Posted on November 26, 2010 by Lindsay
1) First and foremost, the seam ripper. To err is human, to rip seams is… the story of my life. I have a love/hate relationship with the seam ripper. Much like calling an ex-boyfriend for help moving heavy furniture, using the seam ripper is sometimes unavoidable but leaves you with a sense of pouty, annoyed defeat. Plus, it’s sort of creepy looking.
2) An iron! I didn’t even own an iron before I started sewing. And middle-school-sewer Lindsay was usually too lazy to press seams which is probably why my sewing projects never looked very nice back then. I realized that when I’m told to press the seams, I should actually press the seams. So I bought an iron. Now my seams are happy!
3) A good vacuum. Tons of little thread clippings and fabric shavings tend to float around the entire house when there’s a big sewing project in the works. Right now I am not practicing what I preach – my vacuum is lousy and my carpet is full of clippings from past projects. I dream of getting one of those robot vacuums at some point in my life:
4) Tester fabric – like muslin, or fabric leftover from other projects. Don’t use the good stuff the first time around! You’ll end up teary-eyed when you have a pile of seam-ripped scraps that once was a beautiful, freshly folded square of carefully-chosen fabric. Make mistakes on the boring fabric first!
5) Rotary cutter and mat. I received mine as a gift from my mom when I bought my sewing machine. At first I thought it was a luxury item. It’s not… it’s a must-have. I shall never cut a clean, straight line on fabric without a rotary cutter again!
Filed under: Friday Five, Uncategorized | Tagged: friday five, shopping, supplies | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 19, 2010 by Lindsay
1. The most reasonable excuse to start sewing is that you can fix or alter your own clothes. I’m 5’0″. Try finding a new pair of pants that doesn’t drag on the ground. Enter sewing machine. Amen.
2. My friend Krissy often stated in her phenomenal wedding blog something along the lines of… “If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, or for the price that you want, MAKE IT!” And that wonderful sentiment not only applies to table centerpieces and wedding invitations, but sewing projects as well. Don’t be a slave to what’s on the shelves. Make it your way!
3. Custom gifts for family and friends. What do you get for the person who has everything? A personalized, handmade item a la you!
4. Finally, an excuse to venture over to the other half of the craft store. Now you can browse through all of those fun fabrics… with purpose!
5. Because all the cool people are doing it. Haven’t you ever watched Project Runway?
Filed under: Friday Five, Uncategorized | Tagged: alterations, friday five, gifts, project runway | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 16, 2010 by Lindsay
It’s no secret that I dislike the holidays. The rampant commercialism and focus on all things selfish are enough to drive me bonkers year after year. On the flip side, my passionate dislike of the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year is enough to drive my holiday-loving friends equally bonkers, so I do my best to keep my opinions at bay and find ways to channel my feelings somewhere useful. This is usually where distracting crafts come into play.
I recently heard about an organization called Project Linus through a JoAnn Fabrics Facebook post about “Craft for a Cause,” a campaign that draws attention to charities that benefit from – you guessed it – crafts! What a cool concept to stumble upon just when the holiday craziness is about to take over my life.
Being a huge fan of my own blankie, I was immediately captivated by the Project Linus mission statement: “To provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’”
The organization accepts all sorts of donations and even devotes a section of their site to patterns and resources for sewers, knitters, crocheters and non-sewers (no-sew fleece blankets, anyone?).
I started thinking about sewing for charities. After a little research, here’s a small sampling of many inspirational organizations seeking crafters:
- ConKerr Cancer - A Case for Smiles: Follow a simple pattern to create fun pillowcases for children’s hospital rooms. Fun and cheery fabrics unite!
- The Preemie Project: Create handmade items for premature babies in hospitals who are too small for standard size clothing. Most notable on the site are the fleece “blanket sleepers,” which are sent home with preemie parents in an effort to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Drawstring bags for troops: Create simple drawstring bags for soldiers to carry their toiletries and small personal belongings, or share with children.
Pretty amazing! I can’t wait to try some of the projects listed above.
What other crafty, charitable opportunities are out there?
Filed under: Holidays, Uncategorized | Tagged: community, holidays | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 10, 2010 by Lindsay
I get the most brilliant ideas in the most inopportune places. Having a lightbulb-over-my-head moment is so inconvenient when I’m pushing through the last few minutes of an evening run, driving 70mph on the highway or rinsing conditioner out of my hair. I have to wonder how many wonderful ideas float out of my head, never to return again simply because I don’t have a means of writing them down when they come into my life.
But it’s understandable that ideas would come to me during these times. Let’s face it – running, driving and showering are boring. What else is there to do other than think? (and sing to the RENT soundtrack… which is usually blasting in all of the above scenarios)
Luckily, one shower-sewing-inspiration a few months back was so promising that I started mapping out a plan in my head before my hair was even dry. My dear friend’s birthday was approaching and I wanted to make her something memorable. Because we share a special understanding about the magic of Disney, I used Minnie Mouse for inspiration and made a Friendship Bag using the same modified measurements I wrote about a few posts back.
A variety of black calico prints + a red/white polka dot fabric + a magical, inspirational mouse = One successful sewing project!
For an extra magical touch, I added a mouse-head applique using a really amazing product called Heat’n Bond Iron-On Adhesive. It’s available near the ironing supplies in the fabric store for around $10/roll and comes in a variety of adhesive strengths to turn any fabric into an iron-on piece. Since I planned on stitching around the border, I only needed to use the lightest strength to iron my applique in place. Non-sewers would appreciate Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold adhesive – no sewing required!
And last, I created a little coin pouch – my first experience with a zipper. I had to mix and match a few different online tutorials to create the exact quilted zipper coin pouch I had in mind, but overall it wasn’t very difficult. Zippers look more intimidating than they really are!
What I learned from this project:
- Inspiration can strike anywhere!
- Heat’n Bond is an amazing product for creating appliques, and may even be useful for non-sewers.
- Zippers are not scary!
Am I the only one who gets inspired in strange places?
Filed under: Disney, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged: disney, finished project, friendship bag, gifts | 6 Comments »
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Lindsay
This past weekend, I traveled across the country for a friend’s wedding and stayed with my parents. Not only did I get to raid my mom’s fabric collection (consisting of scraps dating back to Halloween costumes of the 80′s past) but I also got to visit Hancock Fabrics, a fabric store that I do not have in my area back home. Being a huge fan of the movie Peter Pan, and especially anything involving my favorite character Wendy Darling, I was immediately overcome with joy when I saw this 48″ x 60″ fleece panel:
Not only was the fleece panel amazing and magical, but it was ON SALE. So, although my fellow airplane passengers didn’t realize it, the return flight was sprinkled with a little pixie dust as Peter Pan, Wendy, John, Michael and Tinker Bell rode along inside my suitcase.
So now, the big question: what will become of the magical fleece panel? I imagine it will end up as a blanket, but simply sewing a solid fleece panel to the back seems…. boring.
Any suggestions for a creative touch?
Filed under: Disney, Uncategorized | Tagged: brainstorming, disney, shopping | 4 Comments »