My latest sewing project is not only fun but economical. I am always scanning the clearance aisles of my big box stores and when I see something that is really reduced and made of any kind of material that can be stitched, I will usually grab it. On a recent trip I found a package of 30 microfiber towels on sale for $6.00. The regular amount is $9.97 so still a great price for this project.
Check out this cute drawstring bag and my (*click link*) latest embroidery design Shark Towel Applique. This bag can be used for wet swimming suits, flip flops, beach toys, you name it. If you are looking for an inexpensive gift to sew for a group of people this is almost as cheap as you can get for 20 cents per towel. Even full price they are just 33 cents each.
The embroidery design has been digitized to include a knockdown stitch you can see here. So you can put the Shark on the fluffy side of the towel and he will really stand out. Also, with the knockdown stitch, you don't need to use any wash away stabilizer on top. If you want to embroider the shark on woven fabric, just bypass the knockdown stitching and move directly to the applique parts.
This design is fun because it has two areas of applique. So if you have never done a project with multiple areas of placement, trimming and satin stitching, you will love playing with all of the different options just by alternating your colors of fabric. As you can see, I used a plain blue for the back area but the tummy has a small print. Can you imagine using stripes or polka dots for your shark? Or making some for girls or boys just by changing the towels? Look for these microfiber towels the next time you are in the automotive section of your store. They have a good selection of colors in most stores which are perfect for cute drawstring bags.
Sewing the bag is just a few seams and I thought you might want to see the complete process so I created a video you can watch below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Bowl Cozies are one of my favorite things. If you like to reheat food in a microwave they might become one of your new favorites. The purpose of a cozy is a place to set your bowl in the microwave while it is heating. Once the food is hot, you just use the cozy to lift the bowl out. You can also eat your food comfortably so your fingers don't get burned. I like to use mine for cold items like ice cream and cereal as well. They are perfect to catch those drips. When they get dirty, I put mine through a regular cycle in my washer and dryer. You want to make sure you use 100% cotton or natural materials. Any polyester or blends may cause a spark or melt in your microwave. So use 100% cotton batting, thread and material.
If you have read my other articles you may have seen a couple of other projects using these character towels. I have used them for drawstring bags which you can see here. I have also used them for adult bibs which you can see here. When I walk through the Dollar Tree I am always scanning for new materials to remake. These towels are so vibrant and fun that they have become a staple I keep in my studio at all times.
They are also 100% cotton so perfect for these cozies. The size on the package is 11.75 x 11.75 inches and once they are washed and dried the first time, they will slightly shrink. You may also see that the shape gets slightly skewed but that is not a problem. The care instructions state they should not be ironed, but I do press them with a medium setting and a press cloth. This will protect your iron plate from any residual ink on the towels.
The cotton batting is cut to 10 x 10 inches and adhesive spray is used on the towel to keep everything together while you sew your first quilting seams. Once the towel and the batting are adhered, you can trim away any extra towel. The batting will assist in keeping the cozy square.
These bowl cozies are a simple project but they do include darts on all sides. The darts help them stand up and form the bowl shape. This is a great introduction to learn how to sew darts if you have never done them.
Here you see me marking the dart placement with a heat erase pen. It is not hard to accomplish and great practice with your measuring tools.
There are so many of these bowl cozy projects on the internet and they are all similar. Using these character towels will present one challenge that you won't have if you use cotton fabric. The terry cloth coupled with the batting makes these thick along the seams. When it is time to close the project after turning, I like to use a needle and thread instead of my machine. This way I ensure I have grabbed both edges of the towel. You will be washing and drying them frequently so you want to have a durable closure. I love to use a ladder stitch for this part because the thread is hidden. Once I have it closed up, I will go around with a top stitch on my sewing machine but well away from the edge. This is slightly different than other bowl cozy projects you may see on the internet. A regular sewing machine can be used with these towels, but you may have to help it just a bit when you get around those thicker seams. Just take your time and you should be good to go.
When all is done, you will have a reversible bowl cozy that is not only practical, but cheerful.
Look at all of the different cozies I made in just an afternoon. These are great for kids, teens and adults. Everyone in your family will want their own.
So are you ready to make this project? Click on the video below to watch me sew a complete bowl cozy. All materials, measurements, sewing machine settings are included. Don't forget to Like and subscribe to my You tube channel. Then every time I upload a new video, you will be notified. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
This project is perfect if you love to re-purpose things from Dollar Tree. I am always looking for items I can alter with my sewing and embroidery machine when I walk the Dollar Tree aisles. This one doesn't take a lot of materials and you can complete it in an afternoon.
These drawstring bags are made of a rip stop fabric which is just right for windsocks. They already have a casing sewn into them and they come with a drawstring that you can use to hang your windsock. So most of the materials are already in the bags. *Note* You just have to deconstruct them, and reassemble. You can add any kind of embellishments you want. I digitized two new designs for birth announcements since my bags were blue and pink. Click on the pictures below to visit my store and see the embroidery designs.
I added ribbon to each of my windsocks which helped maintain a heavier structure and added weight so they really catch the wind.
After making these two, I wanted to show you a variation, so I digitized another design perfect for your garden. Click on the picture below to visit my store and see this design.
This design has outline text and a simple applique flower in the center. I used some scrap floral fabric for the applique. Ribbon was added to the top and bottom of the embroidery design with a zig zag stitch. It is amazing how beautiful a project comes together using just a few elements.
Here it is adding a pop of color to my garden space. The drawstring that comes in the bag was used to hang the windsock. This bag had two fabrics instead of one plain color. The stripes you see on the streamers were one side of the original bag.
I have a complete project video below that you can watch. It will take you from disassembly, making your cuts, embroidery, sewing everything together and hanging options. I know you are going to love it. The best part is you can make as many windsocks you want for all holidays and occasions. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My latest embroidery designs are being released today. These patches are a unique way to customize suspenders. If you are looking for something "different" for Dad, Grandpa or Husbands this might just work. There are several designs that the ladies would rock also. I think suspenders should make a comeback. They were popular in the 80's after Marty from Back to the Future wore them. I had a rainbow pair that I wore because Mork from Ork was a favorite TV character. My husband is in the picture above showing off his custom patch. Let's look at all of the different designs available. Click the links under each picture to visit my store. Remember you will need an embroidery machine with a 4x4 hoop to sew these patches. The designs are digital and not fully made patches.
The Biker Suspender Patch is perfect for anyone who loves to ride motorcycles. Best part is you can customize the colors of this patch to match their wheels.
The Dressy Attire Suspender patch is perfect for that person who loves to be comfortable wherever they go. Take them as they are because their suspenders are how they dress up!
The Gone Fishing Suspender Patch says it all. They won't need to explain where they are going as you watch them walk out the door.
The I'm Retired Suspender Patch will let all of their friends see the official dress code of retirement.
The Mister Suspenders Patch is the design that raises it's nose to the belt establishment. No more uncomfortable bellies in tight pants!
The Nerd Suspender Patch proclaims it loud and proud. Remember yesterday's Nerds are today's and tomorrow's Billionaires.
The Veteran Suspender Patch is a great way to honor that person in your life. If you see a Veteran thank them for their service.
The Groom Suspender Patch is perfect for the groom on his wedding day. Hidden under the jacket but out and proud for the reception.
The Best Man Suspender Patch will let everyone know who the special person is standing beside the groom.
The Groom Crew Suspender patch would be a great gift for the wedding party. After all, what is a groom without his buddies?
Customizing your suspenders with any of these patches is very easy to do. In fact, when you download the designs, you will receive full color instructions. If you would like to see all of my tips and tricks, you can watch the You Tube video below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My latest project for my home has recycling, gardening, sewing and embroidery all together. I really hate to throw away any kind of container and when I recently had problems with my washing machine, the leftover parts gave me all kinds of crafting ideas.
Here is the original tub from our front loading washing machine. It is the back end of the tub. The front end has two large pieces of concrete that act as counter weights so the tub will spin correctly. My washer sounded like an airplane taking off when it would spin. In fact it was so loud, we had to close doors to hear anything. We tried to first change the four shocks on the tub which was the "Hopefully Easier Fix". After taking everything apart and rummaging around in VERY tight spaces to change those shocks, it helped but we realized it didn't completely solve our issue. We ordered the rear tub part and found that our bearing had blown out when we disconnected everything. The tell tale oil dripping out confirmed we had found the problem. We did have to move the washer in and out of our home twice and that is how I can assure you that if the repairman gives you a price, you may want to bite the bullet and pay the man. Unless you have a handy husband and two grown sons to help disassemble it. Or you are extremely cheap with your money and are too stubborn like us to at least give it a shot. I can say that instead of purchasing a new washer that might have cost upwards of $1500, we spent $127.00 on the parts. So not too bad.
The silver lining to all of this besides being able to run my laundry with all doors open is I had a very heavy duty container complete with drainage holes. I knew a planter would be a great project.
First I painted the tub with spray paint. It is amazing how a little color can transform any object.
I had already started a flat of zinnias and marigolds from seed several weeks ago, so plants were ready to go in. It's almost like I planned this. No I wouldn't wish that repair on anyone.
I love garden flags so I knew I needed to come up with some kind of hanger. I had several PVC pipes and a T connector from other projects. When I tried them in the bearing hole, it was light bulbs and excitement as I began to figure out my flag options.
Using a spray paint that resembles metal helped hide the PVC pipe and gave the stand a sturdy look.
I digitized a sunflower design and added some fun text to stitch on my fabric which by the way is Duck Canvas. Canvas is a great choice for outdoor projects. It isn't UV rated, but should last for the season. This embroidery design is available in my store in a large 9.5x14 size here or a 5x7 size here.
I sewed the flag and added buttons with elastic to the back so it would be very flexible on the stand. Then I planted everything and added rocks from around my yard. This was such a fun project and I filmed a You Tube video showing the entire process including how I sewed the flag. You can watch that below. Maybe it will inspire you to recycle containers for planting or sewing a garden flag. Or repair your washing machine????
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Sewing Math. If that gives you a headache, I totally understand. My math skills have always been something that is continually evolving and also a disappointment when I just don't "get it". I can't blame my teachers because they taught math in the setting that was available to them and it was the only one I had access to. Now with the internet and so many generous people out there, we have a lot of different learning methods. I am convinced if someone would have found out my sewing interests way back then and applied Math Skills directly to that, my skills might have improved. I "see" measurements and projects in Pictures more than numbers. Another thing that I have come to understand is memorizing formulas is only as good as being able to physically practice them. This tactile learning process is so much more helpful to me than say a WORD PROBLEM. YUCK. Also, a little advice to you out there who beat yourselves up when you can't remember those formulas? Don't. You can never remember everything, but if you have a general understanding and can look it up, you will be A-OK. So how do you figure out the circles you will need when you want to make a bolster or neck pillow?
Here is a remnant piece of fabric I used to test out a Waving Flag Embroidery Design. Which you can see here in my store. When I stitch out my designs, I always have a lot of these around my studio and I like to make small quick projects with them. I am not working from a pre-determined pattern. Instead, I am using the piece of fabric in the size I have available. So, to make a bolster or neck pillow, I need to figure out how big the circle needs to be for that specific size fabric. First you need to do some measuring.
I know that when I sew this pillow I am going to fold the right sides together and sew that long edge to make a tube.
This opening on the ends of that tube is where the circles will be inserted into. So I will need that measurement. It is too hard to try and get it measured right when it is in a circle.
If I open it back up and lay it flat, I will measure that edge. This is called the Circumference. Now stick with me if that makes the brain fog start to come over you like it does to me. For some reason, the word Circumference is confusing to me. It sounds so much like the word circle. If you remember that circumference can be a "Linear" or a flat LINE measurement it might make more sense. When I lay out my fabric edge flat , I have a "Line" or "linear" measurement that will be my circumference.
If you look at the formula above, you will put that measurement where it says Circumference. My edge was 13.25 inches. Then you will divide that number by pi (3.14) Once you have done that, you will have the Diameter of that circular opening. Mine was 4.219. That is all you need to know. If I keep my fabric edge length this size I need to cut a circle that will measure 4.219 inches across. Using this formula, you can work with any size fabric you have in your stash to make a quick bolster pillow. I didn't want to try and cut out a circle that had all of those numbers after the decimal point, so I figured out my formula again until I had a number close to 4.
I cut my fabric edges to 12.5 inches and my formula showed 3.98 inches. I rounded it up to 4 so now I know I should be able to cut a circle that is four inches wide (Or has a 4 inch DIAMETER) and if I use the same seam allowance on that long edge and when I sew the circles in, everything should fit. How will I cut out a perfect four inch circle though?
You have many different choices. You can use a compass, ruler with many holes or a pencil and piece of string.
Another great option is to make your own circle template. This is my choice because it makes more sense to me and the way I "see" measurements. Also, the circle sizes are already figured out for me. Once I know my size circle, I just pick the right number and the template does the heavy math lifting. If you will be sewing bolster pillows on a regular basis and you want to be able to quickly cut out circles, this template will make your measuring and cutting easier.
I really like to use the cutting mats from Dollar Tree for my templates. They are easy to lay on top of things I have drawn out on paper and trace.
So here is how I drew this circle template out. I used my cutting mat and since I will be drawing circles by placing something on one end and tracing around, I know that I need to use half of my circle measurements. See the one inch mark on my mat? If I place my pencil there and move the template around, I will actually trace a two inch circle. If I use the two inch measurement it will make a four inch circle and so on.
Here is my circle. I used the mark at the 4 and now I have a four inch circle.
I sewed the long seam on my pillow right sides together. Leave a small opening in the middle of that long seam so you can turn the pillow later. Then I pinned the circles with right sides facing in to the tube ends. If you finger press the circles and the pillow it is easier to match your seam.
Sew around the circles, clip the curves and turn the pillow. Stuff it and sew the opening closed.
Now you have a finished bolster pillow. These are really nice when lounging on your favorite couch or chair. I am using this one in my studio at my desk chair for lower back support.
Here is a graphic if you want to try to create your own circle template. I also have a PDF download below. If you print it out, use the one inch scale to make sure it is accurate. Then trace over it onto one of the Dollar Tree Cutting Mats. I also have a You Tube video that shows the template in action and sewing the pillow. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Did you know you can sew your own garden flag? I am a fan of exterior decorating throughout the seasons. Flags are one of the ways I do that because they add that extra pop of color and excitement. Even when my landscape is in the cold dreary days of winter, I will usually have some kind of flags stuck in the ground to cheer me up. Memorial Day is fast approaching and I digitized this design in honor of that.
Here is my flag installed on a hanger. I used a fabric called Oly Fun. You can find it at most hobby or craft stores. It is a synthetic fabric that will melt if you apply too much heat. You can sew with it easily though. I have seen projects where it is used for costuming because of the light weight and non fraying quality.
I have a You tube Video below that shows how I created my garden flag. If you don't have the Oly Fun Fabric, you could use another type and have a lot of fun changing with the seasons. Check out the design in my store here.
Thank you to all who served our country in the past and currently. We all owe our freedoms to you. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Cord stops are a great little piece of hardware. You probably have a jacket or bag that uses one on a drawstring. Here you see I am using one on a mask. I originally created a pattern with shoelaces because I was having a difficult time finding elastic. I also did a You tube video showing how it was put together. After wearing that mask for a while, I decided to try and see if I could eliminate one of the shoelaces and add a nose piece. This allowed me to use the cord stop with just the two mask ends. It really works great. See the original blog post with the video and updated pattern here. Now that I am looking for the cord stops, it seems that they are becoming harder to find in a short time frame. I can order them online but there is a lag in the shipping dates. So I wanted to find an alternative and here it is.
This little knot works pretty well. I used para cord to create it and so far it is proving to be a good substitute. The knot will slide along the mask tie and stay put. It does work best on synthetic materials as they will slide but bind as they are tightened. Cotton will bind but it might not slide as easily. The best thing is I can make a new one if this one gets lost or wears out. I have a You tube video below that shows how easy it is to make. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
I am rarely able to surprise my husband with gifts. This past Christmas I really did good because I bought a back up camera for his Jeep. He loves to drive that vehicle but the only problem he has ever complained about is it didn't come with a back up camera. Weird because it has that tire on the back that creates blind spots and takes up part of viewing area of the glass. Anyway, I made myself pretty proud by actually finding the one that would work for his model and getting it delivered to my house without him even suspecting it. Since we are currently at home social distancing , he got brave and finally installed it and wow it works great! Only one issue though. I had sewn a tire cover for him last year that either needed to be retrofitted or re sewn. I decided to make a new one because the last material I used was vinyl and it was starting to show some wear and tear. He also has a birthday coming up so bonus opportunity.
Sewing your own tire cover is not hard. See the graphic above. I took a measurement across the tire, then I measured the thickness of the tire. I overlapped the tape measure toward the back so when it was installed, the cover would go over the sides a bit. The third measurement was around the tire. That's the tricky one unless you are good at math. (I'm not) Once I had those I added one inch to A, Two inches to B and 10 inches to C. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance so my final measurements were A=33 inches , B= 16 inches C= 110 inches. Those will vary according to your tire sizes. I added 10 inches of extra length to C because it gives you a little bit of fudge room as you are sewing the gusset to the circle fabric. I did have several extra inches that were cut off once it was sewn together. I am always scared to cut exact on gussets so I always seem to leave extra for mistakes. Again, I am Math challenged but if you are not, you will probably be able to figure that out just fine.
I used a tape measure and french curve ruler to get my circle just right. This would be the front of the cover.
The gusset had to be pieced because of the length. I also had to use two different color fabrics due to my stash. I am using DUCK canvas which is good for outdoor projects. It is not UV rated so I do expect fading but this is an easy project and I can make a new one in a year or two.
Here you see the gusset has been sewn around the circle right sides together and then I did a dry fit before I added the elastic. I used my chalk marker to trace around the small triangle where the camera was mounted.
I picked a center point on the drawn triangle and then drew lines to each corner. I cut on each of these lines toward those corners so I would have three flaps.
This shows me cutting the flaps and then folding them toward the back.
I did a quick stitch around the perimeter and trimmed the fabric edges with pinking shears. If you wanted to do a bit more, you could sew binding around also but I think this will be good enough for me. The thread I am using is a heavy duty outdoor type also. I used a denim needle to put the entire cover together.
I created a casing for the elastic by double folding the edge 1/2 inch. Then I stitched around leaving a small hole so I could pass that elastic through.
I used 1/4 inch elastic and a bodkin to make it easier. Then I stitched the elastic ends together and sewed the opening. Time to install on the Jeep.
Here it is! I made sure I had the placement where the camera still worked and surprised him again. I think the color looks so nice with the Jeep. I will probably use some clear fabric spray just to protect the colors as long as I can. This was an easy project and if it only lasts a year or so, no problem making a new one. This would be a great project for Father's Day which is coming up! Maybe do some embroidery on it too? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Have you ever tried to draft and then sew your own pattern? Maybe you have walked around a craft fair and instead of purchasing a home sewn item, you said to yourself I could make that. Or you search the internet for ideas and think to yourself " I could totally make that " You can do it but it is a challenge. I made the bag above and wanted to show you my process because as I moved through it, there were several moments when I really wanted to put it away but I had a birthday deadline to meet. I also had a special request from my son and you know I was not going to let him down.
This bag was my original design. I drafted and sewed it several years ago. In fact I did a blog about embroidery machines and sewing the name on the front of it. You can check that out here. This bag came about from a Christmas gift my son received. We bought him a laptop that year and he needed something to carry it with. Both of my sons are computer geeks and their devices have always gone everywhere with them so I knew it would have to be sturdy.
My main design goals were a safe place to cradle his laptop and lots of pockets. There were so many different techniques in this bag. I had an exterior zippered pocket with lining. An interior quilted "hammock" for the device. Interior zippered pocket for smaller items. A heavy duty padded handle with D rings would need to be secure as he wore the bag on his shoulder
Here are a few views of the bag today. When I looked closely I saw some things that I wanted to change, but for the most part, it has done really well and he has used it every day. This bag helped him finish high school and it took him almost all the way through college.
The one area that I knew I had to improve was where the strap connected to the bag. I repaired these at least two times. The last repair brought the request from my son that he might need to commission a new bag from me. When I originally designed the pattern, you can see the strap connection is right at the top seam of the bag. It performed pretty well but needed to be further down into the gusset. I also wanted to add more interior pockets. So there were some changes that had to be drafted.
When I originally created my pattern, I used brown wrapping paper so I would have something to use in the future just in case. I am so glad I did that.
Then I found my original instructions. I wrote these down as I sewed the original bag. As I read them, I thought why didn't I re-write these and type everything up really neatly? It took me a day of looking over everything just to get my bearings on how this bag went together the first time. So I tried to organize it better. I got on my computer and drafted up some cutting layouts.
Then I made fabric lists and little tabs for cutting each piece out.
And it grew..... And grew...... Until........
My entire working table was covered with instructions, and layouts and templates and my first wave of defeat. I didn't know if I had everything in my fabric stash. I have a lot of fabric and my other challenge was to use some of it. Since I am home and social distancing, I am not going out to shop for anything new. I did look online to see if I could find fabric to order but that didn't last long as the shipping times would be after his birthday. So I had to use available materials. I didn't have one color for the entire bag so I had to make another list showing which colors I would use for each pattern piece.
Fast forward to all of my pieces being cut out, labeled and nicely waiting for me to begin sewing. All I can say is a lot of coffee made this possible.
Here is the quilt batting ready to sew for the device hammock.
The first thing on the bag was that name being embroidered and then the zipper being installed on the flap. I love messenger bags and I think not making use of that flap for a pocket really wastes material. It is an extra step but my son uses it all of the time.
The fabric I had in stock is Duck canvas. This created new challenges because it is very thick.
Another big issue for me was the interfacing I had in stock. The original bag used an iron on interfacing. I didn't have that in my stash but I did have Soft and Stable foam. It had to be sewn in so that added an extra task to each step.
Here are the finished views. The front pocket is fully lined.
That connection has been sewn farther down into the gusset of the bag. I also created the strap this time instead of using pre-made strapping. This one is also adjustable which the original was not..
The quilting is vertical on this bag and I added bias binding to the top instead of using the lining fabric to finish the hammock seam.
I added an elastic expandable pocket for the laptop cord to have it's own storage place.
Several smaller pockets for pencils and other loose items were added this time.
The zipper pocket is the same as the original bag. I noticed my son really used this one. It might be hard to see from these interior pictures but another change was my having to hand sew the lining into this version. My sewing machine did have a hard time when I sewed the straps to the bag. The duck fabric coupled with the soft and stable foam gave it a workout. I did some creative trimming on the foam but by the time I got to finishing the interior, I was tired of wrestling with the arm of my machine and the bulk of the bag.
Here is the back pocket and a view of that adjustable strap. So altogether from start to finish it took me six days to complete this bag. I would estimate I have over 30 hours total invested in putting it together. That includes all of the redesign, layout, cutting and sewing.
Did I go back and rewrite those pattern notes you ask? No I did not. I put them neatly away as I remembered why I didn't do it the first time. I was too exhausted. Proud that I completed the bag but brain dead and ready to move on to an easy project.
My process might look hard or too entailed to you but it is only one way that patterns can be drafted and sewn. You would probably have a different way to make your own and that is perfectly fine. If you have tried in the past and not had success, don't give up. There is no correct way to make this happen. That is why you may enjoy sewing with certain ready made patterns and not others. Reverse engineering is a great way to expand your sewing skills and all of this will follow you toward your next sewing adventure. So are you ready to challenge yourself and try your own pattern? You can do it. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My creative MOJO has been slightly diminished with the current social distancing and threat of the Covid-19 but I think it is coming back. Check out my blog about how I started to regain my focus and get a little bit happier and HOPEFUL here.
Now back to my most recent project. I have a back porch that I really love to utilize but I did not have a screen door until now. This time of year is perfect for letting those spring breezes freshen up my house. It also invites all of the flying critters in. So I decided to do something about it.
I had a few feet of fiberglass screening mesh in my stash believe it or not. I have sewn beach bags with this in the past and it works great if you haven't tried it. It will do fine on your sewing machine. I also had some outdoor fabric with a plastic coating on it. Kind of like that tablecloth material but thicker. It doesn't ravel on the edges either so great for this project.
A Teflon sewing foot helped me guide the fabric and mesh through without any problems.
I laid everything out and used clips to hold the pieces together as I sewed. It was large so I had to take my time.
Now my view from my house is a little different and I love it. The fabric on the bottom makes it look like a screen door. It is not permanent though. So I can remove it in bad weather or when the season ends.
Grommets and cup hooks helped me mount everything. I did have to add a small amount of length to the bottom because I mounted the cup hooks on top of the frame instead of in it. So I would advise you to cut your bottom panel a little longer than what you think you will need just in case you decide it would work better.
Here you see the bottom view and that addition. I used a piece of 1x2 lumber inside a casing to weight the bottom and keep the panel flat as it hangs. Also, it does a good job of making sure that screen doesn't fly into the doorway as the wind blows. Small magnets and hot glue secured the panel so it clicks into place. I had a very windy day to test it out and so far so good.
You can open it easily to step in or out of the door. My dogs have become accustomed to it and they tried it a couple of times but now will just stand there and wait for me to open it. I have used the cheaper screen covers and purchased one each season because they will tear at the bottom. I hope this fabric will increase the time this cover lasts.
Here are the final measurements for the fabric and the screen. You may need to alter these according to your frame and door size. I also did a You Tube Video that you can watch the whole sewing process below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
There is a movement across the country to sew and donate face masks. I did a blog post a couple of days ago with a mask pattern and shoe lace ties. You can see that here. When individuals and groups began sewing masks most of the patterns used elastic. I thought it might be difficult for people to acquire with everyone staying in their homes. Also, several comments I saw on forums stated elastic was getting difficult to order online. The idea to use alternative materials like shoelaces worked and the masks have been holding up great. Today I wanted to post an easy way to create mask ties from fabric. Most patterns advise using bias binding that is pre-made or making your own
You can use a binder foot to sew fabric ties very easily. These ties are not as wide as bias binding, but they are very durable with all the raw edges being enclosed. This particular sewing foot is not a standard attachment but you might have one in your sewing feet and not realize it. I actually have one for my sewing machine and one for my serger. Binder feet are used to add binding to quilts and other projects like vest and jacket edges. In most instances you would have the binding being attached to other fabric. Here, you are sewing just the strip of fabric by itself and it works great. Most people that sew love to try and buy additional feet because they really do make short work of sewing tasks. If you don't have one, look in your machine manual and see if they are available for your model.
This is what the foot looks like. It has a curved center and might seem intimidating but it is magical when you see how easily the fabric is folded and sewn in one step.
I usually start by trimming my fabric to the correct width. Here you see I have an assembly line going with my strips. My particular foot requires the strips to be 15/16th of an inch wide. I have tried sewing them just a little shy of this and they still work great.
I trim the end to a point and that makes it easier to slide into the curved part of the foot. The fabric goes in with the pretty side facing to the right.
A pair of tweezers will assist in pulling the fabric through under the foot. I have my stitch on center needle with 2.5 mm width and 2.5 mm length. Verify all of these settings according to your machine and binder foot.
You make sure that the foot is lowered and hold the fabric at the same angle as the foot for smooth sewing.
Fabric strips go in and sewn ties come out with no exposed edges. As long as you hold that fabric at an angle and feed it smoothly, the foot will fold everything in place allowing the machine to sew beautiful fabric ties. These would be similar to spaghetti straps. If you want to do some relaxing sewing, this will certainly do the trick to watch these little ties being created with minimal work on your part.
Check out the mound of fabric ties I have been able to sew. Now all I have to do is cut out my fabric for masks and insert these into whatever pattern I am using. This has shortened my preparation time because all I am doing is trimming my fabric across the grain and letting the foot do the work. I pressed my fabric flat before I made my cuts and have not done anything else to prepare it. The fabric doesn't need to be cut on the bias because I won't be going around any curves. Everything is straight sewing when creating these ties. So if you have a binder foot in your tools, give it a try. Just look up the recommended fabric width for your foot. I have a video below showing my foot in action. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work! If you are interested in donating face masks to very needy organizations, visit WENEEDMASKS.ORG
Many states are in dire need and would welcome home sewn masks. Look for your area and I bet there is an organization close to you having made a request. If you know an organization that needs masks, point them in the direction of the WENEEDMASKS.ORG website so they can add their contact information and address to make a request. This is a legitimate site being spearheaded by the Sewing and Craft Alliance and American Sewing Guild.
****See updated pattern available below***
There has been an abundance of face mask requests from all over the USA as institutions are currently in need. I am a member of the American Sewing Guild and they are assisting with the effort. A website has been established that will allow requests to be made by any organization for sewn face masks. People who are able to sew are needed and all of the information is here. www.weneedmasks.org
If you are able to sew or know someone who can donate, please visit the website and see if your state has any needs. It is being updated daily.
There are so many free patterns available on the weneedmasks.org site and the internet in general. Many different and specific types from each hospital or medical center have been requested so every skill level will be able to help. Since the movement has begun, I have seen online comments that some people are ordering elastic from the Big Box stores. In these trying times, some basic items have become harder to find. I worry that some people may not be able to get elastic so I wanted to contribute a pattern that did not require it and used an alternative material. So here is a mask that is comfortably curved and has shoestring ties that are easily attached by top-stitching. These shoe strings may be easier to find right now. In fact, I got mine from Dollar Tree. If you can't find them, ribbon or bias tape would be a great substitution. If you can cut out a simple pattern and sew a straight line, you can complete these masks.
It requires four pieces of fabric and two shoelaces. There are no gathers or tucks so it is simple to sew but curved around your chin for a comfortable fit. The ties make it easy to customize depending on how tight you want to wear it. Like other home sewn masks, this is not approved by the Centers For Disease Control as PPE Protection and no claim of disease prevention is made. I sewed several for our home and we use them to help remind us to keep our hands away from our faces. It's amazing how often we touch surfaces and then touch our face. The medical centers are saying they will be able to use the sewn masks in certain circumstances to aid with their medical supply rationing. So check out the site to see if your area might need donations. If you are like me, you have extra fabric in your stash. You may also be at home and working on a project would make you feel very productive. I would use precaution with this type of mask for children because of the ties. A mask with elastic would probably be preferable for smaller children so keep that in mind if you decide to sew these for your loved ones.
So are you ready to sew a face mask? The project won't take very long and I have a pattern in a PDF document you can download below. The pattern does not include pictures but I also have a video below showing all of the construction that you can watch. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone , especially now, will appreciate your hard work! Be well.
****Updated pattern below- New design includes curved top for ease around eye area, added pipe cleaner nose piece and only one shoelace needed on bottom. Use a Cord stop fastener to hold in place. See pictures below. Stitches the same as original with exception adding the pipe cleaner in the nose area. The cord stop makes it easy to tighten and loosen. Curved area around eyes works great with glasses***
QR Codes have been around for several years. I believe they were originally created to help keep up with inventory controls but businesses have adapted them to do a lot more now. A QR code is usually a square with pixels inside. You can add other fancy graphics. Although you and I can't read it, there are bits of information encoded in the way the pixels are placed. This allows electronic devices equipped with scanners to interpret the codes and do something with the information. QR Codes can be made using Apps and software. I made this one with Corel Draw and used my website address for the encoded information. .
So all I do is open my phone camera just like I'm taking a picture and point it at the code. This is what you see. The camera recognizes the QR code by surrounding it with the yellow brackets. At the top of the screen my phone browser gives me the option to visit the website. Pretty neat right? So what am I doing with this code? I installed it on a purse that I will take with me to a sewing convention. Driving people to websites is always going to be a challenge until you develop a name or grab part of your market. Then once you have that traffic, you will still want to advertise to keep your regular base of visitors and gain new fans. A convention where the people are already engaged in the type of business you have will increase your chances of introducing people to your brand.
I used a purse from Walmart that has a sleeve on the back of it meant to go over a handle on a piece of luggage. Dark fabric transfer paper allowed me to print off the advertisement so it was really bright. I ironed it onto 100% cotton fabric, sewed a hem around the edges and then used Cam Snaps on the purse sleeve to make it removable. In the future I can create different advertisements for other events or customize for specials and coupons. When I want to use this as a purse, I can just remove the advertisement! The QR codes are very user friendly and have a fault percentage programmed into them. This means that scanners can pick them up even if they are backwards or farther away. My hope with this purse is that people will be able to snap a scan as I am going to classes and shopping the convention. They can do this without speaking to me if they are shy and just want to check out my site or if they want to interact, I will have business cards to hand out also. This should definitely be a conversation starter. So, if you are visiting my site because you snapped the QR code, thanks for taking the time. There is a You tube video below that takes you through the entire process of making the label. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I am taking you on a brief tour of my studio today. For some reason, I love systems and seeing how work flows are designed. In my studio and my home, I frequently like to move furniture and tools around and see if I can create better solutions for living and working. I am that weird person that likes to move everything out, clean really good, cull, separate and then put everything back in. It is kind of like a puzzle to me. How many ways can I change something and get better results each time? I think that is why I love digitizing embroidery designs, because they are just like puzzle solving. You can add pieces differently each round and still get to the same end result. My work space is a challenge. It is actually supposed to be a dining room. There are windows that minimize wall space and a large cased opening that I had to creatively work around.
I like to have a very large cutting and working table and this is certainly all that. I have a 4x8 sheet of plywood on top of two shelving units. It sits in the middle of my room and everything has to revolve around it. My husband has offered to "cut it down" several times, but I love it so much. The storage containers underneath are so great for holding all of my extra fabric also. I think of all of the things I have in my studio, this is my absolute favorite. My family likes it also. It has proven to be a great work surface for everyone.
Having small rolling carts makes it easy to move my notions around as I want to. I also label the drawers so I know exactly where all of those small pieces are. A sewing studio is always going to be hard to keep clean but small drawers really help.
I have talked about this stacking case in a previous blog and I still use it for extra pins, needles, marking tools etc. The best part is I can grab it for travel and retreats.
My heat press is situated on it's own stand. All of the transfers, t squares and items I use with the heat press stay in this area so I don't have to look for them.
My Silhouette is on my desk close to my computer. I mounted a set of drawer pulls on the shelf so it can slide in and out. This ensures my vinyl can feed all the way through the silhouette without getting tangled.
Fabric storage is always a challenge to keep neat. I use the small collapsible fabric boxes to keep mine in order. I separate each fabric type and try to group them by color also.
Here is another one showing how I roll the fabric tightly. This way I can see everything I have in stock.
Large glass jars help me keep my thread protected from the air and dust. It is also a pretty way to showcase all of the colors I have.
There is a designated pressing area always set up and ready. Storage underneath holds different tools and materials.
A cabinet above the pressing station holds all of my starch and pressing tools.
A small rotating tray helps keep the smaller tools in place so I can find them easily. I also have several Ott Light lamps for task lighting.
My husband built risers to put underneath my desk. This made it a custom area that is the perfect working height just for me.
The cabinet that holds my Happy embroidery machine also houses all items I need to use along with it. I also keep my stabilizer to the right of the cabinet.
So here I am with my furry buddies. They are usually in my studio also or very close by keeping me company. My work area has taken many years to create. I started my blog in 2015 and over these last 5 years, it has morphed several times as I have learned new skills and added tools. I have a more detailed You tube video you can watch below that shows all of my storage ideas. Many of them are cost effective and they don't always match. I like the purpose of something much more than the look of it. My desk for example cost about $20.00. It is beat up but very substantial and works great for my work flow. So check out the video. It is quite extensive and might give you the urge to create a space where you can "BE YOU" Everyone deserves that. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I am sitting here typing my review of the Butterick Pattern 6838 wearing my version C nightgown. So you already know this was a successful project. This pattern has been on my to do list for some time. Once I decided I was ready, it worked out to be a relatively easy stitch out and I have sewn one for myself and another as a gift for my mom. There will be more versions in my future.
Pretty nightgowns are one of my favorite things but sometimes they can get expensive. I am not talking about the T shirt gowns or even flannel ones you can buy at big box retailers. Think about the heirloom bridal or boutique nightgowns you may see in the fine department stores. Yards of 100% cotton fabric that is light and airy when you spin around. Beautiful cotton lace trims and silk ribbons. I have seen these type nightgowns upwards of $80 - $90 dollars and they are worth it. Why you may ask? Comfort. If you have never slept in 100 % cotton, you need to give it a try. No polyester blend, just cotton. Think of how wonderful it feels to sleep under a quilt. It is warm in the winter but we use ours in the summer also. A cotton nightgown is perfect for ladies in their ever changing seasons of life. Add a sleeve and it will keep your arms warm. Add some length and your legs will stay warm. Go sleeveless and be breezy. Give it a try and I promise you will feel so comfortable you won't want to get dressed in the morning.
My version C which has length and a short sleeve takes 4 1/8 yards of fabric, some fusible interfacing, and a couple of trims. I used the Pellon 906F Sheer weight fusible because I wanted this to have a little stability but be very breathable. The layout of the pattern pieces is easy because the main part of the gown is cut on the fold for the front and back. This takes up most of your fabric. Once you have those taken care of, you will have the yoke and the sleeves. So not a lot of pattern pieces are involved.
The yoke is where you will interface. Pay attention to the instructions here and make sure you only interface one front yoke and one back one. I suppose if you used a lightweight interfacing and wanted a little more structure, you could interface both sides but I would make sure you were not using a heavier weight product. The yoke does have a fair amount of hand stitching after you have put the the front and back together because of the facing. It is not difficult, but the hand stitching is necessary and done from the inside to conceal the seams. You will also do a good amount of gathering on the front and back gown pieces.
The sleeves take a few steps as they use two pieces of fabric each and they are set in so some ease stitching is required.. Trim or lace can be sewn or if you like a plain gown, you could leave this off. I would also advise to baste where the pattern says to. Basting is always a step that people avoid because it looks like it wastes time but it will help you avoid having to unpick your project.
I would advise also to make sure you transfer all of your markings and use the arrows on the pattern to make sure you line everything up. The gathering when connecting the yoke to the front and back gown pieces is specific and more prominent in the center of the gown rather than all the way across. When you line up the raw edges and use those markings you will see what I am talking about. I will say the only thing I was not sure about was the neckline. It is a little more generous than what I imagined when looking at the pattern cover photos. So if you have very narrow shoulders, you may want to go down a size so the gown doesn't fall off your shoulders. I would measure yourself and the pattern pieces before you decide. Look at the back yoke when you do this to make sure you have enough fabric to ensure you will be comfortable while sleeping and not feel like the gown is too tight across the shoulders. Also, pre-wash your fabric because cotton will shrink. Even if it is pre-washed you may see a little more shrinkage after it is sewn. It will also get softer and more lovely as you wash it each time.
So here is my nightgown all finished. I was pleasantly surprised with this pattern because as soon as I slipped my gown over my head, I knew it would be a favorite. I have become accustomed to being disappointed with my garment sewing projects over the years. I am sure you have also because you never know what you are going to get. After spending the money on the fabric, notions, pattern and then going through the process, it is disheartening when the fit doesn't work out. I think you may like trying a nightgown project because it is forgiving and even if not perfect, no one will see it except you. As far as skill level, I would say that because of the facings and set in sleeves, I would not say an absolute beginner would want to tackle this. A beginner with a few sewing projects under their belt who is comfortable with gathering and pattern layout can tackle it though. I was able to sew my second gown without using the instructions until I got to the sleeves. I had to refer to them and then I pushed through the rest of the project without needing any instruction help.
Maybe you have been inspired to try your own nightgown project? I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
One of the tools I have in my studio is a Sawgrass SG400 printer. I have had it for a couple of years and it is really fun to use when making special fabrics. I had a Christmas gift in mind for a family member that loves to ride Indian Motorcycles.
I used McCall's pattern M7139 version C which is a device stand. I have seen these online and thought it would be just about the right size to be able to print my own small piece of fabric. The printer can handle a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of printing paper. It is specialty paper though and is a little different than the transfer paper from an inkjet printer.
If you are thinking of breaking into Sublimination, you will also need a Heat Press. The paper reacts with the printed image and as the heat works on it, a gas is created. That process pushes the image permanently into the fabric or whatever substrate you are printing on. Each item you are subliminating to will need to be treated to accept the pressing also. So Cotton shirts might not be the best thing to work with unless they have been treated. 100% Polyester shirts will work but I have noticed if I purchase shirts off the rack, they sometimes don't have the vibrant colors when pressed. Shirts that are purchased specifically for sublimination do much better. Lighter colors seem to show up better with the paper I keep in stock. I use Texprint R.
For this project I had several yards of 100% Polyester knit fabric in my stash. If you look at Wal-Mart, some locations are now carrying pre-cut fabrics in larger quantities. You can see this yardage was very reasonable and it allowed me to kind of experiment. If you ever purchase something like this, you may notice when the fabric is unfolded, there are stains or even debris in them. I think they must be off cuts from the factory or ends that are not really loved. For my purposes, a small stain won't matter because I am going to cover it up. Just make sure you launder the fabric before you use it.
I designed my fabric in Corel Draw and sent it to my printer.
Here is the printed page and my fabric ready to press. Notice it is printed in reverse.
The fabric is first pressed briefly for about 5 seconds to take out the moisture. Then the image is placed, a paper topping goes on top to help protect your platen and it is imprinted.
These are the settings I used for this particular project.
Here is the fabric once printed. Pretty cool to be able to make that since I could not find any ready made fabric with these logos.
Here is the pattern piece placed on the fabric so I used most of the images.
Here is the device stand all finished.
I made another one in denim. I will advise you to put something in the bottom to weigh it down just a bit. You could use small stones, marbles beans etc. I had some small ceramic tile samples left over from another project, so I used that and it worked really well to maintain a flat bottom.
These are very useful. I have since made a couple more and during the day, I use mine to keep my phone standing upright. I can see emails and texts coming in. I also use it with my I pad turned on it's side. Very helpful while you stream videos. If you are looking for a quick sewing project, this one is hard to beat as most people have some kind of electronic device.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
I love to look at patterns and if they are on sale, I tend to pick them up for future projects. The Simplicity Pattern 2300 has several different bags that can be hung on a personal walker. I decided I wanted to try version C that you see in the bottom picture.
I work better on projects if I have a special person in mind that will be the receiver. This one is really meaningful for me because I hope it will help the person it is intended for. She is very independent and although she has a debilitating illness, still takes care of herself and lives alone. She also uses public transportation to do all of her shopping and make hair and doctor appointments. Currently she is using a self fashioned bag that is functioning, but I hope this will make it easier to secure her personal items safely.
I liked this particular bag because it calls for double sided pre-quilted fabric. That means it does not need to be interfaced to add stability. The amount of fabric required is 7/8 of a yard. This is perfect for me because I tend to purchase remnants and once I went through my stash, I found a beautiful piece of fabric seen above. I did need to quilt it before I could cut out the pattern.
I chose a deep brown color for the back of the fabric as the darker color should help hide any stains. Here you see the natural cotton batting I used.
I laid out a 2 inch grid with my large ruler and Frixion pen then used safety pins to hold all of the layers together. My machine has a walking foot and this made the quilting go very well with minimal shifting. The printed fabric I worked with was almost too small and I had to plan economically to use every part as the fabric is directional.
I also used two different color threads for the quilting so they would match the top and bottom fabric.
Here is the fabric all quilted and trimmed so I could see exactly where I could place my pattern pieces. This would have made a beautiful lap blanket also. Creating your own custom quilted fabric is very rewarding.
The frixion pen is easily removed with a hot iron.
So after all of my careful planning, I was able to get my pieces cut out and this was the amount of fabric left over. The pattern has only six pieces and they are easy to cut out. Other items I needed were a package of double folded bias tape, 3/4 yard hook and loop tape and 3/8 yard 1/4" elastic.
Here is the organizer after I had sewn the pockets and front and back together. Some of the things I would advise anyone sewing this particular pattern are: Read the instructions carefully before you begin. The cutting layout does have a couple of interesting things to note. The front and back as well as the tabs that hang the bag are laid right sides together when you cut them and the pattern piece is placed right side up on the WRONG side of the fabric. Sound confusing? It did to me too and I had to make sure I read that several times so really look at the Cutting layouts notes section. Another thing that may confuse you is some of the sewing directions are not listed under the part of the instructions as you work through the pattern. It will state "Apply binding" instead of showing pictures in the instructions. You have to refer to the Sewing instructions section and look up "Apply Binding" to get details. I assume this was done to save double printing the instructions for the other bags in the pattern.
Another thing I would advise is to make sure you really pay attention to the markings on the pattern pieces and transfer them to the fabric. I used my frixion pen to mark the pocket, velcro and tab placements. The outside phone and water bottle pockets are sewn on first. The middle pocket is sewn on top of these and hides unfinished areas of those outside pockets. There is a small amount of hand sewing required also. Here you see the red clips at the top of the organizer. The front and back are sewn around and then turned with an opening to be closed with needle and thread.
The tabs are the last two things that are attached to the organizer and because of the pockets on the front, they have to be hand sewn. The instructions are a little vague as they just say hand sew. I decided to use a ladder stitch and go around the three sides connected to the bag.
Then I sewed the top of the bag to the back side of the tab using the same ladder stitch.
There were of course some things that I had to figure out because I had never seen them before. One in particular is the binding. The instructions call for you to open the double fold binding and trim along the fold. There are some pictures and they do help. I tend to use the finished pictures to help me complete projects, but the cover photo does not show binding in a different color so this was one thing I had to trust I was doing correctly. The trimming of the binding reduced bulk but left the second fold so you could wrap it around.
The binding is used to create a casing for the elastic on the water bottle pocket. I think I assumed the casing would be part of the quilted material when I first began the project, but the binding is a better way to make a lighter casing and once I figured it out, I now have a new technique in my sewing arsenal. Isn't that usually how it goes? Those things that are hardest or confusing usually wind up being some of our go to things.
The velcro went on easy because I used those markings from the pattern so again, make sure you take the time to transfer everything over. The pockets did have some first time elements also for me. They are actually formed first and have some darts in them to help give volume. When you sew the outer ones on, one side that will remain visible is turned under and attached while the other is left raw because it will be covered by this middle pocket. The instructions state to baste the raw edges and I would not skip that. I know a lot of people want to move through a project quickly but that quilted material is thick and will shift. So make sure you do baste when it states to.
The last thing I would advise you to do is make sure you are using larger needles. One layer of quilted fabric is thick but there are areas when you are sewing the front and back together that you will have three to four layers of material. I started with a denim needle and did have one break. I wound up using a heavy duty 110/18 needle to finish the organizer. So maybe buy a new pack of needles and take it slow when you are sewing. I also lengthened my stitch from a 2.5 to a 3.0 and just moved patiently through the project so my machine could do it's work. My iron and pressing station were used throughout also to make sure that quilted material did not shift and was as neat as possible.
So here is the finished organizer ready to ship to my special friend. It took me two sewing sessions to complete it. If I had started with ready made quilted material, I believe I could have finished this project in one day or roughly eight hours of layout, cutting and sewing. I would not say this is a beginner project because of the type material. It does get thick and you do have to manipulate it. A beginner might not know to use all of the markings and the pockets with the darts are a little fiddly to attach to the bag. I would say a couple of easy bag projects with flat pockets might be good to practice on before mastering this pattern. It did turn out beautifully, I learned some new techniques and look forward to trying the other bags available in the pattern. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
My family just shake their heads at me when I wash out plastic containers. They don't even ask any more if I want to save unique packaging. Sometimes I don't have a problem discarding them but when we finished off a container of Cheeseballs recently, the tub was so big and sturdy, I had to come up with something I could re-purpose it for. So it sat on my studio table for a couple of days while I pondered. The hardest part was singling out where I could most use it. Right now as the seasons have changed, my yard is getting bare and I always feed the birds. That was my light bulb moment.
If you are interested in the brand cheeseballs, the picture above might look familiar. I could have just used the container to store my bird seed as is. If you have one in your pantry, don't throw it out. These have a wide opening perfect to reach into. I think you could come up with a multitude of uses in your house.
I digitized a really simple embroidery design for the project and used an old pair of blue jeans that I cut apart. So my project was Upcycled and Recycled! The design can be found here in my store. Cutting the jeans apart meant I did have to piece all of the fabric together and there were seams. I don't mind that but you might want to use a large piece of fabric instead. I think a canvas drop cloth would be excellent also.
I wanted my cover to fit snugly around the container, have a handle, a pocket and an open bottom. Since it would be made of fabric, I didn't want it to get too dirty as I carried it around my yard refilling my bird feeders. In the picture above, I sewed the cover so it comes just above the bottom edge. That way it still sits on plastic. I am not worried about the cover slipping off because I made sure the elastic is good and tight. Using the denim also helps stabilize the fabric and it is really sturdy. You could of course add a bottom very easily or sew a few strips of belting to enclose the cover.
The pocket is very spacious and covers most of the front. My thought was I might need to carry some tools to clean out old birdseed or maybe a funnel. I added tucks on the bottom and elastic to it can hold larger items very easily. This is where I embroidered the cute design also.
When I cut the jeans apart, I kept all of the seams and used them for the handle. I just braided them together and sewed them flat to either side of the cover. Then I trimmed them straight across so they would look neat.
The top and bottom include a casing so elastic could be pulled through. This makes the cover stay snug against the cover. It is very forgiving also since the cover has a lot of different dips and valleys. I will tell you that depending on the type fabric you use, this may differ. My denim was very thick and I did use a large needle for sewing leather. I had some areas that also required some hand stitches just to secure. This was usually where I double folded the casings and seams met together.
So now I have an excellent "upcycled tool" that will be useful to carry around my yard while I refill my feeders. I can also be assured when I store any leftover seed, the critters that might be looking for the buffet won't have such an easy time. If I store seed in the bag it usually comes in, I will more than likely find evidence that my shed has had "visitors"
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work
I love to re purpose something. If you have read my blog posts, you will see that I do have a hard time throwing anything away. I keep a stash of items stored in my craft room and it does tend to grow out of hand so I am continuously working on projects. My newest project has upcycling, sewing, quilting and embroidery all wrapped up. I purchased some flannel sheets last year from Wal*Mart in the buffalo check pattern. When you buy those sheets they will usually come enclosed in a boxy fabric zippered bag. Don't throw these out! You can use them for so many projects.
Here you see the outside bag with an added handle, cute embroidery and a pocket. The sheep is an applique design with chalkboard fabric. You can officially write in how many "Sheeps" until Christmas Morning on his body. The Text also lets you know that Santa Claus is watching "EWE" I took the original bag apart and drafted a pattern from it so I could make a lining. The lining was quilted so once I installed it , the structure of the bag would be more stable and stand up. I also used cutaway stabilizer in the pocket so it would help the bag stand up better.
When I was planning the project, my thought for a final use would be a pajama bag for kids. Holiday pajamas are really popular and instead of them winding up on the floor, a bag like this would be a great place for them to be stored. It could sit on the bed and also allow for interaction with counting those precious days away. The pocket can hold chalk and erasers. This would make such a cute bag to carry to grandma's house. The set of sheets that I purchased was a Queen size. I do have a generic drawing of the pattern with measurements I drafted so you can try this also. Just know that each set of sheets may come with a different size bag so measure your project accordingly. Look for the pattern download below.
Both Embroidery patterns are available in my store here. They come bundled together so you can embellish any project you want for the holidays!
I also did a You tube video showing my process. It is the complete bag from start to finish so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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