Saturday, March 17, 2018

Plodding Along

I sewed another dress!

The Dungaree Dress pattern by Marilla Walker is a relatively easy pinafore style dress, with shoulder straps, pockets and a button tab on the side.  I bought some printed drill from Spotlight (black with cool white arrows) and it is the perfect weight - not too heavy, but not too light either.  It was a nice stable weight to sew with, which I also appreciated.

I really like how it turned out.

There were some parts of the instructions which I'm not really sure whether I did the right thing or not.  For example the pattern piece for the shoulder strap said to cut two in interfacing... but then there was no mention of applying the interfacing in the pattern... so since I didn't actually remember about it until well after the shoulder straps were made, didn't worry about it.  I made some minor adjustments - I sewed the straps into the bodice at the front and back.  There should have been snaps on the front, but as I didn't have any, and didn't really want to do buttons, figured just sewing it into the lining would be better.  It does mean that I need to take it off over the head, as opposed to stepping out of it, but it still works.  I also used some bias binding to finish off the inside of the bodice lining.

After writing a new list of monthly tasks, I settled in and finally BASTED the RSC quilt from last year.  This had been set to permanent procrastination...

It was so good to just get it done.

Then I needed to decide how it was going to be quilted!  Sometimes thinking about the quilting puts me off actually doing the basting, and this is a BAD habit.  This orange peel/melon shape/postage stamp design had always been in the back of my mind, and even though I looked through all my books, and thought about some alternatives - I returned to the orange peel in the end.  I thought it would suit the different sized blocks well, and as the quilt was already gridded... seemed like a match made in heaven.

These little 1" squares were pretty tricky.

As the black thread doesn't really show up in the black squares, it really does make the pattern look like interlocking circles... which I think is really appropriate on a quilt made up of squares!

These 5" squares were looking a bit empty so I added an additional feature to the centre of them.

I'm thinking about stippling in the melon shape also (on these larger blocks), but decided to get the rest of the quilt finished and make a decision about that later.

Now that my first quilt top has been finished for my "Year of the Sampler Quilt" - I thought you just needed to see some of these feature stitcheries in closer detail.

And I picked up a terrific wide backing from The Country Yard so I am all ready to jump in and get this one quilted too (or added to the pile with the several other sampler quilts also needing quilting).

In other news, I have been plodding along getting another Cross Tiles block done...

I finished up a second block using the Moda Cupcake Mix recipe cards... 6" block using 1.5" triangles... using charm squares of Sweetwater's Sunday Supper range.

Block One:
Block Two

I started cutting my green scraps to make another Double Nine Patch block...

And here is all my random projects together on the design wall!

They look kinda cute together.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Crap! What happened to February?

The beginning of March means that February has somehow slipped by with hardly any blogging... but lots of sewing progress has been achieved!  Just need to get more organised taking photos with the right devices to support the right social media, and taking the time to create a new post.  I have been having the odd sneaky shot posted on Instagram... which sort of misleads me into thinking I have already shared!  Which I kind of have... but not here.

February was purple month in the RSC, so all my little purple scraps came out to play.  One Double Ninepatch block desperately needing a press... but it's sewn!

Using the colour inspiration, I thought I would carry it through to my Backyard Birds blocks, and either make the birds... or the flowers the colour of the month.  This gives me one less thing to stress over... and I turned out a pretty cute block.

The Cross Tiles quilt has taken a little bit of a back seat... but it definitely making slow progress as a leader ender project.  This is the first quilt I have ever cut directional fabric directionally!

I have a few more blocks sewn together than what I've got here... but you can see how it is starting to come together.  I'm thinking of calling this my D/S quilt (dominant/submissive) as the blocks either are very strong and bold... or a bit more pretty and delicate... then there are some blocks that are switches... and could go either way depending on who they're mixing with.  Needless to say, I read a wide range of romantic fiction :o)

I have really knuckled down and made terrific strides with my Whanau and Friends quilt.  All the blocks are made!  Woohoo!

I had a few problems sorting out this top section, as there were some very odd sized blocks and I just couldn't work out how they were all going to squish together.

But I finally found a solution, and this was the last little section that needed to be pieced together.

 And all laid out together.  I have just got 3 more seams and it will be done.

 Over Xmas I decided to sew together a Fen Dress, using some batik fabric I have had in the stash forever, with a nice mix of blues, browns and rusts.

The Fen dress is a pull over dress, with no zip or buttons, that I figured would be cool for those sticky hot days, and also layer well as things started to cool down.

The pattern is quite versatile with options for a top and dress... v neck or round neck, with or without sleeves, and a straight, high/low or shirt style hemline.

And check out the pockets (sorry it is upside down)... I used a darker fabric to try and create the illusion of shape... it does somewhat work. 

I was really interested in the neckband which is a woven bias strip and an easy way of forming the vee, this is a technique I definitely will use in other items.

Worn as is... it is a bit shapeless... this was not unexpected as this is what it looks like on the pattern linedrawing as well as the samples on the models.  I do find the v neck sits a bit odd as it is quite wide (will expose bra straps if you are not careful) although it is not very deep.

Adding a belt to the dress instantly adds a nice bit of shape.  Of course, it also adds a bit of weight... so no longer the perfect "heatwave" dress... and it brings the length up a bit too much for my legs, especially to wear to work!

So we have the addition of pants!  And this was the outfit of the day.  I do find the cotton tends to cling to the pants, so I have bought some lining fabric and am hoping to add this to the skirt section - with a straight hemline so that it brings the front hem down to a socially acceptable level.  WE will see!

As the weather continues to cool, I think it will work well with long sleeved tees underneath, and fitted cardy's on top, even a scarf... can't wait.

After making this dress, I had every intention of making it again, with a few adjustments... mostly the neckline, and making some modifications to the hem... but I think I might have found a couple of other patterns I might prefer more...

I had a sneaky order from Fabricworm turn up... with some organic cottons... some of which might just be enough for some colour block versions of those patterns.  We will have to see what happens.   And what doesn't turn into clothing is going to be just fine turning into stash.  Win/Win.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I love goals.

Having my little list of mini-tasks from the last post really helped me focus on what I was "supposed" to be doing... and I have achieved all my little goals!  Of course, it helped that I wrote down some things that I had already done... like make the Backyard Birds block for January... but you know... it's good to have positive reinforcement and nothing like a big tick!

I've really been putting off making the backing for my 2017 RSC quilt... because pieced backing... scrappy... it was all too hard.  Laying out a few different options I pondered and added and changed fabrics until I was almost ready to proceed.

As you can see I'm laying the backing fabrics right on top of the quilt front, to see if it fits... so that explains the little checkerboards you can see peeking through.  But hello... progress!!

Each of these strips are 25" wide... it is only the photo perspective that makes it look like the orange/yellow section is so wide

Only three more seams and I will have this backing finished!  A bit of a close up of the fabrics I finally settled on... plenty of spots.

Not forgetting my other long term commitments... I made another Whanau and Friends block.  This one was called Swamp Angel.

In Stack Shuffle Slide news I settled on a fabric choice, got the binding cut out and holy smoke... sewn on!

From the back...

I added one tiny section of yellow to the binding just because I could... this was a strip cut from a leftover piece.  I also used the magic flange machine binding method again.  This was the best application so far and I am very happy with how it turned out.

Three little blocks hang off the end of the bed... and it creates a cute detail that I love.

Could not be happier with this fun binding choice.

Starting the month off strong, I pieced up another section of low volume scraps to make the February Backyard Birds block.  Then I added the bias stem... only half sewn on here, but now fully attached.  All ready to choose the applique elements.

And if that is not awesome enough... I made a pair of undies!  This was a free pattern by Megan Nielsen and although I have never been interested in sewing lingerie before... I might have been bitten by the bug!  Not even knowing there was such a thing as fold-over elastic a couple of weeks ago - I was most impressed to find our local sewing centre stocks a few colours - including this awesome green!  Perfect to go with the scraps from my tunic sewing experience last year.

The undies gusset is sewn burrito style which encloses all the raw edges... so undies are neat and tidy inside and out.  As this fabric is very low stretch - I upped the size to allow ease.  They fit perfectly and look very cool on.  Now on the lookout for more elastic options - I really want grey - and some new knit fabrics, so my butt can look awesome every day.

My goal for the next couple of days is to get those seams sewn on the backing, and start the basting process.