Mango and papaya

No, it’s not a gardening post.

The title refers to the colours in the lightweight linen fabric I recently bought, greatly reduced, from Spotlight. It was two separate pieces, each just a hair over a metre long. I just love the design, splashy and really bright in gorgeous acid fruity colours.

The Husband has missed out on a career as a fashion photographer… Not my best photo, but you get the idea.

I had a pattern I was wanting to try, Butterick B6024. I’d originally bought it for View B, with three-quarter length sleeves. I had some pretty blue and white lawn to make it in. I still plan to do that, but the pattern really demanded a short sleeved version for sunny days.  In theory, I shouldn’t have been able to squeeze this top out of the fabric I had, but I had a cunning plan. The design called for a neck binding cut on the bias, which really gobbles up fabric. I decided I could do without that, and made the neck binding from a blending acid green fat quarter, using this method. Not only did I get the rest of the top out of the fabric I had quite easily, I also have some scraps left over, the largest of which is 12×24 inches, as well as some bias strip. I’m wondering what I can make of them. Something to co-ordinate with the top maybe? Any suggestions?

I’m now thinking that this top is so comfortable, it would make a nice summer dress if I extended the length by 18in/46cm. That blue and white lawn is about 4 metres long, it’d do the job perfectly and leave me some quite large scraps for something else. I also have a large scale emerald green and white gingham which would work too, so long as I’m not too fussy about matching stuff up.

And finally, that orchid I mentioned the other day?  I’ve brought it out of the orchid house, and it’s now hanging outside the living room window, where I can enjoy it and keep an eye on it.

Tomorrow’s ScrapHappy Day, but after that, I’ll be getting back to the Hatbox Quilt.

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Mousewear

It’s almost finished.

This is cosy. Can we go out again?

Close enough for him to model for you, but I still need to work some sort of buttonhole between his shoulder blades for where the loop on his harness sits. It’s where the lead is clipped on, so I need access to that. Although he wears a martingale collar, I prefer not to clip his lead to that; greyhound necks are delicate and I don’t want to hurt him or cause damage if he pulls hard for some reason.

How do I look?

It’s a simple enough design, and I didn’t have to do a lot of tweaking to the pattern once I had it cut out. I sandwiched the three layers together and quilted it in a diamond pattern – easy enough, given that I could just follow the spot pattern. Once that was done, I overlocked/ serged the darts over his tail to make it fit the slope of his back and keep the draughts out.

Then I had to bind it. I didn’t have much of the red fabric with white snowflakes I wanted to use for the binding, so I used this calculator to work out whether I had enough. Isn’t it a brilliant tool? I knew it would have to be a bias strip because of all the curves, and I ended up using this method to make it. There are a couple of spots where you get two seams in close proximity, which is the only downside of this process, but they don’t make much difference to the ease of attaching and stitching it down.

I debated Velcro® versus snaps for closing the coat and belly band, but in the end I went with snaps. He stands still well to be dressed and harnessed, and snaps don’t catch on things or get full of fluff, dust and dog hair. I was worried about getting them through all those layers of fabric, particularly on the belly band, but I needn’t have worried.

It’s a good thing we’re having cool nights and mornings just now, or he wouldn’t get any use out of this till next winter. I’d better crack on with that buttonhole.

After all, a fashionable Mouse must have a decent wardrobe…

UPDATE

I discovered my buttonhole foot couldn’t cope with the size I needed, so I’ve had to improvise – and it’s done. The harness goes on first, then the coat. I flip the ring through the buttonhole, do up the coat, clip on the lead, and away we go. The Mouse and I have done a test run, and he seems pretty content. I’m fairly sure he’ll be rather more enthusiastic tomorrow morning when it’s cool!

What the well-dressed Mouse is wearing…

… on those cooler days

Poor lad, he’s very slender, ripped in fact, and not an ounce of body fat or thick fur to keep him warm. I had a struggle to find suitable polar fleece for the lining; we’re coming to the end of winter, and in any case, most of them are printed with either Frozen or My Little Pony motifs, or soccer balls or camouflage. Plain red took some work. I already had in my stash this lovely canvas spot fabric, intended for either a bag or an apron for myself, but I’m very happy to turn it over to Mouse’s wardrobe. The canvas is actually dark blue rather than black, as it appears in the photo, but that’s OK – I like dark blue!

And that left the batting. I’ll spare you the antics of getting a piece large enough assembled and taped together from my scrap batting stash, or the interesting hoops we had to jump through to get him to a) stand UP and b) stand STILL long enough for me to drape, cut and pin it to size and shape. Suffice it to say that there was extensive praising and rewarding.

So, the batting is effectively the pattern for this greyhound coat. You’ll see that the ‘arms’ at the front are uneven lengths. This is to allow them to wrap round under his neck and overlap on his chest, closing with snap fasteners. There are darts at the back, over the tail, to shape it so it curves down over his bottom instead of gaping. He’ll have a belly strap to hold it on, and I’ll have to work a sort of buttonhole on his back to allow us to clip the lead onto his harness underneath. I need to create a paper pattern from the batting to allow me to make another and adapt the pattern as required once usage has shown us any issues.

It’ll be sandwiched, quilted, bound and ‘snapped’, the belly strap stitched on and the buttonhole/slit worked. And then, it’ll be time to make a matching belt bag for treats, poo bags, garage door zapper and my phone. I’ll be basing it on Jill’s lovely belt bag, as shown in her ScrapHappy post the other day. I need more pockets than hers, but she’s kindly sent me the pattern and assembly instructions.

A stylish outfit, wouldn’t you say?

More squishies in the mailbox!

While I was away, the postman brought me all kinds of lovelies.

First and best was a squishy envelope from Robyn, with three blocks for F²F (Footsquare Freestyle), as it’s my turn this month. Aren’t they fabulous? She’s used beautiful soft colours, just as I asked, and I can tell already that this quilt is going to be A-mazing.

 

 

 

 

 

Then there was my birthday present from the Husband. I’d been given the OK to order myself some fabrics from the wonderful Fifi’s Fabricology. It’s not cheap, but they have fabrics and designers I haven’t found anywhere else. Luckily, there was a sale on and two fabrics I’ve been pining for were in it, so I didn’t hesitate.

You won’t see these fabrics in a quilt except maybe as scraps. They’re going to become wearables, whether garments, scarves or whatever. When they’re worn out, then I’ll turn them into bits of quilt! From left to right, they’re Kaffe Fasset Orange flower border, Kaffe Fasset Blue Flower border, both from the Artisan range, and Holly Holderman from the Pam Kitty Picnic range in Periwinkle.

It’s taking me a while to catch up on things now I’m back from our trip. I’ve had piles of legal stuff to do in the run up to the settlement on our new house, and every time I think I’ve got a spare half hour the phone goes or the email pings. Never mind, only a few more days to go.

First things first, though. I’ve got a pair of wings to attend to!

SAL#75

Not quite so impressive this time, but still respectable…

Here’s how it looked last time:

And here’s now:

Hmmm… really not that much done. But it’s a shocking month for deadlines, so I’m not being too hard on myself!

I’m one of the first to post my progress, usually, so why don’t you give it a couple of hours and then head over to see what lovely stuff everyone else is working on. This month, we are joined by two new members – welcome to the group, Carmela and Jocelyn 🙂

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Jess, Sue, Constanze,
Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph,
Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine,
Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny,
Carmela and Jocelyn

The next SAL is due on 22nd February, but I’m not sure I’ll make it, bearing in mind we take possession of our new home three days before that. You never know, though. Watch this space!

 

SAL #74: well-watered

Perhaps all the rain we’ve been having has helped…

The flower is blooming well, I’m happy to say. There’s quite a large new area on the left hand side.

Here’s where I was before:

And now, after (different lighting, different time of day):

I’m one of the first to post my progress, usually, so why don’t you give it a couple of hours and then head over to see what lovely stuff everyone else is working on. This month, Mary Margaret has returned to the group and have two new members!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Jess, Sue, Constanze,
Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph,
Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine,
Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee and Jenny

A warm welcome back to Mary Margaret, and welcome in, Renee and Jenny 🙂

SAL #73: back on board again

I’ve managed to find some embroidery time 🙂

Here’s where I was the last time I had progress to show:

And here’s where I am now:


Another petal completed and another begun (the green bit) on the left. And a little bit more grey background filled in.

Do click on the links below and go and look at what everyone else is working on. If there’s no post up yet, try again later, as we’re a scattered bunch, all in different time zones.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaHeidiJackie, Sunny,
HayleyMeganCatherine, DeborahConnie
and Clare

The next SAL will be on 13th January next year. See you then, and have a great Christmas.