Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Week In Four Photos

My first hand designed and embroidered project

Great Grandma's tea cup from the 1940s

A path taken in the woods.

The sighting of Union boys

Hope your week went well.  :o)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ep. 20, Part 2: Union Blue

An 1861 embroidery pattern

Click here for the video.  :o)

In Part 2, I offer two sewing projects ~ my Union Blue dress and fabulous flannel pajama pants.  Apparently if you pick the right fabric, flannel jammies can indeed be fabulous.

I also introduce my personal 1 Year of Stitches embroidery project, where I include some Civil War era embroidery patterns.

Sewing
Simplicity 1537 dress
Windham Fabrics Threads of Time
Yarn Dyed Flannel Plaid at Fabric.com

Embroidery
Sublime Stitching
Godey's Lady's Book

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ep. 20, Part 1: The Trouble With Chocolate & Wine

Calorie free chocolate & wine!






Click here for the video.  :o)

♪  We have a winner for the January giveaway!  ♫

I'm also trying a slightly new format, breaking the yarn and fabric into two separate uploads.  Let's see if we like it.

Yarn Dyeing
I had two yarn dyeing experiments go wrong for me.  Ugh.  The yarn is still pretty though.

Fortunately, I also tried dyeing my first skein of speckled yarn, and that little cutie worked out.

Knitting
Still working on my Miette cardigan.  If you're thinking of skipping the shaping in this cardigan like I did, heed my warning and make sure your stitch count works with the lace pattern.

I finally finished knitting up my first skein of self striping sock yarn.  Sheesh, dyeing sock yarn is a pill.

I'm knitting a pair of toe-up, heel flap and gusset socks.  The pattern is from Chrissy Gardiner's book, Toe Up!




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Union Blue ~ My Windham Fabrics Dress

♪ The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah! ♫

Still on the hunt for great quilting cottons that can be used as dress fabric, I did some searching on the net.  I found a couple of conversations among those who, like me, can't resist the call of these beautiful prints.  The general consensus:  Both Michael Miller and Windham Fabrics had decent enough drape to kinda sorta get away with being made into dresses.

Okay, that's not a firm, "Yes, this brand is practically apparel fabric!", but I don't think anyone is expecting that at this point.  Not from me anyway.  I'm still trying to figure out how to sew a nice hem.

The Conclusion:  Not a huge difference.  This dress feels a lot like my other quilting cotton dresses.  So still pretty.  Still wearable.  Still not even close to apparel fabric.

Some Details:

I have both Windham and Michael Miller in stash, and I chose to work with Windham first.  The design is from the Threads of Time collection, unceremoniously named "Blue 39731-4".  I'm calling my dress "Union Blue" because of reproduction fabric look, and because the little Vs remind me of the chevrons worn on the sleeves of Civil War soldiers to identify rank.  Also, my great great grandfather was a Union soldier.  :o)

Though I still love this dress pattern (Simplicity 1537), I wanted to see if I could modify the neckline.  This was a team effort because though the modification was my idea, my husband is the one responsible for drawing it nicely.  I needed a perfect curve but couldn't draw one to save my life.  He's a woodworker and quite good at curves.  I figured asking him would be the right thing to do, and sure enough, within seconds he had drawn the perfect neckline.

We did this first on tracing paper, then on muslin, so I now have an alternative neckline bodice pattern piece for this particular dress.

Another first:  I chose to hand sew my zipper.

I have to say ~ I think I like hand sewing zippers!  Maybe it's because I was a quilter first and did much of my work by hand, but I loved taking my time and stitching it in place.  I felt like I had more control over the process, I could get into small areas easily, and the fact that the dress is nearly done by this point reminded me of that great feeling of sewing on a quilt binding.  It's the last step of a long job well done.

The zipper isn't really my last step, but it's close!  And the feeling is still good.  :o)