Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer play-shirt using McCalls 6548

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Before I left for Afghanistan, I madly sewed trying to get some things done for the kids to wear this summer.  One of the items I sewed was a shirt meant just for playing.

I used view B McCalls pattern M6548 which was a quick and easy sew.  And since this was meant to be just a summer play shirt, I used an old Busch Gardens adult sized t-shirt and some scrap knit for the fabric.
I have been trying to use my larger scrap pieces.  I cannot bring myself to throw them away, but they are really too small for even something for my 3 year old.  But, I had enough of this blue for sleeves … barely!
I simply placed the pattern such that I could get most of the monsters centered on the front and then cut the back.  There was a bit of controversy over me cutting this shirt.  My eldest child had been using it as a sleep shirt and thought I did not have a right to cut it up.  But it was too short for her to wear around anyway and some things just need to be handed down.

Eli loved it.  And I hope he is enjoying wearing it and thinking of me as he enjoys the Alaska summer while I am deployed.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The little things

Pin It I have been in Afghanistan now for over a month and have found a rhythm in my daily life. I am in a location that is not austere, so life is not too hard. But it is greatly simplified compared to home. 

My husband saw some pictures posted on FB of our living spaces and sent me a couple things to make me more comfortable. 

He thought the shelf in the shower looked too tall so he sent me a command hook shower caddy. I am not THAT short but the thought was very sweet. 

He also sent me a robe and another hook for my robe. 

The other ladies also appreciate the improvements. After all, it is the little things that can make life easier. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Smelling the roses

Pin It Near my work there is a rose garden.  Not only are they beautiful to look at, the smells are delicious as you walk through. And just trust me, this place does not often smell good.

Often on my way into work I take a detour and walk through. Sometimes I even have time to take a seat and enjoy my coffee. 

I have been told, though I cannot vouch for the historic accuracy, that this space was built by the Russians. As the story goes during the Russian occupation in the 1980s, a Russian General needed a space to think. So his soldiers made this garden.

And now decades later, it is a pleasant area for me to sit and think. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

A new direction

Pin It I have not been blogging a lot lately because I have been a bit distracted and busy.  I have just recently deployed to Afganhistan for several months.  So, instead of blogging, I used my free time getting ready or simply soaking up time with my family. 

I do have some projects waiting to be blogged but I thought I would also post little notes about my life here.  So, Without Directions will go in a new direction for a few months. 

The pictures are from when my family dropped me off and said goodbye.  I made the outfits with seahorses because my unit patch has a seahorse on it.  I was attempting to create some family unity as I left.  

I sure do miss them all but I am excited to be a part of some good work here.

I will keep you all posted on how it is going.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Knight Hoodie: a must sew

Pin It One day I was brousing my favorite sewing blogs and I saw this:

And immediately said, "I must make it!"

It is the knight hoodie by Charming Doodle.  And this pattern is awesome.  It is so easy to follow and so fun to sew.

I made one for my son and posted it on my personal facebook account to show my friends and family.  (I actually rarely show any of my sewing on my personal FB account, my sharing is pretty exclusive to Without Directions or Sew Cool for the Tween Scene.) And quickly there after my cousin requested to have a couple for her boys.

They thought they were ninja knights!

The pattern is so much fun so I made her boys some right away and shipped them off.

The only adjustment I made on this pattern was on hoodies #2 and #3 I added a lining.  I found that just turning over the hem was a pain but using a lining made it simple and made the inside really nice.

Charming Doodle
For the lining I cut off the mohawk piece.
Oh, and I did not use buttons as embellishments.  JoAnn's has prong backed studs that you can attach to fabric that I thought were perfect.  I used pewter colored ones with my son's grey material and bronze ones for the cousin's black hoodies.
Charming Doodle

The pattern comes in sizes 2T to 10.  And, according the the Charming Doodle web page, there are tween and adult sizes in the works.  Maybe my husband and I will need matching ones some day.

Charming Doodle
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Monday, April 21, 2014

burda wrap dress revisited

Pin It  This winter I made a burdastyle wrap dress that I love every time I where it.  (blogged here)  And I was convinced I needed another one in different fabric that I could love equally.

So, for Easter, I used that wrap dress pattern to make this beauty.  The fabric is a cotton eyelet with a navy blue silk lining.  My last one was made of cotton sateen and a cotton lining and it had a lot more body than this version.  I absolutely love the soft drape of this version and the silk feels wonderful against my skin.  I think I may be spoiled from ever using anything but silk for a lining again.

I skipped the zipers on the sleeves.  They have proven to be completely unnecessary so I just continued the dart out to the hem.  The big change I made is that I slimmed up the back.  I actually just cut it down one size and then only added seam allowances to the shoulders.  This worked great for me though it may not be the preferred method of alterations.

 What pattern do you sew over again with virtually no changes ... just new fabric?

If you are interested in hearing more from us, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hawaiian dress shirt

Pin It  Spring has certainly arrived here in Anchorage, Alaska.  During the day we reach temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s so the snow that built up all winter long is slowly disappearing.  But at night, it gets down to the teens, so I would not call it warm quite yet.  From what people tell me, this has been a mild winter and spring has arrived a bit early.  I think the lower 48 sucked up the cold snowy weather that belongs up here.  But what do I know?  It is just my first year here and I spent most of the winter down in Georgia.

On Saturday, we enjoyed the Spring weather by going to the Eagle River nature center to hear a class on local woodpeckers and then went on a walk to enjoy the park and see some actual woodpeckers and the holes they have created in trees along the path.  It was a gorgeous clear day, but the trail was a bit treacherous with lots of ice caused by the snow melting and then refreezing into a slick sheet covering the path.

Also this weekend I have been spending my time finishing up the kids' Easter outfits.  Eli's was especially fun because he picked out a wild Hawaiian print fabric.  I guess the long winter has go to him and he wants to dream of a warmer climate. 

I used the same burdastyle boy's dress shirt pattern shown HERE and HERE but this time I had to make it two sizes bigger.  He has been shooting up this winter and those flannel versions are getting quite short on him.

Because Spring is still quite chilly and Summer could be a long ways off, I kept it a long sleeve shirt.
And I am getting better with the cuffs and am quite proud of how expertly I have sewn this one.  But it is my 4th time using this pattern so I really should be getting good at it.

I have written an official review of it over at Sew Cool for the Tween Scene because it does come in sizes for older boys.  If you would like to read about the details of the pattern, head over THERE.

If you are interested in hearing more from us, there are a couple ways for you to keep in touch!

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