Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fleece Baby Blanket: PASS

One of my friends is decorating her baby's nursery in a space theme. Awesome, right? But in all the space prints she found that featured little kids, the kids were ALWAYS boys. Decidedly not awesome. 

Well, this print doesn't feature little kids, but it does have some fun looking rockets. It comes from the mighty stash, circa 2006 when I made a blanket for my own baby. It's got a black and white print to stimulate little minds on the other side and big knots around the edges for chewing.

I feel like a cheater even posting this project. Not only was there no sewing, but the pieces were stacked right sides out and folded together in my stash, ready to be made into a blanket as soon they emerged from cryostasis. Using the massive cutting table at Pink Castle Fabrics during the Sew Ann Arbor monthly meetup made this project even easier. (I was only moderately embarrassed to be working on such a simple project in the presence of such talented sewers...)

To make your own blanket, start with whatever size of fleece you want. Stack one piece on top of the other (right sides out). Cut out a 6"x6" square from each corner, then cut six inch slits around the sides, spacing them two inches apart. Tie the fringe pieces together twice. And that's it. Your baby blanket is ready for liftoff!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Reverse Applique Plantain: PASS

I'm usually too distracted by new projects to sew a pattern twice in a row. So it's with much self congratulations that I present version two of the Deer & Doe Plantain t-shirt. When I saw The Crafty Kitty's brilliant Mockingjay reverse applique Plantain, I had to make my own. I spent a week pondering a "put a bird on it" version, but scrapped that in favor of this star stencil from Alabama Chanin.

The outer fabric is a very lightweight knit of dubious quality (the dye stained my hands even after prewashing). The under fabric is from a sturdy logo t-shirt I've been storing for years with the express purpose of remaking it into something else. The two layers work beautifully together. This t-shirt is comfortable without being clingy and, more importantly, warm enough to wear without a sweater in this never. ending. winter.

I did a clean finish on the neckline and sleeves and left the bottom edges raw. My husband the artist says he likes this because the concentration of reverse applique near the unfinished hem makes it look like I deconstructed the shirt as I worked from top to bottom. To which I replied, "Yeah....that was an entirely intentional choice that carried out my artistic vision."

In my excitement to try a new surface decoration technique, I lost some of my basic sewing sense and forgot to stay stitch the neckline to prevent it from stretching out of shape. When I inserted the neckband, the neckline was abysmally droopy. I also forgot to try on the shirt before serging the neckband in place. Dumb. I spent an hour picking out the stitches, then shortened the band and tried again. It worked okay, though the neckline stretched out enough that this is a camisole-only shirt.

There are also some fit issues happening on the back of the shirt. Which is clear to me in this photo, but apparently not to my coworkers who all raved about the fit. So maybe it doesn't look bad when I'm moving around?

Despite these goofs, I think I'll be wearing this t-shirt regularly until spring. Don't look for another version anytime soon, though. I'm already cutting out pieces for a different project.

What about you, do you sew patterns twice in a row? And do you make similar versions, or alter the look each time?