It’s National Sewing Month!

Wonder if I can sew an article every day of this month, in honor of National Sewing Month?

Today is already the 4th, so I’m a little behind…but hey! 💡 I did mend 2 pairs of pants in the last couple of days…that counts as sewing, doesn’t it?

And I noticed on Pinterest that Jalie pinned one of my recent projects, their skirtini, on their Customer Creations board!

I decided to start with something super-easy, the fleece blanket. This remnant piece of fleece is an Irish four-leaf clover motif with Celtic sort-of knot designs, in several shades of green, and white. Didn’t care about the size of the remnant, what it is, is what it is. It’s going to be one of those throws you curl up in to watch TV on the couch at night in the dead of winter.

rounding edge

Using a soda can to round the edges of the blanket

I had an abundance of fleece binding in the stash. A long time ago I bought a bulk package of Wright’s bindings on ebay and ended up with a lot of 3-yard packs of forest green. Years have gone by and I never found an opportunity to bind anything with this dark, dusty forest green fleece binding–until now. Sorry to say that I have enough of this dark green to bind a blanket the size of a football field, probably, but at least this project will whittle down some of the old stash!

Wright's fleece binding

dark green fleece binding

I discovered a very old, unused spool of dark-green thread in the stash, and started off making a bobbin.

bobbin winding

Winding a bobbin of forest-green thread

Open up the folded binding and sew it to the edge of the fleece (right side of binding is together with wrong side of fleece, and you’re sewing on top of the wrong side of the binding), using the first fold to the left of your machine’s needle as a sewing guide. You could save yourself some seam ripping later by NOT sewing down the first half-inch or so of the binding. When you get to the point when you have to add more binding, fold over the side edge and finger-press it under, then add the next piece on top of the one you’ve been sewing, so the rough edge is folded under. It would probably be ok to leave the edge unfolded. It doesn’t seem to want to fray much. But it might after washing a lot, and it looks a bit more finished folded under.

fold binding edge under

fold edge under and finger-press, using thumbnail is good

fleece binding

Add next piece for continuous binding

As you’ve probably already sewn the beginning edge down due to not paying attention to what I wrote above, you may have to get the seam ripper or scissors and remove about a half-inch of the thread where you started sewing the binding to the edge, and fold it under.

Once you’ve sewn one edge of the binding all around the perimeter of the blanket, fold it over to the other side and then sew it down. You will be stitching on the right side of the fleece binding, through the fleece and the other right side of the binding on the bottom.

IMG_2345

That would have probably taken about an hour, if I hadn’t had a dentist’s appointment in the middle of the project. Super easy!

I’ve gotten some comments about how difficult some people find sewing to be. Some people are just a natural at sewing, some (like me) are, unfortunately, a klutz. It makes all the difference if you have a good teacher, and if you don’t succumb to discouragement. You can probably google any specific sewing problem and find a tutorial that will help you SUCCEED!

Pretty Clothes for 18″ dolls from Remnants

Spring break snuck up on me this year, owing to the fact that the state of Florida schedules neighboring counties very different weeks of spring vacation. Not sure what their aim is by that: in the county where I live, spring break is next month. In the neighboring county, it started—yikes!—last Monday.

I had vague plans to have the girls up for spring break, especially after seeing this inspiring blog post from Dream…Quilt…Create by Cynthia Horst. I found a web site that offers 6 sets of patterns for wardrobes for 18″ dolls—free! One drawback is that each pattern set may take up 60 or more sheets of 8 x 10 paper and loads of costly printer ink, so nothing as cool as this is truly free, am I right? The patterns have 1990’s copyrights, and they are a bit complex for most little girls to be able to sew on their own (unless they happen to be apprenticed to a dressmaker). I downloaded Samantha’s Pretty Clothes, which includes a party dress, a pinafore and dress, a plaid cape, a fur hat and muff, a pair of gaiters, a nightgown, and a set of tucked and beribboned underthings. Samantha’s wardrobe is noted as circa 1904.

A girl and her doll, with Samantha nightgown

A girl with her doll and Samantha's party dress

The girls chose their own remnants for these projects, and they did some of the initial sewing and preparation. But, as luck would have it, the sewing machine started acting up and I had to work it over and show it who’s boss. By then, the girls were off playing drums and piano, planning a concert for our poor unsuspecting ears. But they checked back with me on and off to see what was going on back in the mini-garment industry slum that is my sewing room.

I also downloaded Molly’s Pretty Clothes, a wardrobe from 1944, according to the introduction sheet. This collection includes patterns for a plaid jumper with a white blouse, a rain slicker and hat, a beret, a pair of pajamas, a pinafore trimmed in rick-rack, a bag, and underthings. We made the jumper but alas, it was a bit too tight to close. My fault completely: I think one of the pattern pieces was inadvertently cut short.

Molly plaid jumper

The girl who requested the jumper sweetly told me, “I think it might fit one of my other dolls!” But I told her I will make her another one that fits!

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