Monthly Archives: December 2010

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Make a Cozy “Green” Sleeve for your Water Bottle!

Here are directions for another really easy sewing project. Note: You can also find this project on a dvd  called “Sew Green: repurpose, recycle and restyle.”

So, this is what you do. First you need to find an old sweater. Thrift shops are a great source for old  wool sweaters. (Suggestion: Wash the sweater first!)

Basically you cut a piece of the sweater sleeve off the sweater that is as long as the middle section of your water bottle. I used a rotary cutter which made it super easy to get a straight line, but scissors would work fine too (especially for younger kids who are not quite ready for a rotary cutter!).  After you cut the sleeve off the sweater, turn the sweater sleeve inside out. Try it on the bottle and pin the excess width (most sleeves are bigger than the bottle’s circumference) down the length of the sleeve. Stitch down the length of your sleeve. Trim the excess away to make a narrow (1/2″) seam allowance.

Then take the flatbed off your sewing machine and stitch around the circumference of your sleeve where you cut it off the sweater. The finished cuff of the sweater looks nice heading toward the top of your bottle and the sewn part works well at the bottom.

That’s it! Done! Slip it onto your water bottle and Voila! No more “sweating” bottle in the summer and icy cold water bottle in the winter!

P.S. One thing I found that makes this project easier is finding a sweater with stripes. It helps with cutting the sleeve off in a straight line. Happy sewing!

Fun with Fleece! Create an easy scarf…

This has got to be the easiest project yet!
Check it out…
Fun fleece scarf

Take a piece of fleece fabric that you really like (we used a piece of scrap fleece from our fabric bin) & cut a strip 7″ wide & the full width of the fleece. NOTE: The width of the fleece becomes the length of your scarf. So you end up with a piece of fleece that is 7″ wide & 45-60″ long. You can use a right angle ruler, a yardstick & tailor’s chalk to draw a line on the fleece so your cutting lines are straight. If your scarf  is too long for you, just cut some fleece off until you get to a length you like.

Next, put this long rectangle of fleece on your sewing machine, choose an edging stitch like a zig zag or blanket stitch & stitch around the whole piece as close to the edge as you can. This finishes the edge of your scarf.

The last step (& the most fun) is to start stitching in the middle of your fleece scarf with whatever is your favorite decorative stitch on your sewing machine. Stitch for a while, playing with the width & length of the stitch, then switch to another of your favorite stitches! Then keep going until you have used every decorative stitch on your sewing machine. The great thing about this is you really learn what all of the stitches look like & your scarf becomes a kind of sampler of all of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine.

That’s it! You get a cool handmade scarf & a decorative stitch sampler at the same time. If you can bear to part with it, it also makes a great gift! It’s so quick & easy, you can make bunches of them and give them as gifts to all of your friends.

Happy stitching!

I Just Sewed My First Shirt! by Brian S.

I chose KwikSew #2000 for my shirt pattern because I wanted a shirt that was large and loose for maximum ability to move while fishing. Although this pattern already has a lot of ease, I added to the looseness by adding 1.5” to the body length & going up a size to “extra large” for the body of the shirt, using my regular “large” size for the neck & collar.

The pattern directions were quite clear, starting with constructing the shirt front with patch pockets & flaps, however once this was done, I had difficulty trying to visualize how the outside & inside yoke edges attached to the shirt front & back. I finally figured out that the body of the shirt rolls up between the yoke pieces to create a “pig in a blanket” effect. This attaches the right side of the  inside yoke to the wrong side of the front. I pulled the body of the shirt out through the neck opening. To finish the body, yoke & sleeve seams, I used a “faux” flat-felled seam by machine-stitching the seam, then pressing the seam allowances together to one side and overlocking them without removing any fabric from the edges. Then I topstitched 3/16” from the initial seam.

I goofed one late evening after ripping out the collar stand with it’s attached collar to redo some seriously substandard edge-stitching. Unfortunately, when I put the collar stand/attached collar back on the shirt neck opening, I put it on inside out! The fabric was fraying so badly on the edges… I decided not to rip it out and redo it. I figured that the fish will never notice my mistake! You may notice that the collar turns slightly outward at the front edges instead of having a nice downward and inward roll effect. I learned to use a 1/8″ rolled hem foot to do the bottom hem (with about 80% success) and finished the curved areas by hand.

Although the pattern recommends medium weight woven fabrics (like flannel or corduroy), I used Burlington Moisture Control Sun Blocker fabric. It’s a lightweight synthetic wicking fabric with a high SPF which I thought would be great for those hot sunny June days on the sand flats of the Great Marsh. The color is listed as “dove grey” but  I call it “beach sand” …perfect for saltwater shore fishing! The fabric is soft, densely woven, lightweight, but somewhat slippery to cut. (I used serrated scissors to cut it) and it frays easily. This made  ripping out  stitched seams challenging with it’s ¼” seam allowances. I overlocked some of the raw edges right after cutting out the pieces, but I should have done this with all the cut edges.

I highly recommend this pattern. – I love this loose fitting sporty garment and I hope to get a lot of use out of it next spring!

My next project is a wool winter topcoat!

More Bookmarks plus Mini-purses too!

So…the teens forgot to bring their bookmarks back for pics, but this week one of my younger classes made bookmarks, and mini-purses like crazy! Here are some of them for my readers to see!

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