When I am not sewing, I enjoy drawing. Some of my favorite subjects are animals, such as this handsome rooster. I really liked how his portrait turned out. It occurred to me that it might make the focal point of a really neat throw pillow, if I could figure out how to go from a piece of paper to a piece of fabric.
Spoonflower is a company that specializes in custom textile printing for the independent designer. People can upload their own designs or choose from an immense collection submitted by others. Designs can be printed on over 20 different types of fabric, wrapping paper, and wallpaper. I have shopped the spoonflower website in the past, but had never tried making my own design.
The spoonflower website has a lot of helpful tutorials, so I won’t go into the nuts and bolts, but they have made the process fairly simple. I scanned my drawing, made a few edits, then uploaded it to my spoonflower account. I used their editing tools to center and scale the image. At this point, I could have my design printed or even publish it for others to use (and get a small royalty for sales). I chose to get a fat quarter of plain quilting cotton as the base, and clicked the Order button. Easy!
It took about 2 weeks to get my order. Everything arrived looking just like the digital preview. The only fault I could find was that the part of the fabric that was not printed was pretty thin. Any color placed behind it showed through. To make it opaque and give it a little more stability, I fused lightweight interfacing to the reverse.
I went through my scrap heap to find a nice coordinating fabric for the pillow back. The material left over from my vintage apron was perfect. Other supplies included a zipper, some bright yellow pom-pom trim, and a 14×14 pillow form.
I love how my pillow turned out. Now that I know how easy it is, I know I will be printing my own designs again.
Last week, my serger died. Let’s pause a moment and mourn its passing.
So I got a new one! And this serger has a lot more bells and whistles. Welcome to the workshop Singer 14T968DC! The new machine can do the functions of the old serger, a Simplicity 4-thread overlock. But the new one can be converted to work as a cover-stitch machine as well. I have been giddy to try everything since I got it out of the box. I already had several knitwear projects cut and ready to sew, so I will be able to create useful things as I learn.
First up is a simple raglan tee. I used McCall’s pattern M7286 (rating Easy), but any favorite raglan pattern would do. I have always been drawn to bright red clothes and anything with high contrast and color blocking. Something about that sharp, vivid combination of black and white with any bright color really puts me in a great mood. So when I saw the “Where’s Fido” pattern, I immediately thought about pairing it with blocks of black or red. Plus, the dogs in the pattern are so whimsical and cute – how could I resist?
I considered black accents, but in the end, I cut out a red neckband and short red sleeves to go with the patterned front and back.
I have been using my duct tape double to test fit clothes as I go. I’m glad I did. On the model, I could see that the shape was a little boxier than I usually like. I pinned some darts into the back and it looked much better. Since the top is so casual that it could even serve as sleepwear, I chose to leave it loose and boxy. But before I took the pins out, I made new pattern pieces for the back and front. I reduced the back by the area pinched out by the darts. I lengthened the side seam on the front to match the new back piece. Then I traced the new pieces onto swedish tracing paper, cut them out, and put them with the rest of the (tissue) pattern pieces. The next time I make this raglan, I will have a choice between a straight or fitted version.
Test fitting the shirt on my duct-tape double. The front looks good.
From the side, a little boxy…
Pinching off a little at the back waist.
Pulling in the back really slims the silhouette
Transferring the alterations to new pattern pieces.
Now that I have the coverstitch machine, I wish I had cut the bottom straight across. Then I could have done a completely ready-to-wear hem finish. The shaped hemline seemed like it would be better suited to a zigzagged narrow hem though. So I will save the coverstitch for a future project.
Finished side (note curved bottom and boxy fit)
It turned out so cute, I can hardly believe it. If only my dog had a matching leash and collar…