Oct 16 2017

Pokemon Weepinbell Halloween Costume

Published by under Cosplay,Sewing

Weepinbell Costume

As we get closer to Halloween, I’ve got some costume related posts. The first is this Weepinbell Pokemon costume that I made for a group Pokemon costume at work. We decided on Pokemon because there was variety for people to pick something they liked and they could go as complicated as they wanted or just go with a t-shirt. No stress.

For those not familiar with Weepinbell, here’s a picture:


Photo from Bulbapedia and used without modification under the Creative Commons license.

Obviously, this is my take on Weepinbell in a way that worked for me.

Weepinbell Costume hood down

I needed something that was work-appropriate, something simple and something that wouldn’t break the bank since I probably wasn’t going to wear it again. It’s entirely made with blizzard fleece from JoAnn’s that was on sale for 2.99/yard at that time (well except the top of the hood since that was some scrap cotton fabric). I was a little worried about it being warm, but turns out the party was outside after the sun went down, so this was actually the best idea ever to make it out of fleece and I was super comfortable.

Weepinbell Costume back

The base pattern is Simplicity 1251. The pattern itself is decent and has some interesting lines. Actually pretty good as a base for other ideas. I would make it a again, but I’d size up if I’m making it out of something non-stretchy like fleece again. It grabbed me a little under the arms but that was fine for something like this where I wasn’t going to be wearing it that long or for long periods.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I think it’s a good interpretation of the character. The bottom “lip” is stuffed to give it poof.

Weepinbell Costume sleeve leaf detail

I’m probably most proud of the arms/leaves on to which I sewed a leafy pattern.

Weepinbell Costume skirt detail

I attached the little dots using heat & bond. They’re a nod to dots on Weepinbell’s forehead.

Weepinbell Costume hood detail

And of course some giant googly eyes to top it off.

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Sep 22 2017

Town Playmat Quilt

Published by under Miscellaneous

Town Playmat

The company that makes the print patterns for Jack’s quilt from my last post also makes these coordinating panels. I couldn’t resist. They fit together so I bought one of each and put them together into a large (88” x 45”) playmate for the little guy.

Town Playmat

Not too much to say about this one. I did a stipple pattern quilting for most of it, leaving out the train tracks so they stand out a little and doing more of a wave pattern in the harbor part of the print. You can see that in the photo below. I used a gray-green thread and I think it does a good job of blending with the grass, concrete, details and water.

Town Playmat

Binding was basic black since the focus is on the town. For this quilt, since the back was black I actually did the method where I leave an inch all around after cutting the top and batting to size and then fold over twice to self bind. I don’t think it saves time necessarily because the cutting takes longer, but it’s certainly more efficient with use of fabric.

And a picture of the back for good measure. No label on this one, just my little personal label.

Town Playmat back

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Sep 19 2017

Cars and Trucks and Trains and Roads Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Cars & Trucks Baby Boy quilt

This was a quilt I made for my cousin’s little boy Jack. I wasn’t sure what he’d like so I decided to go with trains and cars and road motif. The print patterns were all coordinating, and then I picked out solids and added in the checks for some interest. I was really particular about the checks and you’d be surprised how hard it was to find just some basic black white check! Most of the ones had variation or wavy, but I finally found some at JoAnn’s.

Cars & Trucks Baby Boy quilt

The back is Minkee, my go-to for baby quilts. I used my embroidery machine to make a quilt label for this one as well. That’s definitely my new thing. I love how I can make them personalized and the “kid” font on my machine is perfect for it.

Cars & Trucks Baby Boy quilt

Binding was a basic black since it was already a pretty busy quilt and offered a nice contrast. I did an all over loopy pattern since, again, already pretty busy. I used a gray thread which blended nicely with the the different colors and prints.

And that’s about it.

Cars & Trucks Baby Boy quilt

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Sep 16 2017

Another Geranium Dress

Published by under Sewing

Polka Dot Geranium Dress and Buttercup Bag

I was sending some quilts for my cousin’s baby boy (post coming soon) but I didn’t want to send them along without sending something for his older sister. She’s quite the little fashionista so dresses are always a good bet for her 🙂

So I made her another Geranium Dress (patter by Made by Rae). This one was using one of my favorite prints, rainbow polka dots by Northcott Fabrics. I added some pink piping accents and used turquoise buttons. I love how it turned out and really kinda want something similar in an adult version. We’ll have to see 😉

Polka Dot Geranium Dress back

But I couldn’t just send her a dress. I wanted a little something extra so I made a matching Buttercup Bag. This is a free pattern, also by Made by Rae (although I didn’t actually notice that until I was posting on Instagram).

I shrunk the pattern to 80% so that it would be a better match for my little lady size-wise. I also added the same pink piping and interfaced it. I’ve made this bag a few times (here and here). It’s a great pattern and goes together quickly, but I like the look of the bag much better when the outside fabric has a little heft. I also interfaced the handle. It’s lined with some nice bright yellow and has a little coordinating pocket.

Both projects together took a yard of the polka dots and then I used other pieces for the lining of the dress and bag. Everything was from my stash (buttons, interfacing, fabric, piping, even the magnetic closure) — another win for de-stashing!

Polka Dot Buttercup Bag inside

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Sep 03 2017

A baby quilt for Patrick

Published by under Quilting

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

My cousin is having a little boy in the very near future (like any minute now — she may have even had him by the time this is posted). So I wanted to welcome him to the world with a little gift.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

I used this starry night print to do a whole cloth quilt for him because it made me think of bedtime and snuggles.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

For the quilting, I did a swirly design, like wind or clouds in the night sky. Of course it’s backed with minkee for maximum snuggle potential.

You can also see the quilt label I made for him using the embroidery function on my Bernina. Have I mentioned how awesome this machine is? Embroidery is so much easier it with it than my Husqvarna.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

Close up of the swirls. The moons have a greenish tinge to them like there are celestial gases flowing over them and I found this green that matched perfectly and totally made the quilt pop. I love a contrasting binding! The quilting is also done in a bright green that blended nicely with the blue but still provided enough contrast to show the design.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

Mom and Dad say they love it and I hope little Patrick does, too!

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Jul 24 2017

Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

Published by under Sewing

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

The next item which I made for the Victorian ensemble for the Dickens Fair was the Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse. This was probably the easiest and most straight forward piece of the ensemble that I made. I was fortunate that Jill had already made hers (technically twice, since she made a muslin that was too big and then had to make a second one that was the correct size). Since I knew her measurements and I knew mine, no muslin was needed. Which was a good thing because at this point, I was getting a bit tight on time and really wasn’t relishing making two of these. That being said, it’s a good pattern and I will definitely make another one.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse collar detail

I used a cream colored cotton sateen from JoAnn’s. It was actually pretty perfect. Easy to work with, soft, natural fiber but looked clean. Sewed up quite nicely.

I had just gotten my new Bernini 770 which has all these fun stitches on it that I decided to take it for a run. I was using an eggplant colored thread since my skirt was eggplant colored. I used the roses on the color and had to go for a simple on down the placket since otherwise it would have been too much.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig cuff detail

But on the cuffs and hem, I took the opportunity to use the PIG STITCH. Yes, you read that correctly. THERE IS A PIG STITCH ON MY MACHINE. If I hadn’t already thought this was the world’s awesomest machine, this would have clinched the victory.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff button detail

As mentioned, the skirt and thread were eggplant and I was fortunate to have two lovely eggplant buttons (actually left over from another project that has since been abandoned because it was started so long ago that the fabric and style aren’t even in fashion any more. Sigh.).

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff and collar detail

Here’s how it looks together. I love having the roses on both the cuffs and collar to tie it together.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig hem detail

And of course, I needed to hem the shirt. Why not use the straight “ground” of the pig stitch to tack it down and give me another excuse to hide some piggies on my shirt. There is a distinct possibility that I will be using this stitch A LOT.

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Jul 16 2017

Victorian Petticoat based on Truly Victorian free pattern

Published by under Sewing

Victorian Petticoat front

When you’ve got a hoop skirt, you’ve got to have a petticoat to go on top of it. Otherwise you can see all the hoops through it.

I made my petticoat based off the Truly Victorian Free Petticoat Pattern. They’ve got all the yardage listed there although I ended up buying an entire bolt of muslin because I figured I could always use it for actual muslins but I needed up using most of it.

Victorian Petticoat mess

I couldn’t find fabric with eyelet on one side and I wanted more ruffles so I bought separate pre-ruffled eyelet lace to use on the bottom of the top layer. It turned out to be a decent compromise.

Victorian Petticoat ruffle attachment

Attaching the eyelet ruffles to the bottom of the skirt. I think I bought the whole “bolt” of the ruffle lace which was 10 yards. 

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I also had some serious issues with the bottom layer of my skirt. The bottom layer of the pattern isn’t gathered as much as the top layer although I did add a plain fabric ruffle to it as well for extra “poof.” Somehow when I gathered it, it ended up shorter than expected and didn’t quite fit over my hoop skirt. I thought my calculations for the amount of ruffling were good . . . but apparently I was off. So I had to add some wedges in at the sides and back.

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I did this by cutting out wedge pieces (here I’m cutting 2 at once) that matched the bottom skirt. I had some leftover as you can see in the picture above (which should have been the first sign that something was wrong :P)

Victorian Petticoat wedge addition

Then I cut a slit into the bottom layer of the skirt at the sides and back and stitched in my wedge along the sides. You can’t see this layer anyways so no harm done as you can see below:

Victorian Petticoat not enough layers

This is the petticoat as the free pattern says to make it. Clearly you can still see the hoops through the top layers. The bottom part has 2 layers as described above so that part was fine. But this was not going to cut it.

Victorian Petticoat

So I added not one, but two extra layers because I was pretty sure one wouldn’t be enough to hide those hoops. And I’m glad I did.

Victorian Petticoat layer seam closeup

Each layer, including the bottom two, was gathered using my serger. This is actually the first time I’ve gathered using my serger and it was pretty cool how well it worked! I will definitely be using this for the next petticoat because I really want a pale pink petticoat next so we’ll have to make another. My understanding is that back in the day ladies would wear 5 or more petticoats as needed to hide the hoops!

Victorian Petticoat back

And here’s a back view. I need to fix the tie. It doesn’t quite get tight enough and then the petticoat sags a bit, but should be an easy fix . . . but probably won’t get done until absolutely necessary of course.

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Jul 07 2017

Truly Victorian TV141 Round Cage Crinoline Hoop Skirt

Published by under Sewing

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

This post is waaaay over due. This hoop skirt, or crinoline as they are sometimes known, is from the Truly Victorian pattern TV141 – 1858 Round Cage Crinoline. My friend Jill and I made them together last December for the Dickens Fair. We pretty much made it exactly per the pattern so there’s not a whole lot to talk about but I took a bunch of pictures during the construction so here you go.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline materials

Piles of boning and fabric. I usually get my corset making / boning supplies from corsetmaking.com. They sell lots of good costume making stuff in general. I also like GoldStarTool and plan to get a grommet press from there eventually.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline pattern

First step was cutting out the patterns for the kick bag which is a fabric covering for the bottom three hoops that prevents you from accidentally stepping through the hoops and getting caught. I cut those out while Jill cut and marked the grosgrain ribbon at the appropriate places.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline grosgrain

Those both took a while so I ended up sewing the grosgrain later although I think we did get the kick bags done together.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

After the kick bags were done it was time to start adding the boning. Those bottom bones are really quite long. Had to use the real measuring tape for those.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

We forgot to order hoop clips so I used packaging tape to connect the hoop boning together into circles . . . next time I’ll definitely use hoop clips as I can hear it crinkle. It’s not too bad, but I’d prefer the cleaner finish. I’m sure this won’t be my last hoop skirt 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

Finally, I finished up the top of the kick bag.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline bottom

This was one of the only places I varied from the pattern in that I put the grosgrain strips into the seam of the kick bag before sewing it up rather than after. It gave a cleaner finish. Thanks to Jill for that tip since she hit that spot before me 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Next up was putting the boning through the casing. We used ready made casing. I’ve seen other people sew together two layers of grosgrain ribbon. If I were going for a particular look, I might do that, but in this case, the ready made casing was great and much faster!

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline sew up casing

The top two rows have an open area so I had to finish off the ends of the casing with some hand stitching.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline casing close up

The rest of the rows connect so I just sewed those together (after putting the boning together with tape).

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline hoops

A little in progress show before I added the top two rows.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Finally, I used some 1” wide twill tape for my waist band. I need to get something a little better though. Maybe some webbing since the twill tape kinda rolls up and digs in. I’m sure if I had been wearing a corset it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I wasn’t. Either way, I want something smoother.

So that’s my hoop skirt! It’s got a great shape. I’ve seen a few made with different colors and I’d love to make a more colorful one or at least a darker one for under dark skirts, not that you can really see it once there’s a petticoat over it.

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Jul 04 2017

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

Gah, I’ve been so busy doing things that I haven’t had much time to post. There have been plenty of quilts, plenty of bags and plenty of costumes (one of the items was 6! muslins for a dress). But I’ve finally got pictures of them! So here we go . . .

Grace Circle April 2017 Quiltt-3

First up is this quilt for Grace Circle of do. Good Stitches. I’ve posted about them before and it was once again my time to be quilter this past April. I chose to do a Jelly Roll Twist quilt, a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, with the  variation that the square had to be solid, the strips had to be a print and it had all had to be pink. This was a totally selfish choice so I could use up some of the pink fabric I have leftover from another project that is still in progress.

Grace Circle April 2017 Squares

These were the sample squares I posted. Everyone’s came back differently and I was a little worried, but I love how it all turned out in the end with a super scrappy and happy look!

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

For the backing, I used some wide back Riley Blake chevrons that I had purchased for another project. I ended up buying a different backing for that project so this was just hanging around. As part of my constant attempt to de-stash I decided to use this because it was pretty dang perfect and I was happy to free up the space. I love the look so I will definitely keep these chevrons in mind for future backings. Would love some in black and white. I was also able to use batting from my stash that was leftover from another project and happened to be the perfect size. Double stash win!

Grace Circle April 2017 Quiltnkgracequilt-5

The binding was also from my stash! Again, purchased for another project that has been hanging out forever and that I’ll probably want to use different binding for by the time I finish it so figured I might as well use this one here. I’m really happy with how everything turned out with this quilt! I’ll be shipping it off to My Very Own Blanket this week.

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

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May 13 2017

Betz White Weekend Duffle Craftsy Class

Published by under Sewing

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

I recently completed the Betz White Weekend Duffle. This pattern is offered as part of her Craftsy class Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel. I won the class for one of the bags I submitted to the Bag of the Month Club competition. I was super excited about it! Thanks, Bag of the Month Club! 😀

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

I’ll talk about both the bag and the class. First, the bag. The bag is offered in two sizes and I chose to make the smaller size. For the main fabric, I used a quilted cotton that my mom gave me and otherwise I used fabric from my stash. No new fabric was purchased for this bag! I did have to buy hardware though. I’m really making an active effort to use fabric from my stash this year and so far I’ve been doing pretty well!

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

My favorite part of the bag was how the lining was put in because it pretty much hides most raw edges. In the video, she hand sews three of the base lining edges, but I was able to only hand sew the two short edges and I was pretty happy about that. I suspect she doesn’t recommend machine sewing the other long edge because it’s a bit of work to pull the rest of the bag through (I did it the same way you do the ends of the lining), but doable if you’re determined (as I am).

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

I like the shape of the bag. It’s got standard pockets and a zip pocket on the inside. I like the handles. I like the detailing although I had to add an extra row of stitching around the edge because 1/8” was still too far and didn’t hold it down well enough. I also like the way the way the zipper is inserted. Goes well with the way the lining is attached.

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

However, it should be noted that this bag takes a while. There are a lot of steps. None are significantly complicated, but there are a lot of them. Arguably it shows in the quality of the finished product. But for that reason, I don’t think I’m likely to make it again unless I want this shape in particular. I have other similar bag patterns that I would probably try first just because it’s something new. I will probably use many of the techniques I picked up in the class though — which brings me to the class.

The class teaches the basics of making a bag. If you’re relatively new to bag making, it’s a great class. Like almost all Craftsy classes, I watched it on 2X speed. I do this with audiobooks, too, so I think it’s me, not the class. If I had been sewing along with the class, I might have left it on normal speed. My only “complaint” about the class and it’s not really a complaint, more of a preference, is that I wish she had provided a pattern. There’s a list of instructions included in the class materials, but I had to keep referring to the video to see how to do something or what the seam allowance was. Sure, I could have taken notes when I first watched it but I didn’t. And really my M.O. is to watch a class and then go do something. It’s just how I work. I mentioned it in case you’re the same. If you like to sew along with the instructor, then this class is perfect for you! And as I mentioned, even as an experienced bag maker at this point, I picked up some great techniques like the way she adds the lining.

So, there it is, my Weekend Duffel! Not sure what I’ll be using it for. I had planned to use it for a dance bag, but it’s a bit bigger than I expected (I’m terrible at grasping how big something is based on measurements unless I mock it out) so it might get used for something else. But it’s so fun and cheerful that I’m very happy with how it turned out!

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

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