Crafty Project: Covered Buttons

I love doing covered buttons.  They allow you to add a unique touch to your projects, and are so easy to do!

I thought it would be fun to make a few for some fall and winter crafts.  The buttons come in a wide variety of sizes and are generally sold as a kit, which means that you receive everything that you need, except the material.

You generally receive two types of backs, one with a shank to use as a button, and a plain back so that you can use them to make jewelry or other accessories.

I gathered up a couple of different Halloween fabrics that I thought would make cute buttons to use on tote bags. First I place the clear plastic template (they didn’t use to have this template, you had to cut out a piece of cardboard, great improvement!) over a part of the printed fabric that I wanted to show on the button.

I drew around the template, then cut it out.

Place the fabric, right side down, into the soft plastic cup.  Center your piece of fabric so it lays evenly inside.

Then place the rounded side of the button front inside.  Finger press the fabric edges into the center of the button front.

It should look like this orange one.  Then place the back that you have selected on the top.  Make sure that all of the edges of the fabric are tucked underneath.

Press down.  You can use the tool that they provide (the round blue item), but I found on these large buttons, that I didn’t need it.

Here it is!  So cute!  So I did more….

You can take all of your scraps now, and make all types of buttons or jewelry, or magnets.  Whatever your imagination can dream up!  And this is a great idea for kids!

Take care,

Sewing Tip: Pressing (Sleeve) Boards and Hams

OK, the title here sounds way too serious!!!  Or maybe you are saying, what does ham have to do with sewing?  Ha, ha!  But I’ll tell you, I cannot live without my pressing board and ham. You don’t need to sew clothes to get some great use from these two items. I use one or the other almost every time that I sew.

This is my pressing board.  It has two sides, one with a wider and more rounded back-end, and a narrower and more pointed end….

And you just flip it over, and the other side also has a wide end, but it is shorter and narrower than the wide one on the other side, and the more narrow end is a bit more rounded and wider, than the narrow end on the other side. You can see this in the following pictures.

This board works great when you are trying to press seams, especially when the material is something like a fabric basket, or a sleeve, or anything that doesn’t fit well on the end of your ironing board.  Or if you are trying to get into a corner to press it, this works great!  And it folds up flat for storage, so it’s easy to keep it close by, without it getting in the way. Just flip the little lever in the middle.

I don’t use my pressing ham as often as I do the board, but it is still great for smoothing out rounded items.

This wonderful item, shaped like a giant egg, is made from two different fabrics.  The plaid side is wool, and the white side is cotton.

You use the wool side for synthetic blend fabrics and wool, any fabric that requires low to medium temperatures.  The cotton side is for cotton, linen and other fabrics that require medium to high temperatures.  Again, the ends are two different widths so they work great for different sizes of areas.

I have found that having these two pressing aids available has helped me get through a project more times than I can remember.  I hope that you find them useful as well.

Thanks for coming by!

UPDATE:  My apologies to any of you that may have gone looking for a ‘pressing board’ at your fabric stores, or online.  The board is actually called a ‘sleeve board’, and I have been using it so long, I totally named it something else, in my mind.  I hope that this hasn’t caused you a lot of difficulty and time.  Thanks so much!

Crafty Ideas: Fall Crafts and Decorating

With fall fast approaching, I decided that I would scour the internet and some of my favorite blogs and websites looking for some great ideas for Halloween and fall decorating.  Here are a few that I found that I am thinking about doing myself:

 Love this sign!  Jump over to lil blue boo and view Ashley’s tutorial on how to make it.

How about this Jute Monogram Wreath over at the HGTV website?

Look at these cute little soft squash!  Great craft to do with the kids!

Look at this great fall wreath!  How-to’s over at MarthaStewart.com

Love this door arrangement, again over at MarthaStewart.com

Over at A Little Tipsy, Michelle has the cutest Halloween projects! Here are a couple of them, but stop by and check out the rest!

OK, I thought that I would look for some recipes to add.  I love fall baking!

The Bakery Spot has a list of 35 of yummy recipes, as you can see from the pictures above, for goodies to make using pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon.  All my favorites!

I think these crafting and baking ideas will get me started.  If you do any of these crafts, or bake any of these goodies, let me know and share pictures!  I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Fall!!

What’s Coming Up……

It’s getting to be that time of the year again! Busy, busy!  And my thoughts are constantly whirling around, thinking about what I can do that hasn’t already been done.  Coming up with new ideas can sometimes be easy, other times, not so.  Here are a couple of my new shop items  for the upcoming season:

An update on an old favorite, a grand Christmas wreath!  Made from Moda – Basic Grey- Fruitcake fabric line.  I love these fabrics!  And I think that the cranberry & ivory dotted grosgrain add that special touch.  This lovely wreath will add a big impact to any door, measuring 18″ across, and 17″ around the stuffed ring.  Watch for others, I have plans to make more from the same line of fabric, but different prints and colors.

I so fell in love with this fabric:

Also from Moda, this is a heavy weight cotton towelling.  I knew when I saw it that I had to think of something to make with it.  The organic feel and texture, and the natural look just drew me in.

So I came up with this simple red striped table runner  (since some don’t want ruffles), and this ruffled table runner.

Who can resist this wonderful nubby cotton runner, with ticking added to it?  I love it! Perfect for that natural look all year round, or just to add that touch of red for the upcoming holidays! You can find all of these items now listed in the shop.

Stay tuned, more goodies are coming! Thanks!

Sew Tip: Presser Feet that Measure

I recently talked about measuring your projects accurately before cutting them, but just as important is measuring while you’re sewing.  I found that purchasing a couple of feet that I can use to measure my seam allowance while I’m sewing has saved me hours of tearing seams out that don’t fit together correctly.  These are the ones that I use almost every time that I sew:

My first purchase was the foot on the far left, a 1/4″ presser foot.  This is perfect for those projects, like quilt blocks, that always use a 1/4″ seam allowance.  I often use this foot, even if I’m not sewing a 1/4″ seam.

The second foot, right next to it, is also a 1/4″ foot, but it is clear and has a guide on the right side.

This one was a recent purchase.  It’s great because it allows you to see what you are doing, and the guide actually keeps you in line with the fabric.

You notice that you can only do a straight stitch with the 1/4″ feet.  There is only a round hole for the needle to go down through.  If there are times that you are sewing something where you’re not on the edge of the fabric, I have found that using the foot without the guide works better, because the guide doesn’t slide over fabric well, and will bunch it up.

The third foot is for sewing a 5/8″ seam.  It is clear and has the edge guide.

This foot is great if you are sewing a pattern that has 5/8″ seams. It allows you to see where you are sewing, and still keep the seam width steady.  This one also allows you to do zig zag or other types of stitches rather than just a straight stitch.

I have found that these three presser feet have been well worth the investment.  They have saved me hours of tearing out uneven seams.

Thanks for coming by!

 

Crafty Idea: Baby Washcloths

Looking for a quick and easy gift idea for a baby shower, or just to add something special to a baby gift? How about some cute baby washcloths!

I don’t have time for too many projects that take too much time to do lately, so when I found a tutorial  over at Zaaberry, to make these sweet baby washcloths, I knew this was it.

I only made a couple, but it takes no time at all, following her tutorial, to make several of these sweet and soft washcloths.

There are a couple of things that I did differently, and that’s because I am always looking for a shortcut.  That’s what happens when you never have enough time in a day, lol!

Where she made a template to use for her sewing line (and a wonderful idea she has to use old file folders!), I used a 6″ square ruler to draw mine.

I use a water-soluble marking pen to draw my line. Don’t forget to leave yourself an opening….I almost did!

When I was done sewing around each one, I clipped the corners before turning. I didn’t clip my seams, because I thought that having the seam allowance larger would keep them from coming apart of a lot of use. After turning the cloth right side out, I pressed it with an iron.

I then edge-stitched about 1/4″ from the edge.  This also closes the opening.  That’s it!

So, so easy! 

I just used remnants of some chenille and flannel that I had on hand to make these.  What a great idea! I think that I will make some more with cotton on the top now.

Thanks for stopping by, and stop over at Zaaberry for tons more inspiration!

Sewing Tip: Making Ruffles

Ruffles are making a comeback.  I am seeing them added to pillows again, on top and along the sides, to bedding, shower curtains, window coverings, slip covers, just about anything in the house!  I have a tip that I have been using for many years, that has helped me gather material to make ruffles easier to handle.

What you need:  a sewing machine (that will do a zig zag stitch), your material for your ruffle, thread and a crochet cotton or similar thread.

First I cut my material for my ruffle.  I double the width of the ruffle that I want to end up with, and add another 1″.  So for my ruffle, I am cutting a 5″ length of fabric so that I end up with a 2″ ruffle.

Fold your material in half, right sides together.

Press with your iron, so that the material stays in place and lies flat.

Take your crochet cotton (or whatever thread you are using) and lay it along the raw edge (what will be the upper edge) of your fabric.  Have it overhang the end about 1″.

Center the fabric and thread under the middle of your presser foot.  I make sure the outside edge of the presser foot lines up with the edge of my fabric.  The folded edge of the fabric should be on your left, and the edge where the fabric raw edges meet is on the right. Set your machine on a zig zag stitch.

Zig zag stitch over the cotton thread, continuing until you reach the end of your ruffle material.  Note:  Make sure that you don’t catch the larger thread with your needle thread.

Leave about 1″ of the crochet cotton overhanging at the end, so that you can hold it in your fingers.  Do not back-stitch at the beginning and the end of your sewing.

Grab onto the thread on either end, and using your other hand, start to pull the fabric back so that it gathers together.  I push the gathers toward the center, then take the thread on the opposite end and do the same until the entire length of the ruffle is gathered.

Now your ruffle is ready to use on any project.  It stays ruffled because the crochet cotton holds it in place.  It makes it easy to adjust without your threads breaking as well, and holds well when you are attaching it to your project.

This method works especially well when you are making long ruffles or are using heavy fabrics.

I hope this helps you!  Thanks for stopping by!