Sunday, May 2, 2010

Seamstress D checking in...

I freakin' LOVE my new sewing machine. I admit, I was worried that it would be a lovely novelty, something great to have in the closet after I got my fill if you know what I mean. I am on days off of work and I plan to sew sew sew! I have started a window treatment project...have to get that finished, and perhaps I will post a quick tutorial...and then what???

I have all this wonderful fabric calling to me! sew me! Seamy B and I went and bought new dress patterns the other day, but I doubt that I have the bravery to tackle that yet...maybe a few more bags first, those are a bit more forgiving...and I need to practice my buttonholes.

Happy Sewing! Drop us a line with YOUR sewing pics, projects & advice!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My FIRST Tutorial! A reusable shopping tote-bag, made from pillowcases!

Seamstress Dawn here! Didn't I promise you? Well, the day is finally here. I set up my brand new sewing machine on my new, vintage desk (which incidentally needs to be refinished...)

Here is a close-up of the new baby! She is a Kenmore beauty, exact same as Becky's.

And here are some of the fabrics that I have been collecting...more to come! Oh glorious Etsy!

And now...a tutorial! A reusable shopping tote made from two pillowcases! If you have trouble understanding/following my directions, I do apologize as this is the first time I have tutored! Just ask me questions!

Sew(heehee), first I made a pattern out of regular paper...(roll from Michael's craft store)drawing a general shape of the bag. It is approximately 15 inches across the bottom, 13 inches up the side, 5 inches in and another 13-15 inches up the strap. (Turns out, this bag isn't huge so feel free to adjust your measurements)

Now dig deep into your closets, for some old but in good-condition pillowcases. If you are so inclined, you can scour second hand shops for cases, maybe you can find some great vintage patterns! You need 2 pillowcases, one is for the lining of the bag and one is for the outside of the bag. I have used an orange pillowcase for the outside, and a green one for the lining.

If you like, you can make a pocket for the inside of the bag like I did. Totally optional though. I like to have a place for my keys & phone...I used a piece of fabric that makes up the outside of the bag for contrast. I used the top edge/scrap from the pillow case, cuz it's already finished so nicely...then you just have to finish the 3 edges.

Ok, you can sew that pocket to a RIGHT side piece of your lining (green).

Now we are going to start on the two sides of the bag. Take one of each colour of material and place them RIGHT sides together.One orange, one green. Sew along the 5 inch part, up along the handle, down around the other side and over the other 5 inch bit. DO NOT sew down the sides or the bottom of the bag yet.

Once you have stitched each set of two, clip along the edge of the part you just sewed. About an a half-inch apart & close to your stitching. Be careful though not to clip your stiches. This technique helps a curvy seam turn inside out smoothly & cleanly.

Now turn it inside out so that you can see your RIGHT sides. At this point I suggest ironing it so your seams are nice and flat. After that, you are going to do a topstich over the part you have just sewn. A topstich is great for reinforcement, but primarily, it looks nice, the edges look crisp & finished.

Almost done! Now take your two pieces and place them RIGHT sides (orange) together. You are ready to sew down the sides and along the bottom.

A nice touch to "puff" out your bag is to "box" the corners. I admit, my corners once the bag was finished aren't as lovely as I had hoped but....Sew a line across each bottom corner of your bag like so...

and then clip into your corners like so

Go ahead, you may turn your bag inside out. It should look like a bag! Does it???? I am a bit of an ironing freak if you must know, so I now suggest again, ironing your bag and it's seams for a clean crisp look.

To finish off the handles, you can either tie it hanker-chief style (provided you made them long enough), you can overlap a piece and sew it together. You can then decorate that with a button. OR you can do as I did (poorly I might add...) sew on an actual button...make a proper button hole & button that sucker up!

VOILA! A reusable shopping tote! Save your pattern, don't throw it out! Here are a few photos of our little project. Aside from my time, which was all FUN, this project cost me about 3 dollars (two secondhand pillowcases & thread).

I'm pretty stoked that I made this, after years of not sewing. I absolutely, 110% enjoy sewing! Oh I'm so glad! Would I have done anything differently? Sure, I would have finished the inside seams a bit better, maybe just a zigzag to keep it tidy looking. And fill my bobbin more...My plate is see-thru....and I could see the bobbin rapidly UNfilling as I worked....thank goodness it didn't run out!

I hope you found this tutorial useful & fun! Drop me a line or a pic if you attempt it! Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Seamy D here again!

SO guess what?! Some of my fabric has arrived...I've purchased a wee bit as well.
It's all in the wash, I bought extra bobbins, thread, stuck pins in my tomato pin-cushion, I'm ready. I've got my super duper titanium shears (it's ok if you are impressed by that), I'm ready to get started. I'm picking up my sewing desk tomorrow and then she comes out of the box! OHHHHHH the anticipation!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Seamstress D here...waiting on pins n needles (no pun intended! heehee) for all of my gorgeous fabric to arrive! I PROMISE, this is the week that my little baby comes out of that box and I sew sew sew! I have to keep up with Seamy B! Stay tuned for how to's & tutorials!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seamstress B's First Project

I did it! I am so happy! I mad a re-usable shopping bag as my first sewing project!!!! I used fabric from a sheet set I bought at a local discount store for $10. The body of the bag is made from the sheet material. Pretty and springy isn't it? The handles were made from an Amy Butler fabric I picked up here locally in one of the sewing shops.

Sew, with my trusty re-purposed paper from wrapped up glassware, I made a pattern and Mr. Cupcake made a mock-up cardboard 3-D version. I had to figure out how to make the bottom of the bag 'roomy'. He is so good at fabrication of automotive stuff so he jumped at the chance to help me :)

To my surprise, I did pretty darn good and all in good time I might add.

I have started a table runner for my dining table from the same lovely blue and white fabric. Can't wait to finish it up and create a spring table scape!
Here are some pictures of my first project! oooohhhweeeee!!!!

I will try to do a tutorial of sorts...that will be yet another first...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

sew, who do you like?

Dawn here : just drooling over some fabric designers...well not the designers, but their lovely designs....some of my fave's are;
  • Amy Butler (obviously)
  • Robert Kaufman
  • Kirsten James (who has a lovely fabric called Charcoal Bonsai - in the lead for the headboard fabric)
  • Michael Miller

OR the great debate is to do the headboard plain...3 more sleeps til my machine arrives! Then Becky can give me the low-down on bobbin winding etc. It's been more years than I can count!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Seamstress D here...very IMPATIENTLY awaiting my sewing machine. I'm going to rock the same beauty that Becky is. In the meantime, I'm making a list, checking it twice, ensuring that my sewing chest is chock full & ready for my first big project, which is...........sigh. Still waiting for the machine to arrive.