Self Drafted Thread Catcher

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I got tired of picking up threads and fabric scraps off the floor by the sewing machine and serger. There’s a trash can in the area but not close enough to toss into so I decided to make my own. It’s basically a box without a top.

Materials:

  1. Pique leftover remnant for main fabric
  2. Fat quarter quilting cotton remnant for lining
  3. Pellon Flex Foam used for the box
  4. Pellon Décor Bond used to stiffen the back

Dimensions, includes 3/8″ seam allowance :

  1. Back 11 x 14– Cut 2
  2. Sides 6 x 3 1/2 — Cut 2 main fabric and 2 of lining
  3. Front 11 x 6 — Cut 2 of main fabric and 2 of lining
  4. Bottom 11 x 3 1/2– Cut 1 main fabric ( I used the main fabric for the bottom inside of the box)

I didn’t take pics as I was making it but it did not take long.

Fuse the Décor Bond to the back side of one of the Back pieces (11 x 14), fuse the Flex Foam to both of the Side pieces, the Front and also the Bottom piece.

Stitch the Side pieces to the Front piece, use 3/8″ seam. The Flex Foam will make it rigid but flexible at the same time, you want this so the front stays out to catch the threads/scraps. Stitch the lining in the same manner, Sides to Front.

With right sides together (RS) stitch the Lining of the box to the Front/Side of the box. Flip it so that wrong sides (WS) are together. Usually I like the lining to not peek out over the main fabric but in this case, due to the Flex Foam and the thickness of it, I just folded it over and left a lip of the lining showing. It looks like it was bound if you are looking at if from the front but it’s not, it’s the lining. The front of the box will be a little longer than the lining to allow for this. I just cut that extra bit off of the main box and matched up the lining. Top stitch around the top of the box.

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I stitched the Bottom piece to the box, the part showing the Flex Foam is on the outside bottom of the box, see below. I was not overly concerned about the finishing on the bottom edge, since it’s fused to the Flex Floam, it will not ravel. The pretty side is on the inside of the box, I made sure to catch the lining as I stitched.

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Next I pinned the box where I wanted it on the interfaced Back piece, about 1 inch up from the bottom. I suggest basting at the sides to hold in place but it’s not required. Then I stitched the Bottom of the box to the Back interfaced piece. Now is the fun and tricky part.

I love the Flex Foam because it’s flexi! Sandwich the box between the interfaced Back piece and the non-interfaced Back piece. I made it fit and pinned it all around, it’s a bit fiddly but since it’s flexible it’s not difficult you just have to smash the box to make it stay inside the 2 Back pieces, like a sandwich!

I stitched all around the Back pieces making sure that the Side pieces were inside the seam allowance. I left a gap about 3 inches on the bottom for turning the thread catcher inside out. Once it was turned out, I used my thumb to push out the corners and flatten the seams and pressed it. I topstitched all around the area above the box and also under the box, effectively closing the gap where it was turned.

TADA!

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Jalie Pull on Pants

 

Hello! Happy new year, can’t believe it’s 2016.

Christmas came and went rather quickly. I decided last year to make presents for my friends and some of my family. I decided to sew up Sewaholics free pattern, the Stanley tree. I picked out some cool fabric and began the sewing in November. Good thing I started early because it does take some time. And lots and lots of poly-fill.

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This is well after the fact, I know.

The pattern comes in two sizes, large and a medium size. I went a step further and made a small size.

The instructions are great and very clear. Trimming the seam allowances is very important since they have to be turned.

Mark the center and sew. On the right is the large size and the small trees.

Once they are filled and the bottoms hand sewn, they can be decorated with bells, ribbon, buttons, etc. I decorated with bells and ribbon but didn’t take pics.

I made about 13 of them in varying sizes.

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Like I said, good thing I started early!

 

 

 

 

 

So Sew Easy’s Boxy Bag

My version of So Sew Easy’s Boxy Bag

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This is my new lunch bag. I have followed Deby Cole’s So Sew Easy’s blog and site for a while now. She has some great free patterns on Craftsy. It’s unbelievable the amount of patterns that she makes available for all different levels of sewing. I’m also a member of the FB group So Sew Easy sewing chat which I love. The sewers in this group are the most helpful and nicest people!

Anyhow, I downloaded this free pattern and realized I needed it bigger. I made some adjustments, added 2 inches to each end all around. Was not sure how it was going to work out since I did not make a practice bag, I just went ahead and did it. I used a regular canvas for both the top and the bottom. I really like the way the bottom piece looks, not so crazy about the top. Used a stiff fusible and didn’t consider how much it would wrinkle as you can clearly see. I can live with it for now. I also didn’t consider how tall it would be. Perfect for water bottles, and yes, that is my lunch in there.

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I eat in most day of the week. I’m following a Keto diet and have lost about 10 lbs, it’s worked very well for me.

For the inside of the bag, I used Insul-Bright which I bought at Jo-Ann’s. I think the price was $6.99/yd and I paid less than that with a 20% off coupon. I bought the supplies earlier this year, it’s taken me a while to actually do it. I also added diaper PUL, it’s used for making diapers since it’s coated with waterproof polyurethane on the back. This stuff is the bomb but you can’t make many mistakes since it’s plasticky. One thing I disliked was the way to sew in the lining. I found it difficult to sew the lining at the zipper tape due to the PUL. I did it but didn’t feel like it was sturdy enough. I ran a second row of topstitching on the outside of the bag along the zip, I used orange thread on the top and white in the bobbin.

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Not the best stitching in the world but I learned a lot. I learned that I like the straps to be against the body and not flap down and loose. So, the bag has already been constructed when I realized this so I had to do a second row of stitching, the inside lines, to hold the straps in place. And, this caused the terrible wrinkling. Attempted to iron out the best I could, I even used my hams but not able to get all the wrinkles out.

 

New work dress- M6886

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                                                                            Knit work dress

M6886 Back M6886

So I love this pattern. Not my first time to make it but certainly a better fit this time around.

McCall’s 6886- I opted for View C with 3/4 length sleeves, temps are dropping around here and I’ll be able to wear this through the winter. Used a medium weight knit purchased from Fabric Mart during one of their blow out knit sales (love those!!) I remember thinking I’d like to make a work dress out of it (last year) and so the fabric has been stored. Last weekend I reorganized all my fabric and found it again! I love the geometric design and I wear a lot of black and white to work. It’s a soft ponte knit so it feels like secret pajamas (bonus!)

I made a dress from this pattern a few years ago and it was a bit snug, also the print made me feel a bit self conscious, it was a big black and white houndstooth. Don’t know why, it just did.

Couldn’t remember why it was snug so decided to use 1/4″ seams. I decided to cut the back singly and have a center back seam rather than the fold, don’t ask me why. Glad I did because when I sewed it up using 1/4″ seams, it was way too big. I had a lot of fabric pooling at my lower back, adjusted by taking out about 1″ at waist and tapering to nothing about 2 -3′ from the neck. I also took it in about 1/2″ around the underarms/bust area, it was too loose. I made the size 14, I could probably have done size 12 for the top and graded out to 14 for the lower half. You just never know with patterns and I didn’t feel like making a muslin. I’m lazy like that…

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                                              Back View

The neckline ( love the neckline), sleeves and hem are all turned and stitched using a double needle- I serged the edge first for a neater look and also easier to fold. I’ve tried folding singly without the serged edge and I ended up with burned fingertips. No bueno.

Neckline

                      Neckline

Overall, I’m very pleased with my Sunday make.

Black denim skirt- WIP

Black denim

                                                                                                        Black denim

 

New skirt I’ve been working on, almost done. The background on this skirt is interesting.

I used Vogue 1247 V1247,  I first saw the cute skirts made by Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn and was totally inspired, she looks so beautiful in the clothes she makes and the finishing is great. She did mention in one of her posts that the skirt was a bit short. I made a wearable muslin and it was a bit short for me so I added about 4 inches to the length on the pattern. I decided I wanted a denim skirt and cut it all out of the black denim I bought from Fabric Mart at the beginning of the summer. I decided to make my own seam binding to make the inside of the skirt pretty.

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Pockets with self made seam binding

Going around the curves of the pockets gave me a fit because the denim is bulky and doesn’t maneuver well under the presser foot. I used a jean needle. Anyhow, it came time to sew in the back zipper when I realized that I did not have the back yoke cut out of the denim. I looked all over my sewing room, in the trash and could not find it. I looked in the envelope for the pattern piece and realized that it was missing. I guess when I made it the first time I must have misfiled it inside another pattern envelope. I keep my used patterns in gallon sized Ziploc bags. I did not want to spend hours and hours looking through these so I decided to buy the pattern again and use the missing piece. Well, as you know, Vogue patterns are usually $ 18-20+ so I had to wait for a sale. Big difference between $5.99 and 20 bucks. I’m frugal when it comes to patterns, not so much with fabric.

The skirt went into a pile until I bought the replacement pattern. It must have been a month or so later. When I got it, I cut out the pattern piece that was missing. I did not trace it because I am using size 14 and it’s the smallest of the group. Hopefully I won’t gain lbs so that I’ll have to go up a size. And so, it has sat in the UFO for a few months. I was lazy and in the middle of sewing something else and didn’t feel like changing out the needle and thread. I’m sure I was making some knit top or a fast and easy knit skirt and couldn’t be bothered. So this past weekend I picked it up again, cut out the yoke pieces and went to work. It had been so long that when I sewed the back yokes to the back pieces and applied the binding, I realized how bulky it would be around the zip and the side seams. I only used it to encase the seam at the back yoke and back. I called my son and asked him to get the hammer to hammer the seam with the binding down before installing the zipper.

As were sitting on the kitchen floor, I told him to be careful and not hammer too hard as to break the tile. No problem, but he did hammer a bit hard and I could see the imprint of the hammer on the denim. I came up with a great idea, we have a rug in the kitchen area which I placed on top of the denim!! Figured it would protect the denim from the hammer marks.

Whack! Whack! went the teenage boy wielding the hammer! Thor

He missed the seam and poked a hole in my skirt and opened a hole in rug!!!!

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I had to patch it up with some interfacing and Dritz Fray Check, this stuff is awesome! Don’t know if it will hold, only time will tell.

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Back with patched up hole

Now it needs hemming, my least favorite part.

Super easy pillowcase- for the hubs

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First time making a pillowcase. Here’s the story.

I have a lot of satin pillowcases which I love. My husband does not. He prefers cotton.

When the cleaning lady changes the sheets, she puts the satin ones on his pillow. And he complains about it every time. You would think that by now I would have told her this but here’s the deal- we have a ton of pillowcases on the bed and he sometimes switches out the one he sleeps with. He likes his pillows big and fluffy, I like them flat.

I have been having to give her many instructions (she’s fairly new to us) that I decided to make it easy. I made him a pillowcase. I have never made one before.

I got this fabric at Joann’s, it’s a quilting cotton, not super soft but nice. It was pre-washed and it bled a little so I added some white vinegar which helped. So I purchased 2 yrds of the blue with anchors, 1/4 yard of the dots and 1/4 yard of the gold roses on blue background. The pic was taken with my cell phone and in a hurry hence the slightly out of focus picture.

Using an old pillowcase for a template, I cut out the main body (doubles for all), 45 inches wide (width of fabric) and the length of the pillowcase. The contrasting pieces were cut (dots) 1 1/2 ” long and the roses were 4 1/2 ” long. I planned to have a 1/4″ hem to the end piece (roses).

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Serged the dots and roses together then serged those pieces to the main fabric. Ironed the seams away from the main fabric.

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I love my serger! Put all the pieces together right sides together, matching seams and serged three edges together, leaving the rose fabric as the opening.

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Easiest way I have found to hem is to stitch the fabric and then fold and iron against this stitching. For the hemming on the rose fabric, I stitched using machine basting stitches (5) at 1/4″ from the edge. Then I pressed under at this stitching line, makes for a 1/4″ hem. You could also use this method and change the depth of the hem.

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He loved the finished pillowcase and now it will be easy to determine which is his pillow!

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Unsung Sewing Blog Hero

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My husband and I on our recent vacation.

When Erin from Seamstress Erin posted about her husband and Oona posted #UnsungSewingBlogHero, it got me thinking about the wonderful spouse I have. We’ve married a little over a year but together almost 8.

Best decision ever.

He makes me laugh every day. Is unfailingly supportive and helpful. Unbelievably thoughtful, much more than I am….He encourages me and overall is the best husband I could ever ask for. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know, willing to help at a moment’s notice and he is kind. Plus, he has dimples!!

I have a long commute and a few years ago I got a speeding ticket on the way in to work- when I got home that night, he had purchased a radar detector for me. One of the most endearing things he does – when we have to travel and are apart, he gets a greeting card for each day we are apart, and hides them in my suitcase or if he is gone, around the house in places he knows I will be, such as the coffee container in the pantry, my underwear drawer and my makeup drawer. He has been doing this since we began dating. I’ve kept a great deal of them, most are humorous but some are very sentimental and bring tears to my eyes.

He doesn’t mind me sewing and knows that it brings me great joy and happiness. I am very lucky and very much in love.

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Work clothes sewing

Skirt- New Look 6843

Skirt- New Look 6843

What a terrible picture! Skirt is View C New Look 6843. It’s made from a linen blend I bought from Fabric Mart. It’s lined with a polyester lining type fabric in cream.

The top is a knit that I bought from High Fashion Fabrics. It has amazing recovery and it’s kind of rough on the right side and smooth on the inside. I had a white sleeveless knit top I used regularly for work but after many washings, it started to look grey. I unpicked the seams and copied it. Sometimes the front neckline would hang too low and flash the bra so I decided to take off 3/8″ off the shoulder- front and back. This was clearly a mistake because now the underarms are too tight. I did not try it on when I sewed it because, duh, I copied it!!

Yeah, right. So this morning I was excited to wear all of my new makes and when I slipped it on over my head, the armholes are right there at my armpits. It’s uncomfortable but I thought what the heck, and off to work I went. You can see the wrinkles at the armholes.

Looks like I will have to do some unpicking and cutting the armhole a bit bigger. I have room to work with. The length is perfect and can be worn tucked in or out.

Rear shot off center- oh well! Invisible zips give me trouble, I unpicked this one several times and it’s still a bit wonky. I used Janet Pray’s Islander Sewing system for inserting and it has been better but I still need lots of practice. At least I don’t have the bump at the bottom of the zipper!  All in all, very happy with my top and skirt. AND, I have matching shoes!!!

Invisible zip

Invisible zip

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PINK shoes!!

Until next time and happy sewing!

Time flies…

Can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. I have made several items. The skirt is a TNT (tried and true pattern that I finally figured out the fit on! I graded the waist to 16 but the rest is 14. Took me a while to figure this out on my own but I finally did it. The pattern is New Look pattern 6843, I like it because it has a fitted pencil shape, great for work, and also a more casual A-line shape. I made view A with a cotton broadcloth type fabric from Fabric Mart last year. I actually started this at the end of last summer and put it on hold since cooler weather arrived rather quickly. Nothing like staying on top of UFO!

Skirt and self drafted top

Skirt and self drafted top

Back skirt

Back of skirt

The top is self drafted. It’s one of my most versatile tops, it is a tad long and it’s a bit loose, didn’t realize at the time that the fabric I used (can’t remember where I bought it from) had such great recovery. I was worried that it would show every bump and lump but now wish it was a bit tighter. Anyhow, I’m pleased with both the top and the skirt.

Interesting pattern

Interesting pattern

I liked the pattern on the fabric and decided to  center the big flower. I think it worked out well.

Until later and stay fabulous!