Tag Archive | sewing

Lamp Shade DIY and Queen Pillowcases – Guest Room’s Ready!

I decided when we moved in that I wanted to design the guest room around an existing comforter we already had.  It’s a black background with silvery-gray design throughout.  For color-splashes I chose citrus green and grape.

I started the room by putting together two bedside tables that will also serve as small dressers.  I generally depend on my husband for these projects, but he’s so busy on outdoor stuff that I decided to give it a go myself.  It took about three hours, but I did it.

 

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I purchased two lamp bases, and two plain off-white lamp shades.

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I wanted dress up the shades with some fabrics using the black, green and purple motif.

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Here’s how I trimmed them out:  For the first layer, I cut a 2-inch wide of the black/white fabric. Using a seam ripper, I picked away at the threads until I had about 1/2″ of frayed threads across the top edge.

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Before I attached the fabric to the shade, I folded over 1/2″ on the bottom edge and ironed in order to have a clean edge showing.  I then hot-glued the frayed fabric around the top edge, with the frayed part up above the shade edge.

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The next layer was the citrus green.  I cut it 1-1/2″ wide, folded in half and ironed it smooth.  I hot-glued that along the bottom edge of the black fabric; the raw edge is in the center.

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The last layer, the purple, was cut 3/4″ wide; I folded in half and ironed, and then I used a pinking shears and cut the raw edges so that it ended up about 1/2″ wide when flattened out.  It was sort of hard to pink in a straight line so I had to fix a few areas, but it turned out pretty good.  If you don’t have a pinking shears, you could just cut in a wobbly line down the edge in order to give it interest!

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So, here’s how the lamp shades turned out!

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I also made two queen pillowcases using the same fabrics as the lamp shades!  I’ve made these before and blogged about them here, so I won’t go through that again!  Have you ever made your own pillowcases?   I love having being able to make unique pillowcases to brighten up a room!   Here is the finished product!

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Although the room isn’t quite finished, it’s definitely ready for company.  I have a headboard that I got off Craigslist that I need to refinish, but that’s a project for another day (week, month).  I hope you’ll come back to see it finished!

I hope you come visit All Around the Mulberry Bush again!   Have a great week –

 

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing my Love of Sewing!

Several years ago we moved from Oregon to Texas to be near our grandkids – we wanted to be year-round grandparents, rather than just holiday and vacation grandparents; what a blessing it has been!

A side benefit is we get to teach them things that we’ve learned and enjoyed. One of those things is my love of sewing. Our granddaughter, now 6, has been enamored with my sewing machine since she first saw it. Over the last year she’s been able to sit with me and ‘sew’ things – stretching to put her foot on the pedal and still guide the fabric with her little fingers. It’s been a joy to watch her – I can see already how much she loves all the fabric colors and textures, and know she’s just itching to get busy!

When we were Christmas shopping, I knew that I wanted to get her a small sewing machine. I didn’t want a ‘real’ machine, because it would be too heavy, and would have too many bells and whistles for her. And, I didn’t want a cheap toy machine because it’s just too frustrating when it doesn’t really sew anything.

We found a Singer Pixie Plus machine that is lightweight, but still has a sturdiness to it that looked like it could withstand some wear and tear. It also has eight different stitches to lend some variety to her sewing.

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She’s had the machine since Christmas, and has used it some, but this week she decided it was time to work on a project. We decided on the ever-important pincushion!! I figured, with four straight edges, it was something that would be easy to show her how to make turns, sew a straight line, stuff with poly-fill, and then sew it closed.

She tried really hard, but a few times she ran off the edge – thank goodness for seam rippers. She took it all in though, and didn’t get frustrated. I think her very first project turned out perfectly  – I’m so proud of her, and can’t wait until she’s ready to take over the She and Me Designs sewing and quilting business 🙂

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The sewing machine is perfect for her.  She’s able to reach the small pedal, and the machine is light enough that she can move it around on the table to where its comfortable.  I’m so happy that the machine sews well, because as all us sewers know, it’s incredibly frustrating when our machines are acting up!!!

Have you taught your daughter or granddaughter to sew?  What projects did you work on, and how did it go?  I’d love to hear your experiences, and some hints for some more projects.

Hope you are all having a wonderful January – if you are decorating for Valentines Day take a moment to hop on over to She and Me Designs to check out some sweet Hearts decorations.

All my best –

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Candy Bags

My daughter loves to give treats to her co-workers for the holidays, and this time she asked if I’d make her some Halloween candy bags made out of some cute Halloween fabric.  I love a challenge, so thought I’d give it a try.

She had mentioned that she would be putting candy corn and other treats in the bags, so the bags needed to be plastic lined.  I wasn’t anxious to spend too much time on the bags, so came up with a ‘quick’ solution.

Luckily when I found this adorable Candy Corn fabric at Hancock Fabrics I knew it would be perfect!   I purchased 1/4 yard, because her original request of three baggies grew to eight! I had just enough fabric to make eight 5×5 baggies!

Candy Corn Fabric  Isn’t this fabric adorable???

First I cut two strips 6″ wide, then cut the strips into 5-1/2″ pieces. Each strip gave me four ‘baggies’.

With the fabric ‘right sides together’, I placed a Ziploc sandwich bag on top of the fabric, placing it about 1″ down on the fabric and matching up one side. The baggie is much bigger than the baggie, so there is surplus plastic hanging over. I lengthened my stitch some (2.0 on my BabyLock) – a tight stitch will cut the plastic. Then, I sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the baggie from one side around to the top of the other (all the way to the top – not just to top of the baggie!). Sewing on the plastic is a little tricky so take it slow.

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I cut off the excess plastic, and trimmed around the corners to eliminate bulk. Then turn the bags right side out – the baggies will now be inside the fabric!!

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Now the tricky part for me – finishing the top edge! The finished baggie is small (5 x 5) and there’s not much room for fingers! Turn over the top edge of the fabric so that it covers the top edge of the Ziploc bag (about 1/2″) but not the actual zipper part.  Place the baggie under your needle and carefully stitch the fabric.  Make sure that you don’t stitch over the zipper or it won’t close!

Once you have that done, make sure that the zipper actually closes.  Some reasons why it might not;

  • maybe you stitched over the zipper and the threads are stopping the closure, or
  • you sewed crooked and the zipper is ‘cock-eyed’,

If it doesn’t close you will probably need to do some ripping in order to free up or straighten the Ziploc zipper.  After that’s done, the baggie is finished and ready to fill up!  The best part is that it’s reusable (if you are lucky enough to get the back).

I think they turned out pretty cute, but I will have to admit to a few moments of frustration!!   The plastic baggies did tend to slide around, making some of the seams less than pretty.  I can’t say that I’d want to make these baggies for every holiday, but it was fun to give it a  try.

Finished baggies

I should mention that I did not look for any tutorials ahead of time to see if there was a better / faster / smarter way of making these baggies – in hindsight it might have been a good idea to have done that 🙂

Hope you are having a great day!

 

Linda

 

Creating Sewing/Crafting Space in the RV

We are finally settled back into our RV and staying at a very nice RV park in San Antonio. It was a long move (mostly because I tend to start packing months ahead, so we are living in boxes ‘forever’!) but it’s done and over with!

When we moved into the rental a year ago I posted pictures of  the wonderful (and organized) sewing room.  That room was a wonderful sewing space!

I thought I’d update it with pictures of my new sewing ‘area’; a 6′ wide x 3′ deep corner in our RV. It’s where the recliners SHOULD be but for now the sewing has taken over.

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Thank you, God, for a very patient husband who puts up with all this sewing mess!   The fabric, the batting, the ribbons and laces, the patterns, the threads – it’s all on top of or under the table!  It’s not the ideal….but it works.

Thanks to this little sewing space, She & Me Designs (Stacy’s and my Etsy store) continues to post new quilts and aprons for sale!    The little girls pink rag quilt in the pictures will be posted there soon!

I hope this encourages you to sew or craft no matter what space limitations you have – it can be done – maybe not the way you would prefer but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of creating to your hearts content!!

Take care, and have a great day!!

Linda

Fleece Tied & Knotted Doggie Pillow

I’ve been busy the last couple weeks prepping for a vendor sale at a local dog groomers (Helga’s Pet Grooming Plus is celebrating its 30th anniversary this Sunday, April 14, at its location at 7870 Culebra Road, San Antonio)

I wanted to make sure that I had some doggie-related items for sale, as well as our signature blankets and aprons from She & Me Designs (the Etsy store my daughter-in-law Stacy and I have). So, I got started on some table-fillers, such as key rings with doggie pics, coasters with doggie pics, aprons with doggie pics, AND fleece doggie beds.

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I thought I’d share a few quick pictures and some ideas about how to make them – super easy to do, and your doggie will love them! And, best yet, you can make them in any size so perfect for the littlest and biggest dogs!!

I started with one yard of doggie-inspired paw-print fleece fabric; measuring 58″ wide x 36″ long.

I cut along the fold, so the sewing size is 29″ x 36″. The doggie pillow can either be sewed in either a rectangle or oval shape. I wanted the pillows to have the tied-knot finish around the entire edge, so I sewed about 5″ inside the edge ALL the way around EXCEPT for a 6-8″ gap along one long edge. I double-stitched the seam in order to make sure it would hold up to doggie-pawing all over it!

Now, in order to keep the stuffing from falling out, I sewed a 6-8″ piece of Velcro in the gap. I actually tried it several ways; neither of which was ‘simple’, but the end result was great.

  • The first pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in AFTER I sewed the seam all the way around. This was kind of tricky because I only had a small gap to work in, and to get the sewing machine foot to fit in the gap. BE CAREFUL not to sew the top and bottom of the VELCRO in together 🙂
  • The second pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in BEFORE I sewed the seam!  A little trickier because the two pieces of fabric were loose and I had to make sure they were sewed in precisely so that the two pieces of Velcro lined up.  After they were sewed though it was much better, because then sewing the seam around was very easy!
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Velcro opening

After the Velcro is in and the seams are sewed, then it’s time to cut the 1″ strips around the doggie bed.  I’m including a link to a tutorial in case you haven’t made a tied-knot quilt (or doggie bed) before.

  • If you make a rectangular bed, then you’ll probably need to cut a 5″ square out of each corner, and then cut the strips.
  • If you make an oval bed, then you’ll cut strips all the way around, but you’ll need to do some creative cutting around the corners. In order to ‘make the corner’  you’ll need to cut the strips wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.   Be careful, but it does work.
Hand-cut 1" knotted ties

Hand-cut 1″ knotted ties

Note – be sure you don’t tie the knots in front of the Velcro until you’ve stuffed the pillow!

I am fortunate because I have an electric scissors that I  used to cut all the strips.  It is a My-T-Fine cordless scissors (available at JoAnn’s Fabrics), and I must say, it works my-t-fine for cutting fleece and most everything else!!!

After all that is said and done, it’s time to stuff the pillow.  I used Poly-Fil, which is available at all fabric / craft stores, as well as Wal-Mart and probably dozens of other stores as well!  However, you could also use cedar chips, as well as plastic bags (my daughter-in-law’s suggestion)!  Because of the Velcro opening you can replace the stuffing whenever necessary!

So, that’s how I made the doggie pillows!  They turned out great, and Boris (our wonder dog!) sure loves them too!

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That’s how I’ve spent my last couple of weeks – making doggie stuff – and I’ve had a good time at it too!!!   So, how have you spent your time lately?  Anything fun?

Have a great, great week,

Linda

 

Embroidery Sewing Machine – which one?????

Like many girls of my generation, I embroidered (by hand) pillowcases, aprons, and tea towels for my hope chest. Unfortunately by the time I married, embroidered things were out of vogue, so all those beautifully embroidered things got little use. Sure wish I still had them, now that they are coming back into style.

Rather than embroider by hand now though, I’d rather have an embroidery sewing machine so that I can work on special projects and get them completed faster! Especially now that we are getting requests at our on-line Etsy store (She & Me Designs) to personalize kids aprons, blankets, pillowcases and tooth fairy pillows!   I’d love to be able to accommodate those requests!  I’d also love to make some special personalized things for my grandkids!  I know they’d love it!

Cute as these are, I’d love to add a little embroidery embellishment!

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I’m in the ‘research stage’ of checking out embroidery machines.  I need to keep the costs down (less than $500) and of course I want as many bells and whistles as possible and the most dependable machine available.   Not asking for much, am I 🙂

So far my biggest requirement is a large ‘field of embroidery’; i.e. the dimensions of space to embroider on.  I’d like to be able to embroider a name about 2″ x 6″ on an apron bib or pillowcase top, so I need to find a machine that holds a hoop big enough to do that.

So far I’ve watched a YouTube video on the Brother HE1 Embroidery-Only Machine, and also read owner reviews, which were mixed.  Although this machine seems as though it would do everything else I want, it only has a 4″ x 4″ field of embroidery, and a lot of comments indicated the embroidery designs were disappointingly small.  So unfortunately that one is crossed off the list, although I sure liked all the features as well as the free designs available to download from the Brother website!

So, before I research a bunch more and just get all confused, I thought I’d ask your advice!   Do you have an embroidery machine?  If so, what type?  Do you LOVE it?  What are the best features?

I’d sure like to hear from you folks that do embroidery and have a machine that you just wouldn’t part with!  HELP!!!   Please!

Thanks a bunch – and have a fun, creative weekend!!

Linda

PS – She & Me Designs  is running an Easter sale on kids aprons through Sunday night, March 17!   Take a look and see if there’s something you’d like!  All prices on aprons include free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 States!

 

Tooth Fairy Pillow Tutorial

My daughter-in-law and I have an on-line store on Etsy called She and Me Designs where we sell hand-crafted aprons, quilts and other sewn items.  One of the most popular items is a Tooth Fairy Pillow –  you know, a little pillow used to hide a precious baby tooth until the Tooth Fairy can come and retrieve it and leave a little somethin’-somethin’ in its place!

I made a few today and decided that it would make a nice tutorial so took pics along the way.

First, I selected three fabrics that have some contrast; the pillow base fabric (front and back), a contrast, and the pocket fabric, which has the actual detail that you want to show off.  For this fabric I selected an aqua stripe for the base, a bright pink dot for the contrast, and some fairy-princess fabric for the pocket.

Base fabric (aqua stripes)              Cut two (2) 10-1/2″ squares

Contrast fabric (pink dots)         Cut one (1)  7-1/2″ square

Pocket (princess fairies)                Cut one (1)  10-1/2″ square

Next, I ‘pinked’ around the contrast fabric to give it a little interest.  I used my mom’s old pair of pinking shears, which I dearly love!  They bring back lots of memories!

    I then pinned a dainty white lace around the top half of the contrast fabric, starting in the middle of one side and around to the middle of the other.   I placed the fabric and lace face up on to the base fabric (not centered as you can see) and sewed around all four edges of the contrast fabric.

The reason I didn’t put lace all around the contrast fabric was because the pocket will cover up the top two-thirds of the contrast fabric.  I didn’t want the lace ‘bunching up’ under the pocket.

Next, it’s time to prep the pocket.

Iron the 10-1/2″ pocket fabric in half, forming a rectangle 10-1/2″ wide by 5-1/4″ tall.

I like to add embellishments wherever I can, so I added some hot-pink ricrac to the top of the pocket.  In the pictures below I show the ricrac pinned in place, and then stitched close to the edge to hold it in place.

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Now we start putting the pocket together, layering the fabrics as follows:

– Place the base fabric with the contrast sewed to it face up; place the pocket across the bottom.  Gently place the second base fabric (wrong side down) over the assembled fabrics.   Pin around all four sides and prepare to sew.

– Start at the bottom of the pillow, about two (2) inches from the corner,; backstitch to secure the seam.  Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch around the pillow until you get back to the bottom of the pillow.  STOP about four (4) inches from where you started, leaving enough room to turn the pillow inside out.   Back stitch to secure your seams.

– Trim all four corners to reduce the bulk in the corners, and gently turn the pillow inside out.  From the inside, use a skewer or crochet hook to push to push the corners out – be sure to not break through the fabric or seam though!

– After the pillow is turned, carefully iron the seams.  I love this part!  

– Now, using some  Poly-fil Fiber (available at all sewing / craft stores), stuff the pillow as loosely or tightly as you like.  Be sure to stuff it into the corners too!  Then, stitch up the pillow at the bottom.  You can either carefully machine-stitch it closed with a narrow hem, or hand-stitch, which I did.

YEA!!!   The pillow is now finished and ready for that Tooth Fairy!

I hope the instructions were helpful!   Please leave your comments, and let me know if you make a Tooth Fairy Pillow for your own little Prince or Princess!!!