Applique, Quilts, Sewing

Sewing machine applique block

I managed a little sewing time over the weekend and put together the sewing machine block I posted about last week.  Here’s the inspiration picture:


And here’s the block:


I’m pretty tickled that the fabric I chose has tiny elephants 🙂  Now I just have to decide whether this is finished, or I should do some type of edge stitching.  Decisions, decisions.

Applique, Quilts, Sewing

A Foray into Applique

Hey, it rhymes!

Anyhow, I took a break at lunch to work on an applique design for the sample quilt I’m planning.  I want one block to have a sewing machine applique to represent my love of sewing and I’d been searching for the perfect design but none seemed quite right for me.  Then it hit me, they’re almost all based on the silhouette of older sewing machines, like the painted Singers of old, but I’ve never actually used one.  That’s not *my* sewing machine.  My modern Brother seems a little too sterile in design for this, so I’m going to attempt to make a pattern from my Grandma’s 1970’s (I think) green Kenmore.

So, first I hauled that puppy into a conference room and took a few pictures:


I printed the one I liked best and used a sharpie to trace the features I thought represented it best.  Then I threw that one out and tried again with a little less detail:


If you flip the paper over, the sharpie bleeds through and you get a better sense of what it will look like:


I think that will work, but my next step will be to cut out the shapes in colored paper and audition them, once I’m happy with that I’ll move on to actually cutting fabric.

Sewing, Toys

Fig’s New Clothes

When last we left our hero, Fig, he was a bit bare.  In need, you might say, of a fig leaf for dignity’s sake.  He needed clothes, Bud insisted.  So we found some paper (packing material from an Amazon box fit the bill nicely) and sat down together to make our patterns:


These are the 2.0 set, unfortunately I trashed the first set before thinking to take photos.  I’m new to this blogging thing.  At any rate, we made them by tracing Fig’s dimensions onto the paper, then adding some ease and seam allowances and drafting the shapes to resemble the shapes in human patterns.  Then I made up muslins for both the shirt and the pants, without bothering to hem them or add closures, and leaving part of the rear crotch curve unsewn to accommodate Fig’s tail.  We tried on the results, tweaked the patterns and made a new set.

From this second set I made a little shirt and it fit well enough that we added a velcro closure, and decided that it would be the back instead of the front.  Then I traced off the shoulder and side seams and made the vest pattern you see in the picture.  From that we sewed a little brown vest:


The shirt’s neckline is stay stitched (because I can’t be bothered with facings that tiny!), but the sleeves and back opening have a proper hem.  I need to get the shirt back from Bud and Fig to hem the bottom too.

The little pocket was added to hold Fig’s pet, a caterpillar named Stick.  Stick is made out of 5 small pom-poms sewn together.  The pocket was cut as a wider circle and then sewn to a narrower shape to force it into a 3D shape, as if it had a proper gusset.  I totally winged that on the fly, and it worked.  I wanted it to stand out from the vest so that Bud would be able to get Stick in and out easily.

The second round for the pants will have to wait until this weekend; I need time to contemplate how we’re going to work around that tail!  Also to come, how to sew a tiny back pack.  And if I figure it out, I’ll also be making a tiny tie.

Sewing, Toys

An Improv Fox

What do you do when your preschooler becomes obsessed with a new TV show and desperately wants the toys to play with, but there are no toys?  Well, if you happen to have THE perfect fabric in your stash, you make one.

Meet Fig.


I downloaded an image I found online, then cropped out this character and printed him out full page size.  I used a sharpie to trace out the essential pieces (body+head, arm, leg,tail), then enlarged those pieces by 150%.    Considering I had no pattern and no real plan, I’m pretty happy with how he turned out.

So is Bud:


But then he realized Fig was NAKED!  Dun dun dun!