Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Ron’s Quilt

One more quilt done! It was completed about a month ago, just in time for R’s birthday (he turned 7, if you can believe it – I certainly can’t… ).


The biggest mistake I made with this quilt was asking the birthday boy how would he like his quilt to look. this led to several weeks of going back and forth, deciding and un-deciding, drafting ideas and throwing them out the window, and eventually settling down on a pluses quilt design. I was inspired by this quilt (via fabtalk), from the “I love patchwork” book.

I would have gone for something more random, and with more subtle tones, but R likes vibrant colours, and doesn’t like the randomness. We split the difference and ended up with a compromise which I enjoyed making, and he loves to cuddle in.


I used fabric from my (steadily growing) stash, which these days includes mostly online purchases. I was glad to find a use for the two greenish and mint solids – when I first got them in the mail I considered immediately donating them to the nearest charity… While they looked very bluish on my computer screen, they reminded me too much of green hospital uniforms in person… Of course if I had read the name or description I could have realized they named them sea foam GREEN and mint GREEN for a reason, but I was too busy fabric shopping to bother… lesson learned!

I think the end result looks good, though, and it was an interesting challenge to venture outside my normal colour comfort zone (did any body say grey?…). Since R actually liked these colours, I used up the leftovers for the simple pieced back as well.


Other fabrics used here were Mendocino Seahorse by Heather Ross, Posie in slate by Denyse Schmidt (from the county fair home dec collection), and a lot of Ikea’s beige cotton for the background and binding.


Oh and the quilting was much easier this time, since it was all straight lines, no pivoting anywhere…

I’m hoping to make at least one more quilt for our living room this year, keep your fingers crossed for me – will you?


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– aka Mr Mini Fluffy (or was it Fluffy Mini? I forget…)

I borrowed Fanciful Felties from our trusty library the other day, and left it in the living room, where it was found by Daniel. He cheerfully proceeded to flipping through the entire book, oohing and aahing along, until he decided on his favourite project. His big brother went to a birthday party, leaving us a quite afternoon, perfect for taking on a cute project…


I don’t have wool felt, but I had some eco-fi feltĀ  from our nearest dollar store that needed to be used, and it worked just fine. Daniel then insisted on going through my pile of scraps to find a suitable skin coloured piece for the face.


It was a fun way to try my hand at free-motion machine stitching. Nest time though, I might do the stitching before cutting out the fabric – the small cotton piece was a little hard to manoeuvre…


We added the arms and a suitcase, and Mr. fluffy was then whisked away by his happy recipient….

I really like the style of this book, and hope to make ms. fox one of these days. If you haven’t done so yet, you can check out the Samantha Cotterill’s website and blog right here.

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A Quilt for Daniel

It happens to me all too often.

I fall for a beautiful fabric (or seven of them).

I run out to get it (or drool all over my screen for days before actually hitting the “check out” button).

I get my beloved piece of fabric home.

I wash it, Iron it – and than I fold it neatly and place it on a shelf, where it will never see the light of day again, because I have no clue what to do with it, or it’s so pretty I’m scared to cut into it, or some combination of the above.

But this time I was determined to make quilts for my boys.

I even told them I was going to, so they can hold me to my promise.

So I got myself a yard of this chino Bus fabric – it just demands to be made into something boyish and lovely!




And after a few days of scribbling some ideas, I decided on a simple wonky squares design. I wanted to try this ever since I saw “what a bunch of squares” in the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book.




It’s the biggest quilt I made so far, at about 60″ x 80″. Everything went smoothly until it was time to quilt it…



I really wanted to have these spiralling squares quilted on each block. You know, the kind where you have to pivot 90 degree turns some gazillion times?  Probably not the best idea for a first large quilting project… For two days I struggled and wrestled this quilt through the machine, to the point my arms were aching the next morning. Lets just say the quilting isn’t going to win any beauty contests, and leave it at that.




The result, however, was well worth these minor pains. Although the quilting isn’t perfect, I love the way it turned out. And even more important, Daniel loves it too. I didn’t make it in time for his birthday (which was in December), but he was still very exited to receive his quilt about a month ago, and he happily cuddles with it every night since.

What more can I ask for?… More echino fabric of course! now that I’m actually using my stash, surely I’m allowed to get some more, right?…

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I finally used a pattern in a Japanese book!

I used this pattern from Cotton Time Magazine:

1ct1s 1ct2

I thought it was a tunic, but it was more a dress length, so I shortened it, and moved the pocket upwards. 


It’s a one size pattern, though I’m sure somewhere in the text is the explanation of how to alter the sizes. I also added some width to the side seams from the waist down (originally its a straight shape), and two darts in the back.


Next time I may even remember to add ALL of the necessary seam allowances….


I love the colour combination though, apparently I’m not over my yellow phase yet! The main fabric is a light weight white and blue striped cotton, and the yellow is from a re purposed thrift store cotton curtain.

It works very well for all the extra hours spent outside recently, absorbing and enjoying the great weather.

More on the Japanese front, my latest visit to BOOK-OFF resulted in this book:

30-05-2009 8;07;37 PM1

It’s all about using your serger, with the usual abundance of step by step photos, and cute tops like this one:

 30-05-2009 8;07;37 PM3

Oh, and did I mention the full sized pattern sheet, with not one but THREE sizes? definitely on my to do list!

This book also has some jackets, cardigans, and skirts, all designed for sergers, and some for cover stitch machines. The ISBN is 9784529044127.

Ciao for now…

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I’m currently quite excited about making my own clothes. It’s funny because as little as one year ago, I would have told you that taking the time and the effort to sew something I can easily buy in the nearest mall is silly. But now, although I do enjoy shopping for clothes, I’m also fascinated about the process of taking a flat piece of fabric  and turning it into something that can be worn.

For every thing there is the right time I guess…

The thrifting gods seem to be playing along nicely. Last week I came back from an estate sale with a small pile of patterns. I chose an easy-to-sew peasant top: 


The pattern, in case you care for such details, is Simplicity 5620, which I believe is out of print by now. I used a light weight cotton shirting fabric, very warm weather friendly.

I think I’m heaving some personality issues, since I choose to make these loose fitting tops, only to decide later on that they are too loose on the back, followed by some cursing and spitting while trying to remedy the situation.


Anyway, after adjusting the back, I added the stem with leaves applique to personalize it a little.

Which in turn got me thinking about a new pillow design for the shop, and so this cushion cover was born.


Now I’m going to find more loose-but-not-too-loose patterns to play with….

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I did it!

I finally overcame my fear of sewing garments, and made myself a new top.


I used the tunic pattern from the 5/2008 Ottobre design magazine (which was patiently waiting for me since February).

It wasn’t very easy, as this is my first try at sewing anything more complicated than T-shirt pyjama pants, and the instruction are not very detailed. Yet I managed to pull it off, and although it’s very far from perfect, I like it, a lot.

I miscalculated my size, and had to take it in on the side and back seems, and also skipped the zipper, it was large enough to wear without one. I love the front, but the back turned out huge and very tent-like, so I added two darts. The most important part though, is that it was a good learning experience, and left me wanting to sew more stuff.

How do you like my new model? Frida (I can’t just call her my vintage dress form, can I) was one of those too-cheap-to-pass Craig’s list finds, and I was happy to give her a new home.

The fabric, by the way, was a 1.99 piece from Value Village. I usually avoid them, can’t stand their high prices, but one trip to the “regular” fabric store made me realize I can’t afford to shop for normally priced fabric very often…

And on a different subject, am I the last person in blogland to join twitter? it’s fun, and it makes spend even more time in front of your PC. You can follow me here.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, and Happy Mothers day!

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Everyone else seem to be making these, and they always turn out so pretty, I just had to make my one for me…

Fabric Birthday Bunting by you.

I don’t have pinking sheers, so I zigzagged close to the edges instead. I used vintage pillowcases in yellow and blue for the prints, natural linen for the solids, and vintage polyester knit for the letters applique.

Fabric Birthday Bunting by you.

I was dreaming about hanging it outside, where it would be visible from both sides, but I don’t think the weather is going to cooperate with my grand birthday picnic plan.

So I’ll just have to hang it inside, and flip it every 30 minutes or so.


Yes. perfect plan!

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