Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Project for 2013 - Handbag

I finally made myself a new bag.  I started with simplicity 3828 (view D).  This is an old pattern and is now OOP.  I used the pattern as my starting point to get the size and shape that I like. 

My finished bag is 2 inches shorter than the pattern. I installed a zipper at the top instead of a magnetic snap. 

I used home decor fabric from Joann's.  I used fusible fleece as the interfacing and machine quilted the black side.  I used a solid blue for the lining.  The handles are made from the black fabric with nylon webbing inside. I like using the webbing better than interfacing as it's not so bulky, but very strong, and adds just the right amount of stiffness.

I like pockets on my purses - so I added 3 of them.  There's a small inside pocket; a large outside pocket on one side and a small one on the other side.  All of the pockets have zipper closures.  I used key charms as zipper pulls.

Here's a close up to show the pulls.

I like the fabric, it's the right size & has the pockets I need - I think I got it right.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jacob's Ladder Quilt

I made this quilt for my husband's birthday.  Blue is my husband's favorite color, so I used several blues and some blacks.  Even though blue's not my favorite color, I love how it turned out.

I had it quilted with black thread.   And used a black with white dots fabric for the binding.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sewing Goals for 2014

It's time to make sewing goals for next year.  Here's what I've decided on:

Make & post one garment each month
Learn to better use my Juki  machines
Study my Craftsy classes
TNT pants pattern
Learn to sew undies

The last several months, I've been obsessed with working on quilts and have really neglected my garment sewing.  So I've decided I want to make at least 1 garment per month for myself.  To encourage me to keep on track with that I've joined Sarah Liz's "make 1 garment a month challenge".  Here's the link: makeagarmentamonthchallenge

A few months ago, I purchased a new Juki F600 sewing machine and a Juki 654 serger.  I love them both and enjoy using them, but I want to take the time to go through the manuals and learn to use all the feet and stitches, so I can get the most from my machines.

I've bought several Craftsy classes: Beginner Serging by Amy Alan; Pant Construction Techniques by Sandra Betzina; Jean-ius by Kenneth D. King;  The Ultimate T-Shirt by Marcy and Katherine Tilton; and Sew Better Sew Faster by Janet Pray.  I've watched all of them except "Sew Better, Sew Faster".  But I want to study them and use them to improve my sewing.

I haven't worked on pants for several months, but I really want to get back to work on that.  I really, really need some pants and need to come up a TNT pattern.

I've wanted to learn to make my own undies & have tried a couple times, but didn't stay with it.  I have a pattern and supplies and it would be a good way to use the left over pieces of fabric from making knit tops.

Here's to a happy and productive sewing year!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Knit Shirt Refashion

I've become very interested in the idea of clothing refashioning (recycling? repurposing?); especially t-shirts and knit tops that don't work anymore.

I started with this shirt.  It's a basic cotton knit top. I like the fabric and the way it fit through the neck, shoulders and chest, but it's too short. I decided to lengthen it and change the shape somewhat.

I  wanted it to have more of of this shape, so I inserted triangle shaped pieces into the side seams.


If I want to wear it during cold weather, I'll probably wear it like this with a black long sleeve tee underneath

Here you can see the piece I inserted in the side seam

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Favorite Time of the Year

It's fall!  I love the sunny days with the blue skies and the cool nights.  And the leaves!!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quilt Show Ribbon

I entered my first quilt show & won a blue ribbon!  I really like my quilt, but was surprised to win 1st place.

The pattern was from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (Oct. 2009). 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Patio Swing Cushions

I finally finished the cushion covers and canopy for my patio swing. I got the fabric at the beginning of summer, but put it off as I dreaded it.  The cushion covers weren't too bad to make, but the canopy was a pain.  The worst part was I made it too small on the corners - which meant I had to remove it from the frame (which is not easy), make alterations to it, and then put it back on.  It's not great, but it's done. 

I got the fabric on clearance at a local fabric outlet store for $4.00 yd.  It's an exterior fabric - either nylon or polyester and hopefully will last at least a couple summers.   And it's the right color to go with the rest of the patio furniture.  I'm so glad it's finished!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quilt Blocks Tote Bag

I've been working on quilts recently and had made 2 blocks that I knew I wouldn't use in a quilt.  So, I decided to use them to make a tote bag.  I found a 1/2 yard piece of cream colored fabric in my stash that was just right for the lining.

I love this block.  The pattern is called swoon.  I found a picture of it on-line and drew my own pattern.

Since this block was only 12",  I added a border using the same blue from the other block.

I hand quilted the blocks and used 2 inch wide nylon webbing from Joann Fabrics for the straps.  Finished size is approximately 16" x 18". It's a great size to carry my medium size rotary mat and ruler.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Simplicty 1716 - Knit Top

This is a nice pattern with neck and sleeve variations.

I made view "F", and shortened the sleeves.

I like the look of a cowl neck, but they never lay quite right.  This one has pleats at the shoulders that cause the neck to drape nicely.   I extended the facing quite a lit - just as extra insurance that it wouldn't flip out.  I also like that the neckline's not too wide nor too low cut.

I made a size 14 down to the waist and then out to a 16.  I also added a little to the center back at the hip area to give me more room in the backside area.   And as per my usual alteration, I removed about 3/4" from the shoulder width.

I used my coverstitch machine to hem the sleeves and bottom edge. I think I'm finally getting the hang of using it. 

I used 1-1/4 yards fabric.  It's a poly-blend knit that I believe I got at WalMart several years ago.  It feels ok, but is a little hot for me to wear in the summer.  I'll most likely wear it in the fall with a sweater or cardigan over it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

3 Summer Tops

The first top is Simplicity 1615

This is a really cute pattern, but I'm not sure how much I like the top - for me.   It has a bit of a maternity look and the front neckline is a little low.  I actually used some of this fabric for another pattern that didn't work out.  And since I love this fabric, I have to wear this one.

I made my usual size 14, but should have went down to a 12 through the shoulders and neck. 

Here's how I wore the top today.  Since the neckline is too low and wide for my comfort, I wore a tank underneath it.  Worn this like, it's very comfortable.

 Next up, is McCall's 5665.  This pattern is now out of print.

This is what I would call a smock-top;  sort of the type of top I wore in the 1970's.   It's very loose fitting, and again, has a bit of a maternity feel to it.   The fabric is a quilting type cotton I got on the clearance table at Joann Fabrics.  I used purchased bias binding on the armholes and made my own binding for the neckline.  Why I wasn't consistent on that, I don't remember.   Nothing fancy, but cool and comfortable.


Lastly, is a BWOF, May 2009 # 115

I made a size 42 and added a little at the hip area.  The neckline was too loose, so I inserted a black ribbon and use it as a drawstring.  I used black bias binding turned to the inside for the armholes.  I really like this fabric.  It's white with dark gray flowers and very soft cotton.  I had just enough of it for this top.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Denim Maxi Skirt - Simplicity 3796

Here's my latest project:

I used this pattern. 

I really like this pattern.  It has a good shape, that fits me well and the pockets are nice.

I cut a size 18, but ended up taking more than 1/2" off each side.  The waist was still too big in the back, so I added back waist darts. My skirt is 37" long.  I used a double needle and white thread to topstitch all the seams.

The fabric is a light-medium weight denim I got at Joann's  last year.  It took 2 yards for this skirt.

I wanted a basic denim skirt and I'm happy with how it turned out.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Maxi Skirt - Simplicity 1782

I finished another skirt, using this pattern.

According to my measurements, I should need a size 18, so that's what I cut, but it was quite a bit too big through the waist.   The finished length listed for this skirt is 38", but this is only allowing for a 5/8" hem.  Next time I will cut it a little longer as I prefer a deeper hem allowance.   Also, it would probably look better using an invisible zipper.  The only change I made was to stitch up  the slit.


I used a poly-blend "linen" look fabric.  It is very thin and almost see-through.  I will definitely need to wear a slip with it.  It was a good choice for this pattern. I don't know how long I've had it, but it most likely came from Joann Fabrics.  I had 2 yards and that's what it took for this skirt.  It was easy to sew, but ravels a lot.  And it wrinkles, but not excessively.

Since it's so loose and full, it should be cool during the hot summer.  The color seems to go with a lot of different tops I already have. Plus, it suits my casual lifestyle.

Making this skirt meets some self-imposed summer sewing rules: fabric is from stash; it's a solid color basic that can mix & match with items I already own; and it will get me out of the rut of wearing pants all the time. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Car Trash Bags

Today I'm doing some easy sewing - making car trash bags.   I made one for myself a few months ago; and several people saw them and asked for one.  So, I made 7 more to give them away.  I still have one more to make.

On pinterest several months ago, I saw some car trash bags that someone had made.  Theirs were small round ones that had a loop to hang on the gear shift.  I liked the concept, but came up with my own design.  I wanted mine to be larger and to hang from the headrest. 

I made them just the right size for a plastic grocery bag to fit into.  I put velcro on the straps so you can slide them through the handles of the plastic bag and so you can fasten it on the headrest or wherever you want it to hang.

I got the fabric at Joann's.  It's a "utility" fabric that feels almost like paper.  It was on the clearance table for $2.00 yd & was 60" wide. I made 8 of the bags from that fabric. 

So that the bag would stand out at the top (to make it easy to drop trash into it) I inserted a piece of plastic hose into a hem at the top edge.  I got it at Lowe's.  It's what you would use to run water to a refrigerator ice maker.  That was my husband's idea.

Here's one hanging on the back of the seat.