Wednesday, March 25, 2015

birthday dress and quilt progress

Here is V.'s 2nd birthday dress, finished in time for the celebrations!

I bought this Tsuru fabric some time ago with making a dress for her in mind and now was the time! This is a Geranium Dress, which I think is such a lovely but simple design perfect for showcasing pretty fabrics! I had one yard and was able to make a size 3T, although I had to opt for a shorter skirt length to make it work. (Please note that this fabric was cut to make use of the border which runs along the selvedge edges, so the hems are aligned with the selvedges and the grainline of the pattern aligned from side to side instead of top to bottom!) It was a bonus for me that I already had the bodice traced for the dress I made for our niece two years ago. I just had to trace the skirt for the pleated version, which I think works better for this print. The lining is a bias gingham print in a pretty pink.

I love that the pleated version has side seam pockets! This border print with the lovely flowers and colours really is so pretty and navy suits V. very well!

I had some problems with the buttonhole setting on my machine. I don't know whose fault it was, mine or "hers", but after a lot of unpicking and fabric starting to look worn and torn around the buttonhole area and a near nervous breakdown I decided to just go with snaps. I left the final unsuccessful buttonhole stitches because I thought it would show less than yet another unpicking. Well, I think it's still cute and it is really only visible up close. I hope I'll get to the root of that buttonhole problem (it could be the buttonhole foot that has seen better days ... My machine is around 30 years old, so it wouldn't surprise me ... or it's just me ...)


I've also been making progress on the quilt I'm making for V., although I don't think I'll finish it in time for her birthday.

I really love how this turned out so far! Those really are my favourite colours at the moment and I think they are perfect for little girls and my little girl in particular! :-)

The fabrics are a combination of newer and older favourites from my stash. Among others and some odds and ends there are several Briar Rose prints, some Color me Retro and I cut into some of my long-hoarded Folk Heart prints.

I tried not to overthink the placement of the squares. I aimed to sew the rows together containing a good mixture of  prints and then sorted the rows into an order that pleased me. That four-patch block above was a happy accident that I decided to leave because I think it adds a bit of extra surprise and fun to the quilt.

The backing is pieced from leftovers and Briar Rose yardage. I forgot to take a picture, but I'll show you once the the quilt is finished. I'm so excited to see this come together, I hope I'll be able to finish it soon!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Berry Border Pillow

This weekend I finally got around to taking some pictures of my finished Berry Border Pillow. The pattern is from Alicia Paulson's  beautiful Embroidery Companion. This was my first cross-stitch project and as suggested in the book it's perfect for a beginner.

The grid of the gingham is very clear, so you don't have to struggle too much counting (I say too much, because if you are like me, you'll struggle a bit anyway ...) and it all comes together quite quickly because of the relatively big size of the squares.

I used different embroidery thread and colours than in the instructions, mainly because I wanted to use what I already had, but also I think this green gingham (a present from my mother-in-law) needs slightly stronger colours than the lighter coloured peachy gingham in the book.

The grid of this gingham is not completely square, so it affects the outcome a bit, but I think it doesn't really matter that much in the overall design of the finished project. At least I think it's pretty and V. likes it, too. She put her head on it almost immediately after she spotted it and said "hieno", which means something like "great/fine/wonderful" in Finnish. She also recognized straight away that there are strawberries in the border. :-)

I decided to use ric-rac instead of piping, again mostly because I had this blue ric-rac in my stash and it fits perfectly with this cute folksy fabric I chose for the back. I'm really happy with how this turned out and the project gave me the confidence to finally begin Alicia's Winterwoods ABCs sampler I had ordered a couple of years ago!

I'm really glad I finally tried cross-stitch, it's really fun and relaxing!