Back to the Grind...

   Well, Christmas is over and we all somehow managed to get through it in one piece.  I got many good projects completed, but had to scale back a few things to meet all the holiday deadlines that always sneak up.  The "Alex" Bag came out great, the roller foot really did the trick.  Pictures are coming!  The stitching got a little wonky where the fabric was extra thick.  I tried to treat the industrial grade vinyl as if it was regular fabric, and the top  double-fold binding was 4 or more layers thick in most spots.  Single-fold, next time!  The leather/jean needle did do the trick, though, and even with all the heavy punishment, it never broke.  I also used binder clips to hold the vinyl pieces together, which worked great.  Word of caution, they do leave a little indent in the vinyl, especially when there's a lot of layers, so try to keep them in the seam allowances.  For the lining, I found some fun Hawaiian print that I got in Florida a few years back, and I think it complemented the look quite well.  Definitely "Girly"!  She's only used it a few times so far, but I think it's durability has really shown itself already. 
  I did actually get to make two out of the four round pillows as well.  I went for a mitered look, which came out ok.  I tried fabric glue stick to try to line the stripes up, which did work pretty well.  I did one with and without, and the one with I had an easier time construction.  It did leave a little residue on the fabric, but didn't destroy or gum up the needle, so a little wash should take care of it.  I had a hard time with the very middle alignment, I'm guessing it's a fairly common thing, and is why people tend to put a button in the middle (to cover it up!)  Next time, I'll try to place a wider strip in the center, and make sure the first stripe to line up is at least an inch from center, that should help. 
  Napkins - bah, who needs em?  (ie.  didn't have enough time to finish!) 
Oh, that right, I did make a blanket for Ian.  Pretty simple, but I did use to layers of minky fabric, which made putting the blanket binding on a really chore.  The fabric was so think and slippery, the binding want to shift, and I couldn't get the stitching to catch both sides just right.  I have this problem a lot, and would love if someone could share some tips or tricks!  I didn't get a chance to do any vests, but I found a Black Friday sale at Carters: Vest for kids - $5 each!  So I braved the hustle and bustle and got the kids as many as I could get in their sizes.  Whew!

  On to NEW things!

  So, as promised, I'm back into knits.  I made a mock up of the long sleeve t-shirt (Burda 1234) with some augments to fit my size.  Tapered the hips out, and the waist in a bit.  The underarms aren't perfect, they stuck out a bit, not sure if that's the pattern, or if it's because I serged the side seams and sleeve seam in one line, and the demarcation got a lost a bit.  Will try to machine sew that little corner next time, see if it brings it in better.  Also had to lengthen it about 2 inches.  All in all I was happy with the pattern.  So, not I'm working on a "real" shirt.  Taking inspiration from the Xmas pillows, I'm going to try to do stripes again, and hope like crazy they line up!  I have a blue/tan/black striped fabric from JoAnn, polyester blend.  Stripes are bout 1 inch wide.  I've taken my dear sweet time designing it and planning where each stripe will match on each piece, and I plan to try basting them together before stitching/serging.  Still not sure what to do for the neck band.  Solid black?  A band that perpendicular to the stripes?  Two-piece bias band, mitered in the front center?  Cowl?  I'll finish the shirt and reassess, see how crazy (or not) the stripes are before deciding. 

  Not sure exactly where to go after this shirt.  A few ideas:
1.) Go through the mountain of old clothes I've stashed see if there's something I could upcycle using this pattern.
2.) Another shirt with some different design elements.  Stripes in different places, draping, godets, gathers, etc.
3.) Skirts?  Maybe will wait until it's closer to Spring, otherwise might just be wishful thinking!