Category Archives: Lessons

Double folded hem

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Call me slow, but it took me awhile to learn about this whole double folded hem. It’s so easy, and now that I know about it, I won’t go back when it comes to clothing.

When sewing a single folded hem, you simply fold your fabric once, press flat, and sew. This is okay for some things – I did our closet coverings this way, because we never see the backside. But, when it comes to clothing, you often see the underside – and with a simple hem, it can look messy. Enter the double folded hem.

A double folded hem is super easy. You fold your fabric 1/4″ and press. Fold it a second time, the width you’d like the hem to be, press, and sew. Be sure you are sewing on top of both folds, to keep things neat. Here’s what a double folded hem looks like once it’s finished:

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It gives the clothes a much more professional and finished look – and the greatest thing is – it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!

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Baby poncho!

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Wow! I’ve been working on this bad boy since August.

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It is definitely the most complex project I’ve knitted so far. It’s the first time I’ve done something with multiple pieces that had to be sewn together. I also sewed both snaps and decorative buttons on it – another first for me.

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Maddy really liked the decorative buttons – she’ll probably end up yanking one of them off, but they’re super easy to put on so that’s okay. Maddy is often quite challenging to get dressed (the whole tactile defensiveness thing), but not only did she say yes when I asked her if she wanted to try this on – she didn’t want to take it off. That’s a success in my books!

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The only major snag I had with this project was having to ‘pick up and knit’ stitches. I was super nervous about messing this up, as I had never done it before,  but it really wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I learned how from this YouTube video, and was successful on my first try. Hoorah!

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I learned a very important lesson on this project. I need to give myself way more time than I think I need to finish up a time-sensitive project. Weeks go by without having a moment to pick up my knitting needles – but Maddy keeps growing in those weeks. I made this in an 18 month size, hoping she’d get to wear it last fall and this spring. Planning fail. It fits, but we’ll probably only get one season out of it.

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Want to give this poncho a whirl? You can find the pattern in Bernat’s ‘Colour me Cute’ book.

 

It “seamed” so easy: How not to do a french seam

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What is a french seam? It’s a seam made up of two seams. It hides the raw edges in a fold, making a very neat finished product. It’s great for making burrito pillowcases… unless you don’t do it properly.

How not to do a french seam? Well, like this of course:

See all of those raw edges? They’re supposed to be hidden. Whoops.

Now, I bet you’re wondering how you should do a french seam. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Pin your two pieces to be joined with their wrong sides together. Sew together using a straight stitch.
  2. Trim the seam allowances.
  3. Open the fabric layers and press the seam allowances to one side. Bring the right sides of the fabric together and fold the fabric along the seam.
  4. Press and sew.

I still have no idea what exactly I did wrong in my first french seam. I can’t seam (okay, I know, enough already) to wrap my brain around it. That means I can’t give you a really good not-to tip. But, I can wish you good luck on what everyone says is an easy technique. Don’t worry, it probably is easy. I’m just really good at making silly mistakes. Some might say too good.

!yadhtrib yppah

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Remember way back when I was so excited to receive this fabric in the mail? I made my second Happy Birthday banner out of it.

When we hung it up for Madeleine’s first birthday, I thought it was just perfect.

It wasn’t until days later, when I was hanging out with boo-boo in the sandbox that I happened to notice something was off about it.

I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Clearly a mistake that is so true to me, nothing can be done but laugh… really hard. Look carefully through the mosquito net…

Note to self – must reverse letters for double-sided banners.

Maddy’s luau outfit

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As you know, we recently celebrated Madeleine’s first birthday with a backyard luau.

I’m going to quickly share how I made Maddy’s birthday outfit. The grass skirt was super easy. I bought one from Dollarama, measured a smaller size, cut out a portion of it, and sewed it back together.

Measuring the size with Maddy’s shorts

I then appliquéd a onesie for Maddy.

I used a glass to get a perfect circle

And, the finished product:

If I were to do this again, I would make the straps of the coconut bra a bit wider. It was tough to keep them in a straight line as the heat and bond didn’t stick too well with such a small piece, and the fabric tore a bit as I was sewing.

On both sides.

It was small, so it wasn’t noticeable once it was on her. I loved our matching luau outfits!

Second birthday ‘Cars’ shirt

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My sweet, little nephew, Logan turned two in May. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since this picture was taken:

Anyone who knows anything about Logan knows how much he is obsessed with the movie Cars. My sister, Lindsay, asked me to whip up a quick shirt for Logan’s birthday party. It was pretty easy, as she had ordered some appliqués online and had them shipped to our house.

The final product:

Front

Back

We didn’t have our camera out at all, but fortunately, my friend, Catherine, managed to catch a shot of the shirt in action.

My only lesson here is to pay attention when doing appliqué with lots of small sections. Otherwise, you might just sew off of the appliqué without even noticing:

To learn more about appliqué, check out this post.

Happy 2nd birthday, Logan. We love you!!

Sewing is not baby proof

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I was prepping a quick project today while Maddy was playing in her room. I am shortening the covering to Maddy’s closet, and was just pinning the fabric so I would know where to hem it.

I placed a closed container of pins on her glider while I snapped a quick picture. In less than a minute I heard the container come crashing down.

Note to self: cheap pin containers are not baby proof.

After I picked Maddy up and moved her a few feet away, I had to hold her back with my legs while I scooped up all the pins that had scattered all over the place. She was so determined to get to them. Isn’t it always the things a baby shouldn’t have that they want the most? I wish she thought her toys were as exciting as a spilled container of pins.

Lesson learned: Keep pins out of baby’s reach. Sigh. You think I would have already learned this lesson after this and this.