Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sewing for My IPod Touch!

I have been sewing in a sew along this week and I have to admit that I have also been ripping out just about as many stitches as I have put in!  Had a terrible time with the zippers I chose to use and have done some stitching and some bitching! But that is for my other blog!  Sew Alongs.

I did make the time to stitch up a case for my IPod Touch.  I like to listen to it at work and I am constanly worrying about it getting scratched, so I made a case for it out of some to the fabric scraps from my sew along project.

It was a quick little project that allowed me to calm my nerves after all the aforementioned zipper problems!

Just a very simple little rectangle with a top that folds down and fastens with a velcro dot.

I placed a large buttonhole in the bottom to make way for the cord attachment and the earphones. It is double faced quilted fabric so it adds some protection from falls and some protection from scratches to the face of the IPod. At least now I feel safer carrying it around in my pocket while I enjoy my music and tune out at work! ( I would take of picture of my Ipod in my newly stitched case, but I have lost the cord to my charging! I am using my Ipod to take these pictures)

I will be heading off to work tomorrow with my IPod inside the new case and will be able to have worry free tune out sessions!  Yay, that is my kind of day!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Working On A Project

Hello, I am busy over at Sew Alongs getting ready for the "Suede says red, Sew for a Cause, Sew Along".  We will be making a travel bag that is designed by Suede and sold by simplicity.  I am very excited about this Sew Along as I have never made a travel bag before.  The pattern actually looks pretty simple and I love the fabric I have chosen!  If any of you are interested in following along you can read about my progress on Sew Alongs.

If you are interested in joining the group and sewing along with us you can do that here.  It starts on Tuesday, January 24th, so you still have some time to get your supplies together.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick and Easy Baby Blanket

My family had some wonderful news on Thursday, we learned that my oldest son Travis, and his wife Christa are going to have a baby girl! This will be their first and is such exciting news, and from this Nana's perspective it is news that is long overdue!! LOL She should be arriving to meet us all on or around June 11th. I can hardly wait!

She is going to be a little doll, already is, you can see her sucking her thumb. How darling is that?  Precious little baby girl!

Well with all this excitement, I was just itching to make her something.  I was going to make a bib, then I remembered I had bought some flannel thinking I would make the grands some pjs or sleep shirts.  Well guess what, that flannel is now a baby blanket!  I kept to my resolution about using some of my stash before buying any more fabric too! ( well sorta, I did purchase some for a sew along I am participating in, but I didn't have any of the type of fabric that the project calls for, so that really doesn't count...right?).

The flannel is really cute, mostly green with little turtle families on it and then a solid green, that I used to face it.  I really wanted to finish it with some sort of binding, but I had nothing in my ready made stash and really no coordinating fabric to make any, so I just used what I had, my sewing machine, and thread!

I first cut my fabric to 45 by 36.  You could make it to what ever size you wish, but this was a large as I could get with the fabric I had on hand.  With right sides together I sewed all along the edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance and leaving a space about 5 inches long on one side for turning.   I then pressed it flat along all sides and then pressed along all the sides again, this time pressing the seam open. ( I find pressing the seam open allows for a sharper edge along the sides after turning and pressing.)  As I pressed the seam open I turned down the sides of the 5 inch opening 1/2 inch and pressed into place. Before turning, I trimmed off a diagonal edge at each corner, making the corners easier to turn and come to a good point.

After turning I pressed all the way around making sure the edges came to a crisp edge and that the corners were sharp.  Then the fun part started!  I chose a decorative edging stitch (little hearts) and stitched all away around taking care to catch the seam allowance on the inside of the blanket to help keep it in place, this stitiching will also permantly close the five inch opening I left for turning.  Ta Da, a perfect little crib blanket for a perfect little girl!

Start to finish this project was complete in less than 2 1/2 hours.  It was fun, quick and is ready to greet a special little baby girl!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Know Your Machine and Your Stitches

I attended a webinar broadcast the other day on the ASG website.  It was about sewing machine basics.  What a great webinar it turned out to be.     If you have not read the machine operation manual that came with your sewing machine, do that now!   Everything you need to know about your machine is covered in the manual.   Keep it handy so you can grab it quickly if you run into a problem.  It will tell you the kind of bobbins to use, needles, thread, how to set the tensions for certain stitches and fabrics.  It will have a diagram for threading and winding the bobbin and how to correctly insert the bobbin into your machine.   It is your tutorial to your personal sewing machine, and it is extremely important.

I came close to bypassing this webinar.  I have been sewing for so long, I really didn't think it would be useful to me.  I am so glad that I did attend, I learned a few things, proof that you can teach an old dame new tricks!   One of the things Ramona covered was how important it is to know your stitches. She suggested making note cards with the stitch, stitch number, default settings and a custom setting. I think this is a great idea, whether you are new to sewing, have a new sewing machine, or just want to start using some of those unused stitches on your machine, this will give you some idea how the stitch will look and if it is suitable for the use you have in mind. a starting place if you will.

I made several.  I am one that never uses the basting stitch.  I have never seen a need for it, I usually just set my stitch at a long length and use a regular strait stitch.  Not any more.  I was amazed at the ease in pulling out the basting stitch! The tension is loose, not like a regular strait stitch and I will be using it very often from now on!

I don't know if you can tell by the photo, but the basting stitch is a very loose stitch.  Only the default setting is available on my machine, but your machine may be different.

Something else I realized while making these cards is that although some of the decorative stitch settings can be changed, that does not mean it will always turn out well!

I was amazed at how much this stitch lost it's shape when I altered the default setting.  I now know never to try that on a project!   A great lesson learned because of making stitch cards!

After you have all the cards made,  it would be a good idea to keep them handy.  Ramona suggested baseball card keepers as a great way to store them.  I would think some of the photo albums would also work.  I had a plastic envelope handy and I put mine in there for safe keeping.  I will have to take the stack out and go through them to find what I am looking for, I don't really mind, but one of the other storage ideas may be more convenient.

Your machine may have information on the machine itself about each stitch.  My machine shows the stitch number in one view and if it is selected it will then show which foot is best to use, and the default for needle placement and settings.

My machine has numerous stitches that I can choose from, but one thing I like most is the fact that it has the most popular stitches obtainable just by the touch of a button .  This is great when using a strait stitch, zig zag or any other commonly used stitch.

I love my machine, it is very user friendly! If you have a machine be sure to know what it can do and learn to love it!

If you are not a member of the American Sewing Guild, you should consider joining.  I am a member, but the chapter I am a member of is in another city and I am not able to attend many of the meetings.  My small city has no chapter, but ASG has all kinds of information online, there is always something there to inspire me and get my creative juices flowing!   Along with the frequent webinars, they also have videos,online classes and a blog, just to name a few.  You can check it out here.  It just might be what you are looking for!

See you again soon!

Happy Sewing!