Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dragon Wing Scarf

I have been mulling this project for weeks and decided the procrastination had to stop today. I put on my Harry Potter films for inspiration and started drafting a pattern. 

The idea for this, as with my last scarf, came from a knitted scarf pattern.  Unfortunately all you get from a knitting pattern is inspiration in the form of a photo.  I have no knowledge of pattern making--yet another strike against me in this project.  If you want something badly enough, you figure it out!

I drafted a pattern by guess and by luck coming up with this.

It's supposed to look like a dragon wing draped over the shoulder. Hopefully it looks like that to others.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Now, how to keep it in place.  The original pattern had buttons on the shoulder which looked great on the knitted version, but I didn't think buttons would look good on the fabric once it was finished. I decided on the silver pin which is listed as a scarf or kilt pin on Etsy.  I was going to wear the scarf on my trip to California until the pin came in the mail and I saw just how long a four inch pin really is.    No way that was getting through TSA!  I'm glad I got it, though.  It looks great with the scarf.


None of the photos are showing the great texture of the fabric.  The "scales" are raised bumps in the fabric.  You can kind of see it more in the photo below.

While it took weeks of mental prepping, it only took one afternoon to make the scarf (or three Harry Potter movies).  As I type this, I am on my fourth movie at the very part where Harry is fighting the Hungarian Horntail dragon.  How fitting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Perks of Being a Sewer

Oh, the upsides of sewing, and there are many.  You can make things you could not otherwise afford or tweak things to make them work just right for you.  You can create things that only you imagined! Sometimes you can make something you really need right now rather than having to head out to the store.

This is my new lingerie bag born as a result of misplacing my one and only lingerie bag at a time when the laundry could not wait another day.  While I may not be able to keep track of everything, my sewing room is organized well enough that I could find a zipper and a mesh fabric remnant.  Thanks to my sewing muse, Sandra, the zipper pouch queen, I have long since lost any fear of sewing zippers.  Using the method of moving the zipper down a bit from the top made this even simpler.

Start to finish, this project took about about five minutes.   Yay me for being a sewer, having a stash, and getting the laundry done!  As for the original bag that I knew would turn up sooner or later...

sitting on the quilt stand in my bedroom that I must have passed by at least five times while searching for it.  Eyes wide shut.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Straight Skirt to Comfortable Skirt


from this:

I bought this straight skirt last year because straight skirts are cool.  Cool, yes, but not comfortable for me. So the side seams came out, and inserts went in.

The hardest part of this project was figuring out how to cut two pieces of stripped fabric so that I could line up the stripes to form inverted Vs!  If there is an easy way, please, please share it with me.  I had to call in my in-house engineer to help with this part.  I just could not understand how to make it happen.  Next time, one simple piece of fabric there.

I ended up making an oversized diamond-shaped piece for each side of the skirt. I chose not to cut the inserts down at this point so I wouldn't have to worry about getting the stripes even--lots of room to play around.  After the panels were sewn in place, I used my serger to cut the inserts close to the seam and finish the edges.

This is a lot larger than it needed to be.  I cut it down after sewing it in.

Here it is pinned in place

Inside after sewing in place and serging off the insert excess.
I used a ruler with a slight curve to make the hem line on the inset pieces before cutting them down for hemming. 

The back--still has the slit from being a straight skirt which is kinda cool.

The front.  Hemmed and done!
Now this is a skirt I can actually wear.  As you can see, I am not a too good at taking selfies.  This will have to do.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Landmarks of England Kitchen Towels

I used these embroidery designs once before on a set of towels for my son to commemorate one of his overseas trips. The designs are from The Embroidery Library (pretty sure on that...).   Last time I made the towels from a bolt of Huck toweling I bought at Joann's.  This time I decided to buy the towels cuz I cannot find a decent source for striped toweling by the bolt.  These are for my sister who will be getting a new kitchen put in soon.

Towels were purchased from Amazon.

The towels are to commemorate Robin's trip to England.  Lovin' the black embroidery with the black stripes. 

I am ticking off the sewing projects lately.  I think it is the hint of spring in the air and the increased amount of daylight here.  I'm coming out of hibernation.    

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pinned It - Did It - Pants to Skirt

Finally!  I've been wanted to try this for years.

After reading and/or watching the tutorials on my Pinterest board, I took a few ideas, tweaked a few things, and got to work. First thing:  lots of seam ripping to open the center seam.

 There are tutorials for mini skirts, straight skirts, and pleated, but I wanted to do a simple one with the triangular inserts in the front and back.  Most tutorials I saw for this insert bent the center seam to the side and sewed it down like this:
I don't like that look.  Instead, I made a small cut on each side of the center seam and sewed it under. So, from this:

to this:
The long seam piece was cut down once it was turned under and sewn in.

I serged all the inside edges, turned up a half an inch twice for the hem, and it was finished.  I'm looking forward to try it again on some jeans next week.

The back

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lemonade from Lemons

When my son came back from visiting his Peace Corp volunteer fiance in Mongolia a few weeks ago, he brought back a bunch of men's ties for me.  Sweet Melissa had thoughtfully decided to ask a local woman to make ties for all the guys.  They were beautiful!  Honestly, there is not one photo that shows the glory of the fabrics.  "Kyle, why are you giving me all these ties?"  Then he put one on.  It came about mid-chest.

Okay!  What to do with a bunch of beautiful wee ties?  Pinterest to the rescue.  Anyone else remember seeing the apron made from ties?  Here's my version.

This was the first time I've tried butting fabrics together with a zigzag stitch.  I didn't think it would be strong enough but figured that it would hold the pieces together for backing.  It held them together tightly.  No need for any backing.  Wish I had tried this method long ago.  I can think of a dozen projects that it would have worked on.

Piecing for the top and ties required taking remnants apart and some fancy piecework.

All ready to go back to Melissa.  I hope she will like their reinvention.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Not Quite What I Imagined, But....

While looking for scarf patterns a few days ago, I came across a bunch that I wanted to make.  Once again, like the scarf I did a few days ago, I've tried to turn a knitted pattern into a sewing pattern.

It's not bad, right?  Even though it doesn't look like the inspiration scarf below, I am pleased with the way it turned out. 

Love it--the fabric, the design, the versatility!  The biggest problem was trying to figure out what fabric I could use to achieve the look.  While I would love to buy some awesome wool fabric, I need to start using the stash.  Decision, decisions!  I didn't have anything light and drapey that I could use as a single layer.  I decided to go with the lightweight Shao mist pink interlock that had been sitting in the stash since, well let's see.

Wow, this one is practically new! Barely over a year of sitting on my shelf.  (Did I mention that this would be my first attempt at working with knit fabric, too?)  I was hoping the interlock would achieve those nice, deep folds, but that didn't work out.  In retrospect, I think a narrower top section might have come closer to achieving that look.  Here's a quick look at how I came up with the pattern and put it together.

First, the knitting pattern gives no finished size.  There are a couple of diagrams like this one from the pdf:

I chose to interpret each of the jagged lines as an inch.  Now, I think the top section might work better if it was narrower by a couple of inches.  I'd also probably drop a couple of those slits.

This one required the dining room table for cutting.

It may look like isosceles triangle here with the two long sides being even, but it really drops 5 inches from one side to the other on the small end,  making the other two sides uneven as well.  I'd like to try making a larger drop from side to side next time. 

I chose to make buttonholes for the slits in the top.

I basted some light-weight interfacing where the buttonholes would be, serged the edges leaving a few inches open for turning, turned it out, top-stitched the edges, and spaced out six buttonholes at the top. Took out the interface basting and it was done!

Once I got over my initial disappointment that it is quite different from the inspiration piece, I started having fun with it.  The more I played with it, the more options I found for wearing it.

Taking a short break from scarf making to put together something special from an unusual fabric source.  Hope it will be ready to show you in a couple of days.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Perfect Weather for Making A Scarf

I'm in a scarf-making mood today. That may be the result of our temperatures.  This is the information for our area from

Clifton Park, New York Weather
Observed at 3:45 pm EST
Wind Chill Warning Until 1:00 pm EST, Sunday February 14
Feels Like -20°F 

 On the bright side, I now have this:

The inspiration came from this knitted scarf on Pinterest.  I dearly hate it when the ends of my scarves are continually falling forward.  No matter what method of wrapping them around I use, the damned things don't stay in place.  I like the idea here in the knitted one, but I don't knit.

try to create a sewing pattern:

My few forays into knitting were neither fun nor pretty.  I chose to attempt a sewn version.  I was a bit obsessed with getting the ends to look something like the knitted version which proved to be the hardest part for me.  In retrospect, simple rounded or squared ends would have been fine.

The rest of the project was quick and easy.  It's two long strips of flannel sewn leaving a couples of inches open for turning right-side out. The width was chosen from a scarf I own that I like.  I chose the length by wrapping it around and deciding where I wanted it to end on each side.  I also used this same method for deciding where I wanted to put the band that would serve as a fastener.

The yo-yo is on top of the band of fabric you pull other side of the scarf through.

I free-handed a piece for the PITA end, folded in half
 And voila!

If you have any artistic talent, coming up with a fancy shape for the end will be a cinch.  This took  me forever and was not worth the simple shape I ended up doing.  Next time, I'll trace something round and be done with it.  

To keep the bottom piece from lying flat (which did not look good), I made a pleat that is held in place by the yo-yo band.

You can see that in the photo below.  Both edges of the band catch the pleat to hold it in place.

And it matches my headband from a week or two ago!

I do love it when a sewing experiment goes well. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Prayer Kneeling Pad

Update:  Rather than a new separate post, I am posting about prototype #2--the more successful one here.  I was not happy with the give of the foam sold at Joann's even with the addition of the  heavyweight Pellon.  After Kyle left, I decided to try making one with an ordinary garden kneeling pad cut down to size.  Yes, he could drag along a plain garden kneeling but, but doesn't this look better?

The garden kneeling pad I used had a handle as in an oblong hole at one end.  I cut off the handle section making the pad about 16 inches long.  

Final consensus is that this one is the winner for several reasons. 
  •  First, it is more comfortable to kneel on for an extended period of time.
  •  Second,the all-round sizing works better.  The extra inch of width makes it easier to kneel on while the loss of length was not any problem at all.  The loss of depth makes it less cumbersome.
  • Third, this is a tightly woven denim which works well for sewing and longevity.
  • Last, it is lighter and easier to carry in his backpack.
As Pam mentioned in her comment, you could put some hardware on for a carrying strap.  I had mentioned that to Kyle, but he nixed it.  He will be tossing it in his bag and didn't see a need.  I almost wish I had gone ahead and done it with this new kneeler.  I think he would have found a removable strap to be handy at times--maybe even for hanging it up when not in use.

The minister son apparently gets stuck kneeling on hard surfaces for extended periods of time.  I don't know about you, but for me having a guy in the family ask you to sew something is highly unusual.  To encourage that, I got this done pretty quickly-- for me.

I like to refer to this color denim as minister black.  I don't know what Joann's calls it.

It is 15x10 inches which was just enough on the long side for him.  Do men have man-spread when they kneel??  Without having had him kneel down for measuring, I would not have known to make this 15 inches wide.  It just works for him.  Might try 16 inches the next one.

We had some foam cushions around to help choose the thickness (high density from Joann's).  He thought three inches was too much, but I would have wanted the three inches.  He choose the two inch thickness.  I added squares of the heavy-weight Pellon product used in bag-making over the top and bottom of the foam.  The Pellon is soft and gives a nice flat top.  I might add a layer of batting over the Pellon next time to soften the edges, though.

The fabric is a black denim from Joann's.  I used this on the advice of a store clerk and wish I had gone with the other heavyweight fabric with a tighter weave as I originally planned.  The edges of the denim unraveled like crazy without serging.

The two main squares of fabric were 16x11, and the zipper was long enough to go around the sides about a third of the way. I cut a three-inch strip for the side without the zipper and two-inch strips for each side of the zipper.  After sewing these two strips to the zipper, I cut that strip to three inches.

Look at that nice fold for hiding the zipper ends.  Remember to put on the no-zipper strip first.  Then it will be on top of the zipper says the person who did not do that and made some seam ripper work.

Zipped up, finished and ready for Kyle to take back to Minnesota on Saturday.  Oh, doesn't it feel good to finish a project?