Entries Tagged as 'Sewing'

Have You Ever Made a Quilt?



Have you ever seen something that just sticks in your head and you still think about it months later? I see lots of things I like but there are only certain things that catch my attention for the long haul. When that happens I it’s a sure sign that it’s really a great fit for our home.

My most recent infatuation of this sort has been with this quilt.

I saw this triangle quilt a few months ago from Audire at Blue is Bleu. I think it would be great for Nikolas’ room which needs some love and attention. I love the idea of snuggling up in a handmade quilt.


I’ve been looking around for a good tutorial and I think I found one here. It looks simple enough for a first quilt. I’ve put together a color combination I like from Fabric.com. This is probably one of Ray Ban outlet those long haul projects that I’ll put down and pick back up. I like to have a bunch of projects going at the same time (if you couldn’t tell already).

So my question today is has anyone ever sewn a quilt? Anything I need to know? Any tips?

Embroidered Christmas Pillow Tutorial



DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow Finished

I saved my most favorite Christmas craft project of the year for last! I had this idea that I wanted an embroidered Christmas pillow to  nestle into the chair next to our tree. I’ve been admiring this one and this one on Etsy for a while, but in the end decided to create my own.

Embroidery is a bit of a tradition in my family, my grandmother embroidered all throughout her life as did my mother who created some amazing embroidery when I was younger.  I still have a box of my childhood embroidery projects stashed in the closet! I haven’t done any in a long time but decided to dust off my stitching skills and give it another shot.

DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow 2

Embroidery looks intimidating but is really pretty simple once you get familiar with a few basic stitches. It’s not a project that you will finish in one sitting. But it is something you can pick up and put down easily while watching your favorite show or sitting under the light of the Christmas tree. I kept this project really simple and stuck to two very basic stitches, the straight stitch and split stitch. There a great site that I found that explains both stitches better than I would. You can find straight stitch instructions here and split stitch instructions here.

First things first, you’ll need to gather your supplies. To do this project you’ll need a piece of fabric (I used a piece of linen), pencil and paper for sketching, embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, needle, and transfer paper.

One word about the fabric you choose. Linen is a nice fabric for embroidery because of the relatively “even weave” It’s generally easier to embroider on a piece of fabric where you can see the weave versus a silk for example where there isn’t a visible one.

DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow 3

Back to the instructions, next I sketched out my tree on a sheet of paper. I started by outlining the basic tree shape and drawing scroll work along the perimeter and then by filling in the shape. The scrolls are easy to sketch if you think of them like a glorified letter S. It’s a basic S shape with an extra little flourish at both the bottom and the top. The Merry Christmas is hand drawn directly on the fabric, but if you were nervous about this you could print out some pretty font. I was too lazy to take that extra step 😉 so I just winged it, you can see my practice attempts on the piece of paper above.

Once you have your drawing how you like it, lay your fabric flat out on a table or hard surface, place a piece of transfer paper on top and then your drawing. Be sure to place it how you want it centered on the front of your pillow and secure with pins in place.

DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow 4

Trace over the entire sketch transferring onto the fabric. It’s hard to see in the picture since it will transfer faintly but in real life it’s enough to see where you need to stitch.

DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow 5

Now it’s time to stitch. The tree, tree stump and Merry Christmas were all done using the stem stitch and the star at the top of the tree was sewn using a straight stitch.

Once your all finished it’s a simple job to sew it into an envelope pillow. You can find detailed instructions on how to sew an envelope pillow here.

DIY Embroidered Christmas Pillow 6

I like it a lot. It looks so warm and snuggly on the chair with a soft warm blanket laid underneath the Christmas tree sparkling in the background. Well I’m off to grab a plate full of Christmas cookies and milk. Happy sewing!

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels



Update: If you’re looking for the exact fabric I used it’s Robert Allen Khandar available here* or at a number of other places too.

As promised, I’m back to show you all easy step-by step instructions How to Make Lined Curtain Panels of your very own. When I started this DIY project I had made curtain panels before but never lined ones.

This time I wanted to add the lining because I knew it would make the curtains last longer, drape better, feel more luxurious, help filter out the light (which might even help you get a few more minutes of precious sleep) and prevent the neighbors from seeing some fantastically awkward silhouettes through the curtains. Yeah um, no thank you.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

With all those reasons kicking me in the butt to figure these bad boys out, a funny thing happened, I realized that they’re not really anymore difficult then the plain old unlined version, especially when you use this cheap and easy secret for the lining.

The secret is to use twin sheets for your lining fabric, there’s a few benefits to using sheets as lining; they’re way cheaper than buying specific drapery lining (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $5 each), there are all different colors to match your curtain fabric and they come complete with an awesome large hem so there’s no need to sew that. Every step saved equals an awesome benefit in my mind.

With all that said, there is actually more ironing than sewing in this project. So if you don’t own an iron then go buy one right now…on second thought read this tutorial first then go buy one.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

So let’s get to the point of why we’re all here shall we? Let’s learn how to make some professional lined curtains…and I thought you were all here to read my ramblings. Psssshaw 😉

What you’ll need:
  • 54 in Home Decorator Fabric in your choice of pattern cut to your desired length plus 12 inches (so for my 84 inch panels I used 3 yards of fabric for each panel with some excess scraps left over for goof ups)
  • Twin sheet for lining
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Machine Thread to match your fabric
  • Iron
  • Good pair of scissors (sharp scissors will make all the difference in the world)
  • Ruler or yardstick

Step 1

Gather your curtain fabric and cut to size, for each standard 84 inch panel you’ll need 96 inches of fabric or around 3 yards which will give you some scraps at the end. To make longer curtains just add 12 inches to whatever you’d like your desired curtain panel length to be then divide by 36 to see how may yards you’d need.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 1

Step 2

Once you have all your fabric cut out it’s time to start with what will be the bottom hem. Start by laying your fabric out upside down on your ironing board. If you have a pattern make sure it’s going in the right direction. Fold the bottom edge up 1/2 inch and press firmly into place. Then fold your fabric over again 5 inches, press and pin into place. Sew the hem in place with a straight stitch.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 2

Step 3

Now it’s time to get your side seams sorted out. Some people advise cutting off the selvedge which is the finished edge from the factory that runs along lengthwise to prevent the selvedge from shrinking differently then the rest of the fabric. I didn’t on mine because I plan to bring them to the dry cleaners for cleaning in the future but you can di it depending upon your preferences.

Fold the vertical sides in 1/2 in and press, then fold over again another half inch and press again. You’ll want to pin it in a couple of places to hold it together then do the other side in the same manner. Don’t sew the side seams together just yet though.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 3

Step 4

To prepare the sheet you’ll need to cut off 3 of the 4 hems, leaving the large decorative hem in place. This will form the bottom hem of your drapery lining.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 4

Step 5

Now it’s time to place your lining together with your drapery fabric. Lay the entire piece of drapery fabric (wrong side up) out on a large flat surface like the floor. Lay the sheet right side up on top of your drapery fabric. The wrong sides of your fabric should be together. Now, align the sheet’s decorative edge (that you didn’t cut off) about 4 inches above the edge of the bottom hem of your drapery panel. You don’t want them to line up at the bottom and you won’t want to sew it together. Leaving it loose will help the fabric hang better and look more like curtains than like a pillow case in the end.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 5

Now tuck your sheet edge under one side of the hem you pressed in Step 3 and pin firmly into place.

With the one side pinned smooth out your sheet liner so it lies flat on top of your drapery fabric. Depending upon your panel size and fabric width you may need to cut off the excess fabric from your sheet. Cut the sheet so that it tucks under the remaining vertical hem neatly. Trim the top to match the length of your drapery fabric.

Step 6

Final step. Fold the top edge down 1/2 inch and press into place. Then fold over 6 inches and press. Pin to hold it into place. Now you’ll want to sew two straight stitches. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam to lock into place. To create a rod pocket measure down 2 inches from your top and sew a straight stitch.

Creating the rod pocket is optional but I always do this last stitch even if I’m using ring clips in case I change my mind later and want to shirr the curtains on the rod. I’m fickle like that 😉

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 6

Tips to Ponder

If you are making multiple panels, make sure the lengths match up exactly.

Check to make sure you cut your prints in the same direction, and make sure you sew your panels so the pattern runs in the same direction.

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