Like many of my quilts, I think these shirts are part of a series. The California shirt from last year is the best yet. The judges weren’t 100% happy with my entry and they were correct. I needed to finish the seams. This failure has been on my mind. A series of events made me decide to make DH a Cal shirt. He says he has enough button down casual type shirts, but he is getting this one anyway.
I had some Cal fabric that I used for various things, but I bought some more at PIQF. It turned out that when I cut out the shirt on Monday, I had enough from my previous purchase to cut the pieces.
I also decided that I would use some dark blue solid on the shirt so that motifs would stand out. I didn’t want the overall effect to be too chaotic.
The cutting went really well. I modified the pattern last time and that took a lot of time. I didn’t have to do that this time, so I was able to cut out the shirt and fuse interfacing to the front of the shirt all during Craft Night. I still need to fuse some ShapeFlex to the pocket to keep it from being floopy.
Apparently, my sister loves hers and uses it at her art shows. She ripped a few seams so when I went to visit the YM she gave it back to me to fix. I have been working diligently on the art quilt, so it took me a few weeks to get to it. I took a break from the art quilt and did some piecing. One of the other things I did was fix Lil Sissy’s cafe apron.
I reinforced seams, which I am shocked I didn’t do before. I also backstitched some seams that I thought would get stressed. My sister was very good natured about it and I appreciated that.
I finished this apron months ago and for some reason could never get myself together to take a photo. I finally gave myself a good talking to and got it done.
It is still in relatively pristine condition because I haven’t used it. I am saving it to enter in the San Mateo County Fair. SIL and I are trying to enter a number of projects so we can beef up the display area. If you are in the area, please enter something!
After not looking at it for months, I wish the colors had been different. I am not big on that beige or the rust. I really like the motifs and am really happy with the fussy cutting I did.
I had a lot of help with this piece. Kelly helped me cut it out about a thousand years ago and Mom helped me with the gathering, which was just about the last thing I needed to do to finish it.
I decided yesterday that I would give this apron to one of my nieces who needs an apron. I told her she wouldn’t get it until after it is exhibited at the Fair.
I decided I wanted to talk a little more about the details. The motifs lend themselves to fussy cutting and where I could I tried to use that technique to make the shirt more special.
It didn’t always work out. I cut out the collar with the state capital beautifully centered and realized that it would come out upside down. Oh well.
I did succeed on the pocket. I wanted to make the pocket larger since he has a larger cell phone now. Larger pockets can be floopy so I lined the pocket with ShapeFlex to give it some bulk and make it stronger. Pockets aren’t that large so I was able to find a scrap that worked really well. The flag will draw some attention from the Native Sons.
I have successfully made buttonholes I like at TFQ’s house on her Bernina. I have never figured out how to use the buttonhole foot on my Janome 9000. I did get a lesson on the DC5100 and I knew it wasn’t difficult. I hauled that little machine over to SIL’s (the YM came over and carried it home for me when we finished) and used it to make the buttonholes.
I took a prepared scrap over and did a couple of test runs. The test buttonholes came out beautifully, so I decided to go for it on the shirt.
Failure. I got and error message, the start of a buttonhole, then a straight stitch going in the wrong direction. 🙁 SIL said that she needed to make a project with 100 buttonholes in order to feel confident. Very true, for many things, I think.
I eventually made the machine work by turning it off and on again between each buttonhole. It was a pain and I had to reset the settings each time, but I got all of the buttonholes done.
The buttons came out of a jar that TFQ bought for me at Road to California. I really like them and think they fit the look of the shirt very well.
The photo directly above has a great shot of one of the missions on the fabric design.
PSA: If you aren’t already sewing for #BDSI, get to it. I am on my way to contribute my tweets and grams!
I am not sure why I do this to myself. Garment sewing is hard. Fortunately, my SIL lives around the corner and she held my hand throughout the process. I worked on this only at her house until Friday when I pressed it and wrapped it.
I know why I made this shirt, actually. It was all about the fabric. This was a particularly nice print of California fabrics and I just had to make DH a shirt.
The motifs really depict California rather than being some kind of idealized version of California. I was pleased with the fabric design, because of the missions, which are a big part of the state’s history. Yosemite is depicted and the food trucks are a hilarious addition.
He finds the tablecloth shirt I made too short, so I wanted to get it right. That is the kind of person I am. Have you seen how many Petrillo bags I have made?
We made the whole shirt 3″ longer than the pattern said. yes, I learned to alter a pattern which involves actually dealing with the pattern, rather than just adding a few inches here and there.
I think that next time, if there is a next time, I will make the inside seams French seams. I know I shouldn’t worry about raw edges, but I do. I am not even sure if French seams on a shirt are possible. I am sure they are, but may be ill advised for some reason.
I started well in time to get it done timely, but really finished it last Thursday. I made the buttonholes using my little machine and sewed on the buttons. After that all I had to do was press and wrap.
I am using some great California fabric that I found at the Granary. It is called California Here we Come by Studio 8 for Quilting Treasures.
I bought 3 yards of the tan for the shirt. I knew I would need some extra and I didn’t want to run out in case I made mistakes. I thought the tan colorway would look good with the recipient’s coloring. I also bought a half yard of the black on white, which would be my colorway preference.
This is a really good California print as it has a lot of the sights of our state and goes beyond the most prominent. Whoever drew the print was thoughtful about the motifs.
She is supervising me heavily and I need it, because I can’t get the layout of the pattern pieces straight in my head. I only had to recut 3 pieces this time, which is an improvement.
Now I have cut all the pieces and applied interfacing. I have also hemmed the shirt fronts. Onward.
The pattern, which has gathers, is from McCall’s and is called Fashion Accessories “The Retro Collection” (#2811). I don’t remember when I bought it, but it has been around my workroom for awhile. I think I might have bought it when I made my first apron in a garment sewing class back in the dark ages. I am pretty sure I definitely bought it before 2010. Too bad patterns don’t have some kind of date on them. Maybe they do and I didn’t see it. Fortunately, for you, it is still available. The link above is an affiliate link.
Mom was over and since I needed supervision for sewing this pattern, we started it. Altogether, the apron took about 3 hours to make. As usual, I sewed other things in between, like the pillowcases, so it took me more time, but not longer.
My dressmaker (for the Political Wifery dresses) has forbidden me from wearing gathers, so I was slightly horrified when I realized that this pattern had gathers. I also have never sewn gathers. My mom suggested we do pleats instead, which we started. Mom had to leave at this stage so we decided that since it was an apron and I would probably just wear it around the house, there wouldn’t be anyone to criticize the elegant styling. 😉 She helped me start and then gave me firm instructions. I think I did ok. Each time I got into trouble I texted her photos of my status and the relevant part of the directions, then we got on the phone and she told me what to do. What did we do before these technologies became available?
Arranging the gathers was fine, but sewing over them was very strange. It was nearly impossible to keep everything lined up properly. I think I did ok, but it was slightly terrifying. I was afraid I would do something wrong.
Mom helped me figure out the waistband, which is very clever once I understood the terminology.
All in all, I am pleased with my effort. I’ll never be a really competent garment maker, but I can hold my own with some projects. Stay tuned for the final!
After writing about the Fine Spring Day Journal cover, I went back and looked for a post about the dress made from the same fabric. No joy. I only found my post about the pattern. I thought I would close the loop and show you the dresses.
In the interests of full disclosure, I did not make these dresses. I found a wonderful woman near my old office who not only can follow a pattern, but who is also able to take apart a garment and make a pattern from it. She has also altered a lot of my clothes as I have lost weight.
I went to her to make these dresses, because I wasn’t prepared to do the work myself. These dresses have to fit and I have to look awesome, because, like a rock star, everyone wants to photograph DH and me. Also,, I didn’t think it could possibly be true, but found out that people were keeping track of my clothes. Life in the fast lane is such an adventure.
Anyway, this dress made a sensation. I wore it to the Ladies Lunch at Grand Parlor and I looked really different than everyone else there. The awesome thing about this dress is that I felt great. The style suited me. I really liked the fabric even though it was a bold choice and way out of my normal comfort zone. I felt confident and like I looked good.
I kind of waited until the last minute to get these dresses made. I thought I would find something at a store, but I didn’t and went back to my original plan to get new dresses made. Yvonne worked like a champ and was able to finish two.
The second dress was the test dress. I purchased the fabric, because I love my pal Phil (Philip Jacobs) and this was a different choice for me for the back of the quilt. For a dress? CRAZY! I don’t think I have ever EVER worn a dress this color. Without the fuchsia flowers, there is no way I would have worn this dress.
Again, I had the right shoes and I felt great.
I have to find the right times to wear these dresses again. They are so memorable that people will remember them. I’ll have to pick the right event. When I need confidence, I will wear them.
A few weeks ago, I heard about the Marbella Dress pattern from Itch to Stitch and went to take a look. I thought it might be a good pattern for a dress for Political Wifery, but didn’t really do anything about it.
This past week I realized that I have three weeks to get my clothes, shoes and accessories in order for Grand Parlor. I will definitely be able to wear one of the dresses from last year, but another one I have worn several times so it is out. Two others are now too big and I don’t have time to get them altered, though that is on my list.
I turned my attention to the Marbella Dress pattern window that was still open in my browser. Since I had last looked at it, they had added a large format file that comes with the pattern. That means no cutting and pasting of pattern pieces together. Also, it took only 2 yards and I have some quilting fabric that could be used to try it out with before buying some super nice fabric to make the actual dresses for Grand Parlor.
I had a plan.
I knew I needed to buy lining (I prefer my dresses lined) but knew I had enough fabric for a test run. I started plowing through my ‘backings’ fabric stash to find some larger pieces. We all know that they will be Philip Jacobs or dots. Philip Jacobs won, because I want to make a bold statement. I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but I want to look different and more elegant than the other ladies. Also, I may not even be wearing these test dresses to the event.
One fabric is called Floating Mums Taupe. Taupe, I know. I don’t know why I bought it except that I really liked it and thought it had the elegant feel of a NYC Park Avenue living room.
The other one is daffodils on light blue (tending towards turquoise) scattered over the fabric. It seems to be part of a group of fabric of which I did take a photo.
So I got the pattern printed at a ‘copy store’ and took it to my seamstress. I know you are disappointed that I am not making it myself. I still plan to make that skirt. I just don’t have the time right now.
She took the measurements and will do a test run. It should be, sans lining and zipper ready to be tried on next week.
As I mentioned in the previous post, we made shirts for DH and BIL#3 (I have to give designations now since there are multiple BILs involved). As you have heard both are involved in the Native Sons of the Golden West. Over the course of a few months, I found two different types of California themed fabric and bought it. I knew I was heading to Maryland and SIL#2 is almost always game for the crazy ideas I have.
My idea was to make two shirts out of each fabric. We started with the tablecloths. They were available on eQuilter. Mrs. K saw them and emailed me about them. I bought the last three. As I said in the previous post from Sunday, we had to fussy cut in order to get the most out of the motifs on the fabric and to have enough fabric to make two shirts.
The first order of business was to lay out the pattern pieces on the tablecloths (yes, we washed them) and cut out the pieces. We tried to get the most pieces out of tablecloth #1 to ensure we had as much of the motifs on each shirt as we could and as we were nervous we wouldn’t have enough fabric.
While we were laying out the pattern pieces, a story appeared. Not a story with a murder and a romance, but a story about California. One of the shirts we decided tended towards water and boats and the other land. We couldn’t use all the motifs for each shirt. It was kind of a shame we couldn’t fit the California motif into both shirts. It just wouldn’t work. I kind of wish I had bought four tablecloths, but I know there were only three left.
We decided not to do all of the shirts at the same time and we focused on the tablecloth shirts. We sewed and pressed and marked. By the time I went to my work conference, we had two shirts done in including the buttons.
We were pretty thrilled with the way the tablecloth shirts came out. Would we have wanted them to have more of the California map on them? Yes. Would we have preferred it if the lines around the border could have been made symmetrical? Yes. It wasn’t possible yet we are very happy with how they came out.
There were a lot of design challenges with these shirts, but I think that the design challenges made this project fun and the shirts unique.
SIL got me on the garment sewing bandwagon by making me sew the entire third shirt myself. She was there to guide and be my marking slave, but I did all the cutting and sewing.
We were able to finish that except for the buttons.
I came back on Saturday and we blew through the last shirt. I cut out the pattern (only one piece wrong this time) and then SIL took the lead and I took slave position again. We got it done, though we are both skeptical that it is a three hour shirt as the pattern advertises.
I have made a few garments before, but the patterns seem very complicated and I am not a confident garment maker. Working on Shirt #3 and alongside SIL on the others really helped boost my confidence. I won’t be making ballgowns anytime soon, but I might try an easy dress from a pattern I bought. Or remember that skirt?
As you read this I will probably be on an airplane heading home. I spent 10 days or so in Maryland visiting my SIL and BIL and, oh yeah, attending a conference for work.
I arrived on Friday evening and was treated to a delicious dinner when I arrived at my SIL’s. She picked me up on her way home from work and BIL (now retired) had dinner ready when I got there. He is a great cook and very attentive to my dietary challenges. I always enjoy eating with them.
We spent a lot of Saturday getting ready to sew the shirts I had planned for DH and his brother. The prep mostly involved cutting. The shirts were made from vintage-looking tablecloths, which I had sent ahead. Since it wasn’t normal fabric yardage, there was a lot of fussy cutting.
We did take some time out to go visit Patches, a shop in Mt. Airy (great name, huh?), Maryland. I have been there before and really liked it. This time, I didn’t find as much that I had to have, but I enjoyed the outing.
They had the Yazzi bag that Jinny Beyer recommends. I had intended to buy it, but wanted to see it in person, so I took a good look and decided not to buy it. It is a great bag, but a lot of the space is taken up by the padding. I don’t travel with m y handwork enough to make it worthwhile. The handwork bag I have is fine.
The countryside is so different here. I see a lot of quilts that are winter scenes with leafless trees and this is the first time I have actually seen such a scene in real life. They,of course, have evergreens here, but there are vast spaces filled with leafless trees. It is interesting.
We also baked a cake. I brought a gluten free (also egg and soy free for SIL) mix with me and we baked it. I used SIL’s confectioner’s sugar to make the frosting and she frosted it. Team effort. Then back to sewing.
Sunday we worked on the shirts. I think by then we had cut most of the pieces out. SIL had not used the pattern in awhile so there was some fumbling around while she reacquainted herself with how the shirts would be made. I had helped her before, but am so inexperienced making garments that I was of little to no use in that department.
We also got ready for a party. We used her Desert Rose china, and pretty flatware, so we washed and dried the pretties before we set the table. We used her Lenox Olympia coffeepot for a different kind of tea. I hadn’t ever had the chance to really look at SIL’s china pattern. It has really clean lines and a simple design. I am still trying to figure out how to fit it all into my suitcase without breaking any for the trip home. 😉 It is always fun to use use nice things for a party.
Since I was on the East Coast and that doesn’t happen every day, I invited several people over. It was a good opportunity to meet up with friends I don’t get a chance to see very often. Sadly, in the middle of winter, travel still isn’t that easy and only two people were able to make it. Tanesha and Torie came with bells on. Boy did they bring some show and tell! Tanesha made a slideshow for your viewing pleasure. I will post some more pictures about the show and tell later.
SIL wants to make a Snailtrail quilt. She and I both have the Accuquilt cutting system. She wants to cut out the quilt using her Accuquilt. One question that came up was whether there was a list of blocks with their sizes and the dies required to use them. I looked on the site and couldn’t find one. I also looked on Ebony Love’s site and couldn’t find one there either. There is a Snailtrail complete die, but it is for the electric Accuquilt* and neither of us plan to buy one. I suppose if they told that information, it would sell fewer dies, because people wouldn’t have to buy the specialty dies. Also, how could a person use this new die with a variety of different fabric?
I got out the bags of pieces SIL has cut already with her Accuquilt. They are waiting to be used in a quilt. I played around to see if I could figure out how to make her pieces work. The only pieces that are not exactly perfect, but work are the light blue triangles. They are QSTs, so the bunny ears are chopped off the wrong way and the bias is in an odd place. Still, SIL would only have to cut one more set of triangles for the outside of the block to make it bigger. The above block was made entirely from Accuquilt dies. They are:
3.5″ Square – die #55006
3″ QST – die #55396
3″ HST – die #55009
4.5″ square – die #55018 (value die)
I made a third shirt as well. SIL had me do most of it myself, though she approved all of the steps. We hoped to do the last shirt as well, but time was short.
SIL also got me to watch Outlander (she can be very persuasive), the Starz series. I had sort of been avoiding the books for years. I even avoided them in the recent flurry of excitement over the series. Not sure why. I think I had a different idea of what they were about. SIL had it and put it on while we were sewing. Yes, I am going to borrow the book(s) and see what all the hype is about. Also, I need to figure out a way to watch the next part of the series when it comes out again. I don’t have Starz and don’t plan on buying it.
It was a great trip. BIL is a great cook, so I ate well every night. I also got rides everywhere which was fantastic. I felt like a princess: I didn’t have to do anything!
I’ll probably do a part two, and/or three, so stay tuned.
*It is really dumb for Accuquilt to make a die that only fits one of their cutting systems. Perhap sthe electric system has special sizes or something, but making a die for that machine only means that many customers cannot buy it without buying the new machine. I doubt many people will do it and it seems like bad marketing to me.
I can probably classify this as a hack. Really, I don’t know about the hack thing, because I made the apron without the Amanda 7 Pocket Cafe Apron pattern.
I couldn’t find the pattern and, after cleaning my workroom, I called my mom and had her measure the apron I made for her. I looked at the previous blog posts and went for it. I had to kind of make up the pockets, but I think it will work well.
A few months ago, I volunteered at the Young Man’s Band Review. I was assigned to the grooming team, which means that I followed the head of the grooming team around and carried stuff she needed to fix buttons, cut hair, adjust hems and jackets. At that time I thought it would be really useful to have an apron.
I finally had a chance to make one and it took me about three to four hours. The hardest part was pressing the seams. I really dislike that part, because I can never get the seams as flat as I want them.
I have to say that I enjoyed making this apron a lot more without the pattern than I did before. I think the problem with the pattern’s printing/font size was too small.
Regardless, I think the apron came out really well and I hope it will be useful.
I finally finished one of the aprons I started 1,000 years ago. I needed a translator to help me and TFQ signed up for the job. Of course, I felt stupid when TFQ read the directions and explained what I needed to do, because it seemed so simple. I found it easier to hear from someone else what to do. It really makes me wish I had learned more garment sewing when I was younger. I am sure she didn’t roll her eyes at my lack of understanding.
The first apron is finished. I am happy. I wasn’t really very far away from putting it together and it didn’t take very long to sew it together. TFQ really helped, not only with the reading, but also with the pressing.
Finished is relative, however. I was sinking threads the other night and found a raw edge on the neck piece, where it slides into the body of the apron. I haven’t decided if I will take that part off and resew it or just use a bit of Fray Check.
I haven’t decided it I like this apron. I think I am still a little angry at the pattern for being written the way it was. I still have one more to finish (so I have a choice, you know). Soon I should be wearing the apron to keep grease other food yuck off my clothes.
I bought this pattern a couple of years ago at a shop in Mt. Airy, Maryland called Patches. I finally dragged it out, as I said, to keep my clothes clean.
I took out the apron pieces I cut out last week, thinking I could whip at least one apron out on Saturday afternoon. Sigh. the first step has to do with making pockets and is virtually unintelligible**. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, so I did what I thought was best. I am sure the pockets won’t look as cute, but at least the apron will have pockets.
Sunday, I managed to understand step 2 and make the ties.
I also read through all the directions and just sighed again. How am I ever supposed to understand this pattern?
My mom came over yesterday and I asked her to read through the step for the pocket and she had to explain it to me about 5 times. I think what is wrong with the step is that it is stupid. The top of the pocket is turned down and then you are supposed to zigzag over the raw edge. That means the trim of the pocket isn’t finished. I like my stuff finished and I don’t have a serger. Mom said that the way I did the pockets will look better and stuff won’t get caught on the raw edges. I might turn over the top so that the text fabric shows on the top of the Phillip Jacobs print and visa-versa.
**Nota bene: I do much better when someone shows me how to do something, but I did turn off the podcast, slow down and read each sentence carefully, after which I let it sink in. I still had no idea what the heck to do with these pockets. ERGH!!!