Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Holiday's

I just wanted to drop a note and let you all know I'm headed out of town for 5 weeks. I'm not sure if I'll have time to post or not while I'm away. Holiday travel and visiting family is next on my agenda.

Happy Holiday's!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hemming Jeans - keeping the original hem, Method #2

As many of you may remember, I made a post a few months ago on how to hem jeans keeping the original hem . If you have forgotten, you can check it out here.

I have hemmed a few pairs of jeans that way and really like the outcome. However, it does take a bit of time. So today I tried another method for hemming jeans and keeping the original hem at the same time. I thought I would share:

Step 1:
Try your jeans on to decide exactly how much you need to take off. Divide that number in half and fold jeans up (bottom will be wrong side out). I took 3 inches off my jeans, so I folded them up 1 1/2 inches. Pin around both pant legs directly under the original hem.

Ste 2:
Use a zipper foot to sew a seam next to the old hem line. Do not catch any of the old hem! It will not lay correctly.

Step 3:
Iron your seam flat. Do this by laying your hem down and extra fabric up.

Step 4:
Once your hem is pressed flat, top stitch above the hem (the upper side of your first stitch line). This will give your pants a more finished look and will help your hem lay flat.

Step 5:
Cut away the extra fabric. You can zig-zag stitch the unfinished edge to help keep fray in check. I did not do this in the picture.


I tried this method out on a pair of jeans I wanted to wear today. It was very quick! Can't beat that. The finished look is okay, but I still prefer my first method's appearance seen HERE . You can be the judge and pick the method you prefer! Good luck and enjoy those new pants!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lengthening a Dress - adding a hem

Here's a method to lengthen a dress if the hem doesn't have enough seam allowance to let out. By adding fabric to the end of the dress you can get the exact length you want.

(Dress before with additional fabric pinned to bottom)

Decide if you can unpick the original dress hem or if it will need to be cut off (ex. the hem folds can not be ironed out.)

Find desired fabric. Make sure to align seams with dress seams when sewing together. In this case there were lots of different sections to the dress.

An important factor is how the dress curves at the bottom. Cutting a straight rectangular piece to add on will not work. Make sure you take into account the original curve of the dress so you can recreate that when adding fabric to the bottom.

Additional embellishments might be useful to tie in the added fabric. In this case ribbon and matching buttons were sew on.

Brand new dress with a new look - yet long enough for desired length!

make it wear it

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Holiday/Christmas Image Downloads

With holiday spirit in mind, I was browsing online the other night and found this awesome blog. I was getting some idea's for cute Holiday Crafts. I am now working on some cute cards with these images. I thought I would pass on this new find. :)

(Just click the link of the right hand side --> to get there.)

Happy Holiday's. Thanksgiving is part of the "holidays" right?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GPS Cover - Garmin Nuvi

Recently my husband was given a GPS because of his upcoming travels (interviewing for residency programs). The Nuvi didn't come with a case! After reading this blog I decided it wouldn't be too hard to throw something together to protect the screen/device.

I simply made two little rectangular bags, stuck padding in between them and closed the top off with bias tape. Walla!

Our Nuvi - or Eunice as she goes by now - is going to be all over the country in the next few months! She packed and ready to go.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homemade Toddler Toys

Remember this post ? My little boy has reached the perfect age where he actually enjoys putting the lids inside the container via the cutout slit. He also loves taking on and off the yogurt lid. It's a huge hit! Why pay for expensive toys when you have what they want all around your house??

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Altering a Child's Winter Hat

Winter in Wisconsin is brutal, to say the least. Negative temperatures and wind can get one down, but adequate clothing sure helps. Last winter my baby wore a 0-3 lumberjack/aviator hat. It was perfect for the elements outside. Unfortunately, that hat no longer fits his 12 month head. It's been hard for me to find a similar hat. Yes, I get stuck in a rut with something I love and have to have the exact same one when something happens to the first.

A few months ago I was at the Land's End Inlet and found a steal of a deal on this hat! $9.50 for exactly what I was looking for. It is lined with berber fleece and wind proof - exactly what I wanted! I don't necessarily love the color, but it can grow on me.

The only problem is it's a tad bit large. The head size is okay and will work fine, but the chin straps are just too big. With a one year old who loves to pull things off his head, this would not do. I decided to fix the problem. :)

I started by cutting the snap tab very close to the ear flap. I didn't want to deal with unpicking the fabric and getting it out nicely. It should be fine because of the nylon fabric. I expect little or no fraying at the cut off site.

Once I had the snap tab off, I stitched the cut edge closed. Nothing fancy - I used a fairly small overcast stitch. I just wanted to ensure no fraying to this piece.

Another view of stitching

Snap flap complete

Once the snap flap was closed off, I measured where to place the snap. I put the hat on my son's head and put my finger where I wanted the snap to be - not too hard. I then pinned the snap in it's new place.

I sewed the snap on by using a back stitch. If you're unsure what a back stitch is, you can find it here . I also tried to follow the original stitching and was also careful not to catch any of the berber fleece while sewing. My needle only caught the green nylon.

Because I hand stitched the snap in place, I will easily be able to unpick the stitching and sew it back into it's original place if desired in future years. For now we are ready to enjoy the winter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Banner

This Banner can be used for years and years! Male or Female. It's an extra way to make your loved ones feel recognized and acknowledged on their special day.

To begin cut 16 triangles out of your choice of fabric. 5-6" wide by 8" long. I used different patterns with no rhyme or reason. Fabric can be totally random or there can be a pattern. You can also keep them all the same color if you wanted - anything goes. Just make sure you have 18.

Then, cut 18 triangles the same size for the backing. I used orange. 36 triangles total!

NOTE: I apologizing for not having pictures for this section. Each purchase of wonder under comes with directions. Refer to them as well.

Trace your letters onto wonder under. You can use stencils or make your own font/letters on paper. Making sure your letters are backwards (mirror image) when you are looking at the iron on side. The sticky side you peal off should be the correct way to read the letter. Cut the letters out loosely (they do not need to be perfect at this point).

Peal off the sticky side of the wonder under and place on the fabric you will use for the letters. Iron in place for about 6-10 seconds. Once they are fused, cut along the letter lines exactly.

Now you are ready to put the letters onto your patterned triangles. Peal off the wonder under, place the letter on triangle and press/iron into place.

Sew around each letter. Make the stitch length very narrow with a zigzag stitch. Don't forget the inside of your letters ;) You can also hand stitch a wide baste for a different look.

Once your letters are ironed on your fabric and the stitching is complete, match each letter with a colored back. Stitch the two triangles together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Once the stitching is complete cut the seam allowance with pinking shears. This will give your edges a simple finished look.

Take each completed letter triangle and arrange them in order of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" leaving a plain colored triangle at the beginning, end, and in between the two words.

Pin the letters inside the bias tape and sew in place.

I did not make my own bias tape for this project, but you sure can! It might be fun to add another fun fabric to the mix. For time's sake I purchased 2 pre-made 3 yard bias tape packages from Jo Ann Fabric. One package is enough to go across the letters, but you want to make sure you have extra for the ties at the end. Make sure it is extra wide! This will allow you to utilize the 3 folds already ironed in

Sew closed the extra bias tape ends and stitch along bottom for closure.

Banner folded in half

Make sure to leave room on each side for hanging the banner up! Enjoy! I hope this adds to many Happy Birthday's to come.

Idea from my lovely sisters. We started making these at a recent "Sister's Get Together".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby Shoes

For Bam Bam's shoes in this post, I was inspired by reading another crafting/sewing blog . They probably took me less than an hour to make - keep in mine little Bam Bam was always at my feet wanting to help! Cute shoes for any costume or every day wear.

I would post a close up picture, but they've already been put in storage for another year.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from The Flintstones!

The Flintstones. Yabadabadoo!

Yes, I know that Bam Bam is really Barney and Betty Rubble's child, but since we have a son and not a daughter . . . you understand.

For Wilma's earrings and necklace I used Styrofoam craft balls. I put string though all the balls for the necklace and hoked my small hoop earrings to the other balls.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fred Flintstone - Halloween Costume

60" Wide felt. Simple rectangle with arms and head cut outs. Cut jagged edges at the arms and bottom.

Cut a large tie out of blue fabric.

To make the animal print, I cut out black triangle-ish shapes.

Pin them in place and either glue, machine or hand stitch them on. My project tonight is to finish basting them on by hand. I'm afraid the glue won't last too long with a small child tugging on them all night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Seger! JUKI 466D

I'm super excited for my new purchase to arrive!!!

I decided on the Juki 644D because I have 3 sisters who have this machine. They all love it! I am familiar with how this specific machine works, so I went for it!

- My older sister has been sewing on hers for 18 and a half years. It's still going strong with no problems.
- Another sister traded in her Elna (because it was giving her problems) for this Juki.

Yeah! more clothing projects in my near future!

Bam Bam Flintstone - Halloween costume

Bam Bam Flintstones Costume! This year the whole family is going as the Flintstones.

Simple elastic waistband skirt with cut hem.

Measure the correct amount of fabric to go around his chest from the waist. connected in the same spot front and back of waist band. No need to hem or finish the ends :)

I won't be making that hat because it won't stay on my boys head (love to take things off!). I have yet to decide what the club will be made of. My husband thinks paper mache - not sure I have the time. He might have to use a wooden kitchen spoon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back in Business

I've been gone for the last 4 weeks traveling and visiting family while my husband was working away from home. It was an amazing trip! We loved every minute of it and felt like home away from home!

I have so many projects that are building up. Many are started and none are finished. My goal is to get some of them done before the holiday months . . . !

First on the list in our Halloween costumes! Dad, Mom, and Baby. This will be my next post. After that, on to other fun projects.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hemming Jeans - keeping the original hem when hemming jeans

I've found a way that works to keep the original hem when I hem my pants! I don't know exactly how they do it at Macy's or Nordstrom's when you buy a pair of long pants, but this works for me and I've done it to two pairs of nice jeans. They look great!! Yes, it does take a bit longer than some other methods but this one works for me!

Step 1:
Cut jeans 1/2 inch longer than desired finished length. Then cut 1/2 inch above the original hem.

Step 2:
Unpick the original hem stitching and pull out loose threads.
Cut off hem - before and after stitching was unpicked.

Step 3:
Turn the hem wrong side out and measure on new jean length. This is to see how much of the original hem needs to be taken in. Pin the amount of fabric that needs to be taken in (bottom right) Flatten out the hem (top right photo) and get ready to stitch.

Step 4:
Sew where pin was placed - taking in the hem (generally about 1/4 - 1/2 inch). Take out the old stitch and open up seam.

Step 5:
Pin hem to bottom of jeans - right sides together. Make sure the seams on the inside and outside of the legs match up with the hem seams. Sew hem to pants. **Notice where the stitch line is (top right photo). It will be just above the original seam line. You need a bit of space to open the seam up and stitch the final stitching.

Step 6:
Once the hem is sewn to the jeans, turn the seam around and fold the seam allowance into the hem. The un-sewn side will fold into the inside of the jeans. Pin in place (bottom right photo).

Step 7:
Make sure you have a denim/heavy weight needle in your machine. This is the point I get to where I discover a smaller needle will not handle the thickness of the fabric. Change your thread to a thick top stitching thread as well. When your needle and thread are set, go ahead and stitch your top stitch finishing off the hem. Stitch right above the old stitching.
Finished hem, ready to wear.


- The thickness of the hem is a bit heavier on the bottom of your pants.
- The first 6 steps can be done with a medium needle and regular thread. Be sure to change thread and needle on step 7.
- You may need to cut off some of the seam allowance in step 6 if the hem of your pants were small. You want to least amount of bulk as possible.
- Be sure to catch both sides of the hem when top stitching. It's easy to miss the inside hem sometimes, you can either unpick it and do it over, or hand stitch the hem to the pants in the spots you missed.

*** You can also check out another one of my posts HERE with ANOTHER way to hem jeans keeping the original hem. ***