Sewing Tip: Use Alligator Clips instead of Straight Pins!

alligator clips

This discovery came out of desperation and boy am I glad I was desperate!

Yesterday I set out to sew some much needed blankets for my soon to arrive little fella! While gathering my thread, scissors and other supplies I COULD NOT for the life of me find my straight pins! AHHHH! I checked everywhere! Talk about a downer! As a last resort I grabbed a box of Alligator Hair clips I found in a drawer while frantically on the hunt! Little did I know these little babies would soon become my newest sewing companion favorite!

DSC00195

These clips slide easily onto my freshly ironed edges and hold them in place and are perfect for corners!

DSC00192

And talk about and easy off! These clips are so easy to pull off while you are still sewing! Much less stop and go to remove straight pins.

alligator love

I’m totally converted to using these over straight pins for edge work and here’s why…

-Easy to slide on my edges with one hand.

-Has a tight hold that won’t pop off when I move my fabric.

-Super simple to remove one handed while sewing without having to stop sewing to take off.

-Are large enough to see while sewing so I won’t accidentally NOT see it like I have in the past when I used straight pins. I have accidentally sewed a straight pin into my blanket and damaged my needle, mangled my straight pin making it hard to removed, or left a pin in my finished product and found it later while using the finished product! Ouch!

-If I drop a clip on the floor they are much easier to find then a dangerous straight pin! Comforting when kids are often near by while I sew.

-Alligator clips don’t draw blood!

Give it a try! I bet you too will love this new short cut! I only wish I had discovered it sooner!

8 Comments

Friendship support quilt

For the last few months I’ve been helping on a collaborative Friendship Support Quilt! Last November I had a dear childhood friend go through some major health struggles. It was a very scary situation and being so far away from her, myself and all of her friends clung to Facebook for updates from her family.

It’s a horrible feeling to feel so far away and helpless. We all wanted to rally beside her and her family but living states away we were only able to offer up our prayers and warm wished on facebook. Another childhood friend put out a call to all of our friends facebook community to contribute to a support quilt and asked if I would help with putting it all together. I helped her come up with  simple instructions and we both crossed our fingers and hoped the quilt squares and support would come in!

Thanks to a loving community of supporters we had wonderful squares that were made with love and combined to create the happiest warm hug we could ever send our friend! I spent hours  piecing the quilt top together, cutting fabric and thinking of my dear friend all the while! It was an honor to be apart of this beautiful collaboration…

We also asked each contributor to include a special message for our friend and a photo of them together! It added one more personal touch that I know was heart felt!

 

Tips on creating and organizing your ownFriendship Support Quilt:

  • Chose a super simple quilt square design that will be easy for even a beginner sewer. As you can see the design we used is only three parts and two straight stitched! I made a mini tutorial with exact measurements and directions and included it in a word document that was emailed to everyone who participated. Simple is best when you are working with a variety of people all with different skill levels.
  • Suggest a color pallet! If you can steer your contributes in the same color direction it will make for a beautiful all around look! You would hate to get a dark brown square when all the rest of the squares are bright and cheery. We included a link to a fabric line that inspired up and specifically said we wanted bright, cheery and bold colors.
  • Put a dead line on the submissions. When it comes to piecing a quilt you have to have all the squares together before you start to lay out the design.  You can’t be waiting forever so give about 3 weeks to have them work on it and mail it back!
  • For a backing use a beautiful sheet! I had that brightly colored Pottery Barn king sheet in my collection of fabrics. I always look for sheets to use as fabric and when it comes to a quilt backing a sheet is such a great resource. It’s huge and when bought at a discount store it can save you so much money.
  • When asking people to participate also be sure to invite non, “crafty” people to be apart of the gift. We asked for donations to help cover the cost of the machine quilting, batting and other fabric supplies.  Include those who contributed cash donations in the card or scrapbook. We collected enough money to cover the $85 it took to have it professionally binded and machine quilted, the boarder fabric and we even had enough to include a gift card out to our friends favorite restaurant for a much needed date night.

 

Our quilt was delivered to our friend last week and I know she felt our love and support! What a beautiful reminder for her to cherish and know how much she is loved!

 

9 Comments

St. Patricks Day Project: Tea Towels

I’m not exactly into commercial decorations for any holiday so this one becomes even more limited if I’m not in the mood for Leprechauns and pots of gold on my walls! 

Here’s an easy way to get into the spirit of the holiday without going too commercial! Spice up your kitchen with a simple Green Tea Towel and consider yourself good!

I bought these towels at the dollar store! Never under estimate the power of your local Dollar Store! Don’t limit yourselves to the holiday selection. These green towels were in the housewares section!

And all we’ll do is add some green Ric Rack and Ruffles! It really it that easy!

Pin them in place…

And straight stitch them on!






It’s the tiny little details that add just the right amount of personal touch! For less then $2 You too can create a St. Patty’s day Accent!

37 Comments

Ribbon belts with flower embellishments.Making a felt flower.

I make head pieces and accessories for a local dance studio for competitions and photos. They needed a pop of red for a group photo so I whipped up these easy ribbon belts! Each belt needed to be slight different. I love how the creative process works! While creating one belt i came up with a way for a different one!

I used a silk flower, riffles and felt to create three different looks! The silk flower was easy…remove the back plastic part and glue! the ruffles were wrapped in a circle and glued down onto felt. and the last one was created with that plastic left over piece from the silk flower!
Supplies are simple. One yard of ribbon for each belt, belt loops and your flower to embellish.

 

Sew the belt loops together on one end and roll and finish off the edge of the other.
To create the demetional felt flower you’ll need the plastic backing to any silk flower and cut circles of felt. Teh circles do not need to be perfect but they need to stagger in size.
Using hot glue you’ll glue each circle, starting from largest to smallest, into the center of the plastic flower part. It will create a beautiful ruffle look with each layer.
The last circle you’ll need to fold to get into the very center!
Fluff up the layers and add dabs of glue to make extra ruffles and folds.
And there you have it!
3 Comments

Christmas Table Runner: ruffled goodness!!!


 My Christmas tablescape would have looked a little lacking had I not whipped up a fun and festive table runner! Thankfully it was literally as easy as  “whipping somehitng up!”  With minimal time and effort I was able to create a look I love and that will be useful all year round thanks to my non traditional color pallet I use for my Christmas decor!

 

 I gathered my fabrics and incorporated red burlap, black and white prints and my favorite blues and red. Mixing prints and textures is a must! For the actual runner I used some fabric I had left over from my out door furniture cushions. One more reason I love having endless fabric on hand! Thank you summer buy!
I cut my ruffle fabric 3″ x 30″ long. I needed two strips, one for each side of the runner! I measured the length of my table and cut my runner sections accordingly. One section for the length of the table and two pieces that would hang off the table by 15″.
 To create a ruffle simply use your widest straight stitch setting and sew a straight line down one of the edges of your strips. Pull the back piece of thread and gather your fabric to create a ruffle. Once you have a ruffle created sew it on the bottom of one of your side panels.

 Continue making your ruffles and adding them onto the panels being sure to overlap slightly the row before it.
 Allow room at the very top for space to sew it to the center section of the runner.
 Sew each side panel on the the center panel!
 And that’s all she wrote! If you look close you can see that I added two lines of decorative stitching. One zig zag stitch and one scalloped stitch.
This really was a much needed detail to make my table complete!  A bold pop of color with a flirty feature that I adore! Simple? YES! YES! YES!!! 
And if you missed my Pier 1 Imports post on how I created this beautiful tablescape you can read more about it HERE! And if you like what you see please help me share this fun post by clicking the “Facebook” or “Twitter” icon below to share this link with your friend and family! Much appreciated!
22 Comments

Magic Halloween Bag

Another favorite Halloween Project from last year! I’m already excited to use it again.

One of my roommates in College has a wonderful family tradition! After Trick or Treating her kids leave their Halloween candy on the front porch and “Magically” it turns into a prize in the morning! I fell in love with the idea!!! I can’t stand all the candy after the holiday! There is just too much! So I am adding to this fun tradition and I have created a “Magic Halloween Bag” to put the candy in! You could also simply make this bag for Trick or Treating! It beats the Pillow case I always used as a kid! They are just so darling!!!

Let’s get started…

For this project you’ll need a variety of Halloween Fabrics. I bought 7 prints all 1/4 of a yard. You will also need a yard of a fabric for the lining of the bag. I bought my fabric at Walmart and all together it only cost me $6

Cut each print in strips the width of the fabric. Vary your strip size for a fun random look.

Lay your cut strips out alternating the colors and prints and create your pattern. Start sewing the strips together until they are all sewn together!

Press this finished section with an Iron.

I used Ric Rack and other ribbon and added then throughout the strips. I sewed mine on with a zig zag stitch!


Now we are going to sew the finished section onto the lining of the bag. Be sure to place the striped section face down onto the lining fabric and pin it in place.

Sew the fabrics together leaving a small opening where you will then turn the bag right side out!

Press again with an Iron.

Adding the drawstring is easy! Lay a piece of ribbon that is longer then the width of the bag onto the top of the bag. Fold over an inch of fabric and pin in place!

Sew a straight stitch to encase the ribbon.

Fold the bag in half with the stripes on the inside and sew the sides together leaving the top open. Be careful not to sew the drawstring closed.

Turn it right side out and there you go!!!

I made up a Poem to go along with our new family tradition of trading in our candy! I will print it out on fun Halloween Paper and laminate it and then attach it to the drawstring.

It’s always fun to Trick or Treat!
With lots of yummy things to eat!
Like M & M’s and Licorice,
Handfuls from a candy dish!
But all that candy can’t be great!
It might give you a tummy ache.
So toss it in,
And close it tight!
And when you go to sleep at night
This magic bag has a surprise!
It turns your candy into a PRIZE!

Find out how you can become a guest poster HERE!
10 Comments

Scrap Strip Fabric Summer Bunting

Every Season deserves its very own Bunting don’t you think? Summer was just begging for one so instead of me heading outside I headed down stairs and got to work creating this easy and bright bunting to splash a little summer color in my front room!

It’s easy to assemble when you do your shopping in your scrap pile! You’ll need a variety of bright fabrics and a Double folded Bias Tape.

Lucky for me I have a fabric obsession! The hardest part I had with this project was narrowing down the fabric I wanted to use! I found that smaller prints looked best for this Bunting!

Cut your fabric into 8″x 9″ sections.

I then layered the fabric on top of a piece of craft felt. Now I know I always shout it from the roof tops to use high quality felt but in this case get your hands on the cheap stuff! This crazy set came from the Dollar Store! By layering the fabric on top of the felt we’re just creating a thicker more sturdy Bunting. Stitch the fabric on top of the felt by straight stitching or zig zagging the edges. Make it look playful and messy! It’s charming to look “un-perfect!”



Next we’ll make strips of fabric to lay on top. Again, this isn’t perfect science! Just make strips roughly 1″. We’ll trim the fabric that hangs over the edges.


Lay your strips being sure to vary your colored strips.



Straight Stitch them on with a bold color that will stand out and add one more detail!


Now it’s time to create our bunting.I love using Double Folded Bias Tape. It’s perfect!

To make sure your fabrics are perfectly centered simply fold the Bias Tape in half and mark the center with a straight pin.

Spread the bias tape on the floor and put your center Fabric directly in the Middle using your pin as a reference! Then add the rest being sure to space them evenly. Lastly you’ll straight stitch the Bias Tape together securing the fabric inside!





Bright Bold and perfect for Summer! Easy Peasy….just the way Summer projects should be!

Find out how you can become a guest poster HERE!
11 Comments

Little baby blessed in white

While relabeling my post I was reminded how much I loved this project. I still can’t believe I made my daughters own blessing dress! It’s so easy my friends. I still cherish this dress and that sweet little nugget that wore it!

I was totally inspired by a post I saw on this blog MADE. She has a step by step tutorial on how to make a toddlers dress out of a Mens Dress shirt! How fun is that!!!! I took the general idea and adapted it for a Babies Blessing dress. I haven’t made a dress for the girls out of their dads shirts yet but I think I will for Fathers Day!!!

Here’s my go at using the instructions but with modified measurements and bolt fabric and trim instead of a shirt…

First create a pattern on a poster board. I folded the poster board in half the long way and made HALF of the dress, that way it was exactly the same on the other side once you open it up again! You will cut two of each piece… two sleeves and a front and back. I got a general idea of the measurements by looking at a shirt or dress that fits my baby but as you notice the neck line is extra wide. WORD TO THE WISE: because it’s a gather style you don’t have to be exact and I would go bigger if in doubt. (trust me!!! I had to make two dresses because I didn’t go bigger!!!) To get a perfect curve for your pattern use a bowl and trace it’s curve. For making your pattern please refer to the original tutorial I have linked above. I’m sure it’s way clearer in her description!
With fabric folded with rights sides in, trace and cut out pieces.

Starting with the sleeves, one at a time, pin to the main dress section and sew a 1/4″ seam straight stitch. Make sure the right sides of the fabric are touching. Sew both sleeves to both main pieces until you end up with it looking like this. I always finish my raw edged and press and sew a top stitch.

At this point we are going to iron in a hem, or fold around the neck line for the elastic to be added. I folded it over 1/2″. I also used a surging stitch to first finish the edge. I don’t have a surger so I just found a stitch that does the trick. Straight stitch around the neck line but be sure to leave about an inch opening so you can thread in the elastic! We will thread the elastic once the dress is pretty much done, not at this point!
If you plan on adding any lace or trim this is when you would do it! I sewed on two rows of lace just by pinning it in place and using a straight stitch.

Once you have your trim on you can fold the dress inside out, lining up the sleeves and bottom. pin it together and sew with a straight stitch leaving 1/4″ . Sew from the bottom of the dress all the way to the sleeve section.

Repeat the same ironed hem you did for the neck now on both sleeves.

To add the elastic you need 1/8″ elastic and a safety pin. I cut two 8″ pieces for the sleeves and one 12 ” piece for the neck. ( I like to thread much longer then needed pieces and do the sizing while it’s in the garment. Easier to adjust!) pin the safety pin to the end of the elastic and now push the safety pin through the casing on the neck ’till it comes out the end. you can at this point try the dress on the baby and see how much gather you want and tie off the elastic several times and trim off the ends of the elastic. Do the same for each sleeve. I just guessed on the gather and made my sleeves slightly loose so they didn’t pinch her arms. Stitch up the space you left for the threading and there you have it!!! All the gathering is done!!!

Hem the bottom and add lace!


This process would work for any baby dress. Just shorten and use any fabric that makes you smile!!! It’s a simple easy pattern and can be adjusted for any size. Use the rule of thumb that bigger is better when it comes to measuring!!! The gathering is very forgiving! The important thing is to gauge the width in the chest area as best as possible! If any thing I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at creating a pattern!

Find out how you can become a guest poster HERE!
11 Comments

Birthday Patch Applique!

I loved how my Charlie bugs birthday outfit turned out this year! The hat, still my favorite! The skirt a close second! And lastly the fun and simple Birthday patch that tied it all together!

First you will iron on Heat ‘n Bond adhesive to the back side of your three fabrics. Use a circle pattern or trace lids to get two different sized circles! Mine are 4 and 3 inch circles. Trace a number or free hand one. Be sure to remember to trace your number backwards because you are tracing it on the back side of your fabric.

Remove the paper from the back of your number and center it onto your smaller circle. Iron it on to adhere it!

Next remove the paper from the back of your smaller circle and center it onto your larger circle. Iron it in place to adhere it!

Sew along the edges of your number and the smaller circle using a zig zag stitch!

Now it’s ready to iron onto a birthday shirt! Tips for sewing it on:

  • You’ll need to use a stabilizing fabric on the back side of the shirt. Cut a piece slightly larger then your patch. This will keep the shirt from snagging and gathering in your sewing machine!
  • After you have sewn the patch on feel free to trim the stabilizing fabric on the inside of the shirt for better comfort.




The final touch that makes a fun statement!

34 Comments

The "Outfit" and a giveaway!!!

We hardly can believe it,
that this day has really come!
Our sweet little Charlie,
is finally turning ONE!

Today’s a big BIG Day!!!! My tiny little stinker is the big 01! Where has the time gone!

To help celebrate her special day I wanted to make her a fun outfit for the occasion! I had dreamed up her birthday hat and centered the entire outfit around it! I got to work and just loved how it all turned out! More about her hat and patch later…


Her tiny little skirt is a new favorite! I fell in love with Pink Fig Patterns two years ago when I bought my first pattern. So easy! Such great instructions! I was hooked! I’ve made “The Girly Skirt” and this “The Girly Stripworks Skirt!” My girls love ‘em! Is it not soooo adorable!!!


“The Girly Stripworks Skirt”

Fun, bright and beautiful fabric helped make this skirt so fun!

So to help celebrate this special day I have a few gifts for you! Chelsea is the creative mind behind Pink Fig Patterns and Vintage Chic Boutique! You can find her cute button in my Sponsors section!She is all kinds of talented and her designs are incredible! I HEART her!!!!

Chelsea wanted to pass on some “Girly Stripworks skirt” fun to help celebrate Charlies birthday! I’m pretty sure you all won’t mind!

3 lucky readers
will be chosen!!!!
3!!!

So you too can whip up one of these babies! How cool is that!

If I didn’t already own this pattern I’d be jealous I couldn’t win!
A million thanks Chelsea!!!
Be sure to go and check out all her available patterns for sale!

Here’s how you can enter to win! PLEASE leave one comment per entry!

  • Every one who leaves a comment today will be entered in the random drawing so say hello, wish my baby bug a happy day or tell me something fun!
  • Go and visit The Vintage Chic Boutique Blog and become a follower of her blog! Say hello to Chelsea and come report back telling me you’ve made a new friend!
  • Become a follower of Blue Cricket Design or tell me you already are!
  • Help spread the word about this giveaway by blogging, tweeting or facebooking about this fun offer with a link back to this post!
The WINNERS will be announced this Sunday March 28th!!!!! Thanks again Pink Fig!

362 Comments