Monday, September 19, 2016

Put a heart on it! Classic Sewing Magazine's pretty sewing Tees!

I fell totally in love with this super sweet T-shirt. It says “just sew everything” on the front and since I totally believe in THAT, you know I needed this shirt! Classic Sewing magazine has them in their online boutique, so go get yours! There are other sewing motifs too, all cute as buttons. I might be starting a collection, ha!

See the little pink heart? Well, you know I can’t leave well enough alone. I mean, the shirt itself DID give me permission to “just sew everything,” right? So I sewed something on it! Actually, embroidered something – a dainty little heart from my Petites collection.

This is one of those instant gratification projects. It’s so easy and fast to do and satisfies that “sew-something” urge without really sewing something. (I can't believe I said that but I'm pretty sure you totally understand!) Here’s what I did:

I lightly fused a piece of No-Show Mesh fusible cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of the shirt in an area a bit bigger than the 4x4 hoop I was using. I love using this type of stabilizer for knits because it’s so lightweight and flexible and doesn’t add any bulk or extra stiffness. The trick is to LIGHTLY fuse because you are going to peel away the extra and trim it later. So I just fuse enough to make it hold and that’s it.
Then I drew perpendicular vertical and horizontal alignment lines with washable marker on a piece of soft tear-away stabilizer. I sprayed it lightly with temporary spray adhesive and then used the hoop placement guide (grid) to hoop it in my 4x4 hoop.
I marked the place where I wanted to put the heart embroidery on the T-shirt with a small dot; then I aligned that dot over the point where the two lines on my marked stabilizer intersected. That’s the center point of the hoop, and when the design is centered in the hoop it should stitch right there on that point. 

As the T-shirt is white you can see the intersecting point of the crossed alignment lines through it. That is helpful!

This is a tiny design, so it’s quite okay to use pins to further secure the shirt to the hooped stabilizer. (Normally I would baste the project to the stabilizer, because one thing you don’t ever want to do is embroider over a pin or catch one in the foot as it passes over.)

Temporary adhesive holds pretty good, but wrangling a large item in a small hoop can be tricky. Pins keep you from accidentally pulling it out of the hoop while you are getting it into the machine. Once I had the hoop in the machine, I made sure the shirt was not caught under the hoop or around the arm.

Even though I had centered my design within the stitching area, I always check to be absolutely sure that I am really in the center. So before I thread the needle, I hit the “center” button on my onboard design placement tool and then drop the needle into the fabric. If it lands right at the point I marked, then I’m good to go; if not, I can raise the needle and use the onboard edit/move tool to fix the placement before I begin.
With a cup of tea in hand I sat there and watched with an eagle eye while it stitched. Once finished I pulled off the soft tear-away and then gently peeled up the lightly fused on cut-away. My little Snips made short work of the trimming - and because they have very short, curved blades, I was able to cut right up next to the stitching on the wrong side. (Click HERE to find these snips!)

Pretty, pleasing, and the perfect way to put your own touch on a purchased T-shirt!

Click here to visit Classic Sewing Magazine's boutique and get a pretty T-shirt for you! You might decide to add a wee butterfly or a bitty flower instead of a heart, wouldn't that be sweet?

Go on, just sew everything! :-)


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Stash-busting Headbands!

I’ve got scraps, have you got scraps? Uh-huh, I bet you do and I bet you wonder why you’re saving them too, just like me! Turns out I was saving them for my granddaughter!

During a recent visit I whipped up a fabric headband for Baby Kate just for the fun of it. She looked SO DARN CUTE in it that I had to make a few more! With each band I polished up my technique a bit until I think I can make these in my sleep. Sure hope Baby Kate enjoys wearing headbands for a good long time, ’cause I’ve got lots more scraps!

Want to bust some of your scraps into headbands? You can make one to fit you too…maybe without the knot, ha!

First, measure your head or your baby’s head – as in, where around the skull you need the band to lie. Baby Kate’s head measurement was almost 18”, so I cut these three pieces of fabric:

16.5” x 4” (this is the main part of the band; the length – noted here in bold – should be at least 2” less - even less if you want the band tighter - than your head measurement)

8” x 3” (this is the cover for the elastic)

13” x 3” (this is the bow tie)

Plus you’ll need at least 4” of 3/4” wide elastic and matching sewing thread.

Press under about ¼” on each short end of the biggest fabric piece. Next, fold the fabric length-wise, right sides together, and sew with a ½” seam allowance. 

Press the seam allowance open by placing the tube flat on your ironing board with the seam opened flat opposite of the fold. Press one side, then flip the tube over, open the seam up that way and press again. Take care NOT to press the entire tube. You don’t want to put a crease in the center as you want the seam to end up being in the middle of the underneath when finished. Pressing first one way and then the other will allow the seam to open nice and flat when the tube is turned.

I use a pencil or wooden dowel to turn my tubular projects right side out. Just fold one end down, poke the dowel into the fold and either pull or push the fabric over the dowel to turn it. (There are fancier turning tools available but this works for me!)

(Check out Abitofstitch on Facebook to see a short video of me using a pencil to turn a tube of fabric, just FYI! Scroll down to find the video "Pencil Pusher.")
When you press the turned tube, make sure you keep the seam in the center and the seam allowance open and flat inside.

Fold the 8” x 3” elastic cover fabric in half length-wise, right sides together, and sew with a ½” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open and turn just as you did for the main part of the band. Press the turned tube so that the seam is in the center and the seam allowance selvages are open and flat.

Insert the elastic into the casing. I like to use a bodkin for this.

Sew across one end of the tube, securing the elastic at that end.

Gather up the fabric on the elastic until it measures about 3” long. Sew across the other end to secure the elastic at that end.

Place the main part of the head band seam side down on your work table. Insert one end of the covered elastic part (also seam side down) and pleat the headband fabric to fit the covered elastic.

Sew across the folded end of the headband to secure the covered elastic piece in place. Repeat for the other end. Take care not to accidentally twist the band while you do this! (Ask me how I know about that!)

Fold the tie fabric in half length-wise, right sides together, and sew with a ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening in the center for turning:

 Curve your seam inwards at the ends to make the tie ends curved if you wish. (You can always just sew a straight angle or just straight across the ends too.)

Trim the curve and point.

Turn the tie right side out and hand sew the opening closed. I like to use a slip-stitch to sew these types of openings closed. Nice and neat! If you'd like a demo of that, click HERE to find and view the video titled "Slip, slip stitching away!"

Attach the tie to the headband by tying a square knot. Watch the video "Square Knot Fabric Bow" (found on THIS page) to see that in action. Notice that the ends are even before you begin but because one end wraps over and around the band it is the longer end. That’s the end you’ll be doing the most work with. 

The knot can slide up and down the band to wherever looks best.


Go on, you know you want to make more than one 😊

And if necessary, it can always become a sleep mask! Happy Stitching!


Fabrics shown are from Art Gallery Fabrics and Riley Blake Designs Fabrics