Saturday, December 21, 2013

Almost Christmas!!

I've finally finished all of my Christmas sewing, as least what I can reasonably accomplish. There's always more to do, just never enough time. This is the top of the pj's for my granddaughter that I mentioned in my last post.  The pattern is Simplicity 2771, size small (6-8). Since she is just now getting into size 6 I figure I'll make at least two more before going to the medium size. And maybe there will be more grandbabies? I certainly hope so. I made a back facing for the monogram, tucking it under the band and topstitching it to the back. It doesn't take much time, but looks so professional and gives a platform for a nice monogram or other design.

I have to give a big THANK YOU to Bunny from La Sewista for the pattern advice and her technique of finishing the seams, overcasting, then topstitching for that flat felled seam look. I cut out the small size of the pattern, then fused it to lightweight fusible Pellon from Joann's. This not only gives the tissue stability, it also keeps the pattern pieces stuck on the fabric fairly well, eliminating the need for pinning or pattern weights.

I finished the piping by trimming the cord and folding the fabric around the end piece, like you do with quilt bindings. Even though I didn't get the seam of the piping quite right on the sleeve seam, it still looks so much better than just sewing the piping into the seam. It takes a few minutes more, but I'm getting so picky in my old age that I'm willing to invest the time and effort to do this.

Here's a better shot of the piping seams on the sleeves. I love piping, it makes such a nice touch to a garment, even though it's just pajamas.

Get a load of this foot! It's a button foot. The grey thing on the left is a sort of tweezer that you pick up the button with and position it into the foot. My machine has a button stitch that works absolutely perfectly with this. All five buttons took ten whole minutes to attach! The foot even has two different levels for the shank height. When I first saw it demonstrated I knew I had to have it and I'm so glad I purchased it. Notice that there is no yellow cast to the photo. This machine has LED lights which give a pure white light.  The machine is a Husqvarna Viking Diamond Royale which I've had for almost two months now. I absolutely love it.

In the last post I mentioned that this was lovely flannel from Chadwick Heirlooms (which, by the way, has a really good sale going on right now). But as it turns out, I was standing in Joann's and saw the same fabric! Sure enough, upon examining the selvedges at home, I found the Joann label. The other telltale sign was how off grain the fabric was cut. I don't know about you, but this really annoys me. I know they don't want to take the time to pull a thread to get it exactly on grain when cutting, but a little care care of at least making the fabric smooth and the selvedges even does go a long way. I always end up buying more fabric than necessary, just because of this and also as I'm so afraid I'll goof something up. The piping fabric is a lovely Swiss flannel from Chadwick.

As I write this it is Saturday evening, and on Monday we will travel to Colorado, pick up our son who flies into Denver on Tuesday, then stay with our daughter for Christmas, returning home by Friday. So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you for reading my blog and leaving such lovely comments. I'll be back to write some more of my sewing and embroidery efforts in 2014.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

More Holiday Sewing

Thanksgiving is over and all that is left is the cranberry sauce, which no one in my family likes anyway. So now it's time to focus on Christmas. I bought this cookie recipe fabric from Joann's last year on clearance, and I thought it so cute I bought all of it, about four yards. When my granddaughter was here for Thanksgiving I made her a three tiered skirt out of it, just copying the jeans skirt she was wearing. It was a snap to make, and of course I didn't get a photo of it. If I can manage to make another I'll get a photo of it. For now I'll make a dress for her Raggedy Ann, then will have to think of something for the rest of it. Any suggestions will be welcome. It's low quality quilting fabric from Joann's, so nothing elaborate.

Two years ago I made a nightgown for her and told you about it in this post. Well, she was deep into her Elmo phase and wouldn't touch it. I don't even know what happened to it. So this year, I let her pick out fabric from my stash for pj's and will make them as shown above. This is a lovely flannel from Chadwick Heirlooms, so I'll take the time to make the pj's really nice. Maybe some pink or white piping to set it off. Thank you to Bunny from La Sewista for the advice on the pattern. I bought several when they were on sale for 99¢ at Joann's so I won't have to trace each size, although I probably will iron it onto lightweight interfacing. I plan to use this quite a bit.

In the last post I showed you the fabric for the aprons, here is mine, with some Battenburg lace from my stash to adorn the pockets.

And all three together. I think we all had them on at the same time for maybe a half hour right before Thanksgiving dinner, so no photo. Maybe at Christmas, as we will be traveling to Colorado to spend some time with them. Of course, that means I'll have to remember to pack it!

These are the patterns I used. I bought them as kits at a quilt show a few years ago, so I'll have to remember to label the fabric so I don't forget what they were for. I modified it slightly by making the ties narrower and the neck strap adjustable. With the wide ties, they just get wrinkled. I cut the ties four inches wide, folded each long edge one inch to the center, folded again and topstitched. this makes a nice sturdy tie that doesn't wrinkle when laundered. I also added the pocket on the bodice, as I need it for my glasses, and dispensed with the Ric Rac. It's a fun little pattern, and takes only a short time to make.

So now on to the pj's.