Monday, May 7, 2012

Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles!

This is a project I worked on in February and March, but I couldn’t blog about it until now.  A friend of mine is getting married, and her bridal shower theme was 50s housewife.  When her sister, who was planning the shower, told me the theme, I immediately thought: aprons!  And I immediately thought of this Amy Butler fabric line called “Love” (how appropriate, no?), because it had a lot of rose prints (she loves roses).

We picked out a couple of fabrics, and I got to sewing!  I ironed hems while watching my TV shows and sewed while listening to my podcasts and audiobooks.
As a slight aside, I used to poo-poo audiobooks.  As a literature major, I still want the book that I can touch, with pages I can turn and dogear.  There was something sacrilegious to me about listening to a book.  But, hey, my kids love it when I read to them.  I decided I'd give it a try, because it would allow me to multi-task.  Another first for me: I’ve never read any Stephen King, but I recently heard about his new book 11/22/63.  Time travel stories always intrigue me.  (In my next life when I’m a college English professor, I plan to give a course on time travel stories, but that’s an aside to the aside.)  So, I got 11/22/63 on audiobook and listened to it while working on these aprons.  I enjoyed it so much, every night when the kids got into bed, I would quickly pull out the sewing stuff so I could get back to the story and find out what happened next.

So, these aprons got finished thanks to Stephen King!  Or maybe it’s the guy who was narrating the audiobook.

Back to the aprons.  I used this pattern from Sew Sweet Patterns, but changed it a little.  I made ties for the neck strap instead of the strap and button, and I created a border for the bib.  I made the full apron for the bride-to-be.

Everyone else got half aprons.  Here we are giving our 50s housewife attitude.
To complete the kitchen set, I also made matching potholders.

I read a few different tutorials for making potholders and kind of used some elements of each.  This project actually allowed me to test out my walking foot.

I’d gotten this foot with the intention of making a quilt someday soon.  When it arrived and I tried it out, I saw that the way the foot was positioned, the needle would hit the metal of the foot.  I assumed it wasn’t going to work on my machine.  It was so cheap, I didn’t bother to return it, so it was just lying around in my drawer--until one day, I realized that the needle position on the machine can be changed.  DUH.  I put the foot back on, and once you change the needle position (to position 1), it works fine!!
And since the potholders are mini-quilts, the walking foot came in so handy.  You’re supposed to use the walking foot when you’re sewing a quilt, because it helps all the layers to move together.  If you sew, you’ll know this is one of the big problems of sewing, when your layers of fabric slip, don’t move the way you want, or bunch up.  The walking foot worked beautifully, because I quilted diagonal lines across the potholders, and they turned out so nicely.  I really like the way they look.
Except.  Except for when it came to attaching the loop to the potholder.  I studied a few different potholders and decided I’d try to do a zigzag stitch.  Not sure if you can see it in this picture.  It looks ok, but not great.
  I’ll have to figure out something different for next time.

The shower was lots of fun.  I liked the 50s housewife theme.  Lots of potential for fun games and decorations!


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