Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Block do-over


my do-over Moda Building Blocks block 8

This time, with focused attention to accurate 1/4" seams and using the "no-waste flying geese" method (which meant less bias edge contention and increased accuracy), the finished block measures 18.5". And I like this turquoise fabric even better. So it is a win!

Meanwhile, I am nearly done with a sequin tank top made from the failed dress parts. A little bit of hand stitching and some hems to go. I'm feeling the garment bug right now, so I think I'll focus on clothing for a bit. I've traced a few patterns and look forward to getting some cutting done soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's a skill building kind of weekend!

Not every idea is a winner. In this case, I think my concept was good, but I ran into some issues with execution.

sequin dress mashup plan

The idea was to make a happy sparkly dress for my trip to Las Vegas next month (woo!). I found some beautiful feline-esque sequin mesh at Gorgeous Fabrics that I decided I needed to have. After much deliberation, I had a vision of a cowl neck and a straight skirt. So I combined two patterns that I have successfully made in the past (my mashup plan is pictured above): the Vogue 1351 bodice (for the cowl and the full lining) and the McCall's 6612 skirt (short and straight with no waist seam). What I did not take into consideration was the drape of the fabric (or rather, lack thereof). It should have been obvious, I guess-- but I had a vision and was blinded to anything else. Anyway:

failed sequin dress, front view weirdness

Yeah. It just looks weird!

sequin dress fail, side view of crazy cowl

My first thought was it looked kind of space-age the way it just kind of sticks straight up/out. Ha! (Gah-- I should have sucked in my belly more too... keeping it real here at the Crafty Musings! :P)

I did attempt to mitigate by cutting off the cowl and working to finagle it into a tank-style neckline without undoing everything else. That was a fail too (no pictures of that). So I went nuclear and took it all apart.

fun times picking out stitches from the sequin mesh

Unsewing sequin mesh fabric is about about as much fun as it sounds. But it is done. On the bright side, I have definitely learned some things that (hopefully!) will help me make some better choices. Skill building!

Now to figure out Plan B.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Skill building

As a gift to myself last Christmas, I signed up for a Block-of-the-Month at a local quilt shop, Gathering Fabric. They are offering a beautiful rendition of the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt as their Saturday Sampler this year.

I was all hyped to get going when I picked up my first packet. But after making the first block, I realized this project was going to be a test of my skills!

Moda Modern Building Block, block 8, with my wonky edges highlighed... a whole 1/2-inch too small

My finished block ended up a full 1/2" smaller than it was supposed to. You can see my issue(s) highlighted in the photo above. Gah!!! But-- it was a good eye-opener. This pattern is truly a skill builder, enforcing the importance of accuracy while piecing. There is very little room for error. I think I have been spoiled by the patterns I have been using lately-- relatively simple blocks, lots of "trimming down" to size as you go and whatnot. My piecing skills have definitely gotten a bit rusty (lazy).

With accuracy in mind, I finally dove into my second block paying very careful attention to seam allowances:

Moda Modern Building Block, block 12

Woo! And it is the right size! *happy dance*

Now I'm going to give that first block a do-over. I want to get it right!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Evening clutch

Another day, another Noodlehead Gathered Clutch! I'm thinking that should be my new motto. I do seem to make a lot of these. Truly, this design is awesomesauce fun!

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, black and burgundy collage

This time around I went with a faux suede-textured fabric (leftover from a Halloween costume made a few years ago) for the outer and some pretty metallic burgundy cotton for the accents.

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, back of flower pin

I also decided to add a bit of frill with a fabric flower pin. I purchased the "Gathered Petal Flowers" downloadable pattern from M.E.H. Designs on Etsy. The pattern is straightforward, but is not particularly detailed and assumes some sewing knowledge, and it kind of leaves a lot to the imagination in terms of finishing. While I'm not sure I would recommend the pattern, I gotta say-- it did result in a pretty spiffy looking flower. I made the flower entirely by hand and it ended up taking me close to an hour-and-a-half to complete (about twice as long as constructing the actual pouch did). But it was definitely worth it-- I think it totally takes this clutch to another level.

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, flower pin detail

So fancy!