Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bold Batik Prints and Simplicity 2320

Before I immerse myself in my Google Reader, I quickly wanted to share some bold batik print fabric I got this weekend. I have absolutely no idea what I am making with these. But I have a good feeling I will eventually put these to good use.

In other news, I finished the first Simplicity 2320 dress. Here is an action shot. This was the trial run. I don't like to make trial muslin dresses, I may be naive, but when I put some time and effort into something I would like that well used.

I know it's not such a great picture. The print camouflages the details of the dress. That's OK, I only intended this dress to be a trial run. Next up, I will make this dress in solid silk so all those little details are nice and clear.

OK, off to Google Reader. This time I really mean it.

Thanksgiving 2010

So that's over too. The longest holiday weekend of the year. Thanksgiving weekend. We had good food, good friends, and more importantly good family time this weekend.

A good percentage of Americans get a 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving while the not so fortunate rest have to work so the above mentioned group can enjoy their weekend. One word. Corporate Greed. I felt bad for Kmart employees when I saw Kmart's TV Ads about them remaining open on Thanksgiving day. I understand why airports, trains, hospitals, buses, drugstores have to keep going, but a national chain super market? I don't know about that.

Over this weekend, I was amazed at the extent the big corporations will go to lure customers. I've seen stores advertising and selling special items designed for Door buster sales on black Friday, stores advertising high ticket items for rock bottom prices with only very few of them "IN STOCK" (yeah, I know they have lots in stock!), so on as so forth. I even saw banners like all bras $15.99 when you buy 3 or more at a Hanes Brand outlet store, Really? Isn't that your regular deal? Please!

That all being said, although I didn't "bust" the store doors or anything like that on Black Friday, I did visit a few stores and the nearby outlet mall to see the truth about deals, doorbusters and such after 6am. I did not find anything to die for, but Children's Place had a good 50% off entire store deal *all day* ( not the ridiculous 4am to 8am thing you see in some places) and I got some stuff from there. I also bought a Cuisinart food processor/blender combo (gift for a friend) from Bed Bath and Beyond. They, as usual did not have any outstanding deals to offer. Most people must already know you should never buy things without their 20% off coupon.

OK, enough of the BF stuff. Between entertaining guests, family, going to parties, I've got a lot of blog catching up to do.

See you soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time saving Tech Tips

Good Morning to all.

Ah, Monday again.

I work in the IT field, some of you may know that from my "about me" page. So I want to share a few tips that every IT person knows, which saves time while working with computers. Most of the bloggers out there spend a good amount of time in front of the computers. Some of you may know this, but here is some very basic information anybody who uses the computer should know.

Copy Shortcut

To copy text to your clipboard, highlight the text and hit Control key and C key together. That is usually called "Control C" written as Ctrl+C. I've seen people going to their edit menu to find the Copy option or right clicking to find the copy option. This saves time.

Paste Shortcut

To paste text, Point your cursor to the text area you want it to be in, and hit Control key and V key together. That is usually called "Control V" written as Ctrl+V. I've seen people going to their edit menu to find the Paste option or right clicking to find the Paste option. This saves time too.

Find Shortcut

Lets suppose you are on a web page and you want to jump to an area in the page containing some specific text. To do that, you could go to Edit menu and look for the Find option. Instead you can use Control and F keys together. It's usually called "Control F" written as Ctrl + F. You get the same "Find Window" where you can type in your letters. You can use Ctrl+F on most programs (like Word, Excel, IE, Firebox etc). In some cases, instead of the standard "Find Window", there is a special thingie. You will know when you see it.

Google Cache Option

SO you are looking for that post about princess seams you thought you bookmarked, but you never did actually. You are back googling trying to find it and you see million hits in google. You decide to give it a try and open a few pages to check if it's the one you want. You want to quickly see whats in the page. You know what you can do? In the google search results page, right under the each result there is an option called "Cached". It gives you a screen shot of the actual page. This means, you can see the page without actually going to the website, but simply by going to the screenshot that google has for that page. The bonus? It highlights the keywords in yellow.

I think thats good for today. I will post more tips as I find time...

Have a good day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to: 7 minute Fringed Interlock/Fleece Scarf

Like said in the last post, this is a really easy project. It's a scarf! It is so simple that it takes less than 10 minutes for you to make this. It took me exactly 7 minutes! with a regular sewing machine.

If you choose to use two different fabrics then it's a two seam prject, otherwise just one seam and you are done. Because it's so less time consuming you can make it in awesome knit/fleece prints, make a bunch, use it as a fashionable accessory with skinny jeans and boots for youself or make one for your little girl/boy.

A little tip: Joann's Black Friday ad shows $2.99 fleece prints! If you use those, you get this scarf for $1.50!

Want to make one?

7 Minute Easy Interlock knit/fleece scarf - How to:

Minimum Requirements
  1. 1/2 yard of 44'' Interlock Knit/Fleece fabric
  2. Sewing machine, thread, scissors, a scale and any other fancy tools you cannot sew without

Step 1: Prepare and cut Fabric

No cutting required if your fabric is a precut 1/2 yard.  Otherwise cut out 1/2 yard of the fabric you have. If you want to choose two different prints, you know what to do, use 1/4 yard each of the prints.

Note regarding length: For adults you could safely use the full length of the yardage. If you are making for a kid 4 years and less: you may want to decrease the length to 35 or below according to the kid's height. The point is you do not want the scarf to be hanging longer than the jacket when wearing.

Step 2: Fold right sides together lengthwise

Notice that I have my fabric folded lengthwise, right sides together.

Step 3: Sew along the length with 5/8 inch seam allowance (using a triple stretch stich for knits)

Step 4: Turn Right Side out

Now what you get is a long tube. You may choose to top stich at this point. I did not.

Step 5: Fringes
The Scarf is almost ready. If you are making this for a man who does not like fringes you may tuck the raw edges in use a top stitch and be done!. If you want the fringed edges, mark 6 inches from the short edges (on both short edges)

 Step 6: Cut Fringes
1 inch apart from each other cut (5) 1/2 inch  fringes. Do this one the other short side

Step 7: Enjoy your new scarf!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little project with 2 seams coming your way

Apparently I forgot to write about something I made for AN on Sunday night. This morning while AN & I were waiting for the school bus, one of the other moms complimented on it and her little girl AC started whispering, 'mommy, I want one...I want one...I like it..'

It is the easiest project ever with only 2 seams and so I will post it as a project/tutorial/how-to or whatever you may call it.

By tomorrow morning, I should have it ready. Interlock Knit/Fleece fabric, two seams, a little project, hmm...what could it be? may be an accessory?
Thank you for stopping by. Have a good day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday yet?

How is everybody today? I know for a fact that I feel sleepy, tired and anxious. I am not really sure if I like Mondays; Although sometimes I feel very excited to get back to work on a Monday. Typically that happens when I get all weekend chores like laudry, cooking, cleaning, grocery etc done by Sunday evening, pack lunches for Monday, get all home work and other school related stuff for AN ready, get to watch Desperate Housewives Sunday night, get a good night's sleep etc. Around 50% of these things did not happen this weekend, including the good night sleep part. Hence the crankiness. On a lighter note, it was my birthday on Sunday, no, not the regular calendar day birthday, the Lunar Calendar birthday. SN gifted me with a necklace set, totally unexpected. Thinking of that makes me smile now, I might just forget that I am cranky. No, I am not a material girl, but what girl doesn't like occassional display of love in the form of jewelry from her husband.

OK, but I have a really good project in the works.

It's the Simplicity 2320 Project Runway dress for BN. Not sure if I like the elastic wrist style. I am just going to make the 3/4 sleeve version. I cut up the pattern pieces, cut out fabric from my stash for a trial run, pre-washed and dried the fabric I am going to use for this project (I am planning to make two of these dresses, one in silk, one in cotton). I tried making pleats last night which did not go so well. Any tips?

Oh, also Walmart and Staples released their black friday ads. Couldn't find anything worth being pushed to the ground, having to drive around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot so on and so forth.

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

TGIF & Bubblegum Jumper Dress

I finished this dress. I used From an Igloo's Bubblegum Jumper Tutorial. I love the print. Perfect with a top and a pair of tights.

The whole week has been really hectic with work, It's not anything new.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can't believe it's already November!

I still feel like the last Christmas was just yesterday. Right around Halloween a couple of weeks back I got an email in my Inbox from BF Ads Webmaster and I was like, huh? and I realized, yes, it's that time of the year! I couldn't believe that it was here already. We all at home felt like the last year just flew by.

So far BF Ads site has the Black Friday fliers of Macy's, Sears, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreen's and Lowe's. So what are you looking forward to buy this year during the After Thanksgiving sale? Most people spend on electronics during that time, especially because it's supposed to be cheapest. But not really so. I've bought Hard Drives, DVD burners, cameras etc on Black Friday from Staples with coupons and Rebates and received the stuff practically free. But I know for sure, for some reason, the quality was sub par. For instance the DVD burner I bought from Staples broke in a few months and I went to HP website to get the drive update so I can make it work again. To my surprise the DVD burner I had was not a retail item and was an "OEM". It simply means, it came along with something else and hence has no separate drive update. So now I have to find a new one.

This year we are definitely getting a camcorder for the family. Since it is kind of a big ticket item that runs in the $400-600 range, we will be looking for Black Friday deals. My son AN would love a Wii. SN and I are still confused if we should get it for him or not. If we do, it is going to be yet another thing that we have to discipline him for. Still thinking about it.

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The dreaded Plackets: A picture how to

Oh, the plackets!

OK, so I needed to learn how to do plackets. I am looking to make a summer tunic for my son. I know, it's 40 degrees outside, which will only go down to -1 degree in the next three months. So why I am doing it? It's kind of a traditional men's wear in India and I wanted my son to have one. That's it. I am sure that's a good enough reason.

Here is a picture from
You can see this product here in the below ilnk

See that placket in the front, in the above picture. I started hunting for tutorials. I did find a few, but nothing that showed plackets clearly with a contrast fabric for the placket vs the bodice. That is a concern because otherwise, you won't be able to clearly see what's being worked on. So I decided to come up with a basic placket construction-howto, with contrast fabric for the placket.
Note: The Fabric you see in the construction is not my son's tunic fabric :-) Just scraps I used to do the tutorial.
Plackets - How to
Minimum Requirements 
  1. The main fabric bodice piece
  2. Placket Fabric - 8 in length X 6 in wide (Placket fabric may be the same fabric as the bodice, you may choose contrast)
  3. Sewing machine, needles, fabric, and any other fancy sewing tools you can't live without
Let's get started.
Step 1: Mark your placket pattern
  • You will need to mark a line at the center of the placket (along the 8 inch side, remember that is the length of your placket) and 2 lines to the left and right of the center line 1/2 inch from the center
  • You will also need to mark 1/4 inch seam allowance on the 8 inch sides
  • Now mark a line 1 inch from the bottom of the placket connecting the lines you made to the right and left of the center
This is what you will end up with

Step 2: Align placket and bodice center, right side together
Align the center of the placket to the center of the shirt/dress and pin.
Step 3: Sew along the 3 lines
Sew along the markings to the right of the center line through both layers (main fabric and placket). Sew through the horizontal line and go to the other side of the center line.

Step 4: Cut a Y along the center line

Now, cut along the center line starting from the neck end. Stop 1 inch away from the bottom of the placket end. Then cut towards both corners of the Y. Before you cut look at the picture below.

Step 5: Turn placket inside
Because we sewed right sides together you must know that there is some turning somewhere in the process. And you do that now, carefully. Now, press.
Step 6: Make a fabric Sandwich and sew 
Now, you have the wrong side of the main fabric facing you and the right side of the placket. First we'll work on the left piece. Fold the seam allowance and then fold the whole left piece right in the middle. See a close up below.

Press and sew along the seam of main fabric and placket fabric on the right side of the fabric because that stitch shows well, so you need to make sure that looks good.  Now repeat the same for the right side. Now you will have two pieces overlapping one another. You can choose one or the other to go on the front. People say men's plackets are opened to the right and women's to the left. You choose your style now. 

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Now on the Wrong side of your main fabric tuck in the 1 inch we left out earlier and pin in place

On the right side of the fabric, start with the placket that's overlapping the other, and sew along the folded edge and sew over the pins that you just placed. Now you will have 3 sides of a rectangle nicely sewn. Please pay attention and don't sew over both layers of the placket when you sew the folded edge. 

There you have it. A placket. I hope it helps

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Better Late than Never

Good morning everybody!

I've been blog hopping and found awesome pictures of Halloween costumes and trick or treatin'. Yes, we also did have a blast at the parades at AN's and BN's schools and our condo community. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling good myself. Sunday mid night I got up to a bad sore throat and terrible headaches and body ache. I must have the flu. The worst part is, I can’t eat and I can’t swallow, my sore throat is killing me. SN took the kids to trick or treating as I had already started feeling bad after the parade on Sunday.

That is why I couldn’t post the pictures, and I was thinking this morning, should I post the pictures or not. Remember, I made the costumes for AN & BN. I was very proud of it, being this the first time ever I made the costumes myself. Usually we run to Party city the night before Halloween; stay in crazy lines; get a wrong sized costume because I can’t find the right size and give them a $5 off $20 coupon only to find out its not valid for use with costumes!

OK, now, back to pictures.

AN's school parade

AN & BN at home getting ready to trick or treat

BN was very happy as you can see. It's her first time going out trick or treating.

I have to get back to some serious sewing. Oh, not so fast, when I recover from this flu, I will get back to some serious sewing.