Sunday, November 28, 2010

Here's Another Easy To Sew (Reversible) Apron

I showed ya'll some fat quarter aprons already, and now want to show you a full version.  I like this free pattern at Michael Miller fabrics, for the Classic Reversible Apron.  I made a couple as gifts last year and I recently sewed another 3 up quickly as a batch.  This pattern is super simple easy to sew.  I made these:

Mr. Green thinks I should have used a different fabric on the reverse of this:

But I had 3 full yards of this plue plaid, and it definitely matches.  I was thinking maybe the Mister could wear it this side out if he was cooking breakfast.  lol  I like the blue plaid!

Mr. Green LOVES this sweet peppers print apron

and I love the green on the reverse

I wish I had a lot more of that green fabric!  I made the straps for this one with the green, to save enough fabric from the sweet peppers yard to make a market bag, too.  Mr. Green wants this one, because we grow all these colored bells in our garden (and eat them most every night), and because this one is much better than the hot peppers one I sewed for him last year:

I don't really like the pocket on this one, that is one reason I omitted the pockets on these three I have made so far this year.  I also topstitched this one with white thread, which does not look good.  I was out of black, and it was like Christmas Eve, and I thought it might look okay.  Also, I did not have anything to match for the backing and so I RIT dyed muslin for the back, and I do not love the flourescent lime that resulted.  It's neat to see that my sewing skills have come a long way since last year...with sewing, you have fun making cool things, make mistakes, but effortlessly your skills magically improve!

Here is the other one I just made; this one is appropriate for a man or a lady:

This one has plain, clear red on the reverse.  Apparently, I didn't save that photo to the computer, so you can just imagine that one.  That skirt Dolly is wearing is the wrap skirt from Chic and Simple Sewing.  I messed up the hem and have a date with the seam ripper on that one, lol.  I have one more fabric I want to make this from, too, so I will likely post on this easy to sew, versatile skirt later.

This free apron pattern includes measurements for making adult and also child sizes.  I haven't made the pattern for the child size yet, but I plan to do that maybe today.  I have a yard of this:

I think I will use half to make the classic reversible apron for a child from this, and with the other border quarter I can make a matching fat quarter apron and that could be a matching set.  You can also barely see in this photo that red gingerbread man print from which I made napkins; there is enough left of this for me to make children's christmas aprons, so I plan to do that.

They also have a free tutorial for making a matching chef's hat at Michael Miller.  It, too, is easy to sew (you need patience for gathering the cap, though)!  A matching apron and chef's hat would make a beautiful gift for someone who loves to cook.  I made one of the hats to match Mr. Green's hot peppers apron last year, but he has a humongous head, so I had to alter the pattern a good bit.  Still it would not fit his head if I added the velcro, lol.  I had limited fabric left and had to figure out enlarging it a lot, so the circular cut should have been larger in proportion to the brim, which I made wider than the pattern.  Yours will look nicer than this!

I keep hearing from all directions that aprons are really "hot" right now.  They are super easy to sew and could make great gifts for someone on your list...or just make a cute one for yourself!  Happy Sewing!

i am linking this here:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Napkins are a Quick and Easy Gift to Make and Sew: Here are the Easy, Easier, and Easiest Ways to make them!

Napkins are a favorite gift of mine, because they are incredibly fast and easy to sew;  make up beautifully; and especially because they are a practical gift for the Earth as well as friends or loved ones.  I only use cloth napkins in my house, but am often amazed to see that many people use paper towels every day with their meals and serve them to guests.   I want every household I know to have beautiful matching washable napkins to use instead of paper products.

Cloth napkins are some of the simplest things to sew.  You can cut them to any size, press down all the sides 1/4", then fold and press again, and then sew around the perimeter of each napkin.  I made many napkins this way and this is definitely EASY.

You can make napkins this way without even having to sew them if you use Stitch Witchery no sew hemming tape.   I haven't made them this way myself, but I have seen it written many times by different knowledgeable people that this stuff works just fine and will hold up to myriad washings.  Make them this way and all you have to do is a lot of pressing, saving the sewing step; this is even EASIER.

But by far the quickest easiest way to make cloth napkins is using your serger.  Serging napkins (and handkerchiefs) are most likely the absolute simplest, easiest, and quickest projects possible.  You don't have to turn and press edges at all!  Just cut your napkins and run them under the serger.  You could make multiple sets in half an hour.  I like to use the rolled hem with most fabrics, or a picot edge finish also looks lovely.
Serging napkins is definitely the EASIEST way to make them!

If you make 12" square napkins, which is an oversized cocktail or casual (lunch) size, you can make a set of 8, as well as simple little bag to wrap and present and contain them, from just one yard of fabric.   Here are some made in this size from festive holiday fabric:

I made a set of these as my gift for the holiday bloganza, and sets to give as hostess gifts during the holiday season.

I also just made some from this gorgeous fabric, using metallic thread in the upper looper.  I have found metallic thread to be impossible to sew with using a sewing machine, but it works beautifully in the serger loopers.  Because this fabric made me think of celebrations so much, I used the leftover scrap to make a wine bottle carrier as well, and Mr. Green had the good idea for me to use insulated batting so it can help carry a chilled bottle of wine.  Wouldn't this set make a beautiful hostess gift for New Years Eve?  This set is for sale.

(I haven't sewed the straps on the wine bag yet)

Flannel makes super soft napkins.

I want to get more flannel to make large sets of large sized napkins like these.

I also like to make 16" napkins as my favorite size.  I just cut a stack of poinsettas with gold that I want to keep for my table. ;)

 Sew, No-Sew, and Serger are Easy, Easier, and Easiest ways to make fabric napkins which are quick, useful, and can be gorgeous gifts.  Ya'll make some for your holiday gifts, too!

Happy Sewing!

I am linking this post at these parties:

mmm button


Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Bloganza

Hi, ya'll.  I have been so busy the last couple of weeks, because I am going to have a gift show tomorrow, here locally.  I have been making lots of things, but haven't had to time to write posts.  I have been taking photos, though, and should have some new gift idea posts up here soon.

I was invited to participate in the holiday bloganza by Teri at My Journey with Candida, and the deadline is today to enter.  I am going to contribute a handmade gift as a prize.  For now, I am just calling it a mystery handmade gift, because I haven't posted about this gift idea yet.

 Head over to the Holiday Bloganza and read about this contest; one winner takes all, and there were over 25 prizes when I last looked.  The contest doesn't start until 11/22/10 and runs until 12/6/10.  You have to follow this blog (and all the blogs who are contributing prizes) in order to win the pot and there are extra points for leaving comments.  This looks like it will be a lot of fun!

I will post again here soon.  Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Easy Gift to Sew: Prudent Baby's Fat Quarter Apron

I have had such fun making these Fat Quarter Aprons (tutorial at Prudent Baby).  This is definitely one of the easiest and most fun tutorials I have come across this year.   This project would make a great gift for domestic types on your list. 

Here is the first one I made:

I did one thing different from the tutorial, which is use the entire fat quarter for the skirt of the apron, and use the contrasting fabric to make the waist band at the top.  Instead of using ready made trim, I used the contrasting fabric to make a ruffle.  I finished the ruffle in contrasting (dark green) wooly nylon thread with a serger rolled hem.  Here is a closer picture of the green rolled hem:

I REALLY love this apron!  It reminds me of bubbles and makes me want to wash dishes!

Then I made another one, too, from fabric I have been saving for just the right project.   I had a lot of fun with the applique on this; I will be doing lots more applique, I think.  I used wonder under and then sewed the edges using a satin stitch, except for the butterfly (fussy cut from a scrap of fabric), which I sewed using invisible nylon thread:

There is a slideshow at Prudent Baby with 100 different photos of aprons made by many talented people; you should check out for some serious inspiration for all kinds of different ways to make these unique.

I can't believe I didn't see any examples made for men.  I have an idea to use masculine fabric (without the ruffle) and applique "DAD" on one side.

You could make one with a pocket and slide in a new wooden spoon.  Or maybe make a matching set for a mother and daughter (or sisters).  Or make one (or more) reversible. There are myriad ways to make this a great gift!  Have fun with it!

Happy Sewing

I am linking this here:

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Best Bias Skirt Yet- and it's a Convertible Dress

I think corduroy is probably my favorite thing about fall.  I was thrilled to get several yards of this fine wale indigo dyed corduroy, and I really love this long bias skirt I made from it.

Yep, I cut this cotton corduroy on the bias, and it worked out just fine.  I drafted this pattern myself, using the one-yard wonders bias skirt pattern as a guide at the top.  I know this is going to be my favorite skirt I have made for myself yet.  But what is even better is that it doubles as a dress!

I love the weight of this cotton corduroy, which is not too heavy, and I can totally see wearing this over my bathing suit (or just as a dress) at the end of the day in summer.  I predict I will be making a navy swimsuit when spring fever starts to set in early next year!

I finished the bottom hem of this skirt with narrow regular serging (after I broke two heavy duty needles trying to roll the hem on this corduroy) and then I used this special ric rac-ish trim over the serged edge.  This skirt could not have been easier to sew.   If you have the same (or nearly the same) chest and hip measurements, as do Dolly and me, then you can easily make a 2-in-1 convertible long skirt and dress, too.

I had more of this fabric and next I will show you my jacket....

Happy Sewing!

Easy Blouse to Sew: Simplicity 3750

I already showed ya'll the sleeveless top I made for summer using Simplicity 3750.

I wanted to try the version B with long sleeves.  I cut this blouse a size smaller than the first version of this pattern I sewed.  So I partially made this one as a muslin (I recycled a sheet), but I figured it would be a useful wardrobe piece in white, and I will definitely wear this.

 Here is the back:

I hate to say this, but I have gotten a little fatter than Dolly, and so my things look a little big on her.  I need to either lose a couple of inches or fatten her up somehow.  That's a project for next year.  lol

This pattern is really easy.  I notice there are a lot of garment patterns that say Easy but aren't.  This one is and would be easy to sew for anyone who can run a machine.  The most complicated detail in this blouse is gathering, which is easy to do.  If you haven't sewn a blouse before and want to, don't be afraid to sew this one.  I like Simplicity patterns; their instructions are clear and easy to follow, plus they are easily affordable.

Both Jo-Ann's and Hancock regularly run sales for Simplicity patterns for a dollar; that's when I buy mine.  I like to sew frugal.  Considering that white sheet cost me nothing this blouse was certainly worth my time.

I am going to post that skirt she is wearing's a convertible dress.

Have a great day!