Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Lap Quilt from Scraps

I know nothing at all about quilts. Nothing. Except that I love them. They are such fine examples of work. I love everything about them. I've always loved quilts and if truth be told, I would love to quilt. I just don't have the patience for it. This here is a quilt I threw together with odds and ends from my scrap pile.

It started out as a patchwork quilt but since all the perfectly cut squares were sewing up imperfectly, I abandoned that.

And so it became this rectangle-into-square thing, that's what I call it.

And it looks pretty good considering all the mistakes I made....

I made the back out of some polyester fabric I bought at a thrift store.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Big List of Halloween Sewing Projects....

Halloween Lampshade covers from Joanne Fabrics

Bat Wall Decorations from Sewing.org

Are you looking to make spooky treat bags? Look at what Older and Wisor has done with plain bags from dollarama...Actually, look all over this blog. This woman is seriously talented
Silly Pumpkin Pin Cushions from allpeoplequilt.com

Fave Crafts has 13 Halloween Sewing Projects including decorations and costumes...

Free dog costume patterns at doggiestylish.com

Parenting.com has 35 easy homemade costume ideas for kids - a lot of these are low-sew but I know that these can be made even better with some sewing skills.

There are 12 Sewing Pumpkin Patterns at allfreesewing.com. I like the patterns because they are more fall-based than Halloween-based and so can be displayed longer ....

There is a long list of links for Halloween patterns - decorative and costumes - at sewingsupport.com

Sew News has a list of Halloween projects here and my favourite is the make-it-yourself masks for a masquerade party here

Martha Stewart advertises her list as no-sew but we all know that some sewing skills can always improve these spectualar costumes! I love the silk-leaf swamp costume....

Need to make a mask? Try the pattern from sewing.org here

Fleecefun.com has tons of free Halloween patterns and some really remarkable ideas. I love the animal hats pattern here.

I love the frankenstein doll project at lovetosew.com

I love the ghost dress at handmadefuture

Here is a stuffed pumpkin pattern that is great for Halloween from about.com....

If you're looking for biblical costume ideas, ther is a pretty good article here

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sewing Insulation into a Winter Coat

So, I am making a coat. It is actually a "yard duty" coat. A yard duty coat is one that you wear for that infintely long twenty minute sojurn into the Canadian arctic conditions in winter to supervise students at recess.

A yard duty coat must be warm. It is really its only requirement. I bought some lovely black, boiled wool last winter and when assessing it for my coat project, decided I needed something more. I was going to interline it with a heavy material, but the clerk at the fabric store suggested I use "jacket insulation:. Let me tell you all about jacket insulation: it is spongy, about a centimeter thick and it promises to warm even to minus 25 degrees Celisius. The clerk told me that this is the material that Thinsulate uses.


Jacket Insulation basically comes in two brands:

Primaloft contains a patented microfiber that retains heat. It’s, breathable, water repellent, and as warm as down. Primaloft One is made entirely of specially treated microfibers that have the softest hand; it’s available in two weights.

Thinsulate is a blend of 55-percent olefin fiber and 45-percent polyester that comes in a variety of weights and thicknesses. These thermal products have a nonwoven layer on one or both sides to hold the fibers in place. They are washable and dry cleanable. It cost me about $11/metre.

Remember: you can interline with anything. So don't feel limited to the two above-named sources. Especially if you live in a warmer climate, and lets face it, pretty much anywhere is warmer than Ontario.

How much do you need?

Don't make my mistake: I bought enough for the entire jacket. Instead buy only enough for the body of the jacket. Typically you don't interline sleeves with jacket insulation. (And since I am so stubborn that I have to try anyway, I can assure you that even that small addition to the sleeves restricts movement and bulks one up.)

Things to keep in mind when sewing insulation into a garment:
  • You're fighting bulk - look for the thinnest fabric that will do the job
  • Only insulate the body of the garment, not the sleeves to reduce bulk
  • Pre-treat - the main fabric, lining and insulation should be compatible in terms of garment care
  • Use all purpose polyester thread -unless your main fabric is wool or silk
  • Sew insulation to the lining not the main fabric
  • It does not take the place of interfacing
  • It can provide eveness of colour when the main fabric is not opaque
  • Insulation can also reinforce open weaves, prevent transparency and add support
  • Trim the interlining seam allowance to reduce bulk
  • If you use flannel cotten or micro-fleece as a lining, this will add warmth and you may not need to insulate your garment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Finished!!!!

I used old sheets to make pattern pieces and then cut the fabric using the pattern pieces

As always, progress was hampered by a sleepy dog...

If I do this again, I will make the slipcover more fitted than it is .,..

I used a polyester fabric that has been treated to prevent stains....

If you see a doggy tail running out of the picture, it's because I had to chase him off to take a picture....

By no means is this slipcover perfect but I am happy with the results....
Again...the blue is the original and the yellow plaid is a slipcover I bought at Sears....

to this.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sewing Fatigue

I have finally finished my slipcover and it looks great. There is one part I want to re-do and I will before I do the big reveal on this blog.


But I have to tell you, I think what I have learned is that I prefer small projects. Keeping up my sewing enthusiasm during this slipcover was tough. With a dog with a sore paw and his inclination to play it up, and a lot of hoopla at work, coming home to sew this monstrously huge project was not relaxing at all. And I sew to relax.

So it got me thinking about the lag one gets half way through a project....I had taken a few days out to download my next project and to pre-treat the fabric and cut it....but I absolutely refused to start sewing a new project until this one was done.

What do you do when you have lost enthusiasm for your sewing project?

Here are a few rules I've set for myself:

  • Think through the size of the sewing project before you start....really think it through
  • refuse to start sewing a new project until the last one is done
  • use my sewing in half hour segments if I am really feeling burned-out on a project. You can get a lot done in half an hour
  • take (up to) a two day break from it all
  • read blogs to get inspiration
  • Also, take the time to get organized (keep all materials I need together) and make four or five bobbins of thread at once
How about you? Have you ever experienced "sewing fatigue"? Any advice?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

And the Winner is.....


Okay everyone. I am ready to announce the winner of the Burda Magazine give-away. It's Seraphinalina....Send your address and I'll post the magazine today.

Please keep posted everyone, I plan to have another give-away after Halloween.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Current Issue of Burda Give Away

I received the new edition of Burda in the mail about a week ago. ANd I have so many projects on the go, and so many more being stockpiled, that I will never get to any in this issue. I've included a few shots of the patterns in this month's Burda so you get an idea if it is something you are interested in....

So..........I'm having a give away. Just leave a comment with your email or a way to contact to you by October 8th and you're in....I'll mail anywhere in the world. Good Luck!

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