Saturday, May 16, 2015

Not a july 4th Quilt

Hot on the heels of finishing my boyfriend's christmas quilt, I decided I wanted to make one for my Mom's birthday as well. I made her one several years ago, but used crazy thick batting because I didn't know any better, and she can only use it a few weeks a year! Right now she's on a kick of wanting everything to be red, so I went with a red and blue theme contrasting with a white background.

And then I started to worry that it would look like a 4th of July picnic blanket... But I forged ahead anyway! Using this pattern from Connecting Threads, I cut out a crapload of squares, stitched, cut some more, pressed, stitched, pressed stitched....

 It was really exciting seeing the pattern come together slowly but steadily into a recognizable design.

You wonder how in the world this is going to look like a star, and then two more seams and bam!

So pretty! The OCD math nerd in my had a blast measuring and cutting and making sure all the corners met up just right.

I was originally planning on adding a border around the whole thing to make it bigger, but once all the sashing strips where in place and I remembered that it only needed to fit a twin bed, I decided to leave it just as the pattern had written it. I had to move the carpet and coffee table and lay it out on the living room floor to layer and pin it, because my sewing room didn't have enough free floor space.

Once it was all pinned I used spare yarn to try and figure out a good design for the quilting. That part took way too long, because I just couldn't decide, but I eventually settled on this, in the hopes of accentuating the star motif.

Gratuitous picture of the binding because I'm super proud of how little of the hand stitches can be seen :P. Also because it took me 6 hours of hand sewing... An Alien marathon saved that from being completely tedious.

And it was all worth it, because look how pretty! I had to run it through the wash when I was done, because it was covered in cat hair and lint, and it shrunk up in a charming fashion that really helps the quilting stitches pop in person. And it doesn't look like a picnic blanket after all, thank god. My Mom loved it, and now she doesn't have to wait till the dead of what passes for winter here to have quilty goodness, handmade for her with love :).

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lots of Bras

After making my first bra, I totally got the lingerie bug. That first try was way too small on my in the cups, but happily it fit one of my friends perfectly, so it's still getting use :). For the next try at Merckwaerdigh Mix30 I made a 34D, and actually fit all of my boobs into it!

Love the teal lace and orange elastic and bow :). I lined the side cup and bridge with a stable flesh coloured tricot, and left the front cups and band as just the stretch lace.

I should have graded the cup seam more thoroughly and topstitched it closer to the seam, because it forms a definite ridge along that seam that is visible through clothing, and I hardly ever wear it because of that. Learning experience!

Once the cups where actually large enough and I could assess the fit of them, the cup seam turned out to be a good inch or more away from the actual apex of my bust. I also realized that I didn't like the strap extension on this pattern, because it doesn't let me where this bra with anything lower cut than a tshirt. So pattern hacking I went!

For the next one I used the glorious purple/blue leopard print from my kit, lined with the same nude tricot for stability, and a black powernet for the band. How cute are those buttons?! I thought this bra was a little too badass for bows.

Pattern wise, I shifted the cup seam 1 full inch toward the centre front, and hacked off the strap fits much better, but the straps ended up attached much too close to my armpit for comfort or stability, and because of it the top of the cup settles over the day and I end up with a line across the top of my boobs. Getting closer, but still not perfect.

I also added a bit of length to the bridge and band below the cups, so that the underwire casing doesn't get stitched through the band elastic. In my head it made sense, but in practicality it makes the elastic curl to the inside and doesn't hold the wires against my body properly. On to version four!

This one I made from some thin red tricot I had left over from a shirt lining, and a very stiff white powernet. I didn't want two layers for the cups, so I used a foldover elastic to encase the top edge, which worked quite nicely.

I extended the underarm scoop closer to the front, so that the straps can attach at the corner but not be in my armpit. I didn't remember to remove the extra band height, so this one does the same curling at the bottom that the last one does. I'll have to fix that for next time!

I also tried out a different pattern, Quicksew 3300. I like the diagonal seaming on it, for variety sake, and wanted to try making a partial band bra, since that is what I've been used to wearing with rtw.

I used a 34D with this pattern as well, and it fit pretty well first try. I do end up with a flat bit of fabric against my body under my boobs in the cups though, with the wires not sitting up as high as they should, so I'm going to have to find out how to fix that.

For this first one I used a chocolate brown stretch lace for the upper cups and band, light pink satin interfaced to keep it from being all shifty for the lower cups and bridge, and pink elastics with brown stitching. This one is by far the classiest piece of lingerie I own, with it's muted colour scheme and lack of animal print. Must have been channelling someone else when I planned it out :P.

Anyway, that one fit so reasonably well that I made two more from the pattern in quick succession without altering it.

This one in white tricot and powernet with lined mint lace,

and this one in very fine black tricot with black powernet and purple rigid lace trim. This one is by far my favourite that I've made so far, even though it still does the flat underboob fabric thing. The fabric is so shear that this is actually two layers of it and you can still see right through! It weighs almost nothing, and I sometimes forget I'm wearing it.

I also tried out the Marlborough pattern that everyone was raving about, but that was was a disaster through nobodies fault but my own. The pattern itself is lovely from what I can tell, but I made completely the wrong size! Because I was a 34D in both ready to wear and the other two patterns I had used, that was what I made this one in. Once I had finished, tried it on, and failed to be able to breath in it, I checked the measurements the pattern tells you to take and discovered that in this one I should have made a 38C. I'll try that as a starting place for a future version, maybe even recreating my first attempt. Black satin, black and white gingham, red stretch lace, and red star print underwire casings. My friend said it looked like if little red riding hood where a stripper :P. Hell yeah!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

simple jewelry

This isn't so much a craft as simply gluing components together, but I'm going to share anyway!

I have four piercings in each ear, and keep small plain hoops in the two centre pairs, leaving the lowest and highest for decorative daily earrings. I like long danglies in the front and either short danglies or studs in the back, but I didn't have a lot of smallish studs, so I ordered a bunch of resin cabochon flowers and glued them onto earring backs. It was so easy and rewarding that I glued some onto a barrette to match. Sometimes it's nice to have an instant gratification craft :)