Progress report, week 16

That is, it’s week 16 of the year 2021.

In keeping myself accountable for working through materials and projects, here’s what I did last week.


I had about 5 yards of cotton lawn that I wanted to make up into some 1910 style chemises. I hadn’t set up my sewing machine yet so I decided to hand stitch both of them. Sure, it goes MUCH faster on a sewing machine but I figured that even at my beginner hand stitching pace, it would only take me an hour or two for a long seam.

A finished chemise

As you can see, the cotton lawn is pretty transparent, and so I put it on the dress form. I’ve been wearing this as a night dress since I don’t have another occasion to wear this right now. In the future, I may add some lace to the neck line so that I can thread a ribbon through it so it doesn’t hang open like that, but that would be the only adjustment to both of them. I also added a tag to the back. I hand stitched down the seams so it is incredibly difficult to tell front from back and inside from out so the tag helps!

Clothing tag

Pin cushions!

I found myself with a greater need for a functional pin cushion as I started to sew again. In the process of moving, I threw out a couple of pin cushions that had served their purpose and I knew I wanted to make a pin cushion out of a tea cup that is part of a set that belonged to my mother. Once I finished the chemises, it was onto the pin cushions.

If you search for how to make a pin cushion, you’ll find that there are a couple of different sets of instructions. One version is more for a pillow type pin cushion. You sew around three edges of a rectangle and part of a fourth. Then you turn it right side out, stuff it until you can’t stuff it anymore and then sew the seam closed. I started out with this method, but for a round pin cushion. The could also double as leg-less tuffets for a dollhouse.

The blue one fit just fine into the votive candle holder, but the white one was too big to fit into the tea cup. If I had made the top and bottom circles a little smaller, and adjusted the side piece accordingly, it probably would have fit. At this size, the stuffing expanded it out so much it just didn’t fit.

So I made another pin cushion. I used the other pin cushion method since it was getting late and I didn’t feel like fiddling with sewing small seams on small circles. This is the method that involves cinching a piece of fabric closed around a bunch of stuff. This video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company can better describe the process. Once I had my pin cushion ball cinched up, I trimmed off the fabric ends and then I actually traced a circle of fabric to cover up the mess:

Finishing the bottom of the pin cushion

No one will ever see this but I will know! Also, I find that this makes the bottom much cleaner so that I can better glue it to the tea cup. At this point, the pin cushions are essentially done. All that is left is to find the glue gun so I can glue them all into their respective containers. I know I packed the glue gun but I don’t remember where I packed it.

Other WIPs

There was the glove. I finished the glove for the right hand and cast on for the left. It’s too warm now for gloves but I’ll be ready for next winter!

Right glove

I took my old chemise that I had made out of quilting cotton (comfortable but weightier than it should be) and cut out the bodice for the By Hand London Anna dress. I really wanted it to fit well based on all of the pictures I saw so I wanted to take the time to get the fit just right. Anyways, I need to find some matching thread and an invisible zipper and my first non essential trip out after the second vaccine will probably be to JoAnn’s to do this. It also gives me the time to play around with the duvet cover to make sure it won’t drape awkwardly.

Mock up for Anna dress

I pulled out Grassy Creek. This was the 2020 Mystery Quilt from Bonnie Hunter. I love her scrappy designs and decided to follow along this year. In early January, about 4 clues in, I had a move date and so I packed up what I had and set it all aside. I saved the remaining clues as they came out, knowing I would pick it all back up at some later time. I had already finished clues 1 and 2 before the move. This is my tray of clue 3 pieces.

Grassy Creek, clue 3

Finally, there’s Penrose (no picture). This has been a long term English paper pieced project. I finally found the bag of paper templates I was working with before the move so I don’t have to cut out more templates! I think my goal for this one is to have the quilt top done by this fall so I can sandwich it up and snuggle underneath in the evenings while I hand quilt.

That’s it for this update. This week, more Grassy Creek, more Penrose!


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