar. My kids love them.

Cranberry sauce in the making.

Julia was making the cranberry sauce and H was her sous chef. We make this recipe every year. I posted about it here if you want to check the recipe out. It is delish and not difficult to make at all.

Bejeweled and bedecked.

This girl was adorable as always. I pulled out the tub of dress up jewels (a thrift store find when Julia was very young). Being a toddler with style, she decided to just wear as many as possible. Hahaha – she felt so fancy. She is talking quite a bit now and spends her days mimicking her big sister.

Walking to the neighbor’s house.

Being a Grammy is just the best. My neighbor boards horses and she was so kind to let the girls come over and feed her animals a carrot now and then. We walked across the pasture between our houses with the little ones and enjoyed hanging out with the horses and my neighbor’s dogs. Both girls are very fond of animals and being able to feed and pet them was thrilling.

OK – that’s it for now. I am working on a very old WIP and will share it once I get the binding completed. So, coming soon – a finish – albeit a small one. But a finish is a finish, right??

Linking to a few fun sites. Check them out at the top of the page.

Masala Box is a Finish

I have finished very few quilts this year so I am excited to share this with everyone. It is a cheerful quilt and a fun pattern to make. As you likely remember, I tested this pattern for Sew Preeti Quilts. Preeti writes delightful patterns and has several listed in her Etsy Shop.

Masala Box Baby Quilt

I did make an internal compromise with this project. I really wanted to spend some time and quilt the center of each block with a picture of sorts. I had them all planned out. However, life is so crazy right now and I decided the free motion quilting would have to wait for another project. Instead I did a version of a zig zag/serpentine stitch going both vertically and horizontally which was a very quick way to finish this little quilt.

Difficult to photograph the white stitching on white!

The zig zag adds some fun texture and will probably be enhanced even more after being washed.

Polka dots for the backing.

I have quite a large piece of this polka dot fabric which made the backing choice a simple one. Binding was done with the same red fabric as used on the front.

The end of the fall leaves in our yard.

Our fall colors were extraordinary this year – most of the trees have dropped their leaves at this point.

Moving on to non-quilting topics, I have exciting news! Ray and I have decided to move from California up to Washington. I am sure you can guess the main reason. Yes, you got it. There are two sweet girls up there we are wanting to see more often. Between the pull of being near the grand children and the drawbacks to California life (mainly very hot summers and the dangerous fire seasons), we decided to go for it.

We have talked to a realtor and made a list of projects to do in order to have the house ready to list in early Spring. To that end, we both have been very busy. Ray bears the brunt of the really hard work but I have a fairly long list as well.

The sewing/guest room

Here is one project – you’ll surely relate to. I moved my sewing supplies downstair to the family room in order to create a guest room.

After the massive clean out

In the twelve years we have lived in this house, this room has never been so clean. After the holidays I will have all the carpets cleaned and the guest room will be staged for showing. For now, I am just reveling in its tidy state.

Julia’s room was in need of sprucing up as well. When she was about 10 years old, she asked if she could have a blue and lavender room. Time took its toll on this room so Ray and I painted it a very pale gray.

As with the guest room, I cannot believe how tidy Julia’s room is. This room will also be rearranged for showing but the hard part is done.

I can’t show you the new sewing space just yet – mainly because I haven’t taken a photo for you. (Let’s be honest, it is a hot mess!)

Another project is underway.

Finally, here is another project I am working on. I am a huge fan of photographs and have so many albums. But they do take up space. Rather than move them all, I decided to pull pictures out and organize them by year in photo boxes. One might think this is a quick and easy task, and it should be. But with each album I get pulled into the nostalgia and memories they contain. So while this is really enjoyable, it is not quick!! Evenings have been spent poring over the books and sharing pictures with my kids via text. It will get done all in good time. I have emptied about eight albums and they fit into two boxes which saves a lot of space.

That is enough for today. I need to get going to the grocery store for a few things. Julia comes home tomorrow for the whole Thanksgiving week. I am so excited! I haven’t seen her for eight weeks which is the longest ever! Have a wonderful day everyone.

Linking up to my favorites since I miraculously have a finish!! You can find them at the top of the page under Link Ups.

A Very Old WIP & and Squirrel

Since my shop closed, I have been working hard to take all of my sewing supplies out of the guest room and downstairs to the shop area. I want to have a ‘real’ guest room and since we have family coming for Thanksgiving, now is the time to finish this project. As it goes, I found lots of forgotten projects while cleaning out the guest/sewing room. One was a scrappy rag rug I knit back in 2016. I loved this little project but didn’t know what to do about the knots where I joined the strips when I was knitting it.

It felt strange to leave the knots exposed. I was concerned they would unravel somehow. Thinking about it, I decided to cut some fabric and hand sew a backing on to it. I made sure all knots were pulled to the back and then tightened them. Then I pressed edges of the backing fabric under to make it the same size as the top. Because the top is so loosely knit, it flexes and changes shape easily. This made it really difficult to make it match the backing so I used tons of pins and started to sew.

After stitching back to front, I tied some yarn ties to further attach front to back. It looks pretty sad from the back but I kid you not, the back was the same size as the front – it was like herding cats to sew these together. At any rate, I feel like it is now a bit sturdier. When I made this, I used the tutorial by Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts. (Oh how I miss her blog!!) It seems like she doesn’t worry too much about the knots joining the fabric strips. I just hope this all holds together well.

I think this is so darn cute!!

OK – on to the squirrel that took me down another path. On Instagram I noticed some little hearts that quilters and sewists have been leaving for others to find and enjoy. It was started quite a while back by a woman over at Ifoundaquiltedheart.com. After reading her website, I decided to join in and make a few. The idea is to leave these pretty hearts wherever you please in the hope they will brighten someone’s day. I started to follow the hashtag #IFAQH and #ifoundaquiltedheart and saw how much these mean to some of the recipients. The process of making something and anonymously leaving it for others, with no expectation of any recognition is very satisfying. If you are interested in participating it is simple, nearly free (since we all have scraps, right?) and very easy.

My first set of hearts

I spent some time yesterday running errands. While I was out, I drove over to our community hospital and left these hearts in various places. I thought about people who might need some cheer and surely there are plenty who are using the hospital who fall into that category. I dropped mine at the bus stop, the cancer care center, the lab/mammogram building and lastly, right at the front entrance. All were left tucked a bit out of the way but I am hoping they catch someone’s eye and make them smile.

Do you see that little purple heart, just behind the ‘n’?

I loved placing this heart behind ‘kindness’, displayed on the way to the main entrance. Seems appropriate, yes?

During this month of Thanksgiving, it is often a time to focus on our blessings and to help others or extend our blessings to them where possible. This is one small way to do this. If making these little hearts appeals to you, I encourage you to give it a go. If nothing else, check out the hashtags on either FB or IG – it will warm your heart.

Masala Box – The Quilt Top

Last week I mentioned I had been asked by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts to test a pattern of hers. She recently released her newest design, Masala Box. The pattern is really adorable. Here is Preeti’s version.

This is the sort of pattern that is right up my alley. I love patchwork and also simplicity. Fussy patterns are not my favorite. This pattern is set up for strip piecing (which is quick and efficient) or if you have a box of 2 1/2″ squares, you could make a scrappy version and use those bits up!

Baby Quilt Size Masala Box

Hoping to finish this quickly so I could share Preeti’s new pattern, I made a baby quilt. It finishes at 36″ square which is the perfect size for Jack’s Basket. I love donating to them and will send this off when it is finished. Looking through my stash, I wanted to put together some bold colors. When I saw the red polka dots on turquoise I decided I would build off that piece. Luckily, I had plenty of red and aqua in the stash and I added a bright polka dot on off-white to break things up a bit.

The pattern features a large rectangle within each set of 2 1/2″ squares. Preeti did a wonderful job writing this pattern up. Her instructions and illustrations are clear and very easy to follow. There are so many ways the rectangle within each block could be used. How about placing appliqué on that center, or featuring a large scale fabric, maybe notes or signatures could be written here in permanent fabric markers – I think it is a creative space with a lot of potential.

I plan to back my quilt with the red and aqua polka dot fabric. As for a quilting plan, I don’t have one just yet. I want to do something special with those white rectangles and am waiting to figure that part out.

If you would like to see another version of the Masala quilt, hop over to The Academic Quilter. Mari made her quilt in tones of blue, green and yellow with an earthy background. It is so pretty and totally different from my version. Isn’t it fun to see the same pattern made with different fabrics?

Congrats to Preeti for the release of this fun pattern. Be sure to go to her shop and add a copy to your quilt pattern collection!

Linking up to my usual favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Feeling Like Fall!

Oh how I love autumn. It means the summer heat is over, the possibility of rain is coming closer, the fire dangers might soon reduce greatly. Colorful leaves, cooking comfort foods, baking bread – this is fall at our house.

The first maple to turn in our yard.

There is no filter or editing done with the photo above. The first of our 1/2 dozen maples has turned to a brilliant crimson color. It is the same each year; this tree turns red first, drops its leaves first, and leafs out first. Then the other two on the front lawn take their turn after this tree.

This is the road leading to our property.

This road doesn’t have any maples but the oaks do drop their leaves and it becomes autumnal in its own way.

A not-so-great latte

Being crisp and cool out, I wanted a coffee when I was running errands yesterday. I went to Caroline’s, my favorite local coffee roaster. I asked for one pump of pumpkin spice added to my latte – this is not something I usually do but I thought maybe I would enjoy it. Hmmm, it was terribly sweet. I mean wayyyy too sweet. I won’t be doing that again. Either I really don’t like the pumpkin flavoring or they accidentally added twenty-nine pumps rather than the one pump I requested.

A garland for Julia’s dorm room.

A week ago or so, I saw these cute garlands in a shop window. I liked the colors and the texture provided by the variety of fabrics it contained. Of course, I decided to make one. Julia and I both like seasonal decorations and I knew she would be happy to receive something with fall colors. I cut strips measuring 1.5″ x 4″. I used quilting cottons, wool felt and some fleece and tied the strips to a piece of twine. It is adorable and just long enough to decorate a bit of her dorm room.

Preparing tomatoes to be roasted.

Autumn also means using up the last bits of produce from the vegetable garden. Ray grows a particular variety of tomato that is pale orange in color and very meaty. Sunday I roasted a pan of tomatoes. I cut them either in half or quarters, depending on their size, and give them a gentle squeeze to remove any excess juice. Then brushed them with just a bit of olive oil and dusted them with garlic salt.

I put them in a 300 degree oven for about 2-3 hours. I checked them after two hours and removed any that are dry enough. If they were still really wet, I left them in the oven longer. They are delicious – really, really yummy!

Thrift store finds

Yesterday I was running errands and while at the grocery store, I stopped and thumbed through a quilting magazine. I couldn’t bring my frugal self to purchase it for $7.99. Instead, I went to one of our thrift shops. I found these American Quilter magazines for 2 for 25 cents. Oh my gosh – six current (2020 and 2021) quilting magazines for $1.50. While there I also picked up some sweet books for my two grand daughters and a jig saw puzzle. I want to bring a few treasures up to them when we visit later this month. Big sister loves these floor size puzzles and I am thinking it will be a challenge to amuse little sister while we assemble it. Maybe we can play with this during lil sis’ nap time. I spent just $7.00 for these treasures.

The most recent Mercyful quilt

Finally, I received an unexpected quilt donation for Mercy Hospital a few days ago. It is just beautiful. I think the heart motif will be perfect for a family grieving a loss. Thank you Deb for this donation. It will be loved and will bring comfort.

I have done some sewing but I think this post is long enough. I will be back in a day or two to share a cute quilt top with you.

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of autumn. Let me know what signs of fall you are seeing.

Hodgepodge of Happenings

Hello all – I have not had much in the way of free time this week. So much so, I find it hard to believe it is Friday already! Here is a peek at the past week.

Last weekend was a special one because my youngest son, Ian, was here for a quick visit. He had signed up to participate in a run up in the Lake Tahoe area. That is approximately an hour drive from our home so he slept here and took off early in the morning for the run. I love all four of my kids and when I have time with one of them – one on one – it is a special thing. As such, it was a treat to have Ian here. We snacked, visited, watched his silly dog playing, and then ate some more! I made a yummy cinnamon swirl bundt cake and a nice pot of beef stew. Yay for family time!

Monday we had our deck refinished. A few weeks ago, Ray and I painted the railings (a tedious task for sure) and then a painter came and stained the deck. Check out the difference!

Before – it looked so tired and worn!
After – It is just gorgeous!

We are so happy with the look of the tinted stain. It took two coats which the painter meticulously applied with a small roller and a paintbrush. He is a great guy and has painted for us several times in the past. Ray and I just keep looking at the deck, admiring it. We haven’t even put any furniture or plants back on it – It is so pretty!!

The gazebo on our pond.

The roof on our gazebo has been falling apart for several years. Finally we hired a roofer to come replace the roofing. There is a sky light at the peak which they broke (purposefully) when taking apart the old roof. Ray replaced it when they finished.

He got this all finished and, because he isn’t a fan of heights, was happy to come down from the roof.

Looking across the pond at our neighbor’s trees.

Colors are starting to change here and I love the reflection of these maple trees on the pond. With the drought here, this is really the lowest we have seen the pond in years. As always, we are crossing our fingers for any amount of rain.

When the sky light was finished, I helped Ray carry the tools back to the shop. When he went inside, he found water on the floor. We have a pump which pulls water from the pond above and it used to water plants and the lawn. It had a leak and was making a mess of things. Isn’t it frustrating to find things like that! So the rest of that day and the following two days were spent cleaning up a mess in the shop. Thanks goodness for the wet/dry Shop Vac. It cleaned up the water quickly. This was one of those events that really just spurred a clean out that has been needing to happen for a long while. The shop is 1200 square feet and there was a lot of debris stacked up. So we have been working on it. I help where I can but it is akin to cleaning out my sewing room. Ray would have no idea which fabrics I want or don’t want, right? Similarly, I don’t know which stacks of wood are to be organized and saved and which are to be tossed out.

The extra pumpkins!

Moving on…. It was time to pick the pumpkins from a pumpkin patch Ray planted this year. We had our neighbor kids (two little girls) come and choose pumpkins and kept a few for ourself. The rest are ready to be delivered to a memory care unit in town. They seem excited to have them for the residents. We are more than happy to donate them.

Dark blue diamond blocks

Three more blocks are completed for my RSC 2021 quilt. The colors look terrible but that is what happens when you try to take a photo inside the house when it is dark out. Just two colors, orange and bright/lime green remain for the year. Then I can start to assemble the blocks. Feels good to be catching up on this project!

Red and turquoise, stripes and dots!

Even though I am supposedly working through my WIPs now, I pulled some fabric for a baby quilt. You know how it goes… I had the best intentions of not starting anything new but then Sew Preeti Quilts asked me to give a pattern of hers a try and I can’t say no to Preeti, can I? It is a cute pattern and uses strip piecing for efficiency. I have my strips cut and sewn and then cut again. Next up is to sew the blocks together. This weekend is not very busy so I am hoping to get the blocks together over the next day or so. I should be able to share this one soon!

Dried hydrangeas

Finally, I want to show you these pretty hydrangeas. I love when they start to turn from white to a faint pink blush. I cut a handful and have them drying here. I also cut some of the lilac bits that were turning color to. It makes such a nice arrangement and should last quite a while. I do this each fall with these particular hydrangeas.

OK – that is it for now. Not a lot of sewing this week but such is life. The weather has cooled off considerably which makes me so happy. It gives me more energy to get things done outside which means less time in the sewing room. If you could all do a rain dance in the hopes the west coast can get some relief from this drought, it would be much appreciated. Enjoy your weekend – do something creative!

WIPs Be Gone 2021

I am in good company as I join in with Leanne at Devoted Quilter for the 100 Day Challenge, WIPs Be Gone 2021. Her thought was we should all gather together and use the last 100 days of 2021 to finish up some projects that have been languishing for whatever reason. I have plenty of these so it makes perfect sense to use this as a way to get some momentum going. Technically this challenge started on September 23rd but I am just now writing a post about it.

This is my list of unfinished items I will try to move forward on or actually finish. It certainly isn’t a list of all unfinished projects but these are WIPs I would love to complete. Leanne has been a great cheerleader for all of us. I strongly suggest you check it out and join in. You still have 93 days left!! (Isn’t that crazy – 93 days left in 2021.)

I have made some progress! Last week I was able to stitch my blocks together for my Positivity Quilt. I am making a smaller version with 25 blocks and a couple of borders. The blocks are assembled and now I need to measure the top and cut borders. More on that as it comes along.

Which month was purple for RSC 2021??

I have a list of all the colors I am behind on for RSC 2021. Purple is now caught up!

Same question – teal blue – which month was it????

Teal blue is now finished as well. I have the dark blue blocks half way to finished too!! (It was surprising to me how little dark blue I had in the scrap bins.) I think that only leaves the September blocks in orange. This makes me so happy – I tend to be one who just sets something aside if I get too far behind. But I really like these blocks and want to finish this quilt. Before moving on to something else, I need to finish both the dark blue and orange blocks. It will be really fun to layout the blocks and see how they are all looking when together. After these blocks are done, I will move on to quilting one of the finished tops. Now you know my progress for the first week of the challenge! Yahoo!!

Hope everyone is doing well – enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Shorts Part 2 – The Spoonflower Version

Hoping you read yesterday’s post as it will help make sense of this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here and take a minute to read it.

The tale continues….. It was sometime just after the cute cow fabric debacle I decided I wanted to try printing a special fabric on Spoonflower.

I need to back up just a bit. In March I wrote a post about a very special t-shirt my son made for me for my 60th birthday. He replicated a t-shirt I had back in my college days that I dearly loved.

Three Cow Poly T-Shirts!

When Kyle recreated the graphic, he also ordered shirts for two Cal Poly alums in the family as well as Julia, our newest Cal Poly student. I love these shirts so much. Talking to Kyle when he was visiting here in May, I asked him for the file for the graphic. He deleted the text saying “class of 1982” to make it more generic. I knew it would be fun to get some fabric printed with the graphic as some point.

In July I decided to work on getting fabric made. Spoonflower came to mind and I was just hoping it would be a user friendly website. They did not disappoint. I was able to upload the file in its original size which is approximately 9″ x 11″. Then there was a tool to reduce the size of the graphic and another tool to show how the picture should lay on the fabric and to help decide if the picture should be off set or in columns and rows.

Easy peasy, right? Well, yes, for the most part. I wanted to try making a knit fabric and a woven fabric. I didn’t really have a plan for how I was going to use them at this point. Spoonflower is not a bargain but I think it is great application for something special. The two yards of fabric (one woven cotton and one jersey knit) came to just over $40.00, including the shipping. I placed the order and then waited.

An original design!

When the order arrived, just a few weeks later, I opened the knit fabric first. It was perfect. I wanted the graphic to be large; it is just about 3″ tall and 4″ wide. Take a look at the bottom where it says “Designed by Needle and Foot”. I love that. No one in the world has this bit of fabric. That gives me a tiny thrill. The quality of the knit is very nice. It is thick and soft. I pre-washed it and it laundered beautifully.

OK – then I opened the woven cotton version. I had intended for the graphic to be smaller than the knit version. I (thought I) sized it to be 2″ tall by 3″ wide. Ooops..

This picture shows my son (one of my Cal Poly Alumni) and I holding the fabric I received. These graphics are enormous with only four pictures fitting on a one yard piece. I went back to my order, thinking surely it was a mistake of the part of Spoonflower, but no, this is the size I actually ordered. It is so big that two of the graphics are cut off so the oval frame is not intact. I had no idea what to do with it.

At first I thought I would make a pillow case for Julia. But the size of the graphic doesn’t work for that. Then I thought of making her a banner for her dorm room. She really liked this idea. I used a fusible woven interfacing on the back of the print to stiffen it and then sewed a backing to it. After turning it right side out, I slip-stitched the opening, give it a good press and put a hanging sleeve on on the back.

Here it is on the wall of her dorm room. It looks great!

Moving on to the knit fabric. I really wanted to make shorts for her. I also wanted the shorts to fit!! Once I was finally successful with the last pair of shorts I made her (see previous post) I felt confident enough to cut into my $22.00 per yard knit fabric.

I think these are so cute – certainly no one on campus will have these pajama shorts. Well I assume so – I doubt she will see many kids wandering around campus in their pajamas. I just put them in the mail to her yesterday. She hasn’t tried them on but I think they will be fine. Once she has them, I will ask for a picture so I can update the post.

Thus ends the tale of the many pair of shorts I made over the last 5 weeks or so. I ended up with three pair and Julia has two. It all worked out, even if I am still a bit bruised from banging my head against the same wall for several days. Will this whole experience teach me not to be quite so stubborn? I hope so, oh how I hope so.

Shorts, Shorts, and More Shorts-Part 1

This is a tale of personal stubbornness, my own to be exact. It is a long story because I am quite the stubborn person. Some months ago, I found a cute piece of fabric while shopping at Ben Franklin. It was green with tiny black and white cows all over. I thought it would be fun to use it for a pair of sleep shorts for Julia. Then it sat on the shelf, patiently waiting to be cut up and used.

When I finally got around to making the shorts it all came together quickly. The shorts were so cute.

I was even feeling smug that I thought to add on a little pocket on one side for the ever present cell phone.

But smugness is not a quality that bodes well for a person. The shorts didn’t fit Julia at all. They were very tight across the bum and the rise was too short. I had already finished and trimmed the seams and couldn’t let anything out to make them bigger. Why I didn’t have her try them on earlier in the process is unknown to this sewist. Another mystery is I have made her flannel pajama pants from this same pattern a couple of times and they fit just fine.

Luckily, they fit me so I decided to just keep them for myself – who doesn’t want a pair of shorts with tiny cows all over? Determined to make my daughter a pair of shorts, I decided to take the pattern, cut it a bit larger and have another go at it.

This time I used a batik fabric I had on hand. I knew she wouldn’t really like them but I wanted to figure out how to cut them to fit her and then I could make a pair that fit her. (Note – I knew I liked the fabric and would keep them for myself anyway so no loss of effort here!)

This pair fit better across her backside but was still too short in the rise. Of course they were too short in the rise, I had not adjusted that at all. I only adjusted the width of the hip area. Oh well, another pair of shorts is put in my drawer and I returned to the proverbial drawing board.

These look wrinkled because I have worn and washed them a number of times already.

Talking to Julia, I decided I would try making jersey knit shorts. Maybe a stretchier fabric was what I needed. I have some knits left from my shop and cut out a pair of gray shorts – after prewashing the fabric to avoid any shrinkage problems. But guess what? They didn’t fit – not at all. OK – what is that saying? Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. (Rita Mae Brown) I was absolutely stuck with this whole project – totally stuck. Julia very patiently asked why I continued to use the same pattern (well because I am stubborn, that’s why). She pointed out the rise in the front and back was the same. She needed the back side to have a higher rise than the front. A lightbulb burst into flames right above my noggin. Of course! Without sharing too much info, I have a very flat bum and Julia’s is not. She is much curvier than I (lucky girl)! Jeez, why didn’t I see this? Because I am s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n, that’s why.

I went on line and looked at tutorials and patterns. I landed on the Life Sew Savory page and found what looked to be a great (free!) pattern. Lounge shorts that could be made with either a woven or knit fabric. I printed it out and got it all taped together.

I made a pair right away with an old piece of knit I had bought at a thrift store some years ago. They fit!!! Julia loved them! Success! OK – the story doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for Shorts, Part 2 – the Spoonflower Version. See you then!!