Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Simple (Double-Sided) Napkins - A Tutorial

Simple Napkins

With the kids back to school and now both of them eating lunch there, I thought it would be fun to make some simple napkins for their lunch boxes.  These napkins are very, very easy to make.  They are a great way to use up large scraps of fabric or just to help reduce your stash. 

Stack of Handmade Napkins

I raided my oldest fabric stashes and used up a lot of fat quarters. (YAY!).  Perhaps I got a little carried away.  I said they were simple to make and it felt great to use up all of that old fabric.

Lunchbox Napkins

I made two different sizes of napkins: a small 10" napkin great for daily use (and lunchboxes) and a larger 18" (17.5" finished) napkin perfect for entertaining guests. 

Size Comparison

For the small napkins, cut two different pieces of fabric 10.5" square.  You can cut 4 squares from 1/3 yard of fabric, or one from a fat quarter.

For the large napkins, cut two different 18" square pieces of fabric.  From one yard of fabric you can cut 4 squares.  So for a set of four double sided dinner napkins, you will need two one-yard cuts of different fabric.

Place your two squares of different fabric right sides together and pin.



Sew around the exterior of the fabric with a 1/4" seam, leaving a two - three inch opening for turning.  (Note: If you're new to sewing, a 1/4" foot is an excellent investment, which makes sewing a 1/4" seam easy.  You can also use a larger seam allowance, by just using the side of your normal foot as a guide.  This would just make your napkin slightly smaller.)



Trim the corners.


Turn the napkin right side out.


You can use a chopstick or knitting needle to help get the corners poked out and the edges smooth.



Iron flat making sure that the raw edges where you turned it right side out are tucked inside and the edge looks smooth.


Top stitch (using a slightly larger stitch length) around the edge using a 1/8" seam.



Now repeat for the rest!  Super simple and they will really brighten up your table (or lunchbox).

If you don't have time to make these, my friend Lisa sells them in her shop ready to use!  Check them out.  She has fabulous taste in fabrics.

Lunchbox Napkins, view 2

I really love my large sets.  These napkins made from Washi fabric are my absolute favorites.

Washi Dinner Napkins

Reversible Washi Napkin

And of course a little Anna Maria Horner on the dinner table isn't bad either.

AMH Dinner Napkins

Monday, February 18, 2013

Transferring your Patterns

sewing books

If you're like me, you've got a collection of books with pattern pages or expensive patterns with multiple sizes and you don't want to cut into them directly.  Some pattern pages in books even have overlapping pattern pieces and so pattern transfer is necessary.  There is an easy, inexpensive way to transfer them and keep the originals in perfect condition.

 patterns overlap

Pellon makes a product called Easy Pattern.  It's light and easy to see through, but it's stronger than tissue paper and can be re-used multiple times.

Easy Pattern

To use, simply place the Easy Pattern over the original and trace.  I like using a dark pen which doesn't bleed through to the original, but it's dark enough to read clearly on my copy.  

trace easily

Make sure to transfer important information onto your copy such as the grain line, darts, pattern piece name, size if applicable and seam allowance.

cut out

Cut out your pieces carefully and they're ready to use.

 add important data

To store them, I like to put them in a small, easily re-sealable envelope.  Larger pieces can be folded easily to fit in.  

storing your transferred pattern

Finally label the outside of the envelope with the name of the pattern and size.

 label your transferred pattern

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Teeny Tiny Quilt

picnic on a teeny tiny quilt

  I started making this little quilt just for fun to see if I could do really small free-motion quilting. I'm still trying to get the rhythm down (since I'm new to it), but I am really enjoying it.  Gwyneth loves the little quilt and it appears her La La Loopsy dolls do to --- for a picnic

picnic with friends on a tiny quilt

or for a nap.  I love that this doll gets milk AND cookies before nap time.

nap on a tiny quilt

 The quilt measures a mere 3.5" x 2". The binding is made from the back fabric just folded over and hand stitched in place. 

tiny quilt detail

It was a great way to use up some very small scraps.

tiny quilt back

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ruffled Seersucker Top

ruffled halter in striped seersucker

My niece just turned nine!  Yay!  Happy Birthday Jana!

seersucker ruffles, close-up

She loves tank tops and sleeveless tops.  I thought this ruffled halter top would be perfect.  I used the free pattern from Oliver+S which you can find here.

back of halter top

It was quick to make and I love how it turned out.  I used a striped seersucker fabric which I picked up at Jo-Ann at the end of last summer.

back of halter, close-up

I finished the edges of the ruffles a little differently than the instructions.  I like finished edges and I made them quickly by serging them and then folding it up and sewing into place with a straight stitch.  I do have a bit more of this fabric, so perhaps you will see another top (or skirt in it soon).

ruffled halter top in seersucker

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vintage Rose Dress

Easter dress

I finished up this simple dress for Gwyneth just before Easter.  I used the same fabric I used for her bunny.  By the way, she named the bunny "Easter" which she told me is also his birthday.

Vintage rose easter dress, back

I grabbed a few photos before she put her sweater back on.  It was a bit chilly Easter morning. 

back view, Easter dress

This is the Flower Girl Dress from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing.  It came together quickly and easily.  Since the dress was not lined, I used french seams for the sides of the skirt to finish it nicely.

flower girl dress for easter

The kiddos enjoyed a little Easter egg hunt in the backyard before church.

hunting for eggs

Easter egg hunt

The day before, we had dyed a lot of eggs.  We ended up dying eggs for both grandparents (a total of 4 dozen eggs), but the kids loved mixing the colors and we ended up with 18 different colors, so dying all of the eggs went really quickly.

dying easter eggs

Dying eggs

Easter eggs

Connor made some great angry bird eggs!

Angry Bird Eggs

Angry Bird Eggs, close-up

Hope you all had a great Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vintage Rose Bunny

bunny, close-up

Easter is fast approaching.  I've got lots of things to get done.  One more done now.  Here's a little bunny for Gwyneth.  I found this vintage-looking rose fabric at a fabric store closing a few years ago and managed to grab a couple yards before it was all gone.  I thought it would make a beautiful Lovely Lil Bunny.

Lovley Lil Bunny, vintage flowers with yellow

There's still time to make a bunny of your own!  Check out the pattern in my shop.  You can use the coupon code "EASTER10" through Monday, April 9th to save 10% on everything in my shop.


bunny back



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