Monthly Archives: July 2010

Party Shirt & My Son, the Fashion Model

Simplicity Pattern #2907
Toddler Separates: Toddler Pants, Shorts, Dress, Shirt or Vest (pictured: Shirt, style D)
Sizes: 1/2 – 4 (pictured: size 4)
Material used: 45″ Commercial Cotton Print (7/8 yd)
Other Materials: 6 snaps or buttons, fusible interfacing, hook & loop (optional)

Caleb's party shirt

Doesn’t he make an adorable fashion model? OK, I know, he’s my son, so of course I think he is cute.

Simplicity #2907

This pattern went together like a dream. It is so rare that commercial pattern pieces fit together so perfectly. All of the markers lined up and the seams matched and the points turned; wonderful.  It yeilded very clean, professional, and of course, adorable results.  Because it was such a busy print, I didn’t feel it was necessary to line up the print in the front or on the pockets – I don’t think it made a difference in the end results.  I used snaps on the pockets and shirt fronts – I’m having some trouble with the buttonholer on my sewing machine and the snaps were an easy fix until I have time to get the machine serviced.  I think in the end they added a nice touch, too.

On the downside…the lap instructions were a bit over-complicated, as were the instructions for adding flaps to the pockets (making sure the two snap halves were lined up for the pokets was quite a pain).  The sizing seems way off.  The shirt looks a little small, no?  Caleb takes a 3T/4T in most clothing now, sometimes even a 2T still (40lbs, 40″).  I would say this shirt is a 2T, not a 4, which is the size I made.  Already, he can’t snap that top snap (not that you would on a bowling-style shirt anyway).  It’s a little disappointing, after having spent so much time on the shirt, that he will only be able to wear it for a short time.  On the other hand, I like the pattern enough, I am going to see if I can get it in a larger size. 

So, in conclusion, excellent pattern, but watch the sizing on this one.

[EDIT 7/14/2010: Added my review to Pattern Review right here.]

No strings attached

New Project!

Finally, something new and totally without strings attached! It’s not often that I have time to make something purely for the joy of making it. A while back (well over a year), I took a class at our local fabric store, G-street Fabrics, in something I’d been wanting to learn about for a long time: Kaleidoscope quilts.  Most quilt designs I can look at and deconstruct and understand basically how it was done.  But there are tricks to creating a kaleidoscope design that I just did not know.  I was lucky enough to take a class taught by a master of this type of quilt design, Nancy Fève

I started on a quilt during the class with this wild Asian style crysanthymums print and it’s still not done.  I think it intimidates me a little because it is SO LARGE.  So I decided to start on a smaller one.  I’ve been buying fabrics for this type of quilt since taking the class and I have quite the stockpile.  You need at least 8 repeats of the pattern on the fabric and that can add up to a lot of yardage!  I decided to start with a smaller, closer print of robins and cherry blossoms on a light blue background.  I got several octagons put together between yesterday and today and I am pleased to report that I remember most of the tricks.

The smaller, closer print gives you instant impact as opposed to the Asian design I was originally working with.  In the larger print with a 24 inch repeat the variation happens a lot more slowy – it will give you amazing impact when the whole (very large) quilt is done, but until then, you’re sort of left in the dark (be sure the check out Nancy’s quilts in the link above to see what I’m talking about).  The smaller print I’m working with now and smaller octogons I’m creating provide instant impact and are much more suited to me and my sewing style. 

I think this one will make a perfect large throw pillow for a couch or a bed once I have it all put together!

If You’re Going to San Francisco…

Altar quilt

Be sure to bring a quilt.

So I have these two friends.  And they are good friends.  And for the last couple years they’ve been living in Frankfurt, Germany.  I missed them. A lot. Last May, I guess it was, we got a call from Frankfurt that they were finally going to get married!  Hip, hip hooray! 

In September, they returned stateside for a short stint and began planning.  May would be the date, California would be the place; in a lavendar field not far from Davis.   My husband and I were asked to do a reading:

i carry your heart with me
by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Fast forward now to January when the bride requested that I make not one, not two, but THREE quilts for the wedding ceremony.  What could I do but oblige?  I mean, these are goooooood friends, after all.

We shopped for fabric, designed, cut and sewed together two lovely, traditional (in pattern only) table runners, but the pièce de résistance was left up to me – the altar decoration. 

I looked at tons and tons and tons of pictures of California and the rolling hills and lavender fields in California and even in France.  I printed out my favorites, cut them apart and pasted them back together again to make what I felt was an interesting, if not quite accurate, representation of the wedding venue.  And then I re-made it in fabric.  And the whole time I was sewing, I was singing … 

“If you’re going to san Francisco/Be sure the wear some flowers in your hair…”
The altar

I didn’t, by the way, wear flowers in my hair.  Feathers worked better with my dress.