Monday, 29 April 2013

Sizing standards, grumble grumble.

It feels to me like there's been a bit of a blog silence here.  Mr Button is recovering from an operation and Baby Button is spreading food around the place, which means not much else is being accomplished.  Hey ho.

The Blooper Shirt v1.0 which I finished drafting some time ago appears quite large when I printed it out.  In an unexpectedly long baby nap, I decided to test this theory by measuring stuff.

The little mini-mode shirt in 6-9 month size seems to have the same dimensions as a lovely 9-12 month M&S shirt he has unworn in his drawer: whoops.  I guess he could have been wearing that!  These are only slightly smaller than the town shirt in 9-12 month size I made for him last month.  All of these are about 2cm smaller in length and width than my 12 month sized Blooper pattern.  Some calculations from my pattern drafting size charts reveal that had I drafted a 6 month size for the blooper shirt then it would match the aforementioned commercial shirts.

It's not news that clothes from different shops are different sizes, but I'm still irked at the discrepancy.  The mini-mode shirt is similar in size to all the other 6-9 month clothes that Baby Button has, and he's between 6-9 and 9-12 ranges at the moment.  I'm surprised that my pattern-cutting textbook would have him in a 6 month size: that means the book drafts come up large compared to most commercial ranges.  Also I have to draft a new shirt to try it on my model.  Bummer.

On another note, I realise that this blog already at 1/4 the number of page views (in total) of my most popular post at the Splendid Fishpaste Auditorium.  Amusingly this post is about a really dull Fortran gotcha.  Dearest internet: you have strange tastes.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Button cushion

This cushion was inspired by one I saw here.

The front is ever so simple to make.  I cut the cream fabric out as a 21.5" sided square.  I used thick curtain lining, I think: it's certainly considerably heavier than quilting cotton.  Then I folded it corner-to-corner and finger-pressed along the diagonals; this helps to find the centre of the cushion.  Don't iron these creases like I did, or you may never get them completely out again!

Cut 11.5" square piece of contrast fabric.  I used pink raw silk (which might just be polyester masquerading as fancy silk).  Place a 11" square piece of card in the centre of the fabric on the wrong side, and fold the edges around the card.  This helps you get the 1/4 turn neat.  See this tutorial (from Hyena in Petticoats) on how to deal with the corners in this method.  (The tutorial is unrelated, but there is a step in there on folding around a 9" square in the manner I am suggesting.)  You now have a neat 11" square.

Place your front-fabric right-side upwards on a flat surface, then place the contrast square right-side upwards on top.  Use those diagonal creases to help align the 11" contrast square in the centre of your cushion front.  Pin in place, then neatly top-stitch through all layers around the contrast square to attach it to the front.  For this, I'd stitch around close to the edge in a matching thread using a short stitch-length.  Then press the whole lot: it's your last chance to press the contrast fabric.

Securing the contrast fabric

Next comes the button placement.  I went for 100 buttons arranged in a 10x10 grid, spaced by 1".  Buttons can be bought cheaply online by weight, so if you don't mind pot-luck then it's the way to go!  Sometimes it looks like you get left-overs from clothing manufacturers.  I used a combination of these, and buttons taken from my husband's shirts (not the ones still in his wardrobe, I hasten to add!).  My average button diameter was 10mm.

I used my 11" card template and drew the 1" grid on it.  (Note that the first and last rows/columns of buttons start 1/2" from the edge.)  Next I transferred the markings to my cushion front.  There are probably much better ways to do this, but I aligned the template on the cushion front then stuck pins through the template where each button would go.  I then made a dot where the pin struck the fabric below using a dressmaker's pencil.  The world of quilting might have better ideas: perhaps you can puncture the card template at each button position, align with the cushion front, then shake chalk-powder over the template such that it marks the fabric where the holes are.

Once the holes are marked, I tediously stitched each button on by machine.  I tried to alternate the way I stitched the four-hole buttons from "x" to "+" across the cushion.  To machine stitch the button, I set my machine to zig-zag with a stitch length of 0.  I removed the very base of my presser-foot, leaving just the foot shank.  I then lowered the shank so that it held the button down onto the fabric, and carefully stitched between two holes about 7 times.  Next, I lifted the needle and presser-foot-shank, rotated the fabric, lowered the shank and stitched through the other two holes.  After removing the work from the machine, I pulled all the threads through to the back of the work and tied them off before trimming them short.

Varying the stitch pattern between "+" and "x".
This method requires you to hold the button with your fingers as the shank only presses on the back edge of the button (at least on my machine).  Watch you don't stitch your fingers!  When moving to the other set of holes, be careful not to move the fabric sideways while you rotate it, else you'll get knotty loops beneath the fabric.  You must also be careful in choosing your zig-zag stitch width.  On my machine, the needle always goes down on the extreme left for one side of the zig-zag, and it's just the right-hand position (for the other side of the zig-zag) that changes.  That means it's easy to stitch the left hole first, then tune the stitch width so the needle goes down the right hole.  You must stitch very slowly to avoid hitting the button and shattering it or breaking your needle.  Good times, but I think it's faster than by hand.

Piping: oops!  You can see the braid texture through my flimsy fabric choice!
Button back

The back of the cushion is a button-back (see here) made with upholstery weight stripy fabric.  I also used some piping I made myself using the same pink silk-stuff as the front.  I like piping, even though my sewing machine is very bad at attaching it - I need to do a post about my work-around for that.

This post is part of a series:

Monday, 22 April 2013

My favourite dressmaking book

I guess it's not massively helpful to review an out-of-print book, but you can sometimes get it used on Amazon for £0.01, and I've seen it several times in charity shops, so you can still buy a copy if you look out long enough!  Right now there are several on eBay for 99p.

Here goes: my favourite ever dressmaking book is "The Encyclopedia of Advanced Dressmaking", edited by Annie Woolridge.  It's not really a teach-you-the-basics one, but once you've made a few simple dresses you'll be past that stage anyway.  As soon as you want to try even a simple skirt or shirt there are already techniques in here that you'll find you need.  For example, different hemming methods and when to use them, types of interfacing and when to use them, waistbands, pleats, and this is all before page 25!  Pleasingly, most of the fashions in here have come round again already (inverted contrast pleats, wasn't that 2007-ish?)

There's also a fair bit on pattern alterations, both for fit and style (e.g. sleeve types) which is pleasing, and quite a lot of pages are devoted to grading patterns into different sizes.  That's pretty useful if you want to have a stab at making patterns yourself, or the pattern you got for free/cheap wasn't quite in the right size.

The tailoring techniques section looks to have a lot of the basics, but it's worth investing in a book on that whole subject if you're going there and want to do it properly.

There's also loads on how to work with difficult fabrics: sheers, leather, fur, velvet, sequinned etc.  What I like about this book's approach is that it doesn't waste time telling you how it's easy, it just tells you how to do it right.  There are no corner-cutting suggestions, just dictums on the right way to cut a skirt from tartan fabric so that the checks don't just match, but fall in the right places on the shirt front.  That's the level of nit-picky detail I love it for.

What the book does not do is cover every technique you'll need.  I haven't found piping or invisible zippers in here (although I may have missed them).  It's not really an encyclopedia in that sense.

Unlike so many books today that have you learn techniques through projects, or have "easy" projects at the end of each chapter which turn out mostly to be ugly bags, this book saves the patterns to the last half of the book where they're printed in graph form for you to enlarge yourself.  At a second glance they do seem to include some of the techniques in the book (fur, leather, sheers, silks and lace), but that doesn't appear to have been the motivation for choosing them.  Rather, they're a well rounded selection with something for everyone, and are awesome 70s style.  There is a nightie, several coats and loads of dresses, a peplum camisole (back in fashion right now) with matching skirt, some slightly comical menswear, a dated wedding dress and some maternity wear.  For the kiddies there is a sun-dress, adorable duffel coats and a really cute sou'wester set.  Okay, some patterns look terribly dated, but quite a few are classics.

The book is published by Marshall Cavendish Books Limited in 1978.  It's worth buying just for the fabulous fashion illustrations!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Finally finished that shirt pattern!

This has taken me an absolute age (gah!) because I had to stop to re-stock the shop, do a bunch of tedious mending and do the parish newsletter.  Plus, it's really hard to accurately draw with your left hand while feeding baby. Enough excuses!  It's done now, and all that remains is to separate the pages for A4 printing and try it out.

I think this pattern will be the first of many iterations, as this one has a separate collar stand but no back yoke, and I really want to do a yoke eventually.  Plus I want to put in more cute menswear details, and then do a girly version.  Start pestering me now if your child wants to be my girly-shirt tester!  (It'll be a 12 month size.)

I thought it would be fun to name my shirt iterations after sails, so I bring you... "The Blooper Shirt".  Clearly I had to start somewhere, and the blooper is clearly the most ridiculous and awesome of all the sails.  See here and here.  The alternative name for this sail is just as silly.

Blooper blooper blooper.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Pleated/tucked cushion

My inspiration was this "pintuck pillow" at the Long Thread.  I hesitate to call mine pintucks because they are quite wide really.  Hooray for maths, which helps you to make the cushion right first time, in any size!

Tucks are 1/4" and spaced by G as shown.

First, choose your finished cushion size, X.  Mine was 20.5" each side.  Then choose how many 1/4" tucks you want, Y.  I went for 16 tucks on my cushion.  For Y tucks, you'll have Y gaps between rows of stitching, and we want to work out how big these gaps will be by calculating G = X/Y.  For me, G = 20.5"/16 = 1 9/32", or 1 1/4", close enough.  When we make the tucks, we'll centre them on the cushion, so that there's a gap of G/2 at each side of the cushion before the tucks start.

How big should the fabric be?

Each 1/4" tuck uses 1/2" of fabric, and we also need to add 1/2" all round for the seam allowance when we cut the cushion back.  So approximately I'll need a piece X + Y*1/2" + 1" wide by X + 1" high.   For me this is 20.5" + 16*1/2" + 1" = 29.5" wide, by 20.5" + 1" = 21.5" high.  If you can, it's better to cut out a piece a few inches larger than this all round.  This is because it's easy for your tucks to pull light fabric off-square or for the piece to end smaller than you intended.  Just a 1mm error on each seam makes over 1/2" error by the time you have tucked the whole 16!  So do all the tucks in a bigger piece and cut it back to size at the end.

Making the tucks

You'll be making tucks parallel to the short edge of your fabric.  Each tuck is made by ironing the fabric wrong-sides together, then stitching a scant 1/4" from the fold.  This is quilter-speak for slightly smaller than 1/4", so that by the time the fabric is opened out and pressed then you have used 1/4" exactly.  This is because the stitching line never presses perfectly open (the fabric is not infinitely thin!).  After each tuck, I like to open the fabric out and press the fold toward one side.  I think it's satisfying to watch it come together, plus I love to iron.  But not laundry, that would be boring.  :-)

The first crease should be at least 1/2" + G/2 + 1/4" from one end.  This is the seam allowance, plus half-a-gap, plus the 1/4" tuck size.  I ironed my first crease more than 1/2" + (1.25"/2) + 1/4" = 1 3/8" from one end.   Actually, I probably did it 2" from the end because I'd given myself the wiggle-room discussed above.  Then, with the piece still folded wrong-sides together, I stitched the 1/4" seam as discussed.

It's then just a matter of pressing and stitching and pressing again for each tuck.  The next tuck should be made by pressing the fold in at a distance of G + 1/4" from the last stitching line, which for me was 1.5".  Then once you've stitched and pressed you'll find the stitching lines are separated by G.

A word on picking threads, as the stitch line is visible in this project.  Always take your fabric with you and look at a length of the thread unwound from the spool and lying over the fabric.  You're unlikely to get a good match without doing this, as the thread can look very different on the spool!  If in doubt, go a shade darker than the fabric, not lighter, as this will blend better.

Making up the cushion

Cut your front back to the intended size, for me this was 21.5" square (for a 20.5" cushion with 1/2" seam allowance all round).  I find a quilters' square, self-healing mat and rotary cutter are good for this job.  Make sure your tucks are central on the cushion front as you do this!

I added a button back to my cushion.  Details on how to do this (and fabric amounts) are here.

You can just stitch the front directly to the back, but I prefer the look of piping.  I made my own covered piping using strips of fabric and piping cord.  One is supposed to cut bias-strips at 45 degrees to the grain, as the fabric flexes and bends better, and I'd imagine wears better too.  However, I am cheap and ignored this as it leaves you with either (a) two very large annoying triangles of fabric left and an empty wallet, or (b) nearly used-up fabric, but piping with many seams in it, or else yards and yards of piping.  Anyway, more on piping in the aforementioned post on button backs.

This post is part of a series:

Friday, 12 April 2013

New items in shop!

After a bit of delay procuring supplies, the shop is now re-stocked with vest extenders, including two adorable new prints: whale and birdhouse!  Check them out!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Tree cushion

The design for this cushion front is entirely due to the very talented Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.  Check out her amazing quilts!  She posted this tutorial here: clicky.  I have copied her tree design exactly as it's awesome.

A couple of changes I made:
  • I ironed small scraps of double-sided fusible to slightly larger scraps of fabric in a bid to save on both materials and minimize glue accidentally getting on my iron sole-plate.
  • The cream fabric behind the tree is a heavier weight fabric from the curtains and upholstery department, rather than a thin quilting cotton.  I thought this would hold the tree flatter and get less distorted by the layers of fabric and stitches.
  • The cushion back is made from a sandwich of quilting cotton and the same cream fabric as the front.  This makes it more robust (see my tutorial here).
  • The cushion is large, about 20.5" each side.
  • I went for machine satin-stitching (close zig-zags) around the applique to stop the fabric fraying with repeated wear.

This tutorial is part of a series:

Monday, 8 April 2013

Cathedral window cushion

I'm going to be rubbish here, and I won't write my own tutorial.  Rather, I'll link to some people who have written very good ones: click here for PatchworkDelights, and click here for Hyena in Petticoats.

I have a few things to say about sizing the blocks.  I wanted about a 20" cushion cover, with 4 windows to stretch across each side.  I wanted to get a good number of fabrics in there, and my lovely mother-in-law (hello there!) helped me choose the right size.

Using the magic of maths (20/4, wow), that means each coloured diamond is 5" tip-to-tip (measurement X on the picture below).

No charts are necessary to help you cut your fabric when you have the power of trigonometry, my friends.  The cream fabric squares should have side 2*X once the edges have been folded in by 1/4", so you should cut squares of side (2*X + 1/2").  That means I had to cut the cream fabric into squares of side (2*5" + 1/2"), which is 10.5".  To do this, I recommend a quilter's square, a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat.  I'm linking to Jaycotts when I can because they've got a really good selection of tools, in my opinion!

To help press those 1/4" seams in, I made a 10"x10" card template.  I could then just fold the fabric around this, press with an iron, then remove the card.  Hyena in Petticoats has a good description of this method.

Each intersection of coloured windows (where the 4 corners touch) is the centre of a cream square, so I used 16 cream squares of fabric.

The coloured windows are made from squares which have side Y when the edges have been folded in by 1/4".  The magic of trig tells us that Y = X/sqroot(2), or approximately  Y = X/1.41.  Again, you need to add 1/2" when you cut out, so you can fold the edges in later.  I cut out squares of 4"x4", and folded them round a card template of 3.5"x3.5".  This cushion used 24 whole coloured squares, and 12 partial squares (missing a corner) for the edges.  The edge windows ended up with unfinished coloured bits sticking out, but they are taken care of when you attach the pillow back.

I top-stitched the curved folds because I am lazy and I don't trust my hand stitching to stand the rigours of my sofa.

I made the back from upholstery weight fabric to try and match the weight of the thick patchwork front.  When I sewed the two together, I stitched as close as possible to the edge of the patchwork piece, as there is no seam allowance on the front as such.  For a tutorial on the cushion back, clicky clicky!

This post is part of a series.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Cushions: making a button back

Most of the cushions I made recently have a button back.  I like the button look and I'd never tried it before.  It turns out a zip would have been easier and used less fabric, but hey ho.  Buttons are awesome!

Choosing the back fabric

If you are not using the same fabric for the back and front of the cushion then I'd recommend choosing fabric for the back of the same weight, or even slightly heavier than the front fabric.  I feel this makes the front look more soft and squishy in comparison, and puffier.  You probably don't want the comfy-looking bit to be the back!

I prefer stiffer cushions that hold their shape in a living room, so I mainly chose fabric that was upholstery weight (or at least heavier than quilting cotton).  It's not always possible, and I did do some with quilting cotton for both back and front. 

In one instance, where the front was in heavy fabric and I wanted the print from some quilting cotton on the back, I used a trick to ensure the back was thick and heavy enough.  I placed the quilting cotton on top of cream curtain lining and sewed the two fabrics as if they were one.  This is the plaid cushion pictured at the top of this post.

For some fabrics, it makes sense to stabilise the areas around the buttons and button-holes that will be taking some strain.  I recommend fusible interfacing these areas.  I did this for the silk-effect fabric, but didn't think it necessary when I used the heavier upholstery fabric.  I'd certainly make the effort with fabrics that are easy to fray or crease, including quilting cottons.  I'll describe this step, but feel free to omit it.

Silk-effect fabric, stabilised around the button-holes.

Making a template

The following diagram shows a template suitable for cutting the front and back pieces for a 24" cushion pad.  I prefer firm puffy pillows, which is why the finished side is 20.5".  I found this acceptable, even if the pad measures a little smaller (e.g. 23") than the advertised size.

Template: click for larger image

You could use any large sheet of paper (or taped together sheets) for this, but I find it handy to keep a roll of lining wallpaper for these sorts of tasks.  It also comes in handy for pattern drafting and making templates that are more hard-wearing.  I used a piece of A4 paper to ensure my corners were right-angled.

Cutting the fabric

Be sure to have the template square with the selvedge of the fabric.  Cutting out at another jaunty angle will result in a cushion that pulls in a very funny way.  I had a commercially made shirt cut from the fabric "on the bias" once - it was really uncomfortable and looked a mess.  Don't be tempted by the promise of diagonal stripes!

Cut from the fabric using the whole template for the front.  Fold the template along A to cut for the lower back piece, and fold along B to cut for the upper back piece.  Have the arrows pointing upward on your fabric to orient the pieces correctly if your fabric has a directional design or a nap (like velvet).

Careful cutting may be needed to match patterns or stripes at the opening.
If you need to interface around the button holes and button area, cut two lengths of medium-weight fusible interfacing.  One of dimension 21.75" x 4", and one of 21.75" x 2".

If you want to make a long and narrower cushion, remove some of your template long the sides X and Y before using it.

Long and narrow version: re-positioning the buttons may be necessary.

Sewing the back pieces

Take the lower back piece A.  Fold the top edge under (wrong sides together) by 1/2" and press.  Fold again in the same direction by 4" and press.  You should now have a neat 4" turn-under on the wrong side of your fabric with no raw edge showing.

If you are going to strengthen where the buttons will be, open the fold and iron the 4" strip of fusible interfacing between the fold lines on the wrong side of the fabric, following manufacturers instructions.  The interfacing is now fused to a part that will not be visible from outside the cushion, so that even if the interfacing goes bubbly with age you won't see it.  Then re-fold the fabric along those creases.

Interfacing location on turn-under
Make a straight line of machine stitching just less than 4" from the top of the back piece (or about 1/8" inside the first fold) so that the doubly-folded fabric is held in place.

Stitched turn-under viewed from wrong side of back piece

Take the upper back piece B.  Fold the bottom edge under (wrong sides together) by 1/2" and press.  Fold again in the same direction by 2" and press.  You should now have a neat 2" turn-under on the wrong side of your fabric with no raw edge showing.  Interface as before with the 2" strip if necessary, and machine stitch just less than 2" from the bottom of the piece to catch all the folds and hold them flat.

Press both pieces to "set" your stitches.

Assembling the back

Place the  pieces on a flat surface, right sides up, and align them as they will be in the cushion.  B should overlap A and together the edges should produce a square the same size as your front fabric piece.  Pin the overlapped edges together and machine-baste (sew with a long stitch) up the sides, 3/8" from the raw edge.  This will hold the two pieces as one while you assemble the cushion.

Aligning back pieces

Assembling the cushion

If you wish to add piping, fix it to the front fabric before you attach the cushion back.  A good tutorial is at Make it & Love it, and you'll need to switch to a zipper foot for the next bit, in order to stitch close enough to the piping.

Pin the cushion back to the front, right sides together.  Sew around the square with a 5/8" seam allowance.  I sew around twice to make extra sure, and add even more stitches around the corners which take strain as you turn the work the right way.

Trim the corner fabric off, leaving a mm or so around the stitches.  Neaten your seams: I trim to 3/8" and zig-zag stitch all layers together over the edge to stop fraying. Turn your work the right way out and poke the corners out using e.g. a blunt crochet hook.

Trimming corners
Mark the location of your button-holes on the fabric with a dressmaking chalk or pencil.  I spaced mine by 5" and placed them centrally on the 2" band on piece B (i.e. 1" from the edge).

Make your button-holes on piece B.  I used the one-step button-hole maker that came with my machine; 29mm is pretty much the largest button diameter it can handle.  I practised a bunch of times first to make sure I could start in the right place to get my button hole centrally about the chalk mark I'd made.  Slash a hole in the centre of your button-hole stitching.  Once all holes are made, align your cover neatly and use a pencil to mark through the holes where the buttons will be placed.

Cover your buttons according to the packet instructions; I used three 29mm diameter ones.  Buttons this large are easier to cover and more robust if you get the metal ones, as the plastic ones I got were quite flimsy when this big.  Oddly, I found that for tiny buttons (10mm or less), the plastic ones were better...!  Sew your buttons to piece A at the marks you made.

You're done!  Shoehorn that big fluffy cushion in and do up the buttons!  It'll be a tight fit for now, but will be looser with age and use.

This tutorial is part of a series

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Cushions: a tutorial-fest

Hello m’dears.

Over the next few weeks the button ship will be calling at the pillow port, since I want to record for posterity all the sewing I did while waiting for baby button.  The recording needs to happen before baby button chunders on them or colours them in with a felt-tip.

I made a lot of matching-but-not-matching cushions for our very beige living room in the hope that it would liven things up.  I was allowed to have pink(!) and green, and Mr Button even picked out the fabrics for me, kudos.

All the designs are mostly from tutorials by other wonderful sewists (to whom I owe much gratitude and links), and one is a knock-off of a cushion I saw in a shop.  I'm going to share with you links to the tutorials and hopefully some handy tips while I'm at it.  I'm afraid I'm going to stop short of full illustrated tutorials for the changes I made because I didn't take photos at the time and it would just be too much to draw diagrams for this lot!  I'll explain the cushion button backs though.

The fabrics are some raw silk (or synthetic imitation) and some heavy striped cotton which came from Dunelm Mill and a selection of quilting cottons, cream cotton and heavy cream curtain lining which came from John Lewis.  There's also a bit of grey suiting from my stash.  I like to buy my fabric in person and these shops just happened to be within striking distance.  They're not especially my favourites for selection or price.

The cushion pads were bargainous: these are duck-feather pads from Dunelm Mill and the price scales by cushion side not by volume, meaning you get more feathers for your money the larger you go.  I really like my cushions heavy and firm, so the cushion covers are a good few inches smaller than the basic pads.  That's why you'll see them bursting at the seams right now, and hopefully not looking too deflated after a few years of heavy use.  They're really quite weighty; I'd totally recommend getting yourself down to Dunelm Mill for these!

Quick links to my posts on each cushion below:
  • Cushion backs (here)
  • Cathedral window cushion (here)
  • Tree cushion (here)
  • Pleated cushion (here)
  • Button cushion (here)
  • Sprocket cushion (here)
  • Chrysanthemum cushion (here)
  • Bobble cushion (here)

To all the people who made these awesome tutorials available free on the internets: thank you!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Happy Easter

Ahoy there!

Happy Easter me hearties.  We took baby Button to his grandparents for Easter, so there's been a break in the stitching for a few days.  However, I did get some quality knitting time in which I started on the sleeves for baby's cardigan.

I know the shop is now empty again (boo hoo!) but never fear: I've ordered some cute new fabrics to re-stock it with nappy related goodies.  I can't wait for them to arrive!  Hopefully I'll be able to stock more than a single item soon.  ;-)

Before I went away, I re-drafted my shirt pattern again using a vector graphics program.  I hope I can share some neat (and some rather hacky) tricks to draw out patterns in Inkscape.  Coming soon, I guess!

On my sewing table is yet another pushchair rain-cover to mend.  Bah.  The fabric trim on those things is stitched on, and the stitch-holes seem to act as a "tear here" line in the cold weather!  Unfortunately I don't know a better way of fixing them other than adding more tape and stitches over the tears, which means more weak points for next winter.  Hey ho.  There'll have to be quite a bit of tape before baby Button can't actually see through it all, so probably we're okay for a bit!

Before any more stitching from me, I've got some serious cushion-related posts for you.