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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Baby Doll Bibs

I attempted to make an advent calendar earlier this week and failed miserably, so to redeem myself, I digitized two baby bibs for the dolls I'm dressing for Toys for Tots.
The photo doesn't really show the quilting that I did with my embroidery machine, but it was fun to play with my digitizing program and the results made me happy.

This is the pattern I pulled off of Pinterest for the shape. You wouldn't need an embroidery machine to make this, but it makes the quilting easier.  At it's widest point, it's 5 5/8 wide and is a good size for a 14" doll.  Feel free to use the pattern and make one.

You'll need two pieces of outer fabric 6.5 x 9, and one piece of flannel or low loft batting 6.5 x 9.

Cut out two patterns from fabric and I used flannel between. Use any type of quilting pattern you like or leave it plain. The outside edge is finished with a satin stitch.  I will use hook and loop tape on the ends since I think it's easier for little hands.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LuLu Roe and the Mother of Invention

My daughter gave me a Lulu Roe dress for Christmas. I'm a fan of the comfort of the fabric, but not how the clothes are designed or how slick the fabric is when you try to hem or sew it.

This week I took a major step in trying to adjust the fit on said same dress. On It's Sew Easy, there was an episode for making summer dresses with elastic or gathering through the back at the waist.  I wanted to eliminate the gathering of fabric and tying it with an elastic band that the dress was originally designed to be used and this method sounded like what I needed.

I ended up using organza tape at the waist, and ran a strip of 1 inch elastic through it. It goes from side seam to side seam.  However, the dress is designed with a major dip in the back to account for the elastic band around a hand-gathered wad of fabric to make the dress a bit more fitted. The result is a "bustle" in the back. Something I definitely don't need.

Hemming this fabric is a problem because it's so slick. I used Floriani Stitch Perfection Tape to hold the fabric along with a few straight pins. The best part, the perfection tape is supposed to wash out so it won't leave the hem stiff.

I put the dress on my sewing mannequin, but I still needed help to get the hem even.  Below is my solution for this problem. (The chalk marker died years ago.)

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hello Crafters!

I have another fish extender to share. Some friends of ours are heading out on a Disney Cruise this Fall. Because the wife is really into BB8 from Star Wars, I created an embroidery design to decorate her pocket.

Check this out!
I love the results of adding mylar to embroidery designs in the bottom section. It works best when the stitches are less dense.  Silver seems to have the best results, but I recently gathered from gold streamers from a Derek and Julianne Hough concert. I fully intend to use those streamers in something very soon.

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.