Friday, May 30, 2014

Pillow overload!

As you know from my last post, I have started doing a little "for hire" work.  These are some pillows I've just completed.

I thought these would be my problem child, but they were surprisingly easy. This type of tassel fringe can go inside or outside the pillow. Customer wanted it outside, and I'm glad she did. This trim is just too pretty to hide.  Because I wanted it really even, I chose to hand stitch it down after construction. I think I will attempt this again stitching it on first, then using my edge stitching foot to stitch the pillow closed. I'm thinking if I go slow and let that guide ride right along the edge of the trim, it should stitch very well.  I didn't have the right size insert but did see it filled when I dropped them off. They were so much prettier stuffed.

And a close up of the trim.

TIP: use Wonder Tape to hold the trim in place while you stitch.  It keeps it nice and even.  I stitched down both sides removing the tape before I stitched the second side.  I started on the outside edge closest to the seam allowance.

And these were the ones that gave me issues. And I thought they'd be a breeze. This was a very, very lightweight fabric and boy did it ravel! The piping is mohair and crossgrain cut! I typically use a 1/2" cording for pillow piping, but it was way too big. I went with 3/8" instead. Once I got it put together, the weight of the mohair plus the cord was just too much. Add to that cut on the crossgrain, and it was a real problem. It was just too bulky and heavy for that fabric. I wouldn't have chosen that combination. I took them in anyway and begged to let me redo them. I replaced the 3/8" cotton cord with a 5/32" cotton twist cord. The twisted cord was much more pliable than the cotton and more forgiving. That allowed me to get the piping much smaller. It was still a challenge going around the corners especially without the right presser feet for the job. And I still have some puckering in the stripe fabric because I had to ease it in to get the stripes to line up properly, and without the stretch of the piping, there was no way it was going to be completely smooth. The weight of this mohair just overpowers the thinner, lightweight stripe. On a good note, my stripes line up perfectly on all 4 pillows, and that was most important to client. The zipper was a witch to get in. It got caught in the hairs of the mohair and in the weave of the stripe fabric. I ripped the first one out 6 stinkin' times. :ranting: I tried to get them to do a lap zipper instead but they preferred to have the invisible zip not so invisible.

I give you this information for two reasons. One, mohair and zippers are not friends!! Two, when choosing fabrics and trim, keep in mind the weight of all pieces and even test a sample. There will have to be adjustments made to keep one from overpowering the other(s). If you have a heavyweight trim or fabric for piping, does it give? Is the fabric cut on the bias? It is not forgiving around corners if it's cut on the crossgrain.  But crossgrain is easier and quicker to cut. Also, remember that piping will have double the thickness in the SA.

Also, I found it easiest to baste the piping, then baste it to the pillow front, then stitch the zipper, then stitch to the pillow back. That way if you have to take it apart, the basting stitches are much easier to remove, especially on thicker SA's. I hope my mistakes will help someone else not say any ugly words. Because I said quite a few! 


This was my first attempt:

The piping is much larger on this one, but notice the dog ears?  That isn't pretty!  Normally I cut my fabric in on the top edges about 1/2" angling toward the middle so I don't get those dogears.  But on this one, I thought I could maneuver the piping to get that same effect.  I was wrong.  When I took these apart, I cut the fabric like I normally do before I put the piping back on.

Don't mind that chair in the background.  I have a slipcover to make for it.  That's next on my list.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ribbon Framed Pillow

I've seen these pillows before but never attempted one until now.  This is a custom job for a client.  I think it turned out really well.  It's just thrown over an existing pillow, because I didn't have any inserts on hand. :(  I'll have to fix that since I'll be making more and more pillows it seems.  This one would have photographed much better had it been stuffed properly.  I won't have an insert until later in the week, and these have to be delivered Wed. 

TIP:  To get the ribbon on straight, I used my clear ruler and placed it on the fabric 3 3/4" from each edge.  I placed wonder tape right along the edge of the ruler.  That gave me a straight line all the way down and I just placed the ribbon right along the wonder tape right at the edge.  It also made the miters easier to do.  Easy peasy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Butterick 4985

This will quickly become one of my favorite patterns.  This is the top I made to match the Newlook 6103 skirt.

I haven't seen the modeled picture yet of the whole outfit, but I'm sure it looked terrific on Sarah.

Here is the back view.

And I used Katrina Walker's method of attaching the interfacing to the facings.  Here is what the front facing looks like using her method.  This method has you stitch the interfacing to the facing right sides together then fold over the interfacing and press it in place.  Look how clean that edge looks using this method.  I did the same for the collar and armband facings.

Pattern Description:  Butterick 4985. I made view C.

Pattern Sizing: 6-12 - I cut a size 6.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very clear instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the ease.  Even with all the pieces, the top was very easy to make.  My only dislike is that it is a bit short.  If you are long wasted, keep this in mind. 

Fabric Used: 100% cotton blend

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I let out the side seams 1/2".  Needed more room across the bust.  I also clean finished the facings.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I absolutely would sew it again. And I definitely recommend it to others.

Conclusion: I love this top and will make it again.  If the directions are followed closely, I think it would be a nice challenge for a beginner.  A FBA will be a challenge using this pattern, but I am going to try it on the next one.

Monday, May 5, 2014

More of my DIY gym pants

Okay, so the older I get, the more frugal I become.  I absolutely abhor paying $$$$ for gym pants!  It's not a fashion contest in the gym, I just need something comfortable that will cover my hiney. lol  I will usually shop at TJ for this type of stuff, but lately, they haven't had anything I like.

So I used my latest DIY gym pants pattern and made another pair.  I'm still tweaking them for fit.  I have a little issue with puckering at the side seams right at the waistband.

Side view.
I had to make my own waistband this time.  I have a plethora of elastic with rope through the middle, so I used it with some ribbed knit.  The button holes were done before attaching the elastic.

And I made a very small hem and short stitch to achieve this ruffled leg opening.  I did that just for fun.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful Monday!