Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Sew Can She blog has moved!

We have a beautiful new and the She Sews! blog is a part of it!

All of the posts from this blogger site have been moved over, plus we already have new posts. So please come on over and check out the new She Sews! blog at .


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Spiderweb Potholder Tutorial review

Hi everyone! It's Sarah here filling in for Caroline, who is busily sewing cute outfits and getting ready for Quilt Market.  I am loving how the Sew Can She flickr pool is filling up with so many great projects you've made. Keep them coming!  Have you tried sewing with Organic cotton yet?

We recently received a stack of lovely Birch Fabric organic cotton from Fabricworm to try out.  It's a cute new fabric line called Camp Sur by Jay-Cyn for Birch Fabric.  Soon to be for sale in November.

 So many cute little animals prints! Such a lovely color pallet too! This was my first experience sewing with organic cotton and let me just say the quality and feel of these fabrics is luscious!  Want to see what I made with all this fabric??
Spider Web Potholders, using a great tutorial from Jay Bird Quilts.

  We have the tutorial bookmarked on the Sew Can She Home Love page.  These sew up really very quickly. 4 fat quarters will make 6 potholders.These would make great Christmas gifts.

   It calls for using a fancy 60 degree triangle ruler. I happened to have one similar to it that I was given years ago.  So glad I finally got to use it.  But if you don't have a triangle ruler, don't let it stop you from trying out this tutorial.  You can draft your own cutting template using a protractor.  Just make sure all your angles are 60 degrees and chop 1/4 of an inch off one corner.

Use the template as a guide with your regular ruler over the top like this.

You'll have a ton of triangles ready to sew up in no time.

I would have to say the trickiest part of this tutorial is putting on the binding.  I used Julie's Perfect Binding Tutorial as suggested.

For the first 2 potholders I cut my binding at 2 1/4 inches.  It made for a very narrow binding.

For the next 2 potholders I cut my binding at 2 1/2 inches.  It was much easier to work with and made the potholder a little larger as well.

All and all, I found this to be a great tutorial. There are also instructions to make an 8 sided web that you can turn into a square potholder.

I think it would be fun to use this tutorial with Halloween fabrics to make a spiderweb table runner. I'll let you know if I make one.

If you want to get your hands on some lovely organic cotton, Fabricworm currently offers a coupon code to get $5 off of $50.  Check out the site for more details

Feel free to join me on my blog Blue Susan Makes for more sewing inspiration.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Erin Erickson Makes iCandy Handmade's Everyday Skirt!

We're visiting my sister and her family this weekend... enjoying a lazy Sunday morning... letting the cousins play... having our brother with his kids show up bringing breakfast (welcome surprise!).

And then I check my email to see this fun tutorial review written by my friend Erin Erickson of Dog Under My Desk. Okay, we've never met in person, but we tweet, we email, and we make each other's stuff. I can't wait to someday meet her in person.

So here's her awesomely fun review of iCandy Handmade's Everyday Skirt tutorial (I've made this one too, and it's one of my favorite things to wear).

Can I just start by saying how excited I was to make this skirt? I’m normally the one writing the patterns and creating the tutorials which means I never get to just “fun sew” and that’s *exactly* what this was. SO FUN.

So, I used “The Everyday Skirt” Tutorial from iCandy HandmadeI quickly read through the tutorial. All the tutorials on this site are all very good, so even though it's knits and I mostly sew with quilting cotton, I wasn't worried and you shouldn't be either. It’s not super detailed photo-wise about what stitches to use, but that's OK. This is all you need to know: You don’t need a serger. You just need a specific kind of needle (a Jersey Ballpoint / stretch needle, mine was a size 80/12) and possibly a twin needle for the mock cover stitch hem. Or don’t hem it. It’s knit, you don’t have to. Then you need to use a narrow zigzag (or a lightning bolt stitch if you have one!) instead of a straight stitch. I also used my machine’s stretch overlock stitch to finish the raw edges, but knits don’t ravel so you don’t need to do that either. It just looks nicer. I did use my walking foot but that’s because it’s expensive so I take every opportunity to break it out! :)

The first thing I did was modify the pattern using the custom size calculations given at the bottom of the post. They were spot on. Maybe I got lucky with the stretchiness of my knit fabric matching up, but I followed them exactly and they were perfect. I pulled out the one knit skirt that I own to make sure it was close and it was.

I printed and cut out the pattern. I measured my “waist” right above the waist band of my jeans, since that is where I wanted the skirt to sit. I angled the skirt out just a little bit at the bottom because that’s the look I was going for. I just arbitrarily went to the edge of the paper. So scientific! It worked great.
Then I followed the formula again for the waistband. I only had 9” of fabric to work with instead of 10”, but it was fine. I asked on twitter which way the “grain” should go and the consensus was that the stretchier part should go around the body, no matter how the fabric came off the bolt. Thank you twitter! :)

So, because I angled that skirt out a little bit more, this happened.
(Disclaimer - some of these photos are embarrassingly bad because I don’t take photos of large objects. I make purses so I have a very small photo “studio” set up. I had to stand on a chair and point my camera at the floor to get these shots. The dark denim knit probably doesn’t help either. Apologies for that. But you get the idea!)

I just folded the skirt and trimmed off some of the extra funky angle. Again, totally winging this. Not stressing about it! It’s FUN.

Then it looked like this, which was much better.

So I used the “lightning bolt” construction stitch on the side seams of the waist band and skirt, then I followed the instructions to attach the waist band with the same lightning bolt stitch. Then I went back and trimmed the seam allowance and overlocked it. Then I pressed up the hem 3/4” and used a twin needle on it with a 5/8” SA so it caught the folded fabric on the back side (just keep checking to make sure). EASY! 

And fast!

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Before I hemmed it, I tried it on and refused to take it off to hem it for like an hour. I LOVE THIS SKIRT. <3 Oh and a tip - try the waistband on before you sew it to the skirt so you can make it smaller if you need to!


(Another disclaimer? I’m not a model and my husband is not a photographer. But I love my skirt enough to make him take pictures of me trying ridiculously hard to not look like a dork!)

I’ll wear it with the yoga waist band folded down. And probably with leggings or tights since it already feels like winter out there!

The hardest part is trying to decide which fabric to use for my next skirt! And I really want to try one of the shirt tutorials on this site too!

Go! Make skirts! :D

Thanks to Caroline for letting me guest post! I had so much fun making this and it was just the push I needed to make something fun for me. You should too!

Thank you so much Erin! Love your talent. Everyone needs to go check out the new Essential Wristlet pattern she just posted over at Dog Under My Desk!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Manly Version of OSC's iPod case for your arm

A few months ago my husband very pitifully complained that I'm always sewing, but never anything for him. I explained to him that's there's not very much to sew for a man (that I would care to make anyway...), and suggested that he look through the Sew Can She Tutorials to see if anything struck his fancy. Well, he did find something he wanted and it was one shabby chick's iPod case for your arm (for his iPhone).

This tutorial is also found in our 'Crafty Love' section under the All Tutorials and Patterns tab.

It took me a long, long time to remember to pick up the arm-band elastic at the store, but when I finally looked for it, Joann's had some really soft and pliable (but strong) 1" elastic in black that worked perfectly.

 I did my best job at coordinating some manly prints out of my stash. He probably would have been satisfied with just the grey and black, but of course I had to put that yellow striped bit in for interest. This can't look store-bought! I love the narrow vertical quilting on it.

Here's me secretly borrowing it. :) The elastic doesn't fit my arm very well 'cause I fit it to him exactly, but I can still wear it around the house. shhhh!

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Friday, September 28, 2012

How I made Un Petit Design's Little Fleece Dress

Now that the weather is cooling down, it's the perfect time for Cadie to wear the little dress I made her using  Un Petit Design's 'Little Fleece Dress' tutorial. You can also find a link to it on our 'Kid Love' page under the All Tutorials tab.

She provides a pattern for both the sleeved and sleeveless version in about a size 4. Since it's made with stretchy fleece, it could easily go up a size, especially if you widened it a bit at the sides. I think both versions are adorable, but I decided to make the sleeveless one for easy layering.

The pattern was totally easy to print up and put together.

And I had a needle and thread handy to mark the ends of the pleats. You can't see it in the picture, but I made small clips at the top (within the seam allowance) to mark the tops of the pleats.

The rest of it went together in a flash. 

When Cadie woke up from her nap it was done, and now it's one of her favorite play dresses.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stamp your own personalized ribbon

The other day I wanted a unique way to wrap some gifts in a Sew Can She way and I decided to make personalized ribbon. At this point I must tell you that I am not a scrapbooker, paper crafts person, or stamper. I love the creative stuff that people make, but I admit that...

Fabric is my fiber, not paper.

And stamping is new to me.

So my lettering looks like a really old, over-inked typewriter.

But I love it!

And this isn't really a tutorial, because a tutorial isn't necessary. Just a trip to your local craft store where you'll find adorable alphabets, inexpensive ink, and yards and yards of ribbon.

Then you're probably gonna need three helpers...

One to stamp lots of ribbon.

One to stamp love notes.

And one to stamp herself and the table.

You might stamp a little bit of ribbon too.

Have fun,
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Monday, September 24, 2012

See my reusable snack bags 8 months later.

Earlier this year Fabricworm sent me some of their delicious organic cotton and I knew just the fun little project for it. 

Jen from New Green Mama had recently come out with this free snack bag tutorial. The instructions were perfectly easy to follow and made a nice self-lined bag with a generous velcro closure. 

The cute little bags were a hit!

I loved how I could turn them inside out and throw them into the wash day after day, and because I used such high quality cotton, they still look great. 

Here's a picture I just took today, 8 months later.

And here's one my Sister-in-law Brie made for her little girl. Cute birdie fabric!

So save some plastic from going in the landfill and let your munchkins put their munchies in reusable bags!

Happy Sewing,
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