Friday, June 24, 2011

Scary Patterns VII

Sometimes the sheer creative inventiveness of America is astonishing:witness the quilted toilet seat cover, above. If this is totally your thing, find it here.
What will they think of next?
p.s. look closely at that quilted picture and take note of what it is! a little quilty joke! Mr. Hunting Creek shuddered. "You aren't thinking of making that!"
"Only Ironically, sweetie."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Must Make This List

The Violet Blouse from Colette Patterns reminded me so much of blouses I wore in high school that I had to have it.

Now I just have to find a worthy fabric. I know I have to have a pattern when I see every new fabric and think, "you'd make a nice Violet Blouse."
Also on the agenda- a maxi dress (I wore those in high school too) and silk drawstring pants (I was never so lucky as to have silk drawstring pants in high school. We mostly wore shorts and jeans and t shirts.)
For my drawstring pants (which I haven't worn since college, but then, I am a recovering corporate dresser) I thought either McCalls 6291 (I have a muslin cut)

Or McCalls 5889, since I admired Lindsay T's version so much:

Or possibly, both versions. I don't have any red silk lying around, but you can't let a little difficulty like that get in the way. I do have celadon green silk, and Caribbean blue silk...let's just say there's no shortage of alternative colors.
The fabric for my maxi-dress has not yet revealed itself to me, but I'm sure while I am sewing the pants muslin this weekend I'll realize what it should be.
What's on your summer sewing list?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Insulated Tote for Groceries and Picnics

All of a sudden, it is HOT here in Virgina. After my ice cream came home from the store in a soup-like condition, I decided to make an insulated tote. to keep my cold groceries cold. It will also work for picnics at the pool, and help keep picnic food cool - or hot (but not both at the same time.)
I wanted to do something fun with my tote, so I cut four six wide strips of embroidered denim (from stash) and two 6 inch wide strips of white quilting cotton.
I string pieced uneven strips of brightly colored fabric on the white fabric and then trimmed it. I saw this technique used in the previously mentioned Block Party book, and I wanted to try it. Small projects like totes are an excellent way to try new techniques.

After I had finished with my string piecing I sewed the colored piece in the center of the denim pieces so I ended up with two 17 1/2" by 22" pieces. I clipped a two inches square out of each bottom corner, and did the same with the lining pieces. I then backed my tote pieces with Insul-fleece, and basted it on.

I cut some bright yellow belting for the handles. I basted them on about six inches in from the sides.

Then I sewed the sides and the bottom, and boxed the corners as seen in this tutorial.I assembled the lining, leaving a large part on one side unsewn so I could reach in and turn the bag right side out, and then sewed the lining to the tote. After I turned it right side out I topstitched around the top so that the lining would stay inside.

Now it's ready for shopping and picnics by the pool. I made mine from scraps and stash fabric, but this could also be made out of recycled fabrics as well. It's fun to make utilitarian items look pretty,and it's a good way to try out new techniques.