Thursday, April 25, 2013

Next Project: Sewing a Duvet Cover

Haven't really liked the bedding in the guest bedroom ever since it returned from the storage time capsule - nearly TWO years ago. Gah.  That's a long time to keep something you really don't like, so one day I donated the bed set to Salvation Army to properly motivate me to take action.  I searched high and low for a duvet cover I loved with little results.
Then I found a duvet cover who's name we must not say, Volder-JonathonAdler-mort, that I lost on eBay at the very last minute.  I mean, I was already calling it mine and sent a photo to show off to a friend, then BAM blindsided by a new bidder when the clock was counting down with just SECONDS left.  Of course I tried to find the same one, but nada.  Sigh.  

And when you can't find what you want at the stores, the only answer is of course... CUSTOM.  

Right now I'm scheming a plan to make a queen size duvet cover for the guest bed.  Sometimes DIY makes my wheels spin too much because now the options are nearly limitless.  But still - I've been looking at fabrics for the duvet cover off and on for about 2 months.  Now it's April 25 and I have guests coming on May 16 and no duvet cover.  If I don't finish, it's okay, I have a quilt in the closet as my back-up plan.

The Premier Prints' Mandarin collection has some fabrics that I'm considering... #10 is from a different collection, so I ordered a sample of it and a few of the others.  Since most are light weight and a few are medium weight, I wanted to see the difference.  And check to see if #10 will coordinate with the others.

Duvet front: #10 if the teal matches the teal in the PP fabrics.  #11 as second choice.
duvet back: #7 if I can find the fabric (back ordered) or maybe dots on #9?? Or the chevron?
euro shams (2): Really like #2 chevron as for shams.  It's a medium weight fabric, so that might work.
accent pillow:  depends on everything else.  Ha! But #5 & #6 & #9 are top favorites for accent pillow.

In a perfect world, the chevron would come in teal, but their teal material has a white background instead of natural like the others.  No go.  Frustrating.  I see why people shop on Spoonflower.  

It's times like this that I wish I knew a store that carried trendy decor fabrics.  I ventured out to a HUGE fabric warehouse (3 stories!) earlier this week and was severely disappointed.  Their variety of notions were tempting, but after price checking on my phone (don't you love that technology can do that?!) I decided to pass.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sewing Reveal: Hand Cut Chenille Blanket

Ta da! Just finished this hand-cut chenille blanket for Baby D last weekend and it was a big hit with the parents-to-be at their baby shower.  Surprisingly, it only took about 3 and a half days to make.  I just adore the blanket's bright colors!

Here's the hand cut chenille baby blanket I made previously; both are based on the fabulous tutorial found over at Aesthetic Nest.  Be sure to take a look at the Flicker Group photos for inspiration.  One blanket added tiny pom pom trim around the binding.

Based on the registry, I knew the baby girl's bedding was going to be green and blue.  Hopefully it coordinates with her room, but regardless, I imagine Baby D will use this more as a play mat or stroller cover than anything else.

On the close up photo of the faux chenille side, you can see the layers of flannel material that are cut to create the super soft rows of wavy chenille.  It really is a cozy blanket.  The hubs even asked if it were possible to make an extra large blanket for him.

Baby Chenille Blanket Shopping List
◊ 1.5 yards of each fabric x 6 layers.  My finished blanket measured around 40" x 50"
◊ Two packages of 0.875 inch double fold quilt binding that were 3 yds each. (Next time make my own!)
◊ Matching thread - the chenille channels use a ton of thread.  I used a natural color thread for the top printed fabric and pink in my bobbin for the chenille side (green would have been the norm, but I was in a playful mood and I already had pink at home).
And get this, I completely forgot about needing teal thread for the binding BUT it turns out the thread I used for my split shower curtains was a perfect match!  Sometimes it pays to be forgetful.

The blanket's fabric in order:

1) Top printed paisley
2) Hot pink broadcloth 
3) Pastel pink flannel
4) Printed pink flannel w/ green butterflies (on sale!)
5) Printed green flannel w/white print (on sale!)
6) Solid green flannel 

Then I only cut the layers of flannel into the chenille rows, leaving the print and super bright pink.  I was a little nervous about using the pink with green butterflies, wondering if it would blend into the background enough.  I think it worked out great on this blanket - and at just $3/yd - can't beat it.
The bright pink fabric on the bottom of the stack is a broadcloth cotton/poly fabric that I used as a "backing" of sorts to pop behind the chenille rows.  Since I used the solid green flannel as the top most layer to make the chenille, I knew it would appear most prominently so I thought a high contract color like candy pink would look nice.  Plus the extra layer gives the blanket a little more heft since the top fabric is just your average light weight quilter's cotton.

This blanket was so fun to make - I'm already thinking about making the next one!  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sewing Reveal: Split Shower Curtain Drapes

Super excited to show off my new shower curtain panels!  These are functional shower curtains - and hung on just one shower curtain rod.  Yippee!

It felt so good to finish them and even better to finally have something hanging up in the bathroom.  It was impossible to get a decent photo, they're over 8 feet tall and in our smallest bathroom (no room to get a wide shot).

On the right is the batik art that started it all

Deciding on a Plan of Attack
Lining ready to be pinned
After I schemed the details out of what I wanted to make, I used Midwest Magnola's tutorial on sewing lined curtain panels.  After poking around a lot of sites, hers was by far the clearest.  If you can't tell, I respond to lots of photos, and she had photos of each step.  I measured my shower and decided I wanted each panel to measure 36" x 98".

For the Borders
I wanted the corners mitered, like how the points of a photo frame come together at the perfect angle.  The tutorial at Saltwater Quilts  helped get that done.  Once the border attached was attached, I just treated the it all like one piece of fabric for Midwest Magnola's instructions.

Then followed the tutorial's instructions for attaching the lining and finishing the bottom hem.

Finishing the Top Hem
I finished the top hem differently than the tutorial since I wasn't planning to use clip rings and was using a 5" hem.  I had read another tutorial that suggested an even bigger hem (as in 10-15" extra fabric, folded over).  But it seemed a bit excessive me and I was a little short on fabric so I improvised and sort of split the difference between the tutorials. 
  • Turned down the fabric 6" and pressed.  Then open.  That crease will the the top of the curtains when it's all done, so I inserted header tape here to give it more structure - you can sort of see the white strip showing through the lining in the photos below.  I just basted by hand to be at the very top of my hem once it's finished.
  • Then turn down fabric edge 1/2" and press, then turn again and press.  So you have a nice finished edge (like the photo on the right).
  • I tucked a stripe of witch stitchery, then sewed the folded edge and witch stitch.   


  • Ultimately I decided a tab backed panel was the way to go since I wanted to hide the shower rod.  Using grosgrain ribbon was the easiest, so I cut 7 "tabs" and spaced them out evenly.  I picked 7 to correlate with the number of holes on the plastic liner.  And rather than sewing them down flat, I used a spool of thread as a guide after seeing the tip here.  
  • This would be the time to sew the tabs on to the back most layer (in the right photo below, the tabs would be sewn to the section of material that is folded back).  By attaching to just the one single back layer, there won't be a ton of nasty stitches on the front.

  • Once the tabs are sewn on, just sew a straight line along the edge.  Or you can take the easy way, like me and use more witch stitchery.  Then iron accordingly.  
Viola!  All done.  Hang them up!

My hubs was super sweet and let me drag him out of bed (he was reading) to indulge me to go see them finished and hanging up.  You know that giddy feeling of finally finishing... I was bursting to show him the mess on the dining table was worth it.

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