Final fixes from Hurricane Irma…

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Oh my. A landscaping/arboreal team has been working behind my house for two days. They’ve been removing all the ‘hangers’ from the hurricane and balancing the mahogany trees. Sooo important to me, because these trees line my back garden. And they are only twenty feet from my house.

They did a wonderful wonderful job. They used ropes to secure the branches to be cut (awesome), nothing fell on my house. And then they came into the garden to make sure there were no branches left behind.

I took only a couple pics, because it was more than dangerous for me to be out in the garden, and I was mindful of that. But a tribute to them…

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So – a good end for now. We have a problematic hurricane about every 10 years, so I’ll relax for at least that long!

Ciao – Coco

TBD – color and other mistakes

IMG_0129 Well, this is kind of a different post! A pic of my TBD – to be donated – stack…

Two drivers – one, I went natural grey, really very white hair, and, two, I’ve lost a lot of weight (from a size 14 to size 10). That’s a BIG change!

Really, most of these things in my pile don’t fit me. A couple are colors that don’t suit me.

These two changes, in the space of twelve months, have been weird!

The size thing is really not a challenge. Since I love to sew, I’m happy to sew more stuff that fits me. Ha!

But – I’ve been sewing from my stash for quite a while. Wish I could win the lottery 🙂  and buy lots of fabric and make a new start…

Nonetheless, I’ve been paying attention, mostly to color, because it seems to be the most difficult bugaboo in the past year.

Here is a dress sewn from my stash. In one pic, I used a contrast binding on the sleeve. On the other, hoping to like it better, I removed the contrast and sewed a simple hem.

But – in the end, this print, the colors, do not suit me. And the dress will join my TBD stack. I  don’t mind this. Over the past 6 years, since I started my blog, I’ve sewn many more things than I cannot or do not want to wear.

So,  I’m just moving on! For now – Coco

McCalls 6461 – A sea life cardigan

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What could be better than marine creatures all over a cardigan! I fell for this cotton knit fabric the moment I saw it on Girl Charlee, way back in May, and I grabbed both prints in this colorway. I was lucky – the Sea Life print is gone, and only a few yards remain of the Hideway Flowers.

Fresh Produce
100% cotton, 8.5 oz, 58″ wide, 20% stretch 

Girl Charlee’s description: From designer clothing line Fresh Produce comes this high quality garment dyed botanical floral print cotton jersey knit…Fabric is pre-shrunk, soft, …medium weight with a small stretch. 

It really is pretty beefy and is very similar to lightweight French terry knit. Cute, right?

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m6461 line art

So, back to the cardigan, one of my favorite patterns of all time, McCalls 6461. This is the 5th time I’ve sewn a variation of View C, and bad on me, I’ve never written about it.

Sad part – it’s out of print, but I see it on Ebay and Etsy from time to time.

The pattern is simple: cut-on sleeves and a hemmed neckline. I’ve always squared off the front edges, which makes it even easier to sew. For this version, rather than hem the neckline, I decided to attach a 1″ wide neckband.

cardi 1

Notes on the neckband:

  • I trimmed 5/8″ off the neckline all the way around, and reshaped the back neckline to be a little concave.
  • I have very square/level shoulders, so I also adjusted the fit before I added the neckband.
  • I cut a 4″ wide neckband with the grainline along the length of the band, not across it. And folded it in half, wrong sides together, and serged it to the neckline.
  • Suggestion: if you piece a neckband, use a diagonal seam to reduce bulk and ‘hide’ the seam.

neckband seam

  • Other changes for this version: I added 2″ to the length and used 3/4 length sleeves.

More pics!

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Leggings: Love Notions Sabrina Slims in cotton/lycra jersey.

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Here’s a pic of version I sewed in 2014 and still enjoy wearing. It’s a very light and stretchy tri-blend cotton jersey, so I simply hemmed the neckline.

marigold

And a muslin I did recently, using View B. I’m thinking it would make a great shrug to wear over sleeveless dresses. Ignore the fabric please – it’s French terry and is way too heavy for the bottom curve.

shrug muslin

I’m so pleased with this cardigan and with the success of the neckband 🙂

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Ciao! Coco

 

Quilted eyeglass cases…

2 versions

The holidays are right around the corner…time to get busy on handmade gifts!

But first – thank you for all the nice comments wishing me a speedy recovery. So appreciated, and I’m doing great now. You guys are the absolute best.

These quilted eyeglass cases are perfect for readers and sunglasses – the ones that get lost on the bottom of a handbag. I used to make them back when Ashley and I sold handmade fabric and mixed media items at charity craft fairs. We even had a moniker and logo: Back Alley Five & Dime (because most of our items were $1, $5, or $10).

square 5x5 rose scroll

The case is basically a small drawstring pouch, with a quilted shell and plain lining.

Quilted shell
Inside of shell, showing fused fleece, quilting and curved bottom.
Lining
Lining, showing 1.5″ circle template to draw bottom curves.
Shell in lining
A chop stick works great to push the shell into the lining!
Turning the case
Turning the assembled case through the side of the lining.
Press it
Turned case, nice and pressed.

Once the lining is pushed back inside the shell, I topstitch the case 1/2″ from the top edge, forming the casing for the drawstring.

Corded-tile

The drawstring goes in, the cord lock goes on, and, voila, done!

Materials and so on:

  • Finished size 3.5″ x 7″.
  • 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • Shell, lining, and fusible fleece or low-loft batting: Cut 1 of each, 17″ x 4.5″ (or 2 pieces, 8.5″ x 4.5″, if using smaller scraps). I prefer the fusible fleece over batting, because it makes the case a little stiffer.
  • Drawstring: Cut 1, 14″ long  x 2mm or 3mm. I like faux leather or waxed cotton cord, found in the jewelry making section of craft stores.
  • 1 medium cord lock. There are loads of sources online, and JoAnns carries these as well.

So, I’m thinking I’ll make some more little things to match, maybe card wallets. These are perfect to tuck into a clutch or wristlet, where a wallet just doesn’t fit.  Actually, I use mine to hold my Coco’s Loft cards, just in case someone asks for one (or I want to force one on people!) There are loads of DIY card wallet ideas on Pinterest.

case and card

I love the holiday season! Bye for now – Coco

After the fall…the way back

lady of leisure

Doing  better after falling a couple weeks ago! And showing the ‘good’ side of my face. The other side and the back of my left hand are still bandaged. But…it takes time.

A small post, but just look at that cute Charlie Caftan. I was totally inspired by Sue at ‘A Colourful Canvas’. Her pink plaid Charlie, posted way back in June, just gripped my heart… I spent hours online looking for a pink plaid fabric.

And I found it at Fabric Mart, mine is a cotton plaid jacquard shirting. Serendipitous. This pic is from ages ago, because I never did take a full set of pics of this version of the Charlie Caftan. My bad, but I have so many versions now.  I just love the pattern.

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A link here

line art

I’m feeling better, and I’ve started sewing again. I’m working on a long cardigan, based on McCalls 6461. On Emile…

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Fabric: Fresh Produce Sea Life Charcoal Black Cotton Jersey Knit  from Girl Charlee

And a pic of my lovely view, calm and peaceful, from the porch.

room

Bye for now – Coco