Monday, October 10, 2016

Should You Make Homemade Christmas Gifts?

If you've spent quite a bit of money and several hours making a gift for someone who turns up their nose at homemade gifts, you'll understand why this question needs to be answered. Some people think homemade gifts are a way for crafters to get out of spending money. In reality, every crafter knows that supplies aren't cheap and the time spent creating something by hand means the recipient is getting something unique and carefully thought out.

However, some people don't like homemade gifts for one reason or another. Stick to the store bought stuff for these people who likely have only modern fashion in their homes. If someone on your list enjoys visiting craft shows, likes antique looking items, quilts or rag dolls, there's a good chance she will enjoy your homemade gifts.

Be sure you can make a gift that fits in well with the recipient's other collectibles and home d├ęcor. For example, primitive colonial doesn't fit in with shabby chic beach accents. For all the others who won't appreciate your hard work, save money and time by buying them a store bought gift.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Tutorial Coming Soon

I didn't want you to think I had forgotten that I promised you a new tutorial. I promise I will have one ready as soon as I have time. I suddenly got busy with my VA work on Upwork last week and haven't had any time to sew. Please accept my apologies for the delay.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

FREE Split Panel Shower Curtain Tutorial

I hope you enjoy making this fast and easy Split Panel Shower Curtain. This is so easy to make that you can make one for every holiday and season! Great weekend project! When complete, this shower curtain will measure about 72” W x 72” L. Use ¼” seam allowance to sew panels together. I have included several photos to assist you with the step-by-step instructions. However, if any instructions aren’t clear, feel free to leave a comment and I will be happy to try and explain any step better.  We would also love for you to leave a comment if you like the tutorial. Please tell your friends about us so they can make their own shower curtains as well.
Keep in mind that these do not have to be waterproof. These are shower curtains, not shower liners.

Sewing machine with zigzag and button hole attachments and settings
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Straight edge to use with rotary cutter
Seam ripper
Straight pins
Pencil or wash away marker
1” diameter button

Fabric 1: 42” W x 2 yards (72”) L (Middle strip)
Fabric 2: 42” W x 2 Yards (72”) L (Side strips)
Fabric 3: 90” W x 1/2 Yard (18”)  L (for a seamless Top strip)
For Fabrics 1 and 2, I used two prints from the Waverly Inspirations screen print collection. I bought mine at Walmart. I used bleached muslin from Hobby Lobby for the top strip. You may also be able to find any of these fabrics on Ebay, Etsy, Amazon or other online stores.

1. Press fabric before cutting.

2. Trim off selvage.
3. Trim top and bottom edges to assure they are even.
4. From Fabric 2, cut (2) 17 ½” x 72” panels. Hint: Double the fabric so you only have to cut once.
5. Sew the 17 ½” panels to each side of the 42” panel that you didn’t cut. Hint: Some people in the fabric dept. will cut fabric a little longer so as to allow for those uneven edges you trimmed off earlier; thus, these lengths may not be the same. So be sure to sew both panels onto the same edge (top or bottom) of the middle fabric. That way, you only have to trim the other edge after side panels are attached.
We cut these to straighten the edges earlier. It's easier to make them all the same length after the panels are sewn together.
6. Press the seams toward the outside of the shower curtain.
7. Zigzag over the seams by using the joined edges on the front as a guide. Hint: If you have a computerized sewing machine, set the top zigzag setting to 2 and the bottom setting to 7 for a wide zigzag like mine. You now have a 76” wide shower curtain that we will hem later.
8. But for now, we need to measure the length.  You likely had to trim quite a bit of the length off AND we have to account for hemming the length as well. So follow this part carefully. In the event the person who cut your fabric was stingy, you will need to add quite a bit to the top of this panel in order to get the 72” length.
Measure the length of what you have now. Subtract 2” that will be needed for the bottom hem. After subtracting, how much do you need to add to make a 72” long shower curtain? Once you have that, add 4 1/2” to that measurement because you will need that extra amount for seam allowance and the top hem. See example below that illustrates how this is done.
Example: 71” (measurement before any hemming)
               -   2” (for bottom hem)
               +   3” (is needed to get the required length of 72" - yours may be different depending on
                           the original measurement)
                +  4 1/2” (needed for top hem and seam allowance needed to sew this to the bottom
                                   section of the shower curtain) 
Add together the length needed to get the required length and the length needed for the top hem. For this particular shower curtain, you would need to add 3” to 4 ½” and cut a 7 ½” long section from the 90” wide Fabric 3. (7 1/2" x 90")
9. Sew this strip to the top of your shower curtain. Your unhemmed shower curtain will measure 78 1/2” long.
10. Press the top seam towards the bottom of the shower curtain.
11. Zigzag over the top seam by using the joined edges on the front as a guide.
12. Turn bottom under 1” twice. Pin to hold. Hint: Start pinning hems in center and work towards the edges for better alignment.
                               First turn                                     Second turn hides raw edges
13. Turn top under 2” twice. Pin to hold.
14. Measure your shower curtain after pinning.
    72 1/2" Long - Close enough to 72"!
15. If the length is about 72”, straight stitch along the edge to hem.
    Showing back and front view of straight stitch in 2" hem. Other hems will be similar.
16. Turn sides under 1” twice as seen in step 12 for bottom hem. Pin to hold.
17. Straight stitch along the edge to hem. You now have [about] a 72” wide curtain.
18. Now, we have to make the buttonholes to hang the curtains. Cut a 6 1/2” x 2” strip of paper.  Clearly make a 1” mark on each side (centered between top and bottom) of the paper.
19. Fold the paper in half so that it’s 3 1/4” x 2”. Fold the shower curtain in half lengthwise and crease the top.
20. Unfold the paper. Place the paper fold over the crease on the back side of the 2” shower curtain hem.

21. Lightly mark the first two buttonhole placements.
22. Use your paper to measure out five more buttonhole markings on each side of the original markings so you will have 12 buttonhole markings on your shower curtain when finished. Note: The end buttonholes may not be exactly 6 ½” from the previous buttonholes but that’s ok.
23. You will need the button to use in your buttonhole sliding attachment on your sewing machine. Set the top number of the buttonhole to 0.8 so that ripping the fabric will be easier. Bottom default number, 5.0, is fine. Follow the directions in your sewing machine manual to make the buttonholes or better yet, watch a YouTube video if this is a new process for you.
24. Use your seam ripper to carefully tear the fabric in the center of the buttonholes. Tip: You may skip the buttonhole process if you wish to use grommets instead. Simply mark as directed above and attach grommets.

26. Trim excess seam raveling for a neater appearance.
You may print this tutorial for your own personal use. However, please do not upload to any other website or attempt to sell this tutorial. You may, however, share the link to this tutorial with others if you wish. If you sell the finished product online, please give credit to Sew Practical or eCraftClasses.
© 2016 All rights reserved Sew Practical/eCraftClasses.
Have a nice day!

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Free Classes Coming Soon!

I have bought MORE fabric without a plan. That kind of forced me to come up with a plan. : - ) I have way too much fabric. Read about my new plan and see the new fabric at my Sew Practical blog - - and how that will mean new free classes I'm going to offer on this blog soon. I'm very excited. Hope you'll be able to join me!

Have a nice day!

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Fabric and Quilt Project

While we were out and about a couple of weekends ago, I decided to stop by Hobby Lobby. And am I ever glad I did! They had lots of new Christmas fabrics out. Below are the ones I purchased along with some muslin backing.

The tree and plaid homespun fabric on the right are pretty by themselves. I didn't want to cut them so I just added some of the green homespun around the edges to create a border. The tree side is the quilt top and the plaid will be the backing. I have shown a full length and closeup image of both sides below. I spent about six hours cutting, sewing and pressing the border to both sides and getting them spray basted to the batting.

Below, I am showing the quilt patterns I am going to use on this pretty Christmas quilt. The quilt is on the hoop stand with some of the quilt pieces pinned to it. I hope to start quilting by the end of the day.

Have a nice day!

Images of the Finished Winter Cabins Quilt are Available

I finished the Winter Cabins quilt a couple of weeks ago. I finally had a few minutes to upload images at the following link: Thanks for dropping by to see those.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Print and Quilt Lessons

This lesson is way overdue. I'm so sorry. Now that I'm almost finished with the Winter Cabins quilt, I thought I'd try to get a quick lesson posted for you.

This is really very simple and it's so much easier than tracing or using a chalk pounce. I've only used this technique for hand quilting. I'd love to see if you're able to use it for free motion quilting on your sewing machine.

  1. Select your quilt design and print it. Cut it to the size you need. This is a border design, so I cut it to three inches wide for my border size, then cut it to the original length. Obviously, I had to print several of these in order to quilt the entire border.

2. Crumble the paper as shown above. I do this two or three times so it will be very pliable for quilting.

3. When you open the paper, it's very wrinkled. That's good! This makes it move as easily as your fabric.

4. Pin the wrinkled paper to the quilt and quilt.

5. Quilt over the paper.

6. Gently pull the paper off to reveal your hand-quilted design.

Have a nice day!