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Showing posts from October, 2009

Throwing in the Towel(s)

Today I finished the four tea towels that I've been working on for shop owner M.  I really do like doing all the hand stitching, but I found each one took longer than I estimated it would.

Two Christmas-themed:

Two for any season:

Now I'm working on some Christmas stockings, as requested by shop owner S. M and S are having an open house event next Friday evening - open late, hot cider, $10 off of a $50 purchase, prize draws, etc.  So, my goal is to have the stockings done before then.

Predestined for Millinery? I think not...

The church I'm a member of belongs in the Calvinist tradition.  If John Calvin were still alive today, he would be 500 years old.  Our church is having a "birthday party" for him this week.  His birthday was actually in July, but when it's been 500 years, what's a month here or there?  The Preacher tells me that it is the year that is the significant part.  As part of this celebration, one of the church members is playing the role of John Calvin and he asked me to make a hat as part of his costume.

You can think what you want about John Calvin, but you've got to admit that the man had a pretty cool hat.  Even as cool as it is, it isn't a popular style today (surprising, isn't it?!) so I was on my own for making/adapting a pattern.  I started with Vogue 8528, View C (top left).

I added a brim and the (very strange) earflap piece and (after two muslins) ended up with this:




The hat is velvet and I was nervous about sewing with it and g…

Wine Sleeves Ready to Go

I dropped off these two wine sleeves at the shop today, along with the first one I made.

Now I'm working on a hat fit for John Calvin.  (I'll explain when it's finished).

photo from
It's been an interesting project...

I'm also still stitching away on tea towels.  I'm hoping to have those finished in the next couple of days.

Ready to Go

Fifteen terry cloth bags for bar soap or soap slivers, ready for the shelves....

For the first time, I used my 1/2" bias tape maker for the casings.  I was pretty impressed with how well it worked.  I love a good sewing tool.

I think it will take me as long to clean up all the lint, fuzz and snippets from this project as it did to make them all.  Terry cloth is a messy fabric.

Work in progress:

Back to work...

Kwik Sew 3126 - Race Car Pajamas

A couple of nights ago my son came over to me on his way down to bed and with a very sad look, said, "Mom, can you please make my race car pajamas while I'm sleeping tonight?"  Awwww.  Unfortunately, I couldn't that night, but I did get to it last night.  I cut them out at the same time I cut out the soccer pajamas and they've just been sitting there ever since.  They got pushed aside with the daughter's clothing projects and then my samples for sale.  Once I got started on them, they went together really quickly.

He's pretty excited about them.  I'm hoping to capitalize on that and move out the beloved Thomas The Tank Engine pajamas that he's been wearing for nearly two years.  I expect to hear a big rrrriiiiiiiiiip everytime he wriggles into them.

I had just enough fabric for these, since it is a one-way print and I wanted to match the pattern at center front.  The black-and-white checkered background isn't printed on-grain which was a little …


The wine sleeve turned out pretty well, I think.

Thoughts about how to do this have been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks and in the end, I was pretty pleased with how it came together.  The "suit sleeve" is repurposed: I cut it off the jacket and took in the underarm seam so it was a snug fit on the bottle.  The "shirt sleeve" is made for the bottle.  I did look at dress shirts in second-hand stores, but the cuffs show wear and dirt and it would be hard to alter it to be the right size and still look good.  You can't really see the cuff very well in the photo because of the sun - oops.

The bottom of the suit sleeve is wider than the top and it is longer than the shirt sleeve.  To get the slouchy look at the bottom, I gathered the bottom of the suit sleeve and sewed it to a circle the same size as the shirt sleeve bottom.  I sewed the two bottoms together in the seam allowances.

This project was requested by the shop owner (I think I'll call …

The Finish Line

This tunic and leggings is the last of the things I'm sewing for my older daughter's fall wardrobe.  I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago and my daughter has worn it twice, but each time I asked her if I could take a picture and she said, "Yes, but only one and you have to do it fast."  Well, okay then.  The odds of one quick picture turning out well weren't so good.  So, I photographed them without the daughter.

Generally, I consider this top unsuccessful.  Let's start with the fabric.  The white print is pretty lightweight interlock.  Someone gave this to me awhile back (I think the same time as this fabric).  I made pajamas out of it for my daughter a couple of years ago and had about a yard left.  I pulled it out of the stash to match some hand-me-down red leggings.  I was having a really hard time getting past the idea that it was pajama-ish, and knew that it would need to be made into more than a plain T-shirt, so I tried to copy a top that I ha…


I picked up a men's sport coat yesterday at a second-hand store.  Even though I found this inside:

I'm still going to cut it apart in an attempt to make this:

(better picture here)

Wish me luck!

Soap Bag Prototype #2

Today I picked up an inexpensive washcloth to try out the soap bag in terry cloth.  I don't think there is much difference in the cost of materials between this one and the knitted one, but the amount of time it takes me to make one is pretty different.  This was a very quick project, yet I prefer the knitted one.

I used purchased bias tape on the outside of the bag to make the casing.  This could certainly be done with a more decorative fabric or coordinating tape, but this happened to match so well I thought I would use it.  It was hard for me to decide about putting the casing on the inside or the outside, but in the end I thought the outside could use a little "something" and didn't really know what else to do with it.

A plain white satin ribbon serves as the drawstring.  Again, could be more decorative, but I was working with what I had.  For the drawstring opening, I turned under the ends of the tape and then stitched it down before sewing the side seam.  The o…

Soap Bag Prototype

The second item that the shop owner wanted is a little bag to hold a bar of soap or soap slivers that is also used like a washcloth.  She mentioned maybe doing them out of terry cloth, but I couldn't find that in the fabric store here.  I thought knitting one would work just as well and maybe better as it could stretch to fit different size bars of soap.

The yarn is 100% cotton - not my favorite to knit with, but likely the best for this purpose.  It is worsted weight and I knit it on size 3 needles as I wanted it to start out firm with just a little stretch.  When it is wet, it will stretch more.  I don't get so excited about seaming knits, so this is knit in the round from the top down and the bottom is closed with a three-needle bind off. 

I love the way seed stitch looks and thought the texture would be a good thing for this, so that's what I did for the whole bag, except for three rounds.  One round of knit above an eyelet row, then the eyelet row and then another ro…

Tea Towels

It's been awhile since I've posted anything.  Life has been busy here.  But, now I have something to show you, so I'm back.

When I dropped off the wine bags, the shopkeeper told me that the woman who owned the shop next door was interested in having me sew some things for her to sell.  The things she wanted aren't really things I've done before, but I was interested, so I've found myself in a bit of a product development project.

One of the things she wanted was tea towels.  She had a favorite type that she carried, but can't get them anymore and hasn't found a good replacement.  I did a little research about tea towels and found out that linen is the fabric of choice for good tea towels.  I didn't know this - I assumed it would be cotton.  I guess fine china and crystal should only be dried with a linen tea towel.  Perhaps the absence of fine china and crystal in my life (I'm really at more of a Tupperware kind of a place right now) kept me fr…