Category: Sewing

An Amateur’s Guide to a Patchwork Quilt – Part 1

In recent years I have dabbled in quilting (I’ve made 5) and find the process to be very fun and relaxing. I am embarking on my next quilt and thought it would be fun to blog the process this time instead of just the end result!

A long time ago my mom was going through her linen closet and asked if I wanted my old Muppets bedsheets from when I was little. The answer was yes! I love the Muppets and loved my Kermit and Miss Piggy sheets. I knew immediately I wanted to use them as a quilt backing. That was about five years ago and they have been waiting in my fabric bin. But now their time has come!

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A DIY Kid’s Rocking Chair Makeover

This sweet miniature wicker rocking chair was mine. It was given to me by my Grandparents when a was a toddler and it sat in the corner of my childhood bedroom holding stuffed animals while I grew up. It now has a new home – mine! My daughter loves climbing in and out (and in and out), sitting in the chair to look at books, and stand on it and rock like a wild woman.

Kids DIY Rocking Chair Makeover

While it was still in relatively good condition, it was in need of a little love. A fresh coat of paint was in order. The wicker was cracked in a few parts as well so I decided that making a chair cushion would be the best way to prevent it from getting further damaged.

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My Men’s Dress Shirt Quilt

I’m excited to share the finished results of a side project I’ve been working on for quite a while – a quilt made of my husband’s dress shirts! This post is not sponsored by Brooks Brothers. :p

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A few years ago I started saving my husband’s dress shirts whenever he wore out the elbows, and they added up rather quickly. I hated to toss the shirt due to a small tear. My crafty brain took over and I knew I would use the fabric for something eventually. After my dress shirt inventory grew to a dozen shirts (I added one of my own), I decided that I wanted to make a quilt. And how fun would it be for the pieces to be identifiable as dress shirts?

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A Handmade Colorful Bathrobe (And My First Wearable Sewing Project!)

I think I’ve made it clear that I’m a fly-by-night kind of sewer. When my sewing expert best friend was living in Boston for a few months, I made it my mission to learn how to sew from patterns from her, and I already shared my first pattern project: a Drawstring Beach Bag, which has already been in use this summer!
A Handmade Colorful Bathrobe (And My First Wearable Sewing Project!) DesignLively
Today I am sharing my newest endeavor – a bathrobe!

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DIY Tutorial: How to Add Grommets to Curtains

grommots

Now that we are using our family room regularly, window treatments were on the priority list for a few reasons:

1. Did I mention we have 9 windows in this room?
2. Daytime television watching is impossible due to glare
3. With constant sunlight streaming in, the fabric on our couch fading is a concern long term

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Easy Ugly Pillow Makeover

I love the clearance aisle. That’s no secret here. When I’m buying decorations for our house, they are usually from the clearance aisle. I appreciate things more when I know that I didn’t over-pay for them. Also, if tragedy strikes and something is ruined, it’s not a big deal.

As I’ve stated here many times before, I especially love to scope out the clearance aisle at Lowe’s. We’ve gotten many a steal there. Like a few monthes ago, as I rounded the corner I saw this towering box of four ugly, fringey, not-at-all-my-style brown throw pillows.

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DIY Ruffled Camera Strap

I am a documenter.

I save movie tickets. I have saved nearly every greeting card I have received in my lifetime. I scrapbook. Everything. From important things like weddings and births, to random life, like going to see Harry Potter with an eyeliner lightening bolts drawn on my face with a friend. (Don’t act surprised.)

I’m the “the picture-taker”. As soon as I had enough babysitting money I would ker-plunk down my $7.99 for one of those wind-up 35mm film camera and click away with my friends. I love the anticipation of how my photos would turn out when I picked them up from the store. The day I got a digital camera and I was no longer limited by those precious 24 shots… life was good.

Yep. I’m that friend. The one who makes you pose in front of funny road signs or with the parking lot attendant. My husband has learned to grin and bear it. Literally.

That being said, when I saw lots of people with tricked out camera straps, I knew I needed to make one!

When I am using my SLR camera for an extended period of time, I like to keep the strap around my neck as a safety precaution. Many of these swanky camera strap covers have extra padding in them for extra comfort. Sign. Me. Up.

This is NOT a tutorial. My goal is to become a better sewer this year, and I’m learning! I melded some basic principles from this tutorial at Tidy Mom and this one at Midwestern Sewing Girl for my finished product.

I didn’t have any interfacing on hand and I was too lazy to go to the store, so I used felt. And I like it. I think it adds even more cushion than interfacing would have.

This was my first ruffle! I don’t care to say how long it took me to attach it to the strap, but I did it. And that’s all that matters. :  )

I used a gray seeksucker fabric for the front and remnants of my dining room curtains for the backside.

Since seersucker is an inherently thinner fabric I doubled it over, so there are two layers.

This is why I can’t write tutorials yet. I’m usually a do-it-as-I-go kinda gal.

It can make for really messy instructions. : )

Now I can keep on snappin’ to my heart’s delight!

Check out more a step-by-step process at Tidy Mom or Midwestern Sewing Girl (for the ruffle).

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On another note:

I recently saw this video and wanted to share. I wish I had seen this when I was 16. Love your skin! Say no to tanning beds and hello to sunscreen!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_4jgUcxMezM]

Nearly No-Sew Autumn Bunting

This project begins like many others in my house. With two little words: Trash. Picking.

There is an interior designer who lives down the street from my parents. Every once in a while she weeds through her stash and puts lots of lovely items she doesn’t need anymore on the curb. In the case of this project, she was getting rid of a swatch book of designer fabrics. I’ve been saving them for eons and the right project finally came long.

I thumbed through it and cut out all the swatches that looks warm, cozy and all-things-autumn.

First, I folded them in half an cut them into rough triangles. Then I ironed them flat.

Then I folded over one “hem” by about 1/4 inch and ironed it down. Then I used dabs of hot glue to “hem” the first side of the triangle.

I let them dry for a few minutes and then I ironed the opposite sides of the triangles. You will want to take care not to press the iron on the hot-glued-hem, as the heat will cause the hot-glue to liquefy again.

When ironing the second side, be sure to create a nice point at the bottom of the triangle. You may need to trim the fabrics slightly to allow for this.

After I ironed down my hems of the second side, I dabbed them with hot glue to make them stay.

After they all had time to harden, I trimmed the corners of the topside. Since I would be hemming this side as well, I didn’t want the corners to peek out the sides. After I cut the corners off, I ironed and hot glued just like before.

Then I ironed each flag flat.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to iron in-between two pieces of fabrics. Otherwise you will get hot glue all over your iron face. Also don’t iron for too long or the hot glue will seep through the front of the flag.

Next I took all my flags and arranged them in the order I wanted them to hang – alternating the plaids, golds, reds and blues. I piled them in order and started to “sew”.

This could hardly be called sewing. If you can thread a needle you can do this part. I overlapped the corners and made a quick loop (by hand) and tied the knot in the back.

Once they were all connected I taped them up with painter’s tape (as to not ruin our freshly painted walls!).

I think it’s sweet. : )

Total Cost: FREE
Total Time: About 2 hours

Now I just need to pretend we have cabinet doors back on the cabinet bases (yep! my living room cabinet doors are also in the abyss of my basement) and get some window treatments up in here.

I already have my swatches picked out for my Christmas one! I can’t wait to make it. Perhaps next time I shall try sewing it.

Butler’s Last Stand: Free Patterns!

Free Spice Bag Pattern

My sewing eyes are bigger than my stomach.

Hmmmm.

Did you know you can download free patterns online? I was checking out Amy Butler’s website and she has some really awesome patterns for free.

Check out more free Amy Butler patterns here!

I love this quilt!! Someday I will work my way up to making something like this.

Hah! That last one makes me laugh. I made necklaces ALL THE TIME just like this when I was little!

I’m thinking about bringing it back…

Do you know of any free online sewing patterns? How about for beginners?

Sewing Project: Grocery Bag Holder

My quest to become my sewing machine’s friend continues!

I saw this tutorial on Make it and Love it and my eye instantly wandered to that horrid corner in the pantry where I stuff all my plastic bags into.

I had some extra fabric leftover from our bathroom curtains, so I thought I should give it a go for round #2 of Kat vs. Sewing Machine

And I have to say… I did alright. I followed the tutorial fairly closely except for a few small things. Instead of a large handle I added a small little ribbon hook. I also made my elastic pieces much smaller to get a smaller opening.

I think I’m getting ready to try something more complicated. 😀

My DIY Sewing Machine Cover

I have a secret. I have been procrastinating in a major way.

For Christmas I received a sewing machine. I was, and still am, pumped! I have always wanted to learn how to sew. I took quilting lessons the summer before college and made a t-shirt quilt. I really enjoyed it and ever since I’ve just done my sewing by hand.

My sewing machine has been sitting in our guest room since Christmas calling out my name. I have been looking at it longingly and even gave it a caress here and there. I was so intimidating that I kept putting it off. Yes, I have a whole file of patterns and projects I’d like to tackle, but I was far from starting.

Until today!

I forced myself to sit down and read through the instruction manual. I was identifying the bobbin, the feed dog, the foot, the needle plate, so on. Five YouTube videos later, I finally discovered where the bobbin went. I may or may not have called my husband in several times proclaiming “look what I did!! with each step”

Let’s just say it was a slow start.   : )

I’m sure there will be lots of posts about my sewing escapades in the future. You can learn with me or tell me how to do it better! My friend Audrey is also learning to sew and has been filling my inbox with links to fun sewing projects online so I will finally be able to join her. (I’m doin’ in Audge!! I’m finally learning!)

So here it is… *drumroll* My first project!

A cover for my sewing machine!! While the white plastic one that came with it was quite functional, it was lacking in feng shui. I love this fabric. It’s leftover remains from some chairs that I DIYed and it was the perfect size piece.

I have been saving this link from Martha Stewart for a while because it looked like a very easy beginners projects. And it was!

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Hoorah! I feel better now. Now that I’ve started I feel like I can learn. The worst is over! I sewed something without breaking anything! Now bring on the projects!

Anybody out there a sewer? What should I do next?