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Friday, January 23, 2015

Sewing in Grandmaville - a quick tutorial on old fashioned buttonhole and few other bits...


Hi everyone,

Slowly I will get back into my blogging groove, I promise.  :)
It is mid- winter time here in Buffalo and dog walks can be a bit nippy sometimes... Not that Marley minds at all, ha ha! Can you see icicles on his beard?

Also, sometimes I watch his footprints in the snow and the other day I noticed the size comparison:

Yeah... My sweet little Bigfoot.
Most of the time after our evening walks I plan to sit and sew a little, but sometimes it just doesn't happen - I crash, with hope to get extra early next day and make it up... But sometimes that doesn't happen either!  I guess I just don't have as much energy or strength as I think I do, or as I want to have. Something to work on. Any good suggestions or ideas?
How do you get everything done?
Do we EVER get everything done or is that just a dream? :)

But when my little granddaughter needs something, it must be done! This time, we needed a CAR SEAT PONCHO. I didn't even know what these are and why they are needed - and in case you are in the dark too, it is considered NOT safe now to place your  baby in a "poofy" winter jacket in the car seat - the thickness of the jacket makes for the straps to be actually too loose in case of collision! Yup, lots of research out there and I found THIS ARTICLE in case you want to read more.

So what is one to do? MAKE A CAR SEAT PONCHO!
It is a simple poncho, made from double layer of fleece, so your baby is warm getting out of the house but you can lift up the back side and strap her/him in the car seat directly. These are not in your regular retail just yet...so if you search the all-mighty Pinterest, you will find a tutorial or two on how to make it! That is what I did and found THIS ONE, as my starting point.

Tutorial is very nice but I wanted to add a few things - some kind of open-and-close system rather than just over the head (our little Juliana really hates over-the-head part of dressing up!) and the opening for her hands, so that she can play or hold something during the car rides.

And that brings me to the old fashion type buttonhole.
I used that method to make the arm openings for this poncho! Not sure if anyone even uses these for actual buttonholes any more? But when I was growing up, my seamstress, step-mother always did these for coats or any heavier fabric, so I learned.
Here is what I did:

1. Just to show you the finished project...


2. And the arm opening from up close

3. TO START, cut a piece of fabric (fleece in this case)  at least 1/2" larger on all sides than the opening you need and stitch it on the RIGHT side of the garment, just around the actual opening (narrow rectangle of stitching). Cut through as shown below:


4. Turn the stitched rectangle to the wrong side of garment by pushing it through the cut opening:


5. Here is how it will look on the wrong side. Make sure to pull it all out straight.

6. Now you just need to stitch it down, either by hand (so nothing is visible on the right side) or by machine of you like. With fleece one really doesn't even have to turn the edges under, but with any other fabric you would want to. I did it here anyway.

7. And here it is all done!

I really love this finished look!


Hope my little sweetheart will like it too! :)



I did some quilting too you know...  :)

For one of them I can't quite share the full photo(s) until recipient gets it, but will as soon as I can! Here is just a sneak preview - I used, for the first time, that yummy Recollection fabric, designed by my friend Katarina Roccella.

Ooh how I love these!!!


I can't wait to play more!!

But I can show you the fun play I had with my Modern Quilting Round Robin group! This was the latest round that I got and the colors and shapes are just sparkly, don't you think? 
Here is what arrived in the mail - my starting point.

Lots of color and I felt the need for some more black and white "break", so I first made some free-hand curvy borders. Tried this orientation first:


And then turned the top and right one the other way:


Yup, liked that better! So next I added few bits of color with some improv-pieced, log cabin style squares in the opposite corners and some diagonal  "stripes" also made with improv-piecing:


What do you think?


Here is a bit more detail...



Would you do something different? What comes to mind when you see something not created by YOU from the start? I am always a bit hesitant and hope the owner will like it at the end....

Other than some of the fun in my sewing room, time files when we are having fun with our little granddaughter - she is growing so fast and is an absolute joy, joy, joy! For me - the added delight is to see my husband, otherwise a quiet and fairly serious guy, light up and giggle when he is with her - I just LOVE it so, so much.


And who says winter is colorless and blah - look at the amazing sunset we caught one evening driving back home! (not a good photo from a moving car, but colors are just stunning)


I hope you are having fun and enjoying winter any way you can,
love,
Marija

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