Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Shower Gift" for my neice

As I mentioned in yesterdays post my neice just got married.  Because of his military service, they threw the wedding together rather quickly in one month, so there was not any time for the usual showers, etc.

Being the wonderful aunt I am, I decided she still needed a shower gift.  Here is what I sent her, and a picture of her with it.  Nothing fancy, but still fun.  I purchased 3 blank kitchen towels from Walmart and embroidered them, along with an apron.  The apron says 'kiss the cook'.  I added in some spatulas that coordinated with the embroidered items, and a cookbook on cooking for two.  The cookbook includes entrees, sides and desserts, so that you don't end up with a bunch of leftovers from any of them.  It looks rather useful.

 Embroidery designs are from Designs by Juju, towels and spatulas are from Target, Apron is from a 3 pack at Sams.  Here is a link to the cookbook Cooking for Two

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Congratulations Jessi and Steven

My oldest neice is getting married today.  It is hard to believe she is old enough to do so.  I remember making little dresses for her when she was young.  Back when the Daisy Kingdom dresses were so popular in the pattern books.  One dress I made for her actually used more fabric than I used for dresses for me.

Her fiance has just returned from Afghanastan. They have been engaged for almost two years, but never set a date.  Once he returned, they decided it was time.  That gave my sister a month to pull off the wedding.

I offered to make the ring bearer pillow, and had some things in mind.  But, after consulting with her and pinterest, we went in a different direction. We chose this design from Sweet Peas Place  I had never ordered from her, but was quite pleased with the stitchout.  Given the detail of the design, I believe she did her best to minimize the number of jump stitches.  The names and date were added using a built in font in Palette 5.  She chose linen fabric.  Luckily I had some nice white linen I had purchased from Carol Ahles or Lynn Weeks at a convention.

Stitching out

Sample stitchout.  It could have been the final stitchout, if I had used a different stabilizer.  There was no way to remove the stabilizer so it didn't show through.  On the final stitchout, I ended up using several layers of solvy then rinsing it really well.

Final pillow.  Ribbon is from Joanns and just tacked on so it can be removed if they want to use the pillow in their house.  I added snaps to the ribbons to hold the rings in place since they are planning on using their rings.  I did forget to add the band to the back for the ring bearers hands, so here is hoping for no problems from him, or flying pillows.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Draw String Bag Tutorial

Since Alyssa joined guard last year, we have been gifting the guard and coaches with drawstring backpacks to match the theme for the season.  The in process pictures are from my third set, the picture at the end is from the set I just finished.  I forgot to take in process pictures.  I had 17 bags to do for fall of 2013.  Typically I have done between 15 and 18.  The bags have gotten a lot of use by all of the girls. Last season I wish I would have had a camera to take a picture of the girls attacking the box looking for theirs the day I brought it out.  Axelgirl will be giving the bags to the girls on Tuesday night.

For fabric, I recommend a 100% cotton.  In the in-process pictures the marble was from equilter, and the black and purple  is Kona Cotton. The marble fabric was good quality, but a little thinner than the Kona but they seemed to hold up ok.  For the drawstring, I have found the 15 lb cotton rope sold for clothes line at Walmart is cheap and works well.  Eyelets are 3/8" ones sold in fabric and craft stores.  Interfacing/reinforcement is something I had, I think it was a craft interfacing.  It is fairly thick, stiff, and fusible.

I prefer to use a serger for the majority of construction.  It adds strength to the seams and finishes the edges at the same time.  If a standard machine is used, stitch the first seam, and then stitch a second seam 1/8" toward the raw edge for reinforcement

Main Fabric:  30" X 14" if directional fabric the 14" is the width
Accent 1:     5" X 27.5"
Accent 2/Top:  2 pcs 10" X 14"
Drawstring: 2 pcs 6 feet each
Interfacing/Reinforcements for eyelet: 2 pcs 2"X2"  I use some super thick interfacing                                          

Cutting Fabric: (Fabric was not pre-washed)  I was too lazy to iron that much. Cut following pieces to dimensions above.  If making bag for a smaller child, measurements may be adjusted.  These were made for high school girls.
Cut 1 piece main fabric 
Cut 1 piece Accent 1
Cut 2 pieces Accent 2
Cut 2 pieces Interfacing/Reinforcement 2"X2"
Cut 2 pieces Rope (wrap scotch tape around rope and cut in middle of tape, do not remove)

Preparing Main Section  All seams are 3/8" unless otherwise stated

With right sides together, stitch side seams
If using fusible interfacing, fuse to bag corners inside seam allowance

Turn bags right side out and press

  If using non fusible interfacing place in bag corner now.  Stitch a diagonal line from inside lower corner to outside upper corner on right side of bag per picture

Following package directions apply 2 eyelets to bottom of bag through interfacing underneath stitching

 Preparing accent 1
  • With right sides together stitch seam along short side
  • Fold piece in half, raw edges of long edge together, and press. 

Place Accent 1 over Main section, aligning and pinning raw edges.  Baste in place 1/4" from edge, remove pins

Preparing Top/Accent 2

Serge both short edges of both peices
  • Press under 3/8" on serged edges
  • Fold both pieces in half hot dog style (long edges together)
  • Mark 1" on either side of fold on short edges, stitch serged edge down between these two marks. (This is where the opening will be for the drawstring)
  • Stitch edges down between these two markings
Adding embroidery or embellishment to Top/Accent 2 (optional)
  • Instructions are for centering embroidered names.  You may have a better way for you
  • On one piece fold one long edge up to folded edge and press well
  • Fold same piece in half hamburger style (short edges together) and press well.
  • Using the two just pressed markings position in embroidery hoop
  • Program machine, adjust to stitch approx 3/16" towards the fold along top.  (make sure stitching is oriented properly)
  • Stitch out design
Finishing Top/Accent 2
  • Open up Top pieces and place on top of each other right sides together
  • Stitch in the folds on short sides (4 seams total), up to the stitched down section.
  • Fold up and press 
  • Stitch casing 1" from folded edge, this will be casing

Place top over main section, right sides together and pin edges

  • Stitch 1/2" seam all the way around
  • Flip top up and press
  • Using a safety pin, thread rope through top casing.  Start on one side of the bag and come back on same side.  Take rope from front and thread through eyelet to back, tying overhand not in back with both ends.  Repeat for other rope, starting on opposite side.
Last Winter Guard Season Bag

Bags for this season, without drawstring, eyelets, or final pressing.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Robots for Engineering Camp

Axelgirl recently went to an Introduction to Engineering Camp at Missouri S&T.  At the time, I was in the process of making her new pajama pants.  She picked out this fabric for her camp pjs.  She felt the robots were appropriate for camp.
 I do not have a picture of the pj pants, but they were normal big 3 pattern.  The only change I make is I add a buttonhole on each side of the center seam on the front.  I then attach ribbon to the side seams and run it out the button holes, so they can be tightened up as necessary.  I started doing this when she was little to help her tell the front from the back of her pants.

I had a few scraps left over so in addition to the pj pants she got a matching pillowcase.  Again nothing fancy or unique.  Her pillow is a memory foam pillow, so standard pillow cases do not fit it, so I tweak the measurements a bit. Green fabric is pima microcheck, with an orange polka dot ribbon for trim.  I would love to have a bolt of each color of the microcheck.  It comes in handy for so many things.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I have had plans to make Axelgirl a dress from McCalls 6518 for a while.  pattern  She picked out an aqua blue linen/rayon blend.  The edges of the ruffles are going to be roll hemmed on the serger in bright pink, and the ribbon will be bright pink.

I did the muslins a few weeks ago.  She measures almost a perfect size 14.  So I started there.  It was huge on her.  Next I made a size 12, and it fit perfect.  I'm not sure why the discrepancy, and am wondering if anyone else has noticed this.  I used up some stash as well for this, but did not line or anything like that so the dresses aren't wearable.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday Corri!

I have been sewing, but haven't posted.  I will try and catch up over the next few days.

The majority of the projects have been for my nieces third birthday.  We were not able to be with her this year, as she lives in Tucson, and they didn't travel in, and we didn't go there this time.

I have already posted about the green dress smocked with Make a Ladybug Wish here.   So she needed a matching coordinating doll dress.

 Doll dress is from a modified Big 3 pattern, not sure which one, where I made the armholes smaller.  It is out of the same fabric, even though the greens look different.  Embroidery design is from Designs by Juju with the flower cut off and rotated.

Next was another coordinating outfit for her and her doll.  Smocking is the Carries Cupcakes shown here. I did add bead sprinkles to the cupcakes. The pattern was originally supposed to be a Primrose Lane Miranda but that pattern and the original fabric I purchased disappeared while I was on pain medication.  Hopefully it will show up one day soon.  I ended up using the Martha Pullen Applique Jumper making the top bodice about 2 inches longer than the armhole at the bottom of the insert.  I then added three flounces of the equal width.  I determined the width by finding the remaining length of the jumper dividing by 3, and adding seam allowances.  I cut the first strip about 1.5 times the width of the bottom of the bodice, then added the rest of the strips using my gathering foot on the serger.  I lined it to the bottom of the smocking rather than the full lining of the jumper.  This should make it cooler as well for the Arizona heat.
 Here is a better shot of the fabric.  It is from Joanns in their cotton section.  Bodice again is the same one as above.  The skirt is 2 tiers gathered to the bodice.

Last but not least is a Mary De I made last year, but was waiting for a blouse to wear under it.  It is smocked with Mice to See You, in Navy Imperial Broadcloth.  The piping is probably made from a Joanns Broadcloth to get the bright color.  Blouse is Mary De Blouse with a CC Carol Sleeve from an aged piece of Fabric Finders Pique.  I did let out the hem from last year and lengthen the blouse

She also received a pair of pink sparkly shoes, and a coloring book with a box of Crayola Glitter Crayons.  I am hoping we get to see pictures of her in the outfits.  Even if we don't I enjoyed making them.