BlueflowerTreasures

May 30, 2008

Manly Aprons for Dad

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 2:12 pm

Yes, my second finished object post today!  woohoo!  First the circangle bag, now a couple of (hopefully) manly aprons for Retro Femme’s Father’s Day stocking tonight.

I tried to choose a print that could be worn by either a man or a woman.  Keeping that in mind, I stayed away from the sports themes and muscle cars.  I drafted my own pattern for this apron, based roughly on what would fit my 6’2″ hubby.  I’d hoped to have him model these for me, but I didn’t get them done before he went to work today.  So the backside of my dress form will have to do.

         

Pretty neat, eh?  I wouldn’t mind wearing one of these and my hubby…well, he didn’t express a definite opinion in the affirmative…but he didn’t say “no” either.

I hope to have one more thing to show before the end of the day, a custom coming & going bag using the Ginger Blossom line of fabrics.  It just needs a couple of things finished up before it’s picture ready.

Oh, I have some things on clearance tonight at Retro Femme:

             

See ya later!

 

Chocolate Lollipop Circangle Bag

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 7:53 am

I’ve been busy busy sewing all week and so today will hopefully be the day of finished objects!  First up: a circangle bag from the Chocolate Lollipop fabric collection.  I made two..the smaller is about 10 inches high (from bottom of the bag to the bottom of the handles) and 12 inches wide at the widest point.  The larger is 11 x 14. 

       

 They each have a small pocket on the striped side, just big enough for a cell phone, and dark rattan handles.  A fellow mama from Beautiful Enchantments asked me to make a bag for her, and I decided to make two, let her choose which size she’d like and the other will be up for grabs.

Can you see the pocket?  This bag is reversible, so I tried to disguise the pocket.

Next up will be the two aprons I’m listing at Retro Femme’s Fathers Day stocking tonight.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them done before my hubby left for work, so they won’t be only somewhat unwillingly modeled by a real man…I think the back side of my trusty dress form will have to do. 😀  Check bag later to see!

May 27, 2008

A is for Apron: Josephine

Filed under: A is for Apron, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:12 am

I recently got my hands on a new apron book:  A is for Apron.  It’s full of fun and lovely aprons, many pictured with fabrics that I actually have in my stash!  I’m so inspired by the book that I thought I’d do a brief review.

A is for Apron showcases 25 “fresh & flirty designs” for aprons, and includes the patterns and instructions for each.  The patterns are listed in the back of the book and must be enlarged to be used directly.  But the book does give some measurements on the pattern pieces, so I was able to figure out the dimensions for the apron I decided to make as a tester:  Josephine.

This is one of the more complicated aprons in the book.  It’s a reversible full apron and the skills a sewist uses include buttonholes, casings, ruffles, bias cutting and topstitching.  It took me about 4 hours to make it, but some of that time was spent trying to figure out parts of the instructions.

Along the way, several small steps were left out.  For example, the neck strap is cut as two pieces (more on that in a minute) but the instructions neglect to tell the sewist to sew them together to make one long piece.    Later, when attaching the neck strap to the bodice, the book is not clear which side (right side vs wrong side of the bodice) to attach the strap to.  Little things that are obvious to an experienced sewist, maybe not so much to a beginner.

Regarding the suggested cutting layout:  in an effort to be ultra frugal with the fabric, the instruction direct one to cut some things in smaller pieces (such as the neck straps and the long waist ties).  I’d much rather use a wee bit more yardage and not have seams in the middle of my ties.

Overall, its a great book, I’d give it 4 stars.  I’m already planning to make at least two more aprons from it and I’m sure it will continue to inspire me every time I open it.

Here is my Josephine:

          

I choose two bright bold prints…both with pinks, purples & greens.  My first challenge was that the butterfly print is very directional and so I couldn’t cut it on the bias as the pattern called for.  It didn’t seem to make a difference.  The other big challenge was figuring out the settings on my ruffler foot so I didn’t have to hand gather that ruffle at the bottom.  I ended up with a few inches extra ruffle, so that was good (rather than too little!).

Here’s a close up of the bodice, the top gathers with a tie.  Also, a close up of the fabrics I used.

      

 

I’ll be listing this apron at Retro Femme, hopefully by tomorrow, for Friday’s stocking.  It’s also our Father’s Day stocking, and I’ll be trying another pattern from the A is for Apron book to make a Dad’s BBQ apron.  I have 3 customs bags and one custom apron to finish.  Plus my 3 yo keeps asking for a “green dwess with fwowers”.  So I should have lots of fun things to post this week!!

May 19, 2008

Mama has a new bag

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:06 am

Ever heard the saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”?  That’s what it’s been like (a bit) around here.  This handbag making mama was carrying a purse that I made over a year ago and it was showing its age quite a lot.  I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag using the Katie Jump Rope fabrics.  And last week I got my hands on a pattern for the Run Mama Run bag and decided to test it with KJR. 

The original pattern yields quite a large bag, almost a tote, really, and far too big for my everyday use.  You all know what happens when one carries too large a purse…everything ends up in there and then nothing can be found.  So I downsized the pattern, by hand, because I didn’t want to take all five of my dear blessings out to the copy store.  Dear hubby had accepted a last minute invite to a baseball game and wasn’t home yesterday when I decided to do this.  I trimmed a little here, a little there and started laying out fabric and cutting.

This pattern has several pieces, but it is fairly straighforward.  My biggest pet peeve about bag patterns does make an appearance in this pattern:  the pattern for the outer and the lining are the same size.  I think this is because the bag *can* be made to be reversible, but I do think that there should be an explanation on how to make the lining smaller for a traditional bag.  I find it very annoying when a lining won’t sit properly flat in the bottom of the bag because there is too much of it.

I did make a cutting error…when I downsized the pattern, I forgot to downsize the width of my straps when I cut them, so they were too wide.  I just put little pleats at the bottom, which I actually like, but it wasn’t part of the original pattern.

Here is my lovely model with my new bag:

The other problem I ran into was that for some reason the outer bag fabric developed a few wrinkles during the process.  I used fusible fleece (which I’ve used many times before without a problem) for the outer and all looked good until I turned the bag.  I’ve steamed it a bit and some of the wrinkles left, but I guess I need to get more steamy.

        

One thing I do like about this bag is that it stands up by itself.  I was worried that because I narrowed the width, it would be too narrow to do this, but there it is, standing up.

I put pockets on both sides, one is divided to hold my cell phone and keys.  The other is long and will hold my yearly planner calendar thingie.

         

Did I mention it’s still a little big for me?  That’s my new wallet way down there.  Looks a little lost.  I’ll probably trek off to the copy center later this week.   I really like this pattern, the style and looks appeal to me, but I need something smaller…just big enough for my wallet, phone, keys.  This version will be great to use when I need to also take a couple of diapers or a book or bottle of water.

Speaking of wallets, I made a new one of those for me, too.  Below, the old one is on the top, my bright shiny new one is on the bottom.  (duh, right?)

My wallet pattern is based on the tutorial at that*darn*kat (the link is over there  –> ).  This time, I added a zipper compartment instead of more card slots.  If I had any cash, it would be artfully peeking out from behind either the cards or the zipper compartment.

       

So, that is how I spent my Sunday.  Now, its “clean-up Monday” at our house.  Mt. Laundry and Mt. Dishes await.  I have several sewing projects to do for local clients and a custom bag to start.  And I hope to post a review of a new book I snagged:  A is for Apron

Have a great Monday!!

May 16, 2008

The apron that needs a name

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:13 pm

I put together another of my fun, retro, strip pieced half aprons today.  The main floral print is Alexander Henry Birch Blossom and I found some great coordinates in the quilting section of Joann’s.  I just love how bright and springy this apron looks.  It’s listed at RetroFemme tonight.

I made a similar apron last month from my mostest favorite collection (at least just now) of fabric:  Katie Jump Rope.  In case you didn’t see that post, here it is:

Now, I need a catchy name for this apron. Something with two words, the blank blank apron. Something fun but not cutesy (cuz’ I’m not cutesy, lol). I’m thinking of someday selling this pattern, so I need a name that is catchy and fun and retro and memorable. Any ideas?

I put up a custom slot for this apron at RF, too, with Michael Miller Ginger Blossom as a choice.  And two more slots for Semi-Custom Coming & Going Bags.  I may be very busy soon (I hope!).

Thanks for looking and thanks for any name ideas!

May 15, 2008

Spotted Box goodies

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 2:09 pm

If you hang around hyenacart.com, you may know about The Spotted Box.  This is a box of samples from various vendors, there are several available for purchase each month and you, the buyer, get a whole bunch of really neat things.  Next month, the box will have a slew of super sweet somethings from me and the other ladies of Beautiful Enhantments.  Here are mine:

Business card holders.  Each one has two slots and a snap closure.   I love how this fabric matches the color of my business cards.   I made five of them in just a couple of hours.  I think I might make some more to send out as order thank-yous.

Yes, it has been two weeks since I posted.  As the saying goes, the night is darkest before the dawn.  Before I started feeling better just a couple days ago, I was sicker than ever.  But except for the occaisonal twinge of queasiness if I forget to eat, I’m feeling much better and will be tackling a huge sewing to do list.

Next up will be an apron and or maybe two for Retro Femme tomorrow.  I’m also going to put up another spot for a semi-custom Coming & Going bag, with the new prints from the Ginger Blossom collection (see my previous post).  Then I have some local sewing to work on over the weekend and, as my husband keeps reminding me, I need to start planting our veggie garden.  Yep, a bit of a late start this year, but winter lingered until just a few weeks ago, so the only choice was to wait.

Time here for a little keep-the-tummy-happy snack, then I’ll be back at my sewing machine!

May 1, 2008

Hard work brings reward

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 11:09 am

I was feeling a bit better today and so ensued a battle:  should I sew or clean? I have a RetroFemme stocking tomorrow and plenty of local sewing to do.  But my house…just imagine the mess five young children can make in a small house in just a couple hours.  And it had been a couple days since we’d picked up or vacuumed and even longer since all the dishes have been done at once.  So the older children and I worked for a couple hours and things look much better.  Still a few dishes waiting and I’m going to wait til after lunch to vac the dining room, but at least I won’t be embarassed with the electrician comes tomorrow to fix our dining room light.

Now, though, all my energy is gone.  Too bad, because my hard work was rewarded by fluffy mail!  Some long awaited fabrics arrived today!

Several prints from Michael Miller’s Ginger Blossom line acros the top, four more prints from my current favorite fabric line, Katie Jump Rope, across the bottom and a random piece of white dots on green hiding in the left corner.   I’m going to dredge up the energy to get these into the washer, because I’ve got big plans for them!! 

 

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