Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beginner Sewing Tutorial: Pillow Case

My mother in law showed me how to make these a few years back and I had a blast making holiday ones for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas last year.  At first I was going to just make a few for my girls but as I started making them, I had so much fun that I made them for everyone in my extended family.  And I am now getting requests for more. 

I swear I sleep better on my homemade pillow cases than I ever did before.  There is just something about that special little touch that makes everything better.  And a pillow case is one of those little things that brings a smile to your face at the end of a busy or tiring day.  It screams "lay on me" which translates into rest, peace, and tranquility to this busy mom! 

You can personalize these easily also.  Embroidered names, initials, holiday greetings are a few ideas you could do.  Also a crocheted trim, adding rick rack, ribbon, or buttons would make this an even more special treasure.  But for this tutorial we are going to focus solely on the actual pillow case and we will leave the embellishing for another post. 

Things you will need to make one standard size pillow case: 

A.  One 9"x 42" strip of fabric
B.  One 3"x 42" strip of fabric
C.  One 26" x 42" piece of fabric
D.  Coordinating thread

OK, the first thing you do is pre-wash and dry your fabric.  Then lightly iron it and you are ready to cut.  A standard pillow case is usually 21x32.  So we need to cut 3 pieces of fabric.  Two of these will be our band and the largest will be our body of the case.  OK, lets cut one 9" wide, one 3" wide, and one 26" wide.  All the pieces should be 42" in length and we will use a 5/8" seam throughout.

Next, lets take our 3" band piece and iron it in half.  Meaning fold in half length ways so that measures 1.5" ( Picture A). 

Next,  we are going to lay out our pieces.  Take your body piece right side facing up and lay the 1.5" band on top with the fold going down and the open seams together.  Next lay your 9" band right side together.  Basically we are making a sandwich with the folded 3" band in the middle.  (Picture B) 

Pin and sew.  Trim your seam and press the 9" band up and away from the body.  (Picture C)

Now, we are going to flip our work and press the other end of the 9" band in 5/8".   Fold the band in half matching our previously sewn stitch line to our pressed seam.  Press and pin in place. 

We are ready to sew.  Using a matching thread and sewing on the right side of the fabric, stitch a as close to the edge of the 2 joining fabrics as possible.  This gives it a very neat and tidy stitch line. (Pictured D,E,F)  Press.   

 Now place right sides together, matching the bands, and stitch outer and bottom seams of the case.  You could be done here, but I go ahead and serge the seams to give it a more finished look.  If you do not have a Serger, simply run a zig-zag stitch just on the outside of your seam and trim the excess, being careful not to cut your stitches!  Congratulations you just finished your new one of a kind pillow case!  SWEET DREAMS!! 

 (Picture A)
 (Picture B)
   (Picture C)

This picture has different fabric because I was making 2 cases when I was taking pictures for this project.
(Picture D)
(Picture E)
(Picture F) 

I added a crochet edging just for fun.  It's easy!  Simply add a blanket stitch and then a row of single crochet and then whatever edging stitches you choose.

Happy Crafting!  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Back to School Hair Accessories

This was so simple and cheap.  I have 2 little girls ( 6 and 7 year old).  Hair is how we ornament for school.  SO I decided this year, rather than going to Sam Moon and spending $50.00 on hair stuff that breaks easily, I'd make it myself. 

Grab some things like yarn, bobby pins, some floral pieces, buttons, hot glue, pony tail holders, jewels and ribbon. 

Use your imagination.  The possibilities are endless. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY Thread Organizer


If you embroider or even sew alot you know how annoying it is to have thread in containers or drawers and never know exactly what you have. I always seem to buy the same colors over and over because I forget what I have got and don't go digging to see. My mother in law bought several of the thread organizers from JoAnn Fabrics and hung them on her wall and it gave me an idea. Thread organizers run from $50-$70 dollars and they hold about 60 spools. I have more than 60 spools and I wasn't about to pay $140.00 to organize my thread. So I decided to make my own.


I took a left over piece of peg board, some thin wood strips and some bamboo kabob sticks and Voila a thread organizer for less than $15.00.

Here's how it worked out

I attached the thin boards behind the peg board and then secured it to the wall. 

Then I cut the bamboo kabob sticks down the the proper length and hot glued them into the peg holes.  You need to space your sticks out so that each spool has room.  I used a pattern of every other hole and every other line.  I tried to illustrate it in the above photo. 

 Now I can see all my colors and won't end up buying the same colors for each project! 

 Peg board 4x8 sheet $8.00
Wood 24" by 1/2" thick $1.37
Kabob Sticks $4.00 a package.

Total for project $13.37.  I am LOVING that! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recycling Winter to Summer!

I have 2 little girls and dressing them appropriately has been an adventure the last year.  My 7 year old is a size 8-10 and everything in the stores has something written on it that I do not feel is appropriate.  You know the "hottie" or "Rock-n-Roll" or the ever popular skull and cross bones.  I just don't want my 1st grader sporting around a "I'm a Hottie" t-shirt at the park!  :D.  Fortunately, good ole walmart has plain colored knit shirts.  The problem is they are PLAIN!  I ran across a seasonal sale table last week with a bunch of long sleeve knit shirts for only $3 each.  I decided to up cycle them into some cute summer shirts.  Knit is pretty darn easy to play with, so here is what I did to the first one. 

I cut the sleeves and bottom off and added lettuce leaf trim using a satin stitch and stretching the fabric as I sewed it. 
Even this is a nice play shirt just for summer, you could get by with leaving it like this really. 
But, I didn't.  I cut the collar out and added elastic, giving the shirt a new look all together. 

I added a little crocheted embellishment and Voila! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Ready for Spring

It's that time of year again, when I get that itch for the cold to GO AWAY and the heat to Bring It!  I LOVE spending time outside in my yard.  We plant some herbs and few vegetables every year and this year is no different.  My girls and I have already started my seedlings in my kitchen window and the last 2 days I cleaned up my deck area and cleaned out my old flower pots for new plantings!  I found these really cool PLASTIC Adirondack style chairs at Lowe's.  I love anything plastic.  It cleans up well.  Kids and animals in my life force me to LOVE anything that cleans up easy!  Anyway, these chairs have inspired my garden theme this year.  It's a kids theme because my kids LOVE to garden with me and I love anything the make and help me do.  We are going eclectic with primary colors.  We are recycling/up cycling, redecorating, repainting, and reusing everything in our garden this year.  You have to let me know what you think so far.  Here are a few pics of what we have done so far. 

 These are our inspiration

 We painted some of our rocks the primary colors.  And buried some of our pots and cleaned them out. 

 I picked up some tires off Craig's list for free and we are painting them to use as planters for our wild flowers. 

 My little ones painting away on those rocks! 

 These are some old hanging yard art that was given to me a few years back by my mother in law.  We spruced it up to go with our theme. 

We still have a lot to do, but we made a dent!  And so far, I am loving it! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ridges n Stripes Throw Pillow

I wanted to add a little color to my comfy yet bland sectional, so I grabbed some yarn from my stash and started making throw pillows.  This is the EASIEST pattern you will ever make. 

The entire piece is worked in the back loops.  I used an I hood and red heart yarn. 

Chain 51

Row 1

Work hdc in second ch from hook and across ( 50 hdc)  ch 1 turn

Row 2-64
Work hdc in each hdc across, ch 1 turn.  ( remember back loops only) 

Finish off , fold in half ( at the 32 row mark) and hand stitch the sides together and half way across the bottom.  Stuff with filling, finish stitching up bottom.  Done! 

Uses as many or as few colors as you like to match your decor. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tinkerbell Room

Well, it got an itch to go ahead and start Hannah's Tinkerbell themed room.  SO I went and bought paint yesterday and I am proud to say that I am more than 3/4 of the way done with her room.  Of course I painted the walls first.  They were an ugly gray when we bought the house last year but now they are the perfect shade of Tinkerbell green.  I added wall stickers and crafted a bed canopy today.  I still need to get the bedding out, sew some curtains, and add some finishing touches but all in all I am really happy with my progress. 

I also made a little holder for her books out or wire hangers, but I haven't decided if I like that or not yet.  So we will see if it stays. 

The bed canopy was kinda a pain because I knew how I wanted it to look but I wasn't sure how I was going to get there.  In the end I am happy with it and so is she.  ( Which is the most important part!) 

I used the dome top of an old bird cage and I attached it to the wall with mirror hangers.  You know the little plastic ones that have a ridge to hold frame less mirrors? 

I tied purple tulle to the sides and back of the frame and them I took some satin and stitched out some leaves.  ( suppose to look like Tinkerbell;s dress bottom). 


Let me just tell ya, this satin is some fraying stuff to work with and it LOVES to move.  I used straight pins and bobby pins to keep it in place.  I also used a satin stitch to form the leaves. 

So this is what I have done so far.  What do you think??  Does the bed look like a Tinkerbell bed or am I just bias?? 

By the way, I bought everything for this room except the paint online.  I love online shopping.  :D 

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