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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finishing off the Old Year

Amazing how fast a year rolls by! I've packed away the Christmas ornaments; my house is reasonably clean except for the craft room which will never achieve a different status than absolutely cluttered. I'm ready, willing and anxious to see what 2010 brings. But before that happens, I'm going to finish off the remains of this year ...and that includes the last of the swaps that are still in limbo somewhere.
I'll start with the earliest first which was a MAKE swap. It consisted of building and dressing a bed. Here's what I made:

...and here's the tutorial that I wrote, October the 8th! and have kept all this time waiting until my bed arrived at it's new owner's home:
This is the Tatiana pillow from Macy's Waterford bedding collection. It's also the first pillow that I decided to make.
Yes, yes I know what you're all thinking. After all how many times have I said: "I'm no dressmaker" and "I flunked Home Ec in grade school"? Yet here I am with the most difficult pillow there is to start with!

Where would you start if it was you? Why, where else....the library, especially after an exhaustive google search that turned up nothing! I am now the possessor of every worthwhile pillow making book that our library has! Unfortunately, all the pillow patterns are for real size ones!

Apparently, this pillow is made from a donut shape. The pattern called for a 12 inch diameter fabric disk with a 5 inch inner circle cut out to form a ring. This will make a 6 inch pillow face.
Step #2 said to measure & mark points around the disks at alternating 1" and 3/4" intervals. Tuck each 3/4" fold under the 1" section. Pin and baste the pleats, in place, 1/2" from the edge.

Step #3: Gather the pleats around the inner ring to close the center gap.
(the rest of the steps were for making the ends of a bolster.)

Well that sounds easy, right?
Attempt #1:

So if you need a piece of 12" diameter fabric to make a 6" pillow, it would stand to reason that in order to make a 1" diameter dollhouse pillow, you need at least a 2" diameter piece of fabric. My thinking is that a little bigger is better than too small, so I made my circle 3".
A five inch hole for the inner circle seems awfully big. So I just put in a little hole. BTW, my pillow pattern is made from a dryer sheet

I used to have some of my grandmother's dressmakers chalk but the last time I saw that was several moves ago. Since you need hems anyway, I figured it'd be OK to mark the points in pen and instead of using 1" and 3/4", I used 10cm & 7cm. As you can see, this allows you to make half your pleats before the fabric gets too bunched to do any more.

Attempt #2:
So if the real pillow fabric disc is 12" and the inner circle is a 5" hole, then it stands to reason that a dollhouse pillow disc that's 3" diameter should have an 1-1/4" hole.
So continuing with 10cm & 7cm marks, lets you get almost all the way around before the fabric bunches up too much again.
Let's rethink this....

Attempt #3:
OK so this time, I tried making 8 pleats only. But these have to be evenly spaced.....hmmmm!
I got my piece of semi-rigid foam.....drew a 3" circle onto it....divided the circle into 8s....then drew eight more lines at 15 degrees from the first ones.
The lines on the foam allow you to place pins easily. This photo shows my basted pillow face. Success!!! ?
Well yes and no.

I need to sew my pleated fabric circle to the pillow sides and to ensure that the pillow is a 1" diameter, I used my dryer sheet inner circle as a template. I laid it over my pleated circle and proceeded to sew. I'd read somewhere that you should keep your seam allowance as small as possible to avoid bulk and in order to avoid fraying, place glue on all edges using a needle.

Dryer sheets tear wonderful....except when sewn and glued! between 2 pieces of fabric! And somehow the pillow face wasn't centered. Oh well.....

Attempt #4:
The braid that you see along the edge comes from a drapery tie-back tassel and there's a bead in the center.I'm not sure if the pillow isn't too thick and will do another one. I've already cut out the pieces but since my pillow frayed in one spot when I turned it right side round, I've smeared glue on all edges before sewing. If you're planning on making one of these, cut your outer circle at 2-3/4" and your inner one at just under an inch....anything smaller will make your fabric bunch too much to handle.
One pillow down and 8 more to go....OMG, did I say 8???
Stay tuned. If you need me, I'm out shopping for chalk. Oh and just call me Coco from now on.....

Well, my original intention was a bed piled high with pillows but then real life got in the way as it usually does and it just never happened....just like I never did send off that "first" completed pillow that the "tutorial" was based on. It ended up looking more like a footstool in height.
It was interesting to reread what I'd written; I'm not usually one to do that. In my defense I did make 3 fancy pillows and an ordinary one in which I tried to show a sleep indented center but I guess I'll have to wait awhile longer for the "Coco" designation. LOL

We have one last item in our 2009 closet: the "Happy Holidays" swap which was delayed for one reason or another. CanadaPost, as always, will keep my swap parcel to play with; so while I can't show you what I'm going to receive, I can at least show you what I made: Each person got a wreath for their door, some rolls of gold wrapping paper, and a shopping basket filled with Christmasy paper plates, apples and oranges, some all day lollys and one package each of Christmas cookies and one filled with candy and candy canes. Enough for 2 bunte Advent Teller like you're seeing below:
the wreaths were either the tradional red & green or silver & gold:
and the baskets can be used for whatever.....they were made thanks to a CDHM tutorial.

Well that's it for 2009! I'm ready to party....

1 comment:

  1. Karin,

    I can't believe that pillow!! Thanks for letting us know how to go about it! I am not sure I would have had the patience! Your bed came out so great! hugs, ara


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