sewing projects

Sewing Tips

12:21:00 AM

After a year in the making, I think I finally have put down enough information that I can introduce my sewing tips blog to you. See the button? (on the right)

Okay, I'm a little excited.

Now, Rob has read through every single one of the posts (yeah, he's a great guy) and says that he understands them, but I know I talk sewing all the time so he may know more than the average person, so if you have any questions, please email me. I want things to be clear and concise.

I will be updating it periodically with new terms and how-to's. If you have questions about something I haven't covered, email me so have a little direction.

So, hopefully if you're reading a pattern and are not sure what it's talking about, maybe this can help. I know patterns are hard to understand.

Thanks for reading!


baby stuff

make your own college sports team logo applique

3:43:00 PM

So, it's football season. You want to show that your family has team pride by sporting your favorite team's logo. You get you and your husband a t-shirt for a reasonable $5-$10, now it's time for the kids. You find something perfect and then check the price... $25 for a baby onesie? are you joking? And no, they are not.

Have you had this experience too? I knew there had to be a better way, so with recycled t-shirts, I came up with a much cheaper solution.

BYU Logo Applique (yes, that is our team. Go cougars!)

  • simple printout of college sports logo
  • small squares of stretch knit fabric in your college colors (I just used old t-shirts)
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • a lint roller or masking tape
  • some clothing item to attach the finished applique to

Step 1: Lay out your background piece, top piece and paper. Pin it all together. (It stays together better if you press it before you pin.) The BYU football team logo is below. So I laid out white fabric for the background and navy for the top. I'll call this the "window way." You could do it the other way around if you wanted to. That way can be the "other way." :)

Step 2: Stitch 1/8 from edge of print out. (Think ahead. You're going to cut the fabric on the line, so you'll either be stitching on the outside, "window way", or inside, "other way", of the logo depending on the order you laid your fabric out.)

Cool huh? Remember, you'll want to change your needle to a nice new sharp one after this if your next project is with taffeta or something. Paper dulls needles.

Step 3: Fold and tear on perforated lines.

Step 4: Cut away the fabric 1/8" from edge so the contrast show through.

Step 5: Clean off all the little threads.

Step 6: Cut away bottom layer.

Step 7: Stitch onto clothing item. I just stitched around the white background.

If you are a Ute, thank you for putting up with this. I commend you for making it through the post. :)



2:53:00 PM

Custom Random Number generator

This program will generate a random number between two numbers of your choice.

Enter a lower limit:  1
Enter an upper limit:  6


Random Number: 1    

The winner is Tessa (She's my lovely sister.) She said:

"Count me in! I would love a stack of thank you cards."

For those of you who commented, I can send you a PDF of some thank you cards to print off if you would like.

Thanks for all the kind comments!

cool finds

recently starred

12:03:00 PM

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite and beautiful "recently starred" items from google reader. Enjoy!
The picture of Baby Rose is only applicable because she is the most beautiful thing. (Excuse the mama pride- I know, your baby is the most beautiful. ;) )

  1. "That Winter Afternoon" from Posy Gets Cozy. She's introducing her new designs for felt Christmas ornaments. She also includes her designs from past years. They are so charming.
  2. "Tiny Victorian Cottage" from Design Mom. Please let me stay there forever!
  3. "REAL PARTIES: Preppy Beach Party" from Hostess with the Mostess. I like all the crabs
  4. "Fair Photos" from Posy Gets Cozy. Reminds me of the charming country fairs I went to growing up. She sure know how to capture charm with her camera.
  5. "Fall Reading List" from CraftPad. She's got quite a list. I'd love to read along too.
  6. "Hey I can Do That Baby Shoes" from Just Another Day in Paradise. Yes, I want to try. Mary Janes are my favorite.
  7. "the leather purse" from I Am Momma- Hear Me Roar. Okay, awesome tutorial, and really cool purse. There is a leather shop close by, I think I will try it.
  8. country porch from Vintage Home---Folio. What a beautiful thing to be welcomed to. P.S. I've been looking at rugs a lot lately, and I think I love that one. 
  9. pretty dresses from Vintage Home---chaussures de ballet. So gorgeous.
  10. cake with berries from Vintage Home---snippet and ink. So beautiful, yet simple.
 P.S. The giveaway ends in three days. Comment if you want a chance to win!

200th post = GIVEAWAY

10:30:00 PM

I can't believe this is my 200th post! It kind of crept up on me this time.

This time, I will be giving away personalized custom business cards for you (or your husband) or thank you cards, or whatever thing like that.

I must warn you that I am NOT in any way close to being a graphic designer. I just like to doodle in Illustrator and don't really feel like/have time for sewing right now. So, yeah, just so you know... I want to have fun for the 200th post too and sewing isn't going to do it at this time.

The winner will receive about 30 cards as well a PDF file to print them off. We'll work together to come up with something you like. So, leave a comment if you want some cards.


cool finds

what women did in the 1940's

3:54:00 PM

Yesterday I watched one of my very favorite movies: "The More the Merrier." It's about a girl in Washington D.C. who decides to rent half of her apartment out to help relieve the housing crisis during WWII. She accidentally gets stuck renting it out to a funny old man (Mr. Dingle) who then rents half of his half of the apartment to a "high-type, clean-cut, nice young fellow"(Joe).

I had to share with you a few craft/design related things along with some funny dialogue. It's fun to have a peek into the cultures of different decades and I especially love the '40s.

First up- In the '40s girls made their own beautiful dresses:

Scene of Dingle trying to convince Connie to rent out the room to him instead of to a woman.
Connie: ...I've made up my mind to rent to nobody but a woman.
Dingle: So, let me ask you something. Would I ever want to wear your stockings?
Connie: No.
Dingle: Well, all right. Would I ever want to borrow your girdle, or your red and yellow dancing slippers?
Connie: Of course not.
Dingle: Well, any woman, no matter who, would insist upon borrowing that dress you got on right now. You know why? Because it's so pretty.
Connie: I made it myself. 

Next up- sunbathing on the roof while knitting. I'd like to see a girl do that now-a-days. Do you notice something else? Yes, she is wearing long sleeves. That's one way to avoid a farmer's tan.

Next: She made rag rugs too!

Scene of Connie "meeting Joe" and trying to kick Dingle and Joe out of her apartment.
Connie: Who are you? How did you get in here?
Joe: Well, I live here.
Connie: Since when?
Joe: Since this morning.
Connie: You don't by any chance happen to know a gentleman by the name of Mr. Benjamin Dingle do you?
Dingle: Meaning me, Miss Milligan?
Connie: Yes! Meaning you. What do you have to say for yourself?
Dingle: Have you met my friend, Joe Carter?
Connie: I just met Joe Carter.
Dingle: Oh, fine fella.
Connie: Mr. Dingle, answer me this. Who was it, located and leased this apartment? Who was it, made the landlord to repaper and repaint, and who was it, bought furniture and drapes and made rag rugs and considers this apartment her own?
Dingle: You.

I wish I could share all the funny lines with you because it is a really funny movie. You should just go see it.


make your own curtain valance

5:02:00 PM

We've realized the need for a bit more privacy in our kitchen so I decided to make a valance for the mid-part of my kitchen window similar to the valances in this kitchen:

via: Country Living
note: I would totally not mind having a kitchen like this.

I put together a tutorial on how to make a valance, but there is a really nifty hemming technique that can be applied to all curtains and, in some cases, even clothes.

Step 1: Measure your window and buy a curtain rod (and fabric, if you don't have it already).

Step 2: Figure out the size of each valance.

For the width measurements:
  • Go to your window and figure out how tall you want your valance. Example- 10 inches
  • Now, you'll need to account for the top edge and bottom hem. Measure the tip of your curtain rod. Example: 2 1/2 inches. Add 1/2 inch to that. Example: 3 inches
  • Now decide on your hem depth. Example- 1 inch (pretty standard). Add 1/2 inch to that. Example: 1 1/2 inches
  • Add your height, top edge and hem measurements. Example: 14 1/2 inches. This is your new height measurement.

For the length measurements:
Now take the measurement of the width of your window. Example- 48 inches. Now decide what you want your valance to look like- Modern? Vintage? Over-the-top frilly? Okay. For a modern look, you'll want your valance to be straight and flat- no gathers. For a vintage look, you'll want a little gathering. For a frilly look, you'll want a lot of gathering. Here's the math:
  • Modern look: add 1 1/2 inches to total width. Example- 49 1/2 inches.
  • Vintage look: multiply total width by 1 1/2 to 2. Example- 72-96 inches. Advice: I'd stay closer to the 1 1/2 side of things unless you're using really light weight fabric.
  • Frilly look: multiply total width by 3 or 4. Example- 144-192 inches.
Okay, so now you have your measurements. Example: 14 1/2 x 72 inches.

*Note: if you want a two sided valance like the one pictured, divide the length measurement by 2. Example: 14 1/2 x 36 inches. Add another 1 1/2 (before you divide) if you are doing the modern look. (Example: 14 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches) 

Phew, that's enough math. Sorry.

Step 3: Cut rectangles from fabric and press lengthwise edges in 1/4 inch.

Step 4: Now press top and bottom edges. For the top, take curtain rod measurement and add 1/4 inch. Example- 2 3/4 inches. Divide by two. Example-1 3/8 inches. Press top down this measurement (1 3/8 inches). Press bottom hem up 1 inch.

This handy tool pictured is a seam gauge- perfect for this type of measuring.

Step 5: This is the nifty trick for hems. It makes for a very clean edge.
Fold fabric up backwards from what you just pressed, so you can see the 1/4 inch underturn. Pin along edge.

Stitch 3/4 inch from edge.

Trim corner.

Turn right side out and make the point pretty.

Step 6: Fold in side edges 3/8 inch and then another 3/8 inch. Sew in place along edge.

Step 7: Sew top edge in place along edge leaving an opening on each side for the rod to go through.

Now you're done! I would show you more than this but my kitchen is not fit for a design blog.

Just picture in your minds a dirty looking 1970's cheap kitchen. An ugly black swamp cooler in the window and walls that needed to be repainted 10 years ago. The window frames a lovely chain-link fence, dried up weeds and a creepy looking back of a house with a creepy new shed-like thing that may or may not be used for illegal purposes (note: I really don't know- just speculation.) Yes. This is my kitchen. And yes, there is an improvement. No dishes in the sink due a dishwasher (yay!).

But, aside from all of this, I must sheepishly admit that the main reason I'm not showing you a picture is because I did not follow step number 2.

P.S. I'm actually beginning to like the chartreuse stove and oven that also belong to my kitchen.

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