Easy phone charger holder

phone charger holder

A phone charger holder seems to me a great way to keep the mess of cables and electronics contained.  I don’t know about you, but the piles of cables on the kitchen counter, on the floor, or on the desks are enough to send me into a frowning mood.  So I thought this little project can make the ugly cables disappear and the best part is that the holder can be done in only seven easy steps. Required Sewing Materials 2 rectangles of quilting fabric, color of of your choice, 18” x 8” Fusible interfacing Non-woven, sew-in interfacing.  I am using Therm-O-Web but Pellon is equally good and cheaper. Bias tape of 1/2″ wide x 38” long (you need a strip of 2″x 38″ long) follow this post to make your own bias binding tape. Sewing thread Sewing scissors Step … Continue reading

For Men Who Love to Sew

men who love to sew

Sewing is one of those rare fields where women dominate the scene –but there are surely a few men out there who would love to learn to sew at home.  So why don’t we see more guys famously sewing when we have many male fashion designers who have made names for themselves and nearly almost all tailors are men? The main reason is perhaps the widely held, but fixed and oversimplified, idea that sewing is a task fit only for women. Alas, sewing was on the standard curriculum for girls in high school while the boys were usually taught some kind of industrial arts like carpentry or car repair, weren’t they?  As a result, sewing became something that a woman was expected to know, which she can use as her contribution to her future family.  This was especially true during … Continue reading

Have you tried an electric seam ripper?

For anyone with manual dexterity problems, or anyone with a lot of seam ripping to do, this electric seam ripper is the answer!

I’m not a big fan of “un-sewing”.  Perhaps I do it more than most because I often design my own patterns so along the way there is a lot of testing, experimenting, and altering things as they are developed.  That often means that a seam needs to be unpicked.  I’m interested where the phrase seam ripping and the term seam ripper came from.  Certainly most of the fabrics I sew with, if I make a mistake there is no way I can just ‘rip’ that seam open to undo the stitches – that would damage the fabric.  So I like to unpick or “un-sew” them, and let’s face it, sometimes that can take a long time and can be a bit tedious if you do it over and over. (Not that I would ever make any sewing mistakes of course … Continue reading

Yes! You CAN make professional looking custom sewing labels!

make your own sewing labels

There are so many nice label shops out there, especially on Etsy.  I’ve been wanting to get some custom sewing labels for myself for some time now, but for wanting so many different styles, it would cost me a fortune.  Now that I know how to make them for next to nothing, I can make them more personal like “Made for Paige by Nana”, “Made Specially for You”, or “Love Mom”. You get the idea. I’ve tried this a couple of ways to see what would work best and quite honestly, I like them all. Let’s get started. What you will need: Sewing machine Iron Ink Jet printer A word processing program, or design program Scissors or a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat (preferred) Thread to match label Sewing machine needle Sewing machine foot you can see through (I LOVE … Continue reading

How to use the binding foot

Where has this been hiding all my life! With the binding foot I can get perfectly sewn binding front and back every time.

If you get frustrated putting on binding because you sometimes miss catching the back of the binding and get little gaps – you need this article!  Never miss the back again and get perfectly straight stitching – learn how to use the Binding Foot. Do you remember that lovely big box of sewing feet I bought? I’ve been gradually working my way through them a bit at a time, with varying degrees of success. I’m never one for worrying too much about the accuracy of my sewing so these are certainly helping me get a great finish on all of my test pieces. There is one in particular I wanted to share with you, the Binding Foot. This is a revelation! I now worship the binding foot and have been making up all sorts of little bits and pieces to add … Continue reading

Oriental sewing roundup for Chinese New Year

oriental sewing roundup

Trying to avoid Valentines Day? So while everybody is busy planning for Valentines, I wondered what else was going on in February.  If I see much more pink I might be sick, and Valentines isn’t for everyone… right? (Like those of us who have been married for more than 5 minutes don’t get a look in!) Anyway, less moaning, more sewing… and inspired I was, as I consulted my teachers calendar and realized it is in fact Chinese New Year on February 8th, and it’s the year of the monkey. This got me thinking… Get inspired with Asian-styled projects in this oriental sewing roundup! New inspiration and ideas for sewing are always good, so why not find some oriental style sewing patterns for all of you?! Not only are there some fabulous dress designs, and cute little purses, but games, bags, decorations … Continue reading

Something sweet, something racy…..a free sexy dress pattern

Somthing sweet(1)

This Valentine’s Day, we have something special for you –something sweet or something racy– with a free sexy dress pattern and tutorial.  This dress comes with a warning!  Be careful.  You may struggle to keep your lover’s hands off you when wearing this.. This is an intermediate level project.  It will take some time to make, but once its done, you’ll be happy to spend time in it!  It is comfortable, but sexy and is a very flattering design.  I have designed it on a bias and simplified the construction as much as possible.  I have made it specially for the curvy girl in mind.  The smallest size will accommodate a bust and hips between 43″ and 45″.  I have not used fusible interfacing because I did not want any more support, and my fabric did not need it.  You … Continue reading

The Art of Sewing and Selling: More Tips to Help You Start

sewing and selling

Sewing and Selling Selling is as much an art as sewing is –and if you are willing to be creative and serious in both, then it may be time to showcase your work and earn some money too by practicing the art of sewing and selling. You can start stitching your way to success like others did. And one of the most amazing success stories in sewing is the Levi’s Jeans story when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, patented a unique way of making pants by using rivets at points of strain to make them last longer. The rest, as we all know, is a multi-million dollar sewing history. You can see a terrific video about the Levi Strauss story below which might give you some inspiration: So, let’s say you finally decide to start a home sewing business. Here … Continue reading

February Mug Rug Tutorial – Swishes and Hearts

mug rug tutorial

Mug rugs have become so popular lately! For the past couple years they are by far my biggest pattern sellers. This is probably for many reasons. They are super easy to make, they can be made using your favorite techniques (hand or machine), they make great gifts, and they can be decorative as well as functional. Most of all, they are so much fun! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorial.  For more holiday mug rug patterns, as well as everyday patterns, stop by my Craftsy Shop or Etsy Shop. Lets get started! What you will need for one mug rug: Small scraps of fabric for appliqués 1/8 yard of light weight paper backed fusible webbing 6 1/2 x 10 inch piece of fabric for background 6 1/2 x 10 inch … Continue reading

Easy trick to perfectly join quilt binding

I've always struggled to get the perfect join and fit when joining my binding but with this tip it was perfect first time - and every time!

I know that for many of us, sewing on binding is our least favorite part of a project.  It usually comes at the end after all the other hard work and investment, and is a very visible part of the end result. If it doesn’t look good, then it can leave you feeling let down  🙁 I’ve recently been practicing my binding skills and especially this week practicing on how to join the two ends of the binding at the start and finish, where they meet. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but I just couldn’t get it right.  It was always wonky somehow, or I’d measure what I thought was the correct amount but then it would end up just that little bit too long and I’d get puckers trying to make it fit.  Arggh.  Frustrating.  Until … Continue reading

I Love You with All My Needles

I love you with all my needles

Sewing for Love It is believed that humans started sewing with a needle 25,000 years ago. Yes, the art of attaching objects together by using a needle and a thread dates back as early as the prehistoric age! Imagine a woman lovingly sewing together a hide or bark for clothing, to protect her husband and children from the harsh environment. Using needles made of animal bones or natural needles from the agave plant, she must have spent many hours hand sewing her family’s clothes with the very limited material available to her.  It is certainly different today with a quick search on Amazon showing over a million sewing items! The thimble, made from bone, wood or bark also made its appearance during this time, to give her the much needed help in pushing her needle through tough surfaces. For sewing … Continue reading