It’s the 15th of the month (again) and time to show what I’ve been making with scraps.
Remember those hundreds of 1.5 inch squares I had to join together
to make a pixelated sewing machine wall hanging?
Well, I’d like to have said I’ve finished it but it’s not quite there yet.
It’s all joined together and actually looks like a sewing machine now rather than a multicoloured cow as Mr. Tialys offered by way of criticism at an earlier stage of construction.
The back view shows the task in more detail
I decided to quilt it by playing around with free motion quilting as it’s only going on the wall in my workroom, a place heavily guarded against inspections by the quilt police.
I found the perfect multicoloured thread to do it with.
As usual, my quilting is by no means perfect, in fact, on this occasion it’s only just acceptable and I’m not even going to make that claim for the back which is why I’m not showing you a photo of that as it will only be going against the wall in any case.
I think it will look fine from a distance.
I had the binding on up until yesterday when I realised, as I was hand stitching the back down, that my mitred corners were not coming together properly and the binding fabric had started to fray so I unpicked it all.
Still, at least that means I will have something to show you on the next Scraphappy Day which is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric. Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.
Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.
Kate , Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.
Oops, just realised it’s almost a month since I last posted anything so, just in case anybody was at all concerned, I’ve popped in today to let you know I’m still here and haven’t suffocated in the heat nor am I still at the vet’s waiting in line with my cat behind two dogs, a rabbit and a faun – although both of these scenarios were distinct possibilities and, yes, there really was a faun.
There are reasons for my absence. Family matters – nothing scary – meant that, on my return to France I had a lot of making appointments, cancelling appointments, paperwork and rummaging through ancient filing to find said paperwork to do. Plus, the heat has been punishing for a couple of weeks and I haven’t felt like doing anything unless strictly necessary. There goes the housework again then.
Anyway, now I’ve got my excuses for not commenting on as many blogs as I usually do (although I’ve read most of them) out of the way, I do have a few things to show but I’ll restrict myself to one today as I’m after a bit of advice.
Before I left for the UK., I saw a pattern for a beastie, had a coup de coeur, bought the pattern and cut it out. I ordered a hemostat (surgical forceps thingy) as recommended by the pattern designer for turning narrow tubes of fabric out the right way but, for reasons too complicated to go in to here, they are still languishing in England lest I be accused of trying to perform surgery on the plane on the way back to France.
Anyway, I managed with a chopstick – the turning, not the surgery – and here is the ‘what is it going to look like, sort of, when it’s finished?’ stage, limbs and ears held in place by pins.
Now, the assembly is finished – although I’ve just realised I’ve forgotten his tail.
My question is – have you ever painted a 3D fabric shape with acrylics?
Here’s the original pattern by Emma Hall .
Having got my lovely hare all together nicely (apart from the tail) I’m scared to mess it up with my very amateur painting skills.
I have burnt umbers and raw siennas and even some pouring medium to hand which might sound like I know what I’m doing but I don’t.
Another attempt to reduce my fabric stash before I am found buried beneath multiple past purchases and a mountain of ‘to do’ lists.
Almost everyone – in the amateur dressmaking world at least – has probably made a Sorbetto top at some time or another. It’s a free pattern from Colette which is a simple sleeveless top, embellished with a pleat down the centre to give it a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’.
I have made many and these are just a few that I can find photos for.
This one was made for Mlle. Tialys the Younger, pandering to her liking for things oriental.
This one which might have been some sort of homage to Vivienne Westwood though I doubt it. I just liked the tartan. Actually, I don’t know where this one is. I must have a rummage through my ironing basket where I put ‘stuff for Summer’ at the end of each Summer when I know it won’t be needed again for a while but, because of my tempestuous relationship with the ironing basket, most of the ‘stuff’ never again sees the light of day. ***
The lovely Liberty fabric one where I profited from a short sleeve hack that somebody had been kind enough to work out and put for free online.
Then there was the more recent Broderie Anglaise one with Peter Rabbit trim which I made for Mlle. T. the Elder as half of a pair of shortie P.J.s last Christmas.
So, when I wanted to make a pull on over your head, easy to wear Summer dress with short sleeves (I’d made several such dresses last Summer but sleeveless) I thought I’d try making the Sorbetto top into a dress and I had some of my quilting fabric in mind. I don’t know why I bought so much of this, I usually buy small amounts for patchwork projects, so it must have been on sale or something or maybe I bought it with a dressmaking project in mind. Who knows or dares to dream? Not me. But, no matter, I had it and it needed something doing with it.
I made the bias binding for all of these tops and, although I toyed with the idea of making it in a contrast fabric for this dress, I stuck to using the same one for around the neck and the sleeves. That’s the stuff going through my little bias binding making gadget.
I also toyed with the idea of leaving out the pleat down the centre of the front. I like to toy with ideas, can you tell? Anyway, I reasoned that, without it, it would look just like any old plain, short sleeved dress so I left it in. Now it looks like any old plain, short sleeved dress with a pleat down the front but that’s the look I was going for.
I am all alone at the moment so have no photographer available and, if I can be frank with you, couldn’t be bothered to dig out my remote for the camera, so you’ll have to believe me when I say it looks better on me than on her.
Nothing complicated went on here, I just graded out the pattern slightly from below the waistline to the length I wanted and it worked out quite well. I always scoop the neck out lower too with this pattern as one woman’s scoop is another woman’s high neck.
*** For those of you who care – I just remembered what happened to the tartan top (well it was 2014) and you can read about it here . No wonder I’d wiped it from my memory although I wasn’t far off with my Vivienne Westwood connection. Read it and weep.
Another of my occasional attempts to say not much at all (for me anyway).
Finally, our bathroom is finished.
After we – ahem – asked our ‘builder’ to leave, Mr. Tialys turned himself from an I.T. Project Manager during the week, into a tiler, electrician, plumber and carpenter at weekends and proved, once again, he’s a keeper.
So, from this
It only took 4 months!!
Now the rest of the house looks shabby.
I think I know what room will be next as the multi-talented Mr. T. also brews his own craft beer and a bottle exploded all over the kitchen ceiling the other day.
Today, being the 15th of the month, is the day for showing off what you have done with your scraps. You might remember this pattern I showed you at the end of last month’s Scraphappy post and it has driven me every bit as mad as you might imagine it would.
Having cut hundreds of 1.5 inch squares from scrap fabrics, I proceeded to lay them out in 5 x 5 blocks in the order shown in the pattern, like so.
Having joined the blocks up individually, they must then be joined in rows which was much more interesting once the first row was completed and I could start adding coloured squares. Here’s the first two rows joined together and hung out of the way.
I’m making this as a project for Wednesday afternoons when I sew along with a friend of mine and, for the first time when we’re doing a project together, neither of us has felt tempted to do any alone during the rest of the week. I expect you might not be surprised to hear that.
I am not the most accurate piecer which is why I like to do foundation paper piecing as it enables me to achieve better results. So, trying to join small squares together was never going to be a piece of cake for me. I did try, originally, to place the squares on a grid made from fusible interfacing, fold along the lines and stitch then cut the seams open and iron out as I have done for individual ‘postage stamp’ blocks before but, although it made for more accuracy, it made the fabric stiffer and, worse, took longer to do and I couldn’t face doing another twenty blocks. So, I abandoned that method after the first row.
Almost worse than the piecing is the ironing. Pressing all those tiny, close together seams open means burnt fingers and every time you press one seam, the ones only an inch away from it, risk getting ‘unpressed’ again.
I sometimes wonder why I decide on certain projects in the first place but what’s a (sewing) life without a bit of a challenge?
Now, I’ve done three rows and joined them up and can start to see the sewing machine shape emerge, I feel more encouraged. Also, hung in my workroom window, there’s a nice stained glass effect going on.
Mr. Tialys says it looks like a cow. Ridiculous! Who ever saw a multi-coloured cow? Whereas there are plenty of multi-coloured sewing machines around of course 🙄
As it is the 15th of the month, and it’s June, it is also my birthday so I hope to be wining, dining, walking around admiring the scenery and generally enjoying a bit of a break over the border in Spain as you read this.
Just about here….
Hasta la vista, until next time.
If you like the idea of using your scraps (of anything, not just fabric) click on Kate or Gun(first two names in the list below) and join us on the 15th of every month – or just those months you feel like joining in. Here’s a list of both frequent and occasional Scraphappiers (?) if you want to see what everybody else is doing.
Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn , Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.
Another post in which I share my efforts to use up some of my ‘fabric stash beyond life expectancy’.
A couple of years I bought two lengths of scuba fabric to make tunic tops for my daughter. One was a floral which I used but, for a reason I can’t remember, the top wasn’t successful so it’s in the scrap bin for possible use in a future project.
The other was this one featuring various tattoo designs.
I don’t think even one of you liked it and I didn’t either – it was the daughter’s choice – so it has languished in the fabric stash ever since, only narrowly avoiding being given to the charity shop/thrift store/op shop (insert whatever these places are called in your part of the world).
Recently a free pattern for a tank top using stretch fabric was brought to my attention and I thought, as the bare minimum of fabric in proportion to flesh and other clothing would be on show, this might actually work for the garish stuff.
Photo from Halfmoon Atelier
This is the Super Basic Tank Top pattern by Halfmoon Atelier which you can find here and, if you sign up for their newsletter, the pattern is free.
There are two methods on how to do an FBA (full bust adjustment) included in the instructions and I followed the easier method and graded between a size 6 at the bust and size 5 for the waist and hips. However, that made the armholes too big on me so I just used the size 5 for all measurements on the actual garment. Of course, being a pattern for knit fabrics, this could vary. The next time I make it, if the fabric is more or less stretchy than the one I used this time, I could need to go down or up a size. These are the little things that make life so exciting.
I love the back which is also scooped deeply but not deep enough to show your bra.
In fact, it’s difficult to tell which is front and which is back so I put a label in in case I get confused.
Scuba fabric is a little weird as it has a slightly spongy feel and it is definitely not a fabric to keep you cool in hot weather but, on the plus side, it doesn’t fray, it takes colours and prints beautifully, has a good amount of stretch and, I find at least, it’s easy to sew with.
So, out of the stash bin and onto my body.
Less is definitely more with this fabric so I think it works really well as a vest rather than, as originally envisioned, a tunic with 3/4 length sleeves.
This is the nearest I’m ever going to get to having a tattoo. My sister has a daisy chain tattooed round her ankle and said it was worse than childbirth which is my benchmark for pain and, if it had been me, I’d have stopped at just one daisy – although, funnily enough, I didn’t stop at just one child.
So, do you like the fabric a little better now?
This time, the theme is stars. Kate does like a pun so this quilt will be named ‘Scinteallate’ – get it? – and some of her quilty followers are helping out a bit by making her a few blocks.
These are my three which are all foundation paper pieced
and my favourite
All on their way to Australia as I type.
A little heads up to Pelenna Patchworks in the UK who sent this (much needed) stash pack of 10 x 10 inch squares of assorted teal fabrics in a brown paper package using non-plastic tape and, just when I thought, ‘oh, they’ve spoilt it by using a plastic bag’, noticed this on the bag. Baby steps!