Friday, December 22, 2017

More Free Patterns

Ah, remember my tote bag tutorial? link here

It was added to a site three years ago, and it's still there!

It's a site with links to free purse patterns, but that's not all!

The creator has purse and bag patterns for sale, but she also shares some of her own tutorials.

Where is it?

Have a look, will you?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pattern Sales Update

I finally did it!  I have updated the pattern sale listings.

It took me a while, but I compared the photo albums with the spreadsheet and also with the actual patterns waiting to be sold.

Please check the tab above marked Patterns for Sale.

Meanwhile, I'm working on another small sewing project, which will be revealed after it's given as a gift.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How I Dress a Pillowcase

I show how to dress a pillow with a pillowcase and a liner that are both longer than the pillow so that the pillow will not fall out.

To remove a pillowcase, pull out whatever is tucked in, squish the air out of the pillow, grab the corners of the pillowcase, and shake out the pillow:

Place the clean pillowcase on the bed with the hem towards you, and pull apart the hem end:

Grab one corner of a liner, which is actually just another pillowcase...

... and pull the liner into the pillowcase:

Take that corner of the liner all the way into the corner of the pillowcase.  Hold both corners together with one hand ...

... and use the other hand to pull the other corner of the liner into the other corner of the pillowcase, bring your hand out, and grab hold of it:

With each hand holding two layers of corners, shake the pillowcase until both layers hang fairly straight:

Lay the cases flat with the hems towards you:

Open up the hems:

Insert the pillow into the opening:

Push the corners of the pillow into the cases while pulling on the cases, alternating sides until the pillow is all the way in:

Now that the pillow is in, grab both hems on both sides and shake the cases:

When the cases are straight, lay it all down with the hems towards you:

Raise the upper layers:

Grab both lower hems with the other hand:

Stuff the lower hems into the assembly, over the top of the pillow:

While one hand holds both layers over the pillow, the other hand grabs the upper hems ...

... and stuffs the upper hems far into the assembly.  That odd shape to the right is my chin and mouth:

Insert both arms and push out:

Pillow ready to turn over:

Pillow turned over:

Fresh, clean pillowcase!

I will let you in on a little secret. Mismatched pillowcases means it's the middle of the week.  I can explain...

We have a set of red sheets and a set of blue sheets, and we change them every two weeks. I say "we" because he usually helps; all I have to do is ask.

When we put on clean sheets, I put on pillowcases that match the sheets: blue on blue or red on red. At his request, I change his pillowcase mid-week, so I put on a different pillowcase. By seeing that one pillowcase matches the sheets, I can tell you that this picture represents the second half of the first week.

The second week of blue sheets starts with red pillowcases. In the middle of the second week, one pillowcase would be changed to the other flower pillowcase. At the end of that week, when all is mismatched, the bed is stripped and left to air for the day.  That night, we will dress the bed with red sheets.

"'Tain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it, Mildred" Ya, look THAT up on YouTube! I take full responsibility if that song gets stuck in your head...

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Make your own Elastic Arch Support

Have you heard of this?

This has several names, including arch bandage or arch elastic. Some brands have a gel pad or other insert to be placed under the arch of the foot, so they have names like arch support, arch support bandage, elastic relief cushioned arch support or therapeutic arch support

Oh, how creative these names can be!  To be honest, there is one creative name ... "strut" plus the letter "Z" at the end.

My husband was told to wear an elastic arch support on his aching foot.  Apparently, he bought a two-pack a while back that cost about 15 dollars.  Since his work is mostly standing and walking, he left one at work, leaving one at home, to be worn most of the time.

After a while, the elastic started to fail and he was going to have to search for a new one.

Sewing wife to the rescue!

I bought a package of 2" wide knit elastic. You can be assured that I used a coupon, so it didn't cost much. It looks a lot like this:

I measured around the arch of his foot, and it was between 10 1/4 and 10 1/2 inches. Just by guess and by golly, I said, "Eh, let's try ten inches."

I cut one end of the elastic straight across, measured ten inches from end, and drew a straight line across. I then pinned it together so the end metthe line:

I set my machine to a wide and long zigzag stitch.  Thinking that if it didn't fit, I could remove the stitching, so I didn't even backstitch either end of the seam. To be sure, it was "fun" stitching in the hole:

Hah!  It fit so well, that I re-stitched it:

He liked it so much that he requested I make one bigger, in case he wanted to wear one over his socks while sleeping. So, I did, which is why I also wrote the sizes on them:

I think I made three at 10" length, and two at 10 1/4" length.

I bought more elastic for when these wear out, although some have already gone through the laundry and have been hung to dry.

Let me know if you find this useful.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Classic Pillowcase Updated - Tutorial

This post tells how to make a pillowcase using only a sewing machine.

This pillowcase will fit a King size bed pillow, 20" x 36". It uses quilting cotton that is at least 42" wide, and 45" long (a yard and a quarter) for each pillowcase.

Because cotton quilting fabric is used for this project, I use Universal size 70/10 needles with this fabric.

I recommend machine washing and drying three times before starting this project. Because of laundry shrinkage, which will happen with cotton, I recommend having or buying more than one yard for each pillowcase.

I cut out my projects on a large table with a large cutting mat.  Sometimes I fan-fold the fabric before cutting, which lets me easily pull fabric across the table for the long cuts. This shows fan-folding of fabric to be cut, to prevent the fabric from pulling out of shape while cutting:

This shows rolling of fabric during cutting as another way to prevent pulling:

I lay the fabric across the cutting board with the selvages aligned to the grid.  I cut one end of the fabric along the grid, then align the cut edge with the edge of the cutting board.  I measure 21" along the selvage ...

I then place a pin in each selvage, 21" from cut edge:

Here's the pin in the opposite selvege 21" from the cut edge:

I roll the fabric from the cut edge until the pins are on the same line.  I place another pin in the selvage 20" from the first pin on each side:

Here is the pin in the opposite selvage 20" from the first pin on each side:

I align the cutting ruler with the second pins, remove the pins, and cut across the fabric. This is after that cut:

After the cut is made, I remove all the pins.  The resulting rectangle is the full width of the fabric (42" to 45" from selvage to selvage), and 41" along each selvage:

I fold the fabric piece, right sides together, with the fold going from the center of one selvage to the center of the other selvage, and the raw edges aligned.  I smooth out the fabric so the cut edges are aligned.  I place a pin through both layers of fabric 3" from one selvage:

I smooth out the fabric from the cut edge to the fold, then place another pin through both layers of the fabric, 3" from the fold of the same selvage:

To form the hem, I fold the selvage down, using these pins to show where the fold belongs (this is the pin to the right).  On the cut edge, I pin through all layers of fabric near the selvage (this is the pin to the left):

On the fold edge, I pin through all layers of fabric near the selvage (this is the pin to the left):

I move the pin from the hem fold to the cut edge to hold the hem in place:

I pin the hem down with a few pins, measuring to ensure an even, three-inch hem:

I pin the remaining cut edges together, and the remaining selvage edges, too:

I use a straight stitch with length = 3.5 for this project:

I stitch the pillow case together with a straight stitch, starting at the hem, about 3/8" from the edge.  I use the edge of my wide presser foot as a guide. I hold the thread tails when I start the seam, and backstitch, too:

I remove the pins along the seam as I go.

The backstitching is shown here, and the thread tails have been cut off.  I remove pins from this seam line as I go.  Leave in the pins holding the hem in place:

When I get to the corner, I curve the seam away from the edge slightly, starting about two inches from the end.  I sew off the edge, and turn the fabric to sew along the selvage.  I start that seam slightly farther from the edge, and taper back to the usual seam allowance (for this project) within about two inches:

At the corner where I turned from the cut edges to the selvages, I trim off the corner piece.  I am careful to not cut through the stitching that forms the corner:

Using an overcast foot, I use big zigzag stitches to overcast the cut edges of the fabric:

I start at the fold of the hem, but I do not backstitch there:

When I get to the cut corner, I turn the fabric a little at a time, and do not let the stitches go inside the corner stitches.  After I turn the corner, I continue about two or three inches with the zigzag stitch, then switch to a short (2.5) straight stitch for another inch or so along the selvage.  I stop and cut the threads there.

I take it to the ironing board and steam press the hem's fold and all the stitching.

I remove the pins from the hem, and place the pillow case over the pointy end of the ironing board, with the long seam down the middle of the ironing board.  I turn the hem down, which will force the long seam to one side.  I press this seam to that side along its length:

I pin the 3-inch hem in place at intervals, and press in place:

I set up my machine for hem topstitching - slightly long, straight stitch:

I stitch the hem in place, removing pins as I go:

I turn the pillowcase right side out and press it. For my pressing tips, see this tutorial where it shows the yellow fabric:

Here is the finished pillow case, neatly folded!

Now it's done!