Flapper Apron

Decades of Style Flapper Apron
Decades of Style Flapper Apron

I finally made this Flapper Apron from the Decades of Style pattern company. I purchased it at the Speckled Hen during my shop hop with Amanda in January. Not too shabby, actually. Not that much time has gone by.

Frankly, I am on a mission to use up at least 100 yards net of fabric this year and these aprons take two yards. I have an idea to make a series of them for gifts and this was the first one. It is for me and I used some of my my recent Philip Jacobs fabric purchases.

Flapper Apron
Flapper Apron

On the Church Ladies apron that I made before and use almost every day, I interfaced all the parts, so it has a bit of heft (stiffness??) to it. Some parts are too stiff. On this Flapper apron, I only interfaced the pocket, so my phone wouldn’t fall out. I am now concerned that I should have interfaced more of it, perhaps with a lighter interfacing than the ShapeFlex I normally use? It feels a little lightweight to me and not able to protect my clothes from wet splashes and drips. (Yes, this is pretty, but I intend to use my aprons)

Flapper Apron - inside
Flapper Apron – inside

I am kind of sorry I used this great fabric to make the first one, a sort of test, but I firmly believe I should use my good fabric. I also firmly believe there is more fabric, so I suppose I have more fabric I love and can make another apron if this one isn’t up to par.

This is two sided, so I can turn the inside to the outside if I want. I put one pocket on both sides. I only need a pocket for my phone as I don’t put spoons and other kitchen gear in my apron pockets.

The other thing I need to think about is the neck. I thought I didn’t need to adjust the circle for the neck, but I like my aprons to cover almost up to my neck. In this case, the top of the body of the apron falls below that. I think this is a case in which I should have had SIL#2 help me do the fitting.

This apron was not difficult to make and I like that you use 1 yard of fabric (though I bought 1/25 yards and that gave me some room to maneuver) and is cut on the bias. I was able to finish it in a few hours during one day. I did make some changes to the construction based on my recent experience making the Superheroine apron.

Superhero(ine) Apron

Superheroine apron
Superheroine apron

The Superheroine apron is done. This, however is a project that has to be shown at guild, then shown at the fair before it can go to its intended recipient.

As mentioned previously, I had all the pieces cut out. I had started to do little bits and bobs, but Friday, I worked on it in earnest and, shockingly, I got it done.

I was sort of surprised to see how much of me was covered when I tried on the apron. My niece is a bigger girl than me, so I think it will fit just fine.

Superheroine apron - laceup front
Superheroine apron – laceup front

The yellow is an addition that I made that is supposed to look like a lace up front. I am not sure it does, but at least I tried.

I had to recut several pieces, because they weren’t right after I decided to add a D ring at the top. I also made the apron lined by cutting out two body pieces and sewing the RST.

I talked to Mary and then looked up how to make D Rings work on the web. I wanted the neck to be adjustable, so the apron is comfortable.

YAY! Another must-do off the list! Now I am tempted to make the Decades of Style Flapper Apron I bought when I was out with Amanda last time. I want to make them for gifts and now would be a good time. I’d also use A LOT of fabric. We’ll see.

Superhero Apron

Superhero Apron in process
Superhero Apron in process

ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!

I finally cut out the apron I had in mind for one of my nieces. Not great progress, but a start. The pattern is an old Simplicity pattern. I think I bought it for a sewing class I took after I graduated from college. I noticed the price of the pattern was $3.95, so it had to be a few years ago. 😉

I making a few modifications, but have consulted with Mary about most of them, so I feel pretty confident.

I haven’t done the yellow or the lacing yet, which will accent below the neck. I was inspired by a dress I saw at Bay Quilts. I will get that part together soon.

Superhero apron pockets
Superhero apron pockets

I also made pockets. These are a little different than those called for by the pattern. I measured my phone and made pockets from a combination of the size of my phone and the pattern on the fabric.

I have to be happy with the small amount of progress.

Starting a Shirt

Cal Shirt Start
Cal Shirt Start

I started another shirt. The last one I made was the California shirt I entered into the San Mateo County Fair.

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.

 

 

Cafe Apron Returns and Leaves

You might remember the Amanda Jane Cafe Apron? I made 3 or 4 of them and sent them off to new homes.

Lil Sissy's Cafe Apron Repaired
Lil Sissy’s Cafe Apron Repaired

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.

Finished: Apron (FINALLY)

Apron Front
Apron Front

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.

Apron Back
Apron Back

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.

California Shirt detail

California Shirt
California Shirt

The other day I talked about the shirt I made for DH for Christmas.

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.

California Shirt n.3 detail
California Shirt n.3 detail

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.

California Shirt button closure
California Shirt button closure

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.

Gift Post #1: California Shirt (n.3)

PSA: If you aren’t already sewing for #BDSI, get to it. I am on my way to contribute my tweets and grams!

California Shirt
California Shirt

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?

California Shirt back
California Shirt back

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.

 

More Garment Sewing

Layout pattern
Layout pattern

Well, I cannot seem to stay away from the garments. I am still not a confident garment maker and I couldn’t do it easily without my SIL who is a master (mistress??) of garment sewing.

We are using the same Hawaiian style shirt pattern that we did when I visited her in Maryland a few years ago.

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.

California Here We Come Fabric
California Here We Come Fabric

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.

First Gathers

McCall's Apron Fabric & Pattern
McCall’s Apron Fabric & Pattern

Sometime ago, Kelly supervised my work when I cut out the aprons. This apron is different from the Church Lady apron I finished.

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.

Gathering the apron skirt
Gathering the apron skirt

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.

Waistband covering gathers
Waistband covering gathers

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!

Political Wifery Dresses

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.

Fine Spring Day Dress
Fine Spring Day Dress

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.

Chrysanthemum Dress
Chrysanthemum Dress

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.

Marbella Dress Pattern

Marbella Dress
Marbella Dress

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.

Philip Jacobs Floating Mums
Philip Jacobs Floating Mums

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.

Playing in Maryland pt.2: Shirts

Vintage Looking Tablecloth
Vintage Looking Tablecloth

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.

Pattern Layout
Pattern Layout

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.

Tablecloth in process
Tablecloth in process

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.

Black NSGW Shirt for Paul
Black NSGW Shirt for Paul

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?

Playing in Maryland

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.

Vintage Looking Tablecloth
Vintage Looking Tablecloth

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.

Desert Rose & Lenox Olympia Platinum
Desert Rose & Lenox Olympia Platinum

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.

Twilters in MD
Twilters in MD

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.

Snailtrail test
Snailtrail test

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)
Black NSGW Shirt for Paul
Black NSGW Shirt for Paul

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.