Sunday, January 30, 2011

Car Seat Poncho - Another way to sew the hood

If you're having difficulty attaching the hood to your poncho in this tutorial, here's another way to do it.  Don't stitch the two layers of the hood together.  First, separate the two body pieces of the poncho and then attach each layer of the hood to each layer of the body separately.

First, pin the hood to the slit in your poncho, right sides together like this:
 Then sew the hood with a 1/4 inch seam allowance to the body.
 This isn't the greatest picture, but when you get to the edge of the hood, fold over the edge of the hood about a 1/2 inch and sew.  In this photo it's where the green pin is.  This will help for when you will be sewing the two hoods together and the edges need to be folded under.
Repeat for the other layer.  You now have 2 separate one-layer ponchos.
 Then turn one poncho inside-out and place it inside the other.  Turn down the edges of the hood and neckline and stitch all the way around.
 Then stitch all the way around the back of the hood to secure the two body layers together around the back of the neck.

Continue on with the fringe edge in my tutorial.

And here's a picture of the finished pirate ship themed poncho- this time for a customer!

Monday, January 24, 2011

KitchenAid Classic Mixer Cozy Tutorial

Years ago one of my first sewing projects with my then new machine was to make a cover for my KitchenAid mixer.  I have a KitchenAid Classic that I got as a wedding gift seven years ago.  If had known the colors they have now, I would have requested a beautiful light blue one to leave uncovered, but I just don't like the look of this white one out on a counter top.  It's too...industrial looking. So in my first attempt I used whatever scrap fabric I had laying around and it was...well...ugly.  Funcitonal, but ugly.  I kept it for a few years, but recently I decided to upgrade, and it only cost me $1.29. 

To make your own cover, you need:
-1/2 yard of fabric for the main body
-1 fat quarter of a complimentary color
 All seams are 1/4 inch.

These are the fabrics I chose.  I had the blue laying around and the polka dot one was on sale at Walmart.  Who doesn't love polka dots and cupcakes?

 First, cut out 2 body pieces 7" x 8" and one piece 17" x 23."
 Take one of the small pieces and place it right sides together and long edges together in the corner of the large piece.
 Continue to pin it all the way around 3 of the sides of the smaller piece like this:
 Do the same with the other small piece on the other end.  Sew around the edge, following the pins, then zigzag stitch the edge to reinforce.  If you have a serger you could serge instead.
 Then take your leftover fabric and cut it into 4, 4" strips.  It will become the ruffle.
 Sew the ends of the strips right sides together into a large loop. My loop was about 54".  Iron the seams open.
 Fold it in half wrong sides together and press.
 Set it aside.

Next, out of complimentary fabric, cut out two 4" x 7" pieces and two 4" by 17" pieces.  Attach the two smaller pieces to one of the larger ones, right sides together, and add the last long piece to the ends of the two shorter pieces, making a loop like this.  Either zig zag the seams or press them open.
 With right sides together, pin it to the edge of the body of your cover, lining up the seams. 

Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance and then zig zag the edge to reinforce.

 Iron the seam toward the top, turn it right side out, and top stitch.
 Next, gather your ruffle.  I like to use a piece of string to do this.  You could also pull the bobbin thread or use a gathering foot on your machine.
Take a piece of embroidery floss slightly longer than the length of your loop and lay it on the edge of your fabric.
Using a wide loose zigzag stitch, sew over the string as close to the raw edge of your loop as you can all the way around.
 Then pull on the string to gather your fabric.
Spread out the ruffles until the loop is the same circumference as the edge of the cover.  Lay the ruffle on the edge of your cover on the right side of the fabric.  Pin and sew a straight stitch on the left side of your gathering zigzag.
 Turn the cover inside-out and press the seam toward the top.  Turn it right-side-out again and topstitch.

Try it on your mixer.

Much cuter and so inexpensive.  This might also make a nice sewing machine cover.  It fit pretty well on my machine.

If you make one, I'd love to see it.  Please post a picture on my flickr group.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flower Hair Bow Tutorial

There are a lot of hair bow tutorials online right now, so I thought I might as well add one more.  Here's how I made this fabric flower to match this skirt I made for my daughter.

Cut out 6 circles of one fabric and 5 smaller circles of a complimentary fabric.  These circles are 2 1/2 inches and 4 inches in diameter.  I used one of my cups and the lid of a spray paint can to trace them.
Then fold them in quarters and press them with an iron.
Next, with a needle and thread, sew large gathering stitches across the rounded edge of each of the six larger pieces.
Stitch them all in a line using the same thread.

Then pull the two ends of your thread together tightly and tie a knot.
 Layer one is now done.  This fabric is rather thick, so it has a larger hole in the middle.  If you use a lighter weight fabric the hole should be smaller.

Repeat the above steps for the smaller wedges.
Lay the smaller flower on top of the larger one and either hot glue or stitch them together.  Then, to cover the hole in the center I cut out a circular piece of felt large enough to cover the center and sewed a button onto it because I didn't have a really large button that I liked.
Hot glue your large button or felt piece into the center of your flower.
Then I cut out another piece of felt to cover the back and hot glued it on.
Then add your hair clip or elastic to the back.  I hot glued on a piece of non-slip drawer liner to help the bow stay in place in my daughter's hair.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentines Day Wreath

I've seen a lot of baking cup or coffee filter decroations, and I thought a baking cup wreath would be perfect for Valentine's Day.

To make this wreath you will need:
-1 12-inch straw or Styrofoam wreath
-Red or pink ribbon-enough to cover the wreath
-100 cupcake papers in Valentine's colors
-Small wooden letters/shapes
-Pink acrylic craft paint
-hot glue gun
-breads, string, and a needle
-a paperclip

Wrap your ribbon around the wreath to cover all of the straw / styrofoam.  Then get out your cupcake baking cups.  Here are the cupcake baking cups I chose:  Cute huh?  I wish you could see the hearts in the wreath, but they're all covered.
Take the cups and fold them like this:
Then add a drop of hot glue on the end and start sticking them on your ribbon covered wreath.
Try to vary the direction of the cups as you go so you get nice even coverage.

Once you've covered it all, it's time for the beads and words.  I bought a variety bag of small wooden letters and shapes.  Pick out the word and hearts you want to use and paint the letters pink with your craft paint.  While they're drying, string your beads.  I used a piece of mono-filament string and sewed it onto the ribbon on the back of the wreath.  Then I strung the beads and attached the other end of the string with the needle.
 Flip your wreath over and, using hot glue, glue your word onto the beads.  I thought about using a piece of ribbon instead of a string of beads, but I like the look of beads better.  Then hot glue any wooden hearts you'd like to right onto your baking cups.

Lastly, I used a paperclip to make a loop to hang the wreath on my door.

Now hang up your pretty pretty wreath and admire it with your Valentine.
I'm linking up to Tatertots and Jello and Nesting Place.  They were my inspiration.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cloth Diaper Sewing Tutorial

I made another diaper, and this time I drew out a pattern and made a tutorial so you can make it too.  This 100% cotton diaper requires a separate cover, and optionally you can add a soaker for more absorbency.  This diaper doesn't require a serger, since I don't have one (hint hint hubby, my birthday is in June!)

Here's my pattern.  If you'd like to make a diaper, use a large piece of paper ( or 4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper taped together) and draw out this pattern.  The grid lines are 1 inch apart.

Materials needed:
100% cotton printed material- 1/2 yard
100% cotton flannel- 1/2 yard
cotton terry cloth (or an old towel cut up) -1/2 yard
1/4 inch elastic- 12 inches
Coordinating thread

Step 1) Tracing and Cutting
Trace the pattern onto each of the 3 materials.  Cut out the pattern pieces from each of these materials 1/2 inch larger than the pattern you traced (for seam allowance).  Lay them down in this order- terry cloth on the bottom (white in this picture), flannel in the middle (black) and cotton print on top print side down and pin.

Step 2) Start Sewing
Starting on the front end (bottom in the above picture) sew on your pattern traced line.  Leave a several inch gap on the bottom to allow you to flip it right side out.  
Then trim the seam allowance to about 1/4 of an inch.  I always leave extra like this and trim later because I'm not always the greatest at sewing straight and around curves.  I like to have room for errors.
Next, around all of the curved edges, cut out wedges.  This will make the corners smoother once you flip it right side out.

Step 3)
Flip your diaper right side out by reaching inside between your print fabric and your flannel and pulling it out through the hole you left at the bottom.
Step 4) Sewing casings for elastic
At the center top of your diaper, mark out the sides of a six inch section with pins. 

Cut your 12 inches of elastic into 3, 4 inch pieces.  At the ends of each piece, attach safety pins.
Sew a straight line 3/4 of an inch from the edge of your diaper six inches long between your two pins.  Grab your elastic put it in between two of the layers of your diaper through the opening in the bottom.  Then, using your safety pins, thread it through the casing and pin it at each edge of the casing.  It will look like this.

Then sew across the ends of your elastic.  Back stitch several times.  Then remove your pins and safety pins.
Next, sew casings for the legs.  Mark a six inch space on each side of the legs area with pins and sew a 3/4 inch casing, just like you did on the back.

Thread your elastic through the same way and backstitch the ends.  Make sure to remove your pins and safety pins.  Now your diaper looks like this.
Step 5) Topstitching
Before you top stitch, check again to make sure you removed all of the safety pins from the ends of your elastic.  I broke off one of my machine needles because I forgot!
  Tuck in and pin the open end of your diaper that is where you flipped it right side out.  Then top stitch all the way around the diaper 1/2 inch or less from the edge, skipping the 3 elastic casing areas.

Now you're done, unless of course you're cooler than me and you own a snap setter.  You can add snaps or aplix/velcro to fasten the diaper.  I usually just pin them because I'm old school like that.  You can also hold it together with just a Thirsties brand PUL cover.  If you'd like, you can also make a soaker from any left-over terry cloth and flannel to make this diaper more absorbent.

Please take pictures if you make your own and share them on the Pattern Shmattern Flickr group.  I'd love to see them.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.

 Back view:
***This tutorial is for personal, non-commercial use only.  Reproduction without express permission of the author is prohibited.***