Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’
Okay, so it turned out to be a 25 month Stitch-A-Long, rather than a 12 month Stitch-A-Long, but it is still FINISHED! And, I do like this method of taking large projects and breaking them up into “doable” chunks.
I’m afraid the budget doesn’t allow for a gorgeous double -matted frame job, so what to do, what to do? I reached way back into my “toolbox” of sewing skills (WAY back, haven’t made a quilt or wall hanging in years!), and decided to turn it into a little wall hanging. I found some sweet fabric to reflect some of the dominant colors which are also found in my office (I spend much more time there than at home, so decided that is where it will hang — it will also help on some of those challenging days to remember these “Living with Charm” words).
I considered how wide I wanted the finished product to be, and decided that I wanted the emphasis on the stitching so the borders and binding are fairly narrow.
It needed a little something to give it some form, but I didn’t want to use iron-on interfacing. I had some leftover pieces of soft white flannel which worked perfectly!
There will definitely be a theme of “the dissertation is done, so Debbie is starting to play ‘catch-up’ with projects” with my upcoming posts. It has been so nice to sew/cook/craft again. Not that I worked on the dissertation/school work ALL of the time, but I found myself feeling so guilty about doing anything else, that instead, I would just sit and do nothing or web-surf looking for new projects that I didn’t have time to do!
A while ago, Jen came across in a catalog this creative way to store stuffed animals. Did she order a couple? Oh no, she said, “I bet Mom could make those a lot cheaper!” (I think they were about $75 in this speciality catalog). I did manage to make one for Little S (who had the stuffed-animals-reaching-the-point-of-room-takeover situation going on!) and she received it for her birthday over a year ago. Both of the girls loved the project and requested I make them for the rest of the “grands” — I bought the fabric, even cut it out, but didn’t get them made until just in time for this Christmas. And, they were a hit!
This “storage solution” would also work great for a dorm room or small apartment (to store extra linens, winter jackets, etc.).
Start out with any bean bag chair pattern.. I used “D” of Simplicity Pattern #5105 (which I can guarantee was purchased during one of JoAnn’s any-pattern-for-$1.99 sales — I do NOT pay full price for patterns!).
Heavy fabric, such as duck or denim (you do not want it to be stretchy!), according to pattern requirements
22″ long zipper (closed at one end)
1/2 yard mesh fabric (like what is used for laundry bags)
Cut out the fabric pieces according to the pattern directions. Begin sewing pieces together, again, according to the pattern directions; however, instead of just a simple seam between two of the pieces, insert the zipper.
For the piece which will be opposite where the zipper has been inserted, cut out some of the heavy fabric and insert a “window” of the mesh fabric. In the “sample” Jen found in the catalog, this window was made of vinyl … so that was how I made the first bean bag — not a good idea! Little S almost immediately zipped herself (we should have known!) into the bag and couldn’t get out. Luckily, a little friend was over playing and we were alerted to her predicament! So, before making anymore, I did a bit of fabric “research” and came up with the mesh idea. If you’re making one of these for an older child or teen, or even a young adult, the “window” isn’t really necessary — mainly just allows for the furry friends to be remembered!
Continue to follow pattern directions to complete the “bean bag chair”, simply using your “modified” panels.
Since these “chairs” are likely to get heavy use (Little S drags hers all over the house so she can sit wherever the action is happening!), I double stitched all seams and top-stitched through the seam allowances which I pressed to one side.
There’s a huge Christmas charity event that happens each year where I work. They poll area schools for 100 children to come out, ‘meet Santa’, attend a party, and…the best part…get presents. This event is huge. I mean HUGE. They plan for it all year, host several fundraisers, and it always makes the local newspapers. They allow the teachers to select the students and then they take it from there to make sure each child is taken care of. I’ve seen it two years now and each time it makes me cry.
As the Christmas party gets closer, they have a silent auction to have one last fundraiser before the party. Each year I’ve wanted to donate something, but having time to prepare was always my problem (time is almost ALWAYS my problem). This year, though…this year I planned ahead and made a lap quilt to go in the auction.
I know it’s a simple design, but I’m a sucker for a good ol’ square patterned quilt. I love the simplicity of them, the allowed randomness, and, I don’t know, I just like ‘em. I made this one in red, white, and blue fabrics (that I bought in a yard sale!). While I did follow a diagonal blue and red pattern, I didn’t follow a pattern in how to arrange the various patterns of fabric. I used 9 different patterns and didn’t worry if one of the squares was touching the same pattern…I just went with it.
I did run into a little issue about which I’d like to give a ‘quilting tip’. I wasn’t paying close attention to how wide my quilt top was in relation to my back fabric. The top was about 2-3 inches wider than the back. I really didn’t want to remove a row of squares and make it narrower (the quilt measures 43″ wide and 56″ long). So I started thinking…I made my bias tape for the edges and instead of making the top side equal to the bottom side, I simply made the bottom about twice the width as the top. You can see in the pictures what I mean.
Because I was using fabric from a ‘grab bag’ found in a yard sale, I was on a bit of a ‘budget’ for the backing fabric. I didn’t have a large enough fabric piece to use for the entire back, so I ended up using four different fabrics (all were also used in the quilt top) to complete the back. I was a bit afraid of how it would turn out, but now I love it. It’s truly a scrap quilt!
(Pardon the junk on the shelves. The craft room is a work in progress.
Do you have any crafts or ideas that you frequently use for donation items?
It seems as if we are all silently motivating each other to get back to work on our Threaded Together blog! One person posts and all the rest of us seem to follow suit. I hope that we are going to be able to keep up the momentum!
When I got my embroidery machine, the first thing I wanted to make were custom burp cloths for some friends. Kelley made me some when I had Little S and I absolutely adored them. They were the only burp cloths I would use. I got so many compliments from other mothers who were carrying around plain, boring burp cloths. They are so easy to make and are a lovely handmade gift.
I know there are a ton of tutorials out there on how to make these burp cloths, but I am still going to share what works for me. Please keep in mind that I am not a seamstress and my sewing skills are very amateur!
To complete these burp cloths, you will need burp cloths, fabric (I prefer flannel for this project), thread, and your sewing machine.
The first step is to embroider the burp cloths with your design. If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can skip this step. They will still be adorable burp cloths and make a great gift. Also, you can check around your local embroidery places and see how much it will cost to have them embroider. For such a small design, it may only be a few dollars.
Next, cut your fabric about an inch bigger (all around) than the burp cloth.
Fold over the fabric to create a pretty edge, iron and pin to the fabric. Here is where I go all amateur sewing skills on you. These burp cloths are sometimes all wacky and making a perfect square will not fit the burp cloth properly. I fold the fabric over the top of the burp cloth as a way to measure it.
Here is my stack all ready to be sewn!
Once the fabric is pinned to the burp cloth, sew all around the perimeter of the cloth. I use a zig zag stitch.
After that, sew up the lines of the burp cloth. This will make the same lines down the flannel fabric giving it a more finished look.
Wrap up with a pretty bow and give to the lucky mother!
I don’t know about you, but I think patio furniture is pretty overpriced. It sits on the porch, gets beaten up by the elements, and clobbered by the pollen (especially if you’re in Florida). Also? It’s rare that I ever find patio furniture that’s actually comfortable. My husband and I have a rocking chair and short table set that we love. We love it because it’s fairly sturdy, it was free (a hand-me-down from my parents), it fits on our tiny back porch, and it’s very comfortable. This past weekend I cleaned up the back porch and realized that our furniture was looking a bit ‘weathered’. Here’s a quick way to revamp your patio furniture.
New Cushions/Slipcovers: If you already have cushions on your chairs, you can recover them and use the same padding. If you don’t have cushions (or want to ditch the existing padding), you can purchase new foam at any craft store (or even Wal-Mart). I used the existing cushions.
1. First I wanted to put a zipper in the back of the cushion so I could remove them for easier washing (pollen…remember the pollen). I sewed the back seam with a long stitch.
2. On the wrong side of the fabric, I pinned down my zipper (face down). Using a zipper foot, I sewed in my zipper (the face of the zipper facing the ‘ugly side’ of the seam).
3. I then re-sewed the rest of the back seam with a shorter stitch. Once secure, I flipped the fabric over and pulled out the stitches only on the zippered portion.
4. Before sewing the rest of the seams, I pinned down some smaller sections of ribbon to make ties. Since chairs differ so much, be sure you make them long enough to tie around the bars on your chairs.
5. ALSO, be sure to unzip the zipper before you sew up all the other sides of your cushion. If not, you might say a bad word as you look for your seam ripper. :-)
6. Stuff your new cushion covers with either your old cushion or new and tie to your patio chair. Because our chairs are able to fold up, I tied them loosely to keep the ribbons from getting caught and/or broken when folding up the chair.
Neck Pillows: This is an idea I would LOVE to take all the credit for, but my mom helped me come up with it. Granted, we thought it up about eight years ago, but these little pillows are still a favorite. You know that void of a space behind your neck when you lean your head back against a chair? This little pillow fills that void and is SO comfy.
1. Make a small rectangular pillow (same process for a regular pillow). Mine measured about four inches tall and six inches wide. Turn it, stuff it, and sew up the hole.
2. Attach ribbons to the middle of the back of the pillow. You can either do this on your sewing machine before you sew up and stuff the pillow or you can do it by hand after stuffing. I always forget and end up sewing mine by hand.
3. Tie the pillow to the back of your chair. You’ll probably want to sit in the chair to determine placement (comfort is an exact science!).
Table Top Cover: Sometimes outdoor tables ‘turn’ and, no matter how much you scrub and clean them, continue to look dirty. This little table cover gives you a clean look with the ‘wash and wear’ capability.
1. Spread your fabric over your table and cut along the edge. I left about three inches dangling from the lip of the table.
2. Sew up a casing along the edge. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect…it’s for the porch!
3. Run elastic through the casing, and either tie off the ends or sew them together. I personally like sewing them with the sewing machine. I once had a tied piece of elastic came apart on me and now I always sew them together on the machine.
4. Your tablecloth is complete. Slip it over your table and voila. A simple to clean tablecloth for the back porch.
When we look back over the year, Threaded Together has come a long way. We went from one post in January to posting more than 3 times a week now. We talked my sister-in-law into joining us and Marissa challenged herself to bake an amazing dessert every day for 30 days. We joined the crafting community and have met some amazing people. We found fantastic projects to try and shared a few of our own. We have had lots of people stop by and see what we have to say, leave us awesome comments, and for the that we are thankful. We appreciate you!
I think that the best part of our top ten viewed posts is that all four of us had a post on the top ten list! Here are the ten most viewed posts of 2010:
And the #1 MOST VIEWED POST this year?!?!?! Amazingly enough, it is a post that was just posted on December 6! This post also had the most Facebook shares!
What does the future hold for Threaded Together? Hopefully lots more crafting, cooking, and sewing. We are so excited to share our holiday gift ideas with you over the next few months, tasty new recipes and fun projects!
When my sewing buddy E sent this link to alphabet letter similar to these (I can’t find the original site she sent but the letters were similar to these), I thought she was nuts! Like I said before, I do not sew on a regular basis. I can attach ribbon to a burp cloth and I can sew a patch but I don’t consider myself any more than a total amateur. E decided to give it a try and I LOVED the way her letters looked so I decided to go for it! I am actually really happy with the way the letters turned out and they are going to be a perfect gift for my sweet baby nephew!
First, we decided to get rid of the magnets. They were going to little ones and we didn’t want to take any chances with the stitching opening up and the magnets falling out. Our letters are just to play with.
To make the letter template, we chose a Cricut font that appealed to us. We made sure that it did not have twists and curls and would be easy to stitch around. Once we decided which size and font, we cut out each letter of the alphabet onto cardstock.
Using the template, I traced each letter onto batting. **E and I each used a different batting. After the letters were finished, we decided that we liked the thicker batting better.
I gathered up 26 different scraps in boy-ish fabrics (not easy to do since lately all of my projects have been girly projects!) that were large enough to fold over the batting. This is where I need to mention that E did all of the legwork here. She practiced with several different techniques until we decided what looked the best and was the easiest way to mass produce these things!
I started with the letter A. I took the batting for the letter A, placed it in between two scraps of fabric (right sides out) and pinned the cardstock template A on top of the fabric. E was able to just stitch the letters but when I tried to feel the batting through the fabric to guide the sewing machine, my letters looked ridiculous! Pinning the cardstock template to the fabric gave me a sewing guide. Be sure to pin the cardstock in several spots because the cardstock had a tendency to slip if not pinned properly.
Once the letters were sewn, I used pinking shears to cut the letters out.
They are definitely not all pretty and not all perfectly shaped letters, but I love them!
These are headed to my sweet little nephew’s house, but my four year old has been looking at them all day. Methinks I will be making another set in the near future!
Linking up to:
I wanted to make a crayon apron for my daughter and my niece. I had my heart set on the cutest crayon apron, Simplicity Pattern 2295, but every time I went to Joann’s they were out or the pattern wasn’t on sale. I refuse to pay 15 dollars for a pattern when they sell them for 99 cents every other week! The last time I went looking for that crayon apron pattern and it was still out of stock, I saw Simplicity Pattern 2555 for $2.50. I decided to give it a try and make my own version. I am not fabulous at the sewing machine so I was a little worried but it was very easy!
First, I used Pattern B but all I did was cut out the apron part. This pattern had an adjustable neck and I wasn’t ready to try that so I just cut out fabric for apron strings at the neck and the waist. To make the front of the apron, I cut out a pocket that was about 6×6. I sewed the pocket, right sides together, turned it and attached it to the front of the apron with a zigzag stitch.
To make the crayon holder part of the apron, I used the crayon hold part of this Coloring Caddy at The Crafty Cupboard. I have made several of these crayon bags, so I figured that it would be easy to adapt it to the apron. I made sure that the crayon part was longer than the apron. I attached it to the apron and stitched the crayon pockets.
I followed apron directions to stitch the neck and waist strings.
I put the lining and the front of the apron right sides together, stitched them together and left a hole to pull it through. I pulled the apron through and finished it with a stitch all the way around for a finished look.
My niece is going to love the pinks in this one!
I had hoped to have this up on the site BEFORE Thanksgiving, but it was not to be … but, this stuffed meal (as opposed to the condition you’ll be in — stuffed — when you finish your Thanksgiving feast) would still be a fun gift or centerpiece for the Christmas table! Thanksgiving is about family, food, and fun … so, since part of the “family” could only be here the weekend before Thanksgiving this year, that is when we celebrated! I did tell Jen that my universe feels a bit like it is tilted since everyone else is in the kitchen making their big Thanksgiving meal and I’m putting together a leftover turkey sandwich … homemade pizza at her house later today for the shopping strategizing session!
I downsized my diningroom furniture a few years ago, and “the grands” are “upsizing” so we decided to have our first “kids’ table” this year (Josh suggested that next year it be moved to the patio!).
This fun little centerpiece idea came from Smashed Peas and Carrots, a young mother’s fun blog full of recipes and craft ideas. You’ll see from my close-up pictures that I made a few changes, mainly for simplicity’s sake (and because I have limited time and need to make two of them!).
1. Draw the pattern pieces freehand (no kidding!) on paper.
2. Cut out fabric pieces (I used felt for all pieces).
3. On one of the ”meat” pieces for each drumstick, sew velcro.
4. I topstitched the “bone” pieces together without stuffing. May insert a bit of stuffing or a piece of interfacing for the second one I made since the bones are a bit floppy.
5. Pin together two meat pieces (inside out, making sure the velcro piece is the one you want stuck to the side of the turkey body), with a bone inserted.
6. Sew the pieces of the drumsticks together (inside out), leaving an opening to insert stuffing. Stuff, and whipstitch opening closed.
7. Repeat with the second drumstick.
8. Sew the matching velcro in the appropriate place on each of the body pieces.
9. Sew the two body pieces together, inside out.
10. Sew the body to the bottom piece (you will probably have to do some adjusting here, I ended up trimming about 1 1/2″ off one end of the bottom to get the body to fit the right way), leaving an opening on the rear end to stuff. Stuff as tightly as possible. Whipstitch closed. Using dark embroidery floss or perle cotton, stitch “Xs” across where you whipstitched so it looks like he’s been stuffed and sewn shut (since that is exactly what has happened!).
11. Attach the drumstick pieces.
12. For the other veggies, use your imagination! I made carrots by sewing together triangles and inserting the “top” after stuffing, then tied it off with embroidery floss. The green beans are just two strips of felt sewn together with a bit of stuffing inserted (used the eraser end of a pencil to do the “insert” part!).
13. I purchased a pack of 3 inexpensive foil pizza pans to use as the serving tray.
This little guy was a big hit, especially with the girl “grands” … they entertained themselves and the family for about an hour that evening “serving” up turkey dinner!
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward
I certainly have much to be thankful for, so hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving (no matter when you celebrate or what you eat)!
My sweet baby is now at the age where he is on the floor, rolling around, and playing with toys. I was keeping the toys in a small basket on a shelf (to keep the dog from thinking they were his toys), but the basket is now too small to hold everything. Thus, I decided it was time for a toy box. That and…if you don’t remember to turn some of them off, you get to hear “Row Row Row Your Boat” in the middle of the night when you hurt your toe after accidentally kicking a toy while looking for a pacifier…at 2:36 am. Fun!
This toy box is really simple to make, however, the trick is to take your time. Major tools are an iron and a sewing machine capable of sewing a zig zag.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Some sort of canvas or fabric covered bin. I found mine at Hobby Lobby in the purse and tote bag section.
- Fabric scrap: Size depends on how much of the bin you want to cover. This piece will be for the backing.
- Fabric scraps: These will be for the letters. I used two fabrics, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.
- Fusible Web: Also called Wonder Under, this stuff really is “wonder”ful. :-)
- Matching thread.
- Sewing machine and iron.
Step 1: Cut out your letters. *Personal piece of advice: Iron your web on the fabric before you cut out the letters.* I was so excited about this one, that I forgot to iron mine on first. After I cut out the letters, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make them look as good the second time around so I took little pieces of web and “pieced” them on the backside of the letters. Not ideal, but it worked. But…the best way to do it is to iron on the fusible web and then cut out your letters. I always like to free-hand my letters. They’re never perfect, but I like that.
Step 2: Iron/attach the letters to the “back” piece of fabric.
Step 3: Hem the edges of the backing fabric. Be sure to press the sides under before you actually sew the sides. If there’s anything my Granny taught me in sewing (she’s taught me many things, actually), she says to “Always press your hem first…then the job is already half done.”
Step 4: Applique the letters. I used a simple zig zag stitch, but I did practice on a piece of scrap fabric to make sure my stitch length and width were what I wanted. *Another piece of advice: Line up your needle placement so that the zig zag is ON the edge of the letter. If you can keep the stitch ON the item being appliqued, it will look much cleaner and almost give the item a “puffy” look. I tried to show it in the pictures below.
Step 5: Attach backing fabric to the bin: With your backing fabric edges finished and hemmed, cut out a piece of fusible web to fit the size of the backing fabric. You’ll want to get it as close to the edges as possible as this is what will actually attach it to your fabric bin. Once the web is on the bin, peel the paper off, line it up on your bin, and iron it on. I made sure to give mine a little extra time to ensure it set properly.
Step 6: Fill that sucker up with the toys (or whatever) and enjoy a (somewhat) clean room.
This is the first one of these I’ve made, but I’m hopelessly in love with it. It might be an “organizing” themed Christmas this year…if ya know what I mean…