Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Scarf for Your Diva

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Isn’t this scarf the cutest?  And super easy to make as well.  Want to make your own?

You’ll need:

  •    1/4 yard  flannel
  •    1/4 yd cute cotton
  •    1/2 yd pompom trim
  •    lots of scrap trims and ribbons (in 6+ inch lengths)
  •    a rotary cutter and mat
  •    pins
  •    thread (either matching or clear)
  •    your sewing machine and a blind hem foot if you have it
1.  Trim a full length (usually about 44-45 inches long) of flannel to 6 inches wide.
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2.  Trim a full length of cotton to 6 inches of wide.
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3.  Match flannel and cotton pieces.  Trim length of one if necessary.
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4.  Stitch trims widthwise across the flannel piece in a random placement.  Vary distances between trims, mix and match colors, just have fun.  Just avoid the 1/2 to 1 inches of either end. 100_7045
I attached the the wider trims using my blind hem foot.  I scooted my needle as far to the left as possible and then lined the edge of my trim up with the guide on the blind hem foot.  If you don’t have a blind hem foot, just stitch as close to either edge of your trim as possible. 100_7050
For the skinner trims, I zig zagged with my clear thread over the trim.  
5.  Press 1/2 inch hem on both short ends of both flannel and cotton pieces.
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6.  Place flannel to cotton, right sides together.  Pin in place.
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7.  Stitch along long edges of scarf with 1/2 inch seam allowance.
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8.  Turn the scarf right side out.  Press carefully.
 
9. Cut pom-pom trim to length so that you can slip it into the open short ends.   I decided to use 2 different colors and layered them.   Pin in place.
  100_7056 100_7057  
10. Top stitch along the short edges, securing hem and pom-poms in place.
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11.  Wrap around the neck of your favorite diva and let her enjoy!
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100_7085 Finished size:  approximately 44 inches by 5 inches

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Coffee Cozies!

Here’s a quick and easy Christmas sewing idea:  Coffee Cozies to protect your fingers from that hot cup of latte you just grabbed at your favorite coffee shop. 

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To make them:

  1. Buy a drink from your favorite coffee shop. 
  2. Enjoy your coffee.
  3. Before you throw the cup in the trash, snatch that handy little cardboard cup-sleeve and tear it apart at the seam.
  4. Trace it for your pattern.  I chose to add about 1 inch to the height of mine.
  5. Cut out your pattern twice:  once in fleece and and once in a really cute cotton.
  6. Cut a 3 x 3 square in a cute coordinating fabric.  (Raid your scraps!)
  7. Place your cotton and your fleece right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving about 2 inches unstitched for turning.
  8. Trim your corners and turn it right side out.
  9. Press, folding in the hem on the unstitched  section.
  10. Top stitch around the finished edges, securing the opening.
  11. Now for your 3 x 3 square:  Fold under 1/4 inch on 3 sides and 1/2 inch on one side.
  12. Top stitch the 1/2 inch hem in place.
  13. Center your square on your new cup sleeve and top stitch on remaining 3 sides.
  14. Add a button for cuteness.
  15. Stitch your two short edges together to shape this flat piece into a sleeve.
  16. Slip it on your favorite travel mug and enjoy another cup of coffee!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Big 4

If you are new to sewing, you might have seen “The Big 4” while web-surfing and wondered just what it means. 


The Big 4 refers to the 4 commercial pattern companies that you can find at most chain fabric stores: 

  1. Simplicity,
  2. McCalls,
  3. Butterick
  4. Vogue

The fabric chains tend to run these on sale from $0.99 to $3.99 about once a month.  You can browse the pattern books at the store or on-line to get those creative juices flowing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Thread on Threads

Questions about which thread to choose?  Why not start with the folks who make the thread…

Coats and Clark Threads Advisor

This great table helps you choose the thread and needle appropriate for many types of fabrics you might use.

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is a test. Please let me know if it works!

I'm trying something new today. I'm hoping that this link will lead you to a Google Document. If this works, I'll have a much easier time sharing tutorials with you. Please let me know if you can open the document, or if you have any trouble. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A hint for threading your needle...

Before threading your needle,
use your finger to wet the back of the needle's eye.
This moisture should wick your thread
right on through the eye.
**Note: I'd love to give credit to the person who first wrote this tip, but I don't remember where I found it!**

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My 3 Rules About Sewing Machine Needles

Ever find your tension is off or that your machine is skipping stitches? It's time to check out that sewing machine needle! Here are 3 rules to remember: Rule 1: Change your Sewing Machine Needle frequently! Needles will dull. Period. I recommend buying them by the handful when your local stores run notions on a 50% off sale. By stocking up, you'll be ready to use a new needle with every new project. Also, check your needle frequently for burrs and blunt tips. These will cause snags in your fabric. Rule 2: Pick the right needle for the right fabric. Generally, you'll need a size 11 or 14. However, there are a few things to remember. Rule 2.1: The thicker the fabric, the bigger the needle, bigger the needle size. Most manuals have a table listing the size needle that you need for certain fabrics. Here are some basics:
  • Use a size 9 for Very Lightweight Fabrics, like Chiffon, Lace, Organdy, or Tulle.
  • Use a size 11 or 12 for Lightweight Fabrics like Chambray, Gingham,Satin, Lawn, Single Knits, Jersey,Thin Leather, or Suede.
  • Use a size 14 for Medium-weight Fabrics like most of your quilting cottons or Flannel, Velour, Broadcloth, Linen, Velvet, Double Knits, Vinyl, or some Leathers or Suede.
  • Use a size 16 for Heavy-weight Fabrics including Denim, Sailcloth, Fake Fur, and thick Leathers.
  • Use a size 18 for Very Heavy Fabrics like Canvas, Duck and some Upholstery fabrics.

Rule 2.2: Pick the right type of needle for the fabric. Basically:

  • Woven fabric: Universal needles or Sharps
  • Knits: Ball-point needles
  • Leathers: Wedge-point needles (AKA leather needles)
  • Most topstitching: Topstitching needles

Rule 3: Make sure your needle is inserted properly.

Any questions, refer to your sewing machine manual.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine Manual

My mom has a saying:
"Get out your manual."
Every time I'd complain about my bobbin thread breaking or my machine making a strange noise or not being able to balance the tension, I'd hear
"Get out your manual."
So, in honor of my mom, for this post, I need you to:
"Get out your manual."
You can find it, right? Mine is here... That's right, it's within arm's reach of my machine. Did you find yours yet? Okay then,
"Get out your manual."
...and a stack of sticky notes. In my beginning sewing class, I have my students mark some pages for easy reference. Even now, these are the pages I turn to most often:
  • How to insert my needle (You know, flat side to the side or back.)
  • How to wind my bobbin
  • How to thread my machine
  • How to adjust the thread tension
  • How to adjust the stitch length
  • How to switch out the presser foot
  • How to reverse a stitch
  • How to use that silly button-holer
  • How to maintain, clean, and possibly oil my machine
If you mark these pages with stickies, the next time you get stuck, the answer will probably be close at hand. So, the next time you want to throw your sewing machine out the window:
"Get out your manual."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Remember to raise your needle to its highest position!

Are you having a problem with your needle coming unthreaded each time you get ready to stitch a new seam? Several of my girls in my latest sewing class were having that very problem. I watched them a time or two and found the cause.
When you finish stitching (and locking) a seam, turn your flywheel toward you to raise your needle to its highest point. THEN, you can pull your fabric out and clip your threads several inches away from your needle.
When you don't raise that needle, the tension is still on the thread. When you pull it away from the machine, you are stretching your thread. After you snip, the thread is bouncing back--right out of that needle. Any questions? Leave me a comment or drop me an email!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tutorial: Vinyl Beach Bags

Vinyl makes a great beach bag. But, there are a few tricks you need to know before you start: 1. Once you poke a hole in vinyl, it says there. So, use pins only when necessary. Instead:
  • Secure edges with paper clips.
  • Use a strip of painter’s tape to secure a zipper.
  • Secure edges with tape. (Remove promptly to avoid icky residue.)
2. Topstitch ¼ inch on each side of the seam to hold seam allowances in place. 3. Finger press only: Move your fingers along the seam line, pressing the seam allowances open. 4. Use a plastic or Teflon sewing foot. If these aren’t available, place a piece of tissue paper between your vinyl and your presser foot. 5. Use a NEW size 11 needle. 6. Increase your stitch length to 3.0 mm. 7. Don’t backstitch to secure seams. Leave long tails and tie knots. To construct your bag: 1. Cut out 2 rectangles 22 inches wide x 18 inches tall. 2. Cut out 2 rectangles 4 inches wide x 27 inches tall.
3. Fold under ½ inch on the top edge. Tape into place.
4. Place the zipper coils along the fold and tape into place.
5. Stitch along the zipper tape.
6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for the other large rectangle of vinyl.
7. Unzip the zipper about 8 inches and fold the pieces right side together.
8. Stitch the edges with a 5/8 inch seam.
9. Open out the bottom corners.
10. Pinch the side seam and the bottom seam together. 11. Mark a line 2 inches from the point and 4 inches wide.
12. Stitch along this line. 13. Stitch again ¼ inch outside this seam.
14. Trim the corner. 15. Repeat steps 9-14 for the other bottom corner. 16. Turn the bag right sides out.

17. Handles: Using the long, skinny rectangles, turn in each long edge into the middle.

18. Fold the new edges to the middle.

19. Stitch close to the each outside edge. This will be much easier if the tissue is between your presser foot and your vinyl.

20. Mark the bag in 4 places: 6 inches in and 1 inch down from each top corner. 21. Secure the straps to the outside of the bag at these marks.
Be patient when working with vinyl (it sticks to everything) and have fun!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2 Ways to Embellish a T-shirt

Here are 2 easy ways to embellish a t-shirt:

1. Applique!

video

2. Stencils!

video

Book Review: Of Course You Can Sew!

Of Course You Can Sew! Basics of Sewing for the Young Beginner
by Barbara Corrigan
Published in 1971
ISBN: 978-0385076975
Some Chapter Headings: Equipment Fabrics Accessories from a Straight Piece of Material A Shift or Robe from Turkish Towels How to Use Patterns

I liked:

  • The prose. For example, take this paragraph from the Introduction, "Haven't you envied your friends who have an endless supply of new clothes which they've made for themselves? You hear tales of how an inexpensive piece of material from a remnant counter has turned into a lovely party dress, while you've been trying to figure out how to persuade Dad to give you still another advance on your allowance to cover a down payment on that dress you saw in the store window."
  • The chapter on "Basic Stitches" that covers everything from threading a needle and diagrams showing how to knot your thread to explaining running stitches, back stitching and hemming.
  • Instructions on how to use a thimble (a lost art for certain!).
  • A great chapter on the basic sashes, belts, totes and headbands.
  • The "How to Use Patterns" chapter that is most thorough, including pinning, marking darts and notches, stay stitching, and facings.
My dislikes:
  • Not any really, especially when you consider this is a book for beginners.
Conclusion: "Cute." That's the word I'd use to describe this book. I think it is absolutely darling. I love the way it's written. It covers the most basic of basic ("Now place two layers of material together, and pin them together.", page 22) while also explaining techniques like under stitching. Plus, I love the confidence it exudes when, in closing, it promises "When you have learned to make all the things presented in this book, you will be able to create an almost complete wardrobe, lacking only a coat and slacks..." (page 127). Would I buy it for myself? As a sewing instructor, I am considering this book. I think the progression it uses to teach sewing would work very well for beginners of any age. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Most certainly. This book would be perfect for someone that has never sewn, but is ready to start.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My 5 Favorite Sewing Tips

Here are my 5 favorite sewing tips (for today anyway, because tomorrow I'll probably learn something new):

  1. Wet the back of your needle before trying to thread it. The surface tension from the water pulls the thread right on through.
  2. Compare your pattern pieces to a RTW piece that has a similar fit. This is particularly helpful if you're fitting a difficult client (like my hubby).
  3. Instead of chalk, mark your notches, darts, etc. with a dried-up remnemt of Ivory soap.
  4. Put a shirt together at one shoulder (or if it has raglan sleeves--at 3 seams). While it's flat, serge your neck binding (or cuffs onto sleeves) on the neck line. (I find it easiest to place if I've notched center front, shoulders and center back on both the shirt and the ribbing.) Then serge the remaining shoulder seam, all the way up the ribbing.
  5. Choose your pattern size based on your front width measurement (FWM). This is a great N. Zieman tip. To take the measurement, find the crease in your skin where your arms meet your body and measure straight acros your chest. Round off to the nearest half-inch. A FWM of 14 inches corresponds to a size 14 and every 1/2 inch difference is a pattern size. (I.e., 13.5 inches = size 12, 13 inches = size 10, 14.5 inches = size 16, 15 inches = size 18)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Review: Applique Martha's Favorites

Applique Martha's Favorites
by Martha Pullen
Published in 1991
ISBN: 978-9992865163
Some Chapter Headings: Types of Applique Stitch Maneuvers Applique Designs Fancy Closures-Not Just Buttons I liked:
  • The clothing patterns included with this book: a girls' jumper, a boys' suit, and an apron.
  • A great supply list that explains why you need all those things, like stabilizer and interfacings.
  • The very detailed (at first glance primitive, but actually quite informative) diagrams in the "Stitch Maneuver" chapter that instruct you as you begin to applique, turn inward or outward curves, form corners and stitch points.
  • The "Little Red Riding Hood" applique design.
My dislikes:
  • While some of the designs are very cute, others are quite dated (think things we wore in the 70s!).
  • I found the boys' suit to run very small.
  • No instructions for sewing snap tape into the crotch of the boys' suit.
Conclusion: First, this book is a bargain, when you consider all that it contains. Just purchasing a girls jumper and a boys' suit pattern could run you upwards of $20. Plus, you get all the applique designs and how-tos. Second, if you can sew, you can applique and this book is detailed enough to show you how. Even if you don't love these designs, you can take this information and make your own designs. Would I buy it for myself? I already did--several years ago, when I wanted to reproduce similar designs to those I'd seen at a local upscale children's boutique. While I don't refer to the book often anymore, it was invaluable while I was learning to applique. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? This book would better serve an advanced beginner.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Review: Simply Irresistible Bags

Simply Irresistible Bags: 45 Designs for Going Out, Looking Chic, and Shopping Green
by Marie Claire Idees
Published in 2008
ISBN: 978-1-57076-403-5
Some Chapter Headings:
  • Simply Stylish
  • Urban Chic
  • For Children
  • Storage
I liked:
  • The Whimsically Retro Bag (page 18), the Artist's Satchel (page 42), and Off to the Orchard (page 80).
  • That so many of these bags require skills I don't normally use. What a great way to learn how to dye fabric, punch leather, or perfect your running stitch.
My dislikes:
  • I found that most of the bags lacked structure.
  • The templates looked difficult to enlarge. You are given a set length that needs to be enlarged to a certain length, but it doesn't give percentages, so you have to do the math!
Conclusion: This book has some neat ideas, but I didn't love anything. I checked it out from the library, and since I wasn't planning to make a purse, I didn't actually try any of the patterns. Would I buy this book for myself? Nope. Should I decided later that one of those purses catches my fancy, I'll check it out again, but no need to spend money on it--unless you love bags! Would I buy this book for a beginner? Absolutely not. It assumes that you already have advanced beginner to intermediate skills.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Review: The Vogue and Butterick Step-byStep Guide to Sewing Techniques

The Vogue/Butterick Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Techniques by the editors of Vogue and Butterick Patterns Published in 1989 ISBN: 0-13-944125-5
Some Chapter Headings:
  • Applique
  • Bindings
  • Collars
  • Facings
  • Gussets
  • Linings
  • Overlock
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Yokes
I liked:
  • The quick, easy-to-use format. They certainly don't waste any words. The only text not in a tutorial is the opening page, where the book is explained.
  • Opening any one of the 47 sections to find well-illustrated instructions on sewing techniques.
  • The "Binding" section. It starts with a quick tutorial on making your own binding strips and then covers those icky situations like turning corners and neatly joining binding.
  • The information in the "Layout" section that covers cutting plaids and stripes. It includes gentle reminders like, "Avoid placing a heavy, dominant horizontal stripe at the bust line or waistline." (page 209) Sounds like really good advice to me!
  • The "Pocket" section. I wish I'd had that information the first time I tried to make a self-faced pocket. The illustrations are very clear.
  • That this book even includes a section on "Shoulder Pads". Should they ever come back into high fashion, I'll know just where to turn!

My dislikes:

  • The "Lining" section
  • No "invisible zipper" reference
  • The entire book is dedicated to garment sewing. Sure some techniques could cross-over into home decorating, but all the examples illustrated are garments.
Conclusion: At first glance, this was one I wanted to put back on the shelf. But, as our local branch of the library has such a limited selection, I figured I better at least have a second look. I'm so glad I did! This book is one to have on your shelf if you are moving toward an advanced beginner and intermediate sewing level. Not every sewer has mastered every technique, so having a quick, well-illustrated guide is quite handy. While I had the book for 2 weeks, I managed to use the sections on: Binding Buttonholes Collars Edge Finishes Gussets Hand Sewing Layouts Pressing Vents Would I buy it for myself? I have it "Saved for Later" on my favorite book-buying site. But, I'll probably pass. At least, as long as I can find it on the shelf at the library. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Maybe. This is definitely a great addition to the library of an advanced beginner.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review: Sew U

Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe by Wendy Mullin with Eviana Hartman Published in 2006 ISBN: 0-8212-5740-4
Some Chapter Headings: Getting In Gear
Chop, Chop
Skirts
Shirts
Pants
I liked:
  • That the book is very easy to read.
  • The wonderful inspiration for "designing your own" based on a pattern.
  • The notions and supplies chapter because she points out that you don't have to have much to get started and encourages you to wait until you know what you need before investing.
  • The "Anatomy Lesson" defining and describing pattern pieces.
  • Page 82 that has an excellent explanation of thread tension and why it is so important.
  • The Project Ticket Form
My dislikes:
  • The section on measuring yourself is not detailed and only includes instructions for measuring bust, waist, and hip. In my experience, using only these 3 measurements leads to ill-fitting garments and loads of frustration.
  • I found the A-line skirt pattern to be almost a pencil skirt.
Conclusion:
While this book isn't as thorough as other "Complete Guides..." it certainly has its place. I personally picked up the book because the look of it appealed to me. And, the book is actually quite detailed for the beginner, describing and explaining techniques that more intermediate and advanced sewers would take for granted: stay-stitching, stitching direction, finishing seams, topstitching, understitching, and even sewing on a button!
Another feature that appealed to me: the book includes 3 patterns. While only the skirt has worked for me, the shirt and pants provide new options and can be a jump-start for a new sewer. That said, the limited measuring instructions and virtually no fitting information are potential roadblocks in sewing your own wardrobe.
Would I buy it for myself? I do own this book and I've made the skirt several times and in several ways.
Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? I whole-heartily recommend this book to a tween, teen, or even 30-something beginner--as long as they have a fitting resource (like a very, very good friend) handy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Book Review: Vogue Easy Sewing

Vogue Easy Sewing by Lynn Ferrari and the Butterick Company, Inc.
Published 1985
ISBN: 0-06-181128-9
Some Chapter Headings:
  • Easy Wardrobe Planning
  • Fabric Dos and Don'ts
  • How to Press
  • How to Sew by Hand
I liked:
  • A great detailed "Needle and Thread Chart" on Page 31.
  • The chapter labeled "How to Press", which had good guidelines, but even better pictures and diagrams! This section included fool-proof instructions for pressing darts, gathers, pleats, sleeves, hems, and seams. Probably the best pressing instructions I've seen.
  • The chapter labeled "How to Sew By Hand", which included only a few stitches (back stitch tacks, slip stitch, blind stitch and thread chain), all essential to any sewer.
  • The last section "Easy Sewing Techniques" that is broken down into chapters based on the techniques that "scare" some sewers, including bands, buttonholes, darts, pockets, sleeves and zippers.
My dislikes:
  • There is no information on invisible zippers or collars with a stand.
Conclusion: This is a great reference for any sewer that has progressed past pillows and PJ pants and is now ready to tackle garments. The book is really easy to follow and has great illustrations for the techniques. I'll tell you again--I love the pressing chapter! One small warning--you'll have to look past the mid-1980s photos in the middle of the book. Gotta love shoulder pads! Would I buy it for myself? Absolutely. I've already looked it up on Amazon. Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Maybe.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Review: New Complete Guide to Sewing

New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-step techniques for making clothes and home accessories Published 2002 by Reader's Digest ISBN:0-7621-0420-1
Some Chapter Headings:
Sewing equipment and fabrics Neckline finishes and collars Fastenings Tailoring I liked:
  • The format! It is very easy to open this book to the contents and quickly identify the chapter I need.
  • The great fitting section. There were lots of photos showing how and where to measure for 16 useful measurements.
  • The great diagrams showing fit alternations on pattern tissue.
  • The diagrams showing common "wrinkles" and how to adjust fit for each.
  • 14 pages of hand stitches!

My dislikes:

  • Only one-The extensive list and descriptions of fabric has pictures, but they aren't complete or labeled.
Conclusion: I refer to this book at least once a month. It has more information than I could ever list. In fact, it would be easier to list what's not included than to tell you everything that is! So far, every time I've need information, I've found it here! I use the fitting chapters more than anything else! This book has 20 projects throughout that use the techniques covered in each chapter. It also has a quilting chapter, but you should note that it consists of only 2 projects and no additional diagrams or explanations. The book also contains a 4 page glossary. Would I buy it for myself? It's the most used book on my shelf! Would I buy it for a beginner sewer? Absolutely.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book Reivew: Sewing for Your Home

Better Homes and Gardens Sewing for Your Home Published by Meredith Corp. Published in 1974 ASIN: B00161VWBI

Some Chapter Headings: Colors and Fabrics Window Fashions-A Decorating Asset How to Make Pillows and Cushions Room Dividers and Wall Hangings Children's Rooms are Special

I liked:

  • The nice explanation of special cutting circumstances like fabrics with a pile, one-directional designs, or plaids.
  • The sliding fabric panels on page 73. I love these! You'd have to see them, but basically the fabric panels attach to sliding tracks and essential create the impression of a fabric wall when closed.
  • The introduction to quilting.
  • The folding chairs that are made of 3 covered cushions that are hinged together. They can fold into cubes, chairs, lounges or mattresses.

My dislikes: Not really any. I suppose that's because the decor ideas are what I expected out of an early '70s book.

Conclusion:

All that's old is new again--well almost! If you are looking for a great home dec reference, this is it. This book includes great tables and diagrams for measuring and creating lots of basic, timeless home dec pieces: pillows, bedspreads, table runners, slipcovers, etc. I must also add that the chapter in color is wonderful with discussions and examples of rooms done in various color schemes. And, for an added plus, if you're looking for some great ideas that translate into wonderful retro and modern ideas, a book published in the early 70s just might be the ticket!

Would I buy this book for myself?

Probably not, but as I "inherited" it, I'm glad it's in my collection.

Would I buy this book for a beginner?

An old book is a great, and usually cheap, reference for a beginner. Somethings, like how to measure your windows, never change, making a book from a different decade, just as applicable.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Book Review: Little Retro Aprons for Kids

Little Retro Aprons for Kids by Cindy Taylor Oates published in 2007 by Taylor Made Designs A link on Amazon
Contents: General Instructions 7 Children's Aprons 1 Doll Apron Master Pattern Sheet I liked:
  • The whole book--particularly aprons A-3 and B.
  • The butcher aprons (Patterns A-1, A-2, and A-3) have adjustable straps that pull through loops to tie in the back, rather than a tacked neck strap and separate ties.
  • The General Instructions are very thorough and designed for even the most beginner sewers (for example, the first set of instructions is "Tracing Your Pattern").

Dislikes:

None really. Conclusion: This is the cutest book of patterns! I love creating aprons for gifts and these are so simple! The doll apron is designed for an 18 inch doll (and perfect for Kit K. who came to live with us this Christmas). The best part of these aprons--the flexibility! You can have fun with fabrics, embroider, and change out elements. This book would be a great addition to your library if you have little people to sew for. The purple and yellow apron pictured above was made for a 4-year-old friend. I used pattern A-3, but I only used 1 ruffle. The size 4 was so small that the 3 ruffles originally in the pattern were too much.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Button Hole Trim

Here is a close-up of the button hole trim around the buttons on my pink jacket: Here's how I did it:
  1. Cut 7 inches of ribbon for a 2-inch trim.
  2. Fold over 2 1/4 inches.
  3. Mark the 45 degree line.
  4. I sew this on freezer paper because my ribbon often gets bunched under my presser foot. It will also help if you will lower your presser foot first--then your needle!
  5. Trim the corner.
  6. Press it open.
  7. Fold over 3/4 inches.
  8. Mark the 45 degree line and stitch again.
  9. Fold the remaining length back onto the length of top. Mark the 45 degree line and stitch again.
  10. Mark the intersection of the miters.
  11. Fold the top onto the bottom, matching the intersection.
  12. Mark 45 degree line.
  13. Stitch.
  14. Trim the excess.
  15. Press it open.
  16. Fray check your edges and stabilize if you wish. If you stabilize, you will have to rip the stabilizer between the ribbons.
  17. Secure it to over your button holes, matching openings.