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Scrappy Coasters

October is here and my head is swimming in Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving table runners, Christmas stockings, and Stocking Stuffers! Today I am going to go into detail on a quick little project that would be perfect as a Christmas gift, or even Holiday decor for your own home. I made this set of coasters as a gift for a friend using the Art Gallery Soulful collection by Maureen Cracknell. (click photos to expand)

*Iron all fabrics before cutting to make sure you get a precise cut.

Using my quilting square and rotary cutter, I cut 2 squares sized 5.5″ x 5.5″. During the fall/winter I enjoy large cups of hot drinks like apple cider, tea, and hot cocoa so to make these coasters sturdy I cut out a 5.5″ x 5.5″ square of Insul-Bright. Insul-Bright is a breathable/washable material that is also heat-resistant! It’s normally used in oven mitts, so you know your surfaces will be safe from heat when using these coasters. (If you make them big enough you could even use them to hold a bowl of soup!)

Lay one square right side up then place your next fabric square right side down, so that the right sides are touching.

Next, lay your Insul-Bright on the top and clip together. Make sure you remember to leave an opening of about 2.5″ for turning. (Marked in red on my photo.)

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, take your coaster to your machine and sew. Once you have sewn it (leaving an opening for turning) you can clip the corners and trim the seam allowance. You will want to leave the seam allowance on your opening so you can iron it and topstitch later to close.

Turn your coaster right side out using a turning tool or whatever method works best for you. I forgot to photograph this step. Check to see that your corners are poking out as much as possible and look great. Iron your coaster down now, making sure to fold the opening in on itself so you can stitch it closed.

Bring it back to your machine to topstitch and close your opening.

Here comes the fun part that I love! Once you have stitched it closed you can get creative with your decorative stitching and really make these pop! Just a tip for using your decorative stitches; make sure you go slow and take your time with the intricate decorative stitches since they take a bit more work to achieve. I promise it will be worth the extra time.

 

I made a set of 4 coasters, but you could do as many as you want! They make great gifts, stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts, the possibilities are endless. They are 100% cotton so you can throw them in the washer/dryer!

If you are giving these coasters as a gift, you can refer back to one of my older blog posts on using scrap fabric to make a beautiful fabric rope!

I would love to see what creations you come up with for your coasters!

 

 

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Pattern Mash-ups

Pattern Mash-up Isla/Havana romper!

Hi all!  I’m Hayley from Oinky Beaver Originals…nice to e-meet you!  I don’t know about you, but I am always envious when I see fellow sewers post cool combinations of different patterns (often referred to as a “mashup”) – you take the things you love from each pattern and make something amazing!  So for today’s blog post, I thought I would share some tips for combining patterns using a mashup that I have been wanting to make for months.  I love the look of the Isla Top/Dress by Little Lizard King and really wanted to see that as a romper.  So I decided to mash it with the romper bottoms in the Havana pattern (also by Little Lizard King).  While I am using specific patterns to illustrate, the concepts are similar no matter which patterns you choose to combine.  

Let’s get started!  

 

Once you’ve decided which patterns to mash, you will need to compare the pattern pieces to figure out any modifications that may be required.  I printed and assembled the top piece of both the Isla and the Havana along with the romper bottom piece of the Havana.

I started by determining the length of the Havana top by measuring the length from the bottom of the armcye to the bottom seam of the pattern piece.  I know that I want my modified Isla top piece to be approximately the same length to ensure that the romper has a similar fit.  

Before I move on, I have a tip for you (let’s call it quick tip #1): I would suggest drawing your new waist seam line on your modified pattern piece right now.  Lay your top pieces one on top of the other and line up the bottom of the armcyes.  Make sure that the fold line of the Isla piece is perpendicular to the waist seam line of the Havana piece.  It may look a bit odd at this point, but it’s okay!  Go ahead and draw a line across your Isla piece right where the Havana piece ends (making sure that the line is perpendicular to the fold line of the Isla piece).  

Clear as mud?  Wouldn’t this be easier if I had a picture for you?  Yes, yes it would.  But alas, I haven’t got a picture of this step because I didn’t follow my own instructions and skipped ahead.  So let’s jump ahead a little and I will show you my comparison picture after I made the modifications.  You can see in this picture that I have drawn a waist seam line that is perpendicular to the fold line.  When I line up the bottom of the armcyes, my newly drawn waist seam line should match up with the waist seam line of the Havana piece.

(On a totally unrelated note – please ignore the hideous state of my cutting mat!)

 

 

You should now have an unmodified Isla piece with a line drawn through it that will soon become your new waist seam line.  Let’s move on…

Next, I took a look at the Havana top and bottom pieces where they would be connected.  You can see here that they are the same width…so we know that we need to make sure that the Isla top will be the same width as the Havana bottom piece (otherwise one of the pieces would require gathering and the pieces may not end up looking like they work together as one outfit).  

Now let’s take a look at how the Isla top piece lines up…uh oh!  This is a completely different width and shape.  Time to make some modifications…

…But before we start – it’s time for quick tip #2 (read: do as I say, not as I do!): compare the top pieces.  Is one supposed to be cut on the fold?  If so, you will need to take that into consideration before making your modifications…if you don’t, you will make a big mess (read: when I made my first modification, I made a big ole mess…I won’t share those pics…but thankfully I realized my mistake before I cut into any of my precious Threads and Stitches fabric!).

The Isla top piece is to be cut on the fold whereas the Havana top piece is not.  In order to ensure that my pieces line up, I need the waist seam line of my modified top piece to measure ½ the width of the Havana bottom piece.  

And that brings me to quick tip #3 (read: yes I definitely made this mistake, but because I was working with knit, it didn’t cause any issues in the final product…again…do as I say, not as I do!): make sure to take into account any seam allowance AND any other things that might impact the shape of the piece.  In this case, the Havana top piece has straight sides whereas my modified Isla top piece does not.  You will see in the picture above that I accounted for the ½” seam allowance, but what I failed to do was account for the waistline facing piece that needs to be added to make the elastic casing for the romper.  Since that is cut as a rectangle, I should have either (a) changed the shape of that piece to mimic the shape of my modified Isla piece, or (b) account for the waistline facing when making my modified Isla piece.  My advice (if you decide to make this specific mashup) is to follow (b) so your modified Isla shape would look more like the picture below.  Remember to take into account any seam allowances in your modification – you will see in the picture below that I should have had a 1.5” straight line to accommodate the seam allowance and waistline casing before starting to angle my line towards the armcye.

You will see in this picture that I have drawn a straight line to account for seam allowance (and waistline casing) and have then drawn a line connecting the top of that line to the bottom of the armcye.  This is my new side seam.  You can now cut along your drawn side and waist seams to create your modified Isla top piece.

Are you feeling brave?  If not, go back and compare the pieces again…make sure that you are comfortable that everything lines up.  Remember that the tops of the pieces will not line up and will look really weird compared to each other…this is okay.  We will be sewing the pieces separately before joining them together…so we’re just looking to make sure that where the two patterns join together, they will line up.  

I’m feeling brave, so I’ve cut my pieces.  Look how nicely the modified Isla top piece lines up with the Havana romper bottom piece!

Now cut out the rest of your pieces so you can get sewing!

Follow the Isla tutorial to make the top using your modified pieces.  Look how cute it is so far!

Follow the Havana tutorial to sew the romper bottoms together.  You will follow the instructions for joining the bottoms to the top, but will just be using your Isla top piece instead!  Because you have made the modifications above, your pieces will line up nicely and should go together easy-peasy!

Are you ready for some cuteness?  Here is my knit version of the Isla-Havana Romper using gorgeous fabric that I got right here at Threads and Stitches!  This is Art Gallery Soulful Floral Universe Plum, in knit.

I hope this was helpful and that you can use it to make your own mashups (whether it’s the Isla-Havana Romper or something totally new!).  Please share your creations in the Threads and Stitches Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/!

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Sewing an Inseam Pocket

Hi Welcome to Threads and Stitches!  My name is Natalie Hidalgo and I am the owner of Tutu Cute Designs.  Today I am going to show you how to insert inseam pockets into your dresses. Just a few simple steps and you will be well on your way.

I am sewing the Double Scoop, by Little Lizard King. This pattern does not call for inseam pockets, but I am adding them in.  You will find that with most dress patterns you can add an inseam pocket.  The beautiful butterfly fabric that I am using is from Threads and Stitches.

–  Take a trip to the Little Lizard King Website and download the FREE inseam pocket.  It looks like this 

– You will need to cut out four of these pieces NOT on a fold.

 

– Take your two skirt pieces and serge the length of both sides of each piece, so you should end up with four surged edges.

 

-Serge all four of your pocket pieces around the curved edges.  This helps it from fraying on the inside of the garment.

 

-Measure two inches down from the top of the skirt and pin the straight edge of the pocket along the straight edge of the skirt piece.  Do this with all four pocket pieces.

 

-Using a ¼ inch seam allowance sew the straight edge of the pocket down to the skirt.  Do this to all four pockets.  Take your iron and press the pocket piece open and away from the skirt.

 

-Pin the front skirt piece to the back skirt piece.  Make sure to pin the two pocket pieces together.  When you sew it together make sure NOT to sew down the straight edge of the pocket.  You must follow the serge line you made and go into the pocket pieces to attach them.  I used a half inch seam allowance, because that is what the pattern I am using calls for.

 

-Flip the skirt right side out and press the front and back skirt pieces together, at the pocket.

 

Voila!! You have an inseam pocket!

 

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Bow Back Dress

We hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July! I know we did, which is why there was no blog post for Tuesday. To make up for it, we have a special post about adding a sweet bow back to a dress.

Hi Everyone! I am Rachel and I am so excited to write up this blog post! I started sewing just about 1 year ago and have fallen in love with everything about it! I have always sought a creative outlet and sewing has become my new outlet! I am a stay-at-home mommy of 3 little ones age 6, 3, and 1. My youngest is the only girl so she gets spoiled because she still lets me pick her clothes and the little girl stuff is so much fun to sew!

I am in full summer sewing mode and I decided I wanted to make a bow back tunic for my littlest. The only problem is I don’t have a bow back dress or top pattern! I do have the Sahara from Bella Sunshine Designs. It is a super cute knit scoop back that comes in dress, tunic and top length. It also includes several sleeve length options so it is perfect for any season. The bodice is fully lined and the skirt is a full circle skirt (affliate link to the patten: https://bellasunshinedesigns.com/product/sahara-top-dress/?affliate=riafigliola)

As soon as I saw the In Blue line from Art Gallery I fell in love with Fiesten Intense. Fun fact Fiesten is bicycles in Dutch! Threads and Stitches was running a preorder for this fabric and of course I had to grab a couple of yards…and since have gotten several of the other fabrics from this line and more Fiesten! Check them all out they are gorgeous, especially the florals! The tulips on white in the shorties is also from this line. To find coordinating fabrics I often take the easy way and use something from the same line!

For this tutorial I will show you my steps for adding a bow back to the Sahara dress. I did the 12m width with 2t length. You might need to increase the size of your fabric piece for the bow in larger size range. Also you might want to adjust the placement of your bow based on the size you are making. I did make another larger sized tunic and was able to use the same dimensions for the bow!

First Cut your pattern pieces out and follow steps 1 & 2 of the pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out your pieces for the bow back.

Bow piece 4.5”x 6” (the width can be increased for larger sizes. This size should work well for most sizes but if you are in the upper size range you might want to add about ¼”.) You can also increase the length if you would like a wider bow.

Center knot piece: 2” x 5” (this should work for all sizes)

 

 

 

 

Fold your bow piece and center knot piece in half lengthwise right sides facing. Press, pin and stitch. I used a ¼” seam allowance.

 

 

 

 

Turn your bow and knot pieces right side out and iron so seam is centered at the back of the piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sew around the neckline of the lining and main bodice but leave an opening to fit your bow piece. For the 12m size I left a 2” opening. If you wanted a fuller bow you will need to leave a larger opening. You can make it about ¼” larger than the bow piece. The opening will be about 1-1 1/2” from the shoulder seam depending on size. For the 2T length I placed the opening 1” below the shoulder seam.

 

 

 

 

 

Turn your bodice piece right side out. Tuck the bow piece in the openings you left on either side of the neck seam.  

 

Separate your main and lining layers and turn inside out, pin the bow piece in place. Stitch the opening in the neck line to attach the bow piece. Do your best to line up the neckline stitching. You can then trim any excess bow piece that overhangs past the seam allowance. Repeat for opposite side. Turn right side out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap your center knot piece around the bow piece with the seam facing out. This will be turned around after stitching. Pinch the knot piece and sew close to the bow without catching any of the bow piece in your stitches. Trim excess fabric from the knot piece and turn the center knot piece right side out so the seams are hidden.

Your bow back is complete! Now finish the steps in the Sahara pattern tutorial to complete your top, tunic or dress! Don’t forget to visit Threads and Stitches on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/) or the web (http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com) to pick out your fabrics for your project!