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Archive for December, 2010

There is just a little bit of blanket stitch to do around the sleeve hemline, and then this top will be finished.  I used a bound edge at the neckline, trimming off the seam allowance.   I’m not the best blanket stitcher in the universe, so I made a double row of stitching around the yoke and the sleeve hems to act as a guide for the width of the stitch:

Here you can barely see the stitching under the finished blanket stitch on the yoke:

This fabric was really ravelly, but there is a real feeling of accomplishment in taming a ravelly fabric and making the inside of a garment nice and neat.

For the next project, since this fabric was a little difficult to work with, I am going to make some more pajamas, since flannel is one of the easiest fabrics to manage.

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My family has Christmas on Christmas Eve, so I had to do food shopping today.  We always have the same simple menu along with whatever potluck items the people attending bring.  We have a big pot of potato soup, and I usually make deviled eggs and zombies.  Other people bring chips and dips, salads and vegetables, cookies and candy, and hopefully, guacamole.  My daughter, A, has gradually taken over the baking chores since she really enjoys doing that.  She makes lots of different cookies and some kinds of candy, like divinity and caramels (my favorite). She called recently to tell me that she had lots of leftover whipping cream, so we decided to make a chocolate cream pie and slather it in cream. This year I only made one gift, a bag for the back of a wheelchair, which made the time before the holiday more relaxing since I didn’t have to rush to finish anything.  I am still working on the gray and gold top, and have finished the neckline binding.  There was a lot of handwork in this project, but now I am ready to put in the sleeves and finish it off.

I don’t have any big sewing plans for next year since I like to sew what I want to when I want to, and my interests change all the time.  I do enjoy sewing things for my daughters, and I want to do more machine embroidery and try new-to-me techniques.  But right now I have to boil some eggs.

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Gold and Gray II

I have finished the motif embroidery and started the blanket stitch.  As soon as the blanket stitch around the yoke is done, I will construct the top.  The bottom of the yoke isn’t really all crooked as it appears in the photo, it is just scrunched up a little by the side of the sewing machine. I am debating whether or not to put the blanket stitch around the sleeve hem, so I will ask M if she wants embroidery there or not.  So far, so good.

I am way behind in the Christmas gift buying and other seasonal chores, but the spouse says we will make a short but intense shopping effort tomorrow and start and finish in a few hours.  I hope so.

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Gold and Gray

The embroidery is faster to do than I thought it would be, so today I cut out the top to be ready to start sewing as soon as the second side of the yoke is finished.  I need to stop at the store and get some gray binding for the seams, though.  Though it might be cheaper to get some gray fabric and cut my own.

Joann had a fabric sale on Black Friday, and the price for the flannel was so good that even I, who never ever goes shopping on Black Friday, was lured out at 6 am.  Here is the flannel I bought:

I see that they have even more cute prints now that the sale is over, so they must have had the new ones stashed in the back during the sale.  I have already cut out one pair of pajama pants, and am now altering a pajama pant pattern for M.

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I still have lots and lots of that gray wool recently used in A’s skirt.  While she was here for Thanksgiving, she washed the skirt and threw it in the dryer, and it really came out wonderfully smooth and not shrunken at all (so it definitely is some kind of blend).  Because of this, I decided to try out a pattern for M, making a winter top that can be worn over a long-sleeved T-shirt or turtleneck.  I am using the following pattern, View A shown below in white:

M hates a high neckline, so I lowered the neckline about 3 or 4 inches and designed an embroidery design for the front yokes.  I plan to line those pieces in a mustard yellow cotton.  I wanted to try out a new pattern alteration method from a book that I got at the library booksale for about 50 cents, but it seems to be a fairly recent book.  Nancy Zieman uses the pivot method and the use of extensions at the side seams of the bodice and sleeves.  I was wondering how this would work, but the last time I tried a top for M, I used a larger size pattern, going by the bust and hip measurements, and the resulting top was too tight across the shoulders and ill fitting elsewhere too.  This time I tried a smaller size pattern and did the Nancy Zieman method of enlargement, and the muslin fit great on the first try.

I used an old embroidery transfer for the embroidery idea, piecing together motifs to fit the yoke fronts:


I had to invent some method of transferring the pattern to the wool, but I ended up using a light desk and some permanent markers.  I have started working the embroidery, by hand this time instead of machine embroidery.

M doesn’t like tops to have scratchy seams, so I will probably put bias on the armhole seams.  I’m not sure what to do with the others, though, probably overcast them with zigzag stitching.

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