A Few Tips for Novice Garment Sewing

Wow! I have lots to share with you today!

It was so fun reading all the wonderful reader’s comments left on last Tuesday’s post, My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim. It became obvious to me that I am not alone in being apprehensive to make the jump from quilting to garment construction. Since I had such a successful run with my first project, I thought I would share a few tips I gathered from experienced sewists as I began my project.2015-03-16 09.32

1. Read through the direction thoroughly, until you totally understand the cutting and construction.

2. Prewash and press your fabric.

3. Transfer your tissue paper pattern onto a more permanent and manageable material such as Pellon. I used Red Dot Tracing Material and it worked great..

4. Make a muslin sample first. Ok, in reality, I made two, in two different sizes. Then combined the smaller top and larger bottom for my own personal, pear shaped pattern.

5. Find someone that understands garment construction to help tweak your sample for a perfect fit while you are wearing it. I was fortunate enough to have the incredibly talented Margaret Linderman pin and tweak, then cheer me on to the next step. Thank you Margaret!

6. You know the saying, measure twice, cut once? Well, here’s a new one for you – Gather the correct pattern pieces. Make sure you are following the correct cutting layout for the view or option you have chosen. Check it twice, then cut it once.

7. Take your time sewing. Read and follow directions carefully. Pin, yes pin, even if you think you don’t need to.

8. Take your time to press each seam neatly. Use steam or a pressing cloth when needed.

9. Practice any required topstitching on a scrap fabric first, before stitching onto your garment. You want it pretty and perfect the first time.

I am sure these tips would be obvious to someone that does a lot of garment sewing, but for me, it was definitely a learning process, so I needed all the help I could get!. Perhaps my list will save someone else a few steps on their first project!

Giveaway-GoldNow, as to our winner of the giveaway for the Urban Tunic Pattern by Indigo Junction. Congratulations to Jacqueline! You will be receiving your pattern in the mail soon!

Thank you to everyone else for all the wonderful comments. I wish I could send a pattern to each and every one of you.

If you live in the Northern California area, be sure to check out the East Bay Modern Quilters annual show, Stitch Modern 2015. Opening night is tonight, but there will be lectures, events and gallery hours throughout the month of April. Be sure to check out the calendar of events on their website: Stitch Modern 2015.

Shapes by Linda Hungerford. Check out her blog at Flourishing Palms.

Need a boost of inspiration? Hungry for some eye candy? – be sure to follow the links to Carol Van Zandt’s blog posts with more quilt photographs from Quiltcon 2015. They are spectacular!

Minimalist Design Quilts

Bias Tape Challenge

Handwork Category Quilts

 

 

 

I think that’s it for now! Have a wonderful weekend.

Pati

My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim and a Pattern Giveaway!

On the Design Wall with P&B Textiles

A while back, I received a lovely bundle of P&B Textiles to play with. It was perfect timing, because Laura and I were just beginning our exploration with wedge rulers. New fabric and new quilty toys – now what could be better?1st-shipment-of-fat-quarters-300x225

For my first project, I started with sewing up selected 2 1/2″ strips from Bella Suede and Suede Medley, along with one sweet little green print from the Blissful Moments line. Since I had no idea where I was going with this, I wanted to stay with a minimal color palette – to keep some control in the design. I chose a light to dark combination in greens and blues that had a gradating effect

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Next, I cut my strips to a 20″ width and then proceeded to cut out wedges with a 24 degree wedge ruler that we were experimenting with from Quints Measuring Systems. I alternated up and down, so that I wouldn’t have any waste.

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Then I was off to the design wall to see what I could come up with! This is definitely my favorite part of the process.

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I liked alternating them, but my wedges seemed to blend into each other too much, so spacing them out helped to emphasize their shape more. Hmmm… That just might work. Now to repeat that for another row.

2015-01-15-16.18.51-e1421887099961-172x300   2015-01-18-10.49.46-e1421888455361-259x300 

I added white strips between each wedge to give a crip, clean edge to the layout. .
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Finish it off with white setting triangles and some borders. For my setting triangles, I just cut my wedges out of white and then sliced them in half lengthwise.

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For quilting, I stitched some simple, straight lines with my walking foot. Almost finished, right?2015-03-15 13.12.40

Well, of course not. While I was quilting, I kept thinking about how cool some “Big Stitch” handwork would look. I could just follow the lines of the fabric strips in some coordinating threads to give it an interesting texture.

2015-03-15 16.20.23     2015-03-15 16.22.20

So, I guess you won’t be seeing a finished project quite yet. But, the good news is, it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon – I think I will just plop myself down outside and get started on the handwork! Wish you could join me!

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Carol Van Zandt has been busy adding more photos to her blog. Be sure to click over to Plaid Portico to see her latest installment of Quiltcon 2015 photos. Quiltcon 2015 Improvisation Category Part 1 and Part 2

Have a good week!

Pati

 

New Wedge Project Revealed

I just returned from a quick overnight getaway to one of my favorite places, The Monterey Bay Aquarium. My wonderful husband purchased “Behind the Scenes Tour” tickets for us to get up close and personal with the sea otters. The tour was spectacular, complete with fluffy baby otters. The tour was almost as good as the previous one we took last year on the jellies. I must admit however, the highlight for me was seeing the Giant Pacific Octopus on display in the newly installed Tentacles exhibit. What a fascinating and magestic creature!

Giant Pacific Octopus on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo taken from the website at www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Giant Pacific Octopus on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo taken from the website at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Our final walk on the beach this morning gave me the perfect setting to photograph my new beach totebag. My vision for this project was to design a circular beach totebag that would double as a groundcloth.  I used the large 36 degree rulers to cut fabric wedges. I doubled alternate spaces creating pockets for holding some beach necessities, such as sunscreen, flip-flops, sunglasses and waterbottles. There would be enough space in the middle of the bag to carry your towel, beach coverup and bikini ; ).

Alternate wedges are doubled to create pockets for carrying necessary beach items.
Alternate wedges are doubled to create pockets for carrying necessary beach items.

I used Kim Andersson’s new Tidal Lace line by Windham Fabrics and our new Making Waves pattern as inspiration to create a beach ball design on one side of the tote. The opposite side is a solid piece of vinyl covered cotton fabric. Everything was running smoothly until I came to adding the casing to the outer edge of the circle. Notice the rippling in the casing? Ugh!

Here's a close up of my problem.
Here’s a close up of my problem.

I’m generally not one to encourage pointing out disappointments, but in this case, I think there are two valuable tips I can share here. First, since I was working on a circular design, the casing strips should have been cut on the bias to prevent rippling. I didn’t have enough of the backing fabric to cut bias strips, so thought I might get away with some wide straight-grain cut strips . . . WRONG! I know better than this ; ). Second, I didn’t have my teflon presser foot with me while sewing on the vinyl fabric. Stitching with my regular foot only contributed to the problem. In an effort to resolve the situation, I put some blue painters tape on the bottom of my regular presser foot. This works in a pinch but I highly recommend using a teflon foot for any serious  sewing with these fabrics.

Sooo, not being happy with the end result, I decided to cut off the wobbly casing and attach a new bias cut strip. Finally, I inserted some cording/rope through the opening to create a drawstring strap. Ready to insert all my gear and head off to the beach.

A calm grey overcast morning at the beach.
A calm grey overcast morning at the beach.

I found a comfortable spot, spread out the tote and began setting up with some goodies purchased in town . . . local wine and Ghirdadelli chocolates!

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While I was setting up, I noticed that one of the locals was keeping a close eye on me!

One of the locals on the beach this morning.
One of the locals on the beach this morning.

Goodbye Monterey, until next time!

Laura Signature

 

 

 

 

Quiltcon Charity Quilts – Part II

Quiltcon Charity Quilt
Quiltcon Charity Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for another dose of those amazing Charity Quilts from Quiltcon 2015?

Click the link to view Carol Van Zandt’s post on the Plaid Portico: Quiltcon Charity Quilts – Part II

 

 

Tribute
Tribute by Pati Fried

I have a workshop at Broadway Quilts this Saturday, March 14. There are still a few spots open, so if you live local to Sonoma, California, consider joining me. The workshop will be an opportunity for students to explore the traditional designs of Amish quilts and how to draw from their inspiration to develop quilts with a more modern aesthetic. As with most of my classes and workshops, the design wall will play a large part of the process.

Click on the link for more details on Amish Inspired Modern Workshop and join us for a day of creativity and fun.

 

 Pati 

Quiltcon Charity Quilts – Part 1

We are so fortunate to have Carol Van Zandt, from ThePlaid Portico, share her beautiful photographs with See How We Sew. Last week, Carol was busy snapping photos of the quilts at Quiltcon 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Quiltcon Charity Quilt
Quiltcon Charity Quilt

 

So grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and click on the link Quiltcon Charity Quilt – Part 1, to enjoy Carol’s post.

Laura & Pati

Quiltcon Workshops – Filled with Inspiration

The Definition of Stitch by Sarah Fielke

The dust is settling from Quiltcon. Everyone is arriving home and posting lots of wonderful photos of the show, the quilts and the friendships they have nurtured . It was an amazing few days for me and I am so appreciative of all the hard work and talent that went into this event. The quilts were amazing, of course. The lectures were incredibly informative. But, I believe I enjoyed the workshops most of all.

I thought it would be fun to share my experiences with you.

Alison Glass
Alison Glass of BigCartel.com

I had signed up for a workshop with the talented Alison Glass. I thought it might be a good idea to “up my game” at embroidery. It has never been my strong suit and I do love me some hand work with pretty colored thread. Alison is such a warm and friendly person and it reflects  in her colorful and oh- so-whimsical work. I am always inspired to grab a sketchbook and colored pencils after looking at Allison’s designs.

Alison Glass embroidery
Don’t you just want to stroll through Alison’s flower garden?

The project Alison shared with us was a stitched sampler that could be made into a needle book. Sweet, simple images that would allow us the chance to practice stitches that she demonstrated.

Alison Glass embroidery needle book

She also shared samples in which she added bits of wool applique into her work. This is something I will definitely try. It paired so nicely with the texture of the stitches.

Alison Glass embrodery     Alison Glass embroidery

Playing with the beautiful colors of my threads was the best part of the class for me. I kept threading another needle just to try a new stitch in a different color.  I had brought some small samplings of Presentia Perle Cotton #8 to work with on the project. I seem to have an embarrassing amount of the thread that I’ve stockpiled for Big Stitch projects. I am so happy to have another use for it.

Pati's embroidery sample     Pati's embroidery sample

I didn’t get terribly far, but I feel like I now have the “tools” to go home and practice – oh, along with her book, Alison Glass Appliqué.

AGappliquecover
Signed copies available on her website – Click Here 

As I mentioned in the workshop, my French knots tend to be more like french tangles. Hopefully this will improve now. Thank you Alison for all the wonderful tips. I aspire to create stitches as lovely as yours.

Alison Glass embroidery

I also took a Screen Printing with Celina Mancurti. Celina was a wonderful teacher and had everyone messing up their manicures in no time! I had done a lot of screen printing in college, but forgot how messy it could be. It all came back quickly once I put that squeegee in my hand.

Celina Mancurti
Celina Mancurti of CelinaMancurti.com

Celina had a lot of beautiful designs on screens and ready to print. That made it very simple to dive right in and start printing. I chose some lovely images and some muslin and got started. Three little birds, all in a row. Aren’t they lovely?

Pati's Bird Screen Print

The student next to me decided to cut her own stencils and was kind enough to let me photograph her work in progress. She was really quick with the Exacto knife!

Stencil sml     Ink screen sml

She whipped out her own original design in no time, then started printing away. Isn’t this great? Love, love, love the bright green on muslin.

Pirnt screen sml

By now my birds were somewhat dry, so I chose to add a second color. I liked it so much, I made it twice! I think I will add these to the bottom of some toweling that I bought ages ago and never used. Wow, I actually made something useful!

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And then, I discovered the red poppies. And linen. And a very cool graphic element that I printed in black. Sigh. I am so in love with the final result of my poppies.

Pati's print sml

No idea what I am going to do with it, but would love some suggestions from all of you!

Mancurti's linens more sml   Mancurti's linens sml

Celina also brought a sprinkling of the beautiful pre-printed linens that she has created. You will find a full  line of the pre-printed fabrics, kitchen and table linens available on her website. Be sure to visit her shop at CelinaMancurti.com

As you can see, my workshops were wonderful. It is always great to have the opportunity to be learn a new technique or be inspired by someone else’s creativity. I hope you found a little spark of creativity also.

Pati's print closeup

 

If you have an idea of what to do with my red poppies, be sure to leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Pati

 

 

 

 

 



 

Playing with Wedge Rulers

It’s been a crazy, busy week here but just want to pop in and share an apron design I made using some new and very large wedge rulers from Quint Measuring Systems, Inc. It’s hard to tell in the photo but the skirt is so cute and swishy when worn. Since I’m a huge lover of all dotted fabrics, this black and white became the perfect choice when combined with the beautiful large scale floral print. It’s super simple and sews up fairly quickly.

Apron cropped sml

 

Dots and stripes on the backside make this a reversible design. Two in one . . . not bad.

Apron back sml

 

Ok, just one more shot since I couldn’t resist having the adorable Jamie Hirano of Wooden Gate Quilts model the finished product. Love the look on you, Jamie!

Apron Jamie sml

 

Here’s a sneak peek at another wedge project I am working on. Any guesses on what it will be? It was inspired by our new Making Waves quilt pattern.  It will be something that can be used along with the quilt. If all goes well, I’ll reveal the completed (not going to tell you) in my next post.

Hmmm, wonder what this will be?
Hmmm, wonder what this will be?

It’s been fun making these easy projects but I’m so anxious to design and make a new quilt. Feel like it’s been way too long.  I’ve just not been inspired, until this week when I came across this gorgeous print by M&S Textiles Australia. Yes, it is one piece, NOT pieced. Circles and stripes in jewel tones, oh my! I can hardly wait to get started. I’ll be away teaching at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar next week and hope to find a few minutes in the evening to play and work out some new designs. Fingers crossed.

I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!
I love EVERYTHING about this fabric!!

That’s it for today. Hope wherever you live, you are staying warm and cozy. It’s such a perfect time to be inside working on projects. Take advantage.

Until next time, keep your eyes open for inspiration, it’s everywhere.

mug

Laura Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amish: The Modern Muse Part II

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Squared Repeat by Terri Carpenter

 

As promised, Carol Van Zandt has published the second installment of her photographs from the exhibit currently at the San Jose Quilt Museum called, Amish: The Modern Muse Part II. Click on the link below to view all the wonderful quilts from this exhibit.

http://theplaidportico.com/2015/02/03/amish-the-modern-muse-part-ii/

 

MakingWavesPatterns-Cover1We have a winner!!!

Actually, all the answers to last weeks riddle were winners. I was so touched by all the wonderful answers given. Unfortunately, I had to narrow it down to one lucky contributor – Christi. Read her comment and you will understand why she was chosen.

Inspiration! What a timely post to stumble upon today! Thank you! I just got back from Big Sur on Sunday and I’m already missing it so much! We go every year for my birthday (and Carmel, too). Of course, I can’t wait to get in my sewing room after feeling so inspired after spending a few days there. I just adore Nepenthe as well as the Phoenix (and so many other wonderful places in Big Sur). And because of your post, I just had to walk over at lunchtime today to the “The Cook and Her Farmer” for one of Romney’s grilled cheese sandwiches! I had the “Big Sur” and it was delicious! Can’t wait to play with some Kaffe fabrics this weekend. It’s interesting I heard Kaffe speak one time and he said Big Sur didn’t inspire him with the colors…he thought they were very monochromatic….but I think it inspires on a deep spiritual level because it’s so unharnessed and a bit wild! Your imagination is free to experiment and that to me is the essence of Big Sur. – Christi

Thank you all for your participation.I urge everyone to take a moment to go back and read all the fabulous comments from last weeks post, My Nepenthe, A Story, A Riddle and A Giveaway. They were quite inspirational! And yes, inspiration was the answer to my riddle – although, many other comments had answers just as fitting. Don’t give up – there will be lots more giveaways to come.

Pati