Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to make the pleat for a mock box pillow

This is one of the variations to making a mock box pillow:

Step 1. Start with corner and the right side up. You will need to calculate the depth of the corner. This 1/2 of the depth of the cushion + 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 2. Bring the two cut edges together and press. Now, measure along the cut the depth of the corner and pin. Clip 1/4" into the seam allowance at the pin.
Step 3. Fold at the pin or clip along the cut edge and press. Mark the corner on fold with a pin.

Step 4. Open up the fabric with the right side up.

Step 5. Take the outside press marks and fold into the inside press mark. Pin to hold fabric into place.

Step 6. Cut off fabric extension on the corner even with the fabric edge.

Step 7. Baste at the seam line. Repeat this process with the other seven corners.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pillow is done!

The pillow cover for the rocker is finished. Here's a picture of the cover front:

I attempted making a change to the pattern to reduce the dog-eared effect. The cover doesn't look too bad. I love this fabric. It is really springy/summery.

Here's a picture of the cover back. You can see right along the edge above the piping that the pattern changes. This is the zipper.

Here's the finished product. I think I need to play with the pillow form a little bit to fill out the corners in on bottom. Overall, I'm happy with the way the pillow turned out. I will not hesitate making the pillow cover the same dimensions are the pillow form in the future.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to add a zipper to a pillow cover

This is a quick and easy way to put a zipper into a pillow:

Step 1. Finish the straight edges of the 2 pillow backs. It doesn't matter how if it's done with a zigzag or a serger. It could even be done with pinking shears. Whatever is available. I finish these edges so that they do not ravel in to the process of putting the pillow form into the pillow.

Step 2. Press the edges back. The picture above, the narrow piece has 1/2" fold and the larger piece has a 1" fold.

Step 3. Press, if necessary, and open the zipper. I am a big fan of wonder tape. It is 1/4" wide and sticky on both sides. Here I have applied it along the zipper tape using one of the threads for placement. Test that the zipper pull will pass by the tape without hitting it. (You don't have to use the Wonder Tape but it is a wonderful product.)

Step 4. Close the zipper and take the narrow piece of the pillow back. Carefully push the fabric to the zipper where you have applied the Wonder Tape. You want this to be as straight as possible. Check again that the zipper will open without bumping into the fabric. (If you have chosen not to use the Wonder tape, carefully baste your fabric to your zipper making sure it is straight.)

Step 5. Open the zipper and use the zipper foot as your guide by placing it along the edge of the fabric next to the zipper. Stitch. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the positioning)

Step 6. Close your zipper. I always have a 1/4" overlap for the zipper. At this point, I apply more Wonder Tape to the zipper edge that was just sewn. (Again, you can baste if you don't want to use the Wonder Tape. Be carefully with your positioning).

Step 7. Apply the larger piece of the pillow back along where the Wonder Tape has been applied.

Step 8. Turn over the pillow back as your next row of stitching will be from the back. Position the fabric using the zipper foot as your guide along the edge of the zipper tape. Stitch. (If you basted the two pieces together using the zipper tape as a guide, stitch from the front stitching along basting.)

Step 9. Pillow back is complete and ready to add piping or ruffle and stitch to the front.

Feel free to ask any questions...

Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

More project work

Last night, I spent more time on the embroidery. I rinsed out the Pellon Wash-n-Gone and much to my surprise both designs turned out well.

The design on the left is a FSL design and the design on the right is a lace design embroider on the tulle.

Here is a second Abir Motif stitched out on 2 layers of super solvy. It has been a very long time since I have stitched anything on solvy and this turned out well.
This afternoon I started drafting the patterns for the cushion for the rocker and the pillow. The pillow is a basic 18" square. Above is the change that I'm making to reduce the dog-eared look. I hope it works.

Here are the dimensions: 18 1/4" square , moved the corners in by 1/4" and used a curve to redraw the lines. That is the front of the pillow. The back of the pillow will have a zipper so the pillow will have two pieces. Since I wanted the zipper to lay very close to the piping, this is the dimensions that I used: narrow piece is 1 1/2" wide x 18 1/4", the wider piece is 18 1/4" x 18 1/4". This will give the narrow piece a 1/2" seam and a 1/2" turn back zipper. The wider piece has a 1/2" seam and a 3/4" turn back for the zipper. I have already proofed the drafted pattern and it looks like it will work. I still need to decide where the velcro tab will be located and how long the tab will need to be. The width will just a little bit wider than the velcro.
The cushion front has been drafted. I now need to draft the back with a zipper. I will use a similar technique as above to create the lapped zipper.
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Projects are being started..

This afternoon has found me setting up "The Behemoth" (I don't know why I refer to the lovely Diamond as that but the name fits) and embroidering. This is the first time that I have set-up the machine up at home and only the third time that the embroidery unit has been on the machine. I'm trying to figure out the embroidery that I want to add to my scarf that I'm going to make. Below is two embroideries that I have picked out. I'm also trying out a new to me backing by Pellon called Wash-N-Gone. I also use a size 50 tanne thread for both designs.

This embroidery is from the Just Lace by Sue Box Creations. It is the Abir Motif. This is a FSL design and is approximately 2 1/2" wide x 3" tall. Making a scarf using this design would mean that my scarf would be just under 8" using 3 motifs or just over 5" using 2 motifs. I think that using 3 motifs would give a look. However, I suppose I could turn it and use 2 motifs to make a 6" wide scarf. I will need to play a little bit.

This embroidery design is from The Kent State Museum collection by Marth Pullen. It is not intended to be used as a FSL and I have embroidered it on tulle. It is a 2 5/8" square. Really, I'm just playing. I suspect that it will fall apart once I wash away the backing. Although I really like this design, I don't think it will work as 2 motifs is 5 1/4" and 3 motifs would be 8 7/8".

I need to look around at the many designs that I have and see if anything else catching my eye. I really didn't want to purchase a design for this. Guess, I will see what happens. The fabric may determine the width on the scarf anyway.

The fabric for the pillow / cushion is in the washer. I have purchased a 1" foam from JoAnn's (yippee! it was on sale @ 50% off). Now, I need to draw the pattern for the cushion. Size will need to be 17" x 20". I can't remember making this type of a cushion before so I will need to do a little bit of research on how to do the depth. I want the corners to be pleated with the piping in the seam. This could be interesting.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pillow / Cushion fabric showed up today

I'm so excited. The fabric that I ordered from Pink Chalk Fabrics showed up today. Oh, yes, the fabric is bright but it will look really nice on the rocker on the front porch. Of course, I had intended to have created the pattern for the cushion before the fabric showed (I thought the earliest I would see if would be next Tuesday) but not the case. Tomorrow, I will get a newspaper and a square and start the sketching. I can wash / dry the fabric while I create the cushion paper. I don't know that I had the foam for the cushion so I guess I will have another excuse to run over to JoAnn's.

Tonight is a date night. We decided to celebrate our anniversary a little bit early this year since it falls in the middle of the week. This will be number 25 and it's mostly been good.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Projects are being planned...

I've ordered the fabric for two new projects (along with the skirt that I planned earlier). Here's the skirt / scarf that I'm wanting to recreate:

This can be found at Neiman Marcus under causal skirts. I'm really like the look of this outfit. I'm going to recreate with the colors I want. The fabric is a peach color. I hope I like it when it arrives. I have found an embroider design for the skirt. I just need to figure out how to use the endless design hoop to get it design embroidery on. I have also found a FSL design for the edges of the scarf. I have had my machine for almost a year and have yet to embroidery at home with it. This project should get me started in a big way. The pattern that I plan to use for the skirt is Loes Hinse Design Trio skirt A. I would be putting in gathers instead of the pleats. I hope it works.

For my birthday, I received a rocker for the front porch. The rocker needs a cushion and pillow. So, I went in search of fabric and found these lovely fabrics at Pink Chalk Studio. This is the first time I have ordered from this company but I don't think it will be the last. Fantastic customer service. The stripe will be for the cushion and the floral will be for the pillow. The picture looks nice. I hope that I like the combo when it arrives. I will be working on a pattern for the cushion while I'm waiting on the fabric to arrive. The pillow will be just an 18" square w/piping. Maybe I'll do a tutorial on the zipper.

Why is it that new fabric can really get the creative juices flowing? I wish that I had had some perfect fabric in the stash for this but my huge stash is mostly fall and winter clothing fabric with a little bit of boy fabric mixed in. I do need to work on reducing the stash but I want to enjoy some fine summer sewing too.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another beautiful day!

We are having perfect weather in Pittsburgh today. I would love to have this kind of weather year round but I know that isn't really possible. Here's a few pictures I took this morning on my way to Curves:

Isn't the colors of the dianthus pretty? I love this little flower.

This little flower is almost finished for the year. I don't know what it is but I have it growing everywhere.

The first opened bloom of the poppy. This is one of my favorite flowers in the spring. It is really sad that it blooms for such a short period of time.

Well, as usually, I'm not sewing. Today has been mostly working, exercising, and gardening. I have given a little of thought to dinner tonight. Today would have been a perfect day to cook on the grill. If tomorrow is as nice as today, maybe I will cook dinner on the grill. I can only hope.

Happy Sewing (or whatever you're doing)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another day in the 'burgh!

Today, started off just like any other day except it's my birthday. It is a beautiful, sunny day for Pittsburgh. It's a little bit on the cool side but we can't have everything. So, I headed down to PennDot to get my driver's license renewed. I only had one day left before it was expired. I certainly can't have that happen. Since JoAnn's was nearby, I headed over there after getting the mug shot done and a new driver's license. This particular store isn't one of the giant JoAnn, etc stores but it is still really big. The whole store has been rearranged. The spacing on the rows of fabric are wider and only the top shelf has fabric on it. The fashion fabric section rarely has anything of interest but it was 1/2 the size making it even less of a chance of finding something. The quilt fabric department was same. As I walked around the store, I realized every department looked very scaled back. It looked like the store was closing. I hope that they are not because then it will be a 30 minute drive to even look / touch at fabric instead of 15 -20 minutes. One of the employees told me that they were not closing just scaling back due to the economy. I'm not really convinced. Maybe JoAnn's has too many sales and everyone just waits for the sales to purchase. A store should never look empty. With that being said, I did find the perfect little sign for my sewing area:

Well, what do you think? It seems that is all I get to do with my sewing --"Dream". I really am going to remedy that soon. I may return as there were some other decorative items that would look wonderful in a sewing area - giant buttons, and a giant pair of faux scissors.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just rambling!

I finally feel rested again after my fun at the Quilt Market last week. However, I have lots of new stuff for the store and I don't see much sewing going on for a few more days. I want to sew. I want some new skirts and maybe some tops too. I need to get this figured out soon or I might as well get rid of that huge stash that I have. I did purchase some cute designs for the kitchen. They are the chocolate chefs from Embroidery Library. Maybe I can embroidery while I work.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time is still flying....

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I've made a post. I'm still dreaming of sewing and not actually sewing anything.

What have I been doing? I've had the opportunity to take a suit jacket apart. I've always been a little bit curious about how the men's suits are made. Actually, given the price point, I was surprised at how much hand stitching is in the jacket. I'm taking a few pictures and will post when I get it all organized.

A dear friend from Columbus, OH came a spend a couple of days with me. It was lots of fun seeing her. It made me sad when she left. It just means that sometime soon I'll be heading to Columbus. Hopefully, before the end of summer.

I've also been working. The last couple of days I've been spending 12-14 hours per day at the Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. Oh, what fun it has been. The first day I met up with a friend for lunch. I had not seen her in a while and it was nice to spend a little bit of time with her. I will got to the Market again this afternoon. The classes have been awesome. I have learned so much.

Happy Sewing!