Archive for the ‘tutorials’ Category

Flower/Heart Valentine’s Bookmark Tutorial

The best thing about these bookmarks is that they are not only perfect for Valentine’s Day, they are also great for anytime of the year. Here is a great tutorial for learning the basics of machine embroidery. Please make as many bookmarks as you want for personal use, but please don’t sell any bookmarks that were made using this pattern. Download Pattern (pdf) Materials: 2 pieces of fabric for the top and bottom of the bookmark 8 1/4" x 2 3/4" 1 piece of fabric for flower 3 3/4" x 2 3/4" 1 piece of fabric for leaf 5" x 2 3/4" (if making a heart bookmark, just cut one piece of your heart fabric the same size as the two muslin pieces) Gather your fabric pieces and iron if necessary. Trace your pattern onto your bookmark top piece (sorry it’s so hard to see, the bright sun was washing it out). Probably the easiest way to do this is to cut out the pieces on the pattern and then trace the inside straight onto the fabric. Carefully cut out the flower head and leaf (or hearts). I carefully clipped the center of the flower and cut around the edge with very sharp scissors. Using a 1/4" seam, stitch the two short ends of the flower and leaf fabrics together (if making a heart bookmark, skip this step as you will just be using the one patterned piece of fabric for all three hearts) Press the seam open. Lay your flower/leaf fabric right side up. Lay your cut out muslin piece on top. Drop your feed dogs, and carefully stitch around the leaf and the flower (or hearts). Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’s the wobbles that give it extra charm. Stitch three lines from the base of the flower to whatever length you desire. Lay your flower or heart piece right side up and place your bottom muslin piece on top. Raise your feed dogs back up, and starting near the middle of one of the long sides, sew a 1/4" seam all the way around, making sure to leave a 2" gap in order to turn it right side out. Clip the corners, making sure not to clip the stitches. Turn the bookmark right side out, fold the unstitched parts under, and press. Topstitch around the book mark and enjoy!

tutorials • Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 • 48 Comments »

Recycled Sweater Vase Tutorial

I recently saw an article in Country Living about covering different items with sweaters. I loved the vases, but wasn’t particularly fond of their directions, which included hot glue, so I came up with my own way to do it. This was such a fun, quick, and easy project, I hope you enjoy it. Materials needed: one sweater (each vase needs one sleeve) one bottle (any size as long as it will fit into the sleeve) Gather your sweater and bottle. Lay your bottle on top of the sweater sleeve. You want 1 1/2 inches on either side. Cut the sleeve off (1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the bottle) Sew around the cut edge of the sleeve 1/4 inch in so that it doesn’t start unravelling. Turn the sweater tube inside out and slip over bottle. Position it so that the bottle is centered in the tube. On the side with the seam, pull the sweater around the bottle and pin in place so that you have a nice outline of the bottle. Slip the cover off and sew along your pin line. Cut 1 inch outside of the stitching. Cut a few slits into the fabric next to the bend, making sure not to catch the stitching. Turn the cover right side out, slip over the bottle and tuck in the top and bottom edges. Enjoy your new vase. This same method works for many sizes of bottles. If the sweater tube is too big then you just pin it from the bottom all the way up.

tutorials • Saturday, February 6th, 2010 • 20 Comments »

Cheesecloth Produce Bag Tutorial

This is a quick and easy tutorial for cheesecloth produce bags. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these. Sometimes the pictures might make it more confusing than just reading the words, as you can’t tell which is the front and back of the cheesecloth, but bear with me, it will work out in the end. It looks a little untidy with the brown thread, but I needed to make it so you can see the stitches, it looks a lot neater when using natural coloured thread. I bought a package of cheesecloth and just cut it in two to make two produce bags. Each piece was approx. 17″ x 35″. You can easily make different sized produce bags if you want different sizes, the same method applies. Edited to add: There are varying qualities of cheesecloth. Make sure that you use a tighter weave cheesecloth so that you don’t have problems with snagging. This needs to be fairly sturdy to lug produce around. Materials needed: cheesecloth natural coloured thread natural coloured cotton yarn Cut a piece of cheesecloth 17″ x 35″. Fold over one of the long sides of cheesecloth by 1/4″. Iron it and fold it over again another 1/4″. Iron one more time. Stitch along the folded side. Now, fold the cheesecloth so that the short ends are at the top, wrong sides together. You want the outside of the side hem facing out. The side that you stitched is going to be on the right hand side when you are looking at it. You want to leave the top two inches of the folded side unstitched (this is where we will make the drawstring casing). Starting two inches down from the top, stitching slightly more than 1/4″ from the edge, stitch to the bottom. In the tutorial I used a zig zag stitch, but later found out that it is better to just use a straight stitch. Now stitch the left hand side from the very top, to the very bottom. Next, turn the bag inside out and press. Stitch down both sides 1/2″ from the edge , making sure to leave the top two inches (on the one side) unstitched. Turn bag right side out again and press. Next, fold the top of the bag in 1/4″ and press. Stitch all the way around. Fold the top down again and press. When you fold it down, you want the top to meet where the seam ends on the side. Stitch around once again to make the casing. Measure a piece of cotton yarn twice the width of the bag, plus a couple of inches. Tie a loose knot and stick a safety pin through it. Thread the pin through the casing until each end of the string is sticking out of the casing. Tie the ends of string in a knot and pull the string around so that the knot is now back inside the casing. There you go, one fantastic new cheesecloth produce bag. Enjoy!

tutorials • Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 • 15 Comments »

Dish Draining Mat Tutorial

This is a tutorial to make a very simple mat for putting under a dish drainboard. You can apply the method for making this mat to making lots of different things including placemats, coasters, even baby doll blankets. This is very simple and I’m hoping that it will help someone that is just learning to sew. This mat is made out of muslin and french terry cloth (it is thinner than regular terry cloth), though it would work with any towelling material. It is also an excellent project for using vintage hand towels. First, measure the space under your draining board. I put a piece of paper under mine and added about an inch on all sides to make sure it caught all drips. Cut one piece out in your top fabric, and one in your towel fabric. Pin both pieces of fabric together, right sides together. Starting in the middle of the bottom, stitch all the way around making sure you leave a several inch gap in order to turn right side out. If your terry cloth is thick, you may need to leave a bigger gap. Trim the corners off so that it is easier to turn. Turn right side out and press. Fold the fabric in where there is a gap and make sure to press it so that when you embroider it, you will be sure to stitch it shut. Thread a length of embroidery floss ( I used three strands) and using a running stitch, stitch around the mat. Finish with a knot, trim the threads and there you go, a fantastic new draining mat.

tutorials • Friday, January 22nd, 2010 • 2 Comments »

Vintage Button Heart Tutorial

vbhtut10 As I’ve had some inquiries as to how I made my vintage button heart, I wanted to walk you through it step by step. Hope you have lots of fun making your own. vbhtut1 First, gather all of the buttons you want to use and lay them out in a heart shape. You will need some 18 guage wire ( I purchased mine at a hobby store), and measure out a piece that will hold all of the buttons when strung on it. Leave 5-6″ extra to give you some working room. vbhtut2 Starting with the button at the very bottom of your heart, start stringing them onto your wire. This guage of wire was a little tricky at times to get through some of the buttons, but I found with the thinner wires, that they weren’t quite strong enough to hold the weight of all the buttons, and they ended up being quite flimsy. vbhtut3 Continue stringing the buttons on your wire working clockwise around your heart pattern. vbhtut4 When all of your buttons are strung on the wire, straighten it out. vbhtut5 Find the button that makes the top center point of your heart and bend the wire on both sides up to make a V. vbhtut6 Now bend the ends around to make your basic heart shape. vbhtut7 Cross the end wires over each other. vbhtut8 Twist the wires together. vbhtut9 Wrap the ends up and around some of the other wire on the heart. If you have too much wire at the end, just clip some off until you have about 1 1/2″. vbhtut10 Finish shaping your heart and then you are all done.


Edited to Add:

Sometimes it can be a little tricky working with the thicker wire and these buttons, but I really did find it better than using thinner wire as they were just to flimsy to hold their shape without extra strengthening.  When putting your button on the wire, slide it all the way over and shove it right up against the other button, so that it is actually overlapping the previous button somewhat.  When you pull the wire very slowly (if you go too quickly I found that it just mangled right up, for some reason it doesn’t do this when going slowly) it will loosen up a bit and the button will end up right next to your previous button with no gap.  I hope this helps for those who have been having a few issues.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you need further help.

tutorials • Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 • 26 Comments »

Cloth Bulk Bin Bag Tutorial

cloth bulk bin bag I love these bags, they are so versatile, not only are they great for food from bulk bins, they are also great for anything from rubber bands to buttons. Hope you enjoy the tutorial, and please make as many as you want for personal use. The size I made here holds approx. 5 1/2 cups of oatmeal, so you can adjust the size depending on whether you want a smaller or bigger bag. The directions will be great for any size. cbtut1.jpg First you want to embroider the item that you will be filling the bag with and the PLU# (the number on the bulk bin that you would normally write on the twisty tie) on a light piece of fabric, I used white muslin. Next cut two pieces of fabric 9" x 12". Cut the piece you embroidered the info on down to approx. 2 1/2" x 3" and cut another blank piece of the same fabric to the same size. Also you will need a piece of thin bias binding approx. 23" long. cbtut3.jpg Put your info tag pieces right sides together and stitch together leaving a space big enough to turn right side out. Clip corners, turn right side out, and press. cbtut5.jpg Fold the opening in and stitch around in a matching colour thread. cbtut6.jpg Open the bias binding and fold down the very end. cbtut7.jpg Fold back together. cbtut8.jpg Stitch fron one end to the other, making sure that you fold the other end in as well. cbtut9.jpg Make a hem at the top (short sides of fabric) by folding the edge over once, pressing it, then folding it again. Stitch from one end to the other. cbtut10.jpg Using a running stitch with 3 strands of embroidery floss, stitch the info tag onto the front piece of the bag approx. 4 1/2" down from the top. cbtut11.jpg Put both sides of the bag together wrong sides together. Fold the bias binding in half and put the folded end about 2" down from the top. Make sure that it is in far enough to catch when you stitch the seam. Making a 1/4" seam, stitch from the top, down the side, across the bottom, and back up the other side. cbtut12.jpg Turn bag inside out, press, and making a 1/2" seam, stitch again from the top, down the side, across the bottom, and back up the other side. Make sure that you do not stitch the bag tie accidentally into another seam. I pulled it out of the top of the bag to make sure I didn’t accidentally catch it. cbtut13.jpg Next we’re going to make a gusset so that your bag will sit flat. Turn your bag right side out again and and flatten the corner out so that the side seam and bottom seam are sitting back to back. Stitch about an inch in from corner (easier to understand if you look at the picture, sorry kind of hard to explain with just words). Repeat on other corner. cbtut14.jpg Trim the end off 1/4" from the stitching. Repeat on other side. cbtut15.jpg Turn inside out and and press the corners. Make a 1/2" seam by stitching from top to bottom. Repeat on the other side. cloth bulk bin bag Turn your bag right side out, and enjoy!

tutorials • Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 • 14 Comments »

Sweet Little Fabric Birdy Tutorial

finished bird.jpgHere is the tutorial for this sweet little birdy. I have not done a tutorial before so I hope this one is ok. Please make as many as you want for personal use, but please do not sell any birdies made from this pattern. Let me know if there are any problems with the tutorial and I’ll see what I can do. I crocheted chains for the hanging loop and legs, but if you don’t know how or don’t want to, you could use any kind of ribbon or string. Hope you enjoy, I’d love to see any birdies you make. Download Pattern (pdf)

Supplies you will need:

  • fabric scraps for body and wings
  • yarn for hanging loop
  • yarn for birdy legs
  • decorative button for loop
  • two buttons for eyes
  • two buttons for feet
  • embroidery floss for wing
  • poly-fil or wool for stuffing

bird cut out pieces.jpg Cut out two body pieces and two wing pieces using the pattern pieces. bird making wing.jpg Center the actual size wing pattern piece on the back side of the wing fabric. Fold the fabric around the pattern piece and iron. Slip the paper pattern piece out. I’m sure there are better ways of doing this but it is what I ended up doing, feel free to do this however you wish. bird hand embroider wing on.jpg Place the wing on the right side of the body piece and using a running stitch, attach the wing to the body (I removed two strands of the embroidery floss and used the rest so that it would not be too thick). Make sure to leave a small opening in order to put some stuffing into it. Repeat for the other side. bird stuff wing.jpg Add a small amount of stuffing into the wing and then finish stitching it up. bird crochet hanging loop.jpg Crochet a chain of approx. 40 stitches (you can make it shorter or longer depending on where you want to hang it) using your hanging loop yarn. When you chain your last stitch, using a slipstitch, connect it to the chain about 2/3 of the way down. Finish it off leaving a tail long enough to stitch your button on. bird stitch button on hanging loop.jpg Using the tail, thread it through your decorative button and secure it to the chain behind the button. bird crochet leg.jpg Crochet another chain using your leg yarn (I was using a thicker yarn so I only needed four stitches) to the length that you want. Finish it off leaving a tail long enough to stitch a button on. bird stitch button on leg.jpg Thread the tail through your birdy feet button and secure to the chain behind the button. Repeat for the other leg. bird sandwich pieces with loop.jpg Place bird bodies right sides together and sandwich the decorative hanging loop in the middle. You want the single chain (the bottom, not the handle part) peeking out the top of the birdy head. Pin around the birdy making sure that the hanging loop is in the middle so as not to be accidentally stitched when joining the two sides together. bird stitch together.jpg Using a 1/4” seam allowance, machine or hand stitch all the way around the bird leaving an opening at the bottom big enough to turn and stuff the bird. bird turn right side out and stuff.jpg Turn the bird right side out and stuff. I used a small chopstick to make sure the stuffing filled out the beak and tail. bird stitch up with legs.jpg Take a needle and thread that will blend in with your main body fabric and start stitching up the hole making sure to add the legs in as you go. bird finished legs.jpg Take a moment to breathe, we’re almost done. Grab your eye buttons and some thread that matches the buttons. bird stitch eyes on.jpg I stitched the eyes by holding both buttons in place and starting at one side, going through the button, through the head, and through the other button and just stitched them both on at the same time. When I was done I wrapped the tails of thread around the buttons to hide them. You are now done with your birdy. I hope you enjoy him.

tutorials • Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 • 14 Comments »