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1  More Knit Tops, Down with Stash! in Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects by MegRoseSews on: January 18, 2010 10:00:47 PM
I enjoyed listening to Loris Sew Forth Now podcasts so much, I have been inspired to improve my sewing skills with knits. I pulled two different types of knit out of my stash. Its sure nice to put my sewing time into things that are really worth my while because I get so much use out of them.
The first was a thin green jersey-type knit. Its very fluid and very stretchy. The second is a black, velvet-type. I think the type is something like a stretchy devore velvet.

Ive written before both in my blog and on Crafster about my experiences pulling this pattern together. These tops are the fifth and sixth ones Ive created with this concocted pattern or a variation of it. I expect I will keep working with it and intend to try more new ideas with neckline, shape, sleeve style and length. The more familiar I get with one pattern, the more it helps when I work with different types of material.
I make a neckline facing for this like a regular woven facing. Ive been experimenting with how to sew down those facings. With the heavier knits, the rib knit and the fleeces, I did two rows of straight stitch, similar to what Id seen in some purchased tee shirts. When I got to the jersey I ended up adding a thin voile ribbon all along the underside, a length of grosgrain ribbon across the front, also underneath, and three courses of stitching to make it stiff. The first line of stitching was straight stitch. The second two were a feather stitch. I did the black top second and did the feather stitching right off. That was enough to stabilize it. I also used that same stitch on the sleeve edges and hem of the two tops.
In the case of the green top I found that the neckline stretched out too much and it didn hang well. I decided to make the extra material a feature and made the little tuck in front. I really like that tuck now.

The pattern for both is same one I created from an old shirt and another pattern and wrote about on Crafster and also at

1) Sewing: Goodbye Winnie-The-Pooh, Sweatshirts

2) More Stash Sewing: Three New Tops

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2  Goodbye W-T-Pooh New Sweatshirts replace that irritating old bear in Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects by MegRoseSews on: January 08, 2010 09:53:44 AM

My daughter bought this Winnie the Pooh Sweatshirt at Disneyland when she was 8. I think she wore it there once. Then I acquired it.

That was 11 years ago.

Though the shirt it still perfectly GOOD, I have always disliked it intensely. Still I needed something warm when Im done exercising, in the garden, or walking and its not quite light jacket weather.
Its going into the donation bin today! After all it really is still perfectly good. Not even any stains.

I made myself two pretty new sweatshirts out of Joannes fleece. The flowered one came out of a yard and a half long panel. I enjoyed piecing out the sleeves and a small place in the back that doesnt show under the elastic.

The lime green one has beads from Beads For Life (http://www.beadforlife.org/indexb.html). Its an organization to sell beads for women in Uganda. They make the beads from recycled paper and some kind of varnish. I tested a bead by attaching it to a cork for several days and letting it float in cold water. No fading, no pulling apart. I cold water wash and hang to dry stuff like this so it should be OK. I will turn the beaded side to the inside before it goes into the machine.

Pattern for both is same one I created and wrote about in Crafster and also at http://megrosesews.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-stash-sewing-three-new-tops.html
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3  Purple Velvet Buttercup Purse/Strolling Accessory, More Stash Sewing in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: January 05, 2010 04:20:31 PM

I think youre right. This purse DOES look an awful lot like the black moleskin one I made in December. I used that one a lot during the festive season. Then I turned up a purple velvet suit Id cut out but never sewed in the eighties. I dont know when I thought Id wear a velvet skirt and jacket. To a work party? They were all the rage in the pattern magazines at the time. Good thing I didnt make it because now I have it to cut up!

I lined it with burgundy courderoy from a jacket that had not been a success at the time and was partially sewn and deposited in the same box.

I like making these Buttercup purses with a nice long strap to go crosswise across my body because I walk a lot. Blown up to 129% on the copy machine that gives me enough room for the things I take walking: cell phone, ipod, credit cards, a scarf and a little bit more.

Link to the festive black one I made during December (includes free Buttercup pattern link)


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4  Menlo Park Farmer's Market in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by MegRoseSews on: December 30, 2009 12:53:30 AM
 We're about 30 miles south of San Francisco, just north of Stanford University. The market is downtown on Sundays from 10 usually to 1 or 2. These are black grapes.

I always walk or bike to the market, feeling just like some European type in a Rick Steves video!
Everything at the market has to be produced within a certain radius. I am not sure if it is fifty or a hundred miles. Is it common to live where mushrooms are grown?
The different type of narcissus smell so sweet! I'm always buying their bulbs and cut flowers.

I can't eat onions, even these mild types, but I think they're gorgeous with spicy little red radishes!
I can't eat poppies either and they're equally beautiful.

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5  Worth my Sewing Labor: Three New Tops, & Stash sewing in Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects by MegRoseSews on: December 30, 2009 12:15:09 AM

Here are three recent top and blouse creations I'm really proud of. I'm particularly happy with them because:
a) None take lots of time to sew. Once they are cut out each takes between 2-3 hours of labor.
b) My sewing labor is well invested because they fit into my real life style well. I wear them a lot. They go with both the normal clothes I wear and also work for festive occasions.
c) They work well with my figure and clothing style so I want to wear them.

When I buy things I try to think about cost-per-use. $100 is worth it if I wear those comfortable, posture-enhancing shoes three times a week for 4 years. $20 is too much for a pair of shoes I bought to wear to a wedding and threw out because they hurt to walk in. (I didn't even donate them. Nobody should suffer in those shoes.)

I value my labor time even more than a dollar in my pocket. What does my value-per-sewing-hour come down to?

FIRST is my new festive occasion white silky blouse. I had this piece of material in one of my boxes I took down out of the rafters. Yes, the ones we put up there when we moved into this house 19 years ago. I remember I was originally going to make it into a pattern that Brooke Shields modeled. I'm so glad I didn't!

This is my favorite regular old peasant blouse pattern. I cut it straight down instead of following the pattern curves, so it's a little fuller and flows well with a belt over it. It's very quick to sew. The belt is a piece of very wide black elastic with one of those round black slider belt thingies sewed onto the end. I've worn the blouse three times over the holidays and it will work during the rest of the year too, even if I'm not dressing up. I can tone down the jewlery a little. My peasant blouse pattern works well with a vest on top too.

SECOND is the same top in a coppery challis print. Also from my rafter stash. Also my favorite peasant blouse pattern. I was really into challis skirts back then. I'm so glad I never cut this one out either. I've worn this top probably eight times since I made it about six weeks ago. I use that same black belt I'm wearing with the white silky blouse. Same cut-it-straight style.

I'm particularly proud of the THIRD one. It's a velvety, rib knit. I'm not confident about knit sewing but since I became a big fan of Lori Van Monan's wonderful "Sew Forth Now" podcasts I decided to get brave and really think about how to make my knit patterns work out . I made sure to use knit type needles. I cut up a favorite old only-fit-for-exercising-in-the-backyard hole filed tee shirt and used it as a pattern. I made it up first in a stretchy green velour knit (no photo) and liked it pretty well but wasn't really enchanted with the neckline. So next I laid out my old tee on this pretty black knit fabric, chalked around it - adding seam allowance. Then I used a purchased tee-shirt pattern that had a good neckline, but had turned out lousy in terms of the rest of the fit and chalked in the neckline. Boy, I am happy with this tee. I've worn it three times since I made it about a week ago. Yes, I do cold-water wash these tops in between!

The beautiful young girl with me is my very sweet daughter. I used to sew darling dresses for her but now the only sewing projects we both like are double sided, tied fleece blankets with appliqued designs. I've made two for her and one for her best friend.


Also published at http://megrosesews.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-stash-sewing-three-new-tops.html
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6  Romantic Purse for a Newly Engaged Woman in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: December 26, 2009 12:23:06 PM

A young woman I love very much, just got engaged and I made her this darling purse. Although she can use it for any kind of outing, it reminds me of something a newly engaged woman might carry to a girls luncheon celebrating her engagement in 1962. I was a little girl then and I had plenty of bride paper dolls from that era. Lots of other fashion paper dolls as well. I loved paper dolls!

I used a pattern from a library book. I could find that book title if youre really interested . The fabric is a white damask from Joannes home dec section. The handle is a home dec cord. Its lined with a pale yellow lining fabric and also has a layer of quilt batting. The sparkly blue button is also from Joannes. Isnt it darling?

I did not make a closure. It falls closed naturally, but it could use a snap.
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7  Velvety Black Moleskin Buttercup Purse for the Festive Season in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: December 20, 2009 10:50:48 PM

Moleskin is some kind of man-made material from Joanne's. No real moles were harmed making this bag!

Ive made several cute buttercup purses but this is my all out favorite! So far Ive taken it to a holiday season party and a holiday concert. It looks cute with my new white silky peasant blouse and black belt which I have JUST NOW POSTED (!) in another crafster forum https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332352.0

As often happens I sewed this during the early morning hours. All the sewing work, again, took probably less than 2 hours.

I used the free buttercup purse pattern that I and many others in this forum have used to advantage so many times. http://madebyrae.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern.html . For this one I photocopy the pattern up to 129 percent. (Sometimes I also extend the length of the bag, not this time.)

I just used a piece of cord for the button loop, because its a party bag. I sewed grosgrain ribbon on the inside both under button and under the cord ends for stability. I put quilt batting between lining and outside fabric.

The lining is scrap pieces of that Joannes brocade (polyester) that goes on sale regularly and is so pretty. Not only is it scraps its a set of side set pockets I never used but too pretty to throw out! I just zigzagged the pocket pieces side-by-side together with black thread, running a piece of grosgrain ribbon down behind under the zigzag stiches. Then I pieced out the part of the pocket that left a gap when I laid the results over my lining piece. Such pretty brocade scraps, I was so happy to use them here.

I bought the button at Britex in San Francisco on a holiday outing trip (I did a little blogging about that outing at http://megrosesews.blogspot.com). It was fun taking the mostly completed purse minus its strap and full of pins to the third floor and try out every possible button with the saleslady. Even more fun to have the purse done and use it!

Here are some other buttercup purses Ive made and posted
Evas cowgirl purse https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=330889.0

This reminds me Ive made some cute ones I havent posted!
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8  Hopi Inspired Blanket crafted from traditional ;-) material (simple tutorial) in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: December 15, 2009 09:55:57 AM

Do you really mean that Joanne's anti-pill, coordinating colors fleece is not a traditional and ancient material used by the Hopi people for generations?

Youre kidding me, right?

My daughters best friend Aimee goes to college at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. This blanket is destined for her bed. And yes, I do love the real thing when it comes to the work of Hopi craftspeople.


Bet you do have time to make one for Christmas. And still a couple of days to make one for Hannukkah (oh, you wanted to get some sleep? never mind) (Hey, that fleece is on sale 50% off at Joannes! No, I don't work there and no, I'm not getting enough for another one - had enough fleece for this year.)

1) 3 yards of each color of fleece. Yes, its on sale about 75% of the year. Also scraps of old fleece projects for the design. You could buy maybe 1/3 yard pieces if you arent a hoarder. Im trying to stop being one.


2) I did the Hopi-inspired appliqu first. I like a super wide zig-zag when appliquing on fleece. It doesnt ravel or fall apart when you wash it and you dont have to cover every nanometer of fabric. Also black and bright colored thread looks attractive.

a)   I glued down the appliqu pieces before sewing, onto the slightly misshapen lime green square. Yes, that is supposed to be arty. Pretend it is if you dont think so. Cutting out the holes so the green showed through like shoot I cant think of that beautiful sewing technique where you do that and embroider the edges of the hole was something I hadnt done before. I like that effect as well as the layered appliqu. I also scattered tiny snips of fleece around the edges of the design for a couple of reasons.
a.   Too much blank space around the design
b.   I thought they looked like bugs for the frog (my design is a frog you got that, right?)
c.   It was so nifty to use every single scrap hoarder mentatlity
b)   I used those big white headed quilt pins to attach the appliqud square to one side of the blanket (bright turquoise). Play with multiple colors of thread here and multiple sized stitches. It could have used even more colors and borders, but I wanted to finish.

c)   The lime green piece was floating over the turquoise a little too much so I did a quilt-style sew down in black thread. I like that effect ! ALSO shadow appliqued around the frog on the lime green in black thread. I set my straight stitch bigger - maybe 3.5.

3) Then I layed the top piece (bright turquoise) onto the back (pale acqua blue). I used a foldout cardboard cutting board to get it reasonably straight and flat. Then I went all around with piins.

4) Then I rolled the quilt like a big burrito from one side to the other and repined so it was really what would that be? Flush? So it really matched up between the two sides.

5) Then I trimmed it to more or less fit. Its ok if its not perfect because its tied and you cant really tell. Still more or less.

6) I cut out 4x4 inch squares at each corner. Then cut 4 inches strips all around all sides. I used chalk and a yardstick to mark 4 inches in from the edge in a long line (set in 4 from the edge)

7) I cut the fringe of strips by eye. You could measure them if you want to spend a few more hours. I cut them about 1.5 inches wide. I tied strips at each corner as I cut them. Also I moved pins as I cut so that they were in from the end of the fringe.

Cool Then I sat and put a dvd on t.v. and knotted the fringe all around. It didnt take as long as I thought. It was the appliqu that took forever.

It's snuggly and warm. Hard to give up. My daughter slept under it for one night just to make sure it was good! Luckily for Aimee, she's her very best friend.


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9  Eva's Cowgirl Purse (buttercup) in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: December 14, 2009 05:51:27 AM

I still find it so very satisfying to sew something for a very little girl. Eva is about four and a half and is the granddaughter of a friend.  I hope she likes this holiday cowgirl print. I've had it cut out for a few weeks and when I woke up at 3:00 in the morning (it's almost 6 my time right now) and couldn't sleep I thought it was the perfect time to sew it up. All the sewing work took slightly less than 2 hours.

I used the free buttercup purse pattern that I and many others in this forum have used to advantage so many times. http://madebyrae.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern.html . This one is actually sized the same as the original pattern because it's for a little girl. Usually I photocopy the pattern up to 129 percent and sometimes I also extend the length of the bag.

I used crinoline (like interfacing but Joanne's carries it in a separate area) to stiffen the inside of the red cotton lining on one side and fusible batting on the other side of the lining. I really like those two structure building materials and use them in grocery bags. I also used a bright golden yellow rayon decorative thread and it looks nice against both the blue print and the red lining.

I love to see comments about my postings!

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10  Starry Starry Quilted Grocery Bag/Cut down the Stash! Also INTERFACING ideas. in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MegRoseSews on: November 20, 2009 10:50:27 AM

Tha bouquet is combination of Mexican Sage and Cotoneaster. Both grow really well in SF Bay Area yards
Our community chorus is singing songs that have a star theme for our December concerts. Isnt that a pretty idea our director had? I thought so. I was so pleased when I found this star print fabric in my garage rafter stash (see Garage Rafter Stash Busting Story below).

I did simple one way diagonal quilting  in pretty yellow rayon thread that shows up the stars nicely.

PATTERN is my own but pretty similar to a narrower Jordy bag (a t-shape flat bottom).  

INTERFACING I really like to use or give a grocery bag that can STAND UP EMPTY. This one does nicely. I use TWO interfacings.
1)   A thick quilt batting that fuses on BOTH sides
2)   A piece of the stiff stuff that the Joannes sales staff calls CRINOLINE. It is NOT sold with interfacing at my Joannes. I have to ask for it.

I fuse one side of the batting to the outside (part that shows) of the bag and the other side to the crinoline. Then I sew my big T together in one piece, leaving the top and bottom open. I then turn my one big piece right sides out.  Then I do my simple quilting. After that I sew seams and the bottom gusset.

After that I do any trim at the top. Here I added a piece of the bag inside material, along the top and folded it down inside the bag. Its a simple blue pin dot that was in my rafter stash too and doesnt show much.

Then I INTERFACE my strap or straps with a length of the CRINOLINE and sew them onto a keychain ring from the hardware store. I attach that with either another piece of fabric or with grosgrain ribbon or whatever looks cute and I have. Usually I insert that last piece into the top of the bag but I couldnt do that here because Id done a foldover top (which I had to do because I interfaced too far out well call that a feature not a bug).

Usually I do two straps but it turned out I didnt have 4 rings the same size so my chorus director only gets one strap on her bag.

I will put in a loaf of home made bread, add a note about its connection to our concert. Also something that says its intended for groceries but I wont mind at all if she passes it on as a eco-friendly present giving bag. Some people are not take-your-own-bags to the store people and I just want it to be used.

Garage Rafter Stash Busting Story

I was working through some boxes in the garage rafters you know those boxes dont you? Yes, we put them there when we moved into our new house. That was 18 years ago now. I finally committed (of my own accord not because my husband bugged me to which is a lot better) to going through those boxes. I do 2 a week. How hard is that? Its embarrassing to have goodies that could be rottingm when the economy is blue.) I stood over the donation bin (thank you Moses that the donation pickup truck comes by every month or so) and put about half the box contents in there. I hope some crafster/sewer/teacher/costume creator is happy to find those nice big pieces of material.

The rest I committed to turning into grocery bags for holiday presents. And they have to be pretty bags, worthy of being presents.

Whatever is left, unused but still useful for somebody, after the winter holidays goes into the donation bin.

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