January 17, 2009


I have added a section for various sewing links I frequent. Lavolta Press has some great costume pattern books! I would love to add any of those to my collection, eventually :) Sewing Mamas has free simple easy sewing patterns. Harper's House has many many lists of many historical costuming patterns. Sew Much More Info has a good "Sewopaedia" dictionary for any sewing terms. There are several other great sewing websites out there on the internet, and so I will be most likely updating my list. If any of my readers know of any really good sewing websites, please let me know!

January 13, 2009

The Would-Be Christmas Dress

Today Miss Heide came over and we finished up some past sewing projects. I worked on my would-be Christmas dress. This was a project I had begun before Christmas with the thought that if I got it finished before Anna’s purple dress, it might be nice to have a new dress for Christmas. But since she was priority, and since I had to have a matching outfit for our Christmas program, that went on standby. This dress is a medium burgundy with a tight pattern of the light burgundy vines and leaves. I’m using an Advance Pattern 8007, size 16. I’m pretty sure this pattern is from the 1940s. (Size 16 had a 27 inch waist.) The lining is a light peach, very thin, and easy to tear when I’m ripping out my stitches! There are seven gores, with a angled fitted waistline and a small walking split in the back. The neck is a wide boat neck with a little V-dip. I raised the neckline on the pattern by 1 ½ inches, since I don’t like to wear extremely low necked garments. The dress is slightly longer than knee length on me, and only because the amount of fabric I had wouldn’t allow for any more length. I am taking the minimum hem allowance to conserve fabric, and facing it out with bias tape. The sleeves are small cap sleeves. I still have to put in the zipper, hem with the bias tape, overcast the seams, secure the lining, and then this dress will be finished. (And the family camera is now charged, and so I am in the process of photo shooting my projects.)

January 10, 2009

Recovering Chairs

The word “recovering” is defined in this post as “to restore or repair the upholstery or padding on a piece of furniture”. I am recovering the two seats in my room, a rectangular sewing bench, and my desk chair. For the last several years, a muted red, white, and blue striped fabric with thin green and yellow stripes running throughout has adorned my bedroom seats. I recently decided to recover them for two reasons; one, because it struck me that the fabric was not at all pretty; and two, because the covers were worn and the straps were torn. I use straps to tie my upholstery projects onto the furniture, since I don’t have any upholstery tools. . .yet. I found some really pretty fabric at Wal-Mart’s sewing-department-going-out-of-business-sale. It is slightly lighter than a royal blue, with embellished interwoven flowers of the same color. I set to work during the last part of Christmas break, and I am finishing up the project this week. To make these covers, I used the old seat padding as a pattern. I cut the seat covers out leaving the standard 5/8 inch seam allowance. My sewing bench was easy to cut, since it’s a rectangle. My desk chair, however, was a little more difficult, being a warped trapezoid shape. I also cut 16 straps, 8 for each chair. I then went to sew the 8 separate thin straps for my sewing bench seat cover. (For some reason, I sit more often at my sewing bench, and therefore that was of more importance than the desk chair cover.) Once I sewed these straps, I had to turn them. Since the straps are more like cords, I tried to use my turner tool. It kept poking through my stitching since it was very thin. I then opened my sewing bin and selected my first turning tool, a slightly thicker stick of metal. I acquired this when one day I noticed the boys playing with an interesting piece of metal. I do not know where it came from or what it used to be a piece of, but it is about 1/8 of an inch wide, 10 inches long, rather flat, and rounded at one end. I spied that metal and thought, “Hm, that would be a perfect tool for turning small sewing projects”. After they were done playing with it, I obtained it and stashed it in my sewing bin for future use. I have had this stick of metal for over 3 years now and it has worked well on many occasions! Using this tool, it was much easier to turn the straps. I attached two of these straps to each corner of the seat cover. I decided to save the old covers as extra padding so once I had the straps sewn to each corner, I then sewed the outer layer on, creating a big pocket, and inserted my old seat cover into it. I then ran a close topstitch around the whole cover, and tied it on to my sewing bench. My sewing bench chair does not have many places to tie things to, so I take a few thumbtacks, and mash them through the straps into the wooden bench from underneath, where it doesn’t show, and that holds it on the chair better. Now I am off to finish sewing my desk chair cover.