I finished this baby quilt shortly after the baby was born, but never got pictures of it. I used it as a play gym for her until recently, since she is now too grown up for play gyms! I wrote about the play gym process here – it was easy to pull off the arches and transition it into a play mat – perfect for sitting on the front porch and watching the cats.
More baby quilts! When I was a kid, I had a baby quilt with my name on it, and I LOVED THAT QUILT. So I try to always add a name onto quilts I make for kids. In this case, I was making two matching quilts for some little brothers. I struggled with the placement of the names. I had it set in my head that I had to use these dots. Now I regret the dots.
First I had just one dot, I loved the one dot, I made the quilt and it was finished. But then I thought it looked like Trumano. Not what I was going for. In retrospect, I should have, at this point, removed the dot. But it would have been a mess, as then the name would have been off center, and everything was already appliqued down with fusible webbing.
Years ago, I “finished” this Rainbow Derecho quilt, but was never happy with it. Here is another post about the progress of the quilt. The quilting, the puckering of the applique, the weight of it (too heavy and stiff), lots of little things. I tried to finish it in a rush and that was an important lesson learned – why rush to finish something just so you can spend years not liking it?!?
But, I have a friend who is the perfect recipient for this quilt, and I’m moving soon and interested in off-loading a few quilts that are just gathering dust. Even though this quilt isn’t perfect, it deserves better than sitting in a box!
A while back I did a swap – even though I swore off on-line swaps years ago after several in a row where I didn’t receive anything in return, and also the anxiety-inducing fear that my recipient would hate what I made. Not my definition of fun. But the #OhCraft group had a bag swap, and I just couldn’t resist.
My partner made a collage with linen, coral and embroidery and requested the Caravan Tote by Noodelhead. I can do that! The pictures aren’t great, but this bag was really fun!
Sew all the clothes!
The problem with sewing clothes instead of quilts is I never feel self conscious taking pictures of my quilts in the backyard, but the 5 minute selfie photoshoot I did of my bust this morning trying to get a good shot of the neckline of this tunic would have been pretty embarrassing if any curious neighbors had wandered by!
I got some mustang fabric from girlcharlee, and it was burning a hole in my sewing room, so I had to make a tunic. This fabric is incredibly soft and nice to sew with. It’s lightweight, but not see through. And it has horses on it.
Ok, here are the pictures of the neckline I risked all of my dignity (Let’s be real, I have no dignity) to take. I think it looks great despite me pulling it down a million times all day to nurse (I mentioned I have no dignity). My last two necklines were not so great. I think I’m perfecting the “stretch the collar not the shirt” secret to successful knit necklines? And here is a link to the Etsy shop I got that teething necklace from.
It’s the last day of May, so I’m going to talk about #memademay which is a project where people document themselves wearing clothing they’ve made. I love the idea, and since none of my clothes fit right after the baby, it’s good timing for me to get into garment sewing anyway. I think I might be *gasp* a little bored with quilting!?! I’m sure it will come back to me. I think I was just ready for a new challenge, and I got a little bit obsessed! I made some shirts, skirts, and more skirts.
I tested a new blouse pattern, the Biscayne Blouse by Adrianne Appl at Hey June Handmade. It was my first time testing a pattern, and made me realize HOLY COW pattern designing must be so incredibly difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I always feel like anyone who is designing bag and garment patterns must be basically magical because things that seem impossible to me just fly together like magic when I actually read and follow the instructions.
But it was really fun to be a little bit on the inside of the process and really increased my respect for people who have the ability to clearly explain complicated sewing techniques. This blouse is not hard per se, but it definitely uses sophisticated techniques that I had no experience with. It’s super wrinkly here, but, you know, real life happens.
This is a blousy blouse, it is gorgeous in silkier, flowier fabrics than what I used, and a little poofy in the cotton/spandex blend and vintage polyester I used in my two versions – but I still like them both and will definitely wear them.
It is loose fitting and a lot of the testers went down a size, but I made my based on the recommended size for my measurements. I think the finished shirt looks professional despite my sloppy approach and inexperience. All the seams are enclosed, which I would have thought would be intimidating, but she explains everything so well!
As a fabric choice warning, I will say I had more issues with the placket on the white shirt. Because it was heavier fabric, I didn’t fully interface it, and it didn’t make very crisp lines when I ironed it. I kind of lost track of my folds and chaos ensued. But I’m sure after a few washes the little flaws will disappear.
I like the loose fit, partly because it’s more comfortable and very easy to pull up for nursing. I’m a fan of the “wear two shirts and pull up the top shirt to nurse” team vs. the “wear a shirt that opens and pull it down to expose the breast” team. I think mainly because I had a winter baby and exposing any extra skin was not a good idea. But ANYWAY, whichever camp you’re in, this shirt works great because the button placket could definitely be pulled open for nursing.
I had a ton of fun working on these shirts. And the navy fabric was free from some trash pile years ago and the white fabric was $3 so yay! Don’t judge the pattern based on my sloppy shirts here, by the way~ I’m such a beginner to garment sewing. This is a fun pattern and it looked great on all the testers with many different body sizes – I totally recommend it!
Also Hey June has this adorable free pattern for a girl’s knit dress.
So, I started this quilt a month ago and then the internet erased my post. Dangit, internet. This is a new thing for wordpress to do to me, and I hope it never happens again! Ok, fingers crossed this blog doesn’t disappear on me too!
This is my second entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival. The first is my Rainbow Lonestar Quilt which is also technically a scrappy quilt. This one is for my scrappy Charley Harper Mosaic Goldfinch quilt! It’s about 6×6 feet. You can find a million other awesome quilts at the Bloggers Quilt Festival and register to win a free sewing machine. Or you can go straight to the Scrappy Entries page and vote for your favorite (It’s ok if you don’t vote for mine, they are all awesome!).
Most of my quilts lately have been scrappy quilts – I love scraps! And I have an unfortunate habit of taking in other people’s scraps too. I don’t like any fabric going to waste, ever! I will save half inch wide strips sometimes, and then I’m like, WAIT, you can’t even sew that. So, I’ve starting throwing those away.
Sometimes I’ll be at group sewing events and see people tossing like, half a fat quarter and almost choke to death. I may or may not go through the garbage bins at the end of the day. Feel free to judge me! I can’t help it!
My husband saw me printing out the pattern for this Tiny Tank Dress and said, “Oh, tanks, perfect for Josie. Is it for when she’s driving her tank?” I have been joking that she looks like a cross between Charlize Theron in Mad Max and post-Soviet bloc dictator, so it’s natural his mind went to the war machine type of tank vs. the summer shirt.
Here we are in our matching tank driving shirts. Except I guess you can’t hardly tell they’re matching…
Anyway, suitable for tank driving or chewing on, I made her a little tank dress with the last of my Charley Harper Knit from the awesome Knit Challenge sponsored by Fabricworm and organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color.
I cobbled it together out of the scraps from my previous projects with this fabric. I split the dress back into two panels — one of them had to be cut upside down. Waste not, want not. I am a scrap quilter at heart so I hate having any leftover fabric.
The straps are just bias tape which also finishes the arm holes. I used a stretch triple straight stitch on the arms and on the hem. Probably not the best choice for a hem, as it is so slow even on this little dress I was falling asleep at the wheel. By far the biggest barrier I still feel when approaching sewing stretchy fabrics is my sewing machine set up.
I have a serger and a straight stitch Brother 1500 neither of which you can do finishing with for knits (that I can figure out!). I also have an old Pfaff with an injured bobbin case (due to a bent needle disaster) that causes it to stitch weird a lot – including when I tried to use a twin needle – lots of skipped stitches and puckering. It seems to be able to manage the triple straight stitch so that worked for this project. Maybe I’ll try a blind hem to finish my next skirt?
My verdict: Ugh, not happy with how it looks up close!
Baby’s verdict: It’s delicious, thank you.