Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Progress on the Blue Robe

I have made a bit of progress on the robe. Here you can see the bodice attached to the skirt. I pleated the skirt with five half space rows and will add a bit of smocking to the top two or three rows. I haven't decided what kind, or even what color, but will get to that eventually. I think white might be best as it will go nicely with the embroidered edge. The pleating is very loose as the skirt only has a moderate fullness. Even if I was not intending on smocking, pleating is a very good way to gather fabric, especially if you are good at pleating, which I am not. But I do need to improve my pleating skills so this helps. It took me three times before I got it right.

I added the embroidery on the sleeves, that button above the sleeve is just visiting from another project.

Close up in which you can see the finish on the edging. I trimmed the edges to a scant 3/8 inch (1.5 cm) and rolled and whipped the edge. Then I topstitched the bit of the seam allowance down so it won't wiggle around and fold over on the embroidery edge.

I'm afraid that's all for now. I should be able to get the sleeves in today and start thinking about smocking.

Note: For those of you who follow Bunny of La Sewista! she will be taking attending a Claire Shaeffer workshop in Palm Springs (only a two hour drive from here) on the Chanel Jacket. I had no idea she was so close, and am tentatively planning on attending the January session.  I can't make it the May session as I am taking a class at our local community college and the final is the week after the Jacket class. I don't want to jeopardize my good grade so late in the semester. At any rate, I am really looking forward to Bunny's posts of her class and the jacket she will be making.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Project - Summer Robe

Last time I mentioned an emergency sewing project, well here it is. This is my summer robe, a lovely pink seersucker with Swiss embroidery edging the collar and sleeves.

Some time ago, I had a run in with this. No problem, just a quick mend and you can barely see it.

Now that it's spring I've started wearing the robe, the evil door handle struck again, and I have this. It's way too hard to patch very well, plus there are some stains on the robe that I just can't get out. I have to stop cooking in my robe, or at least wear an apron.

Quite a few years ago I bought this blue gingham seersucker fabric, which is perfect for a lightweight summer robe. Out of my stash of lace I found this Swiss embroidery (it's actually white, not ivory).

A quick search on line and I found this robe/nightgown pattern Butterick 5544. View C has a quilted bodice, sleeves, front and hem band. I'll make this using the sleeves and bodice from B, eliminating the bands.  The skirt is gathered, so I think I'll try to add some smocking to it. Also, I think I'll use German interfacing for the bodice, front band and maybe the sleeve facings at the wrist. On the old robe the front facings always got very wrinkled and I really disliked that.

The original robe is from Eileen West, with her monogram on the back facing. I love the idea, and if you remember by granddaughter's pjs, you'll see her monogram on the back facing.

The pattern calls for a self lined bodice, but I'll use a white voile to keep it from being too heavy. Here is my monogram, obviously machine made. I did use Mettler No. 60 embroidery thread for the embroidery and water soluble stabilizer. I don't like the shine from rayon threads on a cotton garment and I don't want any bits of paper stabilizer sticking to the embroidery and not washing out for a couple of years.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Break in the Piecework

I've finally finished sewing all the extra triangles I had cut for my Blue and Cream Quilt, and I'm left with this pile of blocks and pieces. For specific inventory, I have

Two each of this block, which I will call the large blue star and is 12 inches (30.5 cm) square.

Eight each of this block, the large cream star, also 12 inches (30.5 cm).

Twenty of this block, my wrongly sewn Rising Star. If it slipped your mind, you can see that the innermost triangles are opposite of what they should be. It is also 12 inches (30.5 cm) square.

Forty each of the small blue star and the small cream star, both 6 inches (15 cm) square.

Eighty-six of the flying geese for the small blue star, this amount will make 21 6 inch (15 cm) blocks.

And finally, 94 of the flying geese for the small cream star, which is enough for 23 6 inch (15 cm) blocks.

Now, what to make with all this? Twenty 12 inch (30.5 cm) blocks will make a nice lap quilt, especially if I add a small border. So that takes care of the wrongly sewn Rising Star blocks. Then I could take enough of the small blue and cream stars and make them into large blue and cream stars so that I have ten each, and that will make another lap quilt. Then I could sew enough of the flying geese blocks into 6 in (15 cm) star blocks to total 40 of each color, and make yet another lap quilt. Actually I would need 80 blocks each, but I could intersperse the stars with squares of blue or cream. That would still leave quite a few of the flying geese left over, but I think they would be perfect for pillowcase hems. I might even have enough for some pillow shams, but I think that's getting a bit busy. Plain cream pillowcases with the flying geese hems might be enough. Still, that's three lap quilts which are quite a few. Maybe I should make one lap quilt and a full? I do need to play around with layouts to see what would work.

At any rate, they are all trimmed, sorted and bagged, just waiting to be sewn. It's time to put them away for a bit, as I have an emergency project to do right now. Also, I have gone too long without embroidery, and I'm feeling the itch to get back to it. The large quilt from this post has been sent to the quilter, and I won't see it again for about a month.

Next time, emergency sewing project, or maybe back to embroidery.