Tuesday, 25 March 2014

::Sewing:: Stretchy Squishy Bean Cushion Cover

This squishy bean cushion came into my life about 10 years ago.
It was showing its age. The stretch fabric was getting all saggy from be squished too much.
I really should have thrown it out, but I still like it.
So I made a cushion cover.

My sister has heaps of stretch fabric scraps so I had a look through her stash and found something I liked. To make the cover I folded the fabric in half and cut out a rectangle that allowed me to use as much of the fabric as possible. I overlocked (serged) all the edges and left a little opening along one side.

I was going to cut the original cushion open and try to pour the beans into the new cushion, but then decided against it after I imagined the beans going everywhere. I stuffed the original cushion into the new cover.

I didn't know how I would close up the opening. I was going to try wrangling it under the sewing machine, but then couldn't be bothered fighting that fight because the beans weren't going to go anywhere and just sewed it closed by hand using a ladder stitch. I might have to undo it and just use a whip stitch.

You could probably make squishy bean cushion just by making a stretch cushion cover and regular bean bag beans if you were super keen. But in that could you would definitely have to sew the opening closed by machine.

Fabric0.25 m from my sis' stashFREE
  • Thread
Time0.5 hours (* $16-ish Australian minimum wage) $8.00

~Final Comment~
The new cover is a bit smaller than the original and the fabric is a bit firmer too, but that's ok. I still like my squishy cushion.

Have you had to make repairs to something you weren't ready to throw out? What was it?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time,

Lets connect

Saturday, 22 March 2014

::DIY:: Fabric Covered Canvas

I bought a fat quarter of some fabulous fabric a few weeks back and I just adored it. I liked it so much that I decided that I didn't want to use it for a sewn project.
I've had this blank canvas for aaages. I've even toted it with me when I moved...twice.
So why not put them together. But how…. Hmmm. Mr S had a handy-dandy staple gun in his shed of treasures (and junk).

I thought it would look great to cover the canvas with the fabric, BUT it wasn't big enough. WHAT!!!
I wasn't going to go and buy another canvas, I want to use what I have. Damnit! Then I had a brain-wave. I'll use another bit of fabric to cover the rest of the canvas.

So for this project I used:
-a blank painters canvas
-a stable gun
-printed floral fat quarter
-contrast fabric

To start I pressed the fabric that was to be used on the canvas.

Next was playing with the placement of fabrics.
When I was happy with the placement I flipped the canvas over and started stapling.
I stapled along the top of the floral fabric and then the bottom. Then I did the side attached to the canvas and the corners. Keeping it juuust taught. I didn't want to stretch the fabric.

Next was attaching the contrast fabric. I wanted a nice edge so I folded the fabric and pressed it. Like the floral fabric, I attached the top, the bottom then the side and corners.
All done!

~What I Like~

  • Using supplies out of my stash
  • The fabrics getting used and being on display

~What I Don't Like~

  • The corners of the contrast fabric are a bit bulky
  • The overlocked (serged) edge of the floral fabric is a bit bulky under the contrast fabric
  • I cut the contrast fabric on the crosswise grain, so it stretched when I attached it.

~Changes for Next Time~

  • I'd try sewing the patterned fabric to the contrast band, but then I'd have to be careful not to stretch that seam too much.
  • I'd reduce the bulk at the corners of the contrast fabric by not folding the fabric in half, but make a small fold instead.
  • Making sure to cut the fabric on the straight grain to make sure it doesn't stretch when attaching it to the canvas.
So that's an easy way to make some artwork from pretty fabric you would like on display.

Fabric2 fat quarters$6.00ish
  • Canvas Frame - in stash for ages FREE
Time0.5 hours (* $16-ish Australian minimum wage) $8.00

~Final Comment~
I'm really pleased with the end result. It's in my bedroom hanging above my bedside table.

Have you made something to decorate your home? What was it?
Tell me in the comments below :)

Until next time,

Lets connect

Saturday, 15 March 2014

::Sewing:: Navy S2444 - Behind the Seams Part 2 Pattern adjustments

In this behind the seams I'm going to go over the pattern adjustments I made to S2444.
Here is S2444 Behind the Seams Part 1.

I couldn't find anything on the interwebs about it so I thought I would write this post so hopefully someone will stumble up on it in their time of need.

I traced the front bodice pattern on some paper (I use a giant roll of kitchen grease proof paper and tape strips together). I then marked in the seam allowances - the blue outline. I drew in the cutting lines for the adjustment in pencil.

To make my life easier I drew the 3/4" guide the FBA on some spare paper.

Next it was cutting time!
I slashed the pattern from the inner waist dart to the shoulder seam line.
Upon reflection I should have cut from the bust point to the armscye.

To fix that, I drew a line from the armscye to the bust point and tapped the top of the waist-shoulder slash.
Then I slashed from the side seam to the bust point. Remembering to make a little hinge.
Using the 3/4" guide that drew I lined up the waist-bust point slash along the lines.

I scratched my head for awhile here because I thought I would have to make a side dart because of the adjustment. But then I had an 'Aha!' moment and just rotated the side dart closed.

Now I slashed from bust point to centre front fold line and moved it down 3/4", using my cutting ruler as a guide.

I put some paper behind all the gaps and stuck it all together. I redrew the inner waist dart-in black.

I wasn't happy with the uneven waist darts so I redrew the darts-in red below (sorry about the bad photo).
To calculate how to change the darts I measured between the dart legs of both darts at the seam line.
Added them together and then divided by 2.
In the picture below I also have drawn in the change in the side seam/waist seam with the side seam pivoting out to add 1" to the waistline.

Then I retraced the whole pattern including the FBA and the side seam adjustment.
I drew the dart legs in light blue so I put a bit of paper behind so you could see them in the photo.

I needed to adjust the skirt pieces so they would match up with the bodice, because I had adjusted the bodice side seam by moving it out 1" at the waistline.

I kept this adjustment simple. I slashed both the front and back pattern pieces from the waist to the hem and added 1" stripes to match the 1" adjustment made on the bodice.

The pocket that is provided in S2444 is just a basic side seam pocket. I haven't much experience with them, but I just know that having a pocket flapping around in the skirt would annoy me.
So I decided to adjust the skirt so that It attached at the waist seam to stop 'pocket-flap'.

I laid the original pocket pattern on the front skirt, with the pocket facing inwards and the sides seam notches matching.
Initially I laid the pocket piece so that the pocket was facing out, but soon realised my mistake. You can see that I started to trace the side seam in faint red below. 

I drew a line from the 'outer-most' part of the pocket straight up to the waistband.

Then I laid the pocket pattern under the skirt pattern and drew a notch where the pocket cutting line would match up with the skirt waistline.

Then I drew in the seam lines and cutting lines on the right side of the pocket pattern.

I hope all of that made sense. Holla at me if you need some help - just pop a comment below.

Have you been puzzled about how to make a pattern adjustment? What did you do?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time,

Lets connect

Thursday, 13 March 2014

::Sewing:: Refashioned Beach Dress

What happens when you take 2 large stripy knit tops, some elastic and a sewing machine.
A beach dress of course!

I was wondering around my local Big W awhile ago and I came across a sale rack. They were selling Plus size knit tops for $4. I wasn't too taken with what was there, but I saw some shirts that were too large for me, but I did like the fabric. Some ideas started brewing, so I decided I'd give it a go and bought a 22 and a 24. For the bodice I put on the 22 and marked about where I wanted the skirt to be then cut the bottom off.

I put on the 22 again and marked where I was going to reduce the waist line. Mucking around with the armholes was going to be too much of a hassle so I just left them well alone. I basted the side bodice seams on my sewing machine and after trying it on I just ran it under the overlocker (serger)

For the skirt I cut some elastic that was a little bit more than the circumference of the bottom of the bodice.

I wanted to maximise the amount of fabric I could use of the skirt so I cut the 24 just under the sleeves.

I joined the ends of the elastic and marked the quarters.
Note to self: make sure the elastic is not twisted before joining

I marked the quarters for the skirt with pins (centre front, centre back and 2 sides) and matched them to the marks on the elastic.

Using the tricot stitch on my sewing machine, while attaching the elastic I stretched the elastic slightly to match the circumference of the skirt fabric.

I marked the quarters on the bodice like I did with the skirt. With the skirt turned WSO I popped the bodice into the skirt so they were RST and matching the quarter marks. Using tricot stitch I attached the skirt to the bodice.
All done.

It reminds me of the swimming clothes people used to wear to the beach in ye olde times (that's a time period right?). Hence the name.

~What I Like~
• It was such a great simple project.
• I really liked the stripy fabric of the shirts
• I'm glad I able to avoid of mess of white stripes where the bodice and the skirt meet.

~What I Don't Like~
• It's a bit too short for comfort.

• The skirt part clings a bit and rides. (Most noticeable from the back)

• The armholes are a bit restrictive, but I expected that.
Don't ask my why my eyes are closed. :S

~Changes for Next Time~
• I'll have to give more thought to finished length next time. If I had cut the bodice at my natural waist I think I would have been happier with the final length.
• I'd like to tray playing around with the sleeves. Maybe a sleeveless dress next time.

Fabric2 shirts$8.00
  • Elastic
  • Thread
$1.00 ish
Time3/4 hours (* $16-ish Australian minimum wage) $12.00

~Final Comment~
I would rate this as a success. I'm pleased with how it came together, even if I'm not 100% happy with the end result.
I'm not likely to wear this out in public anytime soon, although maybe it could work with tights. Red tights :).
I rarely go to the beach, but if I did this would make a nice little cover up while mucking around.

I made a refashioned dress!

Do you refashion clothes? What was the last thing refashioned or wanted to refashion?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time,

Lets connect

Friday, 7 March 2014

::Sewing:: Practical Present - Nifty Peg Bag

Wow, we're already in March. When the heck did that happen!
I'm still totes gonna tell you about a handmade gift I made for my Mum last Christmas :)

When I visited my mum late last year I notice that she was using an old shopping peg to store her pegs. So I decided I would make her a peg bag, but there were a few features that I wanted it to have to set it apart from the generic ones you can buy in the shops. After looking at the interwebs to see how other peops had made peg bags I decided to draft my own.

It needed to have a curved bottom. I hate it when you're down to the last few pegs in the bag and you can't find them because they're hiding in the corners. Ok hate is a strong word. It's a nuisance.

It needed to have a fold over tab at the top to hang it from either the clothes line or a clothes hanger. I could have sewn it to a clothes hanger, but what if the hanger needed to be replaced?

It had to be deep and have a large opening so that it could hold lots of pegs and be easy to use.

So with a basic shape in mind a drew up a small scale of the pattern and tried to figure out the best way to sew it all together. I wanted to find a way to sew it quickly but make sure that it was well finished and robust.

I took some fabric out of my stash (yeah stash-busting) and made up the final product.

Peg Bag on clothes hanger
The peg bag is fully lined with an interfaced fold-over tab at the top. That way it can be attached to a clothes hanger or the clothes line.

Peg Bag front
My mum is a big fan of lime green so I thought I'd personalise it with some interesting retro printed mystery fabric from my stash for the outside and a lime green lining. That's the whole point of handcrafted gifts is it; you can personalise it.

To make the bag I cut out 6 pieces - Opening outer & inner; Back outer & inner; Fold-over tab front & back. I interfaced the Fold-over tab back.
I sewed the hand opening by placing outer & inner RST and sewing around the curve.Then clipped the curve and turned RSO and pressed the opening. The back inner was attached to the opening inner at the bottom curve.

Peg Bag
I didn't want the snaps to be seen from the outside so I attached them to the Folder-over tab back. Then I sewed Folder-over tab front to the top of the Opening outer and lining pieces and the Folder-over tab back to the top of the  Back outer, making sure to leave a gap in the middle (you'll see why in a tick)

Fold-over tab
With RST I sewed the Front and the Backs together all the way around the outside. Then, with corners and curves clipped, I turned it the right way out through the opening left between the Back Outer and the Fold-over tab back. I closed the gap in the back by stitching in the ditch at the front, but it would have looked nicer if I had sewn it closed by hand using blind/ladder stitch.

Close up of the snaps on the Folder-over tab
If I were to do it again. I would try to make the bag a bit bigger and make hand opening a little wider and lower. It would also be a good idea to use plastic snaps instead of metal.

I was in a bit of a rush to make this puppy so I forgot to take a picture of it in use. Oh well. I'm sure I'll make another some day. Thinking about it this Nifty Peg Bag could be used in a bunch of other ways. I could hang it in my wardrobe to stow things away in. If you're someone who likes to plan what they wear the day before you could put the accessories you want to wear with an outfit in the bag then hang the outfit over it. Of it could be hung from the wall and stow goodies in it. Yeah, it IS a Nifty Peg Bag. I will have to make another.

Do you make presents? Would anyone be interested in a pattern and tutorial?
I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment below using Disqus :)

Until next time,

Lets connect

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

::Show and Tell:: Making me go Wow!

Here are a few things that I've come across recently that have made me go 'Wow!'.
I just had to share them :)

This is a fantastic solution for reducing the 'footprint' of a door.
Just so amazingly inventive and elegant.

What a really great  way to provide a community resource in places that are land poor.
Simple materials and design with big impacts.

I really like when people think of new and exciting ways to put unused spaces to good use.

Are there times that you come across something and you just have to share the awesomeness? 
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you :)

Until next time,

Lets connect
All images in this post remain the property of their original owners.