Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Downloadable Sewing Patterns

I love to sew.  I've been sewing since I was 9 years old.  Like everything, sewing has gone through many changes and I don't even try to keep up with most of them.  BUT, one thing that was new to ME was patterns that you can download and print yourself.  I've been doing a lot of sewing for my grandson-to-be and while searching for cute boy patterns, I came across a site called Peek-a-Boo Patterns . . . and my mind was blown haha!  

Here's the way it works:  You purchase the pattern (most are only 6-10.00 compared to 15-20.00 in a store), you print the pattern pieces and instructions, you assemble/tape the pieces together and you're ready to sew.  Is it worth the extra work of printing and taping . . . 100% YES!!

What is the biggest, most wonderful advantage?  Most companies now are offering multiple size patterns.  When you open it using Acrobat Reader (free download), there are 'layers'.  Click on that and voila . . . all the sizes are there.  Simply unclick the other sizes you don't want to print and you're printing only the size you want to make now.  Kids grow right?  Come back in 3 months and print the next size and make it!

Just like regular patterns, the patterns often come with multiple styles (short sleeve, long sleeve, with feet, without feet etc.).

This little sleep sack was a breeze to make - going to make more of these!  Most of these patterns are designed for knits which I used to be afraid of working with but seriously, it's not a big deal and I don't even have a serger.  I just use a knit stitch on my regular machine.

Brindille & Twig is another company I just tried.  This romper comes as pants or shorts.  The t-shirt is their pattern as well.  Again, these are multi-size so I can make more of these as baby grows.

This is another Brindille & Twig pattern - cute little cardigan!  There are also patterns for adults at both sites but these two are mainly geared to infants and kids.  I am TOTALLY hooked on a site called Style Arc.  They have patterns for us grown ladies and oh my, they are so beautiful!  I will definitely be trying those as well.  With the adult patterns, typically you get one size although at Style Arc, you can pay a little extra and get one size up and one size down in addition to the size you purchase.  They also offer print patterns that you would receive in the mail.

Many of these sites offer some free patterns so you can try them out and get a feel for how it works.

Like many others, my employer has us working from home.  I'm very fortunate to work for one of the campuses of our church and they have been wonderful.  There's not a lot of work so I'm finding that I have more time to fill and sewing is keeping me busy.

None of us knows what tomorrow will bring but I am so grateful I serve a God who is UNCHANGING.  Find peace in these words, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) and these words from Psalm 59, But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God are my fortress, my loving God.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Baby Blankets & Burp Cloths


We are expecting our first grandchild!  A precious, little baby boy in May!  And we are SO excited!  I used to sew for my three kids all the time and now I'm getting to sew for a little one again and let me tell you, it is SO much fun!  Aside from buntings, I've been working on blanket and burp cloth sets.  I did some research and found that the kidney shaped cloths are preferred so that's the shape I went with.  There are lots of tutorials but I found that this one from Mabey She Made It to have the most helpful suggestions as well as a pattern to download.  I chose to use flannel for the cloths and blankets.  Be sure to wash and dry your fabric to pre-shrink.

I enlarged the pattern a bit to make a larger "kidney shape" but these are SO simple!  Just cut out two pieces, pin right sides together and stitch leaving an opening to turn.  Before turning though, I zig-zagged the edges and clipped the curves.  After it was pressed, I stitched 1/8" from the entire edge.  (I'll give you the amounts of fabric I used at the end of this post.)

For the blankets, I used two coordinating flannels.  I first cut the front of the blanket to the size I wanted.  Mine was 38" Wide by 43" Long.  Next, cut the back (which will also be the binding) 3" LARGER in BOTH length and width from the front piece.  So my back piece was 44" Wide by 49" Long.

Begin creating the back/binding (See photos above).  The first photo is just showing you how I trimmed the pieces to size.  Next, fold the edges in 1.5" all the way around and press.  Then, fold in again 1.5" all the way around and press.

To create mitered corners:  Unfold so you just have the first 1.5" fold open.  Using a ruler, mark down each side from the corner 3" and mark.  Draw a line from mark to mark as seen in second photo.  Now fold bringing lines together and stitch on the line.  Trim seam.  NOW, if this makes NO sense to you ignore all of my instructions and just watch this video . . . I'M a visual learner so this was super helpful!

Once your corners are all mitered and your binding is neatly pressed, you're ready to insert the front panel of your blanket.

Lay the front panel under the binding edges.

Start at the top edge and work side to side, smoothing and pinning the panel into the binding.  You want to take your time on this part, making sure the panel is even and flat. 

BASTE the panel first.  This way, if you get to the bottom edge and the panel is not fitted in properly or flat, you can just remove the basting and re-position the panel.  Another tip, don't baste all along . . . it will take you FOREVER to remove even the large basting stitches.  Instead, baste 5 or 6 stitches, lift your presser foot and pull forward 4-5 inches, baste a few more stitches, pull forward, etc. which is what you see above.

After basting, press carefully, making sure there are no bumps and the panel is flat.  Then you can stitch close to the inner edge of the binding and remove your basting.

These are so fun and easy to make and tied with some extra fabric, make such a cute baby gift!  The blankets and burp cloths are double thickness so super soft!

One final touch, each blanket is stitched with my "Love" Grandma Z design

Here are the amounts of fabric I used to make 3-4 burp cloths and one blanket:

Fabric A (Blanket Front and fronts of two burp cloths): 2 yards

Fabric B (Blanket Back/Binding and fronts of two burp cloths): 2.5 yards

Fabric C (Backs of one to two burp cloths):  2/3 yard

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Valentine's Day Decor

I LOVE (pun intended) decorating for Valentine's Day.  Partly because it is so empty looking after the Christmas decorations come down and partly because it brings much needed cheer during the dreary months of January and February.  This little tree was in our bedroom at Christmas and is now in the bay window decked out in red and mostly handmade ornaments.  You can check out my chenille ornament post with instructions HERE and my vintage-style Valentine ornaments HERE.

My ledge in the living room always gets dressed for the holidays.  This year I added battery-operated red fairy lights. I got these on Amazon.  Love that they have a remote control with a bunch of different settings, a timer and a dimmer.  They are super long too - 33 feet!

This bird cage was my mom's.  I used it at Christmas but thought these little snow babies sharing a soda looked cute inside.

Can you believe that people used to give these giant cards for Valentine's Day? So beautiful!

Another set of the red fairy lights in my kitchen cabinet along with some DIY vintage valentine cards I made.

Did your Dollar Tree have these great, metal words? All three in a package for 1.00!? (The third one says 'XOXO')

More kitchen decor . . .

A few years ago when I re-did my kitchen, I removed the doors to the cabinets above the refrigerator. This is another fun spot to decorate for the holidays.

Winter has finally arrived here after a glorious delay while we enjoyed an extremely warm and dry December.  I'm not fond of this weather at all . . . best to try to stay inside as much as possible and keep warm.  That's my philosophy AND Hudson's . . .