Tag Archives: Visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for more info on my workshop at the retreat

Rectangles of Yummy Fabrics+a T-Shirt= One Fabulous Dress!

by Heidi Emmett  On one of my late night forays into Pinterest, I came upon this picture. I MUST MAKE THIS, was my first thought at 12:15a.m.  Note to self: Do NOT look at Pinterest late at night as a relaxation technique to help me fall asleep.

Here is my version:

My friend Victoria W. gave me a Log cabin square she had made (shown below) and that’s all I needed to get started on my own dress, tunic, long shirt, acck. I have to come up with a name. For now, the “working title” is Rectangle Pieced Dress (so you can reference it at my home page later).

You know me and my love of rectangle pieces, so I started cutting strips and rectangles and had fun, fun, fun, stitching, cutting more, adding, taking away. 

I used my serger so I could really fly. Did I say how much I love having a Babylock Serger (mine is an Imagine- 4 cone). It has a very special air device that pulls in the upper and lower looper threads making it easy peasy to thread. 

What a great way to use some of my favorite pieces from my collection. 

It’s growing, section by section. 

R-e-x! His ears have that “look”.  Don’t TOUCH me. I am King Kat. I can sits wherever I want!

Adding a side seam pocket. Yes, I did put right sides together before stitching. But, ha, ha, (please refer to the picture of me in my new outfit) another note to self:  Try on or at least do some proper measurements BEFORE adding an inseam pocket. I am trying really hard to be nonchalant in the picture, but I can barely reach that pocket. It is so far down. I have decided to cut it off and make a patch pocket or two on the front instead. 

The pictures below show folding down the fabrics to form the edge that runs under the bodice area and all the way around. 

A possible patch pocket idea. 

There’s that hand-in-pocket s-t-r-e-t-c-h again. I had so much fun with this that I’m adding it to this years workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will be another possibility to pursue. To my students that are already signed up, I will send info. about it (with a name for it too!) sometime in July. There are a couple places left in my workshop. Keep it in mind and click on the icon at the bottom (Artistic Alchemy) and go right to the site to learn more.

It’s READY! SPARKY TOP IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE NOW!! Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to buy a hard copy or (after 4:00p.m. today, June 15th) purchase via pdf on Craftsy.com, Have a super sewing stint this weekend. May you be blessed with the energy and TIME to create something new. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Deborah D. from Arkansas,  your Sparky Top hard copy goes out in today’s mail!

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Let’s Machine Felt and Throw In a Little Quilting too!

We finally got some winter around here in Cedar Ridge (that white stuff, called SNOW! Yippee). So of course, I need to work with yarn. I have had this beautiful extra thick and soft Cashmere sweater (thrift score!) for the longest time. And now with the colder weather I want to add some pizzazz and WEAR IT!

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Auditioning fabric and yarn. These are perfect. I used the “Fibs & Fables” by Westminster Fabrics and found yarn to go with it. 

I talk more about my felting machine, how it works, yarns, ideas, fibers you can use, etc., in other posts. Visit the home page and check the categories on the side (look for fun felting and upcycling).

I pulled some yarn right off the ball of yarn, positioned it into a circle onto one of the bell sleeves.

My “glue” of choice is a piece of regular netting, NOT tulle netting. I just place it right over the circle of yarn and push it all under the 5 needles (they are inside the protective cover). Whirrr…….whirrr…..whirr….I just LOVE this little magical machine. Remove the netting and voila’

Here are a few more “felties”, that’s what I call them, off one skein of yarn. 

Wait. I have to tell you about a very cool tool I just discovered. It is called a “Gleener.” It has three different edges to take fuzzies off of wool, acrylic, polyester, and fine fabrics. And has a velvet lint brush on the back and it’s own little carrying case with instructions.

Two of the blades sit inside and the third one is on the outside edge, ready to use. In one word, “AMAZING.”

I think I’m done with this bell sleeve edge. There are felties all the way around. Took maybe 20 minutes for one sleeve. Pretty sweet, right? 

I have to have a kangaroo pocket. Adds tremendous cozy factor in my opinion. Before attaching the pocket to the sweater, I have to do a little quilting on my regular sewing machine. Attach a darning foot (I like open toed so I can see better), lower the feed dogs, and start outlining or doodling across the sandwich of lining/batting/fashion fabric. I have also pre-sewn the sandwich together, right sides together, turned through a 5″+ opening and pressed. Back to the stitching process. Whaaat fun. Very relaxing, just like adding the felties. 

After pinning the kangaroo pocket to the sweater front, I got a cool idea. Look for the flower headed pins (one orange and one yellow).  Follow the faint white (chalk) line from the orange pin head down to the center of the pocket. Another yellow pin running horizontally. Stitch in a “V” formation through all thicknesses. Also, through all thicknesses, at the top of the pocket and leave the middle section of the pocket open (still talking about the top. Sew all the way across the bottom edge.  DO NOT stitchthe short ends (like I did, oh, Heidi, Heidi). I need a place to put my hands. Silly me.

Sew I stitched down the pocket and now I need to add some felties around the pocket and around the lower back. But first a cuppa in my special open cup to savor the rich coffee smell. I set it down and looked at it and remembered something very special to me. 

I remembered my Grandma Castleberg (my mother’s mother) and a friend of hers (a photography student) wanting to take a Black and White study of Grandma for a class project. And here it is. I love this picture and will treasure it always. I feel that I get my extra dose of creativity from my my Aunt Rose on my father’s side. I’ll share that story another time. 

Back to felties. It’s done! Check out the “V” pocket idea I had. I like it. 

I received these violas from a friend. What a great idea to brighten someones day. Buy a tiny clay pot (this one is 3 1/2″) and gently place a Viola (from a pony-pack) inside the clay pot. It has to be placed somewhere close by for the maximum happy quotient. Also, you’ll remember to check it every day for a possible drink of water.  Mine sits on the edge of my kitchen sink. Who will you pick to brighten their day with this simple idea? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Have a “Make it Up, Make it Fun, Get it Done” weekend! Hugs, Heidi

CHECK THIS OUT! A New and Different Terrific Tabard by Designs by Heidi

I’m changing things up at Design’s by Heidi. Same great patterns, but I’m looking forward to working  with different fabrics, and a sleek and smooth look, so very little to no quilting. I will always have beautiful quilting fabrics in my designs and lots of stitching, but now I want add fabrics such as silk shantung, linen, wools, etc. and add some solid colors and/or more black. I am just getting started on my “Black + A Color” collection (using my current patterns). Below, I present to you, the FIRST piece in this collection: Terrific Tabard aka “Skinny Vest.” Here is the basic pattern.

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I bought one of Mary Boalt’s beautiful “half a canvas.” I love it sew much that I was determined to use every, single, scrap! And I have. Let me show you how I did it. Below, on the right side of the vest, I used the majority of the panel. It measured approximately 18″ x 29″.  I used View “A” with the rounded front piece (near the neck area). I chose to pin my vest closed at the top instead of a button at the waist. A whole NEW look.

O.K., let’s unpack how SIMPLE this vest was to make. I think that laying it out flat shows how easy it is. 

And here are the lining pieces. Before we go any further, this is the biggest change to the Terrific Tabard pattern. Normally, all creative work is done on the wrong side of the lining/foundation piece. This time, creative stitching is done on all the outside pieces and the lining is used to create the finished outside edge. Here is the order to put this together: 1. Stitch, right sides together, the decorated pieces at the shoulders. 2. Copy that on the lining pieces. 3. With right sides together, pin the outside of the vest, to the lining of the vest. 4. Begin stitching all the way around the vest on one side of the back. 5. Stitch, stitch, all the way around until you come within 6-7″ of the beginning. 6. Turn the vest through this opening. 7. Press, add loops, buttons, etc. 

Now for some of the details. My beautiful “closure” pin. Look in your long forgotten pin drawer. Who knows, an entire vest may come from one of your treasures. 

This is the largest, leftover piece I had. Oh, great, a chunk is missing. No worries. 

Sew a piece to it. Stitch in a gentle curve (no time to make it fit exactly in the empty space). Press FIRST, then trim away excess (I have been known to trim off the WRONG edge). 

It has been pressed, trimmed, and greaaaat, there is a pleaty thing going on. No worries. This is “Art to Wear” and improvising when necessary is the name of the game.

Getting ready to trim off the excess. I use my rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, as much as possible. It increases accuracy in my cuts. 

Now the fun begins!  I’m auditioning some of my favorite fabric pieces. I always have a main fabric to key off from. In this vest I used Mary Boalt’s  (check out her work at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com ) hand painted and stamped canvas.  

Remember I said I use every single scrap? There is one scrap above (I added that polka dot to, and below is another scrap). Hmm..it has a “sort of” pocket shape. That’s it, make a pocket. 

I lay all three pieces out and pick and choose my fabrics to go with. I don’t have any idea what I really want. Ya just have to start. A few things I do know: 1. I want long, lean, lines. 2. I want at least one pocket. 3. I wont add anything to the beautiful panel piece. Taking pictures of what you are doing can really help. Also, leave it for awhile and come back with fresh eyes. This picture already shows me one thing I don’t want and that is bunnies hopping across  my waistline. That’s a horizontal line= feeling larger.

Note: Yes, I placed these pieces on top of some major piles of fabric. Acckk.. it’s an ongoing job, straightening and rearranging in my studio space.

The bunnies have hopped around to the back and I’m putting a strip of polka dots on the front and running it at an angle for a thinner look. The pocket is already on. See the thread on the the side? That is where I stopped stitching. This gives some depth to the pocket so stuff wont fall out.  And now I’m thinking about closures and buttons. What to do, what to do,….Oh, and there is another scrap (under the button), should it go there? Acck..I have to stop for a bit.I can’t decide on anything because I’m hungry.

Well, I just found out that our personal chef wants to quit. Kidding, the personal chef is ME OF COURSE! So I sent my CTO & CFO out to pick up something (that CFO, etc. I’m not kidding about, is my husband). O.K. back to it. Button, button, where is the perfect button? These are all so cool. Sandra Bruce makes the best polymer buttons and earrings. See her treasures at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com   

Too funny. All those beautiful buttons and I ended up with a pin. A smoother look (I wasn’t liking a tab or ties for the front). The pin is perfect.

I forgot to point out the cute little colorful ties that Mary added to her canvas. The finishing touch. I love them. 

Now I am topstitching all those pieces down. Use glue or pins to hold them in place until sewn. I have the presser foot up (needle in fabric)in this picture as I am getting ready to turn it around and stitch right into the silk. I call this cardiac stitching (goes up and down in a zigzag pattern similar to an electrocardiogram).   

I am putting a spotlight on the stitching down of the long strip that I added the polka dot fabric too. I ran it, longwise, through my serger. I got ready to press it under, but I thought, that I liked the texture that I just made, sew I stitched it down. Oh, and to the left of the bunnies, that is where the little scrap ended up (I originally had it under a button. 

 

There is some more stitching on the front.

Here is a rectangle of stitching from the front side. Whaat is going on here? 

Here is the wrong side. I found a scrap of a light weight canvas. I stitched it down all the way around on the wrong side of the vest front. Who cares what the fabric looks like, as the vest will be lined. But the weight is perfect to prevent puckering.

Back to the right side and stitch, stitch, stitch, up and down, back and forth, until it looks like this. I have named this method, “Stock market Ups & Downs.” 

Another rectangle ready for the stock market stitch. 

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I just had to include these next two pictures. When it gets too cold (and/ I’m doing some cleaning) in my attic studio, I bring fabrics down and  do my cutting out on my dining room table. I see four projects in this picture in various states of readiness to sew. Rubix zeroed in on the soft pile of my newest Kantha cloth acquisition. He looked pretty cute. He loved his puddle of sun so much, he stretched out on his back and……

promptly rolled right off the table. Of course he sauntered out from under the table as if to exclaim, “I meant to do that.” There are stories in this picture. Yes, that is a sewing machine table in the background. My sweet dad put that together 50+ years ago and my mom gave it to me when she downsized. It’s a treasure. The Leopard chair (ultrasuede) is from my Mother-in-law. There are two of those. Hmm…I think I have enough leopard items to do a post on “All I know about Leopard prints and why I love them so!” You saw the Kantha which is now,  another post idea coming to the forefront of my brain, “All About Kantha.” Last but NOT least is the FABULOUS Mary Boalt canvas on the chair. Of COURSE I HAD TO BUY ANOTHER ONE! After my new favorite Terrific Tabard that you just read about, the ideas just keep coming for ways to incorporate her canvases into other Designed by Heidi patterns.

Thanks for stopping by! Get creative this weekend. Hugs, to you all. Heidi

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