Monday, June 29, 2015

Couch Pillows, Revised

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You may or may not remember the couch pillows I made last summer.  If you don't, you can see them here.  I really like the ducks-in-a-row HST pillow that I made.  Technically, it was good and I like the look.  The bulls-eye pillow was pretty awful technically and it was really starting to bother me.  It wasn't the worst thing I've ever made, but I had lived with it long enough and was beginning to hate it.  I decided to replace it completely.  

Equilateral Front

I made a completely new pillow using the same fabrics.  The pillow front was created by piecing equilateral triangles together.  I thought it would be a nice compliment to the right angles on the other pillow.  I also quilted equilateral triangles.  I love how that turned out.

The back was made using fabrics I used on the previous pillows (green dots and whales) plus some navy dots.  The quilting on the back is not equilateral triangles.  I'm not sure what I did, but I ended up with isosceles.  They don't' look as cool and the lines aren't straight.  Fortunately the fabric is fairly busy so you can't tell as easily.    

Equilateral Back

I took apart the original pillow because I was going to reuse the binding.  It was looking a bit grimy so I instead used new binding.  I went with navy instead of the original lime green.  I think the navy will work a bit better with future design possibilities.  Lime green, as awesome as it is, can be a bit limiting.  Navy is a little more neutral.  

Equilateral Back

I ended up taking apart the right angle pillow as well.  I was really starting to hate the floral on the back of both pillows.  Honestly, what was I thinking?   I got rid of the floral section from the right angle pillow then took the non-floral section from the bulls-eye pillow to create a new-ish back for the right angle pillow.  I also replaced the binding with navy so the pillows would match.

Right Angle Front

Right Angle Back

Much better.  My head can rest easy knowing that my couch pillows are now improved.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Play Clothes

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To complete the boys' summer wardrobe I made one last outfit for them.  The shorts were copied inspired by Pam's (from Threading My Way) awesome shorts.  I don't often copy garments so blatantly, but I loooved the number fabric and had to make shorts out of it too.  I used the Little Heart Breaker Pants pattern from Sewing for Boys.  The fabric is Figures in Linen by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics.  

The t-shirts were made using my own pattern and the color blocking was made the same way I made these shirts.  In fact, the whole outfit was made the same way!

Simple and fun summer clothes!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Wedding Clothes

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Last weekend was Husband's sister's wedding.  The wedding was out of town in a forest preserve and we had a grand ole time.  I, of course, made outfits for the boys and myself.  Husband was not made any clothes because he is a giant and it takes a lot of fabric to clothe him.  Also, I don't have very many men's patterns.

Since the wedding was outside, I kept the clothes simple.  

I made the boys' t-shirts using my pattern.  I split the front the back piece into two pieces (sort of like a yoke piece) to create the color blocking of solid navy to stripes.  I added a pocket of mint to each.  I was going for navy, gray and mint/emerald for the color scheme of our outfits.  The fabric for the pockets is from the Acorn Trail knits collections by Birch fabrics.  The fabric is adorable, but way outside of my budget.  I originally wanted the whole shirt in that fabric.  I instead ordered swatches (much cheaper) to add just a pop of mint in the pocket instead of a whole shirt.  


The shorts were made using the Little Heart Breaker Pants pattern from Sewing for Boys.  I love that pattern have used it several times.  I made these shorts using linen I had in my stash.  I don't know where it came from, but I'm assuming I found it on clearance somewhere since it is linen.  The pockets were lined with Pigeon fabric.  Love that.

For myself I made a skirt using Simplicity 2263.  I made view C, but altered it from a mermaid-like shape to more A-line.  I used a new-to-me fabric, rayon challis, lined with cotton voile.  I love the challis it is so soft and drapey.  It is perfect for a skirt.  I have some left-overs and I think I'll make a blouse with it.  My shirt was made using my altered-fits-me-perfect-amalgam-of-several-patterns t-shirt pattern.  I used cotton jersey.   

How is your summer going?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Owl Play Clothes

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Summer break is here and the boys needed some new play clothes.  These little outfits were made almost entirely from upcycled clothes or fabric scraps so other than my time they cost very little.  I would say that is best when it comes to play clothes.


The shirts were made from upcycled XL men's t-shirts.  I used the Oliver+S Field Trip Cargo + Raglan T-shirt sewing pattern.  I obviously shortened the sleeves from long to short.  I used shirts that the kids have to guesstimate the new sleeve length.  

After completing the shirts I freezer-paper stenciled owls to the front.  I found the images of the owls from a google search which I then traced onto freezer paper.

The shorts were made using the Aviator Pants pattern by Winter Wear designs.  The pattern comes with the option for shorts.  I omitted the welt pocket in the back, but kept the slash pockets up front.   

I used upcycled sweatpants for the black French terry fabric.  The striped navy French terry fabric was a scrap.  I didn't have enough for two pairs so Mini Man got two-sided pants and Little Man got the stripped fabric on his pockets.  I used knit ribbing on the waistband and drawstring elastic.  I like the sporty feel.


A quick and easy start to the summer.  How is your summer starting?


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scrappy Bookmarks

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Yesterday was the last day of school around here.  I can't believe the school year is over!  To thank Little Man's teachers we made bookmarks.  

Front 1
I used this tutorial as a guide.  However, I didn't use fabric fleece on the interior.  Instead I interfaced each side of the bookmarks with light-weight fusible interfacing and then added some sew-in medium weight interfacing to the middle (only one layer of it).  

Back 1
I made the first one by myself just to figure it out.  Little Man helped me with the second one (the one with the owl, of course).  He picked out the fabrics and helped me sew the bookmark together.  He pushed the petal and I steered.  He signed the back of each one (blurred in the photo) and we were done.  

Front 2
Another thing I did differently was to add the extra quilting to the front instead of just the top-stitching around the edges.  I felt like the bookmarks needed some random, straight-line quilting to keep all the layers together.  

Back 2
He gave the first bookmark to his teacher's aide and the second to his teacher.  They both seemed to like them.  These gifts were quick and easy and I like that Little Man was involved in the project.  

Now, on to summer!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Scrappy Greek Cross

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Amy at Amy's Creative Side is hosting her bi-annual Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I haven't participated in a while, but with a recent finish I thought I'd join in.

I made a quilt using mostly scraps.  The name of the block is Greek Cross and I used the tutorial by Fresh Lemon Quilts.  

This quilt is for my sister-in-law who is getting married soon.  When I asked her to give me a handful of colors she and her fiance like she told me green, blue, gray, and black.  I added purple after I found out that was one of the wedding colors.  I had the idea for a Greek cross quilt shortly after she told me the colors.

I spent a long time just thinking about what colors to use where, scrappy or solid, neutral or bright.  I ended up deciding on green and blue crosses, purple diamonds, and neutral backgrounds.  I used mostly scraps for the whole top.  With the exception of the purple.  I didn't have many purple scraps so I had to go into my stash for those fabrics.

For the neutral fabrics, I mostly used scraps from my I-Spy quilts.  After looking through the scraps I realized I had a large variety of tones.  It was then that I decided to organize the blocks from light to dark.  Most of the backgrounds are not the same fabric.  I wanted to keep the tones the same, but was ok with mis-matched patterns.

After I cut out the background pieces I started on the crosses.  Most of the crosses were from scraps.  A few pieces had to be cut from my stash.  Because the diamonds and backgrounds are very scrappy I wanted the crosses to be all one fabric or color.  That way they would stand out more and keep the quilt from getting too chaotic.  I made sure to pick a variety of light and dark greens and blues for maximum contrast with the background pieces.  I also decided to alternate green and blue crosses.

For the purple diamonds I didn't do much planning with those at all.  I wanted the fabrics to feel random.

I backed the quilt with a gray text print and an off-center stripe of purple scraps.  I really love the stripe.

I bound the whole thing in more purple.  Most of the binding is Dottie by Cotton + Steel.  There are a couple scraps in there too.  

I mixed it up a bit in the quilting by quilting 2"x4" rectangles rather than 2"x2" squares.  This was decision was made entirely by my impatience and my desire to be done.  Quilting is my least favorite part of making large quilts.  I don't have a ton of room and the throat on my sewing machine is not very large.  Quilting large quilts often feels more like wrestling rather than an enjoyable hobby.

I really love how this quilt turned out.  It feels very Easter-Eggy which I surprisingly like.  I also really like the purple even though purple has never been a color I'm really drawn too.  I hope Sister-in Law likes it as much as I do.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scrappy Slipcovers

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We have a pair of chairs that were hand-me-downs.  We received them from my grandparents when they down-sized.  They are pretty nice chairs, but I wasn't thrilled with the 70's gold corduroy.  I made a slipcover for one (about 10 years ago) while the second one stayed in my parents basement (we didn't have room).

Chair 1 before                                              Chair 2 before

We recently rearranged the living room and got rid of some larger pieces that weren't being utilized and now have room for both chairs.  Instead of simply making a slip-cover for the new chair, I made slip-covers for both of the chairs.  I was getting tired of the brown floral and the slipcover was not made well. 

Chair 1 bottom
Chair 2 bottom
I had a very hard time deciding what fabric I should use.  In the end I decided to go for a scrappy, patchwork look.  I had lots of canvas scraps from various projects, but not enough for a slipcover with one fabric.  I purchased a few 1/2 yard cuts of canvas prints along with some swatches to add to my scraps.  

Chair 2                                  Chair 1 

To make the slipcovers, I referenced this tutorial by the Shabby Creek Cottage a lot.  She broke it down into parts and made the whole process pretty easy to understand.  I had some idea what to do from the first time I winged it, but wanted a refresher.  For the most part I followed the seams on the chair and that is where a seam on the slipcover went.  I pinned the fabric to the chair (right sides together) and then pinned along the seam sewing one seam at a time.  I would pin a pieces, sew, re-pin to chair, pin another piece, etc.  It was a long and tedious process.  I omitted the piping used in the tutorial because piping sucks.  It does look nice, but I was willing to forgo the added professionalism.  Also I couldn't decide what color to use.  

Sides of Chair 2
On the back of each slipcover (and the covers on the cushions) I added a zipper.  This allows the slipcover to come on and off easier and allows for a glove-like fit.  I used a canvas drop-cloth for the back.  Originally I was going to use the drop-cloth for the whole slipcover (they are very cheap and the quality of fabric is pretty good), but I knew plain canvas would bore me to tears.  

Chair 2 back

Side of Chair 1

They are great for jumping off.  Especially when you are supposed to be sitting and smiling.

I am happy with how they turned out.  I think they are too busy for most people.  I haven't gotten too many compliments from people who have seen them.  I'm ok with that.  I like them.