Monday, April 28, 2014

Only 3 days Until Me-Made-May!

When I didn't see my list of new patterns in the drawer,
I asked if they were in the box on the counter.
The guy let me raid the box!!!!
I love nice people!!!!!
This weekend I while folding and putting away clothes, I decided to see what I have to make outfits for Me-Made-May. I'm in trouble! I might be wearing only a couple of tops with pants that don't match. I will look like my daughter when I let her choose her clothes when she was in preschool.

This lead me to write out what I have that is appropriate for May. Since I live a rather casual life, I don't need much. Mostly jeans, casual pants, t-shirts...you know, the Mom Uniform.

Of course, Sacramento goes from cool to HOT sometime between May and June. So, I am going to need some transitions. I won't need everything at once, but it really could happen over night.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Trying to Choose a Coverstich Machine

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I want a coverstitch machine. I like to sew knits for my kids, my husband and for myself. A coverstitch would help me to get the professional finish and in less time. But what would Dave Ramsey say?
Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch
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However, a coverstitch is what Alton Brown from the Food Network calls a "uni-tasker." While the coverstitch mostly is used for hemming, it is also used for decorative stitching on seams as well. It also can add binding and elastic.

I already have a serger, but a coverstitch maching is different. Some sergers also have a built in coverstitch, but from what I have read, I don't want to have to change my machine over when I want to switch from serging to coverstitch and back again.

There seems to be a tension release issue on the Brother, but reading on PatternReview.com, there are work

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Modified Vogue 8759

V8759 Front
Vogue 8759-Front
I finally finished Mr. Toad's Easter shirt--a couple day's late, but done. I started with planning how I would match the plaid before I even cut the fabric. I had run into some buttonhole trouble, not the usually kind. I actually had problems with the color of the thread. The blue I used looks really good for the top stitching, but when I finished stitching all of the buttonholes, it was extremely bright and just not okay.

So, I spent a few hours looking for my little embroidery scissors to cut the stitches. This usually works best for me. I am embarrassed to say, that I have spent way too much of my life removing the stitches from buttonholes. I was unable to find the scissors, so I used my new seam ripper. I still prefer my embroidery scissors, which seem to be lost.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunshine & Shine On


Awards are such an honor.  I was nominated for the Sunshine and Shine On Award by The Sewing CPAThis award is meant to help you get to know your fellow bloggers better and network with other bloggers, as well as reveal fun facts about you to help your readers know you better.


Sun Shine and Shine On


Sunshine and Shine On Blogger Award


The Rules -       a) Use the

Fabric Eating Bugg

Our Little Bugg
This week marked the one year anniversary of us finding our loving chihuahua, Bugg. Mr. Toad had texted me that there was a dog laying in the gutter in front of our house. He was on the way to a meeting and had me go out and check on it.

We seem to be the house where lost dogs go until their owner shows up. We have a neighborhood with almost every house having at least one dog. People also walk their dogs in our neighborhood. We have returned many dogs in the neighborhood and have extra crates/kennels to keep them until their owners get home.

Well, when I went out, this skinny, nervous chihuahua would stay about arms length. If I approached, he moved away. If I backed away, he came closer. It wasn't until our miniature dachshund, Ollie, came out to see why I was giving attention to another dog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Anxiously Waiting for Ottobre Design Summer 2014 to Get Here!

Front Cover April 2014After years of indecision, I finally subscribed to Ottobre Design. I subscribed to both the kids and the women's. I now have two editions of the women's and anxiously waiting for the first kid's. It seems a little ironic that I am finally subscribing when my third child is just outgrowing their sizes and that my youngest is entering the largest sizes.

But, hey, better late than never!

It is now mid-April. I have been waiting very patiently. I mean, hey, I've been waiting until the mailman has walked away before pouncing on the mailbox and fumbling through it looking for my Summer 2014 issue. I finally decided to go to the website and found the pictures and the layout. I'm using this to drool over until the actual magazine arrives with more details. In fact, the publish date for subscribers is today. So, the impatient me wants to know where is it! Even though I really don't have time to sew anything from it right now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vogue 8759 & More Matching Plaid

V8759
Vogue 8759
I guess I haven't had enough button down shirts or of matching plaids. Before I begin shorts for the boys, I decided Mr. Toad needs a new shirt for Easter.

I've had 8759 since it came out. It has been cut and ready to go. It even had water spilled on it by a kid who left their water class near my sewing.


I have multiple patterns short sleeve shirts for Mr. Toad, but they have one piece collars. Mr. Toad has a longer neck that looks better with a collar with a separate sew on collar band.


This pattern is designed a little slimmer than some of my older patterns. In fact, it has prince seams in the back, replacing the back pleats. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seersucker Short Sleeve Ethan Shirt


Short Sleeve Ethan Shirt
Another Sis Boom Ethan Button Down

Yes, You heard correctly...Another Ethan Button Down Shirt.

I'm sure you're thinking "another Ethan shirt!" 

And I would have to say, "Yep." 

This is a little different. It has short sleeves. It is a plaid seersucker. I modified the sleeves and made a cut-on front placket and flat-felled seams. 

I did the plaid a little differently than I did the gingham Ethan. Instead of attempting to match this irregular plaid, I contemplated cutting the yoke and pocket on the bias. However, because I started daydreaming, I forgot to put the yoke on the bias. I had already cut the pocket on the bias. Middle Son told me he didn't want a pocket. Yippee! I didn't even mention the option of the bias yoke. He probably wouldn't care anyway.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another LIebster--Let's MIx It Up

Liebster Award badgeI never thought I would receive a Liebster nomination, but here I am with a second. I am very humbled by this, especially when I have seen other blogs who have had this honor.

This nomination was from Sew Much 2 Learn. Sew Much 2 Learn recently had a great series on sewing tools--a must read.

For those unaware of the Liebster award, it is meant to be a way for small blogs to be acknowledged. In many ways, I am surprised that anyone reads the thoughts I type into my laptop while I am sitting on my corner of the couch thinking about my sewing.

Now the rules are:

  1. Thank the

Gingham Ethan Short-Sleeved Finished!

Ethan Shirt Playing
Youngest Son likes to ham it up for the camera.
After much fun matching the lines and checks, Youngest Son now has his black and white gingham short-sleeved Ethan.

If you remember, it started with planning the layout to match up the pattern. Followed by overcoming problems with matching and resewing to make sure that the pattern matched.

It did take me longer than usual. Part of the reason is that I have been recovering from a rheumatoid flare, then some upper respiratory virus that migrated to a lower respiratory thing zapped my energy levels. I'm finally feeling a little better.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

McCall's Newest Patterns-Spring 2014

I only found three patterns that I must have from McCall's new spring line. I'm finding that what else is offered is either not my style or taste or I already have something similar enough.

But of these three I really want them. 

M6960
McCall's 6960
Now look at the loose tank in McCall's 6960. It just says summer to me. I am not a huge fan of the hi-lo, but I don't hate it either. This is definitely on my list for the next

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gingham Ethan Button Down, part 2

The final front placket.
The main differences in a button down shirt. Once you determine the cut--relaxed, slim, regular there are only a few other details. These are the type of collar--with a band or without, the length of sleeve--short or long, the sleeve placket on a long sleeve, and whether the front placket is cut on or sewn on.

The Ethan has a sewn on front placket. This is great when wanting to add detailing or if for plain fabrics. Unfortunately, this time I am working with gingham. If I had thought ahead, I would have extended the center front so that it could have just been turned and sewn. But, I didn't. I could also have cut the front placket on the bias and had them diagonal like I usually do. But, nope. I didn't.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ethan Button Down--Matching Gingham, part 1

tracing half patterns to manilla folder to make full size
Using a manilla folder to make full size pattern pieces.
Make sure to transfer the marks to the new pieces.
Since discovering the Ethan Button Down, I knew it was going to be my go-to pattern for my boys when I need a button down. Since boys don't wear too many different shapes of button downs the way girls or women do, you don't need that many patterns.

Men's and boys clothes are adjusted more with fabric choices and stitching details. Middle Son chose a grey long-sleeve. This time, I am making the Ethan as a short sleeve for Youngest Son. This is supposed to be his Easter shirt and I let him choose the color. He usually wants brighter colors like his safety orange pull-over. However, lately he has been wanting black.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Using Free Patterns to Get Through Sewing Funk

Collette Sorbetto Top
Sorbetto Top
I've been cruising through sewing blogs the last few days because I just am having trouble getting into my projects. Having gained a little and having done some shape shifting, I'm hesitant on starting something that may not fit. Apparently, I'm not alone.

My decision while I am waiting for my weight to decide what it's plan is, I will sew for my boys and some quick things for myself that does not need much fitting.

I sewed the Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark. I have a couple more fabrics that I would like to try. I also have the Sammy Cami from The Sewing Space, the Sorbetto Top from Colette Patterns to try. These are all free downloadable patterns. I like that these are sleeveless and except for the Sorbetto, they are knit.

I might use these to lighten my fabric stash a bit.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gearing Up for Me Made May 2014



It is coming to that time of year that has many sewists think about their wardrobe and if they have enough sewn to make it through a whole month.

The Me Made May challenge is an individual challenge based upon what each participant is comfortable with for him or herself. It is not a competition. Some choose one item each day, week or month. Others go for all outfits for the whole month.

For me, I am going to go for whole Me-Made outfits, except for outerwear and sweaters. I'm hoping this might give me a little incentive to get some shorts, skirts and tops done. A dress or two would be great as well as copying a ready to wear sweater that I have the fabric washed and already for sewing.

So here's my pledge:

I, Annette of Mrs. Toad Sews (http;//mrstoadsews.com), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavor to wear outfits sewn by me or refashioned by me...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sequin Kimono Tee

Maria Denmark Free Kimono Tee
Friday, I needed some instant gratification. After not touching my machines for a week, I needed to sew something--anything. I wanted to go shopping and buy some new shirts, but this ready to wear fast won't let me.

I had been feeling yucky--sore throat, stuffy nose, headache. I had run to Joann's to get some serger thread on sale--4 cones for $5 plus 15% off!

Youngest Son's school was having a their Cafe day, and I had promised I would try to make it. However, I was feeling really bad and left Joann's in a cold sweat. I decided to pick up a sandwich for him at Subway and drop it off, since I told him I would bring him something special.

I had forgotten that this was also the day that they were giving speeches. I arrived toward the end of their scheduled time, so they had him do his speech since I was there. His speech was a persuasive argument to have more

Friday, April 4, 2014

Comox Men's Trunks Sew-Along

I love a good sew-along. 

I love to sew for Mr. Toad.

I love a quick sew.

I have found a way to combine all three!


Jedediah pants
Thread Theory is having a sew-along for their newest pattern the Comox Trunk! I am just now getting to add this to my Patterns for Men page, even though it has been out for a few weeks. 

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to get this pattern. But with the download only $7.50 and with it on sale for 30% off (until Midnight 4/4/2014), I just had to try these out. Plus, they are having a sew-along. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pattern Magic 2 & A Big Thank You to Graca!

I received the Pattern Magic 2 book from Graca's blogiversary drawing on her blog, Sew Essentially Sew, on Monday. 

I want to give a huge Thank You to Graca. I love this book!

I may actually need to get the 1st and the one for knits.

While I really love it, it is not an open-the-book-and-make-something book. It is an idea book. 

Everything in it is a mock up in muslin. They are pinned onto a dress form or made half size for this very non-Barbie looking doll. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sew Grateful in April! What sounds are you grateful for?

Padme
Today is April 2 and is the second day of Grateful in April. Today's focus in being grateful for the sounds around us. I know that sounds make a difference in how I feel and that some noises just make me nuts.

Having a houseful of kids, mine and the ones mine drag over and three yappy dogs is a bit noisy.

In fact, with the kids at school, and the TV off, no music on (at the moment) I was thinking of the sounds of my house. The dishwasher (it is supposed to be a quiet one) is swooshing around, the dryer is tumbling and buzzing, the washing machine (on cold because the dishwasher is running) is doing its wind down tumbling. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is it really April? & My March in Review

It is hard to believe it is April and I have finished 3 months of blogging? I actually set up my blog on Christmas morning. It sounds horrible, but everyone was playing with their gifts. I had been wanting to set it up, and it was the first quiet time in months. I really consider January as my first real month.

Oh, well. This is supposed to be about looking back at March and forward to April.

Here were my goals for March,


  1. 6-8 Neckerchiefs for scout troop (before March 4)--Done!
  2. Badge sash for 2-3 boys in scout troop (before March 4)--because of the difficulty getting the correct fabric in the correct color, I spent more time driving to get the sashes than it would have taken to make 8-9 for the price of one.
  3. Miss Bossy Patterns Challenge--Simplicity 1696 Amazing Fit Jeans--Done!
  4. Pattern Review Fitted Blouse Challenge--decided to wait because I don't need it
  5. Finish the Safari Jacket--currently sitting on my coffee table taunting me and my sore hands
  6. Make Youngest Son a safety orange fleece hoody--Done!
  7. Make Youngest Son his own