Friday, August 30, 2019

Blue and White

Blue and white - forever and ever a favorite combination for me. Toss in a little rusty red, and my heart sings. Indigo dyeing is maybe even more seductive to me. It fits nicely with my craving for blue and white. I do love most colors and have trouble sticking with a curated palette, but I always return to blue and white.

So as I approach the birthday of DD1, my bio daughter, I created with my favorite combination. This is dangerous territory, making wearable gifts for people who don't want to hurt my feelings, but I cannot stop myself.

The first item is a haori in cottons and precious scraps from previous projects. I cut out the solid dark navy cotton with some petite mods for her tiny frame, and then proceeded to piece on top of that.

I've been down this road before, with less than spectacular results. So I was not surprised when I discovered that it just wasn't working.

All that piecing creates a very busy and somewhat stiff silhouette, like wearing a quilt. Not good.

So I took every single piece off the solid dark navy cotton and began again with the solid navy cotton pieces.

Finished Haori
I purchased this cotton print with the intent to use it with the solid navy, but I veered off course. Once back on course, I completed the haori, fully lined with the print.

Making sure that the outer coat and lining were as exactly the same size as possible, I sewed them together by first sewing the hems right sides together and adding several rows of top-stitching.

That's when I decided to add patch pockets.

I basted the two layers together to keep things from shifting during the finishing. The sleeve hems are a double fold silk bias, from a favorite blouse.

And I used some of the precious scraps for the front band. That was very satisfying.

At the end of this, my entire sewing room was covered with piles like this.

Rather than put it all away, I made DD1 a komebukuro or rice bag. Maybe she will like this, even if she doesn't like the haori. If not, I'll take it back and use it myself! I actually like it quite a lot. 

My first komebukuro bag, 6x6 inches
The komebukuro pattern is from kzstevens. I previously blogged about the red one. It is so worth the $6 for a PDF download. The download is just instructions and measurements, no pattern pieces.

This time I made the larger size described in the pattern. Of course, it's pretty easy to scale up or down, but I used her measurements. The finished large bag is 8x8 inches.

quilted bottom

I got to use some of those precious scraps (hooray!) and I quilted them to cotton flannel that was a little larger than the finished cutting sizes. 

Then I cut it down to the exact sizes listed in the instructions. This is key to making the pieces fit together.

I made a few changes to the instructions based on my previous experience making the small version. I made dots in the bottom square and quartered off the main bag piece, which is like a soft bottomless box.

That made it so much easier to attach the bottom to the body of the bag. I sewed it in 4 steps - one for each side of the square bottom, clipping at each corner in the main bag piece.

Outer bag before attaching lining
The lining was cut to the exact dimensions and sewn in 4 steps too. I got to use some scraps from Christina Daily's kind donation to me. It is shibori-dyed cotton and linen, and has a fairly beefy hand. There was no need to interface anything, given the quilting on the outside and weight of the lining.

I added a little rusty red square and lamp shades to the cording ends. These two additions finally did make my heart sing.

Note: I'm sure these little fabric scraps on the ends should not be called lamp shades. I just cannot remember the proper term, as taught to me by BSF.

I am so grateful for this satisfying hobby that allows me to surround myself with colors and shapes I treasure.


  1. So pretty, with MUCH attention to detail. Lucky daughter!

  2. Shame that the pieced haori didn't quite work as planned. Patchwork for garments can be tricky. Love the final version and the piecing on the band. The komebukuro is a triumph in the use of scraps. Lucky DD1 to receive such a great present. Hope she appreciates it.

    1. She said she did and I'll take her at her word! Thanks.