Friday 28 July 2023

A Couple of Fabric Panel Projects

As I mentioned in a previous post, Fair season is almost upon us. This year, I plan to actually keep my Fair Exhibit Hall/Bench Show books, so I can refer to them throughout the year and plan my projects accordingly. That way, I won't be left madly scrambling at the last minute trying to get projects finishes so that I can enter them. We'll see how that works out...
One of the classes in the Sewing Section is Aprons. Somewhere in my stash is this lovely fabric.

It would be perfect for an apron. I didn't even buy it that long ago (the date on the picture is June 7). But can I find it now? Noooo!
There was, however, the pink John Deere apron panel.

But somehow, submitting an apron made from a panel to be judged in a fair bench show didn't seem right. But then I thought that if I had made the same style of apron from a pattern, there would be no more cutting or sewing involved than making it from a panel. The only difference would be in laying out and pinning the pattern. And since I ended up lining the apron, I did that as well by pinning the apron part of the panel to the lining fabric in order to cut it to size. 
Why did I line an apron? Well, in spite of being licensed fabric, it was really thin. I imagine one little splatter of whatever I was cooking would go right through it onto whatever I was wearing. That kind of defeats the purpose of an apron. Furthermore, not only were the finishing instructions for this apron inadequate, but not really what I wanted to do. The instructions say to finish all raw edges with serging or zigzag stitching, and then folding the edges under and topstitching. Even though that would be on the inside of the apron, I didn't consider that very functional or attractive. And trying to turn under those curved seams around the underarm would be rather challenging. Initially, my plan was to just finish the raw edges with bias tape, and I purchased an appropriate green to do so. But when I started handling the panel in preparation for cutting, I realized that it was just too flimsy. I was concerned that, once the straps were stitched in place, a good tug on a strip could rip the fabric. So, I pulled some fabric from my stash and cut out a lining. It finishes the edges much nicer than the instructions suggested. 
A couple more weird things about this panel: it doesn't say to cut the neck strap in half, but it would have been much too long otherwise (at least in my opinion); and the pocket linings were square whereas the pockets are rounded. So, this wasn't my favourite fabric panel.
Another class in the Bench Shows is for Christmas Stockings.
This panel was from Northcott. It had much better instructions and the fabric quality was better. The instructions said to use a piece of ribbon for hanging, but I chose to use a piece of the lining fabric and where I placed the hanging straps is different from where the instructions said (I don't remember where they suggested). I quilted them using the Cardinals pantograph from Urban Elementz.
Even though it's one of my smaller designs, it was still rather large for these stockings. I like to have larger designs because they work up quicker when quilting a quilt, but they don't work as well on a smaller project. Of course, you can't necessarily have the detail in a smaller design, but I may have to pick up a few just to use for quilting smaller projects. 
At least one Christmas in July project finished. 

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