I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Easy Minky Baby Blanket Tutorial

I just LOVE this fabric! Woodland Wonderland, by Jay McCarroll. He does a line for Free Spirit Fabrics. Check it out here. You might remember him from Project Runway. Anyways, I have had this fabric for a while and it has been waiting quietly for the perfect project. So the other day when I was going through my stash for a little inspiration, I came across this and some Minky. Perfect! I'm making a gift for a friend and if you haven't guessed already she is having a baby.

If you would like to make your own you will need:

2 yards of fabric #1 (lime deer)
1/2 yard of fabric #2 (lime hexagon)
1/2 yard of fabric #3 (lime ants on a log)
1 1/2 yards of pink Minky fabric

Wash to preshrink your fabrics.
Cut 4 - 8" strips of fabric #1 (8"wide by 45" long)
Cut 3 - 4" strips of fabric #2
Cut 8 - 2" strips of fabric #3

Take your 8" strips of fabric #1 and sew a 2" strip of fabric #3 on both sides. Next you are going to sew in your 4" strips. If you are working with a directional fabric like I did this is a good time to lay out and pin your strips in the order you will be sewing. It should go something like this:

2", 8", 2", 4", 2", 8", 2", 4"....etc.
Now iron all your seams flat. Try to iron the seams from your 2" strips out towards the larger strips. Then trim off any salvage so the sides are square.
Round your corners, and trim.
Top stitch your seams down. You can use a zig-zag or decorative stitch if you would like. I used a straight stitch. Note: This is something that is going to be washed a lot, so this step is an important one.
Lay your blanket top on the Minky fabric, right sides together, and cut the Minky to fit. I like to pin it together before I cut so nothing shifts. Set aside.
Now it is time to make your ruffle. Cut 8 - 4" strips of fabric #1 (4" wide by 45" long). Sew ends right sides together to make one long strip. Press seams flat. Fold ruffle in half, wrong sides together, and machine baste raw edge.
Hand baste or pin ruffle in between blanket top and the Minky, right sides together, and adjust ruffle to fit. Then sew all around edge leaving enough opening in order to turn right side out.
Turn right side out and pin opening closed. Top stitch all around the outer edge in order to keep the ruffle in place.
Now your done! What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Memory Quilt For My Dad

Today I was working on Memory Quilt, that my Mom and I have been making for my Dad. And it got me to thinking...What t-shirts say about a person.

Let's take my Dad for example:

His t-shirts tell us that he is a proud Grandpa, big sport fan, that he is patriotic, where he is from and where he has been. Even the ugly kacki shirt in the middle (though not a t-shirt) was a uniform shirt he wore for almost 25 years and the brown strip under it represents the pants. His quilt wouldn't be complete without it.

A quilt like this is like looking through an old photobook and can bring you back to certain time or place. Only you can touch and feel the fabric not simply look at it. It is truly amazing how clothes can stir up so much emotion. I can remember buying the grandpa t-shirts for him after my son was born or bringing back the beer t-shirt from a trip my husband and I took to Belguim. All fond memories of a great man.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It needed a little something....

I refashioned this shirt my son out grew of for my daughter, but it needed a little something, don't you think? This cause much debate (with said daughter) and indecision. Finally we can up with putting a flower where the V meets. Sometimes I give her way to much room to make decisions. What kind of flower you ask....Well if she had her way we would be going to Michael's and buying a big ugly silk flower that I would still not know how to attach. So when I found this Fabric Flower Tutorial on You Tube I was very excited! These flowers are fun and oh so easy to do. I made it into a broach because I wasn't sure how it would go through the wash, and I thought it would be best if was removable. Seeing I was already tempting fate with the bright red fabric.
The shirt was super easy to do. If you would like to make one for yourself just find a button down man's shirt (or boys) that is a few sizes too big.
  1. Lay the shirt flat and cut a straight line from one underarm to the other, save the sleeves, you will need them later.
  2. Unbutton the shirt and lay flat again, measure. Use that measurement and cut 2 inch strips from a coordinating fabric.
  3. Sew the first strip to the top of the shirt, wrong sides together. You want to do this because you are flipping it to the front instead of the inside, then top stitch. Then fold under the raw edge on the bottom and top stitch. This will make your casting for the elastic.
  4. For the second strip measure down to desired position. (I did an empire waist on this shirt.) Take your strip and iron in the raw edges. Pin to desired position and top stitch.
  5. Run your elastic through the casting and secure to ends.
  6. Add a snap. This will make the buttons lay flat down the back.
  7. Take the sleeves you put aside to make your straps. You can do regular over the shoulder straps if you like or the V strap like I did. The choice is yours.
So how's that for a hand-me-down...brother to sister! I just love upcycling!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hem a T-Shirt with a Twin Needle

Ever try to hem a t-shirt and and it came out a rippled mess? Try using a twin needle. I must admit my machine (which I have had a while)came with a twin needle but, I have only recently started using it. Just follow your machine’s operation manual for instructions on how to thread your twin needle and what presser foot to use. If your machine allows you to use a walking foot, use it the results are amazing. If not, don’t fret, my machine only allows me to use the standard “J” foot (I know how boring)and the results were still better than I had hoped for.

OK lets get started….

First, trim to ½ inch below desired length. If you like you can finish the raw edge with a zigzag stitch….or not. I didn’t in this example. For me it really depends on the garment I am working on.
One more note, don’t double-fold the hem it makes it to thick and the end result won’t lay as flat. Next pin or baste to the wrong side and make sure the pins are up and down. This will make your next step much easier.

Sew on the top side, with the pins underneath, and your presser foot lined up to the bottom edge. (This why you want your pins up and down so they will be easy to remove as you sew.)

Once you have sewn it all the way around, locked you stitch and pressed if you so desired. It will look like you never made the alteration!