Apr 30, 2008

Easy Cutting Tip - Mothers Day Apron

There is a very easy way to cut strips of fabric, like bias tape, when you need them.

Bias tape is cut diagonal from the grainline. Grainline runs the same as your salvage edge. Salvage edges are the edge of the fabric that doesn't get cut when the fabric comes off the bolt. A lot of times I make my own bias tape out of the same fabric as my project as opposed to buying a package.

An easy way to cut strips....
Decide how wide you need your strip. Cut a few inches of the strip of fabric then fold what you cut keeping the edges together to give you a cutting line. Keep folding the fabric over to make your cutting line until you cut the length you need.

Aprons are very easy to make. Gita came in last week to make her mom's present for Mothers Day. It took her 2 hours to cut it out and sew it. She is a great little sewer. I pined her fabric for her so we could get done faster. She did a great job. I can't tell you how rewarding it is for me to give my knowledge to someone and watch what they do with what I give them. This little girl is going to have a lifetime of sewing like myself. I just love it!

Moms love having their gifts made for them. There are so many different kinds of projects you can make for your mom from makeup bags , letter/card holder to aprons. The possibilities are endless what you can make them. So get busy now, start making your Mothers Day presents. You only have a couple of weeks.

My next post will be how to make a very easy halter top.

Until next time...
Enjoy your moments, make them "sew" much fun,

Apr 26, 2008

Going Green - Dress & Shirt

I had 2 students make real easy first projects.

Virginia made this green dress which only took around 6 hours.
It was a McCalls pattern. I didn't write down the number..oops :) It has a draw string at the bottom of the bodice.

There is one thing about this pattern. I really don't like when they use two halves in the front facings instead of putting it on the fold when cutting so that you don't have a lot of bulk when you get the four sections come together. I always try to make less bulk and hide as many seams as I can.

Stephany came in to the cutting class last night. It took her less than 2 hours to cut this shirt out. She came back today for sewing time and made her shirt in 3 hours

They both did a great job.

I love passing on my knowledge to other people, sit back and watch what they do with it. Some people make beautiful things their very first project.

I also made a top for my daughter today. I'll be back soon to show you pictures and tell you how I made it.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments, make them "sew" much fun,

Apr 22, 2008

Earth Day Grocery Bags Tutorial

Every year on Earth Day I try to do something to change the damage we have done. Usually I plant a tree. This year I decided to stop using the grocery bags given to me at the store and make my own to reusable. I realized a few months ago the bags given to me are only used for 10 minutes before I throw them in my recycle bin so why use them at all.

Funny Story:

When I was in High School I worked at a local fabric store thus having a huge fabric stash. I would usually buy sever different colors of the same fabric. If you read my company history on my website then you know I made this outfit in high school. At the time I bought the same fabric in another color. I held on to this fabric for years. About 15 years ago my Mother in law was sewing a lot. I gave her a lot of my sewing thing I had been holding for years but never used. My MIL passed away 5 years ago and my Sister in law took most of her sewing supplies. Last summer I asked my SIL if she had anything I could use for my business that she wasn't using. She sent me the same fabric I gave to my MIL years ago. This fabric returned to me along with other things I had given to her. It was never used by me or my in-laws. When I had the idea of making the grocery bags and went to my stash, saw this fabric and I just knew I had to recycle this fabric to make my bags. For 30 years this fabric has been around without use.


You only need 1/2 yard of fabric to make this bag. 1 yard if you want to add a liner to the bag.

1) Decide how big you want to make your bags. You can make different sizes to fit milk, bread and other odd shapes. Fold your fabric salvage to salvage so that you have a fold. The fold will be the bottom of the bag. Decide how wide/tall you want to make the bag. Cut a top band the same width. To save fabric I cut the handles the same width but usually I make them longer by cutting strips on the side of the bag I cut - not using the top like I did here.

2) With two right sides together attach the bands to the top of the bag. Press your seam going up when finished. ( I used a different color of fabric on a few bags so you can see how to attach the band)

3) With two right sides together and matching the band seams sew the sides of the bag and finish your seams by either serging them or using a zig zag stitch.

4) To make your corner of the bag bring the side seam town to meet the bottom fold of the bag and sew a triangle at the bottom corners to make a bottom of the bag. Set the bag aside while you make the handles

5) To make the handles - Using the iron, press 1/4 inch in on each side. Fold and press one of the 1/4" fold over to the other one. You have to pin the folds to hold it in place while you sew it close to the edge. I like to make both edges the same so I run another stitch down the fold edge of the handle.

6) With the edge of the fabric, attached the handles to the right side of the band. Use your pressure foot as your guide so you don't make a big seam while attaching. This will become the first fold of the top band.

7) Bring the handles up and press the first fold around the band. Bring that fold down to your stitch line and press. Place your pins on the right side of the band as apposed to the wrong side. When you sew on the wrong side you may get a straight line but when you flip it over to the right side your stitch line will be crooked. You can either stitch in the ditch (where the to fabrics meet) or do a top stitch at the very edge of of the band where it meets the bag.

8) The Last step is to sew the handles up to the band by making a squares and maybe putting an X in the square.

You can also add a liner, pockets to your bags

I made 12 grocery bags with 4 yards of fabric that I've had for years :)
This is the same bag the summer campers make on their first day to carry their projects back and forth to class.

If you would like to make this bag bring in 1 yard of fabric to any sewing time class and I'll show you how to make it.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments, make them "sew" much fun,

Apr 18, 2008

Sewing Summer Camp and Making A Bath Robe

First thing I wanted to say I have posted my Summer Camp dates. I have a few seats already taken. If you would like to attend you need to sign up soon while seats are available. All information is on my website. You can enroll online except it will be a little bit more money since I give a cash discount.

Now to sewing:
If you read this blog then you know there is only one thing I wish I had more of, time. There just isn't enough time in the day to do the things I really want to do. I haven't had much time to sew lately but I was able to cut out a bath robe for my little man. His "Power Ranger" old robe didn't fit him anymore and he's getting a little older. He doesn't want to wear any of those "baby" clothes anymore.

Robes are VERY easy to make. You can create them any way you like but they are all basically the same. 2 front's, one back, 2 sleeves, maybe a collar, couple of pockets, a tie and you have a robe.

I had 20 minutes before my class last week. I was able to cut the robe out. I stayed after one of my classes a couple nights ago and was able to sew it in about 45 minutes. So, an hour total to have a robe isn't bad at all. And I bought the fabric on sale using a Joann coupon only costing me $12 to make. I also made a pair of shorts to match. They only took about 30 minutes to make. The sleeves were a little long. We just rolled them up to make cuffs.

He loves his new "night time" clothes. It's hard to find clothes little boys like. This was a hit.

My next project is going to be Earth Day grocery bags. Earth Day is April 23. Decide what your going to do to change one little thing. I'll be planting a tree too along with changing my habits of using the bags they give me at the grocery store. I do recycle, but not to have to use them at all would be much better. I hope to make a few today...my next post will be about this.

Enjoy your moments, make them "sew" much fun,