Quilty Top – Sleeveless shortcut

Quilty Top – Sleeveless shortcut

I learned this shorcut many years ago when making dresses to send to Guatamala. It was a way for us to make many dresses quickly, and without having to add binding/trim/edging ect. to the armholes. I made 30 of them in a week, so I know it works!
These dresses did not have a gathered front, like the top I made here, but the concept is the same.

I found this    Sleeveless Top Pattern    in a “free” box at an all day sew, and thought I’d make a quick summer top long enough to cover my hiney while sitting in those stacking chairs with the holes in the back that churches and banquets often use. When I got home, I scanned my pile of not-in-use quilt fabrics, and saw the fabric I wanted to use. A floral piece that was 50% rayon – sitting out because I didn’t know where to put it, and a left over batik from my office curtains. I am calling it my quilty top.

When I read the instructions, I imediately thought, oh no! I have to fuss with those armholes? I’m not ready for this! and then I remembered all those dresses I had made way back when.
The only difference is that, the top part that includes the armholes is in two pieces, so I would have to sew it first, then make a pattern piece for the lining from that. If using a pattern that includes the entire arm hole in a single piece, most of the work is already done for you. You can make your lining pieces from that.
After gathering the bottom piece of the front, and sewing it to the top piece, I added a cute top stitch. Gotta get my money’s worth outa that fancy machine!

 

I ironed it well, and laid it out on a piece of paper that often comes wadded up and stuffed in shipping boxes. Yes, I did iron the paper, too.
Then I traced around it, and cut it out.
I measured 3 1/4 of an inch down from the arm pit, and cut it off there.

I then matched it to the top of the pattern to make sure I got it right.

 

Pin to fabric, and cut.

Quilting_Top_Cut_Lining_Pieces
Hem each of these lining pieces at the bottom. I used my tiniest hemming foot. More gettin my money’s worth – this time with fancy feet.

Quilting_Top_Hem_Lining_Pieces

Now for the fun part.
I lay out the lining piece I made on top of the shirt piece right sides together, and sew the arms and the neck holes – but NOTHING else!
Repeat for the back.

Quilting_Top_Front_Sew_Lining_OnxQuilting_Top_Front_Sew_Lining_On_02

Clip the seam allowances on the curves, being careful not to clip into the seam.

Quilting_Top_Clip_Curves_To_Seam

Leave the back in the right sides together position. [inside out]
Turn the front right sides out.

Quilting_Top_Back_WSO_Front_RSO

Now insert the front “strap” part into the “strap” part of the back. Do this for both sets of straps.

To do that, pull it  through . . .

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_01

You want to make sure the seams line up nicely. Get your fingers in there and wiggle the fabric round, or whatever it takes, and pin it closed.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_02

Pin and then sew across the top. It should look like this.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_04

Remove some bulk, and turn inside out.

 

 

If it’s still bulky, turn it back, and trim more of the seam allowance.
If it looks a bit square in one spot, you can turn it back, and stitch a little closer on the sides.
I usually get it on the first try, but in case that doesn’t happen, just know that it ain’t over until it looks nice.

Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_07Quilting_Top_Back_Straps_Inserted_08

Once that is done turn the shirt inside out, but not the shoulder seams [those are done], and sew the lining and the sides of the shirt together in one swoop! OK, make that two swoops!

Quilting_Top_Sew_Sides

Either fold seam over and top stitch the sides, or zigzag to prevent fraying. I was lazy.

Quilting_Top_Overkill_Or_Lazy

Turn right side out, and stitch around each arm hole, plus in the ditch right under the arm pit to hold the lining in place, and you’re ready to hem!

 

Quilting_Top_Finish_Arm_Holes
I fold my hem a 1/4, and machine baste, then turn a half inch and sew with matching thread. Nothing fancy there.

Finally, you  must wear it to your favorite fabric shop to see if anyone notices the bolt of fabric that matches your new quilty top!

 

Quilting_Top_Finished01

I like it, and it was  free because I didn’t buy anything for it. I saved the lining pattern pieces, so I can churn these puppies out whenever I’m in a new quilty top mood now.

#NewQuiltyTop #SleevelessTopHack #FinishedArmHoleHack #SurpriseYourLocalQuiltShop

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One Monthly Goal

One Monthly Goal

I never joined groups before because I didn’t have time. The short version is that since I’ve changed jobs, I do have time, and I’ve been having more fun too!

One quilty project a month seams a  bit daunting, but I’ve been doing it pretty much all year sew far. I mean 5 quilts, a set of curtains, dish mat, tool bag, and even a shirt made out of left over quilt fabric [with a pattern I got at an all day sew], sew I guess I really have been doing it all along. Why not join the OMG group? Sure, maybe I’ll join and then fall apart.  but I’ll try again. Sew here we go . . .

One Monthly Goal 

and something else I’ve recently joined because I didn’t have time before was the  fabric Shop Hop
which gave me quite the tour of internet fabric shops. It took me a week, but I found all of those elusive wabbits!

I can hardly wait to see what I come up with next!

Oh, and I’ll be posting a shortcut for making sleeveless tops out of quilt fabric soon . . .

Hint, my shortcut eliminates binding the arm holes.

but if you need to look at something pretty for now, how about this stock pile of KFC [Kaffe Fasset, Brandon Mably, and Philip Jacobs] fabrics for an upcomming Back To School project . . .

KFC_NotTryinToQuiltBuyin

#FunStuff #BackToSchool

Ugly Jelly Part deux Gets Prettier – Baby Quilt

Ugly Jelly Part deux Gets Prettier – Baby Quilt

Sew, when I last posted, I had a pile of scrap strips sets left over, from the Ugly Jelly Part deux – Baby Quilt, waiting to be made into a quilt for the other Twin baby. At first, it didn’t look promising.

Stripped_PinWheel_Fabric_Leftovers

I really liked the Arkansas Traveler block and had it on my todo list. There are several versions, of this 4 patch diamond in a square block, but they are all put together with the diamonds touching in the middle, making a striking pattern.

Arkansas Traveler Block that inspired me is located here.

Looking at it for the first time, I already knew there had to be a way to make it with strips sets, and skip the paper piecing. I filed it away in my brain to make it one day.
After about 48 hours of contemplating how to make a quilt out of the scraps from yet another ugly jelly quilt, The part of my brain that had stored this pattern, and the part that was looking for a pattern finally lined up. This could be the perfect block. They were in strip sets already, and I wanted to make this block in strip sets, so why not?

As it turned out, some ladies I met at my first all day sew, spied my featherweight, and told me about a new FW [Do I have to keep spelling out Featherweight?] group that was to meet the first Fri of the month, and even though I had to work that Fri, I went after work. For an hour. I usuallly don’t work on Friday’s but sometimes I do. [Can you say “more pretty fabric?”] Why not check out this group for an hour instead of being stuck there all day possibly feeling uncomfortable, right? I mean, I have never been in any sort of sewing group before. I hoped it wouldn’t be like school where people form groups simply to exclude other people. I really like my FW, but it’s just a sewing machine. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It turned out that they were all very nice ladies, and no one gave me that first day at high school impression. Yay!
Being ya’ll don’t know me that well yet, I’ll just tell you I am very curious. I like to know how stuff works, and won’t stop until I find out, and I poke around in stores, just to see if they have anything that looks either pretty or handy. Seeing I didn’t have any time to sew, I did just that. Low and behold, I found June Tailor’s “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” 60 degree slotted ruler! Oh yeah, I’m a ruler junky, too. “I need this” I announced. I probably startled somebody, but was too excited to care.
I had already made a few cuts in my strip sets, but it had been slow going. Too much time aligning the ruler for one cut. Ugh! I rushed home with my new toy, and unwrapped this baby quickly. Easy to line up,  make 3  cuts, and get 2 at a time.

Then I paired up my 2 piece diamond strips, and began sewing them together.

That was the easy part. Oh, it wouldn’t have been, if I had to cut each diamond and make 4 patches out of them. Thank you June Tailor!

Now to take that paper piece template, cut the 2 pieces a little bigger than neccessary, and cut those from strips instead of using larger cuts to paper piece. I used 2.5 by 9 inch long strips for the small pieces, and 2.5 by 11 inches long for the large ones. Any left overs were cut into 2.5 by 2.5 squares for other quilts.

I taped the template piece to my ruler, and lined it up at and angle to cut.

Then I chain pieced one semi-triangular piece to my 4 patch diamonds at a time. These don’t have to be perfect because like the paper piece pattern, I will be trimming each finished block.

The other Arkansas Traveler quilts I have seen, all have the 4 blocks sewn together points tounching, to make the larger blocks.  One quilt I saw has these large blocks alternate with the same size block in the background fabric, which I liked the look of, but a baby quilt is too small for the alternate pattern to show up, so I had an idea.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Blocks_SquaringUp

Instead of sewing all 4 of the diamond blocks together to make one block, I would sash them and use cornerstones that alternate the color and background fabrics.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Block_Assembled

No matter where your eyes fall on it, the blocks join their neighbor to make the bigger block. It also looks a bit like butterflys.

Arkansas_Traveler_Top_50x57

I hadn’t put a border on the matching pinwheel quilt yet, because I want to make these quilts the same size. Which turned out to be a good thing, because this quilt was too long. Ugh! First I removed a row. Then it was too short. So I unsewed the row in half, then turned it to match the pattern, and sewed the half row back on.

The pinwheel was quilted with straight lines in the ditch outlining the pinwheels. Then I read the quilt spacing specs for the batting I was using [2 to 4 inches – who DOES that?], and after kicking myself for buying this batting, I had Emmy Lou do her serpentine stitch through the middle of each one.
This Arkansas Traveler was quilted in the ditch down the sides of the long sashing pieces first. Then I came in on the sides following the sashing, and stopping at every 4 patch diamond, and did a sort of figure eight encasing two of the diamond patches.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Quilting

That was a lot of turning, but I like how it looks, and I think I made my 2 to 4 inches.

Arkanasa_Traveler_Quilting01

After borders, I had 50×55 [with a 4 inch border] for the pinwheel and 50×57 [with 2 inch border] for the Arkansas Traveler and I’m calling it close enough!

Arkanasa_Traveler_Quilt_Complete03

They both got the same binding, washed up nice, and are boxed and ready to ship.
I really like these twin quilts. It almost looks like I know what I’m doing.
I am really done with pink now.

#ArkansasTraveler #TwinQuilts #DoneWithPink #UglyJellyQuilt #UglyHasATwinSister #IfItsStillUglyYouDidntCutItSmallEnough