Monday, September 16, 2013

Baby Shower Gift

A Coworker is expecting her first baby on September 27.  (I'm rooting for September 15, because it's. my birthday).  We were going to have a baby shower for her, but it was delayed due to her having some gall bladder issues and put on bed rest.  Her and baby are doing fine now.

These were all made the first day I had my new sewing machine.  Have I mentioned how much I love it?

For baby shower gifts I pretty much give some combination of bib/blanket/burprag sets.  For this one I chose to make 3 sets.  Bibs and diapers are from Target.  Blanket fabric is from Joanns, ribbon is from stash, most likely Joanns, Hancocks, or Hobby Lobby.

First set is a monogram since they are so popular right now.  You can't see it in the blanket fabric, but it has silver glitter around the tear drops.  I picked the cupcake ribbon because it had the same colors as the blanket.  I do not remember the source of the monogram font.
 Next is Hello Kitty.  Mom to Be is a big Hello Kitty fan, and since baby was a girl, there just had to be Hello Kitty included.  HK ME design is from here
 Last was a butterfly design from  I use a lot of her designs and love them.  The room is brown, pink and aqua, so throughout I tried to find things that would work with that theme.

Scheduled on 9/14 to publish on 9/16

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Different Dress-Same Pattern

I'm going to do a series of quick posts to try and catch up.  Some posts may be longer as I finish newer projects, but in general, I am going to try and play catch up.Last summer, I made this dress for Axelgirl.  She loved it, and it gets a lot of wear.  Looking at the picture, I can see where it has faded a lot.  She had asked for a new one, and about two or three weeks ago we got out and purchased fabric.  You can see it here.

And the finished dress.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of her wearing it.  The fabric would not have been my first choice, but it did come out sort of cute.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lanyards-Step by Step Tutorial

First,  I do intend to get caught up with pictures.  The original intent of this blog was for me to keep track of what I've completed, and I need to do better at that.

Today I decided to make some new lanyards for work.  I have been using the same one for the past year.  I have been intending to make more, and decided today was the day.  They sell on etsy from about $8.00 up, and the Vera Bradley ones are $16.00 on her website.  I was able to make 4 of them for just over $8.00 all on sale from Hobby Lobby, not including thread and velcro, and under 2 hours, including clean up.  You may have the things needed on hand, which would make them 'free' :)

These are made to my preference in size (width and length).  There is no correct dimensions, just what you prefer.  Mine are 1/2" wide, by about 40" in length overall.


  • Sewing machine w/ straight stitch
  • Steam Iron
  • Thread and bobbin to match
  • 2" wide strip of fabric, cut selvage to selvage or 40" long, if purchasing I buy 1/6 yard, so I can trim it up straight.  It amazes me how crooked fabric is cut at times. If making wider, fabric width is 4 times finished width of lanyard
  • Appropriate size swivel hook, and/or split key ring.  This is personal preference.  I like just a swivel hook, keeping my ID and keys on separate rings, making them easy to move.
  • Scrap of Velcro, each piece approx 1/2" X 1/2", or breakaway clasp-optional.  This allows them to 'breakaway' if pulled on.  If your work environment doesn't require this, you can just stitch the edges together.  If anyone knows of a reliable cheap source of small quantity break-away clasps let me know.
  • Rotary cutter, mat and ruler, or scissors, marking pencil and ruler

Fabric Selection-Keep in mind you will only be seeing 1/2" wide strip of the fabric.  While fabric is a personal choice, some fabrics will not look good, or be identifiable on that narrow of a strip.  I would recommend something with an all over print, a quilting weight 100% cotton. If you look at the edge of the bolt between two solid fabrics, it will help you visualize how it will look in a small width.  This is still wider than the finished lanyard, but can help in decision making.  For mine today, I found a smallish fall leaf print, orange with white dots for Halloween, and 2 larger geometrics.  For the larger geometrics, I prefer those that are busier, without a lot of solid space.  Here you can see the fabric and swivel hooks I chose to use today.    Everything was on sale at Hobby Lobby.    I purchased 1/6 yard (6") but could have probably gotten by with 1/8 yard (4 1/2").

 Cutting Fabric-Cut fabric 2" wide by the width of the fabric.  Cut length to 40" or length desired plus 1" for folding over edges.  I stacked my fabric and used a rotary cutter.  If you do not have a rotary cutter, mark cutting lines and cut carefully.  These were all cut pretty straight, but we've all had that one piece that was just wonky.  One of the reasons I buy extra fabric.  Since I was using the rotary cutter, I was able to cut all pieces at one time.

First Pressing-Fold fabric in half lengthwise, making sure edges are even, and press a sharp crease along entire length.  Use as hot an iron as the fabric will tolerate, press hard, and use lots of steam.  Watch your fingers as you don't want to burn them.  The iron is hot, and so is the steam and the fabric as the iron moves over it.

 Second pressing-Carefully bring one cut edge to center fold, and press, taking care not to press away center fold.
 Third pressing-Bring second cut edge to fold line and press.  Again, taking care not to press away center fold line.
 Fourth pressing-Fold back in half, pressing heavily to make sure everything is pressed down, and center fold is in place.  This is the width of the final lanyard.  Take care to make sure folded edges are as even as possible.

 Stitching sides down-I like tto use my edge stitching foot on this one.  I set the needle position on 2.0 from the left.  This is for Babylock machines.  Using the guide, stitch as close to the open edge as possible, while making sure to catch both layers of fabric, making tiny adjustments to edge alignment as necessary. The more accurate your pressing, the less adjusting will be necessary.  Stitch down the entire length, then stitch down the entire length of the folded edge, using same spacing from edge.

 Adding Swivel Hook/Keyring/Connector of choice-Slide swivel hook or other hardware on lanyard, fold in half.
 Using zipper foot, and allowing enough clearance for hardware on side of foot, stitch lanyard together, keeping edges even.  I end up stitching about 4 times to keep it secure.
 Not the straightest stitching, I had the hardware to close to the zipper foot on this one.  Also ignore need for manicure.  I worked in yard this morning, and hadn't redone my nails yet.
 Attatching closure-I use velcro.  I cut it about 1/2" x 3/4"-1".  For first end, fold edge over, and stitch velcro on all 4 edges, making sure to secure so it doesn't pull off.  For second end, line up sides, and determine which side velcro will go on.  Fold end under velcro.  For other styles follow manufacturers dirctions.  If you do not wish to use a breakaway clasp, stitch edges together in your preferred method.

 Finished Lanyards, and a sample of when I just used a key ring instead of the swivel clip.

My current top five to work on would be:

  1. Silk shirt for me
  2. Another pair of pjs for DH
  3. Twirly dress for Mini Axelgirl
  4. Robe for Axelgirl
  5. Finish 5 weecare items completely

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Skating Dress-From Concept to Final Product

Coaches have great ideas for costumes.  They really do.   Most of the time, the challenge is taking their concept, from a non-sewing mind, and making it into something workable. They see a design they like on a manufacturers web page, and want to change it just a bit, here, here, and there.  Problem is, manufacturers have access to fabric, tools, and professional slopers that I don't have.

Axelgirl competed in what may have been her last competition this summer.  She is a Senior in High School, and between guard, honors and AP classes, there isn't any time.  Coach and I wanted her to have a fantastic dress.  Here is what we started with, and what we ended up with :)

First Coach sent me some links of dresses she liked.  From there, I used some line drawings of bodies and sketched out a few ideas.  Here were the some of the original drawings and modifications.

Next I drew up pattern revision one, and made the front bodice.  Even pinned to my dress form which is too big, you can see that the original mesh insert was too low.  Marked it up with a sharpie, then made a new pattern.  Axelgirl was at camp this week so I was texting her pictures and progress as well.

 Below is the revised bodice on the dress form.  Modest enough.  I would have liked to find a way to bring the V lower without revealing too much, but wasn't sure where to draw the line.

Constructed dress on Axelgirl

 Next the process of stoning the dress begins.

And the final dress on Axelgirl

My current top 5 to work on are:
  1. Silk shirt for me
  2. Another pair of pjs for DH
  3. Lanyard for me for fall for work
  4. Twirly dress for Mini Axelgirl
  5. Robe for Axelgirl

Monday, September 2, 2013

Catching up

Well, it's been a while since I posted.  I didn't realize how long it had been.  I am goisng to list all of the things I have completed, then do details as a later date along with pictures.

But, in addition to sewing, this weekend, a new Babylock Journey came home with me.  I am in love.  I have been very productive this weekend, while getting acquainted with it.

This weekend I have completed

  • baby shower gift for coworker-3 bibs, burprags, and blankets
  • PJ's for DH
  • Dress for Axel girl
  • Working on second dress for Axel girl
  • Ironing board cover
Other items posted since I last posted, at least I think it was since the last post.  I'm trying to remember
  • Ariel skating dress for competition for Mini Axelgirl
  • Stoned an existing skating dress for Axelgirl
  • Made a competition/test skating dress for Axelgirl
  • 15 White Guard flags
  • 15 striped guard flags
  • Modified Winter guard dress into competition skating dress
  • 3 pairs pj pants for Axelgirl
  • Skating pants for Mini Axelgirl
  • Crochet an afghan for Axelgirl
  • Finished Nightgown for me
  • Another fleece blanket for a birthday gift for one of Axelgirls friends

My current top 5 are:
  1. Silk shirt for me
  2. Another pair of pjs for DH
  3. Lanyard for me for fall for work
  4. Twirly dress for Mini Axelgirl
  5. Robe for Axelgirl