Thursday, February 28, 2013

Belt it Out Sew and Tell

The Belt it Out belt is one of the easiest and quickest projects you'll ever do.  It doesn't take a lot of materials or fabric, and in fact, it's a great way to use up your scraps. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Belt it Out, Day 5

Silly me!  I finished this project so fast that I almost forgot to write about it!

After choosing some fabric for the belt, I cut them up into varying widths.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Week 6: Belt it Out

The Tax Man cometh this upcoming weekend, and I need to find all my receipts and other tax documents for last year.  Since this'll take up a majority of my free time, I'll be working on a project that should be quick and simple, the "Belt it Out" belt designed by Erin Harris and published in Pretty Little Patchwork

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chenille Hot Pad Sew and Tell

In some ways, the hot pads turned out better than expected.  Also in some ways, the hot pads were more time consuming than I thought they'd be, but mainly because of mistakes I had made.

Chenille Hot Pad, Day 7

I decided that I wanted to add a feature to the hot pads that wasn't part of the original pattern.  The hot pads didn't have a way to hang them, so I added a loop to each one.  The loops didn't need to be very wide, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out another tool that's been collecting dust - the bias tape maker!  A bias tape maker is an awesome little tool that folds the edges of your fabric strips to the center of the strip.  It saves a lot of time and aggravation, and it also saves your pretty little fingers from being burned by your iron.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chenille Hot Pad, Day 6

Wow, this week just flew by!  I've been working on the hot pads daily, but haven't been able to update the blog about it, so today's post will have several days' activities on it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week 5: Chenille Hot Pad

Chenille Hot Pad from Moda Bake Shop
Image and design © Victoria L. Eapen

This week I'll be going back to an online pattern, the Chenille Hot Pad designed by Vickie Eapen.  You can find this pattern at Moda Bake Shop.  I'll be using fat quarters from the Aqua Terra collection once again. 

Toddler Pinafore Smock Top Sew and Tell

I don't know if it's because it's just so cute or what, but the Toddler Pinafore Smock Top is my favorite project so far.

Toddler Pinafore Smock Top, Day 8

By yesterday morning, all I needed to do to finish up the pinafore was to hem the ends of the ribbon ties and to add the last of the topstitching.  I had planned on doing that after dinner, but all of a sudden I was hit by a wave of exhaustion.  Not sure where it came from, but I was out for the night.  So I ended up finishing the pinafore this morning instead.  My record for getting these projects done within a week is now 2-2.  Now that I think about it, it's acutally 1-3, because I ended up finishing the pillowcases after midnight of Day 7.  Gollee, what a bummer.  I hope my record improves.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Toddler Pinafore Smock Top, Day 4

Today I just worked on the skirt gathering.  I've been kinda nervous about it because of The Ruffled Pillowcase Disaster, but I've also been hopeful since it's on the sewing machine and not the serger.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Toddler Pinafore Smock Top, Day 3

What's a pinafore?  It's for wearing!  Ha ha, bad joke.  Might need a rewrite.  But really, a pinafore is basically an apron that young girls wear over whatever outfit they are wearing. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week 4: Toddler Pinafore Smock Top

After the letdown that I will forever refer to as "The Ruffled Pillowcase Disaster," I've decided to go with a simple project, the Toddler Pinafore Smock Top from One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. 

Ready Set Serge Pillowcases Sew and Tell

I've delayed writing this Sew and Tell for as long as could, basically because despite most of the pillowcases made this week turned out great, I haven't been able to look past how badly the ruffles turned out.  But I'll try.  I'll do it for the good pillowcases.  Let's win one for the Gipper!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ready Set Serge Pillowcases, Day 7

Somehow I managed to make two extra pillowcases.  I had planned on making two each of the regular Pillowcase and the Stepped-Up Pillowcase, and then when I saw how quick and easy the regular Pillowcase was, I decided to work on a UFO that had been sitting around for two years.

Night sky fabric that The Husband chose 2+ years ago.

When Sergers Attack

Sergeant Serger just tried to blind me.  There I was, running the last stitches for one of the pillowcases, when SNAP!  CRACK!  TINK!  I knew what that sound was, and before I could duck for cover, a piece of shrapnel hit me above the eye!  After I calmed down from the attack, I checked my serger and saw that one of the two needles had broken.  Sergers can run up to 1,700 stitches per minute, so that's quite a dangerous force behind those needles.  A good 3/4" missile had launched from the serger and was now somewhere floating around my house.  I tried looking for it as I was sitting down, but wasn't able to locate it.  I haven't looked in the mirror yet, so it is quite possible that the sharpened rocket is embedded in my forehead, but it's probably somewhere in the carpet, and with my luck I'll find it with my bare foot.  I had once considered wearing safety glasses when I was first told about needles breaking during sewing, but I didn't want to look like some poindexter while doing a supposedly safe hobby, but now, having had my life flash before my eyes (or was that the needle?), I'll reconsider!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ready Set Serge Pillowcases, Day 5

When I asked The Husband what he thought of the new pillowcases, he said that he slept a lot better than he had with the other pillowcases.  You heard it here, first, folks!  My pillowcases will improve your sleep!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ready Set Serge Pillowcases, Day 4

A serger machine (also known as an overlock machine) stitches up and trims the edge of your fabric, automatically creating an enclosed seam allowance as you run it through the machine.  I've had my serger, a Brother 1034D, for at least two years now, and I found it so intimidating that I only started using it last month.  If you're familiar with sergers, you probably can sympathize with why I had been too scared to use it.  If you're not familiar with sergers, then let me help you understand why sergers put the fear of God into even the most seasoned sewers.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Week 3: Ready Set Serge Pillowcases

Image from

I'm a little burnt out from working with batting, so I'm going to work on something with just fabric this week.  For Week 3 I'll be working on projects from Georgie Melot's book, Ready Set Serge.  Yup, I'm bringing out the serger!  I'll be making the Pillowcase and the Stepped-Up Pillowcase using fabric from Connecting Threads' Bed and Breakfast and Aqua Terra collections.

Simple Circles Table Runner Sew and Tell

The Simple Circles Table Runner is one of those projects that is more difficult than it looks, but once you finish it you feel proud of yourself.  For me, the most difficult part was sewing the circles, both the individual circles and also the stitching up of the final pattern.  I did get better with practice, though, and now that I've sewn circles, I feel more confident about sewing curves in any future projects.  I just need to remember what is key to sewing circles:  Pivot!  Pivot!!  PIVOT!!!

Simple Circles Table Runner, Day 8

Day 8?  What happened to getting the project done in one week?  Yes, yes, I know, my deadline slipped.  I feel like I let myself down, but the truth is, things came up and I just couldn't get to it.  But I'm almost finished and I do actually have another project started for Week 3.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Simple Circles Table Runner, Day 7

Very often with sewing projects, you spend more time measuring, cutting, pressing, pinning, clipping, turning, etc., than you do sewing.  This project was no different.  If I were to calculate how much time I spent pressing the muslin, tracing the patterns, trimming the circles, layering the fabric, notching the edges, turning the circles inside out and arranging the circles, I'd find that I had spent less than 10% sitting at the sewing machine.  It's all part of the process, but sometimes I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything unless I'm actually running the machine.