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Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, sewing | 0 comments

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini Vanessa, of the Crafty Gemini, said “You can never have enough tights.” and my 14yo agrees. With that simply quip, I watched her excellent tutorial and set out to create more tights based on a pair my 14yo already owned. I have a serious amount of grey jersey knit fabric. Let me tell you why: Thrift Store!! I bought this giant grey jersey flat sheet with the intent of making a maxi dress or maxi skirt. Sure, it was bedding, but at the end of the day it was still a super soft jersey knit. I think I might have paid $5-$7 for the huge sheet.  I heart thrift stores! If you cannot find a jersey flat sheet at the thrift, you can always grab jersey knit sheets here. Vanessa walks you through all the steps on her video.  I sorta skipped a step though… I didn’t trace it onto paper first. As it turns you, you should totally do that!  No worries. I’ll do that for the next pair. Instead, I just grabbed a ruler and rotary cutter and set forth to cut out a piece 5/8″ larger than the folded tights. That worked out. Back in college, I made my brother about 25-30 pair of shorts from various woven cottons and flannels. Do you guys remember “jams” from the 80’s? We’ll we were rockin’ those well into the 90’s. I can whip up a pair of shorts, pj pants or… as it turns out… leggings in no time at all.  Fun fact. The serger made the construction even faster and is perfect for stitching knits. Vanessa uses a great technique for the waistband. I had actually never tried this technique before, but I can tell you, it will be my go-to from now on. Holy smokes it was super fast, super easy AND I didn’t have to look for safety pins or create a waist band casing to hold the elastic. Her method is the bomb! The elastic is serged (or zigzag stitched) to the fabric’s cut edge at the waist.   Fold down and zigzag it into place. Very cool. Last step should be the leg hems. Those are also zigzag’d....

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Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along – Finished

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along – Finished

on May 26, 2015 in Blog, sewing | 1 comment

This is the Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along dress: FINISHED! The Sew Along featured McCall’s Pattern M7152. It was very fast and easy to sew. I didn’t alter the pattern at all for my daughter, but I probably should have made a couple adjustments.  Next time… Overall, it turned out well. I do need to find my iron and take another go at the hem. It looks like the dress will be super comfortable. I think, though, if I make it again, I’ll use a heavy jersey knit rather than the ponte knit. Tell a...

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Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along

on May 13, 2015 in Blog, blogging others, sewing | 0 comments

I’m happy to report that I’m stitching along in the Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along! #NZKnitDressSAL When I showed the dress and sew along to my daughter she seemed pretty excited to have one of her own. I was a bit surprised. She says, “Yeah, I’d totally wear that, but make it red at the top with a black bottom.” That was really really specific and a very fast answer from a 14 year old.  After talking to her a bit more…  this is what she had in mind… Pretty great, right? Hello- STAR TREK inspiration!!! The sew along is making Nancy Zieman’s pattern M7152 from McCall’s. I found some black ponte knit and red matte jersey knit and set out to sew where now woman has sewn before… wait, they have, but still… The red jersey was lighter weight than the black ponte knit, but since the red will have a facing, I thought it would be ok to use the lighter weight. Only time will tell if I’m right. =) The sew along is spread out over 3 days in May: Cutting, construction and finishing. Unfortunately, my local shop didn’t have the fusible tricot interfacing to be used with knit fabrics, but the woven fabric I purchased felt like it had a little give in it. In hindsight, if I was going to use a woven interfacing, I probably should have cut my interfacing pieces on the bias, so I’d be certain they’d have stretch in them. Grading seam allowances. Clipping corners. Notching curves. It was all really fast construction. In fact, the “hardest” part is remembering that the top is asymmetrical and pieces have to be, with certainty, face up or face down. The facings are on- next stops: Top-stitching, fitting, side seams, shoulder faux-button closure and machine-stitched hem. Easy-peasy, right? Stay tuned.         Tell a...

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Fabric Gift Boxes

Fabric Gift Boxes

on Mar 28, 2015 in Blog, sewing | 3 comments

I have quilty best friends coming over this weekend, and I thought I might need to make each of them a little fabric gift basket. (That isn’t crazy, right?!) After searching ye ole pinterest, I found this great tutorial by Birch Fabrics. The tutorial offers multiple sizes and is very easy to follow. I chose the size that would best fit on a Fat Quarter (18″ x 22″ piece of fabric). I made the two bins in an afternoon, so really, there’s plenty of time if you are thinking Fabric Bins for Easter.   The construction was a little different than what I usually do. Like in the Insulated Grocery Tote, I generally make a big rectangle and create triangles at the lower edge of the shape to create a boxed corner. Picture from Insulated Grocery Tote The fabric bin tutorial eliminates this step by providing “notched” out rectangles in the pattern. Thought the bins turned out alright, they were crazy hard to turn right-side out because I used Peltex , instead of the recommended Décor-Bond 809 interfacing.  Lesson learned. On the upside, my bins are really really stiff from the Peltex and seem to be quite sturdy. Now, I need to fill these little guys up with goodies! Tell a...

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Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial

Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial

on Mar 3, 2015 in Blog, sewing, tutorial | 22 comments

  Insulated Grocery Tote Sewing Tutorial Sometimes I need an insulated bag.  Not a full-on cooler with hard sides and wheels, but just an insulated bag.  I decided to whip one up and share my how-to with you on the blog today.  The bag is pretty big and measures 19″ x 16″ x 7″. Supplies 1 yard decorator weight fabric, 54″ wide (fabric used in sample is from Ikea) 1 reflective car shade 1-1/2 yard cording, 1″ wide 2 pieces grosgrain ribbon 3/8″ wide x 10″ long 22″ long plastic, non-separating zipper 2 large safety pins Turning Tool Construction Prepare the Insulated Grocery Tote Bag Body Cut the fabric to 42″ x 20″ The car shade has two sides: a reflective side and a plain side. Place the reflective side down on your work surface and lay the home dec fabric rectangle on top.  Pin Carefully cut out the car shade, using the home dec fabric as your pattern. Baste around the entire perimeter, 1/4″ from the cut edge, so that the two layers will act as one while we stitch the bag.  This is called underlining the fabric. Make the Fabric-Covered Handles Cut two pieces of decorator fabric 3″ x 32″ Fold the long rectangles in half, lengthwise, to create a casing/strap. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Grab a Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to make sure your 1/4″ seam is always accurate. Use a turning tool to turn each casing/strap right-side out. Cut the 1″ wide cording to 26″ long. !! Make sure to wrap tape generously around the area to cut.  This will ensure the cording doesn’t fray apart. !! Place a large safety pin at each end of the cording, through the tape.   Use the safety pins to carefully push the end of the cording through the casing. Once the cording is completely inside, trim the casing evenly 2″ longer than the cording on each side. The pins in the picture show you where the cording stops.  It was tricky to get a good photo of that one. Build the Insulated Grocery Tote NOTE: If you wanted to add a drop-pocket or patch-pocket to the front of the bag, add it now.  This tutorial doesn’t...

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American Girl Doll Dresses

American Girl Doll Dresses

on Jan 21, 2015 in Blog, sewing | 0 comments

This Christmas was the season to break out the Ball Point Needles and whip up some super cute American Girl Doll Dresses. The fabric is from Joann’s.  It is so soft.  I have to say, I haven’t sewn with knits in a while.  The knits at Joann’s have come along way from the “curly” edged ones I remember in college. The dress is a basic, straight-forward tank dress with a Velcro closure in the back.   I ended up making two doll dresses and two girl dresses.  I have two little nieces that are all about AGD right now.  I cannot believe I have no pictures of the larger dresses to show you.  Le’Sigh.  They look just like the dresses above, but … um… bigger.  Ha. Word on the street is that the dresses fit and the girls’ really liked the matchy-matchy sets. Hooray!  …  Now, if only I could have mailed them on time.  :/ Tell a...

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Giant Curves: New Quilt Pattern

Giant Curves: New Quilt Pattern

on Dec 16, 2014 in Blog, pattern, sewing | 1 comment

  I’m working on a new quilt for myself.  It is going to be pretty great.  Each block is 18″.  I mean, that is huge!! I did the regular ole drafting with paper and rulers and curved edges and seam allowances and everything.  No computer on this one.  The templates are on freezer paper. My plan is to make the whole queen size quilt with fabrics from my scrap bin.  I have to scrap bins: one with weird little pieces and another one with weird pieces that are big enough to fold.  These cut arches come from the “big enough to fold” category. Having said that, I did have to add some “bonus seams” to my fabrics to make them large enough for the arch. All of these large curves are going to be set-in seams.  Since the block is so big, the curves should be easy enough to sew.  None of that sharp, tight curve seam business.  I guess it is crazy that I want to set in the seams.  That would be the opposite of Learn To Sew Easy Curves, where you stitch a facing to your curves and applique them to a background.  But you know, trying all sorts of techniques is pretty fun, right?   I’m even using scrappy “off whites” for the background.  Thankfully, I was able to trade my mom for some of her “off -white” fabric, too.  (That is the big-enough-to-fold scrap bin in the picture.) Yep.  I think the blocks are gonna work out. Tell a...

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Taggy Blanket

Taggy Blanket

on Oct 8, 2014 in Blog, sewing | 0 comments

  Taggy Blanket ~~~~Let us call this the BEFORE picture.~~~~ I used the Scrappy Taggy Blanket tutorial and simply omitted the “scrappy part”.  Instead I had two pieces of fabric cut 16″ square.  One quilter’s cotton and the other one is dot minkie.  OH an my ribbons, those didn’t match anything at all…. Each ribbon is secured with three different stitching lines so it should be secure for the little ones. The Taggy Blanket is so fast; I was able to make up the three I needed before work one morning. Three little baby’s head to three friends.  And three taggy blankets headed to three babies. ~~~~Lets call this the AFTER picture.~~~~ Tell a...

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Seamingly Accurate Pajama Pants Waistband

Seamingly Accurate Pajama Pants Waistband

on Sep 25, 2014 in Blog, sewing, tutorial | 0 comments

Ever need to make the elastic waist band on a pair of pajama pants or shorts?  Need the top of a drawstring bag?  Check out this accurate way to make the hemmed fabric casing (for the elastic) using the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide: ps- Sorry the video gets funky at the very end, but it is still a neat trick. Tell a...

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Pet Postcards SAMQG

Pet Postcards SAMQG

on Aug 20, 2013 in Blog, blogging others, charity, SAMQG, sewing, tutorial | 3 comments

  Pet Postcards Are you in on the Pet Postcard Project?  It is a Quilted/Artist Postcard Sale benefiting Friends for Life.  Each card is sold, at the Houston Quilt Festival, for $20 with the proceeds going to charity.  SAMQG has launched our involvement as our first charity endeavor for the new board year. Let me get you a link to Pokey’s Ponderings where you can find all the information about the project.  Working small, 4″ x 6″ , is so fast and quick, you might just want to make up a few for your own donation.  The postcards range so much in style and technique. I just dove on in.  I started with all fabric scraps and inktense pencils. I haven’t really mastered these inktense fabric ink pencils, but they are super fun to play with.  I started drawing the “cats” before I had any real plan at all.  I forged ahead. I found my groove when I bailed on “art quilt” style and went back to “quilt girl” style.  I drafted up a few cat templates, which helped me tremendously.  These shapes are HERE for you to download and use in your own Pet Postcard designs, if you choose to give it a whirl. So what’d I turn out with these little cat shapes? A mess.  Working small is great but boy, it is so easy to make a colossal mess.  You’d think I had planned out a quilt to wrap my house for a bug bomb it was such a mess.  Alas, it was just a pet postcard marathon. I ended up making a whole handful of these little guys.  Here’s what I have so far.  I hope they are able to raise the money for Friends for Life, Houston’s fastest growing No-Kill animal adoption and rescue organization. I hope you are inspired to go forth and make a few cards for the cause.  Whether inspiring means:  “wow, that is inspiring”  or more  like “whoa, I could make better cards than that”  So whatever you take from it- get on out there and make some cards!   Tell a...

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Altered Tuxedo Shirts

Altered Tuxedo Shirts

on Apr 18, 2013 in Blog, commission, sewing | 1 comment

That would be four (4) of the finished tuxedo shirts for a client in Illinois.  The 4 are only a fraction of the 11 total shirts for this project.  Turns out, it is going to be a big, wild, fun wedding. Here’s what happens, if you don’t already know- The gentlemen are wearing suits/tuxedos/military service dress/mess dress.  The cuffs and collar and front of the shirt are all white and traditional looking.  Once the party is in full swing and the jackets come off- a total personality is revealed.  If the collection of cotton fabrics is any indication- this should be a blast!  I should have photos of the men after the big event. What I do is receive a shirt and 2 to 1 2/3yards of fabric in the mail.  I take the shirt apart and use the actual sleeve and back as the pattern pieces to cut out fun novelty prints.  Then I just build the shirt back.   Then I … The magic wand gets waved.  Fairy dust fills the air.  Angels sing and then- bammo- Tuxedo Shirts for everyone!  You get a tuxedo shirt and you get a tuxedo shirt.  (Say that in your best Oprah voice!)  hahahahah.  These babies are ready to hit the mail on Friday!  I hope the wedding is a blast. Thanks for letting me be a part of it! Tell a...

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