Friday, August 18, 2017

Tenor Ukulele Gig Bag and Summer Nightwear...

Finished up the ukulele gig bag for the tenor last week. Now the little uke family has some cool accessories, eh?  It turned out somewhat large but the extra padding is a good thing because I do carry this bag a bit. Strap is a handy addition. My two soprano bags have no straps! Why? I can't remember, but they are smaller and easier to carry anyway.
This is at the quilted stage. I used two layers of batting and then quilted each side with its lining. That was good practice with the AcuFlex foot, and it went swimmingly!

My zipper was the metal one, so I sewed it in wrong, and had to take it out.  Since that happened I decided to go buy a yellow poly zipper anyway. It really looks nicer than the metal one did. Could be longer, but 22" was the longest pale yellow zipper they had at Joann's.

Then I made a double batted strap and attached that to the outside, and applied the pocket. The Elna 720 sewed through all those layers like butter.   I think there must have been 10 layers or so by the time I turned the edges under on the strap and then sewing it on, and the pocket too had many layers to sew through.  It is great having a machine that will do this effortlessly.  This was a self-drafted pattern, and the next bag will be made a bit smaller. I need to make another tenor gig bag for my son't ukulele next.  Off to JA's to get fabric for that today.

Meanwhile, the tenor bag and I went to our little uke group happily the last two times, and the yellow fabric surely perks things up!

Made a cotton nightie out of the lovely Buttercream fabric from JA's that has French stamps and the Eiffel Tower on it.  Self-binding on the armholes and neckline, and made from a pattern I drafted from a nightie I made several years ago from a Butterick pattern which since has been given away.  Simple pattern for a jumper, but it made a terrific little nightie in the first place, so the one I just made, I made long. It is really comfy.  Probably might make another, and even in flannel for winter!   If I fall across this pattern again I will buy it, but really only need the jumper part. And I drafted it, so there ya go.  The fit in the shoulders is really good - that looks simple, but unless drafted well by the company in the first place it won't fit correctly.   The picture isn't art quality here, but I will post it anyway. This is my new favorite nightwear.

Adding the pattern picture in case anyone should have it - give it a try! Butterick 5058 from 1997.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

NO to the Generic Feet on the Janome and Elna - at Least For Me!

So now to make a gig bag for the Tenor I just acquired. Got pretty much 3/4 of the way to the finish and discovered I had given away my Elna 720 zipper foot. I don't have a high shank adjustable zipper foot either. I tried the generic zipper foot from the recent generic set, but although it "fit", the clearance was way off , and the thing almost stuck in the holder and I had quite a time getting it off without hurting something. .  So I had to pull out my Janome 8050 and steal the Janome E Zipper foot from the accessories. Must see about a replacement.

SO - for the update on the generic feet on the Elna and Janome - NOPE.   I did try several feet and they attach,  but the needle has almost no clearance through the hole in that foot, plus the attachment for the generic and the Brother feet on my Elna is very tight and it becomes difficult to remove the generic or Brother feet from the machine! So that's a BIG NO on using that set on the Elna or my Janome.  Apparently other people try them or use them on their Janomes and Elnas, but I won't be doing that at all. I would like to buy an adjustable high shank zipper foot for my Elna though.

Footnote: Nope, haven't made the quilt 9 patch blocks yet...projects getting in the way....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Shirt Quilt and Viking with Bonlux...fun in the sewing room...


Getting ready to start sewing the blocks of the Shirt Quilt 2017. All blocks cut, and it will be a 9 patch. Red patch in the middle of each 9 patch block.  I ordered the Dream Wool batting from Missouri Star, and it surely feels wonderful through the plastic, so I am looking forward to seeing how this quilts! The backing will be the busy print with the paisleys you see lying under the piles of blocks. Writing about it makes me feel inspired, so it could make me kick off the work this weekend!  In the meantime, it's been a mending sort of week - hemming pants. :) The Viking loves that job though, so it was a pleasure to set up the Viking again.
I added Bonlux lighting to the harp of the Viking when I set it up last weekend. WOW....what a difference.  And no lamps to get in the way when you are sewing! 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

It's Always Autumn Breezy Tee...


It's Always Autumn has some really nicely drafted free patterns, and the Breezy Tee caught my eye because she has a woven version. Her site is full of lovely versions of her free patterns...I highly recommend taking a look. :)   SO - I chose to make what I hoped would be a wearable muslin using a nice sort of batik-tie dyed sort of look table cloth in a cotton blend or all cotton (I really don't know) that a friend had given me a few years back for quilting. The colors are lovely and it has seahorses on it! Fabulous!  Pattern was easy to download, and easy to put together, and had 6 pieces. You can also download a sleeve extension pattern and I did that as well.  I bound the edges of the neckline with self binding and also did that treatment to the sleeve edges.  I forgot to read her directions for altering the sleeves, and she does have those....so my sleeves are more like cap sleeves now. Next time - and there WILL be a next time - I will do it right and make slightly longer sleeves.  I cut it just a tad wider on the side seams because I was doing the woven version, and I found the fit through the arms and shoulders was good except that I will need to make the shoulders less broad - I do have a shoulder template I work with for that.  One of these days I should do a post on the shoulder template. It was the project in a bodice fitting class taught by Shannon Gifford, a beloved teacher on Patternreview.com for many years before she passed away in 2010.  She was wonderful.
Picture here of the top - I did a fussy cut for a seahorse pocket. It doesn't scream out at you like I hoped it would though.  I really enjoyed this project. Turns out to be better than  wearable muslin actually. SO - I went and downloaded the Raglan Sleeve pattern from Always Autumn as well and will be making a long sleeved heavier cotton knit garment for Fall and winter out of some nice heavy double cotton knit I have already got. It is the last of my garment stash.

Here is the link for the Raglan Sleeve!

 A word on sizing. Her patterns are all one size - L for large. However, I think they are very adaptable for several variant sizes.  Easy to alter because the patterns are excellently drafted. If you have a measuring tape and some idea of ease to add, you will be be to grade this well. Plus - the fit can be easy with lots of ease or more fitted. I did lots of ease here because I wanted to see how the basic pattern + about an inch or so on the sides until I hit the armhole level would work.  In a knit you wouldn't need the extra inch or so at all, and it still wouldn't be uber-tight. :)  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fun at the Vermont Quilt Festival 2017


Another year rolled on, June came and with it the annual Vermont Quilt Festival. Despite early problems with new website, lengthy delay in getting out information and brochures, and classes cancelled, the actual show itself went on absolutely magnificently. We attended for two days, and had a very very good time. This year the entry was marked by a bracelet that was color coded as to your purchase of a day pass, 2 day pass or 3 day pass. Excellent idea because there was no barrier this year between the food vendors and the outside so one could walk around a lot more when taking a break. The food vendors were located nicely and there was more space to sit under covered tables. All good.  As for the quilts - there were excellent special exhibits and wonderful entries by very talented people.  Vendors were there and as usual I made the rounds of the sewing machine vendors, talking and comparing. Being not in the market myself, it is even more fun to see all the new machines, plus see the really good machines that have been out awhile coming back.  One of our favorite dealers, Bittersweet Fabric, was there with all the Elnas and Janomes, and that is one great bunch of people to visit every year.  Some of the quilts....first the Best in Show up above this on the left....just a lovely piece of work. I was not able to get all the details on these quilts, and the people who made them are so very talented. I wish I could name each one, but I haven't the information at hand.
When taking photos of the quilts, there is no way to do them justice. They are so much nicer looking in person and you can see the textures and the quilting very close up. My photos are nothing compared to the quilts themselves. 
I wanted to post a few pictures of representative types, as in traditional, modern and whimsical. :)
This quilt above was in honor of Canada's 150th Anniversary this year!
This above is just a part of a larger modern quilt, and the quilting and composition are just beautiful.
Here is a lovely little whimsy quilted by a young entrant. All these youngsters get a sewing machine from Bittersweet fabrics just for completing the quilt they enter.  A nice way to increase the ranks of quilters!
Here is where we see the happy faces of the participants! This marks the eighth year at least that my friend and I have attended this show together, and some years other friends join us - all in all it is a highlight of our year.

 And what would the show be if not for the acquisitions from the vendors who come from far and near to demo their wares and sell us the things we need and some we probably don't need but can use for even more fun!