Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fabric Challenge for the Sewing Guild

Way back in May I picked up the pile of "challenge fabric" for the Northern Virginia chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  Now, months later the 80 plus people who accepted this challenge showed off their entries at the October  chapter annual meeting and what a bunch of creative people.  About a dozen people explained their stories.  We laughed and smiled in recognition.  Some people hated the fabric design and wanted to mask it, others like me loved it and wanted to enhance the images.  All of us had a blast and are so grateful to our outgoing president, Tina, and her wonderful board for bringing this fun project to us.  I think the special part was that there were no rules.....just a yard of fabric that showed up in the mail and let you have your way with it.  
Here are some of the pics.....and the back story on my version.

Just a sample of the many challenge items

Very cool fabric combining into a marvelous travel bag.
Textured pillow with curved tucks

The challenge fabric is the piping and the bag for these lovely pajamas
Some people needed what's inside this project.
Never thought I would want to re-cover an umbrella but I love this one.
Here's the way to hide a print you don't like.
One of the funniest stories was from a woman who did not notice that the mailing envelope had arrived at her house for several days.  Guess who "opened" it first?  The dog......  She held up a picture of the 1 yard piece with several two inches chunks torn out of the middle and she explained that there were chew marks everywhere else.  As we all gasped and wondered what she would do with that hot mess of fabric....this is what she pulled out of her carrying bag.....
Braided fabric dog chew toy
Sorry for the fuzzy picture but isn't it great....Shari colored over the print with colored markers and changed it entirely
Hmmmm, as for my entry.  You know how sometimes you envision the sewing project result when you start?  And then when you finish, it's not that's it's bad, it just doesn't look like what you imagined.  Well, that's exactly what happened to me.  I knew back in May when I saw the fabric that I would make a Magic Pencil skirt Magic Pencil SKirt  from it and do some kind of embellishment.  Then I saw Gail Yellin's tasteful bead embellishment in the April Threads issue and at the Baltimore Sewing expo and I knew that would be perfect.  My friend Cathy sent me a great beading site and I ordered a dozen Swarovski sew on beads to place in the water area along the lower hem area of the skirt.  I was going to use Gail's interfaced shaped fabric "hole" with the beads inside.  Of course, since I had months to do this, I waited until the last week of my very busy October.  
So in my hurry, I placed the seven selected crystals in place, used a small template and traced the shape onto the sticky side of interfacing.  I used a short stitch and cut out the center, turned and ironed the interfacing to the wrong side.  Then I went to stitch the bead.....and discovered that all seven holes were too big to support the sew-on bead nicely.  Ah ha, that was the missing part of the directions.  To keep the bead stable, either make sure the edges are close to the shaped fabric hole or use a three sided bead as many of Gail's were.  Me, I was in a quandary.  I ended up sewing multiple beaded guide wires to hold the beads in place....not what I had envisioned but it still gave a watery glitter to the bottom of my skirt. 

 And as one friend noted, it looked like they were crabs in the water.  No, I wasn't trying for that look but lessons learned and still a fun process.  I'll pack it up and wear it in Florida when we visit in May and then take off those beads and repurpose them somewhere.

Relieved to be done and glad to have a day with sewing friends.
It's good to be back blogging after a very busy month.  I've been too busy to even read my blog reader and feel disconnected from this great community.  I'm eager to catch up and see what you've been sewing.

1 comment:

  1. I love the fabric and all the interpretations by other sewists - and your skirt looks fun!!


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