Thursday, December 29, 2011

Curved Nine Patch Table Runner

Fabric: 100% cottons. YAY for using up some of the stash!

Pattern: Curved Nine Patch Free Table Runner pattern

Modifications: I followed the pattern exactly but I did find that I used significantly less fabric than the pattern called for. I was concerned when I was picking out my fabrics because I was using what I had on hand and it seemed like it would not be enough. Cutting out the templates and laying it out worked well for me. If I had gone by the recommended yardage, I would have ended up buying more and having left over scraps. I love scraps but I was trying to use some up, not make MORE! This was my first time to do curved piecing in a quilted project so it isn't perfect. It also took quite a bit of time! I really like the affect it makes though.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

“The light of the Christmas star to you, The warmth of home and hearth to you, The cheer and good will of friends to you, The hope of a childlike heart to you, The joy of a thousand angels to you, The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.”- Irish Blessing

Love and Blessings this Season,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Men's Outdoor Coat

Fabric: Polyester polar fleece and acetate lining.

My Grandpa requested this coat by handing me the polar fleece fabric and an old, very worn jacket. I cut up the old jacket, added seam allowances and got the pattern. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I almost felt bad cutting the poor thing up but it had a nice life and I'm sure I'll make some more jackets from this same pattern now that I have it.

Modifications: The old jacket was made out of flannel and had a quilted lining. The polar fleece was much thicker than the old flannel jacket so I had to leave the flaps off the front pockets. That's the only thing I changed! I even used the buttons from the old jacket. The whole project turned out to be much simpler than I thought and very fun!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Blue Toile dress

Fabric: 100% cotton "quilters" cotton fabric.

Pattern: There is an explanation on the pattern used over here. If you are not up for changing a pattern so heavily, Baker Lane's Changing Seasons pattern can be used to get this look.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Planning your Christmas Sewing

Stage 1: PLAN! If you don't plan you won't know your goals or your deadlines. That will lead to stress and Christmas presents that are not finished. That is no fun! Trust me, I know it is no fun! Make sure you plan ahead of time!

Step 1: First, Make a list of all the projects you would like to complete. This is mine:

Sage/Navy Table Runner (already finished)
Amish Colors Table Runner
2 sage/burgundy Christmas Wall Hangings
Red/Green traditional Christmas Wall hanging (already finished)
knitted hat
blue/red/gold Wall Hanging
Hunting Shirt
Present for my Sister ;)

Step 2: Then put the deadline date by each. Make sure you take into account shipping time to ensure they will arrive by Christmas and all that. This is my list with dates added:

Dec. 7th Sage/Navy Table Runner (already finished)
Dec. 18th Amish Colors Table Runner
Dec. 24th and Dec. 18th 2 sage/burgundy Christmas Wall Hangings
Dec. 14th Red/Green traditional Christmas Wall hanging (already finished)
Dec. 24th knitted hat
Dec. 18th blue/red/gold Wall Hanging
Dec. 14th Hunting Shirt
Dec. 24th Present for my Sister ;)

Step 3:Then, prioritize your list by what needs to be completed first. Mine now looks likes this:

Dec. 7th Sage/Navy Table Runner (already finished)
Dec. 14th Red/Green traditional Christmas Wall hanging (already finished)
Dec. 14th Hunting Shirt
Dec. 18th Amish Colors Table Runner
Dec. 18th blue/red/gold Wall Hanging
Dec. 18th and Dec. 24th 2 sage/burgundy Christmas Wall Hangings
Dec. 24th knitted hat
Dec. 24th Present for my Sister who reads this blog ;)

As of December 2nd, I have 22 days to complete my projects by Christmas Eve. If I divide my number of projects (7) by number of days I get an average of 3. This means that I should complete 1 project every 3 days and I will probably get them all done. You can take off Sundays by just minus-ing those days in your total number of days.

This also works for me because I can leave my family's projects till the very end. On this schedule I will have 9 days at the very end to do those 3 projects. It will also mean all the other projects will be finished 9 days before Christmas which is the perfect amount of time to ship them and have them arrive on time.

Stage 2: SEW! I guess that is the obvious stage :D. From now on, I will be taking a break from blogging until the New Year. When I get back, I can share all my finished projects! Certain people read my blog and I wouldn't want them to see their presents ahead of time!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

P.S.: While you are doing all of that sewing, why don't you give yourself a Christmas gift and work on your biomechanics too? The more you stand, the better your health is! (CLICK that link and READ it. No, I am not yelling at you.) You can change your sitting sewing station to a standing sewing station really easily. Stacking things to raise your machine might not be pretty but your body will be thankful!

(yes, it is always that messy in there.)

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Men's Collar"

Yarn: 1 ball of Palette Yarn in "Ash"

Pattern: Men's Collar in Knit and Crochet from Knitting Two a La Mode

Story: I made this for my dad's birthday because we have an event coming up in West Virginia that is quite cold. Knitting Two a La Mode is a collection of knitting patterns (with some crochet trim) that is suitable for 1860's living history as the patterns are from ladies magazines from that period. When I gave it to him, my dad reminded me that it would be great for riding his bike in the winter too! It gets cold with all that wind in your face and you can pull it up over you mouth and nose for extra warmth. I was glad to know it was quite versatile. ;)

Modifications: Ok, I didn't really follow the pattern even when I started because I didn't knit it in the round. At the end, I just sewed up the sides to form a tube. It was easier for me that way because I didn't have the right needles to knit it in the round. I only had two that were size 3. I did not have 5 double pointed or 1 set of circular. With that said, I followed the pattern besides knitting in the round until it came to "cast off 40". I didn't do that but just knit ALL (for me 120) the stitches instead of "knit the plastron on the rest of the stitches" (which would have been 80) until it was 7"-8" long. Since it needs to go on over the head, you have to cast off with a stretchy stitch. I made the mistake of casting off with my usual cast off and I couldn't get it on over my head! I ripped it out and used this stitch. It worked great!

I am rather new to following knitting patterns and it could be they wanted me to cast off and then knit the 7"-8" not in the round. If you use the pattern, I would recommend following the pattern first and then figuring out if you want to modify it. For all I know, their way is better! I might not have understood what they were saying but casting off so there is only 80 stitches and still knitting in the round would make this thing unable to get over any head! Just use your best judgement. With really small yarn, it does take some time to work up but I think it is a worthwhile project.

Happy Knitting!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Star Wall Hanging

(hanging sleeve and care label)

Fabric: 100% cotton "quilter's cotton" and polyester low loft batting.

Pattern: I cheated! I don't remember how I got it but the pattern and all the fabric was picked out for me in a kit. Normally, I like to pick everything out myself but I thought I should use the kit since I had it. Plus, this is the first of many Christmas presents and these fabrics definitely looked like what the recipient would like.

Modifications: I added the hanging sleeve on the back for a dowel road to go through. I also cut binding on grain (since the edges of the quilt are straight and not curved) and sewed it right sides together to the BACK. This way when I fold it over to bind the edge, I can sew it on the machine and have it look good on the front. Most people sew the binding right sides to the FRONT and then fold it around to bind the edge and whip stitch it to the back. That takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I have a couple more wall hangings to do and I needed this to be done quick! That's my tip for quick quilts. :) I also machine stitched in the ditch instead of hand quilting.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Red Toile Dress

Fabric: 100% cotton "quilters" cotton fabric with 100% cotton chambray fabric for the trim from this dress.

Pattern: There is an explanation on the pattern used over here. If you are not up for changing a pattern so heavily, Baker Lane's Changing Seasons and Catherine's Choice patterns can be used to get this look. Changing seasons has a darted bodice and if you add them to the Catherine's Choice bodice, you have this look.

Modifications: For this customer I needed to make the shoulders wider and lengthen the sleeves to 3/4 length. Both were so simple that I suppose they barely fit into the modifications category. They were just fitting changes and otherwise, I followed the pattern, which is just in my head, to a T.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Civilian Sack Coat

Fabric: 100% wool. October/November has to be the worst time to look for coat weight wool because everyone else is! So many places online were sold out of basic colors like gray and navy so I ended up buying this fabric from a sutler at an event. Note to self: Don't wait till the last minute to find fabric.

Pattern: Period Impressions Union Sack Coat pattern (just google it to find an online store that sells it. PI does not have an online store that I know of.)

Modifications: All I did was add a quilted lining. This pattern does not even tell you to put one in, which I find to not be a good advice! Without a lining, it really will not hold up well or be warm. My other modifications were just to make it look like more of a civilian coat than a uniform. I added more covered buttons and put the top button a little lower so I could roll the collar out to have a lapel. It really was not a very exciting project but there is quite a bit of mundane and practical in between sewing all the ruffles. :) That's just life.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Peacock Feather Bonnet

Fabric: 100% polyester mystery fabric from the Red Tag section of Joann's. All of the ribbons and feathers are from Joann's and are polyester too. It was my first bonnet so eventually I will make a silk one. :) Although, I do have to say that one stop shopping is *really* nice especially when you have friends to tell you what color looks best and that feathers do indeed look good on you.

Pattern: The Julia Bonnet pattern (1800-1809) from Timely Tresses

Modifications: The pattern was great and I followed it almost exactly except I didn't line it with a different fabric. I just used the fashion fabric because I had so much and it was cheap. I also didn't use buckram but again, that plastic cross stitch stuff. More info on that here. The tucks took forever but I think they were worth it.

Bethany Lynn

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another basic

Fabric: Gray mole skin from Joann's with acetate lining.

Pattern: Simple Summer Skirt pattern from Fashionably Modest Patterns (update: I am not sure what is going on with their website. You can try googling the company and looking for this pattern else where or contacting them through their blog if you are looking for this pattern.)

Modifications: Same as this jean skirt. Honestly though, I do have to say that moleskin is hard to work with. Maybe it was just this one, but it had absolutely no stretch. Think about doing rolled hems with no stretch >.< Next time I will look for a moleskin with some lycra or other fiber in it.

Bethany Lynn

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Soft and warm....

Fabric: 100% Wool something from Ebay. I do suspect it has some synthetic in it just because of the feel but it was the cheapest price for the amount. Plus, I was in a pinch. The black is 100% wool too. Lining is silk taffeta and the batting is wool. Frog closures are synthetic. That would be why they are shiny ;)

Pattern: Kay Fig's Lady's paletote pattern
Modifications: Well, I haven't looked at the directions in ages so I am not sure how much I followed them or modified. The first time I used this pattern, I was new at sewing and fitting and the booklet was a God send. It had all sorts of instructions and helpful things in addition to how to put the actual coat together. I highly recommend it :).

Anyways, obvious modifications would be that I made the collar more pointed instead of a peter pan collar. The pattern has several options but I modified the peter pan collar piece in particular.

The sleeve was also supposed to be two pieces. I wondered why I had to ease it so much to get it to go together! I put the sleeve in and lined it before I realized so I just decided to leave it. If you follow the pattern, the sleeve would have more room but the slimmer sleeve worked ok for this client.

I can't remember but I think the pattern mentions quilting the lining as an option. I just cut the lining about a size larger because when it is quilted, it shrinks up a bit. You can have fun with the stitching pattern too. I did diagonal lines and a chevron in the back of this one.

Quilted lining on the inside. YES, it took time and YES it is so worth it and warm. Its amazing what natural fibers can do.

Bethany Lynn

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pink and black with dots all over.....

Fabric: 100% cotton from the "quilters" section of Joann's, acetate lining

Pattern: Simplicity

Modifications: Ok, so I went to Joann's and picked out the fabrics based on how many tiers I wanted. I bought 1/2 a yard of the top black/magenta floral and 1/4 yard of all the rest. That is all I had and if I went by the pattern, I would not have had enough. To compensate I shortened the length of each tier (not width) and for the recipient, it ended up being the perfect length. If your not 5 feet tall, you will need more fabric ;) It was hard to tell how it would look exactly, but it sure is fun! I also added the acetate lining (shown in second picture) which was not part of the pattern.

Bethany Lynn

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ruffles and Stripes

Fabric: 100% cotton lawn (or was it voile?) from Fashion Fabrics Club.

Pattern: I used my own pattern that was drafted from The Dressmaker's Guide instructions. If you wanted to make a similar dress, Past Patterns Fan Front bodice pattern would work. You would just need to use a different sleeve pattern.

Inspiration: Go look at Atlanta's gown! She has a lovely drawing and historical inspiration that this client loved. I was happy to oblige. When else would I get to do 21 yards of ruffles?! And get paid to do it.......

Those two ruffles added a good 4 hours to the construction of the dress. I was surprised at how long they took but they definitely "made" the dress. It would not be the same without them, especially since they are on the bias.

The kick plate is white so that when the dress is worn with white petticoats, the sheer fabric will look the same along the entire skirt. You don't have to do a kick plate with a sheer but I find that sheer fabrics are so light weight that a kick plate helps the skirt drape better. Without it, it seems to stick to the petticoats and ride up. With the kick plate, it is independent from the petticoats and makes a much better silhouette.

Gauging. It's bitter-sweet. It takes so much time and is so fiddly but dresses would not look the same without it.

The dog-leg closure with hooks and thread eyes. The eyes are in white thread so you can barely see them. Hook and eye tape secures the front.

I got to use my new Vienna Woods Historical Reproduction Tags. I am starting to think I should have ordered them in black print though..... oh well.

Bethany Lynn

Monday, October 24, 2011

Every woman needs..... a jean skirt

Fabric: I think it was a cotton/lycra blend..... Its just the darkest denim I could find from Joann's that could be machine washed and dried. The lining is acetate. Just make sure when you line something that it can be treated the same as the fashion fabric in the wash. ;)

Pattern: Simple Summer Skirt pattern from Fashionably Modest Patterns

Modifications: The length had to be shortened significantly for the recipient and I also did a double ruffle instead of a single ruffle. All I did was shorten and lengthen the ruffle piece accordingly. I also added a lining for warmth and as a sort of slip. I just used the skirt piece without the ruffle. So easy! Now I need one for myself.....and two other people I know rather well decided they would like one for Christmas too.

Yay! for new care tags! I was able to get them from Hobby Time on Etsy and am pleased as punch. They weren't very expensive and she has tons of choices available.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Girlhood Home Companion Magazine Giveaway!

In case you haven't heard about the Girlhood Home Companion magazine, here is a brief synopsis from their website:

"The Girlhood Home Companion is a beautiful full color companion guide, magazine, and character study all rolled into one publication. The Girlhood encourages young ladies (ages 10-18) to enjoy their precious girlhood years while walking closely with the Lord and developing a deeper relationship with Him. Filled with the wisdom of writers from the past and present, each edition features encouraging articles and stories that center on one character quality per issue. Each theme is explored in-depth through editorials, articles, and stories that will minister to the heart of your daughter, while teaching her the practical skills of homemaking, cooking, crafts, sewing and other girlhood pastimes."

I was very privileged to be a part of their latest issue and I know you all will enjoy it. Jill and her family are precious and they pour so much into their work. They are having a giveaway for their latest publication so make sure you enter right over here!


Cotton Circle Skirt

Fabric: 100% cotton, quilters weight. Love this stuff. There are tons of choices and it drapes well for this sort of project.

Pattern: I purchased a vintage circle skirt pattern from Lanetzliving but that was a bit ago. If I was to do it again, I would just follow Casey's instructions! She did a circle skirt sew along and there are plenty of resources and explanations for anyone to sew one without a pattern. From drafting, to cutting, to sewing, its all there.

Modifications: If I were to do it again, I would have put some sort of stabilizer or interfacing in the waistband. I didn't know to do that at the time but it adds to the finished look and is very simple. It's in Casey's instructions so you can do it too, if you like!

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cordelia Silk Bonnet

Fabric: 100% silk taffeta from a sale

Pattern: Timely Tresses "Cordelia" bonnet pattern. I used Brim 2 without the bavolet. Highly recommend these patterns! I've used several and loved all of them.

Modifications: Instead of using buckram for the brims, I used that plastic cross stitch/mesh stuff. I'm sure it has a name but I can't remember what it is called! Joann's carried it and I did not want to have to order buckram online. It was cheap and I don't have to worry about the bonnet wilting if it were to rain. It was easy to sew, does not get "mushed" or crumpled if someone sits on it and it certainly was less time intensive to use since I didn't have to make a bonnet "form" with wiring and all.

Other than that, I followed the directions as is but did not put in a lining. I wanted it to be a light weight bonnet and since the taffeta is slippery on both sides, I did not need to worry about the fabric messing up the wearer's hair.

I made ribbon ties just by cutting the fashion fabric on the bias. Nice fabric doesn't fray!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Federal Era Print gown

Fabric: cotton reproduction print from sale

Pattern: Sense and Sensibility original dress pattern for skirt and front bodice
Sense and Sensibility ELC pattern for back bodice
La Mode Bagatelle pattern (OOP) for sleeve

Sleeve cuff detail from garments on page 79, 102 and 109 of Costume in Detail by Bradfield

Modifications: I moved the front bodice away from the fold a couple inches to get the fan front look. Without the back opening from the original dress pattern and the drawstring opening from the ELC pattern, I needed another way for my mom to get this dress on and off! Enter button side closure. I also shortened the bodice to add the waistband.

I'm going to be using this format for projects from now on. I hope its helpful.