Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Well it is about time- I have finally figured out how to sew with an invisible zipper. I mentioned earlier that I found great instructions in Sew Stylish. And since pretty much the only way people find my blog is by searching for invisible zipper instructions, I figured that it is high time I help some folks out instead of people finding me only to be subjected to my invisble zipper frustrations.  Pleas read on for how to sew a pillow cover with an invisible zipper.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Before I start, I must confess that I am a very new sewer and that I am NOT an accurate sewer. I don’t “measure twice, cut once” because even when I measure 5 times, it still isn’t right.  And it doesn’t matter anyway because I can’t cut straight with either a rotary cutter, scissors,  or ruler, no matter…. So, if you want your pillow cover to come out perfect, make sure you follow your basic sewing guidelines (press and pin your fabric in place before sewing and all that).  If you are just learning the basics, the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing has great instructions for the rules of sewing.

The Tutorial:

1. Cut 2 fabric squares. (Mine were 20″ because I was using an 18″ pillow form and accounting for generous seam allowances)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2. Center the zipper along one edge of your squares.  Mark about an inch from the end of the zipper with a pin. I used a 14″ invisible zipper.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

3. Remove the zipper, sew the 2 squares (right sides together) up to where you marked (only a few inches).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

4. Flip fabric right side up, place zipper right side down, and pin right side of zipper along edge of left piece of fabric.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

5. Put on your zipper foot, so the foot is to the right of the needle.  Sew from top of zipper tape to bottom, and stop just above where the actual zipper piece is. This seam will be hidden, so it doesn’t matter exactly how far from fabric edge or from the zipper teeth you sew it.  (I usually remove my pins right before they get to the machine’s foot so it doesn’t damage my needle or jam up the sewing machine.)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

6. Sew again, this time, closer to  the zipper teeth.  Use your fingers to pull the zipper teeth away from the needle.  The teeth should fit nicely within a groove on your zipper foot so you can keep your needle sewing straight right up against the teeth.  (I had a hard time getting clear photos close up- sorry about that!)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

7. Layout your fabric, wrong side up, but fold the center parts of your fabric back so that the right side is up.  Pin the other zipper side (wrong side up) in place.  This time put the zipper at the top (farther away from you), opposite of how you laid out the fabric in number 4 above.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

8. Sew again like you did for number 5, but from bottom (where zipper piece is) to top, opposite of how you did it in number 5 above.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

9. Sew again, closer to the zipper teeth, as in number 6 above.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

10. Check out your handiwork- the zipper teeth should be hidden, all you will see is the zipper pull, the closer you sewed to those zipper teeth, the more invisible your zipper will be…..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

 11. Lay the squares right sides together.  Mark where the end of your zipper stiching line was, so you know where to begin stiching your pillow outline. Open your zipper, so that it will be very easy to flip your pillow case right side out when you finish sewing…
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

12. Begin to sew from where you marked (remember to remove the zipper foot and put your presser foot back on)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

13. Sew until you reach your seam allowance (somewhere around an inch or two from the end of the fabric- consistent with how far your zipper was in from the fabric edge). Make sure the needle is in the fabric, flip up the presser foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees, flip presser foot back down, and sew on!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

14. When you get to your last corner, just be careful to match up with your seam from your zipper, and that your zipper tape is poking out toward you, and not tucked into the middle of the pillow cover.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

15.  You can see where my seam wasn’t exactly straight, but at least the 2 seams are joined- the new pillow outline seam with the zipper seam (the left-most stitches below).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

16. Hard to photograph this step.  Here you make a locking stitch to keep your zipper tape end in place.  I think a locking stitch just is a few stitches in the same place.  My machine has a button for this (marked as a circle with a dot in it).  Here you want to basically lock the zipper tape end in place, so you sew it within the seam allowance (so it is to the right of where your stitched seam is, before you fall off the fabric edge).  If you don’t do this, sometimes your zipper tape will sneak out to the outside of your pillow.  Trust me on this.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

17. Pink your edges.  Use pinking sheers so that your edges don’t fray. How sweet is it that my pinking sheers are actually pink?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

18. Flip your pillow right side out.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

19. Stuff your new pillow cover with your pillow form. (I bought mine at Joann’s)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

20. Zip it up and you’re done.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hopefully this was easy to follow, I know it helps me to see how the fabric is placed in the sewing machine. Please let me know if you have any problems (Comment below or shoot me an email: never.yawn (at) gmail.com).

Eventually I will learn how to use an invisible zipper in clothing, and when I do, I’ll post another tutorial.

To read about my misadventures with invisible zippers, click here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve been collecting these Japanese craft books by Kumiko Sudo.   I have all of the rest of her books on my Amazon Wish List.
I already posted about her book Folded Flowers: Fabric Origami with a Twist of Silk Ribbon on Never Yawn here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I’m compiling a fabric stash just of asian looking fabrics so that I can make some of the gifts in Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition. My first project is going to be the fish pouch. I think my young Nemo-obsessed cousins will like those.

As for Kokoro no Te: Handmade Treasures from the Heart, I already posted one of the windmill flowers I made from her book here and the pansy flower here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I highly recommend any of these books. Amazon has some good reviews to read before ordering, apparently some of the patterns in the book are a little complicated because some of the instructions get lost in the translation from Japanese to English.

Read Full Post »

I added two more books to my collection. I generally don’t advocate for spending money frivolously, but I always excuse myself when it is money spent on books. My philosophy is that you can never read too much.  Money spent on learning is always money well spent. And I get free shipping as an amazon prime member.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The first book is Simple Sewing with a French Twist. I had it on my wish list, and after reading a review here (scroll down to see) on Decor8, I got up the courage to order it.

The projects I plan to make: Sweet Chemise, Paris Opera Wrap (my love of opera coats started here), Chic Cosmetic Case, Coquette Cover-up, Azure Coast Sun Hat. This is a very thick book with lots of projects and beautiful photos. I love that there is even a section of projects “for the little lady of the house”. Eventually I will make some of these projects and post photos.

The second book is the The Crafter Culture Handbook. It features projects from many different crafters, and what I love most is that it even has a page of background info about each of the crafters. I enjoyed learning about the “crafter culture” as well as seeing the crafts. My favorite crafts I’ll be trying: Floral Wrap Skirt and A Smock to Wear Out. My favorite craft is the Lovie Circuits (love birds that light up when they kiss) but it might be too complicated for me to try. This book is encouraging me to branch out from sewing because it has crafts of all type: needlecraft, knitting, electro-crafts, beauty products, and paper crafts.

Read Full Post »

Craft Magazines

Here are some craft magazines I’ve been reading lately and thinking about subscribing to.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Martha Stewart Living. I also love Martha’s website for all the “Good Things” projects. My favorite project this month is inking lace and using it as a stamp. I even made the jambalaya and bananas foster recipes (but I cheated and used pillsbury biscuits instead of baking my own buttermilk biscuits), which is a big deal because I DON’T cook.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Threads. This magazine was great for instructions. It was filled with sewing lessons, perfect for a begginer like me. And I loved their “Reader’s Closet” for the photos of clothes readers submitted to their contest- very inspiring. Their website is here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Craft Magazine. Lots of great articles, and each is nice and short so you can start and finish an article in one sitting. My favorite is the article “Gangsta Wrap” about “Knitta, Please!” which I think is just hysterical to say. Projects I’ll try: Hawaiian Quilt, Lino-block printing. This magazine is also great because it has info on all types of crafts- it taught me about felting, which I see a lot of on HGTV in the mornings, but didn’t really know what it was. Only downside is that I think this magazine is only published quarterly, and it is about $15 per issue, but if you use a 40% off coupon at Jo-ann’s, it’s not so bad. But I check out the craftzine blog daily for more craft inspiration, so that will fill the void between issues.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Adorn. It’s a small magazine, but I think there are actually a lot of ideas I can use, like the scarf-necked cardigan and the mosaic tray. The best part of the magazine is that they tell you what patterns their models are wearing, which makes me want to try everything featured. This magazine is definitely only quarterly, which is disappointing. The website is here.

Read Full Post »

Craft Books

I’ve always been a book junkie, but since learning to sew, I can’t stop buying more books. Here are the latest additions to my craft book collection:

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-Sew, Machine-Sew & No-Sew Projects by Cynthia Treen
To be honest, I bought this book because I saw the author is from RI, and I love to support any RI artist…. but I can’t wait to try these beautiful projects, especially the reconstructions: pouch from an old silk tie, purse from an old tweed coat sleeve. Also has lots of helpful info about fabrics and general sewing guidance.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing
This book came highly recommended in the craftster forum.
I bought it used from Amazon, and am really happy with it. Although the book is older than me, there is so much great information and I think it’s something I can use for years. Plus I can definitely get a kick out of its 1976 style. The drawings of the women all have hair like characters from “Three’s Company.”
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In Stitches by Amy Butler
This book has beautiful photos. I’ve started working on my first project from this book: the Decorative Patchwork Throw (a little ambitious for my first quilt).  But I can’t wait to try many others like the kimono robe, wide-leg lounge pants and ALL the kitchen projects.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart
I’ve put this book on the back burner after sewing, but I’m really looking forward to using these designs on pillows, tea towels, and gifts. These designs are so fun and I think it will be a great way to relax. Although it probably won’t help my rapidly deteriorating eyesight…
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Now if only I had a room in the house to store my quickly expanding craft supplies, fabric collection, and craft bookshelf….And even though it will take me years to finish all the projects in these books, I still have more craft books in my Amazon wishlist already.

Read Full Post »

Disclaimer: I’m going to be very careful posting this because most of the content is copyrighted, and the copyright owner has (wisely) limited what you can post on your website. If you are really interested in learning more about how to share the info, please check out the links below.

Back in November 2004, I was lucky enough to be in Chicago to witness the Field Musem‘s exhibit Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. However, the Field Museum doesn’t allow you to post any of their photos from the exhibit online, so I had to be resourceful and use photos from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose copyrights and terms of use are slightly less stringent, and their website for the exhibit is just as good.

Here are my favorite dresses:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister, Lee Radziwill, during a daytime boat ride on Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India, March 17, 1962. Dress (1962) in apricot silk ziberline by Oleg Cassini (b. France 1913). John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Evening Dress, 1961
Oleg Cassini (b. France 1913)
Shell pink silk-georgette chiffon embroidered with sequins
Worn by Jacqueline Kennedy to dinner at the Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, where she met Soviet premier Khrushchev, June 3, 1961
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Evening Dress
Oleg Cassini (b. France 1913)
Celadon silk jersey
Worn by Jacqueline Kennedy at a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize Laureates of the Western Hemisphere, April 29, 1962
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Evening Gown, 1962
Oleg Cassini (b. France 1913)
Azure blue silk crepe Giselle by Asher
Worn by Jacqueline Kennedy to a Foreign Ministry reception, Mexico City, June 29, 1962
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

After a few more years of learning to sew, hopefully I’ll be brave enough to attempt an evening gown. Even if I can’t make one quite this complicated, it would be fun to make a dress made of some fancy silk.

Read Full Post »

Back in 2001, I went to an inspiring exhibit at the RISD Museum. RISD inherited the contents of an old Providence dressmaking shop.
Here’s a photo collage of some of the best pieces:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It makes me think I need an opera coat.
More information here: The Tirocchi Dressmakers Project Website

Read Full Post »