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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.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another new iPad holder

iPad Holder

The elastic in my previous holder was getting weak, so I pulled out two new sheets of cardboard and make myself a new holder.  The design is from Sick Designs, and embroidery website, but you don't need an embroidery machine to make a holder.  The main supplies are cardboard, 12 inches of 5/8 inch elastic, a sturdy fabric - home decorating fabric or cordoroy, Elmers Glue, hot glue sticks and a hot glue gun and a scissors.

This holder was easier than the first one I made because I'd already worked out the kinks.  Basically, cut two pieces of heavy cardboard the same size as your iPad.  Cut two pieces of your fabric two inches longer and wider than the cardboard.  

If you plan to decorate the backside of the holder, do it now.

The back side:
Lay the backside fabric, right side down, and place one piece of cardboard in the center.  Use Elmer's Glue to secure the cardboard to the center of the fabric.  Glueing cardboard in place will keep the fabric from sliding a bit when you hold the iPad. 

Use the hot glue to wrap the fabric around the cardboard.  Start at the coners, and fold and glue each corner toward the center of the cardboard.  Once the coners are secured, fold the ends over and hot glue in place.

The front:
Hot glue the second fabric piece to the other piece of cardboard just as you did the back side.


Adding the elastic:
Cut the elastic into 4 equal pieces.  Wrap each corner of the front with 1 piece of the elastic going from the wrong side, across the corner, and back to the wrong side on the oposite edge.

Last step:
Once the elastic is glued in place, run a narrow strip of hot glue, on the wrong side, along the edge.  Gently place the front on top of the back, wrong sides together.

Update:  For some reason, my photos have disappeared and I don't seem to find where I put them on my computer.  Sorry.






Saturday, October 26, 2013

Paper Storage Rack

I volunteer in a kindergarten class one day a week.  The teacher switched to a new school this year, so we've been doing a lot of organizing to make things work more efficiently. I wanted to have some type of paper storage unit for colored paper so we could grab what we needed without pulling out every other color. 
Most racks that are for purchase, are ridiculously priced, so I pulled out a piece of fabric that I'd had around for awhile, and got to creating.

You'll need 3-4 sheets of foam board to hold the shape of the box
3-4 yards of cotton fabric
3 buttons
7 sheets of corrugated  cardboard to support the shelves
thread
sewing machine
fabric marker

I didn't think to take photos while I was creating, so I'll try to explain how I made my paper rack.
The top, bottom and sides and back are all the same size.  I used a large sheet of colored paper as my guide and wanted to make the shelves 1 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the paper so I cut the fabric 13 x 19.  I cut 15 pieces 13 x 19.  I also cut 16 strips (2 x 19) to sew between the shelves.  The seams for these are represented by the red lines in the box above.

Serge the shorter sides of 7 shelves for a cleaner finish before beginning to assemble the box.


Assembling the shelves:
Using 1/4 inch seam, I stitched a long side of one shelf, to the long side of a strip.  I did the other side before adding a strip and shelf to the first side again. I continued sewing strips and shelves together till I had 7 shelves.

Once the shelves and strips were in place, I added another rectangle on the top and bottom shelf to make a pocket for foam board.  The foam board would hold the form of the box and were slid into place from the back..  The seams are on the outside.  The sides also got a second layer of fabric so foam board could be slid in from the back.  Only the top and bottom foam boards are kept in place with a closed seam in the back.  The foam board in the sides can be removed to move and store the box flat.

I didn't give the dimensions of the foam board, but once your box is together, you can cut them to fit.  They will be slightly bigger than 12 x 18 - probably about 11.5 x 18.5.  Cut a piece of cardboard for a test and then cut the rest to match.

I realized at this point that a back needed to be created to support the box and tabs to attach them to the sides and top.

Tabs:
I cut three strips of fabric  3x 10.  I folded each in half, short sided together, and made three straps.  I sewed the long sides together and kept the short side open for turning.  Once turned right side out, I made a buttonhole near the folded edge of each tab.  You can add the tabs to the sides of one 13 x 19 piece so that they will wrap around the sides and top of the box. 

The diagram below attempts to explain what I was doing.  The stars show where I stitched the tabs to the back, while the green lines are the buttonholes.


Back:
Fold the tabs toward the center and with right sides together, sew another 13 x 19 piece to the piece with the tabs.  Leave one short side open.  Turn it right side out and slip a piece of foam board between the two layers.  Using a zipper foot, stitch the foam board into the back panel.

I'm not sure how I attached the back to the bottom.  I may have used a glue gun.

At this point, you have foam board in the top, bottom and back.  Slip foam board into the sides and use a chalk marker or fabric marker to mark on the top and sides where buttons need to be sewn to secure the back to the top and sides.  Sew any type of button to the top  and two sides so the back can be buttoned in place.

Slip a sheet of corrugated cardboard onto each shelf.  This will prevent the paper from bowing down and resting on the shelf below.

You're now ready to sort out your colored paper and use your paper rack.
 


DIY Pirate Boots


I really needed a pair of  boots to finish my costume for a Disney Cruise later this year.  With Halloween later this month, I figured I'd get extra use out of the costume if I got it made now.  My costume consists of  a skirted bottom from an old bathing suit, textured nylons, a striped shirt and a fantastic pirate hat I found in Disneyland Paris last summer.  The shoes were the missing piece of the puzzle.  I found a few  directions for making shoe covers to make it look like you were wearing pirate boots, but none of the directions were really clear.  With a bit of trial and error, I ended up with a pretty cool set of "boots".   Hopefully, these directions will be more helpful than what I found.

You will need:
large sheet of paper (I used freezer paper) for a pattern
a yard of black felt or pleather - (pleather is a vinyl used for clothing, not the heavier stuff used for upolstery or cushions)
matching thread
black elastic  - 2 pieces of narrow elastic about 6 inches long (I have a size 5 shoe so you may want to add a bit to that estimate) and 2 pieces wide elastic (3/4 to and inch wide) enough to go around your leg at whatever height your boots will reach.  (My boots go over my knee, so I needed 2 pieces - 16 inches long)
scissors
leather needle for sewing machine if using pleather
plastic foot for sewing on vinyl if using pleather
black shoes or boots
4 pinch clothespins or clips  (you don't want to use pins to secure pleather since it could leave holes)

I had the perfect pair of black slip-on shoes in my closet.  They even have a silver buckle on the side.


While wearing one shoe, I put a sheet of freezer paper on the floor, rested my leg on the paper, and traced around my leg.  Where the shoe and foot met.  I  and made a rough sketch of where I wanted the fabric to overlap the shoe.  I added two inches on either side of the traced leg and ended up with a pattern that looked like this.



I opted to cut out my first design on felt just to see if the fit was what I aiming at and to see if I would be satisfied with felt rather than usng a fabric that looked more like leather.  It was OK, but not as impressive as I was hoping.

Initially my pattern was only an inch wide on each side, and that resulted it not enough "give" to get it on and off.  Since I only used 1/4 seam allowance, there was no room for expanding my design so I had to recut my pattern and my felt. 

 My second felt cutout, with a 2 inch additon on each side, was much better.  Truth be told, I cut the felt a little generous around the pattern.   If you want to add some detailing on the center front seam, you may want to even add an extra 1/4 inch on the front of the boot so you can sew a deeper seam than 1/4 inch.  To add detail, sew the front seam first.  Lay the two pieces open, right sides up, and add the top stitching, on each side of the seam.   Put the right sides back together and  sew the back seam.

Turn the shoe cover right side out and try on with the shoe for fit and to see how much to trim away where the cover and the shoe meet.  I purposely left a lot of fabric near the shoe when I made my pattern since I was unsure of where I wanted it to hit.  You can cut fabric away, but you can't add it if you don't give yourself some adjustment room.  My aim was to make the fabric overlapp at the heel about 1/2 inch, and then lay flat across the top of my arch.  You want it to over-lap, but not so much that it hits the floor.

When your shoe cover fits the way you want, place the boot cover, wrong side out on top of another piece of freezer paper.  Draw a trapazoid  (rectangle with a shorter top than bottom).  The top of the trapazoid will be the same width as the top of the shoe cover, but the sides will flair out about 1 1/2 inches on each side.  It will be about 5 inches tall and will look like this.



If you want your cuff lined to give it some body, you will need to cut a total of 4 cuffs (2 for each boot)

With right sides together, stitch two of the trapazoids together along the sides.  Do the same for two more to make the lining.   With right sides together, sew the cuff and the lining together at the bottom of the trapazoid.  Turn the cuff so that the wrong sides are together.

Make sure the open edges of the cuff are even.
Place the cuff inside the shoe cover.
Using clip clothes pins, secure the raw edges of the cuff to the top raw edge of the shoe cover.
Match the seams on the shoe cover to the seams of the cuff.
Sew all layers together.

Turn the cuff to the outside of the boot.

Take one of the shorter pieces of elastic and make a strap that goes under your shoe and attaches to the shoe cover on the inside and outside of the shoe cover.  This will  hold the shoe cover in place.  Sew or glue the elastic to each side.



Use one of the larger pieces of elastic to make a loop to go around your leg.  It needs to be tight enough to hold up the boot, but not so tight that you cut off the circulation in your leg. I only had white on hand when I was working on the boot covers, but replaced the white elastic with black just because I wanted to make sure that it really didn't show.  The cuff hides it well, but I wanted to make sure it was pretty much invisible.

Match the raw edges of the elastic, and sew across.  You could overlap the elastic and sew the ends, but by making a seam, you can easily sew another seam across the elastic if you find the loop is too loose.  When you put the elastic on, just keep the "seam" on the inside of the circle.

Now slip on the boot cover, put on your shoe and pull the elastic loop over the boot and up to the top of the seam where the cuff is attached.  Fold over the cuff to hide the elastic.


If everything fits as you planned, then remove the boot cover, and sew a strip of narrow elastic onto the boot cover so that it runs under the shoe.

To put on the shoe and boot cover, slip on the boot cover, slide the shoe onto your foot, and pull the narrow elastic under the shoe.  Now add the wide elastic under the cuff.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another Disney Fish Extender

Yes, I know.  I seem to be in a rut, but another friend needed a fish extender for her Disney cruise and who was I to refuse.  Besides that, I can not find the fish extender I made for our cruise earlier this year.  It's definitely in a really safe place.

I don't charge for anything that has a Disney design on it because I am a firm believer in not infringing on copyrights, but I'm not immune to accepting a gin and tonic as thanks.  I have noticed that there are fish extenders being sold on various internet sites with prices between $40 and $60.  I am severly underpricing my crafting skills.  LOL

As for my recent fish hangers, I have learned to put the pleate away from the edge so it's easier to apply the seam binding.  I have cleaned up my flags as well.  They may not be all the same width, but making them the same height made putting them in a straight line a lot easier.



 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zippered Bag

I've become addicted to making zippered bags; make-up, pencil, electronics...whatever.

I recently made a set of three zippered bags to donate to an auction for a horse riding academy.  I was actually looking for a heavy-duty yet sheer fabric like that which was used to make a 2-set bag I bought years ago from where I don't recall.  JoAnn Fabrics did sell this black fabric.  It's actually used for speakers, but when held up to light, you can sort of see what is inside the bag.  It makes going through security at airports a little less invasive - if they pull your bag out of the scanner to have a better look; exactly what happened to me recently.

The smallest bag pictured is about the size of a pencil case. 

Cut two pieces of fabric: 1 - 12 x 4
                                         1 - 12 x 6
use a matching 9 inch zipper and thread
Cut 2 - 3x2 inch pieces of fabric that are complimentary or matching to the bag fabric


Place one 3x2 inch fabric, right side down, near the end of the zipper.  Stitch in place about 1/8 from the zipper stop.  Then top stitch in place.  The end result will have a piece of fabric a bit longer than the zipper.  By adding this piece, you have a safe seam allowance when sewing the side of the bag.

Do the same at the other end of the zipper.

Take the 12x4 piece of fabric to use as the top of the bag.  If you plan to decorate it in any way, now would be the time to do it.

Place the zipper, right side down, along the top edge of the front of the bag.  Match the end of the fabric to the edge of the bag. Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper in place.  To begin stitching, you can have the zipper open.  When you get about mide way down the zipper, keep the needle down, and carefully lift the zipper foot to CLOSE the zipper.  Lower the foot, and continue sewing to the end of the zipper.

Turn the zipper to the right side.  Fold the fabric down, and top-stitch the zipper.

Take the back (12x6), right side up, and place the zipper, right side down, on the top edge.  Match the fabric end to the edge of the fabric tab that you attached to the zipper.  Stitch the zipper to the top.  Since you are now starting at the opposite end of the zipper, you can stitch across the zipper and fabric till you get almost to the end.  When you are near the end, leave the needle down, raise the foot, and carefully open the zipper past where you have just stitched.  Continue stitching the zipper to the very end.

Open the zipper and back so that the zipper is right side up.  Fold the back down along that seam you just made attaching the zipper, and top stitch the back down as you did for the front.

Since the back is deeper than the front, when you match the bottom edges of the front and back, the zipper will go across the front of the bag and not right across the top.  It's easier to stitch the sides this way.

With the zipper open,  stitch the sides and bottom, right sides together.  (If you don't remember to open the zipper, you'll have quite a time trying to open the zipper so you can turn it right side out.

 As you can see from the photo below, the extra piece of fabric, that is stitched to each end of the zipper, allows you to stitch the sides without getting too close to the zipper.  Sweet!