Category Archives: Garment Sewing

One Adorable Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!! Your recent two weeks of family time in Vermont were wonderful. The goal was to hang out with our son and his wife and spend as much time as possible with our grand daughter. 

Grandpa was her favorite during our visit!

While there my grand daughter came down with a miserable virus and had terrible croup. Poor little girl was sick for a long stretch and toward the end of it, my husband came down with it.  Not a fun bug at all!  The two days before we left, my son and his wife were starting to come down with it but it didn’t look like they were going to be quite as sick.

Since we were having some quiet time at home and H was taking long naps due to being sick, i did have time to do some sewing. I pulled out my DIL’s sewing machine to make a Halloween costume for H. She and her mom found a cute picture of a little girl dressed up as a pumpkin with green leggings and t-shirt on underneath. 


I used a Simplicity pattern for the costume. There is a Jo-Ann’s in the next town over so off I went in search of orange fabric. At first I planned to use a wool felt but it was so stiff. I knew H wouldn’t have fun running around in that at her Halloween party (at her daycare).  I was with my son Kyle (he and his wife drove over from New York for a weekend) and he spotted a bolt of orange fleece way up on a top shelf, not yet unwrapped. Lucky for me he is 6’ 2” and was happy to hop up and down to grab it. This was perfect. 


The pumpkin is lined with fleece and filled with batting. Even trick or treating in Vermont, this girl is going to be quite warm. Her outfit is so heavy!!  There was a stencil for the face but i felt like it was too big so I ended up cutting the pieces out free hand. Using a few bits of ‘Wonder-Under’, I fused the face to the front and appliquéd them with a simple zig zag stitch. 
The pattern called for a casing to be made at the hemline with elastic inserted to make it puffy. However with the fleece, there was already a nice shape to the pumpkin. Instead, I trimmed the fleece lining to be about two inches shorter than the outer layer.  Turning one inch of the outer layer to the inside, I machine stitched the hemline. 

She was trying on the hat when I first finished it. But it was a bit too big.

Ok- my favorite part of the whole costume is definitely the hat. When I made it, H was quite happy to wear it about the house for an afternoon so I really hope she wears it on Halloween. It looks so darn cute on her. I made it during a nap time, guessing at the sizes and it was too big for her.  There wasn’t a clean way to fix this without doing a lot of seam ripping. I had to rip one seam on the  pumpkin and it was difficult to manage with that puffy fleece fabric. So I cheated and took a little tuck and just stitched it up. The hat is still a bit large but better than before. 

So darn cute!

When I left I had not had time to run out and buy some velcro which was needed for the shoulder straps. So I left it unfinished and my daughter-in-law took care of it. I received some really cute pictures of H having fun with her costume today.

Getting ready for daycare earlier this morning. So much excitement!

I am glad they had a little party at her daycare. I hear they are supposed to have a lot of rain tonight so that may put the kibosh on any trick or treating.

I love the green and white striped leggings and t-shirt under her pumpkin costume.

Just in case there was a chance for trick or treating, I also made her a tiny treat bag to carry.

This was designed off the cuff and I didn’t write down any measurements. If I had to guess, I would say it finished at about 8″ x 11″ or so. Maybe even a bit smaller. I had that polka dot ribbon on hand (actually had all of the supplies on hand) and I took two pieces and sewed them together (wrong sides together) just to make it a bit heftier.

The bag is lined, which makes it a bit stronger. Since she does not yet know what trick or treating really is, she won’t be disappointed this year if they skip it due to weather. She can play with this bag or use it next year.

While I was there H and I made a festive bandana for their dog Wusha. I think Wusha looks a bit embarrassed to wear it but this dog will do anything my grand daughter asks of her. I had the triangular pieces cut and pinned and then had H sit on my lap and help me feed the fabric through the machine. I tried to take a selfie because it was so sweet but I am really, really not good at those and didn’t get much of a picture! But we had fun and she was thrilled to help Gram-gram sew for a few minutes.

Introducing Georgie Ghost

One last project while we were there was to make a little ghost to hang in the dining room. We had been taking walks around the neighborhood and she really liked looking at the neighbors decorations. She loved the ghosts and a few little scarecrows we saw. I asked her if she would like to make a ghost and she was so excited.

This was super easy. One styrofoam ball from Wal-Mart and a packet of cheesecloth from the grocery store. I cut the cheesecloth in two strips and with the help of one happy two year old, layered the ball with the cheesecloth. Then we worked together to cut the eyes, nose and mouth. I had gotten her a glue stick that starts out purple and dries clear. This way she could see where she was putting the glue to put the pieces on. The addition of the bow on her head turned this little ghost into a girl. H and I had so much fun with this project and it was the perfect amount of work for a two year old.

Checking to see if Georgie Ghost can fly.

My son took the photos of H and her ghost – they are so sweet! We really enjoyed our time with the kids and can’t wait for our next visit. Grand parenting is the best and it would be even better if we all lived on the same side of the country!! Someday…

Linking up with a few fun places, including the monthly Favorite Finish party at Meadow Mist Designs. Be sure to check the top of the page under Link Ups!

Sweetest Skirt with Trixie & Thomas

Another distraction popped up the other day. I have been wanting to make something for my grand daughter with the new Trixie fabric. This piece was designed by Heather Ross and it features two little mice, Trixie and her friend Thomas. I really love it! By the time I ordered it, a few key pieces were already sold out. However, I do have these two sweet bolts in the store.

I am fully aware the fabric in the shop is supposed to be sold. That is the goal. However, it is really difficult not to cut into certain bolts and this is one of those. These little mice are too cute. In real life, I have a huge issue with rodents, mice, etc. Ugh! But these, I can handle these little critters!

The pattern was a freebie from SewCanShe.com. This little skirt is so simple to make. The length of the skirt seemed quite short so I added a bit more length by adding on the second ruffle with the green floral.

I was also able to add some length by stitching a band of the floral around the top of the skirt. I used that to create the casing for the elastic. This added about one inch to the overall length. I love the way that pop of green looks at the top too!

I packaged up the skirt this morning and will mail it off to Vermont tomorrow morning. The elastic is not yet stitched together. I really wasn’t sure if I was making the waist the correct size so I am hoping my daughter in law can check the fit and then stitch it together. I know H will love these little mice with the bicycles.

Heather Ross creates such whimsical designs. Trixie is no exception. For those of you who are really into fussy cutting, the design lends itself perfectly! Hopefully it will fit H and I can share a picture of her wearing it soon.

Sewing with Stretch Knit Fabrics

Sewing with knit fabrics, making t-shirts and tank tops is not terribly difficult. I have made a number of them. However I am usually less than satisfied with the finished look, especially the hem and the neckline. The other day I was reading a post by Leanne at Devoted Quilter and she shared a pretty blue t-shirt she made. By using a double needle (or twin needle) she was able to achieve a nice finish at the hem and neckline.

These are available everywhere – Jo-Anns, Amazon, etc.

Some time back, I purchased a double needle, fully intending to try this. But for whatever reason, the needle landed in the drawer with lots of other needles and was forgotten. Leanne’s success gave me just the push I needed to give it a try. I looked on-line to see if there was anything special about threading my machine (Janome 6500) for this needle. My machine has two posts for thread which is mandatory. But threading it was nearly the same as using only one spool of thread. I didn’t want to buy two spools of the same color thread since this isn’t a color I will use often. Instead, I wound an extra bobbin and used it on the second post. This worked just fine.

Two very neat rows of topstitching forming the hem of the sleeve.

Sewing with a twin needle is interesting in that you must stitch from the right (or the top) side of the garment. The twin stitching shows on top and the bottom stitching has an interesting zig zag pattern achieved from the use on two needles on top and only one bobbin on the bottom.

This is how the back side looks.

This is the part I think is so magical. When I first tried using the needle and a a few scraps, I wasn’t at all sure what the bottom would look like as I didn’t really understand how one bobbin would deal with two threads.

Ok, here are a few details about this project. Using McCall’s M6957 and my thrifted stretch knit fabric, I made a very simple t-shirt dress. I cut the top at a size 12 and graded the waist and hip area to a 14 so it wouldn’t hug at the belly (because that isn’t a look I need to share with the world). 😉 The cut of this simple dress is really comfortable and the fact there are only three pieces to the pattern makes it a very easy project to put together.

I have had this green knit fabric in the drawer for about a year now. I picked it up at a garage sale from someone who was clearing out a lot of fabric. (That was a great sale and I was fortunate to purchase a large stack of knit fabric in good condition). I thought I would use this piece of fabric because if the fit wasn’t good there wasn’t a big loss since there was only a few dollars investment.

I got lucky though and the fit is great. I don’t have a picture of it on me because as I write this, I don’t have anyone to take a photo. Selfies are not my forte so I am not going to bother. Maybe I will post one later on. For now, you get the boring picture of it hanging from the door.

In my opinion the double needle makes all the difference. The hemline, hem of the sleeves and the topstitching of the neckline look so clean. It really elevates the finish of this dress. One thing to note, the pattern instructions told me to just fold the neckline in toward the wrong side and topstitch. I don’t like that method as it usually makes a wavy neckline and it allows too much stretch.

Instead, I attached single fold bias tape and then folded that to the inside and topstitched it. This way, I have a cotton strip creating shape to the neckline. It lays flat and looks really nice. I also reinforced the shoulder seams with bias tape so they wouldn’t stretch. After sewing the shoulder seams and checking the fit, I took a small piece of bias tape, laid it over the seam line and stitched it down. A very easy task and it will prevent the seams from stretching.

Now that I feel confident about the fit and look of this pattern, I want to make another one. I have lots of nice knits and look forward to using them. I think I will make a sleeveless version since we have such warm summers.

Hoping all of you enjoy the weekend. We will likely have a fairly quiet weekend. Julia is studying for finals. My husband wrenched his back and is limping around trying to let it heal. No big plans for the Kringel’s this weekend!

Linking to my usuals – check them out at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Happy New Year!

I saw a funny graphic on Facebook the other day.  It isn’t something I made up and I don’t know to whom I would credit this but it resonated with me.

Of course, it is even worse now.  It isn’t a couple of years out.  Next year is 2020 so, 30 years ago will be 1990.  How can that be? Thirty years ago seems such a long while back. However 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago.  Ah, I am such the philosopher.  These are the deep thoughts I have been having as we move into 2019 – 😉

I have had the pleasure of spending the New Year’s holiday with my oldest son and DIL in Vermont.  It has been a wonderful week of family time – my middle son and his wife drove here from Toronto for the holiday.  My grand daughter has been charming – I gave her a little plastic tea set for Christmas and we have had a number of tea parties with her stuffed animals..  I am surprised to see how quickly she fell into this pretend routine of pouring tea (she calls it ‘pepper tea’ as she can’t quite say peppermint tea). She adds a spoonful of sugar, stirs the tea and then blows on it to cool it off for her hedge hog and her Elmo doll.  I love it!

I also brought her a little dress that I made a couple of days before flying out.  This is the first time I have sewn anything with a Burda pattern.  The directions were clearly explained though so I didn’t have any issues. When I was making this, my DIL’s mother was visiting in Vermont so I was able to ask her to take a few measurements for me.  I made a size 2 and, for the most part, it fits nicely

The fabric is a soft and cozy fleece from Jo-Ann Fabrics. It is a deep navy with little hearts outlined in silver. H called them stars, maybe because they are sort of sparkly?

The neckline is finished with a strip of the same fabric.  I am STILL having issues with my serger so I finished the seams with a small zig zag stitch and then trimmed the seams.  It worked just fine.

Here is a cute picture of H wearing her new dress.  Is she not absolutley adorable??

Earlier that same day, she asked Grammy to put ‘pretty-pretties’ in her hair which means a pony tail.  She has so little hair, but I did the best I could!  She makes me smile.

This morning we woke to a little bit of snow.  Perfect timing – we get to have just a bit of wintry weather before heading back to California tomorrow to the real world.  School starts next week for Julia and I have orders to ship. We had such a great visit though – Vermont life is pretty wonderful!

 

 

Dress A Girl Around the World – Finish

I have a quick, cute, feel-good finish to share today.  I know I am a bit late to the party but I (finally) made a little dress to donate to the Dress a Girl Around the World program. I have read lots of posts over the years about others making these sweet dresses. I am happy to finally have joined in and made one too!

Dress a Girl Around the World is a campaign under the non-profit called Hope 4 Women International. They hope to bring dignity to girls and women throughout the world.  It is such a simple thing – wanting a girl to have a dress to wear.  They are sent to many different third world countries. While this organization has many goals they are trying to fulfill with the program, it is their basic mission to make girls and women of all ages feel worthy that moves me the most. In so many of these countries, females are undervalued or even not valued at all.  While one dress isn’t going to correct the problem, it will bring a smile to the sweet face of a girl who has never had her own dress. Also, many of the people working in these countries and delivering the dresses have said that dressing a girl in a clean dress with the Dress a Girl label attached on the outside, shows this child is being cared for.  Sometimes this is enough to ward of predators (criminals involved in human trafficking.) If these little dresses can have this sort of impact even a couple of times over, that is enough reason for me to make one.

Finished seams are a requirement for making these dresses.

There are lots of guidelines for making these dresses. While they originally began by making the dressed with pillow cases, this is no longer the method.  Quality cotton fabric is longer lasting and this is what they ask be used in the dresses. If you are interested, you can read about this requirement and others here. The biggest thing is coordinating with an ambassador in your area.  There are many available and their contact info can be found here.

This label is sewn to the outside of each dress.

As for me, our local Soroptomist club held a drive to have dresses made by locals who enjoy sewing. I was referred to them and happily made a dress. It was a very simple project and took maybe a couple of hours at most. The little dress looks to be about a size three so for a little one. I hope she loves the fun pink and purple colors and the little heart on the pocket. As you likely already know, I love these sorts of projects – they just have satisfaction and purpose written all over them.

Linking up for the last time with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.  Sniff, sniff.  I will surely miss reading Amanda Jean’s blog posts and wish her well in her next adventure. Other links ups are found at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Did you happen to read about the series of Quilting Cozy mystery novels in yesterday’s post?  If not, go and take a peek.  You can enter to win the books in a giveaway too!

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The Cutest Lion Ever

When the family was all here for the wedding last month, I asked my daughter in law if I could make a Halloween costume for H.  I know she won’t really ‘trick or treat’ since she isn’t even 2 years old yet.  But the kids at daycare will likely celebrate Halloween.  Also, she is starting to enjoy pretend play and dressing up with silly hats, wearing her mama’s ‘pretties’ (bracelets), etc.  I think even if she doesn’t trick or treat, she will enjoy having the costume to play with.

After chatting, we decided on a lion costume.  It will be fun for her to play with and she does enjoy roaring like a lion (which just cracks me up).  I ordered a pattern, which was silly because I have so many costume patterns in my pattern shop but I had sold the lion pattern already. Anyway, I selected McCall’s MP365 as it looked like it would be pretty simple to make.  I decided to leave the hand mitts off and make the tail detachable in case it was annoying when H was pretending to be a ferocious lion.

I chose a soft minky fabric for the body of the costume.  So cuddly….and so evil!  Honestly, cutting the minky was incredibly frustrating.  It slips and slides all over the place.  I would begin pinning the pattern piece from the center and work outward.  By the time I was to one end, the other would be off.  It was crazy!  So after putting nine billion pins in it, I finally started cutting. It made me nervous that sewing it would be a miserable experience but it wasn’t at all.  I had talked to my minky-expert-friend, Sophia, and she told me to use lots of pins and my walking foot.  The walking foot made all the difference.

One of my favorite parts of the costume is the lion’s mane.  I had bought brown fabric and was supposed to cut fringe to create the mane. But if H uses this very much, it will be washed a lot and I wasn’t about to finish each edge of the fringed mane.  I could have used minky because I wouldn’t need to finish the edges.  Then one day I was at Jo-Ann’s and I took a look at prepared trims.  I found this fringe and it was perfect!! It makes the lion sort of sweet.  My DIL says it reminds her of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It was so easy to attach and saved me a lot of time. I also hand stitched a bit of it to the end of the tail.

This loop on the back side of my little lion holds the tail.

Making the tail detachable was not a huge deal.  I took a strip of minky and folded it wrong sides together and top stitched around all sides.  Then I used “steam a seam” and fused a square of fabric to the inside of the costume just behind where the tail would hang.  I wanted to reinforce that spot so the tail didn’t stretch out the fabric when my little lion was roaring over the grasslands.  Once the back side fabric was reinforced, I used the strip of fabric to make a belt loop of sorts.  Then I made a second strip of fabric in the same was as the first. After putting velcro on each end of the strip, I hand stitched it to the end of the tail. This strip passes through the loop and Velcro’s to itself.

All in all, it turned out really cute.  I just hope it fits!  I had measurements to work with but I won’t know until they try it on her.

The cutest, cuddliest lion costume!

I can’t wait to see this on H.  I am putting it in the mail this morning.  When I have pictures of it on her, I will share one.  Of course, one never knows how a toddler will react and she may decide she hates lion costumes.  In which case, I am sure the next child will enjoy it.  I can remember my kids wanting to be something for Halloween and I would not want to start that costume until just before Halloween because surely they would change their mind at least a couple of times.

A few new items for the shop.

Other than the costume, I have been focused on adding new versions of Chemex Cozies and French Press Cozies to my shop.  This is the season where people begin shopping for the holidays and these two items sell quite well as gifts.  That will likely be what I concentrate on for the next couple of weeks.  When I select another fabric to offer, I make one as a sample and then my customers order them according to the size they need.  I make them to order which keeps me busy but it also means I am not sewing and sewing unless the item is sold.  Otherwise, I am guessing at which size and version to make.

Are you doing any Halloween sewing this year?  Maybe fall decorations?  Tell me what you are working on!

Linking up with lots of fun places.  Check them out at the top of this page, under Link Ups.

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Voile and Simplicity 1589; A New Blouse

When I was in Vermont in early September, I took along a number of sewing projects to work on.  One of those was a piece of pretty voile (designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabric) and a blouse pattern.  I haven’t used voile before and wanted to try it out.  In case you aren’t familiar, voile is a lightweight cotton with a higher thread count making it softer and sort of flowy (is that a word?).  It washes well and can be used for garments or quilting.  Anyway, I thought I would give it a try.  One thing I wanted was a blouse that didn’t have to be ironed after washing and this one doesn’t.  If taken out of the dryer right away, it looks lovely.

I chose Simplicity pattern 1589 because of its simple construction.  Two pattern pieces, just the front and back.  It literally took about an hour and one half to make.  I used French seams for the two side seams and the shoulder seams so the inside finish is very clean.  The neckline and armholes are finished with blue bias tape.  The pattern calls for bias cut strips of the same fabric but I am too frugal for that.  Bias strips leave so much waste and I like the pop of color that shows now and then from the coordinated bias tape.

I don’t have a normal set of pictures to show you.  My husband had taken some for me but most of them weren’t all that good so I decided to show you the shirt in action, so to speak.  I had it on while H was here last week and my son takes about 100 pictures daily of her so the shirt is featured in a number of them!

The pattern is fun because the back is just two overlapping pieces whose center edges are cut on a diagonal.  The opening goes all the way up to the neckline but when it blows open, it really only does so at the bottom because of the overlap.  Does that make sense?

Tomato picking was a favorite part of H’s morning with Grammy. However she was picking them green, orange and any color between!

It is long enough to wear with leggings which I like.  I did lower the front hem as much as possible.  It has that hi-low hem feature that is trendy these days but I didn’t want it to be as prevalent as the pattern had called for.

You can see the diagonal cut on the back pieces here.  I think it is a fun design.

Falling For You table runner

So, another blouse is done and now I have time to finish up a few other projects that are near completion. I started this table runner before the wedding and should be able to finish it up this afternoon. I am going to make H a Halloween costume so I want to get the sewing table cleaned off before I start it.  The pattern is ordered but I haven’t shopped for fabric yet.  She is going to be a lion and will be the cutest lion out there!

Finally, if you are in the mood for some fall colors, all of the autumn fabrics in my shop are 25% off today.  Come take a look – there are some really pretty pieces and they are a great deal.  Precuts, bundles and yardage are all available.  Also, hop over to either Instagram or Facebook and enter to win a cute bundle of Halloween fabrics.  Today is the last day of the sale and the last day to enter the giveaway!  Hope you will come and join in!

A Sweet Finish

Today I found myself getting frustrated because I have so much I should be doing and no energy.  After a two day migraine it usually takes me two or three days to get back on track.  This weekend is a big one because my son is getting married on Saturday.  My kids all come home on Thursday which is so great.  Anyway, I felt like I should be cleaning house or doing yard work, etc and really my body is rebelling and saying I should take it easy.  So I went in the sewing room.  Time in the sewing room is often a cure-all, right??

New Look Pattern 6578 and Radiant Menagerie Fabric by BariJ

I had most of this cute little dress made already.  I started it at the beginning of August and when it came time to put the buttonholes on it (a task I dislike) I hung it up in the closet and pretended it wasn’t there. But it is so cute and it called to me this morning so I pulled it out. I wanted to make it for my grand daughter but it is late in the season so I made a size 3T in the hopes she will wear it next summer.

The fabric is called Radiant Menagerie (from Indigo & Aster) and was designed by the talented BariJ.  I LOVE her aesthetic and carry a lot of her fabric in my shop (Wild Bloom, Indigo and Aster and now Virtuosa.)  If you aren’t familiar with BariJ, she is a talented artist whose work is often quite feminine and usually features large floral designs.  Her paintings are very pretty and some are quite whimsical.  Take a look at her work here.

She has a lot of animals sporting floral crowns and I was thrilled to see her include them in the Indigo & Aster line (produced by Art Gallery Fabric).

Probably my favorite of the animals, no surprise there, right?

The fabric that features the animals is called Radiant Menagerie and is a border fabric of sorts.   Each selvage edge is lined with the various animals.

In between the selvages are stripes in coordinating colors or pink, orange, green and blue.  The stripes are actually dotted lines. So when using this piece in a quilt, it is simple to fussy cut the animals and then use the stripes as a coordinate.

I wanted to use this as a dress so I was careful to choose a simple pattern with a straight hemline (as opposed to curved.)  This enabled me to use the striped portion as the bodice of the dress and the animals as the bottom.  The back side of the dress mirrors the front with animals parading across the bottom and the colorful stripe at the top.

Front ruffle detailing.

As if it wasn’t colorful enough already, I decided to take it a step further.  Using a four inch wide strip of La Floraison Lit (another piece in the line) I sewed a tube with the fabric and turned it right side out.  Then I ran two lines of stitching down the center (with a long, loose stitch) so I could gather that tube into a ruffle.  A quick hunt through my buttons resulted in these cute, colorful buttons to add to the ruffle.  I really like the extra detail this adds to the dress..

Finished French Seams

My serger is (still!) not cooperating with me so I finished the seams with French seams.  This will prevent any fraying.  I do love French seams.  They are easy and give a really nice finished look to the garment.

Lavender facing on the inside.

Because the fabric in a nice lightweight cotton, I didn’t want to use the dress fabric for the interior facings around the neckline and armholes.  It showed through and didn’t look very polished.  Instead, I used a scrap of a lavender solid (I think a Moda Bella piece)). It looks pretty to see that lavender bit popping through.

The dress is adorable and while I am certain it will be too big for now, I can look forward to seeing it on her next spring or summer.  These little projects are so much fun.  They don’t take a whole lot of fabric and I love seeing her in something I made.

It felt good to sit and sew the bits needed to finish this little dress up.  Tomorrow I should have a lot more energy to be able to get things done for our big weekend.  I am over the moon about this wedding as I really think these two are perfect for each other. We are so happy to welcome Shar into the family! I will share more about the wedding once everything quiets down again.

 

Sharing with my favorites, including a new linky party hosted by Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty.  It is called Brag About Your Beauties and happens on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Fridays of the month.  Be sure to check it out!

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Friday Finish – Chambray Pants

Happy Friday!  Before I get going here, I want to thank everyone for the great response to the July Blogger Bundle.  It is a beauty and I am happy to announce that Kathie L will be receiving a bundle in the mail soon.  She won the drawing for the giveaway!  Yay for happy, squishy mail – it’s coming your way Kathie!

I actually do have a finish to share – not a quilt finish but something to check off the WIP list nonetheless.  I began making a pair of pants in May – Well, I actually bought the fabric over a year ago and it sat on a shelf until May.  But then Me Made May rolled around and I got excited about making some clothes.  I got these nearly done in May – they only needed to be hemmed.  It took me until mid-July to hem them.  Why??  Now it is too hot to wear pants.  Silly me.

So these were a very easy make. The pattern for these was Vogue 7294.  The pattern was from 2001 and the pants had a high waisted cut.  I took a few inches out of the rise so they would hit me below the waist. There isn’t a waistband – just a simple elastic waist.  I don’t tuck my shirts in so this won’t be an issue.

The biggest issue I ran into was the fabric I chose for the pants.  It was not a good choice at all!  It is too light weight and it frayed continually, making it a pain to sew with. I did the best I could, making sure to finish each seam with a zig zag stitch to help with the fraying.  My plan is to hand wash these (in the washing machine – my washer has a “hand wash” cycle) and hang them to dry.  I really have no idea how long they will last?  For all I know, they may disintegrate upon first wearing.

Chambray Pants

I was concerned that this lightweight material would make the pants look like pajamas.  To be honest, they do look a lot like pj’s.  But I like them anyway.  They are comfortable and they have pockets in them!!  However, I am afraid to use said pockets because of the lightweight, easily frayed fabric.  Yikes, these are going to be some high maintenance pants!  😉

In closing, does anyone need a good book to read over the summer?  I just finished two and both of them were excellent.  The first one was The Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler.  I am a huge fan of Anne Tyler’s.  She writes such great stories about regular people. I love how she develops her characters. The reader always comes away feeling like he really knows those people.  Great read!

The second book I read is the The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez.  It iss a timely novel about several families who came to the US from various countries such as Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.  The relationships between the families, their history, and a love story between two young teens make this book hard to put down. Have you read anything good lately?  I am ready for another book.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  We are having lunch with my in-laws on Saturday and then we will be home all day Sunday.  Supposedly it isn’t supposed to be over 90 degrees this weekend so that will be a nice break from this crazy heatwave.

Linking to lots of linky parties.  See them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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Designs by Heidi – Guest Post

Hi Everyone – I am back from our back-to-back vacations! Both trips were awesome but as always, home sweet home!  After a relaxing time away, I am ready to jump back into my blogging/sewing/shop routine.  Today I have a really special post to share with you.  I would like to introduce you to Heidi Emmett.  Heidi is a really talented pattern designer and I am proud to carry a number of her patterns in my pattern shop. To do justice to this introduction, I need to tell you a bit more!  Heidi lives in Grass Valley and we are both in the same quilt guild.  Heidi makes both quilts and garments, designs clothing patterns, teaches sewing classes at an annual retreat up at Lake Tahoe and is generally a creative maker at heart.  She also owned a brick and mortar fabric shop in Grass Valley for quite a few years.  She is a person with what seems like unlimited energy and is constantly making or designing something.  About a month ago, she and I chatted at a guild meeting and we were brainstorming ways we could work together since we both have so many common interests.  As a result, I have begun to carry her patterns in my pattern shop.  She had purchased some of the Sarah Golden linen blends from me at the quilt show last May with the intent to make one of her Terrific Tabard vests. Today she will share the vest she made and explain the process she used to make it. I hope you enjoy the post.   If you have any questions for Heidi, be sure to leave them in the comments and she will post a reply to you there. I hope you all will enjoy getting to know Heidi as she is a creative force to be reckoned with!

Hello! Designs by Heidi is who and what I am. I have a line of “Art to Wear” patterns. You can find some of my patterns for sale at Needle and Foot. A BIG thank you to Bernie, for inviting me show off some of the fabric she sells using one of my patterns, Terrific Tabard.

I’m going for a whole new look (than the cover shot above) with the linen blends I got from Bernie’s Etsy shop. Let me show you what I did to create a sophisticated and smooth Terrific Tabard. I started with two linen blends from Bernie. I absolutely LOVE linen! And these two linens by Andover Fabric are neutrals that will work with ANY  other palette of colors. The piece with the columns of lines is called Lines (appropriate enough!) and the piece with the checked pattern is called Squares on Tailored Cloth.  Both were designed by Sarah Golden and are available in Bernie’s shop.

tabard

I went to Quilt Market in Portland, OR this past May and was able to buy a modern black and brightly colored panel by Marcia Derse. This panel won’t be available in stores until October. I immediately thought to use it as a part of my Tabard vest!

Fortunately, I also snagged some very small pieces from Marcia’s newest collection, again available in October.  The linen fabric is just perfect with these prints.

Most of my patterns have tissue pattern pieces included (I always include a range of sizes in one pattern). Notice I have taken a lengthwise fold in some of the tissue (closest to the side, not the center). I did this because I want to insert some improv strips to add color and visual interest to the vest.

I love lots of bold color and plan to use bits of the smaller Marcia Derse pieces to create a long strip of fabric.  Remember when I cut out this piece I pinched out some, so now I have to fill it back in with something.

I first cut the panel apart near the pinched out area all the way up through the shoulder area. Tip: Always cut wherever you pinch it out, then you can replace that space with your accent fabric and bring it back to size again. It is a fun and creative trick.

I cut up a few of those colorful pieces and sewed them together and then stitched them to either side of what I cut apart.

Always line up other seams and plan to have extra on either end to trim off. I do not like to run short. I will just snip, snip, the orange fabric in line with the shoulder seam.

While I let the fashion layer dictate what each section will look like, I always, ALWAYS, strive for a long and lean look. I want your eyes to see the whole design in an up and down fashion as this tends to be much more flattering than looking side to side.

Preparing the embellishments for the back of the vest

When I created the back piece, I wanted to add some embellishment to it as well.  For this, I used an applique process rather than slicing and inserting a strip.  I cut the pieces I wanted and folded the raw edges under and pressed them. Next I pinned them in place and top-stitched around the edges to attach them to the back as well as finish those raw edges.  I didn’t fuse them first though you certainly could if you preferred that method.

After stitching the front pieces to the back, in most other “quilted” version of Terrific Tabard, I would be layering the vest with batting right now (sometimes even before the shoulder seams are stitched together) and quilting all three pieces. Then the vest would be finished off with quilt style binding (albeit much narrower than a quilt binding). These instructions are included in the pattern. But THIS vest will have no batting. I chose to line it traditionally which means no binding necessary! This version really goes together quickly.

Front and back lining pieces stitched at the shoulders

The two front lining pieces are “Grunge” in black. The back piece lining is a very old (no longer being made) Kaffe Fassett stripe. To line this I pinned it, right sides together, and stitched all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I made sure to leave about a 6-8″ opening on one side so I could turn it right side out.

Grading a curved seam.

Very carefully grade the seams on the curved portions. Grading just means trimming one piece smaller than the other. When you turn the whole piece inside out and begin to press, press, press (that’s the secret to a beautifully lined piece), all the rounded edges will fall into place as you press. Tip: On dark fabrics use a press cloth (a piece of muslin works) on top of the fabric before you press. Sometimes you get a shine, even on linen.

Handmade buttons by Sandra Bruce

I have a rather large collection of buttons. Here is a group of handmade polymer buttons by the talented Sandra Bruce. I love to buy the buttons I like, knowing that someday, I’ll have the perfect button for a project. Forget buttonholes. I use strips of fabric that have been folded and pressed and stitched into place.

 

The polymer button I chose for the front is very intricate and it’s really BIG, but I think it blends in nicely.

The two side buttons are from my glass button stash. I know, I know, it’s a sickness, but one I don’t want to get over. Ha, ha.

It’s finished!!

I love my new vest. I can’t wait to wear it (not sure when since it is still summer!), but I’ll be ready when cooler weather comes.

Here is the finished back side of the vest.  I love the look of the larger scale linen print slicing through the narrower lines.

Worn with just one lapel folded out.

One last way to style this Terrific Tabard, fold back the lapel on just one side.

If you like what you have seen, please join me at Designs by Heidi for more fun and creative happenings. I love sewing “Art to Wear.”  You can also follow me on Instagram to see the latest patterns and classes I offer. Thank you again Bernie for letting me join in with you all at Needle & Foot.

Hugs, Heidi Emmett