Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Zinnia Skirt Finally Complete!

[caption id="attachment_209" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Zinnia Skirt! Zinnia Skirt![/caption]

Hey look! I successfully completed a clothes sewing project! Yes, I did sew 2 Briars last month as well, but this pattern (the wonderful Colette patterns Zinnia) had a zipper, and pleats, and I used slippery rayon, so it feels like more of an accomplishment. I went on my normal schedule of sewing just one items from the directions each day (except the last day I went nuts and sewed the waistband AND the hem.) So this project took me about 12 days. Obviously not of continuous sewing! I also made some napkins and ran the shop in between.

[caption id="attachment_210" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Zinnia with striped Betsy Johnson rayon Zinnia with striped Betsy Johnson rayon[/caption]

I am really happy with how this skirt turned out! I mostly followed the pattern as it was written. Last time I sewed this skirt with quilting cotton and I did a gathered waist instead of pleats because the pattern download didnt print out exactly right. And it was a little too poofy and costume-y  for me in that particular fabric.

However, with the rayon and the pleats, I love it! It drapes so nicely, it is really soft and swishy, and I think flattering! (also be sure to check out my awesome Free People shoes! I splurged a bit  but I LOVE them and they are really comfy.)

[caption id="attachment_211" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Invisible zipper Invisible zipper[/caption]

One change I did make on the pattern was to get rid of the button tab closure and make the invisible zipper go all the way to the top of the skirt. I dont know how to do buttons (I know, I know, it's "easy"), and I knew that instead of forcing me to learn how to do buttons, leaving it in the pattern would just mean that I never finished the skirt. Oh and the zipper gave me plenty of trouble on its own! I had to redo it like 5 times. 5 times! once because it was twisted, the other times because the dang stripes would not match up. But when I got it right it sure was exciting!

[caption id="attachment_208" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Matching side stripes! Matching side stripes in the wind![/caption]

One thing about the matching side stripes! I was very proud of myself for even remembering to think about this when I cut out the pattern pieces. Yay! Go me. So, they were at one point aligned. Somehow, somewhere along the line, one side went weird!

[caption id="attachment_207" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Non-matching side stripes! Non-matching side stripes![/caption]

Somehow by the time I did the pleats and went to sew the other side together they were no longer matching. Very odd! Oh well, it really doesnt bother me, so hopefully it wont bother anyone else!

Anyway, I really like this skirt, the Zinnia by Colette patterns. The pleats were a little tricky with the rayon, but not bad, and they kinda flatten out your lower belly, which is always nice. And there are pockets! Already want to make another one of these, but my list of clothing projects is growing much too long, and I have plenty of other things that I actually need to do and am getting paid for, so I should probably do those first :)

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pixelated Heart Quilt

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="620"]20140509-121930.jpg Heart Quilt[/caption]

The great thing about patchwork is that it can be turned into so many different things. You can make it random, make stripes, make diagonal lines, and also make shapes, like this heart! I have always loved this quilt, by Blue Elephant Stitches, and always wanted a reason to make one.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570"]20140509-121936.jpg Neon Dots binding and Dear Stella fabric on the back[/caption]

I'd had a pile of fabric set aside for awhile that was pinks, corals, oranges, that little bit of aqua from one of Jay McCarroll's quilting lines, plus the neutrals and the few little bits of neon and strawberries. I thought about making some type of star quilt but never did. Then one my my best friends had a baby girl and I thought this would be the perfect color palate for her quilt. I used 3 1/2" squares and the quilt finished a little smaller than I normally make my baby quilts, and I also fell in love with it and didnt want to give it away. Is that bad?! I realized it would look perfect in the empty space above some of my shelving in the store. Not to worry, I made Mary another baby quilt (the orange and pink one from this post), and I kept this one for myself.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="586"]20140509-121950.jpg Keeping watch over the store[/caption]

I really love the way it looks hanging up there, so I'm glad I kept it even though it did feel a little bit wrong... I am normally really good about giving quilts away, but there was just something about this one I didnt want to part with :) Plus I'm teaching a patchwork quilt class, so I definitely need an example in the classroom, right?!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cloth Napkins with Mitered Corners Tutorial

[caption id="attachment_170" align="aligncenter" width="278"]Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove[/caption]

I love cloth napkins! They are reusable, and washable, and they can be made in any cotton fabric that you want to use! They make great gifts too, which is what I did for Mother's Day this year (if my own mother reads this blog frequently: stop reading or ruin the surprise!). In this case, I chose some nice brightly colored fabric for my parents to use in their gazebo this summer. I picked 4 half-yard cuts and was able to make 2 napkins from each. I started by cutting all my fabrics into 18" squares. You could do 20" as well, but then you'll need slightly over 1/2 yard, so it makes it a little trickier. For this tutorial we will be finishing the edges using mitered corners. Start by marking a right angle shape 1 3/4" in from each corner.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"]20140507-124602.jpg Clear ruler marks 1 3/4" from each side.[/caption]

Once you've done that you will want to snip a corner off. If you have a ruler with a 45 degree angle line on it, use that to mark the corner, measuring up 1". You can also mark a point 1" up from the corner on each side-- the diagonal line that connects those points will be the mark you'll follow to cut the corner off.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="292"]20140507-124615.jpg Marking the corner piece to snip it off[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"]20140507-124630.jpg After snipping, your corner now looks like this[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="302"]20140507-124650.jpg Fold the corner up until it meets the right angle you drew in a previous step. Finger press so it stays folded while you do the other corners.[/caption]

Repeat this process with all the corners of each napkin. Once that's done you are going to fold over each edge 1/2" , with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, and press it down.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="293"]20140507-124659.jpg Please excuse my horrendous ironing board cover.... it got like that after 1 week!![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="283"]20140507-124708.jpg Once you've folded the corners once by 1/2" your napkin will look like this.[/caption]

The next step is to fold the edges over one more time, again by 1/2". When you do this the corners should been up, forming a 45 degree angle.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="289"]20140507-124724.jpg Mitered corner[/caption]

Sew along the edge of the folded part, keeping the needle down to pivot at the corners.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="299"]20140507-124730.jpg Pi-vot![/caption]

I sewed two times around each napkin, one toward the outside edge and one towards the inside edge of the folded part of the napkin, just for some extra security.

[caption id="attachment_152" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Finished set Finished set[/caption]