Holidays: December 2009 Archives
I love to sew and craft, but the last few years I have really neglected the right side of my brain for the analytical benefits my left side offers. Well, enough is enough! It's time to unleash my creative beast and let the artistic endeavors flow! Below are my sewing/craft/etc. resolutions, which I hope will act as a treat to keep me inspired to stick to my more serious resolutions.
1. Be more organized. I know I used this as an example of a normal resolution, but it works here, too. Like many of you my craft space is limited to a small kitchen table and whatever spare space I can find without my supplies being in the way. This year my goal is to figure out a better way to organize my fabric and supplies in a tidy and compact way that also keeps my husband from trying to tuck it away into the unknown depths of our attic.
2. Use more of my stash before I buy more fabric. I work for a fabric store, so you just know that I have tons of it. To make matters worse, I see something the I just love and buy it with a project in mind and never complete (or even start) said project. My resolution is to stop buying as much fabric, which will also help me save money, and use up the stash I have - which will help downsize, too.
3. I will leave fewer projects unfinished. We all do it, I just do it a lot. I would say that 90% of my projects go incomplete. I vow to do every little stitch, step and hem.
4. I will master my serger. I asked for one for years - nay, begged! I finally received one, and I still don't know how to use it. This year shall be the year of the serger!
5. Learn how to knit. I've never even held knitting needles, but the whole process fascinates me. I'm a total crochet failure, so hopefully knitting will be my thing.
6. I will show someone how to sew. I have many friends who have told me they want to learn to sew, but time constraints and lack of enthusiasm have stalled out any concrete plans. This year I will actively pursue the opportunity to get at least one friend or family member started. I may not know much, but even a little knowledge can give someone the boost they need to get going, right?
I'm sure there will be more as the year progresses, but those are the 6 I have for now. I'm curious, though; what are some of your sewing/knitting/needle-working/crafting/etc. resolutions for 2010? Let's all share the inspiration and make this the year to get back to your craft!
There are only a couple more weeks left until Christmas, and while you may not have too much time left to make every person on your list a gift, you can still find them something special. I may not be able to help you figure out what to give everyone on your list, but I have a few ideas rattling around in my head for the craftier loved ones in your life.
I get to see a lot of cool new items come in as they are being processed. While I cannot personally use all of them, I find myself creating mental lists and "gift baskets" in my head. I currently have a running list of possible gifts for my younger sister (who has the desire, but not the patience for sewing), a few of my friends, my mother, and various family members. Each list is different based on their tastes and skill levels. Obviously I can't give every person everything I want to, but a few choice items bundled together and wrapped in a fun gift bag or basket can make a wonderful surprise. Plus, handmade gifts are fantastic, but there's a lot of potential fun when you give your loved one everything they need to be crafty themselves.
A few weeks ago our merchandising manager, Kristl Pelz, wrote about an easy way to make a scarf out of our silk burnout velvet in one of our email messages. We have received a few questions about the project, so I decided to do an extended set of instructions.
For this project you will need one yard of silk velvet burnout fabric and coordinating thread. A rolled-hem foot is optional, but makes finishing the edges SOOOOO much easier.
Start by evening out your fabric. The easiest way to do this is to make a tiny snip an inch or two above the cut edge and tear the fabric across the grain. This ensures that your cut edge is perfectly straight. Next, fold the fabric in half, matching the selvages, then cut down the fold to create two even pieces. Go ahead and trim the selvages off at this point, as well.
Next, place the pieces with wrong sides together and so that the fabric pattern is right-side up on both pieces. Use french seam to join the fabric at one of the shorter sides. To do this, stitch along one of the shorter sides of fabric using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/8" and press to one side using low heat.
Fold the fabric back along the seam so that the fabric is now right sides together and the seam allowance is in between. Pin and sew the stitched edge using a 3/8" seam allowance, encasing the raw edge of the first seam inside a nice little pocket.
Voila! Easy-peasy french seam.
Lastly, hem the edges of the scarf. I used a 6mm hemmer foot, which worked beautifully even with the unevenness of the fabric. I don't have the patience needed to create a rolled hem manually, so I would highly recommend using your hem foot if you have one. If you don't have one, I would suggest getting one. You could also finish the scarf off with a serged edge.
That's it. Scarf complete! You could easily do this with any light to medium weight fabric with nice drape. The burnout velvet comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, but you could also do the same thing in charmeuse satin. For something a little less drapey, you could use dupioni silk or silk brocade. It only takes about an hour to make one of these scarves, making them a great last minute gift that won't look last minute at all.