Archive | December 2017

Stitching Santa 2017

One of the coolest things about our sewing community is that we have “secret language”. I can tell someone at my day job about a project I’m working on and while I work with some incredibly intelligent computer people, I mention “needing ballpoint needles for sewing with knits because…well, of course” they look at me like your face would look if I were to say on here, “The PPS has to be registered with AFSPC in order to submit the FSR.”  They might get what a sewing machine needle is but exactly why I need a special one for knits is obscure to them.  Poor dears…

Enter our very own Christmas Angel, Sheila from SewChet, and #StitchingSanta !
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In 2016, a fellow stateside participant in Stitching Santa, Jen Miller, contacted me via email because her secret recipient was a quilter and she had absolutely no idea what a quilter would like.  I provided her a laundry list of items and we corresponded a couple of times over email since then.

Well lo’ and behold, I was her Stitching Santa recipient this year!  She really came through with little necessary quilting gizmos and a handmade little basket to keep them all in.  I was thrilled!  It is so exciting to open gifts from someone who understands how much these things mean to me.  🙂

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I love the cord-wrapped candy cane that will hang in a predominant place on my Christmas tree for years to come to remind me of her sweet gift.  Believe it or not, I especially love the needle threader.  I break the cheap ones constantly and this one was just in time because I just broke my last one.  Jen, thank you SO much!  Look at this little basket.  Isn’t it cute?

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Another successful Stitching Santa has come to a close.  I highly encourage my readers to contact Sheila to get on next year’s list.  I’ve linked to her blog above or the web address in the photo.  Happy New Year to all!

Happy Campers! Sewing a Men’s Shirt, Simplicity 1544

Back in May of 2016, (I can’t believe it’s been that long), I ordered some blue cotton poplin fabric from Mood Fabrics that had campers, flamingos, and other beachy things on it.

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 The intent was to make a shirt for Keith for Christmas that he could wear to work on dress-down Fridays or to hang out at the coast.  I think I had been inspired by a blog post from another sewing blogger who had made a shirt for her spouse and thought, “Oh yeah, that’s cool! I wanna do that!”  Fabric arrived, I put it on the cutting table, then moved it to a shelf, and then it went into the fabric stash oblivion.  Fast forward to December 2017 and I bought a Craftsy class on sale with Janet Pray, “Sew Better, Sew Faster:  Shirtmaking.”

I have a couple of her classes and I really like her style and this particular class is geared toward making a men’s shirt.  A downloadable pattern comes with the class but I didn’t have the ink to print it so I pulled out Simplicity 1544.  I figured I’d use this pattern and her techniques.

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One thing I did with this pattern was to match it with a shirt that Keith wears already to make sure it would fit.  I had to add about 3 inches overall to the length on the lengthen/shorten lines and I made it with short sleeves using the measurements from said existing shirt.  Otherwise, I left the pattern as-is.

I had a lot of fun with pattern matching. In this instance, Steam-a-Seam is your friend.  I folded the edges of the pocket under, added the SAS to the pocket edges, placed it perfectly on the shirt front, and ironed it in place.  I did the back yoke the same way.  I’m giving those factory workers a run for their money.  🙂

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The collar.  Oh boy that collar.  And of course, I had to make it harder on myself by making it a contrasting band.  Why not?  Yeah, why not, I mean, how hard can it be?  Do I get credit for making a muslin if I really didn’t but I took it apart and re-sewed it more than once…or twice? Honestly, by the third time, I was a pro.  Janet’s method of making a collar burrito is ingenious and I cannot express in words the sheer joy of success when I got it right.  Really.  I did a dance around the kitchen like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky at the top of the steps.

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Keith isn’t much for modeling so this is the best I could get.  You should have seen his smile when I gave it to him Christmas morning.  He really likes things I make vs. things that are bought.  He’s such a sweetie.

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And look what was waiting for me Christmas Day!  I think my Santa thinks I’ve been a very good girl!!

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How about you?  Did Santa satisfy your stitching itch?

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the Crafty class using the link in this blog, I will receive a small commission…and you’ll love the class!!)

Purely Gates American Eagles Machine Embroidery

Have you ever heard of machine embroidery with mylar?  Yes, that plastic iridescent stuff for gift bags.  A company called Purely Gates has an entire line of embroidery designs specifically for use with mylar.  It’s pretty cool because it spaces the stitching just far enough apart to allow the pretty sparkles to show through.

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This particular CD has a total of 20 different designs.

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I bought a Carhartt denim jacket just for this project.  I edited my design just a bit to remove the silver block from under the eagle’s feet and added the letters “USA”.

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I centered the design between the lower edge of the jacket’s yoke and the top of the bottom band.

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Here’s the finished project up close.  See the iridescence in the red and white feathers?  Pretty!

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Centering it just a bit lower on the jacket let the design show when I wear my hair down.  I’m SO wearing this to work tomorrow!

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I’m thinking about adding design #09 with just the eagle head and a collar of stars to the right front yoke of the jacket.  What do you think?

Oh, and since we actually had snow in my little South Texas town last week for the first time in like 30 years, I decided to allow snow on my blog for December!  Too fun!  Here’s some shots from my back yard.  This is my pool and the roof of my house.

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My view out back.  It was all gone by 2pm.

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Halloween Hooters Applique

Ok, so this is a bit late.  And I could hold on to it until next year but…nah.  While I was in Colorado Springs visiting the grands last August, I came across the CUTEST applique quilt, Halloween Hooters by Whistling Creek Productions.

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I did this quilt completely the old fashioned way: tracing by hand, cutting with scissors, and stitching by machine vs. an embroidery machine.  It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  I did enjoy the process.

I’m completely not a fan of a blanket stitch but instead, after seeing this on a blog somewhere, dropped the feed dogs, popped on the hopping foot, and stitched very close to the edge of the material.  It went very quickly and I got better as I went.

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I found some really cute Halloween fabric for the backing.  I totally don’t care that the stitching can be seen here.  It’s a wall hanging so it won’t be seen anyway.

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I think before it goes up next year, I’ll do some spider webs in the black center parts to fill it in a bit.  Overall I’m vey happy with how this turned out.  Too cute and totally fun!

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