Put a Cap on It

A couple of months ago, one of my friends asked me via Facebook if I could make her some scrub caps. I’ve known Wendy since the first day of 10th grade — we met at the bus stop that morning — and she’s recently started clinicals as she pursues her nursing degree. Never made a scrub cap in my life but it sounded like a pretty easy project that would give her some fancy duds to show off at the hospital.

I looked up a few patterns and sent her the links (she lives in the Pacific Northwest). McCall’s M6107 seemed the best choice for what she needed. As far as fabric, Wendy gave me free reign.  (Brave woman!) She wanted 10 to give her enough variety; I used a combination of fabric on hand with some new yardage mixed in. I opted for some holiday-specific fabrics in addition to some of my favorite florals and novelties (I even included one made with my beautiful Heather Ross Mendocino seahorses).

My original thought was that I could use fat quarters for them. Unfortunately, they really do need half of 5/8 yard. The caps sewed up super fast. I serged around the edges of each circle instead of turning twice (oh, I am so lazy), which certainly helped with the speed factor. I think the pressing took as much time as any of the other steps.

I can’t imagine doing these on a regular basis but it was a nice little project to help out a friend.

Closer

My friend R’s sister died in 1993 after a too-brief battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 25. After her sister’s death, R began sleeping on her sister’s pillowcase and continued to do so right up until this fall, when the last pillowcase she had finally disintegrated.

When I saw R post on Facebook in November that she couldn’t sleep and needed someone to make pillowcases from the sheets. Normally, I won’t do anything that resembles “chore” sewing but I’ve known R my entire adult life and I know how close she was to her sister. I couldn’t help but say I’d help. Within three days, I had a box in my hands with a full-size set of sheets.

I quickly pressed and measured the flat sheet to calculate how many pillowcases I could make from it, then cut and sewed two, boxed and shipped them the same day. I then had to set aside the project until after I wrapped up work on a big deadline that was looming over me, a guilty feeling nagging at me as the fabric sat untouched for a few weeks.

The holidays took us to R’s little corner of the world, so I made sure to finish the delayed project because I could deliver the remaining pillowcases in person. Between the two sheets, I was able to make nine pillowcases — enough to give R a lifetime of peaceful sleep. From the larger scraps that remained, I made a small throw pillow and embroidered it was a single R, the initial shared by my friend and her sister.

Testing, 1, 2, 3 … 4?

I’ve been pattern testing again for some friends, so the next few days are going to highlight those creations. I’ll start the week out with the first dress I finished: Miss Lily for Samantha of The Handmade Dress.

I previously have tested for Sam, so I sort of knew what to expect. And I was not disappointed. She aims to design patterns that can be finished during a nap time, and I think this one will come pretty close.* It’s a really sweet bubble dress with peasant-style bodice and sleeves.

Miss L had picked out this fabric from Joann’s from the newest juvenile apparel section fabrics. The vivid pink offsest the red cherries and strawberries nicely, so I agreed to use it when she asked if I’d make the Miss Lily from it. I think it’s a great spring/summer fabric, so I suspect she’ll get a lot of wear from it in the coming months.

I love how quickly the dress came together and the bubble skirt is a cinch to sew. I think I’ll make the skirt of the next one a little bit longer so Liesl has some growing room, but the fit otherwise is spot on.

The pattern directions call for using a ribbon as the sash but I decided to sew one out of coordinating polka dot fabric. I love how the finished garment looks and wish we could wear it now — but of course the temperature dropped 30 degrees again so we’re back in coats and sweaters. LOL!

I think the dress could be as casual or as dressy as you want to make it. I’m itching to try it with some pretty eyelet or embroidered cotton and a sweet satin ribbon!

*It takes me about three times as long to sew a garment when I pattern test because I’m constantly making notes and checking that I’m following the pattern exactly as it’s written, instead of winging it.

Community

For an activity that yields something meant to be seen and admired by many, sewing is a rather solitary endeavor. Sure, my kids may be running around downstairs while I’m working or my husband may be reading a book so we can at least be occupying the same space, but it’s not like we’re all involved in the same activity.

Today was my first foray into the world of sewing retreats and I finally get the appeal. I spent the day at the shop sewing in one of the classrooms along with three to six others and it was so much fun. It always fun to meet and talk to other people who sew but it’s different to spend hours working in the same room, swapping stories and showing off works in progress. I was the sole non-quilter and managed to finish a new school bag and bento box bag for Miss L, and start a cool new jacket for her that is going to take forever and an extra dose of patience.

If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend giving it a shot! Oh,and I also suggest heading over to A Month of Stuff to check out my interview over that way, as well as all the great posts from A Month of Holiday Crafts. Great stuff!