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Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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I know you’ve heard the addage, “never trust a person who says ‘Trust Me!'”  And for the most part, that might be really good advice.  HOWEVER …. TRUST ME!!!  Today I want to show you how easy it can be to make LINED Curtains …I’ll even go so far as to add Pom Pom fringe and the project still remains EASY!  Trust me.  You can read it  in a creepy voice if you want, but I’m saying it as a true friend-to-friend-who-doesn’t-carelessly-use-the-word-EASY!

Here is what I'm talking about!  I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.

Here is what I’m talking about! I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.  Sorry, I didn’t know you were coming so I didn’t clean up for you! (actually, I am lying about this…I had a housekeeper yesterday, so SHE cleaned up for you!  But from now on… trust me!)

Let’s get started, shall we?  Here’s a little something to keep in mind if you’re new to my blog.  Most of my projects are designed to be FAST, EASY and INEXPENSIVE.  This means that I cut corners where necessary and possible, and I don’t get bogged down with crazy things like “standard hem lengths.”  Let’s face it… who in the world will ever look behind your curtain and wonder if you used a 7″ hem or a 2″ hem…right???  You can save a lot of money and time by using small/short hems wherever possible.  This is casual sewing, for sure…but the end result looks the same…TRUST ME!!!  Let’s get going…

First you'll need your main (outer) fabric.  There is no rule what kind of fabric you need - I love using quilting cotton because it's so soft and hangs beautifully.  The downside is that it's only 44" wide - but that's never worried me.  Measure how long your finished curtain will be.  Then add only about 2 - 4".

First you’ll need your main (outer) fabric. There is no rule what kind of fabric you need – I love using quilting cotton because it’s so soft and hangs beautifully. The downside is that it’s only 44″ wide – but that’s never worried me. Measure how long your finished curtain will be. Then add only about 2 – 4″.

Then, cut out your lining fabric...I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric.  Saves money!  Something to note: it's way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric.  This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower.  All you have to do is cut the length.  I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Then, cut out your lining fabric…I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric. Saves money! Something to note: it’s way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric. This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower. All you have to do is cut the length. I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing ... like your making a pillow... align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing … like your making a pillow… align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together.  Stitch all the way.  As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining.  If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it's centered on the outer fabric.  Make sense?

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together. Stitch all the way. As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining. If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it’s centered on the outer fabric. Make sense?

Okay, now let's continue sewing this up like we're sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain.  Begin about 5 or 6" down from the top and stop at the end of the lining.  (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Okay, now let’s continue sewing this up like we’re sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain. Begin about 5 or 6″ down from the top and stop at the end of the lining. (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

 

 

Here's what you'll get.

Here’s what you’ll get.

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining.  (You  may be wondering...I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary.  If you prefer a nice hem, you'll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides...better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining. (You may be wondering…I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary. If you prefer a nice hem, you’ll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides…better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Almost done y'all!  Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam...about 2 inches.  Sew that hem up!

Almost done y’all! Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam…about 2 inches. Sew that hem up!

If you're not adding fringe, then you're almost done...woohoo!!!  All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6" down from the top ... I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through...and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

If you’re not adding fringe, then you’re almost done…woohoo!!! All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6″ down from the top … I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through…and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

You’re finished!!!! Unless……………… Like Me………………. You’re still wanting more!  Go for FRINGE!

I love this stuff.  Especially bright yellow!  It will up the cost of your project but it's so worth it...even for a cheapie like me!

I love this stuff. Especially bright yellow! It will up the cost of your project but it’s so worth it…even for a cheapie like me!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise.  Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down.  Don't forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise. Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down. Don’t forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

You'll end up with a little something like this!  (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer - aka. ME! - to take good photos in the daylight!)

You’ll end up with a little something like this! (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer – aka. ME! – to take good photos in the daylight!)

Another shot!  Oh how these make me giddy!  Don't you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Another shot! Oh how these make me giddy! Don’t you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Last shot ... feeling pretty good you've got the picture of how my curtains look!

Last shot … feeling pretty good you’ve got the picture of how my curtains look!

So there you have it.  It’s a little difficult to capture photos of every step – please email me if you’d like further instructions.  I am a true believer in handmade curtains … I’ll do everything I can to make that possible for you!!!

If you make some – please send me photos …. TRUST ME – I love them!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

robie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every once in a while, that magic, life-changing event happens … you know the one I’m talking about.  The event where you have said to yourself, “I could make that”….and later on you ACTUALLY DO!  I haven’t experienced this sort of phenomenon much in my life, I admit, but how I cherish the memories (and the pieces) of when I have!!!

Let me tell you about this most recent happening …

We received a fabulous gift card to Crate & Barrel for Christmas.  I love this gift because it was the first time in a long time I didn’t feel like I was skipping school to roam around the store.  I was there LEGITIMATELY!  We had already purchased a rug online, so while I went to pick up my “ship free to store” purchase, I roamed around to figure out what to do with my remaining $60.

Isn’t it crazy how having NO money = I’M LICKING EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE BECAUSE I WANT IT SO BADLY.

Yet, having ACTUAL money = I CAN’T LET GO OF MY GIFTCARD. NOTHING IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

Well, among several things … my heart was divided between chalkboard placemats and these darling Napkin Rings:

These are regularly $4 each... on sale at this moment for $3.15 each.  Not expensive .. but say it with me, "I-can-make-that!"

These are regularly $4 each… on sale at this moment for $3.15 each. Not expensive .. but say it with me, “I-can-make-that!”

I mean really, aren’t these just so cute.  This photo from the store website doesn’t do them justice.  They’re large, burlap-looking, and so fresh and happy.  (I think these are actually hemp, but I like to pretend they’re burlap)

So, I took a picture, put it in my phone, bought some burlap.  Then I let 3 months pass by.  Then…. last night, the impossible happened.  I MADE THEM!

 

Here is mine.  I am completely smitten.  If it wasn't burlap, I'd lick it for sure!

Here is mine. I am completely smitten. If it wasn’t burlap, I’d lick it for sure!

Alrighty…for those of you who also like the looks of these, please read on for how to make them yourself!

Cut your strips.  Mine were approximately 3" and I cut across the full width of the burlap.  Remember - it's burlap!  Don't overthink it or try too hard.  Just cut that stuff up!

Cut your strips. Mine were approximately 3″ and I cut across the full width of the burlap. Remember – it’s burlap! Don’t overthink it or try too hard. Just cut that stuff up!

You'll also want to cut out felt circles whatever diameter you'd like your flowers to be.  Mine are probably about 3"-4" in diameter.  I used the lid to a container jar as my template.

You’ll also want to cut out felt circles whatever diameter you’d like your flowers to be. Mine are probably about 3″-4″ in diameter. I used the lid to a container jar as my template.

Now you're going to fold this in half and serge the two sides together.  If you don't have a serger, use your overcast stitch ... or, worst case, a zigzag stitch.  But come in closely ... you really should use a serger!  (good excuse to return that shirt you borrowed from your friend with a serger!)

Now you’re going to fold this in half and serge the two sides together. If you don’t have a serger, use your overcast stitch … or, worst case, a zigzag stitch. But come in closely … you really should use a serger! (good excuse to return that shirt you borrowed from your friend with a serger!)

Your strips will look something like this.

Your strips will look something like this.

Now you're going to start forming your rosette.  Have your glue gun ready, heated, and lots of extra glue sticks ready.  You'll use about 1 stick per rosette.  Start by tucking one end in just a bit and gluing.  Now fold that over again and glue.  Third, start tucking just a bit and glue.  Fourth, begin wrapping and glue as much as you can.

Now you’re going to start forming your rosette. Have your glue gun ready, heated, and lots of extra glue sticks ready. You’ll use about 1 stick per rosette. Start by tucking one end in just a bit and gluing. Now fold that over again and glue. Third, start tucking just a bit and glue. Fourth, begin wrapping and glue as much as you can.

Now, put a HUGE dollop of hot glue right in the center of your circle.  Place your rosette as it is right down in it an press.  Hold it for long enough for the glue to secure to the burlap.  From there, just place a line of glue, twist and stick the burlap.  repeat until you get to the end of your circle.

Now, put a HUGE dollop of hot glue right in the center of your circle. Place your rosette as it is right down in it an press. Hold it for long enough for the glue to secure to the burlap. From there, just place a line of glue, twist and stick the burlap. repeat until you get to the end of your circle.

Clip your burlap, leave about 2".

Clip your burlap, leave about 2″.

Fold the tail in and in again then glue to the back of the rosette.  All along the way, just glue glue glue.  Wherever it needs it, GLUE it!

Fold the tail in and in again then glue to the back of the rosette. All along the way, just glue glue glue. Wherever it needs it, GLUE it!

And here is what you end up with!  AAAHH.  dreamy.  Of course, you can do a million things with this... headbands, curtain tiebacks, wristbands, etc...but I'm making napkin rings, so keep reading for the rest.

And here is what you end up with! AAAHH. dreamy. Of course, you can do a million things with this… headbands, curtain tiebacks, wristbands, etc…but I’m making napkin rings, so keep reading for the rest.

Crate & Barrel used a small strip of hemp plus a dab of velcro for their version.  SHUH, as if!  That takes WAY too long.  So, I got some rick rack.  Cut it into 8 equal strips.  I think it looks nice and farmhousey, which is what I'm going for in my home.  You can use something fancier if you want.

Crate & Barrel used a small strip of hemp plus a dab of velcro for their version. SHUH, as if! That takes WAY too long. So, I got some rick rack. Cut it into 8 equal strips. I think it looks nice and farmhousey, which is what I’m going for in my home. You can use something fancier if you want.

Place a dab of glue right in the center of the back, then place the rick rack on it.  Top it off with a heavily glued small felt circle.  YOU'RE DONE!  Hug yourself.

Place a dab of glue right in the center of the back, then place the rick rack on it. Top it off with a heavily glued small felt circle. YOU’RE DONE! Hug yourself.

Here is your new place setting ... compliments of YOU!!!  Are you kidding me?!?  i love these!

Here is your new place setting … compliments of YOU!!! Are you kidding me?!? i love these!

I am speechless.  Okay, that's never true.  But if ever oh ever I were to be speechless, it would be now!

I am speechless. Okay, that’s never true. But if ever oh ever I were to be speechless, it would be now! (Did you notice that by making these myself, I was able to get BOTH the napkin rings AND the chalkboard placemats!?!  It’s good to be a sewer… in this case, a gluer!)

And see how the tiebacks don't even show.

And see how the tiebacks don’t even show.

I hope you’ll make these!  You won’t regret it!!!  And seriously… they’re on sale for cheap.  I won’t judge you for buying them as long as you make the napkins they will hold!  =)

Here’s the breakdown:

TIME: I got lost in a conversation with the young gal that lives with us … but I’m thinking about 10-15 minutes each.  I easily made 4 in an hour, so probably even less.

COST: $3/yd for the burlap.  I bought 1 yard.  About $2.50 for the rickrack and I got all 8 completed with one package. So total cost for all 8 napkin rings…. $5.50!  A great saving compared to the $32 I would’ve spent on these in January!

That’s all I’ve got for today y’all … I’m about to make dinner and let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t write a cooking blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Okay – for those of you who missed the last post – I’m working very hard to create fun and meaningful spaces for my kids’ rooms.  Starting with Owen because he’s my oldest… okay, who am I kidding.  I’m starting with Owen because I like his fabric more!

Here’s my starting point:

hey ... atleast the paint color turned out nicely.

hey … atleast the paint color turned out nicely.

Here’s what transpired first:

I started the room by making his bedding.  My hope is that if all else fails, he can easily make his bed and have a nice looking albeit thoroughly trashed room!

I started the room by making his bedding. My hope is that if all else fails, he can easily make his bed and have a nice looking albeit thoroughly trashed room!

Yesterday’s post was about how to make the pillow case – super easy and super fast.  Today… let’s tackle that coverlet!

I have decided that I LOATHE duvets – especially for kids.  I’m sure you’re kids are the epitome of tidy and orderliness; however, mine inherited a few “other” qualities from me.  Hence, a coverlet instead of a duvet.  It’s lightweight but still warm.  Not as warm as a down comforter but a heck-uv-a-lot warmer than just a sheet.  Amen!?!

Here’s how to make it – a free tutorial for ya.

Please feel free to measure your bed... I, however, choose something more exact.  I just place my fabric over the bed.  Turns out this fabric is exactly the right width.  Whew.  Let's assume for the sake of this tutorial that yours is too.  (If it's not wide enough, that requires an additional step or two - for another day)

Please feel free to measure your bed… I, however, choose something more exact. I just place my fabric over the bed. Turns out this fabric is exactly the right width. Whew. Let’s assume for the sake of this tutorial that yours is too. (If it’s not wide enough, that requires an additional step or two – for another day)

Then, use another scientifically proven method of measuring:  put your finger where you'd like to cut your length.  Then cut it.  Impressed?

Then, use another scientifically proven method of measuring: put your finger where you’d like to cut your length. Then cut it. Impressed?  (don’t forget to cut it about an inch or two longer to make room for the seam allowances)

Next, you'll need to cut your back side fabric the exact same size.

Next, you’ll need to cut your back side fabric the exact same size.

You will also need some form of interlining/batting.  You can use either an official form like shown here on the left, or you can use warm fabric.  I chose to use some flannel that I had on hand.  (This started out as Owen's duvet cover until I got tired of the print.  Snaps to me for repurposing, right!?)

You will also need some form of interlining/batting. You can use either an official form like shown here on the left, or you can use warm fabric. I chose to use some flannel that I had on hand. (This started out as Owen’s duvet cover until I got tired of the print. Snaps to me for repurposing, right!?)

Now cut that interlining/batting to the same size too.

Now cut that interlining/batting to the same size too.

Now you're ready to begin assembling your coverlet to be sewn.  Start with your interlining.  Place it on the floor - it doesn't matter which side is facing up.

Now you’re ready to begin assembling your coverlet to be sewn. Start with your interlining. Place it on the floor – it doesn’t matter which side is facing up.

Next, add your top fabric with the right side facing up.

Next, add your top fabric with the right side facing up.

Then add your back fabric.  My fabric is the same on both sides.  If yours has a print, be sure to layer it on top with the WRONG side facing up.

Then add your back fabric. My fabric is the same on both sides. If yours has a print, be sure to layer it on top with the WRONG side facing up.

NOTE:  as you can see here, my back fabric is narrower than my outer fabric.  So, I layered the back fabric on top of the outer fabric with only one side lining up.  It will make sense in a minute – just be sure that you do this (instead of centering the fabric).  If your fabrics are the same width, then no problems – just line them up.

Now sew along the side that has all three layers.  Again, you should have:  back fabric on top wrong side facing up.  Outer fabric in the middle with right side facing up.  Inner lining on the bottom facing any way.

Now sew along the side that has all three layers. Again, you should have: back fabric on top wrong side facing up. Outer fabric in the middle with right side facing up. Inner lining on the bottom facing any way.

Now, sew the other side together - if your fabrics are different widths, just gently pull the back fabric over to the other side.  Turn it right side out, and center everything like you see here.

Now, sew the other side together – if your fabrics are different widths, just gently pull the back fabric over to the other side. Turn it right side out, and center everything like you see here.

 

Now sew up both the short sides - leaving a large hole on one of the sides - just like you would a pillow. (hint: it's a good idea to pin extra well here.  The fabrics are heavy and can shift without a good amount of pins.  I hate pinning, so if I say you should pin, you should pin.  just sayin'.)

Now sew up both the short sides – leaving a large hole on one of the sides – just like you would a pillow. (hint: it’s a good idea to pin extra well here. The fabrics are heavy and can shift without a good amount of pins. I hate pinning, so if I say you should pin, you should pin. just sayin’.)

Reach your hand inside, and turn the whole thing right side out.  Yes, you should press the sides - then close up that hole.  If you're one of those meticulous types, you can hand sew an invisible seam.  I, however, just topstitch it.

Reach your hand inside, and turn the whole thing right side out. Yes, you should press the sides – then close up that hole. If you’re one of those meticulous types, you can hand sew an invisible seam. I, however, just topstitch it.

This is what the backside will look like.  Oh how I love it!

This is what the backside will look like. Oh how I love it!

Now put that little darling on your little darliing's bed.

Now put that little darling on your little darliing’s bed.

It really is easy - I wouldn't lie to you!

It really is easy – I wouldn’t lie to you!

And don't forget to add the pillow ... and a coordinating $3 Ikea blanket.

And don’t forget to add the pillow … and a coordinating $3 Ikea blanket.

The options to embellish this thing are endless … I’d love to see what YOU come up with… especially if you make one with ruffles.  wink wink.

Cost: I used about 3 yards of each fabric.  The chevron fabric was $7/yd.  The orange flannel was $3/yd.  The inner lining flannel was $3/yd.  which brings me to a grand total of $39.  Not exactly cheap, but definitely a great price for customized and designer bedding.  If you count the 1/2 yard for the pillow and the $3 blanket, the grand total for this ensemble is $46.50.

Time: I am estimating this took about an hour.  A novice sewer will probably need about 2 hours to just account for checking and double checking.

I hope you found this helpful … I’ve got a lot more planned for this guy’s room … but I just might get distracted by something else first.  Like a new dress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Monday y’all!!!

Some of you may have noticed that my Etsy shop is looking more like a poor pitiful shop than an actual clothing store.  OH WELL!!!  I’m having such a great time getting my house in order that I don’t even miss creating new dresses…yet.

This weekend, I began the process of transforming my son’s room into something noteworthy.  In our last home, we kept adding kids so the rooms never quite became anything worth anything.  A quote from the first realtor to visit our old home and tour the kids’ room:  “Oh my.  Hmmmm.  This will have to change.”

Well – I am now determined for that to change!!!  Owen’s room is slated to have matching bedding, a curtained reading nook, curtains for his closet, and actually worthwhile things on his walls. (not that last time he had mis-matched girlie things on his wall, right!?  cough cough)

Image

Above is what I finished this weekend…. AAAAAHHH… it was SO fun!!  My son is only 7 years old so I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction to something as useless to him as fabric on his bed.  WRONG!!!  I was downstairs when he first saw it… I heard something that sounded like Super Bowl screaming coming from his room.  Then I heard, “MOOOOOM!!!  This is the Best Day Ever!!”  Be.  Still.  My.  Heart!  SEW worth it, right!?!

This has brought me such joy, I thought I’d spend the next few blog posts sharing with you how I upped the wow factor in his room.  I’ll share tutorials on easy pillowcases, easy coverlets, and easy fabric curtain panels.  I’m hoping that some of you will find these helpful!

Let’s start with the pillowcase… mostly because it’s fewer photos and that’s all I had time to download today.  (Apparently, the kids’ school thinks they need to be wearing “official” uniforms and not chevron fabric, so laundry has to be done.  UGH!)

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If you google “how to make a pillow case”, you’re gonna find all kinds of crazy patterns that take about 14 or 15 steps. Seriously!?! It’s a pillow case. It’s gonna get drool and vomit on it. Why spend a whole day making one!!! Here’s I do it: Grab a pillow case that you already own. lay it on top of the fabric that you want to use. You can see here that my fabric is narrower than the pillowcase I’m using for my pattern, but it’s okay. It’s okay because it’s close enough. If it were much narrower, I probably wouldn’t use it, but since it’s close – bam. I’m using that baby! (also worth noting: I’m able to keep the selvege edges as they are. There is no need to hem them on this fabric. If you need to hem up the opening edges, you’ll need a little bit more fabric than I’m using.)

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Be sure you match the folded edges together and the open edges together.

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Then cut out your fabric just a bit larger on the sides than your pillowcase pattern. We’re going to do a French Seam, so you’ll want to cut your fabric about 1/4″ or so bigger than you usually would … but just eyeball it. Pillowcases are very forgiving!

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A french seam is a seam that enclosed – meaning you can’t see the edges on the inside. It will make sense in a minute. I like to use this seam on pillowcases because they get a lot of laundering. The French Seams keep the inside of the cases nice and tidy. To do it – sew up the sides of the pillow case WRONG SIDE TOGETHER, I know, weird, and use a very narrow seam allowance.

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Now, turn your pillow case inside out and press those sides.

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Now you will do another seam down the sides. Be sure that your seam allowance it enough to fully encase the seam on the inside. If you do too small of a seam allowance, you’ll have fabric sticking out when you turn it back right side out. Now you have a French Seam Pillow Case.

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Since I’m not hemming the selvedge edges (aka: leaving the opening unhemmed), I needed to be sure to reverse stitch my seams extra well and clip those tails very well.

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This is kind of a whompy photo – but I wanted to show the inside so you can see the french seam. (at this point, I’m wondering why sometimes I capitalize French Seam and sometimes I don’t. Are you wondering that too?) Anyway, you can see the enclosed french seam on the right.

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When you turn it right side out and press the side seams – Here’s what you get!!! I love it. It was super fast … that makes me so happy!

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Coming next – how to make that easy coverlet! And I do mean easy!

There you have it y’all… how to make a very fast and easy pillow case!

Breakdown:

Time: I think this took me 15 minutes…and that was with taking pictures.  You CAN DO THIS!!!

Cost: pretty darn cheap.  I used leftover fabric from the coverlet … but lets’ see… I think I used about 1/2 yard of fabric, so for me – $3.50.  YAAAAAAY!

I hope you’ll make a million of these.  Be sure to invite someone over to spend the night just so you can offer them a brand spanking new pillowcase!

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Most of you probably know that we spent pretty much all of last year selling our home, moving into a tiny apartment, and then finally moving into our new home.  Whew – I’m so glad that’s all over.  We are LOVING our new home and, more importantly, our new neighborhood.

I am telling the truth … we had been in our new home for all of 5 minutes before someone hollered across the street, “Welcome home!”  A few minutes later, another family stopped by to say hello and welcome.  After only two hours, we had been greeted EIGHT times!!!  This may not seem all that ground-breaking to those of you who’ve been living in Pleasantville all your life – but for us…this was a miracle!!!  We lived in our former home for almost 6 years, and we were always greeted by people looking the other way when they walked by-  even if they were on the same side of the sidewalk!!!

Here is our new home!

Here is our new home!

So, anyway, while we were waiting to move in, I whipped up a little diddy I call my Address Pillow.  I knew I was going to put our old Ikea benches on the front porch.  I knew I did not want to paint them.  Alas, I also knew they needed painting!  So, I decided to amp them up a bit by putting a large pillow with our street address on one of them.

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I used a heavy weight black and white ticking fabric for the pillow. For the numbers, I used a heavy weight felt.

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Don’t y’all want to come on over??!!! (soon there will be a mustache pillow on the other bench)

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I just freehanded the numbers, then attached them with a zigzag stitch all the way around BEFORE sewing the sides of the pillow. If you need more direction, just print out your numbers in your favorite font from your home printer, then use that as your template. Also, if your porch isn’t covered, you’ll want to use indoor/outdoor fabric – or give it a good Scotch Guard treatment.

I don’t know about you, but I really really like the pillow.  Another true story – when I meet people in the neighborhood, they invariably say, “OH, yours is the house with the pillow!”  I grin.  Inside I do a little jump and skip combo.

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Blah blah blah.

here’s the breakdown:

Time: This project probably took about an hour.  I didn’t get too caught up in making my numbers perfect, I just enjoyed the process.  You’ll need to make two pillows – one for the lining and the other for the outside, so it takes a little extra time.

Cost: Hmmm.  Felt – about $2 because I bought the good stuff.  Fabric – I purchased better ticking than I usually would since it’s an outside pillow, so I think I paid about $10.  NOTE: I will make 2 pillows with that fabric, though.  So, the real cost is $5 … bringing the pillow’s total to a whopping $7.  Bam.

So, whattya think?  Are you going to make one????

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Happy New Year y’all!!!

This is my first post of 2013 – and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  Rather than bore you with all the lame and boring oh so exciting details of what I’ve been up to, I think I’ll get right to point today … besides, I’m already late to pick up my daughter!!!  (wish I was kidding about this!)

My awesome grandmother, known affectionately as “MeMaw”, passed away last Spring.  She lived 95 beautiful years!  I’d guess that she sewed for about 85 of those years.

Anyway, as I went through her closet, I found a few scarves that I thought were worth keeping.  Now, they weren’t exactly worth WEARING but they were worth keeping.

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See what I mean….

So today, I had about 20 extra minutes (translate: I can be up to 15 minutes late before I get in trouble!), so I ran to my little stash of scarves and grabbed this one. 

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Then I went to my little stash of embellishments and grabbed a long strand of pom pom fringe. xoxoxoxoxoxo – I LOVE THIS STUFF!

Then, I just simply sewed the pom pom fringe all around the perimeter of the scarf.  I used a long and wide ZIG ZAG stitch to be sure I got a good hold of the fringe.  This also keeps it from curling up on the edges as I wear and wash it.

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I mean, COME ON!!! Isn’t this so cute and sweet now!!! ??? !!!

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I just love it. I wish I could just run over to her house, give her big hug, eat some of her homemade wheat rolls, and sneak another scarf out of her closet. For now, I’ll settle for wearing this aLOT and remembering how lucky I am to have had her as my grandmother.

Breakdown:

Time: took me about 7 minutes – I could’ve done it in 5, but that stupid bobbin needed threading halfway through.

Cost: Scarf – FREE.  Fringe – about $3 (I got it on 75% clearance!!!! hollah)

Think. Think. Think.

What can YOU add fringe to???

 

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Hey there friends and family and mystery sewers … how in the world are you???  I just realized it’s been about THREE WEEKS since my last confession post.  Gosh.  As we say here in Texas, “That ain’t right!”

You’ve probably guessed that my world has been a little rocked by my $35 Strapless Dress Revolution.  You are correct!  I’ve sold 35 dresses so far – HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!  So, I’m a little bit holed up on my sewing wall whenever my lame-non-sewing kids allow me the time.  Hopefully I’ll get caught up soon.

Anyway … I just couldn’t go another minute without passing along another easy project for y’all.  I realized today that I have never ever ever posted a tutorial for how to make a zipper pouch.  Seriously, y’all – how come no one has been harping???  Too late, you missed your chance because here’s a tutorial for how to make one of these little darlings:

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And yes, it's even lined! I know - you're welcome!

How to Make a Lined Zipper Pouch – without a pattern! 

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This may sound strange, but I prefer to start with the zipper .. meaning, the size of your zipper should determine the size (or atleast WIDTH) of your pouch. You'll want your zipper to be LONGER than the width of your fabric by atleast an inch or two on each side. This makes sewing up the sides so much easier!

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I rarely measure, I just make sure that my fabric is narrower than my zipper - just like what you see here. You can make it as long as you want though. Decide on your outer fabric and cut two equal shapes.

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Choose your lining fabric, and cut two more shapes the same size.

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Now here's where you want to pay attention - we're going to be layering, and the order is very important. Start by placing one piece of your OUTER FABRIC face up. Then, along the upper width, place your zipper wrong size up and centered over the fabric.

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See how the zipper pull is on the bottom not the top!

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Now take one of your LINING pieces, and lay it on top of the zipper and outer fabric. You will want all three pieces (outer fabric, zipper, lining fabric) to align at the very top. You can pin if you prefer. No sew the two fabric pieces to the zipper.

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When you open it up, it should look like this.

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Okay, follow closely. Lay the remaining OUTER FABRIC piece face up. Turn your sewn section over so that the zipper pull is now on the opposite side but still facing down. Place the remaining LINING fabrin, on top of the entire set, face down. Look closely at the picture. You are aligning the two remaining fabric pieces at the top of the zipper, while the pieces already sewn are dangling down a little bit in the middle of the fabric sandwich.

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Once you sew up the second size to the zipper, you'll have something that looks like this. Both OUTER FABRIC pieces on one side and the LINING pieces on the other, right sides facing each other.

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And from another angle, this is what you'll see. Get excited now, because you are almost finished!

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Lay out your pouch with the two sides separated. Unzip the zipper about halfway. Overlap the opening ends of the zipper just a bit. Now, sew a continuous seam all the way around the entire project - beginning with the lining and LEAVE AN OPENING for turning. (Apparently, my machine sews a straighter stitch than my fingers can draw one. relief!)

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Clip the excess off the zipper at the sides, and then turn the pouch right side out by pulling everything through the opening. Use a pair of scissors to poke out the corners of the outer fabric.

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Sew up that opening - and yes, duh, clip your fray thread! Then, tuck that little lining into your pouch....

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And you got yourself a pouch that looks like this!

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And it's beautiful on the inside too - are you as ecstatic as I am right now?!?!

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If you want, you can tuck in the corners (okay, you can SEW them in also, but who has the extra 30 seconds to do that!?) and your pouch can stand on its own. Ta Da!

So there you go fun people – your very own lined zipper pouch in less than 10 minutes.  (DISCLAIMER: the first time will take you longer because your eyes get all whomperjawed trying to figure out the order and placement.  Don’t worry, it’s gets WAY faster!)

Here’s the breakdown:

Cost:  about $3 – depending upon which size zipper you get..cheaper if you thrift them or steal borrow them from your mother’s stash.  You can easily use scrap fabric, so there’s no charge there!

Time:  seriously and realistically – TEN MINUTES … if you give yourself a little longer for a time or two!

I love these.  I really really do.  Every time I make one I get a little bit happier in life.  I hope you do too!

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Gosh, I was doing so good for about 7 days in terms of keeping up with new content on my blog….that was because I was actually CREATING NEW CONTENT.  Novel idea!

Well, for this preggers, a persistent cough and sleepless nights have kept me away from my sewing machine for fear that I might fall asleep and gouge my fingers right through the needleplate, right over them there feederdogs…not a good idea!

So, I decided to take this opportunity to post pictures from our Most (albeit no-so-) Recent MAKE IT MONDAY!

This time around we tried our hands at GLASS ETCHING!

I’ll post the pictures and then at the bottom I’ll offer a few tips about getting the best results…I’m still quite a novice, so these are just a beginner’s thoughts!!!

Warning - not all of these pictures are worthy of photography awards...but the girls sure are darling, aren't they!

Fabs in front...Theresa on the left NEVER has any other expression on her face!

who turned the lights off all of a sudden???

You can see we are serious crafters!

Now this table was into some serious etching!

One thing you can do during this project is create your own design/template out of contact paper. That's what's going on here...or atleast that's what it looks like!

Two of the most darling ladies I know...and not too shabby at etching, either!

good thing we had a few no-shows!

Yeah, so this is blurry, these girls are too cute not to include this photo! (Sorry Fabs and Theresa, but there's no way I'm gonna zoom in on your glass!)

Like a good Texan, she made her Texas template from memory!

Claire personalized her kitty's bowl....nice kitty.

gotta love those Moustache glasses!!!

This is Misti's fabulous free-hand design...just before she washed off the etching cream! gorgeous!

Okay, now for a little how-to / mini explanation / tutorial…

1. Purchase Glass Etching Cream.  It’s a little hard to find, but if you have a Hobby Lobby you can find it there.  Otherwise, click on the link for Amazon.  It’s a bit expensive, but it goes a LONG way!!

2. You’ll also need paintbrushes of various sizes, a disposable bowl for the cream, gloves if you prefer, a cover for your work surface…and contact paper + exacto knife + self healing mat – if you decide to make your own stencil/decal.

3. All you do, after you’ve created or chosen your stencil, is peel the sticky part off and place it on your glass.  Dip your brush into the etching cream, and apply an even coat of the cream all over the design.  ***One major key to a nicely finished etched project is that you apply the cream evenly.  We learned that putting way more than necessary was actually a safe bet!

4. The directions on the bottle say to leave the cream on the glass for 5 minutes.  I personally think the ones that stayed on there for much longer had much better results.  Just give the old trial-and-error routine!

5. When you’re ready, wash off the cream with luke warm water, dry your glass…and, to be safe, run through the dishwasher.  You’re done.  Easy as that!

6. So….it really is “easy as that”…but for some reason it’s not “easy as that!”  It just takes a while to get your groove on this project, atleast for most of us.  While it wasn’t my favorite project ever…I’ll definitely give it another try…someday!

If you have your own suggestions for good Etching techniques, please share!!!

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Oh how I love the words FREE and EASY in the same sentence…especially when they apply to the same project!

As most of you have been, I’ve been pretty couped up inside the house because of  Antarctica paying us a visit.  As most good moms do, I decide to spend my time working on new sewing projects.  I have no idea what the kids have been doing, but I’ve been having a LOT of fun!  (I’m sort of kidding on this, don’t call CPS…yet.)

I’ve been making headband after headband after headband.  Seriously.  It’s getting kind of ridiculous, but I’m LOVING using up so many scraps of fabric and elastic!  I was having so much fun, that I thought some of you out there might like to join in on the excitement, too.  So, I’ve created 3 headband tutorials that you can make from scratch – you don’t need a pattern for any of these because you’ll just make your own!

Here’s a sampling of what’s coming:

Left to Right: how to make a simple headband with exposed elastic, how to make a simple headband with covered elastic, and how to make a shaped headband creating your own personalized pattern.

For today, I thought I’d start with the most basic.  Really, y’all…it’s ridiculous.  I’m calling it the RIDICULOUSLY EASY HEADBAND FOR RIDICULOUSLY COOL PEOPLE.

How cute is this??? I have made about 30 for me, 50 for Ellie...and coming soon - tons for baby Livia Rosamund!

Supplies: Fabric -1 scrap piece  about 18″ x 4″ & a scrap piece of elastic about 5″ (thread, duh!)

Cut a strip of fabric however long and however wide you want. The finished headband will be narrower than half the width the cut, so keep this in mind. I cut mine at 4" wide knowing the finished width would be about 1.5". Then, I guessed on the length and cut it 18.5". I like the finished length for an adult. So, I cut my strip 4" X 18.5"....make it shorter if it will be for a kiddo! THEN - Press a fold all the way down the center - wrong sides together.

Next, press another fold (to the inside/wrong side) about 1/2" all the way down. There's no way I'm taking the time to really measure this, I just guess. If you're a more...let's say...meticulous sewer...then take your hem gauge and measure the same all the way down the side.

Yes mom, I’ve been biting my nails again.

It will look like this!

Then do the same thing to the other side!

At each end - fold your corners inside like this...this will keep any of your fabric fraying and sneaking out into the world!

Then, at both ends, fold in the outer edge just a bit to further encase those raw edges. Again...I don't measure this but you're welcome to if you're crazy ...I mean, meticulous enough!

Then, you simply fold the strip along that center fold line that you pressed.  You might need to adjust it a bit with your iron.  Then, cut a strip of elastic…again, I just guessed on the length at about 5″ and it turned out great.  I have a big head, so you might need shorter…just guess!  =)  Put one end of elastic into the opening of one side.  Sew closed using a zig-zag stitch.  Switch back to straight stitch and stitch down one side.  Insert the other end of the elastic into the other opening.  Sew closed with zig-zag stitch.  Switch back to straight stitch and sew up the second side.  done!

I'm borrowing this from tomorrow's tutorial - reversible ridiculously easy headband - but here you can see the tube holes where you'll instert the elastic.

And here is a shot of the elastic having been inserted and sewn...don't forget to clip all those threads!

Make It, Sell It..but by ALL MEANS WEAR IT!!! woo hoo!

cost: FREE – everything I used was from my scraps pile.

time: seriously, y’all – 8 minutes if you’re confident.  15 minutes if you’re a little reluctant.  awesome, huh!?!

coming up tomorrow::::::::

RIDICULOUSLY EASY REVERSIBLE HEADBAND!

Love me some Ric Rac!

 

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