nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘pink’

Karavan Kloset – part 1

I just received a bunch of these beautiful, soft cotton knits called “Karavan” by Valori Wells. Now that it’s arrived I’m regretting the prints that I didn’t order and might get them sent along too. What I think I’m going to end up with is several different pieces of clothing all co-ordinating in each colorway. This is the first piece.

This is the first print, the colors are listed as “fuchsia, pink, silver, gold and tobacco”. I ended up running out to the store to get some FOE in some appropriate shades… I ended up with brown, olive, turquoise, and a dusty rose – here I used olive.

The entire process took about 2h. I basically started with a large rectangular piece of fabric, sewed a seam to make it a tube, and then freehand-cut the shape for the top. Next time I would make it scoop more under the arms, but come back up in the back. Add the perfect colored FOE and you’re done!

Sewing Buddy 2012 Challenge #1

Whipstitch has this wonderful thing every year called the “Sewing Buddy Project” where you’re (seemingly randomly) matched with another participant and they’re your “buddy” for the year. Somehow I’ve gotten matched with a buddy from Georgia for 2 years in a row!

This year there are going to be challenges for buddies to complete jointly – the first one ended today.***ETA: it looks like it’s been extended until Monday!*** The challenge #1 was to create 2 projects, one a “boy” version and one a “girl” version. Since children’s clothing is pretty much out the window for me, we had to come up with something else that could be portrayed in a “girl” and “boy” fashion, but that was still obviously connected.

We decided on a self-contained picnic blanket in the greenhouse apple chevron print. I did mine in flannel and laminate – she chose to go with cotton instead of flannel for the heat factor! I love that these designers are producing on so many different types of fabric, it really allows you to be some much more flexible with what you can create!

So anyways (I finished it at close to midnight last night so I couldn’t take it outside for pics, but it’s been raining here anyways.) I chose 4 solid flannels to co-ordinate with my apples. She provided the pattern (which I managed to screw up anyways) and I came up with a block scheme for the pocket.. well, 2 schemes. I couldn’t decide on just one.

I decided that since both sides of the pocket show, that I’d do one on the inside and one on the outside.

What do you think? Does it look like the sketches at all? You might notice that the middle row is on top and the top row is in the middle. And please don’t look at the puckers where the designer flannel didn’t stretch and the cheaper solids did stretch. Just gaze in awe that in the first try at assembling it, it all ended up fitting inside the pocket!

But what they say about quilting is true… you really have to love the fabric that you’re working with. And at the end of it I still love all of the fabrics!

minky moo moo

I saw this new minky fabric and I fell in love… shortly afterwards I had 2 new blankets on my chair.  What can I say? I can’t resist a good minky!

And wouldn’t you know?  This week it’s 20% off on fabric.com…  why does that always happen to me?

Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?  Besides possibly this:

christmas ninja part 3: the scoody

When ninjas find something that they like, they do it a lot. Inspired by the Scoodie I drafted something that looked more like a hood from a snowsuit.

The process is easy: Make inner, make outer, sew right sides together matching seams as closely as possible, turn and top stitch!  Those orange ‘W’ looking things were my attempt at a visual break… the scarf pieces are quite long. After I cut the left and right hood pieces out, I used the rest of the width for the scarf parts.

The great thing is that they’re reversible – if you don’t feel like cute owls today, you can turn the pylon orange side out – also good if you’re lost in a blizzard.

It’s also upside-downable – if the scarf ends are pointing down you have more face-room, for chinooks, but if the scarf ends are pointing forwards you have more face coverage, for sub-arctic days.

So here are some fine specimens, thank you to Tigger for modeling.

the “death-grip on summer sundress”

I don’t know what summer looks like where you are, but we’ve had the best summer here that we’ve seen in SEVERAL years. While it’s entirely possible to get snow any month of the year here, “summer” is usually a term reserved exclusively for July and August. Out of those 60 days, there’s usually a thunderstorm every afternoon/evening, and we get less than a week of +30C (86F). The last few years it’s been hard to find nice weather in the summer, but this year Mother Nature seems to be coming out of her funk and I’ve taken full advantage by making a sundress.


This is my first time shirring a top and I just LOVED it! My husband just kept saying over and over, “it fits you so well!”

It’s definitely a “maxi dress”, it pretty much goes to the ground. I hemmed absolutely NOTHING on it, and the bottom is rolling up slightly to cover the raw edge anyways. It’s a light knit, it feels like a t-shirt, with tiny little hot pink stars. I like just cutting giant squares, so each piece uses the entire width of the fabric. The top is a 12 inch piece, the bottom is 2 3 foot pieces, and the straps are many many 1-1/2 inch pieces.

For each strap I used 6 strips. First I took 2 strips, looped them around a table leg, and started twisting. After doing that with three pairs, I braided them together and tied a knot at the end. After it was all secure, I cut the other ends off of the table leg and knotted them. I sewed both ends to the dress and then after it was secure, chopped off the knot on the back (who wants a knot in their back?).

While I was attaching the second strap, I looped it around the first strap. Not only does it make it pretty and more interesting than boring old straps, it keeps them from falling down! (I know, genius huh?)

the giant sun hat

A few weeks ago I was on some heavy medication for a busted tailbone (just ask me how much fun THAT is) and I was off work because I couldn’t sit on it.  We don’t get a whole lot of nice warm weather here in Calgary and the the entire weekend ended up being up around 30C (about 85F… hey, stop laughing, that’s as nice as it every gets here!) so I went outside… for about 8 hours.  In my medicated haze I decided that the baseball cap that I was wearing would cover my face.  I used SPF 70 2 or 3 times that day on my arms and they only burned slightly. The hat covered my forehead in a semi-circle down to my eyes so it’s bright white, and I very badly burned the rest of my face.  When I came back to work, people asked me if it was a chemical burn.  It ended up peeling about 3 times, 4 in some places.  One day my husband came home and I was crying and when he asked me why I told him that my face just hurt so much.

So to avoid EVAR burning like that again (and because I had the pattern already and it was just so cute!) I tried my hand at Amy Butler’s “Blue Sky Hats”. We had a corporate sports day coming up, and even though I couldn’t run around with a broken tail, I was a scorekeeper so I’d be sitting outside in the sun all day long.

First, when I sat down to look at the fabric suggestions I was very surprised. The pattern says that you can use quilt weight OR home dec weight cotton. The brim is the same print top and bottom, but you can line the hat in something else. The hat is then reinforced with heavy interfacing or canvas. If you use in both cases the cap part of the hat uses 1 layer of interfacing, but with quilt weight cotton the brim uses 3(!!!) layers of interfacing!

I used some of Patty Young’s Flora & Fauna, the black one with the polka dots and the bright pink flowers, and I had enough to line it in the same thing. There are essentially 2 pattern pieces – the brim piece and the cap piece. The brim piece is the entire brim, the cap piece is 1/6th of the cap. In the end I ended up cutting from the quilt weight 12 cap pieces and 2 brim pieces, and from the canvas 6 cap pieces and 3 brim pieces. It just seemed like a whole lot of fabric for a single hat!.

The instructions for the most part were very concise but clear, except that the quilt-weight version seemed to be an after-thought to the pattern instructions. There is a step that indicates that if you’re using home dec fabric, baste the single interfacing layer to the exterior brim, but if you’re using quilt weight attach interfacing to the exterior and interior layers… and this is the last time it’s mentioned. stay-stitching is used on the brim, and then you cut notches in the curved seam, but it’s not clear what’s going on with this basted line. I found myself having to read the instructions out-loud to myself somewhere in the middle to figure out which pieces were supposed to go where in what order.

In the end, it’s a really sturdy, REALLY well built hat. There is a whole lot of fabric involved, but it doesn’t seem bulky or overdone. I’m trying to figure out the SPF factor of 5 layers of fabric, but my face was very safe all day long. The brim ended up stiff enough that it stands up on its own, but soft enough that you can, for instance, lay down on the ground on your front to score-keep for a game of ultimate frisbee with a broken tail and not have the brim jab into your back. It could easy be folded up to take with you to the beach, but isn’t too floppy to be able to see out from under.

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?

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