Wednesday, August 11, 2021

DIY Drawstring Skirt with Draft your own Pattern Instructions

Make a Drawstring Skirt!

I made a drawstring skirt! It is so comfy and lightweight and it's helping me to survive the Florida summer heat.  I have a drawstring skirt just like this one that I have loved so much, so I got out my sewing machined and used it as a pattern to make a new one. This is one of my favorite things to do with my sewing skills...make a pattern out of something old to make something new. I would love to teach you how to do this too!  I took pictures of my process and recorded some measurements so you will be able to draft your own pattern for this skirt even if you don't have one of your own. Come join me!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Soccer Mom: Drawstring Back Pack Tutorial

Today I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make a drawstring backpack.  We need a few of these over here to pack shoes, shin guards and a change of clothes for the days we go straight from school to soccer.  Of course you can just buy one for pretty cheap but where is the fun in that? :)  Plus I wanted a pretty one for me that I can put my keys and phone in when I have to coach.  You just can't buy one like this....

Monday, June 14, 2021

Girl Charlee Fabric haul and Summer Skirt plans

Hello! I live in Florida and it is getting HOT here. I'm usually just a girl who lives in jeans daily but I just can't do it in summer! I am in desperate need of some skirts so I ordered some knit fabric from Girl Charlee Fabrics and it came last week. Want to see my haul?

P.S.Have you checked out Girl Charlee Fabrics? You can't beat their prices (not sponsored)

READ ON TO SEE WHAT I PLAN ON MAKING! (And help hold me accountable)

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Easy Paper Wedding Flag Tutorial

 This post may contain affiliate links

A few years ago I hosted a Wedding Open House at the end of summer for some dear friends. It was thrown together a bit at the last minute so I needed some simple decor that would make a statement.
I decided to decorate with some Downton Abbey inspired paper flags. Did you see the wedding episode (Season 6, Episode) where Carson and Mrs. Hughes were married? At their reception they had white flags decking the hall. Isn't this just the picture perfect wedding hall!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Grand Adventures quilt in CaliMod

Hey Hey Hey.....I'm back today to show you a quilt finish from this past summer. I am beyond excited that I got this finished because it has been a been a long time coming. I originally finished the top of this quilt about 2 years ago and there is whole crazy story that goes with it so read on if you are curious. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Got a ruler that slips? Fix it with TrueGrips!

Heads up: this post contains affiliate links.
I've spend my extra time during covid this year mostly painting every bit of my house. But I have been able to carve out a little time to piece some quilts. I did an inventory as I moved my sewing space and found that I have FIVE quilt tops that I never quilted. Gotta get on that! But today I wanted to share a little something that has made cutting all those strips and blocks SOOOOO much easier.  Have you heard of TrueGrips?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Crafting: DIY Candy Cane present topper

 Just under two weeks until Christmas! December always flies by, doesn't it? I was looking back through my Christmas posts over the years and I found this cute DIY Felt Candy Cane tutorial my sister Rachel did a few years back. I always think its fun to make a little ornament as a gift topper and this one is just so cute with a green tag sitting next to it and some simple twine.

If you want to make a candy cane you can find the tutorial HERE

Big kids can even make this craft if you help them with the hot glue gun. You could also use it as a little teacher gift or tie it around a napkin for your Christmas table. Anyway, just thought I'd share. I'm off to make some zipper pouches and then Christmas PJs. Hoping to have them all done by the time my big kids return and take over my workroom, which is only a couple of days away. What are you making for Christmas this year?

Happy Making!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Halloween Bat Pillow Tutorial

This post contains affiliate links!

Hello sewing friends! Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I have had a lot fun decorating for it this year. It has been especially nice to have something to look forward to this year even though I'm still not quite sure how we will be celebrating it. My mom and sister made the cutest little Halloween pillow the other day. It is a cute little bat shaped stuffie that sits on your couch! I couldn’t let them have all the fun so I got my hands on their pattern and made one too. Isn’t the design so cute?!!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

How to Sew an Invisible Zipper in a Pillow

This post contains a few affiliate links.

Hello Sewing friends!! I have a fun make to show you today!! I sewed up this beautiful pillow for  my sister's birthday and I am in love with how it turned out. I made it using the Patchwork Prism Pattern designed by Anna Maria Horner for Janome. I used the pillow sham variation and now that I see how beautiful it is in real life I just may make the whole quilt. Anyway as I was making it I thought I'd snaps some pics and write up a little tutorial for you on how to insert an invisible zipper in a pillow. Scroll down to see all of my tips and tricks. 

For a long time invisible zipper installation was very frustrating to me. I would read those directions that come on the little cardboard packaging and get confused. Also I tried using that little special invisible zipper foot you can buy which somehow is supposed to make it easy to sew. I didn't really have luck with those feet. Instead over the years I have figured out a few tricks that make invisible zipper installation much less painful and more successful with out much extra effort. So here we go!

If you take a look at the RIGHT side of the invisible zipper you'll see that it is completely flat and the zipper teeth are "invisible". The zipper teeth actually sit on the WRONG side of the zipper. In fact, the teeth are folded toward the wrong side. Unzip the zipper , unfold the zipper teeth, and iron the WRONG side of the zipper flat.  This takes a little persistence but this step is KEY to getting a good invisible zipper insertion. I usually have good results using a HOT iron and have never melted my zipper but I would suggest starting with a medium hot iron to start with and use just enough heat to get a good press. Do this with both halves of the zipper. 

For my pillow panels I chose to make mini quilt "sandwiches". I used a layer of batting in between 2 pieces of quilting cotton and added some quilting stitches for each side.  For the front Patchwork Prism panel I stitched in the ditch of each triangle line. Here is what the back panel looks like all read to go.  

Quick Tip: You can use a patterned fabric for the inside and follow it to make nice even quilting pattern, I used this fabric on the inside of the back panel and just sewed along the purple flowers so I didn't have to mark a grid. Sew easy! These will make a nice sturdy pillow cover for my pillow insert.

I also serged along the edge of each panel to minimize fraying. You can use a wide zig zag stitch here as well but it isn't really necessary. 

Pin or use binding clips to attach one zipper half to the edge of one pillow panel, in the center and with the RIGHT sides together.

Using a zipper foot, and starting with the zipper zipped up a little, sew as close to the zipper as you can and stop about an inch away from the zipper stop. Keeping the needle down lift the presser foot and slide the zipper open so the zipper slide is on the other side of the presser foot. 

Now open up the fold all the way and sew close to the zipper. Use a stiletto or sharp scissors to hold the fold open as you sew close to (but NOT ON) the fold line. 

Sew all the way through past the end of the zipper tape. This photo also shows how close I sewed to the fold line.

Lay the 2 panels with right sides together and match up the corners. Pin or clip the the other side of the zipper to the 2nd panel. 

Get it started with the panels together and then flip the panel over to pin it the rest of the way. Sew the zipper to the panel as in STEP 3. 

 One more thing to note: At the end near the zipper stop it is impossible to sew close to the teeth. Don't sweat this! It will be covered by finishing stitches. Just sew all the way to the end of each zipper tape. You can avoid this problem by using an invisible zipper that is much longer than you need but I didn't have that luxury here. 

Zip up the zipper and coax the fabric together to hide the zipper. Make sure the zipper tape is laying flat and open underneath.  Press over the zipper from the top using STEAM and EXTRA TIME to allow the heat to travel through all of the layers. As you can see in the right side of the photo below, there is about an inch or so at the end  near the zipper stop where the fabric does not meet. This is OK because we will hide it in the next step.

Place the 2 pillow panels together, match them at the corners, and pin around all 4 sides. You will need to sew around the pillow with a 1/2 inch seam allowance starting about an inch below where the zipper starts and finishing about an 1 1/2 inches above the zipper stop. DO NOT FORGET TO UNZIP THE ZIPPER PART OF THE WAY.

Use the zipper foot to sew near the zipper. I usually sew near the zipper at the top and bottom first and then switch to a regular foot to sew the rest of the way around. You will notice the half inch seam comes about 1/8th inch to the inside of the zipper seam. These 2 seams should never meet. 

STEP 7. TURN THE PILLOW RIGHT SIDE OUT AND PUSH OUT THE CORNERS. It is not necessary to trim the corners for a perfect point. Insert a pillow form and you are done! This pillow is the perfect fit for a King sized pillow. I stuffed it with this Bamboo pillow I found on Amazon.

Last TIP: Do not overstuff  the pillow! The zipper will be more visible if you do.

And that is IT! Enjoy your beautiful new pillow and make another so you can practice your new skill. 


Sunday, June 21, 2020

How to Clean a Self Healing Cutting Mat

 Hello Sewing friends! I have a little tip to share with you today. This is a tip I've shared previously over on the C&T publishing blog and I'm happy to bring it home today.  My very favorite sewing tools are my rotary cutter and self healing mat. I use them with almost every sewing project I ever make. Seriously what did people do before these were invented?! I love to sew handbags and I use my rotary cutter to quickly cut out the pieces I need. Unfortunately, whenever I cut felt or fusible fleece interfacings the fibers get stuck in the cut lines and I end up with a fuzzy mat.  Does this happen to you?