Saturday, December 2, 2017

Changing Cording Color Because Little Details Matter

"What have you been doing in here all night?" inquired my husband.
"Changing the color of this decorative cording on these drapes," I replied.
"But you don't notice the cording as much now..."
"Exactly... now you notice the taupe color in the drapes and not the RED." I explained. "Little details matter."
Shaking his head as he walked out, "Okay, if you're happy."

Okay ladies, would you have changed the red trim to taupe even if you had to sew it on with a curved needle while standing on a ladder?


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Recycled Christmas Tree Branches into a Swag

I recycled some old Christmas tree branches  that I had, to make this swag to hang on the light on my porch.

 Don't tell yourself that you can't do it too... just give it a try and enjoy the process.

My friend, Jane, asked me to share how I made it... so these directions are both for Jane and for YOU!

First, choose the smallest branch and a medium size Christmas branch.
Place the two branches on top of each other and wire together. I used floral wrapped wire because I find it easier to work with. Make a wire loop for the hanger and attach to back.

Add colorful holiday picks.  Notice how they are lined up in an up and down diagonal fashion.
Tie two very large ornaments together using ribbon.

Tie the ornaments to the top of the largest branch. It isn't the center, but probably the end of the top 1/3 of the swag. Make one ornament lower than the other ornament. This adds more interest...I think...

  Tie a bow and attach by wire to hide all the previous wired in objects.   I think you could attach more decorations, but I was using what I already had here at home in a new way.


Christmas Front Porch in Chicago

I  made some quick overlapping edges pillow covers for my front porch seat pad and pillow.  I used some herringbone plaid fleece to sew the covers since it was so inexpensive to purchase at a Black Friday Sale. I don't care if the cold Chicago weather is hard on them.  I plan to throw them away.... it only took me about 20 minutes of make them.  
The Santa pillow is from the Eric Carle collection ... see the little worm on his hand. This Santa makes me smile.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oh Baby, I'm a ROCKSTAR in this Buffalo Plaid!

We had so much fun with this photo shoot to show off our outfit for the Project Run and Play Buffalo Plaid Challenge.  "Baby I'm a Rock Star," was blasting, and my model was strutting her Rock Star Stuff.

This outfit makes you feel like a Rock Star with the Vegan Leather and Buffalo Plaid Knit Bomber Jacket  and matching 
Vegan Leather Skater Skirt.  


The jacket has a front zipper and ribbed cuffs, waistband and neckband.

We even rocked out her new BoHo Boots 
with matching fabric bands.

"I love my new outfit, 
cause Baby I feel like a ROCKSTAR!" she sang.

Ohhhhhhh Yeah ! 
Cause Grandma's Gonna Win this Contest.
Yeah Baby

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Buttons, Ruffles, and Coordinating Boho Boots

Project Run and Play's latest challenge is  
 "All Buttoned Up."
I love sewing with buttons because they have their own personalities.
Shiny, fancy, sturdy, elegant and striking,
are just a few characteristics that makes each button unique!

It was fun, sorting through the button jars at the fabric store
 to find just the perfect combination.

See how beautifully each button compliments the colors in the knit fabric. 
Yet... each button demands attention on their own.  

 I used the buttons to highlight the curved seam on this top.

I added some ruffles and lace.

I loved working with the soft colors in this print, 
"Happily Ever After" by Art Gallery fabric.

This fabric is a single knit and had one characteristic that I didn't enjoy.... the fabric rolls.
How did I solve this problem?
I needed to turn the edge of the ruffles twice and top stitch the edge to add some weight to the ruffle so it won't "roll" after I wash the completed top. In addition, the other side of the ruffle needed to be gathered...Yikes!
So to get the fabric to lay flat, I used spray starch.

Spray Starch to the RESCUE!!! 
See how well using the spray starch helped me to be able to sew each side of the ruffle. 

Notice Her Matching Boho Boots

First, I started with a pair of children's boots that I bought at a resale shop for $3.99.
Next, I spent some time cleaning them up with boot polish and a black permanent marker.  
To create the "Boho Look," the boot top is turned down. In the above picture you can see the boot before and after the turn down.
 In order to get your foot into the turned down boot, you must cut open a back seam. I also trim more of the inside of the boot, than the outside of the boot with this cut. I bought the scissors to cut this leather at Hobby Lobby in the leather department.

How much is enough?  Just try on the boot until you can comfortably slip on the boot.

Next, get ready to decorate!!!
I am always on the look for belts with a Southwestern look when I go to resale shops.  Using this beautiful silver and black belt I first measured and cut off the buckle end.

From the backside of the belt, mark a curved end in the cut-off belt. Cut, and with a black permanent marker "dye" the cut edge. Then, using a leather hole punch tool, punch new holes in the leather so the buckle can function properly.

 Using Barge All Purpose Cement Glue, I glued the belt end to the belt. My Granddaughter was so excited that she was kicking up her heels and I realized that I needed to add glue to hold everything in place, if possible. (Believe me, I am terrible using glue and only did this because it was necessary. I temporarily glued two of my fingers together in the process....)
  Now, to decorate the other boot.  Using the cut off length of the belt, punch holes in the leather to form a circle that will fit over the boot.
Use these screw post through the holes to secure the belt.

Add other jewelry like chains,   boot bracelets, feathers, fabric, or  medallions made to decorate leather.  When using a fabric band, I like to add fabric that is colorful and usually Southwestern in flavor. But on these boots, I made a band that matched the shirt that I just sewed for my granddaughter.  
Here is an example of another of the boho boot that I made myself.  Sew how wonderful the bright Southwestern fabric adds to the overall design. Notice that I used 2 belts on this shoe as it is larger and can visually handle 2 belts.

My Granddaughter really likes this outfit and plans to wear it to school tomorrow....SUCCESS!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Using Double Faced Knit Fabric and Self-Fabric Trim to Finish Edges

As I sew, I like to try new fabrics that come out on the market, and new sewing techniques. I guess you could say that is my style.
 The double faced jersey knit that I used in this outfit for the
was so easy to work with. It was soft, stretchy, and forgiving.

 Double faced jerseys can have the same face on each side or     vary in pattern or color. Mine varied in pattern but featured the same color palette. 
My granddaughter has been asking for a top with a high-low hemline, and I knew that this fabric would be perfect.  When viewing the top from the front, the lower curved back panel on  the top is visible. So I needed a fabric that looks great both on the right side of the fabric as well as the back of the fabric.

 The fabric is soft and drapes well. "It's like wearing my pajamas!" said my granddaughter.
 I like trying new sewing techniques, and this outfit utilizes
 raw edge self-trim.
 I want my granddaughter to like the finished outfits that I make for her. Trying to keep up with pre-teen fashions is an important job for this grandmother. I visit stores like Justice, Forever 21, and internet stores that feature pre-teen fashions to see what girls my granddaughter's age are buying... then I incorporate those details into my designs. 

Same Look, Different Top
While in Target, I noticed an white sleeveless knit t-shirt top on the 80% off rack for $2.80. 

I started thinking about adding a cold-shoulder sleeve to the original shirt to create a different look to go with her new pants. 

 Here is how my idea turned out.

Again, I used the raw edge self-fabric trim to finish the sleeve top.


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