Friday 30 December 2011

Appliqué on a T-shirt...

Sewing an appliqué on a store bought t-shirt, is an easy way to dress it up, for very little cost. Here's how to do it:

Glueing the appliqué shape to the fabric:
You will need double sided fusible webbing to glue your appliqué to the material. Do NOT cut the appliqué shape out until the fusible webbing is glued to the fabric. One side of the fusible webbing feels rough or bubbly. This is the side you will iron onto the fabric to appliqué. The fusible webbing should be slightly smaller than the fabric. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the webbing to the t-shirt.
  1. Place the rough side of the fusible webbing on the wrong side of the material to appliqué.
  2. Place an old cloth under the fabric and on top of the fusible webbing before you iron, so glue doesn't get onto the iron or the ironing board.
  3. Set your iron to the appropriate setting for the fabric you are ironing and don't use steam.
  4. Press the iron rather than sliding it, to attach the fusible webbing to the fabric.
  5. Trace the appliqué shape onto the paper side of the webbing.
  6. Cut out the appliqué.
  7. Peel off the paper. There will be a thin film of glue left on the wrong side of the fabric.
  8. Place the appliqué onto the front of the t-shirt.
  9. Put the old cloth under the t-shirt and on top of the appliqué.
  10. Press as in Step 4, until the appliqué shape is glued to the fabric.
Cut the fusible webbing slightly smaller than the fabric...

Step 5: Trace the appliqué shape onto the webbing...

Step 7: Peel off the paper...

Steps 8 - 10: iron the appliqué shape onto the t-shirt...

Sewing the appliqué shape to the fabric:
You can hand or machine sew the appliqué to the fabric. This will help to prevent it from fraying. Experiment with stitch types, lengths and widths to achieve the look you are after. I use an appliqué foot, simply because it makes it easier to see what I'm stitching. It is not necessary. For this project, I have used a zig zag stitch, with a width of 3.1 and the length .8. I also loosen the upper thread tension slightly. Because the appliqué is going onto a t-shirt, I use tear away stabiliser to help prevent the t-shirt from stretching. I have rounded the corners of the star, as it makes it easier to stitch.
  1. Place the tear away stabiliser on the wrong side of the t-shirt behind where the appliqué will go.
  2. Baste (hand stitch) the stabiliser in place.
  3. If your machine has a knot stitch, begin with that. Otherwise do a couple of straight stitches and backstitch before you zig zag.
  4. Zig zag around the star, ending with a knot stitch or backstitch.
  5. Tear away the stabiliser on either side of the zig zag stitching.
Stabiliser on the wrong side of the t-shirt...

Step 5: tear away the stabiliser...

Stabiliser removed...

Hand stitching around the star:
To make the star stand out more, stitch two rows of running stitch around the star. I have used two strands of cotton thread, but you could use embroidery thread.

  1. Knot the end of the thread. I begin underneath the appliqué, so I can add an extra knot.
  2. With a running stitch, sew around the star using the red thread. I didn't measure. I just eyeballed it.
  3. Securely knot the red thread when you get to the end, or when you need more thread.
  4. Sew a second row of running stitch using blue thread. Knot securely at the start and finish.

I've teamed the t-shirt with a pair of shorts that have a matching cuff. Once again I've used the 30 Minute Shorts pattern from Create HOPE Designs. This time I've sewn red topstitching along all seams, (except the inside leg) and above the cuff. 

... a cute little outfit, that's quick and easy to make.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Zippered Pouch...

I recently purchased the Perfect Zip Bags pattern, by Elizabeth Hartman from Oh Fransson. I was lucky and purchased the PDF pattern when it was on special. It was well worth the money and would still have been, even had I paid the full price.

The bag is fully lined and closes with a zipper. My bag is slightly narrower at the top, than is intended in the pattern, as I didn't have a 7 inch zipper, so had to cut one to size. As I cut the zip a little too short, this meant making the seams wider at the top and so making the bag a slightly different shape. This slight mishap hasn't mattered. I'm still very happy with the overall shape.  Depth to the bag is created with darts in the bottom of the bag. The darts make a lovely shaped bag.

Elizabeth's instructions are clear, easy to follow and extremely detailed, with photos for each step of the process. There are three different styles of bag, with variations for each style. I found the method for inserting the zipper different to any I had seen before. The method used in this pattern resulted in the best corners I have ever created in a zippered pouch!!!

I made Style A; a small rounded bottom bag, 4" x 8" x 1½", which was the perfect size to hold a gift card. Next time, I think I'll make the gusseted bottom bag.

Pillowcases and Cushions...

Just before Christmas, I showed you this pillowcase I had made and used to wrap up one of my presents. I couldn't tell you what was inside, in case the recipient was reading. Well, my Mum did see this post, but didn't know it was for her.  Now I can show you what was inside.

Two patchwork cushions for my Mum. I used this tutorial, which I found on The Crafty Christmas Club,  by Too Many Pastimes. This was my first time attempting patchwork, so I'm rather pleased with how they turned out, even though the corners don't match perfectly.

Not so long ago, I shortened a tablecloth for Mum. The patterned squares in the cushions are made from the offcuts of that tablecloth. Mum was thrilled that the cushions match her tablecloth. I'm so pleased she likes them.

Here's another two pillowcases I made using the same tutorial that I used to make Mum's pillowcase.

For the purposes of taking a photo, the pillowcases have a pillow inside. For Christmas day, however, I put presents inside the pillowcases. Because they were for children, I also wrapped them in paper. Part of the excitement of opening presents for children, is ripping the paper.

We actually had our Christmas celebration on Boxing Day; the day after Christmas Day. This was so we could all be together on the one day. It was a wonderful day of opening presents, eating way too much food, but most importantly, spending a relaxed and fun day with family.

I have tried to close this post with a paragraph about the different festivals and traditions that people around the world celebrate at this time of year, but nothing has sounded the way I wanted it to. This paragraph has taken longer to write, than the rest of the post. I'll simply close by saying, I hope that you have been able to spend time this month, with the people that are important to you...

Notions and Vintage Goodies...

In mid November, I posted about some vintage notions and goodies that I had won over at Create HOPE Designs. The parcel arrived ages ago and I'm finally getting around to showing you the fabulous things that arrived; all donated by Kristy from Hopeful Threads.

Yes, ALL of the above arrived in the one parcel!!!... and it's all MINE!!! I thoroughly enjoyed discovering all the things that were packed into the parcel. Thanks so much, Kristy!!!

sew with heart 3 by Hopeful Threads, on FlickrCreate Hope Designs

Earlier this year, I participated in the Retro Pillow Challenge and the Solids Only Tote Challenge, run by Keren and Rikka, from Sew la Vie! and Ricochet and Away. In January, these two girls are hosting yet another challenge; the Naughty Notions Challenge. I had so much fun in the previous challenges, I definitely wouldn't miss this one. Here's the brief, taken straight from the Naughty Notions Challenge home page.

Should you accept this challenge, you will be required to make a clutch bag (or a small handbag), using lots and lots of notions.

Why "Naughty Notions"? Because they pile up and create a huge stash, that's why!

Here's your chance to put those notions to use big time. Buttons, beads, snaps, ribbons, cord, eyelets, hooks and eyes, zippers, lace trim... have I left anything out? Go overboard! Make your clutch bag all about the notions.

If you would like to join me in the Naughty Notions Challenge, head on over to the home page to sign up. You won't regret it.

I have no idea what I'm going to make yet, but, thanks to my win, I now have lots of fabulous notions to get me started.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Christmas Present...

I saw some fabulous ideas for wrapping presents over at Hopeful Threads. One of my favourites, was Kristy's idea of using a pillowcase instead of wrapping paper.

I used this tutorial from Flower Press to quickly make up a pillowcase. Using the tutorial meant I didn't have to spend time measuring an existing pillowcase. I wanted the pillowcase to be suitable for wrapping a Christmas present, without being too Christmassy, hence the colours I have chosen. For me, the hardest part of making the pillowcase, is making sure the fabric is cut accurately as rectangles. Once that is done, it takes no time at all to sew the pillowcase.

Pop the present inside, tie it up and you have a present within a present. There's nothing to throw away, as even the ribbon can be used again.

I've made a sewn card to go with this present. It's going to be put inside an envelope, before it goes under the Christmas tree. I just wanted to show you the pillowcase with matching card.

What's inside the pillowcase you ask? I'll have to tell you after Christmas, just in case the recipient is reading.

Dress A Girl Around the World...

Have you heard of Dress A Girl Around the World? It's an organisation which aims to provide dresses for girls who otherwise wouldn't own one. How could a little girl not own one dress? Perhaps hard for us to imagine as we sit in our comfortable homes, blogging and sewing.

Here's some links if you would like to find out more about this wonderful organisation:
I've just sent these dresses off to Dress A Girl Around the World, Australia.

The pillowcase dresses are SO quick and easy to make. I've used fabric from my stash, but, as the name implies, they can be made from a pillowcase. You will easily find patterns all over the Internet. Here's a few links to pillowcase patterns:

I decided to try another style for the fifth dress, as I wanted to try out a pattern I had; Butterick 3477. I quickly skimmed the instructions.  It looked easy enough.

I'm not totally sure what happened, but the dress was much larger than I expected. I made a size 5. I know I'm only short, but the dress, without the ruffle, came down to my knees!!! Something went wrong somewhere. Time to properly read the pattern instructions. My mistake; the pattern allowed several inches at the top of the skirt for the gathering. I'm not sure why this much was needed. I just sewed three lines of stitching for the gathering, using less than one inch of fabric. No way was I undo the gathering. I could have shortened the dress and then added the ruffle, but I felt this would be a waste of fabric, so I've left it without. I think it's way too big for a five year old, which doesn't matter as it can be worn by an older girl. I doubt that I'll bother to use this pattern again. There's too many really good patterns out there.

This picture gives you an idea of just how long the last dress is. The template for the butterfly appliqué is from Angel Lea Designs.

Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress...

Sunday 18 December 2011

Sewn Christmas Cards...

I saw some fabulous sewn Christmas cards by Sew and the City and thought I'd make my own. Here's my first one...

Actually, it's my second attempt and my first finished card. Sew and the City suggested putting little dabs of glue on the back of the fabric to adhere the fabric to the cardboard so it didn't move when sewing. I omitted this step in my first attempt and of course, the fabric moved and puckered. I won't show you that attempt.

I decided to use double sided fusible webbing instead of glue and it worked like a charm. This card was so easy to make. Here's how I did it.

Fuse the Christmas tree to cardboard:
  • Fuse the Christmas tree to the cardboard using double sided fusible webbing and following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use an old cloth so glue doesn't get on the iron or the ironing board and to stop the cardboard from burning.
  •  Use a low setting on the iron so the cardboard doesn't burn.

Sew the Christmas tree:
  • Sew a zig zag stitch around the Christmas tree.
  • Sew the green card to the actual Christmas card using a zig zag.
That's all there is to it. If one of my family members is reading, this card may be for you. Act surprised and pretend the card must have taken me hours to make.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Wedding Dress ~ FINAL Transformation

If you are new to Threading My Way, you may not have seen the Wedding Dress I transformed into a smart day dress. That post has generated significantly more traffic to my site, than any other post I have written. I loved reading the comments, as did my daughter. If you were one of the earlier people to post, you may not have seen Tasha's reply to your comments, as to why she wanted to transform this smart day dress into a top.

In short, Tasha doesn't really like wearing dresses. Same as me, she much prefers to wear jeans. How could I argue with her logic. She'd get much more use out of the outfit if it were made into a top to wear over jeans.

So, again Tasha designed, while I sewed. In reality, this transformation was really quite simple and straightforward. Cut the bottom off the dress and make some straps.

Here's how Tasha summed up her thoughts...

So I got to wear part of my WEDDING DRESS again last night. This time to a less formal occasion, an end of year work function. My wedding dress, that was transformed into a formal day dress to wear to a friend's wedding, is now a sparkly top! My ideas were put to my mum, the scissors came out again and straps were added! The best part, is that one day, I will be able to pass this clutch purse on to my daughter. Very special to be able to give my daughter something practical that was made from my wedding dress and recreated into something new by her grandmother!

Tasha is teaching me to think outside the square, to be more adventurous and that it's OK to bend the rules. If you'd like to see more of Tasha's style, she has her own website called Little Ladybird.