Where To Find Me:

Etsy: makingtembo.etsy.com
Instagram: @taftisseamstress
Tumblr: taftisseamstress.tumblr.com

Special Questions? Custom Orders (hint hint wink wink)? : makingtembo@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Christmas 2015: Dog Silhouette Pillows

Back to Christmas presents! There will be posts about this for another month, at least. 

I found this wonderful tutorial on how to make a pillow with a silhouette of a dog, and decided to use the idea for a Christmas present for my dad. 

I started by printing pictures of Kara and Bundaberg in profile, gridding them, and scaling them up to a larger size. I only needed to draw the profile, and a couple extra details so they didn't look like random blobs. 

I pinned the scaled-up drawing to this awesome fabric I found in the remnants section at Fabric Outlet. It was labeled as a linen, has a twill weave and has some sort of waxy-layer on the top. Easy to sew and very durable fabric. (You might have seen it in the post last week!)

Anyway, I used gray button craft thread and sewed through the paper and fabric. When I finished, the paper was easy to tear off...except in all the little tiny parts of the cursive lettering. That was less than fun. 

The embroidered pieces were sewn to a two-piece back, so that the inside pillow could be removed. There's lots of dog hair at dad's house, so the pillows needed to be washable!

So here they are! There was some great lighting by the window, so I'm just going to put all the picture here for you:

Happy almost-February!
-Taft WK

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Christmas 2015: Cat Elbow Patches for Cat

More Christmas presents!

My friend had this wonderful jacket, but the elbows ripped a couple months ago. :(

So...I made some cute elbow patches for her for Christmas! This project was tons of fun. 

I started by making a drawing of a cat silhouette, copying liberally from various things I found on Google Images. 

I cut the pattern out and used tailors chalk to transfer the shape to some black twill I have. It's really cool fabric: the tag said it was a linen but there seems to be some sort of waxy finish on it that makes it very durable.

Two, because you can't just have one elbow patch!

I cut out the cats, folded the edges under and stitched all the way around. Then I cut an oval out of some patterned fabric I have and sewed the cat onto it. 

I posted this on Instagram while I was working on the project...so you might have already had a spoiler!

(Sorry...still haven't figured out how to rotate pictures on Blogger...)

I reversed the second cat so that they could *look* at each other from each elbow. 

So there you go! A cute little project...there might be more elbow patches in my future!

-Taft WK

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blue and Gray Quilt: Part 2

This quilt is definitely my biggest project so far, and the one I'm most proud of. It's the culmination of over a year's worth of work, and entirely hand-stitched. 

When I started (and you can read more about that here), all I knew I wanted was a quilt with blue and gray in it. I spent a couple months collecting fabric from various stores, and decided to start simple with square blocks. The pattern alternates blue and gray and is symmetrical. It came out better than expected! When I first started quilting, I thought it would look too random because no two fabrics are alike, but the symmetry helps a lot. And the lack of similarities isn't necessarily bad; each piece of fabric has a unique story of where it's from and how I came to have it for my quilt.  

Each square is quilted with 3 concentric circles. The gray squares have blue thread and the blue squares have gray thread for the outer and inner most circles. 

Ultimately, what I got from this project was an even deeper appreciation for the handmade, especially quilts. It was difficult to sew this entire piece without a machine, but I'm very glad I did it. I feel more in touch with the quilt, because I know that every stitch was made by my hands. 

The outside is finished with a blue bias binding I found at the Alemany Flea Market in San Francisco...at least before September 2014...I've had it for a really long time...

But I'm most excited to do this again! Minus the handquilting. While making this quilt, I spent a lot of time looking at pictures and patterns for other quilts...maybe there's a new project on the horizon?

I will be submitting this piece in my portfolio for college apps, so here's the video that I'm using (it's a compilation of photos that are in this post):

And finally, a big thank you to my brother and our neighbor for holding the quilt while I bossed them around for photos. "A little higher! No, a little lower than that. Nope, that's too low. Stop moving!"

If you want to see more pictures of the quilting process, be sure to find me on Instagram @taftisseamstress. I was posting lots of close-ups as I was finishing up the project. 

I'll let you know when there's another quilt in the works!
-Taft W-K 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas 2015: Personalized Pouches, Part 2

You can see the first round of pouches I made here

These projects were my absolute favorites this holiday season. They weren't complicated to construct, but still allowed me to think about who would receive it and what I could use to best represent them. Most of the time, this meant using their favorite color, but I also tried to think about font and patterns. 

(Sorry, still trying to figure out how to rotate pictures on Blogger, nearly 3 years later...)

For textiles that weren't light enough to use my disappearing ink pen on, I wrote what I wanted to embroider on tracing paper. The tracing paper was pinned to the fabric and I sewed right through it. Afterwards, you just have to tear away the paper and ta-da! Embroidery without any marks left behind. 

I used scraps and leftovers I had in my stash for most of these, but I also picked up a grab bag of trim from Fabric Outlet. That's where the awesome green velvet ribbon you see in the last one is from. 

Fabric in these pouches can also be seen on my blue and gray quilt (final post to come soon!), the quilt I made my grandparents, this year's Halloween costume, and this bow tie (even though I promised to never sew velvet again). 

And finally, my Christmas present to the people who actually read this blog:
I'm going to continue updating weekly, instead of reverting back to every other week! I made a ton of Christmas presents and finished up some projects over Winter Break, so there's enough material to keep this blog going for months. 

Happy Holidays!
Taft WK

P.S. Check out my Instagram (@taftisseamstress) if you want to see some sneak peaks of the quilt I will be posting about next week.