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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / How much fabric...? on: November 22, 2008 08:17:28 AM
Ok, someone help me out here.  I'm intending to do a disappearing nine-patch baby quilt.  Can I do it with 3 charm packs + 2 yds backing fabric?  What about 10 fat quarters?  I just can't wrap my brain around it!

I'm hoping to get through this quilt relatively unscathed.  My first, I bought about 4 times the fabric I needed to make sure to have enough.   Grin  I hope this business of estimating fabric yardage gets easier!
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / serger thread/needles breaking on cotton duck on: September 04, 2008 02:06:32 AM
So I'm slipcovering my sofas in plain ol' cotton duck.  (Washable and durable - I have kids and pets, what can I say?)  Anyway, it's fairly heavy, and my original thought was to serge it for extra durability.  But the goofy thread and needles keep breaking!  I'm talking the needles snap off right inside the fabric.  Or the needle threads break.  Or it just skips stitches.  or whatever.

I know to sew slowly... which is hard enough in and of itself when the machine barely can go under a certain speed.  I've changed to jeans needles, and am using poly thread.  Oh, and I don't have a cheap serger - it's a babylock Evolve.  Do I need industrial-quality needles, or am I simply trying to do the impossible given the materials at hand?

Here's one more thing:  Most of the seams have welting.  I have a 5mm cording foot.  I'm using 4.8mm cording.  If I run the cording through the groove on the foot, however, part of the cording ends up under the seam.  This seems to increase my rate of broken needles.  Am I even using this thing correctly?  Do I need to try to tug the cording outside the groove somewhat? 

Any thoughts?  I can't stand to re-thread every 3 inches.  That's way beyond my "annoying/waste of time" threshold.
3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Ideas needed! for postpartum and newborn costume ideas on: July 01, 2008 02:23:45 PM
Help me decide on this year's costumes, please!

I'm due the second week of October.  I don't think I'll have my normal figure back within 1-2 weeks of giving birth.  So I need a costume that will hide or flatter my paunch plus allow nursing access.

I'm thinking of doing a themed set for all 4 of us.  Hubby will only dress up if I do and if his costume matches mine.  I don't want to be incongruous with the baby, say, a pioneer carrying around a chili pepper all night, so I'd like to work the newborn into the costume somehow too.  So my son might as well match the rest of us.  Otherwise he is willing to be a doctor or whatever.  But I want to dress up too!  Having recently given birth will not stop me, mwaahaahaaa!

So what do you think?

ps I have no idea what sex this baby is going to be.  So the baby costume has got to be gender-neutral.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / "Baby Deer" pinafore - 01/2008 Ottobre on: May 28, 2008 11:46:37 AM
I made this pinafore to go over the Maya blouse from the same issue.  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=248548.0  I think the original pattern may have called for actual piping.  I added just the fabric strips without cording into the seams and ironed them flat.   I like the extra contrast of a wider strip; do you?

I love making things that layer because I'm such a slow sewer that outfits have to get a lot of extra mileage.  Hopefully this can also be worn as a top by itself.  I'm still pregnant with the intended recipient so I don't have a way to try it on an actual baby.

Now to find the right fabric for matching pants...  what would you think about pants out of the same navy fabric?  Or is that too much?
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / "Maya" blouse 01/2008 Ottobre on: May 28, 2008 06:51:40 AM
This was my first Ottobre attempt, and I'm so pleased with it.  Their patterns are so well drafted!  I made size 68 cm for our baby due in October - I hope it will fit.  I used a quilting cotton that I bought a while back when our Hancock's closed.

Anyone actually tried this blouse on an actual baby?  How did it fit?
6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / my version "Aqua" shorts - 03/2008 Ottobre on: May 28, 2008 06:36:39 AM
Here's my version of Ottobre's Aqua shorts.  I made a size 62 and a size 86, both exactly alike.  Instead of corduroy, I used cotton twill - I got both pairs out of a $2.50 remnant so yay for thrifty sewing!

These went together quickly; ironing the pocket seam allowances down before topstitching was the longest part.  But the best part?  When my son tried his on, he refused to take them off, and then he said, "Can you make me some more of these?"  Grin

Now I just hope the other pair fits #2 next summer.

7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / quilter boss in hospital - ideas? on: May 19, 2008 05:16:20 PM
So my hubby's boss is in the hospital with a broken arm.  She's going to be there for at least the rest of the week.  Because she and I always spend the office parties talking about crafting, I was "volunteered" to put together a gift basket for her.

Aside from the obvious flowers, sweets, and puzzle books, I wanted to put some crafty items in there.  Can someone help me think of crafty books or other things that can be done one-handed? 

I'm not necessarily set on only quilt-related things as it's going to be a while before she can quilt again, plus as a quilt shop owner she already has or can get any quilt things she wants.  I had thought about throwing in some graph paper and colored pencils in case she wants to sketch any ideas she has while lying in bed - is that a good idea?  All you quilters out there, what would you like to do in this situation?

8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Applying elastic along seam w/ serger? on: March 16, 2008 02:05:26 PM
I'm making Simplicity 3762 (http://www.simplicitynewlook.com/images/3762.jpg) on my brand-new Babylock.  I'm trying to figure out how to use the machine as I go along, and so far it's going ok except the elastic.  In addition to the elastic in the waist, there is this crazy elastic that's supposed to gather the inside sleeves and side seams.  This is what I have tried (on scrap pieces) so far:

1)  Applying the elastic as the seam is sewn.  It seems that even with the differential feed set at 2, it still doesn't stretch the elastic properly.

2)  Applying the elastic after the seam is sewn, using the chain stitch and stitching in the ditch from the right side.  I have an elastic foot but it apparently can't be used to apply elastic to the bottom side of the fabric, and I don't want the chain side on the outside for aesthetic reasons.

I went ahead and serged the seams anyway, thinking I'd apply the elastic later on my regular machine, but I'd rather figure out how to use the serger for this.

Any ideas?
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Suit or blazer pattern for toddler boys? on: December 01, 2007 12:51:41 PM
Anyone know of a pattern for a toddler boys' suit?  Or just the blazer?  I just bought my size 2T son a suit and realized I could produce something of infinitely better quality.  If I only had a pattern!

Alternately, anyone have any tips for drafting said pattern myself?  I've never drafted a coat pattern before.

10  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Zoe and Jayne costumes on: November 04, 2007 05:07:48 PM
Here are the Zoe and Jayne costumes I made for myself and my son.   I was pretty pleased with them.  I drafted the vest, both gun belts, and bracer from scratch, and sort of made up the Jayne hat as I went along.  Although it's just a costume, everything is lined, topstitched, etc.  Only thing I'd do differently is go to a party with more Browncoats, so I wouldn't have to spend all night explaining the Jayne hat.   Grin

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