Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Last Minute Holiday Sewing Gift Ideas

I'm honored to partner with for this post on festive holiday fabrics and last-minutes sewing gifts you can make up quickly to surprise your friends and loved ones with personal and thoughtful handcrafted gifts. 

Super Cute Reindeer Linen from

The holiday season is here and in full swing, but it's not too late to enjoy some last-minute Christmas sewing projects with beautiful, high quality seasonal fabric.

Since time is getting tight, I'm going to stick to easy projects the average sewist (sewing artist) can complete in an hour or less - though the pattern or tutorial you choose can affect that time. 

Sewing Gift Ideas to Make in an Hour or Less

  • Fleece scarves: Fleece scarves are super easy gifts to make and you can get several out of a single yard of polar fleece from  You can add decorative stitching around the edges or leave the fabric unfinished. Or, add cute appliques or embellishments like fringe to the ends to dress up the look and create a unique scarf for each person even though you're using the same fabric for several scarves. This is great because it extends your fabric and gift-giving budget without making identical presents. 
  • Tote bags: You can stitch up a basic tote bag with nylon straps and a boxed bottom in about half an hour, sometimes less, with sturdy decorative canvas or basic woven cotton. Tote bags are great for loved ones who enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle to use as shopping bags, or for anyone with an on-the-go lifestyle. 
  • Leggings: Leggings are a little bit harder, but if you use a basic one-piece pattern and especially if you use a serger, you can make a pair of leggings, which you can also call an under-layer for warmth for those who don't wear leggings, in just about half an hour. A regular sewing machine can take longer than half an hour, but you can still complete the project in under an hour. Choose a stretchy fleece or thermal-weave cotton for this type of project if the recipient lives in a cold climate, or a lighter jersey or Spandex-blend for loved ones who live where it's warmer. 
  • Mittens: In addition to making multiple scarves, you can use up some excess polar fleece, or just grab an extra yard or two when you're ordering from, and make up some cute and cozy mittens in next to no time. The mittens can be paired with a scarf or given as a standalone gift. 
I hope these easy gift ideas inspire you to do some last minute holiday sewing, and be sure to visit to get great deals on all the fabric you need to complete your last minute projects. 

So, who's on your holiday gift list that you still need to surprise with a special gift this holiday season? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Beautiful Christmas Fabrics for Your Holiday Sewing Projects

I'm proud to partner with to share these beautiful holiday fabrics with you...

Tis’ the season for DIY gifts, and has everything you need to get started on your next project. Whether you’re quilting, sewing Christmas pajamas or making festive accent pillows, has the perfect print and material to get you started.

Need some inspiration? See what others have created using the #madewithfabric hashtag, or by visiting the Fabric photo gallery.

Here are a few of our favorite holiday patterns!

Minky Classic Plaid Red

This Minky fabric comes in yellow, blue, green and red. Its softness makes it perfect for baby accessories, blankets, throw, pillows or stuffed animals.

Holiday Flourish Metallics Ornaments Black

This lightweight cotton fabric is perfect for home d├ęcor projects, quilting or apparel for the holidays. The print features poinsettias and metallic accents and includes hints of black, grey, various shades of green, various shades or red, golden tan and metallic gold.

Michael Miller Holiday Funky Christmas Yule Trees Santa

This whimsical pattern is not your typical holiday fabric! Enjoy a funky twist with fuchsia, green, pink and lime on a white background. Perfect for projects that bring a fun, modern update to the holidays.

Scandi 3 Reindeer Heads Linen

This 100% cotton fabric features white reindeer heads with red noses and is perfect for the Rudolph fans in your life! The simple yet fun pattern is perfect for small crafts, pillows, holiday stockings and more.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tips for Buying an Industrial Sewing Machine

Buying a high-quality industrial sewing machine makes upholstery sewing projects easier than they would be with an average household sewing machine.
Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Upholstery and re-upholstery jobs are easier to do with an industrial machine than on a regular household machine. 
The sewing fabric used for upholstery is heavy to begin with. 
Then, it is often necessary to attach the fabric to foam backing. 
Not just any sewing machine will be able to stitch through that kind of thickness without either breaking needles or the machine itself.

Powerful Industrial Sewing Machines

A good machine for sewing upholstery fabric will have:
  • A power stand with a 1/2 horsepower motor
  • A smaller pulley (sewing through heavy upholstery fabric requires extra power)
  • A sewing stitch rate in the range of 5,000 stitches per minute.
  • A class M bobbin
  • A side-mount bobbin winder.
  • A compound walking foot

Deceptive Sewing Machine Terminology

To get a good industrial machine be aware of deceptive terminology. 
Semi-industrial, heavy-duty, and industrial strength do not actually indicate that the machine in question is an industrial sewing machine. 
To determine if the sewing machine is actually an industrial sewing machine check the motor's horsepower and the stitch speed.
The best thing to do when it is time to buy an industrial sewing machine is - do a little bit of research so the machine will do the needed job. 
It is one thing to know a big bobbin machine is what is needed. 
It is even better to know how a big bobbin looks. 
There is nothing wrong with asking a lot of questions and taking the time to research sewing machine features. 
If in doubt it is helpful to take an experienced industrial sewing machine operator to inspect the machine before purchasing it.
Pick up the e-book, How to Start an Upholstery Shop (Insider Secrets for Upholsterers) to learn more about buying an industrial machine and many other industry insider's tips on starting an upholstery business.

By: Laure Justice

Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to Use an Industrial Sewing Machine

Powerful industrial sewing machines can sew through heavy material other machines cannot touch, but they can be dangerous if you do not follow the rules and listen to safety precautions.
Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Driven by a powerful 1/2 to 3/4 horse motor, the needle on an industrial sewing machine can slam down with a hammer-like force up to 5,000 times per minute. 
High-speed powerful impacts mean operators need to be careful when sewing or maintaining the machines in order to prevent injury. 
Wearing personal protective equipment, or PPE, and paying attention to the rules for safely operating these high-speed sewing machines can help keep you injury-free.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Industrial Sewing Machine Operators

Industrial sewing machine operators should wear two main types of personal protective gear:
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection

Safe Operation of Industrial Sewing Machines

Some rules for operating an industrial sewing machine include:
  • Do not leave the power on when the machine is not in use.
  • Do not let small children or animals play around the machine when the power is on.
  • Watch where you are sewing and do not sew your fingers.
  • Do not remove safety features from the machine.
  • If the machine does not have finger guards, see about getting them installed.

Safety Tips for Industrial Sewing Machine Operators

As an industrial sewing machine operator, you have the responsibility to keep yourself safe. 
If you do not wear the necessary protective gear, you are the one who will feel the pain when something goes wrong. 
If you work for someone else and they do not provide eye or hearing protection, you should either ask them for the needed PPE, or pick it up yourself as soon as possible.

Potential for Injury

If you leave the power on when working on the machine, or you let your fingers get under a moving needle assembly, you will be the one hurt, so shut the power off. 
Watch ahead when you are sewing and slow down before you hit thick seams or material. 
Keep yourself and others safe by turning the machine off at the switch or unplugging it when it is not in use.
Pick up the e-book, How to Start an Upholstery Shop (Insider Secrets for Upholsterers) to learn more about safely operating an industrial machine and many other industry insider's tips on starting an upholstery business.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How to Clean and Oil an Industrial Sewing Machine

If you have an industrial sewing machine (I'm using my Consew 225 as an example,) you have a "work-horse" of a sewing machine. If you don't maintain it, though, it won't perform as well as it should.

How to Maintain an Industrial Sewing Machine

By: Laure Justice

Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Consew 225 Industrial Sewing Machine
Brush Cleaning
One way to clean lint from the inner workings of your industrial sewing machine is to gently flick them away with a small paint brush. 
Pay special attention to the bobbin case, making sure all signs of lint and bits of  thread are gone.
Air Pressure Cleaning
While a brush will work, an air compressor nozzle or can of compressed air, like you use on a computer, are the best ways to clean your Consew  sewing machine, or any industrial.
 Just direct the air flow at the bobbin case and blow debris  away from the sewing machine's moving parts. 
Open the machine's upper cases,   too, and clean around all moving parts.
Oiling the Industrial Sewing Machine
(Consew 225 Example) Oil your Consew each time you start it up, and oil the bobbin case with  every other bobbin change to get the most out of your machine. 
Frequent  oiling is a must for the 225 model Consew, because the machine is capable of  making 1,000 stitches per minute, and that's a lot of friction if the machine  is not well-oiled.
Most of the spots you need to oil are marked with red paint, but you  also need to add 2 or three drops of oil to the outer edge of the bobbin case, to the knuckle-shaped spot on the front of the machine's case, and to the moving places on the back of the machine. 
You should also see two silver circles with little metal ball-bearings in the centers. 
Press the tip of the oil can's nozzle on the metal balls and push down, then squirt a drop of oil in each of them.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Visit the Stitching it Right Etsy Store!

Hi Everyone,

I'm in the early stages of setting up a Stitching it Right Etsy store where my friends and I will be selling our handcrafted creations.

Stitching it Right Etsy Shop

I named it after this site to make it easy to share updates about the store here.

Just click the link to visit the Stitching it Right Etsy shop, and be sure to bookmark it because new items will be loaded tomorrow and, hopefully, each day.

For tonight, it's set up and there's only one thing for sale in it, a new, uncut vintage sewing pattern for an ultra-feminine dress that would be awesome for a bridesmaid gown, a wedding dress, a prom dress or any elegant event.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

3 Awesome and Reliable Sewing Machines 2016

If 2016 is the year you are learning to sew, improving your sewing skills, or just want to upgrade your sewing machine - check out this short list of great, reliable sewing machines: 2016.

(I tried to choose mid-priced sewing machines that are suitable for different skill levels - if you don't see your favorite, please leave a comment to share info with the other readers.)

3 Reliable Sewing Machines 2016

Click here to buy
this Singer!
SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist: The SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist is a 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with a good reputation for quality. (Yeah, I actually did just write 600 stitches!) That is a mind-boggling amount of preset stitches you can use to create, well, pretty much anything you can imagine. What surprised me even more than the number of stitches the Quantum Stylist can create was the fact that it is a quality machine with so many features for under $350. While I have bought cheap, 69 dollar sewing machines at Walmart, and they did work - sort of okay - I generally expect a decent quality sewing machine to cost about $500, and not have many 'extra' features at that price. 

Click here to buy
this Janome!
Janome Magnolia 7318: The Janome Magnolia 7318 is an 18-stitch sewing machine made with the Janome high-quality standards packed into a relatively simple machine. (Oh, and it's super cute as a bonus!) This Janome features a 7-piece feed dog assembly, and what that does is it provides a precise level of control as it feeds fabric under the needle. I saved the feature that excited me most for last, it has a top-loading jam-proof bobbin system. Jam proof! If you've ever had to unjam a bobbin case, you know what a big deal that is and why I consider it an amazing feature - if you haven't, well, just know you don't want to.

Click here to
buy this JUKI!
JUKI HZL-35Z: I associate the name JUKI with quality sewing machines - probably because they were a standard piece of sewing equipment in the sewing factories where I worked when I was younger. The HZL-35Z has the 'pretty' look of a home sewing machine backed by the quality of the company name. This sewing machine has a drop feed that lets you do both quilting and free-motion sewing. It has a free-arm feature for sewing inside sleeves or pant legs. And, it has an automatic needle threader, which is a cool feature for those of us with vision problems. The JUKI HZL-35Z also gives you 27 different stitches to complete your sewing projects with just the right details. 

Thanks for reading about these three awesome and reliable sewing machines. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions below.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Compare Sewing Machines to Find The Best One for You

Compare Sewing Machines to Find The Best One for You

By: Daphne Thomas

Compare Sewing Machines image courtesy of Pixabay

Before you buy a new sewing machine, you will want to compare sewing machines to find the best choice for your needs.

Sewing machines have come a long way over the years, no longer are they merely for sewing hems or creating quilt tops. Today a home sewing machine can make fancy stitches, embroidery and much, much more. Choosing the best sewing machine for you will depend a great deal on what you plan to do with it. If you plan to sew a couple times a year and your designs will be simple, a standard machine will do the trick. However, if you are a craft master and plan to take on all types of projects, you will want something a bit more advanced.


Your budget may limit your choices for a new machine. Sewing machines are like other electronics - they can range in price from cheap to expensive. Decide how much cash you can spare and then set your budget. Once you have a figure in mind, begin comparing machines that fit within your financial guidelines.


Now that you have a good idea of what you will be doing with your machine and how much you can afford to spend, begin researching the different models available. The Internet will be your best friend when it comes to this research because you can compare features, cost and even reviews side by side. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can save specific information about each machine and refer to it later. This research will be helpful even if you are planning to buy locally. Simply print it off and take it to your local shop.

Specials and Buying Online

While you may prefer to buy locally, take the machine home immediately and get sewing, you might find that online shopping will save you a ton of money. The Internet is prime ground for deals and specials you often cannot find anywhere else. Online retailers have a lot less overhead and can cut prices to benefit consumers.


Reasons many people prefer to buy at a local shop are the classes and instruction often offered. Perhaps you have never sewn before and want to take up a new hobby. What you want to remember to do is compare the increased cost of the machine versus the value of the class. In fact, you could buy a machine online cheaper, pay for sewing classes and still come out ahead.


Sewing machines range from garden-variety disposables to full-blown embroidery and quilting machines that will run you several thousand dollars. Choosing the best one for you will depend on your wishes and available funds. Compare models carefully so you find the best machine to fit all your needs.
About Author Daphne Thomas shares more tips on how to compare sewing machines and some great sewing tips and techniques on her site at
Article Source:

Teaching Children How to Sew

Teaching Children How to Sew

By: Jason Borchardt

Teaching Children How to Sew image courtesy of Pixabay

In the "9 Secrets to Successfully Teach Your Child to Sew", I discussed knowing your child's personality. The 4 questions were:
1. Is your child a perfectionist?
2. Do they get frustrated easily?
3. Do they like following specific directions, or do they like to invent things on their own?
4. Are they able to stay on task for a block of time, or do they learn in spurts?

Before we delve into the answers to these questions, it is important to remind you of the crucial point of our teaching. We are wanting to instill a desire for sewing, not just another thing that our child needs to learn how to do.
So many times before we start something we think we need to know everything there is to know about it. Think about how our children learn the most important things in life. Did you sit your child down and explain to them the mechanics of crawling and walking prior to them doing it?
If you do not know how to sew, the best way to give your children a desire to learn is for them to see you learning to sew. Another way, is for your child to see things that other kids have made. We have many friends who have expressed an interest in learning how to sew after they have seen something that our girls have made.
So, no more saying "I just don't know how, or I don't think I can teach them myself". JUST GO FOR IT!
NOW, back to the questions. Maturity level is an essential ingredient when considering how to work with the answers to these questions.
I will use my own children, and a few other kids from families I have worked with, to show how the answers to these questions determine your initial approach to teaching. I will use different colors to represent the different girls. All of these girls had never sewn before.
A. 3 yr. old
B. 6 yr. old
C. 8 yr.old
D. 9 yr. old
E. 14 yr. old

1. Is your child a perfectionist?
    A. Absolutely not
     B. No, but could lean that way
C. Yes
D. Absolutely not
     E. Not extreme, but wanted her work to look professional from the start

2. Do they get frustrated easily?
A. No, enjoyed a challenge, and would conquer whether done correctly or not
     B. She enjoyed trying new things but if it got too difficult she would choose to stop instead of conquer
C. Yes, if something is too difficult
D. Not when working on own creation. Yes, when what she was doing was not her choice.
     E. No, would follow through until correctly resolved

3. Do they like following specific directions, or do they like to invent things on their own?
A. Always liked to create her own things
B. She preferred following an example if she knew that one was available. If specific directions were on hand she would follow these. Always found great satisfaction in accomplishing the steps to instructions.
     C. Very diligent to follow specific directions
D. Extremely creative. Preferred to invent her own creations.
E. Wanted to sew clothes with a goal of creating her own patterns.

4. Are they able to stay on task for a block of time, or do they learn in spurts?
A. If creating own thing, could stay on task for long periods of time. If following specific pattern, only in spurts.
B. Could stay on task
C. Could stay on task
 D. Only worked in spurts
E. Could stay on task

Based on each of these precious personalities, and their maturity level, this is how they started their journey of sewing.

A. Was given a box of fabric and some stuffing. Was taught the basics of how to make the machine sew straight lines, putting the foot up and down, and pressure on the pedal. She was allowed to create whatever she wanted for 3 months before I asked her to follow a pattern. Her first pattern was for a quilt. She only worked on this project once or twice a month. All other times in the month were spent on her own creations. Because of the freedom given to her, she mastered straight lines and foot pressure very quickly.
When creating on her own, she would spend blocks of time working diligently. During the times that we worked on specific patterns, she would sew and then would play or draw while I pinned the next step. Some days she worked for 15 minutes, other days she would last a couple of hours. Time was based on her interest. *Reminder: due to her age she was never allowed to use the sewing machine without me in the room with her. By age 5 she made her first dress. She continued to sew her own creations but at this time they actually looked like quilts and pillows. She just completed her first dress on her own (a little help from me with cutting and following the pattern), at the age of 8.

B. Started with practicing straight lines and foot pressure on the pedal. She decided that she wanted to sew a teddy bear first. I was concerned about this because of all the curves and the fact that I had no idea how to make one. I drew the outline on some fabric, cut out the bear and she sewed around it. I told her repeatedly how difficult of a project this was which gave her a lot of confidence when we were done. After this I gave suggestions on some easier projects. She devoured them. Because of her desire to sew clothes, we literally learned to understand patterns together. The amazing thing was how easily we understood them due to the projects we did prior. (More about this in the next article: How To Choose Patterns) She would spend a minimum of 1 hour working on her projects.
By the time she was 8, she was making her own dresses and sewing costumes. At 9, she was branching out into creating her own doll clothes without patterns. We practiced cutting off and on, but it was very difficult for her to get a good straight line. By age 10, she was doing all of it: cutting, marking, pinning, reading the patterns, and sewing.

C. Started with practicing straight lines and foot pressure on the pedal. She wanted to follow whatever pattern I thought would be best for her. I picked something that was very simple and wouldn't be easy to mess up. We spent a lot of time encouraging her, and the lines had to be really really bad in order to rip them out. After several completed projects, her lines corrected themselves.
She continued to follow a progression of patterns that built skills one at a time. Now she has the confidence to try harder patterns and isn't as concerned with perfection. She has also created some of her own designs.

D. Started with teaching the basics: straight lines and foot pressure. Then gave her a box of fabric and let her go. She needed quite a bit of supervision, with gentle reminders about not sewing when there was nothing under the foot. She had no desire to follow a pattern; instead she made her own. She spent approximately 1 1/2 years sewing her own things. Her skills naturally improved and progressed in difficulty. Afterwards, she decided she wanted to try store bought patterns. Once she learned some of the basics for constructing these patterns, she was on her own again however, her projects became more involved and had a more finished look.

E. Started with all of the steps. She wanted to learn everything in order, from laying out the pattern, cutting it out, marking, pinning, and sewing. She wanted to start with clothes, so I gave her several choices for easy dress patterns that would build skills one at a time.
As you can see, each girl started with the basics of learning to sew straight lines and work the foot pedal but how they progressed in their learning was based on their unique personality. After they mastered these steps and were confident in their ability, the projects increased in difficulty in order to introduce new skills. This reduces the pressure to learn everything at once.
Kristi has a passion for teaching others how to teach their children to learn to sew, whether they know how or not. To learn MORE from the “9 Secrets to Successfully Teach Your Child to Sew”, go to
Article Source:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quilting Machine Manufacturer

Quilting Machine Manufacturer

By Qnique Quilter

Quilting Machine image courtesy of Pixabay

There's nothing that can compare to the fine art of quilting. As a tradition that has been passed down for generations, many a home has a collection of treasured quilts. Some are tucked away. Some are used. Others are lovingly passed on. Quilts hang on walls and are on display in museums and exhibits. They tell a story and great devotion is contained within every square. If you make magic with quilting and want to make your life easier, turn to a quilting machine manufacturer who knows quilting. With a unique quilting machine from the Grace Company, you will be able to make more dreams become reality with every completed quilt.

It's All about Helping You to Produce Works of Beauty

With a first rate quilting machine produced by the Grace Company, you won't believe what a difference it can make in your quilting projects. As a quilting machine manufacturer that specializes in all leading brands of quilting machines, there is sure to be a machine that is the right fit for you. When you combine a quilting machine with a frame, you'll find that it is much easier to produce beautiful quilts that will become part of your heritage. You'll be able to piece your quilts with ease as the machine sews your layers together. You can count on the expertise of a quilting machine manufacturer to understand the process of quilting inside and out. Let the Grace Company help you to indulge yourself even more in your favorite hobby. If quilting is a part of your livelihood, you really need to find out how a quilting machine can change your life. We invite you to come try out our new one the Qnique Quilter 14+ quilting machine.

Create a Legacy that is built to Last

When you design a quilt and see it through to completion, you are leaving a piece of yourself that will be passed on to the future. Whether you are creating quilts simply for the pure joy of it, you give them as gifts, or you sell them in a shop, your quilts capture your imagination. Each one tells a storyand it all begins with you. Discover how the Grace Company can help you on the journey to becoming a dream maker. Learn more about quilting machines and find the machine that is the right fit for you. You owe it to yourself to find out how you can bring more quilts to the world.

Monday, April 18, 2016

How to Start a Homebased Business Making and Selling Fabric Handbags

How to Start a Homebased Business Making and Selling Fabric Handbags

There are many crafters that have turned their hobbies into lucrative homebased businesses. Sewing fabric handbags is one example of a craft business that can lead to a profitable work at home income. With the right marketing skills and business know-how, this income-generating hobby even has the potential to grow beyond your typical homebased business. Take the Vera Bradley company, for example. Started by two friends, their line of quilted bags and purses grew in popularity, and now Vera Bradley is a well-known multi-million dollar company.

If you are interested in sewing fabric handbags for income, there are a few things you must consider. First and foremost, how are your sewing skills? Initially, it's unlikely that you will be outsourcing the work, so you need to make sure you can sew. For the most part, fabric handbags are not that difficult to make. You can start with simple totes, and then as your skills improve, you can diversify by sewing more complicated designs.

If your experience is limited, or if you can't remember the last time you actually used your sewing machine, it may be a good idea to take a class. Many fabric stores offer classes, or if not, should be able to point you in the right direction.

To maximize your income potential, and to minimize future problems with tax liabilities, it is a good idea to talk to an accountant. An accountant will be able to help you with all business aspects of your startup, from how to track and report your income and expenses, to filing the required forms so that you will be able to purchase fabrics and other supplies at wholesale cost.

Many crafting businesses operate as sole proprietorships. However, if you are interested in setting up an LLC or corporation for your business, an accountant or attorney will also be able to provide advice and suggestions regarding this.

Another important aspect of starting this type of crafting business is determining how you will market your handmade handbags. If you are interested in attaining local customers only, selling through consignment boutiques and setting up booths at craft fairs, flea markets, and farmers' markets are good ways to market your bags locally.

However, if you want to expand your customer base, the internet offers a multitude of opportunities to market your handbags. Although setting up your own website may come to mind first, and this option is certainly viable, there is a significant learning curve involved. You will need to familiarize yourself with website design, search engine optimization, and other ways to drive traffic to your website and convert visitors to buyers. These can be outsourced if your budget allows.

If starting your own website seems overwhelming, you can still tap into the online global marketplace by selling your fabric handbags through sites such as Etsy and eBay. These sites, as well as similar ones, simplify the process of selling online. Also, because of the high number of visitors they receive, there is a good chance you will receive a fair amount of buying customers to your listings.

There is a strong demand in the marketplace for handmade fabric handbags. Although there is much involved with starting a homebased business, the rewards are worth it.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hand Embroidery: Some Simple Facts You Should Know

Hand Embroidery: Some Simple Facts You Should Know
Hand embroidery thread image courtesy of Pixabay

Hand embroidery is an old craft that has been practiced since the ages of your grandma and her mother. This involves motifs and needle works. You can learn this craft easily but it takes a lot of practice and patience to master the art of hand embroidery.
One who is confident about her creativity and artistic sense then she should try out hand embroidery as a hobby or profession. In fact the hand-embroidered stuffs are so popular among the users that they are sold at a high price. This shows that hand embroidery is a pretty good choice to earn the living.

Stitches Used in Hand Embroidery

There are quite a number of simple and complicated stitches, which are used to make different stuffs with hand embroidery. The simple ones are satin stitch, chain stitch and back stitch. The chain stitch can be used to make the flowers and other figures as it gives a round shaped knot-like look to the stitched area.
Satin stitch gives a comparatively fuller look and even look and this is the reason they are used to fill up the figures of the design. Then there are other stitches like Outline or Stem Stitch, Whipped Running Stitch, Crossed Backstitch etc. The stitches that are used for outlining are quite simple and often give a look like a continuous line.

Types of Hand Embroidery

Some of the most popular types of hand embroideries are Cross-stitch, Canvas work, ribbon embroidery, Black work embroidery and Bargello embroidery. In Cross-stitch an x-like design is made with the help of the threads and needles and various interesting floral and other patterns can be made with this particular type of embroidery.

Canvas work can be used with yarns and this can be done on various textures like synthetic material or silk. Ribbon embroidery is all about making the patterns with ribbons, which is probably the most romantic form of hand embroidery. The Black work embroidery is the type where the work is done using the black threads. Bargello is done on the woolen canvas and it involves stitches, which can be horizontal or vertical.

Usage of Hand Embroidery

Hand embroidery is used to prepare various utility items as well as artworks. Generally the hand embroidery is used in the women's garments and they are priced quite high because of their aesthetic appeal to the users. This technique is used to make covers of upholstery, cushions, pillow covers etc.

You can also get various artworks like wall hangings, paintings and bags where hand embroidery is used for its exceptional beauty. These exquisite designs are made using the simple ingredients like needle, threads and some patterns. But the beauty of the product lies in the skills of person who is doing the hand embroider
About the Author
April Kerr owns website Start Embroidery which has details of where to buy discount embroidery supplies including the cheapest silk embroidery threads and cheap embroidery machines .

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cheap Aprons Made From Your Pair of Old Denim Jeans

Cheap Aprons Made From Your Pair of Old Denim Jeans
By Peny Rock

What do you usually do with your old-fashioned or outgrown pair of denim jeans? Are you the type of person who immediately throws old clothing in the bin? If yes, then this article is meant for you as it provides you ways o how you can make them into aprons. If you know how to operate the sewing machine, you can always come up with cheap aprons or denim tools aprons that are guaranteed to withstand for prolong use.

Using your old denim pants in making cheap aprons is a good idea because the fabrics are twill weave. In a twill weave, the fabrics are constructed by interlacing wrap and filling yarns in progressive alternation, which then makes the materials strong and durable. Since aprons are highly exposed to damages, it is just right to use highly durable materials like denim fabrics for their construction. Through this, you can ensure that the said utilitarian outer garment is able to serve its purpose well.

To successfully make an apron out of your old pair of denim jeans, there are a number of essential things needed. Aside from your old pants, you will also use a yardstick for measuring purposes, pencil, scissors, dressmaker pins, dressmaker shears, fabric-marking pens, flat iron, thread, and of course a sewing machine.

You already completed the items needed in making denim tools aprons? Here's an easy to follow procedure on how to construct cheap aprons for your tools. First, cut the back side from of your outdated pair of denim pants. The pockets at the back of your pants will provide a storage space for the tools you need in your work. You can also widen the width of the apron by sewing another fabric on each side. From the remaining fabric of your old pants, make 2 drawstrings long-enough to tie around the wearer's waist. Sew the strings on each side of the aprons or thread the tie to the belt loops.

After forming your denim cheap aprons, show your creativity by designing the said functional outer clothing. You may incorporate the pockets with embroidered patches or other accessories so as to make the garment attractive and distinctive. And don't forget to iron your newly created denim aprons for a perfect finish.

Penelope Rock is a product consultant for aprons like cheap aprons and tools aprons.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

How to Get Rid of Your Half Finished Sewing Projects

How to Get Rid of Your Half Finished Sewing Projects
By Deanne Blackhurst

Everyone has them, cluttering up closest, gathering dust under beds or hidden away in a storage space. I'm talking about the dreaded WIP, work-in-progress. The quilt top you started but never quite got around to finishing, the knit sweater that's still missing one sleeve, or the skirt for your daughter that needs a couple of buttons and a hem to be complete.

There are lots of reasons why people start projects but don't finish them. The first moments of creation are exciting and fun but then life forces your attention in other direction like running your kids to a sports practice or dealing with some work related crisis, and that single-minded focus is broken. Other times your enthusiasm may wane and frustrations creep in when your project doesn't turn out as well as you think it should. It's always hard to come back to a craft that has lost its appeal.
Even when they're hidden out of sight, WIP projects are rarely forgotten. Instead they linger in the back of our minds like a guilty secret we don't want to deal with. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are several things you can do to get control of your work-in-progress and free up both your creative juices and your living space.

Is It Worth It?

That darling baby-boy quilt top was a great thought twenty years ago, but now that the kid is in college it's clearly no longer suitable. Don't be afraid to get rid of half finished projects that are out of date or more difficult to complete than you anticipated. Your time is too precious to waste on finishing something that you don't like or won't be able to use. Consider donating these items to a local thrift store where another crafter might be happy to finish them up, or disassemble the work and use the pieces for other projects.


Being confronted by lots of WIP can seem overwhelming, and it may be difficult to know where to start. The easiest approach is to set aside a certain time each week to work on them, and then tackle the easiest and the ones that are closest to completion first. This way, you'll see progress quickly and be motivated to continue.

Get Support

Working toward a goal with the help and support of other people is a lot more fun than doing it on your own. Why not participate in a craft blog WIP event or have some friends over to your home for a handiwork day. Invite your friends to bring their own work-in-progress and a treat to share. It's amazing how much easier it is to motivate yourself when there are others around doing the same thing.

Commit Yourself

There is nothing like a deadline to push us into finishing a project. Use this principal by making the completed item a birthday or holiday gift that must be done in time to wrap and deliver. Another way to motivate yourself is by verbally committing to a friend or family member. Tell them you're working on something special, and show them the progress you're making. By getting someone else excited about your handicraft, you'll feel more excited too.

There are dozens of new crafts and fabrics that come out each month, just waiting to be tried. Don't let your half finished projects hold you back from exploring these fun new trends. Finish or toss old WIP projects and you'll open up time and space for exciting new sewing experiences.

Deanne Blackhurst is a Freelance Writer for Heirloom Patch, an online sewing, fabric and quilting store that carries Montego Bay Batiks, Wool, Thread and Notions. They also carry quilting kits and patterns. Visit their site at Heirloom Patch today and browse their full line of Moda designer fabrics.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Overcoming Sewing Motor Weakness Disorder Overcoming Sewing Motor Weakness Disorder
By David Trumble

Most of us, live our lives with certain expectations.

We expect the light to turn on when we turn the switch. We expect our cars to go when we press down on the accelerator.

So, when we press down on the foot control of our sewing machines we expect the sewing machine to work.
At times, we get to thinking of your sewing machine like a friend or in a sense like a real person. We talk to it. We touch it. We listen to it. Sometimes, it may appear that our friend is stricken with an infection or disease. This is especially true when we press down on the power and very little happens.

When you press down on your foot control, does your sewing machine hesitate? Does it groan a little? Does it turn ever so slowly or maybe not at all?

If so, then your sewing machine may have the dreaded Sewing Machine Motor Fatigue Syndrome..

You can determine if this is your problem fairly quickly with a few basic tests.

You set up your sewing machine and are ready to sew, but when you press down on the foot pedal the machine barely moves at all. It is as though the machine is tired from a long hard summer. No matter how hard you press down on that foot control; no matter how much power you put in; the sewing machine just drags along.

The two most common sources of such a problem are the potential for a bind in the sewing machine mechanism itself and problems in the motor.

To check for binding, turn the hand wheel by hand and feel for any undue resistance. If the machine is stiff, your problem may be the mechanism. If the machine moves freely, it is probably a problem with the motor.

The AC motor in your sewing machine or mounted behind the head of your machine, will often accumulate debris inside. This debris may consist of partially burned carbon deposits, dust and dirt, and old lubricants. Gradually, this debris takes its toll on the operation of the motor.

You do not need to be an expert on motors, to understand how deposits of debris can make it more and more difficult for the motor to perform as expected. Over time, the motor loses its ability to work properly and may even fail to turn at all.

One solution to this problem is to remove the deposits by actually burning them away. By running the motor at full throttle for several minutes, it is often possible to do just that.

Follow this procedure: In the center of the hand wheel is a break that causes the machine to turn when the hand wheel turns. Release it so the hand wheel moves freely without turning the machine. Hold down the power pedal using by hand or use a clamp or weight to hold it down. The motor should slowly begin to turn. If not carefully turn the hand wheel while applying electricity to the motor to help the motor turn. Once the motor is turning, Keep it turning at full speed for about five minutes. Allow it to cool and test it again.

Attend the machine as long as you have it going. Watch out for extreme heat, sparks, or smoke from the motor.

The motor burn is often very effective in burning off the old carbon deposits, debris, and gunk. Essentially, you are heating up the motor to melt away and burn away the debris. In the process, you may find that the motor gets overly hot, excessive smoke begins billowing from the motor, or sparks may fly from it. Be very careful not to let these become problematic. Shut down anytime you sense, the burn is getting out of control.

In some cases, the motor burn does not work. The damage to the motor is too extensive. In such cases, you may remove the motor brushes and replace them. You may disassemble the motor housing and clean away the gunk from the contact points and armature. If you do so, beware. Using solvents in electrical appliances can be extremely dangerous. Before applying electricity to any motor make certain it is 100% dry and free of anything that might ignite, smolder, or otherwise cause harm.

Usually, you can fix the Sewing Machine Motor Fatigue Syndrome with a ten minute motor burn or service.

Experience the excitement and satisfaction of Sewing Machine Repair. Author David Trumble teaches how to repair sewing machines like a pro in his in depth instructional courses. Check out his free users course now.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

7 Critical Tips to Sewing Sheer Roman Shades - How to Sew Sheer Fabrics

7 Critical Tips to Sewing Sheer Roman Shades - How to Sew Sheer Fabrics
By Jennifer Thoden
Image of sheer red Roman shades by Sarah Stierch (originally posted to Flickr as Independence Hall) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A sheer roman shade is lovely way to add softness to your window along with some privacy without blocking out the light. Sheer roman shades look terrific layered with drapery panels... and you can even layer them under lined-fabric roman shades.

But with any sheer fabric treatment... sewing sheers is a challenge all on its own. Below you'll find 7 sewing tips that you can use to sew sheer fabrics plus how to be successful sewing a sheer roman shade.

1. Use a sharp #8 or 9 sewing machine needle.
Use a thin and sharp sewing machine needle... and make sure it's a new needle.

2. Lightweight thread
Use lightweight thread... like fine cotton-covered polyester thread, or lingerie thread. . The more compatible your thread is to your fabric the better.

3. Sew a french seam
If you need to piece multiple widths of fabric to get to the width you require... sew a french seam instead of a standard seam. A french seam will enclose the raw edges of the seam and give a clean appearance.

4. Iron on light weight interfacing for the seam allowances
Iron on interfacing for sheers will definitely make your sewing go smoother. There interfaces to use on the entire sheer fabric... or you can get thinner interfacing for just the seam allowances. If you don't feel comfortable ironing interfacing to your entire face fabric, then iron it on to the seam allowances. This will give your side seams some shape plus make it much easier to sew a clean seam.

5. Loosen thread tension
If you're fabric starts to pucker or gather, loosen your thread tension a bit. If possible, lower your pressure foot a little bit too.

Test your stitch settings on scrap fabric. Make sure you fold your sheer fabric in 2 or 3 layers to mimic your hems. If your stitching looks good, then you're read to sew! But if the stitching is off... then you can keep testing without ruining your roman shade.

7. Sewing rings along side seams

You may be inclined to sew a standard flat roman shade... but with a sheer, you may come up with an undesirable result. Mainly because you'll have visible tacking from sewing the shade rings and you'll see the lift cord and rings through the shade. If you don't want this, I recommend sewing a relaxed roman shade. Simply sew your rings up the side seams only. Your shade will swag in the center, but your sheer will be clean in the center. A relaxed roman shade is an ideal style for sheer fabrics.

If you're set on sewing flat roman shades, you can always sew your rings on like normal... but a more contemporary idea is to install small metal grommets where you would have sewn rings on.

Want to learn more about making roman shades? Instantly download step by step illustrated instructions and watch videos on How To Make Roman Shades at How To Make Roman Shades
Instantly download the ebook How To Make Roman Shades at Making Roman Shades
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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Beginning Sewing - Setting Up Your Sewing Area

Beginning Sewing - Setting Up Your Sewing Area

What you really need is a work surface where you can use your sewing machine. You can make do with a kitchen table or office desk if you must. You will probably become tired or sore more quickly at a workstation of this type because it is really too high. A better choice is a sewing machine cabinet. There are cabinets where your sewing machine actually attaches to the inside of the cabinet or cabinets where your machine sits in a lowered area of the top surface and can be lifted out. Either type of table only requires a small amount of floor space and some of the built-in types allow the machine to drop down when not in use then half of the table top folds over, turning the unit into a small multi-purpose table.

Most sewing cabinets also have some sort of storage. Some have cabinet doors that swing open to allow knee room when you are sitting at them and, mounted inside the doors, there are spindles for storing thread spools. Some cabinets have drawers for your sewing tools and accessories. You will undoubtedly need more storage space than your sewing cabinet provides so you might want to consider some other storage as well.
Sets of plastic drawers on casters normally sold for craft storage, scrapbooking storage, etc. are a good alternative because you can easily roll them wherever you need them. Other options are stackable plastic boxes. They can even be hidden away in a closet. The storage boxes that fit under your bed can be used too. Better yet, sew a storage device! You can find creative projects for storage in all kinds of places. Just keep your eyes open.
12-14" long magnetic bars for holding tools can be mounted to a wall. They can be found for about $10 a pair at the hardware store. The magnets are strong and easily hold sheers, scissors, seam rippers, and even whole packages of needles.
Fabric storage and pattern storage are the two biggest issues. For fabric, if you don't have a dedicated sewing room, some choices are those under-the-bed boxes with lids to keep the dust out. Another option is to fold each piece of fabric over a wire clothes hanger and hang in it a closet.
There are cardboard boxes you can buy that are just the right size for patterns but if you don't fold the pattern just right to get it back in the original package, they won't fit anymore. Standard file folder storage boxes from any office supply store work better. Two patterns will fit side by side along the longer (legal size) side and if you have one that won't go back in the package, stick it in a clear ziplock freezer bag to keep all the pieces together and it will still fit in the file folder box.
A great way to store current projects you are working on, whether it's a pattern being altered or cut pieces you haven't sewn together yet, is to fold them over a wire clothes hanger and clip a regular clothes-pin or two on to hold everything. Then put the hanger in a closet. When you are ready to work again, simply pull the hanger out and everything is there together and flat and ready to go. If you have several projects on the go at once, make sure the pattern name or number is facing out when you hang it. Then you can easily look through the hangers to find the one you want. You can even attach the original pattern envelope to the hanger with a clothespin for easy identification.
For cutting out patterns, most people use their kitchen table, a craft table, the floor, or even their bed. Any large flat surface will do. Again, if the surface is too high or too low for you, you will find you get tired or sore quickly. An ideal surface is a table with a hard, smooth surface that is 30-36" high (if you stand to cut). If you like to sit down to cut, a 26-30" high table is better. The table should ideally be about 4 -6 feet long and a width you can comfortably reach across. If you prefer to cut from a sitting position, make your table narrow enough that you can reach across it from your chair.
If you can afford it, the largest size cutting mat available for use with a rotary cutter makes a great table top. I actually use my table more for pattern adjusting and pressing than I do for cutting. A layer of ¼" thick cork is glued (with contact cement) to the arborite top of the table, allowing me to pin straight down into it. The cork seems to be heat resistant too. I plan to glue another layer of cork to the existing one to give the pins a little more to stick into. I tape a layer of plain white paper over the cork and use a marking pen to mark a grid or part of a grid on the paper. I need these lines to keep everything square when altering patterns. When needed, I replace the paper.
If I want a large surface for use with the rotary cutter, I use two cutting mats taped together on the bottom side with duct tape. I have to snip a thread or two the blade misses where the joint in the cutting board is but that's not a big deal. These smaller mats fold up for easy storage and I'm back to my cork table again.
Next you need to think about a pressing area. As you sew, it is necessary to press seams. An iron and ironing board will do the job but, in a pinch, you can layer several towels on an arborite table or counter and use that. (The iron's heat may damage some surfaces.) You can even buy special heat-resistant material to cover your surface with, making it more suitable for ironing on. The cork table works well to press on too.
An ironing board isn't ideal for pressing while sewing. It really isn't wide enough or sturdy enough. When you are adhering interfacing, for example, you need to put quite a lot of pressure on the iron. Your ironing board may crumble under that pressure but a counter-top or a table can take the pressure as long as it can also take the heat and steam.
The chair you sit in while sewing is very important. A comfortable one that swivels and rolls is a very good choice. Bear in mind that your feet must reach the floor to work the sewing machine pedal. Good back support will enable you to sew in comfort for longer periods of time.
Flooring in your sewing area is a bit controversial. I prefer linoleum so when pins drop they are easy to pick up (use a magnetic pin holder for quick retrieval) and for smooth and easy rolling of the chair but some people prefer carpet because it's softer to stand on.
A smooth floor has the disadvantage of allowing the foot pedal to scoot around. This can be solved by putting a small rectangle of rubber shelf liner under the pedal. The same material under a serger will keep it from vibrating around on its table too.
One of the most important reasons I have a dedicated sewing room with a door is to keep my cats out. Not only don't I want their hair on every project I make but if they play with spools of thread and get it caught on their rough tongues, they will swallow a bunch of it that will hurt them internally. Cats and thread don't mix!
My sewing room also has a TV and a DVD/VCR so I can watch sewing programs or whatever as I sew. If you're not a TV addict like me, perhaps you would enjoy some music or a relaxing mix of nature sounds while you sew.
A window is nice if you can manage that. With or without a window, excellent lighting is extremely important (especially as your eyes get older). Set up whatever lamps you need so your eyes are not straining. Try to find natural daylight simulation bulbs so colors will appear accurate. You don't want to put a dark navy zipper in a black pair of pants by accident!
For convenience, I also keep a portable phone handy while I'm sewing. It never fails, the phone always rings when my hands are full. Also keep a bottle of water nearby. Bottles don't spill as easily as glasses.
Sewing can be such an enjoyable, relaxing experience that you might be surprised how many hours will fly by. I try to set aside 1 or 2 days each weekend to sew. That's my little treat to myself after working all week. My washer and dryer are in the sewing room so I do laundry as I sew and I find it a very efficient use of my time. Sewing makes the tedious chore of laundry more enjoyable.
Happy Sewing!
Barb Pattison owns an online sewing supplies and notions store at and has been sewing for over 20 years. She enjoys teaching and is more than happy to help anyone with any sewing challenges.
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