Showing posts with label weekend sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weekend sewing. Show all posts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Easiest Summer Dress

I have actually managed to do a little sewing for myself this summer, all my style - fast and easy. This sundress was made in the same fashion as the one I made for Madeline here.  The beauty of this little number was no hemming! The seersucker had finished selvedges, so I simply used those for the top and bottom, and seamed the cut edges in the back. Before seaming, I used elastic thread to gather the top, and also used it to make the stretchy straps.
It is a long dress, perfect for hot summer afternoons. The gathering took the greatest chunk of time (I think I did 16 rows), and the rest came together is minutes, giving me plenty of time to read and relax in the shade. That's my kind of summer project.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sewing Weekend

I traded the pen for the needle this weekend, and managed to get a few projects crossed off my list. The top priority was Madeline's dresses. She has four beautiful Hanna Andersson dresses that she won't wear because they don't have cats on them. Seriously, she will not wear anything unless it has a cat on it. So, I searched online for some simple cat coloring pages to use as templates, and appliqued cats on her clothes. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous at first. These are Hannah Andersson dresses, after all. Madeline, however, was delighted with the results, and I am, too. They really do look like Madeline dresses now, and hopefully they won't sit at the bottom of her drawer anymore.

My other project was a little wristlet from Sew Darn Cute. I altered the pattern a bit, since the printer was out of ink and I couldn't blow up the one that was included in the book. I made some mistakes, but in the end I think it came out okay. I will shorten the strap next time, and alter the sewing in of the zipper just a bit, but overall it makes a cute little purse. My one complaint with the book is that there are only written instructions - no diagrams. It's very hard for me to sew without diagrams; I rely heavily on them to make sure I understand the written directions. I have the Stiched In Time book from Bookswim right now, and it also relies heavily on written instructions (though there are a few process pictures here and there with the projects). I suppose that's why I love Bend The Rules Sewing and Weekend Sewing (which the checkbook cover/coupon books are from)so much. The diagrams are so clear, you only need to read through the directions once, or even just skim them for some projects. Maybe if I were a better seamstress it wouldn't matter so much, but since I'm low on the sewing chain, I love those step by step pictures!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I heart smocking

Okay, this is the cheaters version, I admit, but I am in love with elastic smocking! Another great pattern from Weekend Sewing, and oh, so easy! The smocking is done with elastic thread in the bobbin, which must be hand wound. The hardest part was actually getting the bobbin thread up, since the elastic is heavier than regular thread (if anyone has a trick for this, I'd love to hear it!). You mark the right side of your fabric with half inch lines using a water soluble fabric pen, and then topstitch. It gathers a bit as you sew, but the magic happens when you steam it. You first spray the right side of the fabric with water to remove the pen and help with steaming, and then you iron. When you iron, the elastic shrinks and you get smocking! How cool is that? It's a simple seam down the back and ties. Finished. I've made one for Madeline and a matching dress for my goddaughter, and more are on the way. I'm thinking a smocked coffee cup sleeve, maybe a smocked dog sweater, toaster cozy.... you get the idea;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Sewing

I had a little flu this weekend, which was bad enough, but I was also out last Sunday from some disagreeable Mexican food, so I've had two fruitless weekends in a row. I hate being sick, period, because I HATE being idle, but it's even worse on the weekends, the free two days when we can do something together. Fortunately, the fever let up on Monday and I was able to make my first project from my Mother's Day gift, Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I had seen a few pieces from the book on various blogs, and well, let's just say the gift wasn't a big surprise. Then I read the recent reviews on Amazon, where people had many issues with the patterns. Yikes! But, I don't scare easily, and none of the patterns looked difficult to alter. One reviewer complained about the yard scale skirt being way too small and wasting her expensive fabric, but seriously, do you use expensive fabric on a pattern you've never sewn before? I certainly don't. I made our pajama pants from an old sheet. The skirt, according to Heather's website, should have included at least one more panel, but don't you try things on as you are making them? I started with the pants pattern itself. I used the small pattern, but I knew I would have to add a lot of additional length, because I have a long inseam. Then, after I cut the pattern, I held it up to me and judged that I would need to make it a bit bigger to get the loose fit I wanted, so I cut an extra half inch of fabric around the pattern. Now, I am definitely not an experienced seamstress. I learned to sew from my mom in grade school, and have just played with simple patterns ever since, but I've sewn enough to know that no pattern is perfect. Yes, I think her patterns do run a little small. I am a size four, and the pajamas probably would have fit as is, but not with the wide, loose fit that you'd expect. Madeline's small/medium children's pants were just perfect, and she's a 7 slim. They don't have much room to grow, so I will probably try the large pattern next time. These were minor issues, and ones you could find with any pattern. So far, the book's a hit for me, and I can't wait to do more projects. Madeline is loving the matching clothes thing right now (never thought I would go for that, but I know that all too soon she'll be in middle school and want nothing t do with me, so I'm taking advantage of it!), so I think the little girl's sundress is next, but one in mommy's size, too!

Edit: Speaking of fabric, hurry over to Jenna Lou and enter the Amy Butler fat quarter giveaway! Love to get some of that, because the quilt shop in town (love her, but it's the only local fabric store) doesn't carry Amy anymore. She said it just doesn't sell well - too traditional here. :( While you are there, take some time to check out her nifty blog!