Sunday, February 21, 2016

Selfish Sewing Week #3

Is it really true that we've already completed 3 weeks of the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns?  Where is this most dismal month going??

I am not a fan of February with its cold days that are still mostly bleak and end too early.  Doing the 4x7 challenge really gives some pep to the month for me.  And since I have school vacation in the middle of February, I get to put in a lot of sewing hours, inspired by the challenge.

This year's challenge has me focused on many of the sewing projects I've had buzzing in my head for a long time.  I'm not sure what the difference is this year, but I will say that I've finally figured out which hours get the best sunlight and therefore warmth in my sewing room this time of year, so I've been waiting to go and sew until that time. 

It's far more pleasant than trying to sew while debating whether to turn up the heat.

This week, I made another pair of Sloan Leggings by Hey June and I really like them.  I wore them for an entire day and then taught a spinning class in them, not sure if they'd actually stay in place.  Other than realizing I looked like a smurf, I was really happy with them.  They did shift a little, but they are definitely fine and I'm inspired to make more when I find the right fabric.

I'm also going to go down one more size, which should definitely keep them in place.

I poked around on instagram and saw lots of variations in length, including shorts.  Sloan Leggings and I are not ready to part ways yet!

Last week, I made the Union St. Tee, also by Hey June and I wore it one day this week, but quickly realized I was annoyed by the too short sleeves.  They seemed plenty long enough, but as I moved throughout the day, they kept creeping up past my wrist which I can't stand!   I lengthened them and then washed it and was pleased to see that there is no sign of pilling yet!

I thought I might make a short sleeve version of this top but I didn't have the fabric I thought I had, so I've put that on hold for now.  I have one knit that I got as a remnant that I thought I liked, but it's got a sueded feel on one side which kind of reminds me of the texture of microfiber and I cannot bear that texture.  My dry winter hands catch on it, so microfiber cloths are banned from my house.

I need to spend more time touching this fabric to decide what I think.

I made this red Big City quilt top over the summer, after I made this one.  I've always been obsessed with red and white quilts and I really like the Big City pattern.  Continuing my year of using my stash, I used all pieces I had for the reds in this quilt.

After I finished the top, I wasn't thrilled with it anymore.  I can't really explain why I don't like it, but I'm over it.  If I were to do it again for myself, I would only use one red fabric throughout.  I used a bunch of different reds, some with prints and some without and it's just not my thing.  It's a great pattern that goes together so easily, so it's something I will make again, but maybe not in reds.

This week, I came to terms with deciding to back it and quilt it and put it in my etsy store.  I recently sold the Queen of Hearts quilt, so I'm inspired to get this one done and see if I get the same results.

This backing fabric and I had a big disagreement this week.  I really love it, but as with many reds, it would not stop running.  I had a bright red koolaid effect after the first two soaks, so I tried soaking it in salt water, with a lot of salt.  It was better but not much.

I even put it in the wash on hot, hoping it would run itself to death and then I dried it in the drier, hoping that would set it.


My last resort, after another salt water soak was a vinegar soak and that seemed to do the trick.

Although there will be a BIG warning not to ever wash this quilt in hot water!!

This was a week of finishing things, fixing things and planning out things.  I made several trips to Joann fabrics and actually made one to a thrift store and scored a huge 2.5 yard piece of cotton that didn't smell and a bag of threads for 50 cents.  I was totally shocked to find either and to get out of there for less than $5 was really exciting.  SOme of the thread is crapola but there's some newer Dual Duty that will serve me just fine.

I've had this pair of fleece pants forever, like since Lerner was a store in our mall.  I think it's gone from everywhere but definitely from our mall.

The waist is flat, wide elastic and over time, has stretched out.  The pants are still fine, so finally this week, I decided I couldn't keep pulling them up anymore and I inserted an elastic band.  How weird is it that I found  one cut to exactly the size I wanted?  I have no idea how that happened but I think it was left over from something else I did a while back.  The channel for the elastic was already there, just never tacked down, so I zigzagged it down and put the elastic through.  I LOVE the way they fit now and there's no worry about them sliding down.

But they are fleece and it's dry here, so I'm a walking static bomb and everything sticks to it.  These pants are only for keeping warm after exercising, not for wearing to school.

I suddenly have an obsession with these two colors together and I'm possibly planning some quilt squares in my head featuring these colors.  The green is a minty/light teal color that is very specific but hard to describe.  The pieces I have here are left over from the Cars quilt I made a few years ago, and I have two fat quarters that I got on clearance ages ago and had totally forgotten about.  The pinks are still from my stash.

I don't think I have enough to make a whole quilt, so I have to think about what I want to do.  But I need to put these colors together and see what happens!  I spent a lot of time collecting all of the pinks I have and deciding which can stay and which  need to go.

I also had to take apart some left over pieces that I threw into the scrap drawer intact.  That took some time, but I really wanted some of the pinks in there, and now they are all separate.

It's been a great week for trying out some things and getting started on some projects that have been on the back burner.

Linking here:


  1. Leggings are my newest favorite thing to sew. They're pretty easy to put together and you can never have too many leggings! Lol.

  2. You were really, really busy this past week. Love your leggings and tee. That backing fabric just wasn't going to stop bleeding. I think I would have given up on it. :)

  3. You have been busy! Good luck on getting that red backing to set.

  4. nice progress this week, I love the red and white quilt, but totally understand falling out of love with a project, it has happened to me. But normally after quilting it I fall back in love with it.

  5. Looks like you've been busy! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  6. Your posts never fail to make me laugh - I hate microfiber in winter for the same reason! But I find that I'll dig through my drawers for one of the few truly long sleeve shirts I have to wear on a cold day, then just scrunch the sleeves up to my elbows all day, making me wonder why everything I own isn't 3/4 length in the first place lol. Long sleeve visually feels warm to me, even when I push the sleeves up to far to actually have them warm me : P Good luck with the red - I was going to suggest a cold vinegar soak, so I'm glad you eventually got to that. If you wash it once quilted, color catcher sheets for sure!


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