Friday, May 11, 2012

Free Sewing Machine Class

Craftsy is offering a free Sewing Machine 101 class. I have signed up but have not had a chance to watch it yet. I did watch the video advertisement and it looks great. Once you sign up for the class you can keep it as long as you want and watch over and over. It teaches how to trouble shoot and make minor repairs to your machine to keep it running great. They teach about vintage machines and modern computerized machines. It's certainly worth checking out.

I am going to be away from blogging for a few days but I want to wish all the mothers a very Happy Mothers Day. May God bless you and your families.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baby Quilt and Getting Organized

If you don't like to read long blog posts, then you are in luck cause this one will be short and sweet. I have been extremely busy lately but I have been trying to get my sewing stuff organized. I may not have a lot of money but thankfully I have a lot of fabric, thread and sewing notions. Because I have worked in several quilt stores and have gotten wonderful discounts I have enough "toys" to keep my busy for a long time. I have organized all of my thread and am going through a lot of my fabric. Along the way I keep finding "UFO" aka un-finished objects and I plan to get a lot of them finished. I had to make a wedding gift for a friend this week and then I started on this baby quilt that I found. There were only a few blocks finished so I've basically pieced this quilt over the weekend. I believe I started this quilt years ago for one of my children, but I don't remember who. Anway, I love the way it turned out. The colors are gorgeous! Gotta run for now.
This is my organized embroidery thread inside of my sewing cabinet. I sorted according to brand not color.
Sewing stand with sewing thread

Happy Sewing!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Upcycle Project: Men's Shirt to Baby Pants and Onesie

I really began to sew when my first child was due. I was pretty much self taught at that time. I sewed out of neccesity, as funds were tight (aren't they always?) and because it helped me feed that "nesting feeling". I loved sewing for all my babies but sadly my babies are big now. Well, yesterday a friend of mine found out that her soon to be 6th child (I have six too) is going to be a boy. Wow! I'm sew excited for her. They only have one boy now and a whole lot of girls, just like me.

I went to my local thrift store and got some great deals. Lots of baby boy clothes and it was one of those fill a bag for $5.  She likes to shop at thrift stores too, so I knew she'd appreciate my bounty. I brought them home and washed them and delivered them to her but I kept a few because I plan on adding to them and making them even better. One of them is a little white newborn onesie. I also got a supply of men's shirts from a friend so I used the sleeves of one of the shirts to make newborn pants and to embellish the onesie with a 'tie' applique.

Here's a little tutorial of how I did it.

First of all, you need a simple pants pattern. I got this newborn pattern from the Made By Rae blog. You can find it here. Check out her blog, it's great. Her pattern is not for lined pants but it is easy to line them. The shirt fabric I used was very thin and my friends baby is due in October so I thought I should line them. I had some medium blue flannel in my stash so it worked out great. I basically made the outfit for free.

First I cut the sleeves off of the shirt. This was an extra large men's shirt and it was the perfect size for newborn pants.

As you can see the sleeve is the perfect size for baby pants.
  Cut out 2 pattern pieces in your outer fabric and in your lining fabric, in my case, the flannel.

Two pieces cut from each fabric

Pin the outer fabric to the lining with right sides together and stich along the bottom of the legs with a 1/2" seam allowance.

 Press the seam, then flip over where wrong sides are facing each other and press again. Then top stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.
I also used a basting stitch along the top to help keep the lining and outer fabric together.
Now that the outer fabric and lining is joined, treat each leg as one piece.

Pin the two legs together and stitch the two pieces together from the top of the pants to the crotch but be sure not to stitch the legs. Use a 1/2" seam allowance and finish and reinforce the seam in whatever manner you like. I used my serger.

Now match up the two pieces and stitch from the bottom of the leg, up the crotch and back down the other leg.

Now follow your pattern directions for adding elastic. My pattern called for a 13" waist. If you use the Made By Rae pattern, she has complete directions with her pattern.

I like the look of the cuff turned up so you can see the lining.

Now on to the onesie. I drew a little tie and ironed some fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric then used spray adhesive and pins and attached it to the onesie. I used a small zig zag stitch along the edges of the tie. Be sure and use some stabilizer inside the shirt for best results. This onesie was so small that it was a little difficult to do the stitching, but was able to do it.

Isn't it cute?

Isn't this a cute little outfit? And I only had to use the sleeves of the shirt which leaves the rest of the shirt for something else.

This was great sewing therapy and my friend has a nice new baby outfit.

Happy Sewing,


Sew Happy Geek

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew In Results

Have you every tried sewing with a child? Well, I have taught sewing for years and have enjoyed sewing with all my kids but it does slow you down. First, she couldn't decide what she wanted to sew, then she decided and changed her mind. Then, she decided to make a dress for a stuffed dog out of very slinky fabric. Well, that was a fail. So, I decided to direct her in making a pillow case dress for her doll. Not only did she do all the sewing on her own, but she put princess seams in the dress. I was so proud of her.

In between helping her I was trying to make a camera strap cover. I did make it and it looked good until I accidentally cut the strap after I finished the cover. 

 I was able to finish one pillow case but nothing like the 35 we made last year. I made it in a bright flannel so it will be suitable for a boy or a girl. I will try to make another one before I put this one in the mail on Monday. So, my FNSI had some successes and some failures. However, the smile on my little girl's face after she finished her dress was priceless.

I hope you had a good Friday night.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Night Sew In

Handmade by Heidi
I've decided at the last minute to participate in tonight's Friday Night Sew In. This month is a special one because bloggers from all over are going to make Pillow Cases for Conkerr Cancer. I've got to hurry up and find fabric in my stash for pillow cases. My family and I made 35 of them last year, but I'm sure I have more fabric to use for the cause.
Here are the 35 pillow cases we made last year. I will probably only make one pillow case tonight. My youngest daughter is going to sew with me tonight. I'm not sure what she is going to make yet, but I hope to make a camera strap cover, since my strap was mysterioulsy cut last week (no one knows how it happened). I hope you all are having a great night. Happy Sewing, Susan

My New Favorite Sewing Tool

This week I've been busy hemming jeans for a friend. I'll share a secret with you. I hate to hem jeans. Actually, I hate doing alterations all together. I'd much rather make something from scratch than to alter it. When people hear that you sew they assume you can do all forms of sewing but not all sewing is the same. However, I agreed to hem these jeans. In the process, I broke the screw that holds my presser foot off in the machine, I broke 4 needles and jammed my machine up pretty good. I was fortunate to find a local sewing machine repair man and he got me back in business really quick. His name is George and I will share his information at the end of this post, in case you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area. I did a little research on the computer as to how to make this jean hemming process easier. I found several videos on Youtube and several of them shared a hint that I wish I had know years ago. And it is to use your hammer on the flat felled seams. It's so simple. You just pin the hem the way you want it and take the jeans outside to a concrete area and whack the seams a few times. It's amazing! It flattens the seams without causing damage to the denim. You want to use caution and not whack too hard and you can use a cloth underneath the jeans for extra protection, however, I didn't find it neccesary. I was so excited about this new trick that I showed my daugthers and told them this was a life lesson they needed to know. If you have jeans to hem or thick seams to deal with you should give it a try. You many have heard this tip before but if you haven't I hope you find it helpful. Happy Sewing, Susan Sewing Machine Repair George's Mobile Sewing Machine Repair George Hamric 904-571-4493

Friday, April 6, 2012

NoBunny loves you Like Jesus/ Goodies

I came across a really cute idea when I found the blog Detail Oriented Diva. She had some really cute goodie bags with 2 Bunny Peeps in them with a tag that said "For my Peeps". It is adorable. You should check out her blog, she has some really cute things.

I loved the idea but I changed it up a little. I found some small clear zip lock bags in the craft department at Walmart. I got 100 of them for about $2. I bought some blue and pink Bunny Peeps. I only wanted one bunny in my bag and it fit perfectly. I wanted the label to staple to the top of the bag instead of tying it on. After I decided how I wanted it and what I wanted it to say, I handed it over to my tech support (aka my teenage daughter) and she designed it on the computer. I wish I could do that stuff but I'm just not there yet.

Next, I decided the bunny needed a little grass in his baggie, so I used some green food coloring to color some sweetened coconut. I just put the coconut in a ziplock bag and added about 2 drops of food coloring. Then I used it to play catch with my youngest daughter, but you can just shake it up if you prefer. I put one teaspoon of grass in the bag, added a peep. The labels have a greeting on the back. I cut up the printed labels and folded them in half so you could read the message and the front and the back. I stapled each side near the edge. I am so happy with how these turned out. I am making about a hundred of these to give to people at my church on Easter.

I was hoping to make pdf file to share with you but my 'tech support' had a date and didn't have time to do it for me. But please feel free to use the idea and make some for yourself. I can't wait to give these out on Sunday.

Welll, my peeps, I've gotta go get dinner on the table. I wish you all a Wonderful Easter.

Happy Everything,

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Daisy Kingdom Easter....Apron??

Being the mom of five daughters, I have bought my share of Daisy Kingdom fabric and Daisy Kingdom patterns. You know...the nice frilly dresses with puffy sleeves and big twirly skirts. Yes, I bought them, stored them and sadly did not make them in time. My youngest daughter is 10 and my oldest just turned 18 and I am going through some strange emotions. My son is 22 and out of the house, my 18 year old could be soon and I am feeling time fly way too soon. So, I'm trying to hold on to those precious moments with my younger girls.

I was determined to make a nice Easter dress for my youngest daughter so I went digging in my stash and I found my Daisy Kingdom Easter fabric. I found it in blue and pink and I called her in the studio to choose her favorite. That's when she informed me that she had already chosen an Easter dress from some hand me down dresses given to her by some friends. And that's when it hit me. You missed the frilly dress stage with all of them. Wow! Time flies way too fast.

I decided to make lemonade from lemons, so to speak. I was determined to make something for Easter with my Daisy Kingdom fabric that I have held on to for so long. I made myself a really cute apron. I took the design from the bottom of the panel and added to the top part of the apron and added a cute little yo yo. I think it's cute and hey....someday one of my girls may want it. One can hope. I also decided to make a Easter basket/tote bag for my daughter. It is almost finished, I just have to add handles. I will try to post a photo tomorrow.

If you are reading this and you are a mom, just a word of advice. Don't worry so much about whether the house is totally clean. Instead, play with the kids when they ask you, go for that nature walk and by all means, make those frilly dresses while they are young enough to enjoy them.

Happy Sewing and enjoy being a mom,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yikes! My Baby Girl is Eighteen!

It's 12:48 am. This time 18 years ago, I was in the middle of labor and it would still be another 17 hours before I would see my first daughter. I had a precious baby boy who was 4 years old and was excitedly waiting for his baby sister, Abby. I had prayed and prayed for children and since I already had a son, I desperately wanted a little girl. God blessed me with Abby plus four more daughters. I am truly blessed. I actually had fertility problems and my husband had to have a vasectomy reversal before we could have our children. The Dr.s gave us little hope, but we asked that they just do the reversal and we would leave the rest to God. And...well...let's just say that God showed off with granting us with 6 children including a set of twins. God is so good. I just had to share with you, my readers. I pray that God will answer your prayers the way He has answered mine.

Be Blessed!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Please Vote For Me

Hi Friends,
I've entered my Hexagon Baby Quilt in the Quilting Gallery's Contest this week.
This quilt is what kept me sane during my mandatory bed rest while I was pregnant with my 6th child. I have since written this pattern and taught it to more than 50 students. The photo is not that great, cause I was in a hurry but it is truly pretty. Please vote for me, here.

Are We There Yet?

I am finally in the mood to sew and I will be stuck in the car for 15 out of the next 24 hours. My girlfriend, who is a hairstylist has to drive to North Carolina tonight to style the a bride and her wedding party. She asked me to keep her company and being the good friend that I am, I said yes. You would know I am in the mood to lock myself in the studio and sew for days. My solution: I'm going to look for some hand sewing projects I can do in the car. It might be piecing hexagons or some embroidery, not sure what. I just know for sanity's sake, I'd better find something.

I hope you have a fun and productive weekend.

Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Made Baby a New Outfit

Baby's New Outfit
Side View
Yesterday was a very successful Friday Night Sew In. I actually started around 2:00pm and cleaned the studio a little because a friend was supposed to come sew with me. She never showed up but I got SEW much done. I made something I've wanted to make for a long time. I made a cover for my baby, my Brother 8500 sewing/embroidery machine. I bought her when I worked at a Brother/Bernina dealership many years ago. She is old in today's standards but she is very dependable and I love her.

I made my own pattern and used an design from Emblibrary. I had a glitch when it embroidered the "I". I was heart broken but not enough to start all over. I used fabric from my stash which is always good. I am planning on making a cover for the embroidery unit, hopefully, today. Then soon I will make one that says "I love Quilting" for my Grand quilter.

I hope you have an amazing day!
Happy Sewing!!

Thursday Think Tank

Friday, February 17, 2012

TGIF & Friday Night Sew In

Handmade by Heidi

Well, another Friday is here. And what makes it even more special is it's another Friday Night Sew In. I love participating in these cause it makes me get busy and get some sewing done. It's also really neat to think that there are women all over the world doing the same thing. I like that we are all sewing 'together but apart'. :)

I am having a sewing friend come over and sew with me tonight so it should be extra fun. I have been so busy this week with homeschooling the girls and looking for a job so I've been extra stressed. Sewing is my favorite form of therapy. Speaking of therapy...there will be no chocolate or goodies for me this FNSI. Nope. I'm back on my diet. I've lost 40 lbs. since August and have stabilized pretty well. I am now going to try and lose the last 20 lbs. I've lost another 4.2 lbs in the last two days. Yay Me!

I started a huge project this last week, which was unpacking boxes and boxes that we have not unpacked since we moved last year. I found a bunch of fabric and more UFOs. I have no clue what I'm going to work on tonight. I just have too many choices. I do know I've got to spend some time organizing my studio before I can do any sewing. On that note, I'm gonna get to work and wish you all a very Happy Friday! I hope you can join us for Friday Night Sew In. Just click on the picture to follow the link.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine Dish Towel

This is one of the projects I was working on during the last Friday night Sew In. I got these plain pink dish towels on clearance at Target. I used an embroidery design from EmbLibrary and made a little border with the scraps. I love projects that are short and sweet. We've had to cancel the girl's Valentine party because my husband lost his job again. The girls aren't that upset about it. I think I was looking forward to it more than they were. They still like to see the house 'dressed up' a little for holidays and so do I.

I hope you are getting to do something that makes you happy today.

Happy Sewing!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Wreath and Pattern Testing

I am slowly but surely decorating for my girl's preteen Valentine's Day party. So far I've made pennants and table runners (see earlier posts) and now I've made a new wreath for the front door. I found a cheap straw wreath at a thrift store, for a grand total of $1.29 and I had scrap fabric that I used to cover it. I decided to tear the fabric strips instead of cutting because I like the look. I simply used straight pins in the back of the wreath to hold the strips in place. I finished if off by making 3 yo yo's and pinning them on. A very, cheap, fast and fun project.


I tested a cosmetic bag pattern designed by blogger "A Heart of Mary". She will be selling these patterns in her etsy store. You can find more information HERE.

Gotta get back to my crazy life. Have a great day.
Happy Sewing!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Friday and My Sewing Plans

Happy Friday, everyone. I don't have any big plans for the weekend but I do love Fridays. I think I just love that my normal Monday through Friday schedule gets interupted.

I had a new sewing student start taking classes from me this week. She is a young lady and is very interested in sewing. My youngest daughter took the class with her and I over heard my student tell my daughter, "I would love to live here!" My daughter asked her "Why?" and the she replied "Because you get to sew whenever you want!". It was really cute.

I am testing a pattern for a fellow blogger/designer. I'm a little behind but I hope to have it finished and posted before the weekend is over. I'm excited about it. Her directions are really clear and well written and she has lots of great photos which is always good. Check back soon, for all the details and pic of my finished project.

After I finish that project it's back to Valentine sewing for my Jr. High Girls Valentine party we are hosting. We have picked at date and made plans and I am going to keep things simple and inexpensive, as always. I do love decorating for Valentine's Day becasue I love the pretty pinks, reds and whites.

I'd better get back to work. I still have homeschool lessons to finish and chores to do, after it's not Saturday yet. I hope you can do something you love this weekend.

Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Night Sew In

Last night was so nice. My younger girls and my hubby all had to be out so it was nice and quiet. It's almost never quiet at my house. I started sewing in the afternoon because I had a Lady's Night Out planned with some ladies in my church. My oldest daughter and I went out to eat with the girls. Then some of the ladies came to my house for coffee. After they left, I decided to make more pennants because I didn't want to leave that job unfinished before I moved on to another project. I had an embroidery project planned but I didn't have time to get to it before I was too tired to stay awake. I love the way the pennants came out. I will probably make a few more sets but I need to get more double fold bias tape first. My daughter didn't sew with me because she was getting a cold and she is very busy with her classes right now. We can't afford for her to be sick, so I sent her to bed which made her happy. I'm going to continue FNSI today since the house is still quiet. I'm going to embroider my pink dish towels but I'm debating as to whether I am going to keep them dish towels or make them into child size aprons. I hope you stop by later to see what I decided.

I'm off to enjoy this beautiful Saturday. Do something fun today.

Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

There's a Lot Going On In My Studio

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Yesterday I got to do some machine embroidery. Some good friends of ours became grandparents last week. The baby was a month early but all is well with mommy and baby. I embroidered some bibs. Parents and Grandparents love to see their new baby's name in print...or thread. You can never go wrong with personalized baby gifts.

Friday night, my oldest daughter and I are participating in Friday Night Sew In (see sidebar for link). It is my first time and I'm very excited. It really works out great for us because my hubby and younger girls all have somewhere else to be on Friday night. My daughter is wanting to make some sleep shorts. I am not positive what I am going to be working on but I think it will have to do with these...

Check back on Saturday and see what I did with these pink towels. I'm excited!

Now, for some eye candy.

Can you say, YUMMY? Fat Quarter Shop had a 1/2 price sale on this fat quarter bundle last week and I just couldn't resist. I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it, in fact, I'm not sure when I will be able to bring myself to unwrapping it.
It's just SEW pretty all bundled up. Ok...yes, I have issues. :)

I hope you all have a great week and if you are available on Friday night, consider joining the Friday Night Sew In. Please let me know if you are sewing this week and what you are making. I love to hear from my readers. Oh, that reminds me, I have a give away coming up for my followers. It is gonna be a good one, so become a follower so you don't miss out.

Take care and Happy Sewing!