Monday, February 28, 2011

Enough To Make a Preacher Swear!!

I just finished this pillow for Mom. The top went together very nicely. I used the tutorial here to paper piece the patches. That part was a lot of fun. However, when I went to put the thing together, I ran into a few problems. I bought a solid fabric for the border and the fabric was awful!! At the store it felt fine, but after washing it the sizing came off and it was pretty thin. When I tried to add some decorative stitching to border, it made a mess. When I went to pick the stitches out, it was even worse. The fabric practically disintegrated! I ended up cutting the border down by about 2 inches, and I used a different fabric for the back. I'm glad its done and I still have all my fingers intact!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zig Zag Pillow

This pillow is for Mom's birthday. Before you think I got all crazy and hand appliqued those zig zags on there, check out this tutorial. I can't believe how simple they really are to make. Now I want to add them to the bottom of an apron, just for fun. (Sorry if you just cringed at the mention of another apron! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Embroidered Tea Towel

Here is a tea towel I made last week for a gift. The towel is a vintage reproduction towel that is made by Aunt Martha's. Their towels have a nicer weight than a lot of other tea towels so I like to use them for embroidery.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amy Butler - Anna Tunic

I finally made the Anna Tunic. I've wanted the pattern for a long time and I finally got it for Christmas. I used some solid blue Kona cotton quilting fabric and vintage buttons from my Aunt. I made the pattern for the cami length but it can also be lengthened into a tunic, mini dress or knee length dress. It is fully lined and with every awesome Amy Butler project all the seams are covered/finished so it looks more professional. Now that I've got the first one made I'd like to make a lot more especially with summer on the way. I've seen some really nice variations where people added piping or to make it cooler, skipped the lining and used bias tape for the arm facings. My next project is to make the mini or knee length dress which will be perfect for spring!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big Project: FINISHED!

I finished making curtains for my boys' room. My oldest son requested their room be a farmer room, and I found the perfect fabric for them at JoAnns. I had to make five panels to cover the windows, and I bought every bit of fabric they had. Still, after making the curtains and tabs, I threw out one 2" by 16" strip...that was all that was left! Talk about close. I am glad it worked out. Curtains are, in my book, no fun at all. It's like hemming pants. Not difficult, but about as thrilling as watching paint dry. The curtains are made from a canvas type home-dec fabric, and are lined with some sort of curtain lining (also from JoAnns). I am very glad to have these done, and hanging up! Makes me feel like I completed something, unlike the perpetual mountain of clothes that need to be washed/dried/folded/put away. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ruffled Clutch Tutorial

Ruffled Clutch Tutorial
(Other Examples Here)

Begin by cutting out the following:

Main Fabric: (1) 9.5" by 17", (1) 9.5" by 22"
Ruffle: (1) 3" by 20" or equivalent length of ribbon
Interfacing: (1) 9.5" by 22"
Batting or Fusible Fleece: (1) 9.5" by 17"

Apply interfacing to the back of the longer main panel. If you are using a lightweight fabric, you will want to go with a medium weight interfacing. For a heavier weight fabric, choose a lightweight interfacing.

Sketch a curve at the bottom of the longer, interfaced panel. Generally, you would like to leave yourself about 2.5" on the short side, and about 4" on the high side. Cut along your curved line.

Working with the longer portion, press up 1/4" (make sure to get a nice sharp crease). Set aside for now.

For the fabric ruffle, press in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Run two rows of gathering (long) stitches along the raw edges. (Do not backstitch!) Pull gathers until the length of the ruffle is just longer than the curved edge. Knot gathering threads. If using ribbon, simple gather one edge of the ribbon. (In my experience, the ribbon was more difficult to work with)

Pin ruffle along curved (pressed) edge, leaving a bit at the sides for ease. (If you are into basting, this is where you would baste before you sew....I hate basting so I live on the edge and avoid basting like the plague!)

Overlap the ruffled edge approximately 1/2" over the short end. At this point, you should take care to make sure that everything will remain square once you stitch the two pieces together. As you pin them together, make sure that both sides remain straight and square. Once pinned, top stitch along the creased edge. (Keep as close to the edge as possible...about 1/8")

After stitching, trim ruffle and square up edges as needed.

One the opposite end of the ruffled panel, center one half of a magnetic snap 1.5" in from the bottom edge and install. On one end of the plain panel, center and install the other half of the magnetic snap 4 1/2" from the edge. (I installed the snap through both the panel and the batting layer for strength. Alternately, you could iron on a scrap of interfacing.)

Sandwich both panels together, right sides facing. The snap on the plain panel should be at the opposite end of the snap of the ruffled panel. (At this point, if you didn't already attach the batting via the snap, lay the batting on top of the plain panel side of the 'sandwich'. (I hope that makes sense!) So, you should have the following layers: ruffled/interfaced panel and plain panel (right sides together), with the batting layer on top of that. Pin all around.

Sew around using a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 3-4" opening on the plain end (not the ruffled end).

Trim batting close to seam, clip corners, and trim batting along opening. Turn right-side out and gently press the whole piece, taking care to press up the seam allowance up at opening.

Top stitch along this edge, taking care to line up edges at opening. (Alternately, you could hand stitch the opening closed)

Fold up the bottom portion of the clutch, and pin. Before you stitch, fold down the flap and adjust as necessary to make sure that the magnetic snaps will match perfectly. Once you have it lined up just right, pin and stitch both layers together, close to the edge. You may have to adjust your stitch length here, depending on the weight of the fabric, as there are a lot of layers.

Voila. Pin a fancy brooch on there, or add a nice vintage button and you're set to go!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We Have A Guest!!

Here are some pajamas that our friend Linda D. made for herself. Rachel and I know Linda from our church in California, where I fondly remember her handing out Charleston Chews after her lessons. :) So, somehow she found our blog and the rest is history. Linda also sews, and she just finished these pajamas for herself. The pattern from Simplicity, 1999. (Ha! Does that count as vintage??) I love that you can use festive/flashy/fun prints for jammies that you wouldn't ordinarily use. It just donned on me that I could use this fabric I was contemplating recently at JoAnns. Hmmm....

Thanks, Linda, for letting us post your project!! :)