Monday, September 1, 2014

Rice Therapy Bags

My college roommate, Kris, and her daughter suffer from migraines, so when she asked me about making some rice bags (to freeze rather than microwave), I was happy to oblige.

I modified this pattern from one that was on Sew Mama Sew because she wanted them to be 12.5" x 6". I kept it simple - no piecing. I also added an inner muslin bag with a velcro closure - only because we don't live remotely near each other - so I have to mail them and she has to fill them. I wanted to make it easier for her! What's nice is that they are totally washable.

And, yes, her daughter is a Spartan. We did not go to Michigan State...Fire Up Chips!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Adding a Project to Craftsy

A few of you had questions about how to add a project to Craftsy. Your project page is a great place to show what you've been making! It also allows you to link your project to patterns that you purchased on Craftsy. 

1. Log into your Craftsy page and click on "Projects."

2.  Click on "+Add a Project."

3.  Click on "Let's get started" to get started!

4. When prompted, select the pattern that you used to make your project (or skip if it wasn't a Craftsy project).

That's it!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Converting Websites to PDF

I was reading one of my teaching blogs (I have no idea which one!) the other day and came across a post on converting websites to PDFs. My web browser is Firefox - so I tested out one of the add-ons called "Print Pages to PDF." It worked!

This is a great resource for saving patterns that are posted on blogs. So if you have a few patterns you like, you can convert the webpage into a PDF. Here's how I did it in Mozilla Firefox.

 1. Search "print pages to PDF" and you'll see "Print pages to PDF: Add-ons to Firefox..."

Click on that.

2. This will come up. Click on the green "Add to Firefox" bottom to add this.

3. Right click on the blog page and a pop-up will appear. Click on "Print pages to PDF" then "Print active Tab." 

The webpage will be converted into a PDF!

One thing to note...please respect the blogger who posted the pattern! 

UPDATE: A reader posted the following website that also converts to PDF:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fall 2014 Classes

I'm offering the following two classes this fall: The Clipster and The Pocket Pouch. These will be held at Penn Yan Sewing Machines in Dundee, NY. Check out my CLASSES page for more information!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Porch Chairs

After a year of a half-finished porch, I finally spray-painted my other chair, fixed the back, and got 'er done!

Here's what they used to look like. 

How did I live with this? So, I thought about WHY I kept delaying this project. And there it was...

These chairs are mostly cushions/pillows that are easy to make. The back part, however, is a different story. This needed to be slip covered or upholstered. I got the first one done last summer; I used my go-to slipcover fabric: a drop cloth. The only problem was that it was a PAIN to do. 

Last week I decided to get over my resistance and just do it. But in this case the best needle and thread was actually a staple gun and staples. Yes, that's what I did. And I'm done.

What's funny (or sad) is that, just now, I looked over some past blog posts because I had a suspicion that I had written about this. I had. In June 2012. OK, it's been two years, not one.  Last year, I made some new cushions and the foot stool. Time flies....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Clipster with HipKlip!

I've been busy fine-tuning the Clipster design! And I've been corresponding with Allison from HipKlips! I have been putting carabiners on my little bags, but she sent me a pair of HipKlips! LOVE THEM!!

I'm belt free! This little bag was perfect to go out to dinner. I just threw my phone in the pocket on the back, slipped some lip balm and cash in one zippered pocket and my ID and credit card in the other pocket! I clipped my house key to the HipKlip!

Here's the back pocket on one I made from my niece's ACUs!


If you are interested in purchasing one of my Clipsters, you'll find some in my Etsy Shop!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Smartphone Wallet eXtra

YAY! I've been working on this pattern for a week! I updated my smartphone wallet by making it a bit bigger and wider. Even my HUGE phone (thanks to a big, fat case) fits inside along with all my loyalty cards and insurance info!

You can purchase this PDF pattern in my Craftsy Pattern Shop and in my Etsy Shop!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Mess

Some of my friends are under the impression that my sewing room is neat and organized all the time. I am a, yes, I am usually organized and tidy. When I'm in design mode, however, that is not the case.

Here's the mess I woke up to this morning. Yesterday I was working on my smartphone wallet pattern. I went to bed late (for me...which is 10:30 pm!), thinking about how I was going to translate the design elements to the written word (for the pattern). I did manage to pick up the fabric that was on the floor and throw it in a pile.


At least I remembered to unplug my iron! Yes, this is my idea of a mess. I did clean it up before I started sewing this morning.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sewing a Gusset

I just added a free tutorial on sewing gussets. This is NOT a boxed bottom with corners cut out!

Gussets involve a little more measuring, but they are quite basic. These are gussets:

Trigger Tote

Upcycled Sweatshirt Purse

Purse Insert

Try it out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Smartphone Wallet eXtra

I started making smartphone wallets over a year ago. One of the first ones was a gift for a friend of mine. Recently, I went to visit her...and to say that her wallet was a dirty mess is an understatement. She told me that she loved it and used it all the time...yeah, I could tell. The constant open/close/open/close broke the zipper pull right off.

Upon closer inspection, I saw part of the problem. I designed the smartphone wallet for someone like me - a light traveler. It wasn't made to hold a lot of things like loyalty cards, receipts, and credit cards. Her smartphone wallet was packed that I'm amazed that the zipper even closed. 

But it got me thinking. I wanted to make her another that wasn't so that had more room to stuff things in. When I returned home, I got to work. The first one I made was a PAIN. I created a 1.5" zippered gusset. It was cumbersome to sew together and there were raw seams on the inside. I tried to wrap bias tape around the edges but gave up and ripped it out. My next attempt involved encasing the raw edges with a simple zig-zag stitch. That worked... but it looked UGLY. 

I almost gave up. But something happened that really (and I mean REALLY) angered and frustrated me. Rather than let it get to me, I became incredibly motivated to figure out how to make THIS work - without any raw edges and binding. I channeled my mom and my inner-engineer. And then applied some in-the-hoop embroidery techniques.

After one practice wallet (made out of muslin), I ended up with this. It's 7" x 5" x 1" - on the outside, it's the same as my other smartphone wallet. But you can see here, it's got a 1" zippered gusset.

The inside has one zippered pockets, one zippered pouch (that's attached at the bottom), and a divided pocket for loyalty cards, credit cards....

There is PLENTY of room in here, so the next one I make will have another zippered pouch...or maybe another divided pocket. I might put a divided pocket on the side with the zipper....she has a lot of stuff. 

She asked that I keep the smartphone pocket on the back. I still have to add the eyelet. 


This is what it will look like....

In my excitement, I messed up the zipper. Really, though, it was the least of my concerns....I just wanted to get it done and see if it worked!

There are no raw edges. None. =) And sewing it together is actually quite simple!

I'm off to mow my lawn (the sun FINALLY came out)...but then I'm back to sewing! I plan on using this one as model when I make the next one! Once I get the techniques perfected, I'll get a pattern written up! YAY!

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