Wednesday, November 16, 2011

quilted advent calendar

December 1st is almost here are you ready?
Last year for Christmas I made 2 of these wall hangings for gifts and cut a third one out for myself, I figured I had all year to finish hurry right?.  Well its been all year and I didn't make it so now that we are close to the time when you hang it on the wall I needed to get going! So here is the tutorial that we followed from Sew Mama Sew (when I say "we" I mean my friend and I who also made them with me, between the two of us we made 7, we bought yard cuts and shared the fabric) Since my squares were already cut and matched up (pattern wise) which is the time consuming part, I got right to it.  If you will notice the different styles of numbering that can be choose what works best for you!  The first one I embroidered with colored thread on white fabric, cut out squares and sewed them on by machine, the second I used the printable fabric paper which went faster, and for mine I just freehand embroidery on circles of felt and then stitched the circles on the squares randomly (which might be my favorite method...quick and cute)
I followed this pattern close with thees exceptions:
The Numbering
I did not use the wonky piecing to stagger the pockets
I quilted stitch in the ditch instead of stippling

I added a greeting for each recipient as well as a 25th pocket on the back

So let me encourage you to make this lasting treasure for you family to enjoy this season.
I bought the fillers from fairy tale pumpkin on etsy and they are perfect!

I took theese pictures with my iphone and the instagram app, its fun to play with the filters, they make it look old tyme!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

tuttie tute tutorial: closet organizers

quick and easy baby gift

I used 5x10 scraps
3x3 strips of clear vinyl

I did not take step by step pictures of this project.  But here are the basics:
I sewed the side seams then placed the fabric folded in half and traced the hanger to get the diagonal top and added a clear pocket for the front to place the label in so it can be changed as you need

Monday, July 25, 2011

zig zag quilt

I picked up 2 charm packs of this really colorful and fun fabric a while back, with intentions of a little quilt for my daughter. 
 I also have been wanting to make a zig zag quit for some time.  So this was a perfect match! 
I learned about a technique where you sew you white square right sides with your printed square.  Draw or iron a diagonal line or fold and sew 1/4" on each side of the line, you then cut on the line and you have two squares complete.  Its a genius quilting trick.  So I got going on cutting and piecing arranging my layout with my 5 year old input on how the colors should go.  She did not like the mixed up look like the quilts online, she wanted the 4 block that matched to stay together so I did as she asked and we put together a very color pleasing quilt.  I used a polkadot flat sheet for the backing and black and white dot for the binding.  I quilted along the zigzag and was able to complete the machine quilting in a few hours.
Here is the method I used for the blocks, you can arrange theese triangles in a number of ways to get so many different patterns, 4 finished blocks make one zig zag

Next on the list to finish this bed off is a pillow that requires some hand embroidery. Inspired by this lovely shop. To be done in the car on our family vacation. Coming soon!

Friday, July 22, 2011

picnic blanket in a bag

I have a picnic blanket that I bought for I think $7, about 10 years ago. You fold it up and there is a zipper that goes around it and then it has a strap.  Great idea....ugly colors AND toooo small for my family of 7.  So a few years ago I was commissioned by an etsy customer to create "the ultimate picnic blanket" as she so lovingly referred to it.  This blanket started as a small project but got big real fast.  Her blanket ended up measuring almost the size of a king blanket.  The top was created from reproduction vintage prints and the back of a fabric called cordura, most commonly used for backpacks.  She chose this fabric because of its durability and waterproofness.  She lives in NY and wanted to keep all the muddy yucky street germs on the outside of her lovely fabric...who can blame her.  Well here is what I ended up creating for her....I did not want to give it up!

So I decided that I would eventually make one for our family since I had the practice on this one! Well that was spring 2008.......anyways I have been collecting jeans for many years now with the intentions of a big blanket some is the day!  I cut and cut and cut....there was a massive pile of denim squares and still had enough jeans left to make a few more blankets.  I also had an old duvet cover that I planned for the backing and binding.
cutting denim is very messy to say the least!

So maybe someday I will share a tutorial on how to add gussets and a zipper to a blanket.  It actually is quite simple just takes some thinking and SILENCE....I had to send the kids outside for this one.  Here is a picture of how it is applied. I used a 48" plastic zipper, a 4" strip of jeans and a nylon strap from an old duffel bag.

we have already used it ALOT!

Friday, July 15, 2011

easy summer dress BURDA just in case you didn't know! Well they always have fashion that does not look homemade, easy patterns and great tips and advise.  Most sizes are European so you have to figure that out but I have purchased a number of PDF patterns and have had great luck so far.  Well I got the newsletter with new summer patterns and had to have this dress.  BUT....pattern did not come in my size.  Most pattern makers on BURDA only make patterns in one size lot, anyways I was looking at it and thought it was a simple idea, and I knew I could copy a neckline from a shirt I liked, so I got out the pattern paper and got started.  I wanted to have side seam pockets so I used this tutorial from BURDA as well, I am a big fan of binding so I used a simple binding technique added some gathers at the neckline and it was done! I decided not to add the gathered waist, but I might change my mind later.  Without a belt or gathering it looks like a shepherds costume, my daughter and I were laughing about it calling it my shepherd dress, so it definitely need a belt or gathering.  Dress in a day! LOVE THAT.  I purchased this linen like stripe at a fabric warehouse, it was easy to sew with and is very comfy...I might need some more of it.  I used about 1 2/3 yards, the bias binding cut into the last bit of the 2 yards.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

tuttie tute: bike basket linner/tote bag

Bike basket liner and tote! Ok I know I went on and on about my old Schwinn bike and the cover was cute and easy but a cute seat cover can only do so much for a sad little bike.  It looked good but rode bad :( I need to be able to go for long rides with my kids and pull a few kids behind me from time to time.   I needed a new bike.  So With my new bike I needed a cute basket liner.  After some etsy surfing on what people are making I got a general idea of what my needs were and what I wanted to create.  My basket is the quick release by wald.  The quick release mechanism prevents the liner from going around the top in a continuous piece so I had to adapt the top, more about that later.  Here is the list of likes and wants for my bag.
zipper pocket
key fob
water bottle holder
ability to take out and carry
pocket for phone and glasses
AND to be CUTE!

Ok so I started,  here is what I did.  Spread out all my fabric scraps to decide my fabric combination, I wanted the bag to compliment my bike colors and I found I had enough of these wonderful Amy Butler prints. Gathered some other supplies like yellow webbing for the straps, a zipper for pocket and a clasp from an old duffel bag.  So I got to work.  First by measuring the basket and drawing a rough picture with dimensions to go from.  If you have not discovered pattern paper, you need to if you like to make your own patterns...its a must.  The pattern paper has marks in inch squares so it helps you keep things straight and it has a wax paper backing that you can iron onto your fabric to help cut it out. 

So I created my pattern.

The top was 2" larger than the bottom so I created by patterns

Here is a picture of the pattern paper ironed onto the fabric.  This is also helpful if you want to line up your patterns and center the fabric.  This takes time and uses more fabric sometimes but it makes the difference between homemade and boutique, if you ask me.

Here are my lining pieces ready to add inside details of your choice.

I made a simple pocket on the top peice, placed elastic on the left for a drink, key fob on the right and a zipper pocket.  I have been wanting to learn how to insert a zipper pocket so this was the perfect project to test it out.  Found this tutorial and its perfect. I made my pocket 8x8.
My pocket is not perfect and a little puckery on the corner but a good first try and good enough for the lining of this project.
I assembled the lining sewing the side seams first, being careful to sew only  a 1/2 from the bottom in each side seam.  Cut my bottom piece and then attached the bottom.  There are many tutorials out there about basic tote bag construction if this is your first time.  I will skip alot of the basic construction steps and only tell about the different things I did to customize the bag for a basket.
I then added the straps.

This picture is an example of where I put a dot on the bottom for where to stop sewing to get your bottom to come out square.

Now repeat for the outer minus the pockets and extras.

I like to press my seams out and them top stitch on both sides of the seam, this adds strength and structure to the bag as wall as a nice decorative touch.

I made my casing in two pieces to the handle is able to go up and sown and not interfere with the bag.
Sew the casing to the outer and turn the outer bag inside out and insert in the lining, right sides together.  Stitch around the top, I prefer to rip open a piece of my lining rather than have the top opening left.  So then rip a lining side seam and turn bag right side out. 
I inserted a piece of template plastic for my bottom to have a bit of sturdiness in the side seam opening and then stitched shut.  Iron seams and top stitch again under the casing.
Thread you tie through the casing
cant wait to test it out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

tuttie tute: easy bike seat cover tutorial

I am a lover of all vintage things, but if they have a family history I love them even more. I have had my Nana's old Schwinn Suburban Bike from the 60's for about 17 years, I started riding it when I was pregnant with my first born because it sat up straight and my mt. bike was no longer comfy for my growing belly.  Well it has gone in and out of storage and I rode it here and there.  I now love this bike even more since my Nana recently shared with me how it was the first bike she ever bought with her very first paycheck as a working mom, well now I have to restore it! So I dusted it off, polished the rims and handle bars rubbed all the rust off with WD40 and sent the wheels in for an overhaul.  I was searching for vintage parts and came across some cute bike seats, then I saw bike seat covers in fun decorative prints, well ......need I say more? 

Here is my tute for making an easy bike seat:

1- choose fabric
    I am using Joel Dewberry Ginseng dec weight fabric because my bike is sparkly brown and this matches perfect.  Some people out there in blog land were using oilcloth, which is a great idea and waterproof, but it hardly rains where I live and I didn't think it necessary for me.

2- trace bike seat onto tissue paper with sharpie


3- add 5/8" freehand around your outline then fold in half to get a symmetrical pattern and cut out

4-cut out fabric and fusible fleece for added padding

5-I also decided to quilt a 2" diamond pattern at this point this is optional but adds a nice touch, plus I just love my walking foot and enjoy little details
6- take a measurement around the outer edge of seat top, and decide how wide you need the sides to be, because this is an old bike seat and not very pretty I wanted my sides to cover the springs on the back and go around the entire seat so I made my sides 5" wide, this also allowed for my seam and for custom trimming later.  Then I clipped the edges for easy curves.

7-Attach side piece stretching and curving around the seat top, I decided to stitch in the same manner that I do binding, starting about 1-2" from the beginning,  this is the binding tute that changed my binding life :) Follow this and it will open up a whole new world of binding.  I know this sounds crazy but really binding is amazing! hehehe, its the simple things that make me sooo happy.

ok back to the project
8- sides are attached and now its time to check the fit
yeah! it fits!!!!! I was totally winging it so I did not know what it would look like.

9- trim around the edges that are too long, my seat has a narrow front but needed more coverage around the back for the springs, so eyeball this step and cut half of the side then fold in half to get the other side so they match up

10- finishing it off: 2 ways this can be done.  Create a casing and add a drawstring (which I think might have been a better choice ) but I'm lazy and had tons of FOE on hand to I used it!
FOE (fold over elastic) in case you don't know is a wonderful elastic product that has many uses, skirt waistbands, ironing board covers, to name a few of the uses I have experience with but it was originally purchased by a friend who had an ambitious diaper cover project in mind and bought like a million yards of it, so I ended up with some.  Which I love.  So you place half on the back and fabric in the middle pull and sew at the same time, I do not use pins for this, though some may want to.  I also use an elastic stitch on my machine that runs a straight stitch in a zigzag pattern

I wanted the fit to be a little more snug so I decided to add a elastic strap in addition, this is why I thought the drawstring might actually work better.
this worked out too though

now I cant wait to see it on my bike and try it out. Waiting on the tires...thanks to my hubby who installed them and adjusted my brakes to make sure everything was put back properly after I disassembled it :-)

my next bike accessory project will be a basket excited!!!