This year we decided that I would head-up the Christmas gifts. Next year it’s all about the H-e and his wood working (psst…I’m angling for a reclaimed wood bench…and a bed frame…and a credenza to replace the hideous IKEA version we currently own), but this year it was me and (mostly) the sewing machine.
I was a little deflated when my mother asked me to make her a clothespin bag. Of all things. I mean, a clothespin bag? So I pretended to ignore her request, while I sought out something that didn’t want to make me want to take a nap. After wading through a lot of seriously ugly projects, I found an absurdly cute pattern over at Knick Knacks and Ric Rac. Who wouldn’t want a clothespin bag that looks like a dirndl dress? No one, that’s who!
While my fabric choices are more mod housewife than Barvarian peasant, such is my taste.
So challenge number one with this pattern was, well, the pattern. Specifically, I don’t know how to enlarge a pattern. And while I found a number of tutorials that I could have worked my way through, it was a day before Christmas…so, um…I was a little short on time. In an effort to avoid a crafting meltdown, in swooped the H-e with some grid enlargement application he found online. He enlarged the pattern; I cut it out and taped it together, then continued from there. It worked far better than I imagined it would.
Challenge number two was matching up the front and back of the pattern. When I looked at the pattern pieces, it wasn’t clear to me how the front and back should line up, particularly at the shoulders. Having some basic sewing / pattern knowledge sure would have come in handy here! I squelched my proclivity towards endless research / wheedling about my lack of skills. Instead, I just cut out two front pieces. I made the front piece as directed, then changed the neckline on the back piece.
The clear highlight of this project was making the apron. I think I need to make a grown-ass-lady sized one for myself!
So, it was my first attempt at pleats…
and my second time sewing edging. This attempt was much neater than the one on my bunting from this past summer.
After I finished the apron, I stitched it on to the front piece of the dress. Then I hemmed the sleeves and sewed the front and back pieces together. Finally, I sewed some brown edging along the neckline. While I bought some navy rickrack to also go along the neckline, I left it off.
Of course, I don’t actually have a good photo of the finished project! That night, I was frantically trying to finish it up so we could deliver some Christmas cookies around town, then head out to see some friends who were down from Chicago. It all got done, but I flaked on a final pic. You can sort of see it in the background, like a giant Christmas ornament. That is, if you can look past Mutt and Jeff!