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 liner.......so excited!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

mothers day gifts

So as you may know by now I make alot of gifts! I also make alot of bags and little things with zippers.  Zippers are nothing to be afraid of, and they are fun to buy, I know this may seem strange but if you browse the cute etsy shops that sell only zippers and you see all the beautiful colors they come in you start to want to make things using zippers, so I like to buy a rainbow pack of zippers and keep them in my stash.  Colored zips are so much more fun than just plain white ones, also, they are much cheaper to order on etsy than to buy one at a time in the store. One more reason to love etsy, like we need one! Here is the shop I got my zippers from, check it out I know you will be inspired.
Ok back to the mothers day clutches,  if you are a follower of sew mama sew you may recognize this post from a while back, they have the best gift list projects ever! This is the glift list and here is the bag tute I made.

I followed the pattern as written, turned out perfect.  I assembly lined 4 bags this made for quick work, as she says it takes longer to pick out the fabric than to actually make the bag, well that was the same for me, and if you make a few at a time you really make the most of your time.

for this bag I used Amy Butler dec fabric Trumpet Flowers in Pink so I did not use interfacing, the other three i used quilters cotton and interfaced. This one is for my sisters birthday this week.

I decided for the zipper pulls to make little beaded dangles instead of the usual ribbon, makes it a bit more girly and unique.
for my Mom, lover of all things red
Amy Butler Love collection: Paradise Garden in wine and the band in Sunspots Tangerine

for my Mom in law, lover of bright colors and calico:

iIcant remember this fabric name, just pulled out of my stash, but the band is Amy Butler sSnspots in Mint

and since I don't sew for myself very much I needed one too!

you may recognize this fabric from my previous post on wet bags, Sandi Henderson's Meadow Sweet, and since I have lately been obsessed with teal, green, tangerine and coral I this fabric was calling my name!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

wet bags

I made a couple of wet bags recently as gifts, I enjoyed making them and think I could use one myself, even though we don't have anymore diapers in our house.  This bag has many uses and I think it would be a handy item for anyone, not just diapering....boy do i wish i had one when we were though.
I saw this bright fabric by Sandi Hendersons line Meadow Sweet and thought is was fun and cheery for this bag, I am using it as a gift bag for the baby quilt from my earlier post.  I added a name frame with clear vinyl to label who the bag belongs to or its contents.  I think a snap strap is useful also, and I like to add pull tabs on my zippered bags.  The inside has PUL lining and I boxed off the bottom so the bag will stand up when filling it.  This is a simple project that I may do a little tute on but for now I will give out the dimentions:

cut 2 of outer fabric and 2 of PUL lining

cut contrasting fabric 15x3
this is for the strap and the pulls

14" zipper

The finished measurements are apx 12x12, the extra amount in the length is to account for the square bottom

On this bag I added a pocket on the outside

using the dimensions i gave above, you can put this bag together with out instructions.  This little tute got me going on bag lining and zippers, once i made this little bag i just started making all sizes and shapes just off of the instructions from this blog, so YOU CAN TOO!

Monday, May 2, 2011

baby quilt

I love the chance to make baby gifts, and its even more fun when the person you are making a gift for LOVES color.  This is a simple strip quilt, I made strips the width of the fabric by 2,3,or 5.  It sews up fast. 
Then I used It's a Hoot by Momo on the back
I quilted around the bird and the hills on the front and in the ditch on the other strips

I bound the quilt with Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Acorn Chain in Pond, love this fabric, it goes with so many prints.  One of those complimentary fabrics you can never have enough of.