Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini, Christmas Stocking Gift Bags And Tutorial

We had a great day at the festival on Saturday which means I've been busy
making more products for our show this weekend.
I sold a few aprons, lots of soap and related bath products
and all but four of my cuff bracelets.
Needless to say, I'm a happy camper.
I put a lot of time and effort into the things I create so it
feels wonderful when a customer likes my handmade items.

Yesterday, in between canning and cooking
I found time to do some sewing.

These are little Christmas stockings that I market
as gift bags, big enough to accommodate a soap bar or two,
bath oil, body butter ETC.
They're a unique alternative to the standard gift bag.

I free-handed the pattern, pinned it to my fabric,
cut it out and got to work.
I do these in an assembly line fashion, grouping
like colors together to minimize thread change outs.
If you would like to make some of these for gift giving
here are the directions.

2 - 9 ¾” length x 8 ½” width pieces of fabric
2 - 6” wide x 5” long contrast for cuff
1 - 11” x 1” grosgrain ribbon for handle

My finished stocking measures more or less, 8 ¾” long x 7 ½” wide at the bottom and 5 ¼” wide at the top.
I drew the pattern freehand so yours might vary.
All seams are ¼”

Draw your patterns, one for the stocking, one for the cuff. Pin pattern to fabric and cut.
The top width of my stocking is 6” so I cut my cuff 6” wide x 5” long.


1. With right sides together, pin and sew each cuff to top edge of stocking front and  back.

2. Press seam towards cuff.

Attach cuff to stocking.
(If you’re going to embellish the stocking with ribbon, buttons ETC, do it now).

Sew on ribbons, buttons, beads ETC.
3. Press under ¼” on the cuff top edge. (It’s easier to create your hem line at this point).

4.Open out the pressed hem line and with right sides together, pin and stitch stocking front and cuff to stocking back and cuff  (I zigzagged the seam also).

5. Clip seams almost to stitching line at curves.

6. Fold cuff in half towards the seam where you joined it to the stocking body

Attach handle.
7. Position your ribbon in the center of the cuff sandwich, with the raw edge
overlapping the seam about ½ ”.

8. Pin in place.

9. Fold the stocking toe towards the top, out of the way, bring the other ribbon end down and over the bottom and up to meet the other end of the stocking cuff sandwich .

10. Pin in place like you did with the other end of the ribbon.

11. Pin the rest of the pressed cuff edge over the seam.

12. Turn the stocking right side out and stitch the hem in place. (It was easier to sew this way).
At this point it looks like you attached the ribbon upside down, you didn’t.

13. Turn stocking right side out and fold the cuff down which makes the handle on top.

14. Press.

Handle at the top.

More stockings

As to the canning.....

My Hubby does not like me to blog about our food!
My grandson Brian came over to help/learn to pressure can food.

He learned the basics of canning meat and stock/ broth
and helped/ learned how to make a chicken pot pie from scratch.
I sent him home with the pie and a few other goodies.
(I forgot to photo the pie).

Don't tell the Hubby!
I'm off to do more sewing,
till next time, teach the kids some skills.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Unique Apron Design And Tutorial

Thanks Sue:-)


Yes, I'm still making aprons but I'm getting bored
with the same - o, same - o!

In the box of way cool stuff that Sue sent me a few months back
was this curtain valance.

It was intact when I received it,
forgot to photo before the seam ripper attacked it.
It had a ecru lining and the ties were attached in the top hem.

Looked like the start of an apron to me.
I had some fat quarters that coordinated so I got to work.

The idea for this apron stemmed from a previous apron that
I miscalculated the width on.
Live and learn, AKA improvize!

The idea is to sew two different fabrics together making a tube, but rotate
the tube so the seams are shifted about 6".
So now you have part of the back showing on the front and
part of the front showing on the back.
I chose to put trouser pockets in the seams
as not to have any patch pockets distracting
from the vertical lines.

Directions are for this apron,
both are made the same, only I varied the rotation amount and
I didn't add a contrasting bottom strip to the first one,
 and the photos are a combo of both projects.

Cut one each - Apron front/back 21” (side to side) x 17 ½” (waist to hem) (2 different fabrics).
Cut two - (1 for waistband 1 for trim at the bottom). (side to side) 21 ½ ” x 5” deep
Cut 4 trouser pockets from waistband fabric.
Grosgrain ribbon

 With right sides together pin each of the four pockets to the apron front and back at the side seams, about 1 ½” to 2 ½" down from the top of waist.

 Sew pockets to apron front and back on each of the sides in a ¼” seam.

 Press seam toward pocket, pressing pocket out.

If you're going to add any trims, ribbons ETC., do it now!

With right sides together pin apron front and pockets to apron back and pockets at side seams, having raw edges even.

Sew apron front to apron back, (starting at the bottom) in a ½” seam. When you reach the pocket, continue sewing up the side seam about 3 ½” past the pocket. Stop, and with the needle in the fabric turn the apron around and sew back over first stitching stopping ½” from the pocket edge. Pivot and continue around pocket, pivoting again ½” from the pocket top edge. Sew straight across pocket top edge and pivot ½” again to continue finishing the side seam. With the needle still in the fabric, turn the apron around and sew back down the side seam over the first stitching 1 ½” past the pocket, spin around again and work yourself back to the top.

This is where it gets interesting.

You have the front and back sewn together at the side seams, with trouser pockets in either side

Rotate the front at the side seam towards the back 6”, which moves the back 6” to the front, and therefore moves the front 6” to the back. Now your pocket is moved in 6” which gives you 1 pocket 6” in from each side.
Depending on which way you rotate you can place the pocket for either a leftie or a rightie.

Once you have the rotation correct, press the sides to create new “side seams“.

Press original side seams towards the way you want the pocket to lay.

Since I chose to drop the pocket down from the waist area 1 ½’ to 2 ½ ”, 
it kind of left the pocket top hanging in the breeze so to speak.
Typically, trouser pocket tops are encased/anchored within the waistband.
I just didn’t want them up that high.

My solution was to sew a button to the outside of the apron, through the pocket top to act as an anchor on each side of the apron. I used embrodiery floss for my thread.

Now, we have the top and bottom still open.

I chose to add a solid color waistband, and trim the bottom in the same.

Baste the front to the back at the top and bottom edges in a ¼“ seam.

Center the waistband to the top and stitch in a ½” seam.

(Remember we cut the waistband and trim ½” longer that the apron width).
Do the same for the bottom.

Press in the ¼” on each side of the waistband and trim sections, to the wrong side of the waistband and trim sections. Now press up ¼” on the lengthwise of the waistband and trim sections to the wrong side.

Fold this pressed edge over the waistband to cover the basting and pin. Stitch in place.

Do the same with the bottom edge.

Now we need to add the ties for the waist.

We left the sides open at the waistband, and bottom trim. Here we insert the ribbon ties.

Measure the opening at the waistband, mine was 2” so I used a 1 ½” wide grosgrain ribbon.
Length depends on how you tie, I like the ribbon to cross in back and tie in front, you decide.

Insert the ribbon into the waistband opening about 2”, align the ribbon to the waistband top edge and pin in place.

Starting at one top edge, topstitch a scant ¼” from the apron edge down the side, across the bottom and back up the other side. I triple stitched over the whole width/depth of the ribbon, at the waistband .
Finish off the ends of the ribbon by folding it twice to the inside and stitching the end down.

Viola, you now have a cool, unique apron.
I hope you like it.
 Till next time,

This is my design, for personal use only,
please do not reproduce or copy for commercial purposes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Woman's Best Friend And Protector!

Found Fluffy
I admit it, I’m not really into pets.
I think it dates back to my childhood.
I’ve had several pets in my lifetime, dogs, cats. birds, rabbits …
Pet equals, eventual death of pet.
Why put yourself in the mix, risk heartache?

At present we have three dogs, all rescue of some sort or another.
Fluffy is the latest in the mix, wandered up on New Years Eve of last year.
Cutest little Australian Sheppard ever,
who would leave this pup to fend for herself ?

Abandoned dog!
Now, Fluffy is laying in the floor wondering,
“why do I feel like crap, why was I left at an unknown place
all day without my buddies, why can’t I have food or water“?

Because Fluffy….
We had to get you “fixed”.
I’m sorry!

I realize these dogs would lay down their lives for me.
They position themselves in a triangle around me, wherever I am,
covering any angle just in case…..
And poor little Fluffy, in her less than perfect condition,
is in the mix, protecting me.

How cool is that?

My newest best friend at my feet!
Till next time, realize!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hubby Inturiptus

Farmer's Market New Potatoes
Recently I was trolling sewing blogs and ran across one
that caught my eye.
A sewer, a crafter, a thrifter, a soaper,
 and the icing on the cake? In my area.
What more could you ask for?
We have similar interests, why not ask to meet?

I know what you're thinking because my husband said it out loud.
You don't know this person!
She doesn't know me either!
So I sent her an email, no pressure, yes answer, ok, no answer, ok.
I picked a neutral location, public, for both of our ease of mind.
I chose The Dallas Farmer's Market.
She was good with the meet-up.

Tagged along,


Hubby wanders off and I meet up with Meka.
 She is the cutest, nicest person and
we're getting to know each other a bit, talking sewing, soaping,
you know, stuff.

Only thing is.....

Hubby keeps calling me with questions.
Is this a good price on potatoes?
Is this a good price on tomatoes?
Is this a good price on strawberries?
Yada, yada, yada...

I'm looking to get to know this person,
maybe have a buddy to thrift with,
talk sewing with, maybe have a Canton buddy.....
I was, well, you can guess how I felt!
Like, embarrassed!

I think maybe Hubby is a little.....

I think next time I'll tell him...

Going to get fuel, be back in a few!

On another note...
I got a pic of the cutwork curtain panel/apron on me.
Here she be!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Have a great evening.
Till next time,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cutwork Curtain Panel Up-cycle/Re-cycle Apron

Wanna-be apron


I found this cutwork curtain panel, plus it's two side mates
 at my local thrifty shop for .75 each.
I just had to have them even though I didn't need them!
I take that back, I did need them!
I sold the shawl that was the curtain for my bathroom window.
I just didn't need all three of them.

I used the two side panels on the bathroom window
and decided to make an apron from the center panel.

This is how it started out.
First I took out the hem/rod pocket stitching at the top.

Then, I thought to self....

A white apron just seems wrong.
So I got out my dyes.
Finally decided on red, but I wanted a vintage feel to it.
Maybe only use a small amount of the dye to a large amount of water?
I was hoping for a kind of washed red.
Well, it worked, I used about a third of the dye to a large dishpan of water.
 it took a lot of rinsing to finally get the water to run clear.
(Big water waster).

I cut off the excess fabric on either side of the panel,
(saving the excess for who knows what)
and searched my fabric stash for a suitable pocket material.
I found a small piece left over from the skirt/purse refashion
that added to the vintage vibe I was going for.

I added a piece of off white lace,
light pink ribbon and little fabric roses,
horizontally across the apron front and the pocket.
The lace and ribbon across the apron front concealed
the hem/rod pocket stitching lines.

I decided to line it with an off white piece of lace
that I attached to the sides and the top,
using french seams. I left the bottom  un-sewn.

I folded the lining at the top of the apron,
 to the front side 1 ½”,
 and sewed it down, creating a waistband.

The ties are a 1 ½” off white, grosgrain ribbon
that I attached to each side of the waist.

Wish I had someone to take my pic wearing it!

I found a pillowcase to grocery tote tutorial that I plan on trying tomorrow.
I'll let you know how it turns out.

Till next time,
happy sewing!