If you find me strangely looking at you …it’s not you. I’m probably stuck on a seam.
If I find a piece of clothing I like…even if it’s currently on someone, sometimes I will stare at it and mentally deconstruct it.
No, I’m not undressing you with my eyes…I’m just taking apart your clothes.
I’ve even been known to feel other people clothes to see what kind of fabric it is or flip up the sides to see the seams.
I was looking at my 18 year old’s stepsister this weekend. She had the cutest dolman sleeve top on. The way the sleeves were set in the side and up to the neckline fascinated me. I just kept staring at her. Well, at her shoulder/armpit area. I’m sure it looked like I was creeping on a teenage girl if anyone were to see me and not know any of us. Luckily she knows me and, well, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. In fact, I just called up and left her a message for when she gets home from school so she can tell me where she got the shirt.
I need to take her shirt apart some more.
PS: She called me back. It’s H.I.P. at Nordstrom but of course it’s no longer in stock. Boo. She will have to donate it to me when she’s done with it so I can draft a pattern from it.
My friend Alma is expecting her first baby, Vivian! It’s so exciting! I offered to make the baby something and, well, here’s where I am at.
It’s SO SCARY making newborn items, especially for a first born. I mean, I’ve done this 4 times myself, and all the fussing that goes on in mama’s head, whether you hear it or not, about what to put the baby in….oh my. And it doesn’t change with more babies. The only thing that changes is you know you do not want to put things OVER the babies head if you can avoid it….wrap-style shirts are best, and layers….and Teflon coated. You find your preferences. But you still run around like a chicken with its head cut off.
This is the inspiration photo mama-to-be sent me along with ‘cream and pale pink’ being influences:
While the fabric I chose fits with the colors and the modern, it’s not exactly as soothing as perhaps it should be….I may have to tweak things a bit. The fabric is from Red Rooster’s Giselle line here gifted to me from my mom. It’s a quilting cotton…I dunno. I was thinking of linen…but even the Essex yarn dyed I have after washing doesn’t quite seem soft enough and it’s too wrinkly to pack around. Then I was thinking just a light, high quality muslin in cream. Sigh. I’m settling on the Red Rooster for now. Maybe I’ll use some leftover with the linen for the bonnet?? Help? Ideas?
Also borrowed from my mom is this book:
And guess what! It DOES have cute clothes for kids! hahaha. Here’s a shot of the romper I’m making…I wanted to make it for Zoe, but it’s only in sizes 3 months – 9 months.
Alma and sweet baby Vivian are in Texas, so I’m not terribly concerned about the wear-ability regarding weather…but I was a little bummed out that the book cover reads Cute Clothes For Kids…..0-5 year olds, but not each pattern is for 0-5 year olds. This is my first experience with a book’o’patterns. I knew about this part before going into it – the multi-pattern print:
You can’t just cut a pattern out – not even one. For the romper, I need both A1 and A3 in the photo above. So, Swedish Tracing Paper to the rescue! That’s fine, I expect and even prefer that, but just 3-9 months? Pffft. That’s pretty lame. Anyway, I like Swedish tracing paper. It’s really easy to work with.
I REALLY wanted to use an Ottebre pattern for this project but didn’t order my subscription in time for Viv’s arrival, so….I’m going with this one. It’s VERY similar to the Burda Romper so far…I’ll let you know which I like better.
I have enough fabric left over to make a few more things to matchy-match….like a bonnet, and…a faux chenille blanket even thought I said I’d never make another one…and I’d like to still make a kimono-style shirt for under the romper for little tiny baby…we shall see. I’ll need to find a kimono-style pattern I even like….ugh, come on Ottebre, hurry up and get here!!!
I have a chubby 15 month old that likes to make zombie noises while she pulls on her dad’s monitor cords….it’s hard to remember already what little tiny newborns are like.
OH! The best part?!??!?!? Alma and family live in Texas!!! No, that’s not the best part…because then I don’t actually get to hold and love on new baby, but the best part is I found Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy!!! I’m totally finishing the romper straps with while pearl snaps. I’m so happy. I’m gonna Texas-pearl-snap everything!
OH, almost forgot…I have a few bonnet patters and I’m torn between the amazing Alicia Paulson pattern and this one in the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.
I’ve always been drawn to the murky area where Art Nouveau melts into Art Deco. For this post and this site’s redesign, I specifically am envisioning the late 60s/70s revival ala Rachel Perry lip gloss containers, Yellow Submarine animation, denim and caftan embroidery of that time, and enameled jewelry.
I have a copy of Victorian Designs for Needlepoint from 1978 by Phyllis Kluger that is pretty spot on the aesthetic I want. You MUST look at her gallery – there’s a quilt titled MITOSIS – Hot Sex Among Ameobas. I want to be Phyllis when I grow up. My (awesome) mom bought the first edition in 1978 and gave it to me in the 90s.
So, that’s a whole lot of set up for this. I don’t quite remember where I got this book of wrapping paper, but I finally took the plastic all the way off of it! I’ve cherished it for too long and have not used it until now.
The sheets inside have reproductions of various Art Nouveau designs – some from tapestries, some from wall paper, etc. There’s a brief legend inside:
It was hard to pick what to use for the new site, I really love these squirrels, but they’re not quite the style I wanted…they’re a little too Victorian parlor wallpaper looking…
I decided on these dandelions. They hit that middle ground I was looking for…a little Aubrey Beardsley lilt, good 70s colors and come on! Dandelions are the underdog of botanicals. You have to love that someone made them so beautiful.
I’m quite rusty at embroidery and wanted to use a denim piece I got out of the remnant bin that had the perfect color/texture I wanted albeit a bit of spandex in it which made it even more fun to try and stitch. </sarcasm>
This is my favorite book in my entire collection. Seriously.
The photos are very dated…even when I got it in ’94-’95 from one of those book club things….
Ok, so that vest is 8 levels of wrong and may be one of the gates to hell, but I’m kinda digging this open work…I almost opted for doing it instead….
In all seriousness, the book can’t be beat for tutorials and illustrations. They are ultra clear, step-by-baby-step and easy to follow. I really needed a refresher course. I had forgotten how to even do a French knot! Sooooo rusty.
I did an interpretive sketch of the dandelions to sort of feel out how it was going to stitch…I planned on doing it freehand, without a pattern or chalking, but wanted to get an idea of how it was going to work….
Don’t quit my day job, right?
I think it turned out pretty well. Obviously it’s good enough that I had my amazing man put it up today for me as my new header. I used a hoop on the denim, but did it without a stabilizer or anything like that. Just inexpensive embroidery floss I had on hand that was in the craft bin, and the denim remnant I had around. My leaves could use some practice but it certainly has that Rhoda-feel I was looking for.
Now, do I make a series with the rest of the denim or do I make a baby dress out of it? Or? It’s tempting to make a series to frame up…but it would look so cute as a romper or dress top too…decisions, decisions.
I’ve used InsulBright now for a few projects. Nothing outside the realm of the quilted potholder, but I’ve got that one down with this product. I don’t really need a casserole insulator at this time, but I could see using it for that down the road.
I like the weight of it. The instructions are to have the top, the InsulBright, low loft cotton batting such as their own Warm & Natural, and then the bottom. It’s thick to work with, but once it’s together and an actual potholder, it’s surprisingly thin. I know that defies logic, but it’s true.
It has this crinkly sound to it- it’s almost like it is made of one of those thermal blankets you find in emergency kits. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if that is what they used to make it. It was weird at first, but now I like it. It’s subtle, but there.
The one caveat if you’re going to use it. It dumps a TON of lint in your machine. Well, my machine. I cleaned before making the purple potholder. I thought, “DANG, my machine has hairballs!” when I cleaned it out.
Then, I made Le Purple. Just Le Purple. Nothing else.
And I opened up Ms. Viking again.
Oh, that’s nothing….look at this:
There were at least 4 good clumps that size. From one potholder. I dug it out from under the feed dogs and bobbin area.
Will this detract me from using InsulBright in the future? No way.
Will I make sure I clean it every stinkin’ time afterwards? Until Ms. Viking starts eating wheatgrass, yes.
Bonus – The Warm Company is only a few miles from me, so I have my Pacific Northwest native pride to think of as well!
The colors in this block are comforting and as a family we decided to keep this one. I told my Robert it’s his.
He makes eggs in the cast iron pan for himself and our youngest on his work-from-home days, so it will be well loved.
Instead of quilting the top to the InsulBright and the bottom to the batting, then combining them, I thought I’d try quilting the whole, squooshy thing together.
The pin basting almost made me give up on that idea. While you can’t tell how mooshy-squooshy it is on the front,
you certainly can tell from the back:
That scared me.
I put on my walking foot, and kept the same Aurifil 50wt in, I think it’s ‘slate,’ on the machine. It was a bit squirrelly. You can see I marked some lines…but it was still squiggly.
Here’s the top finished. The shifting wasn’t too bad, but some of those lines are wonky.
Here’s the back:
I did the self-binding from the back…I probably should have changed thread color here to the purple or used bias tape for a cleaner finish, and if it was going as a gift, I certainly would have redone that part, but for home use, I’m good with it.
Here’s some shots of the Pilot FriXion pen (again) that was brown used on gray Kona to show it ironed out:
I sound like I’m not happy with it. I am…I just know I rushed it and I was tired, you know? It’s very pretty still.
Have you seen these Pilot FriXion pens in the fabric or quilt shops? I bought this multi-pack on Amazon, but the blue and the black can be found in some shops:
That’s, from left to right, brown, hot pink, blue, orange, black, purple, green and red. I got this multi pack from Amazon for $13.58.
So, originally, I heard about this pen that was made to be an erasable office pen, but someone figured out that the friction caused by the FriXion rubber top to erase could also be duplicated with heat…or maybe that was how the engineers who designed originally came up with it…I may never know…either way, a quilter and/or sewist got the info and somehow it got to me and here I am.
The info I had gathered was pretty vague. When you iron it, it disappears. I tested this, and it’s true, although on white fabric you can detect a slight, almost residue line. There was a rumor that it comes back if you freeze it. I’m not in the habit of freezing quilts, nor do I plan on moving anywhere that it may be necessary to brave the elements with only a quilt, but people do leave quilts in cars on cold nights, so ok.
This muslin sandwich nor any of its components have been washed prior to the alliterated graffiti.
Here, the B on the right has been ironed:
You can see a little bit of residue there…the photo doesn’t pick it up as well…the photo makes it look like it’s an impression from the pen, but it is most certainly residue or some ink left behind. I used an Oliso Pro on high with steam.
So, I threw it in the washer (cold, mild ‘free and clear’ detergent) and into the dryer (permanent press setting).
I spaced taking a photo, but both Bs were gone! Seriously, duh, Becky, the dryer heat. Anyway, more importantly, the residue was gone! That’s the best part.
I got too excited and just threw it in the freezer to kill this silly freezer rumor.
Priorities in my freezer: Chocolate chips, Chocolate ice cream, meat and quilts. What.
This shot was me pulling it out of the freezer…my man thought I was nuts taking a photo of the inside of our freezer. You can already see it here….
Sure enough, that ink does come back! I totally thought it sounded like some woo-woo rumor, like some skunk-cabbage-voodoo-Aleister-Crowley spell or something but it really does come back.
So, I thought….if it’s already ruined, so be it…it was a test. But what if….I pressed it again…
Look at that! Not a hint it was ever there. I put a quick iron to it and it’s gone again. So if you’re that person that leaves quilts in cars over night in Alaska, you’re golden – just toss it in the dryer for a quick spin and the ink will disappear!
This is exciting. You have no idea how many times I’ve ironed over ink you’re *not supposed to* iron over! Or maybe you do and you’re as excited as I am.
Honestly, they’re missing out on a market here!! Crazed sewers unite! We have a pen!
I can’t think of any other way to test them. I didn’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets or oxyclean or anything other than just plain Costco/Kirkland detergent, but I wouldn’t anyway in my normal use so I’m safe. I have used them so far for making quilting marks and for garments and they have been great.
Hope that helps you if you’ve been afraid of trying them too! I’m splitting this batch with my mom, but if you are lucky and have a local sewing circle, this would be a bargain.
No one paid me for this in any way, shape or form. Opinions are my own. Of course, Pilot, if you want to send me a check, please email me from the contact page.
I am spoiled. No really. My man spoils me. A lot. In every way.
I’m also spoiled in that he’s one of the best there is at this web/graphics/WordPress stuff. My skills are stuck in 2005. I quit. There are people like Robert in this world that make it look as easy as tying your shoes.
I am spoiled.
So I’m getting this new site with a new, more art-craft-sewing-creative-inspiring url and I’m working on conveying the aesthetic I feel is *me*
That’s not easy to do.
Please bear with me as I make my vision more tangible and try not to drive him crazy.
In my frenzy to babble about the potholders yesterday, I totally forgot to tell you that I busted a needle AND overloaded the motor on Ms. Viking 3 times! Her screen pops up with this exclamation point and she just stops short of swearing at me. I used InsulBright, batting, quilted tops, backing and bias tape with loops on the potholders. In the corner for the loop….that makes at least 6 layers of cotton plus the batting (low loft cotton) and the InsulBright. I get it’s thick, but my Swede did NOT like it.
That cream binding is a purchased poly bias tape which my machine did not like at all with the layers. It still didn’t love the homemade gray Kona bias tape but I didn’t break anything. I was using a Schmetz Quilting needle, 90/14, Aurifil 50wt, the right settings and 3.5 stitch length….
I love my Viking but I think I’m a bit too rough. She makes garments just great, but I’m starting to eyeball Jukis more and more. I have the Elizabeth Hatman sewing circle bag pattern and I just know it’s going to be a rough ride.
I need to work on my quilt piecing and I like to try out lots of different patterns….I’m not good at committing to a whole full-sized quilt. I like to dabble. This will be a dabble post which will eventually end in, “hey, I made some potholders!”
Gripping the edge of your seat, aren’t you?
I saw this sort of mod pinwheel pattern on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog/site. That was February and I’ve been trying to think of how to apply it ever since. Go look at it. Really. It’s cute. I’ll give you a minute. Look at the measurements while you’re there…….
Ok, so, I wanted to take that pattern to the next level….that level where I stress my tendonitis, make my glasses prescription completely obsolete and make sure I had ample opportunity to use my seam ripper. If that is to be my measurement of success, then I am a winner!
Enter, the 2.5″ block.
You know, when you have these patterns laying out they’re really cute….when you cut them up tiny and throw them in a bundle, I don’t even think the Merry Pranksters would have had a good trip.
So I broke them up a bit with more…mellow. Mellow as a noun….I think we can thank the Merry Pranksters for that as well.
I like this photo cuz they’re up next to a traditional pinwheel pattern…
I had a lot of quilting classes lately, and in one of the classes I used a Kona 200 thread count muslin. It’s very nice…and I thought, why let that muslin, batting and stellar (cough) quilting go to waste?
I chopped out squares, right out of the middle, of the best parts to use as the back of the potholders. That’s right. Rebel.
I dig it. I quilted the tops to the InsulBright I’ve used before and, as the directions state to do, this batting covers the bottom. It’s a bit slip-slidey to bind these together even with pinning, but it’s doable. I have a pucker here and there, but nothing being smooshed by a hot pan can’t ignore.
I think the tops are super cute. They really weren’t that hard – I only ripped apart 2 smaller blocks in stack of 20 or so because I had the center seam a smidge off.
This blurry photo clearly demonstrates that late at night photos on my iPhone aren’t as awesome as they seem on Instagram.
But the point really is that I was tinkering with some Quilt As You Go…and mama likes it. I’m not going to do a whole full quilt in it (SEE!) but I dig it. It turned out really cute. I’m giving these all away to some mommies I work with, and this one is all specialized with doggy fabric because this mommy rescues dogs and places them in new homes. She’s amazing.
And the back…
I still have a bit of that cartoony doggy fabric … I will have to find more dog lovers. I’m of the feline-lover persuasion myself.
But wait, there’s more. I have some UFOs out of this.
I’m calling this PIE….because, well, it looks like pie.
My photo taking failed us here…it’s on a large white rectangle…and it’s just screaming for some red Pie embroidery, isn’t it? I see a kitchen wall hanging.
And, as glimpsed above, I took some of the Boersma’s bag of scraps that I still have from the feather block and made a traditional pinwheel. I think I’m going to back and bind it in purple and keep it. Maybe. The boys in the house seem to like it.
So…Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you get a potholder…or something. This has been my week of quilting. Stay tuned for another sewing room as science lab coming up, a kids’ craft project that uses fabric scraps and baby clothes.
One of my fave blogs to keep up on is See Kate Sew – she has a an aesthetic I can get with…it’s clean and casual with attention to detail…if you read her blog you’ll know what I mean. She’ll make patterns, do a review, make a tutorial – whatever it is…it will be simple but there are little points or details that make it special. Kate is the reason I got the binding foot I chose AND when I accidentally got a ruffler foot…I kept it.
Enter an opportunity to test her new Aztec Vest. I got the email, it had a tight deadline…I took it. I made it. It’s awesome.
The PDF printed great – it was very easy to line up and tape together. No weird pre-trimming either like I’ve had to do with others…it just went together. As an ex-print designer….I can dig it.
I know the original was in a knit, and I love working with knits, but I was really envisioning a linen, Patagonia-esque thing. I prewashed and dried the bejezzus out of this Essex Linen in Jungle Green so it would work as a kid garment and could be abused later. BTW, Gutermann has a thread that matches the Jungle Green perfectly.
Alex insisted on picking out brand new flannel (as if I don’t have enough) for the lining. You just can’t argue with his choice…
I opted for the welt pocket and about 80% of the top-stitching. Again, it’s Kate’s details that make things more than homemade…they’re custom.
Alex LOVES it. He had to wear it to school the first chance he had.
I got him on a sunny day to model for me…
I used a metal, reversible zipper. Kids love the option of reversible even if they never use it. At first, I really wanted to find a vinyl zipper but I’m actually glad I couldn’t get my hands on one. The metal one is, as my man says, very substantial. It’s super quality and goes great with the linen.
I love the pockets. Everything should have pockets.
Here he is, hood up with it zipped.
And hood up, zipper down.
I probably should have thought ahead a bit more and added a few inches to the waist area since I chose a woven instead of a knit…it’s a smidge snug…instead of draping flat, he has to pull it up to zip it…
He doesn’t care at all though…
He’s very proud of his lining fabric…
The back has more top-stitching – it’s subtle but that it’s that extra something…
Most importantly…it wears like a boy needs clothes to wear….
It’s his new favorite piece of clothing and he says, “I love it so much!” I secretly really do too, but truly it’s his opinion that matters and it’s definatly a winner.