Thursday, October 1, 2015

Selfish Sewing Week / Fall Wardrobe

I had the opportunity earlier this week to write a post for Selfish Sewing Week at Imagine Gnats. What did I write about? Fall fashion of course! 

While I've been a long-time admirer and even collector of indie fashion patterns, I'm just starting to dabble now in apparel sewing. With the amazing selection of patterns that are being released each season by independent designers and home sewists (just like us), I feel like it's easier than ever to get into garment sewing and pick up the skills needed to be successful at it. 

I really think the clarity and approachability of independent patterns makes it possible, not to mention that almost every pattern release comes with sew-alongs, detailed blog posts with tips, and even the opportunity to contact the designer directly with questions.

So what this all means for me is that I'm giving it a shot. I've cut out my first Scout Tee (by Grainline Studio) and I'm making a knit t-shirt. To be completely honest, I feel like I'm in totally uncharted waters here, but I want to learn how to make clothes - so this is where I start. Thankfully I have the support of several apparel-savvy friends and the greater sewing community to help me figure it all out.

If you're curious about some of the patterns that I have my eye on for my fall wardrobe and would like to see some different versions those, head on over to Imagine Gnats to read my post here. I'm also talking about the ways in which more summer-appropriate patterns can be modified to work for fall and even winter temps. Think different substrates and layering!

I'm also linking up my goal to finish my first knit t-shirt with the ladies at A Lovely Year of Finishes:
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, September 7, 2015

September Sewing

A month ago, I started with this pile of fabrics from "Hello Fall" by Sandy Gervais. My goal was to use the panel to create a fun, seasonal wall hanging to gift to my sister. Her tastes run a little more traditional than mine, so I took the opportunity to sew with a different style of fabric than I would usually gravitate to. 

Hello Fall Wall Hanging

Now that same pile of fabric looks a little more like this:

Hello Fall Wall Hanging

I finished the top, basted it, and have it ready to be quilted. I'm still pondering my quilting options, although I am leaning towards doing some FMQ in the center, perhaps something like a woodgrain pattern. My plan is to practice my quilting a little more on a practice sandwich, and then move on to the main act. Finishing this quilt is my A Lovely Year of Finishes goal for September. I'm linking up with those ladies today.
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, August 31, 2015

M&C Wedding Quilt Finish

It almost slipped my mind to link this finish up tonight in time for the A Lovely Year of Finishes August deadline. Thankfully as I was getting ready for bed tonight, a voice in the back of my head kept saying "I think you forgot to do something". Indeed!

M&C Plus Quilt

Anyways, I'm happy to report that I finished sewing the binding on this quilt about a week ago and have already given it the crinkle treatment in the wash in preparation to gift it. This quilt is coming with us on our trip back to the Rockies in September, and I can't wait to give it to my brother and his wife for their anniversary. 

M&C Plus Quilt

As I mentioned in my original goal setting post for this project, I began this quilt in 2012 as a gift to the couple for their wedding. But as projects sometimes go (especially those with big intentions it seems) I ran out of time right before the wedding, and decided to wait on completing it so that I could put as much care as I wanted to into making it. 

I sadly ended up moving the project to the pile of unfinished quilts as other projects with upcoming deadlines took precedence. I kept meaning to come back to it though and give it the attention it deserved, so this month ended up being the time finally to dedicate myself to finishing it.

M&C Plus Quilt

I pieced a scrappy backing last month made up of the extra bits from piecing the top, and got to work on the quilting shortly after. I decided to do straight-line quilting following the vertical and horizontal lines of the piecing, with a few little turns and quirks in the overall design to highlight the embroidered plus on the front. The quilting is subtle, but also helps to reinforce the design I think. 

M&C Plus Quilt

I did try out some free-motion quilting on the red pluses on the front of the quilt, but ended up taking that quilting out. The red thread I used blended well with the front design, but didn't look the way I wanted it to on the back with all of that light green. 

Nonetheless, I'm happy I gave the quilting a try and will have to find ways to use FMQ on future projects. Also by the way, I'm enjoying exploring this skill more and more with my new machine. 

M&C Plus Quilt

My brother and his wife are now the proud parents to two 1 year-old twin girls, so I imagine many more quilts will be made for them in the future. For now, I hope that this quilt will be a nice throw-size for the family, and a loving reminder of the day their family started.

M&C Plus Quilt

Quilt Stats:

Name: M&C Wedding Quilt 
Pattern: Plus quilt design (inspired by various quilts, including this tutorial by Jeni Baker)
Size: 64" square
Fabrics used: Various solids and prints in greens, yellow, and reds
Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil, quilting is Aurifil variegated 40wt #4658

Linking up with:

Friday, August 7, 2015

Let's Try That Again

During July, I didn't complete my A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal, but I'm ok with that. It was more challenging for me to find time to sit at the sewing machine last month, although I did get to work on some smaller piecing projects, take a moment to baste my Plus Wedding quilt, and even attend a free motion quilting class with Christina Cameli (offered through my quilt guild). It was awesome by the way! 

On the plus side, at work we got through our busiest month of the year and had two major events go off without a hitch, so that's something. :) I'm looking forward to getting adjusted to a more even schedule this month, and hopefully making some progress on this project.

M+C Wedding Quilt

My Plus Wedding Quilt is all basted and ready to be quilted. I selected thread earlier this week, and decided to go with a yellow variegated thread in 40wt from Aurifil.

M+C Wedding Quilt

There is actually a slightly funny story behind this too. I was searching through my thread looking for the perfect color that would be subtle, but still add to the overall design. This yellow variegated thread immediately jumped out to me as the clear choice. The color is just perfect. I must have been feeling extra scatterbrained though, because at first I thought the thread was 50wt and was kind of bummed.

You see most of the Aurifil I have is 50wt (that's what is usually available and that's what I piece with), but I was looking for something more substantial for quilting. I've seen a few popped stitches here and there on some of my other quilts where I used 50wt cotton to quilt, and I really want this finished quilt to be used and loved as much as possible while still looking good. I totally spaced that Aurifil thread has this handy color coding system where green means 40wt (red is 50). Crisis averted! ;) I will have to remember that information for the future too!

My moment of brain lapse aside, I think I have finally settled on a quilting style for this project. I'm going to do straight-line quilting all over in the yellow thread and add some pops of red thread (also 40wt) to the red pluses scattered over the quilt top. I wanted to employ some of my new FMQ skills into this project as well, but I'll have to see if I have time to add some embellishments.

I'm linking up my August goal to finish this quilt with A Lovely Year of Finishes:

A Lovely Year of Finishes

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