Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sew Vote Swap Complete!!

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago asking if I would be willing to make a mini quilt to enter into a sew vote swap group on Flickr.  I had joined the group who knows how long ago and rarely get on Flickr anymore so I was way out of the loop.  

I figured I could ship up something to submit :) so I got to work.  

I have never pieced curves in a quilt block and my first attempt was okay but not great.  This really frustrated me because I'm typically a pretty quick learner and I can read instructions (even if I'm not always great at following them).  I put a pic of my troubled blocks on Instagram and asked for feedback on what was going wrong.  I got lots of great tips and after reading them over I gave it another shot.  Still not good enough.  Then a fellow OKC guild member reminded me that I piece curves all the time when making bags and clothes!  That got me to thinking...

I had originally resized my template pieces on the copy machine to make them 6" blocks instead of 12" and then I had redone the seam allowances before cutting my pieces.  What if something had gone wonky when I resized them?  So I reprinted the pattern pieces and started over!  Whala!!!  Perfect the first time with no tugging or stretching of the fabric to try and make it work.  

Now that I knew I could make the blocks I started debating how I wanted to make it MINE.  I knew I needed to work from my stash since all of my sewing budget is going into craft show prep at the moment.  So I raided my scrap bins (those things are overflowing!!).  I cut my scraps into 2" squares (I think?) and pieced together one large panel.  From there I cut the necessary pieces.  I cut my background from a low volume swap bundle that I've been slowly using for a couple of years.  The backing is a print I bough several yards of when the LQS had a sale.  I'm still determined to make a Staple Dress from it...

 

For the quilting  --  I decided to leave the colored portions of the quilt alone.  I simply stitched in the ditch around them.  In the low volume curved pieces I did small pebbling and the borders got some slightly wonky straight (can they actually be straight if they're wonky?) lines.  To finish it off I used a fat quarter of the paper clip print from Julia Rothman's Type line.


If you'd like to make your own Flowering Snowball block, you can find the pattern HERE!



I've sent it off to it's new home but haven't heard if it's arrive safely yet.  I on the other hand DID receive my mini and I absolutely love it, but more on that later ;).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That Took Long Enough!!

About 2 1/2 years ago I started working on a new item to sell at my craft shows.  I can't find photos of the first two attempts I made, but they were definitely not up to my standards!  I put the project on the back burner, pulling it out occassionally to look at it, get frustrated, and put it back in the cabinet where it was hiding.  

Then a couple of weeks ago, out of the blue (why does it always happen like that?!) I figured out what the problem was and how to fix it!!

The first versions were just upcycled books lined with fabric.  Which made it nearly impossible to use.  You could put things in it sure, but the opening was barely wide enough to fit your hand in to get anything back out.

The simple solution that took me so long to realize was to add an accordion fold to the side panels.  And hey, while your add it why not add in a zippered divider?!

So after much time and frustration I am happy to present to your the newest addition to my craft show inventory (and possibly my Etsy shop)--The Upcycled Book Clutch!!


I only have two that are complete and ready for the show but I hope to have several more before Thanksgiving.

If there is any interest in a pattern let me know!

Monday, November 17, 2014

WIP Weekender

This has been a WIP for awhile now but I'm just getting around to pulling it out and taking photos.

There is actually a decent reason this project got put on hold...I ran out of the black essex linen that I'm using for the exterior!!  I've finally ordered more and hope to get back to work on this soon.

I was fortunate enough to get a bag of Flea Market Fancy scraps from a friend.   While waiting on my linen I decided to go ahead and start piecing together the scraps (which were already sewn together into one long strip which made it super quick and easy for me to complete these panels).


I only had enough of the Flea Market Fancy to make one exterior pocket piece and the two side pocket pieces.  I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to go for the rest of the bag, but I suppose I'll figure it out as I go :).

The Weekender pattern is somewhat infamous in blog land and I have made it once before--although I hated the finished version so much I don't think I ever actually blogged about it.  It found a new home with a friend that actually seemed pretty thrilled with it (go figure!).

Let's hope this version turns out a little better!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Polly Top

The Polly Top is a FREE pattern from By Hand London.  At first I wasn't really sure how I felt about the design, but since it was free and I had some knits left over from another project I decided to give it a go.


The only modification I made to the pattern was to add a seam up the back.  And that was just because I didn't have a piece of fabric big enough to cut on the fold. 


And I absolutely love the way this top turned out!  It is cute, super comfy, and perfect for using up left over pieces of knit!!

I love it when I'm wrong about things like this ;).  I highly suggest you get the pattern for yourself if you haven't already.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Baby Olivia Dress

Princess also had a need for a black dress.  Have you ever tried to find a black dress for an infant in a store?  Not something you come across often.  So I decided to do what any good mother would do...make one :). 

For some reason I had a real problem putting her in all black.  On a baby it must seemed wrong.  But this fabric had just enough color to still be appropriate for the occasion without being too dreary.

I used the Olivia pattern by See Kate Sew.  I made the 18 month size since it was the smallest available and just used a bigger seam allowance than suggested (she was only 10 months at the time).



 

I had trouble getting her to hold still long enough to take decent photos but hopefully these will give you an idea of what we ended up with :).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cambie Dress

Unfortunately I had a need for a black dress a couple of months ago.  I had gained some weight since the last time I needed to wear one so my old one was not an option. 

I tried to make the best of the situation by making myself a Cambie Dress.  I bought some black peachskin from JoAnn's as well as black lining fabric.  I've never lined any of my garments so I was a little nervous.

 

 So while I wish I didn't need to make this dress, I'm so glad I did!  It is a little fancy for my work so I have plans to make another using a fun clearance sheet I found at Target a couple of weeks ago.

 
I feel that this is honestly one of the best fitting and most flattering garments I've ever made!!


An invisible zipper, another first for me.  I made it a little TOO invisible on my first attempt and couldn't get it zipped up.  I unpicked a bit of the lining and used a ladder stitch to redo it, and voila! no more problems :).

I will definitely be making more of these in the future!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Myrtle Dress

I am WAY behind on my blogging so over the winter you may see me in some warm weather clothing with pretty, green grass :).  This is the Myrtle Dress I made over the summer.

I used some knit fabric I bought for incredibly cheap on EBay several years ago.  It has birds on it, how could I not buy it!?!

Sorry for the terrible photos but Hubby is not a patient photographer so I'm lucky to get anything more than a selfie.

 
 I did have some fit issues with this dress.  I cut the large and ended up taking in a couple of inches off of each side (and honestly a little more wouldn't have hurt) and an inch off of the length of the bodice.


Another issue I had was with the excess fabric around the arms.  In the photo above I had actually already gathered the shoulder seam which helped a little.  It looks fine if I keep my arms by my side...

On the plus side, I liked the way the top was constructed and it was a pretty easy make.  Maybe I'll give it another try in a smaller size... :)