Thursday, March 6, 2008

3 dimensional sewing adventures

I'm a pretty good sewing machine sewer. I'm best at quilts and other things that lie flat. I've tried sewing clothes for myself and my daughter, but it just didn't work out. It's much easier to go into a dressing room and find out that things don't fit and look unflattering than to spend a whole weekend making some dumpy dress or bad blouse....

My mantra is that I sew things, not clothes.


Anyway. This Better Homes and Gardens "Quilts and More" magazine is my new favorite. It comes out quarterly at the newstands and it always showcases projects using the latest in beautiful fabrics. This Spring 2008 issue has a feature on fabric Designer Anna Maria Horner, some terrific quilts, funky bags, and this incredibly cute pincushion. It says it's "Quick to Make" So I thought I'd use some of my new Kaffe Fasset fabrics to make a pincushion of my own.

Cutting the templates went easily. At first the seams were all easy, gentle curves. I may have run into a little bit of trouble with my habit of doing a scant 1/4 inch seam instead of a regular 1/4 inch seam, but it was looking okay.

Sewing on one of the circular pieces was extremely tricky. I even hand basted it on just like the directions said.

Eep! What a mess! Maybe it looks better when I turn it out...

Um.. no.... it still looks bad and really wonky. At this point, last night I went to bed and thought about tossing the whole thing.

Well, the first thing on television this morning was artist and fabric designer himself Kaffe Fassett on the HGTV show, "Simply Quilts". You can see video clips from the show at that link, but I was unable to link specifically to the Kaffe Fassett show. HGTV should do something about that. After seeing the show, I decided to try again with that difficult circular seam.

I ripped all the basting out and started over using pins.
I'm already feeling better about this. This time I stitched a very nice looking circle, but I didn't take a picture of it for you.

Can you see the difference? P1010159
One set of petals overlaps.. I think I ended up with petals that are too big because my seam allowances were too small. Otherwise it looks much better. I'm telling you.. the seam ripper is the machine sewer's best friend.

Now I need to handstitch the bottom on and stuff this thing. It's sort of big for a pincushion. I use a lot of pins so maybe that's okay.


Rebel said...

Oh, I know what you mean about sewing. I keep trying to sew clothes and they always come out a little off. Sewing clothes an entirely different skill set from just sewing. I tell myself I'm only going to sew 'things' but then I'll see super cute fabric and decide that I really need a skirt made out of it. Oh well... if I keep practicing, hopefully I'll get better.

Nan and B.A.G.S. the pug said...

OH I think you did an amazing JOB!! I love it! Where did you get the fabric? love that too. I just got the barcelona skirt from amy butler...

Anonymous said...

Wow..your pincushion looks beautiful so far :) Congratulations to you for your perserverance! And, yeah, those fabrics are awesome too.
Smiles, DianeM :)

Donna said...


Do you cut notches into the seam after stitching? This helps to take out the bulk and make a smoother circle. Plus, you did great putting all those pins in. Love it!

IamSusie said...

Thanks, Donna. Yes, I know about clipping on curves. This was an inset circle with lots of funny bulky pieces underneath, that's why it was hard. The pins were much better at managing the bulk underneath and I was able to get a better circle the second time around.

Linda said...

I like the way the pincushion came out, but if you want perfect circles, here is a link to a tutorial from Anna Marie Horner:
Looks easy.

IamSusie said...

Thanks, Linda- Anna Maria has great tips. That method she used for the circle is exactly how the bottom was put on this pincushion. I don't know why the instructions didn't suggest the smame thing for the top circle.