Thursday, October 10, 2013

A surprise request!

As previously mentioned, we are attending a wedding!  So while in the car the other day, I asked both Things what they might want to wear to said wedding, thinking that I wanted to make sure that their choices were clean.  (Not to mention getting any necessary vetoing out of the way early....)  Thing 1 wanted to wear a T-shirt and shorts - um, no.  But Thing 2 surprised me by saying thoughtfully, "I think a shirt and tie."

Whoa!  Where did that come from?  Good thing we were stopped at a stop sign, or I might have caused an accident!  "Um, Thing 2, you don't have any ties!"

"But we can get one, right?"

Well, sure, I guess....or I can make one....I vaguely remembered seeing a tie tutorial on the Fishsticks Designs blog.  So I looked it up and printed out the pattern.  Once we went through his button-up shirts and determined which one he would wear, I remembered this fabric, which I thought he'd love!  Frogs and lizards - what better?  He pronounced that more than acceptable, so I whipped up a "traditional" tie along with the velcro/neckband tie.  I think he'll prefer the velcro/neckband, but my DH was weirding out about it, so I just made both.  We can choose when we're getting ready, I suppose.

The pattern is very straightforward and easy to do.  I kind of expect to see more of these in my future, now that he knows I can make them. ;)  And I will be happy to do so!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I love making pillowcases as gifts.  Not only are they (usually!) fast and easy, but they are fun, practical, and easily customizable to the recipient's tastes and interests.  I decided to make Thing 2 a new pillowcase to celebrate his new room, using cheerful bug fabric I found on clearance at JAF.  (The red trim is a lightweight cotton from my stash.)  I decided to change things up by using piping instead of flat contrast trim.  I think it turned out pretty well!

And the real reason for making Thing 2 a pillowcase using piping practice for these!  A friend is getting married this weekend, and while she and her new husband have indicated that they don't need anything, I know that she would enjoy some funky pillowcases.  Both bride and groom practice martial arts - that is how they met! - so I thought the Robert Kaufman I Am Ninja line would be perfect!  So here is a "his and hers" set of ninja pillowcases.  I'm really pleased with how these turned out.  (Which is good, as these are the most expensive pillowcases I've ever made, bar none!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A long time in the making....

So a few years ago, I decided  to make M5714 for my aunt's birthday.  I thought she'd like the view shown on the model on the front cover (view E), but I didn't want to make it in fleece.  I was envisioning this as being more of a light jacket to wear in the office, when she's cold from the air conditioning.  So I chose a ponte from JAF's Sew Classic line, thinking it would be good enough for a prototype, and then I'd spring for a nicer fabric for the real thing.  I was also originally thinking of purple, but I decided the final version would be purple, and the prototype would be green.  I went with size 16, because a fleece jacket I had made for her before (which fit well) was size 16.  Unfortunately, the previous jacket was from another pattern company, and I didn't think to check measurements.  Grrrr.....

Next problem: I decided to fully line the bodice instead of the partial lining, because I wanted the inside to look better and thought that would be easier.  And I decided to bind all the raw edges, kind of like a Hong Kong finish.  I thought that would make it look prettier on the inside.  Unfortunately, between my full bodice lining and my binding of the raw edges, I ran into construction issues that I hadn't thought about.  So the jacket pieces got wadded in a UFO tub before we moved.  Grrr...

The pieces came out of the tub, were considered, and thrown back into the tub several times over the last few years, until I finally pulled them out again a few weeks ago and decided to just finish the damn thing and get it over with.  I was determined that the jacket would be done for my aunt's birthday this year, come hell or high water.  So I sort of stumbled through the problems I'd caused by trying to make it fancier (next time, if there is one, I'll either wait and bind seams after they're sewn, or I'll put them together in a different order....have to think on that one) and finally got it done to the hems.  At this point, I realized that it looked kind of neat to have the binding on the raw hems.  So I asked advice from my sewing friends, and the consensus was that yes, it did look neat.  If I had it to do over, I would have put the collar wrong sides together and then just bound those edges as well, to make it look more cohesive.  But I'd already done it this way and didn't think it would go well to put binding over the stitched and turned edges.

In the end, I think I made it work, and the finished product looks pretty good!  Unfortunately, it is too small for my aunt.  Grrrr.....gotta find a friend who likes the style and can fit into it. :(