A pin cushion is a very easy project to sew. When I chose my fabric for my sewing machine cover, I realized that the pink fabric strongly resembled strawberry fluff. What better choice than to make it look like a pie complete with the Emery Pin saver on top. I really like that it is wider than a lot of pin cushions you can purchase. The flat low profile keeps it from toppling over and sliding on my work surface. Not to mention it's pretty with my cover. I keep my small cutting scissors and my seam ripper tucked underneath the strawberry so they are always handy. I have a quick pattern you can download below. The instructions are very basic and you can alter the size as well as the colors. I hope you enjoy the pattern, pass on what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
The right tool for the right job. That is one of my favorite mottos. Having the right tool is very important but taking care of those tools is equal in my opinion. If you take care of them and keep them organized, they will be ready for you when you need them. Of course if you sew and have a machine, it is a very important tool. Not only expensive to purchase, it can be costly to keep maintained and repair. Fabric by nature is hard on sewing machines. Have you ever noticed that when you sew your floor always has lint and small fabric pieces floating around? These small pieces on your floor are probably lodged in your machine parts also. Or maybe you have noticed that when you handle fabric a lot your own skin seems drier? The material can actually take moisture out of your hands. This is because the minute fibers are rough and porous. Hard on you and just as hard on your machine especially if you don't maintain them. The inner workings of today's machines are finely tuned electronic wonders and dust is something to look out for. Routinely using the small brush that comes in most sewing machine kits to clean out your bobbin case and the areas around your needle is a great practice to get in the habit of. When your machine is not in use, a simple cover will help ensure small particles that are in the air won't settle on it. There are some really nice covers out there all the way from material to hard plastic. I chose to sew my own cover because personalizing my space makes me happy. Every time I take my cover off and on, it reminds me that I made it. The pattern can be downloaded below. It is a very simple example of how to use the measurements on your machine to make a cover specific to it. If you have tried to sew a cover in the past but become frustrated by patterns, this one may just give you that spark to complete one for yourself. It is full of color pictures and instructions to hopefully simplify the process for you. You might even decide that you can make one for a gift. They are so versatile that holiday or seasonal covers might be your next craft pick. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will enjoy your hard work.
Access, Entrance, Passage, Route, Way Admittance: All words related to key. That's where I found myself when an un invited visitor showed up in my house. He had found access or passage and it caused the delivery of this key. At some time we have all been there. Life is normal and then you either find evidence or you see the culprit and life changes. A mission of who stays and who goes begins. A very quick call to the pest control company and the installation of a couple of these.
I learned a lot that day about mice and how very intuitive they are. Did you know that they count their footsteps? Each right step and each left step. They will travel a route and then backtrack several times to make sure it is safe. They will also follow a trail of previous mice into your house. This one had done just that. We had trapped another one a few weeks prior and thought it was over. Smart little guys. I am not a hard hearted person and usually love animals, but my love draws the line here. The instructions on our new mouse traps and the key introduced a problem for me. How do I keep up with this key because there is poison contained in the traps and another key added to our numerous others may end up somewhere in the back of a drawer never to be found even with my best intentions. So I decided to use my fabric scraps and make a Keyfob.
I am always trying new things with my embroidery machine. When I purchased it, part of the package contained a disk full of designs. I decided on a mouse with cheese that seemed pretty fitting for the Keyfob. If you are interested in downloading the design you can click here. There is a very small download fee but all of the designs I have used on the disk have stitched up very well. This site has so many to choose from you may find yourself sitting all day and browsing instead of crafting. As I have said before, I save pretty much all of my scraps. If they are too small to sew with, I use them to stuff with. I keep them in plastic bags. If I have been lucky enough to purchase something that comes in a plastic bag with a zipper, I always save these for stashing my smaller craft items.
As I am sewing I keep a large bowl out that lets me quickly throw in the scraps. Once it fills up, I can organize all of the scraps into a plastic bag. and keep it for future use in a rollabout.
The key fob came together very easily. I chose a plain white cotton to do the design on. After it completed stitching, I used a felt lining material and then a brown polyester for the back. I cut all three layers the same size. When it was time to stitch them, the felt was placed on the bottom and then the two outer fabrics were laid on top with their right sides together. I stitched around the perimeter in a circle leaving one side open to turn after cutting the square edges off with pinking shears. An invisible ladder stitch was used to close the open seam. I then changed my stitch to a small Zigzag and created a small square to insert the key ring into. This is similar to sewing a buttonhole as the Zigzag stitch will keep the fabric from raveling. Once complete, I had a really cute key fob that will not get lost, misplaced or forgotten.
If you would like to see my process, click through the slideshow below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Dress forms are a new concept to me in my expanding sewing knowledge. If you are thinking about purchasing one in order to drape or fit your own clothes, I am right there with you. In my research to purchase one, I found out that they are very expensive. I searched all over the internet on making them and may still just because it looks like a lot of fun. One day my husband and I were walking through an antique store and because I had been telling him that I really wanted to find a dress form he was on the hunt. I asked the proprietor if he had any and he said not currently but would contact me if any came in. My husband told me he found something that said dress form on it in the book section. I went over but immediately felt my heart drop because this is what he found.
As you can see it was a really thin box but it was clearly marked dress form. The picture even showed one. I told him this can't be what we are looking for but I pulled out my smart phone and looked it up. I couldn't find a lot of information on it but the price was $20 so I bought it. Once I got it home and looked inside this is what I saw.
There were a lot of flat pieces. It looked like a puzzle that needed to be put together! My mind started racing surely this isn't what it looks like? But yes it was supposed to become a fully functioning dress form. What a treasure to find tucked away in that antique store and for such a great price. After all of my research online I couldn't believe my good luck. The original instructions were intact. I did have one neck piece that was missing as well as the stand and brads to put it all together.
I can hardly imagine the expertise it took to draft this little wonder. My limited information from the paperwork enclosed shows it is an Adjust-o-Matic Dress Form. I believe it was offered by the drop ship catalog company Harrison Hoge. From what I can ascertain they are still in operation but have changed their market to encompass fishing merchandise. I can not find where they still hold the patent to this model but at one time their name was listed at the US Patent office.
I was able to put this together within a couple of hours and it was so much fun. When I was finished the search for a replacement stand became a priority. I went to another antique store and found a music stand. It was fully adjustable on top and bottom so the dress form would slide right over it. I used some rubber pieces where the shoulders would sit so the weight of the form plus material would not cut into the cardboard. I have a slideshow below with several pictures of the instructions and my alternative stand. I would love to see this go back into production because I know many of you out there would make use of it. Maybe this will put you on the hunt for your own Adjust-o-matic dress form that is in an attic somewhere or on the back shelf of an antique store waiting to be used and loved!
I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift