Vintage Sewing Ideas: Free Patterns Roundup

Vintage Sewing Ideas

Do you love vintage designs as much as I do? I’ve always had a fascination with vintage clothing designs.  While styles have changed a lot over the years, there are some truly classic vintage designs that continue to look good, or even better, as time goes by. But what is “vintage” you might ask?  It seems like one of those terms that are probably not well defined and vary according to the eye of the beholder –so I thought I’d try to come up with a definition.  When I began my research, it turns out there actually is a semi-official definition of “vintage” clothing after all.  The below is from Wikipedia: Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered vintage. … Continue reading

Detachable collar: the easy way to bling your outfit. Part 1

detachable collar

A detachable collar is perhaps the easiest way to “bling” an outfit and make it more elegant without having to go and spend a whole bunch of money on jewelry.   A removable collar is also a great alternative to the current trend of chokers that are in every jewelry store these days –at least in my corner of the world. Here is a super easy way to make one that will take you only a short time, few supplies and little money to make. When making this collar, you should take into consideration the venerable Fibonacci sequence which is a pillar of design and even architecture.  This sequence of numbers is found all around nature and using it in your designs will make them really stand out.  We are more in tune with nature than you think and our brain recognizes … Continue reading

50+ Easy Valentine’s Day Sewing Projects for 2017

valentine's day sewing projects

Has Cupid’s arrow struck yet? Well, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is most definitely in the air with these cute Valentine’s Day sewing projects. Here are more than 50 fun projects that will help you and the loved ones enjoy this special holiday.   Maybe you can even make some of these with your sweetie. Whether you need some decorations ideas, something fun to wear, or to make a gift, this cute collection has it all. Melt any heart with these free, cute and easy Valentine’s Day sewing projects! Hover over the picture to show the title, click to open, or right click and open in a new tab to keep this page open too. And don’t forget to pin so everyone can enjoy! Valentine’s Day Sewing Roundup

How to transform a sweater into a cardigan: free video tutorial

transform sweater into cardigan

This is a tutorial on how to refashion and transform a sweater into a cardigan.  Just in case you got a sweater stashed away in the closet that’s been unused for many years or even decades.  Or maybe someone close to you gave you one Christmas but you are not the sweater type and prefer cardigans –this simple procedure to transform a sweater into a cardigan will help you along. We have been talking a lot about ways to save money and reuse or refashion clothing in many of our recent posts, so it’s about time we start getting to work and using the things we have around the house instead of buying more fabric or, even worse, more clothes. I will be using this sweater I was given for Christmas this year.  While I love it, I also live in the … Continue reading

Maintaining Your Sewing Machine

maintaining your sewing machine

By Linda Ann Nickerson In today’s marketplace, the sewing enthusiast may spend hundreds, or even thousands, for a brand-new sewing machine. From a basic appliance to fully-computerized system, this is a capital investment. How can you keep yours humming along in good form? Notions Count Sewing machines can be costly, particularly if you opted for extra stitches, attachments, or embroidery capabilities. You will want to protect your investment by purchasing and using high-quality notions. 1) Thread Be sure to buy quality threads. Cheap thread is no bargain, as it can destroy your machine from within with fraying, knots, and uneven fibers. Those spools in the close-out bins at the fabric store are usually not a good deal at all. 2) Needles Sewing machine needles must be replaced regularly. If your needle accidentally hits a button, snap, zipper, or straight pin, … Continue reading

Plastic Free Living: Organic Bamboo Fabric

organic bamboo fabric

It is possible to live without the plastic that leaches into everything around us.  Many people, especially those with young children, are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential health effects of all the plastic we are exposed to every day. There are many ways to avoid the use of plastic in the home, especially in the kitchen, and you can exercise your creative mind in thinking up new ways.  You might begin by eliminating plastic shopping bags; simply take your own paper or fabric bags with you. Look for milk that comes in glass bottles that are returnable for reuse, use stainless steel containers for lunch boxes and find stainless steel ice cube molds for the freezer. Modern clothing is commonly made of plastic; nylon, polyester, Lycra and acrylic are some of the names of products best avoided for the … Continue reading

Crafty Burlap Ideas for Unique Home Decor

crafty burlap ideas

Burlap is a simple, unassuming fabric that has taken the home decor world by storm.  As many crafters and home decor enthusiasts are discovering, there are many things you can do with a plain swatch of burlap.  Ideas for projects with burlap are plentiful because of two things.  The first is that this fabric woven with plant fibers is cheap, anywhere from fifty cents to five dollars per yard at most fabric stores.  The second reason is that unlike many other fabrics, burlap projects can be done without sewing.  This makes it appealing to those who are otherwise intimidated by fabric projects and feel inclined to run when they hear the phrase “thread the bobbin.”  Burlap ideas are abundant if you use your imagination, but here are a few simple do it yourself projects to start you on your burlap … Continue reading

Have Sewing Space, Will Sew!

sewing space

If you’re just starting to discover sewing as a creative expression, you’re probably still using your dining table as your sewing board and dreaming about having your own work space.  There’s nothing wrong with converting your dining room into your sewing space, but believe me, having an organized sewing room will inspire you and your creative juices to keep right on flowing. So if your dining room table contains fabric and sewing notions more regularly than plates, food and wine glasses, it is high time to think about having your own dedicated space for sewing. Find a space in your home and convert it into one and it doesn’t really matter how big it is. What matters most is how you organize your space to get the most out of it. Let’s say you’ve chosen your sewing space in your … Continue reading

The Art of Thrifty Sewing: How to Save Money When You Sew

thrifty sewing

It’s hard to consider sewing to be a money-saving activity when you add up your costs. After you buy a pattern, full-price fabric, and any accessories, you can easily spend twice as much as you would on the same item – already made – at a discount department store. Occasionally, buying everything new will be the only way to create what you truly want. But most of the time, if you can be flexible and a little patient, there are some excellent sources out there for sewing supplies at next-to-nothing prices. Buy Vintage Thrift stores and yard sales can be a great source of fabric, patterns, notions, and tools. The best yard sales for these items are typically in older, well-established neighborhoods of mixed age demographics. Finding the perfect yard sale for sewing materials can be rewarding for the buyer … Continue reading

Getting to Know Your Bodkin: Hamlet to Today

know your bodkin

Introduction Have you ever come across a name of a sewing tool and had absolutely no idea what it is?  Well, for me, when I was learning how to sew, it was the word “bodkin”.  What a strange word I thought back then and I imagine many new sewists today think the same thing.  So here’s a little background about the wonderful history of the word and the sewing tool known as the bodkin. The term bodkin is really quite old and it became very popular in the late 1500 and early 1600’s when William Shakespeare used it in his famous play Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 1, Page 3) to refer to a dagger or knife: That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and … Continue reading

Prepare for Winter with a Warm, Snuggly Jaipuri Razai 

Jaipuri Razai

My husband came in the house a few weeks ago and declared rather matter-of-factly that we were going to India at the end a January.  The daughter of a long-time business associate of his was getting married and we had been invited to the wedding.  I know the family too and they are wonderful people, so I was delighted to attend. If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding and have the chance to do so, you should definitely go.  The Indians take weddings pretty seriously and they are usually three-day (or longer) affairs that involve hundreds, sometimes thousands, of guests from the extended family and friends as well as marching bands, grooms riding live elephants, henna “tattoos” for the ladies and many other customs and rituals that are hard to describe. Knowing that we were going to be in northern India … Continue reading