The Eternal Maker Crafts

Friday, 16 May 2014

Book Stack Table Runner/ Wallhanging - Tutorial

 This is a little bit of an improvised number - there's not many exact measurements, and the layout is pretty much as you want it to be.  Anyway - let's go:

What you need:
60cm Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Steel
1 mini Tula Pink Layer Cake (or you could use scraps, you need pieces of varying sizes 2" wide and 5-10"long)
50cm wadding
50cm backing fabric (we used this)
quilting thread - we used 50wt aurifil variegated in colour 4647 - it's a perfect match!

First, take your layer cake, and cut all the pieces into 2"strips (you should get 5 out of each piece, but don't worry too much if you don't, there's a little ease with amounts - although not too much!)
Then take your main fabric, and cut this into 2"strips too.  Take one of these strips, and divide in half, so you get 2 pieces approximately 22" x 2".  This will be your top and bottom pieces, and the guide to help you work out all your other pieces.

Here's the bit where it get's a little more freestyle.  The layout of the strips is down to your personal choice - you need to make your central pieces from between 10" and 5" wide, and adjust the grey strips accordingly on either side.  Lay out your strips in front of you, adjusting order, and widths as looks good to you.  I ended up with 29 strips (including my top and bottom pieces) - this could vary with yours according to how you've put together your strips, but it will be approximately this many.

 Making your full strips:
Lay a coloured strip on top of a grey strip, right sides facing.  Pin.  Sew along one side, with a 1/4" seam allowance.
 Join another grey strip to the other side of the coloured strip, in the same way.
 Iron your seams open, trim to the same length as the top guide strip.
Joining strips together:
 Lay one strip grey strip on top of a pieced strip, lining up your edges, pin, and sew along the long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. 
 Press open, then add another pieced strip to the pieced strip, using the same method.
Keep on going, until you have something that looks a little like this.  Finish with a complete grey strip.  Press.  Trim to approximately 50cm, or what looks good to your finished stack.

Lay out your backing fabric, wadding, and quilt top in a sandwich, and quilt as desired. I used the variegated thread in wavy lines to soften up the blocks, and the colours of the thread worked nicely against both the grey and the prints.  Trim the edges straight.

Join your remaining strips together, and press.  Fold in a quarter in seam along one long side, and press.  Sew to the front of your quilt sandwich as per the picture below.  Then fold over to the back, and slip stitch closed. 
And that's it! You're done!  It's finished size should be approximately 50cm x 105cm.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Pattern Review - Hawthorn Dress By Colette Patterns
This isn't me!
I should really start this with the caveat that while I am a sewer, and I have made several items of clothing for myself over the years, I am not in any way a dressmaker.  My success when making clothes seem to hinge on luck rather than skill, and sometimes it can show...

I chose this lovely yarn dyed cotton from Lecien to make it with, which made me have a panic halfway through that it was cheap looking in an eighties stone washed denim kinda way.  I didn't like it from the halfway point right up until the final try on - making me constantly question myself as to why I was bothering to continue to make it.  I'm glad I persevered.  I added a red stripe trim to it too, which I loved in the shop but again panicked about during making.  I'm glad I added it though - it was a headache to do, but it was worth it - the blue needed a little something.

This dress was also made in a rush a weekend before going on holiday, with my boyfriend Phil and his mum asking me every few minutes "Have you finished yet?" (Nope, still on the same hem as when you asked me last...).   So there was not a little stress, and so under these circumstances I am very happy with the result of this dress.  Would I be happy if I'd made it under different circumstances? Yes, I would.  And why? This is one lovely dress, and one I can see myself making over and over.

The first thing to make sure you do is get the right size - for us over here this side of the pond we need to do a little calculating to make sure the size is right.  I like it though - it makes me feel like I'm a few sizes smaller than I actually am! 

The hardest bit to make was the collar section, getting everything to line up.  This is where being a perfect sewer would really help - which I am not, so lining it up right took a few tries.   The rest of the dress was only a few pieces, so it came together really easily.  The hard bits were the challenges I gave myself - adding the red stripe trim, adding pockets (I'm sorry, I love a dress with pockets, and it was the only flaw in the pattern to my mind), and covering all those fiddly self-cover buttons.
I stitched the buttonholes in red to complement the red trim - my first properly successful buttonholes - and I needed Phil to help me figure out how to make the attachment on the sewing machine work, a fact I will probably never live down.
And here's the finished product:  The first, of hopefully many Hawthorns.  I love it's big swishy skirt: when you walk downstairs it billows up and makes me want to twirl.  What more can a girl ask for?
This one's me...