Kid No 1 needed to bring money to school for a bake sale fundraiser. But she’s a bit young for a wallet or purse, and doesn’t always have pockets for change. What to do? This is the latest project I made for the kids.
These are the Lunch Money Cuff, which I made following Christie’s tutorial over on a Lemon Squeezy Home. It’s a nice easy tutorial and I whipped up three cuffs in an evening.
I’d love to call this stash busting, but it’s more like scrap busting. Each cuff only takes four 8.5” x 3” pieces of fabric. It’s a miracle I had even that much.
The fabrics are all by Anne Kelle and were leftovers from some other projects. The whales were from my Whale quilt. The yellow was from my Sunshine Bug quilt. The ladybugs and cats were from a couple of Oliver + S Ice Cream Dresses I made a while ago. The velcro is the heavy-duty variety and left over from Halloween costumes. All I had to buy were the zippers.
With this project and another that I have cut, but not assembled, I managed to use up all of my Kona Red and Corn Yellow, and most of the two red prints. I thought I had used up all the whales as well, but then I organized my quilting fabric and found a bit more. Oops!
I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern. The tutorial says the cuffs are the right size for kids aged five and seven. It’s a bit loose on my two-year-old, but then she also won’t have any money in hers. Still it’s fun to have the same thing the bigger kids have.
I think I probably started this quilt in the depth of winter last year. That probably explains why I chose such bright, colourful, sunny fabrics. So it’s fitting that I finished it yesterday, the day after another big snowstorm.
This is a stacked coins quilt. It was quite quick to piece the front.
I didn’t piece the back this time, but used a single piece of Tangerine Dots from Anne Kelle’s Remix collection. It’s a baby quilt, though it would also fit on a toddler bed, so it’s small enough for a single piece of backing fabric.
For the quilting, I just did some straight line quilting, but it is quite dense over the white sashing.
Again, I followed the tutorial by Red Pepper quilts on machine stitched binding. The binding is entirely machine stitched. I save quite a bit of time this way.
So far this quilt has no home. I didn’t have anyone in mind when I started it. Of course that’s probably a good thing, because they would have been waiting a long time for me to finish.
My toddler has already refused it. She wants a quilt with birds instead. I’m working on that. Even though she doesn’t like it, I like it a lot. I really like the sunny colours.
I didn’t use a pattern for this quilt – it’s quite a simple design. But if you are a beginner looking for a pattern, there’s one that is very similar in the Moda Bake Shop called the Stacked Coins Baby Quilt. This project is linked up with Finish It Up Friday.
Sunshine Bug Quilt
Quilt block: Stacked Coins
Size: 36 by 43.5 inches
Sashing and binding: Kona White
Orange stacked coins:
Deena Rutter’s Happier collection for Riley Blake Designs: Happier Floral in Orange, Happier Bugs in Orange
Kona School Bus, Papaya, and Corn Yellow
Beetle Boy by by Ellen Crimi-Trent
Spots in Taffy from Kaffe Fassett for Westminster
Stof basics fat quarter bundle in orange/yellow
Backing: Remix Tangerine Dots by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Cotton
The Kelly skirt is a softly pleated, button-up skirt. It’s quite flattering on a variety of figures and according to the pattern designer, “created with the beginner sewer in mind”.
I’ve seen several cute versions online, but my favourites are by Adrienne at Stitching on the Edge, and Andrea at four square walls. Both used piping and linen, and I thought I would do the same.
My fabric is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn-dyed cotton-linen blend in black. I’m a huge fan of linen, and this fabric is amazing. It’s a bit heavier than your standard linen and has a really great, slightly nubby texture. I’m already dreaming up new clothing I can make with it.
I used store-bought black piping from one of the local fabric stores. I really like this look, but when I was trying the skirt on, I found that in real-life wearing of this skirt, I would probably go with a longer top, which necessarily covers the piping detail. Oh well. I know it’s there.
I fully lined the skirt (I’m not sure what the lining fabric is), mostly so I could wear it in the winter with tights. It makes for a warmer skirt, with smoother lines and fewer wrinkles in the fabric. The pattern does not come with instructions for the lining.
The pattern and instructions are great. It’s an easy pattern (only 5 pattern pieces) which really is great for beginners. I’m not a beginner, so the whole project went quite quickly. I especially like having the instructions in a booklet. The pattern is printed on thick paper, so you need to trace the pattern onto tracing paper. Both the booklet and pattern are quite durable, which is always nice with a pattern you intend to use multiple times, which I do.
I only have two complaints. The first is really very minor, nit picky even, but when constructing the skirt, it’s a good idea to baste the pockets to the side seams before joining the front and the back. It keeps the pocket from rippling. It’s a very small detail, but one that would probably help beginners.
I recently had my fourth baby, and although I would normally be a size large in the Megan Nielsen size range, my waist is (temporarily I hope!) larger than the largest size included in the pattern. I graded the pattern up a size, which was quite easy, but not something that every beginner will be able to do.
Despite my small complaints, I thought that overall this was a very good pattern and it makes a very wearable, flattering skirt.
Just before I made this skirt I got a belated birthday present in the mail. Can you identify these presser feet?
One is an invisible zipper foot, the other is a sew-on button foot. I was so excited when I opened these up. I know, I’m such a sewing geek.
I’ve been sewing for years, but on a very basic machine. It was one of the first purchases I made when I moved out on my own. It’s a basic Singer, with no special presser feet. Having this machine has meant that all the finishing details of my clothes were done by hand. I had never sewn on a button by machine. I had also never made a blind hem, any way except by hand. I once made a formal gown for my sister. It had a floor length, full circle skirt in satin, with layers of tulle underneath. I hand-stitched the entire blind hem. It took ages.
A couple of years ago my husband bought me a much better machine. One of the most eye-opening things for me is trying out all the special presser feet. It has made sewing much easier and much more precise, though I still like the look of hand-finished details.
This is the first time I’ve machine sewn buttons to a garment. I like it a lot, especially for casual clothes. With a coat, I would still sew on the buttons by hand. I’ve been looking at Colette Pattern’s Beignet skirt for a while now, but the number of buttons was so discouraging. I think I see a Beignet skirt in my future now.
This is also the first time I’ve made a blind-hem by machine. I’m not sure if I’m a fan. From the outside it looks perfect, of course. Though I’m not used to seeing all the stitches on the inside. When you hand-stitch a blind hem, it is invisible on the inside as well. On the other hand, the lining covers the hem, so I’ll never really see it.
These are some photos of my second quilt. Unlike my first quilt, this is the first quilt I made myself without a pattern or a class, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
When I started, I was very sure about how I wanted the front to look, but didn’t really have a plan for the back.
When my cousin announced she was pregnant, I thought this would be perfect for her new baby. But now that the quilt was for a very special little one, it needed something a bit more fun for the back.
Anne Kelle’s whales were perfect and exactly the right colours!
I did some simple straight-line quilting, and I love the crinkly look it ended up with. I bound it in Kona white. It’s not the most practical choice, but it does look nice. I followed the tutorial on how to machine bind a quilt from Red Pepper Quilts. It worked very well. So much easier than hand stitching!
The quilt measures about 50 by 56 inches.
I’m not sure what all the fabrics are. But here is a partial list.
Kona white from Robert Kaufman.
Anne Kelle’s Urban Zoologie collection Whales in the bright colour-way from Robert Kaufman.
Crystal Palace from Classic Cottons.
The dark blue, light blue and yellow are just fat quarters that I picked up at a local quilt shop.
There may have been a test drive (ahem) before I shipped it.
I’d seen the dress and tunic on so many blogs, always with great results. Now I noticed that many of the Washi’s I saw were being worn by people who were taller and less curvy than me. Then a couple of photos showed up in the flickr pool that looked a little more like me, so I had hope! Maybe I too could wear the fabled Washi. I bought the pattern.
The printed pattern is great. I love that the pattern sizes are each printed in a separate colour. Genius! Why doesn’t everyone do that? I love that each piece of paper is printed with a grid overlay along the sides of the paper. So easy to assemble! I liked the instructions, especially the part on making a muslin.
So I dutifully got out some (hideously ugly) fabric from my stash, and made a muslin. And then I did a full bust adjustment (FBA) which I had figured I would have to do. I used the instructions for a FBA on Megan Nielsen’s website, which Made by Rae lists on their site and which are very clear. It still wasn’t working. I went down a size, redid my FBA and lowered the darts. And anyway…. five muslins later I had something I thought looked fairly decent, so I cut my fabric.
There is only one thing in the printed pattern I would change: the way the bust darts are cut out before assembly. After just one muslin, it was clear that by basting and pressing the dart to start, you can get a much better fit, because you can adjust that seam. But if the fabric is already cut, and you need to fine-tune the dart, there’s nothing you can do. You are stuck with the dart placement, as is. The curvier you are, the more this matters.
Assembling the tunic was a breeze. The instructions are great. The smocking with elastic thread was so easy! Everything came together so quickly.
It just didn’t fit, at least not as well as I’d like. Boo!
I’m pretty sure it has more to do with my shape, than the pattern itself, since so many people have had such great luck with this pattern. I am extra curvy (and a breastfeeding mama as well) and I just had a baby six months ago. Can we say problem areas? I figured the pattern would be good for midsection coverage. However, this pattern, like any empire waist look, requires an excellent fit in the bodice. I needed to do the FBA, make sure the darts were in the right place, and make sure that the seamline where the bodice joins the skirt fell at the very thinnest part of my ribcage. This last point is important for avoiding the pregnant look. My muslin did not include the skirt portion of the tunic, only the bodice. It was all a bit frustrating.
In the end I had to take the tunic apart, and shorten the bodice a bit to get the skirt falling at the right place. It’s wearable, but could be better. The front view is good. The side view is only so-so. There is a bit of gaping at the neck. I think this tutorial on avoiding neck gape with a FBA from the Naked Seamstress would help. I would also add a couple tiny under bust darts, as suggested by the Queen of the Flies in her review of the Washi Dress. And there is still some pulling at the shoulders. Maybe I should go down a size? Hmmmm. Suggestions welcome.
Oh, and as a side note… if you disassemble your washi and abandon it in frustration for a couple of weeks (ahem), you may find that the elastic thread has worked its way out, so that you have to resew it. Entirely my fault of course.
I also made a poor choice of fabric. I used quilting cotton. It’s a bit, um, crunchy? Something with a lot more drape would have been a much better choice, especially with sleeves. The pattern recommends “Light to medium weight cottons or cotton blends (e.g. shirting, voile, double gauze, quilting cotton, poplin, or cotton/linen blends)”. Voile, lawn or batiste would have been better choices, at least for my figure. I also would probably have been better off with the dress, instead of the tunic. I suspect the weight of the extra fabric would make for a more flattering line. The garment would hang a bit more straight.
Would I make it again? Yes. The hard part is over. Now that I know how to get a good fit, and what fabric to use, I’d like to try this again. I would also prefer to line the bodice and there are instructions for lining a Washi bodice on the Made by Rae website. (Even though I attached the facing at the side seams, I find the facing pops out sometimes, which is annoying.) It’s such a cute pattern. Let’s call this a wearable muslin and move forward.
Isn’t it pretty? Since this blog is brand new I thought I’d post an older project that I couldn’t share before, because I had nowhere to post it. My first quilt!
I made this baby quilt as part of a class at Montreal’s Emeline & Annabelle sewing lounge (now closed). It is about 36×36 inches.
This is a simple strip quilt made using only four fabrics on the front and a fifth on the back. I hand stitched the binding, but since then have switched to machine stitching bindings. It’s just so much easier.
I have been sewing for ages, but had never made a quilt before this one. I thought a class would be a good way to get started. And I wanted a good excuse to get out of the house and spend some time with grown ups who also like to sew. I was correct on both counts. Emeline & Annabelle also used to offer “Block of the Month” classes which were great for beginners.
I made this quilt in the fall of 2011. I didn’t have anyone to give it to when I made it, but my last baby arrived the following summer. So I was making it for a very special someone, I just didn’t know it at the time.
Sadly, Emeline & Annabelle’s sewing lounge closed this past fall, so I can’t go back and take another class. However, there is now a modern quilt guild in Montreal. The Montreal Modern Quilt Guild is a local chapter of the larger Modern Quilt Guild. There are monthly meetings and sew-ins. I went to my very first one last month. So much fun! You can see a picture of the January sew-in on the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild website. I’m the one way in the back, with the stroller 😉 .
Pink Rails Quilt
Quilt block: Rail Fence
Size: 36 by 36 inches
Loulouthi Framed in Shadow by Anna Maria Horner
Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom collection, Blockade Blossom in Garnet
Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom collection, Blockade Blossom in Blush
Joel Dewberry’s Aviary 2 Lodge Lattice in Lilac
“Grand Bazaar” collection by Patty Young produced by Michael Miller, Spade in Charcoal
Organic bamboo quilt batting