Small Projects and Instant (Almost) Gratification

I’ve been busy with a lot of small projects lately, and I find the “instant gratification” aspect small projects, quite pleasing!

One of the things I wanted to do this year, was to participate in some online swaps. I knew that online swaps were a big part of the popularity of the Modern Quilt Guild. These online hosted swaps allow people from all over the world to participate! It’s like having a very large friendship group! So far, I’ve been in three swaps: Pillow Talk Swap, Pretty Little Pouch Swap, and the Denyse Schmidt Doll Quilt Swap. Here’s what I created for each swap:

The Pillow Talk Swap

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Pretty Little Pouch Swap

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Denyse Schmidt Doll Swap

I’ve enjoyed these small challenges and will do more of them as I have time. If you want to know more about how to get involved in an online swap, Megan wrote a great article about swapping on her blog, Fashioned by Meg.

Last weekend, I decided to play with a pattern I picked up at Strawberry Patches. It’s a very whimsical pattern by Tula Pink, and I thought I knew what fabrics I wanted to use with it. That was, until I went into Strawberry Patches and started looking at fabrics with a different perspective. I decided to use the new French influenced fabrics in the Penelope line. I was going to use a light-colored solid for the background, but decided to go a more dramatic route and used a charcoal colored Bella Solid that I found at Bolts to Binding. One crown down, 14 to go!

   

The Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated

I used to sew for myself quite a bit. Now, though, I pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts. Wanting to bump up my wardrobe a notch, I went shopping for tops. Holy cow, clothing has gotten expensive! Not only that, but I can never seem to find stylish clothing in larger sizes. I know what I want to wear, but I can never find it. After seeing the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern by Sew Liberated, I decided to pull out some of my cherished Kaffe Fassett prints and sew one up. Totally against my nature (because I’m not very patient), I sewed up a muslin piece first. I cut the pattern according to the size I wear in manufactured clothing, but the bodice was quite a bit too small. I have no idea  how to modify patterns. Usually, I’d toss it and forget the whole idea. However, I really wanted to see this through. I needed more room in the sleeve and bodice, so I came  up with an idea of how to salvage what I’d already sewn. I opened up the seam that goes from the tip of the sleeve, down to the bottom of the bodice. I inserted a fabric strip that would provide the additional room that I needed. I did this to both sides, and it gave me just the right amount of room I needed in the bodice. The skirt part of the tunic, calls for two box pleats in the front, and one in the back. Removing the box pleat in the back, gave me the needed leeway to match the bodice up with the bottom of the tunic. When I tried on the finished garment, I was pretty disappointed in the fit. Getting enough room in the upper body and arms, meant that the rest of the tunic would fit me like a gunny sack! That is typical of garments in plus sizes! The easiest way I could think of to add a little “fit” to the garment, was to add a strip of elastic across the back. I literally just sewed a strip of stretched out elastic across the back, at the seam that joined the bodice and the skirt. It was the perfect solution!  All it needs now, is to be hemmed. I’ll get Scott to help pin it for me when he gets home. I’m also going to opt for a shorter sleeve. 

I used three different Kaffe Fassett fabrics. When making the final garment, I intentionally inserted the sleeve strip (rather than just cutting the sleeve bigger), using the skirt fabric. I wanted the slight contrast of the two fabrics. I’m very happy with the end result, and I will be making more tunics! Oh, and I ordered a book about altering patterns for real people. Yah, in my case that means zaftig women! LOL!

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Back of the tunic. You can see where I inserted the elastic, so that it gave the garment a more tailored fit.Image

Tunic front. I’m going to shorten the sleeves and the length of the tunic. For cooler months, this would look great left long and worn with tights or leggings!Image

Strip inserted on the bottom of the sleeve and side of the bodice. I intentionally did this, so as to add another artistic element to the construction of the garment.