Sunday, December 16, 2018

Crafting for Christmas

With Christmas approaching, I've been avoiding so many tasks in favor of sewing and crafting. I finally made myself decorate the tree and spend time setting out a few of the many nativity sets while I was putting away fall decorations and dusting around. Christmas cards are still waiting to be sent but I have been sewing as a way to escape tasks I should be doing. So what have I been making? First up is repairs.

A lovely ski sweater was in the by-the-pound bin at Goodwill Outlet and I just couldn't resist such a quality sweater. Although it washed up nice it was still several sizes too big with sleeves that hung down past my hands. Examination of the construction showed that I might be able to make those drop shoulders less of a drop to pull the sleeves closer to my size. The photo above shows my work on just one side but you can see there is a difference of three inches! It was more than just the shoulders but also the sides being taken in about four inches total. I thought I needed to leave the hem width intact but even the bottom edge needs to be taken in.  For this I used my Bernina 1100 serger as well as on trimming the excess from the shoulder. The actual set-in sleeve seam was sewn with a Bernina 217 and steamed with a wet pressing cloth (an old dinner napkin). I think it turned out pretty well so now will tackle the other side in hopes of wearing it in the cold weather to come. Yes, it's coming.
Left side original, right side shortened 3"
For crafts, I've been making trees and pine cones with tiny folded pieces of fabric. The trees came about when I discovered three foam cones that just begged to be covered.  Karen, from First Quilters in Cambridge, MN, showed us her idea of covering cones with folded fabric. Over Thanksgiving weekend we got to enjoy two granddaughters and I asked them if they wanted to make Christmas trees with fabric, no sewing, and they were game. It took way, way too long to get to the top of each tree but with a bit of help they finished before dinner and were happy to take them home:
Sarina and Alexandra showing off their trees
Sample tree
 I couldn't wait to try making pine cones with the same technique, using an egg shaped form and smaller squares of fabric. Although we didn't count the number of three inch squares needed for the trees, I did count how many were used on the pine cone: 65. That's a lot of cutting but rotary cutters make that part less laborious. I love the look of using all one fabric but have seen them with ribbon and folded paper. As you can imagine, I have more fabric than ribbon or paper:

Pine cone in process: folded 2" squares pinned with tiny pins
Although a bit tedious, I liked the end result:
pine cone with less fabric

Finished pine cone in a different fabric using 65 squares
I guess the granddaughters weren't the only ones who thought it was a long time to get to the end of this project.  Up next are the cobbler aprons in sizes XXL to XS. Only the buttons are left so today is the day! Oh, maybe I'll have to finish those Christmas cards first...naugh, sewing comes first!

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