68. It is done! Stained Glass Window, an Irish Dress Creation.

Finished 1st Irish dance wall quilt

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The journey to finish this wall quilt was a long one, and took me just over a year to finish. Even though this was a very busy year for my family, I am pleased with the results and I’m eager to get started on the second and now that I know all of the twist and turns of the first one I’ll be able to bypass a lot of problems I ran into.

What’s on the back of the quilt

There is an Irish blessing and prayer. I’ve sewn a small pocket for special letters from a mother to a daughter.

Prayer

May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true. And the kindness you spread keep returning to you.

Blessing

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you. And God enfold you in the mantle of his love.

From Beginning to End in pictures

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Next week after I finish up a dress I started a long time age, I’ll start work on the second quilt. I also have to say that my friend who I’ve been sewing this quilt for her daughters, has been very patient and when I showed her what the final result was she was over joyed. This has made me very happy and I can’t wait to get started on the next one, which will be the last one for me to make.

Question: What is the longest time you worked on a project and finished?

God Bless & Keep on SEWING

Jennifer

67. The Two-day Satchel

Satchel

Here are all my trappings for my satchel.

bag 1

I have approximately 2 days to whip this satchel up so last night I fixed my plans in mind and it’ll take 15 min to draw up pattern and cutting up the fabric. Ok, 15 min. to make quick pattern then at least 1/2 hr to cut up fabric.

Prototype #1

This satchel took just!! 2 long days sewing, approx 25-30 hours and I had so much more I’d like to have done.

I’ll be designing a pattern for this one and I already have a smaller one in the works.

What I love:

Fabric

Size of satchel

Ribbon placement around zipper

Straps & buckles

How I sewed the top bit with zipper.

What needs work:

Different colour of raspberry red front flap buckles fastenings, or a the same colour for shoulder strap for consistency.

How I’ll work all buckles and strap.

Longer front flap about 4 inches longer.

The D rings need to be the correct size to fit the straps and I also need to add a tension-lock.

Well I spent three weeks on a road trip trying out my first proto type satchel and so far I’m please with most of it. Next week I’ll draw up a second proto type with all my corrections.

Question:

Do you have to make your ideal bag because you just can’t find one you like?

God Bless & Keep Sewing

Thank you,

Jennifer

66. Wall Quilt made out of Celtic Dancing Dresses

On the last Lap

quilt

Last night I finished the sandwiching of all the layers together. Now all I have to do is a bit of touching up and the binding, and I’ll use a white satin for the binding. An Irish quote still has to be chosen for the back of the quilt but that can be done later. To give you an understanding of the size of this wall quilt the diameter is 1.6 m. I’ll put 5 tabs evenly across the top half of the quilt and we’ll find some ornamental hooks to hang on my friends wall. Looking at the quilt now I believe I succeeded in creating the stained glass window look, to be sure it was a big job but very satisfying. The next one will go much faster because I now know what to expect and how to deal with all the problems I ran into with the first quilt.

Question: Do you quilt?

God Bless & Sew On

 

Thank you

Jennifer

 

 

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

Finally I get to Sandwich the quilt

Irish dress quilt

After a year of fussing with this quilt, I learned to think outside the box. I have quilted many times before and I love the organization of blocks but this type of quilting was very new to me. Quite often I sewed myself into a corner only to find myself wondering which way to proceed, spending many days trying to figure a way out. For goodness sake I was even having quilting dreams, crazy!

The top is pretty much finished, I just have a few more things to touch up before I start to sandwich. This wall quilt has turned out much better than I imagined and I have to say I’m quite pleased with myself. I went outside of my comfort zone, my tidy little box that I feel comfortable within.

Time to sandwich:

A couple of weeks ago I spend the weekend working on the backing and quilting baton, that is one less job to do and I’ll be able to get down to the business of sandwiching this quilt together. Concerning the quilting I’ve decided to start from the center piece and go out from there. I think this might be the most sensible way to proceed, because this isn’t a typical quilt worked in blocks. This quilt is made up of two different Celtic dancing dresses and I worked the dresses into this quilt so there will be darts to contend with, and because of this the quilt won’t be perfectly flat.

The Center piece:

quilt Irish

What I really like most about this center piece is the choice I made to use contrasting thread to top stitch the shards of glass (fabric) down, this really added a beautiful touch to the quilt. When I decided to make a Celtic infinity knot I was just playing around with the tubes of fabric I’d sewn up. My original idea was only to make a ring around the center circle, but I wasn’t happy with how the ring joined. Sometimes my best ideas come from the problems I face in sewing something.

The back of the Quilt?

Because this is a wall quilt I will be adding information about the making of the quilt, dates and who it is for.

  1. Two Celtic dancing dresses.
  2. Started April 2017 to Summer 2018
  3. For one of two little girls (name)
  4. By me (Jennifer)
  5. An Irish limerick

A pocket of memories:

I shall be adding a pocket on the back of both quilts for memories, the girls can add what they’d like in there.

Irish Limericks:

My friend Sarah hasn’t decided what Irish limerick to use yet, but there is time for that. Here are a few I found on Pinterest.

Question:

Which Irish limerick do you like?

Thanks for coming on my sewing adventure, I’ll post when it’s finished.

Jennifer a sewing Ninja

God Bless & Sew On

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

Glass Shards

Placing the fabric glass shards, now the arduous task of stitching down the pieces in preparation of the zigzag top stitch and as I’m finding out that’s not so easy.

glass quilt

I’m in the last lap of the race to finish this quilt. It’s been a long haul with many bumps along the way. This weekend I’ll be practicing and perfecting this technique of zigzag top stitching at very tight and pointy corners. I’ll be adding these fabric shards of glass around the center celtic knot.

Practice Fabric Shards of Glass

Perfecting the sewing.

quilt

Not bad for the first time but next practice piece I’ll start midway between the points, so my points will be cleaner.

Second Practice Piece

practice quilt

Well, I like my points much better. Now the fun part begins. Cutting out the bright coloured fabric and sewing it down for the zigzag top stitching, in different colours. I am going to have to slow up the sewing from the feed dogs to keep the zigzag thicker and not so sparse looking, but other than that I am pleased with my efforts.

One sewn and 14 more to go.

glass quilt 2

It was a picky but I managed it in the end. This week I’ll spend sewing these pieces of fabric to the quilt. Then it’s just a matter o sandwiching the whole thing together.

Just to remind everyone with what I started out with, two Irish dancing dresses. I can’t believe I’m so close to the end of the first wall quilt and I’m going to have to meet with my friend to discuss what she’d like on the back of the quilt, maybe an Irish limerick. Now that I know all the problems I’ll be running into I’ll have an easier time sewing the next quilt. 

 

God Bless & Sew On

Jennifer

Question: Has anyone tried to sew a quilt from Irish dresses before and how did it turn out?

 

2nd. CK: Knitting Fabulous-Shoelaces and Charmed Bracelets with Button closures.

I-Cord Projects

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Many years ago in a knitting magazine I ran across a great little pattern on knitting shoes laces and like so many things in life it gets shelved, lost then forgotten, until I ran across a gem of a pattern on I-cord bracelets with button closure. Now! these two patterns looked very similar and so I started playing around and lo and behold I had found what was once lost, excellent! So, I started to knit, but why stop at bracelets and shoelaces? Why not try different needles sizes and yarn weights.

Boots with laces

 

Bracelets with Charms & Beads

Picture soon to come, when I finish the bracelet.

 

Different I-cord Cast-ons with Needle sizes

The red chunky yarn has a 5 st C/O with a 8 mm needle, while the worsted blue yarn is a 4 st C/O with 6 mm needles.

Multiple C/O

As you can see that multiple cast-ons can be done as well as knitting multiple i-cords at the same time. When I was knitting these example up I imagined all the possible uses for these wonderful little or big i-cords and these are some of my ideas’.

  • Hair accessorizing
  • Jean belt
  • Neck, wrist or ankle jewelry
  • Purse straps
  • Key chain
  • Bookmark

My Easy Pattern for an I-cord

You can apply these simple knit instructions for the I-cord with different CO stitches, (3, 4, 5 & 6) & yarn weight. This is a great way to use up your scrap yarn and while you’re at it embellish your creations with charms, buttons or beads.

Yarn: Fingering /sock weight.

Needles: 3 mm Double point.

Gauge: None.

Size: As long and big as you want.

Add-ons: Favorite buttons, charms and beads.

Abbreviations:

C/O: Cast-on

B/O: Bind-off

K: Knit

St/sts: Stitch/stitches

DP: Double pointed needles/cable needles

Instructions: (you knit every row)

  • C/O 4 sts
  • Knit all 4 sts.
  • Push your work from the left side of the DP needle to right side.
  • Knit next row and all rows after.
  • How to close I-cord: Knit by pulling the yarn snug from behind to knit first stitch. This move makes the I-cord by closing up the back. See picture below.
  • Continue until you have the length that you want.

As you can see from the two picture above that when you finish knitting you’ll find yourself on the left side of the DP needle, you then push your work back to the right-side of the needle. Knit the next row and continue doing this step until you have desired length.

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This is the back of your work. You close this by pulling it snug from behind from left to right to start your next row.

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You can see how I close up the back of I-cord.

Measure your shoelaces and decide if you want the bracelet to wrap around a couple of times or not. Your choice!

My shoe laces are about 43 inches or 108 cm long.

Add button: chain with crochet hook same or close to same needle size, then chain (3) sts depending on size of button, knot the end, and sew to the base of the first chain, presto! Your loop for the button.

Weave in your end and block your work.

Add your charms or beads as you see fit and wear.

This was one those little projects where you just have fun with and play! More pictures will be added as I finish more projects.

God Bless & Knit-on

Jennifer

Let me know your thoughts and any queries you might have.

 

 

 

 

38. My little Black Dress & does a gal really need one?

My little black dress, just a drape over Gillian along with my Icebreaker wool shift dress.

 

I decided to design my own little black dress and as you can see I decided to start playing with different ideas by draping the jersey fabric around my dress form that my son named Gillian.

The Features:

  • The wrap with a slight lift/collar.
  • A-line hem, starting from the knee to mid calf.
  • Cap sleeves.
  • Wrap will fall above the breast line not below
  • A light drape to give the neck line a cowl feel.
  • Gathering on the side seam.

Influential People who I think made this dress what it is today

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This lady wore the little black dress perfectly, and set a standard of dress for a lot of women in her era. Notice the black gloves instead of the traditional white. The designer of this dress is Hurbert de Givenchy for Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961.

Coco Chanel broke social boundaries’ in women’s fashion.

I won’t even pretend to know everything about this women but I will say I admire her determination to be who she envisioned. She stepped out of the restrictive traditions and did it with style and I’m sure quite a bit of sass as well. She set her standard of dress and lived her life as she saw it and took us with her. Stepping out of the corset that caged women she gave us freedom in fashion/dress. Coco started off as a simple milliner to a fashion icon of women’s attire.

Coco Chanel Quotes that have influenced me

Why is less more, for me Coco stripped women of garish amounts of jewelry/fabric and the corset.  Using chosen pieces of jewelry to accentuate an outfit but not overwhelm the dress, she made life simple but elegant with jersey and threw the corset away.

For what ever reason the little black dress is important, we’ve made it so! It would never have taken off if we had not been so taken with it. Black is no longer in mourning, that was done away with long time ago. The elegant silhouette whether you dress it up or down has made its place firmly our wardrobe and most women have one or two hanging up.

Whether a mother, fashion icon or era. These play a part in what we will wear, so who influenced you?

If you’re interested on the history of LBD here is a great article, 1926 to 2010.

By: Real Simple (A Short History of the Little Black Dress)

https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/dresses-skirts/little-black-dress-history#birth-little-black-dress

 

 

 

35A. Dismanteling of Irish Dresses to Quilted wall hangings. (part one)

Before ripping apart

I’ll have to use the seam ripper to take apart the dresses.

I’ve never had my hands on a Irish dress until now and I’m a bit surprised, there is a stiff insert in the skirt front and in the cuffs to keep the shape and the details in the Celtic designs are complicated. One dress is velvet while the other is a polyester blend. Lace and satin are used for detailing and the satin is also used for lining the dresses. No wonder they are so expensive. It seems these Irish dresses can range in price from $400 to over $2,000, I shall take great care when taking them apart.

  • Time to take the dresses apart & listen to a good book on audio.

These dresses must be so cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear, I do not like the stiff insert in the front panel of the skirt at all. Beautiful dresses but definitely not easy to wear. You’d have to have a hardy sewing machine to sew through this stuff. But remarkable enough the dismantling of these dresses is going along at a steady pace, at first I was a bit apprehensive about this part of the job. The first dress took longer than the second but that’s because the person who sewed up the second used a longer stitch.

After ripping apart

 

Finding the quilt shapes

Now the organizing of the many pieces into a shape that looks appealing to the eye. At first I was freaking out because I had all these rules in my head that I had to follow but then I said to myself (RULES)!!! this is a no rule project, I had to break out of my box and think differently, then I calmed down and this is what I came up with. A circle, I had a square in mind but all of the pieces wouldn’t look good so I played around a bit and I think a circle is the best shape. I’ll fill in all the bare spots with the left over pieces of the dress and I’ll pick up some other vibrant colours to fill in some of the spaces to create a stained glass window effect. The bits of colour I want to look like shards of coloured glass.

Next blog I’ll be sewing it all together which will be fun because there are not any set rules or lines I have to follow, I can just make it up as I go along.

When is the last time you got to sew something with no rules attached? LOVE IT!! By the way does anyone have a favorite Irish limerick?

 

16. My (Ghana) Dress.

I’m very fortunate to have a friend like Rita. I have always admired her dresses from Ghana, where she comes from. The simplicity of the dresses design is it’s very attribute. The fabrics patterns and colours are fun and festive to my eye.

Well, one day while admiring Rita’s dress I expressed a desire to have her seamstress make me one in Ghana, which was her sister. Now Rita being who she is would not hear of me paying, so we soon struck a deal. I would teach her oldest daughter to knit and she get the dress for me. A fine deal indeed.

Her sister is so excellent a seamstress that she made this dress solely on a few measurements from me and some pictures of what I looked like in different coloured out fits. Rita suggested the style and her sister chose the colour. I have to say the fit is perfect. I was so pleased as soon as I saw the dress, I immediately went and put it on to show Rita so she could take a picture to send to her sister. You know I’m still scratching my head, I’m still not sure how this came about. It must be that Rita is simply just great. This Ghana dress makes me the 50’s dresses.

 

These fun fashions’ from the fifties have always attracted my eye. For me this is a timeless fashion. That always makes a woman look and feel beautiful, and personally I think every girl deserves a fun dress in her closet. You know I believe Rita was just as pleased with the dress as I was.

The dress design is beautiful in its simplicity. The skirt is gathered, the bodice is fitted with a princess line in the front and waist darts in the back, the neck line is curved and to top it  all off are the capped sleeves.

I’m truly grateful to have such a generous friend like Rita. I shall enjoy teaching her daughter to knit.

Is there someone like this in your life?

7. Draping my Dress Form.

In these pictures I show all three drapes from different angles and what Gillian (my dress forms name) looks like in the buff with the guidelines.

I’ve done three drapping classes so far and I have learned so much. I’m already bitting at the bit, to design a little black dress. Using jersy fabric, bias cut for bodice, cap sleeves and cowl neck line. but first I must do the sleeve class.

  1. Bodice Sloper
  2. Fitted Torso Sloper
  3. Side Bust Dart with Back Neck Dart sloper

When I did my first sloper I found I made it a bit tight and had to relax up a bit. Then I learned to work the darts so that I wasn’t pulling the drape ascue. Exact measurements are very important, so don’t be to hard on yourself, and as you can see my third drape is the best so far. I have many more drapes to do so I’m going to get real good at this.

I had a completely different mental picture in my mind before these classes, and I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to apply all that I’ve learned from these classes to make a dress. Now the question is which design to use? I think maybe a simple shift dress with a cowl neck line and cap sleeves.

Have you’ve designed anything lately?

Check out University of fashion, in fact I have to spend some time tomorrow going through my emails from them, you can find them on FB and Instagram.