I have moved the posts from this WordPress hosted blog back to my main blog at http://linuxchic.net. Please feel free to visit, subscribe to the RSS feed, and leave a comment to say hi! We are embarking on a new adventure and I will continue to update everyone from there!
Moved back to the main blog 08/02/2009
Mending Month 03/24/2009
It is mending month at Craft Magazine and I have used that as an excuse to get all my mending done at home. Kids can really tear through their clothes and while I try to fix simple things I usually don’t go all out with big tears and wardrobe malfunctions. However, since the economy is pretty cruddy, I thought I would brush off my sewing skills and start really fixing everything I possibly can.
Today, I patched my jeans while wearing them using an upholstery needle. I like a challenge. It’s not the best stitching ever, but it gets the job done. If you have never used an upholstery needle, it is curved to allow you to stitch and patch in places that you can’t get a needle in behind the fabric – like a cushion or the side of the couch or in my case, my jeans since I actually have them on. One pair of jeans saved thanks to a simple patch. YAY! Now for the pictures to show you the patching process as well as the finished result:
If you want to get creative, you can stencil a design on fabric and make your patch a designer work of art like I did with these pants:
Embellishments for Decorative Dish Cloths 03/22/2009
This tutorial will show you how to dress up a plain white flour sack dish cloth. I picked up four cloths at Deal’s scoring each two pack for only a dollar. For the embellishments I used fabric paint and fabric from Hobby Lobby. The fabric cost a few dollars because I didn’t need very much of it and the fabric paint was just a dollar each. I am using orange and blue paint and the paint is a matte finish as I didn’t think shiny would be the best in the kitchen.
I am using fabric in cordinating colors – one striped and one polka dotted. This will give me to sets of cordinating (but not matchy matchy) towels to give as gifts.
First you need to measure and cut your fabric. To figure out how long I needed the fabric to be I ironed then layed out the towels to find the length. Add 1/2 inch to this measurement for folding over the raw edges of your contrasting fabric. After you know how long your fabric stripe is going to be you need to figure out how wide. I made mine 4 inches wide when finished so do make it the same measure 4 1/2 inches so that you have enough fabric to fold over the raw edges.
When sewing, your iron is your best friend.
Once you have cut out your fabric, iron under the raw edges on the long sides – 1/4 inch on each side.
When you have finished that, fold under and iron the raw edges from the short sides.
Layout your flour sack towel and lay your stripe out on it. Get it positioned where you want it to be then pin it to the towel. Top stitch the fabric to the towel. I did horizontal stitching only and did not go vertically up the sides. When you are done, trim your threads and repeat with the next towel.
These towels are 100% prettier with the fabric added but I wanted a little more interest. I am using matte fabric paint – blue and orange for these – to stamp birds just above the added fabric. To make the stamps I used the printables from Craft Magazine and two sponges. I traced the pattern of one of the birds onto a sponge and then used an Exacto knife to cut it out. I squirted some paint onto a paper plate, dipped the sponge stamp into it and then placed it onto the towel.
Make sure you cover the surface under your towel where you will be painting. I used wax paper for easy cleanup.
Sometimes the sponge leaves the paint with gaps or holes on the impression so I just used a paint brush to smooth out bumps, globs, and imprefections.
When you have added all the painted details you want to your towel, allow to dry as the paint instructions indicate. When it has cured you will have a unique and impressive gift for family and friends, or you can keep them for your own kitchen!
If you are feeling extra crafty, you can use any extra or left over paint to stamp paper to make cordinating custom gift wrap!
Made It Monday – The Ferocious Man Scarf 01/26/2009
I finished several fiber projects this weekend but my pride would have to be this scarf I made for my DH per his request. It is based on 200 by John Brinegar (free pattern). I made it a tad bigger since my DH wanted a scarf that was “bigger than the Doctor Who scarf” that his friend is always waving about. Leave it to men to have scarf envy. It was easy to make and was a great project to do while watching TV on a cold day.
John Brinegar has quite a few patterns on his site, so check them out. I will be making more and already have some queued up.
Crochet makes you look feirce. See? 🙂
Works for Me Wednesday – The Charlie Bag 01/21/2009
This week’s Works for Me Wednesday is the Charlie Bag.
I sew under the name linuxchic at BurdaStyle and for Christmas decided to make Charlie Bags for my kids’ teachers and my brother’s girlfriend. They are quick and let you shop for your necessities in style. If you have a large family, you can never have enough shopping bags and frankly, I don’t like buying the reusable ones that are store branded. They are cheaply made and just plain ugly.
You can use any fabric you have laying around (although cotton, canvas, or muslin would work best) and follow this pattern at BurdaStyle. I found this HowTo posted on upcycling pillowcases into Charlie bags and used it for my guide. I had some great old pillowcases I picked up at a second hand store just waiting to be used and thought this project would be ideal for them. I finished the edges with a simple overlock stitch on my old Singer to prevent raveling. All in all it only took an hour per bag and as I whipped them out I got even quicker.
These bags are roomy and fold up into a tiny little package to toss into your purse or diaper bag to keep handy. Using thread I had already and any old pillowcase, you can have great shopping bags for little to no money and they look great!