Disclaimer: The book being given away today was provided by C&T Publishing. No monetary compensation was provided for this posting. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links and benefit Sewing Mamas when purchases are made through the links.
We are giving away a copy of Bandana-rama – Wrap, Glue, Sew: Kids Make 21 Fast & Fun Craft Projects
Here are a couple fun projects from this book:
Bandana Book Cover
Bandana Shoulder Bag
The drawing closes at midnight on Monday, October 20, so get those entries in! Sorry international friends, this giveaway is open only to US residents.
(First, an exciting disclaimer – Amazon has started to collect sales tax in Minnesota, which means we have our affiliate links back! So, the product links below will generate a small commission that helps keep Sewing Mamas running if you purchase through our links. Please know that Sewing Mamas’ blog ONLY posts about products that I actually use. I don’t want to share stuff unless it’s good! Thanks for helping out!)
I bought these Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips some time ago because I already had these little red ones and I thought bigger ones would be nice to have, though I wasn’t really sure what I was going to use them for.
As it turns out, they are really handy for embroidery. When I have bigger pieces that I am embroidering on, I usually end up holding parts out of the way of the embroidery hoop. My daughter wanted her name on her basketball bag. The side of the bag bounced about, even though I had rolled and scrunched it up. The clips were wide enough to hold onto the scrunched up bag and made it so much easier to control.
ps – I think we’re due for a giveaway, so check back tomorrow to see what I have for you! :)
After making this fantastic test version of hoodie pattern #9, I made a couple adjustments to the sleeves. Then I made it with a Polartec® Wind Pro® fleece. The fleece is a high loft/low velour face. I used the loft side as the inside, which is really soft. It makes up for the fact that this fabric fluffs all over the place when you cut it. The vacuum cleaner and some mailing tape were definitely good helpers for this one.
This is a size 38, with length and a little width added to the sleeves. The pattern is intended to be used with wool jersey, which I suspect might be thinner than the fleece I used. I wanted something warm for the ice rink. I tested it out at hockey practice last weekend and it was sooooo cozy with just a tank top layered underneath.
The embroidery is by Windbell Embroidery and is part of the gradient butterflies series. I didn’t do any thread color changes and used a variegated thread instead. This particular design is almost 5″x5″ and I probably should have used a smaller one. I used a tearaway stabilizer on the bottom and a water soluble on the top. This design stitched out really nicely.
The pattern calls for binding around the hood, which I ignored and instead folded under and coverstitched. I also evened out the front and back pieces so I didn’t put the vent flaps in the sides. I might leave it longer in the back next time. Not sure…
I ordered this dress from Athleta on super sale.
It was only $20 (down from $69!), and it was a size Medium Tall, which I do not usually find in the sale sections. So, I bought it hoping to dye it.
All the dyeing I have done in the past has been with Dharma’s Procion dyes. Procion dyes are really easy to use. Unfortunately, this dress is a nylon/spandex blend, 75/25. This sent me into the scary world of Jacquard Acid Dyes.
This is a scary thing, right? ACID dyes.
As it turns out, it really is not scary. First, I had to find a stainless steel pan that I was willing to never use for food, and it had to be big enough to hold the dress with room to move around. I picked up one secondhand for $10. That seemed like kind of a lot, but I have been scouting the second hand shops for a while, and apparently big stainless steel pans either go fast or don’t get donated very often.
The thing that makes it an acid dye is that you use vinegar. Vinegar is not scary.
First step is to put hot water in a pan (stainless steel or ceramic) and turn on the stove. Then you add the dye to the pot. I used half an ounce of dye, because that was how much I had. Dharma recommends 1/3-2/3 oz per pound of fabric. After mixing the dye in the water so it seemed well dissolved, I put the wet dress in.
After it had been in there for a while and the whole mess was almost boiling (but not, because it is not supposed to actually boil), I poured in 1/4 cup of vinegar. I just used regular white vinegar from my kitchen cabinet. It was only smelly for a minute or so. The directions say not to pour the vinegar on the fabric, so I just kind of mushed the dress over while I poured in the vinegar.
After all that, I just stirred it for half an hour. Pretty easy. And not scary.
Now, the directions are pretty clear in saying that you should keep the temperature between 185-200, and not boiling. I did not have a thermometer that I wanted to put in the dye bath, so I just tried to keep it from boiling. It is possible that once it did get hotter than it was supposed to and I had to turn it down a whole bunch. However, it seems to have turned out okay, so try not to panic if you do this and that happens.
After the half hour, I dumped the whole thing in my laundry sink. There was momentary panic when I saw some of the color completely running off. Then I remembered that the lining of the dress is polyester, so that part was not expected to hold the dye. Whew!
The wooly nylon used in the stitching dyed, but the thread in the needles was likely polyester, that did not hold the dye at all. I think the contrast with the navy blue is okay, though.
I tossed it in the washer with some Synthrapol and hoped for the best.
No blue bubbles, thank goodness.
Here it is all done. It really is a nice navy blue.
Have you used acid dyes? It was much easier than I expected. I am thinking about picking up a purple acid dye and giving tie-dye a try on the second dress I bought.
Some time back, I posted about Jack’s (unfinished) quilt.
This project has been hanging over my head for years. It’s beyond ridiculous. I need it out of my sewing space and out of the space it has been occupying on my mental to-do list.
A week or so ago, I cut and pieced the back, which we have now decided is the front.
After all, no self-respecting third grade boy wants an i-spy quilt. (Actually, they do, they just do not want everyone else to know that they do. So, the i-spy side will hide on the back where only the 8 year old owner can see it and secretly spy matching squares.)
The steps are 6″x12″ finished size. I cut them using the 6.5″ strip cutter on my Accuquilt Studio and then just cut apart 12.5″ rectangles from the strip. Very efficient.
I used chalk to mark the lines for quilting.
Fortunately(?), I spent about 11 hours in the car when we went to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday. This was plenty of time to hand sew the binding to finish it up. I am sooooo happy to be done with this one! Jack’s pretty happy, too.
And, in the spirit of embracing imperfection, I am even going to let you see the quilting up close. And then I will tell you what I learned.
This was quilted on my home sewing machine. It is a Bernina Virtuosa 155. In doing this, I pretty much quilted it in the worst possible direction. First, I quilted the straight line across the middle.
That would have been fine, except that I then stitched the one to the left.
And then I continued to the left until that whole side was done.
This meant when I got to that far left side, I had the whole quilt bunched up in the throat of my machine. Now, you may be thinking this does not matter, because after all, at some point I would have had it all bunched up there, right? But if I had been smarter and instead moved to the right first, when I did the left side and it was all bunched up, it also would have already been quilted, which would have made it much more stable and compressed over there. (ie, less bunchy and loose and more cooperative!)
So, it would have been better if I had done the right side first.
Lesson learned – think ahead about where the quilt will be with respect to the machine when quilting!
I also learned that it is much harder to keep my stitch length consistent on a big quilt than on a mini quilt. Guess I need more practice! I am okay with that.
Here it is hanging from his top bunk. Quilts are for fort making, you know. :)
All in all, I am happy with the result, and Jack is happy to have his own mom made quilt.