Category Archives: sewing

Resizing A Skirt: Down Sizing Made Easy

Here is a simple way to re-size a skirt that is too big.

Use a seam ripper to open up the seam (on the inside of the skirt), near the top. Open the seam on the other end as well. Many skirts have a band around the top. This band will become a channel for a cord. Use a safety pin to thread the cord (or ribbon or shoe lace…) through the channel. Use a few small stitches to tack the cord to the channel about midway along. This prevents the chord from working its way out when washing. The chord can be tightened to fit perfectly to your waist size.

The bow should be on the inside of the skirt once zipped up.

I admit that when I’m at thrift shops and second-hand stores looking for items to re-purpose, I sometimes find a fun skirt (often too big) that I like. This skirt is one such find.

Skirts are comfortable to wear when the weather is nice and I like having some that I can wear in the garden or on the beach and not care about getting dirty.

This is useful if you lost weight or you got some nice skirts from a friend…

Playing Card Streamers

Using a sewing machine, simply sew down the middle of a playing card. When you reach the end of one card, add another. Do not cut the thread; rather keep sewing to form long streamers. I used a deck that was missing a few cards. Why use new cards when you can use an incomplete deck. If you know people with kids, chances are someone has a deck with a card missing.

I used these card streamers for décor at a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party but they can also be used for a Poker party.

Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

MYO Charming Mushroom Pincushions Made With Recycled Shirts and Wood

I designed these charming mushroom pincushions out of recycled materials and pieces of branches. If you change the design a bit, you could make a forest of trees in a similar way. –Another day perhaps. These pincushions could also be adapted into cupcake pincushions. Just scrape off the bark and paint the stump with lines like a cupcake bottom.

I know that mushroom pin cushions are old news but I’ve put my own spin on the idea (using wood for the stumps). The wood bottm makes them very stable.

Incites on how to make your own:

Gather supplies as seen in picture. –jar lid, wood stump, fabric, stuffing, plate for tracing. You will also need needle and thread and glue. Sometimes I use wool roving for the stuffing. The natural oils from the wool help to keep needles from rusting.

First, use a plate to trace a circle on a salvaged knit shirt. You want fabric that will stretch like a t-shirt.

The size of the plate will depend on the size of the jar lid you are using, which will depend on the stump size. The fabric will need to be bigger than the jar lid by about two inches extra all the way around. Smaller mushroom tops will require less, so test it out.

Using a straight stitch (put the needle up then down, up, then down through the fabric) to sew all the way around your circle. Sew near the edge. I like to use a metal jar lid to help shape the mushroom to have a flatter bottom.

Pull the thread to gather the fabric. Add the jar lid and the stuffing and gather some more.

Knot the thread to hold the gather.

Glue the mushroom top to your stump. I used a branch that I chopped with a miter saw. You could use a hand saw. Put something heavy on top until the glue dries.

I made the tall mushroom out of a second-hand infant hat. I like to use it to hold threaded needles for quick access.

Convert a Quad Chair Carrying Sack Into A Fun Doll Sleeping Bag

MYO Doll Sleeping bag

I had a quad chair bag that I wanted to get rid of but I don’t like to just throw things away. As I was looking it over I thought of the sleeping bag idea. It turned out to be the perfect size for my daughter’s 18inch dolls.

Quad Chair Carry Sack Before Converting to Sleeping Bag

 

Here is a quad chair carrying sack before being transformed into a cozy doll sleeping bag.

How to:

To Make the sleeping bag shell

1. You will notice that the chair carrying sack has a shoulder strap. Keep this strap attached at the top but cut it off near the bottom. I left the strap attached to the sleeping bag and used it as a feature of the finished sleeping bag.

Make your own doll sleeping Bag- rolled up

2. Next measure 22.5 inches from the top. Cut a straight line across the bag. You are cutting the bottom of the sack off; save it for making the sleeping bag stuff sack.

Make your own doll Sleeping Bag- the Shell

3. Turn inside out and stitch along the bottom edge. Use a half inch seam allowance.

4. Turn right side out.

 

 To make the sleeping bag lining and the padding layer

5. Cut a soft piece of fabric (for the lining) and a piece of on old blanket (for the padding). The pieces should measure 23 x 22 inches.

6. Put the lining on top of the blanket piece and fold in half. Folded size= 23 x 11 inches. Also, make sure the lining’s pretty side is facing inside. In other words, if you were to open the sleeping bag and look in, you should see the good side of the lining.

Make your own SleepingBag- child Sewing

My daughter did all the sewing and I did the design work.

7. Sew along two sides; the long side and the bottom. Use a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

8. Slip the lining into the shell. Make sure the seam edge is on the seam side of the shell. You will need to un-sew the bit where the slit is in the shell. See picture.

Make your own Sleeping Bag- the lining

9. Fold under raw edge and pin in place.

10. Hand or machine sew the lining to the shell all along the edge. Hand sewing a whip stitch is easier then machine sewing if you used a thick blanket for padding.

Make your own doll sleeping bag with stuff sack

To make the stuff sack for the doll sleeping bag:

1. Use the bottom piece of your chair carrying sack. Only the bottom 10 inches are needed so cut off the extra.

Make your own doll Sleeping Bag- the drawstring

2. Fold over the top edge about two inches and sew creating a channel about 3/8th of a inch wide. Leave a one inch gap in your stitch line as seen in picture B.

3. Find an old shoelace or cord. Using an awl or even a sharp pencil, poke two holes for the drawstring (shoelace or cord) to come out. It works best if you poke the hole from the back. The arrow in picture A indicates putting the awl up under there.

4. Attach a large safety pin onto one end of your shoe lace. Go under the flap in picture A and like a caterpillar, inch the safety pin all the way around and back out. Remove the safety pin.

5. Stick the ends of the shoe lace through the holes you made. One should come out each hole. Tie the ends of the shoe lace together. Pull the ends of the string to cinch the bag closed.

 

Doll in home-made sleeping bag

This sleeping bag fits American Girl dolls. I have no affiliation with American Girl.