Monday, July 25, 2016

Improv Letters - The Spelling Bee

 This year I've been in a Quilting Bee Group based on Words.  Each month a member lists words that they would like made up and in the color way.  I think I've shared these here and there, but since we are more than half way through the year, I thought I'd do a post to put them all together.

 These top words were me just playing around and trying to figure out what I was doing.
This one is definitely better. 

For the most part we have been using lettering based off of Tonya Riucci's book Word Play Quilts (out of print) and also Elizabeth's blog

Sing for joy was from January for Elizabeth
Honeybee for February (I obviously had to take that one!) for Lisa (no blog)
Needle for March.  I also did Hem, but couldn't find a picture for it. They were for Mary.
 Purl 2 for April.  I'll let you spot the difference between the two pictures. These were for Carla.

 May was Love & Way with a comma for Susan.
 June was Nunavut. What is a Nunavut, you are asking?!  It is a province in Canada.  Kerry designed her own pixelated word style that we all used.

I am all caught up, technically, but needing to do July's word.  The fabric is pulled and ready to go.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jelly Roll Race Emergency Gift

 On the last day of school, we found out that WD's teacher would not be returning the next year to teach because she was headed to Poland to teach English. 
 WD was sad, and I said if I had known I would have made her a quilt.

Enter a top that has sat in a box for a while, that I was never 100% in love with.  The purple border really helps!

I had a good back ground fabric in the stash.  You can barely see my seams!

Super fast stipple/meander quilting, and machine bound.  But finished before she left the States!
Loki photo bombing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vintage Simplicity 8285: House Dress

 I know that I showed you this vintage pattern I picked up ages ago.
 I finally got it sewn up.  Actually back in May. 
Fun things about this house dress.
The fabric is vintage polyester double-knit.
 The lace is from the stash I inherited from my mom.
 The binding lace is also vintage.

 It turned out pretty big, I wouldn't wear it as a regular dress, ever.  But it's a nice extra layer when I'm cold (not lately).  And it gave me a laugh to sew it and my kids think its awful, which is also fun.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Renaissance Faire 2016: Princess Dress

This dress took forever.  At least two weeks.  One of the most complicated things I've probably done.  I should go back and fix a couple things.
Good thing she loves it.
 This was actually the first project I started for this year's Renaissance Faire.  It was a good thing I didn't save it for last, or it would never have gotten done.  It took me 2-3 hours to get all the pieces cut and marked.  Another night to sew darts, oh the darts.  16 darts in total.
 It is straight up view B with no alterations.  Because, guess what?  You can't alter it.  There are no "lengthen or shorten here" places due to the way the skirt and bodice are formed and go together.
 And given the construction of the tulip skirt, it definitely required leggings to go with it.  (and MY boots)
 I should say, that despite all the pieces and all the steps it did go together like it was supposed to.  I've never sewn anything quite like it before, though.  The cross straps are sewn into the neckline, but then hand stitched on the outside.  (another evening of sewing)  That is actually the one thing I should probably go back and fix.  I should probably sew those straps down while its on the dress form so the curves sit correctly.  To me the bust area isn't as smooth as it should be.

The skirt does sit smoothly, but it was a bit windy and E had already been sitting in the car for 20 minutes before we took pictures.  Oh, and she had worn it for most of a day once I finished it.

Just a couple more things, in case you are curious about this pattern and visiting from the interwebs.
The instructions have you do lots of under stitching (I don't get under stitching, I mean, I know why I'm supposed to do it, but it never seems to work well for me.  Give me top stitching any day).  And I did it, because top stitching clearly was not going to work on this dress, but because the neckline was so thick with all the layers of fabric, lace and interfacing, the lining still kept coming forward, so this was my hack: I did a large running stitch, from the lining side, through all but the top layer, all the way around the neck opening, and now the lining doesn't roll to the front.  I don't care if its not pretty, or doesn't match.  It worked.
 And also, the back detail.  The bands do not actually go all the way around.  They meet up at the side seam.  The pattern has to do this because of the side invisible zipper.

 E and Mini.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Renaissance Faire 2016: Elf

 The elf costume was pretty easy this year.  In years past WD has chosen costumes that made him uncomfortably hot.  Dwarf, Gandalf, Gandalf again, Radagast (apparently never blogged).  This year I encouraged him to choose something cooler.
 I made the sleeveless tunic from a linen-look fabric and view C from Simplicity 1552
 And pajama pants out of a green jersey knit.  I bet he was one of the most comfortable people at the faire.
 Of course, as with most projects nothing was perfectly easy.  I bought the linen before deciding on a pattern (I know, I know).  So then I obviously didn't have enough.  Went to the store, matched my sample piece and after washing discovered they were actually not the same.  Fortunately I had more than enough of the second fabric.  I was able to use one piece that I had already cut out, as the facing.  But I now have one piece already cut for the tunic.  Back into the stash, just in a funny shape.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Renaissance Faire 2016: The Ranger and the Peasant Lady

 I am lumping Mr. Riley and I together today, because I didn't actually have to do anything for Mr. Riley this year.  You can find all the details of his costume in the following links: vest, bracers, shirt and pants, and pouches.

 This year for me, the only technically new thing was the corset.  The other pieces were either made and worn previously, or tweaked.

The fabric is a polyester faux suede from the upholstery department at Joann.  Perhaps a little stiffer than I should have chose, but I like the look of it.  The lining and binding is a cotton.  The binding actually dictated the fabric. I had two choices in my cart, the suede and a velvet, but I couldn't match the velvet as well as the suede. 

 I was originally going to make view A, without the peplum, but as I was working with the pattern pieces, I realized that no peplum on my shape would not be very flattering, so peplum and view B it was!
 Construction required a very large amount of continuous bias binding.  I found this hilarious, as I think I've only ever bound two quilts with bias binding. 

The original post about the white shirt I wore can be found here. Funny thing about the shirt, E ended up wearing it a lot last year, me never.  She recently decided she was done with it, and I rescued it from the donate pile.  While trying it on, I realized the problem for me, the elastic around the neckline was too tight, it would pull way up to my neck.  Very uncomfortable.  So I added some inches to the elastic, so much better, and now back in my costume wardrobe.

The original pieces of the costume can be read about here.  This year, I cut off the top of the green under-dress and turned it into a skirt instead.  The length was better and it was ultimately more comfortable.  I should really make a new under skirt that matches better for the next time we go.
 And this year I bought a hat.  I'll have to get a better photo than this weird selfie.  You can't even really see the feather, and my hair was flattening out by the end of the day.  But I loooove the hat.  I tried it on and was sold and then Mr. Riley said yes!  Yay!

Next up will be E's dress.  It took me twice as long to make hers than all the other costumes put together.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Renaissance Faire 2016: A Small Princess

 Mini got a new dress for Renfaire.  More on the princess side than peasant side.  The mint was all extra from E's dress, and I found the coordinating lace in the red tag aisle at Joann.
 This was a pretty quick sew, especially since I've made two versions of this dress before.
 Hanging next to E's dress, waiting for Saturday.
 Mini wasn't terribly thrilled about having her picture taken.

 Playing chase with the cheetah barbarian.
 Mini meeting Tiny from Barely Balanced.  I think she was so happy to see a small person on stage.

 More costumes to come.