Monthly Archives: December 2009

Holiday Gifts: Necktie

Pirate ship Necktie
Pirate ship Necktie
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Strictly speaking, this was not a holiday gift.  My dad’s birthday falls just a few days prior to Christmas and, because I understand how much it must suck to get a load of Christmas ‘n’ birthday combined gifts each year, I make a concerted effort to give him one gift for each. This year’s birthday gift was a pirate ship necktie.

Now, be honest, a necktie is kind of a lame gift. But a handmade necktie?  It kind of rocks. I used the Osman Tie pattern from burdastyle.com (http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/osman-tie) – it is available in a PDF download for all of $2.  The most painful part of the whole process was taping the pattern together and then copying it out onto pattern paper. I do HIGHLY recommend this step, though. Pattern paper is much easier to deal with than taped together printer paper.

I used cotton, not tie silk; and to make matters “worse” it was quilter’s cotton – already relatively thick and stiff on its own. I also didn’t buy tie interlining, but used a piece of suiting that I had on hand  as suggested in the pattern instructions. The whole thing went together in the matter of an afternoon. I ended up leaving out the interlining all together – the quilter’s cotton was so thick it was unnecessary.

Just a couple lessons learned on this one: don’t just eyeball where the design is on the material. As you can see from my photo, I only ended up with one little pirate ship on the front of the tie because I thought I had it lined up correctly, but I didn’t check. Also, if and when I make this again, I’ll move the stay up a little — the skinny side of the tie is a little short to stay in my stay.

Necktie - back
Necktie – back
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

 

Holiday gifts: Jewelry Tote

Jewelry Pouches
Jewelry Pouches
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Welcome to the first in my series of holiday gift posts! I handed these cute little pouches out last night to our daycare providers during their holiday party.  I wish I could take credit for the design, but I can’t – they came from Quilting Arts Magazine special Gifts issue (2009/2010).  The pattern was designed by Margarete Steinhauer and appears on page 132 of the mag (almost all the way at the back).  The pouches are circular, drawstring, lined with coordinating fabrics, and contain 8 small pockets to store pieces of jewelry; or anything else that you might want to store. They fit perfectly in a gift box for a standard-sized mug.

Drafting a pattern from instructions in a magazine is always a little fiddly. I needed to be able to draw 4 different circle sizes and I do not have a compass; even if I did, I doubt I would have had one that would make a large enough circle for this tote.  Instead, I opted for my measurements to be a teeny bit off and ended up using a dinner plate for the outer circle, a largish mixing bowl for the drawstring channel, a pasta bowl for the inner/pocket circle and finally, a tiny mis en plase bowl for the base circle.  The bowls I used for my inner circle and my base circle were exactly right, the outer circle and drawstring channel were slightly off.  Luckily, this did not cause any problems with the final outcome.

Jewelry Pouch - inside
Jewelry Pouch – inside
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

I made seven of these little pouches; the first two as a prototype – once those were done, and I understood how the pattern was supposed to fit together and work, it was easy enough to throw together the other five via the Assembly Line method. I had all of the awesome matching fabrics on hand in my stash, and even the little bits of heavy interfacing needed for the base. The only thing I DID have to buy was the rat tail for the drawstrings. I am absolutely positive that I have a large spool of rat tail somewhere in my sewing room, but it beats me where I put it.  I did not buy enough rat tail so that the pouches will lie flat when opened – I didn’t think it was necessary and I didn’t like the idea that the drawstrings would be so long when the pouches were closed up tight. Overall, I think I would be happy to get one of these as a gift…I really hope the teachers are too!