Sunday, October 20, 2019

Finishing a cotton embossed 9 Lives top by machine

Next week I'm going to Fall Quilt Market, so my travel schedule is pushing me to finish final details—buttonholes, buttons, hems—on what will be packed in the suitcase. On this plum-colored cotton embossed Nine Lives top, the finishing steps are mostly done by machine.
Nine Lives top from The Sewing Workshop in cotton embossed fabric by Diamond Textiles.

Since the buttons I chose for this top had 4 holes (instead of two), I decided to use the X stitch to attach the buttons by machine. I just have to tie off the thread tails.
Machine sewn buttons and buttonholes.
With my experience making other tops with quilting cottons, I opted to omit interfacing on the front facings. It didn't seem to affect making the machine buttonholes. I'll monitor the success after several wears and washes, to see how it holds up.

Both the sleeve and bottom hems were completed on the machine—quick and easy. The only hand sewing on this top was on the collar seam at the neck on the inside.
Machine hems.

With the cooler weather and change of season, the color of my wardrobe has turned to an autumnal palette. Although this top is made from a lighter weight cotton, this plum colored cotton embossed fabric from Diamond Textiles reminds me of the colors of changing leaves and a fall harvest.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Kinship Sampler layout: kin to a Hot Hash square dance

The layout of my 100 Days Kinship Fusion Sampler blocks has been like a hot hash square dance with the blocks turning, sliding, passing and do-si-do-ing on the design wall. The plan is to get a graduated flow of color and value across the quilt top while working with the two different size blocks. It's been an ongoing process of auditioning, arranging and rearranging...

Tentative layout of my 00 Days 100 Blocks Kinship Fusion sampler blocks.

I've been working on a 49 block layout with the lightest blocks in the center. Since I didn't devise a master color plan for the blocks at the onset, I now have the task of making all the pieces to this puzzle fit into a cohesive composition—or at least one with an organized randomness.

The sashing I chose is a creamy beige Monks Colonial solid from Diamond Textiles.
4-block unit from my Kinship Sampler.

Between the "dance" sets, I pulled fabrics to make blocks for my guild's charity quilt project...
Cuddle Quilt blocks.

and ironed a bag of crumbs to use for leaders and enders.
Crumb blocks.

Now and then, it's good to take a breather from the dance floor... and the design wall.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Going Off the Grid with the Siena Shirt

It was love at first sight! 
Everything about this fabric—the colors, the gritty, industrial-like texture, the energetic, painterly design—came together gloriously in a digitally printed cotton, called Off the Grid. I just had to get a piece of this fabric!

My new Siena Shirt [from The Sewing Workshop] made with Off the Grid from P&B Textiles.

Actually, I got two pieces from the Off the Grid collection by P&B Textiles—because I couldn't decide which colorway I liked best. (It's always a dilemma... so just get them both, I say.)
Off the Grid from P&B Textiles: GR45 109GL (left) and GR45 109DB (right).

Siena Shirt pattern
I considered a few pattern options, but in the end, went with my tried-and-true (already fitted to me) Siena Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop. This is my 5th make from this pattern.
The Siena shirt in Off the Grid (dark blue colorway).
Siena Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop.

Process of [button] Elimination
The only perplexing part of this make was auditioning and making the choice of buttons. I dumped out the green and the blue ones from my inventory. (Don't giggle, I'm not the only one with an extensive button collection.)
Auditioning the buttons for the shirt.

Dismissed the ones that were:
  • too big or too small for a shirt (the pattern suggests 1/2" buttons)
  • obviously not the right color
  • less than the quantity needed (the pattern suggests 8)
  • inappropriate for the look (stars, anchors, the ones with gold, etc.)
Dismissing the buttons that don't meet the criteria.

Narrowed the choice to four...
Auditioning buttons.

and ultimately chose the hexagon shaped buttons. They were a complimentary color with a slight iridescence property... and there were eight.
Set-up for a practice buttonhole.

I always make a test buttonhole or two on a fabric scrap. The thread—a variegated 40 wt cotton from YLI—was a perfect match. The color combination included navy, turquoise, medium blue and even a touch of lavender.
A YLI variegated cotton thread for the buttonholes.

After the handwork finishing processes (hand sewing the inside neck band, sewing on the buttons, burying thread tails) my new Off the Grid Siena shirt was complete!
Back view: Siena shirt [The Sewing Workshop] with Off the Grid [P&B Textiles].

The detail I added to this garment was a side vent at the lower hem... just something to make it a little different.
Siena shirt side vent.

Quilting cottons and digital prints for garment sewing and quilting
If you're a sewer or garment maker, don't be hesitant about using quilting cottons or a digitally printed fabric in your next garment or sewing project. This Off the Grid cotton print machine washed, machine dried and sewed very nicely.

If you're a quilter and know the wonderful advantages of wide backings, Off the Grid also comes in a 108" wide back. Ask YLQS [your local quilt shop] or independent sewing center that carries fabric for Off the Grid. Remember, if you can't decide which colorway you like best, get them all (there are five)!

Like a newly painted canvas, I'm looking forward to wearing and showing off my Off the Grid Siena. I think it's an illustration of a symbiotic relationship between digital printing technology, street art and wearables. What's not to love?!

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