Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flannel PJs

A couple of weeks ago I found some cute flannel prints at JoAnns. One was a Scooby Doo with camo background and the other was a Sponge Bob sleeping print. Both are very cute. Little did I realize just how much my son has grown. I going to try to make some flannel pants from the Sponge Bob print but I'm a little short on fabric. So, what I think I'm going to do is make some really long shorts. I think that there may be enough fabric to make down to the knee or maybe I'll call my SIL and see if my nephew will like them. One way or the other something will get created with this fabric today.

The pattern stash contest starts tomorrow at Pattern Review. Have you gotten your patterns ready? I will be starting with a faux leather jacket for my son. This doesn't need to perfect as it will be for an Indiana Jones costume. Then, I will need a bag and a whip. We'll see what I can come up with for those two items. The next item is a pullover for my son. This is suppose to have a cobra embroidered on it then lettering will be done that says "COBRA". I haven't decided yet if I'm going to attempt the lettering on the embroidery machine or if I will make templates and let my son paint the letters on. Now, if I can get those 4 items done. This will be successful contest for me.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pillowcases finished!

Here's the completed pillowcases:

Sorry this was the best pictures I could get. I used my new DD to make these as I'm still learning about this machine. The scallops were completed using the H2 menu #20. The entredeux is the D1 menu #7 (sorry, can't really see them but they are there on either side of the green design). The scroll design is D1 menu #17.
Overall, I'm happy with the way the pillowcases turned out. There could have been a little more planning but I was really playing with the machine trying to get a good feel for sewing with it. There are so much going on with this machine compared to my favorite sewing machine, but I'm glad that I finished them on the DD. I did end up having to use a stablizer to get the designs to stitch properly. Part of it could have been the thread that I was using. It was a poly embroidery thread.
That's it for tonight.
Happy Sewing

Friday, August 29, 2008


Yesterday, I decided that I would make pillowcases today. I needed a new pair. Generally, I make them with scallops and embroidery of some type. So, last night I spent the evening looking at embroidery designs. I have too many designs. Well, amazingly, I did not find anything that I thought was appropriate. So, I set about playing with my software to see if I could make a set of flowers or something but that didn't work out either. Then, it dawned it me that I should play with all those wonderful stitches on my new sewing machine.

This afternoon, I took out the lovely 100% cotton batiste that I like to make pillowcases with and tore the fabric to the length that I wanted. Then, starch the fabric. Ok, I ready to stitch. WRONG. Even though I have starched my fabric multiple times, I couldn't get the machine to stitch correctly. I finally gave up and used a stablizer. I know that I didn't use a stablizer the last time I made pillowcases. I did start, stop, and rip out stitches multiple times before I was happy with the stitching. The pillowcases will NOT be finished today as planned. Tomorrow they will be.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tutorial - How to make bias binding for piping.

There are a couple of ways to make bias binding and for the floor pillow project I used them both. Here is my preferred method of making the bias binding:

This is the fabric that was left over after making cutting out the pillow front and back. I was luck to have such a large piece to work with. I cut a piece that was approximately 20" x 30" and made sure that the corners are 90 degrees.

Here I'm getting ready to mark a 45 degree line on the fabric. For this particular project, I'm using a pencil. If this was for clothing, I would not use a pencil but chalk.

Here the line drawn on the fabric.

Here I have carefully cut down the drawn line.

Now, place the right sides of the edges together and stitch a 1/4" seam. Press the seam to the side.

Here is the results.

Here I've drawn the cutting lines using a straight edge. It's important to be very accurate here.

Now, offset the by one set of lines and pin matching the the drawn lines at a 1/4" seam line. Again, it is very important to match at the seam line. Also, pin at every line. Sew a 1/4" seam.

Here are the results of sewing. I haven't pressed the seam in this picture. I waited until I have cut out the bias strips. Cut out the strips and wrap around your cording and baste in place.

Here's the finished picture of the pillow with the bias piping on the edge. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the bias strip or the cording upon completion.

I picked up this technique somewhere in a quilting class or a quilting book but it works for every situation that you need a woven bias binding.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Floor Pillows - finished!

I didn't think that I was going to be able to finish the floor pillows today because life was just getting in the way but some how this evening I was able to finish the 2nd floor pillow. Here's the final pictures of this project:

This is the pillow back with the zipper along the bottom edge.

Here's the pillow front with the pillow tucked inside.

Here's the final picture of both pillows. I received a thumbs up with a thank you from DS. Guess that means that I did a good job. The pillows are now in the playroom near the tv and the games.

Tomorrow, I will put up a tutorial on making the bias trim.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Floor pillows - 1 complete!

The photo to the left is fabric that was left after I had cut out the front and back for the red pillow. I was doubting that there was enough fabric left to make the bias binding for the piping but I decided to give it a try. If it worked great. If not, it would go in the trash.

Here is the fabric that was left after I cut out the many squares and rectangles to make the bias. Yes, I'm a little bit worried at this point. I didn't have any large pieces of fabric so I had to individually cut each strip and sew it together. The seam ripper was my friend today.

Here I'm getting ready to apply the piping to the pillow front. Please note that I did not enclose the cording completely. I left approximately 3 inches open and started the stitching in the middle of one side.

Here's where I marked corners. This is important for turning the corner with the piping. The piping will need to be clipped to turn the corner.

At this point, I have almost finished applying the piping to the front panel. I stop stitching about 3 or 4 inches from the end of the piping. This will leave a gap of 5 or 6 inches. Pin the cording out of the way so that only the bias out.

I had a piece of the bias that was about 3 inches long that I fold in half the long way and pressed. Mark the middle of this strip with a needle.

In this picture, you can see that the piping has been pinned out of the way. I have taken the short strip and pinned it approximately half way in between the seams. Now, take another pin and mark the pillow front. Now, trim the right bias piece to the left edge of the short trim piece.

Repeat the process with the left bias piece and trim to the right of the short trim piece.

Now, pin the bias trim at 90 degree angles (make sure that the right sides are together). Draw a line from corner to corner. This will be your stitching line. After stitching, trim to 1/4" seam allowance.

Now, the bias for the piping is a continuous piece. The next thing is to trim the cording for the piping so that the two ends meet. Complete the stitching. Now, you have piping that doesn't have a visible starting / ending point.

Here's the back of the completed pillow cover. You can just barely see the zipper along the bottom edge.

Here's the pillow cover with the pillow form inserted. It's a little bit dog eared. I don't know if that is because of how I stuffed the pillow form in or just the nature of a square pillow. I know that there are templates available that help to prevent the dog eared points. I have also heard that if you do not add the seam allowances to the pillow cover that it will be nice and firm. I would guess that the corners would be filled out fairly well also. If anyone has tried the technique of not adding the seam allowances, I would love to hear how it turned out.
The information for the continuous bias is from Robbie Fanning's book "The Complete Book of Machine Quilting". She credits the technique to Ann Person of Stretch & Sew.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Floor Pillows, cont.

The floor pillows measured 27”. So, I cut the front into a 28” square allowing for 1/2” seams. Next, I needed to cut out the back. Since I'm going to use a zipper as a closure, I needed to decided the location of the zipper. I decided to put it close to the edge. I cut out two pieces of fabric for the back. The first piece is 1 1/2” wide by 28” and the second piece is 27 3/4” x 28”. This will give me 1/2” seam for the zipper attachment and a 1/4” overlap. These pieces will be used as patterns for the red fabric. Here's a couple of pictures:

Here's the initial tracing of the front of the pillow. I used a straight edge and chalk to draw the sides. For the top and bottom, I followed one of the woven stripes.

This picture shows the three pieces for the pillow. These will be used as the pattern pieces for the red pillow.

Here's using a piece of fabric to check how much fabric is needed to go around 1/4" piping cord.

Now, lay the fabric out and measure where the pins are pushed in from each side. It looks like it's between 5/8" and 3/4". I will be using the 5/8" measurement so the piping isn't wider than the seam line. Now, I add the 1/2" seam allowances. The bias strip will be 1 5/8" wide to make the piping.

For each pillow, I'm going to need approximately 120" of piping. This will give me enough to go around the four sides and to finish the ends in such a way that you can't see where I started / ended the piping.

I finished the backs this morning. Here's couple of additional pictures:

Here's where I serged the edges that are going to be stitched to the zipper. I will also press under 1/2" on the narrow piece and an 1" on the larger piece.

I don't use any pins when stitching the zipper. I line it up with one of the lines on the zipper and then sew for a couple of inches. Then, I pull the zipper tab to close it all the way. I also lined up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the zipper foot.

Here's where I'm starting the lap on the zipper. I used my favorite notion - Wonder Tape - to hold the fabric while I stitched. This gave me the 1/4" overlap that I was looking for. Also, I used the extra zipper tape to make sure that I was missing the teeth and lined up with a measurement on the stitch plate.

Here's the finished lapped zipper. I know you can barely see the zipper.

Ok, any additional sewing today will be creating the bias binding and the piping. It's going to be a lot of work.
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Floor Pillows

Well, I never did get to turn on the sewing machine yesterday and I may not today but I will be cutting out the fabric for a pair of floor pillows to add to the play room. Of course, they can easily travel to the family room if they're needed. Here's the basics:

I think tonight I can get the fronts and backs cut out, and maybe get the binding cut out once I figure out how much I need. Each pillow will have piping and the opening will be a zipper. I will need to run to JoAnn's for zippers because I do not stash zippers of that length. One pillow will be a red twill and the other pillow will be a blue & white strip denim. I may even swap the piping so that the red pillow will have the blue & white piping and the denim pillow will have the red piping.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today is the day to start!

I see that there is a new contest at Sewing Review starting in September for the Pattern Stash. I love this contest or any other stashing contest. Why do I like this contest so much? I have a huge pattern stash. When I don't have time to sew, I purchase patterns and lots of them. I know that I couldn't possible sew enough to win the contest but I if use any of the patterns that are in my stash, I will be a winner.

I've already been thinking about making a small wardrobe for fall and almost all of the patterns haven't been used before. Here's what I have so far:

1. Loes Hinse Retro Jacket
2. Loes Hinse Euro Pants
3. Loes Hinse Tango Skirt (can't decide which one)
4. Loes Hinse V-Neck tunic
5. Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee (I have made this pattern before.)

For my son, I'm planning to make:

1. A pullover shirt which will have a cobra embroidered on it and possibly lettering painted on.
2. A leather-look jacket for a costume.
3. PJs (always welcomed)

My son is tall and skinny. This makes it a little tough because matching his measurements to a pattern always ends up with length issues. Just a small challenge.

Ok, I'm guess I should go do a little bit of laundry, a little bit of ironing, a little bit of cleaning, a little bit of gardening, and a little bit of sewing. Hope I make it to the sewing part....

Happy Sewing!