Me Made May 2019 Pledge

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Hey Everyone, it’s that time again.  Do you have your pin? Me Made May is back.  Year five of Me Made May brings yet another completely different pledge for me.  It’s time to see how far my wardrobe can stretch and what I can do with it.

My Pledge:

I, Logan of http://www.loganstitches.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019.  As a memadeeveryday girl, with dresses being my happy place, my goal is to stretch to new areas.  I pledge to wear me-made socks at least once a week, a me-made top at least twice a week, every seasonally appropriate me-made garment I have and to expand my wardrobe by sewing for a niche that is currently occupied by rtw during May 2019.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in your me-made glory.  Come along and join the fun.  Sign up with So Zo What Do You Know? the host and origin of this amazing challenge.

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Bunnies, Snakes and Birds

A new Jilly Atlanta Hastings vest for O and another a self drafted tent dress for A. This digitally printed organic interlock knit floral with bunnies from Hawthorne Supply Co is lovely to work with. Th Octopus digitally printed cotton linen canvas and the Dear Stella snakes came from the same order and were the same quality materials I’ve come to expect from Hawthorne Supply Co.  If you want an easy peasy sewing project for boys, the Hastings vest is ideal.  A did most of the sewing for this.  I did the top stitching and with the Kamsnaps I didn’t argue about whether or not she should sew buttonholes.  The prevalence of Kamsnaps is suddenly quite understandable to me.  They are even less fussy than regular snaps and reversible too.

This is what happens when you are speed sewing to try to finish a gift before the recipient comes home. More on this project in an upcoming post.

My one reservation with regards to these digitally printed fabricsis that they seem to be printed on the same fabric width regardless of the width you order. The overage is simply not printed. Likely this is more cost effective than purchasing and storing/loading different widths.  Granted you could see the extra unprinted fabric as a free neutral coordinate for your chosen print but, I was hoping to eliminate fabric excess and thus fabric waste.  I’ll use it eventually, but it’ll have to be stored.

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Lantern Sleeve Appleton Top

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Please accept my apologies for the photo quality.  A 5 minutes session and  a first time photographer, who only just enrolled in kindergarten involve accepting certain limits.

My blouse candidate list had seven candidates and I’d love to sew them all, but it has been birthday season here again and selfish sewing hasn’t been a priority. Still I had time to whip up this Appleton Top Hack in a lovely floral.

I love the Cashmerette Appleton Pattern and this top only makes me love it more. This was simple enough since the pattern was familar and required only a change in the waist ties and cutting the pattern off at the waist that a toile wasn’t necessary. Simple things deserve to be complicated so I opted for lantern sleeves. The interesting sleeve trend is one I’ve been jumping on, so expect to see more.

These being my first lantern sleeves. I followed the tutorial by Melly Sews. It is a nice tutorial and I mostly did was she said. I didn’t cut the sleeves off at the elbow, but kept the Appleton 3/4 length sleeve then added a lantern portion which gathered into the Appleton Top Hack long sleeve cuff. This was a mistake. I like it, but the proportions would have been better if I had taken the time to shorten the sleeve and lengthen the lantern portion to compensate.

A few reservations:

I should have curved the waistline hem. It’s just a nice detail that would have also mirrored the lantern sleeve curve.

It might be worth using a knit interfacing in the waist ties, because this very stretchy fabric expands over the course of the day requiring retying.

The other blouse patterns are still on my list of hopefuls, but my free sewing time has been spent piecing PDF’s and tracing patterns for the Cashmerette Harrison (I have a kit so it’s a good place to start), the Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company. More shirts will happen. I’ve also signed up for the Orange Lingerie Custom Bra Fitting class to help prep for bra-making and have been watching some button shirt fitting and sewing classes on Bluprint to ensure speedy and successful shirt making. So baby steps on at least the more of my Makenine2019 goals, but little to show.

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Embroidery Stand Recommendations, Anyone?

What is your favorite set up for stitching? Scroll frames, such as this one that I’m using to begin my Perfect Stitch Sampler and hoops, such as you’ve seen my tablecloths in are often my go to. My scroll frame even has a floor stand, a gift from my husband many years ago. Some types of projects or embroidery are best worked in hand too.

My issue tends to be that my floor stand is bulky, which means that even though it has a permanent place near my chair in the living room, it doesn’t often see use. Being blocked in is hard when little ones are constantly making demands. Setting it up takes too much time for all, bit longer stitching sessions (I think I remember those.). Before children, the floor stand was great for setting up and working on a project. I could toss a cloth over it and slide it back coming back to it for the next session. Given that set up, I skipped lap and table stands. Now I wonder about investing in them without some idea of how they’d suit my needs, working style and situation.

My local thrift store provided this two in one hoop frame for $2.

Much better than Amazon, which makes this a very affordable test piece.

Have you worked with this style before? Any tips, pros, cons? If not is there an lap or table frame you would recommend?

I mentioned starting The Proper Stitch Sampler. It is from Darlene O’Steen’s book by the same name. The newer non-spiral bound version has three sampler patterns instead of two if you are interested. The sampler contains 35 different stitches and the book offers step by step illustrations for them. Disclaimer: Perhaps making my own life difficult, I have rearranged and occasionally redesigned the bands of the sampler. Any benefit that might have been accrued from following the stitching order has been passed over. Instead I am starting with what may be the most complicated band, which I am centering on my cloth. This definitely makes setting the band size and checking my work a bit more challenging. The new stitches-diagonal crossstitch and trellis stitch are joining rice stitch, reversible crossstitch, detached chain stitch and running stitch so far.

My issues this far:

Having to flip back and forth between the chart, the row instructions, to the stitch instructions. Some photo copying allows me to skip that and cross off and highlight as I work.

Placement of the diagonal crossstitches, which are only indicated via the same type of symbol and position one sees on a crossstitch chart. Those don’t seem to be quite the same number as the number of stitches shown on the image of the stitched piece. I’m working it out. This may simply be a matter of adjustment.

I had trouble with the instructions for the trellis stitch because they say to start by coming up from below do a bit of under around and over and then say to repeat. (They are more specific about the under around and over). A quick trip to Needle N’ Thread, had another of Mary Corbett’s wonderful video tutorials explaining that my instinctive lack of going down and back up was correct. Handily, it also showed how to travel in both directions and how to link in your last row too.

Soon enough I’ll get a the base sorted and be moving along having solved these minor puzzles.  Keep checking in for progress updates.

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Nine for #MakeNine2019

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I’ve been setting aside appropriate scraps of my favorite knits for new underwear.  Only as I was working on dinos, dragons, and mermaids, I realized that most of the cute fabrics I’d set aside could be used to make dresses A might adore.  Several of the pieces were 2/3 to one yard cuts purchased when A was a baby for baby dresses.  Dresses that never happened because no pattern called for only one yard or less of knit (no idea why).  Visions of her smiling, squealing tiny self distracted me from my make nine goal and suddenly instead one detour project, there were 5, then oh so many.  I’ve actually ordered more knits from the doodle line.  Primarily unicorns and dragons for A.  Here are some of the detour projects.

Yes, they are wrinkly.  That is only because I had to quickly steal them for photos between trips through the laundry.  All of the dresses (dinos not pictured) are self-drafted tent dresses that with inseam pockets, the existence of which, lead O to request pockets for his shirts.

Having completed an extra pj’s, 4 extra dresses and two extra shirts, #makenine2019 finally got back on track.  5-6 hours of sewing time was like a tiny sewcation yesterday and though I’d used up my pretty fabrics (actually there are 3 more, but I’m saving them for summer) 5 t-shirts waiting to be upcyled and some scraps allowed me to make 9 unfancy, but functional pairs of new underwear.  The urge to get back on track did lead to the decision to use white thread throughout and there are a few wobbly seams.  The final pair had its elastic sewn on today, while the kids made a mess of some oobleck in the kitchen.

 

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Detour Time

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Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pajamas

It went so well the first time, I had to do it again.  Now two Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pajamas hack flannel nightgowns.  My Flannel Roses was made with Jennifer Bossworth Homecoming Collection Flannel designed for Maywood Studios, but this second pair, another stash make, was a Jo-ann Fabrics flannel in dark blue. The color is truer in the picture below.

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Closet Case Patterns Navy Carolyn Pajamas

Though few people will ever see them, few garments will get more use.  Practicality is this year’s theme for my #makenine2019, however, sometimes distractions happen.

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My current distraction came in the form of a trip to pick up a package of piping while my husband picked up some lumber.  In order to distract the kids just a little longer, giving him time, the kids and I strolled down the fabric aisle at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics and discovered some delectable medium interlock knit with adorable little boy prints priced at 50% off.  These dragons/castles/knights will be perfect to make something special for O and those dinos may dress up the whole family for a trip to the Paleontological Research Institute.  The only questions is “Can I sew fast enough?”  One week 3 garments, but knit garments, with simple lines and familiar assembly.  We shall see. Oh and I picked up some previously requested and happily on sale mermaid jersey for a second dress for A.  So minimally, 4-5 extra projects to throw in on top of the extra pajamas.  It feels like detour central around here.

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Washing Embroidery

The most intimidating part of embroidery is having to wash it. I’m always afraid it will be ruined somehow after all of the effort of stitching. This often leads to ‘forgetting’ this step. A terrible habit to have and one that needs work. Knowing that I’d spent a year working on Four Season: a Primative Quaker Year the 2018 SAL by Jacob de Graaf of Modern Folk Embroidery and knew it would be a piece to grace my walls for years through changes in style and taste. Skipping washing would cause immense regret later and though I’ve been washing irregularly for years, I felt a quick review of best practices in order, mostly because my soap collection and options have increased with my forays into spinnning and also because I’ve learned that soaps for plant based fibers, animal based fibers and synthetics are very different. That last has been learned in the fashion one learns things when one is just learning that there are questions to be asked and what those questions might be. This once I asked those questions. Google had lots to say, often about technique, rarely about materials, but when DMC’s embroidery washing tutorial came up I felt I’d found a trusted source. Having assumed correctly that they would cover techniques and materials and that it would be perfect for my DMC fibers on linen stitchers. There was, however, something I didn’t expect. I won’t ruin it for you. Just check them out. Even if you already wash regularly. And share them with a friend, whether they stitch or not.

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