27 March 2013

Embroidery Floss Tassel Necklace

Inspired by this Jenny Hart blog post on Sublime Stitching. Can't wait for the Makerie Sewing!

18 March 2013

My First Patchwork Throw

Big achievement - I finally completed my first patchwork quilt! Well, it's a throw really but let's be bold and call it a quilt.  I started this about 2 years ago and then put it aside at some stage with the intention of getting back to it (hahaha). I decided around Christmas that it was time to get the binding on the edges, the last step. The binding was machine-sewn on the front and hand-stitched on the back and I just finished last week! 
The embroidered square in the photo above and in a few others were Jenny Hart transfers from her book Embroidered Effects and from the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad. I'm so excited to be doing a workshop next month in Boulder, Colorado with her at the Makerie Sewing Retreat (and other amazing imsirping women like Amy Butler, Keri Meng from French General, Cal Patch and Heather Jones).
The quilt was inspired by one of my great-grandmother, Nana's, depression-era patchwork quilts, below. I wanted to make a quilt with all scraps from my stash, nothing purchased.  A few of the squares were fabric donated by a friend but the only things purchased were a $1 batting piece from an op-shop (this actually determined the size of the quilt) and some thick hand-dyed cotton embroidery floss that I used to knot the middle of the squares.
One of two quilts made by my great-grandmother. I remember sleeping under this in Chicago at my grandparents' when I was very little and my mother getting it out in Los Angeles if we were home sick lying on the couch watching TV. It was incredibly warm and heavy.
Great-grandpa Kessler worked in the shipping department of  Hart Schaffner and Marx men's clothing company in Chicago and the quality of the wool fabric and the vibrancy of the colours is amazing. These would have been men's suit sample squares that he brought home for Nana. The squares were all hand-knotted in the centre with green wool knitting yarn. A few of the squares need repair but these quilts have held up well, especially considering they were always machine washed and my mother would have also tumble-dried them.
The back of the the quilt is mattress ticking and there's no border. This is a real no-nonsense quilt!
My quilt again! A closeup of some of the fabric squares with embroidery detail around the squirrel pattern.
The back of my quilt with a vintage fabric I purchased online. You may recognise it from the sides of my Vintage Apron!

13 March 2013

A-line Skirt Copy

A-line skirt copy

I originally had made this fabric into a elastic-waist skirt and didn't really like the fullness of the pleats with the stiff vintage cotton.  I always thought this fabric would be better suited to a straight skirt. Then, last June I bought a skirt when I was working full time thinking 'this is one that I could make' but didn't have any time to sew that winter.  It was my favourite (2nd fave now!) skirt and I finally had time to copy it last month. I made it a little narrower than the original red skirt (below).

The fabric has hand-painted looking purple, turquoise and yellow flowers with grey and green brushy stems and leaves. I bordered it in purple store-bought bias binding after testing to make sure it didn't run in the wash or with the steam iron. I had another trim I was thinking of using that was colour-fast in the wash but ran onto my ironing board (see photo below). Didn't use that one! The fabric was from A Piece of Cloth at their North Melbourne Market stall.

 The purchased skirt. I love this fabric and live in this skirt with t-shirts!

 I didn't make a pattern, just placed the fabric under the skirt and cut with a seam allowance.

 I recommend testing for water and steam-iron fastness if you are using a coloured trim. This one didn't pass the steam test and I didn't realise it until it was too late for my ironing board cover!

02 March 2013

Vintage PJs

Vintage PJs, pattern circa 1930's. The fabric is $9/m Japanese lawn from Spotlight and vintage lace trim from my stash.  This is the first pattern I have ever used that fit me perfectly without any alterations! It was one of those real oldies with no markings on the pattern and no instructions but good pics on the envelope. Very comfy for lounging around the house and a lot more stylish than track pants!
Australian Home Journal 10498
Pattern Envelope Back
Back view
Bow tie detail