Since my last post (before Christmas), my sewing room has gone from being Santa’s Workshop, wrapping station extraordinaire, and gift hiding space … back to SEWING ROOM (the seriousness of the subject demands the capital letters!). All those satiny ribbons, and empty boxes (where can be found the occasional prickly tree needle or left over tissue paper), and straggly ends of wrapping paper rolls are all properly stored away for Christmas 2012, and all my sewing projects just marched out from the closets, jumped up on my work tables and are demanding attention – which I am only so happy to give!
So – here’s what’s happening:
In a switch from dressmaking, I am in the middle of making bed hangings to go on a “flying tester” (what is this??? you may ask), which will go in the master bedroom. It’s a complicated project, which I’ve been working on for a while, and which will take a good bit longer to complete. Once it’s done (and hanging), I’ll do a complete post on it, but here is a teaser for right now:
I have all the fabric panels and valances cut and ready to sew. To make the pattern for the valances (these hangings will be structured ones rather than the more informal ones with gathered valances), I traced the scalloped headboard of our bed. I copied the design exactly for the valance for the foot of the bed and added two more “scallops” to make the side valances fit the longer length properly.
Each valance will be three layers thick – the decorative fabric (Brunschwig and Fils Bird and Thistle pattern), an interlining of drapery flannel, and the lining, which is a linen/cotton blend. This should give them the correct “heft.”
I have cut out yards and yards of bias tape in a lovely red linen blend and will be hand-applying this tape to the three finished sides of each valance. I know it has to be hand-sewn to look right, so beware – I may be blogging from the funny farm before I get all this done.
Because I don’t enjoy making curtains, bed hangings, pillows and such, as much as I enjoy dressmaking and personal sewing, I fit these projects in, in smaller segments of time. My most successful trick is setting my “chicken” timer (thank you, Barby R. for giving it to me!) for 45-60 minutes once every day or two and devoting that time to these projects. It’s amazing how much I can get done this way and it’s never overwhelming or too boring.
Now – on to other things. My first personal project for January is to make a long-sleeved blouse out of that yellow and black polka dotted silk I showed you back in November. I found this pattern, which I bought with that fabric in mind:
Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case with buying vintage patterns, I had to buy it in a size larger than I wear, and I was also a little concerned about the kimono – or dolman – sleeves, so I made it up in muslin first. This was a good move, as I decided I wasn’t quite ready to make up such an expensive fabric in a pattern without as much “shape” to the body of the blouse as I had envisioned. However, I love the shape of the convertible collar. In the meantime, I came across this pattern on Etsy:
It has set-in sleeves, which I like; very petite French cuffs, which I love; a few darts to make the fit a little tidier; and it was available in my size, which takes some of the guess-work out of it. The only thing I don’t like as much is the collar, which has a longer point than I want. To fix that, I overlaid the one collar pattern on the other one and drew a new collar. Voila! I am ready to cut it out.
And – Yes, I actually do have some Resolutions for 2012 (besides all the normal ones). For one, I’m going to use my chicken timer to help me get my kitchen cupboards and pantry shelves all cleaned and reorganized. Cluck, Cluck!