Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Throw, New Pillows and on the Cutting Table

Finished: new covers in winter fabrics for all of the throw pillows. I chose a pretty red and white toile that has been ripening in the stash since 2003. I had forgotten exactly what I bought it for, but it makes pretty pillows for winter that don't look too Christmas-y. Pillows in Chez Hunting Creek lead a hard life, and I end up recovering them about twice a year anyway. They serve as floor pillows, lap desks, foot rests, as well as normal pillow duty. I don't use zippers because of customer complaints about zipper hardness. Instead I use one piece of fabric, two seams, (one on each side) and an envelope back. Smooth, no lumps and everyone is happy.

Some people have said mean things recently about minky, but the blanket-using population here has nothing but praise for the new faux sheepskin and minky blanket I made last weekend (when it SNOWED!). Making a faux fur throw is so easy a rookie can do it, but be aware that just like real fur, this stuff sheds like crazy when you cut it and sew it. When writers talk about the fur flying, I believe they were referring to sewing faux fur. I had to clean out the inside of my machine twice and wipe down the cutting board plus vacuum the sewing room afterwards. But the actual construction is a breeze. Please note that minky and my faux fur were knit backed, so I used a ball point needle and a small zigzag stitch. I left a opening on one side then reached in, turned it right side out and hand sewed the opening shut. The fancy fur thows at Pottery barn and Restoration Hardware sell for hundreds of dollars, and while I admire them, I won't cry when someone spills pizza, root beer or red wine on mine, because I can wash it. And it didn't cost several hundred dollars.
I asked Mr. Hunting Creek if so many finished projects meant new fabric purchases were in my future. He laughed and said, "Only when you have an empty shelf", so don't expect new fabric purchases in the next week or so.
Next up:

I admired Lindsey T's Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2192 tops so much that I thought I'd make one of my own. The pattern back suggested brocade as an option, and it just so happened that I had some pretty dark teal and black brocade lurking in the stash from a long ago purchase. I don't recall what this fabric is made of, (I suspect man-made, but nice synthetic, if that's not an oxymoron) but I know it has some lycra because it has a slight stretch. Since I bought it forever ago, that means it's free, right? This pattern is very simple, and like all simple designs, nice fabric is all. If the "free" brocade version looks good, then I'll upgrade to silk brocade.(Which is aging nicely in the Great Wall 'O Fabric).
A note about this pattern. As Lindsay T mentioned, it runs big. That seems to be the style now, so if you prefer a smaller size, please plan accordingly.

I've finished six things in the last week and items 7 and eight are in progress. This is amazing productivity for me. And all items have been successes! I want to hang a sign on my sewing room door like they have on factory floors that says something like Eight Successful Projects Without An Injury.
What's on your cutting table?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Great Moments in Fabric Literature, Vol XX1: Fabric Words

My BFF from high school, up in snowy Alaska, sent this fun fabric email:

This week's theme
Fabric words used metaphorically

This week's words
dirty linen

I've heard peaches described as cottony, as in, "Late peaches are all cottony inside." Maybe it's a Virginia thing?
Cheap people are chintzy, but generous people are never satiny or silky.
We all know about airing dirty linen in public, (witness the current Republican Primaries for a more direct example of dirty linen airing in real time) but no one ever advises showing off your clean linens either.

What other fabric related words can you think of?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scary Fabrics,Volume I: Sock Monkey Santa

If Stephen King sewed, this would be the fabric he'd make into pajamas for his kids.
"No, Daddy, NO! Not Sock Monkey Santa!"
Of course, if you're a fan of the macabre little monkieys, find them here. All others be warned.