Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Fun Around the Sewing Room

One of the last projects for the band that I've been working on - my first foray into draping/designing - drum major capelets (by special request).  I worked for hours on making sure the front drape worked necklace-style from shoulder to shoulder, and that the back cape part wouldn't impede the conducting:

 Started with a drum major jacket with the existing
baldric (sash) removed.  After figuring out where the scarf/drape would hang, I cut out fabric in the approximate shape of the drape I was expecting.

 Pinch-pleating on and off the form, looking at the drape on the jacket and making sure that everything was even and symmetrical.  Then I pinned everything into place because I had to move it from the cutting table into my workroom to sew it into place.

 The pleats weren't hanging quite right, so I pinned the fold further into the drape.  You can see the result on the jacket at this point.  When I sewed the top of the pleats, it was great - but when I tacked the drape where the second set of pins were, then it lost its definition for some reason.  So, out came those stitches.

Now for the back part of the cape.  They wanted it to fall in a semi-triangular fashion, so I needed a trapezoid of sorts to begin with.

Pinch pleating on this one was pretty simple, and then I just sewed it straight across.  Back onto the jacket, and then narrow hemming on all parts, then some gentle tweaks here and there to put it all together.  Here is the semi-completed cape:

From the back:  you can see I trimmed off the bottom
of the trapezoid - I think the squared off bottom looked
a little better than the point.

This is the finished cape/drape, pinned into place.

Whew.  Drove it over to the school just in time to drop it off with the drum majors, who were on their way to a field competition.  Gave them brief instructions on how to pin it to their jackets and had sent photos to one of their moms (so they could see the finished product for pinning).  Imagine my surprise when they appeared on the field with the capes over their shoulder, but the other side of the drape pinned underneath the arm. I thought they had misunderstood me, and it was kind of like a valance on a curtain rod that was falling off the wall on one side - the drapes don't quite hang right when they're not level. *Sigh.*  Turns out that they decided that they liked that look better.  I'm probably the only one who noticed or cared.  As long as they are happy and confident, that's all that matters.

Having some fun today working on some embroidery for a special order.  I'd read on the internet that working with onesies was difficult for a number of reasons, so I did some researching and I'm really glad that I did.  General consensus is that it's easier to do a onesie through the neck opening (which I definitely would never have thought of), and better with the water soluble topper, even though it's a flat knit.  It's also easier to hoop by hooping the stabilizer only, then applying the onesie with double sided tape, spray adhesive, pins, or something to hold it down until you can fix/baste it in place.  Loads easier than trying to turn the little thing inside out, stretch it over a hoop, and try to keep the rest of it from curling over itself.  Most important thing?  Never, EVER leave a onesie in the process of embroidering.  All kinds of wonkiness must ensue, since that was the one thing I saw noted repeatedly in my research.

Other than a matte thread that refused to work in the machine for some reason, the onesie stitched out really, really well and I was pleased with the results:

Inside out, through the neckhole - only moved my hands out of
the way to take a photo and then quickly held the neckline
again - all the vibrations & motion makes it collapse inward in a second!

The finished onesie - done in a font called Swirl - so cute!

Closeup of the stitching - if you look carefully, you can just see
the basting stitch holes around the name.  These came out in
just a few seconds by pressing with a warm iron.

After that, it was on to a Minky blanket.  I had to disassemble the blanket for about 10 inches or so from both sides of one corner in order to get it situated in the hoop properly.  I did hoop the fabric along with the stabilizer this time, I didn't want to take a chance that the blanket could shift unexpectedly while stitching.

Dark brown on one side, light pink on the other with raised
polka-dots.  Name stitched in dark brown in a font called
"Nimbus."  REALLY glad this didn't show hoop burn
after I worked the fabric a bit!

Still to come:  a couple of new maternity designs; about a dozen cat mats for a local girl scout project; and maybe another purse for myself or to sell.  Will have to see how that fits in with the orders I still have for this week!

P.S. - The final note on the replacement Lovey;  the mother recently sent an email to my friend, who forwarded it to me:

Thank you so much. We were able to retire Addisons old lovie doll. I washed sewed and put it away for safe keeping for her when she gets older. We told her her daddy washed and sewed her baby and it was pretty.. she loves it and believes its the old one.. THANKS AGAIN..
I will also be sending my donation out this weekend.. Thanks!"

Now, THAT'S why I love doing what I do.  Just thought I'd share that with you!

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