Friday, June 14, 2013

The Tractor Dress

I have been making dresses for my daughter, the last one was just some tulle added to a Batman shirt. Upon seeing it, my middle boy asked if he could have a dress. I ignored him, thinking he was just feeling jealous about not having something new, but he asked me again a few days later.

So I took him to the fabric store and he picked out some pre-shirred John Deer fabric, in green, his favorite color. I  added some pink to make pockets and straps with. We found some Tractor buttons to complete the look.

I finished it up this morning before he was awake, and he is wearing it now.

I had to add pockets to a dress for my boy, he is VERY BOY, so I was surprised that he wanted a dress.

I decided to do button straps since we had the lovely tractor buttons.
For the back I went with strap placement that reminded me of overalls.
And of course the pockets. As my mother always says "gotta have pockets" I went with more pink as pink is his second favorite color and the print made lovely pockets, don't you agree.
Thank you John Deer for having fabric that appeals to BOTH genders. I know that when my son out grows or no longer wants to wear this dress, his younger sister will.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A gift for a book lover

Last week I was invited to an Acquaintance's Birthday Party, of course I decided to make something for her. I don't know her that well, but what I do know is that she sews and loves books. I took a quick look through my pinterest boards for crafty gift ideas and found some inspiration.

First idea was this project that I have been wanting to do for a while.
Mini Bookshelf Quilt Tutorial by Don't' Call Me Betsy

Second the idea of a needle-book

Last was the idea that the finished gifts should LOOK like books when finished.

I ended up making TWO gifts, and my husband also contributed his skills to the gift, so it is from both of us!

The first gift is a Bag.

The second is a sewing supply case/needlebook

I wanted the bag to fold up into itself and when zipped close resemble a book. That last part is why I had to sit down and write an equation, which I already bloged about.

 Once I had all my math done, it was time to work on the book shelf design. I went through all my stash and cut off the useful selvages.

I want to warn you, if you ever intend to do a project using selvages, do not go to the fabric store with selvage on your mind. I needed a zipper, but found myself looking at fabric, JUST to see if it had a cute selvage name! I was good and didn't buy any fabric for the sole purpose of selvage.

I hand appliqued the entire design, using scraps and stash, in fact the only thing I bought for the bag, was the brown book cover and the zipper.

Appliqueing the books took the most time of the whole project, but I enjoy hand sewing and I wanted a nice finish, also those selvages are narrow...

 Some of the "Titles" are not what I would expect on the recipient's bookcase, but I didn't have many options.
The V&A one is my favorite, I decided that it HAD to be a big thick book.
Only one of the titles went back on it's fabric, and one other has an author from a different selvage

I must admit I went and looked at my bookshelves to double check the direction the titles should go. I am please to have a few that were narrow enough to go horizontally!

Once the applique was done I moved on to the "book case"
This was what the math was all about, two layers of coton with a layer of batting inbetween, since it was going to be stitched to the bag, I cut one side to turn it right side out.
Then I applied the zipper 1/4" in from the edges.
Here is what it looked like before I attached it to the bag.
 Then I made up the bag, and it would have been finished as is, except that I wanted it to go into the case.

 This what the book side looks like, before I added the title

 It folds up into the case quite nicely!
And then zips closed
Yes I admit my title is a bit lame, what can I say, I was tired at that point!

So that was the first gift, the second was also in a zippered book, slightly smaller, inside are sewing tools.

My husband turned this seam ripper, it is so nice to hold, we hope she likes it.
 I love that the there is no cap to lose, you just pull it out and flip it around, and rip away!
I purchased scissors, needles, and safety pin, as well as the supplies to make the seam ripper for this part of the project.
 The print you see there is dictionary terms for sewing words and is actually a small zipper pouch, could be used to hold thread, buttons, etc...

 There are 2 pages of wool felt for needle and pin storage.
 Last "page" is stitched into the book, covering the slit where it was turned, again wool felt, this time I embroidered "Needles" on ti it.

So that was my weekend craft project, unfortunately I was working on it until the party was to start, and transit time would have made it prohibitive to go for such a short visit, not to mention my children needing a regular dinner and bedtime.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Algebra for sewing?

This weekend I made a gift, and will show it off once it has been received.

THIS post is about Math.

In elementary school I did not like math, I was more interested in Art. (though I do remember getting a bad grade on an art project because I didn't follow the directions, it was too abstract for me, I wanted a more realistic finished project.)

Some of my friends will read that and wonder how this girl who is rather good at basic math and CAD could have disliked math at a young age?

Well this weekend I had to use Algebra, I don't remember much of high-school algebra and never took geometry. I have very basic math skills and can only remember Pi to 2 decimal places.

My problem was thus: I wanted to make a rectangle, where the shorter sides were 80% of the longer sides.

Then I had a known perimeter for three of those sides (2 short, 1 long.)

This is how I solved that problem

First I wrote it:
2(0.8X) + X = 14
But I found that to be too difficult for me with limited understanding of Algebra to solve

So I decided to switch the percentages instead of X being 80% of Y, Y was now 125% of X
(To prove my math is correct, simply divide 1 by 0.8 and you get 1.25.) So my new equation is:
2(1.25X) + X = 14

2.5X + X = 14

3.5X = 14

Divide both sides by 3.5

X = 4

Now put Sub 4 for X in the original equation to check work

2(1.25 * 4) + 4 = 14

Multiply inside parenthisies
2(5) + 4 = 14

10 + 4 = 14

14 = 14

And that was the start of my project, making the pattern with Algebra!

Yet more proof that you will use math in your life, despite what you may have told your school teachers.