Friday, March 30, 2012


This morning.
This afternoon.
Colourblocking paradise! More on that tomorrow.....

Monday, March 26, 2012

Headband Tutorial

Spring break is here! You wouldn't know it from the freezing fog that has enveloped my world today. The signs of spring break include: the Punk shopping with the Pixie and I.

And shop we did! My LQS was having a sale and I picked up 8 meters of fabric at $5 each.

I love these stripes, and I went wild for the pebbles! I'll make my headband out of this print.

The last piece is this fugly green. It looked much better in the dim light at the sale racks in the back of the store. In real light it's a sinister shade of chartreuse. I'll save it for backing, unless anyone wants a straight up trade. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Now for a first run-through with the headband I designed. Ready?

1. This is the pattern. Cut out two on the fold.

You will have two pieces that look like this.

2. Place the pieces right sides together, and pin onto a scrap of batting.

During pinning, I placed a 3 1/2" piece of elastic in one short end. (Note to self: buy more black elastic.)

I also used my double pin trick to delineate start and stop points to allow for turning.

3. Sew around fabric edges using 1/4" seam allowance. I backstitched an extra time over the elastic. This will be a heavy stress point.

You can sort of see in the above picture that I skipped sewing the end without elastic. This is very important! I sewed right to the ends and backstitched. Then I picked up the presser foot, shuffled the fabric into the new start position, and kept sewing without cutting the thread. You can see better on the batting side.

4. Trim.

5. Turn and press. Do not push out the non-elastic end all the way. Leave the seam allowance tucked in.

6. Pin the opening closed.

Push the free end of the elastic into the open end of the headband, being careful not to twist it. Stick a pin in to hold it.

7. Double topstitch around the entire piece. Backstitch at both stress points.

8. Brace yourself. Model for the camera and hope that random aiming hits the target. Posts pictures of yourself wearing completed headband on the scary internet.

I'm certainly not normally this Caucasian, but with the flash right at the end of my get the point.

Things to do differently next time include using elastic that matches more closely, and redesigning to take an inch off the width. I was also debating adding an extra 1/2" to the elastic length, but I've been wearing it while writing this post and I like the snugness.  I have a plan to do a paper-pieced headband using a similar pattern. Oh! Oh! What if I.... scalloped the edge of the pattern before cutting? Or quilted the whole way across instead of just topstitching? Or sew with a solid fabric and use FMQ in contrasting thread to add visual interest?

So many ideas! But it'll have the wait. I did promise my girls Easter dresses since Mommy didn't make them new Christmas dresses. To the big box of stash I go!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Knock, Knock

When I declared that March Is Mine, I had no idea that I would be talking about health and not sewing projects. For two weeks I was pretty ill; then my hips went out again (making it very painful to stay upright and walking).

Retro pink seersucker from my own toddlerhood.

It hasn't been all bad, though. My good news is that my brain fog is clearing, thanks to paying more attention to nutrition. I've lost almost 25 pounds since Valentine's Day.

I don't know where this came from but I love it! The little black splotches are music notes.
I managed to follow a quick tutorial from The Petite Sewist. Using the above displayed fabric and a little ric-rac.....

Trying to get two kids to cooperate for a photo is liking trying to ride a pig - only great in theory. The Pixie is stretched to her limit.
I whipped up a version of the Roses Are Red retro apron. I may make a couple more. I may alter the pattern now that I've made it once. I do this with recipes, too: follow the directions once and then deviate every time thereafter.

I also have plans to slowly work on Easter dresses this week (spring break!). My goal is to use only stash for these new girly confections. I also drew up a new headband pattern for myself. Perhaps it will make it into tutorial form.

The latest installment for Grandparent Eye Candy Day.

The flashlight was absolutely necessary - they were hunting bears.
The posts might be sparse for a few weeks....the Husband has given me a new hobby to pursue between fits of sewing, spurts of housecleaning, and round after round of much needed cuddling.

I get to pack up our house to move.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quick Fashion

Since I declared that March is Mine, the powers that be have decreed that it's a great time for me to be sick. For two weeks I was fighting a combination of head cold and something else. I may not be the best authority because I rarely get sick, but colds don't give you fever, right? Some kind of virus lived with us for us while. My Pixie suffered for exactly five hours (including fever and upchucking). She has an untainted immune system. It makes a parent proud.

Today was my first day back in front of my sewing machine. I drafted this pattern over a year ago and pulled it out for this occasion. It kinda looks like nothing special.

I cut out four pieces from knit. Sometimes I will use 2 knit and 2 cotton or flannelette, just to change it up.

I pinned the pieces together in pairs, right sides together.

Then I serged around all sides, leaving an opening for turning. I like to tie the tails into a quick knot instead of using Fray Check.

After a turn and a quick press (with steam), I tucked in the opening and pinned. A couple of inches of straight stitch closes it up.

The last step was to fold the pieces so that the lining was on the inside. I pinned the sides together and sewed closed four inches up from the bottom, and one at the top, leaving a 2 1/2" opening.

The result is these super warm wrist warmers/fingerless gloves! They are also reversible and popular with the young teenage crowd. They make an interesting fashion statement....

I've also made several pairs for my Punk. She is obsessed with having her hands and feet covered. I may make a few more for her, because she keeps chewing through her old ones.

And now that I have regained my equilibrium, I need to step up the quilting for the House Of Love quilt. It is my Scrap-Attack project. The deadline is two weeks from now!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Breakfast Time!

I couldn't wait to quilt this. I wanted to use it ASAP.

Because it is meant to be my breakfast place mat, I used as many fruit prints as I could. I bound it in blueberries - my favorite berry.

I love it! It goes well with mangoes. It is the perfect size for breakfast.

What's up next for Me March? Cuddling my sick Punk. She had a fever of almost 104 last evening, and she's slowly trying to keep food down.

I do believe that, between angelic spurts of housecleaning, I will get back to cutting the background for my Green Quilt. After all, it's for my bed.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Is Mine

I need a month.

I hardly ever take the time to sew for myself. After remembering that good feeling of making stuff for me (refashioned pants into skirt), I decided that March is my month! I will make two small exceptions for Easter dresses....but March Is Mine!!! I feel like I've conquered something....

I started today by trimming the ends off of some scrap strips. I took them to the ironing board so I could more clearly see them. They look much better pressed.

I transferred the pieces to my design table and began eliminating colours - starting with pink. I need this to be bigger than a mug rug, but not as big as a placemat.

My plan is loosely based on the "Confetti" blocks that are floating around cyberspace. I debated between two greys for sashing before choosing the light grey.

Finalize the layout and then briefly flirt with making this in ticker tape style. Do I or don't I? It would look good....

Naw! I cut tiny 1" strips from the grey. I wanted to use traditional piecing methods, but still maintain the size. I eyeballed the layout and mentally divided into easily sewn units. Then I started sewing sashing on.

Here's a shot of the magic....a very simple 1/4" seam, followed by a little trimming.

Have units: Add sashing.

Sew all of the units together. Trim where necessary. The chartreuse was waaay too big. Some of the sashing had to be pieced. This'll happen when you're using scraps of scraps.

Last step for today: square up. Incidently, it ended up being 12"x10" - exactly the size I had planned, even throughout all of my eyeballing, random trimming, and non-measuring. Sweet!

Tomorrow I plan to add outer borders....sandwich, baste, quilt, bind. All the things that steer my soul into happy waters.