Sunday, December 29, 2013

Simplicity 3634 ruffled knit

I recently made my ruffle shirt.  I had purchased this fabric from Emma Seabrook a couple of years ago at the American Sewing Guild Expo in Indianapolis.  I fell in love with the fabric because of all the colors and it is fun. However, it is not a fabric you want to wear when you're trying to look thin.

I used Simplicity 3634 without the cowl neck and scooped the neck line just a bit more.  When working with ruffled fabric you are basically working with a moving stripe so you will need to either pin or baste each row to keep the ruffles/stripes running in the same direction.  Finishing the sleeve and bottom hems was easy, I just trimmed so that a finished ruffle was at the bottom.  the neck line wouldn't work that way so I just serged a small binding on just like you see in a t-shirt.

I also had enough left over fabric to make my daughter a skirt which ended up being finished way before my top was. You can see it on her blog. How to Make a Ruffled Skirt without a Pattern

Simplicity 4784 Christmas Stockings

It is hard to believe but I actually made 4  stockings this year and had them ready in time for Christmas.  I used some plaid fabric I found in my sewing room, the cuff was from a red wool jacket I found at Good Will and the lining was from scraps.  These were very easy to make and the size is just right, 17-1/2 inches tall by10" at the wide part. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Carol's Zoo pattern & Nursing home gifts

Every year for the past 5 years or so  my mother, daughter and I work together to give a gift to some nursing home residents.  At first we wanted to give all the residents a small gift but decided that we would rather focus on those that do not have a family.  The Nursing home we chose is a small facility located in Franklin.    Last year there were 11 and this year there were 8 residents that didn't have a family.                                                  
The items in the gift bags are purchased throughout the year and include, shampoo, body lotion, a toothbrush a comb, chap stick and warm no slip socks.  We also like to give them something soft to hold.  Last year and this year we were able to use donated pillow panels and animals that had already been cut out.  When we made the pillows we made a inner pillow,  stuffed it then inserted it into the prepared printed pillow and hand sewed the opening shut.  Even though this takes longer than just stuffing the pillow the result is much nicer.  The 2 plain white pillows on the side are filled with sewing scraps and go to the local animal shelter for pet beds.


The two frogs were pre cut so we just had to give them eyes, sew and stuff.  I didn't have directions so I don't think the eyes are placed quite correctly but I think they have lots of personality.  The pattern is from Carols zoo.  They have a range of animal patterns that just have 2 or 3 pieces.  I have made several and they are all cute and make perfect projects for a beginner sewer.  The frog takes longer to turn and stuff due to having legs but if you get the bear  pattern below the Sewing, turning and stuffing is really fast and easy.  The entire range of patterns is available at



Fleece hats for Christmas

Our church was having a Christmas party for the neighborhood kids where during the party they were all going to receive a shoebox of gifts donated by our members.  I also thought it would be nice to give them hats because Indiana winters are cold.  I sent the hat request to my Franklin Neighborhood group of ASG and knowing how busy sewers are at Christmas hoped to get a few hats. I was pleasantly surprised when during the meeting I received all the hats below from Renate, Cindy and Shirley enough hats for all the children.

Thank you very much.  The hats have been happily received. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My silly African Grey

As I have said before we have an African Grey by the name of Elizabeth.  She is not a particularly aggressive bird but like most birds she has a strong flight instinct if something scares her.  If you walk by her cage carrying something you have to talk to her or she will flap about trying to get away.      I have no idea why, but she is not afraid of the Webster, in fact she hated it the very first time she saw it.   Here is her recent reaction when I got it out to clean some cobwebs.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Easy way to make a scarf

Scarfs are super simple to make, they are a fast inexpensive addition to your wardrobe.

The red and black one below started out as a piece of fabric 18" x 60".     The scarf sizing can be very flexible as 9 or 10" scarves also look nice.  This is a great way to use some  left over fabric from your sewing projects.  The main idea is that they have a nice drape.   This particular fabric is a rayon blend so it drapes nicely  and feels smooth against my neck.

First straighten up the edges.  A rotary cutter and mat make fast neat work of it.

 Next, if your fabric is willing you can pull threads from both short ends to form a fringe,
If you have a serger you can do a rolled hem along each long edge, then a little fray check on the ends and you are finished and ready to go out  the door wearing  your new accessory.  If not  you can either do a rolled hem by hand or a narrow machine hem also looks nice.
I hope you make a scarf soon,   they are a lot less expensive to make than to purchase and they make great gifts.