A CHRISTMAS PILLOWCASE FOR EVERYONE
Christmas fabrics usually go on sale in the days leading up to December 25th. Yesterday, with that in mind, I stopped in to a local store to see what was left on the shelves that I might be able to use. I was rewarded for my effort with the lovely piece shown above which I brought home and quickly turned into a set of cases. My favorite material for pillowcases is flannel, but soft cottons are also suitable.
It takes a full yard to create a pillowcase. They are an easy project and perfect for a beginner… even the youngest sewer can have success as I will demonstrate below.
HOW TO MAKE A PERFECT PILLOWCASE
Begin by trimming the selvage edges from the 1 yard piece.
Press back 4.5 to 5 inches at the top.
Fold 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the folded edge and press.
Stitch into place.
With right side out, stitch the side seam at 1/4 inch.
Turn and press seam to one side.
On wrong side stitch at 5/8 inches. This creates a (modified) French seam with the raw edge contained within the seam.
Optional: Press the seam down and stitch on the finished edge creating a flat fell seam. I take this step to help eliminate bulk that sometime happens with washing. When the seam is stitch down it decreased need for ironing… if you’re not keen on ironing pillowcases.
Turn the fabric right side out and stitch both at 1/4 inch as done for the side seam. Follow the same instruction for creating side seam at the bottom seam line.
Give the pillowcase a final steam press stretching on the bias to square up the corners as needed.
And voila, a perfect pillowcase for yourself or someone else.
From Start to Finish
I recently went through a box in my sewing room marked “winter projects.” The box contained the best of the best projects I salvaged during our sizing down move three years ago. I have always found it difficult to start up work on old projects. It is usually a lack of interest as whatever it was that got my creative juices flowing has long since dissipated and the prospect of picking up in the middle of an uninteresting project seems like work more than fun. Fortunately, that was not the case with this piece. It had been long enough that I had forgotten I had ever started this jacket. The fact that I still loved the red quilted fabric was good and I still liked the striped douppioni… so far so good. After studying the pattern and the pieces that were already cut, I decided I definitely needed a third piece to create additional interest. So off to The Mill End Store I went with swatches in hand.
It’s really quite remarkable that I was able to find a douppioni print that complemented the stripes so perfectly, but not without considerable effort. I was in the store for at least two hours searching, searching, and searching again every piece of fabric at least five times. I was finding nothing suitable and finally decided it was time to surrender. Resigned to defeat, I headed for the exit pausing only to notice a silk display… and there it was. It was exactly what I’d been looking for; the colors were right, the scale was right, it was perfection and obviously meant to be. And so I begin the satisfying endeavor of resurrecting an old project to new life. More to come…
Dressing A Table
I went to the beach yesterday to cool off from the heatwave we’ve been experiencing. It was a lovely day with 70 degree weather and a gentle breeze. On the way home I stopped into the local thrift store in Lincoln City and found this lovely vase with a bird motif, the perfect container for green gladiolus which are currently in season. They make quite a statement!
Also on the table you will see a set of candlesticks which look possibly Scandinavian in design and a large platter which were also “finds” along the way. They are atop a paisley print table runner I made to compliment my Blue Italian Spode dinnerware.
Bringing Beauty Into Your World
Table linens are a simple sewing project that are well worth the effort. These small pieces of fabric artfully arranged add pop, sizzle, glamour, elegance and just plain fun to an otherwise ho-hum table.
They are quick and easy to make and the choices are as endless as the selections at the fabric store. So have fun and be boldly creative!
Begin by cutting out a large square. Determine the width of the hem and miter the corners to suit. My favorite size is 21″ x 21″. To create the mitered corner remove 3 1/4″.
Turn under 1/4″ all around the perimeter of the square as shown below.
Bring folded edges together at mitered edge and stitch a 1/4″ seam.
Clip threads and trim corner to stitching line to ensure a crisp point.
Press open and complete on each of the four corners.
Turn each corner and carefully press hem into place.
Stitch hem into place. You may wish to decrease stitch length for added strength at the corner seam lines. Once stitched, your napkins is completed.
I’ve had this fabric for a very long time. It’s a fabulous piece of delicate voile in a natural creamy color with a classic fleur-de-lys gold print. I have never known quite what to do with it , but knew it had to be something elegant and special. Today I found its purpose and began cutting.
I appreciate a beautiful table and have made many cloth napkins before. I have a great pattern with a mitered corner that lends itself well to sheer fabrics. Here is what I came up with and I think it very pretty. Now only seven (argh) more napkins to make and I’m ready to entertain. 🙂
I was rifling through some deep sewing storage looking for a specific piece of fabric. I didn’t find it, but while searching happened across these “little quilts.” They were neatly folded and tucked away waiting to be rediscovered.
People who know I work with fabric almost always ask me if I quilt and I always say, “no,”when in fact I do quilt from time to time. What I mean when I say no, is that I do not quilt as my main creative outlet; I haven’t spent my lifetime perfecting my quilting skills like the artists whose magnificent creations adorn quilt shops and shows. Rather, I am a little quilter of small projects… offering happy little diversions from my more seriously focused fabric pursuits.
Each piece carries with it a memory, like small snapshot in time… oh yes, I remember when I made that…..
Hedgehogs are In!
Not long ago while on my lunch hour, I stopped in to have a look round the Quilted Forest. I’ve never been much into quilting, but I do find tremendous inspiration in the beautiful fabrics I see there. People are so talented and it’s always exciting to see what interesting ideas others come up with.
While shopping I came across a charming collection of fabrics that included an adorable hedgehog. I was told that hedgehogs are “really in” … something I never would have known, but for being told. I had to have the hedgehog fabric! I picked up two additional companion pieces and some jumbo rickrack that seemed to go with it. I had no particular idea in mind, but thought perhaps it would make a cute little dress… if I could find the right pattern. Over the next couple of months I did find a suitable pattern and was ready to go once I could find a block of time to work. With today being a holiday I set out this morning to see what I could come up with and here we have it.
The biggest challenge, was to determine which pieces to use where. I wanted the hedgehogs to play a prominent role in the design so I used that fabric for the back because it was in one piece and would thereby show off the fabric to full advantage.
Then decisions were made about the piecing across the front. It’s surprising how placement makes such a difference in the overall look and feel of a garment, but it really does and therefore requires careful consideration. Being a wrap dress, there are interior ties to help hold the dress in place. Once the dress was finished the rickrack was applied around the bottom. Overall, I am pleased with the way it turned out. The scale is a bit large for a child, but with the jumbo rickrack, I think it works. I like the versatility of the pattern; I can see this with tights and a turtle neck for a Christmas dress or as a warm weather sundress. Either way it’s adorable.
Creating A Unique CHANEL-style trim
Last year I made my first Chanel-style jacket. Finding a suitable trim, a hallmark of a Chanel, proved to be challenging. I decided to try making my own.
I began with a skein of ribbon yarn and number 9 knitting needles. Four stitches provided a nice width and using a basic stockinette stitch I created a long strip. Stockinette stitches tend to curl at the edges which works to advantage for hiding hand stitching when applying the trim to the garment.
Creating a trim from ribbon yarn
I would recommend making individual strips for each pocket and a continuous length for the center front and neckline. By doing this it will reduce the chance of the trim unraveling at the edges during application and can more easily be tucked in at seam lines or pocket edges. Otherwise, apply Fray Check or a fabric glue to secure the edges.
Once the trim is completed it can be attached by hand-stitching into position along the pockets, center front,neckline and sleeve edges.
trim applied to sleeve edge