16 August 2013

A Vintage Sew-a-Long

I found a perfect de-stash project!!!  It combines 2 of my favorite things--cotton fabric and vintage patterns. 

I've been following Lucille's blog for a couple months now.  She makes & wears vintage style clothes.  I didn't realize how many people loved vintage patterns until I accidentally ran across them on etsy 2 years ago.  It's so nice to know that there are others floating around out there with the same interests.  I adore dresses & skirts from the mid-1930s thru the mid-1950s.

Ok, so anyhow, today Lucille announced a sew-a-long using only cotton fabrics and picking an era from 1920s-1970s.  It's a fun challenge, but one I'm excited about.  I can use up a few yards of cotton fabric and I have a dozen or so vintage patterns I could use. 

It didn't take me long to figure out what pattern to use for this challenge.  I've had it for a few months, but haven't sewn it yet.  It's from Decades of Style on etsy.

I know I've bought at least 2 pieces of fabric to make this dress, so I'll probably just sew 2 dresses when I do it.  

I'm off to the Columbia on Saturday for the Quilting & Knitting Expo.  I haven't touched yarn (in a store) in almost a year.  I need to get my fix!  I also need to drop my quilting machine off to have it repaired (the timing is out).

September Social

I've had a love-hate relationship with the spouse's clubs wherever we've been stationed.  I loved it at Fort Polk when we were first married up through our son hitting 6 months.  At that age babies were no longer welcome (and understandably so).  At Fort Lee I joined, but didn't participate much.  Then came our unplanned year in Indiana during a deployment, followed by Germany.  I joined the Community Spouse's Club in Dexheim, which was for both officer & enlisted spouses.  It was fun and a headache.  I ended up being president of the club and I've never been so happy to be done with that.  We lived on the north side of Colorado Springs for the next tour, which made attending luncheons at Fort Carson, impossible with a preschooler and Kindergartner who needed picked up/dropped off at midday.  Once at Fort Hood I had 3 kids in school, and luncheons once a month became a possibility--except I got called out on a birth either the night before or the morning of 7 out of 9 months!  Now, here at Shaw, we meet in the evenings.  I didn't join when we arrived due to a self-imposed hiatus on jumping into every activity right off.

Ok, so where is all that rambling headed?  I just got the invitation for the first social of the year.  We're supposed to dress in our favorite decade from the 1900s through the 1990s.  Of course I'm taking it one step further and sewing my outfit.  In 2010 I went to an Alice in Wonderland themed-luncheon and made my outfit.  My friend Julie went as the Mad Hatter.  We had the 2 best costumes and the only ones who made ours, but were totally overlooked when voting happened.

Again, I'm breaking the sewing from my stash plan.  I don't have any super drape-y fabric to use, so I'm ordering a lovely silk or georgette from Mood.  The patterns I plan to use are from an etsy seller who reproduces vintage patterns.  I've chosen these two patterns for my outfit:
I'm trying to stay true to the decade, but when it comes to hats, this is the one I really love:
I'm still looking though!  Suggestions would be most welcome!

13 July 2013

Quilt Cutting Day

Today I'm going to work on cutting out quilts.  The first is my Nancy Drew quilt. I've pressed the fat quarters and admired them over the last few weeks in a stack on my cutting table, but now it's time to slice them up.  The pattern I've chosen uses a layer cake (10" square stack of coordinated fabric), but since I bought the fat quarter bundle, I've got more than enough.  If my calculations are correct, I have enough for 2 layer cakes, plus an 8"x22" strip.  I'm hoping to make 2 quilts out of the 10" squares, and I'll figure out the strips later.  The pattern I've chosen is called Grandma's Windows.  The only problem I have so far is that the designer takes the easy way out and says "due to the hundreds of different techniques to back a quilt, the fabric needed for backing is not included in the materials list".  A bit annoying when trying to plan for fabric purchases online.  I'm probably going to just use muslin or a solid since the coordinating fabrics have become so difficult to find.

The second quilt I'm going to cut out, at least partially, is the Seville from Cluck Cluck Sew.  Cluck Cluck Sew is a recent find for me.  I've been intentionally out of the loop on fabrics and patterns for a few months, and the colors on their sample quilts sucked me in.  Quilts should be happy and bright, and these show off that range.  I'm using fabrics from the Happy Go Lucky collection
for this bright creation.  I have a tendency to lean towards anything with aqua in it, and this collection is no different.  This time though, I'm more drawn to the navy and orange contrast and letting the aqua peek out in the prints and one background color.  It's a difficult task for me to not jump on the aqua, so lets hope this goes well.

My son will be attending the Boy Scout Jamboree next week in West Virginia, so it will be just the girls and me.  With lots more rain forecast (did I move to the tropics?), I'm going to also cut out the fabric for miniature quilts the girls have chosen.  I'm going to have them working on those during the rainy days ahead. 

I have dreams of 3 more quilts as well.  The fabric is ordered for a beach quilt.  It was so hard to keep our beach mats anchored down last week, and it would be easier to tote one big quilt than 5 mats.  The kids are always in the water or building castles, so there's usually just me & hubs needing a spot to stretch out.  I'd forgotten how windy it can be along the shore.  I'm making this quilt specifically for the beach.  We're using the Lucy's Crab Shack collection, also from Moda (see a trend?) and of course, I discovered it ages after it was released.  Thank goodness for etsy.  I've found the layer cake I need for this pattern and the yardage I want for the back.  I'm really splurging on the backing for this one--I love this print and don't want a light colored back that might get stained.  The whole collection has a beachy feel and will be great for piling on for a picnic.  I'm also going to make either grommets or tabs at the corners so that I can use tent stakes to anchor it down.  I've considered making a grommet hole for my beach umbrella as well.  I'll wait until the quilt is done to decide.  If it weren't so cost-prohibitive, I would have loved to use the coated fabrics from the collection for the backing, but at over $12/yard and needing 4+ yards.....c'est la vie!

I've downloaded 2 more PDF patterns from Cluck Cluck Sew to use to clear out stashed fabrics, and I broke down and bought a new book yesterday at the quilt shop in Orangeburg.  The book focuses on Civil War Reproduction prints, but I could see past those fabrics into my stash.  I'm on a mission to get several quilts cut out all at once, and then sew as I can.  My quilting machine goes to the shop in the next week, so I'm back to using my trusty Singer I've had since I was 14.

26 June 2013

Idea Pouch

One of my favorite etsy sellers is michellepatterns. She has cute, functional bag patterns. I bought a couple of her patterns 2 years ago and frequently check for new ones. The best part is she allows the use of her patterns to re-sell. So many designers only allow you to use them for personal use--a bummer for me as I can't translate the idea in my head onto paper or cloth.

One of her newer patterns is the Idea Pouch.

So today I'm working on putting one together using scraps from making zipper pouches for my daughters cabin-mates at camp 2years ago. 
It went together quickly. There's lots of top stitching, but that was worth it in the end. 
And inside:

I can't decide if I should keep this one or list it!

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Nancy Drew bags

I completed 2 of the Katie Boston bags in the Nancy Drew book spine fabric.
The instructions could be better for the next time I sew bags. I don't like having to bind the interior seams. 
I also prefer the bottom to be stiffer, so I'll be adding chipboard or plastic covered in fabric. 

20 June 2013

Get a Clue with Nancy Drew

I discovered the Nancy Drew when I was in 2nd grade.  Each week we had a library day and I would immediately go to the shelf and choose 2 to take home.  Once home I read them voraciously.  I wanted to be Nancy Drew--she was smart, independent, and quite handy. I read every book in the series multiple times. My parents would buy me the antique blue spine ones for birthdays & Christmas. I even have one that my grandmother saved from her childhood!

These area few of  my older copies.   My kids, including my son, love to read them. They have all the yellow spined ones in their rooms.

 As a poor college student in 1995 I spent $38 of my grocery money on a first edition Nancy Drew with a near mint dust jacket.
It's priceless to me. I worked 2 jobs AND went to college full time. I had to pay my own way--rent, tuition, bills. That book was a small pleasure in my hectic life, especially since I ate ramen noodles for 2 weeks after buying it.  

To my delight, Moda released a line of Nancy Drew fabric. It's a lovely collection of silhouettes, end papers, book spines and magnifying glasses.
I have always loved the end papers inside the covers of the books. Having it printed as fabric is that much sweeter!

I only discovered the fabric last week even though it was released in January. To my dismay, the line is nearly sold out!  I have managed to purchase a fat quarter bundle with all the fabrics, and some yardage of a couple favorites.
Fat quarter bundle, yardage & panel with covers.
As soon as my planned projects are complete (purse, overnight bag, quilt) I may try to get a layer cake or charm pack. I would have made a skirt, but none of the fabric screamed "wear me!"  I did see a skirt made with the book cover panel, but I wouldn't wear it regularly. 

The Projects
I'm planning to use the book spine fabric for the Katie Boston Bag, with the "end papers" fabric as the lining. I'm also going to make an Amy Butler Weekender Bag with either the faces of Nancy or the book spines. 

The other project will be a quilt to snuggle under while reading my books. The kids like the quilt project best since it's the one they'll get to use!   The designs for the fabric needed a quilt to show off the variety. I chose this quilt, from an etsy seller.  

I haven't figured out a way to use the panel with the book covers yet. I've found a few ideas online, but no one project is calling me yet.  I may make totes for the kids with the panels and the magnifying glass fabric.

As soon as VBS is over, it's time for a sew-fest.  My quilting machine is in the shop--timing went out & the needle hits the bobbin case.  Fortunately I have another machine that I can use for piecing quilts or sewing clothes.

17 June 2013

Quick & Easy Frame Purse

I love these little frame purses!  I've been admiring them for quite a while, but didn't know where to get the frames locally. A couple weeks ago I found some on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics & decided it would be a good way to use up some fabric. 

I snapped up 3 different sizes & colors of frames that day. Once home I headed to etsy, my favorite place for independent designers, and looked for a fun pattern. I liked the way this one is short & squatty, yet elegant. 
I chose a funky floral contrasting it with a simple line design for the outside & a green scroll for the interior. 
This pattern is the Madelyn Coin Purse from www.ithinksew.com. Overall this is an easy pattern to work with. The trickiest part is stitching the fabric to the frame. It wouldn't have been such a big deal, but I was using pink thread to match the outside & you can see it on the inside.

Update:  I listed it in my etsy shop and it sold within a couple hours!


03 June 2013

Around the Block Baby Quilt

I have been pouring over magazines & books in my stash lately plotting ways to use up my enormous stash of supplies. I came across a super easy Log Cabin quilt that is one giant 52" block. It's from a BH&G magazine called All Small dated 2012. 

Too easy!--Until I spent 2 hours digging through 9 plastic totes to find 17 fabrics for the front, plus enough yardage to cover the back. I was successful, it just took more time than I thought. 

My stash is fairly evenly divided between fat quarters and yardage, which was frustrating on my search. Add to this the absolute disarray my supplies are still in because of the way the movers dumped totes into boxes, I nearly reorganized first!  That project will be what I tackle when my back pain from a pinched nerve or possible herniated disk is gone. 

I ended up piecing some of the fat quarters in order to have the lengths I needed for the "logs". While trying to decide where each fabric should go in the quilt, I took sticky notes and stuck them to the fabric to keep track. As I cut each print, I put the note on my ruler. 

      (Is it time for a new cutting mat?!)

This was a huge help as I have a tendency to pay more attention to my audiobook (currently Outlander) than to the cutting dimensions. I think this pile of stickies will be used again when I make this quilt a second time this weekend!

Here's the first quilt:

Quilt #2 will have to wait--my machine is headed to the shop. As I was half finished quilting this one the timing went out & my needle was hitting the bobbin case. 

28 May 2013

Summer Sewing

I confess, I did buy new fabric for the shorts. I usually stick to dresses and tops for the girls, but this summer finding shorts of an appropriate length sent me scrambling to JoAnn's for bottom-weight fabric. I bought 4 yards of darling twills, and 1 yard of a baby corduroy.  The shorts featured are from Burda #9481, view C. These feature cargo pockets on the sides for all their summer treasures. 
I also attempted some cutesy embroidery on the back yolk, but the pattern I chose needed a double needle (added to supply list). Hopefully it just looks like funky top stitching. 
Getting Miss T.E. to hold still long enough to snap the picture was only resolved when I agreed she could wear them today!
I'm heading back to the cutting table to make more shorts!

27 May 2013

Woeful Neglect

I had grandiose plans for this blog. I have several drafts still to publish, but have fallen off the wagon. This is my attempt to plow through some projects. 

We moved to South Carolina in the fall, and I've been confronted with the crazy amount of fabric I had stashed.  I've pulled out books & patterns, sorted fabrics & made a project list. I've limited myself to only buying the notions needed to finish said projects. 

So, a quick sneak peak at what I'm working on this Memorial Day. 

Shorts for my daughters. These are from a Burda pattern. Both girls are wearing the same size right now, making sewing fairly easy. 

Heading back to the machine, but will follow up in a few days with the wardrobe of shorts!