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!

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June 11, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Filed under: crochet, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:47 pm

Just thought I would share what’s in the working pile on my sewing table.  In no particular order:

This is a baby blanket I’m crocheting for my neighbor, who was due today, but had her baby boy a couple of days ago.  She doesn’t know I’m making it, so that buys me a little time.  I’ll be working on it while watching So You Think You Can Dance tonight.  The pattern is the Tiramisu Baby Blanket, I found it here.  The pattern calls for single crochet, but I wasn’t paying attention and started doing half-double crochet.  I decided to just keep going, because I’m not the fastest crocheter and doing it in hdc will just get it done that much sooner.

Next up:

This is the fabric and a half-drafted pattern for a diaper bag.  My midwife has asked if I would make up a couple things, a bag and maybe a changing pad and some bibs, and she will display them in her rooms.  Why I am drafting a new pattern when there are tons of bag patterns out there???  I’m not sure, but I’m doing it anyway.  My next appointment is in about 3 weeks, so I’ve got some time to work on this.

This next pile belongs to a VERY patient friend of mine.

The top two piles are the cut out pieces for dresses…simple tank dresses with full gathered skirts.  The bottom is a circle skirt that needs a hem and a waistband.  I really feel bad that these have been sitting on my table for about a month, so I’m going to finish them THIS WEEKEND, I promise, Bekah. 🙂

Two customs in the works:

Left is going to be a Mix It Up Apron, I just need to cut it out and sew it up now that I’ve finalized the layout.  The right is the Aviary bag.  The customer and I are having a blast discussing the details (like I sent her an email about some ideas, but didn’t attach the pics that showed what I was talking about, duh!).  I think we are really close to finalizing those details and then I’ll get started.

A diversion:

 

Last, but not least, being the sucker for new bag patterns that I am, when I saw this Kwik Sew (3612) pattern on a blog (jenjerpeach) I ordered it within minutes.  It came today and I dropped everything to start the big tote bag (view B) with the AH Kleo on the outside, the yellow floral for the inner.  I’ve only spent about 20 minutes on it sew far and I’m halfway done, so I think it’s going to be a quick thing.  The bag is huge and will make a great tote for the park or beach or pool.  When I have time, I’m going to try the pattern in a smaller size, see how it turns out. 

Retro Femme stocks this week.  We are doing a wonderful surprise auction box.  It’s a box filled with goodies from most of the vendors.  The surprise is you don’t know what’s in there.  The only clues are the name “one size fits all” and a small, very close up pic on the listing. 

For my listings, I’ll be putting up the bag in the bottom pic, plus an apron…I haven’t picked exactly which one yet.

Well, that’s all for now.  Thanks for visiting!

May 30, 2008

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 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 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!! 

 

April 25, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:46 pm

Yesterday at this time, I was laying on the couch, trying hard to not, well, throw up, and hoping that by some minor miracle, my husband would be able to come home early from work.  Neither wish came true, but somehow I lived through it, my wonderful daughters kept things together enough that no-one went hungry and today…well, today, I feel almost…good.

So I finally finished the second custom Coming & Going bag with the Joel Dewberry Sparrows.  All that I needed to do was finish the topstitching, add the snap and sew the turning opening closed, but all that was just NOT possible yesterday…or most of this week, for that matter.

        

Front on the left, back on the right.  If you look closely, you can see I managed to cut the fabric just so that I have one sparrow on the front, one on the back and one on the end…see him there?  peeking round on the end?

And a cute pocket with a divider for a cell phone:

We’re having a clearance sale over at Retro Femme tonight.  I’ve listed a few things and there are lots of things from the other stores, too.  If you love a bargain, so take a look!

Next up on the sewing list…a few odds and ends and then I need to take a day to reorganize my space, it’s getting too messy for me.  Then I have some dresses to sew from some lovely Alexander Henry fabrics and, of course, Retro Femme stocks next week!  Maybe I’ll put together another apron like the Katie Jump Rope half apron (see below), with a different set of fabrics.   I do need a name for that apron style…something retro, fun and simple…any thought??

Have a great weekend!!

 

April 18, 2008

Katie Jump Rope half apron

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 4:38 pm

I did it!  I managed to finish this apron.  I’ve been thinking about this one for quite a while.  I drafted the pattern myself, though I’m sure others have made very similar aprons.  It was a real fight to finish it in time for tonight’s Retro Femme stocking, but I did! and with 90 minutes to spare, lol!

I’m just so pleased at how this turned out.  It’s so much fun when something comes together just the way you hoped! 

Next up, the other Sparrows bag and finishing some items for my “local” sewing.  I hope to get a lot done tomorrow, since my husband will be home to help with the children.  All I need now is for my tummy to settle down…

UPDATE:  This lovely apron sold out in less than 10 seconds!  woohoo!! 🙂

 

April 7, 2008

Announcing…

Filed under: crochet, random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 8:18 am

I’m still here!  I haven’t been sewing hardly at all for the last couple of weeks, but I did manage to crochet a lovely bag that I listed at RetroFemme last week:

As to the reason I’ve been under the weather and not sewing much, it’s nothing too surprising for us.  A pretty regular occurance around here.  We are expecting a new baby!, around the middle of November, if all goes as we hope and pray it will.  This makes baby number six for us and we are just as happy and excited as we were when our first was on the way.

Though I will say, I was a little more excited when I wasn’t suffering from round the clock “morning” sickness and then a bad cold on top of it! 

I do have sewing plans for this week.  A custom bag from the Joel Dewberry Sparrows line.  An apron from Katie Jump Rope.  A dress for my oldest daughter.   Listing a few more things at Etsy.  Hoping I can keep the saltine cracker crumbs off the fabric. 🙂

And a little giveaway on Thursday for my birthday.  Check back for more details tomorrow.

 

 

March 21, 2008

They’re done and that’s what counts

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 11:56 am

I’ve had a couple of “those” days this week.  It’s been a huge challenge to find the time and energy to sew.  But I did manage to finish and list the two aprons at Retro Femme for tonight’s stocking at 10 PM EDT.

The sewing wasn’t so hard, actually, but the picture taking was torture.  My camera batteries were low and I couldn’t find the spare set.  The sun kept hiding behind clouds.  I couldn’t get the exposure and colors “just right” for the black apron.  Finally, when I felt like the next thing I’d do would be to throw my camera through a window (okay, not really, but you know what I mean), I stopped and listed them anyway, icky pictures and all.  Hopefully, their true loveliness will show through, because they turned out just how I imagined them.  How cool is that!!

    

I’d thought about trying to pull something else together for tonight’s stocking, but it just isn’t going to happen.  It’s Easter weekend, I don’t have the eggs ready for the hunt tomorrow, the house is, well, a mess, dishes are waiting, and I have several custom orders to work on for next week. 

Whenever I can find a few minutes during the day, I’ll be listing the hairsticks at Etsy.  That will catch me up for my goal of listing 10 items at Etsy this week.

Have a great and joyous Easter!

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