Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's New At Cat Song Stitchery-Holiday Table Runner

I like this new table runner because it doesn't yell Christmas at you, yet it still looks festive. I used some home dec fabric for textural interest. The pale green looks fresh. This would look great hung on a narrow wall, draped on a table or side board. It is a style that you could look at from early December all the way through to January without getting tired of. See more at http://catsongstitchery.etsy.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How To: Sew an Eye Shade

I have been having trouble sleeping lately, so I decided to make an eye shade. I am using silk and lining from an old jacket and osnaburg that I had lying around.

I cut out a shape that covers my eyes completely. The elastic should not be too tight for sleeping.

Sew all three pieces of fabric and the elastic together leaving room to turn it right side out.

Slip stitch the opening shut. I didn't even press it. The silk is really soft!

Now for a good night's sleep.
I can hardly wait!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alteration: Strap Keepers

An easy alteration that will make a blouse more comfortable to wear is to add strap keepers. Take 3" of twill tape or ribbon and add a snap part to each end. sew to the blouse where ever it is needed inside. This top has a wide neckline, so it needed keepers in front (it is shown here wrong side out). Some tops need them on the shoulders. On the outside, straps and keepers can't be seen! When you are comfortable in your clothes you appear more confident and relaxed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Looking Ahead to Autumn 2009

The first day of autumn. I absolutely love autumn with the changing colors and cooler weather. This time of year I always go through my cool weather clothes to see what I need for the coming season. I check for stains I hadn't noticed last year and I look for items that could do with a little work like hemming, sewing on buttons or adding something to update the style. I also try on everything. Check to see if each piece has something to go with it. I like to have skirts and pants that have at least 3 tops to wear with them. I make sure I have one wedding/dressy party outfit ready to go. I even write it down including shoes and accessories so I won't forget since I don't wear it often. I put this list in my jewelry box. Write out a shopping/sewing list for any missing pieces. This way I can be sure everything can and will be worn. This method helps me avoid Printosis (a serious condition where everything in your closet is a print and therefore won't go with anything else. I recovered from this a few years ago- so there is hope!).

Monday, September 21, 2009

How To: Hem a Lined Coat

This coat is still in great condition with many more years of wear left in it, the length just didn't fit the owner's lifestyle anymore. So I hemmed it. Not hard to do, just pay attention to what it looks like to start with.
There is a bias strip of interfacing in the hem, so I removed that to reuse.

I marked the cutting line, after allowing for the generous hem.

After trimming off the extra fabric, I repositioned the interfacing and machine stitched in the hem allowance so it doesn't show on the outside. Coats usually have this type of hem to help support the weight of the heavy fabric-so don't be tempted to skip it!

Another view.

Trim the lining shorter than the coat hem so it doesn't peek out.

I use a catch stitch to hold the interfacing to the coat fabric.

For a fancy touch- machine embroidery!

The finished hem looks as good as the first one and looks even better inside!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nesting Dolls

Its a family photo of my Russian nesting dolls! My daughter arranged them, but I have been thinking for awhile that I would like to make some fabric ones. I love all the bright colors and patterns. In case you are wondering- 3 are Russian and one is East Indian. My son even has one of sea animals but I couldn't find them for the picture.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How To: Sew a Zipper, Corded, Pillow Case

First, decide on the placement of the pattern if it is large like this one. Cut one piece out the size of your purchased pillow form (this is a removable pillow case).

On each corner, measure in 1/2" and trim this off, tapering to nothing in the middle. This will prevent the corners from poking out rudely. Cut out the back. You will need 2 pieces with 3/4"-1" seam allowance for the lapped zipper.
Lapped Zipper:
Turn under one edge 1/2" and sew, using a zipper foot, close to the edge.

Turn under the edge on the other back piece (3/4"-1"). Pin in place, overlapping as shown. Sew the zipper to the fabric.

Cording/Piping/Welting: I have heard it called all three.

Cut bias strips (45 degree angle so the fabric is stretchy), 2" wide, long enough to fit around your pillow with seam allowances included.

Seam the strips together to make one long strip.

Wrap the strip around purchased cotton cord. Using a zipper foot, get close to the cord.

Stitch the cord to the right side of the pillow front. Clip the fabric at the corners so it will lie flat.

When you have sewn all the way around, cut off the extra cord but not the fabric.

Turn the ends under and wrap around the fabric.

Finish sewing. The extra rows of stitching you see are because each time you sew the cord, get a little closer. The last time you sew it, it should hide the other stitches and be nice and snug.

Open the zipper part way and stitch the front and back pillow pieces right sides together. Careful sewing over the zipper.

Clip the corner seam allowances to reduce bulk.

Here is the back of the finished case with the purchased pillow form inside.

Here is the front!

Friday, September 11, 2009

How To: Sew a Zipper Pocket

This is basically a window pocket with a zipper. Easier than a welt pocket! Cut 2 pocket bags 7" x 9" (mine are black). The brown print would be my garment or purse etc. I used a 6" zipper. It is easy to change the sizes though.
Start with one pocket bag piece, right sides together. Sew a rectangle that is as long as your zipper (6") and wide enough for the coil to show, but narrow enough to still overlap with the fabric.

The white piece of paper shows how to cut the opening. Clip as close as possible into the corners.

Push everything through the hole. Press. This is your window.

Position the zipper behind the window and stitch as shown.

Lastly, stitch the other pocket bag to the first bag, folding any other fabric out of the way.
Ta Da! A secure zipper pocket great for inside a jacket, on pants or skirt or purse.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How To: Sew a Lined Pencil Case

You will need to cut 1 outside fabric and 1 lining, both 12"x12". You will need a 9" zipper and thread.
Sew completely around, right sides together, 1/4" from the edge and leave a hole to turn it.

Clip the corners. Turn right side out and press.

Sew one side, with the fabric overlapping the zipper tape. I like to hand sew, but you could machine sew it.

Inside view.
Next sew the other side of the zipper.

Fold a small piece of ribbon in half, pin it to the end of the zipper. Unzip the zipper and sew across the ends.

A cute lined pencil case that could also hold money, makeup, etc.!