Sewing Day – Make up Pouches

I’m catching up on past projects that needed to be posted, however I still have some items I haven’t done.

Since I only had one day off of work this week I decided to focus on sewing. I’ve been meaning to make more make-up clutch bags, but I wanted to try something new. I have this overnight bag that I received as a gift and I wanted to recreate it, however…. it has a “ZIPPER”. Oh that dreaded zipper. You don’t know how I hate zippers and just cringe at the thought of putting one on something of mine. I mean I don’t even put them in my purses I make. HOWEVER, after today… I can see me using zippers more! Squeals softly, YAY!

I actually went to work to buy “zippers”. Cringe. How many. Cringe. 38. Cringe. I better learn right. I bought 24 the other day, the rest today. Thank gawd for employee discounts. My boss is aware that I started my own business, seen my stuff and when he saw just “zippers”, cringe. He just looked at me and said, okay, so what are you making now? I said make-up bags, or whatever you want to call them. He said nice. I said not. Why he replied. “ZIPPERS”. I hate “zippers”. But I’m going to make them my best friend now. Twenty dollars later I’m on my way home.

The last few days before I had to go to work or in the evening while watching some of my tv shows, I’ve been youtube ‘g and looking at Lazy Girl Designs. Joan Hawley has some amazing pouch bags that really intrigue me. The Sweetpea pods and Becca bags. She has a new technique One-Zip. Look at these things, they are AWESOME!

I so definitely have to get these patterns and learn how to do the One-Zip technique. As soon as I get more comfortable with zippers, you can see me moving on to these and putting them in my booth! But for now I am learning the basics to get up to speed.

So after viewing a few youtube videos on making make-up bags and triangle pouches, I was ready to dive in, yes shaking, whispers… “zippers”. I ended up viewing a DIY video on a triangle pouch because that is the one that I have. The video I viewed is a smaller one than I have, but you start out with a 10 x 10 piece of fabric and cut it in half. You actually can make two pouches with one 10 x 10. I was all ready to go with that one, however making it bigger, but then, my mind changed. I saw a video on how to make a make-up bag, travel bag, or overnight bag, which ever you want to call it. It was another DIY youtube, however it was brief and the person narrating it would just say now sew this and this and you didn’t actually see that. That sort of bummed me out, however on the triangle pouch viewing the whole video she filled in the missing links. Since both the items are similar went with the bigger item. Oh also on the make-up bag, she states the dimension are on the bottom of the video, I didn’t see any. I ended up seeing a overseas video and took the cm dimensions.

I started out with 2 different pieces of fabric, lining and main, heavy weight stabilizer, 14 inch zipper. Fabric is suppose to be 10 x 15, I went 10 x 16. Basics, lay fabric back to back, lay zipper on the 10 inch side with the zipper pull down. Sew the zipper on both fabrics, open, lay flat, press, top stitch. Repeat process on other side. I don’t know if I am doing it right, but the video shows it simple, but I felt I was doing something wrong because I was having difficulty but I got it to work. I had to open the zipper to top stitch. Oh the other thing, I was using zippers that were 12 and 14 inch, not 10 inch. You see with plastic teeth you can actually cut the zipper after it has been sewn, down to the fabric, so it doesn’t have to be flush with the sides of the fabric. Then you make sure the lining is on the outside when you sew the sides and make sure the zipper is pulled open slightly. Center the zipper in the middle of the fabric. I sewed one side then did a zig-zag stitch on the seam, you can use a surger instead, but well uhm, I have a surger but never used it. Sorry mom. Trim the seam. On each corner you do a box corner. Zig-zag close to the edge, cut off. Then you do the same to the other side. Then open the pouch and turn right side out. I struggled with the last one I made because… I didn’t bring the zipper down far enough. I made sure when I opened it I pushed all the corners out. In the video I viewed which I am not supplying the link, they should have included a tab at the bottom of the zipper so the person has something to grasp to open more easier. So I will be hand sewing tabs on the few I made. Will be putting thin ribbon in the zipper tab.

These things are snap to make. Including time cutting, ironing on iron on stabilizer and sewing all, one hour. ONE HOUR. How cool is that. Tonight I was suppose to cut more fabric to make more, however I will do that on Saturday so on Sunday I can make more make-up bags and maybe some large triangle bags. I know I only have 30 something zippers, but 15 of each kind will be fine, but I plan on having a bunch of these made so I can go to Lazy Girl designs and learn that technique. I’ll eventually go to the place that Joan talks about for zippers, even tho I haven’t looked at the price yet. Where I work I can get them for 1.69 a piece and if I can get them cheaper, I’ll go there. AND OMG… colors, go with the amazing colors they carry.

Here we go my first set of make-up bags including my prototype flowers, not the roses).

12715767_10206064173982909_6898845216531035203_nMy husband is being more supportive lately and not complaining about no dinners. But I sent him a picture of my prototype and he sent a text back, “are you at work?” I returned the text with I’m off today. But when he came home he looked at them and loved them. My daughter who usually doesn’t say anything, saw them and chimed in, I like them a lot. I think the material also makes it. The underwear fabric I bought years ago just to be in my stash. But now that fabric fits a purpose!

Thank you for reading my post and hope you enjoyed. If you want to see videos, google youtube make-up pouches or triangle pouches with “zippers” <cringe>.

Who says aprons can’t be for little girls?

Well I didn’t but I couldn’t think of a title, looks at the time on her watch.

Little girls love to be like mommies, so why can’t they have an apron. After all when mommy is preparing dinner or baking, who always wants to help. Little ones. So why not give your little girl her very own apron for those days you have a special mother daughter day. But it can also be used at play or when crafting.

I have some “special” aprons I want to create but I’ve been pulling myself in all different directions to get “other” items done for my booth. As I looked at my to do pile, I was like okay lets do these little girl aprons because those “other” ones I have to create myself and will be more time consuming. Last week was dedicated to embroidery, I can’t sew and embroider at the same time, I get frazzled if I do both at the same time. I like to “focus”.

A surprise. I pulled out a pile of aprons earlier that week. All of the little girl aprons were rolled up nicely, indicating that I had washed them for possible shrinkage. I had a design set up in my machine and just finished the thread colors, now to unroll them. As I start to unroll them and lay them on the sewing table when I got to the 3rd apron and as I opened it up, I see a cupcake design. No this can’t be so. I open the next one, ballet shoes. What, I remember embroidering those and I remember there were more. I remember there was just one that I gave as a Christmas gift, now how many more of these are done. I start to quickly open the rest of them. In total I have 5 aprons done and 5 blanks to do.

Yeah I knew I had stitched them up but forgot where I stashed them. You know we all do that. You buy something to make, you put it away and it completely slips your mind where it is and you end up buying it again and a day later you find the original one but used the one you just bought. I’ve been finding all these little surprise a lot lately. Just like the little totes I made for small children and embroidered, sorry no pictures and they are in my booth, but, whispers, I have more of those little totes. I just wanted to see how they looked stitched up. You know there is a method to our madness. You see I had plans long ago and had started to sew up an inventory, but things happened and ….. the rest is history.

I felt good knowing I only had 5 to do and most of my day was spent running errands so this helped in finishing them. The end results are great and I have more little girl aprons in my big storage organizer so I can put other designs on them.

I have a little joke to share. Well its not a joke but, my son works in the electrical field and one year he told his dad that they had these big metal boxes from the job he just finished and they don’t know what they were going to do with them. These boxes stored all the tools and other items needed to do all the work on the building and they had like 5 of them. His dad said cool that would be great if you could get a couple of them. We could put them in our yard and I could store all our jeep parts in them. They would be safe and the weather wouldn’t ruin any of the pieces. When I heard the conversation, I said hey get me one for all my fabric and stuff, lol. Gawd I wish he got them cause it would have been perfect to store all my stuff, however it would have been a pain to “find” something. You’ve heard how women have used sheds and storage units to have their stash, I’d have my metal box! Okay pictures!

Coffee Anyone?

Whats your favorite Java? To tell you the truth I don’t drink coffee, but there are times that I do grab one, just because the smell overcomes me. I am more of a flavor hot chocolate lover and tea lover. I am starting to try new teas, but I limit myself with how much I drink a day. Too much caffeine is not good for me. I also refrain from drinking too much sodas.

Last week I took a day making aprons and a day for huck towels. I am getting ready to set these up in a few weeks at Nickorbob’s Home Decor, where I have a booth. I’ve been trying to think of a form of staging. I actually found a old coffee or tea pot and shined it up really nice. Now I was looking for old tins of coffee but I think I won’t succeed. I’ve decided just to grab a couple different flavors of coffee with a coffee cup. Put them in a nice box and nicely place one of my towels by the box. A card saying, “A perfect pick me up or special treat for that coffee lover”. I mean how many friends do you have that LOVE coffee and is always carrying a cup from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or one of the many other coffee houses out there.

These designs on the aprons and towels are major thread count. Rule of thumb, when a design is stitch intense, the end result, item will be more expensive. No wonder it took me a day for the aprons and 2 for the towels. However, I will admit, it was worth the time to stitch these out. They are beautiful. I know I would “hate” to wear one of the aprons and worry about getting a stain on it, cause after washing them you definitely have to iron. And the towels, to good to use, better for show. I know there are lots of ladies out there that when they decorate their kitchens, there are towels for using daily and then there are those towels that “are not” to be TOUCHED. These are definitely display. I will add this side note, these coffee cups can be customized to your personal taste, to match your decor of your kitchen.

On both the aprons and towels the stabilizer I used was tear away, iron on. Just as a reminder, I used the iron on tear away mostly because it holds the fabric in place and is perfect for all types of projects. I know I’ve been out of the loop with embroidery stuff, such as new products, so I’m going to have to check out some of my past suppliers to see whats new in the embroidery world.

Take a peak at the aprons and towels. Most of my designs are purchased from EmbLibrary, unless I mention, the Roosters and Frogs were not from there, just a fyi if you ever go looking. At EmbLibrary any design I purchase I can embroider and sell my wares.

Embroidery Wall Art – Roosters

Sorry I didn’t post last night. Long day at work.

I don’t know how many people that read my blog go over the line on what they embroider on, but I have gone over the line and embroidered on paper, fabric and painting canvas. I have recently embroidered on a different fiber. It was almost like a weaved straw. It was actually a table runner, but I cut it down to size and put two different roosters on the fiber.

The roosters took forever to stitch, but that was because I had to reinvent the wheel with the thread colors. I also hate when I put colors in my machine that they are not true and it is hard to decipher what it will look like. Sometimes I’ve even made mistakes by putting the wrong thread color on the wrong spindle.

I will be creating more wall art as each day progresses, but for now here are my roosters and I think the frames I picked work well together.

Thanks for checking out my blog and hope to see you again soon. And if you have made items for wall hangings, feel free to share!

Walker Tote Bags

When I met Jak from Nickorbob’s Home Decor Craft Mall, she indicated to me that they have several customers coming into the place looking for a particular item. She asked me if it was at all possible to make walker tote bags, for those that use walkers. I said sure no problem.

I don’t work from patterns. I usually think it out and then start from there. As we have a walker from when my husband had hip surgery, I was able to construct a tote bag for the walker. I don’t often youtube either, but lately I check youtube out first. There were two youtube videos on walker tote bags, however I didn’t like either one. Yeah I get fussy.

One of the videos showed how to use velcro to attach the tote bag onto the walker, the other one used straps that tied to the side of the front of the walker. I went ahead and started to make one, however instead of using velcro I used heavy duty snaps. Both videos were good but I felt that a lot of fabric was wasted because they used the main fabric throughout the whole thing. My prototype I used one fabric throughout, but then again it was clearance fabric, so it didn’t matter.

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Once I got my prototype made, I was able to revisit the design. Since I purchased limited fabric (military, air force, navy) I only bought a yard and I wasn’t thinking, I need more than a yard. I also purchased some fabric that was 13.00 a yard. When I make items, I want the end result to look like a quality piece. To tell you the truth, I’m glad I used the fabric I did for the prototype, I don’t like the pattern. But I know there would be others that love it. Enough said.

So once the prototype was completed, I felt that it was not long enough and the pockets were not deep enough. The dimensions of the bag is 36 inches long and 18 inches wide. When I made the pockets I said to myself, why use the same fabric for the backside of the pocket. That is wasteful, especially if you are using a quality fabric that is expensive. So that is when I decided I would use a solid, inexpensive fabric for the backside. So another tote bag is completed. But then I ran into a issue where I only purchased a yard of fabric and I didn’t have enough fabric to make the outside pocket. Stumped no. Thinking cap back on.

Yes this new idea takes longer, however I will be able to make 2 tote bags with one yard. Cut the fabric at 18 inches, making sure the fabric is squared, then cut 36 inches from the 44 inches. You don’t have enough fabric to make two (2) pockets (one pocket is in the front, one pocket is on the other side towards the person). Lay the fabric out and cut 10 inches off from both top and bottom sides. Then you take a solid fabric and cut four (4) pieces 18 x 10. Two (2) of the solids will be for the backside of the pocket (lining) and the other two (2) of the solid fabric will be sewn to the middle of the tote bag. See Diagram.

When you cut the pattern fabric into 3 pieces, you will take two of the solids and sew them to the middle main fabric pattern. Then the pockets will be sewn to the other solid fabrics. You turn the fabric so the seam is in the inside on the pockets, iron and then stitch on the top of the pocket a top stitch. You will need a solid piece of fabric 18 x 36 for the inside lining or back side of the tote. You place the pockets accordingly on the solid areas making sure that pattern is on the outside. I run into another issue….

Both videos I watched just either had the velcro or the straps. Well and she roll her eyes. Someone who will remain nameless cause “he” doesn’t sew, said what if something heavy is put in the pocket, the bag will collapse. Yeah it did. The sides of the totes gathered into the middle of the walker. So I had to add the straps right about even with the top of the pockets. I used a grosgrain ribbon on each side of the front pockets, on the back pockets I adhered velcro. The velcro is also adhered to the end of the ribbon. Now we can go back to sewing.

Place the ribbon at the top of the pockets, pin in place and make sure you have them laying correctly so when you turn the fabric right side the ribbon is not inside the finished product, don’t look at me, I didn’t do it. Yeah I did, rolls eyes. Then lay your solid 18 x 36 on top of everything and then sew all edges leaving enough open area to turn the whole thing. Make sure you cut the corners in order to make a square corner. Then the small open area, turn it in, pin and then do a top stitch all the way around. You will then make a topstitch to make two (2) pockets. Then add your snaps right below the front bar of the walker. I believe I placed my snaps 4 inches from the middle of the tote bag, but don’t take my word for it, use a walker for proper placement.

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NOTE: If your fabric you are using runs one way in one direction, you will have to also make a cut in the middle of the main piece of fabric, so everything goes in the same direction on both sides. You will notice in the examples above, most of the designs have a one directional design and I had to cut the middle.

Hope I was successful in my explanation and diagram. Its only 1:30 in the morning.

Herbs & Spices

Last week I spent the day making some kitchen huck towels. LOL I almost said hunk. What am I thinking! I ran out of huck towels a few weeks ago and had to put in a order to get more and once they were received, up in the sewing room stitchin’.

On these particular towels, the designs are toile and you have to use the right stabilizer. You don’t want to use a stabilizer that you cut around the design because it will show on the backside of the towel. You don’t want to use a tear away, because the stitches might pull through when removing the paper backing. So with these towels I used the type that washes away. I use vilene.

Vilene is a water soluble stabilizer that allows your stitches from not sinking into a high pile fabric, such as bathroom towels. I also use vilene when I do free standing lace designs. I have used other water soluble stabilizers but my choice is the vilene. Since I bought it years ago I bought it by the roll and egads I have a big roll of the stuff. I find it was more cost efficient that getting sheets. Its 59 inches wide and if you are a embroiderer and use the stuff a lot, I googled vilene sold by the yard. You can purchase it Pointe to Pointe, 3 yard minimum at 6.50 a yard, http://www.pointetopointe.com/site/525331/product/QO102

I hooped my towels then placed a single layer of vilene on top then stitched my designs. I cut away the excess when done and I washed the towels to remove the remaining stabilizer. Now if time was not essential… I would have air dried the towels, but I put them in the dryer.

Did you know…
– Your dryer machine will toss the clothes around causing wear, which is not the case with air drying. Air drying is a lot easier on your clothing.
– Air drying REDUCES WRINKLES. If your clothes are properly hanged for air drying, they will dry wrinkle-free in the right shape.
– Air drying also eliminates static cling. Air-dried clothes might feel stiff at first, but by adding a liquid fabric softener, your clothes will receive great softness and gentle smell.

Here is the results of my herbs/spice designs

 

Greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions!

Embroidered Aprons

I started embroidering a bunch of aprons awhile back, as well as other items and I was just not feeling it. Still dwelling and getting over my mom’s passing from years ago. I just couldn’t get myself to continue. But with this new venture I had too. I know my mom was always watching me in the sewing room and I know she is looking down, smiling and happy that I am doing something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. She was around when I was at the Coomers Craft Mall and she was happy for me selling my wares. So now mom this is for you, me continuing and being creative.

I had purchased gobs of designs from this one designer when I attended a quilting show years ago. Two years later I attended another show and told the digitizer that I had put some of her designs on aprons. I indicated to her if I could sell them and she said why of course, however no large quantities. I said to her heck I don’t believe in doing large quantities I want my customers to have unique items. Ones not sold in stores and I would rather have a customer having their own design to themselves. She likes that.

Once I got my craft booth I was like OMG start stitching! So I went through all my items I already made and chose what additional aprons I’d make. I still have ideas floating in my head for apron designs, however I just needed some to get me started. I love these aprons and if ever interested in something you can always contact me for a sale. You can even contact me for a special request. I can see if I have a design your looking for or even check the place I buy most of my designs from.

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These roosters are great. Putting two different roosters on the aprons makes the appearance that they are cackling back and forth to each other. Using different shades of color in the feathers make it more interesting as well. I believe there are a total of 9 different roosters in the set, so I could really mix them up and coming up with a great combo.

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These frogs are they not to die for. OMG I mean look at their expressions and positions. Just like frogs near a pond, jumping and playing around just like on these aprons. Using a different selection of thread choices on each apron for the group of frogs works as well. I mean there are all different color frogs around.

I made a bunch of white huck towels that have different designs of one rooster and frog, so they can compliment the aprons.

I also whipped up some fast designs, including ones for Valentine’s Day. Made a few aprons with red and pink XO’s, Kiss the cook with a cook’s hat and did a few aprons that say Live, Love, Laugh. OH! My DIVA aprons…. dang I didn’t take any pictures, but they are great. Not only is the word embroidered, but I put bling on them with those rhinestones you glue on. They are great!

Hope you like my aprons and I love feedback of other ideas from readers!