How about a midweek project? Or maybe a few days to plan for a weekend project? My guess is you’re either about to be snowed in or dreaming of a beach somewhere and a much-anticipated spring break. Either way, it seems Wednesday is a good day for a creative diversion so here’s a great little project for all those fabric scraps. The DIY Chalkboard Fabric Bunting Tutorial was posted about a year ago, and it’s a great one for any occasion and any time of year. It can be made of fabrics from neutral cottons and linens for a timeless more romantic look to bright festive prints like the one shown here to celebrate all sorts of special events.
Another perk of this bunting is that it can be made Read More
In our part of the country, it’s all things spring with daffodils, hyacinths and pear trees in full bloom followed by freezing temps and weather that just can’t seem to make up its mind. It’s not completely unlike the groggy morning debate between workout or roll over, back and forth and back and forth … My solution? Go ahead and add spring touches here and there, with the firm belief that she will eventually come to stay. That means actually putting away winter decor and scattering bits of spring throughout the house. You already know how I feel about cloth napkins since last week I shared how to stitch wide hem cloth napkins with crisp mitered corners. And as promised today I have a follow-up post about how to stitch narrow hem cloth napkins.
How to stitch narrow hem cloth napkins
They happen to be a quick, inexpensive way to add some fresh Read More
Years ago I had a friend who insisted on drinking her morning orange juice from a goblet. It was her way of starting her day with an ordinary routine made special. Napkins are that extra touch for me. Perhaps it’s because I remember Mama making them when I was a girl. Or maybe it’s how much softer they are than the paper variety and they don’t fall apart within 10 minutes. Either way, they can ruin you for paper napkins in no time at all. And just in case you want to try a few of your own, Today I have a tutorial for you with lots of pictures on how to stitch wide hem cloth napkins with crisp mitered corners. Then you can let me know if you too are completely ruined for paper napkins.
How to stitch wide hem cloth napkins with crisp mitered corners
The wide hem and mitered corners give these napkins a very polished look. You can make them a variety of sizes by Read More
I’m sure y’all have noticed a slight shift in the color scheme of winter from icy whites and muted blues to soft pinks and bright reds. Sure enough, the day is approaching that we look for the best way to show the love of our life how special they are. It’s always a good idea to tell others what they mean to us. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show our love to so many in our lives, well beyond that one special person. Last year I shared 10 DIY gift ideas to create for those on your list of appreciations but this year it’s mostly about things to do with those you love, with a few gift ideas sprinkled in here and there. You can look for those starting next week, and today I want to share how to make a fleece photo throw using your home printer.
There are so many things to love about winter! For all you flip-flop lovers out there, just bear with me here for a minute, I’m trying to redeem your not-so-favorite season. It’s the abundance of all things cozy that gets us every time. The chunky afghans, fuzzy socks, thick sweaters, mugs of hot chocolate on early winter evenings and one of my all-time favorites – flannel sheets. But after several seasons of washing and drying, those pesky top sheets tend to shrink so much that they easily come untucked in the middle of the night. And if you’re using flannel sheets it necessarily follows that it must be cold. Untucked flannel sheets + cold night air + frozen toes = certain disaster. Granted, that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the idea. So just in case you’ve had similar issues with your own sheets, today I give you this- Short Sheet Fix | Tutorial with faux flat-felled seams.
Short Sheet Fix | Tutorial with faux flat-felled seams
Follow along for a brief explanation of each step, and pictures just in case Read More
Happy Monday y’all! Hopefully, you’ve been able to do your closet purge and are ready for the fun stuff because this week is Mission Organization | DIY projects. Even without the DIY organizing perks, it’s amazing how simply having a purged closet can bring tremendous stress relief. Somehow we don’t realize how much of a stress-inducer chaos can be until it’s gone and we breathe a sigh of relief!
You can check out the first post and “explanation” of this series here. And there are some tips to the purging part of the process here. As well as highlights from Amanda and Tori, the other two bloggers hosting our closet makeover, here. Then you’ll find the details to join us and enter our giveaway at the end of next week later in this post.
I’m still in the process of working on some of my DIYs and should have more on those later this week, but in the meantime, I want to share a few of the completed projects. My main goal for our closet is to use items around the house to create a calm functional space with touches of things we love.
Washable Wire Shelf Cover
Our closet isn’t a typical walk-in, but it’s 11 feet wide and 3 feet deep. That extra foot of depth, along with two full-size doors that open in the center make it feel huge compared to any other closets we’ve had. One of my least favorite features are the wire shelves. The same ones we’ve had in both of our homes and every other place we’ve rented. They’re functional and affordable, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set something on top of one of them only to have it fall through the wires and into the laundry basket or a shoe or the great abyss.
I wanted to use some of my fabric stash to create something washable, sturdy and inexpensive. Hello, shower curtain from our previous home, and muslin and velcro from my Mama’s collection, and corrugated cardboard rescued before it hit the recycle bin. I created 4 pillow-case type pockets on the underside of the shelf cover to slip in a few pieces of cardboard. The cardboard can be easily removed to wash the covers and then slid right back in to create the necessary sturdiness.
I have always loved the natural look of sea-grass and the way this flows with our calm beachy color theme in our master suite. The shower curtain actually started as a tablecloth from a clearance shelf years ago. There are velcro strips attaching the cover to the back wire of the shelving and underneath the front edge so that all you see are the brackets. AH! Problem solved with no added expense. You can look for a full tutorial on this in the coming weeks, with ideas for other materials that you may have around your home.
Laundry Tub with Washable Liner
The next DIY I’ve been working on is a new “laundry basket” that started with an idea my hubby suggested. There are several tutorials for French laundry baskets on pinterest – gorgeous! But, it was more than the already long to-do list could handle, and I didn’t have all the materials at home. Then my hubby asked about the big copper bucket in our family room that we’ve tossed pillows in for years. Hmmmm..
It’s really old, with plenty of character, including a cut on one side that would definitely snag clothes. It can also only be cleaned up so much, so I decided to make a washable fabric liner for it. I didn’t want to use the same fabric as the shelf covers, so I opted for this thrifted mid-century chintz that I’ve been saving for something fun for the past year.
I cut out a tweaked a practice liner from some broadcloth and ended up using it to actually line the liner, because why not! There’s a 2″ flap over the top edge, including a small section inside the handle, to help it stay in place. With a little casing and 2 pieces of leather cording, that liner isn’t going anywhere until I decide to remove it and wash it. You can also look for a more detailed tutorial on this in the coming weeks.
Some in-process Artwork
The other project I’ve started is a little bit of artwork. Our daughter Katy and her best friend Jessica – who will soon also be my daughter-in-law, yes, another post on that coming up – painted some super cool artwork for Katy’s wedding a few years ago. One of those was a fun quote and I knew I wanted to use the same technique for a little quote to add to our closet wall.
We pulled out some paints that the Deco-art crew shared with us at Haven and started on this little beauty. It kind of looks like a dark boring mess right now, but trust me there will be more color and fun by next week when we post our Closet Makeover Reveals.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!
Speaking of the Closet Makeover Reveal, here are the things to do if you want to be entered in the giveaway …
That’s it! Check back Wednesday for some tips and techniques from Amanda and Tori as well as progress on a few more DIYs. And if you haven’t started, it’s not too late to join in the fun. You are not required to have a magazine-worthy closet at the end of this, but once you purge and do even just a little organizing, you’ll be so very glad you joined in!
I heard on the radio yesterday that gym memberships and exercise routines spike after the Olympics. Once you start exercising, then your clothes don’t fit right, then you have to take them in, but you already spent too much money on the gym membership to take them to a tailor or buy new clothes … Okay, maybe that’s not your story, but work with me here. Why not try taking them in yourself? What do you really have to lose? It’s not like you were going to wear them anyway. You’re in luck because today I’m sharing the basic steps to take in a garment.
If you’re too scared to learn on a favorite garment, then pick up something similar at a thrift shop and practice on them. It might actually cost you a whole $4, and that’s a pretty cheap lesson!
So there’s a bit of good news and a bit of not-your-favorite news in this process. The not-so-favorite news is that this will require trying on the garment, repeatedly and then a few more times after that, too. It’s kind of like editing a paper or project in that way, once you muster the energy to take the next step, the reward of it being the best you have to give is huge!
The basic steps to taking in a garment
The example I’ll be using in the picture is a pair of Gap linen trousers that I picked up at a thrift shop, I will be using the word pants to make this less complicated, but fill in whatever garment you are working on. I would use the word trousers, but that sounds a bit stuffy.
The easiest garment to start on if you’re not so sure about this would be a skirt or dress, but again if it’s something you’ll never wear until it’s fixed or if it’s a thrift shop score, then just muster up your courage and go for it!
pinning and trying on
If you have pants that fit you well, then use them as a guide. Make sure they are made of similar fabrics in terms of their stretch and drape. Turn the pants you want to alter inside out and lay them on a table, with the ones that fit correctly over them, to get a general idea of where and how much you need to take in on the pants you’re altering.
STEP 1 | Know that you may pin one leg tighter the other, that’s okay – it allows you decide which one you like better, or if you want to go with a measurement somewhere in between the two.
STEP 2 | Undo the stitching in the hem so you can stitch all the way down the pant leg. You may want to leave the hem at its current length, which is fine, but you still need to take it out now to allow your pants to hang smoothly in the end.
STEP 3 | Line up the original seam lines with one another and pin through both layers, then pin the same distance from the original seam all the way down the leg.
AND NOW FOR THE STITCHING
STEP 4 | At this point, try them on again. If you’re pleased with the pinned lines then baste (the longest stitch your machine makes) along the line you’ve created. If you’re not pleased, repin areas as needed.
STEP 5 | Try the pants on. Repin as needed and baste.
STEP 6 | Baste stitch the other side, creating the same seam allowance. Try them on … you saw that coming didn’t you?
STEP 7 | Trim away excess bulk, this is not a final trim so it can be more than 1/2″
STEP 8 | Stitch over the basting lines with a permanent stitch. Try them on again.
STEP 9 | Press and trim seams to between 1/4″ and 1/2″
STEP 10 | Finish raw edges of the seam. I opted for Seams Great for the linen trousers because it gives a low-profile finished edge that is completely enclosed.
STEP 11 | Replace hem or embellishing, whipstitching as needed.
So my question for the day … If there’s no “before”picture, is it really a makeover?
This little guy came home with me one day from the ReStore. I honestly wasn’t quite sure where he would end up living, but at $1, I decided it was worth the risk that I could find a good place for him.
And sure enough, he’s been quite at home on the sewing room wall holding jars of buttons.
For about 6 months that is, then I took him down to make a little change.
The only change? A coat of white paint. He hangs out above my cutting table and as much as I love wood, the dark color was just too much on the wall. At this point you’ll just have to imagine the same shelf in a dark wood with a high gloss finish. I just know I took pictures of it, and I’ll probably find them next week since I’m posting about it now. Ah well, such is life!
Anyway, a bit of sanding, priming, painting and distressing later … worth all 100 pennies.
Not a bad price for some fun storage in the sewing room, and a gentle reminder to take lots of pictures and label them better … or something like that.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who does these sorts of things! Anyone?
Oh, the fun of all things summer! Cookouts, lemonade, flip flops and lightning bugs. There’s something almost magical about it. And the weddings, lots of weddings, with laces and chiffons and all the fluttery fabrics. Somehow, they’re both elegant and carefree all at the same time. Until you have to figure out the best way to hem fluttery summer fabrics, then it can be a little scary!
I have to admit, last month I was given a chiffon wedding gown to hem and even after all the years of rolled hems and alterations, I was a bit nervous that I would mess it up somewhere. Good thing there’s no pressure when it’s pretty much the most important dress a girl will wear!
My big concern was that the hem would try to roll out as I’ve had them do in the past when I used my rolled hem foot. I was so excited with this method that I’ve since used it to hem a knit cardigan and it worked like a charm. This weekend I have the honor of witnessing this sweet bride and her new husband make their wedding vows, So today seems like the right day to share the hard-learned tips I’ve discovered along the way.
A rolled hem without a rolled hem foot
If you’re fortunate enough to have a rolled hem foot, then you know how easy it is to make a small hem for napkins, handkerchiefs and the like. But a narrow hem on an A-line chiffon gown is a different story. Even when you’re extremely careful, there will be missed spots and then the tendency for the finished hem to try to roll out. It’s not pretty y’all!
So, when it comes to chiffon and other lightweight fabrics, or even uncooperative knits, there’s an almost fail-proof way to create a narrow hem.
It does take a little more time than using a rolled hem foot, but once you try it but, you’ll be so pleased with the results and the simplicity of it that you may find yourself searching for other things to finish with a narrow hem. Seriously!
Pinning the Hem
Mark a line about 3/8” – 1/2” below your new hemline and fold your fabric under on that line. (Fyi – some of these pictures are for the slinky underlining on a chiffon gown)
You can lightly press it, using a low setting and a handkerchief over your fabric to ensure that you don’t burn the chiffon.
The pink tape around the seam gauge was my own reminder of how much I wanted to turn up the hem. It’s a quick help when the seam gauge slider is missing or the hem is too deep to use the slider.
Stitching the Hem
Next, stitch 1/8″ – 1/4″ from the folded edge, as close as possible without going off the edge of the fabric.
TAKE YOUR TIME on this step. You want to trim as close as possible, being careful not to clip the fabric above the seam line.
Instead, pull the top threads from the first and last stitches to the back of your fabric and tie them off. This way you won’t even have the visual bulk of extra stitching on your finished hem.
Hopefully, my rolled hem mistakes over the years will help save you a bit of time and frustration when you need to make a rolled hem without a rolled hem foot.
When you travel from a latitude of 38.0 to one of 55.8, there will be several noticeable changes. Obviously, there’s a cultural change included when your destination is on the other side of the world. But there’s also an added 3 hours of sunlight. Which is precisely why a sleep mask was included on our girl’s official packing list.
And when you have a closet full of fabrics, a box of all kinds of elastic and the perfect Amy Butler pattern, then you just can’t bring yourself to go with the sleep mask from the local super center. No, that will never do when you’re sending your baby off on her first international adventure. Instead, you’ll choose to make your own and write “a sleep mask tutorial”.
And that’s just what we did last week. She picked out two fabrics from the closet stash while I pulled out my In Stitches book by Amy Butler and before you know it, we had one more item checked off the packing list.
The original pattern calls for quilted fabric and a ribbon tie, but we replaced that with some minky fabric and a minky covered elastic band for a super cozy eye mask.
SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THE EYE MASK
To make your own eye mask you’ll need ..
two 6″ x 12″ coordinating fabrics
3″ x 19″ piece of soft fabric for elastic band
16” of soft elastic, ¾”- 1” wide
thread to match
sewing machine, scissors and straight pins and safety pin
Use a ½” seam allowance for all seams.
Cut eye mask out of each of your coordinating fabrics using the pattern from the In Stitches book, or another eye mask pattern of your choice. Click on this link for a free pattern from Instructables, and another one here from Craftsy.
For the elastic band, fold the long 3″ x 19″ strip lengthwise (hot dog fold) with the right sides together and pin. Stitch along the long edge and trim to ¼”.
Turn the tube by pinning a safety pin in the seam allowance at one end. You can then push the safety pin through a few inches at a time, pulling the turned fabric through as you go.
Reattach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the fabric. When the end of your elastic is even with the end of the fabric tube secure it in place with a straight pin and stitch through all the layers about 3/8” from the end.
Pin the stitched elastic tube to the side of the eye mask between the markings for the ribbon, just above the center line, from top to bottom, of the mask
Stitching the mask to the lining and band
Pin the front and back of the eye mask together, right sides together, keeping the elastic band free and extending through the top center of the mask.
Stitch around the edges of the mask leaving 1 ½” open on the side for the elastic band and 2” open at the top to turn the mask. Trim stitched edges to ¼”.
Turn the eye mask right side out and pin the top opening closed along the stitching line.
Pin the free end of the elastic band until it is at a comfortable length to use when sleeping. Trim as needed and insert the elastic band into the 1 ½” opening on the side of the mask and pin securely.
Top stitch around the entire edges of the eye mask at 1/8″ to 1/4” from the edge.
And that’s it! Now you have a soft eye mask for those long summer nights when the sun doesn’t exactly coordinate with your sleep schedule. There also quite handy when you’re traveling in a car during the day and it’s your turn to nap.
While you’re at it, you might want to go ahead and stitch up a few of these, just in case you too are inclined to leave them behind at a hotel in the midst of your travels. Not that we’ve ever done such a thing!
You can also add an extra pocket for headache days when the cool pressure of a rice bag can be slipped right inside and bring an extra dose of relief.
Some of my favorite fabrics for eye masks include some soft minky, cool tightly woven cotton blends and patterned slinky fabrics. What type of fabrics would you choose for an eye mask?