Thursday, January 29, 2015

Parson's Chair Slipcover

I am in the middle of a master bedroom makeover, and I've started with some parson's chairs.  We wanted some seating in the room, and I found these chairs at Pier One for less than $180 for both.  I just got the basic chairs with white fabric, because I knew I would cover them.  No sense paying for fabric covered chairs.

I found this suede fabric at Hancock's and thought it would be beautiful in the room.  I took the photo outside, because the lighting really shows the fabric off.

And here it is in the room.  The second chair isn't finished yet.  I still need to add the skirt.  My quilt will be next I think then the window treatments.

There is a craftsy class on slipcovers that I recommend.  But pay special attention to the class materials, because there was a mistake in the skirt calculations.  Just double check those before you cut your fabric.  I did not follow the class on these other than the skirt, because I did not want to pipe these.  And pin fitting is easier to me.

I also recommend lining the skirt even if you don't line the rest.  It makes the skirt hang so much prettier with the added weight.  I've done it both ways.  I definitely preferred the lined option.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Thursday - what's left of it!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Oven Mitt Tutorial

My old oven mitts were a disaster, and I kept them for years, because I could never find any that I like as well.  They were nice and long - like 3" from my elbow, and very thick.

Because I couldn't find any I liked, I decided to make my own using my old one as a reference point.

I turned my old oven mitt inside out and used tracing paper to make my own pattern.  Just use your pen and trace around a favorite mitt.  I turned it inside out so I didn't have to adjust for seam allowance.  I had a picture of this step but cannot find it for the life of me.

I found this tutorial with the great idea of making one large rectangle to cut all your pieces together.  I kind of used that idea but went a step further.  (side note: she has a pattern pdf too)  I chose to quilt my pieces before cutting anything out.

So here's what you'll need for one mitt:
focus fabric
lining fabric
Insulbrite x 2
binding for the top edges
(fabric, insulbrite, and batting will all be approx 18"x20")
wonder clips (optional)
Walking foot advisable but not necessary
and all the normal accessories; thread, scissors, etc.

The measurements above are enough to cut my oven mitts.  You may want larger/smaller depending on the size.  I simply laid out my pattern to determine how large to cut my rectangles.

Here are my rectangles already cut.  I have one focus fabric, one lining fabric, 2 insulbrite, and one batting all cut basically the same size.  This doesn't have to be exact.

Because my machine would not handle all of these layers, I chose to quilt them in two pieces.  I layered my first piece: fabric right side down, insulbrite and batting.  The second layer was my lining fabric right side down then insulbrite.

Then quilt them both.  I used diagonal lines, but quilt with your favorite pattern.  If you feel brave, you can just make one big quilt sandwich with focus fabric, insulbrite, batting, insulbrite, lining.

I traced my lines, because my guide on my walking foot is broken. :(

 And here are the two pieces quilted.

Next, I laid my pattern on top and cut out my pieces.  I actually laid one quilted piece on top of the other, to be sure they were all cut evenly.  Sorry no picture of that step. :(  I made sure to flip the pattern over. So I have two pieces cut from the focus fabric and two from the lining.

Next, I stitched two pieces together, one lining to one focus and repeat for the other.  I used my wonder clips to hold them together.

Stitch  1/4" in from the edge around the entire perimeter of each piece.

I chose to bind my mitt with ribbon and added a little ric rac for a little vintage feel.  I laid out my mitt to determine the length of each piece.  I did this before stitching the two pieces together.  I just think it's easier to handle them separately than trying to get that binding attached around a circle.

I ironed my ribbon in half being very careful to line up the edges.  I didn't measure this ribbon, but I believe it's 5/8" wide.  I wouldn't go much smaller than that.  Ironing the ribbon will help with the next step.

I glue basted my ric rac right at the edge of the mitt and pressed it in place.

I also pressed the entire mitt while I was at it just to make it a little flatter which makes stitching the whole thing together much easier.

I next applied my ribbon binding with wonder clips lining up the fold with the edge of the mitt.  This makes it so much easier to stitch it in place.

Here it is stitched in place.  I did the same for the other piece.

While I had my ribbon and ric rac out, I cut a 6" piece of each to use for my tab.  I glue basted the ric rac to the center of the ribbon then stitched it in place. Set that aside for now.

Once the ribbon binding and ric rac were applied to both pieces, it was time to stitch them together.  If you chose to quilt the whole piece, be sure to stitch around the perimeter of the mitt to seal the edges before stitching the two sections together.  That way you are sure to catch all the layers and not have to restitch anything.

I put my mitt pieces right sides together on my work table.  I folded my tab in half and placed it roughly 1" down on the outside edge (opposite thumb).  The edge of the tab should line up with the outside edge of the mitt.  That wonder clip in the picture is the top corner of the mitt, and the tab is just below that.

I put wonder clips all around the mitt to hold it in place.  You can't see the tab, but in the top of the picture, you can see two wonder clips really close together.  That second clip is where my tab is.

Then I simply stitched around the raw edges 3/8".  I trimmed the seam allowance back to 1/4" and snipped the little corner between the thumb and fingers.

The hardest part was turning this puppy right side out.  I found it easiest to push the fatter piece through first.

Then I flipped it around and opened up the other side (it'll be all wonky from pushing) and made sure the opening was nice and wide.

I kept pushing and pulling until that part of the mitt was completely turned.  Then I started on the thumb.  I had to fight with it, and then I found some help.  My Gingher scissors have a safety sleeve.  It was perfect to push that thumb right out without damaging the fabric or seams.  Just use something blunt and sturdy.  It was also terrific for going around the seams on the inside to make sure all the seams were laying nicely.

And my new mitt was finished.

Close up of the binding.

I made two of these and tossed my old ones.  My old ones were actually lined with terry cloth.  I may try that on the next go around.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy rainy Friday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

McCalls 4676 Review

Robbie wanted a fleece pull over half zip jacket to match his dad's.  I found this pattern and thought I would try it.  The review is below.

This is the back.

And the color in this picture is actually truer since it was taken during daylight hours.

He will definitely be seen!!

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:   McCalls 4676 - I made view B

Pattern Sizing: Kids 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 10-12, 14-16 and Adults S-XL - I made size 10-12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes - although mine is monochrome

Were the instructions easy to follow? yeah, not totally.  I had some difficulty with the collar construction.  That part was not clear.  I wound up doing my own thing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was fairly easy once I knew what I was doing.  I made some alterations and liked it much better.  I do not like the way they install the zipper.  It also calls for a 14" zipper, but it only goes the length of the yoke.  Measure your collar and yokes pieces and get the zipper size based on that measurement.  I used a 7".

Fabric Used: Non-pil Fleece from Joann's

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The collar comes in two pieces to allow for a fold over.  I did not use the under collar piece since I didn't need that fold over.  I cut 2 upper collar pieces instead.  I stitched the collar like every other pattern.  The pattern has you stitch the collar on all 3 sides before attaching, but that makes for a very bulky seam when installing the zipper.  I ripped out the side stitches in the collar and cut off the seam allowance so it would line up evenly with the yoke.  The zipper hides that part anyway, so that seam is unnecessary.  I did not install the zipper according to the instructions.  I basted that seam closed, pressed the seams open, then attached my zipper right down the middle of that seam on the wrong side.  Once stitched, I simply removed the basting stitches.  It worked beautifully.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I absolutely would sew it again with the same changes unless I decide I like the contrast colors. And I definitely recommend it to others. 

Conclusion: My total time was longer than I expected - roughly 3 hours, but I suspect next time that will be shorter - 90 minutes tops.  Fooling with the collar and zipper took more time than it should have.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pillow Case Dresses

Pillow case dresses aren't new to me.  They are super quick and easy to make.  In fact, they are perfect for a beginner sewer.  I made these two for my great-nieces in Illinois.  I had originally planned for a worm on the apple dress, but I could never get it to look the way I wanted.

The flower dress was really quite easy.  And it's 3D. LOL.  I thought leaving the ric rac raw on the ends would give the stems a little more life.

I had this cute little lady bug button and thought it was the perfect touch.

The matching boys outfits were shown here.

And my sister sent me modeled pictures.  It's hard to see the appliques, but they are all cute nonetheless.

The fabric from the dress was incorporated into the sailboat applique.  Although, I should have thought that through a little more considering the boxers are sleepwear.  Oh well, next year......

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hanging Cosmetic Bag from Craftsy - Review

I love the Craftsy platform.  They have online video classes for just about any project you want or need.  I've taken several and have loved them all.  I bought the "Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers" class by Annie Unrein because I wanted to make my daughter a hanging cosmetics bag similar to one I use.  This is the finished bag.

And the inside:

It has a mesh pocket at the top and two vinyl pockets right under. We used dark fabric to hide any stains.

And this large zippered pocket at the bottom.

And here a few shots with it full.  I packed it for her, so it would be ready to go for any future travel plans. BTW, TSA has some very specific requirements on liquid products you carry on board the plane.  I didn't know that until I started searching for travel sized bottles for shampoo, etc.  There is a small can of hairspray, small bottles of shampoo and conditioner from hotels, a small bottle of deodorant, a can of static cling, an extra toothpaste box, and several small empty containers for her to put lotions or shampoo or whatever else she may need.

In the top vinyl pocket are cotton squares and a travel size BandAid container.  In the second vinyl pocket are feminine hygiene products and the mesh pocket contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a disposable razor.

And this is what it looks like closed when it's full.
As you can see, it doesn't fold as nicely as it does when empty.  That is one thing I don't like about the bag. There are two places inside the bag where facing is sewn to account for the "folding"  I think these facings need to be wider to accommodate the bag when filled.  I also think the zippered bottom pocket needs to be a smidge bigger.  Granted I have it packed to the gills, but most everything in it are things I personally have in my own bag.  Yes, it is big, but nothing ever spills out on my clothes - EVER.  I hate that!!

This bag has a shoulder strap drafted in the pattern, but my daughter didn't want that.  This bag will be tucked into an overnight bag, and that strap would just get in the way.  So I left it off.  It is large enough to carry all the essential toiletries and then some.

The best thing about this bag is that nothing will fall out!  Nothing!  Everything is contained by zippers.  And the handle is designed so that the bottom pocket is always facing up.  So no worrying about having lotion all over your clothes when you unpack your bag.  Did I mention that I hate that?!

I definitely recommend this class.  However, take a look at the other bag first.  I didn't want or need that bag and didn't realize it until I bought the class.  Luckily I bought it when it was on sale.  So it was still worth it. Also, know that this is an expensive bag to make.  Start early and shop for bargains.

The pattern calls for Annie's soft and stable, but it had to be ordered.  I didn't want to buy it and pay the high shipping cost.  I found someone online who made another bag calling for the soft and stable, and she used 1/4" sew foam.  I called my local upholstery store, and they had it for $10 a yard.  They also had a cheaper headliner version for $5.  I bought the more expensive stuff, but after having made one, the cheaper stuff would have worked too.  I still have enough left over for another bag, so a yard goes a long way.

One last thing.  I hand stitched all the binding on.  I knew I wasn't going to be happy with stitched on binding.  I'm glad I did it that way.  It just looks so much better.  It really didn't take a lot of extra time either.

Feel free to ask questions.  Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fix a broken zipper - the lazy way!

I have no clue how to remove and replace or even repair a broken zipper.  My friend, Sarah, had a pair of jeans that belonged to her youngest boy with a broken zipper.

She asked me if I could replace it, and I quickly told her absolutely.....NOT. LOL  I had no clue.  She insisted it didn't have to be pretty, she simply liked the fit of the jeans and wanted to get a few more months of wear. That meant she didn't want to invest any money in taking it to a professional.  So we put our heads together with a male member of our Bible study group and came up with a solution.

We would add buttons in lieu of a zipper.  Genius, right?  I tried to match the size and color of the original button.

The first thing I had to do was remove the zipper teeth, because I didn't want my needle to hit them when I made my buttons holes.  So I simply cut it out with my applique scissors.  I cut as close as I could to the fabric and as far down into the fly as possible.

This is what it looked like after it was totally removed.

Then I marked my button hole placement.  This was just a rough guide.  I straightened it when I got it to the machine.

I found this jeans thread at Joann's and thought it would be perfect.  Sorry for the blurred pic.

After the button holes were stitched, I hand sewed on the buttons.  And voila!  Button up jeans!  I could have bought an extra pack of buttons and replaced the top button to match, but I chose not to.  They will only be worn another 2/3 months tops, and they'll be covered with a shirt.  No one will ever see the difference.  They don't line up exactly on the vertical, because my machine will not stitch through that extra thickness on the edge of that fly.  But again, it's negligible and no one will ever notice.

I hope this helps someone else who doesn't know how to replace a broken zipper. LOL

Thanks for stopping by.
Happy Wednesday!!