Sunday, June 14, 2015

In My Workbasket: Pillowcases & Trims

So I am always on the lookout for pretty cotton fabric to make pillowcases. The fabric has to have just the right "hand." It needs to feel good on my face and still be pretty. While I love crisp, white pillowcases, I also really like printed ones, especially ones that I have decorated with crochet edgings. I have quite a stack of prints now and have several lengths of crocheted edgings as well. Now I just have to put them together...

When I crochet an edging before I have a pillowcase for it, it is helpful to remember that there are two types of edging patterns. One type develops from one end and is crocheted to a desired length and then you stop. When I use this type of pattern, I crochet the edging to a standard length plus an inch or so. This pattern type allows some flexibility later when I'm sewing the edging to the finished pillowcase. I can just unravel a bit from the end if I need to. The other type of edging pattern is crocheted into a pre-measured foundation chain. You can see that three of the edgings in the picture are crocheted into a foundation chain. Because I made these ahead and this type of pattern requires a finished measurement, I will now have to make the pillowcase to fit the edging. That isn't a problem, in this case, but it is something to be aware of.

BTW, before you ask, I don't worry too much about whether the print matches anything else in the hope chest. I have never had a matching bed "set." All the beds in our house are covered with handmade scrappy quilts or miscellaneous blankets. It is a real farmhouse, meaning nothing matches and everything is used. But pretty is still important to me. I hope Abigail has absorbed that value to the degree that she can find use for such extra pillowcases. They will certainly match the scrappy quilts I plan to make for her hope chest.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tiny Sewists: A Review

photo by Jenn at
I am so impressed with a blog sewing series that I recently stumbled on. It's called Tiny Sewists. This is a series of blog posts from a mom, Jenn at A Jennuine Life, teaching her young daughter, Arden, to sew. Arden is not yet 5 years old at the time of this series, so those of you who want to get started with very young children should appreciate the slow and steady pace of the series. I've linked to her first lesson which is about choosing a machine and getting started. Just look for the "Tiny Sewists" label on the sidebar of the blog for the rest of the series. The first three lessons help Arden get acquainted with the machine without a needle and progress to an actual pillowcase project in lesson 7 and on to curved seams and pins by lesson 11.

This series isn't a sewing curriculum. It is more of an outline of lessons, a report of how Jenn progressed with her teaching. If you need a script of what to say or detailed step-by-step beginning curriculum, you'll need to look for additional help. But her project lessons are posted as tutorials and they are very well done. Jenn's meaningful projects still require her adult help for some steps. Measuring and cutting, for example, are not completed by the child. So, simpler projects would need to be found for independent sewing, but overall, the series is a nice introduction for the youngest of our children. The series certainly brings a young child to the point of understanding and accessing the usual beginning instructional material. Well done, Jenn!

The series ends with a promise of more posts as Jenn and Arden sew together. Although she hasn't posted more in this series, there is plenty of other interesting sewing going on at Jenn's blog.
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