Thursday, March 31, 2011

China Cozies

It seems such a shame to see dust collect on china!  Here's is a solution that is both beautiful and practical.

I used Butterick Pattern B5623.  Normally these storage boxes have zipper closures at the top, but I converted it to a hat-box type design because I didn't want to special order extra long zippers for the project.  An added bonus of this style is that it compacts to a smaller box if you need it to:

The pre-quilted fabric they suggest using for china storage containers is beautiful but pricey, so I purchased some cheap calico and quilted it myself.  TOO MUCH WORK! Next time, I'm busting out the wallet.  I love these colors, though, and I've always been a sucker for paisley.

For the trimming, I tried out the bias tape maker I got for Christmas.  Also too much work, imo :o).

As you can see from this shelf of china, I have a few more containers to make.  Bring on the cozies!

Monday, March 28, 2011

There's Always A Solution!

Who would have guessed?  My mother is a master problem solver and came up with a feasible solution to my puckering taffeta problem.  Iron and steam the ever-loving heck out of it!  She tested a scrap and since it didn't ruin the fabric scrap, I gave it a shot.  You be the judge.

Pucker Before:

Pucker After:

Not perfect, but I'll consider it a success.  Hopefully I can get a picture of the little girl in her First Communion dress for you all to see!

Snipper Tip:  (aka Pressing 101) When pressing seams open, it's a good idea to place a strip of heavy paper between the seam allowance and the fabric, like so:

This way, you don't make an impression of the seam allowance on the visible side of the fabric. Especially important when working with seams that have been serged in advance.  Nothing worse than getting permanent-press stitch impressions on your beautiful work!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh The Tortures!!!

Some fabric is evil.  Evil, I tell you!  I'm working on a sweet little lining for a sheer vintage First Communion dress, and I'm beginning to loath the day I accepted the project! The mom picked out a thick, shiny sort of taffeta that puckers at the seams.  (I'd post a picture for you to see, but my patience has been sucked out of me and would definitely not survive the uploading process.)  I practiced around on some scraps and found out that the seams lie beautifully flat when sewn with the grain and pucker when sewn perpendicular to the grain.  This means *gasp* that all of the obvious seams, namely the side seams and center back seam, pucker to high heaven.  WHAT?  WHAT TO DO?  I've changed needles and adjusted the tension.  I've ran my fingers along the seam to 'stretch' it.  My mother, so helpfully, mentioned that maybe I could hand stitch the seams.  Since I'm not getting paid enough for that sort of thing, I need better advice....or maybe advice I like better?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sleeping Bag Dolls, Slippers, and Splurges

Thank ya'll for your kind responses to Sleeping Bag Dolls Available to Buy!  The little blond doll is sold, but the brown haired doll set is still looking for a new mommy.  I will also be posting pics of my red-haired girl soon.  Here's a sneak peek of her craftily quilted bag...

I've been thinking about felt doll food.  My thoughts are so dangerous...

In other news, I was getting kinda bored with the same old booties, so I made a pair by cutting the sleeves off of a baby sweater (that somehow managed to remain tagged and unworn for the last four years).  Definitely my favorite style bootie so far.  There's a wee bit of room for improvement because I'm not all crazy about the white bias tape binding, but otherwise I was quite satisfied with the results! I'm such a sucker for cable knit.  Next slipper season, if I get my hands on a scarf or two, we're in trouble!

(hmmm...maybe my grayed photos could use some improvement too)

And last but not least, it's amazing what kind of fun a girl can have on a $16 fabric shopping spree.  So many ideas, so little time!

P.S.:  Chipper Snipper Tip:  It's pretty much common knowledge among sewers that if you serge your fabrics before you wash them, you can avoid an irritating web of frayed fabrics in your dryer.  I almost never do this because I'm a) too lazy, b) too tired, c) too excited to get my lovelies pre-shrunk to be sidetracked by a trip to the machine.  However, I serged this time and it was totally worth it. I hereby endorse serging -- especially on quarter and eigth yard pieces.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Felt Food Fest Continues

Crepes were a knock off, the original maker was genious! Don't they look scrumptious?  Go to BugBites on Etsy for the real thing.  The burritos were an adaptation of the crepe idea.  I was so proud of myself for figuring out a way to make cheese! The sandwich (mustard, turkey, and swiss) was just for fun and also the only realistic-looking lunch stuff I could think of at the time.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Silliest Creation Ever!

It's a stuffed toy turkey!!!

Isn't it hilarious???

A friend 'commissioned' it and it turned out delightfully delicious.

The bird is made out of a knit with felt stuffing.  It's the children's version of 22-pound Thanksgiving feast, but it is only 5x5x7 inches (like another one we found online).

This silly toy was made from the 'wrong' side of a very hideous brown plaid fabric with pink paisleys on it.  Proof positive that every fabric has hidden potential.  Albiet, sometimes VERY well hidden. 

Now, what's the silliest thing you've made lately?

p.s.  Sorry to be such an errant blogger!  I really have been sewing, just not blogging.