Monday, May 27, 2013

The Pillow Sham Substitute

I have a love-hate relationship with pillow shams.  I love the way they look when professionals set them up for photo shoots, but hate the work to get that look on a daily basis.  I've resorted to  putting an extra set of pillows in the shams and throwing them in the chair at night.  To avoid this "pillow sham", (yes, it was a really bad play on words, but I couldn't resist it) I made what others now call a bed scarf for a pillow cover.

This is easier to take on and off and somewhat camouflages the fact that our pillows are different.  I like a smaller one than Brian.  
yup, that is a tree stump in the garden quilt
Why a tree stump in a "garden" quilt?  The quilt-along had 12 blocks and I needed 22 as the project grew and grew.  I know most people would not be showcasing a tree stump but, I actually have some amusing memories of digging out tree stumps in our yard.

As for the squirrel below, I do have squirrels in the garden, but cannot say I have fond memories of these beasts.  I once found one dragging my entire bird feeder across the street.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The End of the Hat-Making Binge--I Promise! Recycled Jeans Hat

I got my most cooperative model to pose for me.  Never complains and always has a smile. 
She was one of my very first sewing projects.

What does it mean that the rag doll's head is almost as big as mine?  I always knew my head was a bit on the small side, but this is a whole new level of feeling inadequate. 
 I used some fabric from the old jeans pile.  A denim hat needed jeans-kinda buttons which I got from--where else?--the Snap Source online store.  Yes, they sell these tack buttons as well as snaps.
I could have used snaps that look like these buttons,
but I wanted to try the tack buttons, something I've not used before.  Aren't they beautiful? 

The tack part looks fine on the reverse side.
This does eliminate the possibility of adjusting size, but I don't need to adjust the size.
The random assortment tack buttons package included all these different designs and metals.
No, I'm not getting paid in any way for gushing endlessly about the company.  I'm just having fun with their products.

No more hats!  Well actually, there is that tulip petal hat that sewing muse Sandra did.  I'll wait at least a week to do it. Be sure to stop by Sandra's to see the hats she made.  Her models are adorable... in a...kind of....well,...different way.  I have it from a good source that she bribed them with baked good. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making More Room on the Sewing Table

I pinned an idea for using one of these clips to hold an iPhone charging cord.  That worked out really well, so I thought I'd try the clips for holding some of my sewing table clutter. 

And, there you have it!  Neat and convenient.  Lovin' it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Still Playing With The Ponytail Hat Pattern

 Ta-da!    I'm on a bit of a hat-making binge.  This one is cotton with fusible medium-weight iron-on interfacing instead of the heavier fabric I used the last time.

 Will you look at those snaps, bubblegum pink pearl.  The Snap Setter people are gonna make a fortune off me.  This is like shopping for penny candy except it's eye candy.  At least the snap are not fattening.

Reversed to the other side, the hat is a lovely white with green dots.
I experimented by making a slight change in the back of the brim.  I rounded off the tips of the fabric just a bit. I'm not great at getting nice points. Rounding it off just a little made it easier for me to sew and turn. 

Sadly, I've run out of interfacing and will have to break down and clean the house for the rest of the day. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ponytail Hat

Sewing Muse Sandra is doing a hat which reminded me that I bought a hat pattern I needed to try. 

It's a reversible ponytail  bucket hat.

Back with regular snaps instead of the magnetic ones the pattern calls for.

Other side!
The pattern directions call for magnetic snaps that are sewn in so they don't show from the outside.  I love my colored snaps and want to show them proudly.  Besides, my snaps were easier for me to put on and already in the house.

My purchased pattern is froFrom Winnie and Clem, and you can find it here:  
They also have a smaller size bucket ponytail hat pattern for sale.

 As it turns out, there are numbers of ponytail hat patterns out there--winter, scrub, baseball, and bucket hats.  Some are even free.  Here are a few of the free ones:

Winter Hat/Scarf,Mitten, Fingerless Glove AND a pocket pattern:

Cute Vintage Ponytail hat:

Blog tutorial to change a bucket hat to a ponytail hat:

If those don't work for you,  here are a few patterns for sale: 
Ponytail Scrub Hat:

OR you can get All 7 of her Surgical Scrub Hat Patterns:

Winnie and Clem also have a Baseball-style Ponytail Hat Pattern for Girls and Women:

Another Finish: The Garden Steps Quilt

Yay!  I finally finished Clover and Violet's Garden Steps Quilt. It has taken so long that the date of 2012 I so confidently embroidered in the corner block is now a bold lie.

I used one of the quilting stitches on my machine to do the front of the binding.

This method of binding (fold in half, sew to the back, and flip to the front) is new for me. For some reason, it seemed daunting.  As it turned out, it was so easy to do that I finished cutting, sewing and pressing the fabric strips AND sewing on the binding in a matter of hours. It sewed the binding on entirely by machine, front and back.

Better late than never, right?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Finished Handbag

FINALLY!  I do wish I had gone with the "do a muslin first" rule on this project.  This bag has many things that worked out well, but others will be changed the next time.  Now I wish I had saved these fabrics for that second version.

In any case, I'm going to show you the inside pieces first because the outside turned out to be just plain, old black.  I didn't have the right size piping that would have given it a nice contrast.  Should have waited to get that rather than rush to finish.  Oh, well.

Inside, the back has three pockets, two for glasses and sunglasses and the center one for a small water bottle.  I get migraines.  MUST have that water with me.
This next photos show the pockets before putting the pieces together.  I had no idea if this would work, but I love how it came out.  I made three separate pieces and sewed them in place.

I put a pleat in the glasses pockets so that large ones would fit, too.
The other side has a one-piece pocket all the way across, split into three sections.

The center of the inside has this insert sewn into the gusset with three sections for store coupons, my Kindle, and the iPad my husband now has to buy because I have a place for it. That is how this works, right?  If you make it, they will fill it.
The outside of the bag has an open pocket on one side.  I put in an elastic strip across (hope you can see it!) inside there with spots to hold a my phone, a pen, and a small notepad in place.  This elastic satisfies my "fear of the phone falling out" syndrome and the need to get to a ringing phone quickly. 

Other side has a flat zipper---first time doing one of those!  The penguin fabric in these two pockets is an homage to the original pattern that I was supposed to do.  That one had penguins on the outside.  I had to keep something from the original.
The outside piping was to have been in the solid rust/orange fabric I used on the inside.  Okay. Gotta show it.
It's just so plain.  The next bag gets piping.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, mother-to-be, and potential mothers!  I once had a friend whose boyfriend gave her mother's day gifts because she was a potential mother.  Now that kind of guy is a keeper.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The New Handbag--Almost

See all those squiggly drawings and attempts at figuring out the math in the back? This is a pile of all the cut pattern pieces--hopefully all of them anyway.

I missed my deadline for finishing the handbag yesterday, but I have a ton of cheap excuses that I shared with Sandra in what may have seemed like an eBook but was really just a whiny email filled with cheap, insufficient excuses...

 1.  I just could not NOT change the pattern.  I think this should be in the psychiatric association's list of mental illnesses along with fabric hoarding.  Right now (I say that because things still may change) the only things remaining from the original are some piping and gussets.

2.  I am spatially and mathematically challenged.  Following pattern directions is really difficult for me. Making a pattern has been the thing of nightmares--literally.  I have been working on this thing in my sleep.  I will admit to having come up with a couple of impressive solutions while sleeping, though.

3.  My son has had to use my car for over a week now leaving me with a bicycle.  It may not seem like much of a problem, but when was the last time you saw someone show up at Joann's on a bike?  Let me assure that riding with a roll of heavy duty interfacing sticking up out of your backpack causes people to point fingers and stare.  

Friday, May whatever Friday is, 2013.  I shall get this thing completed.  Maybe.