Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cover Your Fireplace! If you're so inclined...

Being as I've been deliriously sick all week, I've had a lot of time at home. Most of that time was spent sleeping, but when you wake up at 2pm on a Thursday, you are suddenly grabbed with the urge to "do something". There was no way that I was getting dressed, so I figured I would show you some pictures from my last project which might come in handy for your home, or for a friend's. As Chris pointed out, many of our friends in houses have fireplaces they cannot use for one reason or another, including our friend Bryce. She had brought up the idea of covering the plyboard that blocks her fireplace with a fabric version of a fire, but I didn't get to act on that until a couple of months later.
What helped me jump in was this awesome black paper/fabric I have that I thought would be really awesome as the background, since most other fabrics wouldn't look cold enough to be the cavernous space around a fire.
I had originally wanted to use a red paisley as the majority of the fire's area, but couldn't find one that suited my vision so I turned to my wall o' fabric and willed myself to be open minded. The "red" section of my fabric wall claims almost as much space as the "blue" section, so there was a lot of awesome stuff to choose from. I ended up using some impulse buys from shopping days gone by, fabric/old-saris-cholis-etc my friend Preet donated to my sewing cause months ago (ever handy), and some of my favorite quilting fabric that I bought for love of the designs. This is a good opportunity to use fabric pieces of any size you have lying around.
Each flame tongue was cut, then had its seams pressed under, had the seams stitched under, then was placed on the fire background to be stitched on. It was annoying, but a good exercise in patience. The seam stitching made the final stitching part a lot easier, so I'm glad I did that even if the small fabric pieces kept junking up my machine.
The logs were the final part to go on, though I suppose it would look pretty neat to have them overlap with the fire more. I took some liberties with the wood selection: it was originally supposed to be faux bois, but I was feeling punchy so I used this animal print I had on hand. Bryce thinks it looks more like stone than wood, but I'm still a fan. Oh, the fire had to be stitched to the outline in there too. That's important.
And then we put it in front of her fireplace! (disregard the off-measurements--we never established what was length and what was height.)
So, if you have a fireplace to cover, make this project your own!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bethie's dress and some sewing resolutions

Remarkably, I finished Bethie's dress in a week; specifically, the week after Christmas. Also known as the week when I was both physically sick and sick of sewing. But, I have now completed my first dress using an unprinted pattern! It is also the oldest pattern I have used to date, being from 1954.
Beth tried it on when we dropped it off, and though I would like to take it back and alter it a bit (re-do the darts to their original width instead of the less deep version seen here, shorten it another inch or two), Beth seemed unwilling to give the dress back. I guess that is a good thing?
This is the first project of the new year, and it brings me to my sewing resolutions: 
  • I vow to create one to two "big" projects per month, and 
  • I vow to create more things for myself. 
A "big" project means an article of clothing, not just a tote bag or traveling pouch. In spite of sewing for the past three years (anniversary of my first Craft Center class this month!), I still only have two dresses and two shirts I have made for myself. I never wear the shirts because of awkward fit issues and unforgiveable rookie-sewing mistakes, but I wear the grey dress bi-weekly and the green dress whenever I can rustle up an occasion. (There was also a drop-waist 60s dress fiasco in there; no pictures were taken and I donated it to good will because it made me look like frumpy maid)
So, more projects and more things I get to keep in 2011! Once I finish my to-do list for others... :)
Oh, and I'm also going to be more active or something. And leave my house more to hang out with you. Yeah!