Monday, December 13, 2010

"Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold...."

It's that time of year.  YES!  I am one of those people who really LOVES Christmas even though I am married to the Grinch (At least he lets me do what I want to celebrate!)  

And now I have a little guy to train into the great excitement of it all!  


The little man needed his own stocking this year.  

Hubs is the Kermit one, the striped one is mine (the 1st stocking I ever made from a book pattern years ago) and the Cars one is the little man's new stocking which he had to have and had to help me make!  So sweet.
He is already a chef and now becoming a sewer.

Of course, I have not yet had time to embroider his initial on his new stocking.  He also requested that I sew on little train buttons.    


Now, I know that alll of this excitement is completely because I have been building it up.  I am ok with that. :)  

This is the first Christmas that my little guy will really get it and that is super fun for me!  Last year he was barely 20 months on Christmas and while he understood it was exciting he still wasn't really into presents or toys yet.  

But, this year, this year he is ready!  And man oh man I am ecstatic!  
He asked for his own tree.  To which I obliged as long as it matched mine! (I have a color coordinated tree...right down to the wrapping paper.)


I did let him pick out his own ornaments and he picked red.  My theme is blue, silver, and turquoise, not quite red.  But it works, so I am ok with it.  

Here is his tree decorated.  He even arranged the little presents he picked out under it. 



Here it is later on after he removed ALL the ornaments.  He rearranges, takes down, puts up his ornaments throughout the day.  Apparently, his cars sometimes need to drive up the tree and the ornaments get in the way.  



Finally, is the family tree.  Little man refers to it as, "The BIIIIIG tree!"  It is really un-photogenic.  I'm not sure if it is where it is in the room or the size of it or my camera or me.  The tree is really gorgeous in person but if it is possible, it's photogenic qualities take after me. 



Are you ready for Christmas?  

~Aubrey

Friday, December 10, 2010

Keeping Busy.....

A few of the things I have been up to as of late:

Making some shirts:



Working with mink.  Turning a mother's stole into throw pillows!






More Jackets!  This is the 5th Jacket I have changed this season and I have one more to alter hanging in my fitting room. 

BEFORE:

AFTER:

So that is just a tad bit of what I have been up to lately.  Just finished up a pair of custom pants and I will have some interesting announcements in the next week or two to share!  

Happy Weekend!!! 

~Aubrey

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers: Curved Needles.

Do you have a curved needle in your pin cushion?  If not, you should.  Curved needles are typically used for tufting or certain types of quilting.  But, I use them for all sorts of random situations.


I really love to use curved needles when I am sewing on wired hook and eyes.  The smaller sized curved needle fits just right in those tiny holes and helps me to grab just the back layer of whatever it is I am having to attach a hook and eye to in the first place. ;) 

They are also ever so handy when you need to hand sew a blind hem letting you grab that one strand of fabric to attach your hem to just a tad faster.  



And...cover buttons!  Do you know how much easier attaching cover buttons can be with a curved needle?  


So next time you are hand sewing something and find yourself fighting with the unyielding straightness of a regular sewing needle, pull out a curved needle and sew on! :) 

Happy Thursday!

~Aubrey

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crazy Flannel Christmas Stockings! -- A Charm Pack Tutorial

I Love Flannel (I also love fleece and minky and anything soft and fuzzy.  Just ask my husband, I live in fuzzy pants, a little to his dismay.  Why can't fuzzy pants be sexy?) !


For over a year now I have been saving two of these beautiful Moda Charm packs from Holly Taylor:

Moda improved their flannels sometime last year.  I forget the exact details of it all, but it is supposed to result in less pilling (you know those weird fuzzies and stuff that ruin the nap of your flannel fabrics?).  I am happy to report that these flannels were wonderful to work with and so far no pilling. :) 

Getting to the point and the tutorial...I decided my project with these charm squares would be a fun Christmas stocking.  Perfect for a wintry log cabin or my momma's house in the deep snow covered woods! 





MATERIALS:

1.   If you do not want to use the pattern piece I drew, then you can create your own by tracing a stocking of your favorite shape or hand drawing one yourself. 

Take whatever pattern piece you choose and cut out 2 of the interior material and 2 of the fusible fleece. 





2.  Attach the fusible fleece according to manufacturers directions to your interior pieces. 

**If you do not have or want to use fusible fleece, you can use poly/cotton batting or regular fleece and attach it with a sew through bonding material, spray or baste it together.  I use fusible fleece because it is fast!**


3.  Setting aside 9 charm squares for the end.  Cut the rest of the squares into quarters.  So that you have 4,
  2 1/2" squares for each 5" square. 


4.  Place 2 of the squares on the tip of the stocking  and sew 1/4" - 3/8" from the edge of each square (see second picture below). 




5.  Turn stocking over and sew the toe closed 1/4" from the edge. 



6.  Trim excess fabric from squares off of stocking toe. 


7.  If you want the edges frayed, you can fray them now or at the end.  Arrange the next squares over top of the previous squares. And repeat step 4. 



8. Continue this method of layering, sewing, fraying, trimming. Until your stocking is covered. 


9.  Edge stitch along the outside of the stocking at 1/8" - 1/4" To hold design in place at edges. 

10.  Repeat steps 4 - 9 with the other stocking piece. 


11.   Place stocking pieces right sides together, so that the interior of both stocking pieces is on the outside.   Sew together with a  1/2" - 5/8" seam allowance along all edges but the top, what will be the opening, of the stocking. 


12.  Turn stocking right side out. 




13.  Take one of the eight charm squares you set aside and cut it in half so you have two 2 1/2" by 5" strips. 



14.  Sew the strips together along the 2 1/2" sides with a 1/4" seam allowance, creating a 2 1/2" by 9 1/2" strip. 


 15.  Fold strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. 


Open and press the sides in, wrong sides together, to meet at the folded line. 


Fold in half again and press. 


Sew open edge closed with an edge stitch.  Fold completed strip in half lengthwise. 


16.  This strip will be your hanging loop.  Find the back edge of your stocking, the top where the seam is diagonally across from the toe of the stocking, pin the hanging loop here inside the stocking.  

The looped end should be inside hanging toward the bottom of the stocking and the raw edges should be touching and pined inside the stocking against the seam 3rd picture below. 

Sew in place with a 1/2" Seam allowance.  Sew over it 2-3 times to secure it in place.  






17.   Take the remaining 8 full size charm squares and arrange them into 2 sets of 4.  This will become the cuff of the stocking. One set of 4 will be seen on the outside and one set of 4 will not be seen at all.  

Sew each set of 4 together into a strip with a 1/4" seam allowance. Then sew the two strips together lengthwise also with a 1/4" seam allowance. 



 18.  Cut a 4 3/4" x 18 1/2" rectangle from the remaining fusible fleece.  Attach the fleece to the wrong side of one of the sides of the cuff. 


19.  Fold the cuff in half lengthwise and sew the edges closed with 1/4" seam allowance. 


20.  Fold cuff in half widthwise with the fabric you want to show on the cuff together.    Kind of wrap the cuff around the top of your stocking to see how much excess there is.  Usually about 1 - 2".  Subtract 1/2" from the total amount of excess and then cut that amount off of the cuff.  

Pin the cuff right sides (the fabric you want to show on the stocking) together width wise and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Creating the cuff. 

Turn cuff so that the seam is on the inside. 


21.  Put the cuff inside the stocking, with the right side of the cuff (side you want to show) against the wrong side of the stocking.  Pin and sew the cuff to the stocking using a 5/8" seam allowance. 




Pull cuff out of the stocking.


And fold over the top of the stocking. 

Tada! :)   Add an embroidered/quilted name or design on the cuff. if you wish. 


Here it is without the fraying.  I like the frayed look...hubby does not. 


So I know this tutorial was a longer project.  So if you don't have that much time you can whip up a faster flannel stocking with 1/2 yard of flannel fabric, 1/4 yard of matching fabric and the other materials listed at the top, minus the charm pack. 

I did this one up for the hubby because he likes Kermit and does not care for the "mismatching of quilting", his words, not mine. ;) 

Repeat step 1 and 2 of the tutorial.  

Then Cut out the flannel fabric with the pattern piece.   

Sew the flannel piece to the inside pieces by starting in the center of the stocking and then quilting out to the toe.  Then go back to the center and quilt out to the top of the stocking.  Repeat for other side.  

Repeat steps 11 and 12.

Cut out a strip of coordinating fabric to measure 2 1/2" x 10" and repeat steps 15 and 16.

Cut out a piece of coordinating fabric and a piece of fusible fleece to measure 17" x 9 1/2".

Repeat steps 18 through the end.  


As always, I hope you had fun!  And this time that Santa loads your stocking full of awesome goodies and if you are lucky sewing supplies!

~Aubrey
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