Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another long-term UFO

So I blogged waaaaay back when (July 2011) about how we repainted my sewing room, and how I bought FQs to make sampler quilts to hang on the walls to tie the room colors together.  And eventually I did make four blocks....and there they've sat.  At one point, I solicited opinions from my online sewing groups about colors for sashing/borders.  And then I bought the sashing/border fabric.  And there it all still sat....until last night.  I suddenly got the bug to do some selfish sewing, and I went digging around in the bins for the blocks and the fabric.

And here's my finished top for the wall hanging!

I still don't know what I'm going to use for backing or binding.  I was thinking about maybe something striped for the binding, if I can find a striped fabric with the right colors in it, and maybe just a muslin for the backing, since it's just going to hang on the wall nonstop.  And I'm going to find someone to quilt it for me, so that it'll actually get done without waiting another four years.  But I'm still amazed (as is The Husband!) that it's done!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Doll dresses!

My niece is apparently quite into dolls, so I decided to get her one that I could dress for her.  I didn't want to spend the money on an American Girl doll for a three-year-old, but Target has the Our Generation dolls which are pretty similar in size, proportions, and looks.  So after texting pics back and forth with my brother, I bought one.  

I was making mother-daughter tops for my sister-in-law's birthday (just now realized that I never got a picture of this year's version before mailing them, darn it!), and my pattern has a doll size!  

So this is to match the two humans - and please excuse the non-matching shoes.  Those are the ones that came with the doll, and I haven't gotten or made any more yet.  Priorities, right?  Now I have since retrofitted this one by stitching the ribbons to elastic and stitching the elastic in place in the necklines.  That way at least the ribbons can't be pulled out.

This one matches my niece's new skirt.  I made it basically to play around with the gathering foot that I hadn't realized I had (bought it in a box of 32 sewing machine feet, then haven't really played with them).  The gathering foot makes some very soft ruffles.  Next time I'll see if I can use it with a double layer ruffle!  I did the same thing with the ribbons stitched to elastic....

And like every young girl these days, my niece loves Frozen.  I found this as a remnant at JAF - far too small to be a top for my niece, sadly - so I turned it into a dress for the doll.  For this, I had to take about six inches off the bottom edge, and I also took out six rows of shirring.  I added straps which are stitched down, because the shirred bodice is stretchy enough to allow for getting the dress off without any closure.  I think that'll be especially nice for my sister-in-law!

I really hope that my niece likes her doll (Christmas present) and all the clothes I'm working on!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Twirly skirt!

My niece is of an age where she loves "twirly skirts," and I got a request from my sister-in-law to supply some.  And JAF was having a sale on their Tutti Fruitti collection, which are basically lightweight, seersucker-like prints.  So I figured, why not have some fun?  I bought several to go together, then realized that without any measurements to go on, I had zero idea how to make something that might turn out wearable.

Enter the Sophia tiered skirt, from Funktional Threads.  I know it's basically an everyday tiered peasant skirt, but since I had no measurements, I wanted sizes and cutting measurements so that I had a better chance of making something usable.  I chose the size 4 because my niece is 3.5 years old, and apparently it worked out well, because it's a little big.  (Yay!)

I really liked the results.  As you can see, this is basically a circle skirt - it's even too full to lie flat as a circle!  I'm not sure that this would have worked as well in fabrics that weren't so lightweight - it might need wider elastic to still stay up.  The ratio on these layers are 2:1, with each successive tier being twice the width of the previous.  This means that you're gathering 7.5 yards of ruffle!  Yikes!  

The instructions tell you to gather each layer by stitching two lines of gathering stitches, then pulling them tight.  I think that's a recipe for broken threads and much frustration, so I pulled out my trusty cording foot and zigzagged over thick crochet thread instead.  Still annoying and time consuming, but not nearly so frustrating.  And I have also ordered a ruffler foot, so we'll see how that works out for future iterations.

Also, the yardage requirements assume single layer ruffle at the bottom, but the instructions give the option for a double-layer ruffle (to avoid hemming 7.5+ yards of ruffle!).  Do yourself a favor and buy a little extra yardage to do the double-layer.  You're welcome in advance.

All told, I do like the results.  This is not something I would have ever come up with otherwise, but then I'm the mom of boys.  I definitely see more of these in my future, but I'm going to play with the ruffler foot when it arrives.  That gathering was for the birds!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A new scrub shirt!

This was a recent birthday gift.  One of my friends on an online sewing group was destashing her mom's sewing stash, and when I saw this print, I knew it'd be perfect for a new scrub shirt for my mom.  Though it wasn't done for her birthday, it was done and mailed in time for her to wear it to their church's yearly VBS program.  (Apparently her fellow volunteers and the kids keep track from year to year whether I've made her any new scrub shirts?)

So Tigger is of course colorful and adorable on his own merit....but I discovered after prewashing the fabric that I didn't have enough to also make the bias binding for the neckline from the main fabric.  Instead, I stole from fabric designated for a different fabric (don't worry, it's at the local JAF - I can get more!) to make the bias binding.  Then, I figured that to tie it together, I should also use it for the tops of the pockets.  Makes it look intentional, and added bonus that it's easier to find the pockets in the busy print!  

No pattern matching here for the pockets - the print was busy enough.  And I think the orange tonal print looks great against the blue background and Tigger.

I hope everyone really likes this one!

Friday, August 14, 2015

New baby gifts

So I'm (as usual) catching up on blogging, in some cases long after the gifts have gone out.  That's okay, right? ;)  Two babies were born earlier in the summer, and these are baby gifts that I made for both.  The first was born to a friend who, along with her husband, practices martial arts.  So naturally I wanted to use that as a focus. First, I used scraps leftover from their wedding pillowcases to make a set of burp cloths.  Then, I pulled out the ninjabread appliques again.  This time, I used one on each onesie.  Add in a onesie with the baby's first initial, and the end!

This picture was taken before finishing each gift completely.  I had made a bunch of burp cloths and showed one of each print, plus the nursing pads I'd finished.

And a closer look at the nursing pads.  I'm now out of the microfleece that I had bought for this ages ago, so the next ones will use Cuddle Dry Microfleece that I bought through a coop.  I'm also now out of PUL, I think, so I'll have to buy some more.  These don't take much, but they turn out really nicely, especially with the lace overlay.  I've had great feedback from some of the people who have received these, so I'll continue to gift them.

This is from a book panel that I bought and stashed probably at least ten years ago.  The new mom loved Care Bears, so I was saving it for her first child.  I'm kind of impressed that I remembered and dug it out! :)

And then a baby sling!  This baby's gender wasn't known ahead of time, so I wanted to make something that could be gender neutral.  I purchased an olive linen blend from JAF and went to work.

I went with the black print for bias binding - both because I thought it'd be fun to have the music print, and because my remaining nylon sling rings were black.  I do think this really sets off the olive, so it was a good choice.  And I have a bunch of the bias tape remaining for future projects.

I sent this along with a print out of instructions and helpful websites for babywearing....I hope that she uses it and likes it.  My sister-in-law told me (much later) that she had LOVED her sling and used it almost daily.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Star Wars shirts! (And a bonus dinosaur)

So my niece has LOVED her Star Wars shirts, but she's outgrowing them, as children do.  So I kind of got carried away on making her a new set.  Oops!  All of these applique shapes have been seen before, but I changed up the colors (and obviously the sizes).  Darth Vader got a hot pink lightsaber this time, because red wasn't going to cut it on a purple shirt.  

And every little girl should have her own dinosaur, right?  This was the bonus shirt.

I hope she likes her new shirts!  She should still have plenty of good weather for wearing them....

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Matching family!

I wanted to send a baby gift to a family which recently welcomed their fourth child, a daughter (they've been alternating boy-girl), and I thought it'd be fun to send something to the older siblings. And then it hit me - they could be quasi-matchy-matchy, which would probably never happen if you were looking for store-bought clothes.  But this is why we sew!

My dino appliques are usually a big hit, so I decided they would be appropriate here, too.  The first set features the darker blue on the boy shirts and the lighter blue on the girls.  This was simply due to not having a single shade that would look good on all the shirts.  (As an aside, it's not easy to find plain, solid color tees at WM for all the sizes I needed!)

For this set, I was able to use a single red fabric for all the shirts, and I think they look pretty good.

I heard that the family loved them! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

UFO to FO!

I am embarrassed to admit how long this has languished in "the pile."  I think it was two years, to be honest.  When I was thinking up a birthday gift for Thing 1's then-teacher, I had considered using the Green Pepper Wave Bag pattern.  But I had wanted to muslin it first and make sure it would be okay.  (I have a hard time visualizing bag sizes very well....)  Anyway, I used a white twill and a weird woven purple paisley print for the first try.  And then I totally stalled on the binding/straps.  Like, for two years.  The pattern called for webbing to be folded over as the binding, and I didn't want to do that, but I wasn't sure how best to do it.  So the muslin got thrown onto the sewing table and left there. for. ever.

Then I finally decided that I really wanted to finish it for my grandma's birthday earlier this year.  (Since I didn't get it done for last year's birthday....)  And it really didn't take all that long to cut and press bias tape to use on the edges.  Sigh.....

The colors of the print are pretty dark in this picture.  

Definitely more true to life here.  It really isn't a bad color, though she may not be able to find anything in it!

Hopefully she likes it!  I was just thrilled to have it done and out of the sewing room.