Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sew Pretty Homestyle

This lovely book by Tone Finnanger was in my mailbox yesterday. Such beautiful fabrics for wonderful projects! I'm not sure any of the fabrics in my stash are appropriate, so I'll be looking for some, probably on the Internet.

The only thing I don't like about the book is that American equivalents to some of the materials aren't listed. Can anyone tell me what these are?

- High-volume vliselin
- Vliselin
- Thick fibre felt (1-1/2" or 3/4" thick)
- Vlisofix

From the descriptions in the book, I think they are various types of interfacing and fusible web, but I'm not sure. Perhaps as I delv into the projects, it'll make more sense.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pillowcase by Sarah

My daughter, Sarah, made this pillowcase for a friend's daughter. It matches a quilted throw that the daughter made and is supposed to be a surprise (shhhh . . .) It came out nicely, didn't it?

Completed Pincushion

I stayed up way too late last night to finish the stitching on the basket pincushion. Here it is:

This was a great, quick project, and I feel good that it's out of my stitching basket.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Basket Pin Cushion Cross Stitch

I've been inspired by The Happy Stitcher! I looked through my basket of cross stitch projects (I won't tell you how many there are) and pulled out some quick projects. This is what I worked on this weekend:And here is the picture of the finished project - except that the basket has a handle, which they probably cut off to take the picture so the consumer can see the stitching better. I believe I made the one on the left for my mother-in-law many years ago.

I probably would have finished the stitching by last night except I had to do a lot of reverse stitching on the lettering. Perhaps I can complete the stitching tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

59 Days Until Christmas??!!

I think there's a conspiracy going on! Everywhere I look - in my email, on the Internet - someone is reminding me how many days there are until Christmas! Not that I haven't started preparing, but somehow, knowing there are only 59 days until Christmas has me a bit frazzled.

Projects to complete:

~ skirt for my niece (I finally found fabric yesterday)
~ sew together "mystery" smocked project
~ smocked pinafore for niece in NC (need size information)
~ unnamed little gifts for my brothers & SIL's
~ possibly make these for nephew in CA
~ ballet-themed ???? for niece in CA

I still need ideas for our parents (I have a few), and my husband and youngest daughter need to give me their wish lists. I must come up with additional gifts for Christmas and birthday for my oldest daughter, Sarah. (Thanks, sweetie, for your list!)

Ok, maybe this won't be as bad as I think. To quote Aesop: "Slow and steady wins the race."

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Projects

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been cutting fabric for almost 1-1/2 weeks. Not continuously (got to preserve whatever sanity I have left!), but as time and energy permits. (I am on Prednisone for chronic hives and it does quite a job on me. Great medication, lousy side effects, including inability to sleep, mood changes, weakness, headaches [probably from not sleeping] . . . you get the idea! I have seven more doses.) Cutting out fabric is, by far, my least favorite part of sewing, so I try to do a lot of it at one time, thus affording me the pleasure of completing projects without having to think about cutting anything else out.

First up is Kwik Sew #3396, a wonderful apron. I first saw this on Candle~by~Night's blog (sorry, I can't seem to access anything more than the latest page, so I'm not able to give you a link to the exact posts) and decided I must have this pattern! Here's the pattern front and the fabrics I chose.

The lighter fabric is for the body of the apron, and the darker for the straps and pockets. I'm making view A. I was feeling lazy the day I bought the fabric (from WalMart, I might add -trying to take advantage of their fabric department before they eliminate it . . .) I bought the bias binding instead of making it.

Next, we have a pattern by Indygo Junction called "Pocket Perfect." I love making purses, even though my husband thinks I have plenty. One for every outfit, right? I have a feeling this one will turn out a bit smaller than I prefer, but I can always scale up the pattern for subsequent purses. I've done this quite successfully with other patterns.

The fabrics I chose were from my stash - simply leftovers from other projects. The light blue with the lovely large roses is the main fabric; the magenta is for the handles, and the smaller blue and pink print is to be used as piping around the outer front pocket. I believe I also cut a second pocket for the back as I've discovered one is very handy for things like JoAnn Fabric ads.

"Laura's Zippered Tote" was picked out by my 17 yo dd after seeing a sample in a fabric store. At the time we were there, I couldn't find the pattern, and I didn't feel like asking, but when I went back a week later, there it was. The woman who cut my fabric that day told me that the inside of the bag isn't finished very nicely, so I will be aware of that when I stitch it together.

Again, these are lefovers from my stash, as I thought I should make one up before having my daughter pick out fabrics. The fabric in the middle is the main one; I'm not sure which pink is for handles, and which is lining and inner pockets. I'll figure that out when I sit down to sew.

This wonderful jumper, for my 20 yo dd, is a Common Sense Pattern from Kathy's Modest Sewing Patterns. These patterns are simple to sew, fit well, and are available in any (yes, any) combination of (usually) three consecutive sizes. For example, if you want a 6-8-10 or a 10-12-14, you can order them that way. This is the Women's Empire Jumper; you could easily drop the waist a couple of inches as well. Sarah found fabric last spring (on sale, of course), and we're finally getting around to using it.

The color in the picture isn't totally accurate, but close. I love the embroidery on the fabric - it takes an ordinarily mundane fabric and makes it pop!

Also for Sarah is Simplicity 4177. She chose the orangy one and is using this pretty pink fabric. The background, unlike the photo, is also pink.

Hang on just a bit longer . . .

This is a Lois Hinse pattern (#5305). I've mentioned her patterns before (see my Monday, September 24, 2007 post), so I won't go into great detail here. This particular pattern is her "Tank Dress Group", which offers a sundress/jumper with or without a gentle elastic gather below the bust, as well as two tank tops (one with round neck and another with scoop neck, seen here) and a body fitting camisole. Since I'm testing this pattern, I chose some cheap purple broadcloth from WalMart, and am making the round neck version. If it fits well, I will wear it, but if not, I'm not out much money! I first saw this in the Nancy's Notions catalog; the sample jumper had machine embroidery on the bodice, which was very attractive.

This is apparently Creative Keepsakes' best-selling pattern - their smocked gown and robe. The sleeves are interchangeable (cut simply from blocks of fabric). I'm making a nightgown out of a lovely blue and white fabric (it didn't photograph well), and using the elbow-length sleeves. I will smock with a deeper blue, then probably add some flowers (pink?) I am finding the patten to be rather confusing, but I hope as I go through it step by step, it'll make more sense. In particular, the directions cautioned you about dips in the hemline because it's a bishop, but the blocks for the front and back were not scooped at the neckline. I'm confused!

This final pattern is self-explanatory. I found a deep purple fleece at (where else) WalMart for $4.00 per yard! The pattern pieces had to be the largest I've ever seen! I also saw this in the Nancy's Notions catalog. I liked the fact that it has a hood (I know that young people don't wear them - they're not cool, but I like one when it's very windy or blowing snow.) I'm not sure how easy it will be to drive with it on, but I'll deal with that when I have to!

Here's my tip of the day (hey, maybe even the year!): I put my cut out pieces, interfacing, zippers, buttons, etc., along with the original pattern, in Ziploc bags. I'm forever "losing" buttons or other notions, so this has been a great way to store my projects. And, if you're like me, and it sometimes takes a l-o-n-g time to get to something, you don't have to rely on your memory (which is getting worse as I get older.)
Happy sewing!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Name

I've decided to change the name of my blog. "Ginny's Crafts" seems rather lame, after seeing the types of names others are giving their blogs. While the address will stay the same, I've changed the name to "A Crafter's Chronology", which more accurately describes what I'm doing here.

Stay tuned for a post about the past week! I've been cutting out fabric as time and energy permit. As of tonight, I have one more garment to cut - a dressy blouse for my oldest daughter. Details forthcoming!

Monday, October 8, 2007

"Simple Gifts" Cross Stitch

Tonight I put the finishing touches on my "Simple Gifts" cross stitch, which I mentioned in my September 30th post. I used muslin for the back, stitching the needlework and backing into a tube, then turning. I am still waiting for the other piece of bell pull hardware to come in; it will go on the bottom edge and is identical to the piece at the top.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

"Quality . . . ???"

When we did our errands this week, Sarah had to stop at Macy's to pay her bill, so while she was doing that, I browsed a bit. A rack of black embroidered skirts caught my eye. The price was $89 . . . but they certainly weren't worth that! I have never seen such shoddy embroidery on a RTW garment. There were no underlying stitches beneath the sparse satin stitches, so you could see right through to the fabric. I've seen better machine embroidery at WalMart . . . I expect more, not only for $89, but for Macy's. I guess that's why I sew for myself.

Last Week's Fabric Purchases

I've told my family to keep me away from JoAnn Fabrics, unless I need to replace something I've run out of! I spent way too much money on fabric last week. The silver lining in that is that I now have, hopefully, fabric that will work for many projects.

From Patricia's Fabric House in East Rochester:

These are all quilter's quality cottons and they feel absolutely wonderful. I didn't have any particular projects in mind, although several said "smocked little girls' dress" to me.

I was folding my stash of purple and pink fabrics at the same time I purchased these, and found this purple solid, which has enough yardage to make ruffles for a round pillow for Sarah. (She will be painting her room yellow sometime soon; her accent color is purple.) Of course, JoAnn's does not carry round pillow forms, so I will have to make one myself.

Nancy's Notions was having a clearance sale, and although I don't like buying fabrics sight unseen, in this case, the prices were so good that I took my chances. The top fabric is heavier than I expected it would be; it would be best for a jumper or skirt. The bottom fabric is a lighter weight cotton. Not sure what I'll use it for . . .

Finally, Grace and I went to JoAnn's during one of their sales. Grace was looking through the clearance fabrics, which were 50% off their "already low price" (really?), and I found these three. The brown pieces complement each other, so would be perfect for a purse (one of my favorite things to make). The other piece has a white background, not the orange you see in the picture. It's a waffle weave knit, and I thought it would be perfect for some newborn items (sleeper, etc.) Since we're to have another little niece in February, I purchased, I believe, two yards. Since it's 60" wide, that's a lot of fabric. The little red rosebuds are so pretty.

I found quite a number of decent-sized pieces of fabric in my pink/purple stash (which are now folded uniformly, labeled with the yardage, and separated from the smaller pieces. Although it takes a long time to sort and re-fold all the fabric, I'm pleased with the result, and encouraged that I have so many pieces that I can use for other than quilting or applique.

Now to stop reading blogs long enough to actually sew!