Thursday, April 28, 2016

Freehand Machine Embroidery

 When you lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine you have the freedom to move the fabric in any direction you wish (left, right, forward and backwards). This is freehand machine embroidery.  I spent a little time today playing with this technique.
You need a darning foot, a embroidery hoop, to hold the fabric taut, thread and of course fabric to start.
To lower the feed dogs refer to your machine manual, on some machines you need to cover the feed dogs instead of lowering. I practiced on scrap fabric using a straight and zigzag stitch until I ran out of bobbin thread. I began with a small 5'' hoop but this was not big enough.On the red sample below I used a 12'' hoop this is a good size for my machine.The fabric is mounted on the hoop the opposite way to normal.
 The stitch length is determined by how fast you move the hoop. If you move the hoop slowly the stitches are short, quickly and the stitches are very long.
It's fun and easy to freehand machine embroider, try it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quilted Slippers

Last week I made flannel pyjamas using Butterick pattern B5517, from the  left over fabric I made  the quilted slippers pictured above. I followed the project instructions from Simply Sewing - issue 14. It was quick, easy and fun project to make. I am wearing the slippers as I type this post.
happy sewing

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Pintucked Cushion

I stitched  a new cushion cover today. I teamed up a piece of home furnishing fabric, left over from another project, with a light weight denim. To add interest I pin tucked the denim fabric. Pintucks are slender pleats that sit on the fabrics surface. Most often used in clothing, (my daughter has a lovely summer dress with three rows of pintucks near the hemline), they can also be used in home furnishing projects to create interesting effects.
Tucks will reduce the fabric, therefore you should begin with a larger piece of fabric, once tucked the fabric becomes stretchy.
To Pintuck-I began with a 12 x 20 inch piece of fabric. Using tailors chalk, I marked horizontal lines, 1 inch apart, on the right side of the fabric. Next, fold on the marked line, with wrong sides together. Stitch on the right side of the fabric, no more than 1/4 inch from the folded edge. Repeat with the next line. My finished piece measures 12 x 14in.
Experiment using pintucks to add interest to your next project.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Raw Edge

The seam allowance is the excess fabric between the stitched line and the raw edge on the wrong side of a project. Unless finished the raw edge will fray during washing. Two quick and easy ways to finish the raw edge on woven fabrics like quilting  cotton are listed below.
Pinked- Using your pinking shears cut along the raw edge of the seam allowance. The hills and valleys stop the fabric from fraying.
If you don't own a pair of pinking shears another method is to use the zigzag stitch.
Zig-Zag- Set your machine to the following stitch zigzag, length 3 and width 4. Stitch close to the raw edge.
In my example I used my overcasting foot. I like using this presser foot because I can line up my fabric with the black tab on the right. This allows me to keep my stitching straight. The zigzag stitch falls right on the raw edge picking up the bottom thread to from an overlock stitch, kind of like wrapping the raw edge with thread.

Breaking the Pattern- Review

I was excited to see a new sewing book at my local library last week. Without much thought I checked it out. The book is 'Breaking ...