Category Archives: sewing

Cute Elephant Quilt DIY-

This fun elephant theme quilt was lots of fun to make. The elephant theme is so cute to dress up any nursery and the colors will work for a boy or a girl.  It was a fun experience to make this one. The pattern is simple.

Cutting Squares

It is made of 10″ squares and sew down to about 9″ squares finished.

Applique

I drew the picture below of the elephant.  I have scanned it for you.  You should be able to print it .  Trace the pattern onto Pellon Wonder Under or similar bonding fabric. and then iron it on the fabric and cut it out after you have the pellon on it.     Follow the instructions that come with your iron on  fabric. Also trace  the ears and do the same.  I made the eyes by choosing the eyelet stitch on my machine.  You could hand embroider it or use a permanent marker.   

after sewing the finished squares together,  sandwich it with the batt.  I used cotton batting , and the back.  This quilt it backed with a dark gray minky that reminds me of soft elephants if there is such a creature.

 

Quilting

I quilted this on my machine.  It is done with the free motion method.  this method requires a lot of practice so if you haven’t done it before look it up on You Tube or take a class and do a lot of practicing first.  It is fun to do but give it some time.  I would not recommend quilting this method with minky on the back as it is too hard to see the back and check to make sure you have done it right.  Next time, I will use a cotton fabric on the back but babies love minky so it is a good thing if you are an expert at machine free motion quilting.

You could also choose to do it by hand or have someone do it on a free arm quilting machine.

This quilt will look great in my great grandson’s crib.  Or on a nursery wall.

Pajamas- Six Ideas

Pajamas for Kids are the perfect Christmas Present.  We like to let our children open these special gifts on Christmas Eve so they will have new Pajamas to wear on that special night.   Here are a few pair I made for grandchildrenphone-dec-15-551

These Pajamas are perfect for the girl who loves owls.

phone-dec-15-553this Pair matches the quilt she received and is her favorite design.  I used an easy button front pattern.

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the little boy who got these loves monsters and these monsters glow in the dark.  If you have a child afraid of the dark this kind of fabric might help them.  this boy is not afraid of the dark but he loves the fact that the monsters glow when the lights are out.

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Do you have a sports enthusiast?  this boy love any sport that has a ball so he was really excited to receive these Pajamas

phone-feb-18-160these Pajamas have a different pattern than the button front.  They are for an older child and have a yoke top to slip their head through.  No buttons to bother with here.  They also match her quilt.

phone-dec-15-555These Pajamas are for a teenager with the yoke top and made from the same fabric as her quilt.  Yes, last year I made quilts for these children and the PJs they got for Christmas matched the quilts they received on their birthday’s that year.

Special gifts like these always bring smiles and comfort especially in times of turmoil.

I don’t just sew.  I sew to  mend hearts.  Do you?

phone-feb-18-156This kid loves Minecraft and sent me a picture of his favorite Mooze.  I printed it out as an iron on and put it on a knit top that I made and made special knit pajama bottoms for him.  It brought huge smiles.

I might add that I wouldn’t do this type of an iron on again of pajamas because it was too  rubbery.  It would be good on a T Shirt though.  this top turned out to be too short so I had to make another.  He still loved it though.

 

 

Give a child an Apron and Mixes

Great gift idea! A Child Apron

Give a Child’s Apron and mixes.

Children love to make cookies and cake.  Wearing their own apron and having their own mixes to make treats for themselves is a very special treat for them.

Knowing that my grandchildren love to do this with  me, I decided to make a boy and girl apron for a brother and sister whose birthdays are close to each other.  It was simple and inexpensive but each child received an apron and a few mixes.  Cake, cookies, and brownies.

Next time, I think I might have added a spoon or spatula in the bow on the package.  .  You can use a paper grocery bag for your gift bag.

This little guy was apparently thrilled and proud to get to make his own cookies. I will include the pattern instructions for this simple little butcher child apron.

Cut a rectangle 8 1/2 by 30  then mark on the outer edge at 15 inches on the side and 6 inches on the top and just cut the curve as shown.  If you do it that way then your pattern will be nice and square.

this is for a size 8 apron.  for each size smaller just make it 1/2 inch shorter per size.

the ties for the waist are 3 inches wide and about 17  inches long.

fold the strip in half and sew the sides and turn.  then tuck in one end and stitch it shut.

Make the ties for the neck the same way.  only the one 17 inch strip will be cut in half and sewed to each side of the bib.  I make ties for the neck to make it more adjustable.  children grow so fast that we may as well make it adjustable.

 I had this darling cup cake fabric and it was the inspiration to this idea.

the pattern is a simple 22 inch square turned to make a diamond shape. This makes a size 10 girls apron.  You can trim the bottom with a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide and cut 25 inches long each. make a pocket for the apron double and with a point on one end like a long envelope.  I added a button there to keep the flap down and for decoration.  Place the ties on the top of the apron and baste in place.   Line the back with matching fabric sew together and turn leaving a section open so you can turn it. Turn down the top .  then make a neck strap that is 2″ by 17 inches.  Stitch them on the back.  I leave a couple of inches extra on the bottom so it can be lengthened as she grows. this is a simple method I will use next time I make one.

I used a pattern and a little different method of construction with the strips.  The pattern I used is “Kids Four Corners Apron! P137 It is from Vanilla House Designs.

This makes a great child apron for a boy or a girl.

 

How to shorten a lace wedding dress the easy way

HOW TO SHORTEN A LACE WEDDING DRESS THE EASY WAY..

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Here is the secret.  A simple way to shorten a lace wedding dress.

The dress above was drooping on the floor 1 1/2 inches.  The lace is delicate and very difficult to unpick.

Shortening a lace wedding dress can be a daunting task but there is a simple way to do it.  20160829_100924These instructions are for a lace dress with a train.  The lace is along the bottom and looks like it is a part of the fabric but if you look closely you will see that it has been sewn on.   Unpicking all those tiny stitches on delicate lace is not a good idea.  You run the probability of damaging the lace and leaving holes in it.

CUT ALONG THE TOP OF THE LACE

20160829_100934Here is a simple way to change that hem.  Just carefully cut above the lace on the front of the dress if has a train.  The train does not need to be shortened. Just the front so insert your scissors above the lace and trim it off.  so it just droops down.  Co not cut the lace entirely off of the skirt in a piece.  Just cut where you see those dotted lines.

RAISE THE LACE UP TO DESIRED LENGTH-STITCH

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You can see in this drawing that the part you cut is just going to droop down.  Now…Ta DA!  Just raise the center of the lace up to the desired length.   Then carefully pin it.  If regular straight pins will not stay in then use safety pins until you get it right.  On each side of the lace section there may be a tiny pleat in the lace to accommodate for raising it above but it will not be noticeable.  Now top stitch it on with a medium stitch.  A fine polyester thread works great.  You may use invisible thread but it usually isn’t necessary.

TRIM OFF THE EXCESS BELOW

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In this drawing you will see the peaks hanging down from the cutting line.  Just carefully trim them off so they do not hang beneath the lace edge.

HEM THE LINING AND THE UNDERSKIRTS

Now you will have 2 or three underskirts to hem.  they also only need to be shortened in the front You will want to trim the Satin underskirt to match what you did with the lace. for the underskirts I like to just turn them up and leave the extra fabric in there to make the bottom of the slips firmer and stand our  more.  That would depend on the wishes of the bride.

 

Give A Child’s Apron

Give a Child’s Apron.

Children love to make cookies and cake.  Wearing their own apron and having their own mixes to make treats for themselves is a very special treat for them.

Knowing that my grandchildren love to do this with  me, I decided to make a boy and girl apron for a brother and sister whose birthdays are close to each other.  It was simple and inexpensive but each child received an apron and a few mixes.  Cake, cookies, and brownies.

 

Next time, I think I might have added a spoon or spatula in the bow on the package.  .

You can use a paper grocery bag for your gift bag.

Little Boy’s Butcher Apron

This little guy was apparently thrilled and proud to get to make his own cookies. I will include the pattern instructions for this simple little butcher apron.

Cut a rectangle 8 1/2 by 30  then mark on the outer edge at 15 inches on the side and 6 inches on the top and just cut the curve as shown.  If you do it that way then your pattern will be nice and square.

this is for a size 8 apron.  for each size smaller just make it 1/2 inch shorter per size.

the ties for the waist are 3 inches wide and about 17  inches long.

fold the strip in half and sew the sides and turn.  then tuck in one end and stitch it shut.

Make the ties for the neck the same way.  only the one 17 inch strip will be cut in half and sewed to each side of the bib.  I make ties for the neck to make it more adjustable.  children grow so fast that we may as well make it adjustable.

Little Girl’s Apron

I had this darling cup cake fabric and it was the inspiration to this idea.

the pattern is a simple 22 inch square turned to make a diamond shape. This makes a size 10 girls apron.  You can trim the bottom with a strip about 2 1/2 inches wide and cut 25 inches long each. make a pocket for the apron double and with a point on one end like a long envelope.  I added a button there to keep the flap down and for decoration.  Place the ties on the top of the apron and baste in place.   Line the back with matching fabric sew together and turn leaving a section open so you can turn it. Turn down the top .  then make a neck strap that is 2″ by 17 inches.  Stitch them on the back.  I leave a couple of inches extra on the bottom so it can be lengthened as she grows. this is a simple method I will use next time I make one.

I used a pattern and a little different method of construction with the strips.  The pattern I used is “Kids Four Corners Apron! P137 It is from Vanilla House Designs.

15 Denim Bib Ideas

15 Denim Bib Ideas for you.

Denim Bibs
Denim Bibs- Here are 15 different denim bibs that I have made.  they are so inexpensive yet very popular and sturdy.  Mom’s love them.  they protect the baby just perfectly.  I have recently started putting tie closures on my bibs so that the baby can wear them longer as they grow.  I love to use decorative stitches to enhance the fabrics and you can also find stitches, if your lucky, they coordinate with the theme of the bib.  The cars above are so cute with this fabric and to top it off, the family name of this baby is Carr!  How fun it that.  If the Dad likes cars or planes or whatever then that is a fun theme to pick.  If the mom is into cup cakes or sports or bling or flowers there are all sorts of ideas you can come up with to make the bibs personal to the family you are giving it to .  I find these bibs are really appreciated because they are made with love.  Some find their way as a wall decoration too.  These are all fast, easy and very economical gifts. Have fun!

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Fancy Stitches cover the bib above.  A great way to bring personality to a bib.  It is also a creative way to use all those stitches you  may have on your machine. It is so much fun!

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I machine embroidered this design on a piece of the denim from these dark blue jeans and then  made a pocket from that piece of fabric.  It was easier than embroidering on an existing pocket. this was by special request from a mom who loves pigs! who doesn’t love a cute pig.  They are adorable.

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I live this simple bib with pretty stitches on each side of this valentine fabric.

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this bib is cut directly from the back side of a pair of jeans.

I lined it with the same fabric that I made the ties and the pocket handkerchief from. the ties are also made of the same fabric.  I like to use ties on bibs because they allow the child to wear it longer as they grow.

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A neckerchief sewn on at the neck turns this into a perfect cowboy or Cowgirl – bib.  I stitched around it with a decorative stitch instead of plain top stitching.  It is durable and adorable.

 

denim bibs

These four bibs are other examples of the strip of cute fabric and then decorative stitches on top and bottom.  They are closed with a snap.

 

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This doggy bib is one of my favorites.  The cute little puppy embroidery was fast and easy and looks so cute with matching puppy fabric at the top.  It think it is a lot better than plain denim would be.  Spice it up with a little piece of fabric at the top.

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this embroidered airplane was a hit.  it is so cute and fun to make.

tie bib

this dashing little tie bib is also accented with a little pocket.  The top is actually a side seam.  I used two shades of denim here.  One way you can do that is to use the back of the fabric for the lighter color.

cowboy bib

this bib is topped with adorable cowboy printed flannel.  I like how the seam of the leg accents the middle of the bib.  You can embroider the baby’s name or the word “Cowboy” or “Cowpoke” on it to spice it up.

cowgirl bib

I love this cute cowgirl bib.  The bandana is sewn on at an angle and the red around the outer edge is really decorative stitching but gives the impression of ric rac.

so there you have it.  15 denim bibs to bring smiles to mommys and babies.  also a smile to your pocketbook as they are very inexpensive to make from old jeans and scraps of fabric.

Happy Bib Making.

Sew For Those in Need

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Sew for those in need. 

 

I did not organize a group but I am happy to be a part of a couple of them.  People donate materials.  Someone else cut all of these nightgowns out and I just sewed them up!  what a pleasure it is to feel that your sewing is blessing children in need.  These nightgowns go to a local women’s and children’s shelter and to hospitals.  They are made from basic patterns that may change from time to time and from any materials that are given to us that will work for this purpose.  Generous people have donated a huge supply of attractive knits that we can use to make these.

Other women cut quilt pieces, piece quilts, sew them together  and tie them and bind them.  Some women paint wooden toys that are just delightful.  All of these things go to charities in our area.

You can start your own or join a group that does the same. You can even make a few calls to places nearby and ask them what they need.  this group has also made adult bibs and book bags.  Any group you can join like a quilt group or a church group can help you share your sewing talents.

Places you might call are Women’s shelters, hospitals, fire department, police department, Cancer treatment centers, Refugee groups and churches.  You can also find organized groups online who send dresses to Africa and other places.  Look around you and across the street.  You will find needs close to you.

You can make a difference one stitch at a time. Happy sewing. It seems like the more you sew the more you have to share.

Princess Prom Dress

Gorgeous Prom DressThis Princess Prom Dress is just the perfect dress for a lovely girl.  she will certainly feel like the bell of the ball in a prom dress like this one from a McCall Pattern.

I decided to make it for a granddaughter.  she picked out the pattern and then the challenge was finding the perfect fabric.  she found it quickly but we had to visit two stores to get all that we needed. there are 17 pieces in this beautiful Prom Dress.  It made it so that it fit like a glove and was flattering as well.  The top was a low luster satin and the lining was a shiny satin of the same color with a underskirt of sheer sparkle polyester.

A special trick to making a dress fit just right is to cut it out with extra wide side seams and back seam.  then you have the freedom to go in or out without the worries.  when you are sewing for someone who is far away it is the perfect answer.

When the dress was all done except the hems and the zipper I took a long drive to her house and stayed a couple of days to finish it on location.  It was a huge success and the Princess Prom Dress brought big smiles and admiration.

with the scraps, I made a bow tie and pocket hanky for her date.  He was grateful for that because it relieved him of the worry of trying to match it..  He can return it to her so it can be used again with the dress on another occasion or he can keep it for a souvenir and reminder of their magical date.

Oh yes, it saved a ton of money compared to the price of a similar dress in the store.  It cost about a third what one like it would have been.  It would not have fit as well and it would have been a real feat to find her favorite color and style.  Yes, she did not see another like it on any other girl at the prom !  It is unique to her.

“Chop Suey ” Quilt

I love this  Interesting and clever design like this keeps your eyes moving around the quilt.

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This easy “Chop Suey ” Quilt is fun to do.   I found the pattern for it in the Quiltmaker magazine May/June of ’15 163.  It starts with easy blocks.  I used Batik fabrics as pictured in the magazine. The trick is arranging all those pieces so they all face the correct way. Finally, mixing up the colors to give it that “Chop Suey ” look.

Fabrics to choose

Batiks are perfect for this quilt to give it a special blended look of colors.  It is also striking with a black background and bright colors.  You can use seasonal colors and bring any season or holiday to life with it depending on your choice.  A nice baby quilt in soft nursery colors or bright primary colors would be perfect.  Sew it up quickly in a baby or lap  size.  Your imagination is the only limit you will have.

I made it into a king sized quilt with matching pillow cases for my son who chose this design from hundreds of choices.  It was a huge project because there were 49 of them.  It is backed with soft batik looking  flannel and looks great on a king sized bed.  I had it quilted with a long arm machine in just a simple design that would not take from the colorful blocks.

Elephant Themed Bibs

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I love elephants! Give an Elephant Themed Bib and you will have a happy mama!

 

These two cute Elephant Themed Bibs are so adorable.  The appliqued Elephant was one I drew myself.  I cut out the pieces and ironed them on with “Wonder Under” and did the satin stitches around it.  the eyes are and eyelet stitch on my machine and the eyebrows are just a narrow satin stitch.. The head is a separate piece from the body and of course the inner ears are separate.  I used shiny embroidery thread to satin stitch around it. It is Sulky 40 wt. 100% Rayon and it worked out great.  I like to use it in the bobbin as well but you may use another gray if you have it.  Always experiment on a scrap before you stitch it.   YOu may enlarge and print the picture of the elephant and trace it for a pattern.

The other Elephant Themed Bib is inspired by this adorable Elephant fabric.  Then I found that I have Elephants in my decorative stitches in my machine.  I have a Pfaff Creative 4.5 and I love it.   any machine will make this bib as long as you have a zigzag stitch but the decorative stitches vary.  You might find another stitch that works for a decorative stitch or just leave that out.   So I had to make a row on each of these bibs.  I especially like the pink ones.

In the past all my bibs were closed in the back with a snap but when I learned that my little grandson had outgrown his bib by the time  he was eating from a spoon I started making bibs with the ties to close them at the back.  that way the neck of the bib will not get too small for the little darlings.  It just gives me peace of mind to do them that way.

Happy sweet baby girls.