Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Duvet cover and Pillows

Thank God for the stash contest on PR.  I had all this wonderful fabric waiting to be made into something useful and FINALLY!  I got to work on it.

So here's a peek at my duvet cover made with a beautiful butterfly batik I found at Walmart quite a while ago... I can't remember when, but it must've been around the time I was into making shower curtains because there's only enough for a shower curtain.  I had this, plus another similar butterfly batik (I must've forgotten about buying the first one), several sashiko medallions I had made, and some leftover linen/cotton from my wedding.  The only thing I had to buy were 15 coconut buttons at 4/$1.00.  Wow.

Here are the pillows I made to match the duvet cover.

These have invisible zipper openings,  (see if you can find it in the first picture below), and the two different butterfly fabrics.  I also used the last of my navy linen to make the piping.  I had to use the second butterfly fabric when I ran out of the first.  But boy... I like it!  All of it was in my stash... including the zippers, so shopping my stash paid off!  :D  I'm happy!

I'm working on another set in barkcloth and linen for my daughter's bedroom and will include a better picture of my duvet cover and a simple tutorial next time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flanged Pillow Coverings

My daughter picked up the Owl panel in Japan about 9 years ago and I've been wanting to make it into a pillow cover since then.  Just never found the time or the perfect fabric.  Who knew that it was sitting right here in my stash since I got married 7 years ago!  The navy blue linen was made into table coverings for my reception, and I've been saving it in my stash.  I used some of it for curtains when we bought our home but the remainder was stashed away for a duvet cover (tutorial coming soon).

Anyway, here's a quick tutorial for simple flange pillows.    First, you'll need your fabric panel.  The edges should be prefinished.  I've already sewn my panel onto the pillow top piece.  It's cut 2" larger than the panel.  A 2" flange looks just right for an 18" pillow, and I'll be sewing the flange along the inner edge of the red border.  That'll give me a 1/2" seam allowance.

To cut the back pieces, add about 6" to half the measurement for overlap.  There will be a simple overlap in the back to insert the pillow.   You'll need 2 pieces.  Here are the pieces... not much to it eh?  :)

You will need to cut interfacing for the flange (in my case, 2 1/2" wide and whatever length it will be to cover the flange area).  You will also need to cut interfacing for your overlap.  It will help make keep the edge from stretching out and keep it crisp.  I cut mine about 2" x the width of the pillow.  Interfacings will be applied to the pillow back pieces.  Clip off the corners so the finished corners will be look crisp.  And finish the edge for the overlap.  Then adjust the pieces by laying the pillow backs onto the front piece, match the edges and fold over.  I simply folded about 2" and have about 2" overlapping.  The opening is not in the center, but I don't mind.  I prefer to have it below the center. 

After the prepping all the pieces, pin them right sides together and sew a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around the edges.  Press flat.

To make the flange,  I changed my top thread to red and used navy in the bobbin.  Then I sewed along the inner edge of the red border on the pillowtop, creating a 2" flange.  After that, I closed the overlap on the flange by hand sewing it shut.   This is the underside of the pillow. 

Helpful tip for turning corners neatly:
1)  Fold along the stitching lines first to form a nice folded corner.
2)  Lay something somewhat pointy, like a chopstick, at the corner, using it to support the corner before you turn it.
3)  Turn the corner, keeping the edges folded, and use the chopstick to push the point out.  Make sure the inner folds don't shift or it'll be like stuffing an elephant into a refrigerator. 
4)  Press.  Nice corners :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Look 6813

I like this pattern. With a few adjustments it ended up looking as good as the picture. The muslin was made in size 12/14/14, according to my measurements and it didn't really look like it fit well. So I downsized to a 10/12/12. Now it looks like the picture on the pattern.

I did have to make a few adjustments to the pattern in order to eliminate the gaping neckline. I pinched out little bits along the inner neckline, and flattened it to the edges. Kinda like making tiny darts. Since it's made in stretch fabric, it was easy enough to ease in the front and back pieces to the neck band. Here you can see the little pinches I made in the pattern:
And I added about an inch to the sleeve length. That's a simple adjustment...

The technique used for applying the neckline would've created a lot of bulk, so instead of turning the inside edges under and sewing through all those thicknesses, I left it flat and trimmed it down to 1/4" after top stitching the neckline. You could also just apply the neckline with your serger and eliminate a bunch of extra steps, but my serger is set up with light colored thread and I was too lazy to dig up darks.

Here's a detail of the topstitching. I like the blue on brown color combo...

And here's the finished top in brown.  Sorry about picture quality...

 And the second one made in Red, using some poly jersey.  I like the way it looks, but it's not going to work for hot weather...

Oh well... another TNT pattern to add to my collection.