Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nesting Dolls Potholders for my Daughter

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I made this Russian Matryoshka Nesting Doll Potholder for my daughter to use in her new house. I made a little tutorial to share.

You can find it here.

I actually made the large potholder and 2 little pot handle things, but there is only pattern pieces for the large potholder. And another disclaimer is that this tutorial and pattern has not been tested for accuracy, so keep that in mind if you decide to make it.

If you do happen to make it and find mistakes or anything wrong, please comment here or contact me. Thanks!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

How I Make Spaghetti Straps

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This is how I make spaghetti straps. I don't use a loop turner or a straw or anything like that, just a safety pin.

I start with a bias strip, for these pictured I used a 1" wide bias strip. The length should be somewhat longer than you need.

Fold the strip in half with right sides together. Stitch about 1/3 of the way from the raw edge making sure you keep the same distance all the way down.

Then make a little slit toward 1 end, be careful not to cut your stitches. Use a safety pin as shown.

Then insert the safety pin into the opening. You might have to help it along at first, but then it will move along just fine.

Just pull it through completely.

Then trim off the end and that's it. Don't press them though.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My New Pattern and a GIVEAWAY!!

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I'm so happy to introduce my new pattern, Odette!

Odette comes with a front pleated A line top which can be made with or without sleeves, with or without the peter pan collar, with or without the front bow. The sleeved view has gently gathered cap petal sleeves trimmed with bias tape. The hem, armholes, back opening and neckline are finished with matching handmade or purchase bias tape. The back has a slit opening and single button closure.

The shorts & capri pants are loose fitting with an elasticized waist. They have a decorative contrasting cuff with little bow accents.

Odette comes in girls sizes 3-8 and all sizes are included. Find the pattern here, in my Etsy shop.

Jump on over to Deb's blog, Sprouting Jube Jube, to see her beautiful job on Odette and for your chance to win a copy of Odette. Be sure to follow her so you don't miss any of her posts.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all my wonderful pattern testers! I invite you to join our facebook group where you can see all their beautiful work, you'll be really glad you did.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Updating My Patterns

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Up until this point all of my pattern pieces have been hand drafted and while I still appreciate them I do realize that my customers probably prefer computer drafted pattern pieces.

I have been working with someone to digitize some of my patterns but have decided that it is something I would like to learn how to do. So I am teaching myself the art of digitizing pdf sewing patterns.

I have been working on it a little everyday and am making tremendous progress. I have already changed over a few of my patterns to the new digitized pieces.

My newest pattern, Odette, is a blouse which has a sleeveless option and also shorts & capri pants. I've been working on it as time allows and have also been doing all the digitizing myself. I am finished with view A, still need to finish some details on view B and then I will be putting out a testing call.

The new digitized patterns will be color coded per size and the cutting line for each size will be different. That makes it quite easy to cut your size correctly. And, the best thing of all is that these new pattern pieces can be printed in just the size you need or all sizes can be printed at once, nested together. I am super excited to be able to offer that!

So, I thought I would write a little post on how to put together my new pattern pieces. When you print the pages you will note a gray border all the way around the page. You will also note there is a white margin on the outside of the gray border all the way around the page.

In the example below there are 4 pages to make the blouse front. You will want to arrange them in the way they will be attached to each other, with coordinating letters.

An easy way to attach the pieces would be to leave the top left page as is. Trim the left margin from the page on the top right. Trim right next to the gray border, don't cut the gray border. Then overlap this page onto the white margin on the right side of the top left page. Use a glue stick or tape it in place.

For the bottom left page, leave the right margin intact. Trim the top margin off. And for the bottom right page, trim both the top and left margins off. Attach them to each other and then to the upper 2 pages.

I use a glue stick, but I reinforce with tape in a few spots. Then your pieces are ready to use.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purse Repurpose ... Crafting With Miss Patience

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This bag has seen better days!

So we cut off the handle. Then we removed the stitching from the back to remove one of the rings and tried to preserve the stitching in the front.

Then used hot glue to put the strap onto the other ring.

Then cut it in half at center back and rounded the edges. Then used a black sharpie to color the raw edges and touch up elsewhere. Then used a little clear drying craft glue the seal the cut edges.

Then we attached a metal snap and that's that.

Miss Patience wanted the medallion from the purse so I cut it off for her and decided to use more of the purse to make this cute cuff. I found the instructions here.

I don't know about it, all I see is a purse strap, but she likes it! We just used what we had, other purses might have better straps. One could embellish this a little, maybe some studs or something.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Girls' Bathing Suit Prototype

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Here is the prototype of a bathing suit pattern I have been working on. This exact one will not be released, I've made a few changes. Hopefully, it will be ready by next week.

This suit was made in a hurry and so it isn't the best job, but I am not pleased with the strap. That's one thing that has changed. It won't take too much to re-do this one.

And something isn't quite right about that ruffle skirt, or maybe it's just because it's on a mannequin. But one thing for sure, the waistband has been modified and is a little more streamlined.

Here is the view from the back (please overlook the proverbial stick). The top looks too low because I don't have the top positioned right on the mannequin.

I love the black and white gingham, but I wish I had chosen another fabric for the rest. And of course, I just threw that yellow in there, haven't quite made up my mind about it. Another thing is the plain store-bought bias I used, I think I can liven that up a bit by using made to match handmade bias.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DIY Continuous Loop Bias Strip

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Here is a little tutorial on how I make bias strips.

I start with a square piece of fabric. I cut it exactly on the diagonal as shown.

Put right sides together and pin.

Stitch a 1/4" seam. Press it open. Now press the straight edges under by 1/4", not the diagonal edges. Then start making a line at your desired width. Mine is at 1" because I am making narrow double fold bias tape which will end up being 1/4".

Continue making lines all the way across including the folded down part.

Now put the 2 folded edges together with right sides together, make sure to stagger the seam though. 

You will see all your markings line up. Pin it and stitch a 1/4" seam. You can try to press the seam open if you can. Then cut on your line and you will have a continuous bias strip.

Now to make bias tape just fold the long edges to the center and press. This would be single fold bias tape and in my case here, it would be 1/2". If you press it in half again you have double fold bias tape.

It isn't exactly the same as store bought bias tape. For instance, 1/2" store bought bias tape doesn't start out at 1" wide like mine does, it's more like 7/8". So the edges don't meet in the middle. No biggie, it still ends up being 1/2". And likewise, store bought double fold tape isn't folded exactly down the middle. You can do it that way if you want to, but I don't think it's necessary. And of course the big difference between store bought bias tape and handmade bias tape is that your handmade bias tape is going to be much cuter and will match your project much better.