Thursday, November 27, 2014

Another go at "Lullaby" pattern

It always surprises me that new ways to use a pattern keep evolving. 

I had a “Lullaby”, my infant sleep sacque pattern, all cut out before I went to visit little Sweet Pea last month. It was in a rather stretchy t-shirt type knit fabric and I had intended to interface the yokes for stability. It was meant as a test of a finer stretchy knit rather than a woven fabric – just to see if I liked it or ran into any problems.

Well of course, Sweet Pea just keeps on growing and now she is in her own bed – a huge empty space compared to her bassinet.  The knit fabric although very soft and comfy felt cool to the touch and with it being late fall, I just felt the sleep sacque should be warm and cozy.  In my stash I found a lovely soft flannel that coordinated beautifully.



So I cut a new set of yokes, a sacque and base from the flannel to make a full lining. Since flannel is woven, it works perfectly as a stabilizer for the knit. Then I chose a pretty pink satin to make a bias binding to finish the neckline/armhole edges.

I tacked the bases of the two fabrics together. (We shall see what happens when the sacque gets washed – will they cooperate or become a tangled mess.) Then I slip stitched the lining to the zipper tape.  This made the whole thing nearly reversible.

The double layer of fabric was not that thick but I still cut the bias strips 1.25” wide as they stretch and grow narrower and every bit is needed to encase the cut edges. 
(Did you know that 12” of fabric will yield almost 18” of true bias.)
So this time I hand basted (Yes, hand-basted – it isn’t a dirty word. It didn’t take that long and I was sure that all the little potential tucks were smoothed out before the machine touched it.) This time I stretched the bias slightly in the armhole areas and eased in a little extra fullness over the shoulder tabs. When I turned the bias it was a perfect fit! I went back and stitched an accurate quarter inch seam with the machine. The rest was a snap.

Inside - the binding is hand stitched with tiny little stitches

Smocked in pink with Surface Honeycomb stitch - 2 rows full space high, 3rd row half space high, all stacked.

 Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to make an extender lest in case the armholes be a bit tight. This will also give a bit of extra length as well. To do this I will cut a new double ended tab for each shoulder with a set of snaps for fastening to the original snaps.  I will have to blog about this later once I see if it works.

This Lullaby was smocked with a pink floss to match the satin binding. One last touch – a concertina ribbon rose completes the picture! 

You can find the pattern at under Atelier/Patterns. Then go to Children's Patterns. Click on the pattern cover for more photos of Lullaby!


So till next time, keep stitching…..

Monday, November 10, 2014

Holiday stitching with little people….

With eminent approach of the holiday season, every minute counts! If you are looking for an easy craft to keep young hands busy over the Thanksgiving holiday (or any time between now and the holidays) here are a couple of projects that might fill the bill. Any time we can spend together with young hands teaching them the art of needle work fills our hearts with joy and furthers their interest in the art as well.

These ‘cookie cutter’ ornaments can be the stepping off point for many others.  I’ve given you the outline for a mitten. Other shapes you might consider are a tree, gingerbread ‘person’, a bell, a wreath and so on.  If you already have cookie cutters trace them onto paper and use them as a pattern or look in a colouring book or storybook for inspiration. These patterns can be copied and enlarged to the size suggested or to whatever size you wish.

My felt decorations measure about 11 cm (4” – 4.25”) in height. You can make yours any size you want but keep it simple and large enough for little hands to cope.
Each shape is reversible so you will need enough felt to cut two of each shape.
Supplies: paper to trace off the shape(s),
scissors for cutting,
thread to match the felt,
a fading marker to draw the embroidery design,
embroidery cotton for the embroidery,
hand sewing needles,
and a bit of stuffing to puff each decoration.
The designs photographed feature little seed beads for accents but you need to judge if your artist is old enough to handle beads. For beading you will need on or two colours of seed beads and a needle that will pass through the holes easily.
I added a strand of a metallic sewing thread to the embroidery thread (such as “Sulky”) to add a bit of bling.

For the embroidery, I used the Fern Stitch and the Reverse Chain. You could use a French knot or Colonial knot if you don’t want to deal with beads. All these stitches can be found in a good embroidery book if you cannot follow my instructions.
Fern Stitch

Reverse Chain Stitch

Begin by making a pattern of your chosen shape. Stack two pieces of felt and cut two of each shape so they are exactly the same size. “Open” the shapes like a book, draw your embroidery lines on the felt and embroider in the colour(s) of your choice. Add beads now as indicated in the photograph or make knots in a contrasting colour.
Stack the shapes together again. Place a small amount of stuffing between the layers and then stitch around the edges about 0.6 cm (¼”) in from the cut edge.  Add a hanging loop and you are done! Set the ornaments aside to let the marker fade (24 – 48 hours)


Design ideas/suggestions:
Reverse colours from side to side (one side green, the other red);
Cut out the shapes with pinking shears;
Join the two pieces with a simple “Blanket Stitch”! 
Have fun and see where your creativity leads you.
Meanwhile keep stitching…..