Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quilted Coat

Jessica at Me So Crazy made the cutest quilted coat for her daughter. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since she posted it! I found this prequilted fabric at Joann's and thought it would be great as a practice run before committing to quilting. Ansley picked out the fabric, biased tape, and buttons.

(Yes, we took these pictures at the same time)
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Here's how I made mine. (note the fabric was stiffer than I thought. I didn't prewash it b/c of the batting that was sticking out. Next time, I'll leave more of a seam allowance and just a little bit more wiggle room). (second note- this is how I made the body and sleeves of that sweet sweatshirt)

what you need:

prequilted fabric (or quilt your own)- I used about 2/3rds of a yard for my almost 2 1/2 year old.
double fold bias tape (buy it or make it yourself)- I needed more than 3 yards (one package- should've bought two)
sew on snaps
buttons
usual sewing stuff

Find a jacket or cardigan or long sleeved shirt to use as a pattern. This darling pink cardigan is knit and is a size too large for Ansley. (it also has a hood but I pretended that it didn't). I thought the knit didn't stretch at all when I tried the cardigan on Ansley but it must've/I should've made the pattern pieces a bit larger. And my sleeves are a little bit long and are folded over in the pictures. Live and learn.

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I wanted to avoid any seams that I didn't have to sew (since I finished them all with bias tape) so I cut a rectangle a bit wider than twice the bottom of the cardigan. Ignore the slight a-line/flare of the cardigan when folding. I left about two inches of overlap in the middle, making sure the armpits lined up close to the edge of the fabric.

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I folded the sleeves under and traced the arm curve, leaving a seam allowance. Cut out the arm holes.

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I traced the top neckline and cut it out (front layers only). In hindsight, I would've made this a little bit lower.

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So this is what it looks like opened up and laying flat.

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Trace your sleeves, making sure the fold of the fabric is lined up with the top of the sleeve. Leave yourself more room than I did.

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Pin your bias tape around the neckline, opening of the jacket, bottom of the jacket, back up the opening of the jacket, and the neckline. This was my first time using premade biased tape and I did it wrong- the side that's a little bit smaller should end up on the top. You can sandwich yours on or you can open it up, align the raw edges, sew it on the wrong side of the fabric, then fold it over and sew it down. I highly recommend reading Dana's tutorial on how to sew on bias tape (and recommend rereading it to myself).

After pinning all the way around the jacket, I pinned the back neckline too. I'm not crazy about the way it turned out, but this was a great way to find out. I'm totally open to suggestions from you! Sew the bias tape on but leave the width of your shoulder seam on both sides. Or don't and unpick it like me.

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Pin bias tape to the end of the sleeves too. Sew it on. Sew the sleeves together, right sides together. Now we're left with the batting/raw edge. I covered mine with leftover quilt binding (ran out of bias tape).

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Now to sew the shoulder together (right sides together!). Unpick any of the bias tape that is in your way.

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Fold the bias tape back over (here I just went with the sandwich method b/c it's such a short distance). I actually sewed through the bias tape and sewed the shoulder seam together at the same time, though you could sew the shoulder seam, then sew the bias tape back down.

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Once you have the jacket turned right side out, you can tack the binding/back collar together if you want so it doesn't try to turn in. I didn't b/c the neckline turned out smaller than I thought and didn't want Ansley to feel claustrophobic.

Now sew your sleeves in (you'll be sewing on the inside of the jacket (ie wrong side) and your sleeves will be right side out. Cover the edges with bias tape or quilt binding or something. I made a loop the size of the arm hole opening (the inside side, not the outside side like the picture and like the first sleeve that I did) from my extra quilt binding. Line up the raw edges and sew. Then fold the binding up and over the raw quilt batting/fabric and sew down again, completely encasing any raw edges.

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Sew the snaps on. I chose snaps b/c
a. I don't love making buttonholes on my machine
b. I didn't know what to do with the raw edges from a buttonhole (you could probably bind the button hole but I wasn't interested in that at the time)
c. they're easier for little fingers
d. I'd never used snaps before

I sewed the buttons on, covering the chicken scratchy snap stitches (I'm horrible at handstitching). I only used two b/c the package only had two that were the same size.

The whole jacket was a little stiff (straight jacket?) but softened up after I washed it. I think it might not be as bad if the jacket was larger? Would it be ridiculous if I made one for myself?

Luckily she loves it b/c it's like wearing a blanket. :) Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to see yours if you make one!

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Linked here:

Monday, September 26, 2011

About the Dress and Another Hike

Ansley must be growing b/c her clothes are getting small. I made this dress shortly after making the pink one and it was much too big. Now it's just big, which is fine since she can wear it for longer.

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"wildlife". ha. I actually got scared when the whole herd stared me down.

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Spooky woods, though I didn't capture the spookiness very well. (however, I have even spookier pictures for Halloween time).

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Quadrangle Quilt

I made this quilt a while ago and never blogged about it. I made it with free sheets, kind of stained. I figured they would make the perfect picnic/camping/I don't care what happens to it quilt. I dyed them (the stains didn't come out but look a lot better) and they were the most gorgeous blue. . . until I washed them. Next time, I'll use more dye and more salt. I tried taking pictures of it but Ansley was not interested.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Notes from a Class

I taught at a church activity last week about making new things from old things. I thought it was just about sewing, but my friend, Anna, requested I talk about a few more things. I enlisted help from my friend, Michelle, since she's really good at refinishing furniture (among other things).

Here's the info I printed on a little handout (plus a few more bonuses since I forgot them last week).

Things to Reuse/Repurpose (aka the boring section)
Plastic shopping bags- trashcan liners, use in packaging instead of packing peanuts, dirty diapers, wet clothes
Paper shopping bags- to absorb oils from cookies, cover books, wrap packages
Newspaper-cleaning mirrors/windows, packing material, wrapping gifts.
Trash bag boxes/tissue boxes- use to store shopping bags
Food containers (ones you can clean really well)- storage for toys, to transport food for others
Small, sturdy cardboard boxes- to mail packages, kids’ crafts
Calendars/magazines- laminate the pictures for placemats, frame pictures for d├ęcor
Greeting cards- can use the covers as postcards or attach to a new greeting card
Laundry baskets- car trunk organizer for jumper cables, water, tool box, etc.
Old vinyl tablecloths/plastic shower curtains- keep in your car to sit/work on if the road is wet when you’re changing a tire, etc.
Scrap wood
Anything else you can think of!

Refinishing furniture by Michelle
1. Sand 2. Paint 3. Sand (distress) 4. Stain 5. Lacquer

How to change something in a crafty sort of way
Spray paint, paint
Modge podge/scrapbook paper
Cover it in fabric- slipcover, pillow case, duvet cover
Replace knobs, buttons, zippers, etc.
Dye or bleach

Clothing Refashioning Principles
*The larger the item is, the more fabric you have to manipulate/ more options you have to change it into something different
*Keep original hems/seams where possible; it makes your finished item look more professional and it’s less work.
*Knits (ie the fabric your t shirts are made of) don’t fray and don’t require all of the edges to be finished, though they may look better if finished.
*If an article of clothing that you love/fits you well is beyond repair, you can cut it apart to use as a pattern to create something new.
*When you’re making a pattern from existing clothing, make sure your new fabric has a similar amount of stretch (or add extra inches where necessary).
*Keep in mind the condition of the fabric (ie if it has holes, stains) and the care of the fabric. (I will not make anything for Ansley that has to be dry cleaned).

I also blabbed on and showed my unironed creations. I tried to update my labels so you can search for refashioned items here
(or just click on that little label at the bottom of the post) and made from a bedsheet items here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Time We Tried to Watch the Sunrise

over the Tetons. It was cold, cloudy, and the wind was louder than the ocean.

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Cool clouds not over the Tetons.

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I felt like we should be in LOTR, minus all the towers.

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And the sun is up.

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Silly girl with way too much energy for only sleeping five hours.

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Crazy pigtails.

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Fall colors just starting to change.

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Gorgeous!!

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