Saturday, December 29, 2012

Duffle Quilting Plan

In answer to a question over at Craftsy.This is how I quilt the duffles because I make a lot of them and I wanted to quilt them just enough to hold the fabrics together and have it be fast and easy. My duffles are not about the quilting. I have seen some amazing duffles by quilters who really put themselves into it and it shows in the stitching. I have seen 1" horizontal stripes of quilting - that looks awesome. I have seen diamonds, vertical stripes, and squares.  If you look at my favorites on Flickr, you can see a variety of duffles made from my pattern with different quilting.
 Also, as you can see from my apron sew along, "tomorrow," means "next time." Or maybe even "the time after." Obviously, Christmas got in the way this month and lots of orders for tablet cases and aprons and duffles. All of which I am very happy about and grateful for. I appreciate you and I hope you can be patient as I am not ready to commit to blogging everyday. In fact I am looking at unplugging more and trying out real life for a change in 2013.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Apron Sew Along Part 2 Peter Pan with Lace

Adding lace or piping to the Peter Pan collar is a great way to personalize your apron. The red Christmas fabric I found had a lace motif, so naturally I wanted to play on that. If you choose flat lace like I did, you will have to add ease to it. I ran it though the machine with a long stitch and pulled it a bit to slightly gather it. I stitched it to the right side of the upper collar with the lace edge on the inside - it will turn to the outside later and it is then you will need the ease to go around the curves. It is stitched on the 3/8" seam allowance. The lightweight interfacing is also stitched in here on the wrong side of the collar.
The next step is to stitch the under collar rights sides together with this piece. I pin it in place on top of this, then I turn everything over and stitch from the interfacing side, so I can stitch over the top of the previous stitching. I lifted up the upper collar so you can see the layers in the photo above.

When everything is stitched together, grade and clip the seam. Grading is simply cutting off half of the seam allowance from one of the fabrics so that the seam allowance is not bulky. Clipping is cutting triangle shaped pieces with the point coming close to the seam. This reduces the bulk in any curved seam.
Understitching will help the collar lay right. From the right side of the under collar, I stitch close to the seam, stitching the seam allowance to the undercollar. I press with my fingers as I go. Getting a presser foot into the curve of the collar is a trick. You need to use your smallest presser foot. I used my freemotion embroidery foot. Not ideal because I have to feed the fabric myself, but it is the smallest foot I have and I can get into the curve with it. Better than stitching by hand for me.
After the understitching, I press the collar. If you are making the Peter Pan collar without lace, you still do all of these steps, just without the lace. If you are doing the collar with piping, don't worry about gathering, the piping will stretch around the curves. I would empty the cord out of the ends of the piping, so the first 3/8" of piping and the last 3/8" of piping are empty of cording. If you use cording, grade the cording during the grading step.
Press the seam allowance under the neck edge of the collar and the under collar as shown here:
I hope this post is helpful to you. Let me know if you have questions!  Next up will be the reversible collar.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Apron Sew Along Part 1

Here are the 2 aprons I am making for the sew along:

They each take one yard of main fabric. A half yard of contrast collar fabric. One yard of lining fabric (both of these are lined with a nice white cotton I found on sale at Hancock.) and 13 inches of lightweight interfacing. The apron on top could be reversible, but I would never want to turn it around because I love Cori's fabric, so I just made it lined.

It's late, so I am going to post the easiest parts first. I like to do them first too.
Making the apron strings is easy. I like about a 1 inch wide apron string. I prefer to tie mine in the back, so I only make them about 26 inches long. You will want to make yours longer if you like to tie them in the front. The apron pattern is written for long strings - about 40 inches each. Play with your measuring tape to see what length you want. For the 1 inch width, I cut my strings 3 inches wide.
I press the long edges in about half an inch.  I also press one end in about half an inch. Then I press the long folded edges together. I stitch this closed about 1/8th of an inch from the folded edges.
After pressing the apron strings I like to press my 10" bit of bias tape for the key hole in the neckline. Cutting on the bias means cutting at a 45 degree angle from the grain of the fabric. If you had a square of fabric that was cut on the fabric grain, that would mean cutting diagonally from one corner to another. A quilters ruler will have 45 degrees marked to make it easy to cut bias strips.

Making the edges off set, will help you later when you apply the bias tape. You have the narrower part on top and the wider one underneath. That way when you stitch from the top, you are sure to catch the under part too.

I am off to bed now. Tuesday nights are pretty hectic around here, so I will plan on posting how the collars come together on Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for this sew along. You will love your new apron. The pattern for both of these is in one PDF, you can pick if up at Craftsy or on Etsy.