Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring napkins

After this long, enduring winter (it's currently snowing out), I wanted to make something springy. On Pinterest, I saw some floral napkins, so I decided to make some festive napkins of my own.

One night after work, I went to Joann's and picked out a trio of coordinating quilting cottons.  It was so nice to have the selection of all of the quilting cottons.  Sometimes their apparel selection seems pretty limited.  

The most muted of the bunch is a muted turquoise and cream polka dot print. My dining room table is turquoise, so having accompanying napkins seemed natural. I used a cream colored muslin for the opposite side of the muslins. 

The second print also has polka dots--and flowers, too. Because the three fabrics are all in the same color family, I was able to use the same thread from my stash for all of the napkins. 

And finally we have a teal, green, and blue print on a cream background.  

It's super easy to make napkins.  I wanted my napkins to be 16" squares, so first I cut out 17" square pieces of fabric. Right sides together, I sewed them together using a 1/2" seam allowance and leaving a space to turn the pieces inside out.  I trimmed the corners and seams and then turned the napkins right side out.  The next step is very important: ironing.  Finally, I topstitched the napkins about 1/4" from the edge. Check out that topstitching... 


Pattern: None
Fabric: Three quilting cottons and muslin from Joann's
Cost: About $10
Time: 4 hours for 6 napkins

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Houndstooth Coco

I finished up my houndstooth Coco last weekend and wore it for the first time today.  There were some struggles along the way, but I really like this dress. 

After I assembled the 31-page pdf (my largest so far!), I cut out the size corresponding to my measurements.  I quickly assembled the dress according to the directions and tried it on, only to realize that it was about 3 sizes too big.  I knew that it was supposed to be a comfortable fit, but it was too roomy. I ended up taking a lot of ease out of the side seams and sleeves. The pattern flares out quite a bit at the bottom.  Because my fabric has more drape than it appears that the examples do, the flare looked really weird.  I cut off the flare and made a straighter side seams.

I also had to redo the neckline, because I realized that my fabric would fray.  Instead of the recommended technique of turning under and top stitching with a zig zag stitch, I ended up turning my neckline under twice and then securing with a zig zag stitch.  It worked out pretty well, and has just a little gaping at the neck. 

Here's the final product. I love that it's professional enough to wear to work, yet still comfortable and fun.

Here's a view from the back.  It's tucked in a little funky in my belt, but you get the idea. Next time I'll probably make it slightly longer.

I can wear the dress with or without a belt.  I'm not really a shift dress person, so I'll probably wear it most of the time with the belt.  Here's how it looks without.  Slightly more '60s. 

I can see this dress working into my bi-weekly rotation. I might make another in springy colors or stripes, or pastel stripes?

Cost: 2 1/2 yards at $11/yard
Time: 8(ish) hours

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sewing for Spring

I haven't finished any sewing projects for a while.  The last thing I finished was the floral plantain t-shirt which I blogged about here.  

My knit wrap dress is now all in one piece, but it is not finished.  I need to adjust where the bodice meets the skirt along the waist.  Otherwise, it is complete.  The sleeves are finished, the hem is hemmed.  I haven't finished it yet, though, because it doesn't fit.  The top is just too big. I don't know why I try to listen to the measurements listed on commercial patterns.  They always turn out too big.  It's another story with independent patterns, though.  

To motivate myself for some spring sewing success, I did a little shopping last night.  I bought Tilly's new Coco pattern.  

The pattern comes with shirt and dress variations with pocket and neckline options.  For my first Coco, I'm planning on making a houndstooth dress. I bought this fabric to do so from www.fabric.com. I've already printed out the 31 pages of pattern to start assembling.  I also wanted a horizontal striped dress for a while now, so that might be in the queue soon.

A while ago, I made Tilly's Miette skirt. It was my first independent pattern and I was impressed.  Her directions are super easy to follow.  They are organized as a check list, which is how my brain tends to function.  Here's my Miette.

Happy sewing!