Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category


Project 45: Finished calendar and lessons learned

December 21, 2011

Calendar wall hanging

Here it is! This was a quick project. I enjoyed printing my own fabric and imagining a finished project around it. Designing your own fabric has gotten so accessible that anyone can do it. You can even print it at your house. Yay technology!

Lessons learned:
– It helps to have the right equipment so you don’t end up knocking on a friend’s door in search of a color printer at the last minute.
– It helps to have good friends.
–  With advances in technology and the vast amount of supplies available to us, we really can make anything our imaginations can dream up. Go create!

Next up: a guest series from an intrepid friend. Are you ready?


Project 45: Now what?

December 20, 2011

Calendar materials

Once I had my printed fabric sheets for the 2012 calendar I needed to decide what to do with them. I had considered making it into a tea towel, but the texture of the printable sheets wasn’t quite right for that. I picked up some absorbent fabrics to go with it but ended up choosing to make a wall hanging instead.

Above you can see my supplies: flour sack towels, cotton flannel with a cute cherry pattern, some red crochet floss (my favorite part of the finished hanging), some red ribbon, and sewing stuff.

I didn’t take any photos of the sewing process, sorry. Mostly I just cut a flour sack towel in half, measured flannel for a border around the calendar to match the size of the towel, pieced the front together, sewed the back on, and pressed it all flat. Ta da!

Check back tomorrow when I’ll show you the awesome detail I added to the bottom.


Project 45: Making your own fabric

December 14, 2011

The first step in the fabric calendar project was printing the calendar design onto fabric. A friend let me use a few sheets of printable fabric called Printed Treasures. It’s actual fabric that you run through your inkjet printer. You then peel off the backing and sew it. This worked pretty well! Here is a bad photo of the sheets drying on my indoor clothesline:

Fabric drying

You can see that they frayed a bit but overall they turned out pretty great.

It occurred to me after I finished the project that if I wanted to do multiple versions of the calendar I could have used a service like Spoonflower. Spoonflower is a local company that does print on demand fabric. You can create anything you want. It’s kind of incredible. I might still give it a try.

Check back tomorrow to see all of the materials I bought for the calendar project.


Project 45: Fabric printing

December 13, 2011

Printable tea towel calendar

Craft blogs have been a great source of inspiration for me during the course of this blog project. Recently a project came across my blog reader that showcased the talents of two of the crafters I read regularly. Check back tomorrow as I try my hand at this printable 2012 calendar tea towel. I finished it in a day, so if you hurry you could make one before the end of the year, too!

Photo by Heather of Dollar Store Crafts


Project 19: Window treatments are done!

May 20, 2011

Roman shades half

Huzzah! Can you believe the roman shades are done and hung up? I kind of can’t. I felt a bit like Dr. Frankenstein a few minutes ago standing on my bed with the power drill. When they were up I just kept raising and lowering them with a foolish grin on my face. They work! They’re done! And I made them! I can barely believe it.

Lessons learned:
– Baby naps are a perfectly reasonable time to get things done, even things involving power tools.

That’s all I’ve got for now. It’s too close. Many thanks to Dara of Li Sashay for the help with the shades, and to my husband for digging tools out of the utility room at 1:45am. I couldn’t have done it without either of you.

Next up: finishing the lights.

Here are two more pictures just because I’m giddy about it:

Roman shades open


Roman shades closed



Project 19: Finished curtains!

May 17, 2011


I finished my curtains! Last night I finally had a free hour to finish sewing the tabs on and get them hung up. You can see that the color isn’t a perfect match with the rest of the room, but I’m so happy to have them done that I’m not too concerned about it at the moment.

Next I’ll work on the roman shades and hopefully get those done tonight. Stay tuned!


Project 19: Roman shades

May 13, 2011


This is Dara. She is the creative genius behind Li Sashay, a local clothing design company. She generously offered to collaborate with me on my roman shades as part of her 40 Days of Summer project.

Dara ironingWe met in the sewing room at TechShop last night to tackle my giant bolt of white cloth. She knows way more than I do about sewing! Every so often she’d say something (ex: “I have twill tape”) that made me just stop and stare at her like she was speaking a different language.  Thankfully she was a patient instructor and made allowances for the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing, even cheerfully ripping out a whole 8 foot row of my stitches that had wandered around a bit too freely.

She ironed, pinned and fixed the sewing machine while I did my best to sew straight lines and get the roman shades done in our time together.

We made great progress and got most of the sewing done last night. Now I just need to finish the last few rows of stitches and add the hardware. I may not have a reveal to post today or tomorrow, but be assured that it will come soon! (Unlike project 17, which is still languishing…)

Industrial sewing machine

Check out this beast of a machine we used!

This project was featured as part of Li Sashay’s 40 Days of Summer projects.


Project 19: Finally sewing

May 12, 2011

Sewing supplies

Despite a mild fever and just generally feeling rotten, last night I decided it was time to start sewing my curtains. I had already purchased the fabric for both the front and the lining but was a little nervous about cutting them. Selecting yardage for a project is kind of a mystery to me. I had brought a friend with me who has more experience in home projects than I do and this was a good thing when we got to the cutting counter and had to make quick decisions. Still, I wasn’t terribly confident that I had made the right choices. So I laid everything out on my bed (the largest work surface in the house) and started measuring.

Everything went very smoothly. I pinned and ironed and hemmed and pinned and ironed again. Halfway through sewing the first panel I discovered that I was doing it all wrong, but I kept going and it turned out ok.

Now I have two panels that are (hopefully) the correct size for my window but which are still open at the top. I also have fabric tubes waiting to be turned into tab tops. Today I’ll pin all of that together and give it a quick finishing run through the machine before heading out to work on the roman shades this evening.

Finished project tomorrow, I hope!


Project 19: Shade supplies

May 11, 2011

I was supposed to meet someone to collaborate on my roman shade project tonight, but a busy day and the first hints of a cold kind of wore me out. Instead I went shopping for shade supplies and we’ll meet on Thursday.

I plan on following the instructions in this step-by-step guide to making roman shades. I already had my fabric, so tonight I just had to pick up thread, plastic rings, and nylon cord from the fabric store, and a 1×2 and dowels from the hardware store. I was unable to find dowels that were the right length for my window (most were half the size) so I ended up getting screen moulding instead. It’s the right size, just flat instead of round (and cheaper).

While at the hardware store I also picked up a curtain rod, brackets, and finials, so if I can get all of my sewing done in the second half of the week I should be able to hang everything right away.

Can I do it? Stay tuned to find out.


Project 19: Buying fabric

May 10, 2011

A friend and I went fabric shopping this morning. I brought along my paint colors but had no way to bring a sample of my toile comforter with me. My hope was that I would find a drapery fabric that had both of my paint colors plus an accent color that I could use in the room.

I kind of failed. I bought fabric, and it looks nice with my paint colors, but it doesn’t have an accent color and it doesn’t look good at all with my comforter. I’m going to forge ahead with it for this project and live with it for a while to see if it grows on me. If not, the window in the guest room is the same size!

Tomorrow: making roman shades.