Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Just A Simple Belt

A wide belt I had broke a few months ago, so I figured it was time to try making a belt. It was pretty straightforward. 

1) Buy a 2-inch-wide belt buckle from Dritz

2) Cut a strip from some black "yoga pant"-style knit fabric - 5 inches wide and as long as my waist measurement.

3) Bond a 2-inch-wide strip of fusible knit interfacing down the center of the fabric. 

4) Fold, unbonded sides together, and stitch, lengthwise, with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. 

5) Turn it rightside-out. Press so that the seam runs down the center of the back of the belt. 

6) Attach the belt to one side of the buckle. 

7) Try on, adjust for fit, and attach the other side of the belt to the other side of the buckle. 


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carefree Apron Love

I picked up this Carefree Butcher Apron pattern a little while ago. I think "sample" means it must have been free? Maybe? In 1975? It's fairly common on both Ebay and Etsy, if you want a copy. I'm guessing McCall's Carefree patterns was that company's answer to Simplicity?

Check the awesome cover art. Girl in the red apron - are you getting married in that thing? Seriously. It's so big! 

Love the highlight over Notions. It appears to have been printed that way.

I made the shortest one, because this is kind of a fabric hog. Even with that, I had to piece a little bit of one of the backs and cut it upside down. It's in back, and mostly covered by the other side, so I expect to live. I also added 1-inch belt hardware to make the neck strap adjustable.

I also made the waist ties in black, since I think this cute mostly-white fabric would get pretty grubby if I was tying it all of the time. 

That's the shortest one! It hits me at my knee. The girl in the blue must be 14 feet tall. 

With that said, I LOVE this pattern. It has bust darts! I don't know if anyone else has this problem with overall-style aprons, but they sometimes slide around on me and before I know it, one of my boobs is hanging out of the apron. It kind of defeats the purpose of an apron. 

The fabric is a quilting cotton from SR Harris that's on the heavier end. I've decided it's impossible to find Paris-themed fabric that isn't at least a little crazy, so I might as well lean into it. If you look closely, you can see that this fabric is based on the story of three cats who go on vacation in Paris. They like the Eiffel tower and bicycles. It's adorable. 

I used a yellow chaco-liner for the first time for this project. It freaked me out a little, at first, since it didn't just wipe away the way the white stuff usually does. As soon as I finished sewing it, I applied quite a bit of Shout to the marks and washed it in the washing machine on cold. I laid it flat to dry. I generally air-dry most of the clothes I make, but I especially didn't want to put this in the dryer, in case the chalk hadn't come out all of the way.

It did come out! Yay! 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Turtle Stuffy Toy

I ran into some sweet old ladies at Jo-Ann's when I was picking up remnant fleece to make this little guy and they were like, do you have kids? Are you a teacher?


Um, why are you making a stuffed toy?

Because...I want to? Besides, so cute!

The finished turtle, sitting on the awesome model pincushion/ footstool that my nieces made for me for my birthday last year. She's cuddly and cute and I love her. The bear in the pattern looks cute but also has about 20 pieces to it. I may try it, at some point, and/or the elephant. It's nice to have options!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: All New Fabric Savvy by Sandra Bertzina

I first encountered Sandra Betzina in her wonderful Craftsy classes. So, I was super happy when I saw that she had a new version of a wonderful book: All New Fabric Savvy.

If, like me, you hoard magazine articles about different types of fabric and pore over fabric choices in blogs, this book is for you. If, also like me, you can never remember where you saw those great tips on sewing scuba fabric, this book is DEFINITELY for you!

Each entry gives you the background on the given fabric and also has tips on pretreating, pressing, hemming and (most importantly, for me) matching the fabric to the project so that you can get the most out of your sewing time.

My favorite resources are in the back of the book: a visual glossary of techniques, details on interfacing, presser feet, tools, choosing knit fabrics, determining fabric content, linings and stain removal.

The knit fabric section, in particular, is invaluable. I love that Sandra includes tips on choosing the best fabrics and also knowing when to stay away from certain fabrics that look great on the bolt but are either hard to sew, tend to pucker or just aren't worth it.

She even covers Cotton for Quilters and, instead of saying, "Just don't do it!" suggests the types of garments that work the best for those super-popular, cute and relatively inexpensive fabrics.

Overall, I recommend this book heartily for sewists of all experience levels.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gray Shirt

This is Stretch & Sew 760, and I made it as sort of a test.

Would a Stretch & Sew pattern really work with woven fabric? The answer: yup, this one does. 

A lot of side-seam shaping and no darts might make this a good candidate for a plaid shirt. I would reshape the collar, though. 1975, I think? That collar could achieve liftoff!

The shirt-tail hem is fantastic. I'm planning on basically grafting it onto a lot of my other shirt/top patterns in the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Basement Sewing Space

What have I got to show you?

Last year, our water softener went haywire and flooded part of our basement because our floor drain backed up.

Fortunately, we have insurance for sewer backup, so after a little angst, we got it all cleaned up and had new carpet installed.

That room is what I would call semi-finished. It has carpeting and some drywall, but also some areas that are straight-up 1950s basement, complete with concrete walls that probably shouldn't ever have been painted, since now the paint is flaking off.

We had to move all of the stuff we were storing in there so that they could put in the carpet. Dee and I talked about it. She said, why not just make that your sewing cutting area and storage space? It already has closets.

I said, "I love you."

So, we did.

Weird closets that I will now stuff with my sewing stuff.

Cutting area. Storage under table for trash, scraps and patterns.


Boomer, plus some storage. (BEFORE)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New Knitting Bag!

Way back this spring, I stopped by Yarnover, met June Hemmons Hiatt and purchased a knitting belt from her. I wasn't looking to learn a new way to knit, but these things happen, apparently. :)

I really like the belt, but there was just one problem. The 30 cm needles I bought with the belt were too long for my favorite sock-knitting bag.

Obviously, I had to sew a new knitting bag, right? 

Enter Kwik Sew 3728, view B. I've written about using this pattern before, but it was a different view.

Oh, and I used this awesome Wonder Woman-themed fabric from Joann's.

I LOVE it! I made a few changes. 

- No piping. 
- Fusible fleece (Pellon 971f) to give it some body. 
- I used nylon webbing for the straps and buried them in the seam instead of attaching them to the sides.