nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘minky’

minky… all the better to clip you with!

I had a request from the person that received these to do some more for a baby shower. The only instructions given were that the colors were green and brown, they didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, and she liked the damask patterned one. Not a whole lot, but more than enough to get creative.

So I started searching around my stash for green and brown, everything green and brown i could find in any fabric, even if they didn’t go together or weren’t the same shades, even if it was just a scrap. I came up with about a dozen fabrics and carted them all to my sewing table (aka, “the kitchen table that hasn’t seen food in probably close to 2 years now”). I started laying them out, moving them around, pulling some, putting some other ones in, just visual brainstorming. I had the wonderful thought to make one side minky because I had some stringy minky scraps from cutting around blankets and bibs, and I hardly ever throw a scrap away. So here’s what I came up with:

Not too girly, not to boy-y (yes, it’s a word now), and hopefully sorta co-ordinate-y (again, now a word).

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the night-owl nightie

When Ann Kelle released the owl and whale prints of Urban Zoology, I loved them. When they were released in “minky cuddle”, I adored them – I made tons of beautiful, warm and fuzzy blankets for myself and the people that I love the most. When I saw that they’d been released in “silky satin”, I swooned.

I thought it would be perfect for pyjamas! So soft… so very very… soft… ahem! The material is a little tricky to work with – I thought it would be more slippery than it actually is – it’s actually not too bad, it slides in one direction but not the other so it’s pretty easy to keep together. The toughest thing about it is how fast it unravels. You practically have to finish every edge before you start assembling everything otherwise by the time you get to the end it’s just a huge mass of… ravels? Is “ravel” a noun?

Anyways, the dress itself is quite long with an gathered skirt attached at an empire waist. I used folded-over-elastic (FOE) around the top and as straps – I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I can’t use FOE. I use a straight stitch and it stretches it out. I use a stretch stitch, it stretches it out. I use a zigzag stitch and it STRETCHES IT OUT! Does anyone have any idea what I’m doing wrong here? FOE always stretches out for me – you’re supposed to stretch it while you’re sewing, then when you’re finished it should pull the garment into a gather… mine just stays stretched out.

So to combat my completely lack-luster FOE, I shirred the entire back of the top (in the pic I haven’t trimmed the threads back yet. The fit is way better. I love the way that the shirring looks on the “silky satin”, I think I’m going to do that on purpose for something!  I’m also going to shorten the straps, but for now I just tied them up.

encouraging girls in science and technology

This project is being linked up over at honeybearlane.

As you might have noticed, I’m a Software Engineer. And you might have also noticed, there are not a whole lot of women in software – there aren’t a whole lot of women in any kind of engineering – there aren’t even a whole lot of women in science and technology.

It’s always been a big initiative of mine to encourage women – especially girls who have an interest in science – to consider a career in engineering. I think that many times women can offer a change in perspective to a problem and a change of dynamics to a team. I always encourage my employers to try to find talented women to hire, partly because it can be very lonely (I’m the only full-time female software developer in my entire company!) but also because I find that if a women is in a technical field, chances are that they are very good at what they do otherwise they would have been discouraged a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met my fair share of people of the male-persuasion that told me that a) girls don’t program and b) they don’t want to be beat out by a girl (Seriously? Are you sure we’re really in the 21st century?) but I believed in myself enough and had enough positive female role-models to keep me going over the years.

In trying to give back to the WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) I’ve mentored students, supervised LEGO building events and workshops, I even wrote a proposal to get Imperial Oil to fund a grad student going into grade schools once a week for the entire school year to help with building an entry for the LEGO category of the annual Robot Games in my city – and I’m on the committee that organizes the games every year. I read an article a while back (I wish I could find it!) that said that you shouldn’t be just putting girls into science and technology (just hiring them for the sake of hiring a girl) because that is actually counter-productive, but you should make special efforts to encourage girls that are good in science and technology to stay.

So with that in mind, take a look at my latest project!

We had two female interns at our company this year and I really enjoyed having a little more estrogen in the office for 16 months. Just so they don’t forget about us when they’re back at school for their final year, I made these super-soft, super-squishy pillows for them! “CDL” is the name of our company and our software is used in some military applications, so I’ve appliqued on a very feminine pink minky camo with a flowery brown minky fabric. Do you recognize that blanket? Yes, it’s the beast that broke Pfelicia! BTW, I performed surgery on Pfelicia, more on that later…

There is a pink zipper set into the bottom of each pillow – they’re actually just pillow covers! As usual I got my zippers from Zip-it! for really really cheap in an assorted pack, so when I need one, I just pull them all out and find one that matches!

The pillow inside is completely removable so you can wash the cover. The inner pillow is made from muslin (super fast and easy!!!) and stuffed with fiberfill.

This was my first try using a zig-zag stitch to cover the edges of an applique, and I think it worked especially well here because of the texture of the two fabrics. What do you think?

Are you a female in the fields of science or engineering?
Have you ever been discriminated against because of your gender?
How do you support young people interested in your field of work or study?

more monkeys!

I was going to name this post, “monkey see, monkey do”, but then I figured out that I had already used that name! So I failed to come up with anything witty for this title, but I’ll be sure to put more thought into it for the next monkey post… because you know that there will be more! I’m actually writing this on Wednesday May 18th, but I’ve scheduled it to appear AFTER the long weekend. AFTER the surprise birthday party for my MIL. I don’t think she’s ever read my blog, but I don’t want her to stumble upon it and ruin the surprise, and I’m really terrible at writing about things after the excitement has worn off, so I figure this is the best of both worlds!

ANYWAYS, besides the birthday party being a surprise, my husband also got me to make her a blanket:

and this is where the monkeys come in! It’s about 60″x72″, the front is a minky pink with monkeys all over, and the back is a chocolate shag. It’s such a beautiful color of brown that I ordered enough for 3 blankets, one yet unfinished, the other one I test-drove last night and am proud to announce that it is of the high ninja-quality that you’ve come to expect.

I find one of the most feminine things in the world to be pink camo. Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard, but I think it’s delightfully delicate, while still being powerful and tough. So here is “chocolate camo”:

This one is also about 60″x72″, and I have another yard of the camo, for which I have other plans already. I’ve learned a whole lot about sewing with minky and especially working with shag, but I’ll save that for another day.

tear… :'(

You would not believe what happened last night:

That big brown furry beast is the minky shag that I was trying to sew.  That white part sitting on top of it is the automatically needle threader that BROKE OFF ARM AND ALL!  I don’t know what happened, I was sewing along and stopped to clean some fluff out of around the needle post, and then in the next step, *SNAP*. I would try gluing back together, but it broke into 3 pieces and I can’t find the other piece.  I looked online and you can get replacement metal pieces, but I think I’m slightly hooped now.  I use it SO MUCH that I was considering phoning the sewing machine place and asking how much it would be to get it fixed.

And I only cried a little!

lime is the new black

After the owls & chocolate minky blanket I made as a housewarming gift for my friend, her brother came to live with her and he decided that he wanted one too. Now pink and brown is kinda girly, so I chose the whales in the carnival colorway with a lime green dimple dot, and I quite liked the punch that the green gave!

So there I am, thinking how much I like that green color, and how the store where I bought it at tried to get more in and can’t, and I saw a gorgeous lime green minky shag.  This is at the same time that I got my husband’s black shag for his man cave blanket, and he started telling me every day how amazing the minky shag is and how I need my OWN minky shag blanket. So I made one!

And I LOVE it!  This one, like the other shag, is about 72″x60″ making it the perfect size to curl up underneath and snuggle up to! And the green makes me forget that just last week, our house looked like this:


And there’s likely going to be more before summer is officially here.

the man cave

My husband has decided that he likes watching tv in the basement.  He bought a beautiful new leather chair, a very soft new chunk of carpet, and a bluray player that connects via wifi to netflix.  I started calling it his “man cave”.  But it’s very cold in the man cave (aka, unfinished basement) and I could tell that he needed a blanket… but it had to be one manly enough for the man cave:

black argyle is pretty manly

A minky black and white argyle from shannon fabrics was just the ticket. I paired that with a black minky shag and ended up with a blanket that was superbly soft and very warm! It measures about 72″x60″, so there’s more than enough room to tuck it around the toes and even pull it up to the nose, yet feels like some sort of wild animal on the back… very manly. I even managed an action shot! Very rare…

a man in his natural environment

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