Sew Snuggly

6 Jan

image2 The weather is changing as Old Man Winter is settling in and I suppose that’s my motivation for suddenly wanting to make blankets! Besides, they are portable, versatile, and practical…plus, they make great gifts!

While I do love to make (and receive) comfy, homemade, no-sew fleece blankets – I really wanted to actually SEW a blanket…a big, soft, SNUGGLY one with no bumpy knots in it!

I am a fan of Silky Furry Fleece so decided to combine my fleece favorites into a single deliciously cozy blanket and loved it so much…I made more and gifted them! The Silky Furry Fleece is a little pricey if bought at regular price, so watch for those coupons from your favorite fabric store!

image4If you decide to try making one of these beauties, BEWARE- the Silky Furry Fleece is MESSY when cut and depending on your machine, it can sometimes get tangled…BUT, if you take your time, it’s really pretty easy to work with and the messy furry fleece fibers are a quick cleanup with a vacuum! (Although your clothes may need a good lint roller!)

This blanket was simple and turned out lovely…I encourage you to try it!

Here’s how ya do it: Determine the size blanket you want to make and buy the appropriate amount of Silky Furry Fleece and coordinating PRINT or SOLID color fleece. Since fleece is generally sold as 60″ wide, you really only need to determine the length. Lay the fabric out with right-sides facing and pin around the edges, IMG_7926cutting any uneven edges so the fabric edges line up nicely. Sew together (I  used a 1/2″ seam allowance)  and leave a small area not sewn for room to turn the blanket right side out.

I clipped the excess fabric from the corners at an angle for cleaner angled corners when turned, and then turn it right-side out and sew together the last section . I tacked a few inconspicuous spots by hand here and there around the blanket to keep it from turning and shifting while washing, but that was it! DONE!

If you make one, I’d love to see a picture of your finished product!

Creativity Rules!

11 Dec

My son and his girlfriend have an agreement that gift giving means including a personal, handmade gift. I absolutely LOVE this idea! In my humble opinion, there is no better way to say, “you are worthy of my time” then by spending your precious time making a gift for that person!

Recently my son asked me to teach him how to use the sewing machine to sew a simple but comfy blanket. Last year he made a photo album with personal, hand written notes of shared memories! My son’s girlfriend is a master brownie baker, and also has made him a no-sew blanket and even painted a pretty sunset on canvass for him! The idea here is that more of us should do something creative when giving a gift, for that personal touch! It’s not about whether you think you have talent, it’s about finding creativity within yourself, and sharing it with others!

I know, most of us do not have a whole heck of a lot of free time these days but that makes a handmade gift all the more special! I have found that when I make time to read blogs about sewing, cooking or even cute and simple crafts, I am motivated and inspired to create something and then….give it away! I sometimes make multiples and keep one for myself too!

Look, I certainly would not classify myself as the naturally creative type, (nope, that would be my sister actually!) but I am the curious type and I enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques and creating new things with my own two hands. I love reading about other people’s creative concoctions and I always insert my spin on an idea, whether I actually make something from it or not! I mean, what better way to kick-start a creative idea then by blending a bit of other people’s creativity with your own – and then trying to physically build the idea into a thing!…like a blanket, a craft of some sort, or even a new dinner recipe!

Whatever you do, don’t let the project intimidate you! After all, YOU picked the project so you’re the boss! You call the shots and you get to decide if want to follow the instructions or if you want to meander off into unknown territory and try something new! You don’t even have to gift your creations if you don’t want to. 🙂 Keep it and display it, and be proud of your efforts!

Bottom line; there are techniques for sewing, photography, and cooking but there are NO RULES!

BE CREATIVE and release your inner talent! You just might be pleasantly surprised at what you are capable of making and better yet, you may make someone’s day brighter by sharing your creation!

Here’s to being Sew Giddy about sharing our creativity with the ones we love!!

 

Sew Personalized!

2 Nov

I bought a bottle of wine as a gift for one of my best friends, and although it was her favorite wine, I felt it was just a too impersonal to simply hand over a bottle of wine. SEW….I decided to dress it up a bit with a personal touch!

Using two pieces of double-faced quilted fabric for the sides (that measure tall enough to hide the bottle inside) and a round piece of the same quilted fabric for the bottom (that’s larger than the base of the bottle and allowing for seam allowance), I whipped this wine bottle bag together, finishing it off with scrap bias tape to cover the top of the handle. Bias tape the seams on the inside and it’s reversible! I cut a heart out for the handle and hand-sewed around the heart’s edge to give it that homemade touch.

I filled this pretty bag with the bottle of wine surrounded by delicious chocolates and even added a gift card to a restaurant my friend is known to frequent! I love the way it turned out! Since the inside has coordinating fabric, it is pretty to look inside of it as well!

I love how this bag is not only cute, but reusable too!

Sew…what have YOU created to give that ordinary gift a personal touch of love?

Sew Great to Read About It!!

25 Oct
Cover of "New Complete Guide to Sewing (R...

Cover via Amazon

 

If you are like me and have a desire to broaden your sewing knowledge as well as try your hand at new projects all the time, you may want to invest in a good book!

 

I have found a lot of helpful information on the internet by following sewing blogs (both novice and expert) and learning about different techniques I can apply to my projects. While free information on the internet is fun and a wonderful resource for learning, I also found the book New Complete Guide to Sewing by Reader’s Digest to be an abundance of information! Not only does it explain the basics of what is needed to get started as a newbie to the sewing world, but it also has illustrations and step-by-step techniques for home projects and for making clothes! My friend who is a pro (nearly 60 years of experience!) at sewing everything from clothes and stuffed animals, to everything in between, was so impressed with this book she purchased one for herself after reading mine!

 

I know there are a ton of good sewing books and guides out there. This one seems to cover it all in a user-friendly, easy-to-follow way, and because of that – I thought I would share the news!

 

Do you have a favorite sewing guide?

 

Hot Handle Pot Sleeve

13 Oct

Although I love cooking, I can sometimes be a bit clumsy in the kitchen…which is what inspired me to create this Hot Handle Pot Sleeve! Easy to make and it matches the tortilla cozy I made last year!

Here’s how I did it!
First I measured the handles on my pots and pans for which I will be using the “sleeve” for, so it will fit on all of them.  I made a dome-like pattern that measured 3.5″x7.5″. Then, using that pattern I cut out 2 pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of Insul-Bright and sandwiched them together so the fabric connected to the Insul-Bright was facing down and the wrong-side of the patterned fabric was against the batting of the Insul-Bright.

I then basted around the edges to keep the fabric and the Insul-Bright together.

Then I folded down 1/2″ of the straight edge on the short side of the basted piece and zig-zag stitched it down, folding the fabric in to make a soft edge. (Of course using scrap bias tape would also work if you prefer that look instead.)

Now take both finished pieces and place the patterned fabric sides together and zig-zag stitch around the edges, careful not to sew the short, straight side which will be the opening.

Trim the edges so they are even, then turn inside out.

And that’s it!

Sew Easy, even a novice like me can do it!!

 

Share Your Love for Sewing

11 Oct

I recently had a co-worker bring me a bunch of different fabrics that range in texture, pattern and size and with the cost of fabric, even for remnants, I certainly appreciated it! She said when she heard I sewed and how much I loved learning new techniques and trying my hand at new patterns, she wanted to give me some of her fun patterns and lots of fabric to create with, especially since I’m trying my hand at quilting! She is one of those talented ladies who makes her own fabulous work clothes, among other things, and always looks great! Not only did she give the gift of fabric but I also have a new resource when I have questions about a project. 🙂

So the lesson learned here is to share the news about your sewing hobby and maybe your friends will share some free advice, patterns, or…free fabric!

Sew, what do you have the “notion” to share?

Reverse Applique

3 Oct

Ever wonder what a “reverse applique” is? Well, I had no idea but found it to be a simple technique to show depth in a sewing project. Reverse applique can be used on various projects, such as adding dimension to pillow designs, quilts, purses, etc.. In my case, I will be using a reverse applique on a quilt intended as a wall display.
Reverse applique is accomplished by pinning two fabrics together, drawing the pattern to be cut on the top fabric and sewing around (by hand or machine) the pattern. Then, with sharp scissors, cut along the pattern lines for top fabric only. The bottom fabric shows through and is framed by the upper fabric. I have seen reverse applique done in multiple layers too, just be aware that the project can become quite thick if too many layers are added to the project. I will share an example once I have my project started! Do you have one you would like to share?

Happy sewing!

Sew Into Recycling

29 Jan

If you love that old sweatshirt but it’s too small I have just the project for you! Turn it into a washable Stadium Seat Cushion. How about those old cargo pants and t-shirt your son outgrew? Why not make a messenger bag! No need to toss out those old clothes when you can get creative with them and give them a new life! There’s lots of ideas floating around on the web to reuse those old clothes and create something new! Check out my projects! What have you recycled that you SEW love again??

Sew Today

28 Jan

It seems to be a younger generation of people picking up “old-fashioned” projects such as sewing, canning and gardening that their baby-boom mothers and grandmothers had so eagerly given up. Could it be curiosity? Better control of what we’re eating? Being more careful of how we’re spending our money?? From TV shows to social media, there’s a million ways to learn “how-to”. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely SEW TODAY to DIY!

There’s a huge opportunity out there to learn and teach new sewing ideas. I’m always on the look out for new sewing ideas and suggestions so if you have sewing projects that you’d like to share – I’d like to hear about them!

 

Sew Savings

3 Dec

When I first stepped into the fabric store after getting my sewing machine I was surprised to see how expensive fabric and all the notions can be! So I did a little research, chatted with some friends and spoke to some very helpful employees at a local fabric store and found it really doesn’t have to be expensive to sew! Save money by signing up for fabric store mailers and sign up online to receive store emails – before you know it you’ll get coupons in the mail and right to your inbox! I’ve even found my Entertainment Book had coupons for fabric stores in my area. Some stores like JoAnn Fabrics allow more than one coupon per purchase too, but be sure read the restrictions on coupons for details. Another money saving idea is to visit your local thrift store…purchasing some used curtains made with pretty fabric for a dollar will make creating your next project just that much more rewarding! And don’t throw away that old sweatshirt or t-shirt with your favorite team logo! You can find free patterns online to transform them into stadium seat cushions or tote bags and you can even create really cute Jean Purses with those old jeans your daughter has outgrown!

What money saving ideas make you Sew Giddy?

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