Monday, October 21, 2013

handmade gift - vintage cameras pillow

after making an elephant pillow for a friend's birthday back in august, i knew i wanted to sew up another cute pillow for a friend whose birthday is in october, actually this friday.

this was really quick to make, just 2 squares and an invisible zip. and i think it looks really cute and it incorporates 2 things my friend loves: photography and typography. she also collects vintage cameras. the fabric is from Times of Your Life Cameras Blue and Moda Odds & Ends Junk Drawer Rosebud Red (which is out of stock on at the moment, but can also be found on etsy)

i love how these fabrics ended up working together. some of the cameras on the front pick up the red color from the back.

i can't wait to give it to her, and i hope she likes it! what are your thoughts on giving handmade gifts? love it? loathe it?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finish those serged seams!

i came across this tip somewhere (if you originally came up with it, let me know! although i'm sure several people thought of it and it's hard to track down who really came up with something, plus it's probably in some sewing book somewhere or maybe it's something they'd teach you if you went to school for sewing... ?) anyway. this tip was very helpful in finishing off the serged seams on my recent lady skater dress. in the lady skater pattern they have you sew the neckband and armbands on flat and then sew up the shoulder seam and side seams after, which leaves you with a serger thread chain at one shoulder and under each arm. if you were to sew the shoulder seams and side seams first, then sew the neckband and armbands into circles, and then attached them, this would solve the serger thread chain issue. but again, the other method is a little faster, less finicky, and some people aren't OCD about serger/overlocker thread chains.

i, on the other hand, am OCD about serger thread chains, which you probably realize from this post. i don't like to just lop them off and risk all my hard work coming apart. and i tried tying them off in knots. but then you have little knots sticking out. some people use fray check, but i don't have any on hand. plus i really like this method.

first, get a needle with a large eye. this one i "borrowed" from my mom's sewing tools many years ago. it was for sewing couch cushions. it's perfect for this. insert the needle into your serged stitches as shown in the photo above. do this first, because if you're like me and thread the needle first and then try to bend the needle back toward your stitching it won't work because you clipped your serger thread shorter than your needle. or just leave a very long serger thread... but this way works well. stick the needle in first, then thread it.

you might have to twist the threads together, wetting them also helps, so that you can get them all through the needle eye. again, a needle with a large eye is the way to go. or they sell needle threader thingies if you're so inclined.

then just pull your needle down, and your thread chain is held in place underneath your stitches!


trim it and you're done! (did you notice the fun fabric i'm working on? i'll save that for the next post!)