Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baby Gifts

I have had to do lots of sewing lately for a couple of new arrivals.  One is a baby girl that one of my oldest and dearest friends is adopting.

The blanket is reversible with a quilting cotton (dots) on one side and flannel (owls) on the other.

The blanket is my own creation.  The contoured reversible burp cloths are from a tutorial I found on Pinterest and you can find it here.

The changing pad is one I've done before.  It's a Bernina pattern. You can find that tutorial here.  I used the same quilting cotton as in the blanket and a chanille fabric for the inside. I like these because it will hold a small container of wipes and a couple of diapers.  I found the plastic wipe container at our local dollar store.

I found the ribbon and a tutorial on the pacifier clip at The Ribbon Retreat, but I kind of did my own thing with it.

These are just a few things I've made for our newest little girl.  I have several other projects in the works.

And for our newest boy:

Again the blanket is reversible with quilting cotton (triangles) and flannel (dots).  The navy fabric is so cute for a boy, don't you think?

Here is the same changing pad.

The burps are two different styles, because I ran out of the triangle fabric and had to do some smaller ones.  There is one large contoured and two smaller double contoured.  You can find that tute here.

And there you have it.  I've have been a bit busy lately with baby sewing and loving every minute!

I have a few custom orders to get through before I can get back to baby sewing. I have several things on deck for Miss Lila.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please feel free to ask questions or post comments below.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Creations by Michie' Bubble pattern #142

This sweet baby girl turned 1 Saturday and she had to have a birthday bubble.  So her surrogate Mimi went to work.

I love bubbles on little girls and thought this pattern would be perfect.  I used ric rac to adorn the angel sleeve version.  I made the 18 mos, because there wasn't a lot of difference in overall width from the 12 to 18.  I thought she could use the extra length and make it last longer than a season.

The smocking plate is "Happy Birthday" by Ellen McCarn.  There were three candles on the cake in the pattern, but I used only one. I had to omit some rows to make it work for this little bishop.

The colors are so bright and cheerful, don't you think?

I'd definitely make this bubble again.  It was really easy to put together.  I used Martha's seamless pleating method and liked it a lot.  I need more practice but it will become my new favorite method to pleat.

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Gym Bag - Craftsy Class

If you haven't tried a class on the Craftsy platform, I encourage you to try one.  They have some really good ones, and this one is no exception.  It's Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffle by Betz White.  Betz has a wonderful teaching style.

There are two sizes of bags in the class, and I chose the larger.  I have so much gym stuff and need the extra room when I pack a change of clothes and shoes.  A pair of boots would also fit in this bag when fall arrives.

On the outside, there are two pockets.  You have a choice of a bellow style or pleated style.  I chose the latter.  There is also an option for magnetic snap closure or a twist lock.  I wanted something easy so chose the magnetic snaps.  It didn't hurt that I already had them on hand.  :)  The pockets are large enough to hold my work out gloves in one and my cell phone and keys in the other.

Here it is closed.  That little blue pouch hold my ear buds.  I'll eventually make one to match the bag.  I should have just enough fabric left over.

The inside has one zippered pocket.  I keep small items in here - safety pin, money, hygiene products, etc.

I had this really large zipper on hand too.

All the other hardware came from The Ohio Travel Bag Company.

I really like the padded handles too.  They are wide enough that I can sling it over my shoulder without using the shoulder strap and the padding is comfy on my shoulder.

The only thing I did differently than Betz was to set the lining in.  I learned it this way on another Amy Butler bag I made a while ago and liked it better.

The only thing I would do differently next time is shorten the shoulder strap.  It is way too long for me at 5'4".  I would also add an end pocket to hold my water bottle.  Other than that, it has just enough pockets for all my stuff and plenty of room for just about anything else I could throw in.

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to post comments or ask questions below.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Make-up Bag

My daughter, Britt, needed a new make-up bag but wanted one that would stand up when opened.  I had that I use that fit the bill, but it was a little small.  But I liked the shape and thought I could work with it.

I measured it out and decided it needed to be 2 inches longer and 1 inch wider.  I liked the height so didn't change that. If I recall, this measures 11" x 6" and 2.5" wide.

And basically, it's 5 pieces.  The two side pieces, the boxing, zipper facing and handle.  And I added piping for even more stability.  This fabric was home dec that I found at Joann's and used to make a gym bag.  I'll post that one later.  All pieces are interfaced.  I used Pellon SF101 for the lining and fusible fleece for the outer pieces.

This is the inside.  That is also home dec fabric from Joann's.  The outer bag and lining are constructed separately and the lining is set in and hand stitched to the zipper.

It was a very simple bag to make.  Sorry I didn't take pictures along the way.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out. LOL

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to ask questions or post comments.


Monday, August 15, 2016

10 things you should know about sewing with Painters Drop Cloths.

Before you run out and buy painters drop cloths to adorn your bare windows, there are a few things you should know first.  I know, I know.  It's in!  Just because it's in doesn't mean it's the right thing for you.

I just bought 6 of these for a client who wanted a more casual look to her room.  So I learned my lesson the hard way.  I hope to save you the same agony.

1. Wash them!  These things stink to high heaven!  I'd even wash them twice for good measure.

2. Remove the hem.  I don't recommend using the hem.   The cloths are not straight on grain which means the hem is not on grain.  Remove the hem either by ripping out the stitches or pull a thread just above and straighten the grain.

3. They will sometimes be stained.  One of mine looked like it had tire marks on it.  Didn't come out in the wash, and it was on the right side of the fabric.  I wound up having to use the wrong side.  No biggie though.  They look the same front and back.

4. Watch out for the seams.  Some of the larger cloths will come with seams.  I had three different types of seams.  See picture below.  Yes, one had a vertical seam, the other had both vertical and horizontal, and the third had two horizontal seams (my picture does not accurately reflect seam placement on third one).  Why does this matter you ask?  Because when they are seamed, they are not stitched on the straight grain.  Why should they be?  They aren't made for drapes.  Plus if you bought 9'x12' (which I did) thinking you'd have the 12' for length, you'd be wrong if you happened upon the horizontal seams.  These are big bulky flat felled, double stitched seams too.  They are not easy to hem.  You also can't tell what you are getting until you open the package.  If you must buy them, get them large enough so you have the length needed no matter what direction the seams run.

5. Very thick fabric.  Better have a machine that can handle bulky seams especially if you keep the original seams.  I used 4" double folded hems top and bottom and had to stitch over those seams on several of these. I wound up with 8 total panels.

6. They ravel!  I used double folded hems, so it wasn't a problem.  But the raw edges need to be finished if you turn up only once.  Don't cut until you are ready to stitch.

7. Allergen.  If you have allergies, be cautious.  I'm allergic to burlap, and these things made me itch and sneeze just like burlap.

8.  They shrink.  I lost 7" in width after I washed them.  I had ample length, so I didn't measure the difference.

9.  They have lots of nubs.  You might like that look and that's great.  Some of the nubs have loose strings, and YOU DO NOT want to cut or pull those strings.  If you like them hanging, fine.  Otherwise weave them to the back with a needle.

10. Different weights.  Lowes has 8oz and 10oz weights.  I recommend the 8 oz.  The 8 oz have ample weight and density.  I really think the 10 oz would be overkill.  

So there you have it.  It's a very casual look that's really in right now.  Go for it if you must.  It's a lot of labor to rip out those seams to straighten the grain which is my biggest concern with them.  I'd rather spare all that time and buy some great linen fabric from fabrics-store.  My time is worth more.

Feel free to ask questions or submit comments.

Thank you for stopping by.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Hem Tape Made Easy - A Tutorial

If you are like me, you have a really difficult time stitching hem tape correctly and straight.  These black pants needed hemming, and I was way too lazy to switch out the thread on my serger to get a nice finish on the raw edge.  I had hem tape, but I always had difficulty getting it lined up when stitching it to the raw edge.

Then a I had a light bulb moment!  Do you love wonder tape as much as I do??!!  Look it's 1/4" wide.  And my hem tape is 1/2".

So I had the bright idea (pun intended) to use it to line up my hem tape.  Be sure to press in your hem before you start!  I placed the wonder tape directly on the raw edge of my pant leg.

Then peeled off the paper and overlapped the edge just a smidge.

Next line up the hem tape at the inside edge of the wonder tape so the hem tape hangs off the raw edge by 1/4".  Ingenious, right??!!

When you get back around to the start, place a tiny piece of wonder tape on the start of the hem tape like so.

Fold over the top piece of hem tape and stick it right down on that piece of wonder tape.  I know it sounds confusing with all the talk about tape.  Just look at the photos.

This is what it looks like from the wrong side.

Now take the whole thing to your sewing machine and stitch on that inside edge to attach the hem tape to the pant leg.  I used a stretch stitch since these were knit pants.  I really prefer some sort of zig zag stitch but a straight stitch would work too.  Be sure to stitch down that folded edge of hem tape.

Now fold over your pressed hem and pin it closed.

And hand stitch closed or use a machine if you prefer.  I like the look of hand stitched hems.

Now stand back and marvel at the clean look of your perfectly attached hem tape and newly hemmed pants.

I hope this little trick allows you to try hem tape and not be afraid!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask questions if I failed to make anything clear.