Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

How to Organize Sewing Patterns

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The silence over here has been killing me! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around our house. Chris got the renovation bug not too long ago and we’ve been working our tails off on completing the last unfinished bedroom in our house (pics soon!) and updating all closets. The new closets are heavenly!

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While in spring cleaning/nesting mode, I’ve taken the opportunity to re-organize my sewing patterns. They’re out of control. I’ve drafted about as many patterns as I’ve bought, so coming up with a good system for easy storage was necessary.

In the past, I’ve bought envelopes the same size as as standard pattern envelopes and tried to stuff drafted patterns into those. It’s not terribly effective for me, since most of my pattern envelopes end up sitting on my desk for weeks simply because I’m too annoyed with the thought of putting them away.

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A few fellow sewers mentioned to me how they organize patterns in clear sleeves in three-ring binders. Genius. Wanting them to look polished in my new closets, I went for leather binders*. They’re gorgeous. So far I’ve only separated out tops and bottoms. I’m filling these binders fast, so I’ll likely need to branch out to more categories. Here’s how I’ve done it (and you can too):

Supplies:

  • binders, either 8 1/2 x 11 or 12 x 12
  • clear sheet protectors
  • large labels
  • fun marker or pen

Step 1:

I never cut into store bought patterns. They always remain intact, I simply trace the appropriate size on tracing paper and make adjustments there. I bought a giant roll of 36″ wide x 50 yard tracing paper at a local art supply store for somewhere around $20. If you sew, it’s a worthwhile investment. Store bought patterns stay in their envelopes and those envelopes get stored in a box. Pattern tracings, PDF patterns and self-drafted patterns get stored in binders for easy-access.

Step 2:

Pack the sheet protectors with your pattern (one pattern per protector).

Step 3:

Label the protector. I labeled it with the pattern maker (i.e. Megan Nielsen, Hey June, Self-drafted), pattern name or description and traced size or estimated draft size at the bottom.

Step 4:

Sort. Alphabetical order, style, preferred fabric type, etc. Figure out a system to easily find your patterns and your done!

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I had a lot of fun busting out my brush markers and washi tapes to fancy-up the labels for each pattern. The lettering is far from perfect, but it was great practice.

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Let’s end on a keeping-it-real note. This is how awesome my studio looks at the moment. I’ve got a lot of organizing ahead of me, but with binders, cute boxes and new shelving I feel unstoppable!! WEEEEE!!

How do you organize your sewing patterns? Do share in the comments below!

*Binders and sheet protectors provided by Lifestyle Crafts.

Tutorial: Beaded Turban Ring

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I’m a last-minute gift-giver. 90% of the gifts on my list have not been bought or made. . . yet. I’m that on the ball this year. In fact, does anyone else feel like they’re just dragging behind with holiday prep?

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Each year I try to make most of my gifts. It’s become increasingly harder with two kids and calligraphy work. So I like to go for things that are simple, thoughtful and/or cute. I was playing around with an idea for a ring design using only these small beads and gold wire. That’s when the idea for this little ring struck. It’s so easy, you could make up a bunch for  of your besties this winter!

Beaded Turban Ring

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Supplies

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Cut the wire about 8 inches long. bend one end about 2 inches from the end. The bend will keep the beads from falling off.

With the straight end, string the beads, about 4-5 inches. Some glass beads won’t fit at all, while others will slide on smoothly. Just keep picking out more beads until you find one that fits.

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Wrap the beaded wire around a marker or finger. Above I have 4 wraps. Only wrap the marker twice. Remove any excess beads, then trim and kink the straight end about an inch or so in.

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Coil one wire around the other, tucking the end in as much as you can.

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Coil the second end around the first coil tightly.

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Now enjoy!

Outfit details:

More tutorials are on their way!

*This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

 

 

DIY: Gold and Leather Bolo Necklace

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I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.

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I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!

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Make one with me!

Leather Gold-Dipped Bolo Necklace Tutorial

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Supplies

  • gold chain 11-18 inches
  • 20 guage gold wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • closure
  • leather strip, 8 x .5 inches
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • liquid gold or gold foil
  • junk brush

If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.

Click below to read the rest of the instructions!

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Sponsored: Holiday Prep and Shining Shoes

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Inspired by this month’s entertainment theme for the Fiesta Movement, how do you prep for the upcoming season’s parties and festivities?

 

Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. Besides decorations and gifts, how do you prepare for all of the parties, caroling, strolling and eating? Growing up, my dad made sure to teach me how to properly care for my shoes so they’d last the whole winter without getting destroyed by mud, snow and salt. I was in constant awe how he could make a pair of old shoes look brand-spanking new.

He taught me the importance of keeping my nice things nice.

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I know a lot of people out there have different opinions about buying and using leather. I don’t disagree with those feelings, I think leather is a great material that should never go to waste. It’s incredibly strong and durable. The real shame in my opinion is if someone just neglects to take proper care of his/her leather goods and destroys it beyond repair.

My dad literally has shoes older than me. You wouldn’t know it, though. Leather can last forever. It’s a matter of protecting, cleaning and polishing regularly.

For my suede babies, I just prevent with Nikwax and call it good. If I spray every couple months, it doesn’t seem to go bad.

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Now these babies. I was at a photoshoot a month ago and we were stomping around in some serious mud. They’re filthy and just about destroyed from all that mud and salt!

I use a leather cleaner (we got a bunch when we bought our house) to get most of the mud off. It works like a charm.

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So much better, but it’s still not quite there yet.

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I don’t know if other people use this method, but my dad taught me to put a sandwich bag around my finger and cloth on top for polishing shoes. It’s a great way to spread polish and keep it from getting on my hands.

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You can see a huge difference between the polished shoe (left) and the cleaned shoe (right). Now I can go trudge around town looking polished and put together (pun not intended). After polishing, I shine the shoes with a brush. DONE. All it takes is about 15-20 minutes.

Frankly, if you don’t get the results you’re looking for, take your shoes to a cobbler. I’ve had boots re-soled with a winter tread, zippers fixed and leather repaired. What can’t a cobbler do? Really. They’re not terribly expensive (certainly not more than buying a nice new pair) and they can save your favorite shoes from the dump.

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own.

1 Yard Fabric, 7 Bloggers, My No-Sew Midi Skirt Tutorial

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Miriam found this gorgeous floral ikat print at Mood back in May. Immediately there were 7 of us hovering over the yardage to see if we could all snag a piece. Like sharks to chum.

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Each of us has made something with our yardage. Check out what these uber talented ladies have made with their yardage (in order of appearance of the photo above):

Merrick, Leanne (hers will come later this month),  Miriam, Jen, Andrea, Bethany (not pictured) All joined in.

The idea came that we should all see what we could do with one yard. The idea for a link party was born. And I failed at it miserably.

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I love this fabric so much, I want it all over my body at all times. What to make? A dress would showcase the fabric beautifully, but unfortunately the yardage is too short to just use for a simple shift (it shrunk a little in the pre-wash). I could do a raglan dress with the yardage, but I’m not stoked with the patterns I have. I tried to draft a raglan sleeve with my dress form, but the lack of shoulder/arm failed with the muslin test.

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Sewing confidence is waning at this point. Also, I’ve been trying to be a good little girl and prioritize business to-dos over blog to dos this week. It’s been hard to get anything done. Do you ever feel so busy that you just freeze up and can’t do a thing? I’m going through that at the moment.

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So in a moment of desperation, I made myself a skirt. Sort of. And I didn’t have to commit to sewing or cutting up my precious yardage just yet.

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Want to know a secret? I’ve actually done this very thing before. I needed a red skirt, but it was about 5 minutes before church so I grabbed red jersey, wrapped and walked out the door. This works surprisingly well.

Simply wrap and knot. Boom. Done. If you’re looking for a cheap way to make your own mini, midi or maxi skirt and you don’t know anything about sewing machines or knits. . . here you go.

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Outfit Details:

Is anyone in the same boat as me? Who else has had a crippling to do list lately?

Above are similar knit skirts (although the print I have is a mystery. I wish I could find it online) for under $35.

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