Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wednesday Words, a bit early!

photo courtesy Britex fabrics.

" I know what you mean about Liberty – the soft 

lawn cotton is really nice but most of the patterns 

are way too ditsy – and from a distance most of them

 turn to a purpley grey sludge. Or brownish." 

.......................................Kate from Fabrickated


I will be travelling over the Thanksgiving holiday and won't be back until next week. I wish you all a wonderful day with family and friends, revelling in their company and sharing the joy of good food together. Safe travels for all............................Bunny

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Taco Bag, McCalls 6532

I am anxious to start my Taco Bag, McCalls 6532.  First, the fabric which you see above. It was recently purchased at a Joanns fifty off home dec clearance sale. I truly regret not having bought more. Because I needed to place the motifs, the yardage amount was really compromised. Oh, I really had enough. I just didn't have the extra I thought I would. Of course this was in the store the day I bought it and never more. It is a black denim with very heavy rayon embroidery all over, huge repeat. I am showing  it to you all scrunched up to make a point.  This just came from the washer, dryer and iron. Before that it was like any home dec fabric, stiff, yucky and loaded with finishes. I wash home dec fabrics all the time. The hand on this changed in such a positive way that if I had more it would have become a rather Koos type coat, not a bag. It now has a beautiful drape and will be much kinder to sew, the biggest reason I wash Home Dec. That really helps eliminate stitch problems.  I do know that the marvelous new drape won't make any difference as I interface the hell out of the bag parts, but it does just feel nicer to work with. Moral: don't be afraid of those big ole nasty stiff but pretty home dec fabrics. WASH THEM!

Here you can see why I call it the Taco Bag. It's shaped like a taco! All reviews say they were surprised at how large it was but I want a large bag. I need one to schlep my books and stuff to work. This should do it. I will be doing View A, the view with no contrast bottom fabric. This is how I cut the motif. The big flower will be bisected by a zippered pocket but that should be below the center of the flower.

This pattern has a rather odd way of sewing in the zippered top. Actually, it's not odd. What's odd is that the gusset is not run down to the bottom edge of the bag, ending instead half way down the side. That means inside corners  to deal with. Add in that Peltex is recommended and you can see where this could get a bit sticky, something reviewers mentioned. I am going to pass on the Peltex and use my tried and true combo of Decor Bond and fusible fleece. It won't come out with the luggage look but that  is fine with me. It should still have some serious body.

I am still working on beads and jewelry at night while watching TV and still enjoying it. I purchased and painted sheets of Tyvek, that stuff they wrap houses with, and hope to make some beads with that real soon. In the meantime, the holiday hustle is on. I am off to make one of my deserts to bring, Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake from the Betty Crocker site which is down today "for maintenence" and wind out a bit of fresh pasta for dinner. Once you've gone that route its tough to go back to Barilla!..........Bunny

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Linen cushions are finally, finally done!

The cushion project for DD#2 is finally done. Cushion number one went perfectly, taking no extra time and falling into place like a snowflake on Christmas. Cushion number two: let's just say it was a friggin' nightmare. It took me five passes around the last boxing edge to get it finished. I've since calmed down, and the cushions are ready to be delivered on Thanksgiving. Here's the low-down.

DD wanted two cushions to fill the window seat of her bay window in the family room, 110 inches wide and 17 inches deep. On her own, she purchased the fabric and asked if I could make them. The fabric was a linen drapery fabric with a large repeat. Her purchase was done without my input. The linen was too light, IMO and would there be enough with the huge match? As far as the match, I made it with a six inch square piece to spare. Talk about close! But it matches nicely, on the covers and the boxing. Since the linen was too light, IMO, but was perfect for her room, IHO, I backed it all with fusible tricot interfacing, better.  For the insides I used the high density foam, thank you Joann's, and wrapped it with poly batting. The batting was loosely stitched together around the core and then was good to go.

I made miles of piping, 23 yards to be exact and too much but you just never know, and I used the technique for making bias found in the tutorial tab. The plan was to stitch the piping to one "cover" and then stitch the boxing to it following the previous stitching. That worked well and the first cushion came out perfectly.  The second cushion, not so much.

It took me five passes around the final boxing seam before I was finished. I sewed the boxing to the top and then took a couple days off to go to work. Then I stitched the remaining boxing seam to the bottom or so I thought. I am using my Kenmore and you can't see the spool from the front of the machine. I sewed the first four inches beautifully. Little did I know that the spool was empty after that. Remember in seventh grade Home Ec class they told you to look at your edge, not the needle? Well I did and thne stitched the entire boxing to the bottom with no thread, Pass Number One. OK, take a day off, start again with a full bobbin and spool of thread. It's going well. I got all the way around and about 12 inches from the end realized I had ALL THIS EXTRA fabric bunching up  at the end, GAhhhhhh. The boxed corners didn't match up from top to bottom either, Am I losing it? I am just shoving this away.

Another weekend and I rip out all the previous stitching that should have finished the cushion. Try again. This time I was really careful, lining up my corners nicely and spreading out any ease. Looked good and I decided I would baste it first just to be sure. I baste stitched all around  and all look wonderful. We are now into Pass Number Three. Let's finish this baby! I grab the cushion cover and start sewing.  I am excited to be done. and wha.....I restitched the OTHER boxing seam which was just fine, Pass Number Four. Can you hear my primal scream? Ok, here's comes Pass Number Five and I am going to get it right this time and I did! The Sewing Gremlins definitely took up residence in my sewing room for this project. Is not any project for someone else, whether we love them or not, doomed to major frustration? Sometimes I think so. But it is now done, and I am sipping my glass of wine as I write here.

Below you can see the two cushions. Because they are so long I couldn't get them all in the pic or close enough for detail. They are the same size and match nicely despite some sort of optical illusion going on.

I will be bringing the two cushions to New Hampshire and will  place them in their new home on the window seat in the way wide bay window. In the end, I think they will look nice and DD will appreciate my efforts. I am just glad it's done.

Hanging over the couch and visible in a few pics is the tapestry for my next project. I can't wait! I will be working on a much needed new bag for winter. Reading Marie Kondo's organizing book conned me into chucking nearly every bag I own. They didn't  "spark joy" in me. My next project will be making a bag that "sparks joy" in my heart. Better not have any gremlins.....................Bunny