Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Birthday Presents

My birthday was this month and as usual, the husband and kids wanted a list from me of things that I would like as a present.  My fabric stash is enormous and I already have just about every sewing gadget I need, not to mention my hundreds of patterns, so I needed to think of something that didn’t take up much or any room.  I finally thought of something I am going to really enjoy:  Craftsy classes.  They offer so many I am interested in, but here are the ones I got:

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Fullscreen capture 10112015 124659 PM-002It will be fun to learn a lot of new things without ever having to leave the house or to heft my sewing machine to a class.  This is so much easier.  I’ve started watching the Garment Industry Secrets class and it seems to be excellent.

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Bibs 2 and 3

I don’t seem to be the horrible procrastinator I used to be.  I was the kid who was wildly studying the night before the exam, or reading the book the night before the book report all the way through my school career.  Now it looks like I have improved a little.  I actually have the baby shower gift done early.

This bib is made from a fabric sample.  These samples are all bound together in a big book-like folder, and the samples are cut randomly so there is no control over what section of the print appears on any fabric sample.  I lucked out with this one and got a good view of the seals, whale and treasure.

The bibs are quilted a little but not so much that it makes them a pain to sew:

The tops of the bibs close with velcro.  The package of velcro I bought is a new kind that does not have two different halves, a hook side and a loop side.  The tape has hooks and loops intermingled.  I’m not sure it catches as well as the old kind, but only experience and wear will tell.

This fabric is bright and cheerful with primary colors galore so should catch a baby’s interest.

Welll, that’s all the bibs I am making for now since I have a short attention span when it comes to bias tape application.

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New Bib No. 1

Ah, robots!  This cute embroidery design is from the Embroidery Library.  It’s the same robot I used for M’s black peasant blouse except that that one was a panel of robots and this one is a single, though it can be bought in a set.  http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/search.aspx?search=Reginald%20Robot.  Here’s the link for M’s peasant blouse:  https://redpajamamama.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/raucous-robots/.

In fact, the fabric for the bib is left over from that black top.  The bib has lining and a batting layer, and bias tape around the edge.  I seem to have lost my improved skill at using bias tape if the tape is not prefolded down the middle, so I looked for a modernistic decorative stitch to cover up my inadequacies.  I wanted one that was spiky and robotish, and you can see a bit of it in the closeup below:

I have two more bibs to finish, and then I will be ready for the baby shower.  With great good luck, I was cleaning in the sewing room and found a baby sweater I had put aside and forgotten, so I am ahead of the game for the actual baby gift.

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Quick Projects

My niece is expecting her first baby soon, and I just got the invitation to a baby shower in the mail.  I’ve taken care of a lot of babies in my time, and I have a handy bib pattern I always use.  I like bibs with a velcro closure so that you can secure the bib to the baby whilst said baby is trying to either escape or pull off your earrings.  I did recently get a new pattern from McCalls to try out:

Sometimes I make quilted bibs, hand-stencilled bibs, or embroidered bibs, but one thing they all have in common is that they are a batting sandwich with bias binding edging and velcro closure.

The upholstery brothers, who own a business here in town and have from time to time given me their old fabric samples so that they don’t have to pay for dump fees, provided the fabrics for the bibs.  Here’s a picture of the bright decorator fabrics that will soon be bibs.  The one with the alligator eyes might be a little freaky, but I’ll see if the mom likes it.

These will be my first projects of the new year.  My only resolution for this, hopefully better and luckier, new year is to become proficient on the serger.  A certain relative with some white knit shirts that need shortening has been waiting anxiously for this to happen.

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Too bad this dress is hard to photograph today, because it is one of my favorite little girl dresses that I have sewn.  I used a turquoise embroidery thread to hand embroider the blanket stitch around the yoke and at the top of the pockets.

The puffed sleeves have elastic casings.  I used bias bars to make the casings which is easy and produces a nice even casing.  Here’s a tutorial showing how to make bias strips with bias bars:


My sewing machine did not like trying to make buttonholes on this fabric, and produced very sloppy-looking  buttonholes.  I covered up the mess by embroidering over the buttonholes with buttonhole stitch to match the edging.

The dresses will be on their way to my niece today along with a useful white cardigan sweater.  Now that I am done sewing kids’ clothes, it’s back to the regular sewing routine.

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Squirrel Apron

I finished up the apron today, and since the husband was headed out to do some errands and could take it to his sister, it only seemed right to get him to model it.

This apron is made from the leftover yardage of an IKEA sheet (Dvala, I think).  I followed the instructions in the booklet except that I left off the bottom ruffle and added 3″ to the length.  Bias tape is my usual edge finish for aprons, but this pattern called for rick rack, so that is what I used.  My daughter advised going with brown trim, and before I even had time to hunt around for some, I found some in a reddish brown of the perfect hue at Bolt’s End in Castro Valley when my sister and I were out shopping.

I cut the part that goes around the back of the neck from double fabric which gives it weight and helps it lie smoothly across the shoulders.  The ties are cut about 3.5″ wide and 31″ long.  Now the next time I make this pattern, I can reread this and see what I did.  I used the same pattern to make this apron for M:

That version had bias tape, shorter length, and longer pockets (by accident).  Making pockets with curved corners is much more time consuming than the usual rectangular patch pocket, and I think the rectangular ones are stronger because the seam allowances don’t have to be clipped.  Next time it is going to be rectangular pockets for sure.

This is a very cute pattern, easy to sew, and comfortable to wear.

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I was in the discount decorator fabric store two weeks ago and saw this fabric on sale.  My little niece  adores the book and is in that pink-and-purple stage, so I got a yard of the fabric and sewed up this tote bag for her.  The bag is lined with some yellow denim-type fabric.  The measurements for the bag came from a canvas Trader Joe bag that was hanging on the sewing room door except that I shortened the handles a little bit to fit her smaller hands.  The bag isn’t really as lumpy on the sides as it looks, it just photographed that way.

There needs to be  a tote bag for my nephew, too, but I don’t really have many manly embroidery designs for the pocket, so I will have to look around and see what I can find.  I have some nice denim that would make a good tote bag for a little boy.

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