Projects · sewing

A Scrap Quilt with Memories

Last year I was determined to finish up some UFO (UnFinished Objects) in my sewing room – including this scrap quilt made with scraps from quilts I’ve made in the past!

IMG_3002Quality quilting fabric is expensive so when I have any scraps left over from make a quilt I tuck them away.  I save extra blocks, fabric strips and scraps that are at least 2.5″ x 2.5″.

When I was ready to sew this quilt, I had enough scraps to make 64, 10″ x 10″ blocks.  After sewing all the blocks together I had a full sized quilt that holds a LOT of memories.

There are blocks from the (Storm at Sea) quilt I made my dad, one block from the tea cup quilt I started and quickly decided I didn’t have the patience for, blocks from my Tula Pink Butterfly quilt, and plenty of Sewtropolis shop samples!

I don’t know what I’ll do with this quilt yet.  I believe quilts are made to be used, but I love all the memories this one holds, so for now it’s sitting safely on a shelf in my sewing room.  

 

Projects · sewing

T-shirt Quilt: Part 2

I made another t-shirt quilt this week for a friend of mine’s daughter!

I love how this one turned out!  Once I had the t-shirts we scheduled a call to go over what her daughter wanted.  She pretty much left the design up to me, but knew that she wanted the borders to be a gray… and that she wanted the backing and binding to match.

Some of the shirts were smaller (child size) so I had to ‘build up’ some blocks to make them large enough.

When laying it out I thought it would be cute to have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse looking out across the quilt to each other.

I quilting it using a longarm, and super fine thread that blends in so nicely with all the blocks.

Like I said, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  this quilt is about 55″ x 55″ and I used about 15 t-shirts (a few front and back) to make it.  I have my listing up on Etsy if you’d like to your own t-shirt quilt.

Projects · sewing

Sample Seahawk T-Shirt Quilt

I posted earlier that I am taking custom orders for t-shirt quilts.  I’ve done a few in the past, but unfortunately didn’t have pictures of them to post on my Etsy site to ‘advertise’ my work.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a lot of graphic t-shirts … so I took a trip to Goodwill and picked up a few Seahawk t-shirts to make this Seahawk themed lap quilt.

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I think it turned out okay considering some of the t-shirts were “V” neck and I didn’t think of how hard it would be to ‘center’ in a block.  I also included some kid-sized t-shirts that needed some ‘building up’ to make the block larger.  The quilt measures 45″w x 50.5″ L … so not quite square, but plenty big for a lap quilt.

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I had the green fabric used in the sashing and the binding in my stash, and the Seattle/Seahawk themed blue fabric was purchased from JoAnns.

I’ve taken pictures and listed it on my Etsy store as an example of my work AND listed it for sale here.  As much as I like it, I have a house full of quilts and like I said – I’m determined to get out of debt.

Happy Sewing

 

Projects · sewing

Darning Socks, and a Saved Sweater

Even though I really like to knit socks – I don’t wear my handmade socks when I workout.  Instead, I buy store-bought socks which seem to last about a season, and as soon as they get a hole in them I toss them out.  A few months back I decided instead of wasting money (and creating waste) I was going to try darning (mending) my socks.

Darning a sock is not that hard… all you need is yarn (I used sock weight), a needle and a darning egg – or something to stretch the sock over while you mend it.

Before I bought a darning egg I used a tennis ball or one of the dogs Kong.  Both did the job, but they were not ideal.  I thought I would have a hard time finding a darning egg, but I found this one on Amazon for about $10. 

To mend the hole in my socks I stitched an outline around the hole in my sock, then created vertical/parallel stitches across the hole, and then ‘wove’ in the horizontal stitches.

This sock had a small hole – but I decided to darn a larger area because I felt that the smaller patch might bug me.  I’m glad I did because these are my most comfortable pair of socks now – there’s so much cushion in the foot bed!

I love that I extended the life of my socks (and made them even better).  Having one success, I decided to use the same technique to save a sweatshirt that I accidentally marked with a red ink pen.

I used two different colors of embroidery floss and created a hatched circle over the mark.  The sweater looked a little odd with just one circle so I added a few more.  Again, I think I made my sweater better (more fun) by ‘fixing’ it.  What do you think?

Happy Darning!

Projects · sewing

Sewtropolis Signature Quilt

2019 was all about finishing up some of my many UFOs (UnFinished Objects)… including the Sewtropolis Signature Quilt.  I started this quilt about a year before I closed my store… not knowing at the time that I would be closing.   It was intended to hang in the studio portion and I thought it would be a fun way to have my customers assist in a quilt.  There are 100 signatures most from the kids who took my summer sewing camps, but also from my adult students, employees and customers. img_7006.jpeg

I managed to put the top together and that’s about the time I realized I needed to close my store…  and this project and so many others went into the UFO basket for the time being.

So here it is six years and a cross-county move later and I’m finally tackling that that UFO basket.   All I had to do to finish this quilt was to quilt and bind it so I waited till I had a few tops to quilt before reserving time on the long-arm.  After quilting the first two with no issue, I loaded this one and started doing my thing… and about 3/4 of the way into it I realized that the backing had somehow creased and was getting worse as I went along.

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I can “live” with a lot of mistakes, but this crease was not one of them.  I took it off the machine, brought it home and took out most of what I had done.  To be honest with you – I had heard of people doing this and thought to myself NO WAY would I ever do this  – I don’t mind a mistake or a few, I think they give a quilt character – but this crease was in a league of its own!

Once I was done unstitching, I re-quilted it on my home machine, putting a heart in each of the blocks, and a wavy pattern on the boarder – which is kind of a metaphor for my business:  I loved my customers, but it was definitely a crazy ride!!!

Overall I’m really happy with how this quilt turned out – I loved seeing the signatures of the gals that worked for me (miss you ladies), the signatures of the camp kids – some who were seriously SO MUCH FUN, and I even teared up when I saw Skilo’s block.. God, I miss that dog!!!

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Eventually I will pick off all the stray threads, but for now they are a reminder of the difficulty of my owning my own business and of finishing this quilt.

Happy Sewing

 

Projects · sewing

How You Doin?

Well, here we are at the end of another year – and it’s time to check in on those resolutions we all set at the beginning of 2019!  Personally, I think I did okay.  As a reminder my goals were: image

I went to Greece, applied to Law School (twice) and am still waiting to hear whether I got accepted.  I started watercoloring… did it everyday for a month and then stopped (I will get back to it).  My fitness goal was to run 3 miles without stopping – I’m still working on that.  Drink more H2O – which I decided wasn’t specific enough and I deleted it instead of feeling frustrated every time I looked at it.

And the big one:  Finish 1 UFO per month!  That was the kicker!  I started out great – had the first three done before the end of the first month.  But then I started to tackle the projects that took a little longer… Like this Roseville pottery appliqué quilt, which slowed me down big time!   For the record, I still haven’t finished it, and now it’s going on 20 years as a UFO. Roseville pottery

However, I did complete 12 UFO’s – deleting a few that were on the list originally, and replacing them with a few that I decided were ready to be finished.

Here is my “Complete” list.  Over the next few months I may write about a few – if you follow me on Instagram @Sewtropolis and @Shop_Sewtropolis you’ll see pictures of almost everything.  IMG_6908.png

And my list as we reach the end of 2019!IMG_0121.png

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you were all able to reach your 2019 sewing goals.  I’m looking forward to everyone’s year-end wrap ups on Instagram!

Love,

Nikol

Exercise · Projects · sewing

A Personal Record

I am part of the Ready To Wear Fasters group on Facebook.  If you don’t know what that is – it means I’m ‘fasting’ from buying any clothes for a full year – instead choosing to make all my clothes – and I mean ALL my clothes!   I’m happy to report that 6 months in and I’m still going strong.  This week I made a couple more bras (not showing those), I’m mostly happy with them – I feel like I just can’t get them right, but they’re at least wearable – and more supportive then what I had been wearing.

Last night I made this Xpress tank top from GreenStyleCreations (GSC) based off a recommendation from two other RTW Fasters in the group.

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My running skirt and sports bra are GSC patterns, so this makes 3 for 3 with the pattern company!

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Sewing this tank was so easy – two seams and then hem it.  I found the ITY knit fabric at JoAnn’s and bought a yard of it on impulse.  Good thing – because that’s exactly how much the patterns called for, but I think it will be the last time I buy ITY knit… it’s just way too stretchy and doesn’t hold it’s shape well.

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Anyhoo!  I wore this top today during the ParkRun event and managed a personal record (PR) breaking my old PR by seconds!!  Needless to say, I see more Xpress Tanks in my future!

Sew on!

Nikol

 

Projects · sewing

Let’s Talk Business Suits

I made my first business suit this year.  I used Butterick 6142 for the jacket and Simplicity 8056 for the pants.  I usually purchase McCall patterns and know what modifications I need to make to get those patterns to fit correctly.  I made the same modifications on both the Simplicity and Butterick pattern and seemed to get the fit close – but not quite right.

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I did make a muslin of the jacket and decided to go down a size based on the fit of that muslin.  But, the jacket still doesn’t fit quite right in the shoulder area.  I heard on one of my sewing podcast that a lot of people have fitting issues in the shoulder area due to our bad habit of hunching over our computers and phones.  Good to know for future projects!

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I didn’t make a muslin for the pants, but I did make my usual modifications and cut the size I normally wear for McCall patterns… and ended up with pants that are a  size too small.  I can still wear them, but at the end of the day I can’t wait to take them off!  (I’m not one for tight fitting clothes).

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I purchased the fabric for the suit at JoAnn Fabric… the good thing is I didn’t spend a lot on it, so I am considering this outfit my ‘wearable muslin’.  This weekend I’ll be making a trip down to Portland with plans to stop in at a fabric store known for its large selection of fabrics.  I’ll be on the look out for some nice suiting fabric for a fall/winter suit.  Wish me luck!

I wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

Nikol

 

Athena · Projects · Uncategorized

The Oslo Sweater and Possibilities

I’ve been obsessed with finding  patterns by indie clothing designers mainly because I want to see ‘what else’ is out there besides what the big patterns companies are offering.  I stumbled upon Seamwork magazine and fell in love!  They have a great online magazine, and if you subscribe, you get to choose 2 of their free patterns every month.  Sign me up!!!

The first pattern I downloaded was the Oslo sweater pattern.  To be honest once I downloaded it I was not looking forward to printing it off and taping all the sheets of paper together.  So I thought I would take it to Kinkos to see if they could print it off on a larger printer (hoping that it wouldn’t cost a fortune)  and lo and behold they had a printer on the floor – that I could use anytime  – no special skills required … and didn’t cost an arm and a leg!!!  I’m probably way behind the times here, but what a great surprise!!  It opens up a world of e-pattern possibilities for me!!!

For fabric, I chose a gray wool blend sweater knit from Pacific Fabrics – it was a little on the spendy side, but I thought the Oslo would be simple enough that I couldn’t screw it up too bad – so I splurged!

I have absolutely no room in Athena to cut out patterns, so I loaded up 3-4 other patterns that I’ve been meaning to cut out and headed over to the KOA’s day room to use the big tables they have set up.

Side note – they keep the day room locked because the kids like to go in and trash the place.  I had to ask them to unlock it for me and they made it clear that there were to be no kids in the room without their parents.  No sooner did the KOA guy leave when I looked up and there were 3 little heads poking around the corner to see if the room was empty! And then 2 more kids would poke their head in, then 3 more, etc. etc.  A few would walk in to see what I was doing, but for the most part they just hovered like vultures waiting for me to leave.  Ahhh kids!  Gotta love em!

Anyway, back to the Oslo!  I ended up being able to use my serger on the whole thing and because of that it took me about an hour to finish it!   It was SO simple! I’m glad I splurged on the fabric,  it turned out nice enough to wear to work. (which is where I took the pictures – sorry they are so aweful)  Had I bought a cheaper fabric it may have just ended up a ‘weekend wear.’

Next time I make it though I may try to make it a little longer.  I find that it sits right at the widest part of my hips – which is not flattering for me at all!

Another option may be to add patch pockets to the front – and maybe a closure since I kinda like wearing it closed.   I’d have to make it in a heavier weight fabric though if I were to do either of those, but I like this pattern because of all the possibilities – I like possibilities!

I like how the sleeves are done, I can either wear them rolled up, or down if I need them to be a little longer – again possibilities.

So that was one of my sewing project for the week!  I also worked on Athena, I took out one side of the overhead storage in the back, which gives me more room to add a closet!  No more fold lines in all my clothes – Yay!  It has really opened up the back area!  It doesn’t feel so cramped and now I’m thinking once I move out I’ll make that area the lounge area and put in a entertainment center…. the possibilities are endless, and I like possibilities.

 

Athena · Projects · RV Living

New Slacks and New Shower Faucet! 

This week I spent a LOT of time fixing up Athena!  After our “storm” last week I discovered that moisture has been making its way into the trailer though a side hatch door.  The storage area accessible by the hatch door is under one of the twin beds in the back   Well, moisture had no where to go except up – into the mattress.  (I discovered it looking for one of  the dogs toys).

One of the renovations I’ve been wanting to do is pulling out one of the beds and adding in more storage – so that is what I did.  I pulled that sucker right out of there and put in a portable closet so I have more room to hang my clothes and one of these days I’ll make it to Ikea or Target to see if I can find a dresser or some other storage unit that is tall enough (counter height) so I can cut out fabric.  Right now if I want to cut out anything I either do it on the floor or go to the ‘TV room’.

Anyway, once I pulled everything out, I had enough energy left over to put in a new shower faucet.  What a FIASCO!!!!!  It took me forever to pull the old faucet out – I swear that thing was welded in!  I ended up having to cut the plastic pipes and reassemble the whole thing with ‘up-to-date’ fixings.  But, four hours and three trips to Home Depot later – I have a new shower faucet and shower head!  BOOM!

So remember when I was telling you how I have been working on using up my fabric stash.  Well, I had this knit fabric that was kinda heavy that I can’t remember what project I had in mind when I bought in.  After weeks of thinking about it I decided to make slacks since I can always use work and weekend slacks.   I used Kwik Sew pattern 3115 which I’ve made plenty of times before – so much so that I’ve already added length and widened the band.  All I had to do was cut and sew.

Turns out that for years I thought this fabric was black when actually it’s a deep dark blue!  Ha!!  I normally wear either black or gray pants (minimalism technique) so adding blue gives me one more option – and it’s a deep enough blue that I won’t have to try and mix and match tops.   

I am really happy with the way these slacks turned out.  I widened the waist band so it sits a little higher on the waist… and work appropriate.  I’m tempted now to find more of this fabric and make another pair… but I have so many OTHER projects I want to get to.  More next week!!!

Nikol