Tag Archives: design

A Simple Sewing Project

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A Simple Sewing Project

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!

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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.

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Bring folded edges together at mitered edge and stitch a 1/4″ seam.

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Clip threads and trim corner to stitching line to ensure a crisp point.

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Press open and complete on each of the four corners.

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Turn each corner and carefully press hem into place.

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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.

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Sewing With Vintage Patterns

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Sewing With Vintage Patterns

RemnantWorks Vintage Patterns Shop 

I remember when this dress pattern first came out.  I was completely taken with the design; it seemed so fresh and unlike any of the dress styles I was used to seeing.   I made it up, but don’t remember wearing it very much.  My sewing skills were somewhat limited in those early days and the dress probably didn’t turn out to look quite as nice as the picture on the pattern envelope.

Simplicity 5562

Simplicity 5562

Now that I have begun to sell off my old patterns, I find myself struggling with letting go of this one.  Most patterns are very easy to part with once the decision has been made, while others, not so easy.   I found myself thinking about making it up in a contemporary fabric.  I know it would be cute even though I couldn’t possibly fit into it anymore! 🙂

Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

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Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

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

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.

Creating a unique trim for Chanel-style jacket

trim applied to sleeve edge

Fabric Art

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Trying Something Different

I’m in an art mode at the moment and even before finishing up the detail on Our Lady of China, I had sketched out my next project… another Byzantine saint.  I’ve done lots of hair before, but never braids.  Creating braids in a fabric medium is going to be an interesting challenge, I’m sure.  Adding to that, the braids are blond and finding just the right color is usually a bit problematic… it can’t be too yellow or too orangey or too gray, etc.  So it was off to Fabric Depot  for a couple of hours of roaming through the hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric looking for the perfect piece which may or may not exist.

Here are the two I found.  I am hoping the one of the left will work, because the color is right, although the zigzag design may be too prominent… it’s impossible to know without cutting it up and trying it.  Designs change so much after cutting and re-assembly… sometimes with wonderful results and sometimes disappointingly so. The one on the left is a bit darker than I really wanted… more light brown than blond really, but the texture is perfect for hair,  so we shall see.

fabric samples

Wish me luck.  🙂

Fabric Art

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On Checking Out

It’s been several weeks since I posted anything on Sewville, and that’s because I’m knee-deep in a new fabric art project.  Here is a sneak peek of what I’m working on.

fabric art project

I still have some mountains to climb before completion, but I’m inching my way along and am hoping for good progress over the next few days/weeks.  Wish me luck!

I know I’m getting ready for re-entrybecause I find myself thinking about sewing Mandarin collars with increasing frequency. 🙂

Adding Value To Others – Share What You Know

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Taking Requests

Rainbow

Part of what I like about blogging is the ability to connect with those who share my interests.  We all have gifts and talents that are inspiring to others; I get inspired all the time by the awesome and amazing creativity of other bloggers.   I think sometimes we take for granted what we know within our area of expertise;  we incorrectly assume that everyone knows it.  Of course, this is not really true;  what may seem a small or insignificant thing to me might be a great assist to you and vice versa.  With that in mind, I have decided to start taking sewing tutorial requests. If  you have a special technique you would like demonstrated or if you have a question about anything related to sewing, please feel free to ask.  If I know how to do it, I’ll publish it here in Sewville, that happy place,  just beyond the rainbow.  🙂

Creative Photo-editing; Confessions of a PicMonkey Junkie

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Circles, Circles, Circles

I recently read an article in a quilting magazine that said circles are popular!  With that, I decided to have a go at circle making to see what the appeal was.  I have lots of fabric scraps left over from various art projects (Chieko Mamba) which I used for this project.  On the surface this type of work seems too simple to be very interesting, but I was a surprised to learn there is more to putting the fabrics together in a pleasing way than I thought.

First I made a 7″ x 7″ square and then applied the circle design.  I cut a 9″ x 9″ square of contrasting fabric as a back which would leave 1″ on all sides to fold up for a binding.  I sandwiched a piece of batting in between the front and back and stitched into place.  Below are the results… nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  I knew what I had to do… make an appointment with Dr. PM.

Serengeti

Here is what the original looks like after going bananas with the PicMaster... who just happens to be my new  BFF!

Blue Serengeti 

It could be an Italian mosaic or  French Country curtains or whatever…

Blue Serengeti framed miniature

Actually, this does get me excited; I am so intrigued by the endless possibilities of photo-editing… it’s just amazing what can be done with an original image to make it more interesting or just different for the sake of being different. I’ve added a gallery of miniatures at RemnantWorks where customers can choose a design and then have it printed in any color that suits their decor.  What a great option to provide!

Craft Sewing – Fit For A Princess

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What does every girl need to make her birthday complete?

Why a crown, of course!

Happy Birthday Esme!

My neighbor from across the street turned four years old today and in honor of the occasion, I decided to make her a birthday crown.   I stopped by the fabric store and picked up some pink (of course?!) felt.  I decided I should go through my vast button and trim collection that I already had on-hand at home to complete the project so I resisted making additional purchases… although I did spend quite a bit of time looking at ribbons, feathers and jewels.

When I began the project I wasn’t quite sure about how large to make the crown base, so I conducted some online research where I discovered that an average 4 year old’s head measures 19 to 20 inches in circumference.   You gotta love the internet!

I then searched on princess crown patterns and found some printable patterns;  with that, my project was underway.  I tried a variety of combinations before coming up with the final result.  The design process fascinates me; It never fails to intrigue me how one tries this and that and this and that, until suddenly a combination stands out as being “just right.”  What exactly makes it “just right” is hard to quantify, and that is the magic of designing, I suppose.

The crown is made of two layers of felt sewn together at the edges.   Decorative trims and buttons are then applied.  Soft elastic covered in a fabric sleeve at the back provides wearing ease.

close-up of applied trims and buttons

back elastic application

Her sweet smile says success!

Tricks of the Trade – A Pocket Flaps Tutorial

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Making An Invisible Pocket Flap Lining

I’m working on a tailored jacket that has welt pockets with flaps and I’m going to show you how to make a lining that will roll under and be completely hidden from view.  (I apologize for the poor quality of some of my photos…  think my camera battery may be going).

1.  Sometimes pattern guides will instruct you to cut four pocket flaps from the face fabric.  I prefer to cut two in lining instead, because lining adds less bulk allowing the finished flaps to be molded into place more easily.  This is an individual decision based on whatever fabric you are using and the look you prefer.  I have a thing about stiff pocket flaps that flare out… dont’ like that look.

2.  Once the lining is cut, trim away the edge at 1/16 inch on three sides making the lining slightly smaller than the face fabric.  Do no trim the top edge.

3.  Apply light interfacing to face fabric and pin to lining, right sides together.  Begin the pinning at the top corners first and then work down the sides and lower edge.

4.  Once pinned together there will be a slight bubbling effect caused by the variation in size of the two pieces.  This is to be expected and will self-correct when pieces are turned right side out.

5.  Stitch the two pieces together, slightly stretching when necessary.  Use small stitches as the points for added strength.  The small stitched also protect the fabric from fraying in the trimming process.

6. Grade away excess seam line leaving face side of fabric slightly longer than the lining side.

7.  Once excess seam allowance is trimmed away, trim corners to a point and clip off the end.  This will make it easier to turn and give a sharper finished point.

8.  Turn right side out and press.  You may understitch at this point if you wish.  I generally don’t understitch flaps unless the fabric calls for it (with a heavier coatings, perhaps).   I prefer to hand-roll and work the edges under by shaping with steam.

9. Press and shape, rolling face fabric slightly toward the back side.  Lining will not show on the front side (see photo 10).

10.   Baste across the top of the flap.  At this point, if you wish, you may apply top stitching.

11.  Finished pocket flap is ready for application to pocket.

I hope this is helpful and if you  have any questions, please ask away.

Handcrafted Jewelry – Totally Gaudacious

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Gaud-awful Good!

I  made a new necklace this weekend.  The local bead store was having a sale and I found this sparkling pendant that I simply had to have.  Sometimes gaudy is good… or if not good, at least fun.  So here is it strung with some pretty pink beads along with some baubles I salvaged from an old Chico’s necklace  that I wasn’t wearing very much.   Since discovering jewelry making, I’ve taken to prying apart old necklaces and reworking them into new necklaces.  It kind of reminds me of playing with pop-beads when I was a little girl, remember  pop-beads?  It was great fun then and it still is!