Monday, June 23, 2014

A few sewing projects

I have done some things with my new sewing machine. Last Christmas a friend stored her machine here, and I made a blanket with it. Just at Eastertime I was visiting my brother's family, and his wife and I went out and each bought a machine just like my friend's.

So fun.

This is a Scrabble tile bag for one of my Scrabble ladies. She had been keeping her tiles in a grocery bag, I believe! It's very simple, but the silk fabric frays like crazy, so I had to do what I now know is called a French seam. (Sort of, I think. My seams are on the inside, but the edges are enclosed.) This was done in an evening, so I am totally thrilled with that!

I had made another Scrabble bag, this time by hand, à la Alabama Chanin. It did not take just an evening!

I forgot to take pictures when I made it, so I made my friend hold it up for me to photograph with my phone in the coffee shop where we play. Navy cotton jersey, white thread, green little beads and white bugle beads. In the top picture you can sort of see blanket stitch down the side, but it was so fiddly and just ate the thread so I had lots of knots... The bottom has a double row of just straight stitches.

One could go on and on, filling more space with beads and appliqués. Lucky for me this was a birthday present so I had to stop in time to give it to her!

My next Alabama Chanin-inspired project will be a dress. I think. Here are the four T-shirt backs basted together:

A bag dress. I have to cut the front neckline, and at the bottom you can see the cap sleeves will need to be cut off! Thursday I make a trek with a friend to Michael's to get things like a cutting mat and navy thread and some kind of beads and maybe even a fancy-pants ruler! The shirt pieces have rounded bottom edges, which will have to be cut off to sew them together.

Straight lines are not my strength. But I can see how things would be easier if pieces were the same size, lines were straight and so on!

This is a big project I've just finished: a baby play mat. It's too warm to put on top of a baby, but nice and soft for a baby to sit on and play.

Made with old jeans. I took the back pockets off and cut the pieces as long as I could.

One front, of course, is curved to accommodate the fly. I couldn't figure out how to sew the little piece in with hidden seams, so I just zig-zagged around it. 

The bits that are not old jeans are some samples a friend had. She used to sew for the theatre, and then she made luxurious cushions, so she had every kind of lovely fabric. She recently had to downsize her collection, and I was the beneficiary. She gave me the silk for the bag above as well. 

Nice cotton stripes, with a bit of denim here and there to make everything fit.

I tacked the front and back together with embroidery floss.

The back, you say? A pile of miscellaneous fleece bits, some leftovers from another friend's project, and some from the yardage sale I've mentioned before (the teddy bears and the I ♥ Mommy, I ♥ Daddy pieces).

I have another of these on the go -- two of Stephen's colleagues are having babies this summer. And they are getting crazy mats from me, whether they like it or not!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More adventures in sewing

This is really an adventure-in-waiting, because all I've done is basted some seams to see if this is at all workable.

I picked up five identical pieces like this at the yardage sale. Huge, vaguely shirt-shaped. Very good, heavy, cotton jersey.

I quickly sewed the 4 seams, and it will fit, in a baggy sort of oversized way. I need to do something with the front neckline, and I do have the Alabama Chanin pattern which I could use. Her neckline would look something like this. So I will likely do some actual cutting of fabric soon! I will resew the seams properly, and not in purple.

I'm thinking of black beading around the neck and perhaps around the bottom hem. But I am also thinking of taking two of the other pieces, cutting the sleeve bits off and sewing them onto the bottom of this and making a dress! (Here's a nice one, but mine would obviously have a seam across the middle; and here's a nice one with a seam, but all are more fitted than mine will be.) More thought is needed. I'll have to baste them on and have a look. We don't want to look as if we're running around in our nightie, now, do we? But if it is bejewelled, then who would think it was a nightie.... But if it's just a bejewelled tube... maybe a dart here or there? See, this is getting scary!

Wednesday I will meet my friend Terry, for whom I made a Scrabble tile bag in the Alabama Chanin style out of the fifth of these pieces. I will take my camera, because I made the bag and gave it to her and took not a single picture. It is totally bejewelled, a Scrabble bag fit for a queen. Stay tuned!