Tag Archives: fabric

{ Tips on Tuesday } Alternative to backstitching to secure a stitch

5 Apr

The quaint little town, a mile high chalk FULL of American History with snow like glitter and warm and friendly folks was my favorite place we ever lived.  Coming home to our log house was like living in a vacation home!  This is where I learn this trick . . . even though Custer, SD is a  small town of about 4000 people, there is a cute little quilt shop and a friendly owner.  This gal and I were visiting and she shared this trick . . .

When you begin to stitch, were you would go forward and then backstitch before you continue to sew your seam, do this instead:

  1. decrease your stitch length to a very small stitch and begin to sew
  2. sew 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch with a very tight, small stitch length, this will secure your seam where you begin
  3. increase stitch length to normal setting and continue sewing your seam
  4. as you near the end of your seam, decrease your stitch length again to secure the end of your seam

(I have an electronic Elna so this is how I adjust my stitch lengths, whether you are sewing on an electronic machine or manual one the idea is to adjust the stitch length)

This is how my machine looks when I begin with the normal settings for a straight stitch

Now I decrease my stitch length quite a bit to secure before I begin to sew my seam

Once I have sewn a bit, then I return my machine to the normal settings finish my seam and do this process again before I reach the very end of my seam.

Ta Da!  An easy quick way to secure your stiches at the beginning and end without backstitching!

{ My Projects } Tooth Fairy Pillow

3 Apr

So here is the Tooth Fairy Pillow I made in Speedy Gonzales fashion one late night when my little lady Kyndall lost her first tooth.  You can read about that escapade here!

I had to think quick if I wanted to get this crazy Mom project done . . . but then all my projects have to be fairly quick anyways being a Mom of 5  or they just don’t get done!

I remembered over at mmmcrafts,  that talented gal Larissa had a really cute pattern for a tooth fairy pillow.  Click here to visit her post for the pattern.

Of course, being as late as it was, and being my thrifty self, I dug into my stash to complete this quick project.

If I were to make another one ( I see four more in the future, as all  the girls were swooning over this one.  lol )  I would embroider some cute eyes or use googlie eyes and make a little skirt and maybe some ballerina shoes.  It would be fun to use organza for the wings.

As it was I just grabbed whatever color felt I had and made it work.  So this tooth fairy pillow ended up with green eyes and flowered paisley wings!  Not the cutest she could be, but hopefully she will inspire all you creative ladies none the less.  I just love how the mouth opens for a place for the tooth to hide!  So cute, Thanks Larissa

Send me a photo if you make one . . . I’d love to see {{ smile }}

{ Tips on Tuesday } Gathering

29 Mar

I don’t know about you, but I find it very annoying when I have to do a lot of gathering.

Pattern instructions often say to stitch two rows of a loose stitch and then pull the bobbin thread to make a nice bit of gathering.

You know me, I am always looking for a way to cut corners so I never stitch TWO rows of loose stitches and then inevitably as I’m gathering I break the thread . . . AAHH!

Here is a wonderful tip that was passed on to me and it works beautifully every time!!

Set your machine to a loose zig zag stitch and then zig zag over embroidery floss, or light cording, even a heavy thread would work.

Then the zig zag stitch will easily gather as you pull the heavy thread beneath.

Beautifully gathered with no broken stitches and even saved time because you only had to stitch once . . . I love it!

Try it and let me know what you think . . . I’d love to hear from you.

{ Tips on Tuesday } How to cut like a pro

17 Mar

Have you ever noticed when you are at the fabric store that cool table they have where they just slide the scissors in a grove to cut the fabric?  It seams like the fabric just cuts like butter, no struggle, no constant measuring to be sure you are in line, just one smooth slice!

Well . . . here’s what I do at home.

I use the grout line of our floor tiles as that slick groove on the fabric store cutting table!  I line up my fabric how I want it, measure quickly and then cut, using the grout line as a guide!

Hey, remember I have 5 children I cut corners where ever I can!  If I can’t get something done quickly, it doesn’t get done!

~Lia

Tips on Tuesday

12 Mar

As I was working on my latest tutorial I was thinking . . . of all the little things I do to cut corners, save money, save TIME!, keep me sane 😉 and make things work in this busy household of mine!  I decided to begin

So . . . Every Tuesday I will share a life altering (just kidding) tip that I have learned through trial and error, blood sweat and tears (I like to be dramatic it’s fitting for a house full of GIRLS!) It may be sewing, crafting, cleaning, organizing, cooking, baking or just plain surviving from day to day in this roller coaster life as a MOM . . . chaufer, referee, cheerleader, queen bee, money saver . . . oh my the list goes on!!!! I love every minuite of it even though I am often exhausted at bedtime.  🙂

Someone once told me of raising children . . .

The days are LONG, but the years are FAST!

I can tell you for sure this is true.  There is a lot to get done in a day, but these lovely ladies are growing FAST.  I try to treasure every moment ( and then there’s those other times; when we just pull the car over and cool off before we continue 😉 lol )

So~  Be sure to subscribe so you can get all my great

Every little bit helps! 🙂

~Lia

{ Free Tutorial } How to make a Baby Wrap

12 Mar

I just LOVE . LOVE . LOVE . my baby wrap!

Maybe I should say Little Lady loves it, but I love it for different reasons than she does!!

Why I love to wear my Little Lady in a baby wrap:

  1. She loves to snuggle in and feel secure as she did in the womb and almost instantly becomes calm
  2. When I am shopping or cleaning or cooking, wearing baby makes me hands free and baby is content
  3. Pulling the fabric over Little Lady to shield her from coughing and germs in public places makes me feel like she is protected and safe
  4. The other Little Ladies love to wear her in it too – what a help for me sometimes!
  5. Following my tutorial here you can custom make a baby wrap to YOUR unique style and make a statement!  I like that it is not only a life saver, but can be stylish too.

This tutorial has moved to a bigger and better home on the net!

Click this link to go to the baby wrap tutorial

{ Free Tutorial } How to sew a French Seam

11 Mar

In this Free Tutorial I am going to show you how to sew a french seam.

First of all . . . you may be wondering “what is a French Seam?”  A french seam is a seam that is completely encased, there are no raw edges on the right side of the garment or the wrong side.

If you did not own a serger, or overlock machine, a french seam would be one way to secure the edges of your garment when you sew.  French seams are also used in high end garment making that “pay attention” to details.

So here goes~

  • First of all you will sew the WRONG sides together.

 


Now, normally you always sew right sides together, but with a french seam the idea is to encase the raw edge so you begin by sewing wrong sides together a little shy of your seam allowance.

  • Next, turn the fabric so you have RIGHT sides together and PRESS

  • Now you will stitch at your seam allowance to completely encase the raw edge

notice my fabric is now to the edge of my presser foot

I am completely encasing the raw edge in this stitch

Here you can see the right side of my seam on the outside of the garment (far right) it just looks like any other seam.  The wrong side which would be the inside of my garment (far left) is a finished seam also with no raw edges exposed.

Have Fun!

~Lia