Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's been a while!

It's been almost a month since we last hooked up. Lets see what's been going on.

  • A long weekend spent watching grandchildren while Mom ran the BAAA half marathon in Boston for Dana Farber. We are so proud of her. Her goal is always to finish and stay healthy and she more than met her goal, coming in, in a field of 7000 runners at two hours, 20 minutes. And while she was running her heart out her darling son got a broken arm while playing with his cousins  and we all spent the next crazy 8 hours in Boston Children's Hospital. Grandma hadn't ridden in an ambulance in a long time. That EMT was cute.
  • Next weekend was spent in the White Mountains with an amazing celebratory weekend for DD's milestone birthday. Hey, if I tell you which one you'll start doing my math! Her hubby threw an incredible party that included two gorgeous B&Bs, hiking Mt. Cardigan, a gumbo party at their almost built new camp, fireworks, lots of great close friends and family and it all was a total surprise. It was wonderful. 
  • DH an I both got a two week long flu, very nasty but we are finally better. Naturally he will tell you his was way worse than mine.
  •  Do you know how bad your house, laundry and cleaning gets if you have been dog sick for two weeks and away from home another two weeks? 
  • Did you ever make Halloween costumes amid all that? One angel outfit Fed Xed to New Hampshire. One very happy little grandaughter.  
  • Did you ever put in an entire new septic system under these conditions? Now besides having disorder in the lower level of the house our yard looks like a hell hole witha white plastic pipe sticking out of it. "We'll seed in the spring" says hubby. 
  • Let's add in my wonderful full time job which I wouldn't pass up for anything.  
  •  Of course the lovely floor we picked out is on back order till mid November. We will be lucky if our home is back in order for Christmas. Christmas, oy,,,,,,,

So that is the gist of it all. You all know I do not do well in disorder. I've had the best intentions, and gone down to my cave many times but just couldn't handle the mess/stress. I took this past weekend shuffling things around and making believe my sewing room was back on line. Now I at least know where things are and won't have to use up 45 minutes hunting for my bead box. So, now I am back feeling the sewing love, back to having a bit more time, I hope, and back to blogging. I missed you all and have lots to show and tell.I am hoping for a shot of my granddaughter in her angel outfit but in the meantime here it is in the messy closet. 


DD sent me a little knit dress in the mail and asked if I could copy it exactly as it was a perfect fit, oh, and make it look like an angel. Sophie will wear a white turtleneck and leggings underneath and she will sport wings and a halo thanks to Target. This daughter of mine has a Pinterest board, "Things I want my Mom to make". Really....The edge is bias poly sheer with sparkly little dots all over it. That bias saved me a lot of aggravation. I didn't even gather it. I just kept shoving it under the presser foot. But I met the deadline, DGD is happy, and so is Mom. 

It was truly guerrilla sewing.

I have been working on the Koos bag now that life is a bit easier. More to come on those crazy buttonholes.
Thanks for your patience, kind wondering emails, and being a follower of this blog. I appreciate each and every one of you all.....Bunny

I leave you with a pic I took this morning, the day after the Perfect Storm. I walked out the door to go to work and there it all was, including the geese.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Koos Zipper, I Love It!



I am doing View B of the Koos Bag, Vogue 1311. View A has your basic slot zipper installation that you see in most bags, but View B has a very intriguing zipper technique that I have not seen before. A large facing is stitched, right sides together, in much the same way a bound buttonhole "hole" is done. The facing is outlined with the whited dotted line. I stitched the facing using a 1.5 stitch length around the ends/corners. Once stitched the "buttonhole" is cut down the center within a half inch of the ends. From there it divides and is cut into the corners, like any welt pocket or bound buttonhole.  Now, the neat part, cut the long seam allowance back to about a healthy 1/4 of an inch on the long sides ONLY. This will leave you with a 1/4 inch space between the two seam allowances. Step 2, Cut the facing at an angle, the green arrows, from the outer edge to the corners of the "buttonhole".

Take that end piece, the parallelogram, and push it only to the wrong side of the hole. Pin in place

 Here you can see the facing turned in on the ends only and pinned in place. Now comes the fun part!

 The long facing piece is wrapped around the remaining long seam allowances. In other applications as well as View A the entire SA is turned in with the facing. Here the SA stays where it is and is wrapped with the facing. Pin in place. This is going to leave a nice edge to butt against your zipper.


This is what the wrapped SAs look like from the wrong side. You have two options now. One is to topstitch the facing in place and the other choice is to ditch stitch from the right side in the well of the seam between the wrapped SAs and the bag. This leaves you with a clean slot to just place your zipper behind and topstitch into place. I think it is pretty cool and hope you do too! I love it when I learn something new in sewing. Thanks, Koos! I think this one belongs in the tute column, don't you?.....Bunny

ETA, 02/12/13: I did another Koos bag and the post contains additional hints for  installing this zip. You might want to check it out. Here's a link: Koos Zipper 2.0





Fall sets in on the Deer River.......

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Koos Bag, Part Three


I started the actual sewing of the Koos bag today. I have to admit, I've only referenced the pattern once and that was in regards to the zipper installation. Here's why. This is a great pattern with great directions. But on my bag I wanted to use some fabric that would not take the heat very well. So piecing together the top, bottom, and side and fusing them all after that to fusible fleece was out of the question. So I chose to do a sort of "foundation piecing." Here you see a scrap of cotton with the fleece all fused on. I always remove the seam allowances on fleece and interfacing when I make bags. There is just too much bulk otherwise.
Just as in paper pieceing, the first piece is sewn down to the foundation. The next piece is layed on top as you see above and stitched to the base and first piece. After stitching, the seams are cut back and graded and the second piece is flipped over. Now I have a big circle. You can see the green fabric came up short but another piece will be overlayed on top of it and it won't show.



I also stitched and flipped the bias edge, turning it under on the leftover side and topstitching it. It came out ripply but so evenly ripply that it looks intentional as you will see later. I actually like it as it really makes the fabric shine.


And if that wasn't enough bling, I decided on adding some brushed gold sequins, a trim I have had for years and now it's time had come. I did several samples of stitching on the sequins, some with contrast thread, some matching thread, and some monofilament. The smoke colored monofilament won
. First I got a plate out of the cupboard to use to mark a nice curve. This wasn't as easy as it sounds. This trim had to bypass the zipper installation and the four buttonholes for the straps but eventually I found the sweet spot. I drew that on with the plate and then ran a line of Wonder Tape along the line. Wonder Tape is a double sided tape that is great to position trims, zips, and all sorts of things, a must for any sewing room. All I had to do now was line up the sequins over the Wonder Tape. You can't see it in this pic but it is really important to leave about an inch of Wonder tape hanging off the edge. Stick the last few sequins to it and this extra will help hold the tape without unraveling until you are ready to stitch the seams.

Here's a closeup and you can see the monofilament is virtually unnoticeable. The sequins will be picked out of the seam allowance when it is sewn to the sides. In the meantime the extra tape and sequins will help hold it all together. To stitch the sequins I used a 6.0 wide zigzag, a 2.5 length, and the monofilament thread. I think they came out pretty good and it's not a brazen scream of bling so I'm happy. Next in line is to install the zipper and the strap buttonholes. They are really cool. The zipper has an interesting method where the seams of the zipper facing are "wrapped" with the facing fabric. More to come. I WILL follow directions for that step! So far this has been a lot of fun. It feels really good to get back to my sewing. All painting was completed yesterday and now we just wait for our floor to arrive.

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You may remember last spring our four footed friends decimated the hostas. They are back lately every day around lunchtime. Caught the little stinker getting a few last bites in before winter! At this point she is welcome to them..........Bunny