Saturday, August 16, 2008


Well, I've been given the green light on a serger. This is to say that my husband sees the value. I've really been wanting to sew some things for our home, but didn't want to spend the money on the a-maz-ing fabrics if it wasn't going to have that professional look that a serger gives projects.

Now, I've got to decide which serger to get. I'm leaning toward the Bernina 1300. But, it's kinda expensive. Oh. oh. oh. I get so paralyzed by perfection. It will be hard to choose one.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Swap: Summer Holiday Sunset

OK OK OK OK... I've been such a slacker -- I guess that's summer for ya.
I got this phenomenal quilt in the mail from Leah at Pugglelogic. (We both participated in the Four Seasons Quilt Swap). She also sent along some goodies for me -- a fabric that represents her homeland of Australia and some gorgeous embroidery floss skeins. I am so grateful to her for putting such thought into this little art piece. She -- like me -- is a stay-at-home mom with young children. So I know the kind of effort it requires to first get to the sewing machine, let alone create something with zing.

The sunset she has created is peaceful and warm. Her stitching is great and I love how closely the quilting comes together in parts. It's really perfect. She also used a technique of laying another layer of fabric -- almost like a two-sided flange -- onto the quilt to create surf. The dimension is just right (without getting all fussy). To me it just says, "Can I bring you another zombie?"

I don't know how she did it, but she created something that resonates with me and my personality.

Thank you Leah! You're a gem.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tunic, Amy Butler Pattern

I'm not going to brag or anything, but I won a pattern. An Amy Butler pattern! I finally sat down to sew it up and here's how it turned out:

Now if you can ignore the lack of ironing (I'm really bad about such details) you'll see that it actually fits me. I consider this an absolute triumph -- as patterns hate me -- and my husband actually said, "It's cute." (He might have learned a lesson in diplomacy after my last project.)

Here's what I estimate I spent on the project:

Pattern = free (Thank you finny and donk sew along)
Amy Butler fabric = about $14 -- I used about 1 5/8 yards and I paid about $8 a yard
Lining fabric = about $2 -- again, I didn't use much and I bought the symphony broadcloth at joann's for $1/yard
buttons = $1.60
thread = I had some

TOTAL = in the neighborhood of $18

Here's a few thoughts I have about the pattern itself.

1. It's pretty simple if you're not simple minded. I myself had a simple-minded, if not absent-minded, moment in which I thought the front was the back and the back was the front. So, I couldn't get my pins to all line up. But it was midnight and I was a little tired -- in my defense. After a good night's sleep the problem became painfully obvious to me and I whipped out the rest of the tunic in minutes.

2. The neck, or yoke, or collar, or whatever you'd want to call it could be assembled in an easier way, I think. I think it would be easier to iron 1/2 inch allowance around the bottom of it, before you sew it on. Then just sandwich the tunic body in between the two layers of the yoke. Just a thought... if you're going to try it.

3. Sizing is great with Amy Butler. There are none of the usual problems with patterns... high waist, too short, etc. But I did envision that the yoke would cover a bit more of my arm. I made the cami from the pattern, but I think it's plenty long. I think I'll try the dress of this pattern, next.

4. I didn't even bother with the flower brooch and belt that is outlined and accounted for in cutting instructions and materials. I'm just not that kind of girl. But I do think I'll make the flower brooch eventually, perhaps for something else, like an embellishment on a tote bag.