These are a set of 4 placemats and napkins I made based on the pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing. I love the fabrics I chose, but I think that they feel more homemade than handmade, if you know what I mean. You have to apply the contrast fabric first, then carefully stitch the ribbon around the outside. I found it nearly impossible to make the contrast fabric lay perfectly flat, so it bubbles a little on every placemat, and it was also impossible to make the ribbon edging perfectly square, which wouldn't have bothered me except that it is pretty obvious that the center isn't square in comparison to the square outside edges. For the napkins, I just made them as big as I could for the amount of fabric I bought instead of following the instructions in the book. I will use the set but they aren't especially company-worthy. I really liked lining the placemats with cotton flannel. It gives them a nice weight and structure without being inflexible. I'll definitely make more placemats and napkins, but I think next time I'll stick simple graphic prints and ditch the contrast fabric and ribbon.
This is my newest adventure. I bought the Built By Wendy Dresses book last week, and I highly recommend it. From three basic patterns (sheath, shift, and dirndl) she shows you how to make many, many different versions. First, though, you have to make sure that the basic pattern fits properly. I'm working on a sheath variant (the Workin' 9 to 5 dress) and this is my second muslin. I think I'm on track, but the alterations I'm making are a little more complicated than adding or subtracting from the side seams (which I've already done). I need to make the front of the bodice between the armholes smaller by about 3/4" on each side in order to eliminate some gapping in the neckline. I altered the seams manually, but now I'm just hoping that I can cut the original pattern appropriately so it fits right every time. So that I will have MY pattern. The one that fits ME. Oh, and I think I'll add a set of darts to the back and shorten the sleeves as well... It's my pattern. I can do what I want, right? I have some lovely mustard colored linen washed and ready to be cut. Here's hoping I'll have a new Easter dress!