Patterns: January 2013 Archives
Now that I have kids I have embraced a new love for appliqués. I used to think of them as cute little additions to bags or pillows but now I know them for disguising stains (or worse bleach marks), holes in play clothes or to cover up old and ugly appliqués on otherwise cute clothing gifted by grandmothers, cousins or random ladies that my mom knows from work whose daughter hasn't had kids yet so they have no other outlet for their baby clothes indulgences. I love appliqués and probably sew about 3 a week onto various garments. Last month my daughter's tricycle seat kept snagging her knit pants so I used some cute handprint appliqués over the holes. For Christmas she was given a few plain t-shirts so I added a snowflake (project below) and dinosaur appliqué to jazz them up. And don't get me started on all the plain white onesies I have for my new addition. Appliqués are part of my daily life so I was very excited to write about our Janome Appliqué foot.
The Janome Appliqué Foot is a clear sewing foot attachment that has a wide opening for your needle to accommodate zig zag stitches off all sizes. The clear foot lets you see your path and helps with steering. My appliqué world just opened up when I started using this foot. It was like taking a ride on a glass bottom boat. I could see my path before me and a little bit behind which is important for making sure your stitches are even. My stitch path has greatly improved and my stitches look more finished though it does take some getting used to.
Print out the Snowflake Appliqués downloaded here: Snowflake Applique1.pdf *Fold a sheet of 8.5 by 11'' piece of Heat n Bond 3 times into a triangle and trace the large appliqué onto the wrong side your folded Heat n Bond. Apply Heat n Bond to the wrong side of your fabric according to the directions and cut out. Center your appliqué on one of your t-shirts side seams and iron in place. Install your appliqué foot and coordinating thread into your sewing machine and using a medium stitch length zig zag stitch around the snowflake. Repeat the above from the * for the inner appliqué using either white felt or other fabric you prefer for your snowflake.
My New Year's Resolution is to glam up my wardrobe a little bit. I am not talking about changing diapers in 4'' heels but I would like to break the "mom mould" just a little. This makes me feel good and means I always have a project to work on. Most of my glam projects are inspired by pricey versions from my favorite stores so I feel better by saving money and adding some pretty to my closet.
I decided my first glam project would be a clutch for a date night I have coming up so I choose Noodlehead's Gathered Clutch (you may remember this blog from my Bike Basket Project). I have always loved Dupioni Silk and knew it would be my main material for my glam clutch. I love our selection of colors and elected for a caramel brown. Dupioni Silk can be pricey when used in apparel and home décor projects by using it in a small project like this clutch you can save money while indulging in silk. It also makes a very luxurious gift for friends, hostesses or teachers.
As Noodlehead's tutorial mentions this is an easy project though it looks so posh that you may think it difficult. Anna is right again when she discusses how the most difficult part of this project is picking out the fabric. Since I had already chosen a jewel-toned silk for my exterior I decided the perfect compliment would be the jewel-toned Denyse Schmidt quilting cotton collection that I used for Create Kids Couture Millie Schoolhouse Skirt. This collection has the same brown tone but also some brighter yellows and pinks to really pop against the brown. What I was most excited about, however, was Anna's zipper technique. She covers the ends of the zipper in fabric and sews them in a certain way that gives the zipper a very finished look without the weird pucker that seems to occur in zipper pouches. Be warned to not go by the pictures in the tutorial. You want the zipper to be 1'' shorter that the width of the clutch. This means that the zipper width on each end will be ½'' shorter than the clutch. You will not sew over the zipper ends just right next to them. I got a bit confused by this but eventually worked it out. I modified this clutch very little because I wasn't really set on what I would use it for besides the occasional (I cannot stress occasional enough) date night. So I decided on eliminating the interior pockets because I have never used interior pockets on any bag with the exception of my diaper bag. It must be said that I loved making this bag from start to finish. There was just enough cutting to not drive me crazy and at each step the clutch became prettier and prettier. I also ran out of fusible interfacing so I ironed on some Heat n Bond to some canvas to make my own fusible interfacing.
I also planned some modifications for the future:
· Add gathers to both sides
· Increase size to fit my Kindle
· Add wrist strap with a snap so I can snap it to my diaper bag strap to make it easier to find in the blank hole that is my diaper bag
· Make more because they are so fun and cute.
This is now my go-to friend gift because I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love it made in the right fabrics. It works for any age and the size is easily adjusted for other uses. You can omit the zipper and turn it into a tote bag, enlarge it for a diaper clutch or monogram the front band.