“X”s and “O”s Quilt

This week I’ve been tackling some unfinished objects (UFO’s) and I am really happy that I was able to finish this quilt because it has been sitting neglected for far too long.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Red Xs and Os quilt.

I picked up most of these fat quarters ages ago, before I even learned to quilt. I remember them standing out at the quilt shop because almost everything else in this particular shop was traditional quilting fabrics – small scale florals, batiks and such. There were hardly any solids. And then I spotted these fat quarters that seemed so out of place, but way cooler than anything else I’d seen so far.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
The binding works really well.

I finally started piecing this last winter, but then other projects jumped the line. Maybe it’s the return of the fall weather, but it just feels like it’s time to snuggle up under a quilt. So I got to work.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Detail on the X.

This quilt uses a lozenge block, and you can see a nice tutorial online here, which I should have followed but did not. My quilt blocks ended up being a little messier than planned, and I had to trim them down, which works poorly with this particular block. And then I was quite discouraged with the actual straight line quilting, which looked anything but straight when I was stitching it. But a good wash and a little crinkle goes a long way, so I consider it salvaged.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Some of the blocks were a bit messy – but not this one.

The blocks are then arranged in an “X”s and “O”s  or Hugs and Kisses arrangement (well, one X/kiss) to be exact.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Some of the quilting.

I used this really lovely, pale grey Crosshatch Sketch for the backing, which I adore. I had looked for something suitable for a long time, and then was in my local fabric store, looking for something completely unrelated, and there it was.

The binding is Kona Coal. I made it a bit more narrow than planned, but it’s probably better that way, since it’s such a dark colour.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
The binding is Kona Coal.

All that black and grey make for a monochromatic back, which I love.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
There is just one X in this quilt.

The front is really bright. My husband said it looked a bit stark. “Yes, well, it’s not for you”.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Love the colours (or lack thereof).

Actually it is a gift for a family member, who I think likes stark colours, at least these ones. I hope.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
And it passes the mandatory quality inspection.

Anyway, since it was for a family member, I skipped the “Hey, be gentle with the quilt!”, and there was a small quilt dance party. But hopefully the family member won’t mind.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
At the red quilt dance party.

X’s and Os Quilt

Quilt block: Lozenge block in an “X”s and “O”s  or Hugs and Kisses arrangement.

Size: 53 by 53 inches.

Fabrics:

Mostly unknown, but includes Michael Miller – Ring Dot Black, Kona White, Kona Red. The rest I picked up as fat quarters.

Binding: Kona Coal

Backing: Crosshatch Sketch in Mist (or is this Grey?) by Timeless Treasures

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Hanging up.

My First Fabric Bundle: Snow Day

I am super excited to announce my very first custom fabric bundle! Come look!

Snow Day Bundle
Snow Day Bundle – A cool and contemporary selection of Aquas, Reds, Greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles

It’s called Snow Day and it’s available now (and is even on sale!) from Warp &Weft.

This is the really fabulous copy: “A cool and contemporary selection of aquas, reds, greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles”. Oh my!

When Esmari of Warp & Weft contacted me and asked me to create a custom bundle for her first anniversary, using fabrics from her shop, I was so just so thrilled. The tough part (ok, the really, really fun part) was narrowing down the choices.

I wanted something fun, and something with some sort of theme. And winter is coming (which really it always is, unless it is already winter). And of course what does Montreal have a lot of? Winter! (Gotta represent!) So a snow theme just sounded perfect.

Snow Day Bundle - A cool and contemporary selection of Aquas, Reds, Greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
All the prints in the Snow Day Bundle.

I am really happy about how it tuned out. Can’t you just see these in a quilt with a lot of white for the snow?

You should take a look at the other guest bundles too. Each of the members of the Warp & Weft Sewing Society contributed their own bundle. Carla’s is called Candy Floss and Cynthia’s is called On Rosamund Street. Aren’t they beautiful? And so different, like each one of us.

On Rosamund Street Bundle  Soft Pastel designs with a splash of the unexpected put together by Cynthia Frenette of cynthiaf exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
On Rosamund Street Bundle
Soft Pastel designs with a splash of the unexpected put together by Cynthia Frenette of cynthiaf
Candy Floss Bundle  A custom selection of bold pinks and oranges and soft turquoises put together by Carla Peicheff of My 1/2 Dozen Daily exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
Candy Floss Bundle
Bold pinks and oranges and soft turquoises put together by Carla Peicheff of My 1/2 Dozen Daily

Special Discount

Anyway, enough gushing. I feel like I’ve already used up my quota of exclamation marks writing this post.

If you order any of the three bundles in the next week, they are also 10% off! Yay!

Happy Anniversary Warp & Weft! Thanks for inviting me to the party!

Princess Leia Takes Gym Class

Well, if one kid was going to have a new gym bag for back-to-school, I certainly couldn’t let the other kid feel left out. And since there was plenty of fabric left over from her pencil case, I decided that a Star-Wars themed gym bag would be a good plan.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment

This is a super easy pattern (and free!). It’s also very quick to sew.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I used green cording to match the lining.

I wanted to use bright colours, but I also wanted it to be practical. I think the purple should wear well.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I used Ovals in Lime from the Remix collection by Anne Kelle for the lining. Nice and bright.

My daughter helped pick all the fabric. And I think she did a great job.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I’m glad the Star Wars fabric doesn’t only coordinate with dark colours. Star Wars and purple don’t always go together, but they do here. Yeah, grommets!

Again, the only (barely) hard part was putting in the grommets. I did a practice run first, but these were no problem at all.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment

Summary

Pattern Review: Jeni Gym Bag tutorial by Katy Jones of I’m A Ginger Monkey.

Fabric:

  • Character Names in Multi from the Star Wars II collection by Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM for Camelot Cottons.
  • Kona solid (could this be Plum?) by Robert Kaufman.
  • Ovals in Lime from the Remix collection by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.

Sizes: One size fits most. The finished bag is 14″ x 17″.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
A little big, but room to grow.

Just to be clear: The Star Wars name is trademarked by Lucasfilm Ltd. and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The gym bag shown here is not an official licensed product and is not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Adventures in Pattern Testing

Way back in July I volunteered to do a little pattern testing. I’d never been a pattern tester before so I thought I’d give you a little run down on what it’s like. The pattern I had the chance to test is the super cute Sally Dress from Very Shannon (great first name!) of luvinthemommyhood fame.

Now before you look at my version, you should hop over to her site and take a look at the finished versions there, then hop back here.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Nice big pockets.

The dress is fully lined with nice big pockets (love those pockets!). It has no closures so it’s great for beginners and comes in sizes 2T to 8, which is a nice range. It also comes sleeveless or with two sleeve variations (short sleeves and elbow-length sleeves).

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
A closer look at the bodice of the Sally Dress.

This is a really cute dress and it’s very easy to sew. I think Shannon did two rounds of testing, but I was only available for the first round. So when I did my round the sleeves weren’t quite ready and the bodice was also changed in the second round. I do like the sleeveless version though.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.

Now one thing about pattern testing is that you are sewing to a deadline, which I try not to do too often. In this case my busy schedule meant that I only had one day to get fabric. And there was only one place that was open on the day I could go. Ack! So this isn’t my first choice of fabric for this pattern (I do like the prints though), but I still like the way it turned out.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.

The prints are Houndstooth and Swell Strip, both in multicoloured, from the Textured Basics collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics. The houndstooth was a gift from Double Decker Fabrics.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Inside out view. I lined the bodice with super soft cotton batiste.

This is the inside out view where you can see how nicely it’s finished on the inside. I lined the bodice in super soft cotton batiste.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Fun colours.

Now I have to say this testing didn’t go as easy as I would have liked. I had to resew the bodice twice, and shorten the skirt (which meant taking apart the pockets), and because I was matching the stripes, redo the pockets. Now of course, all the little problems that had me resewing were fixed and retested before the final pattern was released, so have no fear! You will not be subjected to all of that. And if I hadn’t chosen a striped print, I could have made life so much easier on my self.

But it all still went a little wrong. This dress relies on a very fitted bodice for the fit and my little one is very slim in the chest, which mean she’s floating in the dress. I made the size 7, which I always make, and it’s just too big. I probably would have been happier making the size 4, but lengthening it.

And the other thing that went wrong was that I hadn’t seen how long the dress was supposed to be. None of the photos showed the full model. Of course now there are quite a few cute Sally Dresses out there, and some are quite short, some shorter than I’d like, but all are much shorter than mine.

So I had a choice. I could rip out everything and recut, or I could just hang onto it until next spring when it will probably fit perfectly. And since my little girl loves it as is, I went with the second choice.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
A little big, for now.

I will, hover, have to try again, and maybe this time add sleeves too.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sally Dress from Very Shannon of luvinthemommyhood fame.

Fabric: Houndstooth and Swell Strip, both in multicoloured, from the Textured Basics collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Size: 7 (though really I should have gone down a size or two).

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Good (would have been great in a smaller size).

Disclaimer: The pattern was generously provided by Very Shannon, in return for testing the pattern. As always, my opinions are my own.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Fun to twirl.

Seven Seas Gym Bag

Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

This year I did quite a bit of back-to-school sewing. With two kids in school there is just so much to buy, so it’s nice to be able to make something as well.

The Fabric

I started off with six fat quarters from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The prints I chose are Laddies Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Grey. These are just so darn cute! When my little boy saw them he was over the moon. These are really fun prints and the fabric is organic, which is always nice.

Laddies Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Gray from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.
The Before shot: Laddies Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Grey from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

The Pattern

I used the Jeni Gym Bag tutorial by Katy Jones of I’m A GingerMonkey.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey

This is a free online tutorial (with a super convenient PDF download). The directions are very clear and easy to follow.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Looks a bit like a superhero cape when it’s empty.

The tutorial makes a lined drawstring bag that is kid-sized. It’s a little big on my 5-year-old but not so big it looks silly. Just big enough that it will last a while though.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I used The Fleet in Grey to line the bag.

I used white cording for the drawstring, but you could also use ribbon, homemade bias binding stitched closed, etc.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Easy for little hands to open.

There is plenty of room inside for sneakers and a change of clothes.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Love how one of the little poppets appears to have already walked the plank!

The toughest part of the pattern was installing grommets (which really were not that hard to install). Much easier than eyelets, if you’ve ever had to use those, because the grommets are so much larger and more stable when you whack them with a hammer. You do need a special grommet tool though.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Another shot of my awesome grommet.

My son really likes the sea creatures and the colours. It’s really hard to find fabric for boys that isn’t too babyish, or too serious, or too dark. These prints are bright and fun and and the bag was a big hit.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Just one more grommet pic. Really though, check out that great grommet!

I’m really happy with this bag. It’s just so much cuter than anything I could buy in the store. And it was super quick to make. In case, ahem, you have to make one the day before school starts because your summer was just too crazy (just saying).

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment

Summary

Pattern Review: Jeni Gym Bag tutorial by Katy Jones of I’m A GingerMonkey.

Fabric: Laddies Poppets, Sea Critters, and The Fleet in Grey from the Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Sizes: One size fits most. The finished bag is 14″ x 17″.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
Well now, what could this be?

Once the rightful owner was conveniently out of the way, there was some unauthorized testing. (And no, I do not normally allow my infant children to play with drawstring bags for obvious reasons).

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
“Mine!”