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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Baby Shower Presents

Jungle animal bibs for baby


     A friend's daughter is expecting her first child in September.  This past Saturday I went to her baby shower.  I like to make something for the little one besides getting something from their registry.

Lion bib 
     I ordered the bath set and some wipes from the list and then added some bibs and a blanket.  The bibs are ones I bought on-line, made from towels so they are nice and absorbent.  They don't know the gender, so I just went with bright colorful bibs with fun appliqué designs from Designs by Juju.  I chose fabrics from my stash of small pieces and repeated them in each bib to make it more of a matching set.
Large, soft receiving blanket
     I then made a receiving blanket, using two 1-1/4 yard pieces of flannel.  I prewash in hot water to shrink it and make it soft.  When she opened it up, her sister-in-law exclaimed, That is the best blanket ever.  I had made some for her two children and they still use them several years later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Beginning Sewing June 2018



Cayteen Peyton, Ruby and Clem


     Last week I had the pleasure of sharing my love of sewing with four new girls.  On Monday they learned the basics of the sewing machine and started work on their sewing bags.  By the middle of Tuesday's class they had finished their bags and belts.
Caytee and her sewing bag and belt

Peyton and her sewing bag and belt

Ruby and her sewing bag and belt

Clem and her sewing bag and belt

          On Wednesday Clem finished her skirt and worked on a pillowcase until the end of class.  On Thursday, Caytee finished her nightshirt and Peyton finished her pajama pants.  Then they made matching sleep masks.  Ruby finished her skirt and started on a pair of shorts and Clem made a pair of shorts. 

Caytee and her nightshirt

Peyton and her flannel pants

Peyton and Caytee with their sleep masks

Ruby and her skirt

Clem and her skirt

Clem and her shorts


     Four girls and four days of sewing fun with fifteen finished projects.  Another fun sewing camp.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Remaking Tab Top Panels

Pinterest inspiration photo

     My client had some embroidered tab top panels that she loved but they no longer worked as panels.  She saw a picture on Pinterest of a treatment she liked and wondered if I could repurpose her panels.

Panels, fresh from the cleaners

     The panel has a border of flowers along the bottom and then scattered flowers on the rest of it.  It was decided to use the border for the the part of the treatment.

Cutting the width of the top part

     The client told me the desired finished length and width of the treatment.  I then chose to make the top part about 1/3 of the finished length.  I did not want the embroidery to be in the rod pocket at the top so when I was figuring out where to cut, I made sure to add the rod pocket allowance and seam allowance above the top of the embroidery border.


     I then pressed up a double 2" hem and used Steam-A-Seam2 to fuse it in place.  I didn't want to stitch through the embroidery when doing the hem.

Finished top of the treatment

     For the width I centered to embroidery border and cut off the sides as needed and did a double 1/4" hem on the sides as the original panel had.  I did stitch this with matching thread and you can barely see it.

Ribbon in place

     For the bottom portion, I used the remainder of the panel, cutting it to the proper width and hemming the sides.  I stitched the ribbon in place on the front and back of the bottom portion.

Layered to stitch together

     Then I stitched the top part in place with the right side of the top to the wrong side of the bottom.  Then I flipped it to the right side and sewed the rod pocket, making sure I kept the ribbons straight.

Rod pocket at the top

     Then I prepped the bottom to make another rod pocket that would hold a piece of tubing to give the treatment structure.  I pressed 1/4" to the right side and then folded up 1-3/4" for the pocket and stitched it in place.

Pressed up 1/4"

Measuring for the bottom rod pocket

     I then inserted the tube into the bottom rod pocket.  Now it was time to set the finished length.  These are going to be stationary so I needed to get them all the same.

Prepping to start rolling up the bottom

     Using painter's tape, I taped the top of the treatment to my cutting table.  I then started rolling up the bottom part until it was the desired length.

Setting the finished length

     I then cut the ribbon to the desired length and tied a pretty bow to keep it all in place.

Finished treatment

     I think they turned out very much like the inspiration piece.  I hope she sends me a photo soon to show how they look on her windows.  Below is the photo from my client.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Beginning Sewing - Shorts June 2018

Lars and his sewing bag

     I just finished a three day camp with two boys, brothers 10 and 13.  It was interesting to have only boys in a camp.  They quickly learned the basics of the sewing machine and earned their Sewing Machine Driver's License.

Sage and his sewing bag

     The first day they got their sewing bags cut and did the first set of stitches all around and were ready to start sewing the channels.  On day two they finished their sewing bags and we started on their shorts.  They both wanted longer shorts so after they pinned on their pattern pieces, I drew a line for their new cutting length.

Lars and his shorts

     For Sage's shorts, I had to draft a larger pattern than the ones I had.  He learned about grading to make a pattern larger.  As a testimony to recycling they chose to use old top sheets for their shorts.  We had to get a little creative finding a way to line up the straight of grain line.

Sage and his shorts

     With just a little help from me with the last of the pinning, they were able to finish their shorts.  I learned a bit more boy humor and hopefully they learned a love of creating and sewing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Remaking Grommet Panels

Measuring the cut line

     I had a client recently that had bought some ready made grommet panels.  They were too long and she wanted them shortened and oh by the way, she really didn't want grommets, just a rod pocket.

Pinning the layers together before cutting

     I started with the math.  She told me the finished length desired, from the bottom of the rod.  I then added one inch for the rod pocket, one and a half inches for the header, plus those same measurements plus another one half inch for folding under.

Cut off grommets

     I then marking my cutting line from the top edge.  I used pins to hold the layers together and then cut off the grommet top.
Serged layers

     I serged the cut edges to keep the layers together, plus the fabric raveled quite bad.  I then tried to press down a 1/2 inch fold, but oops the iron melted the fabric.  Good thing it will all be hidden.

Measuring the first fold

Oops, iron too hot

     I decided to pin the 1/2 inch and stitch it in place.  Then I marked for the rod pocket and header, folding in two and a half inches..

Measuring the second fold

     I stitched close to the fold, forming the bottom of the rod pocket.

Stitching the bottom of the rod pocket

     Then it was time to sew the header/top of the rod pocket.  I needed to stitch one and one half inches from the top edge.  I used blue painters tape and my seam gauge and marked a line on my machine bed.

Marking for the second line of stitching

     Then it was just a matter of sewing by following the line.

Sewing the second line of stitching

    Then using a cooler iron, I spent quite a bit of time pressing out all the creases from the packaging.  I put them on a nice drapery hanger and I was all set.

     Happy client with nicely pressed panels, just the right size.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Monogrammed Monochromatic Pillow

Monogrammed and monochromatic


     Just because a pillow is monochromatic it doesn't have to be boring.  For this pillow I chose a heavier upholstery weight fabric with an interesting texture.  I monogrammed an initial with a similar color thread and then added a frame of tassel trim in coordinating colors.

Sewing on the covered cord

     After I did that work, I then serged a piece of lining to the back.  This hid all the stitches on the inside.  I then made covered cord and applied it to the pillow front.  When applying the cord I like to have the pillow piece on the top.  This helps to prevent puckers on the pillow.

Detail of the trim with the mitered corner

     I prepared my back with a zipper and it was lined and serged also.  Then it was put together and a pillow form added.  For this one I chose a slightly smaller form so it wasn't as firm as most of the other pillows I make.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pleated Pillow

Pillow with pleated ruffle trim

     I bought a fun new tool at a class.  It's called The Quick Pleater.  It is used to make pleated trim.

Step one of making the box pleat ruffle

     For this pillow I chose the half inch pleater (I think).  I opted to do a box pleat where you turn the pleater one way and then the other way.

Step two of making the box pleat ruffle

     I cut strips of the ruffle fabric about 3/4 of an inch larger than the finished width.  This allowed me to sew the ruffles at the 1/2 inch line on my machine and then trim off 1/4 inch when I serged the edges.  I left the other edge with a raw edge so it could fringe a little.  I joined the strips with a french seam to hide those raw edges.

Sewing on the pleated ruffle

     I prepared the front piece by adding a lining and interlining and serging around the edges.  I then pinned my ruffle in place , clipping at the corners.

Finished front

     I joined my start and end again with a french seam.

Cutting the back using the lining as a template

     Using a template of the lining and interlining, I then cut my back piece.  I serged all around and then added my zipper part to the back piece.  I used a different part of the pattern on the back so you could flip it around to get a little different look.

Back of the pillow

    Then it was just a matter of sewing the front to the back and putting in the pillow form.

Ruffle practice strip