Tag Archive | sewing

Trip Preparation Projects: Slip and Kindle Fire Case


I’m going to be honest with you.  I started this blog entry last year when I was going to Santa Fe with my mother, and I totally forgot about it until recently.  Oops!  At any rate, I was going on a trip to a memorial service for my mom’s cousin, and I had the little problem of needing a slip but not having one that was wearable.  I also needed more protection for my Kindle Fire, so I wound up doing a few sewing projects before my trip.

First, the slip.  I found the elastic in the only slip that fit me was completely shot.  As I didn’t mind losing an inch or two of length and I was in a hurry, I simply cut off the old elastic.

As I’ve mentioned, I was in a hurry, so I really didn’t want to monkey around with stringing the elastic through a channel I’d already sewn, so I tried a different technique:  I cut the elastic and sewed the ends together, then pinned it into the channel before sewing.

Sewing the channel was a little tricky since I didn’t want to get the elastic with my seams, but it turned out okay.  It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s functional.

My other project was a case for my Kindle Fire.  I took more time with this, but as I was in a hurry, I didn’t think through how much extra fabric I really needed on the edges.  It is really tight, and a couple of the seams are not as pretty as I’d like, but overall, I’m happy with it.

I wanted the Kindle to have both hard and soft protection, so I cut two pieces of cardboard about the same size as the Fire and two pieces of batting that were slightly larger than the Fire.

Cardboard

Batting

And this is as far as I got in this blog entry when I could actually remember what I actually did.  I sewed the cardboard and batting between layers of fabric (and I love the fabric).  I do recall, that I should have given myself a bit more room, as it was hard to sew the final edges together to house the KF.  I used velcro to close the case, but I should not have planned on the self sticking velcro.  I wound up having to stitch it down in places, and that stuff is heck on a needle.  Also, I added a decorative button to look like the actual closure, but that was kind of loose.  If I’d had more time, I might have taken another stab at the whole thing, but it still served it’s purpose for the length of my trip.  Here’s the final product:

Looking at this fabric still makes me happy!

Looking at this fabric still makes me happy!

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Where I Practice My Craft


Do you like my title?  Makes it sound like I’m doing witchcraft, doesn’t it?  Well, I’m not.  Somehow Hogwarts never sent me a letter.  😦  I guess I’m not gifted enough.

Okay, enough silliness.  A while back, I took some photos of my craft room (when it was semi-clean).  I thought it would be fun to share the place where I do most of the stuff I blog about (except the cooking–and I will probably never post a picture of my kitchen; even when the countertops are pristine, they’re cluttered as all get-out).

The room also doubles as a guest room (if I can clean it before the guests arrive).  Ideally, I’d like to have a murphy bed so I could have more room when guests are not here (which is most of the time), but they’re expensive.  So that’ll have to wait.

Anyway, onto the room:

Image

The guest bed and artwork.

The guest bed is a full-size bed.  I would like to make it a twin if I can’t have a murphy bed, but my most frequent guest (aka Mom) likes a double.  Also, my daughter sleeps there with her friends when she invites them for a giggle-fest sleepover.

The artwork over the bed consists of a cute print my former stepmother (who will always be part of my life) gave to me (head of the bed), a painting I did, and a glued-together-puzzle.  The painting was an attempt to recapture what I did in junior high art with pastels, but it never quite got where I wanted it.  I also never got quite the right color green in the background, so maybe it is good that you can’t tell the sage green wall color in the picture (it isn’t the most complementary matching).  One of these days, I will take a stab at making something I like better for over the bed.  Glued-together-puzzles always make affordable artwork, especially if you and your husband spent the first three to five years together (dating and before children) doing many puzzles.  We just used push-pins that matched to hold them up on the wall.  I actually have a lot of puzzles decorating the walls of my house.

This rolling cart is a pretty new addition to the room.  I love having some flat storage space so I no longer have to dig through all my flat items to find what I need.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

My sewing table is an old student desk. When I started using the room, I wanted to be able to watch the TV while sewing. I stopped using the TV, so I got rid of it, but I like that the desk is facing the door. At any rate, I made a velcro curtain to cover the ugly backside of the desk so that my room still looks pretty when you enter it (assuming, of course, that it’s clean–big assumption).

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain

Sewing table with curtain

I wanted a bulletin board in my room, but all I had were some old “kiddie” ones from my childhood.  I took the Snoopy one, painted it white, and covered it with the same fabric I made the curtain out of.  I used ribbon accents to make it prettier.  It sits right behind my desk/sewing table.

Prettified bulletin board.

Prettified bulletin board.

There are two areas absent in this entry.  One is the wall contains the former TV now printer stand and the closet.  The closet is scary messy.  I keep telling myself I’ll clean it to take a picture.  But I have sooo much stuff–fabric, wrapping paper, old boxes that I’m going to do something with one day, etc.  Because of that, I don’t have a picture.  If I ever get it clean enough for a picture, I will take one.  The other item missing is a storage cupboard, which I’d really like to take a picture of, especially since I built a custom shelf insert for it to hold my craft paint bottle holder.  However, I’m mid-project right now, and this blog has waited long enough.  So, I will have to add it some other time.

I hope all of you enjoyed seeing my space.  I’d love to see yours, so if you’ve got pictures posted somewhere, please feel free to leave the link in the comments!

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…


I was attempting to organize my craft/guest room, and I started thinking as I looked at groups of object “you might be a craft addict if…”  Ding, ding!  That’s all it took for me to abandon my organizing and start a list.  So, here it goes.  Feel free to add your own in “comments.”IMG_2103

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…

  1. You more colors of thread than you thought possible.
  2. You have enough piles of fabric to be mistaken for a fabric store.
  3. You visit your local craft store once (or more) every week.
  4. You have at least one entire container full of ribbon.
  5. You cannot pass clearance craft items without buying some of them.
  6. You have craft supplies you’ve never used but “know” you will, eventually.  (Yes, I will start scrapbooking.  And quilting.  And…)
  7. Your “guest/craft” room has no place for a guest.  (Um, there’s a bed in there, somewhere.)
  8. You are constantly buying and/or making more items to help you store your craft supplies.
  9. You need to re-organize your craft supplies monthly to accommodate new items.
  10. You spend hours pinning “pins” you will probably never get to on Pinterest.
  11. You spend even more hours re-organizing your Pinterest boards so you can find things when you want to eventually try to do them.
  12. You have a bunch of blank canvases, yet still buy more when they are on sale.
  13. Your paint rack is overflowing and you probably should buy a second one.
  14. You consider co-opting portions of your children’s closets to store some of your craft items.

If any of the above apply, you might be a craft addict.

In Search of a New Sewing Machine and Possibly a Serger


For a while, I’ve known that I need a better sewing machine.  I’m currently using this old Brother Walmart special I bought back in college.  It’s functional, and does the job, but I want something with more because, for one thing, I’m tired of having to go to my mother’s house if I want to sew a button hole.  I would like some fun features like pretty stitches.  In short, I want more.

Today while at JoAnn‘s, the hubby and I decided to peak at the machines as I have no idea what model I might want.  We wound up staying and talking to one of the women there for at least 30 minutes.  I got to play with the Singer 8763 Curvy and the Singer One.  I like them both.  I am leaning towards the Curvy as it has more stitch options, but I was wondering if any of my readers had any experience with these machines and would like to share their experiences.  Any input would be welcome.

I am also considering buying a serger as I want to do more clothing sewing.  I know the Curvy has a serger stitch, but I’m wondering if it is as good as a true serger stitch as sergers use more than one spool of thread.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?  It would be much appreciated!

Update 7/23/14:  I now have two new pieces of equipment!  I wound up buying my friend’s gently used Singer Futura CE-150, which also does embroidery (haven’t tried that part out yet).  I also got a Singer ProFinish Serger on sale from Amazon for Mother’s Day.  I’m just starting to experiment with that and will hopefully post on it soon.

Affordable Fabric, Please.


I like to work with fabric, but fabric can get expensive fast, especially when working with a new idea that you’ve never tried before and might mess up.  Back when I watched a lot of HGTV (i.e., I had cable), I had shows to frequently remind me of how to find fabric without spending a lot.  These days I sometimes forget about the various places I can look, so I decided to make a list and share it with everyone:

  1. Clearance and remnants (I’m starting with the obvious here).  The Walmarts that still carry fabric sometimes have some fabrics on clearance for as little as $1 a yard.  Remnants aren’t usually marked down as much as I would like, but I have still found some decent deals with remnants, especially if I do not need very large pieces of fabric.  Sometimes I just collect inexpensive fabric remnants that are      pretty for “someday” use.
  2. Fabric warehouses.  In Phoenix, we have a store called S.A.S. Fabric Warehouse.  You can find a TON of different fabrics there (as well as lace, ribbon, etc.), and many are very reasonably priced.  Check around your area—maybe there’s a hidden treasure like this near you.
  3. Non-fabric clearance and sales.  What on earth does that mean?  What I mean is that sometimes      you can find fabric shower curtains or window curtains on clearance for a really good price.  Then you have this HUGE piece of fabric for way less than you could ever get it at a fabric store.  I have seen large fleece blankets advertised for as low as $2.99, and thought “if I were going to make a fleece jacket, I would definitely check those out.”  I recently found a burgundy colored velvet curtain on clearance for $5.  I’m going to cover my sewing chair with it (I’ll blog it when I do).
  4. Thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales.  Need a small amount of fabric?  Look at the clothing.  Need larger amounts?  Check out the linens.  I once found a huge piece of fabric I just loved at an estate sale.  I think they charged about $0.25 per yard.
  5. Around the house.  Old clothes, old blankets, old anything—before you donate it or throw it away, perhaps you should ask yourself:  can I make something else out of this?  I have clothing I tore in an irreparable way sitting in my fabric box just waiting for inspiration to strike.  Threadbare sheets can be easily used for trying to figure out patterns (going to do this for our Build-a-Bears) or anything else for which you may want “disposable” fabric for.  (I also pillage old, torn items for other re-usable parts such as buttons, Velcro, zippers, etc.)
  6. Ask friends and relatives.  Recently my mother-in-law found some blue corduroy laying around the house from when her sons were young.  It’s still in great shape, and even if I never get around to making my son pants, I know it will get used for some sort of project.  You never know what other people might have that could be just what you need.

Those are just the ideas I have come up with.  I’m sure there are things I haven’t thought of yet, so if you have great places for getting inexpensive fabric, please share!