Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Receiving Blankets :)

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Psalm 139:13-16

Feb 18th

So, this coming weekend, Dan and I are going to a Baby Shower for some friends from church. They mentioned they needed some receiving blankets. I admit, I didn't know what a receiving blanket was! Off to my good friend google for an explanation and tutorial for a possible sewing project :)

Turns out, a receiving blanket is just a small, lightweight baby blanket, that you wrap an infant in, (especially after a bath, according to Marriam-Webster Dictionary :)

I googled a bunch of tutorials, and receiving blankets are super-easy to make. Bonus! Hense my next sewing project! The next morning I was off to Fabricville to find some "Baby-themed" flannelette.

Fabricville had the perfect fabric for some baby-themed blankets. At 50% off, you can't get much better than that :) So I got enough for two decent-size blankets in prints that are neither too girly or boyish, as we will all be surprised to find out the gender of the new baby :)

Assortment of baby-themed flannel. What cute :)

A word about flannel, it pills something awful  (I pre-shrunk it in warm water and dried on low heat, as per care instructions).  Not that that my cats seemed to mind! I had the stack of flannel folded on the table and Caper kept trying to make it into a bed for herself! As I was writing this, I saw Boris eyeing the stack as well, I shooed him off before he made himself comfortable.
Bad kitties!

And in case you're wondering, *No*, I don't allow my cats on the table! Apparently they can spot cozy fabric a mile a way! I'll have to warn Dana not to leave them unattended, or her cats will make a furry mess of them :)

I found plenty of tutorials, but this one was my favorite :)
Snips & Spice: The Flannel Receiving Blanket

I'm so excited to make these! :)

Feb 21-26th

When I bought the fabric, I washed and dried it the same day, cut out and sewed them the next. I had to learn how to "straighten" fabric and "square" it. I won't bother getting into that explanation Google and youtube are great for that :)

After ironing the fleece, I cut it to be approximately 34''x 38". Placed wrong sides of coordinating fabric together, and pinned around.

To make rounded corners, I traced around a bowl and cut with a rotary cutter. You don't *need* a rotary cutter, but they make it sooo much easier! Whenever I cut out fabric, I always use a rotary cutter wherever possible. I usually only use scissors when I can't use a rotary cutter.

 I just have to include a few photos with the kitties :) Actually Boris was the most interested...in the fabric, that is. Hard to resist, that flannel :)

This is as far as I let Boris get before shooing him off.

Ever the observant kitty :)

Before sewing around the perimeter of the blanket, I marked a 6" space along one of the sides (doesn't matter where, as long as its not in a corner) for turning the blanket right-side-out (RSO) once sewn.

6" space marked for turning

Once the seam was sewn all the way around (minus the gap of course) from the wrong side, I trimmed the seams around the corners to about 1/4" and made small snips so they would lay flat once the blanket was turned RSO.

Trimmed to 1/4"
Small snips

Before turning the blanket RSO, I pressed the fabric down along the 6" gap I had left unsewn. The seam allowance along the blanket was 5/8", so that's what I pressed down over the area.

Pressed down gap

Turning blanket RSO (ever so gently) through the 6" gap. I just love the blue and green printed "baby" fabric. The co-ordinating blue fabric had white and green hearts on it. :)

After the blanket was turned RSO, I finger-pressed the edges down and pinned all the way around.  Then pressed all the way around with my iron.

Note: next time I will make sure I do all the corners first, and then pressing down the sides. You don't have to, but its easier not to stab yourself with pins on the inside (for me anyway, you might not be as clumsy :)

Fusible web strip.

To seal the open gap, I fused a strip of fusible web between the blanket layers. I suppose this isn't really necessary, but I wanted the added security :)

Pressing the area with lots of steam and heat :)

Fusible web has become a great sewing companion of mine. I find so many uses for this stuff! Whenever I think I can use it, I usually do! :)

Ironing, under the watchful eye of my sewing buddy :)

Ironing the fabric before sewing, I forgot to put this in earlier but am now, just because Boris is in  the photo :)

Scalloped-edge stitching with a 1/4" seam allowance.
To finish off the blankets, I simply stitched all the way around with a 1/4" seam allowance. I used a decorative wide scalloped stich with white thread.

 Although decorative, its not very visible. I suppose I could have used contrasting thread, but one benefit of using the white, is that mistakes are not so apparent :) The thread broke at a couple of points, and since I was using white thread, I didn't have to unpick any stitches or worry about matching up the curved stitching lines exactly :)

The finished blankets are ready to go :) This was such an easy project. And when I say "easy", I mean "beginner-friendly-easy". A lot of times I'll see an "easy" project, and its confusing. This project is very easy and quick.

It's basically cutting out two rectangles (or squares, however you want to make them), sewing them right sides together, turning them right-side-out and stitching along the edges!

I'll probably sew a ton of these in the future when we have our first baby on the way (to any friends or relatives: no, not anytime in the next 9 months :)

The finished blankets :)
 Note: the blue & baby-print blanket, I cut shorter than the other because there was a snag in the blue fabric, that I didn't notice until I was ready to cut it. I had to take off a few inches, so its not as wide as the other one :/ Oh well!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Vogue Pattern Review 1314

Yay, my first blog post! :)

This dress I made from Vogue pattern # 1314. I bought the  spandex knit animal print fabric from my local Fabricville. It's basically a tight dress with gathers along the side seams.

It was labeled as an "Easy" sew on the pattern envelope, and by many reviewers on PatternReview.com. It probably took me longer than many as this was the first dress I've sewn with a lining (which I'm glad I did, because this dress needs it!) and I'm pretty new to gathering (or ruching).

This dress is easy to sew but not easy to wear for the faint of heart. It's *tight*. You definitely wouldn't want to wear this to an all-you-can-eat buffet :)

I wore this to my sister's Wedding last week and got some nice compliments from my family (and from the lady who was officiating the ceremony also, who coincidentally likes to sew). I wore it to church yesterday too, with my high brown boots instead of heels.

My full review of this pattern on PatternReview.com can be found here.

A lot of PR members were following a "Jungle January" Sew-a-long hosted by a fellow Sewing Blogger. I made this after the fact, but I think it would be fun to join in on one of those in the future. :)

Vogue Pattern Photo
This "interesting" shot was on the PR website for Vogue 1314. Not sure what Vogue was going for with it, but it was kinda fun to  duplicate the pose (below). A little more dramatic than I'm used to (and it amused some of the PR members too :) It took me a little while to stop laughing long enough for my husband to take the photo. The Vogue model looks somewhat bored, so I tried my best to keep a straight face (it took much effort let me  tell you!)

My "Very Vogue" just-for-fun pose :)

The windowsill in our apartment is much too narrow to lie on, so the couch it was! Much more comfortable. Only thing is, the cats kept wanting to get in the photo :)
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