BlueflowerTreasures

August 22, 2008

A is for Apron: Amoeba

Filed under: A is for Apron, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 4:35 pm

Another A is for Apron review.  I think this is the fourth?  Anyway, I do love the aprons in this book, so it probably won’t be the last!

The designer for this apron is Joan Hand Stroh.  In the book, she is quoted to say “I prefer classic, tailored clothing, so I seldom make frilly aprons.  Never underestimate the impact of a simple design.” Oh, so true for me, too.

As usual, I made some changes to the apron.  First off, I made mine reversible.  I prefer two layer aprons, probably because I’m a messy cook, and I always have trouble with bias binding a single layer of fabric.

      

I also used wider bias tape, because I had just gotten this lovely Michael Miller pindot trim and thought it looked great with my Chocolate Lollipop fabric.  It’s cotton tape (not polyester like the Wright’s brand) and the difference is clear.  It goes around curves and corners much smoother. 

    

Then I lengthened the ties.  I could tell by the picture in the book that the ties weren’t very long, so I added several inches, so that the apron could be worn by a larger woman (like me!).  Also, the pattern calls for the fabric to be cut on the bias, but I didn’t, mostly because I didn’t have enough of either print to do that.  If you were using a single layer of fabric, I’d recommend that you did cut it on the bias, I think it would fit better (because it would stretch slightly).

As for the directions in the book…after the struggles I encountered making the first three aprons, I largely ignored them.  But reading through them, I don’t see any obvious problems, just the usual A is for Apron and M is for Make it More Complicated Than it Should Be stuff.

I have listed this at Retro Femme for tonight’s stocking.  If you like the apron, but would like different fabrics (there’s a link over there —-> to my fabric album), please contact me.  I’d love to make more of this apron!

August 19, 2008

Wait! I can’t catch up!!

Filed under: random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 5:48 pm

There are times when my life (and probably yours, too) feels like an old-fashioned carousel ride.  It keeps spinning and I’m trying to catch up and jump on, but I just can’t run fast enough to get on a horse, let alone grab the brass ring.   Just when I think I’m getting close, the ride speeds up or I stumble and I get farther behind.

I didn’t step foot in my sewing room for almost a week.  We had several days of above average temps (around 90 degrees), which makes my west facing, used to be a sunporch, sewing room into a sauna…minus the steam and naked people.  One day, just for fun, I put a thermometer in there…105 degrees.  No way was this pregnant lady about to spend more than a few seconds there!

But the heat did bless us with this…a gorgeous sunset

Then, over the weekend, I was visited by a tummy bug.  I will spare you the details, but I was totally useless all weekend.  Thank the Lord above that I was the only one honored with this visitor.

Yesterday, I surveyed the wreckage of my house.  And decided that even though the balance of clean to dirty dishes was tipped way to the dirty side and that parts of the rug crunched when walked upon, the thing that really needed to be done first was to organize our home library and homeschool area.  Hmm, could I be nesting already?  I have reached the third trimester of my pregnancy, yeah!!

Today, I had a grand plan to spend the first couple hours of my day (while the baby was still sleeping) sewing…or at least getting my messy sewing room ready to sew.  Alas, the baby woke up early.  Then, I spent the first half hour of my day unclogging the toilet.  My sweet husband had already left for work, so the job fell to me.  

Finally, I was able to spend a few minutes on a huge job I’ve been wanting to get to for a while:  taking & posting photos of all the fabrics I have available for custom orders.  This is a huge undertaking, and I’m going to be doing it in little bites.  I took 9 pictures before the camera batteries ran out (note to self: find the battery charger).  And I opened a new photobucket album for my fabric pics.  I debated between pb and flickr, but picked pb because if I wanted to add another flickr album, I’d have to upgrade.  Since I’ve spent a little too much on fabric recently, I decided to go the free route.

Then I made a little button to put on my sidebar. 

Pretty cute, eh?

So, I did finish rehemming a friend’s linen shirt.  I put away all the (home)school supplies I’ve been gathering.  I shelved about half of the book the toddler pulled off the shelves when I was busy elsewhere.  I went to a long overdue eye appointment (yeah, it’s been over five years…).  I picked veggies (cukes, beans & tomatoes) from our garden for dinner.  And made dinner.  I’m done for the day.  Ugh.

Tomorrow, I will spend time picking, shredding and freezing zuchini and figuring out the easiest way to make pickles without a pressure canner.  I need to return some overdue books to the library and stop by the optometrist, because when I went today, I left my wallet at home and funny thing, they won’t order my new glasses until I pay for them.

I will try to take another set of fabric photos and finish another A is for Apron apron for the Retro Femme stocking on Friday.  I need to call a repair person for our fridge, which occasionally leaks water out the bottom.   I need to do some laundry and start packing for our annual trip to the beach next week.  Making sure that 6 other people have enough clean clothes for 5 days at the beach when the weather is doing a hot today, cold tomorrow thing will be fun. 

If I can do all that, I will start on a set of Bible covers for a local customer.  I want to try out the new Amy Butler Birdie Sling bag pattern I just received. 

HA!  What are my chances??  Can someone push the button to stop the carousel??

August 10, 2008

Historical Dress – Done!

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:26 am

The dress is done!  The WIP post is here.

Final details:  neckline was high enough, but too wide.  I took in about 1/2″ on both sides of the bodice inset, but think it may need a bit more.  The young lady promised to let me know if she wanted it taken in some more.  I make the skirt a little narrower (but wider than it looks on my dress form) than the pattern because she wasn’t going to be wearing a petticoat or hoops underneath.  The zipper and hem went in without any trouble at all.   Here is the final finished dress (excuse the mess…I didn’t take the time to do an artsy fartsy pic, lol).

I think I’m going to find some more of this fabric…I love the color and the drape and think it would make a nice, everyday skirt for me.  Yeah…just what I need…another project on my to-do list!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

August 9, 2008

Fabric Giveaway

Filed under: random stuff — Tags: — Lady M Quilts @ 4:09 pm

No, not my giveaway, but one I’m entering, over at Vintage Chic.  She’s giving away 4 yards (yes FOUR WHOLE YARDS) of the new Heather Bailey Pop Garden line of fabric.  I’ve been looking and drooling a bit over this collection, but have held back from buying any due to the almost overwhelming amount of fabric I already have.  But I can’t pass up a chance to win some!

There’s a prize for non-sewers, too, so take a moment to check it out!

August 7, 2008

Historical Dress – Bodice

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:58 pm

The pattern for the historical dress I’m making for my friend’s daughter is Simplicity 3723.  Here is the best picture of the envelope I could find when my camera batteries croaked.  The basis for this particular dress is View D, the yellow floral.

There were several alterations requested.  First, eliminate the scarf.  Second, make the neckline appropriate and modest for a young woman.  Third, make the sleeve cuff less full. 

Before I started the dress, I ended up watching a few hours of Little House on the Prairie with my children.   I looked carefully at the dresses…hoping to glean some ideas, but unsure of the accurateness of 1970’s Hollywood designers portrayal of 1800’s fashion.  I also did some Internet research, but quickly got overwhelmed with the many different styles.

So I prayed and then carefully traced the bodice pattern pieces, adding a bit here and there and started putting it all together.  I added an inch to each side of the bodice, to cover more of the shoulders.  I cut the bodice center insert on the bias, for two reasons.  First, I thought it would look pretty and two, I wouldn’t have to match up the plaid.  I added a muslin trimming, accented with a brown ribbon, to raise the neckline.   I slimmed the sleeve cuffs, cut them on the bias to match the bodice insert, and repeated the muslin & ribbon accenting.  Put the whole thing together and put it on my dress form, Julia, left.

             

You can just see the muslin trimming above the brown ribbon.  It was obvious to me that there would still be too much skin showing.  So I came up with a plan…add a gathered “fichu” across the décolletage.   I like how it looks…even though in this picture, it is just sitting loosely there.  I want to adjust it exactly when the young lady tries on the dress tomorrow.  I like the added layer of movement (gathered fabric vs non-gathered) and how it really shows off the muslin/ribbon trimming.

So all that is left on the bodice is the zipper…I didn’t have a long enough invisible zipper until I ran to JoAnn’s before dinner.  I’m going to wait and make sure the bodice fits just right before I put the zipper in.  And of course, the skirt is missing.  It is cut out and pieced together, and I will spend the evening hand gathering it to the skirt.

Here is a close up of the sleeve detail:

I have to say that I’m very very pleased…alright, I’m downright proud…of how well this dress is coming together.  I love it and I hope the young lady does, too.

I’ll post pics of the finished dress tomorrow, along with the items I’ll be listing at Retro Femme.

August 5, 2008

Hedgie Zipper Pouch

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:53 pm

It’s so hot here.  Well, I have to qualify that.  It’s *unusually* hot here.  It was about 90 degress today…15 degrees above our “normal” mid-70’s.  I don’t enjoy the heat, which is why I’m glad I live near Seattle.  Days like this are rare.  Being pregnant doesn’t help, either.  But I’m not complaining about that! just the heat.  It’s about 8 pm now, and it’s actually hotter in the house than it is outside…especially in my west facing sewing room.

I did want to share that I got the little hedgie zipper pouch put together this morning before my sewing room turned into an oven.  Here it is:

Pretty cute, eh?  It’s listed for tomorrow night’s stocking at Beautiful Enchantments

For the next few days, I’m working on a lovely dress for the daughter of a friend.  It’s a full length, long sleeve, fitted bodice dress that is meant to resemble those of the late 1800’s.  The pattern is for a more colonial style, so I’m altering here and there.  It won’t be “period accurate”, but it will be perfect for what she wants to wear it to…a local historical site.  This is the first time I’ve attempted a dress like this and the young lady is away camping until the day before she wants it, so it’s going to be a challenge…but I’m up for it!

Besides the dress, I have orders for three Mix It Up aprons, pants and a skirt for another customer and Retro Femme stocks on Friday, so it will be a busy week!

August 4, 2008

Getting Back to Business

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 7:11 pm

My break is over…and not only was it too short (aren’t vacations always too short?)…I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to.  Sigh.  At least I have another month before we start homeschooling and three months before the baby is born.  Maybe, just maybe, I can cross off a lot of projects from my sewing to-do list before our newest son makes his entrance.

In the meantime, I’ve listed a couple things at Beautiful Enchantments.   The Waldorf apron and a new tote I made today.  I’m really liking this tote…I will definitely be making other totes like this.

            

If I can, I’m going to make a little zipper pouch tomorrow, using some very cute Japanese hedgehog canvas and deep chocolate corduroy, with a turquoise ribbon trim.  Check back to see if I can get it done!

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