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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Foxglove Tank Pattern Using Desert Blanket Arizona Knit

Hi there!  I am sure I have mentioned it before but I love the Art Gallery Arizona Knits and I have been scheming ways to use it.  So when I saw that the new Foxglove Tank Pattern by Selvage Designs could be used with knits....I was in!  Since I used the Tomahawk Stripe for my My Dress, I used the Desert Blanket knit for this tank.  Both are still available in the shop.
The Foxglove pattern is great!  It is simple and straight forward with plenty of diagrams and options.  I really have no complaints with it.  I do, however, need to get a racerback bra, because the only thing that I had that would work was a really old and terrible sports bra which I am sure you noticed is not very flattering.  Anyway, great tank, and I hope to make more.  I have a rayon slub knit that I have been waiting for the perfect pattern to use and I think this will be perfect!
I did have one issue that had noting to do with the pattern.  I wanted to use a twin/double needle to hem the bottom, neckline and arm holes, since this is often suggested for knits.  The twin needle that came with my machine would not work, so I went to Joann's in search of a twin needle I could use.  Well, there was only one to chose from.  The package said that it could be used for knits so I went for it.  Unfortunately, I had the most difficult time finishing the hems.  I took them out multiple times and tried everything I though I could and I still had skipped stitches.  I think that the issue is the needle, but I am not sure.  I have had trouble with some knits before doing this, also with a straight stitch but only a single needle.  Anyway, do any of you have any experience with this that you might be able to share some advice with me?  It would be tremendously appreciated. 
Overall, this is a wonderful pattern and a gorgeous knit.  I will have to investigate a bit on the twin needle front, but other than that I want to make more.  I have a couple of different ideas for the hems on the next one, so perhaps I will skip the twin needle all together for that one!

Thanks so much for checking out my post, I do greatly appreciate it!

This post is linked up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Swaps and Tops: A WIP Wednesday Edition

I recently joined another swap on Instagram; the #shabbycottageswap with Mini Dwell Blocks.  This is only my second swap and my first swap technically isn't over yet; the #schnitzelandboominiswap.  I have already sent out my swap items, but I haven't received mine yet.  I am not sure that I am cut out for this swap business yet, because I stress myself out way too much!  That said, my partner will hopefully receive it soon which should relieve a bit of the stress.  It sure had a heck of a long way to go, and the suspense is killer.  Anyway, hope you enjoy it partner!


As for the new swap, I just finished my nine mini blocks and now I am paranoid that these won't be good enough.  Oh well, they are finished and now I just need to get my labels made and send them out.  But I need to stop starting new things and finish some of my many works in progress....bah, who am I kidding, that is never going to happen!

 I have also been dragging my feet on a Foxglove Tank that I am almost finished with using some Arizona knit from the shop.  I think I am going to love this tank.  Hopefully I can buckle down and get it finished to show you on Friday.
And I did get a bit more finished on my new Juggle Quilt using the 25th and Pine Honeycomb hexagons.  I made the pieced hexagons and finished cutting all of the pieces.  I also sewed the first three row together, which really isn't that much I suppose, but it should go much faster now since all of the pieces are ready.  I am pretty excited about this one!
Thanks so much for checking out my post and I hope you stop back by on Friday when I hopefully post about my new knit Foxglove Tank.

This post is linked up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Dress Pattern by Debbie Brooke Designs in Kaufman Indigo Chambray Dot

Do you remember the knit version of the My Dress from a couple of weeks ago using the awesome new Arizona knit fabricWell, I managed to finish a woven version of the My Dress today...yay!!!  I recently got some Robert Kaufman Chambray Dot fabric into the shop and I was itching to make something with it.  Then when I got the My Dress pattern to test I knew it would be the perfect match for this fabric.  The reason being that this fabric looks amazing from either side, check it out!
So, since this dress has a separate bodice and skirt, I used the "right" side of the fabric for the skirt portion and then flipped the fabric and used the "wrong" side for the bodice.  
This fabric is gorgeous by the way and I want to make so many more things out of it!   As for the pattern, there are a couple of differences between making the woven version versus the knit version.  First of all, for this woven version you insert a zipper on the side seam.  You know, zippers really aren't that bad but I decided I don't love doing them.  I realize that I tend to procrastinate forever when it comes to the zipper part....bah.  The other difference that is mentioned when doing the knit version versus the woven is that you size down for the knit, which is absolutely true.  I cut the same size as I did not the knit version and I ended up having to change my side seams to 1/2 inch seams instead of 5/8 inch seams to allow for enough room in the bodice.  It probably would have been smarter to do as the instructions suggested and use the larger size.  I suppose when I make another of these woven My Dresses I will cut a size larger and see how that goes.
I did have a couple of issues with some aspects of the dress.  The first was that I was having a bit of a problem with a bit of "bulging," if that is even the correct word, on the side seam where my zipper ended right at my hip.  I just ended up lessening the curvature of the seam there, but it could have been where I ended up cutting the zipper in addition to the curvature in that location....but not too sure.  I noticed a bit in the knit version but it is much more forgiving in the knit version.  Lastly, I noticed that the fabric below the back bodice seam bunches.  The skirt does not seem too tight, but perhaps it is and that is why it bunches there.  I was thinking that perhaps I could shorten the back bodice or the top of the skirt back, but I am not really sure.  Any ideas?
Did I mention last time how much I love the pleats?  Well, I do, so I will subject you to a close up.
Now for the super stiff and awkward side pose....weird.

And, of course, what photo shoot would be complete without a photo bomb from the Goob...enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed it!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Starting Camille Roskelley's Juggle Quilt using 25th and Pine: WIP Wednesday Edition

I know it has been a while and I apologize.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to mention that I, of course, am adding another project to the long list of works in progress!  However, I was finding it hard to resist and finally gave in.  I love BasicGrey's new holiday collection called 25th and Pine and I have been wanting to use the Honeycomb pre-cuts since they came out.  So, I felt this would be a great opportunity to use both.  I believe I am liking how it is looking so far.  What do you guys think?
I am also still working on a few of my other WIPs, such as the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month mini blocks.  The latest was June's block, shown below, but don't look too closely because it isn't perfect.  The new designer for the month of July is Camille Roskelley, which is really exciting so if you have a second you should stop by and check out her interview and the new block of the month.
Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you check back again soon, because I should have a woven version of the My Dress coming up on Friday.  I think you will like it!

This post is linked up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The My Dress by Debbie Brooke Designs PDF Pattern Review

I recently had the pleasure of testing the new PDF version of the My Dress by Debbie Brooke Designs.  I have to admit I had been admiring the pattern for some time and was super excited to get the PDF version.  Many people still prefer paper patterns to the PDF versions, but there are some aspects of the PDF patterns that I really enjoy.  Here they are:

1.  I do not have to trace my size, because I can print out the PDF pattern as many times as I want.
2.  You get the file immediately.  (I can be very impatient.)
3.  I always have a copy of the pattern stored on my computer (and a back-up somewhere else of course) and I do not have to worry about loosing a pattern piece or part of the instructions.

These are just the points that are important to me.  Luckily, many independent designers release both a paper and PDF version of their designs, so we can all be satisfied.  I will say that I am not deterred either way, if I like a pattern I will buy it no matter the format, but I am definitely leaning toward the PDF versions these days.  You can get the paper pattern here, and the PDF will be available soon.
The My Dress PDF:
Okay, one of the things that I notice when I piece together a PDF pattern is how well the pieces lined up when I taped them all together.  Out of all of the PDF patterns I have used to date, this pattern lined up the best!  There were easy to follow instructions with letters that matched up on the corners/edges as well as numbers for each page and all of the lines matched up beautifully.  

As for the rest of the aspects of the PDF, the content was organized logically and the instructions were easy to follow with quality photos and diagrams.

Overall Opinion of the My Dress Pattern:
I am in love with this dress at the moment!  The basic shape of the dress is elegant and flattering and I, of course, love the pleats at the shoulder.  One of the best aspects of the dress/pattern is that you can make it with woven or knit fabric!  In addition to that, there is a maternity variation, while I will not be needing that feature for myself, I certainly love a pattern with options.  The construction is clever with a fully lined bodice (which is a favorite of mine) and simple techniques for a nice finish.  And it is definitely a great project for beginners, especially the knit version, since you do not need the zipper!
For my first version of the My Dress, I chose to use knit fabric since I just received the gorgeous, buttery soft Arizona knits in the shop.  The Tomahawk Stripe knit by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics was wonderful to work with and so comfortable for this dress.  I used a ball point needle with no trouble and the seams turned out nicely.  I did not make any modifications to the sizing or to any of the seams, however I did cut the knit with the stripes running vertically instead of horizontally.  I also did not line up the stripe on the bodice and skirt on purpose because I wanted there to be a slight variation to emphasize the seam separating the two.  Just a side note, the dress is a size six.  The instructions say to go with the smaller size if your measurements fall in between two sizes, which I did.  I will most likely have to cut the larger size (at least for the skirt) for the woven version, or cut back on the junk food!



I would definitely recommend this pattern to both beginners and advanced sewers.  It is fairly quick and easy to put together plus it is comfortable and cute!  I have not made the woven versions with the zipper yet, so I cannot speak for that portion of the instructions, but I will update as soon as I do.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope that you enjoyed it!  And also big thanks to Debbie for allowing me the opportunity to test the PDF version of the My Dress pattern.  This post is linked up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.