Mixer Cozy

My kitchen aid lives on the counter (as you may have seen in my second post) and with all the day-to-day cooking going on around it, the mixer often gets dirty between uses forcing me to clean it before every use.  I had the afternoon off and I came up with this awesome cover.

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A few weeks ago when I was making a pair of short for my hubby’s Muddy Buddy team I found this awesome cupcake fabric on sale so I bought it for the stash knowing it would come in handy soon enough.  I also had left over quilt batting from a baby quit i made a few months back.  Looking up at my awesome filed fabric stash I saw the two and knew exactly what I wanted to do!

What you need:

measurementsCut the three pieces each out of your cover fabric, your lining fabric and your batting. My fabric has a clear direction so I made sure to cut all pieces keeping the cupcakes going top to bottom.

I wanted a little detail on the bottom of mine so I cut my long cover piece at 30×15 instead and then cut two 3.5×15″ yellow pieces and sewed them to the bottom before staring.

Next, you need to add the curve to the tops of your side pieces. I used a turned over 8″ bowl to get matching curves.

round

 

After your pieces are all cut, it is time to quilt them. Layer them so that the lining is wrong side up, then put the batting down and then layer the top fabric right side up – pin together and quilt.  I went with straight lines, but feel free to get creative here.

Once all of your pieces are quilted, pin the sides to the main piece rights sides together around the curve. I like to start in the center and work down to the ends. This way if your cutting was off you will be equally short on both sides and can fix the length at the end. Next sew the side in using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat on the other side.

Next, take your ribbon and hand sew it to the center top in a loop. I used a 1/2″ ribbon, but you could create a loop from extra fabric, or larger ribbon or even leave it out if you don’t want one.

ribbonOnce your pieces are all together, if the bottom is uneven, cut the fabric so that it is straight all the way around.

Then press the bottom in a half inch deep, roll over so the raw edges are hidden, and press again.  Then sew around the bottom to finish.  Another option here is to cut an inch off the bottom and use bias tape to finish.

photo

Other variations could be to add piping around the sides, or add pockets – make it your own and have fun!

 

 

 

 

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Getting Organized – Filing Your Fabric

Fabric stash disarray is an epidemic. Every seamstress I know has piles of folded fabric that inevitably fall over, yardage they lose of forget about and random bags, boxes and drawers of notions and pieces they have to dig through every time they start a project.

 With all of the sewing I have been doing lately, I was going crazy! Folding all of my fabric into bags, forgetting what I have and digging through like a dog looking for a bone every step of the way and ending up at the fabric store when I can’t find what I know I already have some where.

I started my solution search on Pinterest, as one does, and came across this.

The problem for me was that I don’t have extra closet or floor space in my 650 square foot flat for a filing cabinet, but what I do have are nine foot ceilings and shelves. I also wanted something clear so that I could easily see what I had stored, especially if it was going to live nine feet high – I want to know what I’m grabbing without opening every drawer.  So, I went to my local office supply store and picked up several clear vertical filing boxes, 100% recycled file folders (why not? They are the same price), an accordion folder and a stiff file folder with pockets.

SuppliesMy original intent was to use the accordion folder for my patterns, but I found that the hanging folders worked better for that.  I ended up using it to sort my notions, mostly ribbing, bias tape and elastic and I used the zip envelope for zippers and closures. I kept my sewing box to takes care of all my pins, scissors, needles, thread etc.  

I think deciding how to file your patterns and notions is going to be very personal depending on how big your collection and if most patters are for you or children or whomever.  Some ideas are to file by sex, or size or garment type.  Most of my patters are for me so I went with the latter.

The next step was just following along with the original tutorial. In the tutorial they suggest you cut the folders so you get two-for-one as it were, but I left mine intact in case I have smaller pieces I want to file with the large piece or a project I want to keep together. I  tend to have several projects going at once, (and by that I mean I have bought the notions and patters for them but not started) so I filed the zipper and patters in the hanging folders before draping the fabric over the top. I was able to fit a surprising amount of fabric in each box (the picture below is before the box was full).  You can also iron your fabric before filing it, but I did not because I end up ironing before I cut anyway.

filed fabricI don’t have a ton of fabric right now, so I organized by project type: a box for clothing, a box for quilting, patterns and notions, and a box for costumes and upholstery fabric.  The division worked out perfect. You can fuss and organized depending on the composition of your stash.  The good news is the files are so easy to pull out and move, changing your mind after you start is no big deal!

Now I just have to set up more shelves so I don’t have to stake them 😉

finished filed fabricand voila! filed fabric stash! But beware, this could lead to higher fabric stash capacity and corresponding fabric shopping sprees. Happy sewing!

 

 

 

Duffle bags

A classy twist on the 80’s gym bag, these duffles were so fun and easy to make!

(adapted from Saltwater kids)

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The materials are easy (but can get expensive)

  • 1/2 yard heavy weight fabric (I used upholstery fabric, but you can use heavy weight denim or even outdoor and laminated fabrics)

  • 1/2 yard cotton lining fabric (I used a quilting cotton I found on sale)

  • 16” SEPARATING zipper* (if you get a zipper that does not separate, or accidentally get ahead of yourself and sew one end in, the project gets harder)

  • Jean/denim sewing machine needle  (I used a 90)

  • 76” of 1½”-2″ wide webbing

Instructions:

  • Cut a 26” X 16 ½” piece out of both your heavy weight and lining fabrics.

  • Cut (2) 8 ½” circles out of each fabric for the ends.

  • Sew the body pieces right sides together at the 16.5″ sides and then turn right side out.

  • sew the zipper in across the now finished seams, separating it so that your work remains flat.

  • Turn the piece sideways and lay flat so that the zippers are to your left and right with raw edges at the top and bottom.

  • find the horizontal center line and mark 1.5″ above and below it (you will use these to align your webbing)

  • Align the webbing to the lines so that there is 3″ of space between the top and bottom and make sure the loose ends of the webbing come together at the center point to form a loop. Mark the mid point of your piece of webbing and align it with the joint to make sure the loop is even (picture from the original post are helpful here).

  • Sew along the outer edge of the webbing and add an “X” at the top below where it meets the zipper and becomes handles in all four places (see photo below).

  • pin the circle lining pieces wrong sides together to their heavyweight counterparts.

  • Face the body piece heavyweight fabric side up and the circle heavyweight side down.  Start sewing at the zipper and slowly work the pieces together as you sew around the circle until you reach the other end.  If there is space, try adjusting your seam allowance.

  • repeat on the other side.

  • Turn inside out and you’re done!

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Felt Animals

After making a baby quilt a few months ago using felt animal silhouettes as an easy applique technique, I decided to branch out and make a few other fun items as holiday gifts and I think they came out really nice.

First a little bit about how I made these:   For the pillows I started with a basic envelope pillow case, if you have never made one before check out this tutorial.  

pillow case

leaf pillow cases

For the potholders I used 9″x9″ squares of fabric back to back with a 9″ square piece of heat proof batting in the middle and made a handle out of scraps but you can use ribbon too.

Badger Potholder

Felt badger potholder

Once I had the base pieces cut for both projects I used fabric chalk to draw out the silhouettes on different colored felt and cut them out.  After they were cut out I centered them on the fabric and sewed along the edges – that simple and so cute!

animal pillow cases

Your Grandmother’s Wedding dress

Your Grandmother's Wedding dress

Recently a friend’s daughter was getting married and she loved her grandmother’s wedding dress, but as a 6′ size 12 there was no way this 5′ size 4 was going to fit. Rather than try and alter the dress, we decided to deconstruct it and turn it into wedding accessories as well as keepsakes for all the other grandchildren so that everyone would have a piece to cherish. Pictured here are some of the garder belts I made as well as two of the clutch purses I created using the Martha Stewart tutorial. I also made several shawls, travel jewelry bags and pin cushions. I really think this is the best way to honor the white dress.

Oil Cloth Bibs

My first two friends to have babies are about to reach the six month marker and the switch to baby food.  This coincides perfectly with my love for oil cloth and adorable sewing projects.  I found two basic patterns, one rounded and one squared and picked up some oil cloth and one laminated fabric I fell in love with.  

baby bib pattern

bib pattern rounded

Both of the original instructions on these patterns suggested sewing wrong sides together and using binding around the edges.  I chose to turn them inside out however, because both oil cloth and laminated fabric are not machine washable and I didn’t want any nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in places they couldn’t be easily wiped off with a sponge. If you wanted to use cotton on one side and fleece on the other it would also be uber cute and machine washable, so it’s up to you.

Bib pieces

oil cloth pattern pieces

After cutting the pieces out I sewed them right sides together.  You could sew the velcro onto the neck first so that the stitching doesn’t go through both pieces, but I found that it was worth the extra stability and as long as you choose matching thread, it is not much of a distraction.  

On the pattern, it shows a small area to leave open for turning out after you sew the pieces together.  I found that when using lamented fabric, and even more so with oil cloth, that more space is needed, so I chose to leave 3-4″ open at the bottom rather than the more narrow neck line to make the process easier.

Also, I found it looks much cleaner after turning out if you trim your seam allowance down to 1/8″ and press it open with your finger before turning.  This is especially helpful for avoiding creasing around the tight neck line.

Baby Bib

Finished oil cloth baby bib – Left side is the squared pattern,

For closures, you could also use snaps or even magnets for your closure, which I think I will try in the future, but I had velcro on hand so that was easiest.  

I cut the velcro to 1.5″ strips, I found that any shorter really didn’t provide enough strength to keep it from being tugged off too easily, and then I sewed them on in the top corners around the far edges.

Overall I love how they turned out and I can’t wait to make more!

Finished Duvet

After taking quite a long break from blogging and from many of my craft activities, I finally finished that Duvet I was working on in my first post.

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The difficult part was sewing the quarter circles to the outside section that makes it a square, but once I succumbed to the use of many, many more pins than usual, success was mine.  In an effort to make it a duvet appropriate for not just me, but my fiance as well, I backed it with a bright green solid cotton that really pops.  Finally, I decided no more of those annoying buttons at the top that come undone and get your hands caught in the gaps when your sleeping, no, instead I used a sleeping bag zipper put in with an overlap to keep it from scratching so it doesn’t matter if it’s at your feet or your head.  This has been my favorite part about the new duvet, and I will never go back to buttons again. 

If I can manage to dig up the pattern I made, I will post it for easy replication.