5.27.2016

Sewing Projects

Behold a bunch of sewing projects I've worked on over the past several weeks. Sometimes I work on things that I don't document very well because I'm squeezing in a half hour here or there of work between other daily activities.
All of these projects were made from my mishmash stockpile of leftover fabrics. Some have been sitting and waiting to turn into something for eons. I guess I hold onto shit because I never know when I might be able to use it.

First up is this dog bed I made for Calvin -which she clearly views as an affront, as she refuses to use it. Otis, a far less complicated creature, likes it just fine. 

Anyway, I must admit that this dog bed was born out of guilt. Its inner pillow is made from recycled beanbag fill -those nasty little foam pellets that never, ever, ever go away and which inevitably find their way to the ocean where poor creatures eat them. I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually bought that fill to make a beanbag blanket for Kit as a sensory item. He outgrew enjoying it and then I had it laying around the house. I couldn't find a place to recycle the beads and I couldn't bring myself to just throw it out. So hey, why not make a dog bed???

I started out with this wool, which I dyed to a more vibrant color.

I used Rit's Midnight Blue, and dyed in my kitchen sink with very hot water from the stove top.

I made the piping with some very thick (about 3/8")cotton cord.

The rest of the construction is typical to a box pillow method. These are the connecting panels. One for the front, and the one with the zipper for the back. Pin and sew so that the front panel overlaps the zippered section. IMO, box construction is super easy once you consider that one is just connecting a top and bottom with a panel that goes in between. Replacement cushions are easily fashioned from this method as is evident here and here.

I have ZERO pictures of the striped pillow being made. I love that fabric and have more so I'm sure I'll make a second in the same dimension. 

The bolsters are my very first attempt at this type of pillow. They were kind of tricky. Their true color is as it reads above (navy blue dyed linen). I took these photos with two different cameras and was unable to color correct in photoshop.

My first step was to cut the main body to size leaving a 1/2" seam allowance throughout. As is my common practice, I used a invisible zipper application in a contrasting color.

Zippers are made to accommodate a 1/2" seam allowance, so with a invisible technique simply align with the fabric's edge. I have terrible visual perception so I always pin and then double check that I have my orientation right (I've sewn many a zipper on the wrong side:/!).

This may seem counterintuitive, but I decided to use piping because I was not completely confident that I could sew a clean looking seam (without gathering) on the bolster edge. I have found that piping can mask imperfections at the seam.

As a foolproof measure, I turned the cover inside out and put in the insert in order to pin the circular ends in place. This worked great. I made the circular ends by tracing a plate (that -luckily- had the correct diameter) onto a piece of heavy card stock and then tracing that onto the fabric. BTW, I did my zigzag edging at the very end of this project. Sometimes I'll edge each section separately but in this case I didn't want to impact my edges and measurements at all during construction because precision seemed important. 

For me, bolster pillows read somewhat bedroomy but I'm still using them in my living room for now. I can move these puppies all over the house with that navy.

Finally, these seersucker euro squares. I had only enough fabric to do two faces and used white linen for the reverse. I used to have a duvet set that I made out of this which was awesome but disintegrated with wear. We really seem to go through bedding, I guess because I am a habitual hot water washer which must break down the fabric more quickly. I use hot water because I've read it's simply more sanitary for staving off bedbugs, besides that the dog and cat are on the bed constantly.

I resurrected this block print bedding, which I'd stashed away after the matching shams disintegrated, to coordinate with these cases. This cover comes from here -their website is not very glamorous but they've got super affordable authentic block print cotton bedding and fabrics.

I've got a lot of thoughts on bedding, I must have too much time on my hands, ha,ha,ha. Want to know more? Here.

Cheers and happy sewing!

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