Friday, November 28, 2014

En Route Julia Cardigan

After I finished my first Julia Cardigan, I immediately wanted to make another one. This time, I used a print instead of a solid: En Route Knit in Gravel by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics. All in all, I’m quite pleased with it. It did roll some, but the print is forgiving, so I practiced finding the grain in knit fabric without stressing out about it. The fabric is soft and cozy, perfect for this cocoon-style cardigan.

For this version, I played around with the sleeves. Specifically, I shortened them by a couple inches, graded down a size at the wrist, and actually used the cuffs this time. Yay for not having to use a double needle at all! I like the end result better than my previous version, but I might continue to tweak them in the next version. There will definitely be a next version!

Since I thought sewing the Julia Cardigan took too long last time, I experimented with ways to speed up the process (without investing in a serger). I hate slowing down to change feet, so instead of following the instructions step by step, I sewed all the seams that I could with the walking foot one after the other, then switched to the mock overlock foot to finish them, then switched back to the walking foot, etc. This was the first time I had used my walking foot when sewing with knits, and I liked it. I also finished the seams together and pressed to one side, instead of pressing open like the instructions called for. I started cutting out on Sunday and finished on Thursday, so I feel like I improved my time.

The only trouble I had with this cardigan was when I sewed together the doubled over collar. It was twisted and I had to unpick all of it. That’s what I get for sewing late at night! Unpicking knits is incredibly tedious and takes much longer than unpicking quilting cotton. It was worth it though, because I really like this cardigan and will most likely get lots of wear out of it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Swoon Baby Quilt the First

This is definitely one of my favorite quilts this year. I love that the front is all solids with cozy printed flannel on the back, I love the simple, modern feel of it, I love that it came together in only a couple of weeks, and I love that it was given to a close friend for her upcoming baby.

Let’s start with the pattern. I used the Swoon pattern from Thimble Blossoms and made just one 24” block. I added a 6” border for a 36” square quilt. You can see my inspirations here. It’s a very easy to follow pattern, with color diagrams that I found helpful. Normally, I don’t like to add borders, but I didn’t mind it on this small quilt.

All the fabric is from Pacific Fabrics in Everett. I knew that this quilt needed to feature green, blue and at least one jungle animal. I could not for the life of my find any jungle fabric I liked online, so I hit up Pacific Fabrics in person. There I found this mini elephant flannel from Timeless Treasures. Once I had my backing sorted, I chose four Kona solids from what was in stock in the store: Bleached White, Clover, Royal and Blueberry.

My goodness, I love using flannel as a backing! I polled my Instagram followers for tips on sewing with flannel and prewashed the fabric, according to their advice. It is so cozy and warm that I simply loved working with it. I almost didn’t want to finish hand sewing the binding, it was so comfy!

The quilting I chose is very similar to my Giant Snowburst Quilt: a big ‘x’ in the middle, then echo quilting to the edges. Instead of quilting the lines half an inch apart, this time I quilted them a full inch apart. It was quicker and I thought the less dense quilting would be comfier for a baby quilt. Another twist is that I used both white and green thread to quilt it. The central ‘x’ is green, along with every third line. The rest of the lines are white.

I cannot overstate how much I like this quilt. I might just keep making this one over and over for gifts, it’s so quick and satisfying!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Musings

While I don’t have any finished projects to post this week, I still have a few things I wanted to share with my blogosphere buddies.

Favorite New-to-Me Fabric Type: Recently I backed a quilt with flannel for the first time, and I love it! The flannel was as easy to sew with as quilting cotton, and the end result is so soft and cozy. I purchased some more flannel from District Fabric and can’t wait to try to make a garment with it.

Favorite New-to-Me Blog: This week, I discovered Bimble + Pimble and immediately added it to my Bloglovin’ feed. Her writing style is fresh and entertaining, and I get a kick out of how every post is titled “Amanda Vs [Pattern].” She had also made lots of patterns that I’ve been considering, so I need to set aside some time to read her archive.

Possible Favorite New Pattern: As a vertically challenged, pear-shaped woman, I tend to have a hard time shopping for jeans. That is why I’m super excited about the new Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Case Files. I’ve read good things about her previous patterns, so I took the plunge and bought the Ginger Jeans pattern and kit. This is definitely going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.

Possible Favorite New Publication: Now that I’ve successfully completed a Colette pattern, I hope to sew some of the new patterns that will be released via their new Seamwork magazine that is scheduled to debut next month. Based on the introductory blog post, it sounds like these new patterns will be less time intensive, so I can slow down and focus on grading the patterns to fit my body type. I do love the Colette aesthetic, so I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

That’s all for now, dear readers. I hope you have a good week and are excited about whatever you are sewing.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day: October 2014

Well, October sure was an eventful month! I’m pretty gosh darn proud of myself for finishing six things last month: Basic Black Plantain Tee, Navy Julia Cardigan, Patriotic X and Plus Quilt, Crazy Cat Lady Bess Top, Pink Greenpoint Cardigan, and one gift bag that I forgot to photograph before giving away. Now that it’s November, I really need to keep up this momentum in order to complete all the planned presents and gift bags before Christmas! Wish me luck!

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.