More Etsy Love!

Etsy has changed their overall look and feel to make shops consistent.  I really like it, easy to follow and easy to update.

I have added a few new items; hope you enjoy. Check it out HERE.


Crafting For Me

Its rare I say I’m making something just for myself; that I purposely set aside time just for me at the sewing machine.  This was one of those times but I couldnt resist taking a few pictures along the way.  This is not really a tutorial blog more a gnetle guide line of what I did, so no measurements or specifics.  Although that’s sometimes the best instructions.

Two flour sack towels – washed and ironed
assortment of fabric scraps, ribbon and extra wide double fold bias tape.

Again, I pretty much eyeballed all of my measurements.  I pulled out the measuring tape now and again but nothing to precise.

For the blue and yellow. 

Cut bias tape or and other trim wider than your fabric by a few inches. I used extra wide double fold tape but some pictures show the standard width, I decided it wasn’t what I wanted and switched.    This will give you an ample amount to fold the raw edge under and around to the back if you desire.   
Cut your fabric scraps 1-2 inches wider than your fabric, fold over all the edges and iron well.

Top stitch the lace trim

Then fabric panel

 Followed by the bias tape.
Tada! All Done.

 For the Brown and green

 If you want to turn your fabric scrap into a ruffle I recommend cutting it twice the width of the towel.  I think I cut mine the width of the bolt (~42 inches), like I said this was not about exact measurements.  You can follow this tut HERE on using a basting stitch to make a ruffle.  I did however fold my fabric in half instead of making a rolled edge. 

The result was a very full, almost to full, ruffle.  Attach the ruffle to the bottom of the towel, which I talk about somewhere in THIS tut.

  Followed by the brown ribbon to cover up the raw edge. 

I used stitch witchery seam tape to secure the ribbon before I top stitched.  I didn’t want it to slip or have the raw edge of the ruffle work its way out.  The result was a very stiff but neat edge.  

   All done and ready to use.

Fabric Covered Ornament Tutorial

My new found crafty goody, Mod Podge.  I can’t believe it took me this long to discover its sticky shinny goodness.  My favorite project for Christmas are these adorable fabric covered ornaments.

Mod Podge Gloss
Paint Brush
Fabric Scraps
Glass (or Plastic) Ornaments
Mod Podge Sparkle (optional)

You can find all of this at your local craft store.  Most stores even have the clear ornaments available year round.  These came from Hobby Lobby, they are approximately 3.5 inches and were half off during the Christmas decoration sale. The sparkle Mod Podge isn’t necessary but I thought “oh pretty” and it was in the shopping cart.  

First, gather your fabric scraps and cut them into small pieces.  Most of mine are smaller than a quarter, too big and they will pucker and not lay completely flat on the ornament.

Next, being careful not to cut yourself, remove the metal cap and set it aside.  To a small section of the oranamaent use a paint brush to apply a thin coat of the Mod Podge (MP).  Place a few of the fabric pieces onto the ornament, overlapping slightly, and press gently into the glue.  Brush additional MP over the fabric pieces.

Continue working around the ornament randomly attaching the fabric.  The MP will be hazy at first but it will dry clear.

Here is a little drying “rack” I came up with; wooden skewers and a heavy bottomed vase.

Once they are dry (about 20 minutes) you can place the metal cap back onto the ornament. Or you may opt for an additional coat of MP first.  This is where I busted out the sparkle MP, adding a top coat of shimmery glitter.   You can almost see it in the picture below.

You could also stir in your own glitter, I want to try micro fine gold glitter over pretty burgundy scraps.

Then hang them on the tree and enjoy!

Etsy shop is open!

UPDATE 13Jan2013 : Whew the shop has sold out and is on vacation mode!  I do intend to restock but I dont have a specific ETA. 

Before I dive into this post HERE is the shop!

A few weeks back I started posting about the initial adventure of opening an Etsy shop, here.  I made my first sale last week and I would love to say adventure well under way but there is a lot more work to do.  Randomly tossed in the guest room is yards and yards of fabric patiently waiting for its moment on the cutting mat.  I have new needles for the sewing machine, lots of extra thread, and did I mention the yards of fabric?  I can’t wait to dive in but there have been to many things taking priority.  Work, family, vacation planning more family, husband out of town….the list continues.  So all that to say I have to work this weekend but here are a few pictures of what’s ready to ship! (images link to the item on Etsy)  Go me! The next round will be warm fall colors, think plums, soft grey and golds. 

UpCycled Denim Apron Tutorial

Up cycle denim apron
Oh goody goody a girly sewing project.  I think these aprons are fun to make and great gifts for gardeners, cooks, and crafters alike.  Who doesn’t want to have their favorite tools on hand all while looking cute?  As projects go….this can be simple or elaborate, making it great for beginners and advanced sewers.  This is a project that adapts as your skill set changes.
I think I spend more time picking out my fabric pondering the patterns and textures than anything, definitely my favorite part.  Mix and match the pieces for the ruffles and sash as much as you like. Prewash your fabric, especially the jeans if they smell of thrift shop.  Use whatever seam allowance makes you feel comfortable, I used a quarter inch unless stated otherwise.  Well….Let’s get started. 
Top ruffle: 2 strips, 4 inches x the width of the bolt (~44 inches)
Bottom ruffle: 2 strips, 4 inches x the width of the bolt (~44 inches)
2 strips.  6 inches x the width of the bolt (~44 inches)
note:   If you want a longer sash cut extra strips and piece together accordingly. 
1 pair of men’s jeans, I prefer sizes 36-40
Embellishments (optional)
Denim sewing machine needle and other basic sewing supplies
optional – a rolled hem foot
pin, mark, cut!
Let’s start by disassembling the jeans.  Lay them out flat, back pockets facing up, and kinda fold the crotch to one side so you can mark a straight -ish line across jeans just above the bottom of the crotch.  Mark this line, pin the fold in place, and cut! 


For the side seams you can either cut up the side, or use a seam ripper.  Sometimes I just get it started and rip by hand, but I have to use very sharp scissors or shears to cut through the waste.   If you want to embellish the pockets this the best time to remove them as well. Keep this waist button part; it has a secret purpose for later.   

Prep work
Just a little more prep work to keep things neat.  Sew a few stitches close to the edge to secure the “crotch fold”.  These stitches will be hidden later.  I also like to sew some stitches (sorry no picture) up both sides of the jeans, along what would have been the hip seams.  A simple blanket stitch looks nice and serves to keep the denim from unraveling.
secure the fold
Preparing the Ruffles
This is probably the most labor intensive part of the whole get up.  Obviously the goal for this apron is to have two overlapping ruffles, but make as many as you like, or as few as you like.  Match up the ruffle strips, right sides together and sew down one short side to make one long strip.  Press the seam flat.    
make two long strips
Sew a rolled hem on both short sides and one long side, if you want to serge the remaining edge do it now, but I never do.   Repeat for the second ruffle strip
you don’t need a special foot but it helps

rolled hem
 Everyone has a different method to the ruffle madness.  This is the method I use seen HERE in an earlier post.  The post would have been way too long to include all the options so I wanted a link outside of this tutorial.  After the strips have been ruffled in the manner you chose its time to attach them. 
Attaching the Ruffles
Select the bottom ruffle, find the middle, and pin the ruffle to the apron right sides and raw edges together, matching up the middles.  
middles matched

Pin the rest of the ruffle in place moving the fabric along to get the desired look.  Fold approximately a one inch “flap” over on each side, pulling the ruffle so there isn’t a gap. 
 Attach the ruffle by sewing between the basting stitches (from the ruffle tut).   Note: if you use the quarter inch rule from the ruffle tutorial for the basting stitches, attaching the ruffle with a 3/8” allowance should put you roughly between the basting stitches.   Its not the end of the world if you stitch over the basting it just makes them a pain to pull out.  
sew between the basting stitches if you can
 Now pull out the basting stitches (most hated job ever). Also don’t do like I did here and select a color for your basting stitches (red) that is hard to distinguish from your actual stitches ( hot pink). Fold the ruffle down, smoothing into place.  
See how the “flap” frames the edges nicely.  If there is gap, working from the wrong side, fold it  and sew it down, no big deal.    Steam press and top stitch the ruffle to keep it laying flat.  
top stitch to keep it flat
Repeat with the second ruffle attaching just above the first.   I usually eyeball the distance between the two ruffles. 
top stitching the second ruffle

looking between the ruffles with the top one folded back
Home stretch!   Cut one of the strips in half, making two shorter strips.  Attach one of the resulting pieces to each end of the longer remaining sash piece.   Iron the seams open. 

one really long strip
  Fold the resulting strip in half length wise, right sides together and sew the entire length of the long side. 
The next step is confusing but hopefully the picture will help, with the sash still wrong side out iron the seam open and centered
 and then turn right side out. 
 Tuck in the ends, iron well again and top stitch.  

top stitching makes it pretty!
This makes it look nice and neat, hides the long seam on the back and closes up the ends.  
Put it through your belt loops and you’re done!
Secret purpose: attach the waist button piece for a tool holster – ingenious!
Optional embellishments – This really is my favorite part, makes all the time I spend on the ruffles worthwhile.  Embroider a design on the pockets or apron.  Sew on bits of drapery fringe for a little fluff.
see the fringe on the bottom
  The easily distressed nature of denim makes a reverse appliqué eye catching. 

buttons, and a nifty utility holder
Whatever you choose – just have fun!

Reverse Applique – A Sewing Tutorial

This technique is a simple way to add structure and depth to your projects.  Select the “applique” fabric, and decide if you want to highlight a specific element of the fabric, or create a shape.  If you want a specific shape it will have to be traced on the applique fabric before pinning.  Pin the right side of the applique fabric to the wrong side of the frame fabric. 

after pinning, view of the wrong side

 I like to frame with denim because of the way it frays and looks distressed.  Next, following the traced shape, or free handing around an object (which is what I did here), sew on the wrong side locking your stitches when you start and finish. 

free handing around the tree

 Continue work on the right side, cutting only the denim frame fabric, carefully snip a hole in the middle of the applique area. 

 Cut out the denim, again being careful not to cut through the other fabric or to close to the stitches.  All finished.   

Check out the finished product second from the right.

As I said before I really like the way this technique looks with denim.  Here it is mixed and matched with a more traditional applique.  For the leaves I traced their shape on the applique fabric,  pinned to the denim and then continued as listed above. 

Well – that’s all I got.  I’m sure you can think of lots of neat ways to use this technique.  Have fun! 

Get’n Frilly – a Ruffle Tutorial

Get’n Frilly – a Ruffle Tutorial
Disclaimer: I have pondered and tried other ways to make the ever popular ruffle but this is what I have decided works for me.  I looked at a ruffle foot once ….once.  If you like gadgets and must have perfect evenly spaced ruffles then do it.  Otherwise this technique works great for me and now I have a post to refer to in other tuts!
The fabric I am using looks a little ratty.  If this were more than just a visual aid I would have finished the edges but good enough, right?   Thread the machine with a bright easy to see contrasting thread and set the stitch length for the largest your machine will do.  
The largest my machine will do is 5.0 mm
 Sew the length of the strip, ¼ inch allowance, no back stitching or tread lock with plenty of extra thread hanging off the edges.  This is called a basting stitch.  Sew a second time, parallel to the first about a ¼ inch away.   
Shown here with two rows of basting stitches
 Now comes the fun part, on one side grab two threads.  It really doesn’t matter if they are the bobbin thread or the spool thread as long as they are on the same side of the fabric(ie either both bobbin threads, or both spool threads), I choose the bobbin threads . 
hold the bobbin thread in your right hand
 Hold them firmly in your right hand and the fabric in the left, now gently pull the fabric.  Think opening the curtains.  (my right hand was taking the picture below so imagine it off to the right)
thread in the right, fabric in the left
 Tada ruffles.  Gently tug and pull at the fabric to space the ruffles how you like.  All done!  Now go get frilly! 
completed ruffle

Mothers Day Tutorial Round up

Whats better to give for mothers day than a little handmade gift, and you still have time to DIY. All of these projects are relatively quick and are sure to be cherished. My mother personally requested handmade kitchen towels but I might slip in a few extra goodies.  These are just a few favorites, for a more extensive list and a few Esty items to be had (for the not crafty) check out my board on pinterest (link below).

1. The Reversible Bag tutorial from Very Purple Person’s blog.  Why I love it…the techniques are simple, its versatile.  Why I choose it….great pictures making it easy to follow.

2.  Bird Nest Necklace tutorial from Sarah Ortega’s blog.  Why I love it…trendy.  Why I choose it….you can use beads that reflect your family’s birthstones. 

3.  Silk Scarf tutorial from Yummy Goods’s blog.  Why I love it….. silk silk silk.  Why I choose it…..there is a sentimental quality to a handmade scarf.

4.  Felt Flower Brooch from Designs By Night blog.  Why I love it ……. new twist on a classic.  Why I choose it… sewing machine, get your glue gun and get empowered.

5.  Herb Filled Sachet from Checkout Girl’s blog.  Why I love it……the neutral background with the bright embellishment.  Why I choose it…….another gift that’s easy to personalize.

If you are still searching or just craft giddy, I am constantly adding to the mothers day gift board, mostly cause I like to make fun stuff for the mothers in my life.  You can find more here.  Happy gifting/crafting/feeling inspired.

Disclaimer:  If you feel that I have shared your tutorial with false pretenses please send me a message and I will be happy to remove you from the round up.

Lavneder Sachet

Oh smelly good things and sewing, together in one project, perfect!  I love the smell of lavender, its woodsy, fresh and subtle all at the same time.  I went out onto the great web in search of a lavender sachet “recipe”.  I came across this lavender spice mix here at SF Herb Company.  Its a delightful mix of lavender, cinnamon, rosemary and a few other subtle fragrances.  I also ordered my ingredients from the same place (I ordered herb from California).  They took about a week to get here, I made a half batch in a gallon ziplock bag, let it soak for a week or so, then filled some sachets I made out of a few scraps I had.  Now my undies drawer smells amazing.

Reusable Paper Towel Tutorial

Reusable (Unpaper) Paper Towel Tutorial.

UPDATE 15Sep2016, Sadly I am no longer selling these in my Etsy shop.

These have gotten quite a bit of love on facebook and pinterest so I thought I would make a quick tutorial.  I’m always looking for practical gifts and projects.  This is a great sewing project to pass a little time, letting you play in your fabric stash all while making something practical and useful.  

Supplies (for one towel)
Basic sewing supplies
Cotton print, 11.5 x 11.5  
Terry cloth, 11.5 x 11.5
Plastic snaps and the assembly/installation tools update: I got my snaps here.

Coordinating thread 


Cut out your fabric, try to get the pieces as square as possible so your towels wont be all wonky. This can be difficult with the terry, as it does stretch, so just be patient with yourself.  
Placing right sides together pin the terry cloth and cotton print together.  Sew (3/8 inch allowance) all the way around the towel, being sure to back stitch when you start and stop. 
 If you feel more comfortable with a larger seam allowance go for it, just be consistent so all the finished towels are the same size.  Leave a 2 inch opening on one side for turning. 
 Trim the corners to remove some bulk (which I forgot to photograph sorry), at this point you might also want to trim the edges if you used a larger seam allowance.  Through the 2 inch opening turn the towel right side out, push out the corners and tuck in the “flap” of the opening. 
Almost done!   Iron it very well, pressing the seams flat.  To give the towel a nice completed look top stitch 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around.  This will also serve to close up the 2 inch opening.  
Next install the snaps, two female down one side and two male on the other side.  ….and done!  
 Now go do it five more times and you will have a full set.   
snapped together set
Or comment that you think I should start an Etsy shop, cause I need more to do……. UPDATE:  see the top of the page for the link to my shop!