As I was making the last round of Star Wars goodies, my daughter asked for some of the green schematic fabric for herself. At that point, it was already almost gone and was sold out everywhere. Ooopsie. I did manage to save 1 print panel for her…meaning, one block of the print as it is repeated on the fabric.
I picked up some clearance frames at Target thinking this would look pretty cool.
Dummy me. Do you KNOW how many D-rings I’ve put in frames and how many photos I’ve set while working for photographers? I know, you don’t, but trust me when I say more than a life time’s worth.
I didn’t even think about it when getting these frames.
I’m slowly, begrudgingly, trying not to kill the cheap particle board frames….eventually, I’ll get these up. But please, be warned, keep this in mind when you see those clearance items at Target and you think, “It’s like I’m losing money if I don’t buy it!!!” So far, with my time included, these are very expensive frames.
Theoretically I should be joining the rest of sewing/crafting/quilting bloggerverse and making Easter dresses for my girls and some sort of pastel tie for my boys and man.
That’s just not going to happen.
It’s not that I don’t love making dresses, it’s that I know when I’ve taken on plenty already. Oh, and I’ve taken on plenty.
I’ve got a ‘day job’ that requires at least 50 hours a week not including commute time. It’s a pretty intense job at times that pays alright and gives my family amazing medical insurance – so I kinda have to do that.
There’s also the whole 4 kids thing ranging from 18 yrs to 13 months.
AND I’ve started my first of many sewing classes. The first to start is the Free Motion Quilting series at Montavilla by Billie Whipple. She’s great. I suspect it will be fun seeing the difference between Billie’s style and the FMQ class I have next month at Modern Domestic. The class at Montavilla is a series of 6 – 2 hour classes. It is so generous of people such as Billie to give their time and knowledge. She’s been quilting for such a long time and has so much experience to give. It’s great. That and my Lordie does she have a feisty sense of humor! That is just perfect for me!
I’ve started what I’m calling the Julia Prototype. I got a bunch of long sleeve t-shirts on clearance at Target and inspired by some friends from The PDX Breeders Club, I’m making some “semi-homemade” Star Wars dresses.
It’s not quite done. That skirt is just pinned to the top and needs to be serged and top-stitched together still. I’m pretty happy with it though – especially considering I did NO planning and just winged it.
My Clover pen just died. I picked it up at Modern Domestic almost 2 years ago, and the water-erasable fabric pen held out until recently. I really love it. Ink on one side, water on the other, super light touch.
Of course it was mid-project. Luckily I remembered I had my handy-dandy disappearing ink fabric pen that came with Ms. Viking.
See that label sticking off of it??
Whatever you do, Becky, do NOT leave this at the bank. Or at an H&R Block. Or…at the kids’ school… hee hee hee….
When I grabbed the peachy pinky bicycle fabric and the pink Kona, I just got 2 yards each because it was a spontaneous purchase and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I knew I plenty of other matching fabric anyway. So, after the infinity scarves, I went with this grouping to make 3 more farmer’s market bags.
I didn’t quite have enough of each Kona shown to make the bags match and that’s fine. There are 2 bags with the pink bag lining and white pocket lining, and 1 bag with the cream/cream.
What I DID learn this time around is that my binding foot is PERFECT for this project. A little bit of cream bias tape to top the pockets – 3 sets, making 6 total pockets, would appear to be a pain but with magical binding foot it was a breeze.
I just chain-stitched them all together. Once the foot and bias tape was set up, it was just a matter of feeding in each pocket top (after the lining was sewing on of course). It’s kind of like making banners. Or, bunting, I suppose is popular to say now. Thanks a lot Downton Abbey.
I cut the bias tape a little over an inch from the end and just let it feed through.
Then easy peasy snip them apart. The edges get sewn into the bag sides, so it’s really not a fussy add-on.
Later, after the kids went to bed, I finished the bags up while Robert took action shots.
I had this BRILLIANT idea that if I got the 7 and 8 year old little plastic embroidery grids to practice on, they’d be busy crafting while I could sew. HAHAHAHAHA. I am dumb.
Little did I realize that just because they’re practicing a backstitch for a few hours, does NOT mean they won’t need floss cut every 5 minutes and their needle rethreaded.
They did great for their first time.
Next thing they are going to learn is how to thread those needles. My mom got Hazel this cute sewing basket. Actually, I think it was her church quilting group. Anywho…I need to put one together for Alex too. With needle threaders.
Stabilizers and I have our moments. I think you have to get a ‘feel’ for them. Er, I think I have to get a feel for them. I think I’m getting it. Steam-A-Seam, I press for a long, long, long time. Think…slow roasting a marshmallow. Takes time to make it gooey and sticky. Pellon on the other hand is more of a quick, hot steam…but not too quick…but the great thing with Pellon, so far, is that I can flip it over and see how I’m doing.
This helps me get a feel for it and how I’m doing. I’m getting better.
I will be getting that pattern and obsessing over that next.
BTW, while I’m on the topic of the incredible Ms. Elizabeth Hartman, if you go to her blog and pour over her posts and books, you can see why I’ve signed up for her two upcoming classes at Modern Domestic.
So, when I mentioned upcoming classes, it makes more sense now, huh? There’s a LOT of other classes at MD that I’d like…but it’s a bit of a trek for me from deep SE PDX to NE PDX and child finagling, so this was a good leaping off point. I need to observe/learn some more FMQ and I’ve not done text quilt blocks…that’s going to be fun.
The art-cycle class would be fascinating and I would love the quilt frame basics class…but I think I’ve got enough on my plate for now. Oh, and I want to get the new pattern released from Colette at MD this week too…..so, yeah, that’s enough.
Gosh…I’ve known Octavia Hunter now for…well, 4 years? 5 years? It’s a long story, but in a nutshell, I got to do some work for her and I’ve been spoiled with A LOT of really great portraits and an amazing friend.
More than that, though, Octavia is naturally talented. I’ve watched her shoot many times, and she makes it seem so effortless…there’s no fussing with lighting or her cameras, at least that the subject is aware of, and she comes up with amazing shots. Octavia can pull so much emotion out of a person in a portrait. She’s truly gifted.
She’s sooo talented, she ALSO works for Bent Image Labs. Yeah. She’s kind of a big deal.
Octavia is a beautiful red-head and an avid bicyclist…so, when I saw the bicycle fabric in peach and pink, I decided she had to have it.
It was kismet that the fabric was out on that shelf waiting for me.
The infinity scarf was the perfect answer. The quilting cottons are a bit stiffer than woven fabrics intended for apparel and certainly more than a knit, plus with the infinity design…it can’t come off as she’s flying down Portland streets on her bike! The stiffer fabric will hold it’s shape up against her face if she needs or down against her chest in layers.
I cut the bicycle fabric and the pink solid Kona 14″ wide and fabric width long (44″) then trimmed the selvedges.
That’s a good approximation. My first was a bit wider and a smidge longer…I think this is a better length for bike riding.
Sew the lengths, right sides together to make a hollow-ended tube. Press down and top-stitch to keep it from puffing open after washing/drying.
When that is done, you’re ready to put in a cheater’s flat-felled seam. A cheater’s flat-felled seam is a French seam pressed and sewn down, aka top-stitched. It’s easy, convenient, and there’s less fuss than an actual flat-felled seam.
Lay the scarf down and fold it in half but with a twist so that the facing fabrics do not match.
Sew them together. I used a 1/4″ seam, but it doesn’t really matter. We’re not engineering bridges here. Just sew it and trim it down to 1/8″ if you can. Again, more important to keep it straight than be exact. If you’re more comfortable with larger allowances, it’s all good.
Then fold and press it back over itself – making a seam sandwich.
Stitch over that to keep it closed in there. I just butt my presser foot against it and move my needle over, but some people like to pin a guide or draw a line. Whatever works so that it looks like this on the top side:
and like this on the bottom side:
Press that top-side down flat and stitch it down.
When it’s done, it’s a self-contained fabric burrito-wrap-bento-whatever. It’s all rolled in there and pressed down. It makes for a bit of a stiff seam, but it’s the seam I use for baby-slings – it’s sturdy and will last.
Here’s the scarf, casually draped over the back of a chair….before the baby tore it down….
Getting pins through layers of corduroy for pants or layers of batting and cotton for quilting takes some effort, but not quite as much as when going through Pellon/stabilizers and layers of fabric. I use a trick my mother taught me years ago when diapering my little brothers in cloth diapers and I thought I’d share.
Not the part about cloth diapering my brothers. Not that they’d care – but you might.
If you’re finding that the pins are NOT gliding through the fabric with ease, take the pin, run it through your hair close to your scalp, and try again. Some cloth diapering people keep pins in soap, but that’s such a bother for sewing. It sounds sorta weird, but trust me. It does just enough to glide through the thickest of bundles.
I know I said I wouldn’t get more fabric except solids, but….I had to get the last of this fox fabric, and I’ve been wanting this Birch fois bois…and I happened to have a sewmamasew.com gift card.
I feel so lame writing “fois bois.”
I may have went a little over my gift card, and got this orange plaid to go WITH my mushroom fabric.
But this time, you see, the fabric has plans before it was purchased. I’m addicted to these farmer’s market bags. And I’ve really been wanting an infinity scarf that’s sweeping the interwebs, but all I could find tutorials on was knit instructions….and that fox fabric was just begging me to be worn…by me…
AND….I had to go to Cool Cottons because they had the Star Wars fabric in stock that I need….and walking to the front door, there was a sale rack. I walked right past it. Just right past it. Then….went right back out and grabbed the bicycle fabric…and matching Kona….but I was really good and didn’t buy any of the shot cottons…yet…
Doesn’t this fabric just make you feel spring?
Excuse the wrinkles, I took photos after washing them but before ironing. I was too excited. It could be worse. I’ve been looking at Jukis and cover stitch machines….
Here’s some shots of the first infinity scarf. I experimented on myself….before I made more…so much more. Photos below are by my dear man. He takes great photos….then puts up animated gifs of me making dinner. That’s True Love….the part where I let him do that.
OK, I have ALL of that to show you coming up AND AND AND
I signed up for some classes at Modern Domestic, one at Montavilla and a Jenny Doan lecture. Normally, I’m not a fan of classes, only because I’m too impatient and when I want to learn something I just go find it….but I have my reasons for these particular classes which I’ll expand on later.
That, and most of my lessons in sewing have either been my mom or self-taught, and while that’s great, it’s such a HUGE subject…I know a couple different ways of putting pants together, for example, but I prefer one particular way over the other. That’s barely scratching the surface of techniques, habits and tricks. In fact, I’ve got a trick to share with you right after I post this that I haven’t read anywhere.
Sewing, quilting and embroidery are truly humbling in that I will never know it all….and I love that.
This post is 50% to show you ideas for licensed fabric and 50% me tootin’ my own horn. I loved these projects so much I picked up 4 yards of the Star Wars schematic fabric in blue/black today from Cool Cottons.
Here’s a gallery of the entire Brody and Jack projects. Enjoy.
This is one of my favorite backs….I’m Watching You….