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Valentine’s Day Series

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, so for the next three weeks the weekly post will be dedicated to projects of the more “romantic” nature. Luckily, I have yards of pink satin which would be perfect for the occassion.

Project #3 -DIY His and Hers Satin Blind Fold Tutorial – Make Your Own Pattern!
This is a super easy project. You can complete it within an hour or two if you’re really slow. It is also a small project and therefore excellent for using up scraps.
For this project you’ll need some fabric – I used satin for the outside of the blind fold and cotton fabric for the lining. The choice of fabric is up to you, but I recommend using a breathable material for the lining cause that’s the part that comes in contact with your eyes and you would want it to be pleasant to the touch. You will also need some padding material. I used cotton batting, again for reasons of breathability. lastly, you will need some elastic band long enough to fit your head.

Step 1 – Pattern

This is an easy to make pattern. Sinceit is symmetrical, you only need to draw half of the shape and cut it on the fold. Begin with a straight line for the top and continue with rounde edges for the sides and bottom. You should make it slightly bigger than you’d like the final product to bein order to allow¬†for seam allowences of about 1cm.

Step 2 – Cutting the Fabric

Now that we have the pattern we need to cut the fabric. We need to cut one pattern piece of satin (or the fabric used for the outside) and one piece of the lining fabric. The pieces are cut on the fold. Then we need to cut some padding. For this I had to cut two pieces of cotton batting and attach them in the middle cause I didn’t have a big enough piece of cotton batting to be able to cut on the fold. I used a zigzag stitch.

cotton batting

The padding piece should be slightly smaller than the other pieces. This makes it easier to sew. I just trimmed about a centimeter from the bottom edge.

cut pattern pieces

We also need to cut some elastic band to keep the blind fold in place. To know the length to cut you need to place one of the pattern pieces on your face and see where it reaches the sides of your face. Then take the elastic band and stretch it comfortably tight to wrap the back of your head from one side of your face to the other.

Step 3 – Assemble

First, we need to baste the padding to the wrong side of the lining right at the edge so it wouldn’t be visible on the outside once we attach the lining and the outer fabric.

step3

Now we attch the elastic band to the lining. I used a serger for that, but a zigzag stitch would be just fine.

attaching elastic band

Now we attach the outer fabric to the lining right sides facing. Two things to remember – 1)The elastic band should be inside (on the right side of the fabric) and away from the edges while sewing (to avoid getting it caught in the stitches) and 2) leave a small opening to turn it over so that the right side of the fabric will be on the outside, This opening should be hand stitched at the end of the process.

All Done!

blindfoldfinal

I made one in black and one in pink – his and hers, respectively. You can use it for sleep or all kinds of naughty games ūüėČ

Enjoy!

P.S. If you use interesting lining fabric, you can also turn it over and wear it with the lining fabric outside. The possibiities are endless, Well it’s basically just these two but whatever…

blindfold

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Squirrel Appreciation Day?!

It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day, Everybody!
I only heard about this existing yesterday for the very first time so I decided to dedicate my next project to squirrels.

Project #2 – Plush Squirrel – Mini Tutorial of the Steps to Sewing a Burdastyle Pattern
Squirrel
I found this cute little pattern of a plush squirrel on Burdastyle magazine (May 2014 issue) and thought I would go through the steps for making any burdastyle pattern while I make the squirrel. Back when I was just starting out I really wanted to make a lot of the patterns I’ve seen in the magazine but had no idea where to start. This is a pretty basic project which doesn’t include any of the more complicated steps usually included in a clothing item such as zippers or buttonholes, but it’s a good way to understand the basic process and gain a little more confidence before jumping into bigger, more complicated projects. So, if you’re new to sewing and feel a little intimidated to try a project from Burdastyle magazine, then this is just for you!

Every project can be broken down to three basic steps. Pattern pieces, fabric cutting and sewing which is¬†usually the most difficult and time-consuming step. Well, let’s dive in!

Step 1 – Pattern pieces

The first thing we need to do is trace the pattern pieces. For this you need to check where to find the relevant pattern pieces in the instruction section. There is a box which details where to look.

burda pattern

Gently remove the pattern sheets from the middle of the magazine. before tracing the pieces check in the instructions regarding the seam allowances. Most Burdastyle patterns don’t include them but some do, so you should make sure before cutting the traced pattern pieces. If the pattern doesn’t include seam allowances, I like to add them to the paper pattern but it is also possible to add them on the fabric. While tracing, make sure to add the details of each pattern piece including: the pattern piece number, straight grain, and any notches or darts included.

Step 2 – Cutting the Fabric

Now we are ready to cut the fabric. For this purpose, we pin the pattern pieces to the fabric. Make sure the straight grain on the pattern pieces is parallel to the fabric selvage and that the pieces that should be cut on a fold, are.

pinning pattern pieces to fabric

Step 3 – Sewing

Now we begin the sewing process. I recommend reading the instructions carefully before starting the sewing process. I usually follow the order of the instructions but sometimes you may find it easier to change the order. For example, the order for this project was sewing the body,head and tail, stuffing each piece and then hand sewing the pieces together. That order makes sense. However, the order for making the head of the squirrel did not include the directions for adding the embroidery for the eyes and nose. It appeared only at the end of the instructions for the construction of the head. That is why it is very important to read the entire instruction before beginning to sew.

Final Product 

Squirrel final product

Family portrait

Family portrait

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed making this project. It is a fun and simple project which is excellent for using scraps both for making it and for filling it. It’s great for gift giving if you have a baby shower coming up, home decor and just for fun!

Hope you had a happy squirrel day and I’ll see you next week for the next project (Valentine’s day special – don’t miss it).

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Happy 2015!!!

After completing a couple of courses in sewing, pattern making and fashion design I was left with loads and loads of fabric and other materials that I didn’t want to see go to waste (including over 6 meters of tulle – stay tuned for that!!!). Being unemployed with a lot of time on my hands I came up with a plan for 2015 to use up all of the material I collected over the past couple of years.

Let’s get to work!
First Project – Owls in Love Ornament Tutorial

I’ve noticed recently that owls are very popular, so I came up with this idea as a gift for a friend’s house warming party.

I knew she was into owls and decided to make her something she could hang in her new apartment.

Every project begins with a sketch/illustraion
illustration
The next step is figuring out the pattern pieces. We need half a heart in two sizes which we will cut two of each color in each size. The pattern for the eyes which is basically an incomplete circle shape cut on the fold. We need to cut two of those – one for each owl.

hearts
Time to assemble
We start by attaching two sets of hearts. two large hearts and two small hearts. Once you sew the hearts, you have a choice on how to attach the smaller hearts to the larger hearts. You can needle point or the applique function on your sewing machine (which is basically a very narrow zig-zag stitch – a very narrow and short zig-zag stitch should be just fine). I chose needle point which proved to be a very long process, but also a very soothing one. What you need to do is simple – you clip along the edges of the small heart. the notches should be about 1 cm apart and about1 cm long. Make sure they are the same length in order to maintain the heart shape. Next you should fold the edges toward the using the length of the notches as a guide and maintaining the heart shape and iron (that sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is – just fold in the notches). Now you are ready to needle point. You can do it with a contrasting color thread or with the same color thread. You can make the stitches very close together like I did or up to 1 cm apart. The choice is yours – you have the power!

needlepoint
The same process goes for attaching the eyes – you need to attach a “pair” of eyes to each side on the front of the larger heart. Don’t forget to attache the eyes at a reasonable distance from the edge to avoid stitching over the eyes while attaching the front and back sides of the ornament. This time I chose to use the applique option on my sewing machine just to save time. I recommend attaching a beak with fabric glue (I just cut a triangle out of red felt) prior to attaching the eyes. This gives a nicer finish.

applique
Now it is time to attach the front and back sides – right sides together. Don’t forget to leave a couple of centimeters unsewn so you can turn it over. This is also the time to attach the ribbon for hanging.
Now it’s time to fill her up. You don’t have to purchase stuffing material especially for this – whatever scrap fabric you have could do the trick.
Now all that is left to do is sew up the opening and you’re done!

Ready to be sent to a good home

Ready to be sent to a good home

Tips and tricks

  1. Stuffing material – There is no need to buy stuffing material. You can use whatever you have on hand. I used some cotton batting I had left over from another project. This is great for tiny fabric scraps you can’t use for any other project
  2. Needle point vs. Applique – As I mentioned, the applique option is alot easier and faster than the needle point. However, you have a lot more control with the needle point option. Also, I ecommend using the notches technic, especially for a fabric that frays easily.
  3. This project is very versatile. Make it bigger as a couch cushion or smaller as a key chain.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed ¬†this tutorial, I know I did. See you soon!