Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"...there is a limit to both finances and storage, so I've applied the brakes and managed to slow down a bit..." - Lisa Laree
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
For this dress, I like View C.
For this dress, I'm leaning towards the contrasting bands...
For this blouse, I like view C (again).
Monday, October 27, 2008
- Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
- Share seven facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
- Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
- Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
6. I'm a volunteer literacy tutor. I've been working with this young man (pictured here with his younger brother) for a couple of years and his vocabulary and reading comprehension abilities have soared! ;)
7. I'm the only person in the whole world who can only come up with six things to say about herself! ;)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
First, I cut 5 rectangles the same size as my ruler (6 x 12 inches).
I cut the other 4 rectangles in half length-wise, to give me the 8 border pieces (3 x 12 inches before assembly).
You'll notice that some fabric is wasted (on two of the border pieces), but for me the savings in time associated with doing this easy set of consistent cuts is worth it.
Here are the other 5 fabric pairs that I picked. There is a real skill to picking good pairs of fabric for quilted things, and I am definitely winging it! The one thing I tried to do was pick one busy print and one simple (primarily one color) print to go with it.
I hope my grandmother likes my choices! I'll be visiting her for a few days in mid-November, and I'm going to get these done before I go. :)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
And I can't tell you what it is...
Why not? Because I want it to be a surprise, and all of my friends read my blog.
In fact, I had the idea to simply put a link in this post to a picture of my idea, hoping that they would valiantly resist the temptation to click on the link. Then, you and I would know, but they would still be surprised. I ran this idea by them and the majority responded, "Oh, I'd definitely click on the link."
Well, you've got to give them points for honesty. ;)
So, all I can tell you is what I've already told them - I'm going to ask each of them to pick a bright, colorful, fun fabric that appeals, and it's not an article of clothing. But I'm pretty sure that it will be a hit! :)
Speaking of brightly colored fabrics and sewing Christmas presents, I've been doing some internet research on potholders (for my grandmother) and it sounds like there are two main options for the "filling". Some people use two or three layers of cotton batting (such as Warm and Natural), while others use a special heat resistant material called Insul-brite. If anyone reading this has experience and/or advice with either of these options, I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks! :)
Oh, and as for the mystery Christmas presents for my friends, don't worry, I'll get to them. They are in the queue! ;)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
My grandmother has mentioned (several times) how nice it would be if I were to make a bunch of potholders that she could give to all of her friends for Christmas. Her niece R could really use some, and her friend K would definitely like them, and her neighbor M mentioned just the other day how handy they are... In fact, potholders are just about the perfect gift for everyone, and they would probably be pretty easy to make, don't you think?
Yes, Grandmommy, I think they would be pretty easy to make and a perfect gift for just about everyone. :)
So, it looks like I have been given an assignment. I found this free tutorial on the internet to make potholders. Next up - shopping for fabric! While I'd love to use Christmas fabric, she has also mentioned (several times) that a holiday-neutral fabric could be used all year long... So, looks like no snowmen, mistletoe, gingerbread men or penguins in my immediate future.
Monday, October 13, 2008
While there is no single “right” set of dimensions, here are the ones that I use: Both the long side seam and the width of the body are about 8 inches long and the width of the (centered) bottom seam is about 4 inches long. The incut is approximately 2 inches by 2 inches.
As I said, using this pattern I make 3 identical pouches, out of fleece, canvas and the “fashion” fabric (typically a cotton print).
The next step is to prepare for the drawstring, by putting metal eyelets into the middle (canvas) and outer (cotton) layers. (You can get eyelet kits at Joanns.) I usually put them about 2 inches below the upper rim, and I interface the outer layer first, because the cotton is too flimsy to hold the eyelet on its own.
Here is one I’m working on now - the three pouches and a closer view of the eyelets:
Oh, I learned the hard way to stitch the drawstring (at its midpoint) to the middle loop (only). If you don’t, the people that you give these chalk bags to will, at some point in time, pull out the drawstring and then ask you to thread it back through the loops! I can tell you from experience that this is possible, but NOT fun. So, sew that puppy in permanently!
Insert inner pouch into middle pouch – wrong sides together (and toward the inside), keeping drawstring cord in a loop around the circumference of the fleece layer such that it can be used to tighten inner pouch. Baste these 2 pouches together around the top.
I use 2.25 inch wide grosgrain ribbon to make the binding around the top edge. (As with the cord and the strap, I burn the edges to prevent fraying.) Before sewing it into the pouch, I stitch hook and loop tape (for example, Velcro ®) – the hook (stiff) side – across one length, close to the edge. Then I sew this binding inside the pouch, with the hook tape sticking up over the top. The idea is that the pouch slides into the decorative outer layer (cotton) and this binding folds over and the hook and loop tape holds the pieces together.
You'll notice that by putting the strap on first, this binding doesn't meet in the back, but rather a 1 inch gap is left. This may seem like a design flaw, but I do it deliberately, to account for the fact that my covers aren't always a 'perfect' fit. If a cover is a little bit too big, then this small gap in the binding allows room for the excess fabric, leaving the majority of the bag looking smooth and well fit.
That finishes the main body of the chalk bag! So, the only thing left to do is to finish the outer layer. You do this by turning over the top one quarter inch and stitching in place, and then sewing a piece of hook and eye tape – the loop (soft) side this time – all around the top.
For the finishing touches, add a cord stop and a small carabineer…And voila! You have a chalk bag fit for a 5.15 climber, with interchangeable covers!
If you happen to climb, or have friends who climb, you are welcome to use this design to make chalk bags. If you find ways to improve the design, please let me know! I would ask, however, that you don't use my design to produce and sell chalk bags with interchangeable covers. Thanks. :)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Next up, a quick and easy project from my queue - aprons for the wait staff at our favorite restaurant. I banged these out in a couple of hours, start to finish. They had to be black, but I added blue trim for Val and red trim for Itzel, to make them special.
Finally, an update on Ana and Juana. Our sewing lessons continue to go very well! Ana has completed her pajamas, robe and matching slippers. Today she banged out a pillowcase in the same fabric! ;)
Here are her slippers, or "pantuflas" in Spanish. (I've never tried to make slippers, and was pleasantly surprised by how nicely they came out.)
Finally, Ana made a cute little bolero jacket last week. The main fabric is black with little sparkles. She lined it and added a big sparkly button. She put a lot of work into modifying the fit of the lining until she had it to her liking (i.e., tight) and then I showed her how to use the lining pieces as the pattern for the fashion fabric.
So, that's it for this week's round-up! I've been working on my pants - using the pattern that Susan and I made following instructions from an article in Threads magazine - and they seem to be coming out really well! I can't wait to show you! Next week... :)