Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Various Sewing Bits and Issues

A while back Dawn sent me a shirt that she had bought for herself, then decided it was "too young" for her. I tried on the shirt and came to the same conclusion. So, Dawn had the idea of turning it into a dress for the girl.

So that's what I've been working on.
For three months.

I worked on it today with the intention of finishing it once and for all, but I'm stuck on the sleeves. As you can probably tell:Everything else came pretty easily. I started by ripping all the seams and taking everything apart. Then sewing it all back together, taking everything in as I went so that it would be kid-sized. I'm not sure what I need to do to make the sleeves please me, but I do know I'm going to have to take them off again to find out. That idea doesn't excite me. So for now it sits atop my sewing machine, where I glare at it from time to time.

Because I wanted to sew something, I made a simple drawstring bag for the girl to carry her Strawberry Shortcake stuff in:Strawberry seems happy doesn't she? She should be. Lately the dogs seem a bit too interested in her sweet smelling head. By giving her a bag to hide in, I probably saved her life.

And now I have a sewing related conundrum and I'd love to hear your thoughts. When I was about 4 years old, my family briefly lived in Washington state. The wife of my dads boss made my family a queen sized patchwork quilt:Even though the colors are very late seventies, I love it. Not only do I adore the fact that it's handmade, but it's also the warmest, most comfortable blanket that I own. I'm amazed that after all this time (almost 30 years), it's still in tact. There are no seams coming loose and the rick rack trim has stayed in place.I have comforters that I bought from Pottery Barn that didn't hold up as nicely. The main problem with it is that when my late dog Lulu was a puppy, she chewed a few holes in it:I never had any intent of throwing it away. So, when winter comes, I drag it out and put it on my bed, either under my everyday (non holey) bedspread, or I shove it in a duvet cover. I tend to think duvet covers are a pain in the ass so more often than not it just goes under the bedspread. But there is a part of me that wants to *fix* it somehow. What, if anything, would you do?


Hotch Potchery said...

I got nothing since I am so far NOT a sewer any of my suggestions wouldn't even make sense.

HA HA, I wanted to say "SEW-er" as in "one who sews" but that is sewer. I guess that is why seamstress is used. But I digress.

Not Hannah said...

I can't tell, but it looks like a crazy quilt, no? I think I'd slap a patch on and rick rack around it. Of course, I'm kind of sloppy that way.

Lia said...

I love that quilt, but I have no idea how to fix it. My only thought is to cover each side with a square of some sort, like a patch, but don't ask me just how to do it. I guess I would just try it and see how it works out. Good luck. I wanna see pics if you do it.

Daphne said...

I would make cute, rickrack trimmed patches in updated, but similar fabric, to cover the holes.

I love old quilts like that!

Karen said...

Love your new profile picture.

Sleeves are a pain in the rear to draft from scratch. Must be the three dimensionality that's confusing. Maybe you could face the armholes with bias tape?

If those holes in the quilt aren't too big (like, manhole cover sized) you could cover them with appliques. If you turn the edges under and hand sew it in place, it could look pretty good. I'm dying to know what works because it's only a matter of time before my dogs (or children) manage to do the same thing to our quilts and I'd like to have a plan in place.

Tammie said...

im loving that you all are saying to patch it, because that was my thought as well, but i just didnt know how it would look or if the whole idea seemed hobo-esque.

and i think to add rick rack around the patches sounds even better, i think that would make it "match" a bit more and not stand out so much.

hotch: i always type "sewer" first, then realize what ive done, and change it to seamstress, which sounds so fussy.

not hannah: im not sure if it would technically be considered crazy, but it's on the wild side. and, im a pretty sloppy seamstress myself.

lia: ill definitely show pics if/when anything gets done.

karen: thank you. :) and facing the armholes with bias tape may end up being what i do. ill give these sleeves another shot.

Dani said...

I'm not that original.

For the dress: The bias tape idea was what I was thinking. It looks somewhat summery. If you did the bias tape to make it sleeveless she could wear it layered over a long sleeve T and leggings. I think it was House On Hill Road where she took an old long sleeve T and sewed the sleeves into a short sleeve shirt to give that layered look without it actually being layered.

For the quilt: Patches baby. You would have to hand sew, but hand applique isn't that difficult...just tedious. Unless you don't care if the edges fray a bit.

See. Not one bit of originality.

Ha! My word verification is "pieced".

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Another frustrated seamstress. Boy, there are days I want to toss my machine. Give it a rest. Sleep on it. (I'm talking about the shirt here). Anyhow, about the quilt -- could you patch it with some vintage fabric and embroider around it, kind of like a crazy quilt? I know how you feel about not ever wanting to give up on this -- why it's practically a family heirloom. My mom made an Amish quilt for me. It took her forever and a day. When my oldest son was little, he would chew on the binding. Now there are little holes all around it. I really should repair it, but when I look at it, I remember him so little and nibbling away at that quilt. And, I'm too lazy to actually make the repairs.

Mari said...

Very cute. I would just sew little patches over the holes, maybe with that iron on quilting stuff to toughen the fabric up?

Nowheymama said...

I have an old quilt that my mom has patched many times and I think it looks just fine. :)

Dawn said...

I barely recognized Strawberry Shortcake! She's changed in 30 years.

I love the old quilt. And I'm loving all 70's fabrics/colors lately. I never thought I would say that.

And I never knew that bit about Washington.

Did you get The Bean Trees from the library?

Pearl said...

Pull and replace that whole square, replace the rickrack.

And I love what you did with the shirt!


Aleta said...

I can make jewelry, but I can't sew a stitch for clothing. I'd want to fix it, so that it could be on the top of the bed in all it's warmth and glory :)