Sunday, June 20, 2010

and one more

Whenever I make a bunch of purely functional receiving blankets, I like to also include one particularly lovely not-just-functional one.
This is it.

I started with a 45in square of flannel. This one has tiny lilac flowers. Then I cut coordinating lilac checked flannel into 45 X 9 in strips. For the corner pieces, I cut 9 in squares.
I sewed 2 squares to the ends of 2 of the checked strips, and attached them to the flowered square at opposite sides, attaching the remaining 2 strips to the other 2 sides, sewing all the way across. No, it does not work to construct the strips into a square, and attach it. Flannel sometimes stretches while sewing, so attaching one strip at a time allows you to make adjustments as you go.
The border attached, I then pressed under a 1/4in finish all around, then folded the border's pressed edge to the wrong side at the seam allowance (encasing the allowance, as I press).
Before stitching the border down, I mitered the corners, trimmed, turned and everything went smoother.
After the border was stitched, I attached eyelet trim, beaded with lilac satin ribbon.

Would anyone care to see a mitering tutorial, step-by-step????
I can do that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This does not represent the greatest challenge to my skill, but I love making receiving blankets for new babies!!
These blankies are for my newest grand-daughter, Emma Rose Jones, who is due in late July.
I make the blankies bigger than standard receiving blankets -- they are 45 in square. This way they will be used for a long time -- from swaddling to summer naps to flags for living-room forts. After washing in hot water for maximum, and final, shrinkage, I true up the edges by folding a selvage to a cut edge, and clipping, then ripping the excess. Then, I search my stash of pretty colors of wooly nylon and serger thread. {note: the variegated purple is new for this project -- what do you think?}
Setting my Baby for 3-thread operation on a medium-narrow stitch, with short length, I then overcast the edges, changing threads as needed -- or as the mood strikes.
Next project for Emma Rose is a quilt made of Minkie and flannel. My grands deserve the cuddliest blankies ever!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Help request

I promised that I would make up the teal interlock I had bought to go with my new pants. Towards that end, I have gotten as far as washing the fabric, and trying to select a pattern. And herein squats the toad.

I cannot decide between these 4 patterns. Each has much to recommend it. Some of them I have used before, and know what to expect, others I have not yet used, and am anxious to do so. 2 of them are surplice front (so: I am not considering the other views in these 2 patterns), yet each wraps in a different direction (meaning that one of them is the traditional female right-over-left, and the other is avant garde!) Of the other 2, one has a built-in faux shrug, that I think is adorable, but the neckline looks a tad low, and broad for modesty. I can adjust that -- but, do I want to?? The other has a cunning mini-boat-neck cum cowl. Very interesting construction on this one.

What do you, dear readers, think?? Remember: I have a short, squatty neck, full, high bust, and soft, pudgy midriff.

The fabric, on which the patterns were photographed, is 97% Sea Island Cotton/ 3% Lycra. Very soft, has a lot of drape, a little on the thin side -- quite sumptuous.

I anxiously await your opinions.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Paris Pants!!

I finally finished a project for moi! It was an extremely easy pair of pants, yet still took a couple of weeks to complete! s * i * g * h

The fabric is a wonderful loose-ish weave linen that I purchased recently at Sewing & Stitchery Expo. The pattern I used (LaFred's Thalia pants) were purchased at S & S Expo 4 years ago. Okay. So it took me a while. I get around to using everything I buy, eventually.

I really struggled over the best use for this fabric. I purchased it with not an idea in mind as to what I would make of it -- only that it was bottom weight or jacket weight, and I really didn't want all that busy-ness near my face. So, it would be a skirt or pants.

After I got it home, and washed it in HOT water, I was happy to discover that it wrinkled only slightly, and not unattractively, and shrunk hardly at all. Quality is always worth the investment. [read: not the cheapest fabric I've ever bought.]

Much searching, and not a little angst was involved in choosing a pattern. When I purchased the Thalia pattern, I envisioned rendering it in a soft, challis with a soft hand and a lot of drape. (I still intend to do that.) So, I had a hard time reconciling myself to using this full-bodied fabric for this project. I'm glad I talked myself into it!!

The pants are very comfortable, were easy to fit, and look nice enough for work. I immediately set about searching for a great interlock to make a t-shirt to coordinate with this, found a lovely teal for that purpose; but got sidetracked by a dear friend.
This past month at our local Quilt Club meeting, I presented a class on all of the seminars I had taken at Expo, and brought with me all of the patterns, books, CD's, and fabrics that I had purchased. One of the members admired this fabric, and remembered that she had an applique in her stash that would look wonderful with this print. She brought it to my office the next day, and I knew that I had to put it on a simple white tee.

Alas: a thorough search of all local fabric stores failed to offer the quality of interlock I was after. I wanted to wear it too soon for an Internet order to arrive, so I had to [gulp!] go to a department store and purchase a t-shirt ready made! Can you imagine? I simply couldn't find the same quality of fabric on the bolt. Where does Ralph Lauren shop for fabric?? He found just what I was after!!

I don't normally go for a 'cute' look -- but, Barbara was right: this adorable applique was just the thing for this ensemble!
I'll get that teal t-shirt made someday.