Monday, December 21, 2015

Love of sewing!

It's taken a while,  but the graphic tee movement is starting catch my eye.
Recently I saw a tee shirt on Face Book that I really liked,  but they wanted $25 + shipping.

I have vinyl,  a Silhouette cutter and just enough nerve to try making my own stencil and design.

So using the techniques I employed for the painted pillows I applied them to stenciling a tee shirt I purchased at H&M for $10.

I really like the result!

Things to remember:
1. Use a textile medium with your acrylic paint,  or the design will be stiff.
2. Use cardboard between the tee shirt layers so paint does not bleed through.
3. Set the paint design with an iron and wait 2-3 days before washing.
4. I ironed creases on center front both vertically and horizontally to set my design in a pleasing way.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Beginning Draping

For many it seems so scary to take a piece of fabric and make it into a fancy dress.  But that is where most fashion designers start after sketching their ideas. You can learn the art of Draping.

Draping is one of two ways to mold fabric into a fashionable creation.  To start, you will want a couple of supplies:

Marker or Pencil
Muslin fabric
Dress Form

The best way to learn how to drape is to just jump in and do.  Embrace your 3 year old imaginative self and get to work.

Watch the following videos posted by Nick Verreos on You Tube for some basic tips and then just practice and play with what you can come up with.

"Draping on Dress Form"
"Making a Pattern from a Draped Muslin"
"How to Drape Cowl Top"

Have Fun,
Be Creative.

After just 40 minutes this is what 2 groups of students created using the tips from Nick Verreos.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The high school Christmas Dance is just around the corner and that means it's time to alter more dresses! 
I'm not aware of a ready to wear dress that doesn't usually need some type of alteration. 
Hem alterations are probably the most common followed by sleeve additions or raised necklines.

Pictured below is a beautiful eyelash lace dress that needed to be taken in through the bodice and raised in the neckline.

I reset the invisible zipper to take in the bodice. This involved removing the zipper,  then reseting it with an invisible zipper foot.  Because of the busy lace pattern this was simple and additional changes did not need to be made to the bodice.

The original bodice was too low.  By folding the lace back on itself and stitching along the understitch line on the lining I was able to shorten the bodice without having to alter the neckline,  sleeve or disturb the delicate lace.  Stitching along the lining also helped increase the integrity of the lace along the seam.

I finished the new seam allowance with a slip stitch for a beautiful finished seam. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Knife Edge Painted Pillow

Stenciled Pillows are a HUGE trend right now in home decor.  In an effort decorate my daughter's dorm room on a budget we attempted to make our own pillows.
With the help of a Silhouette vinyl cutter we created a few stencils and we loved our end result!


  • It helps to work with a heavy weight fabric.
  • Use a Textile Medium with your acrylic paint.  You can find with the acrylic paints at the store. 
  • sew your zipper on the bottom of the pillow (below your stencil) since you have now made your fabric a directional print.

                                Knife Edge Painted Pillow

Supplies Needed
½ yard heavy weight fabric
16” pillow form
Thread to match
18” invisible zipper
Acrylic paint
Textile medium
Stencil brush
Scrap paper
Mixing bowl/cup
Mixing spoon

Cutting Instructions:
Cut 2 -- 17” X 17” squares

Prepping the Fabric to Paint:
  1.  Prepare the area where you will be painting.  Place newspaper or paper on the counter top. 
  2. Mark Center on the front pillow piece by folding the fabric in quarters, finger press or lightly press with iron (avoid ironing a permanent crease).
  3.  Decide where you want the stencil on your fabric.  **Note** remember that you will be taking ½” seam allowances, allow plenty of clearance around the edges of the fabric.
  4.  Remove the backing (white) on your stencil. You have now exposed your sticker.  Carefully place the stencil in the place you’ve determined.  Smooth carefully and firmly across the stencil. 
  5. Remove the grid transfer paper by slowly and carefully peeling it back!

Preparing the Paint:
  1. Mix 2 parts Paint to 1 part Textile Medium.  The textile medium prevents the painted area from being heavy and stiff. 
  2.  Tips for stenciling:  --How to Stencil T-shirts
    •   Keep your brush dry—use small amounts of paint
    • Tap excess paint off the brush by tapping on the plate
    •  Use quick up and down motion to transfer the paint to the fabric, do not brush the paint on, it will bleed under the stencil.
  3. Carefully peel the stencil from the fabric. 
  4.  Let your fabric dry.
  5. Heat set your design with a dry iron.  Place a pressing cloth over the design and move the iron over it for 20 seconds.  Do not wash the newly painted design for 7 days after painting.

Sewing the Pillow:  Invisible Zipper –Singer Invisible Zipper Presser Foot Tutorial

1.       Press ½” to the wrong side on the bottom side of pillow front and pillow back.

 2.       Unzip the invisible zipper.  Line the zipper teeth along the crease right sides together.  Pin top edge of zipper along the side edge of the pillow.

3.       Use the Invisible Zipper Foot to apply this zipper.  *use the video tutorial above as a reference*

Sewing the Rest of the Pillow:
1.        Place Fabric RST. Pin.  Sew ½” seam allowances.  Leave zipper unzipped when sewing the seam allowances. 

2.        Clip corners. Press seams open. Turn right side out.  Push out corners with a point to create a crisp corner.  Roll seams and Press.  Insert pillow form. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Track Bag--Drawstring Bag

Track Bag Sewing Directions  Follow this link for pictures of step by step directions listed below.

Track Bag Directions

Hammer Setting Grommets from Make it Mine Magzine