Wednesday, November 21, 2012

so very close

Ze quilt -- she is almost finished -- but, she is not.  She sits and waits, forlorn  for me to do the one last piece of binding on the side....and I do not.  [note- all of that should have been read in an overblown french accent]

I'm going to have to do it soon, as I hand it over on Saturday, but its really only about a half an hour of hand stitching - I just need to find the time.  I'm happy with how it came together (and more than a little pleased with myself for getting all the seams the line up properly) (I believed 'chuffed' is the word I've been seeing on the UK blogs)   Anyhow, while the green parts were bought specifically for the project (yes, yes, fabric-fast, but I gave myself a pass on this one as it wasn't for me nor was the material purely to satisfy my undying lust for fabric.) However the white part of the backing and the batting (really a bit of polar fleece) were both from my stash, so I've decided to count this as item 5/15 on my stash-busting countdown.   The really handy thing about using polar fleece as batting is that you don't have to quilt as densely  as it will not fall apart.   I ended up stitching in the ditch around the seven full 9-patches and sewing on the binding through all three layers -- and that was it.   (insert evil laugh here)  

I didn't have enough of any one color of green to do edging or binding, so I pieced them together and ended up with a nice hodge-podge that worked well with the front of the quilt.  All in all I am pleased and am holding myself back from making more.  As content as I am right now, if I were to start to cut out all the bits to make a big one, I would be grumbling inside of mere minutes.  
To anyone celebrating, happy thanksgiving!  to anyone not, happy thursday!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


 It's baby quilt time, here at the fixation, and I have a week to finish it up.   A couple of friends of mine are having their first child and I'm seeing them over Thanksgiving, so basically, this needs to be done by Tuesday.
Quilting seems to be that section of my brain that cannot think clearly.  Whenever I'm not quilting, I think how fun it would be to come up with pretty blocks, what nice gifts they make, but then when actually sitting down to make the damn thing I remember how tedious I find cutting out all the bits.  Piecing isn't so bad - but cutting.  gah.  (Then again, I never like cutting, no matter what I'm making - quilting just has lots of it)

As I quilt *maybe* once a year, I don't have all the snazzy tools, but I did remember hearing about masking tape as guide lines.   The context was actually making bias tape, but it works just as well on the grain an ensures everything is actually the same width.   (In this case, around about 2 inches, I'm not really sure -- but the tape knows, so it all works out- huzzah for intense sloth!)

I'm not sure if this particular pattern has a name - I saw a picture of it at the fabric store and they'd called it 'crumbs' but a bit of research has taught me that is the term quilters use for a scrap-busting its a collection of nine-patches, 3-wide strips and full squares, and as requested, all in green.

Oh, and, no, none of this was in my stash, I gave myself a pass from my challenge on this one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

watermelon sewing case

I've had a yard of watermelon fabric kicking around my stash for at least a two years now, waiting to be the lining of *something* -- considering how little I used, there are many more somethings in it's future -- but back to the topic at hand.   I decided it might be nice to actually start something from scratch for my stash bust, and I'd been throwing around the idea of a tool taco of my own for a little while now.   Now, add in that I wanted thread to fit and popped in the elastic without really thinking of what this would do to the shape and the fact that I had a fever going to whole time... and we can see that it ended up going a little overboard. However, it works really nicely and will be an excellent travel kit, so horray and huzzah!  Like the original tool taco, this one has a layer of foam between the outer layer (codura) and the inner layer (cotton) for protection.   I also lined the scissor pocket with codura so that I wouldn't be able to push them right through and ruin it first time out.

From the side it looks all nice and even and cute -- but from the top you can see the utter wonkiness.  Not only did I blatantly not measure (fever) I even noticed it was off part way through, and just kind of tugged on it for a minute, expecting it to all work out properly in the end (definitely the fever)

c'est la vie.  (4/15)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

VPLL 1912 - Princess Slip

original pattern
So... it took about three and a half months, but I've finally finished my first VPLL 1912 project.  Its only needed the hem for a month or so, but I'd convinced myself that the white chalk in my hem marker would never show up and was waiting until I had free time with someone who understood how to mark hems.   Silly me.   Dust on fabric, even if it is the same color, can still be seen if there is enough of it.

VPLL Check List:
Pattern: E0336 Princess Slip

Sewer's Skill Level: Experienced

Pattern Rating: 5-Loved it!
I love the fit - I plan to make it again in wool and with sleeves to wear to work, although I imagine I'll skip the lace for that one.  I found the pattern to be very easy to modify to make whatever I wanted and to be a good base for creativity.

What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern?
I'd say a without the lace, probably a beginner - princess seams are pretty easy to work with and one of the simpler things to fit.   With the lace, at least intermediate.   It's a little tricky getting it all set properly and it takes a lot of patience.   I feel it lively a beginner would become frustrated.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I don't know -- I didn't even look at them.  I'd read though a couple of blog posts others had done on this project and found out how to do insertion lace before I'd even decided to do the slip myself.   After that the whole project was so straightforward I just went with it.   (In all honesty, I rarely bother with the directions no matter what pattern I'm working with.)

How was fit and sizing? Did it correspond to what you thought?
I found that the circumferences at the bust, waist and hips matched mine exactly, so I was really excited and made up a muslin without any alterations -- then I realized that it was designed for a woman about 6 inches shorter than  I am, so everything had to be spread out a bit.   I also had to do a bit of a full bust adjustment.   I ended up taking material out above the bust, in the shoulders and a bit below.  I did a whole post on fitting, which I linked to below. Other than that, which was an easy fix, I thought it was great.

Did you make any pattern alterations?
It doesn't look quite like the original -- I removed a lot of the lace around the neckline and all the pleats at the hem as it was just a bit more fuss than I really like in my clothing.  I also skipped the button placket in the back as I plan to actually use this as a night gown and having to get buttoned up just isn't a practical option.  I also decided that right above the knee was a better length on me and for general summer nightgown use.

The fit alterations have to do with lengthening the pattern to suit my body.  See the link below on fitting the pattern, I did a whole post on the subject.

Other notes:
I still think the neckline is gaping a bit - the more I look at the pictures I took of myself, the more I think I needed to make a stronger FBA up there.

As I mentioned earlier, I really love this pattern-  I think the lines are very flattering and I intend to make it again in several colors and fabrics. For this particular version I used sheer cotton and a somewhat chunky cotton lace.

Previous posts about this project:
 Finding it - Fitting - Insertion Lace 

(and for anyone counting, this is item 3/15 for the great stashbustin' fabric fast)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

grumble and groan

I'm having second thoughts about my coat.   It is all lumpy and odd.    I'm going to keep plugging away, but I am rather less than pleased.  ::grumbles and groans::   and I have a stomach bug.  And my finger hurts.   I know.  ::grumbles more::      (I try to keep non-crafty things off this, but yay Obama! - now back to my grumpy rant)

Think happy coat related thoughts.   The temperature dropped the other day and has been nudging freezing here and there for the past week.

On a totally unrelated note - check out these lamps:

They are from a crazy hotel in Italy which looks like a blast.   Anyone fancy a quick jaunt around the world?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Refashion Fun

once upon a time, at graduation
 A couple of weeks ago I ended up going to a reception for a project Kel has been working on.  I knew it was coming up, but for whatever reason, I thought it was going to be low-key, during the middle of the day and of course, I would not be going.  Silly me.  It was at night and formal - in fact, not just formal, but described to me as everything up to, but not including black tie.   And I only had four days.  In the normal run of things, not such a big deal.  I have a couple of perfectly lovely dresses - one brown and one navy- but it turns out Kel was going to be wearing black.   I know.   And only four days....   Now, I almost never have a reason to dress up, so I haven't bothered doing anything with some of the stunning will-someday-be-formal-wear fabric I have, as I tend to focus on things that will be more practical.. and only four days.   (First world problems, I know, but so terribly terribly frustrating.)

trying it on last month

Anyhow, enter my blue silk dress  (store bought. not me me-made) -- I hadn't worn it since graduating college, and didn't really love it even then.  The fit was just never quite right, although at the time I didn't know what was bothering me   Anyhow, still loved the fabric, and still hated the fit- although by now what was once a trifling annoyance had become unacceptable to wear out of the house ... so I chopped it in half and made a skirt.   I was originally trying to reshape the bust and keep it as a dress -- but that just wasn't going to work out unless I put in a lot more time / patience than I had., chop chop chop!

new waist band
I cut it off right below the empire waist section, which didn't quite work, as the variation between the width of my butt and waist is rather more than had been built into the garment - so - a couple of rear darts, some extra lining to bind the raw edges and a new zipper for when I accidentally pulled the original's pull off and couldn't get it back on, and whamo! new skirt!

all snazzy and wearable

It turned out to be a good thing I didn't have weeks to prepare, as I would have ended up way overdressed.  But lets be honest, who would really care?   Party dresses are fun and people are boring.   Party dresses for everyone!   (Someday in the future.   Still working on practical coats over here.  grumble grumble grumble)

Anyhow, as this took a dead weight out of my closet and turned it into something new, and because I am already tired of this fabric-fast, I am counting this as item two of fifteen.

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