29 October 2011

An Owl and (unrelated) Leather Sewing Tips

This post is going to be fairly random.

First,  I made this owl. Isn't he freaking adorable? He came from this tutorial.  I'm not going to lie, I still like hers more. The tutorial itself was really easy to use.  Except that I don't have a protractor so I couldn't measure the angles.  I'm pretty sure my angle for the front of the owl was bigger than it was supposed to be (or the other angle was too small?) Either way, that was my only beef and it's my fault for not having that tool handy haha. I think I am going to make a set of these babies in the future for decorative purposes.  I'll have a protractor AND carefully chosen materials for it.  I just used scrap thrifted fabrics I had laying around. (you know, how all of my projects happen).  He's pretty cute, though.

Also, another random thing that I did, I sewed patches onto a leather vest for a gentleman who is a member of a motorcycle club. True story.  I have some pictures that I took while I was working for reference purposes, but I didn't ask about blogging them, so I'm not going to post them. HOWEVER, I do have some tips.
NEEDLES:, Super important! BUY NEEDLES FOR LEATHER. If you do not, you are going to be miserable. Seriously. Needles specifically for leather are designed to pierce the leather with ease. I purchased Schmetz brand Leather Needles (size 18) for this project.  Fortunately they were 50% off at Joann, so that was cool!
PLANNING: These needles are designed to cut straight through the leather, nooo problem. This means that if you mess up they will leave visible holes. Forever. So, planning is really essentially
"PINNING":  For anyone who has ever tried to sew a patch onto a leather vest, you'll find that it's basically impossible to pin the patches into place. Very impossible. I used scotch tape.  The scotch tape DID slip around a bit, but I wouldn't use anything stronger than scotch because it would probably mess up the leather.  So, I just used many many strips of tape to tape the patches (one at a time) into place.  I also definitely stopped and started many many times.  It is really important to work slowly so that you do not mess anything up!
Lastly, don't sew over the vest's pockets!!! hahaha

27 October 2011

Petticoat Tutu for Kids - TUTU TUTORIAL

So, here's my tutorial for petticoat style tutus for children.

What you need:
Tulle, Satin, Elastic, matching thread and ribbon

These tutus are made for a 4 year old and a 2 year old. Their waist measurements are about 17-18.   I can't easily tell you how much tulle you need to purchase because I purchased two spools of 18" wide tulle from ebay for these projects. I'm not sure how much yardage was on each spool, but I have a ton of this stuff left.
For the satin, I purchased about a foot.
Here is how everything ends up cut out:

This totals at 600 inches of 6inch tulle. For me, that was 200 inches of my 18 inch tulle. You can alter these measurements to fit (such as rounding to the closest yard).  How much tulle you need to buy in the store really depends on how wide the tulle is and how poofy you want tutu to be.  I do four layers... but I mean, I have these spools so I don't have to be frugal with the tulle. If it works better for you to only do three layers, it won't make a huge difference.

You can adjust all the measurements based on who you are making this for. For example, 24 inches for the hip area will not work for an average 6 year old, but it does work for a 2 year old and a skinny 4 year old. If you were making this for yourself (an adult) add a few inches to your hip measurement and go from there in deciding the measurements for the tulle.

Note: If you don't know how to gather fabric, please reference this or this tutorial, as I don't really explain it very well below. This tutorial is made with the assumption that you understand gathering. If you have any other questions please leave a comment

1. Tulle:
The tulle is a long tedious process.  First, I attached my 1/4" ribbon to the bottom of what will be the top layer of tulle.

After this, I gather all four pieces of 100" tulle to 50". For those of you who read here regularly, I'd normally use my gathering foot... but I stitch and gather by hand for this in order to ensure the correct amount of gather.

Next, I attach the 100" tulle to the 50" tulle.  I personally just lay 50" on top of the gathering of the 100" fabric. You can sew right side to right side to have an inside seam, but I didn't need the extra bulk so I prefer the seams to be flat. I am including some pictures using a white cotton so that you can see exactly what I mean, since it's really hard to see in the pictures of the tulle.

Take the top pieces of tulle (the one with the ribbon on the very bottom).  Stitch another piece of ribbon over the stitching that attaches the two pieces. (I actually don't have enough ribbon to do this right now... but I'm going to add it later so the step is here!) B

Now, take each section and sew them into a tube.  Again, if you want to do right side against right side that works.  I just set one atop the other to have a smoother seam. 

After this, I layer, pin, and then baste all four layers together.

Next, is gathering all four pieces of 50" tulle to be 25".  It's really important that you DO NOT gather the 50" tulle until AFTER you have attached it to the 100" tulle, because you're going to get yourself into a mess. You CAN gather each individual piece if you WANT before you baste them together, but it's easier and much faster to gather them all at once. After they're basted together, I gather.  I do separate stitches for the basting and the gather because I want everything to stay stable while I'm doing the actual gathering.

2. Satin:
Sew the far ends of the satin together and press the seam.

After this, make a casing for your elastic.  I use a 1" elastic, so I made my casing just larger than 1".

Right side against right side, I place the satin waist band over the tulle and pin. I tried to line up the side seams. Stitch

Lastly, I put the elastic into the casing.
Wah-lah! Adorableness!  It's a pretty long process, but they're totally worth it!

A few notes: Where I used ribbon on the top, you could definitely use something like lace! Like I said earlier, three layers would be just as good as four, but four is just what worked out for me. Everything can be adjusted for adults.  I used satin for the waist, but you could use another fabric if you wanted.

Any questions? Please comment! Also, Follow me! ----->

26 October 2011

Zorro, The Boston Terrier Puppy

 So, my friend has a boston terrier puppy. Obviously, he needed a costume. I have this terrible fabric that looks like stretch pleather or something that I got for free from craigslist.
here is my inspiration and the cape I based this cape off of:

 The cape itself is 10 inches across the top, 20 inches across the bottom, and about 14 inches tall (from the center) The collar part is about 16 inches finished. Louis has a 13-14 inch neck and is about 14 inches long. You can adjust these measurements for your dog depending on its size. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!
 I hemmed all of the edges
And then slowly added lace to create the pattern.
 It was a slow process because I could only add a few pieces at a time
 So this is what it looks like lol Very cute, yah??
 I forgot to take pictures of making the collar part.  However, I used a 17x5 inches. I folded, right sides together, and sewed each edge and a few inches in.  I turned it right side out, folded the remaining edges in. and then sandwiched it over the top edge of cape. I sewed all the way around and then added velcro. My velcro has adhesive so I didn't have to stitch it. Remember, don't machine stitch velcro with adhesive!! It'll gunk up your needle!!

Surprisingly, Louis was totally cool with wearing the cape and ran around rocking it out no problem!

24 October 2011

What's up with me?

Well, I'm back in the atlanta area after some intense car repairs in Savannah.  I've been away from my sewing machine for about eight days... which is (obviously) why I haven't posted anything exciting. Had I know I was going to be gone for so many days I would have brought my sewing machine with me! So, here's whats on the plate for my crafting life:
I'm working on my halloween costume. I'm going to make a white dress that is shaped like this:

and I'm going to add a gold headband and a collar type thing and call it a cleopatra costume. Good plan, yaaahhh? yah for sure!

I am also in recent possession of an awesome set of shutters. They're going to become a cabinet.  They were just hanging out on the side of the road, ready to be thrown away! My friend and I jumped out and messed with them, and the wood is all good! Soo hello shutter cabinet!  It's gonna look like this when I'm done except a little bigger and a different color.

Also, I'm in the works on a children's tutu tutorial. oh yea. It's gonna be super cute. I'll be getting back to regular sewing posts soon! :)

16 October 2011


So, I'm away from my sewing machine.  However, during my drive I got together some things to blog about anyways. So: here we go.
-Antique Store- Griffin, GA
 This quilt. is totally made by hand. As in. Those little freaking blocks are sewn together by hand! wwooaahh. I tell you what, I will never have enough patience to do something like this. I don't like sewing stuff by hand that is quick and easy to do by hand. If there's any chance my sewing machine can do it... my sewing machine will be doing it. THANKS! So, all of the patchworking AND the quilting are done by hand on this. Amazing
 These little heart pillows are also hand sewn.  I'm not sure what's up with the little doilies on them.  I'm not sure what they were used for.. but eehh
 This is a "crazy quilt".  I actually saw an exhibit about crazy quilts in Charleston, SC once.  Apparently when they started the were all about fancy fabrics and stuff like that. I'm not a huge fan of them, although part of me wants to try out the "crazy" style with carefully selected fabrics. At some point the style became more about resourcefullness.. The idea for the crazy quilt is to basically use any random scraps of fabric you have laying around.  It solves two problems: scraps that are so small you can't use them for much of anything else AND the need for a blanket. This obviously isn't a fancy crazy quilt. Also, it was falling apart in a lot of places.  Not my favorite piece.
 A bonnet. Enough said.  It was oddly small in the actual head part so idk if it was ever used seriously. Also it was a weird feeling fabric.  I feel like it's more likely that this was a costume bonnet than a legit bonnet
 This handmade doll was kinda scary. Just saying
 Vintage patterns!!! just saying
 I loved this scarf.  But, I have a scarf buying problem. So I left it there. I might go back and buy it anyways

 I have one of these vintage needle books.  They're pretty cool.
 Random fabric scraps.
 This is a ... felt mitten?  It was pretty cute. Lace trim!
 Okay so it all my fabric and thread happenings. I'm really terrible at having enough patience to really learn an art.  Embroidery is one of those issues. I really just can't focus long enough. When I was making my ruffle bag, I was soo annoyed that it took two days. I'm awful when it comes to long term projects because I want instant results.

 These dolls were kinda scary

 Handmade jacket with weird stitching? yes

 Old school dress form.  Maybe because the stand was short, but she seemed to have very odd proportions.

 What you're looking at here is the peddle for an manual sewing machine.  Basically, you would rock your foot back and forth on this peddle in order to move the needle up and down. Thank G-d I have electricity or I would probably not sew. :D
 Needle point stretched for working
 Cute bonnet girl on a quilt
Old school (but electric!) sewing machine.  This thing is a beast, it was totally not meant to be taken out of it's table. It's super heavy. However, it did have a light attached so it's not totally in the dark ages (bahahahahahaha)

So I hope this was fun for some of you.