Tag Archive | Textile

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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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.

Fabric, Fabric, and More Fabric


I was talking about fabric with a couple of friends on Facebook, and they said they wanted pictures, so I thought, “Why not blog it?”So, here’s the deal.  I have fabric hoarding problem.  I told them I have two boxes of fabric in my guest room closet.  After going in there to take pictures of some of the fabrics, I realize it is now three boxes.  Some of these are remnants from actual projects.  A lot of these are just remnants or clearance fabrics that I saw and said, “Ooo, pretty.”  So here, without further ado, are some pictures of the fabrics in my closet, along with a few patterns I bought on sale today:

Two fabrics I want to use to make shirts for my boy, along with my $.99 pattern I bought today at JoAnn’s.

A pretty remnant I bought today.

The two reversible quilted fabrics Mom gave me yesterday when I went snooping in her boxes of unused fabric.

A silky Asian print and a beautiful floral. I keep pondering the possibility of adhering the yellow floral print onto a canvas because I love it that much.

Two celestial fabrics (the one on the left is satin with velvet objects) and a pretty purple flannel with multi-colored spots. I used some of the flannel for a case to put my daughter’s ski goggles in.

Zebra print cotton and kids’ jungle animals.

Complimentary floral prints I found on clearance, so I grabbed a yard of each.

A bunch of clearance cotton florals.

Pink with white polka dots (cotton) and another silk print.

Leftover Nemo fabric from the curtain in the kids’ bathroom and purple with butterflies.

Care Bears on clearance, Halloween clearance, and leftover fabric from a pants outfit I made my daughter (which had a hot pink solid for an accent color).

Top: Leftover butterflies from my daughter’s curtains. Bottom: leftover frog prints and lime green from a dress for my daughter and leftover orange from a dress for my daughter.

Top: Blue with circles; I think I used some of this to make a case for a PSP or Nintendo DS or other small device. Bottom: Pretty pink and green in a thicker weight fabric, pretty fabric with sayings all over it, and a red with multi-colored stars, which I’ve used some of to make a holder for a Leapfrog book and cartridge.

Pooh Bear and butterfly remnants that I fell in love with.

Sea creature fabric a friend bought and never used, so she gave it to me. I have used some to cover shoe boxes to be used as storage boxes. I will blog about that one of these days.

A soft, stretchy fabric covered with lots of colors and hearts. I got it for REALLY cheap at an estate sale (maybe $1.00 for many yards of it). I’ve used some of this to make cases for small electronics such as the Nintendo DS.

 

 

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!