Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bags for Christmas

I'm kind of hooked on this bags that I learned how to make on Craftsy. It's a free class by Kristin Link who runs the very successful website Sew Mama Sew. I have a lot of upholstery fabric scraps. I had about 4 yards of some black suit wool that I bought at Scrap in Portland. The interiors are all from my fabric collection. The flower fabric above is a piece of barkcloth that I have had for a very long time. I kept thinking I would make a pillow to show off the print. The gold fabric is a piece of upholstery fabric that has a dragon on it. I used some gold lame fabric that I bought at garage sale several years ago (I have about 1/2 a bolt of the gold lame). I was not sure what I would make with gold lame but this is the perfect project to use up the fabric as liners for the bags.

 I put my label on the inside of a couple of the bags. This was more as a way to show the person I'm giving the bag to that I actually made the bag. These are the labels that I put on the clothes I make. I like that the labels match the gold lame fabric. I used some old white handkerchiefs that belonged to my father for one of the bags above. I try to use up as much textile scrap as I can, I really had to see any textile go to waste.

I had a very cute linen table runner and thought that it would make a great bag too. So I cut out the a piece to show off the print on the fabric. The tapestry bag is another piece of heavy upholstery fabric, it really feels like a needlepoint. This was another piece that I have had for awhile and I was going to try to use it to recover a small chair. I instead decided that it needed to be used for one of these bags.

My neighbor gave me several different pieces of fabric with birds that she had bought on-line for curtains. She was not sure which pattern she wanted so she bought a few different pieces of fabric. The fabric above was a little stiff, it feels more like a canvas and more then likely would not have made nice curtains. I made a couple of different bags, one with the black wool fabric and one with jean material (another gift from a friend that knows of my textile hoarding problem). I like them both, the jean material bag on the right feels a little more casual then the black wool bag.

And another bag with the black wool and some bark cloth. Again I was going to make some curtains from the bark cloth but there was not really enough, so it has sat in my stash for some time. These bags are a great way to highlight a small piece of lovely fabric. And they take about an hour or less to make. 

I have collected a few needlepoints to use in future bags as the focal point. I often look for needlepoints at thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. You can find some interesting things at estate sales. This year for Christmas everyone is getting a home made bag filled with home made preserves.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Another shirt

Have I talked about how much I love this pattern for a long sleeve t-shirt? Well I had another jersey sheet that I got at the Goodwill and wanted to make a winter shirt from the jersey, but I thought the lavendar color washed me out too much. So... I decided to try to do some Shobori Dying for a little more color in the material. I had some blue gray from Dharma Trading that I had yet to test on any fabric & I was hoping for a nice interesting pattern of the blue gray on the lavender. 

I did an accordion fold that I sandwiched between a couple of boards. The fold was about 5 inches wide and I folded it over on it's self before sandwiching it between a couple of boards. I only used a few rubber bands because I did't want a lot of lines across. This is my dying tub and I know it looks fifthly, but it gets a lot of use from dyes and screen printing ink. 
The design was very sparse, I think I should have used a smaller fold or maybe even use an eye dropper to add the dye to into the folds a little more. I really liked the blue on the lavender. 

I really liked the blue on the fabric but I thought I didn't get enough of a pattern on the material to make a difference. You can see the blue on the lavender material as well as on some white cotton jersey and some random white material that I found in my studio. 

So I dyed the material again. This time in a amethyst color.  I did an accordion fold again but wrapped it in rubber bands. You can see that the folds are about 2 inches this time and I wrapped rubber bands about every inch across the folded piece of material. I did not sandwich the material between boards this time.

The first thing my husband said when he looked at the piece of fabric was it looks like a hippy wedding. I did have to agree. But I also thought that once I cut out the pattern it would look a lot different. I liked how this came out even though I think it's still a little sparse. There are some really nice colors that came from the lavender sheet, the blue gray dye and the amethyst. I still have another half of the this sheet I think I will practice some more with the Shobori dying techniques. 
I wanted more of the color on the arms so made sure to get the blue and pink dyed pattern  on the top of the  sleeve.

I did a rolled hem on the neck line and the bottom of the shirt. I like the way the rolled hem finishes the shirt. I also like the really long sleeves. This is a very warm & comfortable shirt that if I get it dirty or rip it at work I know I can make another one really easy. I think next time I will make the shirt then do the Shobori wrapping and dye. My husband said he was amazed that it came out so nice, he didn't think the shirt had a hippy wedding look anymore. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter is here

When the weather starts to get cold and rainy I start to think about nesting and hibernating through the dark months of winter. I go to my studio and sew or I bake. The last couple weeks I have done a little of everything. I bought some nice pink burn out tissue jersey at mill end. I liked the drape and it was inexpensive so I bought a couple yards. I made a shirt from a pattern that has proven to be the best t-shirt pattern I have made so far. It's the Jalie 2805 shirt pattern that has a few different neck line varieties. I tend to like a nice v-neck but with the cold weather I decided to try the jewel neck line.  From this adventure I realized I do not like working with tissue takes forever to get the pattern pieces to meet properly. I fussed a lot with this material. I did add a neck band to the pink material because it seemed very loose and I thought it would help keep the neck from stretching out too much. After my struggle with the tissue jersey I cut out a basic black shirt. I found a black cotton jersey sheet at the Goodwill and thought it was a decent material, very soft. I made the same jewel neck shirt, it's wonderful. It took me about 1 hour to make, no fussing to meet the pattern pieces it all went together beautifully. I decided not to add a collar band to the black shirt and instead finished the neck with a rolled hem stitch on the serger. I think this it my new winter shirt, its soft and warm. I had enough to make another shirt so I made a v-neck with long sleeves (the other shirts are 3/4 sleeve's). I really really like this pattern. I did a rolled hem on the v-neck shirt too, but it puckered a bit more than I wanted. It's a warm comfortable shirt and I'm already planing a few for more.

It was also time to get the last of the peppers from the garden. One of the gardeners in our community garden pulled all his pepper plants and left them in the garden to I took some more peppers and pickled the last of the vegetable from the garden. The peppers are great on sandwiched and in salads. I also found a recipe for Salted Cantaloupe Jam. I had made some Cantaloupe Jam from the book "Food in Jars" and I loved it. I thought the Salted Cantaloupe Jam sounded great. I bought a cantaloupe but it had to sit and ripen for a couple of days as it was very hard. I made the salted jam in my FreshTech Jam maker and it came out quite nicely. I was surprised at how different it tasted because of the salt. It really changed the taste, it was more of a woodsy and slightly sweet taste. I think it would go nicely on chicken or pork as well as on toast. 

Lastly I made another pair of pants for my husband. He wanted some wool pants. I found this nice balk wool at Scrap. It was about 5 yards of material for $10. I used 2 for the pants so that is a cheap pair of wool pants. I finished the pants this evening and my husband tried them on, he did not like that the pockets tended to stick out on the sides. Not sure why this happened or how to fix it with out taking the pants apart. I told him the flair to the pockets it has a slimming effect. We will see if the believes it or if he sends them back for me to "fix" the pockets.

I also had to go to the dump the other day and I found a box of photos. It's always sad to see someones life in photos tossed. Most of the photos were from a remodel of a 'Mary's Kitchen", but there were also several other remodel projects photos. Along with the remodel photos were several family photos, and photos of what looked like high school parties from the mid to late 80's. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A couple of dresses & a shirt

I have been hopelessly looking for the perfect dress for years now. Something that is comfortable, easy to wear during the summer and winter. Of course something with pockets. I want something very simple in the design, that will show off the fabric.  For a long time I drooled over these dresses at Tumbleweed in Portland. They are all very cute, simple lines and beautiful fabric. Looking at the dresses I always felt that I could make one that would be perfect for me. I even had a dress that was very close to what I wanted, I bought it at a garage sale and wore it till the fabric started to give out at the underarms. I called it the summer Christmas dress because of the colors. I should just take it apart and make a pattern from this dress, but for some reason I keep thinking that I will find a pattern that would be just perfect. 

When I first saw the Dottie Angle Dress Simplicity 1080, I thought this is it. But I had some problems when I made the first one, I might have made it too small. I believed the finished measurements thinking that I would make it a little more form fitting by making a medium. It does fit but I have a feeling I will rip out the seam under the arm the first time I wore it and was too gardening. So I made another one this time I made a large. It was a little too big, the arms gaped and it felt like and looked like a potato sack. I had a friend over watching me make the dress and we decided to cut off the strange flap of the sleeve, thinking that a sleeveless dress would be nice, we also put in bust darts because it looked like it needed them when I tried the dress on. This did not improve the drape of the dress. The fabric was a quilting cotton so it did not drape as nice as I thought it would. Of course after a couple of washings it may loosen up. I like the fabric and I have not give up on this dress or the pattern. I just have to find the way this pattern will fit me. I may need to adjust the darts or try something different with the sleeves.

The next pattern I found that I thought would be great is from "A Verb for Keeping Warm" called Endless Summer Tunic. I really liked the simplicity of the dress and it had pockets. Well after the making two dresses that I felt were fails, at least for now, I decided to try the Endless Summer Tunic. It's a very simple layout and really the directions are very simple, thought I would like some illustrations as I'm a very visual learner. I used thrifted sheet to make a muslin. I liked the dress but when I was done I tried it on and Oh WOW it was short. I also think I need to make it one size larger. That seems to be a theme for me right size larger. Maybe I will get someone to actually take my measurements so I can get this right. Interesting enough while I was looking for other images of the dress I found a blogger that made one of the Endless Summer Tunics in the Alabama Chanin Style.  I can't wait to try the pattern in a knit. 

Which brought me back to my favorite pieces of clothing...anything from Alabama Chanin. I had made one of the long sleeve shirt a year or so ago...that was a fail..I used some very strange jersey that had very little stretch. I decided to try it again as I really love loose long sleeve shirts in the winter. They are great under sweaters. I had bought what looked and felt like a tissue jersey at a resale store. I started to hand sew the shirt together but the thin material was almost impossible to work. The seams looked terrible all bunched up and very fragile looking.  So I took out what I had already sewn and used my serger to make the shirt. I used a rolled hem on the neck line and along the bottom of the shirt. It's very thin fabric and I will see how it lasts. I struggled the entire time with this material,  I believe the reason this 2 yards of material was at the resale shop was because the grain was off. But we shall see, for now I have a simple undershirt to wear this winter. I have a couple of things coming from Alabama Chanin that I bought at the Orange and Black sale last week, I can't wait to start another hand sew project.