I had good intentions to participate in the fabric by fabric one yard wonders sew along this past month. I’m interested in the project, wanted to make it, have an idea of someone I would gift it to and even bought fabric, but alas Halloween preparations, costume creations and some more knitting got in the way.
I will tackle it this fall, because I do believe it will be the perfect gift for a certain someone!
I have some photos to post, a few knitting projects to blog and handmade Christmas to wrap my head around!
One of my first sewing projects was the flannel swaddle blanket from the Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book. This project, and looking at the book’s FaceBook page lead me to AfricanKelli.com and her monthly sew along. So, when Kelli asked if I’d be willing to sew another blanket and share my thoughts on the process, I said heck yeah! The timing worked well, as this past weekend I saw my dear friend Katie who is expecting.
The swaddle blanket is a simple project. Three pattern pieces are cut, the swaddle ties are joined to make one large tie, and then bias tape is sewn along the outside edge of both pieces. Once that is completed, you attach the tie to the back of the blanket and you are all done. It seems to me, the key to this project is patience and precision … neatly attaching the bias tape, and making sure that you get the seam enclosed when making the large swaddle tie.
I am still new to sewing, and the swaddle blankets are the only times I’ve worked with bias tape. I turned to the Angry Chicken tutorial on applying bias tape found here and followed her steps. I’m certain there are other ways to go about getting the bias tape on there, however I’m not very patient and the thought of lots and lots of pinning is unappealing so this seemed like a good way. In the spirit of full disclosure, my bias tape application wasn’t the neatest and I have already fessed up about my lack of patience. Despite the slips in craftsmanship, Katie was really pleased with the blanket, and I look forward to seeing a chubby baby all snuggled up in there this winter.
I finished up my One Yard Wonders sew along nice and early this time around. We had plans to travel to Moab for the holiday weekend and I didn’t want to leave the project for after our return. However, we bailed on our Moab camping plans…between the winds and sands storms, and a seriously jet lagged and tired husband. But, that meant no last minute scramble, and completed projects ready for blogging. This time around, Kelli set us to the task of picking our own projects for the sew along. As she generously sent all the participants from last month’s project a yard of fabric, I decided to use it in one of my projects this time around. The fabric was a fun bold floral print, which I thought might be cute as a dress for my daughter. I bought a solid burgundy fabric to go with it and decided to tackle the Playday Frock (page 86). I had a grand notion that with the pockets this may be a dress my daughter could get behind. I should have known better. She is pretty particular about what she wears, and has a history of not being too fond of dresses. However, in my defense, she has been wearing more dresses recently, and has a particular fondness for all things pockets. I thought that perhaps with the prominent pockets in a contrast color, she might be into it. Alas, upon completion, the dress was promptly rejected. The giant scowl, crossed arms and verbal protests kind of put a damper on my plan for a fun photo shoot. At any rate, here is the dress…hopefully one day she will be open to wearing it!
I actually did a few things from the Fabric-by-Fabric book this month. I made a second pot holder like the one I blogged about for Mother’s Day as a gift for my son’s teacher in a different fabric. I am still getting used to the fact that school is out for Summer and my little guy is headed for the first grade!
I also decided to sew a project for the little guy. A while back we purchased a loft bed and I added a little curtain to make a fort or cozy nook for him. I had fabric left over from that and intended to make him a pouf of some sort. I ended up making the Tuffet Inspired Ottoman (page 165), and I am happy to report he was thrilled with the project.
The project for this month’s sew along was a 2 part effort: the hot pad apron from the Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book and placemats. I decided to get back on track, having missed last month’s pillows and purchased the supplies for the apron. This was a fun project to sew, and doing the pleats was a new thing for me. I made one small modification to the pattern, making a skinnier, longer, double sided waist tie for the apron. I like to wrap things around and tie them upfront – makes me feel fancy. The pattern called for quilting weight cotton or home decor fabric. I went with the latter as I liked this print. Its a bit stiff, especially once you factor in the hot pads on the underside. I’m guessing with wear and washing it will soften up. When taking pictures of the apron, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at making raisin bread.
I was going to leave it at that, and just do part of the challenge for this month. However, I got a second wind at the last minute yesterday evening and decided to get the placemats done as well. I searched through the remnants and items in the closet, and pieced together a placemat for each of the kids. The left over fabric from our barnaby bear (February’s sew along project) became a placemat for my daughter, while my son’s is pieced together from the remnants of his messenger bag Christmas gift.
And speaking of my girl, here she is straight out of bed asking for pancakes to go with her new placemat.
This month for the Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders sew along, the corduroy Barnaby Bear was selected. My girl and I ran up to the fabric store, where she picked out a lovely dark purple cord, and a small piece of striped fabric to use as an accent. Today we tackled the project and she was a big help, especially once we got our communications dialed in. She was stationed under the table operating the presser foot for some part of the projects, and there was a lot of “don’t stop”, “yes, you need to still press” and of course … “stop, stop stop”. She also assisted with turning body parts right side out, stuffing them with filler and made key design decisions – most notably the inclusion of a pouch or pocket on the bear’s backside. That girl loves her bags, pockets and pouches and it always stashing, stuffing and storing her things in little places.
All in all the project went well, and was pretty quick and fun for us both. I pre-cut the pieces, so today we just did the sewing and final assembly. We had a few snags – I accidentally poked the first eye through both the front and back of the bear (oops), but we rectified that will a little while heart applique on the back of its “head”. The second challenge was in sewing closed the hole I used to pull the fabric right side out. Simply put, it just not neat and pretty. I’m sure there is a technique that would go a long way to making the area less obvious, and exercising patience and resisting the urge to rush would likely help as well. However, little Miss K is quite pleased with the teddy, and it was fun to do something together. Her brother arrived home from school just as we were finishing up, and immediately wanted to know what project he and I could do together. When asked what he had in mind he suggested a dinosaur…
Pinterest here I come – looks like there may be another softies in our future…
So, I decided to join in on the fabric-by-fabric sew along Africankelli is hosting. January’s project is a flannel Chenille Clutch, and I finished it up yesterday. My biggest challenges were sadly enough getting the squares cut evenly, and getting through all the layers, especially where I placed the webbing handle. I strayed from the pattern on the handle, and opted to sew a webbing wrist strap into the seam. It was a bit tough to get through all the layers, and its the one part of the finished project I am not sure about. I am considering getting the handy little seam ripper out, and taking it away the whole wrist strap. I figure the clutch will still be cute without the handle. So the question is, leave it as is, take the strap out and have none, or replace it with some other kind of strap…
As I wrote about earlier, I received a copy of Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders and promised to make the swaddle blanket featured in the flannel section for Nana (she is attending a baby shower) in appreciation of her gifting me the book.
I am pleased to say the blanket is done, and turned out well. We went on the hunt for cute flannel fabric and stumbled across the same fabric shown in the book (which is super cute) and decided to get that. It was my first time sewing with bias tape, and while getting everything set on the curves was a bit of a challenge it worked out well enough.
This is the project.
And here is my finished swaddle blanket.
So that is the second project from my 2012 list completed. I’m nearly done with the ear warmer for my aunt as well, so I’ve been thinking perhaps I need to make my goals a little loftier for this year. I noticed on the One Yard Wonders facebook page that someone is hosting a Fabric-by-Fabric Sew Along. I’m flirting with the idea of joining in. I had been toying with the idea of trying a project for each section of the book on my own, but it may be fun to participate in something with a group.
Has anyone joined in an online sew or knit along project? Any thoughts on doing something like that?