Saturday, March 31, 2012

This week, I made clothes

These are two dresses for The Princess.    The first is McCall's 6310.  I bought everything for this last year and needed to get it made while I still had enough fabric to make it fit her.  She's growing fast.  I don't remember ever making something exactly like the pattern but I loved the fabrics shown and went with those.


I took this picture with the right orientation with my camera but it just doesn't want to let me post it that way.  Bummer.  The bag is plain in the pattern so I added a flower with one leaf and the rickrack stem.  I think it looks cuter this way but that's my only change. 

I used the Wonder Tape to hold down the rickrack before I stitched it and I love the way it worked!  If you click on the picture, you can see it.  Wonder Tape dissolves in water so I gave it a quick spritz with my spray bottle before I pressed the skirt and it vanished.  I really love this product!

I swear assembling the back was like putting together a cross between a Chinese puzzle box and solving someone else's Rubik's Cube.  But I love the way it turned out.  The periwinkle straps are applied after the top is complete so you can see the front just above the lining. 

Next is Simplicity 2237, a Project Runway pattern.  I love the way the yardage is listed on these - mix and match.  If you want to combine different tops with the skirt or want to make the jacket from a different fabric, it's easy because the yardage is listed separately for each section.  I wish other companies would give yardage requirements like this.

This pattern uses bias tape (I prefer to make my own that matches) rather than facings and this is the prep work I do to be sure it lies flat.  After I cut the strips and put them through the bias tube, I put them wrong sides together (right sides together works just as well) and press the curve.  I have the top fold along the stitching line.  If I stitch it on without pressing the curve in first, I can't get it flat no matter how much I press it after it's sewn on.  Right side to wrong side puts the curves in the wrong place so the way you put the fabrics together is important.

Another sideways photo.  Sorry.  This is the completed dress with the jacket on it.  It's kind of hard to see the jacket since it's such a busy print.

Jacket sleeve from the side.  It's sort of a tulip petal shape.

Jacket from the front.

And that's what I sewed this week.  Tomorrow, the April Schnibble should be posted.  I have my fabrics and I'm ready to sew!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I love a good sale!

Some of these will go in a quilt, others are headed for dresses for granddaughters.  It was fun picking out clear, bright colors after the grayed-down fabrics I've put in my last few quilts.  (Except Cherry Trees - those are mostly brights.)  The three pinks in the top photo are from JoAnn's and the others are all from Fabric Depot.  I'm gonna' have fun!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Schnibble

Tag Along Flimsy
Officially, this month's Schnibble project is Bibelot, a T quilt.  But I've never been that crazy about T quilts and have always liked this pattern so chose to make it instead.  This is Tag Along from Another Bite of Schnibbles made from French General's Panier de Fleurs.  Carrie's book has the same great instructions as her patterns.  All I changed this month is the border.  Using charm squares makes the center so busy that I wanted a border calmer than piano keys so chose this style.  The binding will be the same red as the inner border.   Now I have to decide on the quilting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beyond the Cherry Trees quilt: finished, done, complete

I looked up the synonyms for finished and found there really aren't any that mean what I want to say.   Finished, done, and complete don't really express just what I'm feeling.  I've never spent two years making a quilt before.  I've started them in the winter and then quilted them the following fall, with time out in the summer for weather that was too warm to curl up under the quilt, a necessary step the way I hand quilt.  That was the longest before this.  But now, Beyond the Cherry Trees is finishedYay!!!  Honestly, I feel a sense of relief.  Looking at the marked and basted quilt, waiting to take that first quilting stitch, I felt overwhelmed.  What was I doing?  Would it ever be done?  There were so many lines and they were so long.  I had other projects to get to.  Did I really have to finish this first?  Well, yes, because otherwise, it might never get finished.  But once I started, it took either nine or ten days to hand quilt.  I honestly don't remember if I started quilting on a Friday evening or the next morning.  And now it's completed and on my great-great-grandmother's bed.

I've read others' favorite steps on blogs and have to add mine - picking the fabrics and sewing down the binding.  I must be one of those goal oriented people.  I enjoy the process or I'd never start a project but I really enjoy finishing it and picking out the next one (which I've often already done).  When a project of any kind takes too long, I get bored with it or decide I don't like something about it.  There were several times when I almost didn't make the next block on this quilt.  But I'd spent so much time on it that I decided that was just dumb so I made the next one and the next one and ... now it's complete.  It was fun looking at the fabrics I chose as I stitched through them.  There's only one block where I wish I'd picked something else.  But out of 25 blocks and four long borders, that's not bad!

Here are a few of the pictures ---

on the bed

from the side
toward the foot of the bed
close up of only motif - flower in left third and bird in upper right

Most of the quilting is straight line in a chevron pattern. I like straight line quilting and didn't want the motifs to compete with the applique which is, to me, the focus of this quilt.  At least it's my focus. This particular block needed something in the middle, though, because there was a really large blank area in the center of it.  I don't at all mind the blank areas between the blocks or in the borders.  

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone else's finished Cherry Tree quilts.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pillow cover

I've spent most of the week hand quilting so thought I'd post another project, one where I can actually see results.  This is a boudoir pillow cover, 'heirloom sewn on the machine' which sounds a lot like hand-quilted on a machine but that's the name of the technique.  You can make them any size, any shape, any combination of parts.  I wish I'd chosen a size and shape more closely resembling a pillow form - the one I made has gotten lumpy over the years so I'll make another but the picture shows it empty.