Another Auld Lang Syne

Now that all the packages have been delivered and opened I can share some of the Christmas sewing that I have been doing...

I had such fun making a little linen romper for my new great niece.  I made it a few sizes bigger than she is now because I remember that when my kids were babies I received lots of things that were newborn size up to about three months and then all of a sudden....nothing!  I also figured it would be easier to work in the bigger size!!!  Luckily she lives in L.A. so I didn't have to worry about which season of the year she will end up fitting into it.

I was careful to steer clear of pink and totally fell in love with a soft aqua linen.   It's a bit hard to see, but the selvedge of the linen has a single red thread and I wanted to incorporate it in the design.  I ran it along the lower edge of the bodice.   I am very pleased with the end result. I love the way the twill tape works for the straps and the hat was just too cute to resist!

Last year I made an oiled cotton canvas jacket for my "baby" and he was very excited about it.  Living in London, it is the perfect fabric for rainy, damp days.  I decided that since I knew the pattern  (Merchant and Mills Foreman) was the right size I would try another version for this Christmas.  I chose a bonded wool thinking I would not need to line it.  About half way through I realized that a lining would make it a much nicer finished garment so I ended up basically making two coats and fitting them together.  A bit of a puzzle, but OK in the end.


I used a nice heavy weight lining and it gives the jacket a nice hang.  So glad I added it.

The trim of the coat is a really, really soft supple leather that was the perfect match for the wool.  (Oh the things that come out of my stash closet!)  I tested a bunch of different buttonholes and settled on a leather bound version.  I think I spent more time on those buttonholes than the rest of the coat!

The pockets were fun to figure out.  I don't think patch pockets are the most comfortable pockets to actually put your hands into but they are useful for 'stuff.'  I added inseam pockets for hand warming.

The under collar is a wool jersey that really worked well to help shape the leather collar.  I'm going to remember that combo.

...AND, it fit just right!  Even when I am working with a pattern that I know has worked in the past I worry about the fit.  Different fabrics can change the fit, so when I got these pictures I breathed a sigh of relief.  Yeah!

We stopped in Captiva for Christmas with lots of my family before heading to Key West for the month of January.  I wanted to figure out something that I could make a bunch of, something that was 'gender neutral' and something that I could pack and would be easy for the recipients to pack as well. I ended up making a whole passel of little fabric 'buckets.'  I have one that I use for bread and chips.  It's just the right size and it folds up nicely into a drawer when it's not full.  Again my stash was full of great choices!  I really didn't plan that it would be a stash busting project...just worked out that way!

I didn't actually count how many I ended up making.   I kept pulling out fabrics that would work and thought, "Well, just one more!"  I think I ended up with about 2 dozen.  I still have some fabrics that I like, so I may make another batch when I get home in February!

It makes me feel old when I hear myself saying, "I can't believe another year is coming to an end!"  BUT, I can't believe another year is coming to an end!!!!!!   I already have some fun sewing adventures planned for 2020, so I am looking forward to the New Year.  Sending these little notes and stories out into the universe often feels a bit self absorbed.  I'm never sure if anyone will see them...so thank you for letting me share and commenting when something catches your fancy.  I love the virtual connections.  Thanks for coming along and wishing you your own sewing adventures in 2020.


Ho,Ho, Holidays!

It's here!  Another December. 

As a kid I remember thinking that December was the longest month of the year...it felt like Christmas would never get here.  But now it just sneaks up on me and flies by before I can catch my breath.  I think this year feels even faster since Thanksgiving was so late in November.

I hosted one of my favorite holiday 'traditions' on Friday afternoon to kick off the season.  (I think it's fair to call it a tradition now that it has happened for several years.)  My sewing friends all come to my house for a 'luncheon.'  It feels a bit old fashioned and I like that.  They indulge my once a year "Martha Stewart-ish" leanings and we all enjoy a lovely afternoon together eating and chatting. This year the menu included French onion soup in bread bowls, a salad and Triple Chocolate Raspberry Trifle.  (Rule: if it's not chocolate, it's not dessert!)

I usually try to get a photo of the group but this year I was so engrossed I didn't remember until everyone was on their way home.  I did take a quick shot of the table before we started so that will have to do.

I make some kind of Christmas ornament to decorate each place setting and this year I made fabric Christmas trees.  For the table I used them to hold the utensils, but when they get done hanging on trees, they are little scissor holders that can be used to pack scissors and other sewing tools when you are off on a sewing retreat.

I did have my wits about me when I was making them and managed to take some progress photos.  Here's how I made them....

The pattern is basically and 8 X 10  rectangle with 3 bound edges and a couple of folds sewn in place.  I used my bias binding foot which makes a lovely 3/8" bound edge.  I love that thing!  I rounded the corners to make binding easier...


I left a tail of the binding to make a hanging loop....


The raw edge of the rectangle is fold to the inside so it doesn't show....


I secured the last fold by stitching-in-the-ditch next to the binding...


The "Christmas Tree Lot!"


I really love the chance to fuss over my sewing girls.  They are such a gift in my life and most of the time would not sit still for much 'fussing.'  I am grateful that they let me do it at least this one time each year!  Happy Holidays to all of them and to all of you who read along and indulge my sewing adventures!  Cheers!