Friday, September 2, 2011

It Is Sewing Time Again With My Latest Small School Project!

Hi everyone, I hope you have all had a great summer!  It is time to start getting back to sewing and I have been getting the itch to get started again.  This always happens to me when it is close to fall!


 My fall sewing always starts with altering uniforms for my oldest granddaughter (Allura) to go back to school.  This year she is in the fifth grade and has her very own locker.  She has to keep her school supplies in her locker and try to keep it organized because the principal will check them periodically.  I saw a project similar to this one the internet, so I revised it to fit my granddaughters locker. 








I purchased a $7.00 shoe bag at Odd Lots.  Allura and I measured her locker door to see what had to be done to make this fit.  It worked perfectly.  I just cut the shoe bag in half and sewed up the edges.  Along the top and bottom edges on the back side of the shoe bag, I attached some heavy magnets.  My sewing machine did sew through these.  I had to kind of slip the front of the shoe bag on my sewing machine into one of the pockets to attach the sides of the magnet, but it was not hard. 



We can now attach this to her locker door to hold her crayons, markers, she has to have 10 black pens, 10 red pens, 10 pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, highlighters, colored pencils, bottled glue, glue sticks and the list goes on and on.  You can see why we needed some way to organize this or everything would just be throwed into the locker.  She can only carry a small pencil bag with her.  Here is our finished project!  Maybe this will work for someone in your family as well!




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing As Cheaply As Possible!

As most of you know, sewing is no longer a cheap hobbie.  Most times, I find it costs more to sew than to just go out and make a purchase, so we as sewers have to start to be more creative in making our purchases.  First, I never make a purchase at JoAnn's, Hancock's etc. without using a coupon.  If you watch their ads, you can get patterns for $1.99 or cheaper.  I would never pay the regular price for a pattern.  I always wait until they are on sale.  I just start a list of pattern numbers I am interested in and then make my purchases during the sale.  Always use a coupon when buying material at these stores.  Also be sure to look at the mark down section.  You would be surprised at the bargains you can get there. 

Now for other material purchases, do not be afraid to use tablecloths, sheets, especially flannel kid's sheets, and also look at shower curtains.  These items give you wide yardage to sew with.  If you need an item to be water repellent, be sure and look at shower curtains!  I first learned this trick many years ago.  I made a pair of pants and wanted a vest to match it.  Well, it was an unusual color and I could not find a match anywhere.  I even looked out of town.  Then in a little craft shop I saw a tablecloth that was just the color I needed.  I asked myself, could I use this?????  Who would know???  Would someone say, are you wearing a tablecloth???  Well I ended up buying it and I still where that vest.  Here is a picture of it. 


No one has ever said that it looked like a table cloth! Now, I always browse those departments when I shop
and watch for mark downs.  If you see something cute, I would grab it. 

A few more places to look for fabric are your Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.  These are places where material is usually donated.  I have found many large rolls of material in these stores.  Be sure to watch garage sales also, sometimes ladies will be cleaning out their stash of material.  

Look at buttons also at your favorite stores.  Buttons are not cheap and sometimes you can find cheap ones on a blouse or jacket at Goodwill and Salvation Army.  It is worth picking up the item just for the bling!! 

Here is also a part of the article from www.moneysavingmom.com where a young mother  has learned these techniques and had fun sewing for her daughters.

Instead of buying fabric on the bolt, she began looking for other items made of fabric that she could use instead. For example, on a recent trip to Target, she found two cotton tablecloths in adorable floral prints for only $6.99 each. At 102 in. x 60 in., she scored more than three yards of fabric from each tablecloth at 60 inches wide rather than the standard 45 inches, more than enough to make three simple summer dresses for all of her girls from each print.

She also found cute prints in fabric shower curtains, curtain panels, throws and even bedsheets. She and her best friend just made skirts and hairbows for their daughters from a patterned $2 crib sheet that was elasticized all around, providing instant waistbands!

Good job Saskia!!  Hope you can use some of these tips!!  Happy Sewing!  Cindy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dritz Ezy-Hem Sewing Tool

I had several ladies asking what tool I was using to make the curtains for my grandson's room.  It is called the "Dritz Ezy-Hem.  I have had this for years and years.  On one side it has markings to hem on a curve, and the other side, it has markings to put in a straight hem.  You just fold up your material to the line and press in your seam.  It sure helps to get things even.  What I was doing in the pictures to make the curtains, was folding over my material to the 1/2 inch mark and pressing.  I did this all the way down the curtain.  You do have to watch your little fingers because if you touch the edge of the ezy-hem where you just pressed, it will be hot.  Just always remember to pick it up from the opposite end. 





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I also found the Dritz Ezy-Hem for sale on Amazon for a really goood price.  If anyone is interested, at this price, just click on this tab below. 
                                                                                                         

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sew A Quick Curtain!

                
My daughter came up the other day and brought me a sheet that she purchased.  She had bought a comforter and a sheet set for her 3 year old son's room.  They did not carry curtains to match, so she bought an extra flat sheet and asked if I could make curtains.  Of course,  isn't that what Mama's are for!!  She sent me the size of the window and here is how I made them.  I removed the larger hem which would be the top of the sheet.  I then made a small cut in the center of the sheet and tore it all the way down the middle.  This left me with a raw edge on one side of the sheet and a sewn edge on the other. I measured the sewn edge and it measured 1/2 inch and I wanted both sides to match.  So, I folded the raw edge on the other side over 1/2 inch and pressed and then folded another 1/2 inch and pressed again.  I then sewed this edge. Now both edges were the same.



There was still a sewn edge on the top of the curtain and I folded that down 2 inches and sewed it across. That will be where the curtain rod goes.   Now all I had left to do was put in a hem.  I folded up 1/2 inch and pressed and folded up again 2 inches and sewed across and the curtains were finished.  This was exactly what she wanted.  I was lucky because the sheet was exactly the size that I needed to make the curtains.  You could always make adjustments if the hem would be to long.  Now he has curtains in his room that match and it was so easy to do and cost less money also!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

No Sew Outdoor Chair Cover!

My husband and I purchased some new wicker lawn furniture last fall when it was reduced for closeout.  The cushions were in a red sunbrella material.  Even though I new this would not match my front porch, I planned on making new covers.  No Biggie Right??  Well, when I started looking for material to make the new covers, I found out that I did not like the prices.  Anywhere from $20.00 a yard to $40.00.  These covers would of cost more than what I paid for the furniture. 

I guess I should tell you that my front door is Lavender, and red cushions, just would not go.  I really did not want to invest that much money, nor did my purse. 
My husband said "Oh they're fine!"  Well you know how men are.  It doesn't matter if it clashes!  I still wanted to make some covers, so I thought maybe I could just put some sort of sheer material over them or eyelet.  then I came up with the idea to find a curtain or tablecloth in eyelet and see what I could with that.

I went to our local discount store and found a set of curtains and a tablecloth that I liked and here is what I did.  I just turned over the cushions and just sewed them around the cushions in a lace up fashion. It really toned down the red and blends perfectly!  I didn't even ruin the curtains, so some day, it might be hanging somewhere else!  Well here is the final results and I am very happy with it.  Even my husband said, "Hey, I really like that"!.  Best compliment ever!

FINAL PRICE!!!!!  Wait for it!!  Wait for it!!!    $3.50!!  What a deal!!




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Snowman Coat Sewing Directions!!

I received an email from Char in SW Pennsylvania and she asked if I would elaborate on the making of my snowman coat.  I had a dream and I was wearing this coat.  This never happened to me before and never happened since.  But I woke up and remembered it and thought, I am going to make that coat because I just love snowmen!!  Here are the steps I took to create my coat.

I started with McCall's pattern # 7409.  I traced the pattern pieces I would be using for the coat with freezer paper.  Starting with the front pattern piece, I started by drawing lines on the freezer paper copy and sectioning off the copy in sort of a crazy quilt pattern.  I used different shapes and sizes. After drawing in my lines, I then assigned a number to each of my pattern pieces and then I added lines and arrows connecting the pieces together, so I would know how to put the pieces back together.  This way I would know if I had my pieces upside down or right side up.   Now, I made another copy exactly like the first one and this would be my guide.  Next, I cut my shapes apart on the first copy and the second copy would be my guide for sewing it back together.  (Click on pictures to enlarge)

Now I took my shapes and cut pieces of jean material and left about a one-inch seam allowance all around the shape.  I also copied pictures of all the snowmen embroidery designs that I was going to use.  I laid them on the pieces where I thought they should be embroidered.  Some pieces I embroidered snowmen on, some I left without.  Each shape after being cutout and decided whether it needed embroidery, I would place it back on my second copy that is my guide.  I could then see where I needed embroidery.  After I was happy with my layout, I embroidered on my pieces and then I started sewing pieces back together.  I drew a line  around each pattern piece for a sewing line.  I left the extra 1-inch on each piece just in case things did not line up right.  This was the first time I attempted a project like this, so I was unsure where I was going with it.  It actually went back together very easily.

After I had the entire front piece sewn back together, I topstitched along each seam with a different  decorative stitch and a different color on my sewing machine, so it would have that crazy quilt stitch look to it.

When I had the seams top stitched, then I placed my #7409 pattern piece back on the material and trimmed it up exactly like the pattern.  I repeated these steps for each pattern piece.  Back, sleeves, etc.

 Next came the zipper, when I tried to add my zipper it looked very messy when I turned back the seam when I followed along the pattern directions.  There was the seams and the topstitching that just did not look good turned back to add the zipper. So I decided to make a placket.  I actually sewed the zipper down two sides of jean material the length of the coat then I attached that to the coat and this looked wonderful.  I also lined the coat by copying the same pattern pieces in a flannel material,  and sewed in a lining.  The pattern does not call for a lining, but it was easy to attach.  This is the warmest coat I ever had.  No wind gets through it.  I hope this helps you understand the steps I took to make this and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I can't tell you how many times I have been stopped when I where this coat.  Everyone remarks on it.  Unfortunately, I have lost 30 pounds and now it is a little big on me, so last year, it just hung in the closet. I lost weight, YEAH!! Can't wear my snowman coat, VERY SAD!!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Serger Bath Mat Directions



                                                      Serger Bath Mat Directions

Website  -  www.cynsew.com


For video instructions visit: 

Purchase three large bath towels.

I trim off all of the sewn sides of the bath towel so nothing is left but the terry cloth material.  For the size of bath mat that I made, you need 40 squares cut 6" X 7".

I cut 13 squares of two colors and 14 squares of the one remaining color.  This equals out to 40 squares. 

The bath mats finished size is approximately.21" X 32".

Serge 20 squares together in the pattern of your choice for the top of the bath mat and repeat for the 20 squares left for the bottom.  After you have the top and bottom made, put right sides together and serge around edges leaving an 8" opening for turning right side out. 


Turn bath mat right side out and sew  8" opening closed by hand.  I also do a small tack stitch by hand in a few of the corners of several squares to hold the back and front together.

HOW TO USE YOUR DIFFERENTIAL FEED ON THIS PROJECT 

If you run into the problem while serging that the bottom square is longer that the top square you can use your differential feed to adjust the difference.  What I do is turn my differential feed up all the way to 2.2.  What this will do is pull that bottom square in tighter.  Take several stitches and measure again.  When you see that the top square and the bottom square are now even, you can set your differential feed back to the original setting of 1.0 - this also works the opposite way.  If the top square is longer than the bottom square, then turn the differential feed to 0.5, take  a few stitches and when the top and bottom square are even again, then set the differential feed back to original position of 1.0  .

Remember the higher number tightens and the lower number loosens your bottom layer.