Dress testing

Last week we were at Disneyland, and TheBean asked for one of the (overly-priced, nasty-polyester) dresses in the BibbityBobbityBoutique. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disneyland. But... ICK. She's never seen any of the princess movies (her choice! Darren has, and I'm fine with them)... But the dresses.. I see these kids at D-lamd, tottering around in uncomfortable plastic shoes, soaked in sweat in these dresses, unable to run and play and climb, and I just CAN'T DO IT.

SO. I remembered reading some blog some time ago about making the dresses from T-shirt fabrics... I searched, and couldn't find the one I remember, but it seems that it's such a smart idea that LOTS of moms have done it.

The key is to start with a simple dress, and then embellish it with enough details that it resembles the princess but is still washable and comfortable...

So this morning I re-drafted a simple bodice with puffed sleeves and a full A-line skirt.

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it passed the spin test

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the sleeve band was too big

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the bodice was too short, and the neck too high...

that's why it's just a muslin. But it was comfy, and she's sleeping in it right now, so I can't fix it.

After looking at LOTS of pictures of Snow White (who knew there were SO many versions!?!), I'm starting with the sleeves. I'm going to reverse applique the red bits of her sleeves a la Alabama Chanin at bedtime tonight.

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I'm already plotting the next dress!

(the blue is from an old t-shirt of mine, and the red is a scrap of silky jersey remnant from JoAnn)

 

Trading Funbots

  It's Quilt Market prep time around here, hence the radio silence.

I was asked to design some stuffed robots based on Ann Kelle's new Funbots... (click over to see the line, then check out D and my robot:

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pipe-cleaners for hands means he can hold things!

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this 6 year old boy is VERY happy with my test-robot.

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He didn't like my suggestion that it be a pincushion/seam-ripper holder. He disappeared for a few minutes, and came back with this:

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it's a Seam ripper & pin Holder *Made by Darren*

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I don't think I will use it to store loose pins, but it IS possibly the most thoughtful gift he's ever given me, so it will be kept for EVAH.

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but I might need to make another little bot as a sewing machine mascot. SO CUTE, right?

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I made the same robot in 5 sizes, from teeny, (shown above, measuring 4" ) to GIANT:

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pattern coming soon!

 

 

Funbots!

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I'm making some robot toys for the Robert Kaufman spring quilt market booth. They're completely inspired by Ann Kelle's Funbot fabric. And BOY ARE THEY FUN!

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This boy gets bonkers everything he gets to help play with them as I make them.

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They completely bring out his inner silly.

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(His #amineko, Green, is in for the fun too)

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He thinks we need to make another one that's even BIGGER.

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So that's what i'll be doing tonight.: )

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With his "help" stuffing. Of course.

Merry Xmas to me!!!

I've had an industrial Singer straight stitch garment machine for years, and it sits in my living room and is used daily. But I can't quilt on it. I also have a Bernina Artista 730 which I DO quilt on, but only small stuff.

um. I don't do a lot of small stuff.

I have 3?4? queen or bigger tops just waiting for quilting. So, for the past several months, I've been researching sewing/quilting machines, and trying to find a solution. Most people seem to love their Janine Horizons, but I LOVE front or side loading bobbins, not drop in. Like, its a deal breaker for me.

Won't do drop ins.

Then my super talented friend Janice of Better Off Thread bought a Juki TL2000, and my mind was blown. Absolutely everything I want at a price I can (almost) afford. I ordered it yesterday (I got the 2010Q, floor model from Sewing Machines Plus), and because they're only like a hundred miles away, even with (free) ground shipping it arrived today!

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I grabbed a stack of 2" squares (leftovers from Fall Quilt Market 2011), stitched them together (only 4 leftover), then put on my walking foot and went to town. The stitching is almost too perfect. Like, it looks storebought/factory made, which is kinda great, but not my style. Maybe I'll turn it into a wall hanging for my daughter's preschool? Or just a doll quilt? (Suggestions welcome!) I'm ridiculously excited. I'm gonna do a baby quilt tomorrow night, and then try to quilt one of my giants on Saturday. :)

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Bags n babies

D and I stopped by the new Daiso Japan store in Torrance last week. they have cute little metal clasp frames for $1.50, so I bought one and tried it out. image

I suck at glueing.

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and next time I'll make my own shape (less pear-y), but this time I followed the pattern that comes with the clasp. (Or, rather, I followed the pattern piece and illustrations. the instructions were written in Japanese, so they didn't help me much)

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but it came out cute, and the Bean was pleased.

Since I had that linen out.... I decided to try tiny hexies...

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I printed out a sheet of 1/4" hexies (man, there sure are a lot on 1 page! I cut about 40, and used 7)

here's my late night basting...

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I used a blanket stitch to applique them onto a scrap of linen, and made a zip pouch from it. came out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

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I've been able to get a lot done these days (even though I'm not posting much. Everything is for Fall Market, and therefore hush hush), because my little dude spends a lot of time like this:

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Edges...

I'm trying to figure out how/where to stop on my Tangerine Tango EPP top. image

not the side, just the edges....

In theory, every hex should have a square on each side, and then triangles to fill the gaps...

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If I only do completed hexies, though, 2 of the sides have these hugely uneven edges:

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and since the other two edges look so cool, I'm just not sure what to do.

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So maybe I need to add in the squares, and then cut them into right triangles to make a straight edge on those sides?

 

Thoughts?

new workspace....

I have a LOT of fabric. and right now, most of it looks like this:

it started in organized bins and tubs... Quilting Cottons, Knits, Home Dec, etc.... but as my stash expanded, the bins started overflowing...

so now we're working on something like this:

I'm slowly folding all my fabric onto comic book boards (7x10.5"), and sorting scraps into those colorful bins...

the island is made up of 4 martha stewart cubby things from Home Depot, with a big piece o' wood on top, to cover the hole in the center... My cutting mat measures 60x30 (ish), and the island measures about 60.5x36, so it's perfect.... I'm LOOOOOOVING cutting on it....

Finishing.

I'm trying to knock stuff off my to-do list (so that I can justify adding to it!) first up was this found quilt top...

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I used leftovers from the new Lazy Daisy Baskets line, by Darlene Zimmerman, with this cute Mother Goose panel... I like the back better than the front....

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...probably because the front has this CREEPY naked baby print. Not sure what I was thinking (actually, I'm pretty sure I was just trying to use it up)

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It's quilted with a square spiral radiating from the center, and it's bound in leftovers from the back, and even the batting was 3 pieces zig-zagged together. and it's done. so that's off the list.

Next up, using the Modify Tradition blocks I made however many years ago.

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I kept the ones with mistakes, and figured out how to piece them together (with lots of Kona white), even though blocks varied in size from 6" to 16" (intentionally)...

I quilted in the white with red perle cotton, and stitched in the ditch in the blocks with white-on-top, red-on-the-bottom, because that's what was loaded in my industrial.

 

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the Bean liked the biggest block best....

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every block has this red print that I also used for the back, (which I STILL have lots of left. trying so hard to use it up!).

The binding is a cute picnic/clambake newsprint fabric (bought yesterday from Sew Modern).

it's intended for picnics, since it's full of mistakes and is very mismatched, but I like it. as do the kiddos, so we'll use it.

so that's 2 things off my WIP list. yay! I'm off to work on the hand quilting of my windmill quilt....

Overwhelmed by WIP's Wednesday...

I had to take a blood test at the Dr this morning, and took some quilty books to look at while waiting for the hour to pass... As I did so, I reminded myself that I have several unfinished projects... I made a list... this is stuff that's already been cut/started (but just fabric/yarn purchased/saved doesn't count)

it's a little overwhelming, and on top of the fact that I failed my glucose test, (and therefore have to go back sometime soon for the 4 hour test, which is HORRIBLE), I'm feeling a little overwhelmed (or maybe just whelmed, since it means the EXACT same thing as overwhelmed. English makes no sense.).

So, I decided to start with garage-ing the fabrics I have plans for, but are as yet still yardage. to clear some space in my cutting area.

In doing so, I found a box o' blocks from the Modify Tradition QAL, however many years ago that was... I think I need to whip this out into a quilt top so I can be done with it....

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but they're all different sizes, so I have to figure that out... I have lots of Kona in Ruby, and some more of that red floral that's in every block....

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I also found this baby quilt top... not sure why it was abandoned, but it needs to be quilted and gifted to some little baby girl pronto.

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here's my list....

I'm gonna try to get some of the easier things done quickly, so I can shorten this list.

painting the roses: aqua, white, glacier, curry (piecing) C negroni shirt (sew) butterfly quilt (on red) grandmother's fan/dresden (piecing) Summer Sampler (piecing) Modify Tradition (make into top) crockett monster pants (knit) D pirate sweater (knit) afgahn (crochet) (need to find hook) hexy sweater (crochet) (NEED TO FIND) Xmas swoon Tangerine Tango (paper piecing) Windmill quilt (hand quilting 1/2 done) found baby quilt (needs back and quilting) floral embroidery quilt dad quilt (needs quilting) Postage Stamp (needs back and quilting) D raincoat (need to sew now that I have buttons)

KCWC: Monster butt Longies

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I'm *still* waiting for my Ottobres, which I want for D, and the Bean has been such a disaster I'm totally unmotivated to sew for her from her sloper. So I'm knitting another pair of longies for Crockett. I'm using the Budgie Bloomers pattern again, but I think I figured out how to make them into monster butts. Hopefully they'll be cute. I haven't decided if I'll put teeth on or not...

Market time

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I got my postage stamp quilt top done just in time. Quilting it will have to wait till June, as I've been informed that the craze of market has begun. This week I have to paper piece a quilt top:

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Design, sew, and write the pattern for a duvet cover; make a clutch bag or 2; make a pair of ladies shorts, and a pair of reversible baby pants; design, sew, and write the pattern for a sewing machine cover; make some free-motion-quilting samples; write up the pattern for that lift-the-flap bunting quilt; sew a shop sample and write the pattern for that hobo bag I designed, and, um, maybe that's it (other than maintaining my house, homeschooling, etc).

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So here's a gratuitous beauty shot of my postage stamps. Just because. I'll post sneaky shots when I can, but y'all can expect a deluge of posts after market at the end of May!

Weekend prep...

I'm super excited (and grateful) to get to go away for a sewing weekend with some friends (and some hopefully-soon-to-be-friends that I've never met)... I have lots of plans of what I'm going to work on, so to make things go more smoothly (and make sure I bring the right supplies/amounts), I've been pre-cutting here, and sewing up sample blocks...

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I really want to use the Greenfield Hill fabric, and am thinking of making a postage stamp quilt with it....

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this one will actually be sewn with solids, but I wanted to check my triangle math with scraps before I cut into the yardage...

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and the grey/green will be using up a charm pack of Silent Cinema....

of COURSE, I also have 2 other quilts to piece, and 1 to baste/quilt, and a knitting project, so wish me luck!!!!

 

Baby boy quilt-in-progress, take 2

First, she sorted...

(Well, first I sewed, THEN she sorted)

Then we played.

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This one is much smaller, probably 45x55, so it'll actually be for the baby. But it's the same fabric line as D's quilt, so they'll coordinate. Cause clearly my house is all about coordination (not!) C just ordered me an early birthday present, a walking foot, so I think this quilt will be my test drive, when it arrives...

A little boy quilt

image I always have lots of scraps (sometimes lots of actual yardage) leftover after I make a quilt top for Robert Kaufman, so I decided to use some of the smaller scraps to make a quilt for the boy I am gestating right now...

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here's the view looking down right now....

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the Bean "helped" me whip this one out...

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of course, as I worked on it, it grew bigger and bigger, so now that it's done (post soon), it's on D's bed, and a new one is in progress for the baby....

Final prototype

OOOOH! Squee! I am in LOOOOOOVE. My new bag is exactly what I want, and I just whipped this final puppy up in about an hour (not including cutting, which might have taken almost 1/2 an hour). Simple and clean and FUNCTIONAL and (if I do say so myself) CUTE!!!  Here it is empty:

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It's still a tad stiff, it definitely needs to be broken in a bit, and the pins attaching the bag straps to the handles need to be replaced with BIG HUGE shiny gold (to match the metal zipper) O-rings, (hopefully Home Depot will have what I want?)

but it's a perfect bag.

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That's my old bag (still full) stuffed inside the new one. (also my old iphone and a pen showing off the interior pockets. there's a zip pocket on the side closest to the camera, but I couldn't photograph both sides clearly). The new one is super roomy thanks to the curved and bagged bottom. The leather version is going to have bag feet, too, but this one didn't need them. it's washable cotton, after all. (BTW, the lining is some cheapo red fabric that I bought a whole bolt of at a thrift store for like 3 bucks, and am still working through. I wanted something light and not busy for the lining, and this totally works)

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here's the bag exterior, unzipped, crammed with my old bag. The fabric needs to soften and slouch a bit, but it's still got a great shape, right?

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and here it is all zipped up (and full.) I really like the spiky-up corners. hopefully the middle will slouch more as time goes on, but the metal zipper is REALLY stiff. I wouldn't have tried a metal zip, except that I've had this particular one for like 9 years, and never used it, and I just wanted it OUT of my zipper box.

I'm not going to cut into the leather tonight, because it's too pricy, and I need to think about cutting layout on the piece I have, so I think I'm going to go work on my TTC quilt some more (shocking, right?)

Bag planning...

We went downtown yesterday to buy leather. Man, shopping on a busy day in the garment district with 2 kids is stressful. image

the Bean talked me into that pre-ruffled magenta knit. It's going to be a very simple a-line dress.

I need a new handbag. I originally thought I might just remake this Hobo International bag that died a few years ago. (I kept it for leather instruction/inspiration)...

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btw, that's the new leather on the right, and Kona Emerald on top. it's almost a perfect match.

I sketched some basic ideas outside with the kiddos this morning..

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made some paper patterns from old newspaper....

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and sewed up 2 different ideas (one on each side)

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this has 2 handles, (one on each side), with support strips (a la my original HI bag)

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and this one is more hobo-esque, with just 1 handle...

When they were laying flat on the floor, I like this hobo one better, but I decided to see them hanging:

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and I don't love this hobo one as much hanging...

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and I DO love this one, so this idea is the winner! I *THINK* I'm going to put a zipper closure, but I'm not totally sure yet... I'm going to go sit outside with the kiddos again, and read through Making Leather Handbags and the Bag Making Bible, and see how to do it...

(I think the final bag will be lined with this fabric, which I LOOOOOVE)