Tag Archive | Sewing

Baby Blanket Finished

Well I finally finished the baby blanket adding the Ultra Comfy fabric to the back.  First time that I ever “quilted” a crochet project.

I thought it came out very nice and will be perfect to use as a cover for the car carrier or a good, thick and soft blanket to lay the little guy on the floor so he can stretch or sleep to his heart’s content and when he is about 2,  I can see him running around using it as a cape 🙂

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Finished blanket on top of wrong side of blue backing.

This is where I folded over the edge of crochet to create binding

This is where I folded over the edge of crochet to create binding

I’ve included some pictures on how I trimmed the backing fabric in the corners and did the machine stitching.  I did use a regular sized zigzag stitch length and stitch width for the edging.

How I trimmed the edge of blue fabric and the corners.

How I trimmed the edge of blue fabric and the corners.

Stitching

Stitching

Also, something to keep in mind should you try this technique, I only pinned and sewed 2 sides at a time.  Because the backing fabric was extremely soft and somewhat stretchy, I wanted to make sure that I got it smooth and somewhat taut to fit my crocheted blanket.

More stitching

More stitching

This way I stitched 2 sides and relaid it on the floor and pinned the other 2 sides and finished my zigzag stitching.  Once all the zigzag stitching was completed, I did make two stitching lines down the center of the blanket to hold both pieces together.  I just divided my blanket into thirds and used a longer stitch length than normal but not as big as a basting stitch and sewed it all together.  Also, I did change to blue thread in the bobbin to match the comfy fabric and continued using the white thread to match the top.

Completed blanket

Completed blanket

Ready for shipping

Ready for shipping

Now it has been wrapped and shipped along with several different sized beanies and a pair of thumbless mittens!!  

HAPPY CREATING!!

Keeping your Sewing Foot Pedal in place

If you are like me, I do a TON of sewing especially this time of the year!!  One thing that always seems to happen to me is that I am forever chasing my sewing machine foot pedal all around because it is ALWAYS moving out of my comfort zone for sewing!!

I have tried placing self-adhesive felt pads on the bottom of my pedal without much success and have even used sandpaper stickers on the underneath side of the pedal and I am still always having to move it back into place.  However, these sandpaper stickers work super on your quilting rulers to help keep them from sliding around!!  Sorry, I digress.

Anyways, I have designed a platform that I place my sewing machine foot pedal on and it really seems to help keep it from moving all around.  Believe you me it is nothing fancy and you probably have these items around your house so NO COST which is right up my alley.  This is what I presently use:

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See I told you it is nothing fancy  ~ ooooh and pardon all my thread explosions LOL!!  I have taken a couple of card board mailing boxes and covered them in the rubberized shelf lining material with some extra-large rubber bands to hold it all together.  The boxes I used are about 16″ wide by 11″ long and I covered three of them for some thickness and height.  You see I am also vertically challenged so it works better for me to have my foot pedal raised up a little bit.

My foot pedal will still move around ever so slightly but it doesn’t travel way out of reach. This works for me and keeps me from getting frustrated 🙂

It would be great if you could share your ideas that you use to help with this issue!!

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

Storing Bobbins

Came across this super inexpensive and clever idea on Pinterest showing an easy and neat way to store your bobbins using pedicure forms.  So I went to the blog site, Manoa Road, to get further information.

Myself I have these plastic snap cases that I use and I do really like them because the bobbins are quick and easy to pull out and put back away ~~ especially since I seem to do this procedure one-handed.  However, they tend to get messy with the threads having a mind of their own and they get stringy even in the case.  So I thought I would give the pedicure forms a try!!

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Now I didn’t actually go and buy anything at this point just used a couple of pedicure forms that I had on hand.  Voila, it seems to work nicely and threads are all tucked away neatly but not sure if it is the way to go for me. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to grab and replace my bobbins using only one hand (probably why my threads get unruly but is a timesaving process for me and my sewing needs). This solution needs two hands to replace the bobbin back into the pedicure form.  Also,  my bobbins seem to make the form curve a bit ~~ not sure if my bobbins are larger/smaller or my forms are not new and maybe too soft and flexible.  Brand new forms are probably a little sturdier and might not curve.

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For me I’m not sure if I will change my current bobbin storage system, however, I still think this is a grand idea worth looking into and maybe will work for you and how you sew with your tools.

Hmm ~~ probably next time I am shopping I just might have to pick up a couple of new pedicure forms though!!  Let me know if you have success with this idea 🙂

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

 

Summer at a Glance

Wow, where did the Summer go!!  I’m sure you have been extra busy too between vacations, play dates, trips to the zoo, museums, waterparks, playgrounds, gardening, or just playing in the backyard – the days have flown by.

I have been very busy sewing and crocheting too.  Designed a new fun Five Pocket Wristlet that I have added to my etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/ToteworthyDesigns that is perfect for those quick outings (playground, day trips, etc.) where something smaller is handy.  Keeps your cell phone protected, room for keys, band aids, credit cards/business cards, individual wipes, whatever works for you!!  Check it out.

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Working on ideas for updating my blog to include guest bloggers/guest ravelers and maybe setting up some type of give away program.  Still working on these ideas but feel confident that new things are heading this way.

As always, crocheted more donation beanies for the Headhugger organizer and our local hospital’s maternity ward.  Actually, designed a beanie which I really love to crochet beginning at the bottom edge and working your way to the crown.  Planning to share that as a free pattern soon.  Also created a pretty cool looking loopy embellishment for beanies that will be available soon as a purchased item from my mysticmeems profile on Ravelry.

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Found a super fun crochet bootie (free pattern) from crochethooksyou.com that makes a lovely little gift item.  I tweaked the pattern a little but works up fast and is also perfect for baby dolls and/or stuffed animals too.  Little ones always love to put booties on their favorite animals!!  Take a moment and visit Paula Daniele’s blog (click on above link) to see her other items too.  Here’s a few pairs that I have done and now trying to decide how I want to embellish them.

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Enjoy the remaining “dog days” of summer —  grilling yummy brats, hamburgers, corn on the cob, munching watermelon (I miss seed spitting contests, since seedless watermelons arrived on the scene), and preparing fresh tomatoes and green beans from the garden.  Don’t forget about those prolific zucchinis too that I’m always trying to find different ways of using them!!

Take time to enjoy the warmth and friendship of family and neighbors.  Squeeze a ball of yarn or run your fingers down a new bolt of fabric (something to add to your holiday “wish list”) and let your creative juices flow.

HAPPY CREATING!!!

 

 

 

Sewing a Tote Bag: PART ONE

I found a remnant of burlap fabric with inked pictures of Winnie the Pooh on it and thought “Oh how cute!” bought it and got it home and then thought “What was I going to do with it?”  It was only about 13 1/2 inches wide but a nice long length of about 50 inches.SONY DSC

Now that the Christmas holidays have past, I again looked at that remnant and imagined a very nice large toy tote bag, PERFECT!   So here are my directions for sewing the tote bag.

PART ONE:

What I needed to do first was make the burlap fabric wide enough so I added a 3 inch wide strip of black cotton fabric from my stash to each side of the burlap.  I only sewed a 1/4 inch seam allowance because I wanted a maximum width of about 17 or 18 inches.  After stitching on both strips, I then serged them and pressed the seam towards the black fabric.  Next I sewed a decorative fagoting stitch as a top stitch to keep that seam permanently in place.  Now my finished piece of fabric is approximately 19″ wide by 45″ long.  Sorry, lots of shedding from the burlap!!

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Now I took that piece of fabric and laid it on top of another cotton fabric (right sides together) that I used as my guide to cut out a lining for the tote – so now I have 2 pieces of fabric 19″ wide x 45″ long.SONY DSC

 

 

 

Next I made the straps, using the same black cotton fabric for them.  I cut my straps 3 inches wide by 21 inches long.  I folded the straps in half (wrong sides together) and pressed with the iron.   This is for a registration/reference line.  Open up your strap and with wrong sides facing you, fold each side in to the pressed line.  Iron in place, then fold so that your two non-raw side edges meet and press again.   Sew close to the edge, turn and stitch along the narrow edge, turn and stitch close to the opposite edge to create a nice top stitching effect for your strap.

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Now your straps are ready to be sewn onto your main fabric tote.  Strap placement is a personal option but you want to make sure they will provide good balance and support for whatever you put inside your tote.  For this toy tote, I placed my straps 3 1/2 inches in from the side seam on the right side of the main fabric.  Do a baste stitch to hold the straps in place.  Make 2 straps and attach at each end of your long fabric piece.

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Continue by going to Sewing a Tote Bag PART TWO blog.  I know this is a long post but wanted to describe thoroughly.

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

Sewing a Tote Bag: PART TWO

PART TWO:

With right sides together, fold your main fabric in half (lengthwise) by bringing the bottom of the fabric to meet the top of the fabric to sew the side seams, I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  You will then do that same step with the lining fabric.  I also serged the edges of both sections.  Do not turn right side out yet.  Press the bottom edge of each section to create a registration/reference line to use to form a square boxed bottom for your tote.  With right sides together, open out the main fabric at bag bottom and place your pressed registration line perfectly on top of the side seam.  Then draw a chalk line 2 inches from the point/tip of your fabric.  Do the same thing to your lining fabric as well.  Now sew along the edge of your chalk line, serge the edge or just cut it off with your scissors to remove the point.  You will do this 4 times for each side seam (2 for main fabric/2 for lining fabric).  This will create for you a nice 4 inch wide square bottom for your tote and the lining too.

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Now you can turn your MAIN fabric to the right side, DON’T turn out the lining yet.

At this point, you are ready to attach your main fabric to the lining fabric with right sides together.  Slide your main fabric which should be on the right side, inserting it into the lining which should have the wrong side facing out (check that you have right sides together).  Make sure your straps are hanging towards the bottom of the bag on the inside (sandwiched between your fabric and lining).   Now pin your top edges leaving an opening of about 6 inches between the straps for turning purposes.  Stitch around in a 1″ seam.  Sometimes it is helpful to use the same color pin head for your beginning stitching and ending stitching which is different from your other pins.  Just a visual reminder to leave an opening for turning.

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Turn your tote to the right side, pulling your straps through the opening too. Push your lining down into your tote.   Press down the opening so that it is even with your top edges.  Sew a top stitch row around the entire bag, stitching shut your opening and making sure it is close to the edge.

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Folded down opening edges – ready for top stitching

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Now make another row of stitching around the entire top of the bag.  Finish it off with a good pressing and get ready to fill it full of goodies.  Mine will be used for Lego blocks!!!

SONY DSCMy toy tote finished size is 17 1/2 inches wide by 18″ long with a 4 inch wide bottom.

A half yard of fabric and a half of yard of lining will make a very nice size tote bag.  You wouldn’t even need to do the contrasting sides.  I needed this to get the width I want.

This style of tote making is a good one for a beginner sewer.  Even a young child who is familiar with a sewing machine could make this pattern.  Lots of flexibility too within the design, size and width of bag, size and width of straps, to pocket or not to pocket. Think about whether you want to use an interlining fabric for added strength or a denim/canvas fabric for the straps.   Let those creative juices flow and design something that is unique and special for you!!

HAPPY CREATING!!

Magnetic Clasp Sewing Tips

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I like using the magnetic clasps for many projects.  Recently was sewing a very small tab closure and used the tab for one part of the magnetic clasp.  Because I was doing top stitching for a nice finished edge, the metal clasp was on the bottom and would catch on the feed dogs and would slip a little.

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Another little tip I find helpful, is to use some iron-on pellon fleece on the wrong side of the fabric that doesn’t hold the magnetic clasp.  It gives a little cushion so that your clasp outline doesn’t show on the right side of your finished work.

Also, because of the small size of the tab, using my zipper foot kept the pressure foot from resting on the tab too so that my top stitching came out perfect every time!!

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Hope these additional little tips or suggestions will help you too when you are using magnetic clasps for your projects.  🙂

HAPPY CREATING!!