Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Garment a month: March - Bess Top

Ok, I know you are wondering what happened to February, right? I'm claiming my Roly Poly for that month. It might be small, but it's still a garment.

Anyway, this month my infatuation with Imagine Gnats patterns continues, this time grown up size. For March, I made a Bess top. I'd seen this on Pinterest in different versions and thought that I'd give it a go. I liked that it didn't have sleeves to set or darts in the bust (I'm starting off easy, remember?). 

I had a panel of Nordika fabric by Jeni Baker that I loved and was reluctant to chop up. Plus I (still) have a load of that sheer chambray, so a Bess top they were destined to become. 

Now, I stayed up late last Thursday finishing the top so I could wear it Friday and I got instant gratification. A complete random in the park came up to me and said she liked my top and where did I get it? Ka-Ching! Doesn't look handmade then. Next up I got a compliment in my local quilt store. Double Ka-Ching!! So clearly I must make more clothes. 

Slight downer was the discovery of this hole later in the afternoon

But I stitched it up and it seems to be holding so far. 

I made the pattern pretty much per the instructions with the exception of using a knit to bind the neck / arm hole / hem. I didn't have any on hand and I didn't want to buy some just for this, so I used the finishing method from the Wiksten tank and bound it with the chambray. 

Next time round I think I'd like to try French Seams down the side. I don't have an overlocker and I think a finished seam looks so much nicer than pinking / zig zagging. Plus I think it may be a bit sturdier construction for people that have small children hanging off them. I suspect that the pinking may have had something to do with that hole...I don't know for sure, but the seam looked a little skinny there post pinking.

Regardless, it was a quick and easy sew. The pattern says intermediate because of the sleeves wrapping around requiring some thinking (I thought ''I have to do what?'') but I just went ahead and sewed and it was pretty straight forward. I would definitely not class myself as an intermediate garment sewer and I had no troubles following this pattern at all. I am pretty happy with how it all came together and I think there are more Bess tops in my future.

This is also my finish for March ALYoF (I was #40 in the original goal linky). Now I have to start planning for my garment for next month.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sierpinski Mini Quilt

Back in the day (a long time ago) I got myself a math degree. One of the subjects I had to study for the degree was called Topology and Chaos (hi Professor Morris!) and in that subject I was first introduced to the Sierpinski triangle.

Now, the Sierpinski triangle is way cool for a whole load of maths reasons, but in addition to that (math pun unintentional) it is also very aesthetically pleasing. Ever since that first introduction the ST (as I am going to call it, it's onerous to keep typing it out) has remained in my mind as my boring meeting doodle of choice. Late last year I was at a work conference, so loads of doodling to be done, and as I sketched out a ST I thought "could I make that a quilt? Even better a rainbow quilt?" And so this quilt was born.

This is my mini for the Rainbow Mini Swap in Instagram (check out the #rainbowminiquiltswap hashtag for some eye candy) and also a finish for my Q1 FAL list. 

So the deets...I paper pieced the smaller triangles. Having never sewn triangles before I didn't want to lose all my points. Then once the smaller triangles were pieced I did regular piecing til it was all stitched together. All in all it came together pretty fast.

(PS: isn't my quilt holder cute? Lucky it's a mini since Ms Moo is a shorty. She loved being my "assistant").

I quilted in the ditch around all the coloured pieces and then I echoed the pieced pattern in the background using Aurifil in white. I am quite happy with how this came out. First, I think it looks pretty good and secondly I managed to do it so that I did not have to bury one single thread. (well, one, but only because the bobbin ran out). Every time I quilt something I definitely feel myself improving.

I backed it in this awesome rainbow stripe from Spotlight (why oh why did I only bu one meter? At least I managed to get a few strips for binding) and bound it in this Lotta Jandsotter print from her Sylvia line that I bought on sale a while back for binding.

The finished mini is approx 24 inches x 36 inches (shhhhh, don't tell the mini quilt police - I had some quilt math issues).

Monday, 9 March 2015

Princess Twilight Sparkle cushion

This week one half of the power duo who are the namesakes of my blog turned five.

Ms Moo is going through a high intensity My Little Pony phase and so I thought I would make a MLP cushion for her. I asked which was her favourite which resulted in her naming all of them, so I made an executive decision to make Princess Twighlight Sparkle. 

I got the pattern from here. It is paper pieced and finishes at 10 inches square. Let me just say that there are a lot of teeny tiny pieces in this. See that eye? Twenty six (!!) pieces. Still, it was relatively easy piecing and I banged it out in a few nights. The process was greatly expedited by sticking pins through the end of the sew lines and marking them with a heat erasable pen. With the number of pieces and dark fabric there was no way that holding it up to the light in the garage was going to work. 

I backed it with fusible fleece to quilt as a few of my seams were quite scant and I thought that might give the pillow some extra longevity. Of course, I backed it with the Mustang ponies - there was really no other choice. I put a zipper in using this tutorial from Svetlana at s.o.t.a.k handmade. This was the first time I have used binding on a pillow and I love the way it turned out. 

So how was it received? With a maximum of excitement. The only gift that topped it was the Rainbow Dash play doh thingie. I did get told that it was missing the horn, but that hasn't stopped it being slept with every night since her birthday. I would count this as a success. That level of excitement about a gift is definitely one of the things I love the most about being able to sew. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

March ALYoF Goal: a Bess Top

Last month, I cheated a bit on my garment a month challenge and made my little one a Imagine Gnats Roly Poly out of Wee Wander fabric. Technically, it is a garment, just not one for me...

This month I am back on the wagon (so to speak) and making something for myself. Another Imagine Gnats pattern - this one a Bess Top.

I have seen a few of these on various social media and they look quite flattering and comfortable. Hopefully also a relatively easy make. I am trying to ease my way into more complex garments.

I just cut my fabric. I am using one of the panels from Jeni Baker's Nordika line. I remember when this first came out and I was so in love with it. I bought a fat quarter bundle and then one I got came with half yards of the two panels. Perfect for the front of a top! The back is the same lovely chambray I used for the Roly Poly.

(Crap photo, sorry, but it was midnight when I took this so I wasn't up for getting a better one)

I hope it suits me because I will be cross if I have wasted this lovely panel!

This is my March goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, 2 March 2015

A finish: Noodlehead Envelope Clutch 2.0 we go again. This was my second crack at this pattern and fabric line (see previous attempt here).

Having made the pattern before, I thought it qualified as reading the pattern, but I read it again nonetheless. I learnt my lesson! 

Also, having made the pattern before it was a quick sew. I would have had it done in one night but I sewed my finger and decided to call it quits for the night right at the end. 

Anyway, this one turned out much better. Peacocks remained intact (although I still managed to butcher my FQ in the process). 

This is for my handmade birthday club. The recipient is the very talented Ms Midge - it's her faux birthday. I hope she likes it! And can overlook the imperfections (perfectly imperfect??). 

And that's another one off my Q1 FAL list. I'm finding having the list quite a good motivator. 

Next month is my month for the birthday club. I am VERY, VERY excited. It is a pool of very clever ladies that I'll be receiving gifts from. I must say I feel slight sorry for the ladies at the start of the club since my sewing has improved a lot since then! Sorry girls! I've done my best and managed to make a few things off my Pinterest list. I'll keep you posted on the goodies I receive this month.