Category Archives: sewing
Another summer is drawing to a close and I managed to have my grandchildren visit one more time before school started. A week ago I had the little ones but this week 11 year-old Charli came to see her Oma and Opa. Charli came with an agenda. She wanted to do some cooking and some sewing! She had a little suitcase with her crochet hooks and her yarn but her real goal was to get some time on my sewing machine.
Here she is finishing up some hand sewing to a belt that she made on the sewing machine. But a much more difficult project was waiting! We had a half yard of Polartec Fleece and a pattern for a pair of booties. Cutting out the pattern was the first hurdle. The fleece was thick and my scissors were dull! Then after laboriously pinning and sewing the entire shoe together, we found out that it was too small! Back to the cutting table and another stint of forcing those scissors to cut through 2 layers of fleece. But by this time, Charli knew the directions by heart and we quickly finished a very handsome pair of booties.
Charli was a big help with Frazier as well. Frazier had graduated from the Positive Pup Training Academy but he is still a work in progress. We took him to the York County Heritage Rail Trail where we practiced his skills of “stay”, “sit”, “down”, “leave it” and “heel”. Let’s just say that he is very proficient at “heel” but not so good at “leave it” !
Back at home it was time to do a bit of baking. Charli’s birthday is coming up so we decided to make some cookies to serve for Labor day. I had discovered some refrigerated cookie dough in the supermarket that was already decorated with birthday themes. These new printed decorations are amazing! Charli separated the cookies from the dough. The scraps were rolled into logs and everything was baked for 9 minutes. Mmmmm…..
But we weren’t finished yet! A little more practice with hand sewing was in order. We downloaded some templates and cut some shapes out of craft felt. Then Charli started a small assembly line on the ironing board.
And you can see the result here! The cutest little owl bookmarks ever!
Two days wasn’t enough time to do everything we had planned. Before I knew it, it was time to take Charli home. But we resolved to get together again soon. Next time we will take a trip to Joann’s and choose a clothing pattern and fabric along with all the notions we will need. Then we will tackle some of the more advanced techniques of sewing. Perhaps Charli will try her hand at neckline facings or sleeves.
Now that the television has changed into a huge presence on the living room wall, it’s time to consider some ways to minimize its impact on home decor. I looked at many alternatives: cabinets, hide-aways, artwork covers, and aquarium dvds. The aquarium dvd proved to be a beautiful solution but I was not happy about the necessity of leaving the TV running all day. In the end, I purchased some very elegant tapestry fabric at a discount outlet on line.
I have a contemporary living room and this fabric coordinated well with the other upholstery in the room. The only drawback was that it was a bit too neutral for the other bright accents that I had on my walls. Yarn stash to the rescue! Rooting through my Red Heart worsted yarn, I chose 4 colors that would provide just enough interest to perk up this beautiful tapestry fabric. I experimented with attaching strands of yarn to the curvy outlines woven into the fabric. Once I got the hang of keeping the strands running along the edges of the patterns on the fabric, I stitched them in place with a wide zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine. The colorful yarn provides just enough textural interest and artistic touch to make this plain fabric very unique.
The next step will be to cut my fabric to about a 44″ X 28″ rectangle and then to attach the strands. I’m sure that the width of the fabric will provide its own challenge as I attempt to work my way across the piece. Once it is done, I’ll sew on a lining and hang the tapestry over the TV on a small rod. The rod can just be lifted from the brackets and placed elsewere when you want to watch TV. Stay tuned to see the completion of this project…
I’ve been bitten by the decorating bug. After living in our home for a year and a half we are finally getting rid of our hand-me-down furniture and buying new. When we adopted the RV lifestyle 9 years ago, we had given away, sold, or otherwise disposed of all our furniture and possessions. Now, after 7 years on the road we’ve decided to settle down again. Of course we had to start from scratch.
I was having a hard time finding a 45″ contemporary bench that was high enough to conceal my wall outlet. I wanted something with curved legs but it had to be somewhat transitional, not too modern. Of course, I did the usual Google search. I even ordered and returned three different benches. Nothing was working out. In desperation, I decided to hit the consignment shops once again. No luck at the first two but I hit pay dirt when I stopped in Great Finds and Designs in Timonium, MD.
There, just beyond the sales desk was my bench! I was somewhat dismayed by the price. It had just recently come in and was marked $140. The wooden legs were extremely scuffed and even gouged out slightly in the back. The cushion doesn’t bear talking about. Clearly it needed new upholstery. I figured it was worth about $75 as a used piece of dated furniture. I would have to wait two months before the price was reduced to $85. Well, it wasn’t worth taking the chance. I bought it and stopped at Joann’s on the way home to purchase some batting and upholstery fabric. The legs will need some sanding and repair too.
Still in all, this bench was a good deal. Even with the repairs, it will still be significantly less than the other ones I had ordered. Add to that the fact that this mid-century style is now becoming very popular, I think that I made a great find. I’ll post the “after” photos when I have completed the refurbishing.
Crafty Home Draperies
Here’s a great find I made at a local home consignment shop. I’ve been thinking about installing some cornices in my bedroom along with some new side panels for the windows. Pier One had just the draperies I liked. Two cornices cost me $15. This was a real break for my husband who doesn’t have much time for my building projects anymore.
I removed the green striped fabric and fiberfill batting and stapled on thick white felt. Since my room is contemporary, I didn’t want a pouffy cornice. I had purchased 3 drapery panels. Since I only wanted the drapes to cover the edges of my roman shades, I cut each of two panels in half lengthwise and hemmed the raw edges. I also removed the tabs at the top and created a casing by sewing 2″ wide blanket binding to the back. I used the remaining panel to cover both cornices and to make tiebacks for the panels.
Hand sewing the zipper took a little time. I take many small horizontal stitches through both thicknesses and place them one on top of the other. This results in a row of slanted stitches running down the zipper tape.
Turn the coat inside out. Keeping the sleeves right side out, tuck a sleeve into one armhole with the underarm sleeve seam centered in the 2″ decrease area in the armhole. Center the top of the sleeve on the shoulder seam. Make sure you have the two pieces right side together. Clip the sleeve to the armhole edges and crochet or sew around the edge.
The above photo shows the sleeve seam crocheted together. Weave in all ends. Sew the buttons under the buttonholes on the front.
I will post a modeled photo soon but now I am going to sign off for a couple of weeks and to take a vacation with my children and grandchildren. When I return, I will provide the free crochet Bike Chain Car Coat pattern.
It’s hard to find pretty spring napkins. I decided to make my own and since I needed 8 of them, I thought I’d save some money in the process. I was looking for a contemporary floral design that would match the peach colored raffia placemats I had purchased at Wal-Mart. After an hour of intense searching at JoAnn Fabrics I finally settled on a fabric I liked. But, oh my, how prices have changed since the last time I bought fabric by the yard! At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I was completely floored. My chosen fabric was $9 a yard on sale! At that price, 2 yards was all I wanted to buy. Two yards would make 8 napkins measuring 18″ x 18″. I know that’s a bit small for dinner but I keep my entertaining informal. Of course when I began to measure and cut out the napkins, I found that the salesperson had cut my fabric an inch short. Instead of driving the 15 miles back to the store, I just made the napkins slightly smaller. I’m hoping to use these often throughout the summer.
Finally! I’m so lucky to get a new sewing machine. Even though I haven’t really done much sewing since my children were small, I still need one for my never-ending home decorating projects and the occasional craft inspiration. Instead of settling for a Singer from the local Wal-Mart, Paul and I went to a bona fide sewing machine dealer. The saleslady recommended the Husqvarna by Viking and after trying it briefly, I fell in love! I can set the needle to end in the up or down position, control the sewing speed, and make automatic buttonholes. I didn’t need any of the fancy embroidery stitches so I just went with a basic model. It sews like a dream!
As you can see, I’m using Bailey’s favorite toy as a pincushion. He has been gone 5 weeks now and it seems as if I will never get used to his absence. I still look for him everywhere I turn.
This Sunday is Easter but I will still offer my Sunday Giveaway. I have several backpack and purse patterns that I will be de-stashing. Don’t forget to check back here to see what goodies are available this week.