thursday threads {June stitch along}

Covered in Stitches Entry: SNEAK PEEK

I’ve been steadily stitching, the likes of which I haven’t done in months, to finish up this month’s stitch along. I admit I had a hard time getting into it, but once I finally figured out my plan I ended up having a blast.

june stitch along: narwhale

I decided to only use 2 main colors. I had 3 different shades of blue and then a gold (although I did use a cotton black for the words). I used a split stitch for the golden banner and a plain back stitch for the whale and all the crusty stuff that grows on a whale with a few french knots thrown in 🙂

June stitch along: narwhale

I tried a rope stitch with my own variegated thread (2 darker blues to 1 lighter) for parts of the waves and used a solid darker blue with a stem stitch for the opposite waves.

Overall, I’m stoked with how it turned out. Probably one of the best things to come off my hoop in a while.

june stitch along: narwhale

Next up, I’m bound and determined to start on this and get it finished with a pattern written for the shop by mid-July. We’ll see!

Steps to an embroidery design #5

I’m also entering a stitching contest 🙂 The details are here and more on what I’m stitching next week.

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thursday threads {wip}

thursday threads

This month’s stitch a long for feeling stitchy is a narwhale. I don’t know what that is, other than a unicorn looking thing, but it’s a fish and my rooster is crazy about fish. Therefore this month’s embroidery is dedicated to him.

After a little thread shopping, I came up with this gold (his room is a variety of browns) and a mix of blues for the whole embroidery. I’m trying my hand at limiting the number of colors of thread and instead using a variety of stitches and also thread widths.

June stitch along WIP 2012

After spending just a tiny bit of time working on it, I’m finally getting into it and had to share my progress for today’s thursday threads.

June SAL: wip

I’m in love with french knots (perfect for barnacles) and probably my favorite “line” stitch is the split stitch (perfect for banners). Next up, i tackle some of the waves: the plan is to make my own variegated thread of varied widths. I can’t wait!

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a nice pat on the back

In a week where all I seem to have done is cut out felt and expressed very little creativity, I got a great boost for those days when I can get a little more creative.

Head on over here to see what I’m boasting about!

And if you are here from feeling stitchy, make yourself and home at I hope you feel very welcomed and appreciated!

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a tutorial & stitch along {pillowcase skirt}

tutorial cover photo

I’ve had this pillowcase for a while and was going to make a pillowcase dress, but the other day decided to try my hand at writing a tutorial for a pillowcase skirt. I made a skirt out of vintage & thrifted cases a while ago, but only having one case this time decided to add a little something to the bottom. It was also time to participate in the monthly feeling stitchy stitchalong so I decided to make a little apron for the skirt and “kill two birds with one stone” as they say. The instructions are for a size 5 skirt, but can easily be adapted for smaller sizes. So here goes…

a pillowcase skirt tutorial:

pillowcase skirt 1

First, gather up all your materials:
– one standard pillowcase
– 3/4 yard of coordinating tulle
– coordinating ric rac
– thread
– roughly a fat quarter of white (or coordinating) fabric for the apron and embroidery
– embroidery pattern (found here)
– 3/4″ wide elastic
– small piece of interfacing

pillowcase skirt 2

Lay out your case on a cutting mat and measure 14″ from the open end up and cut across.

After cutting you should have something like this:
pillowcase skirt 3

pillowcase skirt 4

Next you are ready to cut your tulle strips. Strips are cut width of fabric x 5″ wide. I folded my width of fabric in half to fit it on my mat for cutting. Cut 3 strips.

pillowcase skirt 5

**This is where I did things a little backwards. Typically you would now sew your 3 strips together short ends to short ends to make a large loop and then baste. I opted to indent my basting a little bit and make the loop last.**

Next baste your 3 tulle strips together. This is where going slow pays off in order to keep all the layers on top of each other while you sew. After you sew, pull the basting a little bit to make it fit around the inside of the case. After fitting it almost together, sew the short ends together to make a loop.

pillowcase skirt 7

When you get ready to sew the tulle strip to the case, match up the basting stitch with the hem stitch on the case.

pillowcase skirt 6

Flip the skirt right side out and you should have something like this. The tulle should hang down about an inch below the case bottom.
pillowcase skirt 8

Here’s an inside view of the tulle strip after it has been sewn on:
pillowcase skirt 9

pillowcase skirt 10

Now you are going to cover up the hem seam and seam from the tulle strip with some ric rac. Line up your ric rac on the seam and you can go ahead and measure out how much you need and sew!

pillowcase skirt 11

Your skirt bottom should now look something like this:
pillowcase skirt 12

Next it’s time to measure the apron pieces and trace your embroidery. (obviously this picture was taken after I embroidered. Just use your imagination)

pillowcase skirt 13

Cut 2 apron pieces 7.5″ x 9.5″ and using a water soluble pen, trace your embroidery design and sew.

After you are finished with your embroidery, clip the long ends of your threads on the back and “seal” your embroidery by ironing on a small piece of interfacing. If embroidery isn’t your thing, you could always cut two pieces of coordinating fabric and use those as your apron piece.

Next, you will add ric rac to the edges of the apron pieces and sew them together. Sandwich the ric rac in between the apron pieces, right sides facing. Sew the two long sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

pillowcase skirt 15

Turn right side out, use a chop stick to poke out the corners and press. You should have something like this (sorry it’s blurry):

pillowcase skirt 16

Now you are going to line up your apron piece with the top of your skirt. Mine measured roughly 6.5 inches on each side.

pillowcase skirt 17

Pin apron in place.

Now it is time to finish the top edge of your skirt. If you have a serger, use your serger to finish the top, while at the same time attaching the apron piece. If you do not have a serger, you can use a zig zag stitch to finish the top edge and attach the apron OR you can baste the apron piece and fold the top down 1/4″ and press.

Now it is time to make the casing for the elastic.

pillowcase skirt 18

Fold down the top 1″ and press. You might want to pin the apron piece in place so that it doesn’t shuffle around while sewing the casing. Make sure to leave an opening in the casing to insert the elastic.

pillowcase skirt 19

pillowcase skirt 20

Cut your elastic 21″ inches and insert elastic into casing.

pillowcase skirt 21

When you have pulled all your elastic through, sew the ends together.

pillowcase skirt 21

Stretch the elastic all the way through and then sew the seam closed.

Untitled

Voila! Now you are done!

pillowcase skirt 22

pillowcase skirt

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thursday threads {04.19.2012}

Covered in Stitches Entry: SNEAK PEEK

This months stitchalong with Feeling Stitchy is calling my name, but alas the other projects have superseded it and I’m going to have to pass on this one. If you want to try your hand at some embroidery with felt applique, this is a great beginners project with a super tutorial.

 

That said, this is project number one: my son’s teacher is retiring and I blogged about this last week. I had wanted to take all the kid’s names and make a frame around this cute little pattern from Wee Wonderful’s but I couldn’t get the names to line up right. My second idea was to sew some notebook paper…and I love it! I am going to stitch all the kid’s names on the paper and this will be the backside of the totebag.

April-May Project: retiring teacher's totebag WIP

The flower fabric will be the front panel, with the little Wee Wonderful kids reading stitched onto the front. The geometric print will be the inside lining.

 

On another note, my little red traveling thread box was getting out of hand with all the hoops I have going right now. I ended up having to use some little snack bags to organize all my project threads. How do you keep all your threads together if you have more than one project going?

organizing the project thread box

happy stitching!

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