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 Virgo...so, 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...so packed that I'm amazed that the zipper even closed. 

But it got me thinking. I wanted to make her another one...one that wasn't so thin...one 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!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Buying Word Charm Zipper Pulls

Yesterday I wrote about buying zippers from ZipperStop. I posted a picture of a little zippered bag that had word charm zipper pulls. One of my readers (Tipi) asked about them - I answered, but I thought I'd share what I wrote with everyone.

http://www.joann.com/charm-word-tags-asstd-silver/12353470.html
I purchased the word charms at JoAnn Fabrics several years ago. I attached them to the zipper with a split ring - it's like a tiny key chain. BUT...there are lots of charms on ETSY. I made a hockey-themed smartphone wallet for my niece and added these hockey themed charms!



I've also used buttons - some home made and some purchased! Have fun with your zipper pulls! That add a little pizzazz to any zipper!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Buying Zippers at ZipperStop

I go through a lot of zippers...I mean A LOT. Several years ago, I started buying my zippers in bulk on eBay from ZipperStop. They have never done me wrong...fast shipping, great customer service, and great prices.

There are a lot of zippers available in their eBay store. But for most sewing projects, I use Nylon Coil #3 zippers (close-end). I prefer YKK to Talon only because I think YKK are easier to open.

I typically buy the assorted 9" and 10" zippers on eBay. And the other ones I buy from the actual ZipperStop website. The most common length I buy is 12" - for the bargain basement price of $32 for 100 - yes...that's 32 cents each. I always buy the assorted colors - and they arrive looking like a bouquet of flowers. In fact, it's difficult for me to take them out of the rubber band!



Here's my latest project made from my ZipperStop zippers. It's my version of the Hip Klip!


Have fun sewing with zippers!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Clipster


My friend Lisa texted me from Michigan. She bought this Hip Klip and loved it....but wanted one out of particular fabric.




So I got busy and came up with this one.




In addition to the two zippered pockets on the front, there's a pocket on the back for a cell phone. I added a strap made from 1" webbing that attached with 1" swivel hooks.

I really like it. It's great for traveling and flea market shopping...sporting events! I added carabiners to mine, but I'm tempted to buy the actual hip klips - they only cost $5 each and I could wear this on pants that have no belt loops!


And here's the thing...I designed it so it's a fast project to make. In fact, I can easily whip one up in about 35-45 minutes.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hanging My Design Wall

I have three Fons and Porter Quilt Design Walls...yes, I like to design more than I like to piece! I sometimes struggle to get quilts done. Consequently, I use them quite a bit.

My main problem is that, although I love these design walls, the grommets at the top are all spaced a little differently; this has made hanging them a little difficult.

Originally, I hung up some Command Adhesive hooks and put up with unevenness. This weekend I decided that I had had enough. I removed the hooks and put up clothespins. Here's what I did:

 I got some of these picture hanging strips.













I took out the medium strips and cut four sets of them in half. To do this, I stuck them together and cut using sharp scissors.








I stuck one side to the clothespin. 

I marked eight points on the wall - level and evenly distributed. I then stuck the clothespins to the wall.







And here's one of my quilts "stuck" to my quilt design wall. 













Once I got the quilt top all pieces, I removed the design wall and hung the quilt by the clothespins.



Works like a charm! And I haven't damaged my plaster walls!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Zipper With Binding


I recently finished up this toiletries bag. I quilted it, which means that I had some raw edges...so I had to figure out how to manage the zipper. 




I decided to make some 1/2" Double Fold Binding (I didn't cut it on the bias) and wrapped it around the raw edge of the quilted fabric.



Once I did that, I simply placed the bound edge along the zipper (both right sides up), and, using my walking foot with the needle moved over, sewed it to the zipper.



In the picture above, you can see the two rows of stitches - one that attached the binding to the fabric and the other that attached the zipper to the fabric.




Here is the view from the back.

I really like how this looks; it adds a nice pop of color and contrast to the zipper area!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Boat Pillows


It was a beautiful evening on Keuka Lake! I made these pillows for the boat....makes things just a little more comfortable! Here's what I did:


Cut my Shannon Fabrics Terry Cloth (nice stuff!) to the size I wanted. This is a standard size pillow.

I marked the center points and....










...embroidered the anchor design (that I got from Embroidery Library).



I used polyester embroidery thread so it wouldn't fade.









Rounded the corners using my new favorite ruler from Creative Grids. Seriously, I cannot believe how much I use this ruler!















Added the piping. Love this foot!

















Almost done! Next I cut poly-nylon-whatever fabric for the back. I cut up an old duvet cover that I got at Target...again, I wanted some fabric that could handle the sunlight. I didn't have regular plain white fabric, so I used what I have!










Rather than buy a pillow, I purchased a package of pillow protectors and filled them with some stuffing from some old pillows and a package of Fairfield Fiberfill Poly-Fil. The Poly-Fil is a lot nicer than what was in the old pillows, but I didn't have enough to fill two pillows.


Once I was done, I shoved the inserts into the pillow covers. I then washed both in my front loader washing machine....then dried them to fluff up the fiberfill. Just like new!








I made two pillows and will probably make a few more!
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