Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Summer Dress--If you can't find one, make one!

Last year I searched and searched for the perfect summer dress. Nope. Nothing. I've been looking all year, every time I'm in the stores or online, but zip! Then I came across the blog Sew Can Do.
I really liked the look of this dress style. Simple and summery. Her dress was made using a free download from another site. It was petite and I'm tall so I searched for a pattern for me.

This is the pattern I chose and I did view B which is sleeveless and knee length.

I loved this Swirly Girls fabric called Floral Fancy when I saw it in Lindarella's Quilt Works, in NC so I bought all she had (about 6 yards.)
First I made a muslin practice piece and it didn't fit!! Help!! I drove to my friend, Sandy A., who is a genius with clothing. She helped me tweak the muslin dress. That muslin dress was unusable (too small) so I had to go back and make another muslin dress. Then I made new pattern pieces on Parchment Paper and cut out the new muslin dress. It still didn't fit great so back to Sandy I went. Yay, she tweaked it again so I made the changes to the muslin and it worked. I made the same changes to the pattern and cut out my new summer dress. 

Instead of having 7 bodice pieces and 7 skirt pieces (like the pattern had), Sandy suggested we make the pieces continuous and eliminate the waist seam.

To make the muslin dress be the lining (eliminating facings) I needed to figure out how to do that.
I remember doing it with doll clothes so I pulled out the doll clothes directions.

Just to make sure, before sewing the real deal, I cut a quick little mock dress and muslin lining to practice on, just to make sure I had the sequence right.

After sewing the 2 dresses together I sewed (quilted) the seams (pressed open) with my favorite quilting stitch.

To finish the hem, I used binding like any good quilter would do. I really don't sew clothing--ever.
Putting the zipper in this dress was tricky but do-able only because I make so many zipper purses, pouches etc., that I'm comfortable doing zippers. I did this one sandwich style: Iron a 3/8" hem on the front and muslin up and down both sides where the zipper would go, then slide the zipper between them and sew by topstitching all 3 together at once.

This would look cute with a red or black belt.

Doesn't look like much on the hanger but I do fill it out well.
I'm pleased with it. Now the question is, can I do it again? I have the pattern pieces that fit ME so you'd think it could be done. 
Next time I find a fabric that I love or would love to wear, I might try.

See lots of other Friday Finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bean Bag Weighted Quilt

I saw a post on Facebook for How To Make A Weighted Blanket (Sensory Friendly) from the web site Mama Smiles. It looked interesting so I thought I'd try it. Just like any recipe, I made a few changes. Instead of drawing a 5" grid on fabric for the sewing lines, I cut 5 1/2" squares and sewed them into 9 rows of 7 squares.
I asked my son if the arrangement looked good. 
(He likes to fancy himself an art critic so I indulge him now and then.)

Then I added a 2" plain border.
The tutorial says to sew the sides and bottom and turn right side out.
I thought that would make the whole thing difficult at the end so that's why I added the 2" border. 
My quilt will require binding. I layered my bean bag quilt: batik backing, 2 layers of muslin, quilt top. Then I sewed the vertical lines and the lowest horizontal line--think COMB with the tines pointing up.

These are the plastic pellets that I used. This 2 lb. bag had 24-- 1/4c scoops in it. So I needed 2 more bags to finish the quilt. These pellets cost $9.99 each at JoAnns! (Good thing I had coupons!) They can be purchased cheaper online (ebay) but check for steep shipping costs because of the weight.

I put 1/4 cup of pellets BETWEEN the muslin layers, then shook it down to the bottom row.

You have to smooth the pellets away from the needle! 
Yes, I broke a needle sewing this project and the tip of the needle is stuck inside the quilt in one of the pellets. Ugh.

I tried pinning the rows above the pellets to contain them but that failed.

You have to smooth them out of the way for each square.

In the last row, I added the pellets as I came to each square so they wouldn't fall out of the lower squares before I got to them.

This is the finished Bean Bag Quilt. It weighs 7 lbs.   40" x 49"
 (Most of these white fabrics are from the Grand Illusion quilt I just finished piecing.)

This is a great lap quilt. It feels neat, sounds neat too.

It's like a hug waiting to happen.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alzheimer Fidget Fun Mats

See instructions to make an Alzheimer's Activity Mat by Nancy Zieman.
I used that web page to begin my project. I added handles so it can be toted around easily and all the goodies are kept inside. I call my version the Fidget Fun Mat.

It was really fun watching the Fidget Fun mat in use!! Yay!!
Closed it can be toted around like a purse.

Open it and it's time to play.
Start with 13x19 fabric for front and back.
I used 12x17 fusible fleece centered on both pieces.
Handles are cut 4" x 19" each, double fold to measure 1" x 19", topstitch along each edge.
Mark center of each side and sew handles pointing in spaced 6" apart.

The long zipper pocket can hold a tissue.
9" zipper with tabs attached and a pocket piece cut 4 1/2 x 11 1/4.
Tabs cut 2: 1 3/4" x 6" each, fold into a W (first fold is RST and then each end is WST), sew both raw edges with 1/4" seam, clip corners turn right side out to hide seam, slide onto end of zipper and topstitch across end to secure. (These tabs sound confusing but they work GREAT!)
Fold pocket piece RST, sew around edge leaving an opening to turn. Turn and topstitch to zipper.
Sew to background by topstitching around perimeter.

Button flaps hide a surprise.
 Cut 2: 7" squares, sew perimeter, cut in half, tuck raw edges in, topstitch perimeter of both pieces.
Add buttonholes to one side and buttons to the other. 
Secure to background by sewing one or two lines of stitching on left edge and one on right edge.

This unit measures 4" x 6 1/2" when completed.
Wonder Under fusible is the easy way to add a surprise inside the doors.

This is a little cloth book that has 2 pages inside.

Again, use Wonder Under or Heat N Bond to add photos to the book.

Snoopy is a familiar face to almost everyone.

A button bracelet, easily made with a chain and small jewelry findings.
I found these pretty buttons on ebay.

Key chain photo fun.

Elastic hair ties just for fun!! These are added at the end after the mat is turned right side out.

Recycled blue jeans pocket. Edges are trimmed with pinking shears and sewn down.

These beautiful flowers are actually an air freshener that lost it's smell months ago.
Too pretty to throw away. The petals are soft to touch.
Add a ribbon (44" if it ties in a bow like the blue ribbon above OR 13" of rick rack like the brown below). Sew it across the top by sewing it down every 2 or 3 inches. Use it to tie or clip things on. 
(Tie the bear with a long ribbon so it can come out of the pocket to be played with but not get lost.)
I didn't take a photo of it but after sewing all the pieces to the front background, lay it right sides together with the outer fabric. Make sure handles and other goodies are all tucked inside. Pin around the edges and sew but leave a 6" opening at the bottom to turn right side out. Sew 1/4" seam then turn, press edges. tuck raw edge of opening in 1/4". Topstitch  1/8" around perimeter. I added a snap closure in the center of each side. Velcro would be good too but I didn't have any on hand.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Grand Illusion finale--double sided quilt!

The finale was revealed just after midnight Eastern time on 1-1-2015 at Quiltville's Quips & Snips.
This is how the blocks and sashing are supposed to be assembled.

I liked how they looked with a calmer sashing between them.

So I played with the setting and put some together like this.

This quilt top is 89" x 89". The GRAND MYSTERY IS: can you spot the one 4" unit that is turned the wrong way????? I decided to leave it for the puzzle factor.

It worked out perfect to make 9 blocks with sashing plus borders for the back.

I just love this backing fabric. 
It looks like "Quiltville"!
 These houses represent all the thousands of quilters all over the planet participating in making this Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery quilt.

This is to celebrate both finishes.
This is my favorite martini.
It doesn't have a name except YUM.

To see other quilters' finishes go to Link Up Part 6.
This was such a fun mystery, put together with friends, comparing and sharing fabrics.
Of course I can't wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving now for the next Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt. Until then I'll have to finish some works in progress.

See end of January progress for many other quilters on their Grand Illusion quilts at Quiltville Grand Illusion Mystery Link UP.