I have been patiently working away on a string quilt for the last few months.
I have been patiently working away on a string quilt for the last few months.
Ohhh, Colette’s Violet blouse. I’ve been wanting to make this one for a long time.
I *love* this pattern. Peter Pan collar, blousy fit, super-girly gathers, buffet-friendly shape, I’m down.
Things I did: I used a lightweight cotton with a woven gray and black stripe for the body. It said Moda on it, so I guess it was a quilting cotton? Anyway, it had soft, swishy drape and I liked the striping a lot, so I went for it, piecing the yoke so I could get a little chevron going with the shoulder slopes. I used some black cotton batiste for a contrast collar and sleeve bands.
I used self-fabric for interfacing throughout. I cut a straight 4 for this top, and saw no changes I needed to make with a tissue-fitting, though now I’m sort of feeling like I need to pull the bust darts back a little bit to help them lie smoother.
The biggest change I made was gathering sleeves into a band instead of threading elastic through them or simply hemming them. To do this, I cut the wider mid-length sleeve and cut it shorter, to approximately 1” above where I wanted the sleeve to fall. I measured my bicep, added a bit for ease and seam allowances, and cut 3 1/4” x 13 1/4” bands (two for each sleeve) from the batiste. I prepped the two bands for each sleeve as one, pressed each in half lengthwise, and turned down a 3/8” hem on one side. I stitched the unpressed side RST with the bottom of the sleeve, pressed it down, and topstitched to catch the back of the sleeve band. Then I sewed the side sleeve seam in one go.
Confusing enough? It sounds really confusing written out, but it was easy, just like putting on a front band or a cuff. I love how clean it looks, and how those two little echoing pops of contrast color add a little visual structure.
Things I wish I’d done: Next time, I’ll construct this like a men’s shirt, flat-felling the armscye and sleeve seams, for simplicity. OH and I’ll actually put the buttons on the correct side—I’m so used to making shirts for Terry that I just automatically went for it without paying attention.
Anyway. This is the first garment I’ve finished in way too long, so I’m feeling pretty good. Yay Colette, yay square buttons, yay puffy sleeves!
Who doesn’t need a moustache for every occasion?
I added a tiny little ort bin/thread catcher to my sewing kit. I’ve been using the kit like crazy, but keep leaving tiny snips and snaps of thread all over the place. This is an effort to corral them.
It’s just a tiny drawstring bag with a circular bottom and very short sides. It’s tacked down to one of the pockets. I stuff all my little thread ends and fabric trimmings in there and draw it closed to empty when I’m near a trash can.
All this is good, because I’ve just started an ongoing handwork project with fussy-cut 60 degree diamonds. I make them pretty much constantly. OBSESSION.
Awww yeah. Tiny and cute and crafty. I’m down.
I spent part of Saturday sewing with the amazing women of the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild and left full of new ideas and quilting mojo. We sewed at Penny’s lovely new place, and it was so inspiring to see all of her beautiful stuff at work and in use throughout a real, live, living and breathing home.
Carmen was making a super-cute little travel sewing kit from this tutorial from Lots of Pink Here, and I got down on that action like immediately. I’m working on a big sewing/knitting/making space clean-up (how can such a tiny area become such a disaster? There seems to be an inverse relationship between how small a space is and how cluttered I can make it), and this tasty little treat was a nice reward.
I actually managed to finish sewing something. Been a while!
This is a half square triangle crib quilt for my new-ish second cousin (first cousin once removed? I have no idea). Aside from the backing and binding, it came entirely from my stash. The triangles finished at 3” square, and the entire thing measures about 43”x48”.
Material: The colored triangles are pretty much all quilting cottons; the solids are a mix of unbleached muslin (old garment toiles, washed and ripped), undyed linen (leftovers from a duvet cover and an upholstery project), and a couple random bits and bobs.
Things I did: This was my first run at straight line quilting; I stitched (more or less) in the ditch of the vertical seams, and then quilted in one-inch passes across the horizontal. That’s 2640 feet of quilting! Then I outlined each zigzag. The quilting looks great in some spots, and not so great in others—I need practice to get straighter and more even. But washing and drying has fluffed and puckered the quilt enough to tame most of the wonkiness into irregular charm.
I *love* the effect straight-line quilting gives (my straight line quilting idol, Red Pepper Quilts, always inspires and induces weeping fits of inadequacy), so I’m going to keep practicing. I did get a walking foot, and omg it helps SO much.
Things I wish I’d done: I ran out of pins about three quarters of the way through basting, and hand-basted the rest of the quilt. Sad to say, the hand-basted portion quilted much flatter and more evenly; is this the way to go?
Also, I put the binding on completely by machine; it looks okay but not great, and I think I’ll stick to sewing the front on by machine and slip-stitching the back side.
All in all, this is a sweet little quilt, very cozy and soft, with a wonderful heavy drape from all that quilting. I learned a lot, and it was fun to make. <heart>!
Self-Stitched September, day 30. We did it, through four cities, a photo shoot, a season’s TV taping, and two mini vacations. Today I’m wearing a wool dress I made a long time ago from Simplicity 3673—it was the second thing I made after my Burda shirtdress, and probably the first thing I made that I really loved. It fulfilled the promise of making my own clothes for me—I know I could not buy the same dress for anything close to the raw cost of the materials. The material is beautiful, I fitted it carefully, I sewed it slowly and without shortcuts (and added a full lining), and I feel like a million bucks in it. Win!
I have loved this experiment. I’d never really sat down and thought about my me-made wardrobe before—I just sort of made things willy-nilly as they caught my interest. But this month has taught me to be more intentional about what I make, own, and wear—I don’t need to have lots of clothes, just enough clothes that I feel good in and find beautiful, ethical, well-meant and well-made. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what is flattering on me and what shapes make me look like a potato sack. And I’m more determined than ever to bring some color into my wardrobe.
This challenge has been so inspiring: I love seeing how people are wearing their self-stitched items, and thinking about how to translate my own pile of me-made things into an actual living closet. Self-stitched daily, anyone?
Self-Stitched September, day 29. One more time on the gingham shorts! Man, I wear these all the time.
We went to the Beirut show down in Denver last night (fantastic!) and stayed in the city overnight and today for the micro-est of micro vacations. I felt marginally less silly wearing shorts and tights in the city than I would have in our little town.
Self-Stitched September, day 28. One of my favorite things about this challenge has been all the styling and sewing inspiration I’ve gleaned from the SSS Flickr group—things I never would have thought to make are rapidly hopping up my queue. In particular, I’ve been super-inspired by items with interesting shapes, sometimes much squarer than I’d think to make for myself.
I don’t have many pieces like that, though I’m itching to make some now for Fall. In the meantime, I’m wearing one of Terry’s shirts. This is one of what feels like millions of Colette Negroni shirts I’ve made for him—this one is in a mid-weight chambray that is fading prettily with washing. I’ve made one in a heavy plaid shirting, too; one in black cotton voile; one in striped linen; and one in seersucker. It’s a great casual men’s shirt pattern.
Sweet divot pockets:
All that said, I don’t really know how I feel about this outfit on me. I thought it would be hip and cute, but I sort of just feel like I didn’t make it home last night. Maybe I should sling the belt looser?
Self-Stitched September, day 27. My drapey silk blouse and ancient pants from J. Crew, pegged because…well, I don’t know why they are pegged. I think I felt really frumpy with them all straight and creased and stiff.
I haven’t worn these pants in years—they’re at least 11 or 12 years old, and I know I haven’t worn them since at least 2006. I wonder why? I really, really like the fabric; I wish I knew what it was (it’s just marked as 100% cotton—but it has a pronounced tabby weave that is too marked to be a sateen, and smooth, crisp body that is too polished to be a twill). I might cut them down to have a narrower leg so I can wear them more.