Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Blogiversary Prize

There. That only took a few months. Perhaps I should start now for Daily Decadent's second blogiversary prize in September.
Before starting, I had to clear out Fun's sewing junk...
Find real scissors...
Straight, straight pins...
White thread that wasn't mysteriously doubled back onto itself - something Fun does to create double stitching. Sewing machine. I needed one that worked since Fun thinks my Husqvarna is his YZ250. Thank you Geek Guy for coming to the rescue - again.
Serger. The serger was missing the foot control but once found, at least it worked since Fun hasn't tried serging yet. I won't let him. The serger is old and threading or fixing it is NOT FUN.
Then there was a slight problem pinning the vintage tablecloth - white fabric with trailing pinks, grays and greens. The pins wouldn't go through.
The black rick-rack. I wasn't sure just quite how to sew the black rick-rack onto the top of that unyielding material without leaving two unsightly rows of stitching inside the pocket where no one would see it anyhow. People who sew understand this - the fanaticism.
Then I kept fiddling around with the bias strip binding. That's the tiny checkered material cut in long diagonal strips, joined together end to end and then folded over to bind the apron perimeter. It's called a bound edge. Mine aren't perfect.
The corners are mitered. That seemed to go okay.
Seam ripper. The seam ripper kept disappearing. Fun really needs his own work area.
I couldn't decide which rick-rack to use where, so things kept changing throughout the whole process, right down to removing the apron from it's sealed mailing envelope to add hand stiching around the heart. It needed it.The apron pocket spanning the lower half was cut from a vintage tablecloth and was like pinning cured cement. First I blamed Fun for "dulling my pins." Then, myself for not having any decent pins on hand. Then, the rocket scientists from 1950-something for inventing some evil substance this fabric must be coated in whereby it handily resists all spills and pins. The tablecloth fabric was so nasty to pin, I went and tested my other vintage textiles to see if they were as unyielding. They all pinned butterly.
Lottery ticket. I should try one of those. While I'm out tomorrow with Buff at the Driver's Examination center, now that they're off strike and we are scheduled for a big snow storm, I'll take my mind off things and buy a lottery ticket.
Part of the time sewing was spent regretting choosing that tablecloth. First, it needed to be soaked and soaked in Lestoil to remove inevitable stains from use and age in a vintage cloth.
Every pin and ripped out seam left obvious marks. Even after a quick rub with my fingernail the marks were still visible. Maybe after a few washings they will disappear.
The rose base material and check cloth have been sitting in my stash for some time.
The rick-rack is older-than-me vintage.
The button is vintage. I have hundreds of vintage buttons. GG likes to remind me about that.
It's been a while since I've sewn this pattern, purchased back in 1970-something. Previously, I've used two small scale, positive/negative fabrics. And then added contrasting cross-stitch initials of the recipient on the left pocket corner and a heart to the bib front.
I wanted to use only materials from my stash, so mixed up fabrics with small, medium and large scale patterns.
The rick-rack, button and black hand stitching outlining the heart, (which you don't see here because somebody deleted that photo from my file), help finish it off.
When finally finished - what I thought was finished - Fun came by to inspect and all was forgiven when like a true sewer he said, "Cool! Turn it over, let me see the back, I want to see the back." He kept exclaiming how much he loved it, all the while looking at the back and inside the pocket. And because he asked, I showed him how to invisibly slip-stitch the pocket rick-rack in place using a leather needle - a mini three-edged sword meant for sewing leather - to that nasty, nasty fabric. Everyone else said, "That's nice. What's for supper?" The apron prize has arrived in Massachusetts, where it is Leila's headache now. And since Kid's Bible Group is down for January, I just might use that time to work on some more aprons using the butterly material. It will be September before we know it.


Caroline said...

Oh for the love of sewing......Looks great to me!!by the way what is for dinner??

Leila said...

Oh yes, my head is aching ;) He he...I love reading about how you struggled and makes me feel so loved.

I will wear this apron all day...on Valentine's day, I think. And otherwise it will hang on a special hook in my kitchen to be venerated.


bakingstone said...

Lucky Leila! What an inspiring reuse of lovely old tablecloths... with that promised snowstorm approaching hourly, I was thinking of pulling out some "older than me vintage" stuff out from under my copious stash and creating something beautiful. Not another apron, I have enough of them. But maybe a lovely tote or some sandwich bags...

Jan said...

Leila sent me your way and what I have read so far I love. I am adding you to my google reader.

Mental P Mama said...

WOW!! I love that Lucky Leila!

Sarah said...

I saw your apron prize on Leila's blog, and I just had to stop by and say it really, really is adorable!

Pam said...

Wonderful apron!! Just popped over from Leila's to visit. She's flaunting her apron and making us swoon!!

Many blessings...
Pam in Tennessee

Caution Flag said...

I need to go meet Leila and maybe "borrow" her apron. Golly, it's darling!

Glory von Hathor said...


Decadent Housewife said...

Thank you everyone and to Pam, Sarah, Jan Bakingstone, thank you for stopping in.

I love working with vintage textiles - so much variety and nostalgia.

Sandwich bags - did you see those in this last issue of Victoria? What a clever idea.

Jeanne said...

Fabulous sewing projects.
Love and hugs to you
Love Jeanne

bakingstone said...

No! What is Victoria? I've been making mine with fabric remnants and lined with the nylon from those complimentary backpacks that kids seem to get whenever they participate in a sporting activity. I find the nylon is slippery enough to make washing them really easy - as simple as a quick handrinse under the tap and leave them to dry overnight. It's basically just a simple envelope about the size of a sandwich, fastened with a strip of velcro. I couldn't find any examples on the internet that are exactly like mine, but this one is close:

Decadent Housewife said...

The current issue of Victoria magazine highlights several women entrepreneurs. One of the women is producing reusable linen sandwich bags and other fabric food containers using vintage textiles.

I was in a hurry at the grocery checkout and just scanned over the article. I don't recall her name.

Sue said...

That is so lovely, and worth the headache, I'd say. Yay for Leila!

Oh, how I wish that I could pop over there once a week for a sewing lesson. My husband and I have been looking for a sewing machine that would be good for my daughter to learn on. I have never touched one in my life, but I know that she would be really good at it, so I may take the plunge and learn with her.

Decadent Housewife said...

Well, Sue, it just may happen.

I'm putting together a curriculum of sewing basics for Fun to sew his way through.

Just may put that up here.