A Caffeinated Apron

I just finished sewing an apron and am hugely tickled at how it turned out.

The fabric, which I found at JoAnn’s of all places, has been sitting in my stash for almost a year. It is tossed coffee cups, with some coffee-related words surrounding each cup. Right up my alley.  All my favorite colors are here, too.

Circle Coffee Fabric

Glad I bought some when I did, because it’s no longer available.  😦

The pattern comes from Sew4Home, which is one of the most fabulous fabric-porn websites in all the galaxy. I used the French Country Apron design (sans matching headscarf), which is very well done and easy to follow.

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For the blue binding and ties, I used an old tablecloth that had belonged to my parents when they lived up north. The lining fabric (since I will probaly only wear it one way, even though the pattern is technically reversible) is some plain-ish tan cotton that had been in my stash from who-knows-when-or-where.  I like how the two layers make a nice, substantial apron.

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There are some small glitchy things, like a spot where the binding went a little wonky and another spot where I had to run a second (third) line of stitching to get things to line up, etc. But overall, you would never know those things unless you looked very, very closely. And since I am unlikely to be taking this apron off any time soon, you would have to totally violate my personal space to see them, anyway. And if you totally violated my personal space, I would probably not talk to you again, in which case I really don’t care if you have a low opinion of my apron since you will no longer be in my field of consciousness. So don’t even bother.

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The pocket was my first real attempt at fussy-cutting, and I am pretty happy with how the pattern lined up.

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That light bit of tan you see at the bottom and right edge of the pocket is actually some lining fabric that was not pressed well before I sewed the pocket on. I lined the pocket to give it just a little more stability, though it really didn’t need it.

I am so happy about this apron that I am going to do something I have probably never done before: post a picture of myself modeling something.

Caffeinated Apron

I now have TWO aprons to choose from: this one, and a very lovely one made by the very lovely Embejo (yes, I am still using the Pohutukawa Blossom apron she sent me years ago!)

pohutukawa blossom apron

I am in love with the full apron, but now that I have two, I’d like to try a half (hostess-style) design. Maybe something with side pockets, instead of the one large one at the bib. Just another excuse to drool over browse some more of the projects at Sew4Home.

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More Sewing: Nephews’ Fabric Baskets

O7 and I were recently in JoAnn’s, picking out some Easter craft supplies, when we spied this fabulous Marvel Comics fabric in the remnant bin.

Marvel breakout fabric

My nephews are moving into a new house (next door, but that’s another story) and seeing this fabric, which was basically Avengers fabric without calling itself as such, made us think that it would be fun to make something for their new bedrooms. The Avengers motif was perfect for J6, and then we spied Star Wars fabric which was spot-on for D9. We grabbed the remnant, then bought a half-yard each of three other prints: one Marvel, and two Star Wars. That was plenty to make one fabric basket for each of them.

I used the structured fabric baskets tutorial from Sew 4 Home, which is a really great website: lovely fabric porn and detailed tutorials, all rolled into one.

I followed the tute almost exactly, but substituted piping for the rickrack and omitted the handles. They came out nice, and the boys seemed to really like them.

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The lining fabrics are the same themes as the exteriors, but a different print.

Fabric Baskets for nephews

Star Wars basket (with Clone Wars lining, as O7 chose):

Star Wars basket

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Avengers basket:

Avengers basket

While the baskets came out pretty well, I was very disappointed with my sewing machine.  Not only did it grumble about the layers of fabric and batting, but the topstitching came out terrible.  And I can attest that the problem is not between the seat and the pedal, at least not this time.    I just had the machine tuned, so sadly  it may be time to shop for a new machine.

Who am I kidding?  I have already shopped for a new machine.  It should be here in a few days.

More Proof I’m An Overachiever

As if you needed more evidence that I have nothing better to do with my time am totally awesome, check out this sewn birthday banner I just finished.

Finished birthday banner

That damn Pinterest is to blame. It leads one to dark places.

(So does an excess of adorable scrap fabric, for that matter.)

Loads of fabric scraps can't lead anywhere good.

My banner is mostly based on this one, with a few minor tweaks (for one, I appliqued the letters before sewing the triangles together).  As suggested in that tute, I sewed a triangle for each letter of “Happy Birthday” plus a plain red triangle for a cupcake. Said cupcake separates the words “Happy” and “Birthday”.  Functional and also cute- my favorite combination.

The letters are machine appliqued (badly) with a zigzag edge stitch, while the cupcake is free-form machine appliqued (also badly) with a straight stitch.

"Y" pennant

Cupcake

Cupcake detail

Then I fished a package of wide single fold bias binding out of my sewing stash. I made it into double fold bias binding with my iron.

Pinning on the binding

Pennant details

And guess what? My birthday is not the next one coming up. So I can test it out on someone else first.

Banner laid out

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The end.

It’s Curtains. Understand? Curtains!

About two years ago, I made curtains (actually valances) for our sunroom.  I hung them to measure the hem.  And there they sat, hem-less.  For a long time.  They sat for so long, I never even took a photo.  Poor, neglected curtains.

Finally, it was too much.  (Read: guilt finally overtook laziness.)  I took down the curtains, washed them, and hemmed them.  And in my ever-so-humble opinion, they look great.  Look how even the bottoms are!  Amazing what some careful measuring with a ruler can do for you.

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Look, I even used some lace on the hem to make it interesting.

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I am very proud of these curtains, obviously. I made them with my mother’s antique (circa 1955) sewing machine.

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That sewing machine was her eighth grade graduation present. How cool is that?!  It also weighs about 55 pounds.  I know because I had to carry it into a shop to have it tuned.  Yikes.

Anyway, I was so happy with the curtains that I was finally motivated to finish the other set for our long window over the kitchen bar. Miraculously, I still had (a) the matching fabric and (b) exactly enough trim to complete the job. Sweet.

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And so, after ten years of living here, my kitchen window treatments are finally finished.

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Well, almost.

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By the way, if this post’s title means nothing to you, then you need to check out Racketeer Rabbit.