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Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Our older daughter was married last weekend.  It’s been a busy time with preparations, and I was able to use my home sewing skills to make some special things for the big day.   🙂

My daughter liked this style of ring pillow, so I made this one for her:

We purchased our bride’s wedding dress from a bridal shop, but we couldn’t find just the right dress for our younger daughter to wear as a bridesmaid.  So…back to the ways of my childhood, I did as my mother would have done, and we went to the fabric store to look at patterns and fabric.  We found just the right shade of pink silk dupion as requested by the bride, and my little one chose McCalls 5795 pattern as the dress she would like to wear.

This is a lovely pattern, and the instructions are easy to follow.  I had a few problems putting in the zipper, but I think that was my own fault from inexperience, as I had never sewn anything so complicated before.  I had difficulty managing all the layers — silk outer fabric, taffeta lining and tulle overskirt — even though I had carefully hand-basted everything together.   But after the second attempt, it was fine, and next time it will be easier!  🙂  Now that I’ve made this one, I’m eager to try it again.

Here’s the dress almost finished, just needing a bit of handwork:

It turned out really well, and here are our two lovely girls on the Big Day:

I suddenly realised that my “little one” isn’t so little anymore.  And my “big girl” is all grown up.  Where does the time go?

Happy Quilting — and Sewing!  🙂

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Our weatherman says the UK is suffering the fiercest winter we’ve had in 30 years.  I believe it.  We’ve had snow on the ground since December 17, with more snow falling several times a week, and it’s only now starting to thaw.

Our front hall is always freezing cold.  It has a metal door (those are magnets stuck on) and double-paned glass, but in weather like this, it’s just not enough insulation.  I don’t know why, but it took me all these years to finally think of a solution!  😉

This beautiful fabric is a perfect match to the Amethyst Cream paint in our hall.  It’s called Almost Paradise Batiks and was designed by Ro Gregg for Northcott Fabrics.  I don’t know how old it is — it’s been in my stash for many years.

I made one panel the width of fabric and lined it with plain cream-coloured muslin.  To save time, I machine stitched the hem.  This is more of a utility curtain than for beauty, although I did want it to look nice.

I made it long enough to cover the mail slot since cold air can blow through there, too.

And here it is, all finished!  It’s attached with velcro strips at the top of the door and the top of the curtain so it can be removed in the daytime and nice weather.

I used three yards of fabric for this project — 54 inches each of print and lining.

The postman also brought me one last package of fabric that I had mail-ordered two weeks ago — 2 yards of cream background for the Challenge quilt I am working on.  That brings my totals for Week 3 to:

Bought this week:  2 yards
Bought year-to-date:  9.75 yards
Used this week:  3 yards
Used (net):  -6.75 yards

To see how others are doing with their Stash Reports, please visit Judy’s blog, Patchwork Times.

Happy Quilting!

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This week I’ve been sewing 18 pillowcases for Christmas gifts for family members — everyone is getting two pillowcases each because I had lots of fabric!

I used two of my all-time favourite fabrics, which I have been saving for a “worthy purpose” like this.    🙂

Ribbons…

and Cute Chairs…

I’m not sure where I bought these fabrics, but they came with me from America when I moved to England in 1997!  Vintage, I call that.   😉

Here are my two favourite pillowcase patterns:

1.  Mary Johnson’s great pattern with a step-by-step tutorial, which has all enclosed seams and is very good when you have larger pieces of fabric;  and

2. Mary Lou Weidman’s pattern at the Benartex website, Bee Happy Pillowcases, which works well with smaller pieces of fabric and looks fine with overcast or serged seams.

Here’s my stash report for Week 50:

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  20.25
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  149.875
Net Used: 125

Is this naughty?  I’m thinking that since I’ve reached my goal and exceeded it a little bit, I could even buy some new fabric before the end of the year without getting myself in too much trouble.  My stash of neutrals and backgrounds could use a boost.

To see how others are progressing with Stashbusting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Quilting!

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This week I have been sewing more shopping bags for the Christmas fair at my daughter’s school.

This is a great stash-busting project!  I am only using new fabric from my stash, and I’m absolutely flying through the yardage!  What fun!  And I have discovered that my “what was I thinking when I bought that” fabrics are making the very cutest bags!  🙂

I’ve been trying out some different patterns for variety, but my favourite for “quick and easy” sewing is this free pattern from Morsbags.  Tipnut blog also has a list of 35 free bag patterns.

Stash Report for Week 48

Bought this week:  0
Used this week:  28.125
Bought Year-to-Date:  24.875
Used Year-to-Date:  120.5
Net Used:  95.625

Please visit Judy’s blog to see how others are getting along with their stash busting this week.

Happy Quilting!

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This week I’ve been making cloth shopping bags for the Christmas Fair at my daughter’s school, using fabrics from my stash.

Shopping bags

These bags are made using the free pattern at the Morsbags website and take a little less than 5/8 yard each to make.  They go together quickly and easily, and when I took some samples to show at the PTA meeting, everyone liked them very much.

I have found some other cute free patterns on the Internet, too.  This design by Silver Seams is for a cloth bag in the same shape as a plastic shopping bag.  I like the way the handles and the bag are cut in one piece.

This roomy bag designed by Nanette is recommended for denim or canvas to be super sturdy.  This pattern will be perfect to recycle an old denim skirt that I’ve been saving for just the right project.

I also like the look of this free grocery bag pattern from The Creative Thimble.  I think this would make a great tote bag, as well — perhaps with a heavier-weight home decor fabric.

My Stash Report for Week 42 is:

  • Bought:  0 yards
  • Fabric used this week for bags:  3.125 yards
  • Year to Date Bought:  24.875 yards
  • Year to Date Used:  84.875 yards
  • Net used:  60 yards

To see how others are progressing with Stash Busting this week, please visit Judy’s blog.

Happy Sewing!

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I spent most of my sewing time this week making this dress for my little girl to wear to school on Monday.  They usually wear school uniforms, but their year group is doing a history project, and she needed something “old-fashioned” looking to wear.

Little dress3

It looks huge on the coat hanger!  Here it is on my little model.

Little Dress

She chose the fabric herself, from my quilting stash.  It’s one of my “vintage” fabrics from when I first started quilting.

Little dress print

It’s cold and blustery here, so the dress is completely lined for warmth.  I used 4 yards to make it, so my totals for this week are:

  • Bought 0 yards
  • Used 4 yards
  • Year to Date bought 24.875 yards
  • Year to Date Used 80 yards

I’m also still working on Judy’s Quilt for an Hour, the Roman Stripes UFO, and the little boxed squares but don’t have any significant progress to show.

Happy Sewing!

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My “new” sewing machine, purchased on eBay, arrived today.  I have named her Sylvia.  She is a Singer 507, and she was made in 1975.  She is very similar to the sewing machine I had in America before I moved to England.

Sylvia came with a nicely-done instruction manual, which someone scanned from an original and printed on a colour printer, then spiral-bound.  She also has a genuine Singer foot pedal and a new re-wired electric plug.  My little daughter and I sewed on her all afternoon, and she works great.

Here are some photos, because I just have to show her off!  She’s so beautiful…

Happy Sewing!

Singer 507 Sylvia

Singer 507 accessories

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