Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Apron for Sew Along

I will be showing details like how to add lace to the Peter Pan collar, and how to make the loop for the button and loop closure. I am working on another version today that has piping for a pop of color in the collar - will show that too. Tune in here next week!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apron Sew Along Part 1, Printing

I brought 2 aprons with me to Seattle for Thanksgiving and had to leave them behind for my mom and my sister. I think the women on your gift list will love having an apron from you too.

The first of my apron patterns is out and available on Craftsy. It includes the Peter Pan Collar apron and the reversible apron. The format is new, so there are special instructions for printing it. This is what the printing dialog will look like for printing the pattern pieces: (page 1 is the printing instructions and pages 8-14 are the pattern pieces)
and below is the dialog for the pattern booklet.  It is a little complicated to print this way rather than just clicking the printer icon, but I think you will like the pattern format. It will make the pattern nice to use and to keep.  If you want it to look like a professionally printed pattern, you can print page 2 on glossy cover stock (page 3 is intentionally blank) and pages 4-7 on nicer copy paper. After stapling into a booklet format, trim around the top and right sides of the cover photo. Let me know if you have printing questions or comments.
 I am working on the other apron pattern this week - the one with the pointed collar, Edwardian collar and standing collar options. Next week, the week of December 3rd, I will get into the actual sew along for this first pattern with detailed photos. All you have to do to be part of this sew along is get the pattern on Craftsy and follow along here. You  have time to get your fabrics and pre shrink them now.  If there is enough interest, I will start a Flickr group so everyone can post photos of their aprons. After this sew along, I will do another sew along for the other pattern.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Apron with Peter Pan Collar

This pattern will have 2 versions - the Peter Pan collar as shown, and a reversible version with a different collar. My inspiration for doing these aprons with collars? Dan Bennett's fabric line, Wild Garden. When I saw the blue print, I wanted to make a shirt for myself. Then I thought, how much would I really wear it? As I was reaching for my old apron around dinner time, I thought - I need a new apron. Then, bam! the 2 ideas collided and produced 2 new sewing patterns. I have to go sew up the reversible version now. I will show the blue fabric on that one.

The pattern cover mock up photo shows the other pattern, that one has 3 collar options and one of them may be reversible, we will see. These are fun! You can see some of the other collar options on Flickr by clicking on the photo of the white and colorful apron.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Favorite Duffle Fabrics

I get the question from time to time about what fabrics to use for sewing up the duffle pattern. As I was typing out my response to the question over at Craftsy, I realized it would be better as a blog post with links.
Thanks for asking! There are 3 types of fabric I use in this pattern. The main exterior fabric I like best is home decor weight cotton. If you like Waverly fabrics, there are a lot of good choices at JoAnns. The rose fabric I use is Waverly Norfolk Rose. Also any of the 45" wide home decor fabrics on bolts at JoAnns work well. That is where I found the black and white houndstooth - and I bought all I could find in Washington and North Idaho. The fabrics in my main photo on Craftsy are all Amy Butler Fabrics. At Westminster fabrics you can find modern designers like Joel Dewberry, Ty Pennington, and Amy Butler. They all have home decor weight cottons that work well in a variety of prints. The great thing about using those designer fabrics is they have coordinating/contrasting fabrics in quilting weight to use for the strap fabric. You can use quilting weight for the main fabric as well, but I do like the home decor weight better for it's durability. The bag shown above has Amy Butler home decor fabric from her Lark collection paired with Kaffe Fassett's paisley jungle in tangerine.
When I quilt the main fabric, I like to use a premium quality muslin for the back. That becomes the inside of the bag. I don't use fashion fabric for that because you don't really see it. You need a high quality fabric there though because it is getting used as you load and unload the bag. My favorite for this is Kona premium muslin. I have linked to the 44 inch wide, but it does come wider if you are making more than one duffle.  A lot of my links take you to One of the things I like about ordering from them is free shipping on orders over $35. If you ordered all 3 fabrics together, it comes to about $50, so your shipping is free.
I get my jute webbing at JoAnns. I like the quality they carry. I have ordered it elsewhere, but I did not like it as well.
JoAnns is also where I go for the batting I use. They don't have the one I use online, but it looks like this one. The one I use is Soft n Crafty batting in the 8 ounce. The one online is 10 ounce which would be too hard for you to work with. I get a lot of questions about the batting. Yes, you can use any batting you like. I suggest if you are using black fabric that you use black batting.  I use the 8 ounce (and after making hundreds of duffles I still like it the best) because it makes the bag stand up on its own while it is empty. I need that for photographing the duffles. If you would rather fold your duffle and put it in the linen closet when you are not using it, you can use something like warm and natural for the batting. The very first duffle I made was with warm and natural and I still use the bag. It is holding up perfectly well to tons of use. It is easier to sew with the thinner batting. If ease is a factor and you don't need photos, use the lighter batting. JoAnns has loads of coupon and sales. I never pay full price there. Usually, the prices I pay at JoAnns are lower than I could get wholesale.
I hope this helps you! Please feel free to ask questions.
Here is the post with the quilting plan I use:
Quilting the duffle fabric