Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Worknite Whip-Up

A little background on me…I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 17. I had an apartment and put myself through full-time college by working two jobs at anywhere from 40 to 70 hours a week. Whew!

And yet I still sewed. Every single day. I even worked in a fabric store and probably spent half my paycheck on fabric but at least then I was keeping up with what I bought.

Being single, if I want to keep swimming in the deep end of the fabric pile, I have to work for it. Boo! I don’t know if it was the benefit of youth that enabled me to go to class, to go one, possibly two jobs, and then come home and sew. But most days now I am pooped by the time I come home.

Still, I miss the days of coming home to my sewing machine. It’s like therapy to me. It’s relaxing. And maybe if I sewed more during the week, I could be much faster at using up my stash.

Hence, the Worknite Whip-up where I’ll feature a quick project that a working girl like me could reasonably accomplish after a long day at work and still have enough time to hit the gym or cook a healthy meal. (Alternatively, SAHM’s out there could do these projects when the kiddos are napping).

To make it work, a good Whip is something I can do either without a pattern or by using a pattern that’s so familiar to me that I don’t need to spend time marking fabric or reading instructions.

So this is my first project. I wear a lot of turtlenecks in the winter but don’t like wearing necklaces over them. I’m trying to accumulate more scarves to accessorize with instead. But my goodness are they expensive!

(Sometimes being a sewist is a curse. I can’t help but look at the prices of off-the-rack items and figure out in my head how much DRASTICALLY cheaper I can make them).

Jo-Ann Fabrics always has a nice selection of drapey fabrics. But at $12 or so per yard, I can’t afford to make an entire garment out of them. However, when they go 40% off, and I buy only 3/8 of a yard…I can get a simple scarf for less than $3.00. Not too shabby. This is the one I Whipped-up to wear to work this Friday for Valentine’s Day.

Try as they might, the clerks rarely cut my 3/8 perfectly straight. So first I hold it up high and fold it in half right sides together and line up the salvages. I slide the top salvage on itself until it feels like it’s hanging straight. Then I pin the top salvage to hold it and drape the piece over my ironing board.

Now that it’s laying on top of itself flat, I pin it up the length with the pins a good two inches in. Then I lay it out on my work table. Since it’s usually crooked, I find the shortest spot. That will be the width of my scarf, in this case, 6 ½ inches.

Then, I do it the lazy way and, starting from the bottom, I hold my tape at 6 ½ inches with one hand and cut with the other until I’ve trimmed off the crooked edge. With the pinning done two inches in, there’s no need to remove the pins which is great since this fabric slides.

I then sew my side seams. For this scarf I wanted angled ends so I measured one end in by five inches and marked it. Then I stitched starting I the corner until I hit my five inch mark and trimmed off the excess. I flipped it right side out, used a point turner to push out the corner nice and sharp and gave all sewed edges a good hard pressing.

Then I marked five inches in from the open end.

But THIS time, you cut off the corner first. Then turn your ends in. Pin the end shut or press it. I did neither and just held it closed as I stitched it shut.

Topstitch the first end so that both ends have topstitching. And you’re done. A nice, new scarf in about 20 minutes or less.

1 comment:

  1. I love the date outfit. I always hear about everything you sew but rarely get to see it all. Its nice to finally be able to see your creations. great job. i love the commentary about the north shore Nancy's. and your right, anything you've made so far you could put in some fancy pants boutique and get people to pay good money for that. hmmm...isn't that an idea, your sewing, our jewelry....i'd love to sell it for a great price...