Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some more toddler sewing

I still have a ton of clothes that I sewed for my girl at the beginning of the summer that I'd like to share, but have yet to blog. She's worn the heck out of all of these and I *might* have gone a little overboard with the summer sewing, as her dresser drawers are overflowing!

Nola is ALWAYS asking to wear her "lemon shorts", so I try to keep these in the rotation as much as possible. I was so excited to sew with some of Rae's Small World corduroy, but since I was doing summer sewing, I wasn't quite sure what to use it for. I've sewn these oliver and s Puppet Show shorts before for a friend's daughter, and I really wanted to make some for the girl. I think they came out adorable! The Lemon Drop in pink corduroy is very light and soft and the colors are vibrant, even after a gazillion washes.

This next shirt is actually an exact replica of one I made for myself using Kitschy Coo's Trifecta Tee pattern. The best part about sewing for a little girl is that usually there is enough fabric left after cutting something out for myself to make her something too! I used Figgy's Seraphic Raglan tee pattern for this shirt, and even though I sewed up the smallest size (18 month, I believe), it's still really roomy. The neckline is actually too wide and constantly slides off of her shoulder, which she hates. I sewed a little afterthought pleat in the back neckline to try and tighten it up. Not super attractive, but it did the job. I think she'll be able to wear this for awhile, so I can take the pleat out as she gets older. The fabrics are both from Imagine Gnats shop - the sleeves are an AGF knit and I'm not sure what the striped fabric is, but it's super soft and flowy.

Also in these pictures - the Purl Bee City Gym Shorts in just about the smallest size possible. These are also made from leftovers of my own City Gym Shorts - some Robert Kaufman chambray and Liberty of London trim. I actually bought Liberty binding premade from a shop on Etsy and used different patterns for my shorts and hers. These shorts are super cute on her, but VERY short. She doesn't care and I think she likes the "climbability" of them, but they make her legs look looooong.

I actually made two Seraphic Raglan Tees, replicating two of my Trifecta Tees, but this is the only shot of the second one that I have. It's hard to get a toddler to cooperate with blog pictures! The neckline on this one is sooo much better, so it must have something to do with the fabric. This is an AGF knit with a Laguna knit, both also from Imagine Gnats.

Maybe next time I'll get some pictures of my versions...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Moon Rabbits and Glass Onions

Just a quickie post today, I have a backlog of older makes that I'm trying to document and as a lot of them are clothes for the girl, I'd like to get them on here before she grows out of them!

I've made the Glass Onion Top pattern by Shwin Designs before and loved it - I just didn't love my fabric choice. I used a quilting cotton from JoAnn Fabric and it didn't have the drape this top needs for the curved hem on the back and the neckline facings - and I had to iron it every time it came out of the wash.

I decided, oh, 2 days before Easter that I wanted to make Nola something new to wear, and as this beautiful, drapey, covered-in-bunnies fabric was in my stash, I went with it. Yes, it's black and not particularly Spring-y or Easter-y, but I really love it and she looks adorable in it, so there. It is Moon Rabbits from Yuwa's Cotorienne collection - I think it's a lawn. I've used fabric from this collection before, and there's an adorable sheep print I've been eyeballing, so I'm sure you'll see it again.

It was chilly and overcast on Easter Sunday, so I put a long-sleeved onesie under it. I went with the elbow length sleeves this time (I made up the cap sleeves last time) and stuck with the non-pleated back. It's actually a very light and airy shirt and I think it will make a cool and breezy summer shirt for her. I really love the way it looks on its own without anything underneath, but I haven't managed any pictures, so this will have to do.

There are quilts in the works, one almost finished, so hopefully that'll be the next post!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stripey Little Joey

I've been churning out the clothes here, for both myself and the girl, and I've even been taking some pictures, but they haven't made it to this space. I've figured out a more efficient way to resize my pictures, so hopefully I will be more inclined to actually upload them. These were taken a little while ago, hence the middle-of-Pennsylvania-winter indoor lighting. Some are even a little blurry, but que sera, sera, right?

This is the Little Joey pattern from Make It Perfect. I used some AGF knit fabric from Sew Caroline's Gleeful collection that I had in the stash and I knew needed to be a dress.

The pattern has a kangaroo pocket on the front (hence the name of the pattern!), which I left off for the sake of speed, but I will definitely add it to the next one. I love the gathered sleeves and little waistband.

I put leggings and a long sleeve onesie on under this in the winter, I wasn't sure it was going to still fit her once it warmed up and I wanted her to get a lot of wear out of it. So cute! But it is a little on the slim side, definitely sizing up the next one.

Look at that near perfect pattern matching! Boo-ya.

And the neckline!!! Considering this was sewn entirely on the serger, I'm pretty happy with how everything lined up.

There's an adult version of this that I'm seriously considering. It would be so cute in the fall over leggings, right?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hello Bear Baby Quilt

At the beginning of the year, I decided that at a minimum I would try to post once a month. Sooo...I better get this in before April is in the books. And, it just so happens that the baby this quilt was made for decided to make his appearance today!

This is Hello, Bear by Bonnie Christine. I love this collection so much. When it came out, my friend didn't know if she was having a girl or a boy, though they thought it was a boy. While these fabrics skew a little bit "boy", I thought it would be nice for a girl as well. The colors are gorgeous, and of course they are Art Gallery Fabrics so they're super soft and so drapey. I used some stash fabric for the light solid, I think it's probably Kona Snow. You can definitely tell the difference in quality between the Kona and the Art Gallery Fabrics, but I was happy to use up some of the stash.

I wanted to try out the flying geese pattern, and being Type A as I am, I decided to paper piece them. It is a very good thing this is a baby quilt because it took forever, but the points were perfect.

I am way excited about the quilting on this puppy. I used Aurifil for the first time, in three different colors. Hawthorne Threads, where I buy a lot of my fabric, matches solids and Aurifil colors to fabric collections and it's awesome. It can be really hit or miss trying to match colors online, and they do an excellent job. So I used one of their solid recommendations for the backing fabric. Since the back was plain and dark, I really wanted the quilting to pop off of it. I decided to follow the "V" on the front and echo it with the 3 different colors.

I finished it up by binding with two different shades of teal from my stash. I really love how this turned out and I have quite a bit of this fabric left for another little boy or girl. This dark blue hills design is my favorite, I should order a few yards of it.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Emmy Grace Baby Quilt

When I saw the Emmy Grace fabric line by Bari J., I knew I had to use them for a baby girl quilt. The colors are amazing together, and definitely say "baby girl" without hitting you over the head with pink. Those who know me know I am very much not a pink person. Not that I don't like, or wear, or use the color, I just don't want to bathe in it. Luckily, I just happened to know someone having a baby girl.

I went with a small 4.5" square (finished) hourglass block - I thought it would show off the fabrics well, but still be interesting by itself. I also picked up some coordinating solids and paired them with the more low volume fabrics from the line.

I love the fishing girl! For some reason, the whole line strikes me as a little bit southern, which worked out since the recipients live in South Carolina.

For the back, I got a little stuck. I was trying to stick with what I had on hand, and I also wanted it to be simple. I ended up color blocking with the leftover solids from the front. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on it, but it is what it is. I used the 3 colors of Ripple for the binding and I do love how that turned out. I also tried the Quilter's Dream Angel batting in their lowest loft. It is a 100% natural flame retardant batting and very soft and drapey. It paired well with the Art Gallery fabrics, since they are especially soft, too. I will definitely be using this batting again.

I fussy-cut my fishing girl for the label and hand embroidered baby girl's name and birthday on it. I was really happy with how it came out. Then I made the fatal error of using interfacing on the label before hand stitching it to the quilt back. Ugh, when it came out of the dryer I wanted to cry! Why oh why do I always forget the rippling effect of interfacing! I was not redoing it though, so off it went. I just hope they don't notice or don't mind!

This isn't the greatest shot, but at least you can see the whole thing. Hopefully the weather will be getting more Spring-like so I can get outside to take pictures - or at least get better lighting in the house!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Pair of Bright Quilts

Yes, it's February and these were Christmas gifts, but I'm slow and lame, ok? I had grand plans this fall to start early and make tons of Christmas gifts, but as I stared down the holidays, I realized I just didn't have it in me this year. So I did what I felt like doing and let the rest go. My mom had asked me if I could sew up a couple of lap-sized quilts for her two best friends, so I focused on that. Since they are our "beaching" friends, I thought that it would be nice to do the quilts in batiks. I showed a few options to my mom, but she was definitely interested in brighter colors. We ended up choosing the Lorikeet colorway of Hoffman's Bali Crackers, which are packs of 40 10" squares. I split 3 packs between the 2 quilts and ended up with two generously sized lap quilts.

With little time and 2 quilts to do at once, I wanted to keep them simple. I also wanted the quilts to be similar, since they were going to two good friends, but I tried to mix it up a little as well. For this first quilt, I cut half of the crackers into 5" squares and the other half into 5" x 10" rectangles. I matched up 2 squares to 1 rectangle for a block and then rotated them as I made my rows.

I used a mix of oranges and blues from the extra crackers for the backing with an aqua blue solid. Since I ordered everything over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I actually didn't get the batting or blue fabric in time, as Fabric.com orders were backed up. I ended up running to Joann's for a blue solid. I think it is Symphony broadcloth. Not the quality I'm used to, but it was the only solid that matched the batiks. Gotta do what you gotta do, right? I quilted this one with diagonal straight lines.

For the second quilt, I alternated blocks of 4 squares and 2 rectangles, just to keep them from being identical. I have no idea if they even noticed the difference, but it made me happy and kept me from being bored with doing 2 of the same quilts.

I pulled out the extra purple fabrics for this backing and used a purple Cotton Couture solid. The difference in quality between this and the other solid is HUGE. I will never, ever buy Symphony solids again, unless I have no other choice. I'm fabric spoiled. Again, to switch it up I quilted this with perpendicular diagonals. Also, I swapped the solids from each quilt to use as the bindings.

I worked like a mad woman the weekend before Christmas to get these done in time. I had to ship them to my mom in time to give them to the ladies on Christmas Eve. It all worked out (phew!) and my mom and her friends loved them, so it was completely worth it. I have to say that I'm not really a big batik person, so I really couldn't tell if these were turning out and kept asking friends that came by if they were ok! Just stretching my comfort zone...

Right now I am finishing up a quilt for ME - I finally cut into the Liberty fat sixteenths I collected all last year. Can't wait to show you! I also have some babies and weddings coming my way. Can't wait until everyone is married and delivered!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Shimmer Wedding Quilt

This is the story of a quilt that I did not like. At first. But there's a happy ending, so wait for it...

The whole thing started with a wedding announcement. My cousin, brother to the other cousin who got married this fall, was marrying someone who I'm sure is wonderful in every way; however, I've never met her and know nothing about her. Planning a quilt for their gift was a pretty big challenge. I quizzed my aunt hoping that she could give me some idea of what they would like. All I had to go on was that they had registered for Kate Spade place settings with navy and gold accents. Not a lot, I know.

Then I came across the Shimmer collection from Jennifer Sampou. It was mostly neutrals with silver, bronze and gold metallic accents. So not my usual type, but it seemed like it might be the thing. I ordered a fat quarter bundle and some extra yardage. It was delivered. I wasn't sure about it. But, I soldiered on.

I agonized over the pattern to use. I felt the fabric really needed to be the star. I really liked one of the quilts in the collection's look book, but it was paper piecing and I really didn't have the time for it. I finally settled on a free pattern called Tesselation. It gave me the stars I was looking for, but it was pretty simple. I used Kona Steel as my solid - the original pattern I liked used Essex linen in Steel and I thought it would be a similar look. I was not messing with the extra headache of piecing linen.

The blocks came together fine, but as I put them together in rows, I realized there was a fundamental problem with the pattern and the triangles didn't meet on the sides. Humph. I'd gotten this far, I wasn't starting over, it just had to be a (charming?) feature.

After I finished the top, I STILL wasn't a fan. But with a deadline looming and the number of hours I had already put into it, I stuck it out. Since I really, really liked the Essex linen in the other quilt, I decided to keep it simple and go with that for the backing.

As for quilting, I really wanted to emphasize the movement of the blocks by diagonal straight line quilting, but the triangles not matching up ruled that out. Then I came up with the idea of doing 3 lines 3/8" apart through the points where the triangles actually did meet. Bingo.

And this is the point where I realized that I actually really loved the quilt. The backing and quilting just...were apparently magical. I binded it in some of the scraps from the top, hand embroidered initials and a date and, well, that was that.

I of course got some whole quilt front and back shots, but I really don't think they do the quilt justice. I actually unpacked the ready-to-ship quilt and took some more by the window, just so you could appreciate the shine and the texture and the awesome contrast between the top and the back. You're welcome.

In the middle of all of this, the actual invitation showed up in the mail, and I knew I had nailed it.