Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hospitality Bag, a.k.a. Wine Tote

Thou shall not show up empty handed.
We've been invited to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. We have a food assignment, but I wanted to show the hostess how much we appreciated the hospitality. So, this little wine tote was born.
Officially it's a cluster. Seriously, I was trying to dream up the pattern and sew it at the same time. Bad, bad, bad idea. It has WAY to much interfacing in it. It actually crinkles, and it is pictured standing it up by itself.
But for a wine tote, all in all a fair effort (finished it in less than 2 hours. I carries two wine bottles -- the BIG ones -- and could probably carry about $100 worth of groceries.
Also, pineapples are a sign of hospitality. But wouldn't this be cuter as a festive marg mix bag?!?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How To Go Insane, A Tutorial

Start with a 74-cent vinyl tablecloth. Draw crude pattern for mini-sized apron and trace it 10 times on tablecloth. If you’re lazy, line up the bottom hem of each apron with the finished edge of the tablecloth – one less edge to finish for you.

Cut out all 10 aprons and prepare to sew them. Helps if everyone else in the house is sleeping. Nothing fancy, just fold over the vinyl (it’s a little like working with paper) and sew down on a ¼” seam. (ps – don’t finish the “arm holes”.) Don’t punch through the vinyl too much or you’ll just have a perforated piece of vinyl that rips easily along your exquisite seam.

Now for the bias tape. If you’re really smart you’ll miscalculate and cute and sew 1400 inches when you only need 700! Thank you very much Coach Seely, Coach Sarus, Coach Roberts, Coach Ricks (crappy math teachers – oh wait, that’s right they were COACHES). Cut your bias tape, run it through the bias tape maker (awesome invention), and iron.

Assemble all your favorite supplies, copious amounts of bias tape, finished-edge aprons, pins, measuring tape, and scissors. I used 70 inches of tape for each apron. So, measure the tape into 70 inch lengths and cut. Then pin to the aprons.

Now it’s time to sew. I made ½ inch bias tape so I had a pretty slim piece of tape going under the presser foot. To improve my margin of error, I shifted the needle over to the edge, rather than trying to line it up. Zip, zip, zip that tape through the machine and before you know it, you’ll have a little bitty apron.

A review of the measurements. The tape needed for the head space alone is about 20 inches of tape, plus about 6 inches across the top of the bib of apron (my kid’s head is 21 inches around… and so is mine). This makes for a fairly low hanging apron. But, if you thread the waist apron strings through it, it makes for a nifty little fit.

I drew my pattern. I started by measuring my little toddler from knees to nipples – if you will – and them measured him from elbow to elbow at the waist. Then I meandered a nice little curve from the widest point of the “elbow to elbow” measurement to a narrow little bib that was only about 6 inches across.

The estimated cost of these aprons was only about a quarter! That's 25 cents, folks. Canvas versions retail at places like Michaels and Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Car Mat Blanket II

"Cars" movie (by Disney/Pixar) theme panel and fleece.

Blanket has a sewn in ribbon so that it can be rolled and tied.

Basic hand-stitched binding. No batting (the fleece was poofy and comfy enough).

Quilting follows the roads on the fleece / green side.