I ordered a package of Wonder Clips by Clover. I have used these clips on a few occassions now and I must say they are wonderful. Are they a total replacement for pins? Not in my oppinion, but they are quite useful. Let me share what I have learned by using these clips.
First off, pins have a few problems, if you ask me. Pins can obviously stick a person if not careful. They can also bend if trying to push through too thick of fabric, multiple seams, or elastic. When trying on clothing, pins can be downright dangerous. Of course, some fabrics are very delicate and pins can even run the risk of a snag to the fabric.
Wonder Clips are very strong little clips that do not put holes in or harm the fabric. I found them extremely useful in holding elastic in place in the shoulder of a dress I made recently. I tried on the dress without fear of being stabbed by pins and they stayed put perfectly. They are very quick to put on and take off. The only drawback, I have found, is that when sewing by machine, they need to be taken off sooner then pins. This is because of the bulk of the clip. On the upside, one can not run over a clip with the presser foot as one can with a pin.
Wonder Clips come in a package of 10 for around $7. This is pricey compared to pins. I would suggest two packages as a good amount to have on hand. I do not use these as replacements for pins, but rather enhancements. In some cases, clips are just more convenient to use. In other cases, pins are the way to go. I am glad I made this purchase and have use for both in my sewing.
With no end in sight to the wearing of face masks, I recently made a few more 3-D style face masks for the family. I received a complement from the cashier at the grocery store today on my matching face mask. I had made a shirt last year and since I had a bit of extra fabric left over, I made a mask to match. When I want to feel put together, I wear my matching top and mask. Who knows, perhaps I will make a holiday mask to get me in the spirit when the time comes. Here are the instructions for my go-to mask…
Face Mask Instructions:
Cut a rectangle ( 10” x 14” regular size) (10” x 14.5” slightly larger size) or (desired size rectangle). [ I have learned, in making masks for my family, that one size does not necessarily fit all. Making a mock-up of the pattern without all the layers may be a good way to see what changes need to be made to the pattern before committing fabric to the project. ]
Next, measure down 2 inches on each side and draw line across and cut to make pattern. A hexagon shape is made.
Use this pattern to cut 2 pieces of material and 1 of sew-on (non-iron) interfacing.
Place the 2 material pieces right sides together and then place the interfacing on top. Pin.
Sew on the top 3 sides and the bottom 3 sides ¼” from edge. Leave ends open to turn. Turn and press with iron. Top stitch sewn sides ¼”.
Iron down the top and the bottom where corners meet ends.
Top-stitch at edge of top and bottom ¼”.
Place one piece of elastic over one end and fold end over once and then once again to form a casing. Pin in place. Stitch close to the edge being careful not to catch elastic in machine. (Sometimes, because of the bulk, it is easier to start in the middle and sew to the end and then turn the material and sew from middle to end. If machine will handle it, it can be sewn in one line.)
Now fold open the corners lining them up with the end casing and stitch in place. This holds the shape of the mask. Repeat for other side. Tie the elastic in a not to the desired length.
This weekend I decided to clean out my fabric/sewing supply cabinet. I have gotten into the bad habit of throwing things back into the cabinet any which way. The result being a disorganized mess. So this weekend, I pulled out all the fabric, batting, interfacing, and other sewing supplies and got to work.
I ironed the fabrics that were a wrinkled mess and folded them neatly and organized everything. My stash is getting smaller, as I have made quite a few face masks for the Covid crisis. While cleaning out the cabinet, I found some projects that were either partially started and then abandoned or never started at all. Would I do such a thing!
I set these projects aside. The idea being that if they are staring me in the face every day I will do something about them. I am proud to say that today I have started on one of the forgotten projects. A paper piecing project (‘Teddy Bear Santa’ designed by Ruth Jensen) bought many moons ago. This was set aside because of its intimidating nature. Although, paper piecing is not actually something to be weary of at all. I have done some paper piecing in the past but needed to refresh myself with instructions before undergoing the project. I had to get myself in the right way of thinking of how the pieces go together and then all went smoothly. Well…after ripping out a seam or two.
Today I finished one section of the project, a tree. Not bad… I have one more tree to do. This should be a piece of cake since it is just like the one I just finished. Then there is Santa and a bear. This will be more difficult as there are three dimensional pieces involved here. I was supposed to do the three dimensional pieces first. Ha! If I did that, the project would still be in the bag. These are intimidating to me. I decided to start with the easy part first so that I can work up to the more difficult part. At least I will have some satisfaction with the piece in the start.
Here is what my tree looks like…..
Do not worry! The edges are left uneven on purpose. It will be trimmed and sewn to the other seams eventually. I will keep posting on my progress. I have two months till Christmas, so there is my motivation.
[Note: It does not appear that this pattern is still available. However, there is a very similar one available on the site. The Santa and bear are different and packages are added. Patterns are at: http://www.thimble-art.com]
I follow the blog Maison Bentley Style and found one of Kate’s posts to be quite useful to me as of late. Kate posted a few versions of an easy shift to sew at home. I liked the easy wear style and thought the pattern at This Little Miggy would be right up my alley. So, after a bit of time, I finally got up the nerve to cut out my material and push the pedal to the metal as they say.
The pattern was simple enough. It consisted of four rectangles that one gets by taking one’s measurements according to the directions provided. It also gave a pattern for a pocket to trace and cut out. All very straight-forward. I cut the pieces. However, I chose to make the piece for the back one piece instead of two rectangles sewn together. Why have a seam up my backside afterall?
The most challenging part for me was deciding how deep the v-neck should be. The pattern has one decide this themself. So, being conservative, I cut the v-neck. Well, it did not fit over my head. Ha! I went into my closet and got out a v-neck and used that for my pattern. (For me that was 9.5″) My shoulder seems ended up being 9″ each. The pattern had one cut a dip for the neckline in the back and turn under and sew. I chose to add a neck facing to this for a clean seam. It worked well. The sewing was simple. Basically straight lines everywhere.
I would recommend this pattern. Very easy to make (especially since I just gave everyone a hint on the neckline). If interested in this pattern, check it out at:
A special thanks to Kate for her wonderful posts and connecting me to the site for this pattern. Love your blog!!! Also a big thanks to This Little Miggy for sharing this wonderful pattern! It gives me courage to try and design something on my own next time. Who knew rectangles could turn into a dress!
Another day of making potholders. Today it is the grab-it potholder. It slips on and looks like a puppet. Handy for grabbing a cookie sheet or muffin tin from the oven. Let’s get started…
copy paper (for making the pattern piece)
self-healing craft matt
rotary blade tool
Step 1: Make the pattern. This piece is basically an oval that fits your fingers. Fold a piece of paper in half then in half again. Make one side of the fold the width and the other the length. When unfolded all sides will be the same. My dimensions are roughly: 2.5″ width x 4.5″ length with a curved side. See photos.
Step 2: Unfold pattern piece. Pin to fabric and cut 2 pieces. Pin to batting and cut 1 piece.
Step 3: Make the pocket pieces by folding the pattern piece in half (widthwise) and then folding down 1/2″. Pin to fabric and cut 4 pieces. Pin to batting and cut 2 pieces.
Step 4: With right sides together, sew two pocket material pieces together. Iron seams open. Place one batting piece inside and fold over. Repeat making one more pocket piece.
Step 5: Sew 1/2″ seam around pocket piece and keep going to quilt a maze design on pocket pieces. This keeps batting in tact through use and washing.
Step 6: Sandwhich the main piece of batting between the two pieces of oval fabric with the right sides out. Stitch 1/2″ seam allowance around the edge. Quilt a bit on this piece as well. Simple straight lines will do just fine.
Step 7: Now take the pocket pieces and pin to the oval. Sew around curves leave the straight sides open.
Step 8: Cut a long strip of fabric 2 1/2 ” wide. The length should be longer than the oval…don’t worry about making it exact. It is better to have this too long so that it can be fitted and cut when almost finished sewing. After cutting the strip, fold one end 1/4″ under on width side. Now fold it in half lengthwise and press. Then pin just the start of the binding to the edge of the potholder with raw edges together. Do not pin the whole thing as the binding will have to be stretched and shaped to fit as it is being sewn. Sew in place with a 1/2″ seam. When almost to the end, cut the binding with an overlap and fold under 1/4″ and finish sewing.
Step 9: Almost done! The machine part of the sewing is finished. Get out a needle, thread, thimble, and scissors to complete the potholder. Turn the binding to the back. It should just cover the seam stitch. Hold in place and with a threaded needle grab a tiny amount of fabric from the potholder and from the binding and whip stitch all aroung the potholder. Press the potholder to flatten it out and bit. Voila! Now you are ready to take those cookies out of the oven. Happy crafting!
I am back to making potholders. Now that my pot lids are cozy, I decided my pot handles should be dressed as well. I drafted a pattern and made it in two ways. The first way I tried has a band to finish off the edges. The second and easier version has the edge finished first. I will give directions for both. My favorite is the second version. It is faster to make and takes less fabric. These can literally be sewn up in less than five minutes.
Let’s start with my favorite version first…
a sheet of copy paper (to draft the pattern)
pan (to make the potholder fit)
Step 1: Cut the pattern piece for the pot handle. My pattern is roughly 6″ long x 2.5″ wide. I folded the rectangle in half lengthwise and then cut rounded corners. This can be adjusted to fit any pot or pan handle. Just measure the handle and make adjustments as needed.
Step 2: Cut out pieces. Material = 2 pieces / Lining = 2 pieces / Batting = 2 pieces
Step 3: For the batting pieces only…trim off 1/4″ from width on top edge (edge with squared corners).
Step 4: With right sides together, pin one material piece to one lining piece with right sides together at top edge. Repeat with the other piece of material and lining. Set batting aside for now. Sew a 1/4″ seam. Press open seams.
Step 5: Now to sandwhich the layers. Place the two material/lining pieces right sides together.
Step 5b: Place one batting piece on top of material. Fold over lining. Hold and Flip over. Repeat this for other side. Pin in place.
Step 6: Sew a 1/2″ seam from top around to other side of top leaving opening at top width.
Step 7: Turn and place on handle of pot.
Now for the more complicated version with the band trim….
If using this method, a contrasting fabric will be needed for the trim. Not much… a tiny piece… Also needed is a needle and thimble as hand sewing is required.
Step 1: Same as above
Step 2: Same as above
Step 3: Sandwhich pieces together. (Do not trim the batting in this method.) Place right sides of fabric together. On top of this place a batting then a lining. Flip and place a batting and a lining on the other material piece. Pin together.
Step 4: Sew a 1/2″ seam around from top around to other side of top leaving an opening at width end. (same as step 6 above)
Step 5: Turn.
Step 6: Pick out a contrasting fabric for the trim. Cut a rectangle that is the twice the width as the pattern (5″) x however wide the trim is desired to be then doubled and allow for seam allowance of 1/4″ (1 – 1 1/2″). Fold trim in half lengthwise and press with iron. Next, fold the trim in half widthwise and press with iron. Stitch a 1/2″ seam allowance on width of trim. Slip this over the pot holder with raw edges together. Pin in place.
Step 7: Hand stitch the trim in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn trim to inside and pin in place. Whip stitch the trim to the lining only covering stitching. Place on pot handle.
My pots and pans are all dressed up and ready to use. No more burnt hands for me! The best part of this DIY projcet is that the potholders take very little fabric and can be made very quickly. The fabric I used were scraps leftover from other projects, so it did not cost me anything to make them.
Be sure to check-out my previous DIY post on making potholders for pot lids as well. As always, Happy Crafting!
I ordered materials to make a couple of cushions for our wooden chairs. I finally got around to making them yesterday. As with most projects, the procrastination is worse than the actual project.
First off, I needed a pattern. I gathered together some copy paper and taped them together to make my patterns and labeled them. Next time I need a cushion, I will be able to pull out the pattern and get started without delay. For my cushions, I bought foam in a four pack. The foam is 1 inch thick but can be doubled by using more than one piece and this is what I did. Each cushion got two pieces of foam for a total thickness of 2 inches. I wrapped the foam in quilter’s batting sewed together with a seam. The batting was 16 inches wide by 37 inches. This allowed for a half inch seam allowance. The batting adds softness and keeps the foam in place. The foam (as I said) was 2 inches thick and 16 inces square. So I drafted a square of 17 inches, this allows for a half inch seam allowance all around. (Cut two for each cushion) For the sides (making it a box cushion) I made a template 17 inches x 3 inches. This allows for the height of the foam at 2 inches plus a half inch seam allowance. (Cut 3 per cushion.) The fourth side is slightly different as I added a zipper so that I could wash the cushion cases. So for this side, I drafted a piece 17 inches by 2 1/8 inch. (Cut 2 per cushion.)
Next I pinned the pieces to my material and cut them out.
I started with the invisable zipper side first. Inserting an invisable zipper is really pretty simple. First, use iron-on interfacing and cut a strip the size of the zipper for each side. The length of the zipper and about one inch width. Iron this to the WRONG side of fabric for each piece. Open zipper. Then pin the zipper centered to the edge of the piece right side of zipper to right side of fabric. With a zipper foot on the sewing machine, stitch in place until coming to the pull. The zipper foot will not pass this point. Backstitch and take out of machine. Now the zipper foot on the machine will need to be moved to the other side. Sewing the other half of the zipper is the same process. Be sure that the fabric lines up at the top of each side and pin right side of zipper to right side of fabric. When this is complete, the top and bottom seam will need to be completed. Still using the zipper foot, zip the zipper up and move the tail of zipper fabric to the side and continue the seam down from where the backstitch left off. Lastly, unzip the zipper and continue the seam from the top of the zipper to the top edge of fabric. This piece should finish a little wider than needed. Fold the 17 inch by 3 inch template in half and line the folded side up with the zipper. Pin to the piece and cut off the extra fabric. Finished.
Now to put it all together.
Sew the sides to one of the squares. Remember, sew right sides together, and the seam allowance is half an inch. Next, sew the sides together at their edges. Sew one side to the other square. It will look like an opened pizza box at this point. Be sure to UN-zip the zipper. Very important or the cushion will not be able to be turned when done sewing. Pin the remaining three sides to the square. Sew one side at a time. When finished turn right side out. Stuff foam cushion inside cover, zip. Voila! C’est facile!
While I love my pots, I do not like the fact that the lid handles get hot. I have felt the heat more times than I care to remember. A potholder seems a bit big. I just want to grab the lid and carry on. What to do?
I did not see any patterns for pot lid protectors so I made my own to custom fit my lid handles. I cut-out one long rectangle of fabric and folded it right sides together and one piece Insul-Bright insulation and placed it on top of the fabric. I sewed it together leaving space to turn. Then I turned the fabric and top-stitched all around.
At first, I thought I would use a velcro closure, however, I did not have velcro on hand. Also, washing things with velcro can be a pain. I rummaged through my sewing box and found some tiny sew-on snaps. Bingo! This was just the ticket. I then fitted the pot-holders to the handle to see where the snaps should be sewn. Voila! My pot lid pot-holders were complete.
Do I like these? YES! Do they work? YES! Are they washable? Yes! How I like to use them is to snap them on the handle of the lid and then cook. I can grab the lid at any time without getting burned. After I am finished I have the choice of either storing them in the pot holder drawer or snapping them back on the clean lid so it is ready to go for next time.
So, the moral of my story…if you can not find what you want…MAKE IT. As always…Happy crafting!
I purchased (ordered) new sheets a while back. They seemed fine, so I laundered them and made up the bed. That night, I could not get comfortable. I was hot.
I turned to my husband and asked if he too was hot. No, he was fine. Was it just me? After a few nights, I gave up and put the old sheets back on the bed. Everything was fine, until recently that is. A rather large hole had sprung up in the sheets. Oh (bleep)! Now what? I can not even shop for new ones with all the store closures, as of late, and I will not order sheets again. So back on the bed went the new sheets and again I was sweating and uncomfortable. Darn sheets!
So as the old expression goes…”Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures”. I got the old sheets out. No…even with the hole I had not thrown them out yet. I found some scrap fabric in my sewing cabinets and sewed a large patch on both front and back of the fitted sheet covering the hole. I will now say a little prayer that my mended sheets will get us through until the Corona Virus has run it’s course and I can buy a new pair of cooler sheets. I am off to make the bed… Sweet Dreams!
The expression ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ is believed to have originated with a saying coined by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates. In his work Amorphisms, he wrote: “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.” —-https://www.gingersoftware.com/content/phrases/desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures/
When my children were little I decided to save some of their special clothes to “some day” make a baby quilt. Well that “some day” finally happened. The clothes were cut into squares and a quilt was made for each of my children using the clothes they used to wear. Ah the memories!
When making a baby quilt from baby clothes be sure to save enough clothes to make a good sized quilt. Remember, the clothes are small and only so many squares can be made from one little outfit. Also, be sure to use pockets and embellishments such as bows and patches. They add interest and function as well. A future child might like to stick something in that pocket after all.
I made my quilts simple and just cut squares in the same size. I arranged them to my liking and then sandwhiched batting in-between the top and the soft flannel backing I chose. I then quilted them via stitch in the ditch or quilting as close to the seam as possible around all sides of the squares. I did the quilting by hand. This is my preferred method. I can relax on the sofa and quilt and I feel I have more control as well. I learned to hand quilt through the excellent book That Perfect Stitch The Secrets of Fine Hand Quilting by Roxanne McElroy. I also use the Roxanne thimble when quilting. It has an opening for the fingernail with a little lip on top. After quilting I attached the binding made from the same material as the backing material. Voila!