Sunday, December 28, 2008

CPSIA wants your comments - this includes an E-mail address to send your comment. Please make your voice heard. This legislation affects you in a big way if you sell your craft.
Request for Comments and Information*
Mandatory Third-Party Testing for Certain Children’s Products Section 102 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (“CPSIA”)
The Commission staff invites comments on Section 102 of the CPSIA, Mandatory Third-Party Testing for Certain Children’s Products. The staff requests comments specifically on third-party testing of component parts.
Here is the Fashion Incubator's link page to information on their site regarding CPSIA.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Re-emphasizing an important piece of legislation that affects you

You can read the first post about this consumer safety law that goes into effect in February; it makes you a felon if you sell or give clothing for children under the age of 12.
There are several people feeling they will go out of business on that day. Are you one of them? Please educate yourself and rally - soem lobbying is in order. It's as if the government agency has said "You didn't bring enough gum for the whole class so no one gets to chew it." A blanket is being tossed over the home sewist's world and it's a very expensive one to remove if you have to test every single item you use. My question to legislators is - "If I purchase fabric and accessories that have been tested, why do I have to pay to have the finished product tested as well?" It's cost prohibitive and I doubt many people will be able to keep up.
Here is a good blog post from Zingo Tots.
For more comprehensive information, here is a Google search link to the topic.
Write to your local and state and federal lawmakers. This law is not necessarily a good thing the way it is written now.

On the 27th day of Christmas...

Kwanzaa began December 26. You can create a Kinara with felt and cord (or other fabrics you may have that would work) and have your child "light" the candles by adding the fabric flame backed with Velcro. If you'd like to learn a little about Kwanzaa, click here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the 23rd Day of Christmas...

Here's a quickie project you can do using an old pair of jeans. Cut a bit of fabric and insert it into an old pair of jeans that you've reconstructed ever so slightly, and you have yourself a denim skirt with flair.  The author prefers hand sewing, but you can use your machine for a more polished look. This can be made for anyone at all from any size jeans. You can piece the insert with several fabrics if you like. Upcycle that old holy kneed pair of jeans! Keep or give as a gift. (Alternative directions)
You can never have too many denim skirts and what better way to get one than to recycle jeans with worn knees.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Project - Fabric book cover

After completing this project, you will have a fabric cover for a standard paperback book. This particular book cover was made with prequilted fabric, a button closure, and a standard paperback book, but could easily be adapted to use nonquilted fabric (either layered with batting or not), a Velcro closure, and any size book at all. Both machine and hand stitching are employed.For this project, WS = wrong side, RS = right side, WST = wrong sides together, RST = right sides together.

Gather supplies for your pattern making. We used a standard paperback, paper, scissors, a pencil and a ruler.

Place your book, face down, on the paper and trace around the edges of the front cover with your pencil. Turn the book up on its spine, and trace the width of the spine. Turn the book so that the back is face down and trace this cover with your pencil as well.

Remove the book and you will have a large rectangle. This is the basic pattern from which you will be working.

It is a good idea to doublecheck the size of the pattern with the edge of your book before moving forward.

Duplicate the original pattern. Measure 3" in from either edge and mark off a rectangle with the three edges of the book and the now-inside edge of what will be the inside flap. The picture has darkened lines where the flap pattern is marked. You will require two of these.

On the full pattern, mark the center of the back cover for the placement of the flap closure (optional). In the picture, this area is enclosed in a circle for you to be able to see where it goes.

The flap closure pattern is made by creating a 7" x 2" rectangle. On one end of the rectangle, mark the center of the width (1" mark). Make a mark 1" down on both sides of the rectangle. Draw a line from the center of the width of the top to each of the 1" marks on the sides, thus making a pointed bookmark type closure pattern. You will require two of these plus one of batting. (This piece is totally optional.)

Pin pattern pieces to your fabric. Again, in our project, we used quilted fabric, but if you use fabric without quilting, you will need two layers of fabric and one of batting if you would like the cover to have some body. Cut one main pattern, two inside flaps, and two flap closures (they will be sewn together and turned).

Additional supplies you may need are bias tape of your choice and a button. Velcro or a hook/eye closure would work as well.

For the flap closure, using two pieces of fabric and one of batting, layer the three pieces RS up, RS down, and batting. (RS should be together in this sandwich and the batting should be on the WS of one of the fabrics.)

Pin and sew in a 1/4" seam, pivoting at corners, and leaving the non-tapered end open for turning.

Trim the seam and clip the corners. Turn and finger press.

Top stitching is optional. We chose to use it.

Mark and make a button hole about 1/2" to 1" from the end of the flap closure (or tack a bit of Velcro to the back side of the flap).

Pin flap closure RST on the back of the book cover. Set this part of the project aside for a bit.

Finish one edge of front facings with bias tape or by turning under and stitching in place.

If using bias tape, stitch RST and turn to WS, pin, and then topstitch the bias tape in place.

Pin facings RST on book cover fabric, encasing the end of the flap closure. Sew around the whole book cover in a 1/4" to 1/2" seam.

Serge the seam or trim, clipping the corners for smooth turning.

Turn and finger press. Do not top stitch. Finger press/turn down the top and bottom seams on the cover between the end flaps, pin, and hand stitch into place.

Insert your book and mark the button spot on the front cover, remove the book, and sew on the button. Leave enough leeway to allow for a bit of a smaller or a bit of a larger book.

Step back and smile. Look at what you made! Give it as a gift or keep it for youself, either way, there you have it, your completed fabric book

Originally created for and posted on in December 2001, when I was doing all the projects for that site.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

For the 20th Day of Christmas...

Hannukah begins at sundown on December 21. Here are some very simple cup mats you can make with your children. The traditional colors used in most fabrics and designs that are created for Hanukkah are blue and white, so you can be creative in your choice of fabrics. These are created with wool felt, but you can use fabric and batting instead. Cut the fabric and batting with pinking shears and use the simple stitching as shown in the example with your fabric/batting/fabric sandwich.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the 19th Day of Christmas...

Here's a pretty sewing machine cover to make as a gift for a friend or for yourself. You don't have to use the fabric designs that they call for; you can use scraps that you have already. This should fit just about any sewing machine around.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the 18th Day of Christmas...

Okay, get yourself some stretchy fabric and make up some baby caps. They'd make a great last minute gift idea and you probably have knit fabric hanging around the house already.
This is a great site with a lot of free baby clothes patterns on it, but the cap looks so easy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the 17th Day of Christmas...

I had to make about 100 tote bags in a week for a special project for a local nonprofit. They wanted them simple and big enough to hold a notebook. I made up a pattern as I went along, but here's essentially what I did on LazyGirlDeigns's site. I used all sorts of different fabrics, sometimes adding a pocket, sometimes adding binding around the top and sometimes not. This is about the simplest tote around, so you can use it as a faux gift wrap and gift in one. Make them for kids to use as library bags. I would suggest double stitching the seams and/or serging them for strength.
If you like a more "traditional" tote, you can use this pattern from Make It Easy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Second Christmas Dress Done!

I finished the second of two dresses that I'm donating this year. You can see the first dress here. And below are the photos of the second one. I kind of like the first one better, but the bottom line is some little girl somewhere is going to have two Christmas dresses for her 18" doll.

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the 13th day of Christmas...

What did my true love bring to me this time? Yet another way to make gift tags. Besides our gift tag project right here on, you can make gift tags and/or ornaments with countertop samples.
Go to Lowe's or another home store and pick up countertop samples. They're just the right size for something like this. You can use them as tags that double as ornaments! Glue fabrics on both sides, decorate them as snowmen as shown, or paint them with paint or markers. Lots of possiblities here!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the 11th day of Christmas....

What a cool project we have to share with you today! Check out this scarf!
This is the most amazing recycled fabric idea. Make a scarf out of strips of fabric. It can be beautiful and warm, decorative and functional. The method used here can be the inspiration for table throws and airy curtains. The artist used one type of washaway stabilizer, but you can use whatever you like. Before I knew there was washaway stabilizer, I used notebook paper or whatever I had on hand and tore it off when I was done. The little bits of paper eventually washed away on their own. Regardless, what a great idea for holiday fabric scraps or everyday colorful fabrics. (Photo from the original project site.)