Monday, January 28, 2008
Oh, I love that Panda Cord. Feels like butter; sews like a dream; washes and dries beautifully. It's light-weight, perfect for spring clothes. And it doesn't shed the way cotton cord does. What's not to love?!
Plus I love this little Ottobre pattern (1-2008-2), "Susette" sash pants. DH thinks my result is weird, but since when is he the baby-fashion-police? We'll see what my DD thinks and what DGD thinks.
These pants were pretty easy to put together. The directions were helpful, but of course, Ottobre never gets carried away with directions, especially for something straightforward like this. I made the lower part of the pants first, using 1/2" elastic in the pant hems. I made belt loops out of 1.5" strips of fabric. I just folded them length-wise toward the center, then folded again to hide the raw edges. Then I top-stitched it - blended right in with the cord. I made the yoke and attached to the slightly gathered lower part of the pants, sandwiching one end of each belt loop into the seam. I top-stitched to upper end of each loop to the yoke. Lastly I inserted the waistband elastic in a channel, rather than directly on the fabric, as suggested by Ottobre.
That's the only thing I'm too wild about. I used the elastic I had on hand. It was left over from a bra project and I'm thinking it was meant to be the shoulder strap. As a waist band, it's no good - rolls and folds - yuck. So I need to run to the big box fabric shop and buy something better for baby pants.
The sash is made from two cotton fabrics - aqua heart fabric and striped cotton. I think this will be the perfect birthday outfit for DGD since her birthday is St. Patrick's day. Now she needs that little "Maya" blouse to go with the pants. I plan to use one of the two fabrics on the sash.
Actually this is one of the best issues of Ottobre yet for girly stuff. I'm looking forward to making several things from this issue for my 2 DGD's. DH has refined his critique since I started this blog - says he's just not too fond of that pattern. I still love it.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Well I am working on just that. Our newest charm pack is from the Valentine line, Flirtations by Moda. Beautiful browns, reds and pinks. lot of hearts and swirls. Ideas anyone?
My first idea, after chatting with a friend, is to make little rag bags and heart shaped pillows or pin cushions. Pretty easy. I just cut some 4 inch squares of left over batting (1.5 inches for the side pieces) and went to town. Took me a try or two to figure out the easiest method to put the sides onto the front and back, but I like the way they looked after I washed them. I have only put a handle on one. I sewed 2 buttons back to back on both sides and beaded (actually my 6 year old beaded) some wire for the handle. In the picture I have some wonderful valentines I ordered from Accoutrement, love the vintage silliness.
The next idea is not quite finished. A few years ago my students and I made heart pillows for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to make things scrappier and use hour glass units instead on the simpler original design. A bit overkill, but I finished the block, now I am not sure if I want to make a pillow or a tote bag. More Later.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This was no easy task and my sewing room was not released until right before the new year. I moved fabric and shelves and cleaned and did all the things I hate to do. Organize.
BUT as a reward my design wall was unearthed, my cutting table cleaned and my ironing board clear enough to iron on.
On to my first quilt of the new year. I LOVE Terry Atkinson -- famed designer of the "Yellow Brick Road " pattern. Her new book is called "Happy Hour" and man was I happy to get started on one of her fab projects. I received a fat quarter bundle from Benartex as a promo for purchasing their entire Woodstock Challenge line for the store. I love the hippy retro paisley - dot combo and the colors are DIVINE! I was hoarding the fat quarter pack as my reward for getting my sewing space back. It was worth the wait, I was able to cut out and finish the top before dinner. Start to finish the quilt top took about 4 hours, with childhood interruptions and help from the 4 year old. I love the design so simple and so great for showcasing this new line of fabric.
My aunt came over to get some help on her quilt. Apparently, I am really good at putting on borders. Ha Ha -- in exchange she ironed the backing fabric and offered to drop both quilts off at our quilter. My aunts quilt is a gift to her good friend who has just become a volunteer fire fighter. She used all my coolest fire person fabrics, helmets, uniforms, Dalmatians. Loads of fun.
Monday, January 21, 2008
This cute little jacket is from Ottobre, issue spring 2007, pattern 12 - the floral jacket. I figured it would go with the little cord pants I made for DGD this Christmas. Yep, I had envisioned completing the whole thing before Christmas. Good thing there's a younger DGD to wear clothes that are too small for the older one once I get around to finishing something!
I made the jacket with coordinating Baby Nay stretch cord to match the previously posted "pants with frills". Because this jacket will be used in New Hampshire (brrrr), I interlined it with cotton flannel (step one in making it not-easy-anymore). Then I lined most of it with cotton batik, but lined the sleeves with Bemberg rayon so that it wouldn't catch on clothes (step two).
Then I tried to replicate a "bagging" process I remember using one time with one of my own jackets. Oh, and I inserted a separating zipper. Yikes! The zipper nearly drove me mad. I have no idea why now that I look at the result. It seems so easy.
Now that it's complete I'm all set to try out some more Ottobre clothes - this time without lining, without interlining, and maybe without a bulky separating zipper!
My church is working on a mission trip to Honduras to build group homes for orphans and so that finally motivated me to finish this quilt so that it can be raffled at church. I no longer even know what this pattern is called but I finally basted it together and machine quilted it. It even has the binding and a label on it! Wow.
Now my sewing muses tell me I have permission to start something new. And there's a new Ottobre out with all these cute children's outfits. Some will look great in coordinated quilt cottons. The only question is this - can I really give up this quilt that has lived with me so long? I think so.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Mom recently requested a bag to carry to Bingo. No my mom isn't old, she just likes to gamble and that's the most convenient place. She has to keep track of her daubers, her Coke, and all her $100 bills that she wins. Being the good daughter that I am, and knowing that my mom is nothing if not fashionable, I set out to make the perfect Bingo Bag.
The requirements were simple, not too big, lots of pockets, and my own requirement, FUN! I poked around the web for ideas and found these absolutely hideous bags they are selling for Bingo players. Yes, there are websites for the sole purpose of selling Bingo paraphanalia. You would not believe the selection of daubers! None of those ugly bags were going to do for my stylish mom. I poked around my sewing room and stumbled across the Lazy Girl Gracie Bag pattern. It had lots of pockets, an interesting silhouette, and was the perfect size! Ok, fabric...hmmmm. I found some scraps from making my husbands boxers (yes he wears gambling boxers) and some polka dots that are supposed to be for another project (oh well, I know where to get more) and some great red twill left over from my most recent pair of pants.
It all came together to make the most adorable bag! I even tried something new...printing fabric through my inkjet printer. I ironed it to some wax paper and found the perfect picture for the closure. I swiped it off the internet which I'm sure poses some legal issues but it's for MOM! Surely, she would bail me out?
New for 2008 – Challenges
We challenge you to do something wonderful, using our themes and your creativity. More information will be posted at our web site SomeArtFabric.com.
January: Hearts! -- Go Weird, Go Wild, Go Hearts.
Show us your heart and win great prizes.
Deadline for submission: February 3, 2008
Work must contain at least one recognizable heart.
2 Prizes will be awarded
12 Red & Pink Fat 1/8 and the Clover Heart Yo Yo Maker.
All artists who submit, with their mailing address, will receive a handmade card from the staff of Some Art Fabric.
Challenge Rules & Conditions
• All work must have been completed by the individual submitting within the past 6 months.
• One submission per artist/household address.
• Work must contain elements of textiles and stitching.
• Photographs submitted should be focused, clear and cropped closely into the artwork.
• Work submitted will not be posted if the digital image submitted is of poor quality or if the subject or portrayal is deemed inappropriate for an all age audience. The artist will be notified via email.
• By submitting your digital images to the monthly challenge you are granting permission to Some Art Fabric to display your work at all of their domain sites: SomeArtFabric.com, SomeArtFabricTalk.blogspot.com and SAF Newsletter, for a period of no less than one month. Winning entries may be used in all subsequent promotions and emails by Some Art Fabric. Winning artists will be sited and a link will be created if possible to the artist's web site.
• All judging is final and will not be reversed. Judging will be done by the staff of Some Art Fabric or by online voting (technical details are being worked out).
• Challenge may be canceled due to lack of participation, individuals who submitted images will receive a handmade card of thank, if their mailing address is on file.
• Some Art Fabric staff may submit images to support the Challenge but their work will not be included in the judging for prizes.
• Prizes will be shipped out within one week of the final judging via First Class Mail.
• These rules may be modified or added to as needed.
Submissions Guide Lines:
Name your digital image as follows:
Submit your digital images to challenge@SomeArtFabric.com. Include a brief description of your work including media & methods, your web site, and your name and mailing address for your prizes (address must be included if you want to receive your prize but are not required to be included in challenge).
If you are using an existing pattern, please site the pattern maker, if this is an original design and you have instructions at your web site or have created instructions we would love to add a link to them or to post them at the blog. By submitting your work you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Some Art Fabric Monthly Challenge.
February: It’s in the mail. – Mail Art
March: Something Old, Something New -- Recycle Resew
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sometimes you just need a quick satisfying project. This is the result of one of those moments. It was so quick that I finished everything except the binding in one afternoon and evening. And then I finished the binding in front of the TV. A perfectly satisfying project for the sometimes dreary month of January.
The back inspired this project. It is made from Mustang Brown by Bali Batik and contains an interesting combination of brown and other colors like pink and peach. I had a piece of some older fabric (Kenta from Timeless Treasure) with some lovely ladies on it. The two seemed meant for each other. And the rest of the fabrics were fat quarters I had in my stash. The binding is a peach fabric that I purchased years ago (Jenny Beyer design). It's pretty but doesn't match much. It seemed to fit with this unusual color pallette though.
I cut the Kenta lovely ladies piece into 4 identical, vertical panels. The other vertical panels were strip pieced with the fat quarters. The quilting was done by meandering my walking foot. I used some variegated thread on one side (pink, red, orange) and some pink rayon on the back. I also added some zigzag quilting across the quilt. It was all very relaxing to do.
I plan to take this quilt to my quilt guild tonight - my first solo charity quilt. It will go to a group named CASA. I have a copper colored rabbit to put with it.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Now your next question, and justifiably so, is what in world would Polly do with all those envelopes? Well, turns out Polly's post office won't take them. Something about the wrong envelope and excess charges for something or other based on color, texture, and size. OK, so how about using them for gift labels next year?! That would just be too cute, especially if you remembered who sent you which card and gave it back to them in an altered form. They would also be useful for scrapbooking apparently, although I have no first hand experience with scrapbooking and have no clue what you would do with them in that arena. They would make a great money holder if you wanted to put a $100 bill in one! After all, the greatest things come in small packages, like my premature daughter.
So here's to a new year of up-cycling! Maybe Polly's post office will eventually accept these and do their bit for the environment.