Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blind Hem's anyone?

So I took a alteration jobbie before my vacation and I said I could probably do it sight unseen. Well when I actually had the dress in hmy possession I WAS SCARED!!!

It was a blind hem. Let me tell you I have never in my life sewn a blind hem. IF you do not know what it is here is a picture.

Oh. You don't see a hem / stitch line do you??

Yea. Didn't think so.

Not only did this dress have a blind hem but it had a lining that needed hemmed as well, a chain tack to attach said lining to the dress (the little braided thread so that the lining does not get all twisted up inside the dress) as well as a vent on the skirt. EEEKKK!

All those other things are a whole 'nother story. In this post I'm going to attempt to teach y'all how to make a blind hem. Please, Please PLEASE if I have skipped something or if something is not clear message me so I can remedy the situation.

So let's get started...

So to accomplish this effect you need a Blind Hem foot. Which with my brother is foot R and came with my machine. What you can not see here that well is that on the bottom/underside of the foot it has a little groove or guide.

As well as the blind hem stitch setting. On my brother it is stitch #9 but looks like this--->

**So for my next pictures I have used a piece of scrap fabric to demonstrate the fabric folding. I ALWAY recommend practicing new stitches on scrap fabric. I tried this a few times on a scrap piece of fabric in the same weight as my actual garment just to get the technique down before messing with the "real" thing.

Step 1)

With wrong side facing you decide where you want your hem. I folded my edge up so you can see that is my "edge of garment." IF this was the real deal I would have serged the edge of my garment but to same time here I have not.

Step 2)
Fold over your right side hem and I didn't see the need for pins and just finger pressed. However, for a full garment you probably would want to use them

Step 3)
Fold that "right side" fabric to the underside leaving at least 3/8" of wrong side fabric at the right so it looks like a small accordion fold like this. Line up the fold under the small groove in the blind hem foot. Drop the presser foot and GO SLOW to make sure that you are catching the edge of the fabric on the left side of the accordion fold. That is when the machine needle goes to the left for one single stitch and only is suppose to catch a few threads from the left accordion fabric.  On my machine I had to keep lifting the presser foot right before that left stitch to realign the fabric to be right at the groove in the foot.

Step 4)
Continue stitching until you have completed the hem. At the end you will have stitching that looks like this on the "wrong side" (left image) and the "right side" (right image).

Step 5)
Unfold the hem and press flat. The fabric needs a good press because it will have a groove from the blind hem foot. As you can see here -no stitches are showing on the "right side" of the fabric.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Birthday gifts!

So you probably remember my post on the quilted coasters here as a birthday gift for my little brother. I added these to his gift and to my surprise he actually liked them the best!

I made these cuties with some vintage napkins I got at a church sale. The same sale that I got the awesome teacup...which I still haven't decided what to do with!

Anywho I figured I could share this little project with you today.

1) Acquire some vintage napkins...or just buy new if you can not find any.

2) Pick some fabric that you like and cut into strips 3-4 inches wide and as long as the napkin + 1/2 inch or so for folding over.

3) Fold your napkin into fourths and center your names in one of the panels. I used the far left fourth but if I did it again I would use the second from the left. I used this 1" stencil for the names but you may need to use smaller stencil or freehand. Luckily for me they have short names! I got my stencils at Office Max for less than $5 and they were with the protractors and whatnot. They were hard to find surprisingly.

It is hard to see, I know. I used a disappearing/washable blue marking pen by Clover to mark my letters. 

Step 4) Put the strip of fabric in the embroidery hoop and stitch it up. I chose to use black embroidery floss and used two strands at a time. I wanted it to have a timeless look not kitschy. 

Step 5) Then I just serged the edges, washed, ironed and folded the edges over and attached to the napkins. 
I love the way they turned out and I'm glad he did too! 


 Ignore the little man's hand! He loves to "help" and be right in the middle of everything...and I don't mind. I hope he grows up liking to do things with his hands as well.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Isn't a well deserved vacation a wonderful thing?

I think so! I do miss my sewing machine though. I have been working on some crafting but no pictures until I get home:) I have been pinning things like crazy on my pinterest. I am addicted-especially when I have all day to pin things!

 Don't believe me?

Just look...I am almost embarrassed to show you...

Here is a picture of the little man on vacation enjoying the beach!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick and Dirty

So I promised pictures--that's about all I can knock out today. We are in crazy packing vacation mode. Yay! In just a few days I'll be lounging on a beach somewhere :)

Anywho- would ya just look at this cute little teacup and saucer. It is bone china and I'm not 1000% sure what I want to do with it yet.

Look how cute it is with my other two! I saw a couple of ideas on Pinterest for them - A) Attach the cup and saucer to a post and use it for bird seed in the garden or B) Make candles in the teacup part and give as gifts. What do you think?? Do you have any better ideas?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend is over...already??

So here it is, Sunday night.

I sewed a bit over the weekend and came up with these for my brothers birthday on the 26th. I just took a bunch of scraps and mixed with what I had in my stockpile to throw together some cute little coasters.

They are not too girly right?? It seems I do not own very many guy prints, well unless you count the little man's fabrics. Somehow I don't think my brother would be too impressed with Sponge Bob or Dinosaur coasters though!

I did make the little man this cute little outfit in about an hour and a half.

Isn't Wonderunder some great stuff?

The shorts I made using an Alexander Henry print from 2002 I think. I got it out of the remnant bin of course.

Also the pattern for the shorts I got from the lovely Dana at:

She has some awesome tutorials and takes such perfect photo's for her blog. When I grow up I wanna be just like her:)

I also picked up some cute things at a church festival/garage sale this weekend. I'll have to post a picture later this week!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Retro Metro Bag

The Retro Metro Bag Tutorial

My very own 31 bag

Supplies Needed:
1 yard canvas fabric
1 coordinating 7” zipper
2 yards ½” twill
2 yards 1” twill
1.5 yards cording
Sheer willpower to figure out my directions and basic sewing knowledge

Step one:  Cut it up!!
Cut out an oval-Mine is 27” across. To make it a perfect oval I used the main basket on my steamer!
Cut out two rectangular pieces  19”x13” (main body of bag)
Cut 2 pieces 3.5”x20. This will be the top edge of your bag that you will fill with cording.
Cut 2 pieces 3x33”. These will become your straps.
Cut 2 pieces 5” x 7.25”. These will become your outer side pockets.
Cut 2 pieces 9”x 8”. These will be your interior zipper pocket.
Cut 2 pieces 3.5”x8”. These will be your pockets attached to the zipper pocket. 

I was cutting as I went because I made up my pattern as I was doing it so no printable PDF of pattern but hey it’s a free tutorial :)

Step two:
I opted to start with something easy : The oval base.
Using WS together serge the edges.

Ta-Da! That wasn’t so hard now was it?
Step three:
Serge your main bag pieces top and bottom then serge the sides together.

I bought a serger a lot for this project!  I have to say I love my Brother 1034-D and would buy another in a heartbeat if it broke.  It is not necessary for this project but it does make things infinitely easier.
Step four: Side pockets
Serge the edges of your side pockets. Fold in the sides and stitch. Fold down the top edge and stitch down.

Fold the pocket in half and center on the side seams of the bag body.

 Unfold and pin in place.  I stitched ¼” from the edge and the very edge of the pocket. I stitched twice just for extra stability and strength. Baste stitch the bottom of the pocket to the main body of the bag.

Step five: Inner pocket(s)

Cut off 2” off the top of your 9” side of the 9x8 so you have one 7x8 and one 2x8. Serge the edges. This is where you will add your zipper in the normal fashion.


Take your 3.5 x 8 inch pieces and serge the edges. Turn down the top 8” edge and stitch down to create your hem. No need to fold the side seams and stitch in.

  Layer your inner pockets and stitch down the center so your lower one creates two credit card slots.  Hem the serged lower edge of the credit card slot/pocket.


**As a side note when serging my edges I NEVER take it off and restart; I leave a little tail and make just enough to turn the piece and start the next side. I took pictures of this to  show what I mean…Well at least I hope they are helpful!

Attach the credit card pocket/slot bit to the zippered pocket front. I didn’t measure this exactly-I baste stitched it a finger width below the zipper at the credit slips side seams and double stitched the lower edge.
 With RS together of your pocket serge the edges. Turn pocket and iron flat.


After adding the zipper of course the back piece of the pocket is a tad longer-I just let the serger cut that little pit off to make it even.

Step six: Attaching the inner pocket
Fold the bag panel in half to find the center as well as folding the pocket to find the center. Again with the no measuring. I just picked where I wanted the pocket and pinned it in and double stitched the edges.

Step seven: Making and attaching piping

Take your two 3”x 23” pieces and stitch together at the very edge and ¼” in from that line.

 Center your piping in the long strip and using your zipper foot stitch it in close to the cording. 

I never did this before and it was SOOOO easy-DO NOT be intimidated!!

In one step I folded down the top edge of the bag and stitched the piping on.  With pinning it really isn’t that hard.

In this step I switched back to the regular foot just because. I could have used the zipper foot again though.

Step eight: Make pleats
On either side of the bags side seam I made small pleats that included the side pockets and baste stitched down. I made my pleats going toward the side seam. I also made small pleats on the front and back of the bag, two on each side. I did not do these ones until I started pinning the oval base of the bag to the main body of the bag. The size of your oval will determine if you need these and how big they will need to be. 

Step nine:
Attach the base to the body of the bag.

Step ten: Make your straps!


With RS together fold in half and serge. Turn your straps and iron flat with seam in the center.
Center your 1” twill to the strap and pin in place. Stitch down.

In my pictures you will see that the twill is not as long as my strap! I not once but twice switched the top edge of my bag piece and the strap pieces-Even after I wrote on the pieces.
 It’s a danger when sewing late at night!! 

 I attached the straps with about 3 inches going into the bag and double stitched it in right at the top edge just below the piping and again at the bottom edge. I chose to attach it just outside the corner of the inner pocket and did the other side to match.

Step eleven: A little something
Take your ½” twill and attach to the top edge (outside) of the bag. This part is not true to the original bag but I felt like the bag needed just a little something more.

Step twelve:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Sooo...Still working on the bag. I haven't forgotten I swear!
I'm so close to being done it's crazy. Then I will post the tutorial for everyone:)  I have about a million pictures - and have made about as many mistakes. Can you believe not once, but twice (eep!) I mixed up the top band of the bag and the straps.

 The second time I went as far as to write on them "strap" and "edge" AND still switched them?!?!

  I suppose that is what you get when you are sewing late at night. I was hoping to make a cover for my nook tablet with the same fabric-not anymore. I could piece together some bits but I probably wont...I've ruined it. Haha