A Dozen Clothing Care Tips that Will Save You Money

clothing care tips

We all spend a lot of time spend a lot of time and money on our clothes and this is particularly true if you’ve learned to sew your own garments.  I was thinking the other day that we sewists may not pay as much attention to how we care for our clothes after we’ve made them as we do when we’re making them.  I know I’m certainly guilting of this, so I thought we’d share some clothing care tips from a new contributor to the blog. A Dozen Clothing Care Tips that Will Save You Money Clothing, especially your career wardrobe, is an expensive investment, and taking proper care of your clothing can save you considerable money over time, not to mention the time and frustration of having to repair or replace garments unnecessarily. Excessive cleaning of clothing wears it … Continue reading

Home-Made Buttons: Three Easy Techniques

home-made buttons

When you’re looking for just the right buttons for your latest clothing project, as jewelry components or as trimmings for your scrapbooks, there’s nothing like the DIY approach for that perfect finishing touch. Homemade buttons are easy and fun. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll never want to use store-bought buttons again! Home-Made Buttons from Rustic Wood You can make wooden buttons very simply, either from a length of dowel or from a natural tree-branch. Using a branch will give you lots of interesting natural variation in the shape and color of your buttons, but you need to be quite choosy in selecting your material. Choose a hardwood such as oak; softwoods are too fragile. Use the straightest branch you can find — this will give you the most even buttons. Only use seasoned wood that’s had time to … Continue reading

A New Workout Wardrobe: My New Year Resolution

workout wardrobe

Hang on….before you roll your eyes and pass the page, hear me out. Every year, I mark in my agenda a list of things I would like to do and sadly, at the end of every year, I usually see that more than half are not accomplished.  At the top of my list of things that never seems to get accomplished is “Exercise more, lose weight and get rid of the clothes you do not wear”.  Why is that, I wonder? If someone phoned me right now and said let’s go to the gym, I would find that I HATE MY CURRENT WORKOUT CLOTHES.  This is not because they are ugly clothes, but because they are all the wrong size.  I’m ashamed to admit that I purchased the wrong size on purpose — in a smaller size, of course– because I … Continue reading

How to Make Old Clothes Look New and Stylish

Make Old Clothes Look New

When you open your closet and stare at your clothes, does boredom sweep over you? Are you tired of looking at the same old pants, skirts, and tops? Before you go out and blow a paycheck on a new wardrobe, why not consider recycling what you already have? With a few clever changes you can give your old tired clothes a new life. Here are some ideas: Make old clothes look new: Put new buttons on old blouses There’s no quicker way to revamp the look of a blouse than to change its buttons. Pick a blouse from your closet and take it with you to your local fabric store. Go to the button section, and hold different buttons over the current ones. See what a difference a button can make? Pick out some interesting ones and have your tailor … Continue reading

Explaining Useful Notions to a Teenager

useful notions

My daughter asked me a funny question the other day.  “Mother, you keep using that word ‘notions’, so what is a notion anyway??”  Unfortunately, I can’t quite replicate the teenage tone that blends mild sarcasm with a whiff of indifference.  I think there was a little sideways shake of the head too, but I usually try to ignore that..  I’m sure those with teenage daughters will know what I mean.  I thought, well, this might be a good topic for a quick article. When I began to do some research, I started to understand why my daughter might not instantly understand the term.  After all, when I checked the definition of the word in Dictionary.com, the meaning I was referring to was way down at the bottom and number six on the list of potential meanings of the word: notions, … Continue reading

Inexpensive Sewing Projects to Practice Your Skills

inexpensive sewing projects

Sewing is one of the most immediately useful crafts to learn. It can save the crafter money in household expenses and provide extra income from the production of marketable goods that can be manufactured and sold from home. It’s also a very versatile skill that can meet a variety of needs to adapt to changes in circumstances and market opportunities. However, as with most skills, it takes practice to gain competency and comfort with the endeavor. New sewers can become frustrated if they expect too much from themselves too soon instead of enjoying a more relaxed, natural progression rate. One potential hindrance to this practice phase can be cost of materials. While a sewing machine and other tools used are a one-time expense for the beginner to accommodate, materials are consumed with each use and cannot be easily restored or … Continue reading

Best Black Friday Sales: Making the most of your time online

best black friday sales

Our regular readers know we don’t usually send around more than one email or so a week.  This week, however, is one of the few exceptions because of the holidays and the now famous Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  We want to help you get the most out of this exciting time of year. As a lead up to the sales, yesterday we announced a new Huge Janome Sewing Machine Giveaway with a RRP of $1,499.  If you haven’t yet entered, you definitely should.  Since we launched last night, many readers have asked the best way to enter the contest to have the highest opportunity to win this major prize.  Easily the best way to do this is to use the “Share With Friends” entry option.  When you do this, not only do you register an entry for yourself at … Continue reading

50+ Cute and Cozy Free Dog Bed Patterns

dog bed patterns

They are our most special friends…bottomless cups of cuteness all day long and all night too! We want only the best for our furry friends because there’s no one in the world who loves us quite like they do and the feeling is definitely mutual! Sewing for your dog might be some of the most rewarding sewing you’ll ever do…because you just know that whatever you make for him is going to result in far more than just one future smile. Where our pets are involved, there’s just no end to the joy they bring and so the same goes for our doggy sewing efforts.  We’ve done some features on Sewing for Your Dog in the past but this time we wanted to focus solely on one of the things that makes your doggy the happiest and put together a … Continue reading

T-shirt Upcycle Madness: 15+ Fun Projects

t-shirt upcycle

So…with well over 2 billion t-shirts being made every year, it’s no wonder so many of us find ourselves with cupboards (especially our male counterparts’ cupboards) which are starting to overflow with years and years worth of t-shirts which are kind of cool but just don’t seem to get worn all that much. We are loathe to throw them away… I’m a big fan of the comfort and feel of soft t-shirt material and I know that I always keep mine in the hope of finding a way to upcycle them later on. Another little addiction of mine is thrift store tees, old logos and prints which maybe aren’t in production any more or at any rate, rugged old tees which just seem so infinitely cool. Knowing that many of you might have a similar affinity I thought, why not … Continue reading

Which Sewing Machine Needle? + bonus download

sewing machine needle

Ok, so you’ve taken up sewing but you’re still learning the ropes, as they say.  When talking about sewing machine needles, people in your sewing circle keep spouting off numbers like 90/14 and 75/11, which makes little to no sense to you…the problem is, you’re just a tad too shy to ask. Well, that’s why we’re here: so you can arrive at that next sew-along date spouting off some useful info of your own, maybe teach the old experts some stuff that even they didn’t know (we won’t tell them, if you won’t). Before we get to those blasted numbers though…what about needle types, why the different shapes and when are they appropriate? When it comes to sewing machine needles you’ll have a few needle types from which to choose, namely quilting, topstitch, embroidery, denim, metallic and universal. Your rounded tips are … Continue reading

Tips on sewing with fur every beginner should know

sewing with fur

Sewing with fur is relatively easy (and fun!), but every beginner should know these tips before starting a project.  Bear in mind we will be talking about faux fur and not the real thing..  Working with this special material does require patience, however. You can make many fun and interesting things with faux fur.  While it’s very inexpensive, it can add beautiful accents to garments or bags you may make.  We’ll be using it in a few projects in the future so it is worth having a look through these tips now. Faux fur is also known as fake fur, synthetic fur or fun fur.  Whatever the name given, today sometimes is very difficult to know the diference between fake or real.  Looking at the back of the fur is the only way to distinguish between the two. Real fur is … Continue reading