Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ice Cream Dress #1 - Finished

I've finished my first Ice Cream Dress (well, I still need to buy and sew on a button):
Pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress, size 12 - 18 months
Fabric: Panache by Sanae for Moda

It's been a learning experience with lots of firsts - mainly gathers and rounded pockets. I ripped out and redid a number of seams, and performed some major surgery on my pockets - probably not noticeable to the greater public, but definitely to me and other sewing enthusiasts!



Can you see the difference? I hope so! I ripped the pockets off, repressed the curves after clipping the seam allowance and using a cardboard template, and restitched them on using coordinating thread, with a longer stitch length. Oh, and stitched twice. Phew! Now I'm happy.

I look forward to making my second one, and improving the gathers and the back of the yoke. I may get your help to choose the fabrics. But for now, a big bowl of ice cream for me :).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ice Cream Dress #1


I've joined the Ice Cream Social, hosted by the lovely (and relatively local) badskirt and One Flew Over. It's a sewalong for the Ice Cream Dress pattern by Oliver + S. I've been wanting to sew an Oliver + S pattern for ages, so this has been the perfect motivation!

The first dress I'm making is View A, in the 12-18 month size, to fit Miriam this summer. I cut out the pattern and fabric about a week ago, and last night I sewed the button loop and the pockets. Yay! I sewed pockets!

In previous posts, I've referred to a 3 pieces of fabric I received as a gift when Miriam was born - I'm using the other 2 pieces for this dress - Panache by Sanae. I think it's going to look good - and i like how the dots sort of look like sprinkles you might put on your ice cream:

The pockets took a while to make, but I'm pretty happy with the results:
I made the 'v' with the one horizontal stitch as suggested by the pattern. Only realised later that I should have done one diagonal stitch at the pocket yoke corners as well.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be making more than one of these, perhaps view C as well, which is a top. The only challenge will be choosing the fabric!

Latest Projects...

Since I finished my first quilt, I've been busy completing a few UFOs and have started Joseph's quilt. I've also joined the Ice Cream Social, but I'll write about that in a separate post.

A set of placemats (four of six shown):
I started these months ago, to practice cutting strips using my new rotary cutter, and to practice piecing with a 1/4" seam. I had the tops pieced and the flannel 'batting' and backings cut for months, and finally finished them last night. Hooray! The fabric is Natural Effects by Michele D'Amore. I used most of a set of 6 fat quarters and a bit of yardage. I made up the pattern.

Softie Wheat-bag Friend:

I've made lots of knitted toys; this is my first sewn plushie. I think it was supposed to be a Christmas present; it finally got to its recipient on the weekend. The pattern is the 'Softie wheat-bag friend' from the 'Meet me at Mike's' book, compiled by Pip Lincolne. The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. It's stuffed with wheat kernels to make a nice warm friend! The fabric is mostly from Spotlight with a re-purposed Japanese hanky for the ears.

Do we really have to give it to Auntie Jeremie??

Cheery chicken potholders:
I made these as practice for quilting and for attaching binding and mitering corners. We also desperately needed to replace the potholder we were using under our teapot. So they're really used as trivets instead of potholders. The fabric is Metro Market from Robert Kaufman, with some dots from my local fabric store.

Joseph has claimed the other one as his own coaster; notice how it is perfectly aligned with 'his' new placemat:

Finally, I've made some sample blocks and then cut lots of strips for Joseph's quilt:

The fabric is Wheels from Riley Blake. I think it might be a bit busy and could do with some coordinating solids? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My First Quilt - FINISHED!

Basting...a couple of hours quilting...a day or so of hour and a half of ripping out stitches...a few more hours of quilting...machine-stitching binding...hand-stitching binding...a wash and a dry...rainy day photos...

At last, my Wonderland Quilt is finished. It's a 'crib-sized' quilt, about 38" x 50", for my baby girl's first birthday in August.

Here's the front:

And the back:

And a close-up of the binding, made using that first piece of quilt fabric (Tweedle Dee in tomato) I ever acquired, as a gift from a friend:
After ripping out a lot of stitches and then re-quilting, I arrived at an amount of distortion and puckering that I think is acceptable, even to my perfectionist self. I think realism reigned, and I had to accept that there were going to be some imperfections, especially using a normal presser foot.

And, I will do it all again. I've already designed and started cutting for my next quilt - a single (twin) bed quilt for my son, using Riley Blake Wheels fabric. It's been really fun involving him in the fabric choice and design process. But that's for another post.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fabric Stash - Castle Peeps

I hope you'll forgive another stash post. While I've been productive lately on the machine, I have no photos or finished objects to show off yet. I've made some pot holders and placemats, and I finally basted and started quilting my Wonderland Quilt. It will definitely be a bit wonky, but I can settle for a Wonky Wonderland.

However, I had to share some new stash - Castle Peeps by Lizzy House:

I bought 3 fat quarter sets from Hawthorne Threads, so I basically have a fat quarter of each print in each colourway - joy! I liked these when I saw them online, but I loved them when I saw them in person. The colours are incredible and the peeps are so cute! I like the Cardinal Red colourway (bottom row) the best, even though this was my least favourite online. I think my favourite print is the Castle Fortress (far right).

And the fun and talented Lizzy House is hosting a Summer Camp, with different bloggers posting projects using Castle Peeps (click on banner logo on the right to learn more). I look forward to seeing and participating in some of these projects.

And here is my son checking out the Castle Peeps along with some Wheels:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fabric Stash - Red Letter Day

I'm really not sure if this should feel like an accomplishment, but it does. I am now the proud owner of at least 1/4 yard of every print of Lizzy House's Red Letter Day - 18 glorious and gorgeous pieces of fabric. The colours, the images, the whimsy - I love everything about this fabric:

In the photo below, the colourways are Pond, Galosh and Feather, from left to right. Even those names are cute! I think my favourite prints are Walk in the Woods in Pond (green and blue trees on white), Ducks in a Row in Feather (small pink ducks on brown background) and Ugly Duckling in Pond (larger ducks on green). But I also love those amazing stripes, especially in Pond:

I bought all but three prints from various online shops based in the US. Then, the lovely Jenny from Cut.Sew.Iron.Repeat and I did a fabric swap and she kindly included some Stripes in Pond and in Galosh. Finally, I rang a quilt shop about an hour away and they had a few metres left of Ugly Duckling in Feather. I controlled myself and only bought 1/2 metre (prices are sooooo high for fabric here in Australia!). And that completed the collection.

I'm glad my son agrees with me that this fabric is special:

What will this fabric become? Definitely a quilt or two. A summer dress for my baby girl. Maybe a bag for myself. I can't wait to get started!

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