Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quilt progress

I took a bad picture of my blocks laid out. The patterns are so busy if it weren't blurry it would burn your corneas.

I love how it is shaping up! I want to do two squirrel silhouettes to applique above and below the paw print. We enjoy chasing squirrels around here. That's all I have to say about that.

Check out my assistant gazing at the quilt in all its glory after stomping through it like Godzilla through a tiny fishing village. It's funny, but I think she likes it and knows it is hers.

Gratuitous sweet girl face shot.

Here is Godzilla in action tearing through my layout. Everyone is a critic!

I love how her name and the paw print turned out. I learned how to do this with my embroidery machine with Jenny the other day. Thanks Jenny!

I still have the squirrels to do, giant ric rac to apply and quilting and binding. I am torn on how to bind it. The traditional binding and hand stitching looks best, but I worry her collar may pick up the stitches and get tangled. I may wind up doing a cheat binding. Not out of haste, but out of love.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve everyone.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fabric meltdown

No, an actual fabric meltdown. I made another version of Butterick 4461 that turned out spectacular. I made it in a smaller size and a bit longer to mimic a skirt I wear all summer long. It is perfect, and you will see a post on it very soon. I was so moved by the perfection of the skirt, I saw some Ikat patterned silky stuff at Joann's for $1.50 a yard and went for it.

Pretty right? I made this entire skirt during the course of two streamed episodes of Angel on Netflix.

See the drape of the fabric? It really does feel nice. I got the fabric washed, pressed, sewn, zipper in and hemmed. I then went for a final press over the hem to set the stitches and....

What the heck!?! The iron burned through the fabric! I hadn't changed the setting at all, and had been pressing along every step! Grrrr.

See that zipper in there? It even looked good! Is that what they mean about use a pressing cloth? Grumble, grumble... Oh well, at least I only spent $2.25 for the skirt. And it was really quick which was good. We'll call it zipper practice.

I'm off to buy some iron cleaner (grumble, grumble), and I will get back to my dog quilt. How cute is that block?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lady pants for everyone!

I made a couple of pairs of pajama pants for Christmas. One for me, and one for the Mister. I used McCall 5248. That's right, we're both wearing the lady pants!

In case you didn't catch it, Joann's had flannel for $1.49 or something like that for Black Friday. I bought two yards for myself, and two yards for Mr. Thinks He Can. Neither of us have rear ends, so while I was a little short on fabric, I managed to eek it out.

On mine, I have no rear and am short waisted. I took out an inch in the crotch and an inch in the rear and they fit near perfect. I also took out an inch in the length. As you can see by my weird stretch move, they fit quite nicely.

Check out the cute owl print flannel. The white print reads "Hoot" up and down the pants. Love it!

My assistant dubs them cuddle approved!

Then I had the Mister try them on. I don't know how to say this, but you can read between the lines. You should not put a man in lady pants and cut his crotch depth any. It was vulgar. Like Bruno. So, I added the depth back to the crotch and back. I did take an extra inch out of the length though. Lucky for me I am four inches shorter and my inseam is an inch longer. What's up with that?

The fit turned out pretty darn good. He says they are very comfortable and is actually wearing them. That is unexpected!

He got the cute frog print.

For both pairs I skipped the drawstring. I serged around the raw edge at the top and folded it down and sewed it into place and ran some elastic through. When I make these again, and I will because they are quick and easy, I will add pockets and a fly for the Mister. That is the only thing he is suspicious of. An evil genius I am!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lined tote bag tutorial

I've been sitting in this one because I gave it as a Christmas present, but remember the tote bag I made for my Secret Santa?

I finally put together a tutorial for that.

You need:
1/2 yard of lining material
1/2 yard of outer material
8 inches of strap fabric cut into 4 inch strips.

Cut your half yards of fabric along the fold so you have two pieces of each fabric the same size.

Sew the outer fabric together right sides together on three sides leaving what you would like to be the top open. Repeat with the lining fabric. I used a 5/8 inch seam, but it doesn't matter from what I can tell.

Take your outer fabric and on the bottom corners you will line up the bottom and side seam while pulling out the fabric along the new fold to form a V coming from the corner where the bottom and the side meet.

I measured 2 inches from the stitched corner and made a mark.

Draw (or eyeball) a straight line and follow it with a straight stitch. I reverse at the start and end of this stitch to reinforce it.

Cut off the excess material and your new bag bottom will look like the one above. Repeat on the bottom corners of the lining material as well.

Now for the straps. Iron your 4 inch strip in half with right sides facing out.

Unfold your strap.

Now, fold and press both sides in to meet that seem you just made down the middle.

Now fold that piece in half and press. (See, you made giant bias tape.)

Sew a straight stitch down the open side of the strap. I sew one up the other side as well because I like the way it looks.

See, this is what you wind up with. Repeat it with the other strip, so you have two straps. You may want to trim some off each end to adjust the strap to the length you like.

Now, place the lining and out fabric right sides together with the straps sandwiched between the two. Make sure they line up on both sides. Sew along the top and leave about a four inch opening.

Pull the fabrics and handles out that opening you left in the top. (It doesn't have to be left in the top, but it was easiest for me.)

This is what you should be seeing. The right sides of your fabrics and the handles.

Push your lining down into the bag, so the handles are at the top, making it resemble an almost completed bag.

I like to press the top seam here to make it look crisp as well as ensure I catch the opening I leave when I top stitch.

I used a decorative top stitch all around the top of the bag. This closes the opening and helps reinforce the handles.

Your bag is done, washable and reversible!

Nice work.

The bottom is so fancy and the bag holds more because of the stitches you made along the bottom corners. Please share a picture if you make one of your own!

Just for kicks, how cute is this sewing apron Holly made me for Christmas? Love it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yummy charcoal Clovers

Greetings from Santa's Sweatshop! Whew! I feel like all I have done for a few days is sew my fingers off to get everything done. It has all turned out well though.

I finally had an opportunity to take a picture of my second pair of Clover pants in the day light. I made these a few days ago and just got too busy to take pictures.

Never mind my weird face. I made this from a charcoal sateen I ordered from Mood. It seems a bit thicker and better quality than the fabric from Joann's I used last time.

My red pair tends to stretch out during the course of the day, so I made my seam allowance a quarter of an inch thicker than last time. It make for a closer fit, so hopefully over the day they won't get too baggy.

Haha! Made you look again. And again, it is a great fit on my rear. Yay!

My assistant is such a picture hog. I had to get a shot of her on the blog or have hell to pay.

You can see a little bit of a bump at the bottom of my invisible zipper. I still haven't got that down, but this pair went smoother than the last pair. I left the length alone and finished the inside with white lace tape this time. I love the lacy insides.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dog quilt update

OK, the fabric for the quilt came in, and I need someone to share my joy with. The Mister is not as excited by the dog's quilt as one would think.

Look! It just came in the mail and she promptly wagged her tail and sat her rear end on it. To my assistant, that is the ultimate honor you can grant an item or human. Yay!

This is my palette so far. I am using the Outfoxed line of fat quarters because she looks like the silhouette of the fox, and those hedgehogs are cute. Plus, her colors are in the autumn palette, and match her fur perfectly. That larger fabric there is David Walker Get Together Squirrels in Sorbet. Me and her have mad love for hunting squirrels together. I love it!

This is the pattern I am going to use. The large strip with the birds will actually be the squirrel material. You guessed it, instead of birds I'm going to attempt to make squirrels or stick with the squirrel/dog theme.

This is the book the pattern came out of. Mr. Thinks He Can got Simple Choices for me at the International Quilt Festival. I totally recommend it so far. I will update on the progress of the quilt though. I need 3 more coordinating FQs...what to do!

If you are interested, Simple Choices is 20% off here for the duration of December. It's worth a look!

School House Tunic and embroidery advances

I know, I've been awfully quiet. Trust me, I've been working hard. I have a pair of Clovers in grey, pajama pants and half a Peony to show you, but I just can't catch the light to take any good pictures. Soon though. I do have a blast from the past to share. My first project I did on my own was the Sew Liberated Tunic. It was easy and went together well, but when it was done, I no longer cared for the print. I just came across it the other day - unhemmed, and finished it up.

I don't know if you did this when you first started sewing, but I would go into the fabric store, head for the quilting cotton, and grab the cutest thing I could find. Turns out being a grown up wearing a super cute print can be kind of weird. I'm more edited now, but I did enjoy wearing this yesterday.

See, it's not that bad.... let's take a look at the guts!

Look a Monet! Not bad from far away, but not great up close.

Apparently I finished the edges of the shoulder by... well, I guess I didn't at all, and now it is a frayed up mess!

None of the inside seams were finished actually.

The sleeves were turned up once and hemmed. Ouch! I think that was my first sleeve, and not my best effort. It is surprisingly cute from the outside considering what a mess the inside is.

Yesterday I also got to hang out with the most awesome seamstress and sewing know it all I know, Jenny! It was fun to hang out and talk blogs, hers is great, and sew. I took over my embroidery machine, and she taught me a lot about what I can do. I had no idea how awesome it is!

So I made Holly a super cute mug for Christmas. I had no idea my machine could do such cool stuff.

I made a couple of coasters that Jenny has a tutorial for. You should check it out.

I also made a quilt block for my assistant. She loves my Crazy Quilt so much, I had to make her her own.

Yeah, I'm that kind of dog owner. What I wouldn't do for my little mutt dog.

That is some close up quilt lovin' going on there. This is how she takes care of me when I am sick or hurt, she lays on top of my and passes out. Now why didn't I think of that?

Oh, and I don't know if you saw but the new McCall's are out.


How cute is 6503? I love all the versions! Check out the new patterns. There are a few good ones.