Monday, 31 October 2011

the skirt, the hexagon, the dolly and the Christmas tree

The title makes it sound like I'm writing a children's story - but I'm not. They're all things I've been sewing over the weekend and today. :oD

First off was the skirt. Joanna had asked me to take in a skirt she had in her wardrobe because it was too big for her. I did take it in - a whole 4½". Yep, you read that right - I had to take her skirt in by 4½ inches! Wow! I forgot to take photos of the skirt but, even if I say so myself, I did a great job. The skirt had a top yoke and the lower part of it was made up of 12 panels so it wasn't a five minute job by any means. Anyway, the skirt fits her beautifully now so we were both really pleased with that. :o)

The next thing I did was re-make that hexagon I'd been playing with. Well, this one was better than the last one - but not by much.

The seams don't line up, the centre is really untidy and I just don't like it. I can see it will be pulled apart again and the bits added to the scrap boxes to be made into something else another day. Live and learn.

The next thing I made was a matryoshka dolly. Here she is in the making stages.

She's not quite finished yet as I need to buy toy stuffing so I'll show her off in all her glory once she's been stuffed. Hopefully tomorrow. :o)

And here's what I was making today. This is it ready for me to handsew the binding on.

I have now sewn that binding on and it looks fabulous. I'll take photos tomorrow in the daylight to show it off in all its glory. :o)

Friday, 28 October 2011

the next thing - taken apart

This morning, when I pressed the hexagon I'd made yesterday, the centre did NOT look good.

The wee bits were just too wee to make any sense and the seams at the centre left a lot to be desired.
It looked even worse on the back. Yikes!!

So I decided it needed to be redone and it's now all unpicked and I'll have another bash at it tomorrow. Hopefully it will turn out better next time! :o)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

the last wee squares bag and the next thing

I finished the 4th - and last (for now) - wee squares make-up bag today. I've enjoyed making them but, enough is enough. I've no doubt I'll make some of these again some time but not right now!!

Here's how the last one looks:

And the inside:

And here's the next thing. It's badly in need of a press but I think I like it.

I'm not too sure about the centre - the bits are really awful small in there. If you look very closely, you can just see a red bit from the dark jade colour and a couple of wee black spots from the creamy fabric. I might have to do a rethink about that part.

But then, this is just a practice. If it works out, I think I might make it in Christmas fabrics. We'll see how it goes when I start quilting it ... hopefully tomorrow. :o)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

wee squares bag number 3

I finished the 3rd bag made with the patchwork squares.

With this one I decided I needed/wanted to bind the inside raw edges - not very easy to see in this photo:

So, I went back and did the same to the other 2 bags I'd already made - still not too clear in this photo:

But it's much easier to see in this photo - or rather it's easier to see that there aren't any raw edges in there.

If you can't see it, take my word for it. The insides look much better now. :oD

I'm on to the last bag now and, whilst I've really enjoyed sewing these, I'm ready for something new!

Monday, 24 October 2011

wee squares bag number 2

I finished off the second wee squares make-up bag to day. Here it is:

The side seams match well again! (The first photo's a wee bit fuzzy but you get the idea.)

And a glimpse of the inside:

Mmmmmm. Maybe I should have cleaned the threads off the mat before I took the photos. Och well, I'm just keeping it real here! LOL

And here's bag number 3 waiting to be quilted.

from the sewing room window 24 October

Saturday, 22 October 2011

the wee squares make-up bag

Here's what my first make-up bag made with the wee squares looks like.

The inside fabric:

And the bag turned out the right way:

I must admit, I'm really proud of how well the wee squares all lined up at both sides:

And, here's number 2 all patched and quilted and ready to be zipped, side-edged and box-cornered.

And, just because she's so cute, here's Rosie. Please note the fuzziness of her tail - that's because she was wagging it at me! :o)

Friday, 21 October 2011

1½" squares - 240 of them!!

I've been busy cutting out 1½" squares this week. 240 of them to be precise. Here's why. I wanted to make this zipped makeup bag:

It comes from this book:

If you want to see more photos from the book, see this post. (Should I be embarrassed that I haven't used that birdy fabric yet? Naw!! :oD)

Anyway, I started cutting out the 80 squares I needed to make the bag and then thought I might make one for Debbie and Joanna and maybe one for someone for a Christmas present so that's why I ended up cutting out 240 1½" squares.

So here are all the squares piled in neat piles of 4 per pile.

And here they are sorted into 4 boxes so that I know each bag will only have one of each fabric in it.

I then started joining one set in twos:

Then in fours:

Then in eights:

Pinned together to get the seams to match:

The resulting patchwork pieces after pressing - the squares are now all 1" finished size:

With the bit for the bag bottom attached:

And with the quilting all done:

I hope to get the bag made up tomorrow - hopefully! Of course, me being me, I'm not going to do things the way the book says. I think the zip would be really hard to put in after you've sewn up the side seams and added the binding. I'll let you know how it goes. :o)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

photos of the dress

I got Douglas to help me with trying to get photos of the dress today and, whilst they're not particularly good photos, they're much better than the ones I took yesterday.

Here it is just hanging on the hanger:

And here it is with Douglas holding it out to show off the skirt panels:

I'm *really* hoping that when the dress has a body inside it, it will look a lot better because it doesn't look like much on the hanger, does it?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

from the sewing room window 18 October

It's still very windy today - if you look closely, you can see the lighter undersides of the leaves on the trees at the back of the garden.
The photos of Debbie's dress which I took today didn't turn out well. The fabric is quite dark so I need to find a better way of photographing it to make it show up better. I'll think about it and, hopefully, have something to show tomorrow. Sorry about the delay!

Monday, 17 October 2011

a new dress for Debbie

When we were in Canada, Debbie passed this pattern on to me asking me to make the dress for her.

We bought the fabric out there and I brought it home and thought no more about it until last week when I finally decided that maybe I should get it done.

Now, I have been doing dressmaking for a really long time and can follow a pattern well (just don't ask me how to alter one that doesn't fit!!) but this pattern took me way longer to get done than I thought it would. None of it was particularly hard but it had an awful lot of steps in it.

Debbie wanted dress A (middle row at the bottom) but in the shorter length so I had a collar to do and sleeves that rolled up and are buttoned down with a tab. The skirt part has 8 main panels and 8 godets added in for extra flare. So, unlike a basic skirt with a front and a back, I had 16 parts to sew together then overlock together. And they weren't even straight up and down seams. Oh no. You had to sew the main parts together to about a third of the way down and then the godets had to be sewn in from there down. No wonder it all took so long to get done.

Then there was the phenomen of a side zip. I prefer to put zips in with as few bits attached as possible to make it easier but on this pattern the zip was the second last thing to be done - only the hem was done after the zip went in - so the whole dress had to be flung hither and thither whilst trying to get the zip sewn in without catching in bits that weren't meant to be caught in!

Well, it's finished now and, if I have my way, there's no way I'll be making this one again so Debs can forget any ideas of having any more like it. :oP

I'll try and get a photo of the finished dress tomorrow in the daylight ... that is if we get any daylight tomorrow. It started bucketing rain at about 10am this morning and hasn't stopped since.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

sewing scraps

We had another day without internet for the vast majority of the day today. I don't mind being without internet if I've chosen to be that way - like when we were away last week in Harrogate (note to self: post some of those pics!!) but I don't like it so much when it's not my choice! Never mind, I got some more sewing done.

First - what do you do with the scraps left from sewing the tumbler table runners? You make them into little mats.

The fronts -

And the backs -

I ordered another die for my Go cutter last week and it arrived today so I spent some time playing with that. It's the drunkard's path and here's how my first attempt at sewing them turned out.

The front -

And the back -

I love it! I think the quilting looks stunning - even if I do say so myself! :oD

It's amazing what you can do with scraps! :o)

Monday, 10 October 2011

the flirty frilly pinny - versions 2 and 3

We had no internet today. Douglas phoned our internet provider this morning at 8.30am and was told it would be off for about 2 hours. It finally came back at 6.25pm!! 10 hours is just a smidge longer than 2 hours in my book!

So, what to do when you can't get online? You do as little housework as you can get away with (nothing new there then! :oD) and then you spend time in the sewing room trying to perfect the flirty frilly pinny pattern.

Here's version 2. I do like it a lot but it's still a wee bit sticky-outy at the lower edge of the side seams.

This is version 3 which I like a lot. I think this will be the finished version now.

The side edge looks a bit strange in this photo but it sits really well on me. None of that sticking-out malarkey like versions 1 and 2.

I will share the pattern as soon as I can. I just need to tidy it all up and then I'll figure out a way to get it on here. :o)