Thursday, April 28, 2016

Two New Pillow Projects

My kitty, Chip, loves this couch, and there is a perfect little place he could roost that I am going to set up for him. It will have buckwheat hull pillow filling and sit right up here:

So hopefully the cat will love it. Time will tell. This is a 10" W x 15" L two piece pillow that I want to make a case for. I will be doing a zipper on it. It will be a great first time out in 3 decades for sewing a zipper. I made one gray denim skirt in my second senior year at Dunedin High. SO it truly IS 3 decades since I did one successfully. 

The next pillow project is different in that it will have a zipper as well as a gusset. It's a totally different situation on it so I'll tackle it differently. Here's some sketched out pics of my mind's eye's vision. I want to use that leopard print remnant and the blue denim that I have so much of. I think they will compliment one another. This one is 20" L x 8" H x 16" W:

I'll be sure to post photos when I get these two done. But they won't be too difficult I'm sure. Not with my great sewing partner. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Washing fabrics

Today was washing day. I wanted to film it a bit but didn't want to fool with a tripod, so I have some stills showing our manner of manual fabric washing. We use a little laundry soap, water, and a lot of arm and hand action. They are neatly folded, all but the bull denim, that one is in the dryer now. I Didn't want to get black fibers all over my gray and camel colored flannels. Hope you like a look into how one pair of sewing relatives do in order to process fabric to prepare to sit in front of the sewing machine to work it as a team. My son is wonderful to sew with.

This is what our unruly pile looked like this time. I think photographing this was easier for John & I today. I hope everyone gets a kick out of seeing the way that we make it fit a wheelchair height for me to be able to be active. and be the agitating force to accomplish the removal of stiffeners and other starches that only help make fabric manageable. And as crazy as it sounds, you do want to pre-wash first. It makes a big difference. Once it's been wrangled free of chemicals I can add my own and my intent with design. Hope everyone is having a great middle of the week. Looking forward to getting some actual sewing done maybe tomorrow if real life could just slow down enough we could schedule a 3 hour session in my little sewing studio.

I'll edit in the photo I'll take of it all resting in its spot until called upon. I am really enjoying the filling of project box. Have to see how the micro-suede sews before I cut the purple. I always play it safe. Have a great evening! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The quest goes on

Well I spent 3 digits on fabric today, but if you're doing your own living room curtains, and working on creating some 'sofa wraps' because replacing a cat clawed corner love seat isn't worth replacing. So truly this is a cheap redo. The curtain fabric, the eye, ugh! I love it! This is a perfect one for the front window curtains, and my glass doors behind me. This will be awesome. I just want to make sure I make them just right, so they are a good thing and not a pain in real life use. This in my mind translates into them hanging above the floor behind me, but not dragging on the floor. The front will have white sheers hanging from a tension rod and then the drapery will hang in front of it and I'll be making tie backs so we can let light in, but keep out vision at night. Should be a lot of fun to see next fall.

I wish this store wasn't closing, today I bought the 2 yard piece of that purple micro-suede I promised myself I'd get. And then there was the huge 18 yard cut of the silvery eye fabric. That will serve me well I think. And then I got 9 yards of the beige micro-suede for making sofa wraps. I will post more on these things as I get through them, and get them on paper. I am really looking forward to a purple newsboy, so that will be the next one cut out and most likely next sewn up. Isn't this fabric haul awesome? I included how I sealed it up and dated and cataloged it before putting it into the fabric vault. That's what I've named my walk-in closet, John's and my little fabric vault and today we made a nice little investment deposit to it.

This is a little like what I'm aiming for with the curtains. When I get this new hat cut and sewn I'll update with it. But for me, the search for the perfect newsboy hat goes on. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

On the Quest for the Perfect Hat

I am sad to say the place in town that has been open for a couple of decades is closing. I am going to be lucky to get enough to do my living room, and possible curtains for my son and my own room, big curtain projects. I actually saw a leopard print, not the one I have, the one seen here from our last trip to the fabric store.

They have this pattern still, so if I ever want to take a stab a leopard do over on my bedroom at all, like use for bedspread-different than a pieced quilt, which I have one left to finish. In sewing we call those unfinished projects, UFO's. I ended up buying a remnant of this one too, a $10 huge remnant of it, and they have the end of the roll left on it as well, I am trying to use a crystal ball and see what the future of possibly needing this kind of fabric would mean, because I have a window of opportunity here to get it for almost 1/2 of retail. 

But for sure I am buying what is left of this one, the microfiber/micro suede in a beige that neutrally matches our current love seats. The yellowish one, that is a 2 yard piece I bought for making hats. I see at least two. One bucket, and one newsboy. I think it will be wonderful to make those projects happen. My son graduated last May and so we have a lot of quality time to spend together now. It delights me that he enjoys sewing with me. I try to teach him about sewing skills that have been years in the making for me, so that in the future, when he has my machines and I'm not here to guide him, maybe just maybe he'll be able to sew and remember the time he and I spent in my sewing studio. What do you think? This one is perfectly matched isn't it? Left to right, guazey sheer fabric for front under curtains, the 2 yards of micro suede that I am going to return for the remaining bolt to make wraps for my two love seats, then there's the yellowish one will be hats and finally 2 yards of black denim for tote bags and other projects.

We're going to make some totes this year, muhahaha, totes.

So around this time I was learning the Whitney Sew's free hat pattern. I have always been trying to create the perfect hat. Not quite there, but John's red vinyl one taught me some things. 

I am going to cut out two hats from this one, the yellowish micro-suede today. Not sure what John will want to do today, but me? Sewing prep day. I am stuffing up our project box. I am in fact going to do a light tutorial on making a wooden project box, how to make your own personalized walking stick, we have three picked out of all the trees they've taken down. I have a shoe box now, but will make one out of wood soon enough. For now I want to mass cut a ton of these skull caps out, I can't find that jigsaw flannel any longer, but I have one left from it. One sitting in our Reebok shoe box, in a gallon ziplock bag. That is to keep then free from cat hair or dust.

See how I line mine? There are yellow flannel under panels to make you have a smoother cap-no exposed seams. And I think the need longer ties, but we're learning. I am delighted with how well these were received. A family member, my step MIL, had chemo, lost her hair, and I had just been making these. so I made her a couple, and more later, because it was winter, and even in Florida two layers of the light flannelette they sell in Jo Ann's or Walmart is nice. This was Jack's innovation. Because I was simply going to just run with making them single shelled hats. Lining them brought it to a whole new level for me. So I have star wars ones to whip up. 

Isn't that black flannel lining sweet? This is a easy project too. I'll be sure to do a tutorial on sewing one for the blog in case you're interested. But for now, I want to make myself a camel looking newboy in faux suede that is fully washable. Thanks for reading. I'll be sure to post more about hats in my own personal quest for 'the perfect hat'.

For your enjoyment I bring you a link, for this skull cap pattern as a single shelled piece:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Resetting our project box

I figure part of being ready to sew when the moment presents itself to make something, finishing a project by giving it time and effort to create beautiful things. Part of sewing, a huge part is preparation. And then materials. I've been collecting various fabrics over the few years I've been actively sewing again. My son and I got a machine, a 201-2 it's a beastly machine. Beefy and strong lines to it. He loved it on sight and when we saw they only wanted $30 I didn't even bat an eye.

When you see something in your mind's eye, you need the tools to make it happen. A sewing machine is one important one, presser feet are others. Some are made for specific jobs in sewing and they can make sewing much easier when using the proper tools. Needles designed for tasks or fabric weights, those are part of the machine that educating yourself on will only serve to improve your odds of creating successful things to share with people and for yourself.

Then you need scissors, and patterns. Because I like to quilt, I needed the self-healing measuring cutting mat for my sewing studio. I have a rotary cutter too, and rulers, but I use spring loaded scissors from Fiskars to cut out hats and other projects. So I used them today to cut out four hats for our project box. You can see a red denim news boy hat & a autism rainbow jigsaw puzzle skull cap. These are what we had left in the project box after pulling out the red vinyl hat I never thought I'd work up the courage to make.

Part of sewing is also learning how to lay out the pattern pieces according to the design's orientation and to get maximum use from your purchased yardage. Rule of thumb always buy 2 yards more then you think you will need. That's how I have any of this leopard flannel left, the extra yardage I added in when I bought for my Around the World leopard style quilt. 

I think I like the fact that math is put to practical use here in sewing. This was my second quilt, my first was for my son, a HEAVY little quilt that I love as much as he does. 

You can see here I got the hats all coordinated, I'll be sure to post photos as John and I sew these up. But I worked hard this afternoon wrangling fabric in order to create these ready to sew projects. John is great when I am cutting out quilts, but it's harder for him because of all the fabric manipulation I have to do to angle the way I am to get around the panels of the news boy hat pattern, or the brims, etc.

A full project bag gives us variety and smaller, easier to finish in a day projects to get us sewing sooner. I still have work on my quilt to do, but all in good time. Thank you for sharing in what's going in our sewing studio at Sight Unsewn. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Favorite free pattern: Whitney Sews Newsboy hat

Welcome to my new blog, where I will prove that if you can dream it, you can sew it real. I have been sewing since childhood when I used my mother's fabric scraps and made doll clothes and little accessories for my Barbie dolls. This blog will document the sewing adventures of my son and myself. I hope you enjoy it. On to the blog's first entry, the ultra versatile hat pattern, Whitney Sews' Newsboy hat pattern. It's on her youtube page for this video. I will not directly link to her pattern from my blog until I have the okay from her. That is just in case she withdraws the personal use availability for this great tutorial and free pattern. Here is her How-to youtube video:

I made my first one of these a couple years ago, I had watched this video like 15+ times before working up the nerve to try it out of muslin. I was enlarging it because I like a looser hat. Which turned out to be a good thing because the muslin version was a little too snug. Here's an assortment of hats I've made since I started using this fun pattern.

I won't make this a tutorial, you can't improve on this video's instructions at all, so I won't even try. I will show my latest hat though, this one in red vinyl was cut out two years ago, but I was afraid to try to sew it on my mother's Necchi Supernova and it would not have been too enjoyable trying to. I was blown away over the holiday season when I came upon a Vintage Singer 201-2 machine in a shop. I didn't even ask questions or haggle on the $30 price tag they had on it. Just took it and ran. A roller foot with this incredible machine made this project a lot of fun to do with my son working the foot pedal.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the hats I've made using this free pattern. My son, John, loves his new hat. I will be sharing another interesting free hat pattern soon, a free bucket hat pattern. Thank you for taking time to read over this blog's first entry, and if you have any suggestions for projects you'd like to see my son and I make and share here, please post or email me. Have a great day & sew your dreams to life!