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Stuff To Do With Scraps

Scrap Quilt-y ThingScrap Quilt-y ThingThere's been a lot of buzz lately about using scraps. First it was Rebecca, at Tales of a Wannabe Seamstress, then the Fabric Ripper did a post on the topic and in the usual Fabric Ripper style, goaded JillyBe into a post about a really need scrap scarf.

Well, I wasn't so sure I wanted to show anybody pictures of my scrap quilt because it's, er, scrappy.. and because absolutely zero planning went into it, I've just kinda been sewing together rectangles because if they're sewn together randomly, they're slightly less chaotic than if they're just piled up.
It's wrinkled and didn't photograph too well and there's some warping I may or may not try to fix.. but nonetheless, here it is!
It's actually a great deal more interesting to touch than to look at, because I've kinda been using a bit of everything. All woven in this one, although I may try to do something similar with knits someday. It was kinda an impromptu thing I started one day trying to figure out *something* to do with all these little bits of fabric I've got piled up in boxes-- like I said NO planning. At all.

Self-Drafted Corset Mockups

Corset Mockup: The mockup of my newest pattern.  It's still using the front and back pieces from the last version, since I'd already inserted the busk and put in the grommets.  This one extends down lower onto the hips and doesn't come up as high in the front.  It also seems to be a much better fit, although I still have to test it with it's own front and back pieces.  It's only one layer currently.  I realized after the last one that the two-layer corset was pretty impossible to adjust.. so now, one layer mockups it is.Corset Mockup: The mockup of my newest pattern. It's still using the front and back pieces from the last version, since I'd already inserted the busk and put in the grommets. This one extends down lower onto the hips and doesn't come up as high in the front. It also seems to be a much better fit, although I still have to test it with it's own front and back pieces. It's only one layer currently. I realized after the last one that the two-layer corset was pretty impossible to adjust.. so now, one layer mockups it is.
Pieces of the Last Version: The pieces of the last corset, minus front and back, of course.  It was much too flared at the hips.  And being silly and making it two layers, I couldn't adjust it at all.  Oops.Pieces of the Last Version: The pieces of the last corset, minus front and back, of course. It was much too flared at the hips. And being silly and making it two layers, I couldn't adjust it at all. Oops.I've been working on drafting a proper corset pattern according to the instructions on Foundations Revealed. I've had some trouble with the location of my waist-- the fact that my actual waist isn't the narrowest part of my torso gets confusing. So anyway, with the first one I ended up having to lower the waist a bit, and the flair to the hips ended up way too dramatic. The second one seems to be better, although of course I haven't fully tested it yet. The Vera Wang canvas holds up pretty well. There's some fraying around the edges, but not too much considering how much I've been abusing it; mostly it's just the pieces I've been reusing that have any fraying. The threads that are fraying don't pull away too badly either, which is useful.

One little gripe: while a corset certainly does make useful armor against tickling (much to Kris's frustration,) it's also armor against being able to scratch my back!

Fabricmart Order!

The Fabrics I Ordered: All cotton, two shirtings, two gauzes, and a stretch corduroy.The Fabrics I Ordered: All cotton, two shirtings, two gauzes, and a stretch corduroy.
Mystery Bundle March 2011: Left to right, there's 1 3/4 yards of a black and heathered grey wool knit (not sure what % wool, but definitely wool,) 2 1/4 yards of a black and white ITY knit, 2 yards of a cream wool tricotine, 1 3/8 yards of powder blue wool gabardine, and 3 yards of a black cotton sateen.  No silk this time, but plenty of wool!  I imagine they're trying to get rid of wool for the summer.Mystery Bundle: Left to right, there's 1 3/4 yards of a black and heathered grey wool knit (not sure what % wool, but definitely wool,) 2 1/4 yards of a black and white ITY knit, 2 yards of a cream wool tricotine, 1 3/8 yards of powder blue wool gabardine, and 3 yards of a black cotton sateen. No silk this time, but plenty of wool! I imagine they're trying to get rid of wool for the summer.Well, there was a big FabricMart sale on cotton.. and since cotton is supposed to skyrocket, I have to get it while it's still cheap, right? There were nice cotton shirtings! And gauze, and corduroy. And I had that $10 gift certificate from Cat.
..and of course, I got a mystery bundle too.

30-Minute Jacket

Half-Hour JacketHalf-Hour Jacket
When I saw the 30-minute jacket I thought "oh neat!" And when I saw that they say it can be made reversible with either lining or double sided fabric, I figured it would be a wonderful use for the double-sided high-performance windblock fleece that's been sitting in the bottom part of the china cabinet that my stash lives in.
I think it actually took longer than half an hour. It probably would have been easier if I had a free arm-machine-- it was rather difficult to manipulate on the bed of my machine. It also took me a little while to figure out how the fabric should go together to make it reversible-- sides facing the same way, not right sides together. It was still pretty easy to make. I decided not to cut the fabric lengthwise, because I'd prefer it as a longer coat-- really, I like cloaks. It's very cloak-like this way. However.. on my dress form, it looks like a no-sew project, like I just draped the fabric over my form and that was it. I think it looks a bit better actually on me, but it's still.. I dunno. Doesn't quite feel like a "real" project. It's not bad or anything, I'm sure I'll wear it, and it *was* a decent use for the double sided fleece.. It just doesn't look like much of a sewing project. Don't get me wrong, it's a good quick jacket, and would probably be more displayable if I could photograph it on me. But I'm still feeling a bit disappointed.

A Few More Couch Pillowcases

Christmas Couch Cushions!: After I made all of the green ones, I was mentioning to Kris that I've seen couches in magazines with very assorted pillowcases, and really liked the way that looked.  The first thing he mentioned was that I should make some red ones so we'd have Christmas couch cushions!  Well, Christmas is a long way away, but I'll have the pillowcases ready! I made two of the red ones.  The fabric was narrower, so they needed a full yard each.Christmas Couch Cushions!: After I made all of the green ones, I was mentioning to Kris that I've seen couches in magazines with very assorted pillowcases, and really liked the way that looked. The first thing he mentioned was that I should make some red ones so we'd have Christmas couch cushions! Well, Christmas is a long way away, but I'll have the pillowcases ready! I made two of the red ones. The fabric was narrower, so they needed a full yard each. Assorted Couch Cushions: ..And then I made a couple more panne velvet pillowcases in different colors.  I made one each of the purple and orange ones.  The purple I only had just over a yard of, so I couldn't have made more than one.  (It used 3/4ths of a yard.)  The orange I still have a bit more of, but I don't need more than one orange pillowcase.  It's amazing I even made one, I'm not much of an orange person, but it's not for wearing, so that makes it better.  It's more of an accent thing.  Some orange can be an acceptable accent. This used up most of the panne velvet I had left.  The panne velvet hasn't been living in my main stash, but in a box off to the side labeled "panne velvet."  (Creative, huh?)Assorted Couch Cushions: ..And then I made a couple more panne velvet pillowcases in different colors. I made one each of the purple and orange ones. The purple I only had just over a yard of, so I couldn't have made more than one. (It used 3/4ths of a yard.) The orange I still have a bit more of, but I don't need more than one orange pillowcase. It's amazing I even made one, I'm not much of an orange person, but it's not for wearing, so that makes it better. It's more of an accent thing. Some orange can be an acceptable accent. This used up most of the panne velvet I had left. The panne velvet hasn't been living in my main stash, but in a box off to the side labeled "panne velvet." (Creative, huh?)

Simplicity Arkivestry Dress

Light Blue Gauze NightgownLight Blue Gauze NightgownTapered Fold for Gauze NightgownTapered Fold for Gauze Nightgown
I first used this pattern last summer, and figured I'd do another one (or maybe another two) since I'd gotten the knit gauze in three colors. When I made it last year, I used the off-white, this time I used the blue; I still have a light purple one. The pattern is a serious fabric hog. The last time I made it, I felt like it was quite wasteful, since there were large pieces of fabric left over that seemed excessive. As drafted, it's so wide that the fabric has to be opened out and then placed double thickness. I didn't really want to do that again, so I used a tapered fold (shown in the second picture) so it could use lengthwise folded fabric. I actually wish I hadn't tapered it as much as I did-- I'm actually thinking it would have worked out better if I'd taken some out of the middle of the top, because the upper edge is very bulky. I think the knit gauze is bulkier than regular gauze would be. I also repeated what I did last time and used a drawstring instead of following the strange instructions for foldover lace with a fake drawstring. I'm considering the possibility of cutting a V out of the front, to reduce the neckline bulk and make the drawstring visible, since I cut the front piece on the fold instead of making it two separate pieces. I haven't decided if that's necessary or not; I do like it as it is, and I'm not completely sure how I'd finish the inner edge of the cut-out V. Probably a lettuce edge like at the hemline and sleeves, but I'm not sure how well that would work. So for now, it stays as it is. I also have less of the lavender, so I'll have to taper the sleeves too, so they don't have to be cut out seperately. I used four and a half yards for this one, and I only have four yards of the lavender knit gauze.

Midnight Blue Panne Velvet "Medieval" Dress

Butterick 4571 in Crushed VelourButterick 4571 in Crushed VelourI got the midnight blue panne velvet for $1/yard from FabricMart last April. I'm not generally a huge fan of panne velvet, but at a dollar a yard for something in a pretty color, I got sucked in anyways. Well, it's been sitting around and sitting around.. so I decided to use it for Butterick 4571. It's a pretty costume-y pattern to begin with (yea, I know it's a costume pattern, but I don't usually like my costumes to be costume-y) so I decided I'd try it in the blue panne velvet. It slides off my shoulders pretty badly, I'll have to do something to stabilize it so it won't fall down; the shape of the neckline nor the slippery heaviness of the panne velvet both contribute to the falling-off-the-shoulders thing. A bit of clear elastic going across the upper edge of the back should help with that, though. I used some of that narrow flower trim I got in a FabricMart mystery box, and I lined the outer sleeves with a hunter green panne velvet I got even longer ago-- at the end of 2009, when I'd only just started sewing. All in all, it doesn't look too bad.. it's kinda pretty for panne velvet. (It was one of the recommended fabrics, too.) I didn't line anything but the sleeves. Polyester is bad enough as it is, I didn't think it needed more layers.

Pink Knit Simplicity 3568 Tunic Top

Pink Knit Tunic TopPink Knit Tunic TopThe bad news is that when I prewashed this fabric, I washed it with some other stuff.. including a shirt of Kris's that had a pen in it that I missed. The good news is that a few more washings got most of the ink out-- enough that I was still able to fit the pattern pieces into the inkless parts. I made view A of Simplicity 3568, the longer top without the cowl neck. I cut a 12, but it actually seems a bit big. While knits are among the fabrics suggested for the top, it also lists various non-stretch fabrics, so it's not sized for knits and I probably should have gone with a smaller size. It looks frumpy with jeans, but I'm thinking that it'll be better with leggings, and leggings were more what I had in mind for it while I was making it anyways.

Sheer Kitchen Curtains

Sheer Kitchen Curtains: I'll really have to take another picture when the sun isn't shining right into the window.  I used two layers of green polyester chiffon from (you guessed it) a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year.  I made green sheer curtains for the living room and the stairway awhile ago, but hadn't decided what to do with the rest of the stuff.  I had old white curtains up on the kitchen window before, but the green goes with everything else better.  I've still got a tad of the green stuff left, but this used up most of what I had left.Sheer Kitchen Curtains: I'll really have to take another picture when the sun isn't shining right into the window. I used two layers of green polyester chiffon from (you guessed it) a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year. I made green sheer curtains for the living room and the stairway awhile ago, but hadn't decided what to do with the rest of the stuff. I had old white curtains up on the kitchen window before, but the green goes with everything else better. I've still got a tad of the green stuff left, but this used up most of what I had left.
Green Sheer Curtains Closed: Here's one of the curtains closed.. but still with the sun right behind them.  Hopefully I'll get better pictures after the sun sets.Green Sheer Curtains Closed: Here's one of the curtains closed.. but still with the sun right behind them. Hopefully I'll get better pictures after the sun sets.I just finished sheer green curtains for the window over the kitchen sink. I'd made similar curtains for the windows in the living room and in the stairway, but I'd had up old white ones over the sink for awhile. These match the rest of the house better, and used up most of the green polyester chiffon I had left. I used two layers for each curtain panel, and did a serged rolled hem with woolly nylon in the lower looper for the bottom edges. The curtains are 45" long so I used just over 5 yards for the pair.

Critter Cuddliness

CuddlinessCuddlinessJust a picture of much cuddly critter cuteness. Tink could probably make it cuter, but she doesn't usually sleep in visible places.

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by Dr. Radut