Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sewing Apron In Progress: Day 132

A Day To Think About An Apron...
and now on to the actual project!

Here goes...
Lots of photos to try to bring you into my felting world here at home. :-]

The back of the sweater that I showed you on Sunday. (HERE is the beginning of the project.) I have spread it out as flat as possible so I can figure out where to make my cut lines and use as much of the sweater as possible without wasting anything. 

Waist ribbing has been cut off, and pins have been put into the little canyon between the small ribbing on the bodice of the sweater so I can cut exactly where I want. I have planned this in order to use as much of the back as I can. 
One side is now cut the entire length of the apron.

The label will even be a part of it: Adele Joyce Petites
This is a 70% Lambswool, 20% Angora Rabbit Hair, 10% Nylon sweater.
Very soft.

After cutting the side edge, the top edge of the apron (the shoulder seam of the sweater) is being cut across to the collar.

I am going to use the button/buttonhole placket as the apron ties. It extends around the neck and back to become the collar of the sweater, so it makes perfect apron strings for this project.
(It only took me 24 hours of thinking on my holiday off to figure this out...well, maybe not that long...)

Green Chicken seems to like what is going on. She wanted to show you where I will be cutting the placket. Look at the very tip of her beak--this is the cutting line.

The buttonhole side of the placket.

Cutting the other edge of the front of the apron.

The button side of the placket.

Now I have the basic apron with attached ties.
I will hand-stitch the sections to make the ties fully intact across the top of the apron.

Thoughts for tomorrow:
A pocket for my ruler and chopsticks...plus other accoutrements!
It all makes Green Chicken very happy.
(Me, too.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sewing Apron: Day 131

Thinking About My Next Project

Since I like to travel around in my house while I work on the projects at hand, I thought it a good idea to come up with an item that could help me in my nomadic pursuits.

"What about an apron that could hold (almost!) all of my sewing notions," I said to myself. 
Those things like thread, needles and pins, chopstick, sweater fabric, scissors...the list goes on.

Long enough on thinking about this, I decided to make a plan and start the process.

Here are the beginning stages of my 
Sewing Apron For The Inveterate Nomad:

Here is the drawing I made of what's been brewing in my brain over the last few weeks.
A few Sweater Pockets, a built-in Pincushion, and a Chatelaine...all needed additions to the apron.
I am still working on the details.
This is the sweater I want to use.
Not the front...

...but the back, for the apron base.

You may be able to see the little tufts on this sweater that need to be removed before anything else happens here.
The accoutrements (pockets, pincushion, chatelaine, etc) would be made from other sweaters and sweater parts. The exact specifications will be worked out as the project moves along its path.

The brainstorming part has now begun.
More on this another day.

Memorial Day Holiday is tomorrow, May 30.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy day to spend with family and friends.

I will be taking tomorrow off from Project Work to celebrate and honor this holiday.
See you again on Tuesday.

Drawstring Bag: Day 130

Camera Battery Conked Out...
No Post Last Night!
For Saturday, May 28, 2011

My friends, I apologize for my lateness in posting Saturday's blog. As I was wrapping up the photos for this project (actually 2 photos from finishing), my camera gave me the warning little red logo and said goodbye suddenly. It doesn't take "No" for an answer, so the only choice I had was to close up shop for the night and wait until this morning--when the battery would be happy and all recharged--to take the rest of the shots...and of course write to you!

Here is my project for Saturday:

Little Drawstring Bag

Lambswool sweater.
Not much left of this one: one sleeve, 1/4 of the upper front section, and some hanging seams!
t has been among my favourites.

Cutting off the ribbed cuff.

A 6 1/2" length for my little bag.
A sweater sleeve has so many possibilities!

One seam at the cuff end. This is slightly smaller in width than the top of the bag.
I have trimmed a triangle off the corners so it will be smooth when turned. 

My trusty Seam Roll came in very handy. The first time I've used it since I crafted it.
(HERE is my Seam Roll blog post.)

The Threesome, top to bottom:
Drawstring Bag with bottom seam steamed flat :-]
Seam Roll
Trusty Steam Iron

Ribbon was used to create the drawstring. I used a needle to do a running stitch through the sweater fabric. The wool is most conducive to this--the needle nearly jumps through it on its own.

Two ribbons were added.

And voila, a Drawstring Bag.

Have a Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More About Buttons: Day 129

Thrift Store Finds
A YoYo Button
For Friday, May 27, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I stopped briefly at one of my local thrift store haunts to find something wonderful...a plastic bag of buttons! My luck was good, such that they were having a 50% off sale.
This button bag was originally $3, and now $1.50.

Quite a FIND...
Here are the buttons in all their glory:

I took them out one by one tonight to review the stash I had retrieved in the bin of sewing notions.
Couldn't help myself but to pile them in more or less color categories. 

The gold-colored buttons with the star pattern are amazing. They are metal,  and the star is a cut-out revealing silver lining inside that reflects when the light shines on it. Unique!
I love buttons! This was a great purchase...someone's collection of saved treasures. Some still have the thread and a bit of fabric attached. A simple history all it's own for each of these buttons.
 Though I could go on and on about buttons, I will stop and concentrate on... 
The Project Of The Day,

YoYo "Buttons"

I have been reading about the Clover YoYo Maker from various craft blogs and from looking at it in fabric stores. Though it is meant for woven fabric, I have decided that I want to try it for light-weight felted sweater fabric. (You might have guessed this, right?)

Here are my first attempts at making YoYo's:

The pieces of the YoYo Maker: the plastic "plate" (left) and the "disc" (right). 

The orange cashmere sweater is my subject, the same one I used for the Bed Buddy Cover.
The disc is engaged with the plate in this photo.

This is what the underside looks like.

The instructions say to cut around the unit leaving an approximate 1/8" of fabric extra.

Now for the stitching.
Basically the needle is stitched through the openings in the plastic template all the way around.

This is the disc side after the stitching. No change in looks here as yet.

Now the disc and plate are popped apart to reveal the stitching.
(Just wavy looking thread lines around the perimeter. A bit hard to see here.)

Pulling the thread to gather the edges together.

During the process, the edges need to be pushed inside.
I used a stirring stick which worked very nicely. 

I could have used my chopstick, but I would have had to get up from my chair and go get it several rooms away. With Katzenberg on my lap along with my needle and thread, stirring stick, and little tangerine (that's what the YoYo looks like to me) it would have been quite the task to move everyone and everything.
NOT worth the effort. Deep breath!

Here is the other side of the tangerine. A little wonky, I admit.

But the little citrus fruit looks pretty good.
Since I used the sweater instead of the recommended fabric I did expect unusual results. I think this could be used as a button. That's why this project is called YoYo Button.

I made 4 of these this evening. The last one is on the bottom. It turned out best.
They all look better on the YoYo side.

Here they are next to the card that came with the discs.
The last one is still on the bottom.
Did I mention the word wonky?
There was improvement from first to last, but I need more practice.

Any thoughts about what to make with these?
Let me know.

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kitten Toy: Day 128

Toy For My Assistant!

My kitten wanted to be involved in this project, so I promised him something that would make him happy.
He helped a great deal with the testing phase, as you will see.

Here is the Project For Today:

Katzenberg waiting for his toy.

The simple supplies for tonight's surprise:
One dowel, strips of felted sweater which have been made into cords, and heavy twine.

Already becoming interested before the pieces are put together.

Getting closer...

To make the toy I lined up the cords (none of which are of equal length) so all would be even at one end. I then tied them very tightly to the dowel,wrapping the twine around the cords twice. Pulling it firmly was a must since Katzenberg is rather energetic about playing with his toys! 

He is quite intrigued...and happy...about the outcome. :-]

Now he has progressed to the floor to really get into PLAY MODE.

Thank you, Katzenberg, for all your help.

If he's not too tired from chasing his new toy, he'll be back tomorrow to participate in the next project.

See you then.
Happy Evening!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bed Buddy Sweater Tutorial: Day 127

Just a note about yesterday's Scrap Saver's Pincushion Tutorial:
After a very late night writing the post for that project, I tweaked it this morning to make sure the links were correct for the embroidery stitches. If you looked at the blog early this morning and want to do the project I would suggest you reread it to get all my morning adjustments. The late, late nights are not conducive to getting everything as I would like. :-/
Thought you might like to know.

Now down to the business for today...
My Bed Buddy Now Has Its Own Sweater

Many of you may have the "Bed Buddy", that fabric pouch/bag with special grains in it that can be heated in the microwave and put on achy muscles for the relief of pain.

Well, I am one of the lucky owners of one of these. The cover is a small print cotton fabric. Not bad, but tonight I was thinking how much better it could be if it had a cozy sweater cover to make it so much more conducive to those painful parts that you might want to place it upon.

Here is the solution:
A Bed Buddy Cover!

Easy to make, and so much more soothing...along with the warmth, of course.

Instructions Are Here:

Needed supplies for this project:
 Bed Buddy
One Sweater Sleeve (doesn't need to be as long as the pouch)

Sewing Machine, or a hand sewing needle

Note: This is a cover to go over the current one, not a replacement for it.

Pin the sleeve to fit the pouch.
(My sleeve is very large at the shoulder so I tapered it to better fit the Bed Buddy by pinning it first.
If you have a straighter sleeve you may not need to do this step.)

Next step is to cut off the excess, turn the pins perpendicular to the seam line, and use the machine to make the seam. You could also just hand stitch the seam.

The cuff will be the closed end of the cover.
With the cuff portion of the sleeve make another seam just above the ribbing.

Now the cuff may be cut off. (Save for other projects!)
Turn the sleeve right side out.

You may leave the open end with the cut edges as they are since the felted sweater will not fray.
(I did turn the edge under and stitched it down. This sweater is very soft and limp and needed the extra sturdiness.)
Ribbons may be stitched to the open end to secure the Bed Buddy from sliding out.

The finished cover.

Have a Cozy Evening with your Newly-Sweatered Bed Buddy!