Monday, 10 February 2014

It's not a competition…

But if it was, I wouldn't be winning!

I refer again to Lightning McStitch's Cover to Cover Challenge…

On Thursday I found myself in Melbourne and, realising that I was separated from my sewing machine and unable to sew for two whole days, I thought I would create a small diversion for Lightning so that she could not get any further ahead.  We met for coffee and a little shopping and I quickly discovered that she was thinking of purchasing fabric for a bias-trimmed apron (item 14/20 for her!). As it happened, Lightning didn't know how much fabric was required so she left the shop-with-the-cute-fabric empty-handed.

When I arrived home I found my latest purchase(s) waiting for me: some laminated cotton from that I intended to use for my own version of the bias-trimmed apron. In typical fashion, I had bought far more fabric than I needed

Hmmm.. which to use (first)…

I had spied the ladybug fabric in a department store in Munich but decided that 35Euros seemed just a bit steep and I thought I could buy it for less from And it was cheaper but the postage nearly killed me!  However, the good folk from had rolled the fabric onto those cardboard tubes to stop the fabric getting wrinkles - which is more than what I would've done if I had purchased it in Munich.

I made the medium size

After my recent difficulties with ready-made poly-cotton bias binding, I made my own from a red and irregular black stripe

and I carefully used steam-a-seam to help stick the bias binding down before topstitching

Fortunately, I found some red snaps in the snap stash (although I need some remedial lessons in attaching snaps…)

And just to make sure I wasn't getting too far behind the leaders I decided to use another challenge pattern, the tutu

right side - 16" length 

wrong side

I bought most of the 108" wide tulle from although I had the yellow at home.  In fact, the yellow is part of a multicoloured tulle and the second layer starts as an apricot and blends to pink/mauve at the bottom edge.

yellow to pink/mauve multicolour, dusty pink, coral, light garnet, and wine tulle layers

It was a bit awkward cutting out the various layers but I was thankful for my long, height-adjustable tables!

Phew, can't see all of the clutter in the sewing room….

I already had the ribbon with pink and orange dots.  I thought it would be perfect for this tutu but now I think it looks a bit miserly because there wasn't enough ribbon to make a big bow.  Can I be bothered changing it?  Probably not, but I have enough leftover tulle to make another tutu so will get enough  grosgrain ribbon when I do so that there can be an enormous bow for that one!

No bow tutu.  Note the even, cut edge on the bottom!

Numbers 4 and 5 finished.

However, I'd like to suggest a no-children dispensation…. After all, what am I going to do with play town and a tea party doll dress???*

* I think the tutu looked quite good on me (although perhaps a little short for a woman in her forties), and my husband has a 'thing' for ladybugs.  I blame his mother: he confessed that his mother made him a much-loved dressing gown when he was about 6 which had ladybug buttons and, it seems, he is still emotionally attached to those buttons and ladybugs…) 


  1. You are doing so well at this - the tutu is gorgeous! I bought some tulle at Spotlight but it was only 140cm wide so I'm going to have to rethink my plans for that. I'm sure the doll dress would be loved by any little girl - when I make one for my girl I'm going to have to scale it down as she has a 11" doll - 18" ones are rarely available here. Keep up the good work. :-)

    1. Thanks Taryn. I'm hoping to give the tutu away tomorrow to some work colleagues (for their daughter and not the grown-ups!). Maybe you could make the tutu with the 140cm tutu and add extra layers?
      I'm not sure I want to scale down a doll's pattern.....

  2. Both projects have been finished with perfection. And, I think the tutu ribbon is perfect. A big bow would just be OTT. Better get sewing....and tidying the sewing cave. We can see enough of the mess!

    1. You sound like my husband growling about mess! (I hope you noticed the measuring tape fabric on the side?!?)

      Yes, more sewing, more sewing, more sewing

  3. Love the tutu ribbon. Should we be pleased, or disappointed that there are no photos of the Wo's in their apron and tutu?!
    how did it go ironing the steam a seam onto laminate? Nothing melted too much? I've wondered whether that would be possible or not...
    Great sewing and I understand the what-to-do-with-the-project dilemma. It seems a bit extreme to join a church group just to donate a playtown set of houses!

  4. No melting moments here. It appears that the laminate can take the heat... Or, at least, a little bit. I tried it out on an off-cut first though!

    And definitely no church group for me. I'm sure there is a kid or two I know who I could inflict it on.

  5. My daughters saw the tutu while I was perusing the Flickr pool and the chorus of "I wants" started immediately. I love the color combination, and you're right, that polka dot ribbon is perfect.

    1. Thanks! I had a lot of fun picking the color combination and ribbon for this tutu. But who doesn't like yummy pinks and wine colors?!? I guess there is still a little girl inside me…

      My friends report that the tutu didn't come off for days and is a big hit with their 2 year old - who is also obviously pleased with the color combo