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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Making Your Shower Curtain More Washer Friendly

While staying in a hotel a number of months ago, I noticed that the shower curtain in the bathroom was attached with buttons to a smaller "curtain" from which the shower curtain actually was hung from the shower rod. I thought it was a great way for the maids in the hotel to be able to switch out the shower curtain without having to take the entire curtain down.

Well, I got home and started to plan how to do the same with MY shower curtain.  The shower curtain I was using had a very large hem at the bottom. Fortunately, I'd not cut off the shower curtain when I first hung it since originally it hung from a rod much higher above the tub.

I measured 8 inches down from the top of the shower curtain and cut off the shower curtain at that mark.

I then made a 2 inch hem along the cut edge. The hem actually became about 1 3/4 inches deep since I turned under the cut edge 1/4 inch to make the hem more finished. I also used a strip of light-weight interfacing in the hem so I could give that section of the shower curtain some stability. Later, I would sew a button below each hole at the top where the curtain hooks hold the shower curtain onto the rod.

*It's important to put the buttons on the shorter section, and buttonholes on the longer section so that the top section overlaps the bottom section when hung.

Next, I measured a 2 inch hem at the top of the longer section of the shower curtain. I finished the hem as I had done on the shorter section. On this hem I would stitch the button hole would be added.

By placing the shorter piece of the curtain over the longer section, I was able to mark exactly where each buttonhole would need to be sewed.  My machine will make the exact same size buttonhole each time, so making sure they were all the same wasn't an issue.

With the buttons on, and the buttonholes completed, I was ready to rehang my shower curtain.  It now has a shorter hem at the bottom since I need a few extra inches to create that overlap for the buttonholes and buttons AND it's far easier to take down and wash when needed.

I really completed this project much earlier this year, but today was the first time I needed to wash the shower curtain. (Guest bathrooms don't often get as much use around here.) What a snap it was to remove and then put it back up to dry.

View from the inside

View from the outside

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cell Phone Pocket

I've already complained about the growing size of cell phones and the need for a "pocket" to carry my Samsung G5.  My newest design has a zipper instead of a velcro-closure flap.  I also added a a pocket to the front to hold pills. (I'm lactose intolerant.)   I managed to match the design on the front so it's not that easy to see. 

As before, I added a sleeve to attach the "pocket" to my belt, and a loop with a carbine clip to attach to a belt clip. the carbine prevents the "pocket" from slipping off my belt in less than opportune times.

To make your own pocket, cut 2 pieces of fabric for the outside and two for the lining 7.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide.  I used an old pair of jean shorts for the lining and used part of the waistband for the sleeve on the back of the pocket.

The zipper was installed with tabs at each end so that when the sides are stitched together, the zipper is not really part of the side seam.  It makes the seam lie flatter.

The pocket is just a piece of fabric, folded in half, and placed on the front.  The bottom of the front pocket is even with the bottom of the pocket so that when the side and bottom seams are stitched, it is stitched in with those seams as well.

The order of stitching;
1 Prepare sleeve for back
2. Add tabs to zipper and trim the zipper to fit the width of the pocket.
3 Sew zipper to top edges of the pocket. Place the zipper between the outside fabric and the lining, right sides together.  Stitch. Turn the fabrics, wrong sides together and top stitch the zipper.  Do the same for the other side of the zipper.
4. Sew sleeve to the back, through the outside and lining fabric.
5. Sew the front pocket to the front.  Sew just the sides or sew the pocket all around the sides and bottom.  This line of stitching will be in the seams when the pocket is stitched close.
6. Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon about 4 inches long and fold in half.  Stitch the ribbon near the top of the pocket with the fold to the center of the pocket and the raw edges sticking out beyond the side seam. You can trim it later to the side seam.
7. Open the zipper at least half-way.
8. Fold the pocket in half.  It works best if the zipper is actually to the front of the pocket rather than right on the very top.  It will make your front a bit longer than the back.  Just trim the bottom edges to be the same.
9. Stitch the sides and bottom together.  My seam was a little more then 1/4 inch, but not as much as 5/8.
10. Turn the pocket right-side out.
11. If you find it difficult to grab the zipper pull easily, slip a piece of narrow ribbon through the zipper pull.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Threading a Serger With Ease

When I have to change thread on my serger, I usually attempt to pull the threads through using the thread already on the machine; i.e....Snip off each thread close to the spool.  Tie the new thread onto the hanging threads, and just pull each thread through the machine.  The top two left threads have to be re-threaded through each needle, but the at least the looper threads are much easier.  Of course, I still manage to pull out the knot every once in awhile which requires me to start over from scratch.  Today, I found that if I used a dental floss threader to thread the looper threads, it goes much easier. DenTak sells one that is much longer than the ones the dentist gave me for my bridge.  It has a large hole to slip the thread through, but is still small enough to pull the thread through some of those tiny holes.  I found them in my grocery store.

Happy Serging!

Floss Threader by DenTek

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What To Do With Those Scraps

I am the world's worst when it comes to hording fabric.  In my defense, there have been times when a lone scrap came in mighty handy and not just for trial runs of embroidery.

This project uses some scraps of terry cloth.  I like to use soap from The Basin.  The shampoo bars are awesome, but I tend to forget which color is particular of various scalp or hair problems, and they tend to get used faster than I would like when placed on a soap dish in the shower.

I used terry cloth scraps to make a pocket large enough to hold the soap and get my hand inside to take it out.  Because I can, I embroidered the name/color of the soap and it's "claim to fame" on the fabric before stitching up the sides.  I used my serger to close and finish any raw edges.  The ribbon gives it something from which I can hang it instead of leaving it sit on the shower shelf.  The terry cloth lets the soap breath so it dries.  If it gets too soapy, I remove the soap and throw it in the washer.  It's great for traveling too since I can use the soap the day I am packing and still be able to toss it in my suitcase without worrying about a wet  bar of soap.

I have several pockets for body soap as well.  I have found that the hotel soaps and shampoos really dry out my hair and skin.  The terry cloth pockets also are a handy spot for resting soap on a hotel basin since it doesn't leave a mess.

Monday, January 26, 2015

After participating in the Gingerbread Run last November, I  found another way to support Give Kids the World AND it involves sewing.  Each child is given a wish pillow when they stay at the resort.  The directions I originally was sent, were a bit confusing, so I rewrote them and added diagrams.  
If you'd like to donate wish pillows, feel free to read through these directions.  The address for mailing them as well as what information is to be included, can be found on the GKTW website.

These are special pillows for our very special children.  I hope sometime you will be able to see one of our children with their pillow and it will help you understand how very special this project is.  Please use new, very soft fabricthis is IMPORTANT for the children.
For the project you will be working with the PILLOW FABRIC, (cozy flannel – plan color) and the pocket (novelty print which can be flannel or cotton) Please look for novelty prints suitable for both boys and girls.
Cozy Flannel is used for the PILLOW FABRICONE YARD of FLANNEL WILL MAKE FOUR (4) wish PILLOWS.
Cut the plain pillow fabric into 36 inch lengths.  A rotary cutter and boards help to ensure accuracy and also speed up the process.  The pockets are cut into 12 inch lengths.
On the pillow fabric make a hem on the raw ends (the width of the fabric), from one selvage to the other. Turn down fabric about ¼”to ½ “ and then again another ¼” to ½” taking up about an inch to one and a half inches.  Accuracy is not critical.  On the pocket material, hem one raw end, across the width of the fabric, using the same measurement as for the pillow fabric.
Match the hemmed edge of pocket and pillow.  Sew the pocket material strip to the pillow fabric, right sides together, along the length that is not hemmed.  You could go back to the cutting board to pin them together to get a straighter line for sewing.
Take the fabric back to the cutting board and fold the pocket material toward the center (wrong side of the pocket material to the right side of the pillow material). Lay a ruler at the pocket, where it is sewn and measure 15 inches.  Fold the pillow fabric over the ruler, right sides together.  Then fold the other end, on top of the end you just folded, at the pocket where it is sewn. You now have a “tube” of fabric.
Cut the tube of fabric you just created, into 4 pieces approximately 10-1/2 to 11 inches wide.  Flannel comes in different widths so just divide the flannel into fourths. And don’t worry about the selvages; they will be sewn or serged over.
Make sure the pocket in the front and opening in the back are opposite.  The overlap in the back must e at last two (2”) inches.  Little hands go into each opening to hold the pillow tight.
Use your serger to finish the side seams OR use a straight stitch and then zig zag the seams.  Clip corners and turn pillow to right side.
The finished size of the pillow and pocket will be (depending on your hem widths of 1/4” to ½” as well as the width of the flannel) as follows:
Pillow: 9-3/4” to 10” wide x 15” long.   Pocket: 9-3/4 to 10” wide x 11-1/2” long.
Now take your right hand and reach up over your shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back…
If you are using scraps of fabric, the pillow fabric is 36” long by 11” wide.  The pocket fabric is 12” long by 11” wide before assembling.

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Next Fundraiser

I'm thinking a year down the road, but since no one really checks on this blog, I thought I'd write this almost as a reminder.

Last weekend, my daughter, her dog, and I ran the Gingerbread 5K Run for Give Kids the World.  I managed to collect $80.00 from friends, but I added another $40 to make it a $120.00 total.  Not too exciting when my daughter was able to collect $500.00.  Next year I want to offer embroidered items to anyone who donates $25.00 for my run.  I designed a countdown calendar that could be used for a variety of events, but my calendar is for our next Disney cruise.

The numerals are embroidered on grosgrain ribbon and threaded through the windows.  I stitched each ribbon together so that each ribbon is a loop.  (No pull-through accidents or lost ribbon.)  The top has "Till Our Next Cruise" at the top and the banner is hung from dowel rods.  My adult daughter finds it humorous to change a numeral or two whenever she visits.

I've also digitized a calendar with a small castle where the ship is placed and put, "Till our Next Trip".  I'm hoping I can hit up a few of my Disney friends to break past my $120.00 donation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Will Cell Phones Ever Stop Changing Size?

I'm thrilled with my new Samsung S6, but it's at least an inch longer and 1/2 inch wider than my old phone.  It won't fit into the pockets of my shorts, so I have to resort to wearing a "pocket" on my belt.  I am extremely short waist-ed, so it must sit at my waist.  I had an old in-the-hoop purse that I purchased from Embroidery Library years ago.  It too, was too short to be of help, but with some software assistance, I was able to lengthen the flap.  I originally added buttonholes on the back so that I could slip my belt through the buttonholes, but the buttonholes were too low on the back of the holder.  The phone went just above my waist and I kept getting poked in the side.  I took apart the side seams enough to add a piece of grosgrain ribbon on the back.  Whalaa!  I'm back in business.

Velcro keeps the phone save when the flap is down.