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7/02/2014

Table runner a la Alabama Chanin

I can finally blog about this project. It was the birthday present for my moms 6oth birthday. 
A table runner Alabama Chanin style. They offer a complete kit on their website, but I opted on making it completely myself. Which also meant cutting out the stencil.

First I had to settle on a color combination. I chose nature as top layer and navy for the second layer. I forgot where I ordered the fabric. The stencil color is Createx Pearl Silver. It's done in reverse applique.

I used pennant felt from Alabama Chanin to cut out the stencil. I tried to find other sources who sell this kind of felt, but couldn't find anyone else carrying it in the size I needed. This is the Paisley stencil. They offer all their stencils as free downloads.

Pennant felt is a very sturdy material, which is good for a hopefully long life of the finished stencil, but a real pain to cut. I used a X-Acto knife. Make sure to also buy a big pack of blades! I used a lot for this stencil since they don't last very long on this kind of material, and one needs sharp blades to get the stencil cut as accurately as possible for clean edges. Considering how much work this is I want a very good outcome and not some sloppy cut stencil.



I applied the color with a sponge, since I don't have an airbrush set. The stencil fits twice on the table runner. I used too much color for the first application of the stencil, which resulted in the color running under the edges of the stencil. The second time was much better. I got really nice clean edges.




The embroidery is done with Coats & Clark Button Craft Thread in Slate 
It took a couple of evenings in front of the TV to finish all the stitching.


 

I wasn't sure if I should add a navy binding all around. In the end I settled to leave the edges raw, just like the original inspiration.


6/08/2014

Burda Dress #119 and #120

I have a hate/ love relationship with Burda patterns. There are so many wonderful Burda patterns that I don't know where to start sometimes. Yet it drives me nuts that the seam allowances aren't included. Really, it can't be that hard to include it. I have one year of Burda Magazine laying around and only tried two patterns so far. One was a total failure. I bought so many different tools for adding seam allowances, I stopped counting. 

These patterns aren't even in any of my magazines, instead I bought them from the website. I am so in love with these dresses. Even though they both were a total pain to make. The instructions are not for beginners!

The first one is the short version #119







The fabric I used is a satin stretch from Fabric.com

The bodice fits very good, the skirt could have been smaller. It's not too bad, and I don't thing others even notice. 








The second version is the long dress #120

The fabric is the same as for the short version, just another color. I would like to make another long version out of this Silk Crepe in Crushed Berry



This is my second go on the pattern, and since the bodice fit was very good I thought I would just make the skirt part one size smaller. I thought myself very smart by instead of tracing it again in a size smaller to just leave out the seam allowances. I should know that these "genius" ideas of mine always end up in total disaster. 

My mind set I went ahead and cut out the whole dress without adding seam allowances. So wrong!
It ended up being too small, of course, and I had to use a 1/4 seam allowance to make it work. That didn't gave me enough to work with to finish the SA in a nice way. So no shots from the inside of the dress. In this version I omitted the sleeves all together and opted for bias finished armholes.

One thing I don't like about this pattern is how they have the mock wrap dress band attached. It's all sewn on by hand on top of the finished dress.





Pattern Description:
This wrap effect dress with empire waist line is super flattering on the bustline. The cap sleeves and knee-length hemline makes this dress perfect for a cocktail party!

This long wrap dress emphasizes your waistline to create a flattering silhouette. It has a wrap style and 3/4 length sleeves with a lovely bow.
Pattern Sizing:
38 - 46 (European sizes)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very sparse and confusing at times. Some steps are explained with only one sentence, but understitching the seam allowance to the facing is a whole paragraph, instead of just writing "understitch the seam allowance"
I would not recommend the dress due to the instructions to beginners. One should have constructed a couple of garments before. Also because of the fabrics recommended.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don't like that Burda doesn't include the seam allowances in their patterns. In general their instructions are poorly written. The mock wrap band is attached completely by hand sewing it on the finished dress.
Fabric Used:
Stretch Satin (polyester) from Fabric.com
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The long version has bias finished arm holes instead of sleeves.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to sew it again in silk
Conclusion: 
I love the two dresses, but it is not an easy make. Nevertheless I will make it again in silk.



5/26/2014

Hawthorn Dress in Chambray

My second attempt with the Hawthorn Dress by Colette Patterns. I blogged about my first version here.

The fabric is Chambray in Eggplant by Andover Fabrics.



I finished the facing with rayon seam binding. The waist and side seams are serged. The hem is a hand stitched blind hem.



A close up of the neckline. As with the first version I didn't use interfacing in the collar. The buttons are from JoAnn's.





5/13/2014

Some baskets and pouches

Last weekend was all about bags. Saturday was just cutting out new projects. All in all I got around to cut out two dresses, one cardigan, and the following three pouches/bags/basket.

The first one is the Divided Basket by Noodlehead.
The fabric is some leftover from my first Anna dress, and the lining is red Chambray. Also leftover from a dress I yet have to blog about.
I used Pellon SF101 and Fusible Fleece 987F for the main body and the divider.

This is a very easy and quick make. I love the basket and will make more for sure. This one will be used for books.





Version #2, without strap
Fabric: Meadow by Leah Duncan

The pattern comes with clear step-by-step instructions.
Next on my list is version #3, which is the biggest of the three wallets.

 


Pocket for cell phone on the back



The inside has nine card slots, and three slots for cash etc.



Free pattern by Noodlehead

Fabric is from my older sisters stash
I used ByAnnie's Soft and Stable for the first time in these projects and really like it.






5/05/2014

Paper Pieced Pillow

This is my first paper piecing project. A pillow case for my youngest nephew. My plan for this year is to make one for each of my nephews/ niece for their birthdays. Of course a different picture for each. 

The pattern is from the website Fandom in Stitches. 
This particular pattern can be found here 

I enlarged the original pattern by 25%, and I am glad I did. It is the perfect size for a pillow. And I can't even imagine how much fiddly work it must be in the original size. This was bad enough. 

I am really glad I tried out paper piecing. It is a lot of fun to create pictures like this one. In the beginning I had a couple of pieces I had to throw away, because I started out correctly and then put on one piece the wrong way. It took a bit to get the hang of thinking upside down. But once I got it, it went really fast.




The rest of the pillow is pieced with leftover fabric from the picture. I am really happy that my nephew loves his new pillow. Four more to go! 

 I also have several ideas with a pillow for myself, a tote, a mini quilt, and the list goes on :)