A gilded lily: holiday table cover with shell rolled hem

This week’s remnant redo is a stand-in for a real project, and was labored over and produced by the mother of invention: I needed a table covering and I needed it quick.

You might think that I have an unlimited trove of table covers to pick from…they can be quick and easy to make, and cheap to buy. That’s a valid assumption; I have a TON of table covers. This project sprang from an impulse buy–check out the beautiful gold glitter-flocked organza fabric in a pine cone and holly berry print on a gleaming golden background. Not a remnant, but an “end-of-bolt” buy, and with none left to be found anywhere, it is one of a kind in my household.

corner of table cover

Of course, I bought it on sale! But it wasn’t cheap, and I didn’t want to waste any of it, so although it wasn’t a perfect fit for my table, I wanted to put a narrow hem on it and let it grace my table like a gilded lily, and prop up an upcoming feast.

pay no attention to those furry guys frolicking below the table...

holiday table for six

applied to a round table

party in full swing

Now, how to get that narrow hem?

corner, narrow hemmed

I consulted my never-fail source of sewing knowledge, the experts at A-1 Sewing. They had the right foot for the job, the 2 mm Shell Rolled Hemmer. It looks almost exactly like the 2mm Hemmer foot, one of which I also have in the drawer, so why did I go out and get the “shell” one? No real reason, except that the edge they perceived I wanted to make would have a little tiny scallop and would be a very narrow zigzag with the “shell” foot, as opposed to a straight-stitched, not scalloped edge with the plain rolled hemmer. The foot has a groove that determines the size of the hem (2 mm) and a little curl that catches the edge and folds or rolls it under just before the needle sews the narrow hem. Anyway, it produces a pretty consistent edge, a far cry from my previous attempts at narrow hemming without the specific proprietary foot. The fabric is so sheer and lightweight and fray-prone, that you will get nowhere trying to turn it under a few millimeters and iron it, then make it stay folded under the normal big cumbersome all-purpose foot, except for maybe a sweating forehead and burned fingers. So just…just get a narrow hemmer foot, shell or non-shell, and be done with it!

Remnant Kitty Pouffe

This week’s project is for the cats. So, I’m sitting on the loveseat trying to knit through an episode of some show where murderers get tracked down, and a 25-pound cat crawls up in my lap, on top of whatever I was working on.

Prrrrrr

I found a cat bed pattern in One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Haskins. The remnant is an old Victorian-tapestry-looking piece of fabric with mauve and purple and white and blue and black flowers. DH thinks it is a bit girly since two of the cats are male. But I think it is just right: the Victorians were always trying to put flowers and frills on something that was pure savage.

giving the remnant a test-drive

I threw the remnant down on the floor to let them get used to it. They liked it enough for some to even attack the others who tried to horn in on it.
Now, I realize that having 4 cats puts us way up there on the weird-i-osity scale. When you live with that many cats, it’s weird every day.
Step 1: cut out pieces per the pattern. Step 2: (not included in pattern, I added it) Embroider names of cats on inner side pieces of cat bed.

Pauley

Stella

Bob

Grayzie

Not the most elaborate embroidery but (whispering) they’re cats! They can’t read anyway!
Step 3: Seam together the various pieces as instructed, leaving an opening in the bottom for stuffing. I found a very old bag of fiberfill scraps and a bag of quilt batting that was just the narrow strips leftover from a project. Perfect. Step 4: Stuff.

stuffing

Then I sewed up the stuffing slit and it was done. Fast, easy, and used up just under a yard of fabric stash!

Pet Pouffe

Grayzie giving it a trial knead

Fabric Remnant inspiration at All Children’s

Still traveling, but didn’t want to negate my commitment to post once a week in 2011, so I’ll comment a bit on uses I’ve noticed for fabric remnants.

Spent Monday at All Childrens Hospital in Saint Petersburg, FL. What a beautiful hospital, with fun things for kids to do, a pretty decent dining room,and spotless cleanliness throughout. Outside the surgery department was a pirate ship to play on, made of a heavy spongy material so that if someone conked their head, it would just bounce off unhurt! Yay, and shiver me timbers!

A pirate's life for wee!


In the corridor toward the surgery area was a film projector from the ceiling showing little game boards on the floor where kids can pop the balloons, catch fishes and octopi, and do other dances and games that show up on the floor in all their sparkly effects! The several waiting rooms had games, toys, books and TV shows, and if one got tired of all that, he or she could walk a ways down the hall and “ride” on some of the hard spongy rubber animals or a dolphin. When it is time to leave, you can exit through the covered walkway to the parking garage, which is part of the hospital building that extends over the street and connects to the garage!

Remnant ideas: I saw a few beautiful quilts and wall hangings. One special quilt featured photo images on the cloth pieced top, along with bright colored blocks and embroidery commemorating the hospital’s move to its current new building. The quilt was a work of art AND history!
I saw several girls with shaven heads come out of the surgery area. One was wearing a pretty bandana. It wouldn’t take much fabric to make a cute headscarf for a kid who’s had to lose her hair for a little while.

Dance Floor/La Divina with Remnant Modesty Option

I love my Spring and Summer edition of Burda Plus! I love the theme presentations, the fabulous fabrics they suggest, the detailed instructions that I have to read at least 5 times before I can say “OK, got that.” I’ve given a try to this gorgeous goddess gown named Dance Floor (yes, they call it a maxi-dress, haven’t heard that term since the 70’s and 80’s):

Dance Floor maxi-dress


The version with a short hem, featured in the lovely article on Italian-inspired dresses, is called “La Divina”–I’d like to make that, too. The empire waist, long tie in back, plunging neckline and soft draping make it seem like a toga for a sexy goddess. However, if you’d like to take that look out in public, you might want to exercise a little modesty option, hence this week’s Remnant Redo.

A yard of white spandex fabric


I found a remnant of white spandex in the stash, suitable for swimwear, etc. Very stretchy.
I cut off a piece that was about 38 inches wide and about 6 inches long and sewed it into a tube, using a stretch needle and a stretch overlock machine stitch. Just saying, the mannequin you see here has about a 38 B bustline measurement; you are going to use a length of fabric that fits you snugly when sewn together, but not so tightly that you can’t breathe. The first tube I sewed was double-fabric, and it was too tight to shimmy into. Unlike Scarlett O’Hara, I hate to wear clothes that may cause me to pass out at a party from lack of oxygen, so I tried again with a single piece of fabric, hemmed on both edges with the stretch stitch.
BTW, have you seen the little tube things like this that are sold in JoAnn’s? They are in little boxes, come in different colors, and have little tabs to which you can attach straps (not included), and they sell for about $16 a piece. I think they have stretch lace at one edge, so you can wear it with the lace showing or with the straight edge showing at the top. One time, at my old job, we had a cleavage-concealing mania going on, and the shop sisters were going to all creative lengths to hide their pulchritudinous profiles. This isn’t Las Vegas, here! Subdue those curves in public.

Stretchy tube


Then I sewed on a little free-standing lace embroidery medallion I’d made on the machine in sewing class, and didn’t have another foreseeable use for:

Remnant Redo Modesty Option


The lace is a Husqvarna Viking pattern, sewn with purple thread on top and black in the bobbin, on 2 layers of Badge Master water-soluble stabilizer. Cut out and soaked in water, a little stiff now but will soften up with some washings; slip-stitched on to the top front.

Copius cleavage downgraded from R to PG


So that’s my postaweek2011 remnant project.

Three cheers for the Red, White, and Blue Redo!

This is my postaweek 2011 remnant redo project of the week, a couple of couch pillows on the cheap!

I bought these two upholstery-like woven pieces of American flag-themed cloth on ebay last year some time. The transaction no longer shows up so I can’t tell you how cheap I got them, but I believed I got a bargain! We have lots of red, white, and blue in the house, and we recently painted the living room “accent wall” turquoise (it was dark red prior to that.) So I found a length of turquoise cotton or cotton-linen blend to make backs for the pillows. The pillow forms came from JoAnn’s Clearance Rack, at a cost of $5 each.  And the pillow cover zippers came from my recent hunting and gathering trip to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, foraged from a bin at the Vogue Fabric booth at a cost of $.14 a piece.

Cut, sew zipper, sew seams, serge edges. I serged the edges because the flag fabric is very prone to unraveling. If you serge straight past the end of the seam, then start at the beginning of the perpendicular seam (rather than try to pivot when you get to the end to start on the next edge) your corners will be sharp.

And believe me, it didn’t take long to make these. Maybe an hour.

 

Cutting the backing to fit the flag panel

 

 

sewing on the zipper

 

 

Now Bob has something new to get cat hair on

 

 

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