Friday, May 29, 2009

Amy Butler SUN SURF HALTER sewn & ready for summer!

I've blogged on the Sun Surf Halter pattern by Amy Butler before, but wanted to share these latest versions. Fabric for this one : Sweet Jasmine - natural from the Daisy Chain collection.

Great fabric choice to show off a fake or real suntan!

In the corner of this picture is a
glimpse of the garden and the beginning of a tasty fresh tomato sandwich! Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Fabric used : Dandelion Fields- rose

Do not wear this style if you have a hairy back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sewing a Pink Fig Cuppy Cake dress

I've sewn the Pink Fig Cuppy Cake dress more than once & each time felt as if I were creating a bouquet with flowers!
Each panel combines to make the panels next to it prettier, much the same as flowers in a bouquet.

I wanted this particular dress to be soft and feminine. These Daisy Chain and Midwest Modern 2 fabrics were selected. Making the selection is the hard part of creating this dress.

Each panel making up the dress skirt is top stitched. You'll probably want to use the same thread for all top stitching. Be sure select a thread color which will blend well with all of the fabric panels.

My serger sits next to my machine, which allows me to sew the seam, slide to the serger for finishing the raw edges quickly. I laid out the order of my prints, divided them into smaller sections.

Rather than handling a long strip with 16 panels, I had smaller sections to work with & joined them after each section was completed. You don't have to do it that way, but it seemed less cumbersome to me.

This picture shows the skirt panel sections which are ready to be Top Stitched.
My favorite feet for top stitching! They give me confidence!

With the needle in the center of the foot, you are 'Stitching in the Ditch'. With the needle shifted to the right or left of the seam, you can Top Stitch up to 1/8 inch from the seam.

The Cuppy Cake skirt panels are ready to gather and attach to the bodice.

Do not stretch the bodice while sewing the gathered skirt to it.

For tutorial on shirring , see my earlier blog post.
The button placement can be changed for a custom fit.

Bodice fabric: Amy Butler Kaleidoscope Dots-olive

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the Pink Fig Cuppy Cake pattern.
My first thoughts and musings on this Pattern by designer Chelsea Anderson, can be found on archived post: April, 14 2009.

Friday, May 22, 2009

How to sew with elastic thread. Shirring tutorial

Several people have asked me about sewing with elastic thread , or shirring. There are several patterns out on the market today which uses this technique. Shirring is fun and is quicker than running multiple rows of cased elastic to get the same effect.

Seeing is believing! Close up pictures should take away any fear of working with elastic thread.
Seriously fellow sewers, this is EASY. The elastic thread elastic. It does all the work. You sew and let the thread take care of the rest. :-)

Check SpellingYou'll have to hand wind your bobbin. Not too tight, not too loose. If you wind it too tight it will break. The top thread is standard sewing thread. Use a color which matches the fabric, to best hide any wiggles and wobbles. If you go out of line slightly, don't worry. Sew slowly.
My trusty old Bernina 930 is still alive and kickin! This is the stitch setting I use. I think it is actually called a elastic stitch. I find the stitch width works well between 3.5 and 4 and the length at about 3.5 - 4. Your machine may be different with those settings. Practice on a scrap to see how your settings compare with my sample pictures.

I've sewn samples using a plain straight stitch as well as a plain zig zag. Both work.....because the elastic thread does the real work.
The first row is rather unimpressive. It doesn't start looking drawn up enough until another row is added. The closer you sew the rows, the tighter it draws. Keep that in mind.

The Pink Fig patterns , such as the Cuppy Cake dress and Lily tops, say to sew approx 1/4 -1/2 inch from the first row.
Things start to look good with each additional row.
This is the same sample piece. I stretched it for you to see what the right side looks like. Remember, the top thread is regular sewing thread.
Wrong side of fabric. Stretched to show how the elastic thread looks.
In this sample I used a regular Straight stitch.
Here is the standard zigzag.
Both the straight and standard zig zag seem to pull up tighter. You may want to space the rows out a tiny bit wider if you use these. Chances are, you are sewing on one of those fancy-spancy machines which tells you exactly how to set it up.

Leave yourself about of inch of thread tail to tie off each row. I still back stitch at each end, but I may be breaking the rules by back stitching. Instructions say to tie off.
Once you have sewn all of the shirring rows, make sure you have tied off securely. Take your piece to the steam iron and blast it with some steam. The elastic goes back into shape and looks wonderful.
Step back, and take pride in your handy work!

Handmade Toddler Sundress and Bloomers Set

My friend Jennifer sent me a few pictures of some of her latest sewing creations. Certainly they are worthy of sharing with the blogging world!
Both the toddler and the 'big girl' outfits used pillow case style tops.

The curly haired cutie is wearing pants made from the Belle Pants pattern by Pink Fig.

Isn't it a treat to see how different the same pattern looks.....depending on the fabric used?

Mom, be sure to check those front pockets before tossing those britches in the washing machine!
There's no tellin' how many crayons or pieces of candy you'll find!

You can email Jennifer

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Purses, Bags and Totes oh my!

This purse makes me smile. It makes me think of a front porch swing & a tall cold glass of sweet tea. Barbara made this purse with fabric from a curtain panel and tells me it is about 10 inches across. What a great way to recycle a curtain panel!

Speaking of recycled curtains....remember when Scarlett O'Hara tore down the emerald green draperies to fashion her Southern Belle style gown? I loved that scene in Gone With the Wind! Hey.....Scarlett was "Going Green" before "Going Green" was cool! Ok.......I'll stop rambling.

Here is another purse made by Barb. She used Amy Butler Daisy Chain fabrics for this one. The main body is Deco Rose -brown. She told me these are her first attempts at sewing purses and is still learning her way around the sewing machine. I'm looking forward to seeing what she creates when she learns how to sew! :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Organizing Buttons

Button, Button who's got the Button?

I have not been Blogging , Facebooking, or Twittering much today. I was easily distracted and flitted from one incomplete project to another.
Is ADD in the air??

Somewhere along the day the need for 4 matching buttons came up. My project could use 4 matching buttons OR 2 pink & 2 blue of the same size and style.
I located my button stash and at first glance thought: Perfect colors and Many to choose from!

This bundle is what I was matching to.......something pretty in the works........

For the next 20 minutes I sorted and sorted so more! As husbands tend to do, mine walked in the room to ask what I was doing. When I explained how no two buttons were the same, he looked at me as if I were crazy and began to look for my oversight!
The Tile Man finally came to his manly senses and left the room, mumbling something about wanting to eat lunch.

Just like snowflakes, no two pastel buttons in this collection are alike!

With laundry to wash, floors to sweep, groceries to buy and seams to sew, I found myself going through my other button containers!

Notice the DOZEN of large purple beauties. I've owned them for about 10 years...... possibly BECAUSE they are large & purple!?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabric Flower Craft is a great way to use your scraps

A quick little fabric flower for those of you with little girls or needing a purse adornment. Use your scraps! The fabulous scraps are from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern collection which were undoubtedly leftover from making a Girly Stripwork skirt by Pink Fig patterns!

This beautiful outfit was created by the very talented Amy.
Visit Amy at her blog
The Lonely Crafter

Click the Supply List image to enlarge

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2 NEW Amy Butler Sewing Patterns COMING SOON

These new Amy Butler sewing patterns are coming soon. No doubt they will be very popular!
Sign up as a follower to be notified when they are available.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sew Darn Cute book & Amy Butler fabric embellished Tank Top

Let me usher in some warm weather by posting a picture of this embellished tank top from Thomas Parker Gifts where Amy Butler fabric, buttons and a classic tank top collide in a good way.

Thomas Park Gifts opened it's "brick & mortar" retail shop in 1998 in South Boston, Massachusetts. After so many years of selling handcrafted items as well as a large variety of giftware locally, wanted to bring a smile to a wider audience. Thus, this special shop where you can find pretty and affordable fashion accessories, children's clothing and other great goodies

.Inspiration came from the book SEW DARN CUTE by author Jenny Ryan.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amy Butler fabric turned into The Ashley Bag

Ashley wanted a new bag and requested a top zipper closure.

Here is what we came up with. aka The Ashley Bag.
I gotta say this zipper panel nearly kicked my butt! Putting in a zipper was not the problem. The problem was the mathematics! Look close at the drop-down zipper closure. Since I didn't have a pattern..........let's just seam ripper and I bonded.

Apparently the length & width of the inner band and zipper panel MUST match the finished width of the bag! Who would have thought?!

Sewing Trivia

Beginners to sewing are more likely to be bothered by the need to
remove stitching mistakes than seasoned sewers.

I read that on a blog last week, but can't remember who to credit this knowledge to.
For me, I am so "seasoned" that I can almost laugh at my sewing blunders!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fabric or Felt Handmade Birthday Necklace

These handmade fabric necklaces are among the greatest ideas for celebrating a child's birthday. So stinkin CUTE! Tell me what toddler would not feel special wearing his or her birthday number? A potential problem may getting the child to STOP wearing it day & night for weeks on end!

So you say " WHO made these cute necklaces" ?
These necklaces were made by the owner of a handmade craft shop called Modern Bean.

Does Modern Bean only make necklaces?

not a chance!

Here is the scoop
straight from Modern Bean's word processor

I'm a craft-otaku Japanese mom of two little girls (ages 2 and 3). I love simple, modern and Scandinavian designs.

All of my felt hair clips are designed and hand sewn by me. I use Holland 100% wool felt.

::My Handmade Hair Clip History::
My first daughter was born with a birthmark next to her right eye. I didn't want to hide it by covering her hair even though many people asked me if she bumped into something. So instead of covering it, I started making these originally designed handmade felt hair clips! I'm happy that my daughters love what I make, but I'm even happier when they like my creation so much that they give them their own names :-)

Here is the link to her flickr photo stream. Here is the link to her etsy shop.

If you liked the birthday necklace and hair clips........let modern bean feel the love by telling her so!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bags,Totes, Purse, Pillows & Pincushions

Thought ya'all would like the heads up on my shopping find.

I purchased this Better Homes and Gardens magazine with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby yesterday. Naturally I stood and flipped through it prior to buying and knew it was a keeper. Kids, this one is worth full price!
It actually has cute, useful, do-able (is that a word?) projects. Several totes, pincushions, an adorable spa bag, ipod case and pillows.......just like the title to this blog says.

The above tote is made with Optic Blossom and Honeycomb fabrics in the Amy Butler Midwest Modern 2 collection. Pretty huh? This one is cute too. It uses grommets for attaching the straps

I've done my good deed for the day by telling ya about it, but you'll have to go get your own.