Monday, August 25, 2014

Simplicity 4636

Tammy's gown was a big hit at the wedding. Whew! Now I can relax on that one. She will be sending me pics as soon as she gets them herself. Today I went to a baby shower at her country home for her first grandchild. It was a lovely event. I was determined to make something for the baby instead of buying and am so glad I did. At first I thought of a couple of boy bonnets to keep the hot Virginia sunshine out of baby's eyes. I looked at my  heirloom fabrics. Nothing excited me. Then I went digging in my baby patterns and came up with this one, Simplicity 4636.
 I made view C, the car seat cover. I have awful memories of the twins in their food encrusted car seats that drove me to this decision. Mind you, my daughter did scrub them now and then but every day was a snack on the way home from daycare, one waiting to be embedded into the seat's upholstery and increasingly gross. I looked closely at the pattern and thought "very doable in a couple hours". While that is true, as is my fashion, I turned it into a daylong project.

First I had to decide on the fabric. It had to be soft, tough, very washable, and masculine. Ok. Remember those jeans I was going to make? I'll have to order more fabric now. They were pre-washed three times which took care of the soft and the washable. They definitely could have a masculine vibe and the denim is tough. Now to make it all look good. Hmmmmm.....I will make it look like jeans and I did.


The first way I extended the project timetable was to turn the simple machine made buttonholes into faced buttonholes. I faced them with more denim and sewed one eighth inch away from the long line you see in a rectangle shape. These BHs will accommodate the car's straps. The resulting rectangles were slashed and clipped into the corners and then turned.

The facings were then turned to the wrong side. There long edges were turned under and stuck in place with Wonder Tape to prevent movement. Then all was pressed. You can see the results below. 

Now it was time to make this little item look jeans-y. I topstitched twice around the faced holes with a golden Coats & Clark thread but using the triple stitch on my machine. I am getting to like that stitch more and more for topstitching. There is no need for special thread or needles. It goes back over the stitch three times so you then get a nice thick topstitch like you see in RTW. This project was great practice for upcoming real jeans. On this go round I figured out how to count the stitches and end up exactly in the corners where I wanted to be. 
I surrounded each BH with 1/4 inch masking tape to get sharp rectangles.  You can see the results here.
This got a second row of topstitching a scant 1/4 inch away. All of the seams were topstitched with two rows as well. Are we looking jeans-y and masculine or what?

 I think you can now see why what could have been a two hour sew-up turned into a bigger production. But that is just my style of sewing at this point. Yes, all the threads were taken to the back and tied off. How many years did I sew without doing that? Way way too many. It looks so sloppy to have those little end cuts sticking out on the front of a garment. ( eye roll)


After all that topstitching business, a band was attached to the circumference of the the seat. It had a turned facing with elasctic to enable it to slip over the car seat and be removed just as easily. All seams were serged as well on this. The short edges of the facings were too small to bother so they were simply pinked. I tried to make this tough so it could take a lot of washings.

The fabric used is denim I purchased on line, forget where, but think perfect jeans weight, no lycra. The elastic was basic 3/4 inch black elastic. I've draped this over a small child's rocker to give you an idea of how it would work. I think it will be a very practical gift for a new mom who doesn't know what she's in for. Did any of us?.......Bunny
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We've had a houseful of company this past week. Ern and I love Paella but have never made it ourselves. We decided to invest in a pan and spoon and give it a go. You really do need the spoon to keep the seafood submerged while cooking. We had a glorious evening of fun and Paella making with his sisters and look forward to doing it again. It's all about the pan and  it is damn delicious........... Bunny

18 comments:

  1. Paella! yes, yummy. I had to smile when you wrote "very doable in a couple of hours". Haven't we all deluded ourselves with that same thought?

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  2. Lovely work! Your buttonholes are so nice...yes, I had no idea how many simple, basic things I would need (like wash cloths and bibs). A lot of bibs!

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  3. You might mention that when using the triple stitch it's good to count, 1-2-3 for the completed stitch if there are any curves involved. That way you avoid any sticky out stitches along the way. Do you increase your stitch length with the triple stitch? I find it incredible that children today have to eat while riding in the car. Is it the increased number of hours they spend there?

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    1. I used a 3.0 stitch length this time.

      I think most kids get a little cranky before the dinner hour and that is when they are picked up and probably running another errand with Mom or Dad before getting home. Life can be so hectic today.

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  4. Only you would make a cover with such perfection :) Beautiful.
    And a bone to pick, you stinker. I love Paella!!! We visited one of our exchange students who was from the Canary Islands. His mother had an outside grill specifically for Paella. Oh my goodness was it ever good. Now I WANT Paella, badly!!! Yours looks so good. Hope you enjoyed it :)

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  5. I've seen those setups. Making paella is sort of like having a clambake, lots of tradition and interaction surrounding the cooking. It's great fun. Not that I am being an enabler or anything but we got our pan and spoon from a site called "La Tienda". They have everything you need. We passed on the 8.00 a pound Bomba Rice and used MEDIUM grain Goya rice, a recommended sub. The right rice is very important, no long grain allowed! You are such a great cook, Rhonda. I am sure you will love trying this out. Ours had chicken, calamari, mussels, steamers (clams) and shrimp, big Gulf shrimp wild caught! I am getting hungry just writing this!

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  6. Sewing (and gift giving) at its finest!!

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  7. Must get this pattern for future baby gifts! I'm hoping it is still a current pattern. Great "masculine" version! :)

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    1. It is still current, Linda. I checked. I've also made the shopping cart cover as a gift. That is more involved. The car seat cover seemed like just the right amount of work.

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  8. What a lovely & THOUGHTFUL gift, Bunny!! I could use one for the entire seat of my car. I made a rule "No EATING in Nana's new car" after one kid spilled root beer & another dumped fries all over. Then just this past Sunday, a girlfriend sloshed her coffee all over my leather seat! Grrrrr! I had to wipe down the entire side with Pine Sol to get rid of the smell.

    Your gift will surely be appreciated for many years to come. It doesn't surprise me a bit that you went to such lengths to make it PERFECT!!! BRAVO!!!

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  9. Hi Bunny,

    Another beautiful triumph from La Sewista!!

    You want to visit Nerja in Spain..........there is a guy that sits on the beach ( famous tourist attraction) with the biggest paella pan you have ever seen in your life. Yes, you have made me want to make paella too now!!

    Can't wait to see pictures of the dress, I am sure your friend looked fabulous.

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  10. How totally thoughtful and considerate of you to make this very practical and useful gift. That paella is making my mouth water just looking at it - yum!

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  11. I love that carseat cover. You could still use the denim and topstitch it in pink for a girl. My daughter's car can be so gross, and she is expecting again!

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    1. The pink topstitching is a great idea. Thanks for that, Cynthia.

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  12. I love to make paella too, especially since my husband bought a fabulous pan at a yard sale. Cheap. He really does come up with some good bargains occasionally. I don't know about the spoon though. Can you describe it?

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    1. Nancy, if you look in the picture you will see what looks like a metal saucer to the left of my sprinkling hand. That is the bowl of the spoon. The long handle is behind my arm. In one of the videos hubby and I watched a restaurant owner in Malaga, Spain making the paella and he explained that the big flat spoon was needed to keep the meat/seafoods submerged as the rice cooks. He kept patting down any rising seafood/chicken back into the broth. It is also good for scraping the pan as these pans can get hotspots to watch. It may just be part of the ambience too, but it did work well.

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  13. Couture car seat cover...OMG...what a practical and perfect gift!!!! Beautiful topstitching! What a brave girl cooking paella for a crowd! Looking forward to the dress photos for sure!!!!

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