Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mustache Trimmer OR Mechanical Seam Ripper

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers
                                   Seam Ripping with a Mustache Trimmer (for real)

You really can use a mustache trimmer to rip seams.  And it is awesome!  

All you need is a regular seam ripper to get the seam started (you can do it without one but it is much faster to tear out 3 stitches with a small seam ripper first), and then slip in the mustache trimmer!

I have the one above, click on the picture and it will take you to an Amazon page where you can buy this one.  I like it because it has this flat edge,

       making it easy to slip in between the seams and against the fabric.  Some smaller ones are nice too, but    
               most smaller ones are battery operated or over $30.  I like to keep mine around $10 or less and 
                                            rechargeable so that I don't have to keep replacing the batteries.

Here is a seam I needed to take out and I have it started.   The great thing about the mustache trimmer too is that if you slip while ripping you will not tear through the fabric!  
Now here is a video of how I use the mustache trimmer to take out the seam.

I promised some twitter friends that I would post this for one of my Tailoring Thursdays.  That was months ago, so I hope they forgive me and enjoy this post! :) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tutorial: Quick and Easy Over the Shoulder Bag

 My In-laws live in Africa.  A little over a year ago my mother in-law sent me some beautiful fabrics from Africa.  I have had them all stowed away, not wanting to cut into something so rare!
Well, I decided last week that I wanted to make a quick over the shoulder type purse/bag.  And it occurred to me that this might be the perfect opportunity to make something of those beautiful fabrics!  Now I can show off this fabric whenever I go out.   
The great thing about this type of bag is that it goes together really, really quickly!  Less than about an hour. 

  • 2, 17 1/2" x 38" pieces, one of material of the exterior fabric and one of the material of the interior fabric.
  • 2, 5" x Width of Fabric strips, one of material of the exterior fabric and one of the material of the interior fabric.
  • 4, 8" squares of the exterior fabric for the pockets.
  • 4" strip of ribbon

1.  Take the large piece of exterior fabric and fold in half width wise.

2.  Place the fabric on a cutting mat and with a ruler, start at the folded edge and measure up to the open edge and in 1 1/2" creating an angle from the fold to the open edge. 
 Repeat with opposite side. 
3.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the interior.
4.  Pin the sides together and sew the sides closed. 
5.  Keeping the bag inside out, go to the bottom of the bag and create a triangle at the corner by pulling out the corner and pushing down on the top and sides of the bag.
6.  Find the place inside the corner, where it measures 4" from edge to edge and draw a line.
7.  Stitch on the line.  Repeat with the other side.  Set exterior aside.
9.  Take two of the 8" squares and place them right sides together. Sew along all four edges, leaving a 1-2" opening to turn right side out. 
Trim the corners.  
 10.  Place pockets on the right side of the interior, equidistant from the fold line, the sides and the opening seams.  Sew pockets to interior along sides and bottom, leaving the tops open!
11.  Repeat steps 4 through 7 with the interior fabric. 
12. Take the two 5" x Width of Fabric pieces.  Place the interior and exterior pieces right side together.
13.  Sew along the long sides, leaving the shorter ends open. 
14.  Turn the strap right side out. 
15.  Press.
16.  Edge stitch along both long sides.
17.  Turn the exterior right side out. 
18.  Place the exterior fabric of the strap against the right side of the bag.  With the side seam of the exterior at the center of the strap.  Baste in place.
19.  Repeat with the other edge of the strap on the other side seam of the bag.  Be careful not to twist the strap.
20.  At the center of one of the sides of the top fold the ribbon in half and baste in place.
21.  Keep the interior inside out and place it around the exterior (which is right side out), making sure the strap is in between the interior and the exterior.  
22.  Pin around the opening 
23.  Stitch along the entire outside at a 5/8" seam allowance leaving a 2 - 3" opening for turnign right side out. 
24.  Pull interior out through the opening.  
25. Tuck interior into the exterior.
26.  Edge stitch around the entire opening.  For a nice final touch, stitch around the opening again 1/4" inside the edge stitch.
27.  On the opposite side of the ribbon, sew on a button to keep the opening of the bag closed. 
And Voila!  A quick, easy and pretty over the shoulder bag!
Can't wait to use mine! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two New Patterns

I have been holding onto these little guys since March and June.  Many crazy things popped up right when I thought I was ready to put these up for sale.  And then with the pattern cover re-designs, I decided to hold off on their release until the new designs were ready.  

Here we are!  
First, this is one of my favorites.  The idea was so much fun, putting it together was great and watching kids play on it was the BEST!

Isn't this AWESOME!  I've got to confess though that getting this picture was no easy feat!  It took 3 different photo shoots, 1000's of photos and a LOT of toddler bribery (we are talking toys, ice cream, chocolate...), but we finally got one.  Totally worth it.  Right, Right?  

And this next one is a really fun and super fast pattern to put together.  It is literally 5 steps, not big long steps.  Just one page of 5 fast steps to get one of these cute knit skirts!  One of my fabulous testers ended up making several of them and really enjoyed it, even though she was a bit timid about working with knits.

A Great big Thanks to ALL of my testers and everyone who helped me get these patterns ready for debut!  Compliments to Megan Hampton Photography for this great skirt photo!

I'm thinking this calls for a giveaway celebration!
I will give away one of the new patterns (PDF versions)  to two lucky winners. 

Just leave a comment telling me which pattern you would want to sew and what fabric you would use to make one!  

I will randomly draw two winners on September 30th.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can I Get a Drumroll Please????

So there have been many things in the works behind the scenes for me!  First, let me share my new covers with you!!!!

Leigh Ann of Spin Cushion designed a great cover for a new pattern of mine a few months ago!  And I LOVED it so much that I asked her to redo all my covers.  I am very excited with all of them and look forward to seeing all the new patterns I have been working so hard on in this new design. 

Are you ready?  

Here they are!

 Thank You Leigh Ann for all of your great work!

What do you think?

Oh and stay tuned for two new patterns I am releasing!
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